Log Cabin Republicans have taken to print and radio to depict Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis as a millionaire who acts more like royalty than an elected official, attacking his support of a ballot measure that would allow local communities to ban fracking.
“King Polis has 68 million reasons not to care about jobs in Colorado,” reads an ad running in the Denver Post on Wednesday, referring to Polis’s estimated $68 million net worth.
A photo of Polis doctored to look like he’s wearing a crown and robe accompanies the ad.
Polis supports an effort by a group called Local Control Colorado to allow cities and counties to regulate oil and gas operations, an authority that currently rests with state regulators. He’s come under fire by members of both parties who say that, if passed, the ballot measure will cost the state dearly in jobs and revenue.
Opponents of the measure cite a study by the University of Colorado, which estimates that a statewide ban on fracking could cost 68,000 jobs and $8 billion in gross domestic product for the state in the first five years.
Polis became a vocal advocate for local control over oil and gas development when a fracking rig appeared near a vacation getaway he owns near the town of Berthoud.
“Congressman Polis is the latest in a litany of limousine liberals who feels he knows what’s best for everyone, but in reality he’s nothing more than a NIMBY nanny-stater willing to dump millions of dollars of his fortune into a crusade to force everyday Americans to bend to his will,” said LCR Director Gregory T. Angelo in a press release announcing the ad campaign.
“Maybe if Polis spent less time counting his money and more time imagining what it must be like to own only one home, he’d realize that banning responsible energy development hurts Colorado’s families,” he said.
Although LCR is the largest organization representing gay Republicans, with some 30,000 members, Polis — the first openly gay representative of either party elected to Congress — insinuated the group was insignificant in comments to the Denver Post.
“Oh, did all three of them chip in?” he said when asked about the ad buy.
“Log Cabin Republicans of Colorado has opposed Congressman Polis and his obsession with this bad-business ballot initiative for months,” LCR state director George Gramer said in the press release. “We’re excited to join with Log Cabin Republicans National HQ in Washington, D.C. to turn up the heat in our fight for the individual liberty of all Coloradans by pushing against Polis’ proposal.”
The proposed ballot measure has divided Colorado’s Democratic Party, with Gov. John Hickenlooper opposing local-level control over oil and gas operations. He’s joined by former governors from both parties and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, among others.
“It’s clear the anti-energy and anti-jobs agenda of Congressman Polis is facing overwhelming bipartisan push back from across Colorado,” said Energy In Depth Colorado Director Randy Hildreth, in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“That’s why former Colorado Democratic Gov. Roy Romer has called such proposals ‘dumb’ and ‘stupid.’”
There are more than a dozen measures proposed for the November ballot that both support and attack Colorado’s oil and gas industry, according to the Post. Polis helped develop nine of them.
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