In one of the most politically inept statements from a political operative since Larry Craig's "wide stance," the Chair of the Democrat Party in the state of Colorado, Rick "Real World" Palacio, patronized attempts to protect communities of interest like the West Slope and Eastern Plains as akin to a Republican "buffet", saying the Republicans were "picking and choosing which voters they want to represent."
Palacio, who hails from Pueblo, should be smart enough to know better than to patronize the West Slope and Eastern Plains, who have asked only to be represented by one person in Congress.
Palacio and the Democrats, with the passing of every day, make it clear they just don't give a rip what rural Colorado thinks.
Republicans and Democrats both chose. Republicans chose to protect communities of interest and rural representation. Democrats chose to throw common sense out the window and draw a map for a few favored sons (and daughters) making it easier for them to win a golden ticket to Congress.
But communities of interest matter, and far more than just in a political football sense. The Executive Director of Club 20, Bonnie Petersen, which represents West Slope counties, said it best in a Grand Junction Daily Sentinel column on Sunday (behind a pay wall):
There is not a county in western Colorado that does not have some sort of tourism economy, and all the tourism across the Western Slope is related to public lands, water and wildlife. Most western Colorado counties have some level of agricultural production and natural resource development, all of which are critical to the well-being of the communities and the livelihood of the citizens.
As 70 percent of western Colorado is owned by the federal government, it is critical that Western Slope counties and citizens have access to a knowledgeable federal congressional representative.
Jared Polis, who would become, overnight, the Congressman for large portions of the West Slope, couldn't be farther from someone who understands these issues. He spends his time pushing marijuana legalization, not trying to help bring oil and gas jobs back to Western Colorado, where hundreds of billions of barrels of oil potentially exist.
That works for a Congressman from Boulder, not one from Garfield County.
If Palacio’s missive proves anything, it is that the Democrats don’t care much about what rural Colorado thinks. And the Democrat war on Western Colorado marches on.