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November 07, 2007 10:47 PM UTC

Forgivable Ommission or Political Pandering

  • by: John Galt

The Coloradoan’s Jason Kosena had a good story yesterday of Senator Ken Salazar giving credit to his brother Congressman John Salazar and himself for blocking the Army’s plans of expanding the Pinon Canyon maneuver site. Senator Salazar, however, failed to give any credit to Representative Marilyn Musgrave for authoring the legislation. We will forget that Senator Salazar was a tad bit late to the party in opposing Pinon Canyon, because in the end he did the right thing and should get credit for that. The question that should be asked is if his omission of Marilyn Musgrave was accidental or deliberate. People make mistakes all the time, and life on the hill can be, if nothing else, very hectic. It should also be noted that Salazar’s press person said they would correct the mistake after talking to the Coloradoan.

The other thing to consider though is if it was perhaps a very intentional “mistake”, Salazar’s former aide Betsy Markey is of course running against Musgrave in the Fourth Congressional District and Salazar’s omission could be seen tactically as not giving political points to his aide’s opponent.

Read Kosena’s thoughts on the matter after the jump.

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan

Salazar gives credit to brother for Musgrave work?

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave is taking a page from the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s playbook today saying “I don’t get no respect!”

Although Musgrave most certainly uses better grammar, her office said this afternoon they are unclear as to why Sen. Ken Salazar, failed to give her the political props – a.k.a the credit – she deserves on brokering Pinon Canyon legislation.

In a press release sent by Salazar’s office, the first-term Colorado senator passes praise onto his little brother, Rep. John Salazar, a Democrat from the Western Slope of Colorado, for his efforts to stop an army expansion of Pinon Canyon in El Paso County. The senator failed to mention Musgrave at all, even though the Fort Morgan Republican authored the legislation he was praising.

Musgrave authored a House amendment that blocked the Army from moving forward for one year on any plans to expand the Pinon Canyon site. She enlisted John Salazar as a House co-sponsor.

Colorado’s two senators, Democrat Ken Salazar and Republican Wayne Allard. initially balked at supporting the amendment but later came on board when the Senate considered the issue.
See full Salazar press release below:

Sen. Salazar Statement on Pinon Canyon Amendment in Military Construction Veterans Administration Approps Conference Report

WASHINGTON, DC- Today, United States Senator Ken Salazar released the following statement in response to inclusion of Senator Salazar’s and Congressman Salazar’s amendment securing a one-year delay on expansion at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) in the Military Construction and Veterans’ Administration Appropriations Bill conference report. The Conference Report must now be approved by the House and Senate and signed by the President.

“I am pleased that the amendment Congressman Salazar and I sponsored to block the Army from moving forward for one year on any plans to expand at Pinon Canyon was included in the conference report. This is a positive step and ensures we take the necessary time out to get information from the Army. The Army has not yet provided a sufficient justification for its expansion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site; nor has the Army yet created a plan that protects private property rights and the agricultural heritage of the area. I believe that this one year delay, coupled with a requirement that the Army justify their proposal, is the right thing to do.”

When asked by the Coloradoan about Salazar’s omission, Musgrave spokesman Aaron Johnson said:

“Here are a few thoughts on your question:

As you can see by the amendment text that I attached it was Congresswoman Musgrave that penned the Pinon Canyon amendment and Rep.
John Salazar was added as a co-sponsor. It wasn’t until well after those two got it passed the House and up to the last minute until Ken Salazar decided to introduce the Musgrave text in the Senate.

Also, I think it is interesting to note the tone of Sen. Salazar’s press release today on Pinon Canyon compared to Rep. Musgrave’s release on drinking water funding. Salazar’s is obviously partisan by cutting out Rep. Musgrave for her leadership on Pinon Canyon. However, Rep. Musgrave is bi-partisan in tone, giving Rep. John Salazar credit for helping get millions of dollars for the Arkansas Valley Water Conduit drinking water project.


When asked why Salazar’s office didn’t include Musgrave in its press release praising Colorado lawmakers for stopping the Army expansion, spokeswoman Stephanie Valencia was quick to explain the omission was her fault:

“The conference report was filed yesterday and I was late on getting it out as it was, so I was in a real hurry trying to get this out and it was an oversight on my part. Congresswoman Musgrave is absolutely a part of this victory. I am sending out a corrected version shortly.”

When the updated release came there was mention of Musgrave, but Salazar’s prepared statement, which is often used in newsprint and online by media, still lacked any mention of Musgrave.

Partisan? You make the call.

Stay tuned…



One thought on “Forgivable Ommission or Political Pandering

  1. Somebody call a medic, I think Salazar’s press person fell on the sword for her boss.  So does anybody really beleive it was a simple oversight when Stephanie’s former co-worker is running against Musgrave?  I think not.

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