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Thoughts and Experiences from the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado

Colorado Congressional Delegation shouldn't take Army for granted over Piñon Canyon

Peter

In today's edition of the Denver Post Representative Mike Coffman nailed it when he said that Democrats in the Colorado delegation are taking the U.S. Army for granted. In the article, GOP lawmaker raises stakes in Piñon battle, Coffman states that "the legislation being prepared by Colorado Democrats to permanently prohibit the expansion of the Army's Piñon Canyon training area would severely undermine the future of Fort Carson, setting off a devastating economic ripple effect in the southern part of the state."

What people, especially Congress, doesn't fully understand is that U.S. Army and the military is a tremendous economic force and driver in southern Colorado and throughout the state. Do people really believe that if Fort Carson is no longer, will Peterson Air Force Base remain? The two are dependent on each other.

If you don't think so, look what happened to the miliary in the San Francisco-Bay Area.

During the first-couple of rounds of base closures, the liberal Democrats in the Bay Area, including now Speaker Nancy Pelosi, failed to defend the numerous military bases in there and they lost numerous bases, many that not only served the military but the numerous military retirees in the area.

Closed were the Alameda Naval Air Station, the Army's deep sea port, the Oakland Naval Hospital, and the Presidio San Francisco which was there since before the area was in the United States. Tons of jobs were lost and services that military retirees relied on.

As a resident of Colorado, this can't be allowed to happen.

Representative Salazar is specifically arrogant and short-sighted on this issue. His quote was particularly bad and not worth saying.

"Maybe what we should do is have Rep. Coffman condemn buildings in Aurora because that's what we're fighting in Iraq, we're fighting urban warfare," Salazar said. "But I'm sure the people in his district wouldn't want that to happen."

This is a horrible quote. Comparing condemning buildings in Aurora to purchasing land in Piñon Canyon. It is not what the U.S. Army wants.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding how the U.S. Army wants to acquire the land. People are nervous that they will use eminent domain to take the land. But I think that the U.S. Army should work to with the landowners on a reasonable solution.

However, the constructors of the Constitution did put in the Fifth Amendment that said just compensation be provided to the private property owner. Also, the private property owner is provided due process. In my opinion this should be the last option.

Colorado should be doing whatever it can to keep the military here. They provide a large economic engine that not only generate jobs on the base, but support the economies around them.

Other states understand that they are important to their economy and are trying to steal them away. But we shouldn't let that happen.