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The Choice

Dear Editor:

I want to explain some of the reasons that I am supporting Sal Pace over Scott Tipton for the 3rd Congressional District. First, Tipton supported designation of Chimney Rock as a National Monument by President Obama under the president’s authority under the Antiquities Act. Good for him. This Act has been used dozens of times by both Democratic and Republican presidents, beginning with Republican Theodore Roosevelt. However, at the same time that he encouraged President Obama to declare Chimney Rock, which he knows is very popular in his district, Tipton co-sponsored legislation to take away that very same authority from the president. He is one of 12 co-sponsors of House Resolution 817, which makes the president’s power to declare national monuments under the Antiquities Act subject to approval by Congress. Congressman Tipton’s resolution would essentially repeal the current federal law that authorizes the U.S. president to designate, for example, the Chimney Rock site a National Monument without getting Congressional approval for that declaration, certainly a political uncertainty. So, Chimney Rock is fine because it could help Tipton get reelected, but no other area of the nation should get that benefit. Hypocrisy?

Second, I want to highlight Tipton’s last-minute flip-flop on a bill to help with wildfire prevention. This happened at the very same time Colorado firefighters were battling several major blazes, including the High Park Fire outside Fort Collins. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado offered a brief amendment to a Republican public lands bill to give the federal government authority to contract with states to remove beetle-killed trees. “We need to have that done to prevent forest fires in the future. It’s as simple as that,” Perlmutter said during debate in the House. The amendment failed on a near party-line vote. Coverage of the 15-minute vote on C-Span showed a handful of Republicans initially voting yes and then suddenly voting no. The Congressional Record showed that Tipton, along with Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, switched their votes from yes to no with less than a minute left in the roll call. Tipton then derided the amendment as a cheap political stunt. However, this fails to explain why he was for it before he was against it. Are beetle killed trees not an issue in Colorado?

After this flip-flop, Sal Pace said, “There is possibly no issue more timely and crucial than the subject matter of forest fires and fire prevention, and it’s completely reasonable to ask my opponent why he turned his back on his Colorado values.”

As minority leader in the State House, Sal has a proven track record of efficient leadership to get things done for the people of Colorado. He is running for Congress because he is tired of the partisan gridlock in Washington and wants to see something being done for the people of western and southern Colorado. I urge a vote for Sal Pace for Congress.

John Porco

This story was posted on September 26, 2012.