Celebrating Chimney Rock National Monument, No Thanks To Scott Tipton

The Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel reports at long last:

President Barack Obama will declare Chimney Rock Archaeological Area a national monument Friday, ending an effort that was three years – and a millennium – in the making…

[Sen. Michael] Bennet, Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., wrote a letter to Obama this summer, urging him to consider declaring the monument after their bills stalled amid partisan squabbling in Congress.

Tipton sponsored and passed a bill in the House to establish the monument. It differs from Bennet’s by forbidding extra money to be spent on the monument.

Tipton’s spokesman, Josh Green, said the congressman would have preferred that Congress acted.

…Tipton’s main opponent, Democrat Sal Pace, said the Republican has been a stumbling block for Chimney Rock because he backed a bill that would have taken away the president’s sole authority to declare national monuments.

“If it was left in Congressman Tipton’s hands, this designation would never occur,” Pace said in an email. [Pols emphasis]

Let’s be clear about a few things. Rep. Scott Tipton’s decision to sign on with Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet in support of an executive declaration for Chimney Rock was important, and helped clear allegations of partisanship from President Barack Obama’s path to issuing it. Had the area’s representative in Congress not been on board with this declaration, it would have looked much worse politically, a la Bill Clinton and Utah’s Escalante National Monument in 1996. Tipton’s support has effectively defanged this as an electoral issue against Obama.

However, Tipton’s concurrent decision to sponsor legislation stripping the President of the very power he is using to declare Chimney Rock a national monument is pure double-dealing political imbecility. Tipton’s not fooling ideological opponents of monument declaration by sponsoring that bill after signing a letter asking Obama for an executive order, and to boosters of Chimney Rock, this legislation insultingly undermines his claims to support them.

In short, this could have been a great opportunity for Tipton to show some real bipartisanship only a few weeks out from the election, but he has at least partly squandered it.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    Is there ANY way that Tipton could have made you happy, Pols?

    I thought not.

  2. Sage Sam says:

    I don’t think you can swing at Tipton on this particular issue if it is just about Chimney Rock.  Did Tipton sign on to legislation?  Yep.  Is the fact that is has no hope of moving in the house solely his fault?  Nope, that is on the shoulders of Doc Hastings.  At worst it is political opportunism since he did little to nothing to see it come to fruition.

    Is Tipton trying to foster “a better process” for designating National Monuments?  Nope.  He’s proposed or signed on to numerous ideas to strip power from federal land management agencies and/or ways to effectively render impotence for conservation opportunities on public lands.  

    Tipton’s record on public lands isn’t checkered, it’s as black as the pavement in which he has proposed using.  

  3. already jacking this thread — here’s one more thing we can all, including the voters in his district, not thank Scott Tipton (and Willard) for:

    Tax Credit in Doubt, Wind Power Industry Is Withering

    On Tuesday, Siemens, the German-based turbine-maker, announced it would lay off 945 workers in Kansas, Iowa and Florida, including part-timers. Last week Katana Summit, a tower manufacturer, said it would shut down operations in Nebraska and Washington if it could not find a buyer. Vestas, the world’s largest turbine manufacturer, with operations in Colorado and Texas, recently laid off 1,400 workers globally on top of 2,300 layoffs announced earlier this year. Clipper Windpower, with manufacturing in Iowa, is reducing its staff by a third, to 376 from 550. DMI Industries, another tower producer, is planning to lay off 167 workers in Tulsa by November.


    Who needs clean energy, or even jobs, when you’ve got O&G lobbyists stuffing fists full of cash into your craw . . . and perhaps a few other orifices?

  4. Gray in Mountains says:

    maybe he is just stooopid

  5. BlueCat says:

    just throws up his hands on this one with a complaint about hard to please meanies. How much more nothing could he possibly have?  

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