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November 05, 2013 10:14 AM UTC

GOP secessionist wants to walk away, even though he says he can agree with Dems "80%" of the time

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  • by: Jason Salzman

Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, who’s been pushing for rural counties to secede from Colorado, admitted in a radio interview last week that “first and foremost” his secessionist campaign aims to let the world know “there’s a problem,” and, aside from secession, he’s got “ideas and suggestions to move this ball forward,” including ideas about how urban and rural leaders “communicate with each other.”

But wait! Conway is allegedly so fed up with the State Legislature that he’s ready to walk away from Colorado. How could there possibly be any middle ground left?

That’s what Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner, who interviewed Conway Oct. 29, asked him. And here’s Conway’s response:

Conway: …I have conversations with a lot of folks who much more liberal than I am, come from a different party than I belong to. And you know what I found? When you sit down and you actually engage in a dialogue with people, the thing you quickly find out is there are about 80% of the things you can agree upon. But what happens is, we spend all of our time on the 20% that we disagree on. And we don’t spend any time on the 80% of the issues that we agree upon.

Warner: Sean, you know what surprises me is that you’re someone who believes so strongly in coming to the table, but you’re someone who’s advocating for leaving the table. I’m trying to square those two things about you.

Warner put it nicely, and gently.

Another way of putting it is, do you really walk away from the table when you can agree with your opponents 80 percent of the time? Shit, I don’t even agree with my allies that often. Or my wife.

I don’t agree with myself 80 percent of the time.

For reporters, Conway’s 80-percent statement again raises questions about why he’d lead a fight for secession, which is clearly an extreme move, the nuclear option. It smells overwhelmingly like a media stunt, no? Why doesn’t Conway try harder to get along?

These are questions that should come up tonight as the secession election results are analyzed.

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