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A Defiant Secretary of State Says "Ethics Commission Is Part of the Left"

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On conservative talk radio Friday, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler dismissed the state ethics commission, which ruled that Gessler breeched the public trust, as "part of the left."

"The left can jabber all they want, and, of course, the Ethics Commission is part of the left," said Gessler. "I mean they are driven by my political adversaries. I mean those are the people who judged me on this. They can jabber all they want."

Gessler plans to appeal the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission finding that Gessler "breeched the public trust for private gain."

"We now go before a real court, the district court and federal courts here. We're going before a real court with real-world procedure," said Gessler.

Gessler's made his comments in an exclusive interview with guest-host Jimmy Sengenberger on KNUS radio's Kelley and Company Friday. (Click Here for Audio.)

Among other things, the commission found it improper that Gessler used public funds to pay for a trip to a Republican lawyer's conference in Florida.

"I know it had the word Republican in front of it, that was the sponsoring organization, but it was not a partisan event," Gessler said on the radio. "It was straight-up education. And all the evidence before the commission said that. But they are not really interested in the evidence before them. It was a very partisan-driven outlook."

Asked by Sengenberger why he reimbursed the Secretary of State's office, if he did not used public funds improperly, Gessler said:

"You want to move on to trying to make it easier for people to do business and have jobs in the state of Colorado and things like that. I'm trying to put it behind me. I'm trying to push forward. And of course it's a very vindictive organization and they're not interested in that--the ethics commission. So that was the purpose. And I was very clear. Look, I don't think we've done anything wrong."

Sally Hopper, a Republican-appointee on the ethics commission, joined the unanimous vote against Gessler but was quoted in The Denver Post as saying, "a mountain was made of a molehill."

Even if you believe that, the molehill still stands, at least until appeals courts take up the matter in the coming months.

"You shouldn't have a government agency that's politically driven that chews people up," said Gessler on KNUS. "We've seen that at the IRS. We've seen that with the ethics commission. Look at it from that standpoint. I'm not going to stand for it."