Advice for the man who wants to be governor of Denver

Dear Gov. Hickenlooper: You are probably wondering why you are being addressed in such a way, given that you are technically still the mayor of Denver.

The answer is simple. As the mayor of Denver who is seeking higher office, you are running to become the governor of Denver.

Although the job is technically that of being the governor of Colorado, it’s better described of late as that of Denver governor.

You know what we’re talking about here, obviously, and you’ve been good enough to make plenty of room for the governor there in Denver. We get it that everybody is everybody’s buddy over there near Capitol Hill and City Hall, no real turf battles. But we do have to wonder, how did both of you work at the same desk? Wasn’t it cramped in the limo on occasion?

Just curious.

Actually, the point here isn’t to ask about any details. It’s to offer some tips so that you can avoid some of the pitfalls and pratfalls that bedeviled the guy who now answers the e-mail addressed to the Denver Gov.

Let’s take this business of drilling over here in western Colorado and that Weld County place north of where you live.

There’s a place called Grand Junction that the current Denver governor used to visit on occasion to opine that his new rules on drilling wouldn’t affect us disproportionately.

For a long time, people took this to be true. After all, the drilling business was flat everywhere, so it wasn’t as though critics could latch onto much.

Now, it turns out that Grand Junction has suffered disproportionately in terms of job losses — a development that appears to the provincials over here to undercut the proposition that the new rules wouldn’t play much of a role in the great scheme of things.

Interestingly, those provincials don’t see much of the Denver governor these days. But he did make the effort to send over some unemployment counselors on what everyone hopes is strictly a temporary assignment.

Still, the notion of “Let them have unemployment counselors” strikes exactly the note you, Gov. Hickenlooper, would do well to avoid. The whole Marie Antoinette thing just doesn’t go over well, even in the hinterlands.

Now, on another matter, there’s darned little that you can do when Rahm Emanuel in Washngton, D.C., starts flapping his lips on the matter of the developmentally disabled.

People in the far-flung parts of Colorado, like Fort Morgan and the aforementioned Grand Junction, tend to recall that Emanuel, the current Denver governor, and, to be honest, yourself, have a strong political connection and that the current Denver governor ran into some political trouble with his plans for treatment of the developmentally disabled. Emanuel has a shorter, more colorful term for the affected individuals that you, again, would do well to avoid. You might also wish to avoid even self-deprecating comparisons to the Special Olympics. They tend to backfire.

We note that your friends in the Legislature have great plans to save us all from the depredations of sugar by lifting a tax exemption on it.

It’s pretty hard to argue with the notion that some industries shouldn’t be favored over others with tax exemptions. On the other hand, they are in place and lifting them now, while having little effect on your shared Denver domain, would have serious consequences in places like Grand Junction (Gee, that place seems to come up a lot) and Montrose, each of which has thriving, for the moment, candy businesses that would be directly affected by the legislative sweet tooth for tax money.

Now, you could simply attack the problem by hiring more unemployment counselors to send to the hinterlands or you might consider different approaches.

It’s just a thought.

By the way, we know that there’s the small matter of an election before you get to be Denver governor. This missive is just a tip list for the guy in charge. It has nothing to do with how you get to be him.

There is, however, more advice on that angle, no doubt worth exactly as much as you paid for this one.


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