Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler had scheduled an announcement for September 17, long before floodwaters started spilling over in Colorado. So should he have cancelled what would turn out to be his gubernatorial kickoff once he found out that much of the state would soon be underwater? That's the question that leads tonight's Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television. Some of Gessler's critics -- a group larger than the crowd in a Weld County shelter -- said yes, it was insensitive for him to go forward. But if you want to be governor, you'd better be prepared to govern in good times...and in bad.
Very bad, as you consider that people are still waiting for rescue. And even once Colorado's residents are all safe and dry, there will be hundreds of miles of roads to rebuild, dozens of bridges to replace, and thousands of houses (many uninsured) to restore.
Gessler had scheduled his Cable Center announcement for a week after the recall election in Colorado Springs and Pueblo -- enough time to figure out if there were any big election snafus that the Secretary of State's office would have to deal with (or could be blamed for), and also to analyze what kind of impact that recall vote might have on the 2014 campaign. His strategists were prepared for any eventuality at the ballot box -- but no one could have predicted a flood of Biblical proportions.
You can blame Gessler for many things -- but not insensitivity in this case. Because of all the flood coverage, his announcement didn't make much of a splash -- but there's still plenty of time for his critics to say he's gotten in over his head. Fourteen months, in fact.
For more on his gubernatorial race, go to the still very bare-bones Scott Gessler for Governor website. And for more discussion of this, the flood and Colorado's cleanup, tune into Channel 12 at 8 p.m. tonight.
From the Calhoun: Wake Up Call archives: "Want to help Colorado flood victims? Here's how."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.