You know what really inspires voters in this tough economy? The promise of mass layoffs. Colorado Republican Dan Maes thinks so, anyway.Earlier this week, we told you how he was accusing Democrat John Hickenlooper of being complicit in a secret UN-sponsored bicycle-riding plot. And now today, The Denver Post reports that Maes said he’d immediately fire a couple thousand state employees if he were elected, even though its not clear the governor has the power to do so.
At a Thursday event at the Denver Petroleum Club, Maes said that as governor he would save money by laying off 2,000 state employees “just like that,” according to the Post. Maes’ primary opponent, Scott McInnis, and a state official told the Post they didn’t think Maes could do that. Even if he could, a state official said, “It’s so complex. If the jobs are federally funded, it will actually cost the state money to lay them off.”
Maes said in a statement Thursday evening that he believes he can lay off “least-senior employees” by not appropriating funds for their jobs.
“The governor, through his budgeting powers in accordance with legislative agreement, has the power to lay off public employees in times of financial crisis,” he said.
The biggest growth of state employees over the past few years has been in higher education. The governor and the legislature don’t have hiring and firing power in that area.
At the same event, Maes also said he would let energy companies drill in the state even if the Interior Department opposed it. “If Ken Salazar doesn’t like it, he can come see me in Denver,” he said.
Read the rest here.
The most recent SurveyUSA poll of this race, conducted after a plagiarism scandal rocked then front-runner Mcinnis’ campaign, shows Maes leading 43%-39%.