Hick Triangulates Off Vicki Marble In Latest PUC Appointment

Former GOP Rep. Glenn Vaad.

Former GOP Rep. Glenn Vaad.

As the Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reports:

Gov. John Hickenlooper [Tuesday] appointed former state Rep. Glenn Vaad to the Public Utilities Commission, calling the former transportation department employee “a distinguished leader who has dedicated much of his life to public service.”

“He knows how to listen to all sides of an issue and work with varied interests to find common ground,” Hickenlooper said in a news release. “Glenn is calm, courageous and a good addition to the Public Utilities Commission.”

Former GOP Rep. Glenn Vaad is no far right winger, and was defeated in 2012 in the Republican primary for the Colorado Senate District 23 seat by now-Sen. Vicki Marble–a primary Marble won with the support of Dudley Brown and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. Since then, as is a matter of public record, Sen. Marble has proven a rather spectacular embarrassment to her fellow Republicans, which we have to imagine is a point of amusement for former Rep. Vaad.

As far as Vaad's suitability for appointment to the Public Utilities Commission, supporters point to Vaad's vote in favor of the 2010 "Clean Air, Clean Jobs" legislation to switch many Front Range coal power plants to natural gas. Bartels notes obligative groans from the coal industry. But in 2012, Rep. Vaad also voted to roll back Colorado's landmark renewable energy standard.

Bottom line: Vaad is certainly a more reasonable Republican than the one who defeated him for Shawn Mitchell's Senate seat. With that said, his performance on the PUC may or may not please Hickenlooper's increasingly energy-restive Democratic base. That will depend on how Vaad actually votes on the commission; and those votes will reflect on Gov. Hickenlooper as well.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Triangulation as executed by Dems has been failing now for several election cycles. (See J. Salazar, B. Markey.) Those in the true Professional Left need to realize that fact and explain it to the elected leaders they serve and advise. 

  2. Did this position need to be filled by a Republican (i.e. was there a partisan requirement of some sort), or is this a move by the Governlooper to show his Democratic base that he'd rather have moderate Republican votes than Democratic votes?

    This isn't the first time Hick has made an appointment that is disappointing to his base.

  3. Craig says:

    Yawn.  He's going to continue to do it until he's out of office.  Won't someone challenge the nincompoop?  I might have to vote for Tancredo.

  4. HeavyG says:

    As someone who testified in support of reasonable environmental legislation a handful of times before Mr. Vaad's committee in the Legislature, I can say that Mr. Vaad never met a piece of environmental legislation that he liked.

    With several big dockets coming before the PUC in the next year, this move does not bode well in moving the needle further away from fossil fuels.  Of course he supported the 2010 CACJA, oil and gas industry was hugely in favor of it, and he is from Weld County.  Last time I checked, there aint much coal up there.

    I certainly think there were better R's to nominate based on their voting records.  Losing a primary to the Crazy Lady doesn't mean you are a "moderate".  Frackenlooper disappoints again…

  5. BurningBrule says:

    Vaad was selected by Xcel.  He's a 70-something genial former legislator.  By all accounts, he is a very nice person but, mark my word, he will be essentially a rubber stamp for what Xcel wants.  He will follow the lead of the present Chairman, Joshua Eppel, who has been and will continue to be very accomodating to Xcel.  Winners?  Xcel and Comcast and other smaller gas and electric utilities.  Losers?  Backers of solar – especially rooftop solar and, most especially, ratepayers.  Ratepayers will take it in the shorts.  My advice?  Buy Xcel stock.  Colorado (Public Service Electric and Gas) represent more than one-half of Xcel's net profit.



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