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State Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Democrat and former Vail Town Council member, helped unveiled a new TV ad for the U.S. Senate campaign of former Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday – an ad she co-stars in with other local elected officials critical of incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner for blocking the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act.
Hickenlooper, who in 2016 signed Donovan’s Colorado Public Lands Day bill into law at a ceremony in Vail, said Monday that of all the many things he’s disagreed with Gardner on over the years, the failure of the state’s junior senator to support the CORE Act is “one of the most perplexing.” Here’s the Hickenlooper press release on the new ad campaign:
During a virtual event Monday morning, John Hickenlooper unveiled a new TV ad, titled “CORE”, in which Coloradans call out Senator Cory Gardner for blocking the decade-in-the-making Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, which would protect 400,000 acres of Colorado public lands.
On the call with local leaders who’ve pushed Senator Gardner to support the CORE Act, Hickenlooper discussed the importance of preserving our public lands and reaffirmed his strong support for the collaborative, bipartisan legislation. Unlike Gardner, Hickenlooper has a long record of protecting Colorado’s great outdoors and places like the Thompson Divide.
Despite being a member of the majority on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Gardner has allowed the CORE Act to gather dust. He refuses to support the bill and has even called it a “partisan, political tool” — despite the bill earning support from every single county the bill impacts. E&E News recently reported that Gardner “made a series of halfhearted attempts at compromise, where they argued for new legislative language but never responded to follow-up requests.”
“While there’s near-universal consensus on passing the CORE Act in Colorado, it’s been gathering dust in Mitch McConnell’s Senate where Cory Gardner has refused to sign on,” said Hickenlooper. “Of all the things I’ve disagreed with Cory Gardner about, this is one of the most perplexing. It’s a direct contradiction to the best interests of Colorado and the voters of Colorado, and I will do everything in my power to make sure we get this done if I am elected to the Senate.”
“This bill to establish more wilderness would seem to have a very easy pathway,” said state Senator Kerry Donovan. “It’s been passed in the House, it has huge statewide support. But time and time again, Senator Gardner presents one excuse or another for why he can’t possibly support the CORE Act even though I can’t find anyone who is asking him to not support it when I talk to citizens across my district and across the state.”
“Now more than ever we need this federal protection because of all the rollbacks that have happened under the Trump administration that Cory Gardner has just been in lockstep with every step of the way,” said former San Miguel County Commissioner Joan May. “It becomes more important than ever.”
“In 2018, Joan May and I did have a face to face meeting with Senator Gardner. Three times, he said to us that he would not stand in the way of the CORE Act. But he did and he continues to obstruct it today,” said San Juan County Commissioner Pete McKay. “I’m not sure I can trust Senator Gardner when he makes statements like that. That’s why I’m supporting Governor Hickenlooper for his campaign for Senate. John Hickenlooper knows what Colorado wants, John Hickenlooper knows what San Juan County wants and needs.”
“I voted for Cory Gardner in 2014 because I thought he’s a fifth-generation Coloradan, he gets it, it’s in his DNA to want to protect these lands for all Coloradans,” said business co-founder Patrick Webber. “But for some reason, he doesn’t. He wants to block that. So that begs the question to me, is who are you saving those lands for? And it’s clear to me that it’s for the benefit of the few, and the oil and gas companies and not for the benefit of the many and the future generations of Colorado. So that’s why we’re supporting Governor Hickenlooper for the Senate and we know he knows what makes Coloradans tick.”
“We may reside in Denver now, but we grew up in the mountains and we understand that a lot of these mountain communities — gateway communities along the Continental Divide Trail Coalition — their entire economy is supported by that outdoor recreation and if that isn’t there for us to enjoy and for tourists to enjoy, their economies suffer,” said business co-founder Kevin Webber. “So it’s vitally important to our lifestyle and our heritage as Coloradans to support the CORE Act and that’s why we’re supporting Governor Hickenlooper.”
Watch Hickenlooper for Colorado’s new ad by clicking HERE.
Here’s the ad transcript:
The CORE Act will protect some 400,000 acres of public lands, including the Thompson Divide.
KERRY DONOVAN: We’ve come together to protect this precious land from drilling.
MARK HARVEY: The CORE Act is being held up by Cory Gardner.
JOAN MAY: Cory Gardner lied to me. He said he would never get in the way of the CORE Act.
PETE MCKAY: And he said that he wouldn’t block it, but he has.
PATRICK WEBBER: I think he’s deep in the pockets of the oil and gas companies.
JOAN MAY: John Hickenlooper has already shown his support.
MARK HARVEY: He understands what makes Colorado, Colorado.
HICKENLOOPER: I’m John Hickenlooper, and I approve this ad.
ALL: And the CORE Act.