It’s only Wednesday, but State Rep. Rod Bockenfeld (R-Watkins) has already had a busy week in the House State, Civic, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee.
On Tuesday, Bockenfeld was one of only two lawmakers (along with Republican Rep. Pat Neville) to vote in favor of a now-deceased bill from State Rep. Ron Hanks (R-Cañon City) that sought to end the widely-embraced practice of voting by mail in Colorado. Hanks’ bill was so absurd that it garnered “NO” votes from two Republicans on the committee: Reps. Mary Bradford of Colorado Springs and Dan Woog of Erie.
Alas, this was not the only eyebrow-raising moment for Bockenfeld this week.
On Monday, Bockenfeld spoke up during a committee hearing for HB22-1125, legislation sponsored by Republican Reps. Janice Rich and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg that seeks to make permanent income tax reductions.
This bill was also killed in the House State, Civic, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee, but not before ol’ Rod interjected with this bit of nonsense:
BOCKENFELD: “You know, I hear that quite often that the wealthiest pay very little tax. Well, there’s part of a reason for that. They get tax incentives given by the government to make investments in communities. And it’s through those investments that they’re getting tax breaks. And then we come back and say, ‘Because they’re investing in the communities to make everybody’s life better, that they’re not paying their fair share?’ That’s just totally false, and that demagoguery needs to stop.” [NOTE: He actually said “floss,” but we’re assuming he meant to say “false”]
To recap, rich people get tax breaks from the government so that they can spend money to make their communities better, and therefore it’s totally cool if they don’t pay much in taxes and we should definitely not be upset about that.
Taking weird sides is not unusual for Bockenfeld. During the 2021 legislative session, Bockenfeld took some well-deserved criticism after speaking up for racist people, which seems to be a popular position in his caucus.
If you’re wondering how it is that Republicans are mired in a generation-worst minority in the State House of Representatives…maybe stop wondering.