The Colorado Wildfires – An Open Letter to Our Damned Governor

My fiancée, Angela, was talking about our genius governor earlier today, and she made a really good point about his widely reported comments on the current wildfires. Let me elaborate on her thoughts in my own brief open letter to the Honorable Bill Owens.


Dear Governor Owens,

On behalf of all the citizens of Colorado, I’d just like to say thanks for your half-witted comments a few days ago that “[a]ll of Colorado is burning today.”

Let’s face it, Bill – despite September 11, despite an idiotic airport security policy that seems designed to harass the innocent traveler, despite a faltering economy that has people around the country trimming their vacation budgets already, some folks out there still need a reason not to bring their tourism dollars to Colorado this summer.

Congratulations on needlessly taking money out of Coloradans’ pockets, Bill. Or maybe I’m overreacting – I mean, hey, tourism isn’t that important to the state. It’s only a $7 billion industry that accounts for 8% of our jobs and 8% of our total economy, right?

The fact is that the entire state isn’t on fire. Is it a real problem that you need to be treating seriously? Sure, no doubt about it. But there’s a line that needs walking here, and you might want to ask one of your PR-minded advisers to help you find it.

It’s hard to imagine a summer vacationer who couldn’t find something wonderful to do in Colorado over the next few months. Of course, we would ask you not to start illegal fires on high-risk days. (But then again, given the breaking news on Channel 4, tourists probably aren’t nearly the threat to our forests that one Forest Service worker was….)

Ahem. Back to the point. Governor Owens, you’re supposed to be working in our best interests. If there were a legitimate reason to warn people away, that would be one thing (and in this vein, I strongly encourage visitors to our state to avoid the wildfire areas). But that isn’t the case, and your self-important drive to be as dramatic as possible caused your mouth to thoughtlessly write some checks that hardworking people in the already-besieged tourism industry will now have to cash.

Thanks, thanks a lot. You better be careful, because if you keep this up you might wind up as President.

Sincerely,

A man who feels very much vindicated in his decision not to vote for you

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