Re-elect Scott Tipton

State Rep. Sal Pace has based his campaign against incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton largely on the notion that he, Pace, will do more to buck his own Democratic Party leadership and work with Republicans to get things done.

It’s an appealing idea, especially when Americans are so fed up with the hyper-partisanship that now infects Congress.

Pace may be sincere in wanting to be a a congressman who isn’t bound by the dictates of his party leadership, but he is also naive. When it comes to major national issues such as the budget or health care, leaders of both parties demand fidelity and punish those who refuse. It requires experience and seniority to challenge them.

It is mostly on smaller, regional issues where bipartisanship can flourish.

That’s why Tipton could join bipartisan efforts to protect Chimney Rock as a national monument, to examine the possibility of making Colorado National Monument a national park, to extend funding for endangered fish programs in the West and to make it illegal to falsely claim you’re a war hero. It’s also why he was able to win bipartisan support in the House and get a Senate hearing for his bill to streamline the regulatory process for small hydropower projects.

It’s true that Tipton has not strayed far from the party line on major issues such as the budget and repealing health care. Neither has Pace strayed far from his party’s regular stances on labor issues and taxes.

Furthermore, Tipton wasn’t just following party leaders when he voted on those big issues. He was also fulfilling campaign promises he made two years ago to oppose any tax increases and to fight to repeal Obamacare.

Tipton and his staff have also worked hard to fulfill another campaign promise: to improve constituent services and to respond better than his predecessor to the concerns of individuals and community leaders in his district.

If you examine the voting scores of both Tipton and Pace, as tabulated by Project Vote Smart, you’ll see both receive high marks from groups you would expect to support them, and both garner some positive marks for groups not typically in their corner. Pace, for instance, has done relatively well the past couple years with business groups.

Now, as two columns on these pages today make clear, this nation faces critical decisions soon on issues related to the budget and debt. No matter who is elected, he will be under intense pressure to toe the party line. However, these problems and many more will require members willing to compromise and put national needs ahead of party agenda.

Tipton demonstrated a willingness to move in that direction when he signed a bipartisan letter from Colorado’s congressional delegation last month, urging leaders of both parties to seek a bipartisan deficit reduction plan. The most conservative members of Colorado’s delegation declined to sign the letter.

Tipton has kept campaign promises, indicated a willingness to tackle difficult issues, worked with Democrats on issues important to Colorado and shown a growing understanding of our fiscal problems. He deserves a second term.


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Page 1 of 1

Hal Mason’s Sunday guest column – “Politicians Aren’t telling the full story of our national debt”—raises legitimate questions about our fiscal future, particularly when considered in the context of the related AP story in Sunday’s Sentinel—“Numbers laid out by Obama, Romney fail to fill deficit-reduction gap”, and Ruth Marcus’s column – “Democrats’ plan to tax the wealthy won’t fix our debt-deficit problem”.

Clearly, the reason “politicians aren’t telling the full story of our national debt” is that none can offer immediately effective solutions to problems that have been building for 30 years (and were central issues in the Reagan-Mondale presidential debates in 1984).

While Marcus’s headline asserts the obvious, what is also evident is that the Romney-Ryan “plan” (if any) would worsen the problem before even attempting to address it.

Accordingly, Mason properly points to the “all of the above” strategy of the Simpson-Bowles Commission – created by President Obama—whose proposals at least “begin to attack these issues”.

Practically speaking, voters cannot elect their remedies – only their political leaders.  Voters this year face a profoundly binary choice between Republicans – who created the problem in the first place, who obstructed President Obama’s efforts to mitigate it, who voted against the Simpson-Bowles recommendations, and whose “solutions” revert to the same failed policies that caused the problem, and an experienced incumbent President—who is now well-schooled in the policy alternatives and prepared to resume the “attack”.

In 1984, Americans re-elected Ronald Reagan despite his profligate deficit-debt building spending.  Today, the Sentinel endorsed Scott Tipton for re-election, despite the fact that he (like Paul Ryan) signed the bogus Taxpayers Protection Pledge that scuttled Simpson-Bowles, and despite Tipton’s affiliation with the Tea Party “knuckle-draggers” who mindlessly threatened to send the U.S. into “bankruptcy” in 2011.

That’s the real problem – it’s us.

Readers interested in better understanding these complex issues should try the “Federal Budget Challenge” exercise at

                Bill Hugenberg


You may have missed the point of Hal Mason’s column.

Politicians like Tipton can pander to the Tea Party and “promise the moon” (like “cutting federal spending in half”) without regard for the serious economic consequences of mindlessly doing so.

Better to examine how those politicians vote and what they do.  By signing the oxymoronic Taxpayer Protection Pledge, Scott Tipton virtually and Paul Ryan actually “voted” against the single most politically practicable way to eliminate deficits and begin paying down the national debt through a combination of (mostly)cuts in federal spending coupled with smaller but significant increases in federal revenues.

Because Tipton (and Romeny-Ryan)cannot demonstrate how and where they would “cut federal spending by 50%” and how doing so would affect deficits, debt, and growth, thay cannot be trusted to do so.

Bill Hugenberg

My mistake.  Touche’.  We’ll both await his answer.

Page 1 of 1

Search More Jobs

734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy