Bennet bonds with national Hispanic business leaders

Colorado’s newest senator was a big hit at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce annual legislative conference Monday after an auspicious hat tip to his predecessor Ken Salazar, now the secretary of the Interior.

Sen. Michael Bennet’s videotaped remarks also note his tenure at the Denver Public Schools working with high numbers of Hispanic students and parents. Said Bennet, “The zip code you are born in shouldn’t determine where you end up.”

Bennet’s Senate appointment was initially met with derision by Hispanic voters who turned their ire toward Gov. Bill Ritter for not naming one of the short-listed members of the community to replace Salazar.

Bennet’s paean to bipartisanship at the conference nearly fell flat had GOP congressional leaders not scrambled to fix a major snub. MotherJones.com via TheNextRight.com reported that no Republican senators accepted invitations by the Hispanic chamber to attend the event and only two Cuban-American GOP representatives were on the roster. A chamber spokesman said after the Republicans were called out by a conservative blogger for being out-of-step, the RSVPs rolled in.

Note to the Colorado GOP: The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce national convention will be held Sept. 16-19 in Denver. Mark your calendar.

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