Whoever thought it was a good idea for all seven Republican governors-elect to get together for a celebration over New Year’s has probably had some serious regrets in hindsight. Several of the soon-to-be governors ended up with mug shots and a rap sheet.
The party was held in Telluride, Colorado where the men apparently thought they’d get in some skiing, but they never made it to the slopes. Their get-together deteriorated on the first night.
Witnesses to the event were mainly servers hired by a catering company to provide food and drink to the jubilant seven at the private lodge where they were staying. Some of the employees spoke confidentially to the media. One young man explained:
I don’t want these dudes after me. They’re crazy, man.
Apparently, the group started out amicably enough, sharing campaign tales. Once the after-dinner drinking began, however, the tone took a turn for the worse. At least four of the politicians have had one or more electoral defeats before finally winning their respective statehouses. What started as good-natured ribbing about the losses began to get out of hand.
One source said:
That Abbott guy, the one from Texas? He started acting all like his shit doesn’t stink, saying how much Texans love him and kept electing him to judgeships and crap, and it didn’t matter what his record was like. And then he looks dead on at the dude from Arkansas and says, ‘You must hold some kind of record for how many times your state rejected you. How much did you end up paying for your governorship?’
That dude from Arkansas, of course, is Asa Hutchinson who lost races for the U.S. Senate, state attorney general, and the governorship (2006) before finally coming up a winner in 2014. Even though Hutchinson turned several shades of purple during Abbott’s harangue, the witness lost track of his response because two other men started a yelling match.
They were arguing over minimum wage and we all sort of perked up our ears because that hits us where we live, you know? The Hogan guy from Maryland was all yelling at the dude from Illinois about how he kept flip-flopping on the minimum wage —lower it, raise it, leave it the same.
All of us servers were hoping there was someone to sort of cheer on, you know. But turns out neither of ’em really wanted to help people like us. They were all about how it affects the rich guys and who had a better tax policy to keep money in the pockets of the rich assholes who run things.
The argument between Larry Hogan of Maryland and Bruce Rauner of Illinois got to the point where they were shoving each other in the chest when others jump into the melee.
A couple of other guys started yelling about how they’ve been these big CEO’s and if anybody should speak about tax policy, it should be them and the others should shut up and listen. And then one of ’em rolls his eyes and says, ‘Holy Mary, Mother of God’ — and Jeez-us Christ, the whole room like exploded.
Four of the seven officials are Catholic — Doug Ducey of Arizona, Larry Hogan of Maryland, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, and Greg Abbott of Texas. They apparently became the center of the dispute, first objecting to someone taking Mother Mary’s name in vain, but moving on rapidly to a heated verbal battle about the Pope, someone referring to him as a ‘libtard’ as they argued about about whether Catholic Republicans should consider him their spiritual leader. One of them was overheard saying:
If the poor are satisfied with getting their reward in Heaven, who the hell is Pope Francis to go around saying otherwise, stirring up all that discontent?
But when Southern Baptist Asa Hutchinson tried to add his opinion, the four Catholics temporarily united against him. The five took the fight outside and into the street with fists swinging indiscriminately. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts trailed behind, saying repeatedly:
C’mon, fellas. Let’s just make up and be friends. Okay? Fellas?
Doug Ducey of Arizona headed into the kitchen and buried himself in a big bowl of Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream he had brought along to treat the gathering. When the police came to break up the fight and haul several of the ‘winning’ candidates to jail, Ducey was nowhere to be found, probably thinking about what a short leash he’s on. He’ll be the first to be sworn in, on January 5th.
The other six inauguration dates range from January 8th to 21st. Those governors-in-waiting have a little time for lawyers to get charges dismissed, for black eyes to heal or be covered up, and for figuring out how to present a veneer of respectability as they assume leadership of their states.
Feature photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.