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While we’re waiting for confirmation about whether Sen. Ken Salazar is really going to be Secretary of the Interior, and who will be the next senator from Colorado, and who will then maybe be the next U.S. Representative from Colorado, and also who will be the next Colorado Secretary of State and the next state House minority leader and possibly the next assistant minority leader, let’s all relax and amuse ourselves for a few minutes watching Ken Gordon swimming with sharks.
UPDATE: The governor's office announced Tuesday afternoon that state Sen. Ken Gordon and Reps. Andrew Romanoff and Bernie Buescher have made the final cut. According to Ritter spokesman Wil Alston, the governor hopes to have a final decision in early January.
OK. The final tally is 20, as in 20 people want to be sworn in to oversee elections and business licensing in Colorado and replace Secretary of State Mike Coffman, who is running off to succeed Republican Tom Tancredo in Congress after drawing the ire of a federal judge for purging 44,000 voters from the rolls at the last minute. As we reported late last week, whoever is picked must not be someone who will embarrass Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat, in any way.
In the most exciting thing to happen since the gossip hounds were howling post-election about who might possibly challenge Dick Wadhams for chairman of the state Republican Party, the deadline has now passed for people to apply to become Colorado’s next Secretary of State. And it appears that — stop the presses! — state Rep. Bernie Buescher has tossed his hat into the ring, along with several other expected, and not-so-expected names.
Did you ever want to be a Secretary of State, overseeing elections and licensing and all the things that Secretary of States do? Well, your lucky day may be Monday, which is the deadline to apply for consideration to become Colorado’s next Secretary of State. And — this part is important — you must also correctly be able to successfully answer this question, which is actually on the application: "Is there anything in your background that might be an embarrassment to the Governor or you if it were to become public?"
In Colorado, the state with the longest ballot in the country, 215,000 new voters have signed up since January. The woman in charge of the state elections department, Holly Lowder, resigned just weeks ago, after her cozy personal relationship with the beneficiary of several state election-related contracts surfaced. Lowder's boss, Secretary of State Mike Coffman, is himself the target of longstanding ethics complaints and is overseeing an election that he is also running in — to replace retiring Congressman Tom Tancredo. And, oh yeah, Colorado could be the deciding state for the presidential election. Hold on tight. It could be a bumpy ride.
With Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and several county clerks urging Coloradans to vote early or vote by mail-in ballot, Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon has joined the chorus. Gordon sent an email to his constituents last week, entitled "You Can Vote Naked! (but not on Election Day)" in which he explained the benefits of voting early or voting by mail since this year's massive 18-question ballot will likely make for long lines at the polling places on Election Day.
Political Action Committees, which typically represent labor or business concerns, have long shoveled money toward candidates. But in the past two years since Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff plead guilty to bribery charges, PACs and other interest groups have fallen out of favor with some politicians who want to maintain a squeaky clean image.