Local legislators not so green, environmental group says

From left, Republican Sens. Dave Schultheis and Bill Cadman Photo by

One of the state's leading environmental groups has issued its annual rating of state legislators, and for the first time in eight years, three of the legislators got zeroes.

Two of the three are from Colorado Springs.

Republican Sens. Dave Schultheis and Bill Cadman, along with Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, voted against Colorado Conservation Voters' positions on all 13 of the bills sampled by the conservation group, which scored votes on a variety of issues: alternative-energy development, mass transit, energy efficiency and environmental protection.

None of the other nine Republicans in the Pikes Peak delegation got a rating higher than 31.

At the other end of the scale, the delegation's three Democrats - Sen. John Morse and Reps. Michael Merrifield and Dennis Apuan - all received 100s.

Neither Cadman nor Schultheis voiced any regrets about their ratings.

"Those people push policies that promote rights for inanimate objects against the rights of humans," Cadman said of the conservation group. "They're out of touch with reality and they're, frankly, out of touch with most of the citizens of the state."

"I get concerned if I score too high with them," said Cadman, who has been a state legislator since 2001. He's never scored higher than 33 on the Colorado Conservation Voters' card. Neither has Schultheis, who entered the Legislature the same year as did Cadman.

Sign up for free: Springs AM Update

Your morning rundown of the latest news from Colorado Springs and around the country overnight and the stories to follow throughout the day delivered to your inbox each evening.

Success! Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Schultheis said all the bills scored by Colorado Conservation Voters "either increased the size of government or cost taxpayers more money in some way," or "would have promoted technology that has not been proven."

Of the 101 legislators rated (there was one midterm retirement and appointment), 42 got perfect scores.

That figure was down from 2008, when the conservation group handed out 51 100s.

The conservation community "accomplished what we set out to accomplish" in the 2009 legislative session, said Carrie Doyle, executive director of Colorado Conservation Voters. "But the votes were a little closer this year," she said.

Doyle rebutted Cadman's assertion that her group was out of touch. Conservation, and particularly the clean-energy legislation that was the centerpiece of the green legislative package for 2009, has "broad support from voters in all parts of the state," she said.


Contact the writer at 476-1654.



Load comments