Colorado Dems tout Obama |

Colorado Dems tout Obama

Emily Anderson
Grand Junction Correspondent
Grand Junction, CO Colorado
Emily Anderson/Free PressGrand Junction: Sen. Ken Salazar holds up a bottle of water whose label purports Barack Obama as a candidate for conserving Colorado water.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado” U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) stands by his vote for the federal government’s $700 billion bailout of failing companies. But he warned during an appearance in Grand Junction Friday that misspending the money could lead to punishment.

“We wanted to make sure the Bush administration didn’t get a blank check. We tried to make sure (the bailout bill) included regulations,” Salazar said. As for golden parachutes for executives, Salazar said, “I think it’s criminal.

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) spent nearly a half million dollars on what Salazar called a “fancy retreat” for executives in California shortly after the company got $85 billion from the federal government. They got another $37.8 billion last week.

“I think it’s wrong,” Salazar said of the retreat. “And I think they need to be stomped around for it.”

Asked if the company should get any more hand-outs from the federal government, Salazar said simply, “No.”

Salazar’s bailout talk came when prompted by a reporter following a rally at Lincoln Park in support of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Salazar, former Colorado Gov. Ray Romer and Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture John Stulp all touted Obama as the candidate for Coloradans.

“We’re possibly the key state in this election,” Romer told a crowd of about 70 supporters huddled under the Lincoln Park Pavilion. He said he saw differences between Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCain during the bailout talks on Capitol Hill in late September. Romer preferred Obama’s even-keeled style, he said.

“What do I see from John McCain? He suspended his campaign. That lasted 24 hours and the crisis was worse,” Romer said.

Salazar said he’s backing Obama over his other colleague in the senate because of the differences in their health care, energy and social security policies. he also didn’t like that McCain hinted to the Pueblo Chieftain in August he might take a second look at the Colorado River compact that allocates Colorado River water to seven western states.

“Barack Obama is not going to put the Colorado River on the table for Arizona or anybody else,” Salazar said.

“McCain kind of slipped and stepped in it when he said the river compact should be re-done,” Stulp said.

Romer and Salazar also joked about an incident Thursday when they were pulled over by law enforcement during their three-day tour of Colorado towns in an Obama/Biden RV. Salazar was driving the RV when a Fremont sheriff’s deputy stopped him for having license plate tags in the wrong corner of the vehicle’s plate. Romer said he’d like to place the tag in the proper spot but worried it would fly off.

“Any of you guys got some good glue?” he asked reporters.

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