Gessler “Suspends Campaign” To Help In School Board Race

UPDATE #2: Colorado Community Media's Jane Reuter:

Gessler asked for support from other conservatives to knock on doors, and said he also would have some paid opportunities.

As Secretary of State, Gessler is charged with overseeing and administering Colorado’s election code, voter registration and campaign finance laws.

Gessler’s political director did not respond directly when asked if the Secretary of State’s involvement in the board election was appropriate, given the office’s stated mission to “ensure the integrity of elections.”

Gessler “is not afraid to lead when the future of education in Colorado is at stake,” Rory McShane responded through an email, adding that election integrity is Gessler’s top priority. “If not Scott Gessler, then who? Where are the other candidates with the courage to fight for the future of education in Colorado?”


UPDATE: The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reports:

“We are currently following and will continue to follow all campaign finance laws,” [Gessler political director Rory] McShane said.

Campaign finance laws prevent a candidate committee from accepting contributions or making donations to another candidate committee…

McShane said groups supporting the conservative school board candidates are paying the walkers, not Gessler’s gubernatorial campaign but that’s not how critics read the missives.

In fact, there's nothing in the messages posted by Scott Gessler's campaign clarifying that at all, but there's your answer on the legality question.


Scott Gessler.

Scott Gessler.

An "important update" from Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler's gubernatorial campaign today:

I’m a firm believer that we conservatives need to be team players. That means sometimes we do something that’s inconvenient or difficult because it advances the cause of liberty that we all believe in. As you know, Conservative Education is one of my top priorities, and I’m proud that it’s a front-and-center issue in my campaign.

Nowhere in this country is the battle for conservative reform more pronounced than in Douglas County, just south of Denver. If we’re able to defeat the union-funded liberals there, we have hope for defending education across Colorado.

Against the advice of the Denver political elites, I’ve ordered my campaign for Governor to shift focus for the next week until the Douglas County elections, to ensure that conservatives are victorious this year. [Pols emphasis]

We’re actively recruiting door-knockers to get out the vote. We also have paid opportunities – but we need you if we’re going to be successful as a team.

First of all…"Denver elites?" He's the Colorado Secretary of State.

Moving past that, according to the announcement on Gessler's Facebook page, he's hiring "walkers" for the Douglas County school board races at the competitive rate of $11 an hour. One the one hand, there's not a lot to lose by spending time in conservative Douglas County as a Republican gubernatorial primary contender. On the other, why would he hire staffers to help campaign for Douglas County school board candidates? The upside of ingratiating himself to those involved in those admittedly hot races just doesn't seem like it's worth funding a field campaign. It's not the first time that Gessler has behaved in what seems to be an erratic and tangential way on the campaign trail, but perhaps it will pay off beyond our visible horizon.

One possible explanation might be the support Gessler has received from former U.S. Senate candidate and state board of education chair Bob Schaffer. The "voucherization" scheme at the heart of the controversy in these school board races is one of Schaffer's pet issues, and apparently Gessler's as well–to the extent that he capitalized "Conservative Education" for emphasis.

And of course, this must all be legal, because it's our own Secretary of State doing it (pregnant pause). Right?

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. UglyAmerican says:

    1. Sounds like a pre-packaged way to excuse poor Q4 fundraising numbers.

    2. When is suspending a campaign ever a good idea?

    3. His face makes him unelectable. Seriously. He is unable to be photographed where he looks trustworthy.

  2. Smoking Mirror says:

    Shades of John McCain in 2008.  Country First…

  3. Hawkeye-X says:

    Wish Gessler would suspend himself, forever.

    Just quit the damn job, asshole!


  4. OrangeFree says:

    "Against the advice of the Denver political elites…"

    YOU'RE ONE OF THEM! You're a card carrying member of the Denver Political elite!

    If he starts using a southern accent to show he's more plain spoken and a part of "real Colorado ," I'm going to lose my shit. 



  5. gumshoe says:

    Wait… so a candidate for governor can use his campaign funds to hire staffers to campaign for a school board candidate? Huh? 

  6. mamajama55 says:

    gumshoe, you're right, and there may be significant conflicts of interest both in this campaign, in his "advising" the recall proponents, and in his campaign for governor while still remaining Secretary of State. I'm sure that Luis Toro and the Ethics commission are on this, but I'm going to peruse the bylaws to see what I can find.

  7. ajb says:

    Wait a minute, he's not paying staffers to campaign for secession? Way to throw Weldistan under the bus!

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Oh Noes.  Frackistan is going to have to count on folks forgetting the help they got during the Front Range Floods and the out-of-state tuition the kids in Conservistan are going to have to pay if they want to go to CSU or Mines.

  8. gaf says:

    So education is not one of his top priorities, only Conservative Education. Got it.

    It will be interesting to see what scheme he has developed to use his candidate campaign funds on other candidate elections. I'm sure he has a plan. But his previous efforts to rewrite law and the constitution through Rules have been shot down by the courts.

  9. DavidThi808 says:

    Now ll we need is Caldara "moving" there to vote.

  10. Ralphie says:

    Glad Gessler is sacrificing it all to make sure that kids in Douglas County maintain their inability to read.  Next stop, Mesa Coundy.

  11. Diogenesdemar says:

    This is going to be a very interesting race:

    1.  ScottyG is a bit late to the party.  God bless mail-in ballots. OTOH the forces for good got out early with a very strong across-the-board campaign, in every way imaginable. 

    2.  Because school boards positions are "non-partisan" (yeah, right) party affiliation does not show on the ballot. That's about as good as someone pro-public education can hope for in crimson DougCo.  It also means that name-recognition is almost more important than affiliation (too bad for our lazy see-spot-R voters and candidates — see also #1 above. 

    I'm under no illusion that all four of the education candidates will be elected here — still it won't be an out-of-question impossibility for one, or maybe two to sneak by the Empire electorate. 

    And, that's the good news from DougCo . . . so sorry about your failing campaign for Governor there, Scott — hope you keep your streak of failures alive another week longer!!


  12. exlurker19 says:

    One of my neighbors moved her Gessler for Mayor yardsign way back in her yard, almost on the front porch.  When you start losing my neighbors (the reddest of the red, TRUE AMERICANS one and all), you really are messing up.

    Almost as bad as the conservaclowns losing the Weather Channel.  They've been using the dreaded phrase "Climate Change" in the scrolling subtitles.  Don't know if they actually say the phrase.  I just put them on for the Locals on the 8s report with the volume muted.  It's not like I can listen to them.

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