UPDATE: Guess who just voted NO on a Senate amendment to establish a renewable electricity standard? Maybe Gardner was just misquoted when he often said he supports an "all of the above" approach on energy production. Or perhaps he was crossing his fingers every time he said it.
Republican Sen. Cory Gardner earned the nickname "Con Man Cory" during his 2014 campaign for his willingness to say anything that might help him get elected. And when we say "anything," we mean that literally — he lied and hemmed and hawed about his own record and took credit for things he didn't do, even when the facts told a different story.
Sen. Gardner hasn't even been in office for a full month yet, and he's already turned his back on some of his more blustery campaign promises. Remember that September TV ad from Gardner in which he claimed to have "cowrote the law to launch our state's green energy industry?" Kristen Wyatt of The Associated Press quickly dissected the ad and came to the obvious conclusion that Gardner was just expelling his own wind. Here's the first paragraph from that AP story:
GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner, framed by sunflowers and wind turbines, tells voters in a campaign ad this week that he co-wrote a law to launch Colorado's green-energy economy. He leaves out that the law was repealed five years later, deemed useless for not enabling a single project. [Pols emphasis]
Now, this wasn't the only time during the campaign that Gardner praised the wind energy industry, which provides thousands of jobs on Colorado. And yesterday, Gardner had his first opportunity to put some substance behind those campaign promises. Instead, he voted against an amendment to extend the Wind Production Tax Credit. Yes, you read that correctly. The same guy who campaigned around the state talking about the importance of supporting Colorado's burgeoning Wind Energy industry just voted NO on an amendment to extend a critical production tax credit.
Judging from Gardner's own words, he seems to be aware that he is doing the exact opposite of what he said he would do if elected to the Senate. This is from Gardner's official statement following the vote on Heitkamp Amdt. No. 133:
“I am a true believer in the ability of wind energy to be a key part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. I have been a major proponent of the Wind Production Tax Credit in the past, and I continue to support incentives for wind energy. It plays a vital role in powering our homes and helping to grow our economy in Colorado.
“This amendment, however, is the wrong way to go about it and highlights the continued need for an overhaul our entire tax code. Unfortunately, the amendment advocates the reauthorization of this tax credit without any means to pay for the extension, which I cannot support. Further, the amendment offers no vision of how to eventually ramp down this tax credit, which was always intended to be temporary. [Pols emphasis]
“I am still a major supporter of wind energy, and I look forward to working with Senator Heitkamp on the issue going forward."
Got that, Colorado wind energy producers? "Con Man Cory" is totally in your corner on the Wind Production Tax Credit — hell, he just said it twice — up until the point in which he is asked to cast a vote. Because of modernizing the tax code, or something. Only in Con Many Cory's brain does it make sense to say that voting against the tax credit doesn't mean he opposes the tax credit.
[Side note: Gardner also explains his vote against the Wind Production Tax Credit when he says, "the amendment offers no vision of how to eventually ramp down this tax credit, which was always intended to be temporary." You know what also was intended to be temporary? The billions of dollars in tax credits that the oil and gas industry enjoys every year, even though they are making tens of billions in profits every quarter. That vote will be coming soon, too.)
Meanwhile, Colorado's other U.S. Senator, Democrat Michael Bennet, has been traveling the state promoting the importance of the Wind Production Tax Credit and actually casting a vote in support. Here's Bennet talking to Bridgett Weaver of the Greeley Tribune about the Wind Production Tax Credit:
It’s critically important to give certainty to this vital industry in Colorado. And nationally, the wind industry accounts for more than 75,000 jobs in the country and roughly 5,000 in Colorado, and by some estimates around 2,600 in Weld County alone. So that’s what’s so critical about it. It’s not just about the windmills themselves. It’s about the entire manufacturing industry and the subcontractors who are part of that. Many of whom are right here in Colorado that need the certainty that an extension or some other signal will give them in order to move forward.
Vestas is a great example. They were laying people off in 2013 and 2012, and in 2014, I think they announced that they would be hiring 800 employees in Colorado, with 300 of them in Windsor.
This is why Sen. Bennet comes off as a statesman and Sen. Gardner looks like a used car salesman. Bennet talks the talk and backs it up with his vote in the Senate. Pretty simple, no?
