The Download: So where did legislators vacate to this summer?
Author: Erin Prater - August 8, 2017 - Updated: August 11, 2017
It’s that time of year again. The kids are headed back to school, Sharpies are on sale, and the innards of craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby once again smell of pumpkin spice.
It’s fall, y’all — almost, at least.
Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday Gov. Hickenlooper threatened to call a special session, telling reporters, “I did tell several people … that probably they shouldn’t make any vacation plans for May.”
That got me thinking: Just where did y’all go on your fabulous, adventurous, luxurious vacations after a long, hard legislative season?
When Hickenlooper announced May 19 that there would be no special session, surely all Colorado state lawmakers called their travel agents (or searched for the cheapest Wanna Get Away fare on Southwest.com) and got the heck out of Dodge, right?
I tweeted at a handful of them in a bid to determine just where they went after Hick’s “all clear.”
Several hours later, no one had responded. I started to panic. (This column doesn’t write itself, you know.) I considered Facebook-stalking legislators who had accepted my friend requests, hoping to find photographic evidence of vacations. I pondered logging onto Instagram — something I never do — and looking for the same.
Thankfully, three state lawmakers eventually responded, ending my desperate quest for answers. (You should probably thank them too.)
“Oh yes. I went right away! Mexico,” tweeted state Rep. Jeni Arndt, D-Fort Collins.
The best part of her south-of-the-border getaway?
“Sleeping!!!!” she tweeted.
State Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, who spent part of her summer at Harvard participating in an executive leadership program for LGBTQ officials, ended up on “some beach, somewhere,” to quote country star Blake Shelton.
“#may Thanks @GovofCO!” she tweeted.
I’m not sure exactly where she went, but boy, does it look nice. Herod replied with video of surf tickling her sandy toes, and I’m just a bit jealous, to be honest.
Finally, there was state Rep. KC Becker, D-Boulder, who enjoyed a nice staycation with the fam.
“Yes! SW Colorado road trip w kiddos and hubby: hiking, rafting, jeeping, & Co history,” she tweeted.
The Best Western hotel in Cortez attempted to get in on the social media action, tweeting at Becker to ask if she was “having a fun time down our way.”
As of press time, Becker had not replied.
Way to stay and play local, Becker. Keep those tourism bucks in state!
So where did the rest of you go, I wondered. Did you escape on an exciting getaway and return to a billion emails, rendering you too busy to tweet me back? Did you go somewhere to embarrassing to share — perhaps a clothing-optional hot spring in Moffat? Are you currently at some exotic locale far, far away — maybe a remote Tibetan village with no internet access?
Then it hit me.
The Colorado Politics staff has been highly unsuccessful at our vacation attempts.
We haven’t really gone much of anywhere.
Joey Bunch, the face of Colorado Politics, took a week of vacation, but showed up for meetings during that time — and I often saw his avatar lurking in the Google doc we use as our daily budget.
I took a week of vacation during which I checked email relentlessly, wrote this column and wound up checking U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s Twitter page multiple times after learning that actress Julia Stiles had retweeted him. (I’m a big “Save the Last Dance” fan. It’s complicated.)
If we here at Colorado Politics really haven’t vacationed, state lawmakers probably haven’t either, I surmised.
There isn’t much off time during the “off season,” is there? Perhaps just a bit more sleep.
And there you have it: My summary of what Colorado legislators did this summer: for the most part, a whole lot of nothing.
A whole lot of work, I mean.
If I’m wrong, no need to correct me — I’ve given you an out here, folks.
But do tweet back at me next time. You never know what crazy conclusion I’ll draw from your silence.