Colorado Republicans Hammered By New Yorkers Over Flood Aid

UPDATE #2: For what it's worth, here is Rep. Cory Gardner's tit-for-tat response:

Gardner spokesman Alex Siciliano said the Republican congressman voted against the Sandy relief bill in January because it didn’t include money to help his state recover from major wildfires last year.

“The rejection … said that Colorado fire victims weren’t as important as hurricane victims and that is why he voted against the additional funding,” Siciliano said. “If Congressman Pascrell wishes to complain, perhaps he should take the time to understand our concern that Colorado victims were ignored.”

We're not sure if it's been explained to Gardner's staff that the money he voted against in January is the same flood relief money Gardner was crowing about last week. We'd like to see that addressed, understanding that there's probably no good answer.

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UPDATE: Members of Congress from New Jersey join in the slamming of the Colorado Republican "Hypocrisy Caucus," adding a damning twist–the money Colorado Republicans sought for relief after the flooding was actually part of the Sandy relief bill they voted against in January. As MaryAnn Spoto of the Star-Ledger reports:

Two New Jersey congressmen are calling a group of Colorado Republicans hypocrites for voting against the $50 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package earlier this year then requesting a chunk of the money to help their own state recover from last month’s deadly floods.

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th Dist.) said that to get the Sandy aid package approved in January — after more than two months of delays — lawmakers from the states affected by the hurricane had to agree to a provision that would allow some of the money to go to other states hit by disasters…

“Now, some of these very congressmen are shamelessly proving just how hypocritical they are by using the same Sandy funding they voted against to help their constituents,” he said. [Pols emphasis]

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd-Dist.) was equally critical, labeling Colorado lawmakers the “Hypocrisy Caucus.”

“And, in you can’t-make-this-up irony, this legislation to help Colorado wouldn’t be possible without the Sandy aid bill. [Pols emphasis] It was just approved by voice vote in the House because Northeast lawmakers did not stand in opposition, said Jason Galanes, a spokesman for LoBiondo. “We understand the true nature of disasters and the critical need for emergency assistance.”

Objectively speaking, we truly don't see how this could look any worse for our local Republicans.

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Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn.

Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn.

A story in today's New York Daily News is calculated to enrage their local readers, still recovering from last year's devastating Hurricane Sandy. It pertains to the lifting last week of a $100 million (mistakenly reported as $100 billion in this story) cap on emergency federal highway relief for Colorado after the recent devastating floods here. That stands out in ugly contrast to the vote by Colorado Republicans following Hurricane Sandy against relief legislation, which Rep. Cory Gardner claimed was in retaliation for Colorado being "treated differently" than other states. The original Sandy aid legislation, in full fairness, also contained money for flooding mitigation in Colorado, which was stripped from the bill by fellow Republicans. That's the excuse Gardner makes today.

But as the Daily News' Dan Friedman reports, nobody in New York wants to hear it.

Four Colorado Republicans — Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton — opposed the Sandy aid for the Northeast but crowed after they secured federal disaster funding for their constituents.

New York lawmakers who had to wage a bitter fight for the Sandy money found the flip-flop by their Colorado counterparts too tough to take.

“Natural disasters don’t discriminate, but apparently Republican members from Colorado do,” [Pols emphasis] the normally affable Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens) told the Daily News.

“When Hurricane Sandy struck New York, Reps. Gardner, Coffman, Lamborn and Tipton opposed providing federal assistance to help us rebuild. But their opposition to federal emergency aid dissolved when their state was struck by historic floods.”

He added, “It’s the height of hypocrisy for them to have so quickly and conveniently changed their position. I only wish the best for the people of Colorado as they repair their lives after such devastation, but I hope New Yorkers make clear these members are persona non grata in our town.” [Pols emphasis]

To help fellow New Yorkers recognize these four newly "persona non grata" Colorado members of Congress, the story includes huge blow-up photos of all four Colorado Republicans who voted against the Sandy relief package: Reps. Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn. And if you think it's just New York Democrats who are upset about the perceived hypocrisy, think again:

Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who called out fellow Republicans when they opposed the Sandy aid, said the Colorado lawmakers showed “real hypocrisy” in voting for the flood relief this week.

