The truth about Entz | AspenTimes.com

The truth about Entz

Dear Editor:

It really doesn’t matter whether our state senator, Lew Entz, is napping on the floor of the state Senate during recess or while votes are being taken. What matters is what he does when he is awake and (presumably) paying attention.

Now I hope the local news media will move beyond the horse race, he said she said, to an in depth look at our state senator’s record. Entz, the Republican incumbent, is running for re-election against a local resident, CU Regent Gail Schwartz.

Consider the following record votes from the official Senate Journal:

On the next to last day of the legislative session in May, he voted for and against a water quality bill to protect West Slope water from degradation resulting from water transfers. He broke ranks with the Western Slope senators, including his own party, to cast the deciding vote against our interests.

His explanation for killing the bill (17 yes, 18 no) as given to the Pueblo Chieftain? “I just screwed up. That’s all there is to it.”

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And: “When you’re … not paying attention, you get rolled.”

It was his constituents who “got rolled” when our state senator voted against water quality. Aurora and the Front Range battled the bill, fearing water quality issues would prevent transfers for ever more golf courses and development.

In 2004, Sen. Entz was the prime sponsor of a bill that would have rolled back zoning throughout the state to regulations in effect in 1972. This bill was introduced at the behest of a local landowner who had already accepted $8 million in tax money for conservation easements but wanted to develop in critical wildlife areas above Brush Creek Road.

The effect of the bill would be to allow commercial or industrial development on any property that allowed such development in 1972. Where once a hundred units or a warehouse could have been built, such would be authorized again without regulation.

The board of county commissioners begged our state senator not to kill zoning powers but he refused to budge. The local landowner’s position was that he wanted a bill that would let him develop without input from the county.

Again, our senator was presumably awake but not acting in our interests.

And it was our state senator who cast the deciding vote to pass the Tom DeLay style redistricting of Colorado that would have added Pitkin County to a Front Range congressional district. This vote “packing” gerrymander would have made the West Slope 3rd District safe for Republicans in much the same way that five house seats in Texas were shifted to the Republican party by the DeLay redistricting.

There’s more to his record: votes against open space taxing authority, water and air quality standards and renewable energy. It may be indecorous for, Lew Entz, our senator, to put his feet on his desk and catch Z’s during session, but the real story is what does he do when he is awake?

I hope local media will do some fact checking and examine our representatives record in the detail it deserves.

Mick Ireland

Aspen

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