Eagle County Dems rally against right-wingers, call for strong showing at Ritter, Polis events

With right-wing nutters jumping up at virtually every event featuring a Democratic elected official and shouting about everything from health-care reform to immigration policy to President Obama’s citizenship status, Dems in Eagle County are mad as hell and pleading with their Chablis-sipping, Prius-driving brethren to grow a pair.

In a release to announce an Aug. 19 town-hall-style meeting in Edwards with freshman CD2 Rep. Jared Polis — the ultra-liberal Boulderite businessman with a place in Vail –- the Eagle County Democratic Party issued the following statement:

“Republicans are jamming town hall meetings across the country, shouting insults and booing senators and representatives off the podium whenever they don’t like what’s being said. We would like to have a strong showing of Democratic strength in Eagle County. Let’s not allow Republicans to dominate this meeting as they did Governor Bill Ritter’s meeting last week in Eagle.”

At that meeting, Ritter, a Democrat, was largely able to stay on message about his “New Energy Economy” and fighting the good fight during the state’s ongoing fiscal crisis, but some conservatives in the mostly sympathetic (to Ritter) crowd managed to scold him on his support for a failed bid in the legislature for in-state tuition for undocumented Colorado high school graduates and a controversial mill-levy freeze upheld by the state supreme court.

While one woman from Eagle became a bit shrill in her peppering of the governor, at one point saying she didn’t care about his agenda, Ritter calmly responded by saying he would address those in the audience who did care. He said it was unwise to let one issue like immigration color the debate on issues as vital as health care reform and economic recovery, especially when the state has an obligation to all of its residents.

For the most part, though, the audience at the Eagle event, even the clearly conservative attendees, kept the tone of the meeting civil. Ritter will likely get an even more favorable reception at his next appearance in Eagle County, Saturday night for the EverGreen Ball at the green-built (seeking LEED certification) Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon.

Ritter will introduce Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, the outspoken climate-change believer who heads the nation’s third-largest (and largely coal-gobbling) electric utility. Ritter recently sang Rogers praises for ponying up $100 million for a new wind farm for Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission on the state’s Eastern Plains.

Rogers has a place in the Vail Valley and will keynote Saturday’s event, which is the prime fundraiser for local green groups such as the Eagle Valley Land Trust, Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability and the Eagle River Watershed Council.

Call (970) 343-9532 or go to www.TheEverGreenBall.org for tickets.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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