Schwartz over Tipton
Republican Scott Tipton wants a fourth term in the U.S. House representing the people of Colorado’s sprawling 3rd Congressional District.
We think Democrat Gail Schwartz is a better alternative.
That should say something. In the past three general elections, we’ve endorsed Tipton twice, along with Mitt Romney for president in 2012 and Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate in 2014 — all Republicans.
But in an era of unprecedented partisanship and gridlock on Capitol Hill, we need lawmakers who can put the needs of the district over party interests — or their own.
We think Schwartz will do that. Whereas Tipton blames the U.S. Senate for its failure to take up House-passed bills, Schwartz says it’s emblematic of stale finger-pointing masking Tipton’s unimpressive record of getting four bills passed in six years.
If bills die in the Senate, then that’s where a good representative starts, she said. “You work with your partners in the Senate to find a pathway for your legislation. America is sick of a do-nothing Congress and (Tipton) is in lockstep with that mentality.”
Instead of forging middle-ground solutions, Tipton is “hanging out on the right wing of the party voting no against everything,” she said. She points to Tipton’s 64 votes to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act as “the definition of insanity.” The 3rd CD needs someone who will roll up their sleeves and fix problems, not blame the other party or other chamber.
Tipton has built a reputation as a solid conservative with a penchant for pointing out how the federal regulatory burden impedes business growth. He has been portrayed — unfairly, we think — as an enemy of public lands. There’s no evidence to support Schwartz’s TV ads that he wants to sell off public lands to the highest bidder. He supported Chimney Rock’s designation as a national monument and joined Democratic U.S. Sen Michael Bennet to protect 100,000 acres in the Hermosa Creek watershed. And his bill on water rights for ski areas and ranchers, though unsuccessful, led to a change in policy by federal agencies seeking to usurp those rights.
What you see is what you get with Tipton. That may be a comfort to many conservative voters. But he’s the status-quo candidate who, if elected again, will likely feel emboldened to play the obstructionist, especially if Democrats take the Senate and White House. We would expect more excuses for not getting things done, than actually getting things done.
Schwartz is not the climate-change alarmist the Tipton ads portray her to be. Her support for renewable energy standards had as much to do with diversifying the regional economy as mitigating the impact of fossil fuels on the environment. She has a strong track record of reaching across the aisle in the state Legislature and passed several bills with a rural focus.
We’re impressed with Schwartz’s experience in higher education and economic development. She has a keen understanding of the importance of outdoor recreation (including the benefit of national park status for Colorado National Monument) and the need for broadband infrastructure and a long-term fix for spiraling health-care costs.
We think Schwartz leans left far less than Tipton leans right. We think it’s time a more moderate representative got a crack at advocating for the interests of the district.