Michael Cacioppo declares his candidacy for Colorado House | VailDaily.com

Michael Cacioppo declares his candidacy for Colorado House

Michael Cacioppo

About Colorado House District 26

Colorado House District 26 covers Eagle and Routt counties. Representatives serve a two-year term. Cacioppo, a Republican, will face incumbent Diane Mitsch Bush, a Routt County Democrat, in the November election.

AVON — Michael Cacioppo says of the candidates for Colorado House District 26 — and with him throwing his hat in that ring there are now two — he’s the only one who sued a Hollywood company for pouring pollutants into the Eagle River.

Cacioppo said he’s running because so many people from Eagle and Routt counties asked him to.

“I had given it some thought over the years, but I felt that as a government watchdog my time was better spent in Eagle County,” he said.

Cacioppo has been watchdogging local governments for decades, along with running local companies and publications.

“This is a terrific opportunity for my political adversaries to get rid of me at least four months a year,” Cacioppo said. “If I’m down at the statehouse watchdogging state government, I won’t have as much time to do that in Eagle County.”

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Cacioppo is a conservative environmentalist who owns and drives what may be the world’s only Toyota Prius without an Obama sticker on it.

“I bought it for conservative reasons: better gas mileage and higher resale value. I didn’t buy it because it’s the left’s favorite way to try to show they care,” he said.

The conservative environmentalist is well known for filing a $600 million lawsuit in Hollywood.

In the early 1990s, the Gilman Mine was leaking arsenic, cadmium, lead and zinc into the Eagle River above Minturn. Cacioppo obtained documents confirming it all.

He called a public meeting and 600 people showed up at the old Minturn High School. Roger O’Neil from NBC News was in the crowd. The next morning Cacioppo was on NBC’s “Today” show and said, “Maybe we should take a truckload of toxic orange yucky Eagle River water and dump it at the front door of Gov. Romer’s mansion. Maybe then we’d get his attention.”

Gulf and Western owned the mine, then Paramount acquired it as part of a larger deal.

When he couldn’t get any local governments or agencies to come along, he filed his lawsuit in Hollywood with two other private citizens.

“The Eagle River is the lifeblood of Eagle County. Somebody had to step forward and help force the cleanup of our drinking water,” he said. “Voters can thank me by supporting me for House District 26, to make sure our rivers continue to run clean.”

Cacioppo says he has a different vison than incumbent Diane Mitsch Bush.

“My vision is: Imagine reasonable police protection, better fire protection for Colorado and its forests, better roads, excellent parks and recreation, a better business climate, a more reasonable tax structure with fewer regulations, better jobs and more freedom.”

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