Hick’s gold-plated transition team – po’ folk not admitted

Tue, Nov 9, 2010


Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper named 52 people to his statewide transition committee yesterday. It’s an interesting group for many reasons.

Of the 52, only two (Bill Hybl and James Stewart, both Republicans) are from Colorado Springs. The vast majority are residents are residents of of the Denver/Boulder metro area. A fair number are Republicans, business people, or both.

If one word can define all of them, it would be success. They own companies, are partners in law firms, have big jobs, and, if they work for someone else, collect big paychecks.

I doubt whether there’s a single person on the list who makes less than $250,000, whose credit score is below 720, who lives paycheck to paycheck, who worries about missing the next mortgage payment, who doesn’t have great health insurance, whose kids may not be able to go to college, who belongs to a union, who teaches school, who drives an eight-year old car, who’s working late in life because he/she can’t afford to retire, or even shops regularly at Wal-Mart.

The list might be a bit of a wake-up call to the hundreds of thousands of Democrats and independent voters who were seduced by Hickenlooper’s unpretentious, down-to-earth persona. On the other hand, it may comfort those members of the business community who suspected that he was just another liberal Democrat.

Still, it’s surprising that he didn’t bother to round up a few ordinary people to stand in the back row of the group photo. What about my old pal Andrew Collins, a retired firefighter who was the first African-American hired by the Colorado Springs Fire Department? Or maybe my friend Tiffany, who does hair, cleans houses, and works construction in the summer? Or…oh well, forget it.

They’re mouthy, opinionated, and liable to be disrespectful to their betters. Best to ignore them and their petty concerns – it’s time to govern. The campaign’s over, little people – just go back to work (if you can find any!), shut up, and pay your taxes. And don’t even think of pestering us.

The guard won’t let you through the gate.

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8 Comments For This Post

  1. Kelly Says:

    Everyone wants to label the Republicans as haters of the poor, but when you really look at the two parties, you get a little different picture. There are more down to earth Republicans that know what it means to worry about making a payroll or house payment that have a voice in their party than on the other side of that coin. They are also more likely to give generously to a charity. Not quite the picture the Dems would like everyone to have in their heads as you go in to your voting booth to punch your ticket. It is too late now, but maybe it will be food for thought in the next go around for some of the readers.

  2. Jeff Says:

    John, you sound bitter, as if you were angry you were not one of the chickenpooper chosen. Should the Governor elect not choose a transition team of people he feels best qualified to assist in the transition?

    He is a politician like any other politician don’t get your hopes up so high. If I had had my choice he wouldn’t have been elected anyway.

  3. Christopher Colvin Says:

    Probably the guys who funded his campaigne.

  4. Liam Says:

    Kelly says: “There are more down to earth Republicans that know what it means to worry about making a payroll or house payment that have a voice in their party than on the other side of that coin. They are also more likely to give generously to a charity.”

    Are you serious?? And as for the charity comment, you must be including donations of elk meat from GOPsters like McGinnis, right?

  5. Rick Wehner Says:

    I am all for giving him a chance. Perhaps it is successful people who we need driving the boat. It is not that successful and/or wealthy people are filled with evil intent just because they or successful and/or wealthy.

    There is not a shortage of people in this particular region who have the vision and leadership skills to make Colorado Springs a major player in the drive to bring in companies who can offer meaningful employment – –

    It seems they are just reluctant to run in such a poisoned atmosphere.

    Let’s create a situation where people will run and bring cohesion to the area – all fighting toward the goal of building a sustainable local economy and less attention to political infighting.

    I might even start being nice!

  6. Mike Schmidt Says:


    This is par for the course for the Democrats and the Denver/Boulder Complex. They did the same thing with the Innovation Council, (40 members with 14 from Boulder and just 2 from the Springs). They have since disbanded this group. The Venture Capital Council they set-up earlier this year (and an issue you covered in your blog post of September 22, 2010 – had no representatives from the Springs…

    Well we have had enough. Take a look at a new State-wide Economic Development Reform effort that I’m now helping to develop in Colorado on behalf of Colorado Springs which was launched earlier this week… It’s called CIO Colorado and its a grassroots Citizen-Led Economic Development Reform effort that hopes to take on the entrenched process, players, and the outdated economic development models and approaches of the past that are holding us back. You can get more info about the CIO Colorado initiative and our groups at:

    Web Site:

    Press Release:

    Denver Post Article Today:

    Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group:

    Would be more than happy to answer your questions about this group and our strategy.

    Mike Schmidt, CEO
    Ensemble Ventures, LLC

    Colorado Springs Entrepreneurs Group

  7. John Hazlehurst Says:

    No, I’m not bitter at not being on the transition team!! And anyway, I’m a journalist – bitterness and cynicism are part of the reporter’s toolkit…more or less.

    Sure, the Hickster ought to be able to choose whoever he wants, but those choices are still revelatory. Joe the plumber was a potent symbol for McCain/Palin, even though Joe turned out to be an utter fake. As a guy who made his $ in the bar/restaurant biz, you’d think that Hick would have instictiovely included some regular folks in the transition. As it is, there may be a few towards the bottom of the pyramid, but it looks like the Hickenlooper administration is going to heavily over-represented by the ‘best and the brightest” – remember how well that worked in the Vietnam War?

  8. Rick Wehner Says:

    Interesting comment, John – – re: the Vietnam War.
    Not all that sure we have learned anything since that war, or — for that matter, since WWII when we learned that the only way to win a war is to kill the enemy in mass quantities, level their cities and destroy their will and capability to make war.

    May sound a little inhuman. But that may be a question to pose to the families of those killed on 9/11 and those mothers, wives and children of the 4000+ American troops killed in the current war.

    The other question: How much of our federal budget goes for defense spending for weapons to do just that?