Brauchler Surprised that “Water is a Huge Issue” in Colorado

So, tell me more about this…water.

Many of the 17 dozen candidates for Governor in Colorado descended on the annual “Club 20 Fall Conference” in Grand Junction over the weekend. Candidates from the Front Range may not be exposed to all of the issues that are critical to Colorado’s Western Slope, but Republican gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler was a bit too candid in his comments. As the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports:

As the current district attorney for the 18th Judicial District in the Denver metropolitan area, the Republican knows much about public safety issues, from the courts to law enforcement.

But being governor necessitates more than just a rudimentary understanding of other issues, something he’s learned while campaigning on the Western Slope in the crowded race for the GOP nomination for governor.

“The one issue that I did not anticipate, but appreciate more than any of the other (issues), is water,” Brauchler said Friday shortly after meeting with the Grand Junction Economic Partnership about business issues. “On the Front Range, the water issue is when I turn on my tap, is it there? Getting around the state as much as I have over the past five months, water is a huge issue.” Brauchler said his lack of understanding about water issues prompted him to meet with numerous water experts, including those with the Colorado River District. [Pols emphasis]

His main takeaway, which is still under development, is more storage and more conservation.


It’s hard to overstate the weirdness of Brauchler’s comments here. Water policy has been among the most important issues in Colorado since…well, since before Colorado became Colorado. We have a Statewide Water Plan in Colorado, for crying out loud. Water policy in Colorado is extremely complicated, as this briefing document from the State of Colorado outlines, so candidates can be forgiven for not knowing all of the details. But not knowing that water is a big issue in general is a flabbergasting acknowledgment from a serious gubernatorial candidate.

This bizarre admission is a terrible look for Brauchler — and no doubt something that will haunt him in the months to come. It is an inexcusable mistake that Brauchler was not better-briefed before he grabbed the microphone in Grand Junction.

If you’re not familiar with Colorado water issues, you probably shouldn’t show up at a “Club 20” event. For that matter, if you’re not familiar with water issues, you probably shouldn’t be running for governor of Colorado.

33 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    Someone needs to send a copy of Scott McInnis' former Supreme Court Justice Hobbs' law review article about water to Broccoli.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Musings on Brocolli??? . . . 

      . . . I suppose it's our fault, though, if Colorado allowed for the death-penalty by drowning, this tool might be slightly less ignorant about water issues???

  2. unnamed says:

    Hello.  Hello.  Anybody home?   Huh?  Think Broccoli!   Think!

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    Hey Fluffy, . . . 

    . . . your boy's drowning here!!!

  4. PKolbenschlag says:

    What? they care on the West Slope about all the water we take  on the East Slope?

    And the question might come up as I stump for statewide office at the Club 20 meeting, chatting with water buffalos? 

    Never crossed my mind. 

    Western Slope water in good hands with GB… 

    C'mon Tom, you know you want to… 


  5. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Like I've been saying on other threads, Brauchler is the weakest of the GOP gubernatorial candidates.

  6. spaceman65 says:

    Hard to know which is bigger, tweety bird's ignorance or his arrogance.  But together they are a deadly combo platter of awful


  7. PKolbenschlag says:

    Another GOP star at Club 20 was surprised that broad band was an issue in rural America. 

    "Coal mines." "I thought y'all wanted more coal mines." 

  8. Genghis says:

    So then, to sum up, this Brauchler fellow, according to his campaign website, has been practicing law in Colorado for two decades, yet:

    1. Doesn't know that Colorado has something called Water Courts, and/or

    2. Doesn't have the mental wattage to surmise that the existence of courts created exclusively to adjudicate water rights means that water is kind of a big deal here.

    • notaskinnycook says:

      It sounds like he's never visited the Colorado Supreme Court library, either. There's a whole room just for water law. Bet he doesn't know the difference between whisky and water here, either.

  9. DaftPunk says:

    Who knew water could be so complicated?

  10. Moderatus says:

    Because this blog is smarter than all the experts and knows everything. You'd never need to brush up on a single issue to be governor. That's why you NEVER make mistakes, right? Silly hypocrites!

  11. ElliotFladen says:

    I am no fan of Brauchler but this is a really silly and trumped up post. 

  12. gertie97 says:

    Brauchler proves the Colorado bar exam is far too easy.


  13. JohnInDenver says:

    Not only did he not learn about water in law school or his 20 years of lawyering since then. He's overlooked reports and an official state plan on water. He apparently didn't connect the dots to a previous disaster of a campaign faux pas on a water policy paper. And, perhaps most insulting, he didn't look at any coverage of earlier “Club 20” events — iirc, most of them include pretty substantial mention of whatever the water issue of the year is (plus repetitious criticism of the Front Range stealing water and the United States over-regulating and not doing enough to keep water in Colorado).

  14. ForHD4 says:

    For all of you who expressed your knowledge of and concerns about water in Colorado and water knowledge in Colorado's leadership, check out my campaign for the Colorado House of Representatives. I have a 17-year background in water litigation, with the last ten years focused on restoring flows to Colorado's depleted rivers.

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