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February 06, 2013 08:22 AM UTC

"Honey Badger" Doesn't Care, He's On The Cover!

  • by: Colorado Pols

honeybadgermoneybomb​We got the tip a couple of days ago about an upcoming fundraiser for embattled Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler. Apparently for $50 donated to his re-election campaign–we assume it's his re-election campaign and not his legal defense fund–he's giving out signed copies of the recent Westword issue featuring himself on the cover done up as the "Honey Badger." We've been meaning to get to this for the appropriate good-natured ribbing.

Westword's Patricia Calhoun, however, isn't quite as pleased–and for a pretty understandable reason. 

Yes, the Honey Badger has allegedly been flaunting this state's newspaper-theft statute — by taking more copies of Westword than he is entitled to…

The nine-year-old law that makes it a crime to take more than five copies of free-distribution newspapers in certain circumstances has been in the news lately; after a legislative commission recommended repealing Colorado's newspaper-theft statute this summer, sixty papers around the state ran editorials objecting to such a move. Instead, Representative Claire Levy and Senator Mike King are now sponsoring a proposal that would change the name of the existing statute to "interference with the lawful distribution of a newspaper" and move it to a different section of the criminal code; HB 1014 has already passed out of the judiciary committee.

The proposal would retain the language that makes it unlawful to take more than five copies "with the intent to prevent other individuals from reading that edition of the newspaper."

And Gessler hangs his defense on those words. "I'm distributing the papers," he points out. "Of course we intend to have people read them."

Presumably, Gessler intends donors to read the story about him, not the Back Page ads for "happy ending massages" or the finest weed directory in the state of Colorado. But he's right that's probably enough for the purposes of this state law. Calhoun continues: 

And because he responded to our queries so promptly — after we put in a call to his attorney, David Lane (yes, that David Lane) — we're going to forget the fact that every copy of Westword also includes these words: "No person may, without prior permission of Westword, take more than one copy of each issue."

Which is, we suppose, Westword's prerogative–call it a thank-you for Gessler providing them with such excellent material. Or, mayve David Lane was just his usual persuasive self on the matter. Either way, since they're not sufficiently angry with the misuse of copies of their paper to throw a stink about it, there's really only one thing to add–the actual content of Sam Levin's story that Gessler will be handing out.

On the eve of Election Day, in one of the most important swing states in the country, news broke that Gessler would be facing both criminal and ethics investigations — by the Denver District Attorney's Office and the state's Independent Ethics Commission, respectively — for his alleged misuse of funds, giving the secretary, who is no stranger to controversy, the worst headlines he'd ever received on his most important day on the job. He'd already spent a lot of time arguing that he was not suppressing voters; now he had to prove that he hadn't broken the law.

Call us old fashioned, but this story has a lot of stuff in it we wouldn't hand out at a fundraiser.


12 thoughts on ““Honey Badger” Doesn’t Care, He’s On The Cover!

  1. Proof positive that ASShole Scottie thinks he's above the rules, beyond the laws, and deserves no reproach.  Where the f*ck are our investigative reporters?  This is a guy that time & again flaunts the rules to satisfy his own greed and partisan being.  You know that he's done more & worse — it's totally in his DNA.   All it would really take is a bit of digging by some half-decent journo to catch this ASS.  WTF?  Get on it WestWord … unleash Boulder Weekly … somebody somewhere act like they take their job, the Free Press, and the Fourth Estate seriously.  

    Why do we know more about balloon-boys family or the Potty-peeper's mental background than we do about this suckie SoS?

    1. Um, VD? have you read Westword's 5000+ word cover article that Gessler is signing? Or any of the other dozen or so articles/posts that WW wrote about this creep over the last year? That's kinda what you're talking about.

      1. Um, yeah rath.  I've even tipped Roberts on some morsels for his column.  But why does it end @WW?  Gessler's stinks like a frat house couch cushion — there is dirt down there has got to exist but how come no one else seems to take interest.  Yeah, ASShole Scottie pops up in quite a few WW articles but they're the only ones.  In all the articles (160 Westword, 350+ DP, …?) there sure isn't much about him pre-2009.  Sure would love to read about someone digging a bit further back.

        Smirking assholes like Gessler think their the shit & they're better than the rules.  These are the ones time & again foiled by their hubris and arrogance.  Let's see a real bulldog dig around Scottie's background — I'm sure it would be fun.

        Dude sold a Boulder home in 2006 and bought up a Cheeseman Park one for twice the price.  Scottie musta banked a tidy sum in 5 yrs to get himself 2x's more mortgage.

        Any details on how he spent that $3.5 mil extra budget he inherited from his predecessor?  Scottie refused to give back to the state, instead all uppity about using it to fight Identity Theft.  How about a follow-up folks?

        Inquiring minds wanna know …




  2. Call us old fashioned, but this story has a lot of stuff in it we wouldn't hand out at a fundraiser.

    Except when you are fulfilling your campaign donors' wishes through all the aforementioned abuses.

    1. Just remember . . .

      . . . these are Colorado Republican donors — reading is not one of their most-prized skill sets — it's all about the pictures.  All they know is Gessler pisses off the people in this state who can read and take the time to do so — my guess is that's what they like most about SOSbadger

  3. Just a reminder…-

    45-105.5 Contributions to members of general assembly and governor during consideration of legislation

    (1) (a) No professional lobbyist, volunteer lobbyist, or principal of a professional lobbyist or volunteer lobbyist shall make or promise to make a contribution to, or solicit or promise to solicit a contribution for:

    (I) A member of the general assembly or candidate for the general assembly, when the general assembly is in regular session;

    (II) (A) The governor or a candidate for governor when the general assembly is in regular session or when any measure adopted by the general assembly in a regular session is pending before the governor for approval or disapproval; or

    (B) The lieutenant governor, the secretary of state, the state treasurer, the attorney general, or a candidate for any of such offices when the general assembly is in regular session.


  4. Hello,

    Maybe Scott placed money in machine, grabbed 1 paper, closed door, and then repeat?

    Maybe Scott asked his friends to purchase  copies and send it to him?


    Do we have any REAL proof Scott took more than the legal 5 papers without paying for them?


    Did Westward pay Scott for using his image? Did Westward not violate IP and copyright?  Seems as though newspapers would have NO material what so ever if they were not the largest IP and Copyright violators known to mankind…


    1. Westword is free, hence the 5 paper limit so that people don't abuse the unlimited access and take the entire stack.

      As for intellectual property, if the picture is taken in public or is from a public domain source (government in this case) then Westword can certainly use the photo however it wants. If Gessler had decided to reproduce the altered graphic that incorporates his photo, that would be another thing. He's lucky that he decided to snag a pile of papers for souvenirs rather than print up some tshirts. That would've been a much larger penalty than what he's facing now.

  5. You really are an idiot, Nock. Gessler is a public figure with no right to his images.

    He should, however, pay attention to what Pita pointed out. Then again, he's demonstrated already that laws are for the little people, not for him.


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