Oil and Gas Rules Colorado

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis makes a point during an appearance at The Energy Summit, which was staged by Colorado Oil and Gas Association, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, in Denver. Polis was questioned about new rules that he signed into law that increase regulations on the industry. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

A year in prison and a $100,000 fine is excessive for a Lafayette man who admitted throwing water on Iowa’s U.S. Rep. Steve King, Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday.

Blake Gibbins pleaded guilty Monday to one misdemeanor count of assaulting a member of Congress after he approached a table at a restaurant March 22 and threw a cup of water at the Republican.

King is notorious for racist and anti-immigrant comments, such as “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies” and his suggestion in August questioning if babies from incest and rapes were excluded, “Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?”

Gibbins faces up to a year in prison, a $100,000 fine and five years of probation, which Polis said on Facebook would be excessive.

“To be clear, I don’t sanction spilling water on elected officials, even Rep. Steve King, but a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for literally tossing a cup of water on someone would be an extreme and unfair punishment for this Colorado man,” Polis wrote.

Opinions varied widely in the comments, and Polis debated back and forth with some. One person said the man should not get a “hall pass on abusive behavior.”

“Absolutely no ‘hall pass’; it’s a question of a fair punishment,” Polis responded. “I don’t want to see a Coloradan singled out for harsh punishment.”

A few days or weeks in prison would be fair for the first-time offender, Polis clarified.

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Kelly Mahoney will sentence Gibbins.

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