When it comes to attacking Secretary of State Scott Gessler, clearly no price is too high for Colorado Democrats.
A push by state Sen. Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton) to conduct a state audit of Gessler’s office finances failed on a party-line 4-4 vote Tuesday in the Senate Audit Committee.
That four Democrats would vote in favor of such an unnecessary and redundant proposal shows that the party’s loathing of Gessler is no longer grounded in reality, if it ever was.
First, it should be noted that Gessler is already under investigation by the state’s Independent Ethics Commission and the Denver District Attorney for allegedly misusing funds from his discretionary account. Tochtrop had asked for the State Auditor’s Office to conduct a third probe following completion of the first two.
“It never hurts to have another eye looking at the issues. And, yes, there are two eyes, but this will be a third eye,” Tochtrop said in the Durango Herald.
It never hurts unless you’re the taxpayer who has to foot the bill. The cost of Tochtrop’s third eye? About $100,000, according to Senate Republicans, who rightly opposed the proposed audit as a waste of the public’s money.
Recall that the issue at the heart of the complaint against Gessler is whether he should have spent $1,452 from his discretionary account to travel to Florida for a Republican-themed event, in this case a conference of the Republican National Lawyers Association. Gessler’s entire discretionary account amounts to $5,000, or 1/20th of the cost of the proposed audit.
In other words, the sum of money at stake here doesn’t quite rise to the level of, for example, the $252 million misspent by the Colorado Energy Office, according to an audit released Tuesday.
If Tochtrop were really concerned about unauthorized government expenditures, she’d be better off calling for a second or third investigation into that office’s feckless behavior.
What’s increasingly obvious is that Democratic lawmakers have a political vendetta against the Republican Gessler, who has run afoul of the left by making it his mission to fight voter fraud.
For them, 100 grand is a small price to pay for another opportunity to drag Gessler through the mud. The irony is that by attempting to spend public money for political purposes, Senate Democrats are doing exactly what they claim to abhor in Gessler.