Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is a controversy magnet, with many progressive figures taking his name in vain. Example: a blistering October critique by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. But today, NPR, a news outfit frequently accused of liberal bias, sent the mega-conservative Gessler an audio love letter in which he's implicitly dubbed a rock star, as well as a honey badger. Hear it below.
The piece, by Colorado Public Radio's Megan Verlee, doesn't go into detail about what Gessler critics see as his efforts to suppress voters unlikely to cast ballots for Republicans via photo-ID requirements and the like. Rather, it focuses on the growing importance of the office nationwide due to the growing perception that in a close election, a secretary of state can tip the outcome his party's way. Says one expert, "The decade following the 2000 presidential election made secretaries of state the rock stars of the election world."
Verlee uses Gessler to embody this assertion, and he hardly shies away from the characterization. When asked about his nickname of Honey Badger, after a viral video that's spawned a slew of tie-ins pivoting on the phrase "Honey badger don't care," he embraces it, saying, "If you look at honey badgers, they're very independent animals. They're very fierce. People don't mess with them, and they usually win their fights."
Actually, Gessler's ratio of victories to defeats isn't quite at Tom Brady levels. But there's no denying he's good at badgering. Listen to the NPR package below.
Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.
More from our Politics archive: "Scott Gessler's suit against Denver County for inactive-voter mailings shameful, says ACLU."