We probably all remember the old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Well, the same holds true in the political world, where seemingly innocuous groups, purporting to represent “non-partisan” causes, actually act as fronts for partisan agendas by misleading the public about their motives.
One good example of this is a group called Conservation Colorado (ConCo), which is attacking me, using out-of-state money, as part of a Democrat push to retake control of the State Senate and restore one-party-rule in Colorado. ConCo may occasionally do hands-on conservation work — at least that’s the rumor — but it primarily serves as another arm of the Democrat political machine, using “conservation” as the warm-and-fuzzy camouflage. Anyone who looks closely at the group’s policy positions, or reviews its rigged candidate ratings, will see where its true allegiances lie.
The fact that ConCo does the Democrat Party’s bidding (and vice-versa) isn’t news: they’ve shared a symbiotic relationship for years. The troubling new twist, however, is the out-of-state money the group is getting — $200,000 according to media reports — from a California billionaire hedge fund owner named Tom Steyer. Steyer’s goal isn’t to promote “conservation” in Colorado. He aims to establish one party Democrat rule in Colorado and put us under the control of faceless bureaucrats in Washington, no checks, no balances. Beating me and flipping the State Senate from “R” to “D” is the key to his plan.
ConCo takes the greener-than-thou attitude that you can’t be a conservationist if you don’t walk lockstep with its agenda. But there’s little about that radical agenda the average Coloradan would embrace.
Like other parts of the liberal lobby, ConCo wants to concentrate greater power over Colorado’s public lands, economy and energy decisions in Washington, using climate alarmism as the rationale. It defines “environmentalism” as restricting access to our public lands, overturning the multiple-use management practices that are key to a vibrant Western economy, and handing total control to faceless DC bureaucrats who just don’t care about us and our home state. It backs policies aimed at destroying Colorado energy jobs, not just in coal country but in the gas patch too, and driving energy costs sky high, by supporting climate dictates from President Obama that violate constitutional separation of powers and impose Soviet-style central planning.
And what happens to anyone who doesn’t believe such policies serve Coloradans well? Well, they are vilified in silly comic book caricatures as enemies of the planet, foes of clean air, proponents of “selling-off” public lands “to the highest bidder.” And the group apparently gets away with such reckless rhetoric – gets away with such lies – because no one expects anything else from this alarmism-addicted ideology.
I consider myself an environmentalist and conservationist in the normal, traditional sense of those words. My record reflects that, if not distorted and taken out of context for malicious purposes. And I’m frankly dismayed at the extreme turn the environmental movement has taken in recent times, under the “leadership” of such groups. I’m saddened that these words and ideas have been hijacked to advance such relentlessly radical agendas.
The group obviously has its own definition of what “conservation” means. But it cannot be allowed to arrogantly define what “conservation” means for the rest of us. Conservation is not taking our lands, our heritage, our home, our Western way of life, and giving it over to Washington bureaucrats. And ConCo definitely isn’t serving Colorado’s interests by carrying out political hits ordered by an out-of-state billionaire, aimed at reshaping our political landscape, and Californianizing this state, by buying one-party-rule by Democrats.
State Senator Laura Woods is a Republican who represents Senate District 19 in Jefferson County.