Romney “Wildfire Town Hall” Tuesday In Grand Junction?

As we noted Thursday from FOX 31’s Eli Stokols on GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s fundraiser tomorrow in Aspen:

[S]ources tell FOX31 Denver that the campaign may be considering adding a public event or two, possibly one Tuesday on the western slope and another Wednesday morning in Colorado Springs, likely something focused on the wildfires… [Pols emphasis]

Confirmed this morning via Romney’s website, at least the first event:

Town Hall with Mitt Romney and the Republican Team

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM (MT)


Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Doors Open 9:00 AM | Program Begins 10:00 AM

Central High School

550 Warrior Way, Grand Junction, CO

We were a bit surprised to hear that the subject of these events might be the recent wildfires that have ravaged many areas of the state–particularly the city of Colorado Springs where Romney may hold a rally on Wednesday (no official word yet on that one). Much like local Republicans who have repeatedly voted to cut funding for federal firefighting efforts, Romney just last month derided President Barack Obama for saying “we need more firemen.”

Romney said of Obama, “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, [Pols emphasis] more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government…

Folks, we can only express so much outrage before our audience becomes inured to it–call it the “MSNBC effect.” But it’s one thing to play games with the issues of the day, like flip-flopping on abortion or global warming. Politicians who deride and undermine calls for “more firemen,” then hold rallies on the ashes of burned homes, are doing something very wrong.

A responsible media, or for that matter voting public, should not allow them to get away with it.


43 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. morgancarroll says:

    The public employees, public functions and public funding he would like to eliminate or eviscerate includes the very same firefighters that have fought to contain these fires.  What can he possibly say?  

    Leave it to the free market?  

    This visit will do him more harm than good because he has nothing to offer in terms of actually supporting firefighters or efforts to prevent or put out fires.

    It takes resources.

    • The GOP is good at twisting things around and saying that if only incompetent government hadn’t gotten in the way or taken our money, everything would have been fine.

      You know – if the government hadn’t kept people out of their evacuated homes and prevented them from having full automatic weapons, that looting spree would never have happened because homeowners would have been there to defend their property.  And if the government hadn’t stolen all of their money, the entire place would have been mitigated and no homes would have been lost.

      It’s rubbish, but they’re good at saying it.

  2. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    We TRIED smaller government and privatized firefighting. In the nineteenth century. It became immediately apparent that “as much fire protection as you can afford” was not sustainable.

  3. st0ry says:

    Seriously?? This is Orwellian double-speak in action. This guy is changing sides every week.

    How is he going to go stand on the ashes of a home and deride the President for failure to protect us from fires, when he just said a month ago that the President wanted to hire more firefighters to protect us from fires and that it was bad for him to do so??

    You can’t make this stuff up….

    We need a bunch of people down there with signs with his quote written on it nice and big for all the world to see… and a bunch of reporters who are willing to expose this empty suit. I’m not happy with every thing Obama has done, but I don’t see how anyone in their right mind can vote for Romney. The guy is pathetic.

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      for the trees being in the line of the fire

      • ClubTwitty says:

        That environmentalists and bureaucratic inaction somehow blocked the cost-prohibitive thinning of WUI lands (primarily on private lands, some public) just as mythical regulations are (not) thwarting De Beque from being North Dakota and Grand Junction from being the Shale City it was foreseen as by the guy in the bathtub on Main Street.  

        But when Romney comes to power on day one he will make oil shale economical, thin the forests, lay pipe, repeal healthcare, bust public sector unions…

    • dukeco1 says:

      co-ordinating a progressive presence at Rmoneys’ shindig. I will keep Polsters up to date on what is going on over here.

      • Gray in Mountains says:

        get Sid from Paonia

      • BlueCat says:

        I bet Romney’s against any health benefits for seasonal firefighters too.  Hope some of that progressive presence will ask him about that, as well as the whole slashing spending on everything we need to manage things like forest fires thing.

        Repugs love to talk about heroic firefighters, troops and police, have pictures taken with them, etc. while screwing them at every turn where it counts.  Real head scratcher why so many of the afore-mentioned groups vote R. Not to mention very, very sad and discouraging.

        • st0ry says:

          these public workers can consistently vote against their own best interests..? It’s astonishing.

          I thought after the Wisconsin debacle that no public worker in their right mind would vote R again, but sadly that won’t be the case.

          • Gray in Mountains says:

            I’ve asked our local firefighters and street workers. They believe what the NRA tells them, that President Obama has always intended to use a second term for gun control. Every day he doesn’t address it just proves the point

            • BlueCat says:

              the complete lack of interest in pushing more gun control on the part of Dems for more than  a decade now?  Do they ever hear Dem pols campaigning on gun control?

              Personally I just ignore all the e-mails I get from the Brady crowd these days. We are so awash in guns at this point I don’t think there’s much that can be done about it.  

              All my male relatives on my side of the family have always been enthusiastic gun owners and Democrats. And we’re a bunch of liberal Jews from Chicago. You can’t get much more Dem than that. Here in Colorado and other western states, hunting and target shooting Dems are common as dirt.

              I never hear gun control mentioned as a priority in talking to my left leaning (that would be pretty much all of them) friends, including progressive women. This is one of the biggest straw man creations of them all: Dems can’t wait to take away your guns.  

              I swear if it weren’t for ignorance and downright stupidity none of today’s extremist Republicans(that would be just about any R who can get through a primary anymore) would have a chance of winning an election.

              Note to paranoid righties. The reason you’re not hearing Dems screaming for gun control is not that we’re being sneaky and waiting to pounce when the time is right. It’s just not a blip on our screen compared to all the stuff you do hear us screaming about.  You’re being played.

