A peculiar invitation from the Business Alliance

Thu, Dec 27, 2012


The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance (ReBA) is hosting Gov. John Hickenlooper at a free event from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday Jan. 11 at the Fine Arts Center.

Here’s the text of the email regarding the proposed wing-ding.

“2013 State of the State Address – Governor John Hickenlooper

Date 1/11/2013

Time 8:30 AM TO 10:00 AM

Event Description:

We are honored to host Governor Hickenlooper to speak to our business community regarding the State of the State of Colorado. This is a free event, however, seating is limited, and RSVPs are required.”

Does this seem somewhat peculiar?

Such events are rarely scheduled during working hours, especially since members of the business community inexplicably prefer to spend working hours at work, not listening to speeches. Business breakfasts and lunches are one thing, but midmorning business-themed political events are thankfully rare.

And is this the real thing? The “State of the State” address is delivered at the State Capitol the day after the opening of the legislative session on the second Wednesday in January. This will be a follow up of sorts, specifically tailored to the Colorado Springs business community.

So what’s in it for ReBA, other than the reflected glory of an actual living, breathing, walking, talking governor?

Hosting, in this case, means paying to rent the FAC theater. My guess is that the 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. time period is not in high demand for theatrical performances. The FAC website doesn’t offer a price for theater rental, although prices are listed for all other spaces (“perfect for weddings and corporate events!”). I’ll bet that ReBA’s intrepid CEO, Joe Raso, cut a great deal.

The time may seem odd, but it’s all about the Governor’s schedule. No sane Governor would make a January drive from Denver to Colorado Springs in time for a 7:30 a.m. breakfast. Much easier to leave at 8:00, arrive at 9:20, give a short speech and be out the door in time to meet with Mayor Steve Bach at 10:30.

And there’s always data mining. Event registrants need to surrender their names, email addys, and zip codes, and that won’t hurt ReBA’s marketing efforts.

If you haven’t already signed up, forget it – the event is full, no walk-ins! The theater holds 399 people, so Gov. Hickenlooper will join President Barack Obama in a very exclusive club: Democrats who can fill a house in Colorado Springs.

And if you have signed up, be of good cheer! Even if it’s not the genuine article, it’s a far better deal than the real thing. No drive to Denver, no prostrating oneself before preening politicos to get a ticket, no enduring the wild applause of the happy Dems who now control both houses of the legislature. And while the Governor spins his seductively pro-business line, here’s a simple cleansing mantra, which may serve you well as a post-speech recovery device.

Repeat after me: He’s a Democrat. He’s a Democrat. He’s a Democrat. – 20 reps should do it.





7 Comments For This Post

  1. Staci Lynne Holdt Says:

    Colorado’s Northern Tier Cities ie: Boulder, Longmont,Fort Collins, et al: the ones drawing venture capital from the coast – having new start-up firms – drawing employers, creating real jobs; Do they tend to be somewhat more progressive,liberal and lean toward voting Democrat, who actually are in control do not do that much ‘spin’ in that they are taking care of business?

  2. Rick Wehner Says:

    Having a seasoned,well-educated, sophisticated businessman as Governor, one who understands this is just one state with one set of goals during a recession (survival)reach out to work with those in El Paso County is a positive sign.

    For years, the county commissioners have ridiculed, belitled, and attacked anyone in office with a D attached to his name. It speaks volumes to the Governor’s character that he can see past the useless nature of these attacks and offer to work hand-in-hand with county republicans.

    This kind of real leadership may play a role in the establishment of a local and truly qualified, non-political, “Coordinating Committee” who can bring the city, county and civic groups into focus and to develop a long-term strategic plan for the region. Something that, to date, has yet to be accomplished. A project I think many of us felt would be played by the Regional Leadership Forum – or the Regional Business Alliance to the point one of the other would grow into more than a banquet planning team.

  3. James L. Says:

    Is this “article” for real? There has to be actual controversy somewhere. I think it’s your job to go find it.

  4. Nathan Willers Says:

    This event has been moved to the Antlers to (assumably) make more room for attendees.

    Normally I’m a fan, Mr. Hazlehurst, but I’m really perplexed as to the purpose of this article. Why criticize the FAC for taking a paying event, and have you checked with them to see if it was actually paying? They host a lot of community events for free or almost free in their spaces. Will you take a dig at the Antlers for hosting a paying event?

    Also, why criticize the CSRBA for hosting an event with the Governor? Or for collecting attendee contact information? I’ve RSVPed for a few of their events, and they’ve never abused my contact info. Further, in this day and age, businesses and organizations just can’t survive unless they can direct their marketing (within reason) to parties that they already know are interested in their services or products.

    Overall this was a really strange, highly conjectural piece.

  5. John Whitten Says:

    You can bet this little event will appear at the top of ReBA’s “2012 Major Accomplishments”……..

  6. Frank Kennedy Says:

    Mayor Bach hasn’t made the time to attend the last two events the Governor has come down for. What makes you think Hickenlooper would even bother to stop by City Hall to talk with our Mayor? Colorado Springs is a joke to Denver. The owners at Indy must be loyal or hard up to keep you around writing bad articles John.

  7. Theodore Moony Says:

    Hickenlooper is awesome!