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Hickenlooper’s Big National Park Score

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Gov. John Hickenlooper talks with Jamestown Mayor Tara Schoedinger after the flooding. (credit: CBS)

Gov. John Hickenlooper talks with Jamestown Mayor Tara Schoedinger after the flooding. (credit: CBS)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

Usually when a governor running for re-election announces that he is seeking new ways for the state to spend money, that governor would face considerable criticism. However, in the case of Gov. John Hickenlooper, asking to spend more of the state’s money may help him score a big political win.

Hickenlooper, along with the governors of Utah, Arizona and South Dakota, requested the federal government to allow states to pay to open national parks in their respective states, and it looks like the federal government will comply with the request.

With Estes Park experiencing the double whammy of devastation from last month’s floods and dwindling tourism due to the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park, this move can provide some serious help.

If opening Rocky Mountain National Park can bring some much needed business to Estes Park, this move will become the latest since the flooding began in September to bring some much needed momentum to Hickenlooper.

RELATED: Government Shutdown Hurting Tourism In Grand Lake | Estes Park Leaders Urge Lawmakers To Reopen Rocky Mountain National Park

After taking serious hits to his popularity on several fronts throughout 2013, Hickenlooper may be getting at least some of his mojo back.

This isn’t the only good news Hickenlooper received this week.

Immediately after the flooding, many environmental activists claimed that Colorado would be the site of an oil spill catastrophe of epic proportions. Fracking activists predictably estimated that flood waters swept harmful chemicals into rivers and pictures of knocked over tanks made national headlines.

But this week the Colorado Department of Health and Environment announced that while the rivers involved in the flooding are contaminated, the contamination problem is E. coli bacteria, not oil. In fact, so far, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment has not found any oil contamination in the rivers.

That’s more good news for Hickenlooper because if the floods were to have actually caused a major oil and gas catastrophe, his defense of the industry may have caused serious problems. As of right now, his stance with the industry seems safe, and likely key to appealing to independent voters.

Politics can be a funny game. Sometimes random events out of your own control can bring major problems. But, every once in a while, random events can bring positive outcomes that could not have been imagined a few weeks ago.

Who knows what November may bring, but we at least know that October should be Hickenlooper’s new favorite month.

Dominic Dezzutti’s Latest Blog Entries

About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here usually every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti is also the host and producer of the Emmy award winning Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television.

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