Tipton for Congress

John Salazar is a likable man, someone a person can sit down with and have an amicable conversation. Unfortunately, the San Luis Valley Democrat hasn’t been an effective congressman or a leader for the 3rd Congressional District.

Republican Scott Tipton is also a friendly sort, even though he is waging an angry-man campaign this year against Salazar and Democratic policies in general. And, due to Salazar’s ineffectiveness, Tipton wins our endorsement.

The Cortez businessman is not some fire-breathing right-winger. In fact, he had to fend off a challenge from Bob McConnell, who does fit that description, in the GOP primary. McConnell’s supporters repeatedly attempted to paint Tipton as too liberal.

He’s not a liberal, but during two years in the Colorado Legislature, Tipton has developed a moderate Republican reputation.

We don’t agree with all the ideas Tipton is promoting in this campaign. His plan to cut non-military discretionary federal spending 10 percent, while simultaneously cutting the capital gains tax to 10 percent and creating a flat corporate tax of 10 percent, we don’t think is feasible. But there are plans to cut such spending by smaller amounts, including some by Democrats. Tipton can help get one of those proposals passed.

We do like Tipton’s willingness to look at things like T. Boone Pickens’ plan to encourage the development of natural gas and other non-oil energy sources.

We can’t guarantee that Scott Tipton will be a more effective congressman than John Salazar, but it’s hard to imagine him being less so. Complaints of his ineffectiveness come from Republicans, of course, but also from Democrats in private conversations. Here are a few examples of his lack of leadership or ineffectiveness:

✔ When commercial leasing of federal lands for oil shale development was a hot issue, Gov. Bill Ritter, Salazar’s brother, then-Sen. Ken Salazar and then 2nd District Congressman Mark Udall led the charge to slow the leasing effort. Even though the oil shale lands are in his district, John Salazar was a back-bencher.

✔ Designation of the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area, also in Salazar’s district, was largely the result of Ken Salazar’s efforts. John Salazar played, at best, a secondary role.

✔ When the important health care legislation was being debated in Congress, Salazar frustrated many people, including Democrats, by refusing to take a position until just before the House vote.

✔ Salazar also declined to publicly meet with constituents on this critical issue, although he does take credit for bringing the president to Grand Junction last year to discuss health care.

Salazar likes to point to the many examples of federal money he has brought home to his district. We have questioned his penchant for earmarks in the past. It is particularly misplaced, given the current economy. Tipton says he will fight to end earmarks.

Finally, Salazar’s attack ads against Tipton are among the most atrocious and misleading in a campaign year filled with bad ads.

Vote for Scott Tipton for the 3rd Congressional District.


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