Hot Sheet

This is how rumors get started

Author: Marianne Goodland - November 14, 2017 - Updated: November 14, 2017

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state budgetState budget director Henry Sobanet talks to reporters about Gov. John Hickenlooper’s budget requests for next year at the Capitol Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Joey Bunch/Colorado Politics)

Henry Sobanet, the governor’s go-to on the budget, is widely regarded as the best numbers guy in the state when it comes to the budget and complex financial issues. Sobanet works equally well with Republicans, having served as budget director for Gov. Bill Owens a decade ago, and in the same role for the past seven years for Gov. John Hickenlooper. 

So highly regarded is Sobanet that when Hickenlooper made an off-hand joke Monday morning during his budget presentation to the Joint Budget Committee, lots of people assumed it was fact, including this reporter.

The joke was that Sobanet was getting an honorary doctorate degree, and members of the JBC immediately began addressing him as “Doctor.” It didn’t help that both the governor and vice-chair of the JBC, Sen. Kent Lambert of Colorado Springs, were both coughing from bad colds. So the “Doctor” joke extended to whether he could help sick politicos.

Sobanet later clarified with Colorado Politics that he is not in fact in line for a honorary doctorate anytime soon. But it wouldn’t surprise anyone.

Marianne Goodland


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