Rick Wagner Column September 11, 2008

Electorate awakening to fact that jobs, prosperity are at stake

There is consternation among the drum circles of the extreme left, as the mood of the nation seems to be taking an unexpected turn.  The talking stick is being passed rapidly as each participant expresses his pain, outrage and mistreatment of the inner child as the candidacy of “He Whose Middle Name Cannot Be Spoken” begins to suffer the slings and arrows of righteous fortune.

Throughout the halls of big-city newspapers and magazines of dwindling circulation, cries of “bogus” and “no way dude” can be heard.

It’s become so bad that “He Whose Middle Name Cannot Be Spoken” has resorted to speaking without a
Teleprompter and his running mate has disappeared, apparently searching the speeches of foreign politicians to find a winning response.

Locally the outlook is just as grim. The awakening of the citizenry to attempts to convert a thriving energy economy to one consisting of trail guides, fly-rod salesmen and coffee baristas has caused ponytails to stand up like squirrel tails in alarm.

The partisan hollering of the last few years has made many think that politics is just about posturing, pandering and triangulating various interest groups.

There certainly has been plenty of that and it’s unlikely to go away, but the realization that what happens on Nov. 4 can directly and immediately affect people’s jobs, their children’s education and the price they pay for just about everything they buy seems to be penetrating the din.

A great example is our own upcoming ballot, which is chock full of opportunities to feed the government beast your paycheck and clever methods to undo the muzzle of TABOR in casual and stealthy ways.

On the local ballot, three issues alone could feed almost $600 million into government troughs. But don’t worry, all of that money is going to be used to fix something very important.

Some of these projects may have an alternative source of funding, like the much-needed Grand Junction Police Department building, but no suggestion of an alternative plan is forthcoming, should the $98 million proposal fail.  Instead citizens are told they cannot have the one project without many others and that’s that.

Suffice it to say that if this grandiose proposal is not accepted and the city of Grand Junction cannot find sufficient funds in its enormous tax revenues for a new police building, then heads should not just roll — they should be used as bowling balls in City Hall.

Meanwhile, some politicians on the Western Slope are simulating shock at the operation of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which they freshly stocked with anti-energy appointees in the hope they would do the heavy lifting against the industry while the politician’s watched approvingly from a distance.

Now, the constituency these politicians thought existed seems much less prominent and the general population, realizing the advantages of appropriately regulated energy development, look like it might be interested in holding the politicians accountable for the actions of their appointees.

Rep. Kathleen Curry from Gunnison,  for instance, has acted puzzled at the recent actions and rulemaking of the commission and has even made some sounds indicating that she believes they may have gone too far.

What one can interpret from this is that by “too far,” she means her connection to this increasingly unpopular group might somehow damage her outlook for seeking the 3rd Congressional District seat.

For too long, many people have thought these elections were only about parties and bumper stickers. But there is a growing awakening that sitting on the sidelines while vocally active radicals execute a pincer movement on one’s ability to prosper will only result in the redistribution of less and less wealth.

And if you pay taxes of any sort, that redistribution is likely to be from you.

Rick Wagner offers more thoughts on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong, which can be reached through the blogs entry at GJSentinel.com.


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