September 04, 2008

Candidates Still Ignore Western Public-Lands Issues

Ed Quillen's Denver Post column from August 19th, "What the West Wants to Know," is worth reading, if you missed it. He rightly asks,

The pundits who analyze such matters also predict that New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon will all be competitive states that will get a lot of attention when the campaign heats up after Labor Day.

So why the sense of disappointment? Because I haven't heard much mention of "Western issues," even though we're supposed to be important players this time around.

Check out his questions for the candidates, about the Forest Service fire-fighting budget, for example.

As for me, I would like to ask Senator McCain, "Who is your pick for Interior Secretary?" Because if it's another James Watt, there is no chance you would get my vote.

And I would like to ask Senator Obama, "Without any help from your staff, could you name three agencies within the Department of the Interior?"

Governor Palin could answer that question, I'm sure -- of course, she is probably at odds with all of them.

Quillen is right: Neither McCain nor Obama has addressed these issues.

Senator McCain at least produced rare bipartisan unity in Colorado's senatorial delegration with his off-the-cuff remark about re-visiting the Colorado River Compact, causing both Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard to shout, "No way!"

But does Obama know what the Compact is and how it influences population patterns and agriculture in the Southwest and Southern California? I wonder.

Whoever wins, I see plenty of non-partisan issue-oriented activism ahead.


Wayfarer Scientista said...

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LabRat said...

An excellent point, and I'll be scurrying over to read that article immediately. I think that with the usual battlegrounds being the Midwest, the South, and the Northeast, national politicians have simply forgotten how to address Westerners even when we ARE a battleground.

On a side note, with New Mexico and our fierce five electoral votes actually being on the table for once, Stingray and I have been having simply obscene fun with the pollsters that keep calling.

LabRat said...

Although, as a last note, you'd really think McCain would know, wouldn't you- or should? Hmmph.

Chas S. Clifton said...


Thanks for the award, but I don't do these chain-letter award things. The blogs I recommend are in my blogroll -- and I will check your recommendations too.


Pollsters don't call us, but if they do ....

Anonymous said...

You know Obama might just know the answer to the DOI question --

Not sure he would know about the Colorado River Compact, but he is a lawyer and could surprise on that too.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Evidently Anonymous 1:25 does not get the concept of knowing something without Googling it.

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