Monday, July 26, 2010

Scott Gessler is Colorado’s Best Defense

By, Laura Duke Stansbury

I met Scott Gessler several years back. I was a young political science student in action, learning my craft in the real world at last. Gessler had been around for the battle over the initial development of Colorado’s Seventh Congressional District. When those lines were originally drawn, I was working my first political job in the Jefferson County Elections Office. I had learned about gerrymandering in college. Now I realized I might actually be witnessing it first-hand. Shortly thereafter, I went on to work for the first Republican candidate seeking that seat. Then bank owner Bob Beauprez was in quite the uphill battle. The strangely long and narrow district been drawn with an even split of D’s, R’s and U’s, hardly a fair fight for Republicans. Nevertheless, thanks to plenty of teamwork and one unusually extraordinary candidate, Beauprez seized the victory with a scant 121 vote lead over his opponent, Mike Feeley.

Republicans may have harnessed victory in 2002 but there is no denying the American Electoral process is under siege. Voters are ready for new leaders, fresh leaders, leaders who are willing to fight for our founding principles. These days, it seems we’re all a bit tentative when we hear a lawyer is seeking office. After all, we’re ready for something different and another lawyer hardly fits that bill. But for those of us who have had the good fortune of seeing Gessler in action, the only thing that comes to mind is “knowledge,” and lots of it.

For those of us who care about our founding principles, electoral knowledge is critical and rare. The American electoral process is in every bit as much an uphill battle as Beauprez was back in 2002 and only a handful of citizens understand its intricacies so well as Gessler. Having launched my political career in an elections office I became personally familiar with the disconnect between the voter and any real knowledge for the voting process. Scott has always been someone intimately familiar with the rules of that game. Since the infamous Bush vs. Gore battle of 2000, voters have developed a sense of unease about the voting process. Complications have not tapered since then. With the battle over the drawing of Colorado’s 7th Congressional District not to mention more high profile stories such as the ACORN scandal and Al Franken’s suspect victory in Minnesota, voters have reasonably become quite concerned about the process.

When I heard that Scott Gessler was seeking office as Colorado’s next Secretary of State, it simply made sense. Gessler may be a lawyer. Gessler may know politicians. But he is no insider. Thanks to his vast array of knowledge, Scott Gessler has been ruffling feathers and demanding Constitutional integrity on behalf of Colorado voters for as long as I can recall. For those of us who know there are dangers facing our long-established electoral process, Scott Gessler is Colorado’s best defense.