GOP delegation accuses guv of liberal pandering
Gov. John Hickenlooper’s ears must have been burning Tuesday morning.
At that time, the Grand Valley’s delegation to the Colorado Legislature didn’t have a lot of kind words for the Democratic governor when it met with members of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce at A Taste of Heaven Catering, 2817 North Ave.
The three Republicans — Sen. Steve King and Reps. Ray Scott and Jared Wright — made their feelings quite clear.
“This governor is showing the fact that he’s a liberal Democrat,” King began.
“I never trusted him from the day he said, ‘I do,’ ” Scott added.
“I’ll be more blunt,” Wright countered. “He wants to be vice president of the United States. He’s positioning himself to be that western American liberal to run with somebody like Hillary Clinton, so you’re not going to see him ponying up with good, conservative policies.”
Though Wright has had few direct dealings with the governor, Scott and King are more experienced at working with him.
For Scott, the two often have clashed over oil and gas matters even though both claim to be friends of the industry.
And even though the governor was a big supporter of King’s hard-fought bill to create a DUI standard for being too stoned to drive, and is expected to sign it, the senior senator has had difficulty convincing Hickenlooper to fund his measure to create a Colorado Firefighting Air Corps.
“The true political position of our governor will become very apparent in the bills that he signs,” King said. “I, unfortunately, am a little disappointed that he is a lot further left than I thought he was.”
Throughout the 120-day session, which ended last week, the three lawmakers have worked closely with the chamber, meeting with them via teleconferencing on a weekly basis.
They reported that while Republicans, and the governor, were able to prevent some “anti-business” measures from becoming law, there was only so much they could do given that the Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature.
They highlighted such measures as a doubling of the 10 percent by 2020 renewable energy standard for rural electric associations, and allowing workers in companies of 14 employees or less to file discrimination lawsuits against their bosses.
“We’re going to remind (the voters) next year what the Democrats did, what the liberal agenda in Denver did to rural Colorado,” Wright said.
“What the chamber can do to help us is start looking at business-oriented issues and other candidates,” King added. “I don’t know who that’s going to be, but do a side-by-side comparison of this governor and anyone else and where they’re at on business issues. That is the savior of Colorado. Business, business, business.”