One thing is undeniable about U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. The guy is a workhorse.
An accidental politician, too. Maybe this is why he’s worked harder than many over 13-plus years with accomplishments that include improving broadband access through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, expanding the child tax credit for a year and securing $4 billion for Colorado River water conservation in the Inflation Reduction Act. Items that hit home in the Southwest.
That’s not to mention Bennet’s more quiet body of work that doesn’t result in one’s name in lights. Serving on committees, helping constituents, negotiating policy and funding, and co-sponsoring – or putting his touch on – dozens of bills signed into law. Bennet’s holding out hope for his stalled Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy Act, which would grant protections to roughly 400,000 acres of federal land in Colorado.
And Camp Hale is now a national monument in large part to his unwavering dedication.
Along with U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, Bennet also introduced the Dolores River National Conservation Area and Special Management Area Act in the Senate to protect this glorious stretch.
Whether leading the pack or working behind the scenes, he gets stuff done for Colorado. We are endorsing Bennet for U.S. Senate.
A Marist poll this month has Bennet leading challenger Republican Joe O’Dea by seven points, 48 to 41. Running his campaign as if he were 20 points behind, Bennet is beating the street, reiterating his record, working for constituents’ votes. Again.
Before taking the Senate seat, Bennet was Denver public schools superintendent, an ideal farm-team kind of job. A stellar superintendent must understand the interiors of systems, work well with people and be accountable for measurements of outcomes – good or bad.
O’Dea heads a successful construction company. If elected, to counter inflation, O’Dea said he’d “free up the natural gas market,” by exporting liquid natural gas to Asia and Europe. He’d also wrangle the exhaustive permit process.
Curiously, O’Dea said he wants federal funding for local police to hire more officers and reduce crime. He certainly has some good ideas.
On green energy, O’Dea prefers a “prudent approach” without enough renewables in place yet.
On affordable housing, O’Dea wants “government out of the way” to reduce costs and incentivize builders.
But in talking with him, O’Dea was a different version than the O’Dea on his campaign website. A page on his site, “Pro-Life Leaders Endorse Joe O’Dea,” includes a letter of support from high-profile conservatives. “As Donald Trump’s U.S. Attorney in Colorado said, ‘Joe’s a rock-solid conservative.’ ”
In our meeting, O’Dea said he’s a “centrist moderate Republican,” “more in the middle” and “more libertarian.” O’Dea’s self-described political persuasions are worlds away from those of a “rock-solid conservative.” He can’t be both. They represent wildly different bases.
O’Dea never met his biological mother. The letter also states, “Joe speaks with courage and conviction on the need to help more mothers make the same courageous decision his own mother did – to adopt.” Mothers? Why not fathers?
Also in the letter on abortion, “Joe does not support a ban in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother or early in the pregnancy. . . Joe’s views – which include strong and much needed restrictions on abortion – have much in common with us.”
This signals more than moderate. Who exactly is O’Dea? We’re not sure where the dial points between moderate and true-blue conservative.
Bennet is easier to know through his legislative work. Easier to trust. Vote “yes” for Bennet for U.S. Senate.