Daily Sentinel Publisher Throws Beauprez and Penry Into a Blender

The guys in charge of the editorial department at the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel may believe Western Slope Democrats and moderate Republicans have more in common than moderate West Slope Republicans and ultra-conservative Republicans.Their distaste of the right wing political posturing and positions of Republican candidate for governor, Bob Beauprez and his sidekick, SD 7 candidate, Josh Penry has been plastered on a number of editorials and columns. This Sunday’s edition was no exception.

It was Daily Sentinel publisher George Orbanek’s turn to slice and dice the dynamic duo:

…After reading about Beauprez’s press conference in the local broadsheet, I concluded that any fair reading of the candidate’s proposal can be summarized as follows: Energy development, by necessity, negatively affects wildlife habitat and the critters that depend upon it. But don’t worry about the critters because a Beauprez administration will figure out a way to dun the oil and gas boys for sufficient funds to grow wildlife habitat elsewhere.

Well, maybe. More likely, maybe not. Try telling all that to the Western Slope residents who have lived here long enough to remember the hundreds of mule deer that once made their home on the old Anvil Points Naval Oil Shale Reserve north of I-70 at the base of the Roan Plateau. That habitat is gone, gone, gone. And, quite likely, gone forever….

Ouch, Bob! That’s a cutting remark. Then Orbanek shredded Penry, a “stage prop” for Beauprez:

…Penry fully crystallized the position of the Colorado GOP with respect to its conservation agenda when he criticized U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar last month for supporting interim protection for the state’s roadless forested areas: “Ken Salazar doesn’t want drilling on the Roan Plateau; he doesn’t want drilling in roadless areas … You can’t say no, no, no. You have to be responsible.”

The Grand Junction state lawmaker’s view is absolutely upside down. He and others throughout his party are saying “yes, yes, yes” to virtually every single energy lease proposed by the Bush administration’s Bureau of Land Management, whether the leased acreage lies in environmentally sensitive municipal watersheds, officially designated roadless areas and, inevitably, the top of the Roan Plateau.

It’s lawmakers like Salazar – public officials who are on record as saying that there are at least a few places in Colorado that deserve to be protected from domestic energy exploitation – who are taking the responsible view, not Penry, not Beauprez and virtually every other GOP candidate running for public office this fall….

Obviously, no political band-aid is ever going to mend the tattered relationship between Penry and the Daily Sentinel.

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Leslie Robinson

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