“That’s a nice little state you go there, Coloradans. It would be a shame if something happened to it.”
That variation of a line used by Hollywood’s rendition of mob shakedown artists captures the essence of a bizarre statement made earlier this month by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is fighting for his political life against Republican challenger Bob Beauprez, a Congressman. According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll the two are virtually deadlocked, with Hickenlooper a statistically insignificant 1-point lead.
It is not uncommon for the press to ask an incumbent office holder what his plans are in the event he lose re-election. When asked what he might do, Hickenlooper indicated that one item on his putative to-do list would be to grant clemency to Nathan Dunlap. Dunlap was convicted in 1993 for the shooting deaths of four people in a Chuck E. Cheese in the city of Aurora. Disgruntled over having been fired, he entered the busy restaurant and emptied his weapon, wounding a fifth customer.
He was sentenced to death, though he has been granted numerous stays of execution. And how, if Hickenlooper is defeated and makes good on this threat, Dunlap could end up a free man. An interview with CNN, Hickenlooper said:
There are obviously remedies that the governor can do, you know; I could give it full clemency between election day and the end of the year.
It’s worth noting that Hickenlooper is as hypocritical as he is dangerously petty and vengeful. When the more famous Aurora movie shooting occurred, the governor was on the front lines of the crusade to take firearms out of the hands of all Coloradans.
It should be noted that Hickenlooper reacted to the Aurora movie shooting by crusading for unconstitutional gun laws that unfairly punish all law-abiding Coloradans.
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