Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp Monday issued a statement of support for Jean White, the wife of state Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, after she was named to fill his seat by a Republican vacancy committee in Craig. Al White is stepping down to serve as head of the Colorado Tourism Office for the administration of governor-elect John Hickenlooper.
“I would like to congratulate Jean on her appointment to the 8th Senate District of Colorado,” Kopp said. “The Senate Republicans look forward to working with her on the issues of streamlining burdensome regulations and getting government out of the way so employers can begin getting people back to work.”
Jean and Al White owned and operated several ski shops, a bike shop, and a mountain lodge in the Winter Park area before moving to Hayden.
But Kopp blasted the selection by Hickenlooper Monday of Ellen Golumbek to head the Department of Labor and Employment. Golumbek currently is the Colorado director of America Votes and before that was the first woman president of the Colorado AFL-CIO.
“Governor-elect Hickenlooper’s appointment to the Department of Labor may certainly take some of the air out of the bipartisan atmosphere he has promised to promote as governor,” Kopp said. “His selection of a noted progressive activist and union boss in Ms. Golombek certainly will raise plenty of eyebrows in Colorado’s business community. And for good reason.”
Kopp said Hickenlooper at a recent Colorado Press Association event said he would foster a pro-business political climate: “This appointment seems to be a complete reversal of that policy.”
“Nonetheless,” Kopp said, “Ms. Golombek will go through a Senate confirmation process. Senators have the constitutional obligation to put to her the same critical questions that every Colorado employer will be asking: Will she promote policies that make it more costly or less costly for businesses to operate in Colorado? Will she be on the side of the bureaucracy or the taxpayer?”
In a release announcing her appointment, Hickenlooper said, “Ellen is a proven strategic thinker who has a collaborative work style and extensive experience working with the labor and business communities.”