dennis anderson

Dennis Anderson is group publisher for Wick Communications, Alaska and Colorado. He can be reached via email at

Friday afternoon I attended Sen. Cory Gardner’s campaign rally in Delta. There had to be close to 100 people in attendance but the buzz in the crowd was about the one who was missing. Lauren Boebert was scheduled to attend but didn’t. The handlers of the event cited a scheduling conflict. The folks in the audience took to speculating that the story about her past that appeared in the Grand Junction Sentinel may have influenced her decision not to appear. A similar story appeared earlier in the week in the Durango Herald.

Boebert claims she was raised in a Democratic household dependent upon government handouts. She didn’t see the light of self-sustained prosperity until she went to work for McDonalds in Rifle. She would have us believe that once she received her first check as a teenager a light shone upon her. A revelation of sorts that — “Oh, this is how it’s supposed to work. You can actually earn a living and pay your own way.” I wonder if the joke I once heard rang true in her discovery as she read her pay stub — “Who’s FICA and why is she stealing my money?!?!”

If you paid attention to her back story, her family moved to Rifle because her stepdad began working construction in Aspen. Maybe her family did live off of government assistance at some point, but politicians love to tell about their humble beginnings.

Gardner reminded everyone at his rally that he’s from the big city of Yuma, Colorado. I don’t recall if he said it was a one stoplight town or two when he was a boy. “But now it’s three,” he said, which garnered a big laugh. He went on to tell the audience that he can relate more with small towns like Delta. And that rural Colorado is who he is fighting for, it’s why he moved the BLM to Grand Junction — don’t get confused, he’s referring to the Bureau of Land Management not the Black Lives Matters movement.

The article in the Sentinel went on to debunk the other part of Boebert’s shtick, her open-carry with a pistol strapped to her waist. Her story is that someone was murdered in an alley behind her business in Rifle, Shooters Bar and Grill, and from there she wanted to protect herself, staff and patrons of her business. Not long after she and her employees would open carry in her restaurant, even allegedly a server who was not of age. Now it appears the man died of a drug overdose and not in the alley behind her business. She’s had minor dust ups with the law and failed to appear in court only to have charges dismissed or rectified. Doesn’t have a high school degree but does have a GED, which according to the story she didn’t achieve until recently. This is because her and her now-husband had a baby during their final years of high school. Raising a child and keeping up with school seemingly was too much for her. She chose her child.

There’s a lot of little things that have added up to a big issue for Boebert. Will she be a trustworthy representative for District 3?

Well we can also flip to the other side of the coin and realize that she and her husband have built a successful restaurant in a rural community. Not easy to do — many fail. She does apparently hold a degree in the highly attended School of Hard Knocks. I’m a fellow alum. She’s articulate and appears to be intelligent. I heard her speak at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner a month ago in Montrose. There is no doubting her passion for her base.

Basing your vote on back stories given from a stage by a politician is like getting your history from movies that are based on a true story. There’s always license to add dramatic flair.

What I want to know is, from the candidates who are running, what their agenda holds besides the typical party lines. We know for Boebert it’s Second Amendment rights; if I hear one more time how she stood up to Beto O’Rourke I’m going to toss my cookies. Or that she’s pro-life and while her opponent Diane Mitch Bush is pro-choice.

Get beyond the standard rhetoric. Give us some meat and potatoes on what your agenda is for our district. What are each candidate’s plans for balancing environmental protection while supporting subsurface extractions that provide vital jobs for western Colorado? How can they affect change in our health care system? How can they assist in our current housing situation, which is on the verge of a crisis?

When we ask a question of our candidates, we can no longer accept a political answer or the party line. We have to push them but that’s difficult to do when the candidates find excuses to duck out of debates. Boebert’s flaws in her past are not uncommon in rural communities on our side of the state. I’m not giving her an out, but there’s a real possibility she could be our representative and I would rather live in the now and not the past. I would rather know what Boebert’s and Mitsch Bush’s plans are for us and our communities than how she served bad pork at a rodeo event a couple of years ago. Come on ladies, take the stage together and answer questions from the voters. Questions that you don’t receive in advance so you can give us real answers, not rehearsed. We need to get to know the real you and not your shtick.

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