Questions and answers: Diane Mitsch Bush and Lauren Boebert

Diane Mitsch Bush

Author’s note: These questions were posed to Diane Mitsch Bush in response to numerous accusations made by Lauren Boebert in her campaign rallies in Meeker, Craig and Steamboat Springs in late September.

Aspen Journalism: Boebert routinely refers to you as a “far-left, job-killing socialist.” How do you react to this assertion?

Diane Mitsch Bush: That’s a load of garbage. First, I’m no socialist. I earned a reputation as a pragmatic, independent leader in the State House. I stood up to Democratic leadership on water issues and worked with Republicans to get things done. More than 70 percent of my bills were co-prime-sponsored by Republicans.

Second, I’ve got plenty of plans to create good-paying jobs in CD3. One of my top priorities is creating a federal infrastructure bank. That will mean reliable funding for improvements to our water infrastructure, broadband, the electric grid and transportation infrastructure — and good-paying jobs to accomplish those projects. Not only will that put people back to work, but it’ll also rebuild our communities.

COVID has also shown how weak the medical supply chain is, and I propose incentives for medical supply companies to manufacture their products in CD3. We’ve seen shortages in Personal Protective Equipment, ventilators and other supplies throughout the pandemic. There’s no reason that we can’t create more of those products right here in CD3 to create good-paying jobs and save lives.

Finally, public lands are responsible for more than 500,000 jobs across the state every year. Colorado’s outdoor economy relies on public lands, and I’m fighting to keep public lands in public hands.

AJ: When she was in Steamboat Springs last week, Boebert referred to Steamboat as “the heart of the lion’s den.” I assume she was talking about the town being largely Democrat. What is your reaction to such a statement? Does it indicate to you that she is disinclined to represent, or maybe even understand, the interests of largely Democrat-voting ski/resort towns that make up the economic backbone of much of CD3?

DMB: Let’s clarify one thing about the mountain counties — they’re not rich. Most of the high-income folks are second homeowners. When you look at the wages in the mountain counties, they’re much lower than Denver. People struggle here. They struggle with health care costs, child care and housing. People often have to work two or three jobs just to pay rent. Now, with COVID, they’re really struggling, they really can’t make it.  

This is a geographically large and diverse district, and the next representative for CD3 needs to represent every town and every county — from Gunnison to Pueblo and Cortez to Steamboat. The fact is, there are issues that affect everyone in this district no matter where they live, like the ridiculous cost of health care and finding a good-paying job. That’s why I’m talking to voters everywhere — not just in blue counties and towns. If Boebert can’t treat people with respect, no matter where they live, how can we expect that she’ll represent us all, not just her supporters?

AJ: She said liberals want to “over-regulate, over-tax and overspend, ultimately destroying everything we are at home building.” Reaction?

DMB: I’m all about cutting red tape, and that’s just what I did in the State House. Some regulation is important for maintaining public health and safety, but I’m all for getting rid of unnecessary regulations.

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