Governor Bill Owens was saying farewell to Club 20 members during Saturday’s Club 20 luncheon in Grand Junction. His speech covered what he thought was his successes during his administration: lower taxes, C-SAP and roads. Certainly it was rousing time for Republicans and they didn’t hold back their admiration for their departing leader. But Owens was a real snooze for Democrats.As Democrats focused on counting ceiling tiles, Owens said he would be remembered more by his policy successes than his political prowess, although he admitted there had been a lot of politicking going on at the statehouse on his watch.
“Oh, really?” passed through the thoughts of Democrats as Owens proceeded to name the advances he made in education, transportation and tax cuts. When he said, “We have made some real progress,” Republicans jumped to their feet in applause and Democrats stood to shake out their leg cramps.
Since the Karl Rove line this week for Republican leaders includes Hitler, Stalin and Klingons, Owens was happy to oblige and slipped it into his speech as he was talking about school kids and democracy.
Owens did chide himself for failing in the chance to pass Referendum A that would have given him powers to take Western Slope water. “It takes a politically “adept” governor to lose a water referendum during a 300-year drought,” he chuckled. That got the Republicans rolling in laughter and the Democrats rolling their eyes up at the ceiling again.
Governor Bill Owens greets Club 20 members as they enter the luncheon. Photo by Leslie Robinson.