First state treasurer Cary Kennedy, now our Governor Bill Ritter. Two of Colorado’s highest-level Democrat leaders showing a lack of good judgment. I had nearly forgotten about Ritter’s other apparent campaign-related improprieties until I read Jessica Fender’s piece in yesterday’s Denver Post:
“Not Waiting” was the subject line of a campaign-fundraising e-mail Gov. Bill Ritter sent last month to a handful of lobbyists as well as his supporters. But in this instance, waiting wouldn’t have been a bad thing.
Campaign-finance rules bar lobbyists from giving to statewide candidates during the legislative session, so asking them for contributions is generally frowned upon, although it doesn’t break the rules.
Critics say that while the onus is on lobbyists not to donate, the e-mails suggest “a lack of proper controls.”
“They turn around and solicit people they know cannot give to them. It’s an utter lack of discipline,” said Scott Gessler, GOP candidate for secretary of state and a specialist in campaign-finance law. “That’s how I would look at it.”
Not illegal mind you, just poor judgment — or as Gessler put it, “an utter lack of discipline.” Face The State has more details and a copy of the original email invitation.
While we’re on the topic of Bill Ritter, Jeff Crank takes our state’s chief executive (a former district attorney) to task for having such a hard time telling people what he believes — in this case, about the death penalty. His inability to articulate an opinion (on an issue with which he should have great familiarity) put lawmakers in his own party in an awkward position.
Poor judgment and lack of leadership: More reasons why our incumbent Democrat governor’s popularity is sagging. There must be Democrats out there seriously contemplating a way to set aside the Bill Ritter liability and find a different candidate for 2010. The question is whether there is enough interest and momentum there to pull the trigger.
As for the GOP, a strong opponent has yet to emerge. But there’s still time, and (at least for some) hopes are high.