Additional reading: Our one pager on the Colorado Senate election.
“A mistake … a failure of leadership … we believed he’d be a statesman … a political time-server interested only in professional security … we regret giving him our support.”
Those are just a few of the choice words reserved for Senator Cory Gardner when the Denver Post editorial board blasted him for voting for a constitutional crisis over a Trump speech talking point: the Wall ™.
Gardner is out of step with the challenges we face today. He ran as a moderate, but his record tells a different story. He has consistently voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and all the protections it contains. Even now, in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis that has already killed over 166,000 Americans, he supports the immediate overturn of the ACA. He opposes LGBTQ equality. He confirmed a man who advocates the privatization of public lands to lead the Bureau of Land Management. No wonder he only has an 11% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters.
Sen. Gardner is trying to portray himself as a “leader” on climate, but no one is fooled by his panicked about-face: his record tells the opposite story. For years (and years and years), he refused to admit that humans contribute to climate change, a fact which should surprise absolutely no one given that the oil and gas industry has put over 1.7 million dollars in his pocket throughout his career. He supported withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords, voted to cut the EPA’s budget by 30%, and has repeatedly blocked efforts to limit carbon emissions. Hitting close to home, Gardner has been widely criticized for failing to protect Colorado wilderness, especially important in the Trump era where all land is vulnerable to exploitation by the highest bidder. Thanks to this record, Gardner (along with fellow Flip the West targets Martha McSally and Steve Daines) has twice received the high dishonor of being named to the League of Conservation Voters’ “Dirty Dozen” -- the twelve candidates with the nation’s worst records on the environment.
With a 100% rating from the Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity, and having served as the Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he can count on a lot of seven and eight figure checks coming his way in outside spending. If you’re on the public’s payroll, you shouldn’t be on private industry’s, but Gardner’s already shown that he’s not above being bought: he’s received nearly $550,000 from Big Pharma throughout his career (including over $80,000 this year alone), which explains why he doesn’t have a single plan to control skyrocketing drug prices, despite the fact that large majorities in both parties support government interference in pharmaceutical pricing.
Courage isn’t defined by what we do in normal times, but what we do when everything we care for is threatened. Coloradans are fed up with Gardner’s corruption, and his acquiescence to erraticism and fear – as “a loyal soldier in Trump’s Senate army” – making Gardner the most vulnerable Senator in 2020. At Flip the West we’re fighting for Democratic victory in Colorado to make sure our leaders put people above donors.
Vote Record Hall of Shame
- Voted against banning discrimination against LGBTQ employees (S.B. 81, 2013)
- Voted to make abortion after 5 months punishable by up to five years in prison (H.R. 36, 2017)
- Voted against expanding background checks to purchase guns (S. Amdt 4750, 2016)
- Voted against authorizing the Attorney General to deny the transfer of a firearm to a known or suspected terrorist (S. Amdt 4720, 2016)
- Voted for the GOP tax scam, a deficit-busting giveaway to multi-national corporations and the super rich that makes our country unprepared for future economic downturns (H.R. 1, 2017)
- Voted against a reserve fund for paid sick leave for American families (S. Amdt 798, 2015)