(Simple enough platform, “I like everything you don’t” – promoted by Colorado Pols)
You don’t have to read polls to know that real people (none of whom read this blog) are tired of our rude and extreme political culture.
Journalists like to think of themselves as representing real people, so reporters should ask public figures to explain themselves when they make mean and sweeping statements.
Case in point: Joe Coors, who’s running in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, hopped on the syndicated Cari and Rob radio show Feb. 8 and pretty much trashed the entire voting record of Rep. Ed Perlmutter. Coors said:
And my track record, well I don’t have a voting track record, but the things that I would vote for are things that Perlmutter has voted against. His voting track record is, you know, he voted for the stimulus packages. He voted for the Obama health care. He voted against Keystone, which is just absolutely tragic in my opinion. So there’s a clear choice for the voters here on Nov. 6, 2012.
This is the kind of statement that should catch the ears of journalists. The way I read it, Coors is saying Perlmutter completely sucks, nothing good about him, at least when it comes to his voting record.
So reporters should ask Coors if he’d vote against all the stuff that Perlmutter supported: payroll tax cut, unemployment-insurance extension, government insider trading regs (passed 417-2), auto bailout, HIRE Act (incentives to hire unemployed workers), ENDA (stopping discrimination based on sexual orientation), Lily Ledbetter (equal-pay-for-equal work), etc.
And would Coors vote for some of the most extreme Tea Party legislation, opposed by Perlmutter, that moved through the House this session? I’m thinking of last month’s vote not to concur with the U.S. Senate on extending the payroll tax break. Early votes not to extend the debt limit? Not to pass continuing budget resolutions?
The ins and outs of these positions are complicated, I realize, but reporters should be advocates for basic civility and truthfulness, and you can bet that Coors’ sweeping condemnation of the votes of a sitting Congressman is most likely something Coors himself would back away from if asked for details.
There’s a desperate tantrum-like quality in public figures who make sweeping allegations, like Mitt Romney’s statement on a Colorado talk radio show earlier this month that Obama has done “everything wrong when it relates to building an economy.”
Reporters should listen carefully for comments like these, and dig into them.
Partial transcript of Joe Coors’ appearance Feb. 8, 2012, on the Cari and Rob Show.
Hear entire segment here. Joe Coors on the Cari and Rob Show 02-08-12
Hermacinski: Mr. Coors, why at this point are you choosing to run for political office?
Coors: Very Good Question. This thing has been growing on me. What’s happened in the last three years back in Washington DC is almost unconscionable. I just feel compelled and called to stand up for limited government, balanced budgets, and a business approach to running Washington DC. And that’s why I’m in it…. I can tell you, based on caucus meetings I attended, voters are angry. And they are fed up with the liberal agenda back in Washington DC. And my track record, well I don’t have a voting track record, but the things that I would vote for are things that Perlmutter has voted against. His voting track record is, you know, he voted for the stimulus packages. He voted for the Obama health care. He voted against Keystone, which is just absolutely tragic in my opinion. So there’s a clear choice for the voters here on Nov. 6, 2012….
Douglas: …Talk about the importance of [the Keystone Pipeline] and of energy in the 7th congressional district.
Coors: …Personally, I just don’t understand why we import oil from countries that don’t like us. We have more resources in the state of Colorado for energy than whole Middle East combined. Why the environmentalists or the squeaky wheels keeping us from tapping that resource is something I’m going to challenge.