Gov. Polis all but ignored Colorado’s critical agriculture industry throughout his recent State of the State speech, preferring instead to preen before his base with nerdy references that serves to entertain his fans in the media establishment.
The governor’s dismissive attitude did not go unnoticed by rural lawmakers in attendance.
Republican state Rep. Ty Winter of Las Animas, a fourth-generation ag producer, noted the insult in a Colorado Politics opinion article.
In his 70-minute, 8,000-word monologue, the governor mentioned the word “agriculture” one single time. The words “farms” and “farmers” were each only used once as well. For comparison, the governor referenced the fictional Lord of the Rings character “Gandalf” three times. Add to this list Luke Skywalker, South Park, and a very awkward impression of Star Wars’ Yoda, and one could be left scratching their head about whether the governor cares more about making pop culture references than talking about rural Coloradans.
That’s because Polis is more interested in being popular than in governing a state blessed with wonderous natural resources that have been protected and enhanced by generations of Coloradans.
And as Winter noted, the state’s farms and ranches are difficult for Polis to recognize when lounging comfortably in ivory towers and from under gold domes.
It’s easy to see why rural lawmakers have little faith in Polis to protect and enhance the state’s second largest industry, when he devotes more time in his State of the State speech to electric bikes, and tax credits for the wealthy to buy electric cars.
It’s par for the course for Polis and the First Gentleman, whose progressive, woke politics often clashed with farmers and ranchers during their first term in office.
The wounds of political activists appointed by Polis to manage the industry are still fresh, as are the attacks on the meat industry by Polis’s vegan partner.
Snubbing rural voters who have made agriculture a $47 billion industry that employs some 200,000 is a rotten start to Polis’s second term of office.
And as Winter noted, if Polis has higher political aspirations for the future and wants to run for president, he better pay attention to rural areas.
He should start in his own state.