  4. gertie97 says:

    could introduce Romney in Grand Junction. After all, Meis favors fewer cops and firefighters because they interfere with his fun.

  5. …he would talk about the need for more local control, which would give local authorities the right to cut down dead/aged trees (sell those for whatever profits) and have the right to plant new trees, of choice, in place – going a step further, he could say that the Federal Government would help by providing funding toward forest management, but to be executed by local (or even private) management companies.

    But more firefighters? Wow. That’s FAR from the reason for why these wildfires erupted.

    • Romney is no fool. Personally, I’m shocked that he hasn’t articulated the above, as Bob Schaffer did it many times when he ran for US Senate.

      Again, if the Romney campaign is smart, they would seriously have Bob Schaffer advise him on wildfires. I know Bob is a right-wing crazie, but the dude really knows his stuff when it comes to forests.

    • gaf says:

      give local authorities the right to cut down dead/aged trees (sell those for whatever profits)


      the Federal Government would help by providing funding toward forest management

      First, how many dollars (from wherever) would it have taken to “manage” the Waldo Canyon area to prevent this fire? What is your estimate? Do you believe the Federal Government would/could have provided that amount? Do you believe such an appropriation would have made it through this Congress against Republican spending opposition? The El Paso County Commission turned down a quarter of a million federal dollars last month, “on principle,” saying they had to draw a line on federal spending (it was to help unemployed persons get jobs, so, of course…). The Colorado Springs City Council did a similar thing last year. Do you think they (locals) would have agreed (before the fire) that the amount of money needed to make a significant difference in the Waldo Canyon area would have been a good expenditure of funds? Do you have a concept of how expensive and labor intensive a true “management” program is? (BTW, it involves much more than “cut[ting] down dead/aged trees.”)

      Do you really believe “local control” could have prevented the fire? And surely you can’t believe that local control would have been able to fight the fire on its own.

      I would not be surprised if Romney did advocate “local control.” And I am sure he has no good answers for any of these questions either.

      • gaf says:

        those evil federal dollars come with strings attached. Of course, in the non-public realm, they would argue that the beauty and success of the market is that the dollars do come with strings and obligations and responsibilities attached.

        • Right now, it is against the law for local authorities to cut down many dead/aged trees in Colorado.

          Nothing is more flammable than a dead/aged tree, but in the current system, we have to ‘notify’ federal authorities, as they’re responsible for cutting them down (however, the ‘notification’ process can take weeks, and in the meantime, the fire danger increases).

          Back in the ‘old days’ if local authorities saw an aging tree, they could cut it down, no questions asked. Honestly, managing a forest doesn’t require that much money – we actually have plenty of park rangers on the ground who can spot an aging tree and mark it for removal.

          The problem? The entire process is stymied when you factor in the delays created by Federal authority.  

      • Gray in Mountains says:

        could have mitigated Waldo Canyon extremely well

        • ClubTwitty says:

          and make it a priority, through land use regulation if need be.

          Defensible space needs thinned out, alive or dead.  

          Simply handing the county commissioners some chain saws and sending them up into the NF is not forest management.  And just planting some random trees is not making a forest. A forest is not just trees, nor is it just living things.  A forest includes insects and pests and fire.  They are dynamic systems, they are not merely tree farms.  (And the climate and season in CO is not conducive to tree farms even if such were desirable–becoming even less so according to almost all models).  

          • Gray in Mountains says:

            proper land use planning would not have commissioners ever using a chain saw. But, it would involve telling the developer of home lots to remove trees prior to building, even though they will get a bit less for each lot

            • BlueCat says:

              to fire mitigation efforts pushed by local authorities on the part of many in the recently most affected areas. They don’t want to be required to create defensible space by anyone, local, state or federal.  They don’t want to spend tax dollars on fire fighters local or federal.  They don’t want the feds to interfere in their lives except when they do.  

              They do want firefighters to risk their lives to save their scenic homes, including feds riding to the rescue.  They don’t care whether these people, who sometimes die for their stubborn don’t tell me what to do or ask me for taxes attitude, have health care. This is an example of small, I know how to spend my money better than the government does (the government in this case being us) government at work.

              Why insurers continue to sell insurance to people in these areas without demanding mitigation measures is a mystery.

              • Car 31 says:

                It’s because statements like this combining a variety of different issues into one.

                It looks like you have about five issues dealing with wildfire in your comment, and one dealing with health care, which has nothing to do with local authorities doing fire mitigation.  

              • Gray in Mountains says:

                and that is precisely why it needs to happen BEFORE there are individual land owners, while the planning commission is dealing with a developer. It is tough and takes spine. But, often planning commissions have more of that then commissioners

                • Car 31 says:

                  And yes, you’re spot on.

                  • BlueCat says:

                    that those who demand the right to do whatever they want and take whatever risks they want and then expect others they don’t in any way support to risk their lives to get their asses out of a sling don’t command much sympathy in my book.

                    I don’t think any effort should ever be made to save a house in a fire prone area where there has been no effort to even try to establish defensible space. When property owners choose to gamble it shouldn’t be firefighters who pay the price. It’s particularly offensive to expect such  sacrifice if you aren’t happy to push for them to have health care.

                    Those who prefer to ignore defensible space requirements should be prepared to have firefighters skip their houses. You take the unnecessary gamble, you bear the risk, you take the blame. That’s all I’m saying.


                • BlueCat says:

                  Just venting my annoyance with the hypocrites.

        • gaf says:

          with strong mitigation requirements–and even prohibitions on building in certain areas–would have helped the situation. But that is not the kind of “local control” Muhammad Ali Hasan advocated (and thus my criticism). And that is not the kind of “local control” in favor with the majority of elected officials here in Colorado Springs and El Paso County.

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