So, if Gardner isn't following through on his promises to voters — who is he helping? Why, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), of course, the same group that was founded by the billionaire coal baron Koch Brothers that spent millions on Gardner's Senate campaign. Back in November, Gardner seemed to be telling AFP (publicly) that he would continue to support the Wind Production Tax Credit despite heavy lobbying from AFP to have it killed. Hmmm….sorry, Colorado voters, but at the end of the day, Con Man Cory is going to represent the interests of AFP and the Koch Brothers. This isn't an opinion — it just happened. Gardner did exactly the opposite of what he promised Colorado voters, and he's going to do it over and over and over again.
Here's what Eli Stokols of FOX 31 News wrote after Gardner voted against an amendment on Climate Change:
After campaigning successfully last year as a "different kind of Republican," Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is under fire from conservationists for voting Wednesday against an amendment stating that humans contribute to climate change, something 69 percent of his constituents believe to be a fact.
Fifteen Senate Republicans, including 2016 presidential contender Sen. Rand Paul, joined Democrats in backing the amendment, but not Gardner…
This is Cory Gardner in a nutshell, folks. Senator Cory Gardner (R-Koch).
I see that Bennett has voted to stop debate on the Keystone Pipeline along with 8 other turncoats. What has Keystone have to do with Colorado anyway?
If I had my way, I'd replace Udall with Bennett even though Mark ran a lousy campaign.
agree with all comments here.
I wish CPols would be a little more discriminating in their support for Bennet. Yeah, he has a (D) behind his name, but that should compel him to do more for the environment than he has. Voting with Tea Partiers and Republicans to fast track KXL is a bad vote.
He's made it so far by playing both sides on these kinds of issues. This maintains his corporatist cred and is seemingly "good enough" for those running CPols.
I don't think he can make it much further politically with that tired, old strategy. But that strategy can lead to nice multi-million dollar job with a corner office for Ex-Sen. Bennet down the line. I sure hope he's not planning on that as he plays politician these next few years and gets the rote support of Democrats across the state just because he claims that (D).
Ed Schultz going after these ConservaDems now: the damage they are doing, the politics they are playing………..will post if they put up on link.
The fact is he supports wind power with his votes. Nothing wrong with ColPols pointing that out. If you add up votes you're still going to find that you like a lot more of Bennet's than Gardner's. That matters. But I completely agree that it would be a whole lot better to have a less pro-corporate, pro Big Gas and Oil Senator representing us. It doesn't have to be hard lefty. We couldn't elect one of those here anyway. Nut there's significant room for improvement within the electable range. I'd also like one more engaged with his state constituency. Bennet seems pretty distant from Colorado concerns which is understandable since, unlike our own Mark Udall, he's not a Colorado guy.
If a viable alternative, truly strong and viable, becomes available in time for he 2016 primaries, someone with the name rec, charisma and funding to go on to win the seat, I'd be thrilled. In the meantime, I'll take Bennet as the better alternative to any R. I'll also call and e-mail the hell out of him with complaints and demands.
Triangulating against a popular president for 6 full years now. I think he doesn't give a flying rat's patoutie about Colorado or the environment. This is a pure Big Energy vote from a pure Big Money senator. The jobs line is B.S.
If Bennet thinks he'll be Hillary's pick, and if he think Hillary is a shoe in for '16, he's an idiot. If we think those things, we're idiots, too.
Though better than Gardner, I guess, he's still a hideous human being and a horrible Democrat.
Bennet for VP would indeed be a big mistake. Nobody outside the beltway knows who he is. He wouldn't attract any R or R leaning votes for the simple reason that the true middle voter is pretty much gone. He can be pro-corporate and pro- Big Gas and Oil all day long and the people who like those positions are going to vote for the R anyway. He doesn't even help win Colorado because he isn't particularly popular or well known here. Think your assessment of him is a little over the top but do agree he'd make a lousy running mate. Also doubt he's in the running anyway.
Good article, Pols. Good comment, BC.
The only accountability Bennet has to voters is those complaining calls and emails, which he will get from me, too. It seems that the Koch brothers checks speak louder. I am glad that he voted to extend the WPTC. It shows that he's not completely bought off yet.
