3rd Congressional District campaigns put focus on jobs

Salazar, Tipton lay out talking points as they look ahead to November election

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Scott Tipton

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U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa

Learn more

■ Learn about Republican congressional candidate Scott Tipton, a state representative from Cortez, at http://votetipton.com. Contact him at scott@votetipton.com or 970-985-8699.

■ Learn about the Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. John Salazar, of the San Luis Valley, at www.salazarforcongress.com. Call his Grand Junction office at 970-245-7107 or his Washington office at 202-225-4761.

By the numbers

Fundraising totals for leading congressional candidates in Colorado’s 3rd District.

Salazar and Tipton last filed a report July 21.

Candidate Raised Spent Cash on hand

John Salazar (D) $1,224,554 $431,659 $1,257,639

Scott Tipton (R) $380,457 $213,054 $167,401

Numbers are based on summary reports filled by the candidates with the Federal Election Commission and may not represent exact figures.

Source: www.opensecrets.org

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Colorado congressional districts

— In the campaigns to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, one could say that jobs are to 2010 what immigration was to 2006.

As Democratic U.S. Rep. John Salazar, of the San Luis Valley, and Republican state Rep. Scott Tipton, of Cortez, gear up their campaigns for November’s general election, employment is at the forefront of the initial conversations. Much has changed since the two men faced off in the same race four years ago — when Salazar won with 67 percent of the vote across the vast district that includes Routt County — including, of course, the devastating economic recession and housing market crash that has crippled the regional construction industry and job market as a whole, putting hundreds out of work in Routt County alone.

“Our campaign is going to be about creating jobs in the private sector and getting America back to work,” Tipton said last week, echoing the message of his TV commercials that have begun airing in local markets.

Salazar, in turn, recently has discussed employment in terms of energy policy and the ongoing debate about natural gas exploration in western Moffat County’s Vermillion Basin. Salazar has expressed his support for limited exploration in the basin during two visits to Steamboat Springs in the past six weeks.

“I am not with the administration on this issue. … I think they should listen to the (Moffat) county commissioners because it’s a jobs issue for me,” Salazar said. “The proposal the BLM has put forward, I don’t think is the wish of the people on the ground.”

The Moffat County Board of Commissioners supports a plan that would allow exploration on 1 percent of the basin, an area the commissioners say could yield $700 million in natural gas resources. The federal Bureau of Land Management opposes all exploration in the basin. A 30-day public protest period for the BLM’s proposed, regional resource management plan ends Sept. 13.

“I’ll be favoring development of energy within the Vermillion Basin,” Tipton said, adding that “we want to make sure that environmental safeguards are going to be in place.”

Tipton also has related the issue to jobs, saying he’s “a very big supporter of our oil and natural gas development” as steps toward energy independence and improving employment.

In Steamboat last week, Salazar cited continuing needs to boost tourism and renewable energy industries to stimulate the job market and help revive regional economies.

A three-time incumbent first elected in 2004, Salazar cited his work to bring funds to Steamboat for transportation needs — including more than $625,000 in 2006 for the city’s Transit Operations Center on 13th Street — along with $1 million as part of this year’s stimulus package for local logging operations to mitigate bark beetle impacts.

“I’ve been a working Con­gressman,” he said. “I haven’t just been sitting around.”

National focus

Tipton has focused his message largely on national issues. Similar to Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wad­­hams, Tipton rarely mentions a policy supported by Salazar without, in the same breath, mentioning President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, indicating a strategy of correlating Salazar with Democratic leadership in Washington, D.C., and its passage, for example, of the stimulus plan and much-debated health care overhaul.

While Salazar doesn’t shy away from those comparisons, or his votes, he also is careful to place himself more toward the middle, focusing on his agricultural roots and labeling himself “a centrist and a farmer.”

That doesn’t sway Tipton.

“He voted for the stimulus package, he voted to triple the national deficit,” Tipton said. “What is crushing us and going to crush our children and grandchildren is the burden of ever-increasing government debt, which John Salazar has been complicit in.”

Tipton has said if elected he would reduce government by 10 percent across the board — drawing criticism from Salazar.

“That’s not realistic,” said Salazar, a member of the House Appropriations Committee and subcommittees related to energy and water. “You just can’t cut every single department just like that. … Are you going to cut the funding for our troops in Iraq, funds for veterans coming back? I wouldn’t do that and I won’t do that.”

Comments

the_Lizard 4 years ago

Sure, Mr. Salazar, you care about jobs. (winky) Sure, you don't agree with your brother concerning gas and oil leases and the status of the Vermillion basin. (wink) That's quite a war chest you have too Salazar, helps to have big donors that need favors. http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/accusations_flying_over_bear_r//

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seeuski 4 years ago

Lockstep with Pelosi on every spread the wealth scheme of the Obama Administration and voted for the healthcare bill as a so called "blue dog" when he said he would not vote for it if it put our health records in the hands of Government or add to the deficit. Do we stay the course or vote for change?

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the_Lizard 4 years ago

Yep, right down the line voting with the far left agenda of Pelosi, well except for cap and trade. Of course, as we all know she didn't need his vote to pass that bill, so he was allowed to vote nay. He claims to be this district's representative, but voted against the wishes of the majority of his constituents, time and again.

Tipton's internal polls are saying that he's ahead, 49% to 43%.

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BoatNative 4 years ago

We should all really appreciate Congressman Salazar's attention to Routt County and all of Northwest Colorado whether you vote for him or not. He has visited Steamboat two times in the past six weeks. Electorally, spending all his time in Grand Junction and Pueblo would be the smart choice but Mr. Salazar understands that his job is about much more than politics.

The Congressman was here last week to meet with firefighters and ski area officials to discuss beetle kill. Guess what happened the day after he was here? The ski area received the permit they needed to log trees in the Vogue/Voo-Doo area of the ski mountain. He knows how to get things done and CARES about Steamboat.

The only time Tipton has been up here all year was to attend a meeting of the County Republicans - obviously just a political trip. We should keep Salazar in office because he pays attention to our issues even though we are one of the smaller counties, vote-wise, in this vast district.

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sledneck 4 years ago

Just this morning I heard a rooster. No sooner than he finished crowing the sun came up. That rooster really knows how to get things done!

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the_Lizard 4 years ago

Salazar has jumped on the same hypocrite's band wagon Udal has been riding. Colorado forests, which are to be protected by the USFS allowed beetle kill by bowing to radical environmentalist's no timbering agenda. Now that the damage has been done Salazar rides in on his white horse to rescue us from the misdeeds of our very own federal government's environmental policies. Too bad they have to haul the logs all the way to Montrose, another result of the left's policies regarding timbering. Job creation.....indeed.

What I would love to see is a debate between Tipton and Salazar. I would enjoy hearing Salazar defend his voting record.

Oh and he cares about Steamboat? I think he cares about votes and that's what is behind the recent flurry of activity in the liberal enclave of SS.

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Jeff_Kibler 4 years ago

This applies to the entire state.

"Still, the big news among many education experts was who lost – particularly Louisiana and Colorado, widely considered leaders in education reform with priorities that are strongly aligned with those favored by the administration."

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2010/0824/Race-to-the-Top-losers-Why-did-Louisiana-and-Colorado-fail

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