Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

John Hickenlooper has more fun at reunion than dealing with billion-dollar budget shortfall

Fresh from another round of eco-devo meetings and a quick side trip to a Craig hospital to get five stitches after he bumped his head in his state car, John Hickenlooper landed back in Denver in time for a reunion party at El Diablo with campaign staffers and supporters who worked on his victorious run for governor last year.

The crowd included everyone from Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Hickenlooper's very first hire when he decided to run for mayor back in 2002, to some of the cabinet members from outlying areas who are now bunking at the Governor's Mansion, to members of the transition teams that helped study state agencies and departments before the inauguration. Hickenlooper recalled "how much work was done in those two months in order to hit the ground running."

And that, of course, followed months of work on the campaign. "It was the most rewarding and engaging experience of my entire professional life," Hickenlooper said. "I could not have had a better time."

And now that he's governor of a state with a billion-dollar shortfall? "The budget is no fun," Hickenlooper said.

And it's not done, either. The Joint Budget Committee will be crunching numbers again today.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Colorado budget's $1.1 billion shortfall: Backseat Budgeter offers taste of task facing legislators."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun