|Last week, Gessler made another vague statement to a reporter in Pueblo that some mail-in ballots are fraudulent. And during his election campaign in 2010, Gessler implied illegal behavior on the part of Denver election officials.
I respect Gessler for answering my question last night, even though a crowd was waiting in line to speak with him after his lecture at Colorado Christian University's Centennial Institute.
I identified myself as a "liberal blogger," and he hesitated but still responded.
I'd liked to have asked Gessler more questions about his allegations, but he didn't want to discuss it further, as you can see from the transcript of my interview below.
The biggest question in my mind is, but why in the world would a Secretary of State, who's gotta respect America's democratic ideals even more than the rest of us, play fast and loose with the F word?
I'm sorry if this sounds all high-minded, but does Gessler understand the damage he's potentially doing by making people think their election system, upon which we base our imperfect but respectable system of self government, is rotting around the edges, sprinkled with fraud, if not laced with it?
I can't think of a more serious accusation a Secretary of State could make, and I'm hoping to talk more with him about why he does this, with nothing but speculation to back him up.
Transcript of interview with Scott Gessler at Colorado Christian University, Nov. 14, 2011
Jason Salzman: I'm a blogger in town.
Scott Gessler: Nice to meet you.
Jason: I've been trying to talk to your spokespeople, I'm a liberal blogger, about a question. I'm hoping I could ask you directly.
Gessler: Probably not.
Jason: Probably not?
Gessler: Probably not.
Jason: But hear what it is.
Gessler: I'm going to chat with some of these folks.
Jason: On the radio you said there was fraud, actual fraud, among the inactive returned ballots in the Denver election.
Gessler: I'm not quite sure that's what I said for this particular election. I think if you look at Denver, though, you'll see in 2009, a large number of folks, the signatures didn't match. I think that's an indicium of fraud, right there, when the signatures don't match.
Jason: It's an indication of fraud, but you wouldn't say that it's fraud, would you?
Gessler: I said it's an indicium of fraud. It very well may be. It's not been fully investigated, to my knowledge.
Jason: And statewide, any instance of fraud that you can point to? Any single instance?
Gessler: I've given you my stand.
Jason: I appreciate the answer.