As things appear to be settling from the Udall-DORA story/investigation, Governor Hickenlooper has now talked about the episode twice on local radio.
On Colorado Public Radio, Hickenlooper spoke with Ryan Warner. Listen to the audio at this link beginning at minute 8:34.
At minute 10:40, Warner asks specifically about DORA chief Barbara Kelley’s initial refusal to name the list of people who comprised the panel that looked into whether or not any member of the Division of Insurance had been intimidated or pressured by Udall’s staff. Hickenlooper was trying to explain that Udall’s office wanted information about the number of renewal opportunites out in the public arena, and said, “Whether it’s Republicans or Democrats trying to get the honest facts out there, we should err on giving more information rather than less.”
Warner is quick to follow up, saying, “Well, on that subject, [DORA chief] Barbara Kelley originally refused to even disclose that she and her top staffers were the ones who investigated the Udall complaint, and only reversed course after the Denver Post wrote an article about that, about her refusal. So why not be transparent about the investigation, and who was leading it from the start?”
Hickenlooper begins to explain that Kelley is well credentialed, but adds that a portion of her background is in the private sector. “But she’s not been in public life and ever been in a flap like this,” Hickenlooper said. “So, like many lawyers, her default position is to say, ‘Alright, we’re not going to release any information.’ My default position is to say, ‘Hey, let’s give them all the information.’ So I think she’s released all that information and put it out there for people to look at and dissect.”
Speaking editorially, it’s not exactly comforting that someone who has led a state agency dating back to the Ritter administration hasn’t been able to substantially change her “default position” from one of secrecy to transparency. Second, the Governor should know that there was no information at all regarding the investigation, because, according to DORA, the investigation produced no documents of any kind, not even so much as an email discussing what time interviews with staff would occur.
The second time of discussing the story came on Thursday’s Mike Rosen Show on 850 KOA. The audio is embedded below and begins at minute 31:52.
At 35:32, Rosen specifically challenges Hickenlooper on the notion the “panel” to look into accusations of intimidation by the Udall camp was not comprised of an ideologically balanced set or persons.
“This part I haven’t looked into, but will,” the Governor said. Hickenlooper then goes on to praise Barbara Kelley’s objectivity, speculating even that, “And I think, I’ll go back and check, I think she’s a Republican.”
At 36:08, Rosen makes the point we made above, namely that the “investigation” into allegations of intimidation by Udall staffers produced no documentation at all. Rosen said, “Some investigation!”
“Well, I think ‘investigation’ was probably the wrong word.”
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