I’ve been teased about some tweets before, like when I wished Colorado happy birthday but had the age wrong, but nothing beats Gov. John Hickenlooper’s holiday party when I took a picture of Secretary of State Wayne Williams and the gov’s legislative director, Kurt Morrison.
I called them trans buddies, which generated plenty of frantic texts to me. I was simply referring to transportation, I replied. The secretary and the director have worked on road stuff together.
Morrison’s announcement that he is leaving the administration this month revived memories of that incident. I wondered whether I had a picture of him and a co-worker brought up the trans buddies tweet.
But talk about fate. The secretary and I ran into Morrison this week.
One of the best things about riding the 16th Street Mall shuttle is you run into folks you know, including Tom Noel, a lover of history, particularly Denver and Colorado history.
It turns out Professor Noel, or Dr. Colorado as he is known, on Monday was hitching a ride to his barber so he would look spiffy for Colorado Day today when Noel and other members of the new State Historians Council will be introduced to the public at History Colorado. Noel will lead the group.
I was happy to introduce Noel to my boss, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who asked, “What’s a state historian?”
“Nobody has done more for Colorado than Henry Sobanet. There should be streets, buildings, and airports named after him. Henry stands as the antithesis of everything politics has sadly become. Though he stood at the helm of our budget, he cared not for money, but for making Colorado a better place.”
The year was 2005 and I was assigned to cover the complicated ballot measures Ref C & D, dealing with taxes and the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
I called the governor’s budget director, Henry Sobanet, all hours of the day and night. “Is this correct? What if that happens? Does this mean this?”
These days I’m answering phone calls from reporters.
At closing time recently I posted a Tweet about the ballot rejection rates from unaffiliated voters in two counties. Reporters immediately asked if I had more numbers. “I don’t,” I said, “but I can call around to the clerks and get some.”
Sobanet always answered his cell phone. I once had a a fairly lengthy budget conversation with him one Friday night before he finally admitted he was at a party and talking to me from inside someone’s bedroom.
Today is Sobanet’s last day at the state Capitol after serving the state and two governors for 20 years.
Of course our office sent a wooden U to Hudson Short to decorate. How could we resist after he mailed Secretary of State Wayne Williams a letter in May asking to be “Colorado’s first kid governor”?
“Will kid candidates be included in the next election?” Hudson wanted to know. “I want to make Colorado a great place to live. I want to help people, especially the homeless and poor. Would you please let me know how I can be kid governor?”
Well, Hudson, the Colorado Constitution says you have to be 30 to run for governor, but it makes no mention of the office of “kid governor.” We might have to talk with Gov. John Hickenlooper, who leaves office in January, and the Colorado legislature about that one.
It also says you have to live in Colorado, and your mother, Diana Gatschet, tells us you’ll be moving to New York City in August. Have a great time in the Big Apple. Maybe you can be their first kid mayor.