Endorsement: Please, don’t give your vote to Lauren Boebert

Editor’s note: This represents the opinion of The Denver Post editorial board, which is separate from the paper’s news operation. Read more endorsements here

We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.

Boebert has not represented the 3rd Congressional District well. Almost exclusively, she has spent her time and efforts contributing to the toxic political environment in this nation.

The good people in this district are not angry and abrasive; they are not hateful and caustic; they do not boast of their own prowess or sling insults as entertainment. The ranchers we know working the Uncompaghre Plateau, the teachers in Durango, the steel mill workers in Pueblo, and the farmers setting down roots in the San Luis Valley keep to themselves, watch their families grow, and pray for better days.

Boebert’s unproductive approach, combined with the efforts of others, has helped erode Congress’ ability to honestly debate public policy that could help people in her district.

Adam Frisch would be a better representative for the people of the 3rd Congressional District. Yes, he is a Democrat from the affluent enclave of Aspen, a ski town that most voters consider a playground for rich out-of-towners. But Frisch, who served on Aspen City Council and whose wife is on the school board, has no desire to impose liberal policies on the people of his district.

He has a pro-oil and gas development position that promotes responsible exploration of oil and gas on public lands while requiring that companies clean up their mess when they leave.

And the oil and gas industry will leave. Mesa County has weathered the boom, bust cycle of the oil and gas industry too many times for its residents not to be wary of promises that drilling and fracking will build a steady economy.

Frisch, a business owner who worked for a time in finance both on Wall Street and internationally, can support oil and gas development in the district while also helping the Western Slope develop a less volatile industry base for companies like Leitner-Poma of America in Grand Junction, Osprey in Cortez, or the many backcountry hunting and fishing guides in Craig.

Boebert, in contrast, is unable or perhaps unwilling to articulate any policy nuance on the extraction of oil and gas owned by taxpayers from our public lands. She has opposed every effort to protect public lands in the district and failed to disclose in a timely manner that her husband made almost $1 million as a consultant for the largest drilling company in the 3rd Congressional District’s Piceance Basin.

Rather than talk about these issues, Boebert slings mud.

Her performance at the Club 20 debate against Frisch was odd, to say the least, and she spent a good chunk of her speaking time talking about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and criticizing the moderator.

In her primary, Boebert called a man born and raised in Montrose County a groomer – a term for a person who sexually abuses children. The remark, directed at Don Coram, a conservative Republican and rancher whose son happens to be gay, is just one example of Boebert’s casual yet crass cruelty, which she puts on display on a daily basis while in Washington, D.C.

Does she feel no remorse for this behavior? She told a joke, more than once, implying that a Muslim member of Congress was a terrorist bomber. She uses the derogatory term “jihad squad” to reference other members of Congress.

This is not what Western Colorado or Southern Colorado stands for.

Frisch’s campaign has taken the high road and not disseminated any of the many unsubstantiated rumors about Boebert that have circulated the community. Nor have we given such rumors credence in editorials.

Boebert took no such high road. Her campaign ran an ad and sent tweets accusing Frisch of giving in to blackmail and having an affair.

Frisch said these accusations are false, and he hopes voters trust him with their vote.

The closest Frisch has gotten to slinging mud in the campaign is accusing Boebert of having ties to a far-right militia group known as the “three percenters.”

Boebert has made no secret of the fact that she embraces the group’s support of her campaign, taking smiling photos with members clad in tactical gear, tweeting encouragement for events and rallies tied to members of the group. She tweeted out “I am the militia,” on June 14, 2020.

The group draws its names from the fable that only 3% of the population of the original colonies fought in the Revolutionary War and the misguided belief that this country is headed for another fight for liberation for which they must prepare to fight – often amassing weapons caches and making bombs.

Members of the group have been implicated in several violent plots – a planned bombing of a mosque in Minnesota, an FBI-foiled bombing attempt of a bank in Oklahoma, and the kidnapping plot of Michigan’s governor. And, of course, the Jan. 6, 2020, attempt to storm the U.S. Capitol and prevent Congress from seating the duly elected next president of the United States.

On Jan. 6, Boebert tweeted out: “Today is 1776.” Was it a reference to the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4 of that year and the hope for a peaceful transfer of power under the laws and requirements of the Constitution written in 1787, or was it a reference to the bloodshed of the Revolutionary War and hope that an attack on the Capitol could bring in a new form of government for this nation? We don’t like that we have serious doubts it was the former.

It is not too much to ask that Boebert distance herself from this group instead of making their calls for violence, including against the U.S. government, mainstream.  She has refused to address the issue.

We grieve that this is who represents our great state in Congress – a state known for our moderate positions and our policy-first approach to politics.

Rejecting all Boebert has come to represent – angry rants without offering real solutions — is important for the 3rd Congressional District, Colorado and this great nation. Frisch is a solid candidate who will stand in for the district in an honorable way.

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