During a radio interview Saturday, Secretary of State Scott Gessler framed his gubernatorial campaign as a battle to save Colorado from the rot of corruption, saying our "state government is corrupt," and he's the only candidate who's had "the guts to stand up and say, 'No more.'"
"I've had the guts to stand up and say, 'I'm not going to tolerate this; I'm going to fight back,'" Gessler told KNUS radio-host Jimmy Sengenberger, citing his clashes with Democrats over his budget and ethics issues. "And no one else wants to because they're afraid. They're afraid that if a Republican gets criticized they can no longer win elections. And let me ask you, Jimmy, how has that worked out for us over the last ten years?"
"We are a party that needs to be bold," replied Sengenberger, whose show airs Saturdays 5 - 8 p.m. on KNUS. "I agree with you there--"
"I am the only guy who's being bold on this stuff and what happens?" Gessler continued. "We have these fearful, weak-kneed, timid Republicans who are more interested in scoring political points against me than standing up for principle and saying, 'You know what? We have corruption in this state.'"
"Republicans need to stand up and understand that we have a corrupt state government. They shouldn't buy into the corruption," he said.
During the interview, Gessler criticized members of the Independent Ethics Commission and called it "corrupt."
In June, the Independent Ethics Commission ruled that Gessler violated the public trust by using public money to attend a Republican political event. On the radio, Gessler was incensed by this decision as well as the Commission's dismissal last month of a complaint against Gov. John Hickenlooper
Gessler said at one point, referring to the Commission, "Let me tell you, Jimmy, this is a corrupt, corrupt government. And I will say 'corrupt' again."
Comparing the corruption he says he saw as a young man in Bosnia and Chicago to what he sees in Colorado today, Gesser said, "Where people no longer respect the law, we lose the foundation of our western civilization here. And we're facing that in Colorado."