Re-elect Bennet for Senate
Ballots are in the mail. We are nearly through our slate of endorsements for local offices, congressional seats and statewide ballot measures. Normally, these endorsements build up from the local races to the statewide races and then the presidential race. As we’ve indicated previously, we have changed our policy on endorsing presidential candidates — a decision dating back to October 2014.
This year, to reflect our position that local elections carry more direct impact on our quality of life than state and national races, we endorsed for congressional seats first. Today we weigh in on the race for U.S. Senate. Next, we’ll tell you who we like for the two county commissioner seats up for grabs.
Meeting with candidates represents a significant investment of time. But these face-to-face interactions provide much more information than simply where a candidate stands on important issues. The editorial board meetings yield clues about a candidate’s personality, candor and effectiveness to lead.
One of the reasons we endorsed Republican Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate two years ago was the idea of having two formidable senators from opposing parties representing Colorado.
So it stands to reason that we’re backing the incumbent, Democrat Michael Bennet for another six-year term. Preserving this dynamic, however, is a secondary consideration. Bennet deserves another term because he’s earned it by delivering results for Colorado.
We’d be hard-pressed to find a Democrat in the Senate who has reached across the aisle more often than Bennet. Most famously, as a member of the “Gang of Eight” — four Democrats and four Republicans — he helped craft a compromise to fix the broken immigration system — largely on feedback from Coloradans who depend on immigrant labor in fields, orchards, dairies and slaughterhouses. The House has refused to consider it.
“To me, this is a nonpartisan issue,” he told the Sentinel’s editorial board. “In fact, it’s Republicans, farmers and ranchers, who want this problem solved the most.”
Bennet’s opponent, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, has made no secret of his wariness of bipartisanship, equating compromise with a lack of leadership.
We couldn’t disagree more. Glenn’s “true conservative” platform — reducing taxes, regulatory reform, reducing the debt, energy independence, enhanced national security, etc. — isn’t necessarily the problem. He’s well-spoken on a variety of issues with positions that resonate on the West Slope. But he would have to mount a scorched-Earth campaign to achieve his goals, thus contributing to the partisan dysfunction in Washington, D.C. Republicans might want smaller government, but they want a functional government. Glenn’s absolutist intractability, in our view, is a threat to functional government.
Bennet has done more for Colorado than we can list here. He brought a U.S. Patent office to Colorado; he helped create a “breakthrough” therapy designation, establishing a new pathway for drug approval that benefited 600 bioscience firms in the state; he pushed the Department of Interior to complete assessments to ensure continued operation of Trapper and Colowyo mines; he helped craft an overhaul of the education bill, representing the most significant retreat of federal oversight of local school operations ever legislated; and he passed a bill to expedite liquefied natural gas exports.
He is the standard-bearer for presence in Colorado, too, logging nearly 80,000 miles visiting all corners of the state.
Some may disagree with his votes on the Affordable Care Act or the Iran nuclear deal, but we think Bennet defends those votes in an honest and straightforward manner.
We think Bennet and Gardner put Colorado first. Glenn’s equivocation of his support for Trump in light of Trump’s comments about women hints that Glenn is putting the Trump movement ahead of anything else.