Tipton, Pace blow hard over wind, renewable-energy tax

Editor’s note: This is the Herald’s weekly roundup of campaign news.

Democrat Sal Pace criticized U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, for not doing enough to extend a tax credit for renewable-energy producers. The Vestas windmill tower factory in Pueblo could be hurt unless Congress extends the credit, Pace said.

“My opponent should have made this a priority. Our district has the largest wind-tower plant in the world with hundreds of jobs at risk, but unfortunately, we currently lack the leadership that these employees deserve,” Pace said.

Tipton and other Colorado congressmen have urged Congress to extend the credit, and he’s continuing to meet with Vestas and other House members to solve the problem, said his campaign manager, Michael Fortney.

“This is another transparent political attack that we have become familiar with from former political operative and campaign consultant turned congressional candidate Sal Pace,” Fortney said.

Tipton, meanwhile, toured abandoned mine sites that are polluting streams in San Juan County on Thursday.

Talk is cheap: President Barack Obama sought to change the tone of the campaign Thursday with a 50-minute speech on the economy.

Obama cast the election as a choice between two very different visions – that of Republican Mitt Romney, who favors tax cuts and deregulation, and that of Obama, who wants to raise taxes on the top earners and spend money to put people to work building infrastructure.

“What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction America should take. This election is your chance to break that stalemate,” Obama told a friendly crowd in Ohio.

Romney, also in Ohio, scoffed at Obama for resorting to rhetoric to save his campaign.

“Talk is cheap. Action speaks very loud. And if you want to see the results of his economic policies, look around Ohio, look around the country, you’ll see a lot of people are hurting,” Romney said, according to MSNBC.

Before the speech, the week was dominated by both sides seeking to exploit statements the other candidate had made.

Obama said June 8 that the private sector is “doing fine,” which led to a deluge of GOP news releases and a TV ad by the Romney campaign.

The same day, Romney said the country doesn’t need to hire more firefighters, police or teachers. Colorado Democrats called out that remark as smoke drifted across Eastern Colorado from a massive wildfire.

More money: Roll Call reported that the National Republican Congressional Committee reserved $1.64 million worth of television ads in the Denver market after Labor Day. The ads could be targeted to help Tipton, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, or perhaps challenger Joe Coors, who is running against U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden.

Countdown: 10 days until the primary election. 143 days until the November election.

jhanel@durangoherald.com

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