Election

Where's Walker? Dems Stage Presser on Stapleton's Statehouse Parking Spot

Walker Stapleton's (mostly unused) parking spot at the Colorado State House.
Walker Stapleton's (mostly unused) parking spot at the Colorado State House. Chris Bianchi
Next time you're doing loops in downtown Denver looking for a parking spot, you might want to try spot number nine at the Colorado State Capitol. Walker Stapleton's parking spot is probably free.

Today, September 7, Democratic leaders and gubernatorial hopeful Jared Polis's campaign hosted a press conference at the state treasurer's parking spot at the Capitol to make a point about Stapleton's supposed regular absences from work.

“Honestly, we haven’t seen him for weeks," Colorado Democratic Party spokesman Eric Walker said of Stapleton.

As Michael Roberts wrote earlier this week, Democrats have stepped up their attacks on Stapleton's perceived failure to show up for work. A new website, Where Is Walker?, digs at Stapleton's 55 percent attendance record at Colorado's Public Employees Retirement Association meetings, along with audio of Stapleton's reaction to inclement weather: "If there's rain or snow, I might as well stay in bed for an extra hour or hang out at home, because I'm not going to get to work."


From behind a podium on Stapleton's Capitol parking spot, speakers claimed that if they had a work attendance record similar to Stapleton's, they might not have a job.

"I thought to myself, if I'd [had Stapleton's attendance record at my own job], I'd have been fired," Colorado Alliance for Retired Americans president Edward Augden said. "If [Stapleton] is running for governor, he should love the office that he's running for. If he loved the office that he was running for, he would be there 95 percent of the time."

"If I didn't get up and take care of my clients, they would not be able to eat," home-care worker Corletta Hython said from the same podium. "But as you can see, everybody goes on with their day without [Stapleton] going to work. Is that who we want to be governor? Do we want to put our lives in his hands?"

That said, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis's own absence at the Club 20 debates this weekend will garner some negative headlines, too. Stapleton was absent from the Statehouse on Friday because the Republican gubernatorial candidate was on his way to the September 8 gathering in Grand Junction. 
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Chris Bianchi is a Westword contributor interested in politics.
Contact: Chris Bianchi