Tell Us How You Really Feel, Scott Gessler

Some viral-worthy video of Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler fowarded to us this past weekend, from a speech on “election integrity” he give before the Broomfield 9.12 Group just over a week ago at Sill-Terhar Motors. Here’s a transcript:

SCOTT GESSLER: So obviously, this is, uh, we’ve got a big election coming up, and everyone’s I think properly very intensely involved, but there’s always a lot of uptightness involved, lots of accusations hurled about. So let me tell you a little about what we’re looking at, at least from my perspective, in the election. I mean, how do you, how do you know if you have a good election?

Well, Republicans win of course. [Pols emphasis]

Now, no no, I didn’t say that. From the Secretary of State’s standpoint, how do you know if you’ve had a good election?

OFF CAMERA: Uh Scott, we just talked about voter fraud just a little while ago, and, [unintelligible]


We’ve got the whole video of Gessler’s Broomfield 9.12er presentation, which we, and we suspect a few others are closely reviewing today. We’ll post more clips as they jump out at us, this might not even be the best one–but a joke about how a “good election” is when “Republicans win” sounds particularly funny coming from Colorado’s chief elections officer!

If you don’t agree, the problem must be that you don’t have Gessler’s sense of humor.


28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ArapaGOP says:

    This is so obviously a joke it’s ridiculous that you would even post it. Slow news day?

    I guess no jokes in public now, trackers are everywhere. Thanks for making public events even more boring, Dems.

    • ajb says:

      for example, when you’re elected to statewide office, you’re expected to show some maturity and good judgement.  

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      OMG they were rolling in the aisles !

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      but in that case, you shit all over yourself with outrage.

      He was trying to make a point that the private sector has received many more benefits than the public sector but Oh Lordy how you tried to make it into some spittle flying outrage that the President was out of touch with the economics of our times.

      You are such a butt sucking turd when it comes to defending the remarks of your favorite politicians and attacking the remarks of your least favorite politicians.

    • ohwilleke says:

      Colorado (and almost every other state) has partisan elected officials run its elections at both the state and the local level (except for Denver’s Clerk and Recorder who is nominally a non-partisan elected official).  

      The United States one of the only, if not the only, functioning democracies in the world to do so, and that says a lot of the degree to which there is bipartisan agreement on all but the finest points of election administration which speaks well of our democratic culture, even though it doesn’t say much for the wisdom of the late 19th century, early 20th century progressives who came up with such a bizzare system (in the similar tradition of the Founding Fathers’ decision to vest resolution of election disputes in elected officials in Congress who it became immediately clear, resolved disputes in a blatantly partisan manner until not earlier than sometime after the Civil War and Reconstruction were concluded).

      There is absolutely no harm in one of those partisan elected officials acknowledging that fact in jest when, as Gessler did, when he then immediately and expressly disavowing any claim that the joke is serious in case anyone was unsure that it was a joke.  

      The fact that officials acknowledge that they have biases publicly does not mean that the system must be corrupt.  I’d worry more about someone who ran for partisan public office who tried to deny that they had a partisan bias once elected, or who genuinely couldn’t care less how elections came out. Is sub silente partisanship in election administration a la Bush v. Gore really any better?  

      I don’t like the way our system decides who should administer elections via partisan elected officials, I argued vigorously before the election in a diary at this site that Gessler was not the right man for the job, and I disagree with plenty of Gessler’s actions since he was elected.  But, this particular joke is utterly inoffensive, and ethical performance of one’s public duties does not require humorless performance of one’s public duties.

      Civility and the ability to take a joke have their place in the public square as well.