“You never know when and where these disasters are gonna hit,” King said. “They should just thank God, we didn’t use the same tactics against them that they used against us.” [Pols emphasis]

King said one of the Colorado Republicans, who he declined to name, asked him before the vote if he was still angry over the Sandy vote.

“I said I was,” King said.

A little over a week ago, we wrote our open letter to the rest of America anticipating this exact criticism–so it's safe to say we're not surprised to see this. As we said then, the vote by local Republicans against Hurricane Sandy relief was roundly criticized, and it should not be considered representative of the population of this state–especially those now in need of relief themselves. This embarrassment aside, we do care about our neighbors.

As for these four "persona non grata" Republicans from Colorado? As they say back east, "screw 'em."

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22 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    . . . looking on the bright side if you're a NeeYorker, at least you don't have to put up with these four pathetic excuses for a human being in a regular basis!

    We're working to make these myopic fools persona non gratis here, too. 

  2. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Correction, Pols, back east they say "fuck 'em." And I heartily agree.

    I have this vision of Cory Gardner defying his PNG status because that's the kind of little punk he is, and getting chased through lower Manhattan by a mob with pitchforks and torches. Just the idea is enough to thank the NY Daily News for calling them out.

  3. Gilpin Guy says:

    Coffman is seriously working on making himself persona non grata in Congress.  Romanoff couldn't ask for more negative material to work with.

  4. rathmone says:

    Anyone wondering why Rep. King is frustrated need only read this coverage of an interview he gave to Chris Matthews:

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/10/02/2716351/peter-king-30-to-40-republicans-obama-illegitimate/

    MATTHEWS: I’ve had members, they know who they are, they say — ‘I really can’t say with these lips that this man, Barack Obama, was elected president.’ They choke on that. How many are there in Congress on your side that represent that rejectionist front? […]
    KING: I would say there are probably 30 or 40 who are like that. As there were a number of Democrats who felt that way about George W. Bush, and going back to when you and I first met, Republicans who felt that way about Bill Clinton… This is a very dangerous aspect to our government… The fact that we have people who are willing to demonize the president of the United States because he’s from a different party… and now, obviously, with President Obama, it’s definitely there.

    • At least with Bush 43 the first time out, there was serious doubt as to whether or not he was elected. If all the votes were counted, probably not. But given the screwed up electoral process and the SCOTUS non-precedent-setting decision, the election tally was what it was and he was elected.

      Obama it's not even close – he was elected with an outright majority twice in a row.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        First president since Eisenhower to get over 51% of the vote in both his presidential elections.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Just a few years back, who could have envisioned Rep. Peter King, as conservative as can be, as a more moderate voice in the GOP? Just shows you how extreme the GOP has become. It's not even a matter of moving farther to the right anymore. It's just pure wing nuttiness.

        The 30 or 40 King is talking about aren't ultra conservative so much as they are just plain, pure nut jobs. They hate losing to Obama even more than they hate government, more than they hate the legitimate legislative process, more than they hate anything.

        If Hitler showed up they'd hate Obama more than they'd hate him. After all they're calling  ACA/Obamacare the most insidious law in the history of a mankind, a history that includes the laws that enabled slavery, the holocaust, the Cambodian killing fields, Stalin's mass starving and mass executions of his own people. That is an extraordinary degree of hate and it really can't be logically explained by anything other than a visceral revulsion to the reality of a black family living in the White House. Horrors! 

  5. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    It irritates me no end to have to give points to Peter King but wow, is he right this time! Maybe he's one of the GOPers who can drive those Tea-nuts back to the irrelevant Libertarian Party where they belong. If so, I'm not proud. I'll take his help.

  6. EccentricRepublicanEccentricRepublican says:

    There's only one way this can end.

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