Tipton, Pace trade jabs over tax cuts

Editor’s note: This is the Journal’s weekly roundup of campaign news.

Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, and Democrat Sal Pace skirmished over taxes this week in their race for the 3rd Congressional District.

Tipton wrote an opinion piece for the Pueblo Chieftain that knocked President Barack Obama and Democrats for not moving to extend the Bush tax cuts entirely. Obama wants the tax cuts to expire on earnings above $250,000.

“America’s job creators already face a slew of challenges. The threat of higher taxes only increases the uncertainty inherent in building any new business or starting a new enterprise,” Tipton wrote.

Closer to home, the looming expiration of the wind production tax credit led to more job losses.

Vestas Wind Systems and one of its suppliers both announced layoffs this week in the Denver area, following on earlier Vestas job cuts in Pueblo.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to end the tax credit, and this week, the Republican Party made ending the credit a plank in its official platform.

That puts national Republicans at odds with Tipton, who wants to keep the credit.

But Pace continued his criticism of Tipton for not pushing hard enough against his own party to get the credit renewed.

“Congressman Tipton has done nothing to extend the production tax credit,” Pace said in a news release. “In fact, Tipton voted twice for the (Paul) Ryan budget that would eliminate the wind production tax credit, costing hundreds of jobs right here in Southern Colorado.”

Also this week in the 3rd CD race, Pace unveiled a map on his website to show how the House Republican budget would affect Western Colorado, highlighting cuts to transportation and education along with tax breaks targeted to high income households.

Get on the bus: Romney’s campaign launched a four-day bus tour of Colorado on Friday, with stops along the Front Range and in Silt. Romney and Ryan are not on the tour. They are getting ready for next week’s Republican National Convention in Florida.

Harold and Kumar go to college: Obama’s campaign dispatched actors Kal Penn and John Cho, stars of “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” to college campuses in Greeley, Fort Collins and Boulder. Next week, Obama himself will hold a rally in Fort Collins as he tries to pump up youth turnout at the polls.

Countdown: 73 days until the November election.

joeh@cortezjournal.com