      Also, fortunately, the Colorado Secretary of State is a pretty weak state election official and most of the arguably objectional decisions he makes are subject to judicial review (and Colorado does a much better job of choosing good judges than it does of choosing good election administration officials).  In particular, the Secretrary of State (1) has almost no say in redistricting, (2) has extremely little say in actually counting ballots, a process run by local clerks whose partisan alignment tends to match the local political majority, (3) has no say in how state elected official ethics cases are administered, (4) can’t initiate criminal prosecutions for election law violations unilaterally (and the potential of anyone to do that was narrowed further when criminal libel laws were repealed this legislative session), (5) is subject to extremely detailed statutory direction on most issues, (6) is subject to effective review of new regulations from both the judicial and legislative branches (as well as the AG’s office, which has assigned his predecessor to handle the SOS’s office’s legal work), and (7) is subject to effective judicial and legislative branch supervision of his involvement in the initiative and referrendum process.

      One of the very few discretionary and effectively unreviewable powers that he has at his disposal, are his executive decisions to be more lenient than the law permits in enforcing campaign finance violations and to choose which campaign finance violations to to target given his office’s very modest staff resource (decisions to overprosecute these violations, in contrast, are subject to judicial review and frequently result in reversals of SOS decisions).  

      He has a bit more say over how voter registration is handled now than the SOS used to in light of centralized IT systems; but the SOS’s office’s IT people have a better track record of competence than most government offices in the state, honed managing uncontroversial corporation and Uniform Commercial Code and Notary record databases.  No Colorado SOS in living memory has ever been fraudulent in adding up county clerk generated vote tallies to get a statewide result.

      It isn’t even clear if the Colorado SOS has the authority to impose uniform state rules on the mailing of mail in ballots to inactive voters, the subject of a past lawsuit that wasn’t resolved on the merits (Gessler lost) and a new one that might be resolved on the merits with the Denver County Clerk and Recorder.

      The position does involve sensitive decisions that in close cases can swing an election.  Somebody has to do that.  I personally would prefer that it wasn’t him.  But, one can get carried away in thinking that it makes a huge difference, when the system works better than one might reasonably expect given its design.

    • Ralphie says:

      are no joke.

      They’re a threat to democracy.

      • cdsmith says:

        but this joke is still going to look petty if someone tries to make a big deal about it.  Seriously, this is the kind of thing that is only upsetting if you already disagree with Gessler.

        Talk to people about his lying about voter fraud to try to take away the right to vote, his partisan attempts to disenfranchise anyone who sat out the 2010 election… anything but this.

  2. RenegadeGeophysicist says:

    I learned the hard way when I started my career that there are times and places to be friendly and off-the-cuff and funny.  And there are times when you must say words that have no ambiguity, no chance to be interpreted, because people watch you.  You can never walk into a meeting and tell everyone that your process is FUBAR’d, that your foreman hasn’t been sober since ‘Nam, or that you are providing an illegal unfair advantage to one company over another. That would be unprofessional. Being professional is kind of an important job qualification for someone is Gessler’s position.  

  3. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    …Or even if he were the scrupulously ethical Secretary of State known for his nonpartisan decision-making in office, who had never, ever, EVER been seriously accused of voter suppression.

    As-is, this is as if Sandusky held a press conference and told the old joke about a pedophile and a little boy walking in to the dark woods together.

    • Sir Robin says:

      And Congratulation PC on being reelected to FPE.

      I also liked “Being an Adult” by RG….this guy does not have wriggle room in making partisan comments. This is a natioanlly coordinated anti-union and voter suppression effort by a hand full of rich cats.

      It’s unAmerican and disgusting.

  4. allyncooper says:

    said into what he thought was a dead microphone “the bombing of the Soviet Union will begin in five minutes”.  

    That was a real knee slapper.  

    • ClubTwitty says:

      And the thought of millions of dead civilians as ‘collateral damage.’  Especially when I have my finger on the proverbial button, senility notwithstanding. What was Dr. Strangelove said …. “Yeeee—Hawwwww!” I believe?    

  5. twinklepants says:

    He spoke for nearly an hour. Is this all you have?

  6. ClubTwitty says:

    “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” he [the state House majority leader] said, drawing applause.


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