With the Governor race in Colorado considered a “Coin Toss” it is important to know where Challenger Bob Beauprez and current Governor John Hickenlooper stand as it relates to Art & Culture in Colorado.
The Beauprez camp did not return calls or email related to this article. Governor Hickenlooper personally took time to discuss a few issues.
In the next term, Colorado has the opportunity to increase state revenues by approving a privately funded art installation by Christo and Jeanne Claude. A project like “Over The River” matters to a state because it drives short-term and long-term tourist revenues. Once a federal legal case is settled, this project will add to the robust fine art destinations now featured in Colorado. Christo and Jeanne Claude are internationally known because of their Central Park Gates Installation and their 1983 “Surrounded Islands” installation in Miami’s Biscayne Bay.
Governor Hickenlooper has found time for the arts as Governor and of course as Denver’s Mayor. It was Hickenlooper who orchestrated the significant new home for the Clyfford Still Museum. The city was able to raise the cultural bar because of this progressive insight of the then Mayor Hickenlooper.
Today, Colorado’s economy is more diversified and progressive than prior to Hickenlooper’s predecessors. The technology sectors, as well as the diversified energy sectors, have enabled Colorado to attract a global workforce typically bound for the East or West Coasts. Hickenlooper has proven that he can handle adversity – even though some of his answers in debates have been less than elegant. His honesty on not prefering Colorado’s status as the first state to legalize Marajuana is reflective of his sound character. He desires the best and typically abides by the voter’s decision to unanimously approve Marajuana.
While representative of the entire state vs solely the city centers, Governor Hickenlooper has been responsive to the state’s large agricultural base. While not pretending to be a cowboy or a landman, Hickenlooper has stressed the need to balance the use of the state’s limited water supply. Unlike Beauprez, who supported Referendum A in 2003 as a US Senator, Hickenlooper realizes the challenge facing the entire state. From Skiing to feeding herds, Water has to be available and affordable. Ensuring this is going to require compromise – as the delicate balance for crops and people is central to the next four years and beyond.
Hickenlooper understands compromise – as he showed with his 19 person task force set to evaluaate issues caused by Oil & Gas fracking. And Hickenlooper has shown that overall economic health for all industries is essential for the State of Colorado.
Being an effective leader and not merely a party puppet is essential for Colorado. Beauprez as recently as October 23rd demonstrated how poor politics enables poor decisions – most recently a Republican attack ad advocating Hickenlooper was to blame for the death of state Corrections Director Tom Clements.
Colorado needs a sound, fair and balanced leader. The Art Quarterly endorses John Hickenlooper for another term as Colorado’s next Governor.
UPDATE: 12:00 AM NOV 5: The Governor is neck and neck with his challenger. Why? Likely because Colorado is the ultimate battle ground politically. Up in yar hills rest the wealthiest of wealth – Aspen’s residents are global and the elite of the 1%. Down by the tracks, in Denver, the average folks wrangle away at what the outcome can be. Today, Governor Hickenlooper finds his way only because of the local supporters. Sure heavy campaign spending has made this a tight race – unnecessarily. The opportunity by morning will yield approximately 30,000 votes. This will make the state a Red or Blue one. For those tired of close races the lesson has to be – make your successes loud, long and clear. Colorado is a model of what a state can do post recessions. Colorado with the wrong leadership would be thick in bureaucracy. Today Colorado waits – and it’s a dosie. Ask each campaign and they will say: wake me in the morning..