It always seems more interesting to monitor the goings on in national politics rather than state and local. The topics seem crazier and the parties involved more bombastic. There's just a type of disturbing fascination with it.

However, since the last election Colorado has enjoyed political news that, while not delivered as entertainingly, is just as loopy and constitutionally undermining as national events.

One reason we don't hear more about what's going on is local media have had a difficult time maintaining the expense of full-time or even part-time news gatherers at the state capitol. Another might be that some agree with what's occurring and see no reason to disturb the rustics with unsettling information.

Often it's hard to remember that news transmitting is a business, just like anything else and suffers the same problems pulling eyeballs to their product as the entertainment industry: fragmented audiences, an internet swamp of sources, declining revenue and rising costs.

It's caused a lot of belt-tightening and in some parts of the trade, the belt is squeezed to the spine. There's almost no stomach left.

Add to this that state politics, for the most part, doesn't share the glitz of the national news or the personal impacts and animosity of local affairs.

However, there are occasionally topics unsettling enough that voters should really examine them. For instance, the remarkable influence outside groups have on Gov. Jared Polis and his colleagues.

That's why the Colorado Springs Gazette, which is located much closer to the continuing rampage, recently had an editorial titled "Public Should Watch Griswold like a Hawk."

I had the same thought as many of you: What's a member of that wacky family from National Lampoon's Vacation doing to make the public watch them like a hawk?

Turns out, that the Griswold they are referring to is our new secretary of state, Jena Griswold, who is part of the wave of progressive elected officials that washed up on the capitol shore after the last election.

As you know, the Secretary of State's Office is predominantly concerned with monitoring business organizations, campaign finance oversight and administering elections.

A pretty important job, with responsibilities that can really affect political campaigns by administrative oversight of finance and investigating possible violations of campaign finance laws by political parties and outside interests.

It's the sort of post in which one has to be careful about being too overtly partisan on political issues or positions. Granted, it's an elected office, so there's always going to be some leaning to the political left or right but it shouldn't be much.

Unfortunately that doesn't appear to be the case with Secretary Griswold, beginning with a boycott by her office of events that would occur in the state of Alabama — because she disagrees with the state's recently enacted laws concerning abortion.

This viewpoint has nothing to do with her job. It's a bit presumptuous to withhold the resources of a state public office — in the form of travel and participation in events occurring in another state — because she personally disagrees with a policy in that outlying jurisdiction.

However, it gets better (or worse depending on your point of view). 9News in Denver retrieved emails from the secretary of state showing her collaborating with Planned Parenthood, an important advocate and provider of abortion on demand, about the boycott and how she should announce it.

9News reported that before the press release about Griswold's action went out, her communications director emailed drafts of the release to both the vice president of communications and the political director of Planned Parenthood for editing and input.

This action certainly does not scream of nonpartisanship in the Secretary of State's Office. It's especially troubling in the branch directly involved with enforcing the rules of elections and investigating possible violations — as well as approving the signatures and construction of citizen petitions for ballot issues.

This is only the latest example of outside involvement by political pressure groups with the Polis administration. Recently, the new executive director of Public Health and Environment circulated an email listing some policy goals advocated by the Colorado Communities for Climate Action — a private group of which she was the director, prior to her appointment to the governor's cabinet.

Those who are looking so diligently for collusion between parties outside the government and public officials should probably start there.

Rick Wagner is a Grand Junction attorney. Email him at rickwagner@columnist.com. His weekly political talk show airs on KNZZ 1100 AM/92.7 FM on Saturdays at noon.

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