So long, Sen. Allard

As he wraps up 12 years of service in the U.S. Senate this week, Republican Wayne Allard knows he won’t be feted as one of the flashiest members of what is supposedly the world’s greatest deliberative body. That’s probably fine with Allard. Through much of his tenure in the Senate, his staff referred to him as “a workhorse, not a showhorse.”

But Allard deserves to be remembered as a solid representative for all of Colorado, a man of integrity who honored his pledge to serve no more than two Senate terms, and someone who held to his basic principles throughout his tenure.

We certainly haven’t agreed with Allard all the time. We thought he was off base when he sponsored the Senate version of a bill to create a constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as only between a man and a woman. And his more recent efforts to push for leasing of federal lands for commercial oil-shale development seemed premature, given the uncertain state of shale technology.

But Allard has a record on a number of important environmental issues for which he can be proud. He led the congressional effort to speed up the cleanup of Rocky Mountain Arsenal and turn it into a wildlife area. He helped win approval for Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area, Great Sand Dunes National Park and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.

Allard remained a true fiscal conservative throughout his years in the Senate, pushing for tax cuts and a balanced budget. He never joined the GOP lawmakers who favored budget earmarks as a means of bringing pork to their home districts, and he became critical of President George W. Bush’s spending policies.

In short, Wayne Allard was just what he said he would be when he was elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2002. That’s something worth honoring in any politician.

Thanks, Wayne, for your service to Colorado.


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