BONANZA, COLORADO — Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler is out of a job in January, but he told a solitary reporter here early yesterday that he is extremely gratified that his Deputy Secretary of State, Suzanne Staiert, has saved the tiny mining town of Bonanza, here in remote southern Colorado, from extinction.
Gessler, a Republican, came in third behind former GOP Congressman and former presidential candidate Tom Tancredo in the June primary which nominated multi-millionaire Bob Beauprez as the GOP candidate who lost to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on November 4. Elected in yet another Republican wave in 2010, Gessler is best known for his strident efforts to remove from the voting rolls Latinos whom he suspects of being illegally registered to vote.
Under Colorado law, the Secretary of State must “abandon" towns that fail to hold elections and operate a government for five years.
As of the 2010 Census, Bonanza had a population of 16. As of this year, its population is one.
In 2006, Bonanza held an election for trustees, and in 2009 it also held a special election, in which Bonanza’s voters were asked whether they wanted to dis-incorporate the town. While the measure received the majority of the votes cast with 11, it failed to secure the two-thirds majority needed.
“I applaud the passion and civic engagement of individuals on both sides of this issue,” Staiert said, as she stood with Gessler and the solitary reporter here in beautiful downtown Bonanza. “While the evidence supports preserving the town, the future of Bonanza lies with its only resident.”
Into the breach leapt Gessler, as closely observed by the solitary reporter.
“Righteous Republicans,” Gessler proclaimed, “whipped the butts of nearly every Democrat in the nation on November 4, and that's the greatest bonanza of all. That being the case, I couldn’t care less about Bonanza, Colorado.”
Indignant, Staiert said she is very disappointed that her boss, to whom she has been extremely loyal, pulled the rug out from under her.
As this compelling human drama was taking place, President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, arrived in a motorcade looking for Gessler.
Johnson, who is the odds-on favorite to receive Obama’s nod to succeed Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, now that Michele Flournoy has dropped out of that vetting process, accosted Gessler, saying “Although it’s my job to deport illegal immigrants, this nation can’t do without them, so we might as well let them vote, as long as they vote the straight Democratic ticket."
Meanwhile, the one resident of Bonanza was nowhere to be seen, so Gessler rudely demanded that Johnson find him.
As of press time, the man or woman praised by Steiert was, no doubt, stoned on marijuana somewhere within Bonanza.