It must be exhausting working in the Colorado Secretary of State's office these days. The employees face an almost constant barrage of negative media coverage brought on by one of the most activist secretary in memory.
Just in the last month and a half, two district judges and legislative staff have handed the secretary of state some serious setbacks. Two different branches of government told him he was exceeding his authority for changing campaign finance disclosure rules. When he went to court to stop Denver Clerk & Recorder Debra Johnson from mailing ballots to inactive voters, the judge refused to stop the ballots from being mailed -- saying there was no harm in allowing those voters access to the ballot.
Earlier this fall, the secretary caused quite a dust-up when he fined the Larimer County GOP for failure to file campaign finance disclosure and then offered to help fundraise to pay the fine.
These are just the most recent issues surrounding the secretary of state, who has been in court or the media constantly since his election last November.
One can only imagine that the drama must be tiring for those who work in that office, employees who care about conducting fair and impartial elections. People who want to provide access to the ballot for everyone who is eligible rather than provide obstacle courses in front of the ballot box.
So it shouldn't be surprising that Deputy Secretary of State Bill Hobbs is retiring after 12 years. There's only so much a professional can take, it seems.
Hopefully, this will not be the beginning of a parade of employees heading for the door. Because we need fair-minded folks to mind the store. Colorado voters should be thankful that it's not just the courts and legislature that will keep our secretary of state honest - it's also the people who work for him.