Which Way, Beauprez?

Can Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez have it both ways on October 4th? It seems there suddenly may be a log-jam in his schedule that day.

Last month, both Beauprez and Democratic candidate Bill Ritter agreed to meet in Rifle for a lively “oil and gas” debate the evening of Oct. 4th starting at 7 p.m. sponsored by the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado. Locals in the Rifle/Grand Junction area have touted the event as the biggest political festivity since President Teddy Roosevelt rode horseback into Rifle to hunt bear and mountain lion in the early 1900’s. Hundreds of tickets have been reserved for the event at the Rifle High School and arrangements for a live broadcast have been in the works. Pre-debate rallies for both candidates are planned and the Democrats are prepared with antlered hats to counter Republican prison garbed supporters.

Oil and gas development is a big issue in Northwest Colorado and so are the impacts from this industry on hunting, wildlife and the environment. So far, Beauprez has struck out on the Western Slope with his “training elk” initiative and his belief to “let technology dictate drilling in watersheds.” 

But there is a little problem of timing for the Oct. 4th debate — President Bush is suppose to be flying in Oct. 4th for a mid-day Beauprez fundraiser, as reported in Colorado Confidential recently.

Would Beauprez tear himself away from the Denver fundraisers and his supporters to lose the after-glow of a presidential appearance and ready cash to get beat up about oil, gas and elk in Rifle a few hours later? Can Beauprez do it “both ways” that day or now will it be “no way” at the oil and gas debate?