This past week, members of the Colorado State House of Representatives extensively debated House Bill 1317, by Representatives Sal Pace and Wes McKinley, better known as the “Block Piñon Canyon Expansion” bill. This bill would effectively preclude the U.S. Department of Defense and Fort Carson from ever expanding its Piñon Canyon Training facility.
Virtually all of our El Paso County delegation spoke out against this misguided legislation and urged support of efforts to allow our troops to have adequate training grounds. However, while Representatives Looper, Gardner, Waller, Stephens and I spoke out against efforts to shut down the expansion of Fort Carson training grounds, the very representative who was elected to represent Fort Carson was AWOL.
Representative Dennis Apuan, who is supposed to be the “voice” of Fort Carson, was mute. Not once during the entire debate did Apuan rise and speak on behalf of the brave men and women of Fort Carson who could have used his active endorsement to support their training efforts as they prepare to protect our nation at war. Representative Apuan not only did a poor job of representing his constituents on HB 1317 when a strong voice was needed — but he let down his entire district, which benefits from a healthy Fort Carson.
When dynamic leadership was needed to defend the Army and Fort Carson, Representative Apuan let others do the work and never even got out of his chair. Our soldiers and our community deserved better.
Reps. Larry Liston, Bob Gardner,
Mark Waller, Marsha Looper and
El Paso County Republican legislators