Well put, your hardship.
Damon spell check. I wrote well put your BLUESHIP not "hardship."
I give,up. It changed "damn spell check " to "Damon spell check."
If you voted for Con Man Gardner or any of the CO GOP candidates, or didn't vote at all against these freakish right-wing monsters out of laziness or indifference — then SIT DOWN and STFU. This is YOUR FAULT.
And a kind and continous fuck you for unleashing that moron to Washington.
You do realize we're fucking stuck with him until 2020? He's one and done, and he'll be forcibly removed.
"Forcibly removed"? How is that different than Sharon Engle's "Second Amendment Remedies"? Both entail veiled threats of violence and physical harm. We tend to go for electoral remedies here.
We all take you with a grain of salt here, puppy, but you may want to restrain your rhetoric so as not to tangle with whomever is responsible for guarding Gardner.
I have no idea what you wrote shit head, since you've been blocked as of Nov. 2014, but my standard reply to you will no doubt suffice, and remains for all eternity:
Go fuck yourself (hereafter known as GFY). Got it, punk?
Why do you hate Colorado wind energy jobs so much? That's what I want to know.
Because they cut into his paymaster's oil and coal profits. It's pure cash and carry politics: you give me your cash, I carry your water, conscience and decency discarded at the door.
Imagine my surprise…but then…I repeat myself….
Cory doesn't care whether you remember the TV ads or not. His sugardaddies will continue to provide.
Michael Bennet votes for Keystone XL's massive 20,000 jobs and for the purpose of shipping dirty, dangerous Canadian oil through the entirety of the U.S. for external customers. Bonus: Republicans made sure there was no requirement to use U.S. steel. Bonus 2: Bennet fulfills Mary Landrieux's dying campaign wish for just one more Koch stooge in the senate.
If someone can figure out what the hell Bennet is doing please say so. And if Colorado's Great Democratic Senator was seen in Rancho Mirage the last few weeks, did you get a Polaroid?
Zap, He is running for reelection in a purple state.
Bennet should worry about a nasty primary. He's about to get one, and it won't be with Romanoff – it'll be with someone who's ready to squash Bennet's balls and kick him out, a true progressive Democrat, someone who follows the platform of the Democratic Party and not the Third Way platform.
Polis would be the only one with a chance. If that happens, pass the pop corn it would be fun.
Now, now,AC, you know Sappy HATES political realism. As for me, I still vote the straight Whig ticket.
Zappy not sappy . Screw spell check.
Gardner's reasoning for voting no is that the tax credit renewal is not paid for. Was it not paid for previously then, since this is y'know just renewing an existing budget item? Has the guy been harboring deep animosity for this extravagant expense for all these years?
Does he get to pull the "it's not paid for" line on other previously existing budget items like the Navy or the CIA? Pretty sure they've been merrily frittering away taxpayer dollars all these years without having some corresponding revenue to offset their cost.
…of course, with dynamic scoring he can pretend that big ol' tax break he's going to give Chuck and Dave is going to pay for itself. <sigh>
Looks like my 'call Bennet's office' entry didn't help.
Too soon, or is he doing what he wants?
Plainly, Gardner thinks an evasion like "oh, I can't vote for continuing this wind industry tax credit, it hasn't been paid for" will fool people. Or at least fool enough people. Or at least bamboozle the Denver Post's editorial board. Cory is just a earnest little fiscal conservative, folks! He's not putting a hit on his own state's wind power industry or anything … no! Cory just cares about the budget! Yeah!
And Gardner will count on his constituents either being fooled, or not noticing, or not caring. Heck – dishonesty and grins and pretty visuals worked for him during the general election. Why should he stop now?
Com Man Gardner slithered into office on a "platform" of blatant lies, half-truths and 24/7 issue-dodging obfuscation. He now intends to remain in office via the same despicable means. It is OUR job to pry up and overturn that slimy, disgusting rock under which he and his Koch moneybags cabal dwell and expose them as the enemies of our democracy that they truly are.
Did you talk to the enviros? Colorado Pols is off the reservation again.
That's a different issue, you dink. We are talking about what Gardner did regarding the wind energy tax credit.