Ellen Roberts is Making a Fool of Herself

Sad Ellen Roberts.

Sad Ellen Roberts.

When State Senator Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) announced in late June that she was no longer considering a 2016 run for U.S. Senate, it was perhaps the most coherent and logical thing she had said all summer. Roberts first publicly floated her name for Senate (or CD-3) in a May interview with Peter Marcus of the Durango Herald, and she spent the next few weeks putting on a cringe-worthy display of self-immolation the likes of which we haven’t seen in Colorado in years (“Egads! Ellen Roberts is Really Not Good at This”).

It wasn’t hyperbole when we posted a video titled “Seven Seconds that Could End Ellen Roberts’ Career” after she tried to explain her position on abortion as being both pro-choice and anti-choice — one of just several bizarre mistakes made by someone who we thought would know better. Roberts certainly wilted under the lights to a degree that few expected, but it has been even weirder to watch as she continues to decimate her own reputation with bizarrely-naive rants about politics in general.

Last week Roberts whined on 710 KNUS radio that her hometown newspaper, the Durango Sentinel, took her political ambitions too seriously; on Monday, she one-upped herself in an Op-Ed published by the Cortez Journal that was ostensibly about her position on public lands but really just another opportunity for Roberts to continue lamenting her brief foray into statewide politics. Let’s take a look…

It’s been an interesting start to my summer. Responding to a reporter’s question of whether I’d be thinking about running for the U.S. Senate during the interim, I answered honestly that I’d consider that possibility.

This is your lede? Roberts would apparently like you to believe that floating her name for Senate or CD-3 was really all just the fault of reporter Peter Marcus. 

What followed was the unleashing of the partisan hellhounds, who disappeared only with my decision not to pursue that direction. If my experience is any indication of how election season 2016 is headed, God help us.

Break out the sad trombones! If Roberts was really, truly this surprised by the reaction to floating her name for higher office, it’s probably best for everyone involved that she pulled the plug on her own campaign. “Partisan hellhounds?” Good grief.

Little is worth rehashing, but my stance on public lands deserves clarification as much of my district includes federal lands.

No, it doesn’t. But for some reason, Roberts really wants you to know that her position on public lands might have been unclear. Good thing you brought it up!

Coincident with my thinking of a federal campaign, though, my support and appreciation for public lands repeatedly came into question based on a vote I made last session. Based on district input, I supported a proposed study to be voluntarily undertaken by interested county commissioners, addressing the challenges faced today in living next to federal lands. While thanked in parts of my district for this vote, others publicly excoriated me for the same.

People had different opinions on a bill that was discussed in the state legislature? That’s crazy talk.

My own bill this session, HB 1225, established a grant program to help local governments better engage in the federal land management decision-making process. This bill had bipartisan sponsors and was signed by the governor. It was promoted by Colorado’s environmental groups. If there isn’t a serious problem today with federal land management, then why would this bill receive such widespread support?

Um, it didn’t? You might want to back up a paragraph to where you wrote that “Differences in opinion are common in a diverse district like mine” before you try to claim that your legislation had “widespread support.”  

That there is more than one way to tackle a thorny public policy debate should not cause people to resort to distorted rhetoric and falsehoods when opposing a bill.

…said the State Senator who claimed to be both pro-choice and not pro-choice at the same time.

American creativity is viewed on the decline at a time when we need it most on the perplexing challenges we face. Inviting more viewpoints to the discussion, even if it’s uncomfortable and not homogenous, is an approach I will continue to welcome.

Unless those opinions are different from your own, in which case people are just big meanies?

Roberts may not have much of a political future ahead of her, but she still has a few years left in the legislature — and she still (barely) has her reputation intact. That will change if she doesn’t just stop talking for awhile.

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3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    The headline says "Ellen Roberts is Making a Fool of Herself." Present tense. You mean again?

  2. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    "I supported a proposed study to be voluntarily supported by interested county commissioners…….."   What she doesn't say is that the bill was an unfunded mandate. Taxpayers in the counties of "interested" county commissioners would have to foot the bill. 

    "If there isn't a serious problem today with federal land management, then why would this bill receive such widespread support?……."   Why indeed? The bill had nothing at all to do with a "serious problem." It was simply a means to assist INTERESTED local governments in participating in federal land management planning processes. I've watched several BLM field office plan revisions in recent years and getting local governments to really take an interest in what happens on the lands around them has been tough. And it isn't rocket science either. Local governments get what is called a cooperating agency status, which puts them at the head of the line for making public comment. The federal agencies practically take these locals by the hand to guide them through the commenting process.   C.H.B.

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