Prefab GOP Talking Points Don’t Work on Gail Schwartz

Gail Schwartz.

Gail Schwartz.

Peter Strescino at the Pueblo Chieftain reports on former state Sen. Gail Schwartz’s campaign swing through town this week, as buzz continues to grow surrounding her challenge to incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Tipton:

“We are finding he’s not someone who will step up and go back to Washington and talk about the issues that are important to our district, to our families, to our industries,” Schwartz said. “He is an individual who thinks his job is to privatize, and sell our public lands.

“And he denies we have a changing climate, and that means you are not part of the solution.”

Schwartz criticized Tipton, saying he votes for the oil and gas industry, which also writes the bills he introduces.

“Scott Tipton represents his largest donors, which are oil and gas. He doesn’t represent his communities,” she said.

At the same time,

Schwartz said she supports natural gas production and does not oppose fracking.

Responding to Schwartz today, Tipton spokesman Michael Fortney attacked Schwartz over her support for the Clean Air, Clean Jobs plan in 2010 that paved the way for the conversion of a number of coal-fired power plants along the Front Range to (somewhat) cleaner-burning natural gas:

“Her policies have directly led to thousands of her constituents being laid off and devastated entire communities that she was supposed to represent,” Fortney wrote by email on Wednesday. “The fact that she pursued her special interest agenda despite the life-shattering costs to her constituents gives us a clear indication of what kind of representative she will be for the 3rd Congressional District.”

The biggest problem with this line of attack is that the 2010 Clean Air, Clean Jobs deal was as bipartisan as it gets. Clean Air Clean Jobs’ lead Senate sponsor was GOP Sen. Josh Penry, and in the House the bill was co-sponsored by numerous Republicans like then-Rep. Frank McNulty. The coal industry didn’t love it, but the much larger natural gas industry in Colorado was all aboard. The more fundamental truth about coal, which of course no state senator can control, is a loss of market share due to cheap natural gas and a worldwide glut in coal production.

Also known as the “free market.”

This exchange illustrates the difficulty Tipton is going to have this election season painting Schwartz with the usual broad-brush Republican stereotypes about Democrats. Where Schwartz can claim that Tipton has sold out to Washington, D.C. special interests, the same can’t be said of Schwartz–who has a legislative record that’s moderate in all the right places to appeal to voters in Pueblo and on the Western Slope.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Michael Fortney needs to get his facts straight. Decline of the coal industry has not led to "thousands of her constituents being laid off."  It's more like several hundred. And it is the free market in action; since several large coal companies have filed for bankruptcy protection as coal gets its clock cleaned by natural gas. 

  2. gertie97 says:

    Fortney and Tipton aren't interested in clues, let alone facts. They are incapable of speaking in any other language than talking points.


  3. MichaelBowman says:

    Fortney conveniently left out the fact that Vestas has 4,000 employees in Colorado, 800 of which are based in Pueblo (CD-3).  Those jobs are thanks to the leadership of elected officials like Gail. 

  4. Duke Cox says:

    One of the very few areas in which Gail and I don't see perfectly eye to eye is on the subject of natural gas development. I do not support natural gas development. I tolerate it as a necessary evil….to be discarded as a transportation, heating, and electricity generating resource as soon as possible. 

    I know Gail is well aware of the realities associated with fossil fuel development and I will suggest that her support for O&G development is not rooted in love and warm fuzzies for the top brass, but rather her tenacious support of her constituents who count on it to feed their families. I do not hold that against her.

    There will not be an end to large scale fossil fuel use in my lifetime. Perhaps my grandkids will someday live in a world where we will rely on clean, endless, and free sources of energy. Until then, we must continue to elect and support legislators like Gail Schwartz. The constituents Tipton is committed to representing don't typically live and work in CD3.

  5. Gray in Mountains says:

    She already has a check from me😃


  6. Voyageur says:

    I split a c-note I intended for bennet between gail and morgan carroll.  Bennet is great but right now I'm triaging.  Most of my money has gone to hillary just to fend off bernie.   Wanna give more to gail and morgan in lieu of dccc.  

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