It’s hard to get too mad at State Representative Sal Pace (D-Pueblo) for his unwillingness to take a clear stand on the Roadless issue, leaving us to wonder whether or not he believes the the Obama Administration should accept a locally developed, state-specific Roadless Rule for Colorado, or force feed the state a one-size-fits-all federal rule developed by environmental radicals during the Clinton Administration.
And perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Pace cut his political teeth working for a John Salazar – a man prone to taking credit for other people’s work and notable only for his tentativeness when it came to taking clearly discernible positions on the tough issues of the day (at least not until he checked in with his younger brother, Ken).
What is somewhat surprising, though, is just how out of touch Pace seems to be with the people he aims to represent on this core, litmus test issue for the state.
From off-road enthusiasts to campers, miners, and even people that cut down trees to heat their homes; Sal Pace just doesn’t seem to get it. Aside from the direct impact an inflexible federal rule will have on businesses throughout the 3rd Congressional District, the threat of a top-down landscape-scale land management scheme hatched by east-coast bureaucrats and imposed from Washington, D.C. seems like a no brainer for candidates seeking to free Western Colorado from the red tape (or should we say green tape) that has been hamstringing economic development in rural Colorado for years.
As Observer readers know, Pace has yet to take an official position on the fate of the Colorado Roadless Rule. And that’s puzzling.
With strange bedfellows such as former Governors Bill Owens and Bill Ritter joining current Governor John Hickenlooper in advocating for the Colorado rule, what keeps Pace from jumping on the bandwagon to support the stakeholders that developed the plan? Heck, we seem to remember that even Pace’s mentor, the aforementioned risk-averse John Salazar, mustered the confidence to stick his head out of his cave to support this policy and political layup.
We like the pugnacious Mr. Pace personally, so it pains us to suggest he might be pandering to his left-wing, well-heeled backers in the Green Lobby. But when one views the combination of high-profile, radical environmentalist activists urging their friends in the White House to scrap the carefully-crafted Colorado plan in combination with Mr. Pace’s relative and conspicuous silence on the matter, it’s hard to come to any other conclusion.
As his former boss Mr. Salazar learned the hard way two years ago, Western Colorado voters don’t take kindly to politicians who spend half of their time rubber stamping the radical Pelosi-Obama agenda and the other half hiding under their desk.
For the sake of his own political survival (not to mention the economic well-being of the state), Mr. Pace would do well to lend his voice and his support to those he hopes to represent in the Congress.