Hush, Hush & On the QT: The Party’s at Club 20

Is this an invite to a swanky new night club in Denver? Or are we talking about the hottest political event to happend this year west of the Divide?

Sorry to disappoint Front Range singles. Club 20 is a Western Slope organization whose fall soiree has become a political parishioner’s heaven. Please read on…. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe first Saturday after Labor Day has historically been reserved for Club 20’s fall meeting, an annual political pilgrimage to the Western Slope where disciples congregate in the Mecca city of Grand Junction to discuss issues near and dear to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain West.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketClub 20 is a 54-year old organization whose purpose is to be “The Voice of the Western Slope;” members also love to dabble in state and national politics.

Actually, the Club 20 meeting agenda will be secondary when one will have so many opportunities to exchange “information” in the convention hallways with elected officials, corporate VIPS, environmental groups, lobbyists, media and other state movers and shakers together at the Two Rivers Convention Center.

What is striking about this Club 20 event is organizers have been able to retain a rural ambiance and friendly atmosphere. Even amongst the partisan political royalty. One can walk up to anyone and start a conversation (if you can fight your way past the elected officials, lobbyists, reporters and TV cameras.)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketFor instance, Gov. Bill Ritter will be headlining the keynote luncheon spotlight, but expect Ritter to come early and leave late as he has been known to enjoy Western hallway hospitality.

Congressman John Salazar will be popping in to mingle among his congregation first and second, to give Club 20 members a Washington update. State legislators will flock from across the state to discuss their proposed bills.

No doubt, Club 20 attendees will also glimpse a US Senate candidate or two.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAlthough education will be the main scope of the day long meeting, Western Slope legislators past and present will also explore the Colorado’s ballot initiative process in a round-table discussion.

Even a Colorado State University scientist will have a chance to sermonize about global warming – although at 1:30 p.m., chances are most participants will be still gabbing in the hallways, working off lunch.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketAdding spice to the Western Slope political fare, Club 20 corporate sponsors, such as Wells Fargo Banks; EnCana Oil and Gas; Williams Production; Xcel Energy; Qwest; KinderMorgan; BP America; Shell Oil Exploration; Chevron; Hogan & Hartson law offices; Colorado Ski Country; LaFarge; Altria (parent company of Philip Morris International); Denver Water Board; and the Union Pacific Railroad among others, will have representatives roaming the hallways during the fall meeting.  Club 20 provides a great informal way to get to know the Western Slope politicians a little better.

Club 20 has represented the interests of counties, communities, business, individuals, tribes and associations in Western Colorado on issues such as economic development, water, energy development and transportation. Members also take an annual trek to the state capitol and Washington DC to express their views.

Hush, Hush will enter the hallowed halls of the Club 20 fall meeting on Saturday to pay homage to the political gods gracing the Western Slope for the day. Be sure to check back for the reports….

Map of Club 20’s “territory.” Photos from last year’s Club 20 fall meeting: Candidate Ritter’s TV interview; the fashion police spotted State Sen. Ron Teck’s three foot long tie; former Republican Lt. Governor candidate and anti-sheep marriage proponent, Janet Rowland, who is currently a Mesa County Commissioner.