Colorado

Matt Jones Joins List Of Single Issue Environmentalist Candidates

Campaigns

Rep. Matt Jones, in a bid for the open Senate seat in District 17, has made anti-fracking policies and environmentalist issues the focal point of his campaign.

Jones, founder of the inside liberal leadership push known as the House Majority Project, was first elected to the Colorado congress in 1987 where he served until 1993. There, Jones spent his time attempting to garner support for conservationist performance contracting in the state and was one of the first in the state to advocate increased government intervention into energy regulation and auditing. While his campaign literature claims such legislation has saved money for two cities in the state, Jones has not produced any sources or documentation to substantiate the claim.

Upon returning to the State Assembly in 2010, Representative Jones advanced policies supported by environmental groups around the state. During the last legislative session Jones authored legislation to allow alternative low-speed electric vehicles, to be driven on highways throughout the state. Jones applauded strict anti-fracking regulations passed by the city of Longmont last month, going so far as to publicly endorse the new law. This same policy has caused Longmont to be sued by the state’s Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for being “in conflict with, and preempted by, state regulation.” 

The campaign site for Jones lacks any listed campaign platforms, issues tab, or information regarding his stances on legislative topics, though it does proclaim that he was one of the first lawmakers to push for major anti-fracking legislation in the House. Endorsements of Jones, listed on his campaign site, tout his “focus on clean energy”, and data available on the Secretary of State’s TRACER site show a reliance on donations from environmentalist groups and their leaders throughout the state. The anti-fracking bill authored by Jones came under immediate fire from Republicans and Democrats alike, including Governor Hickenlooper’s office, causing the bill to die in committee.

Campaign finance disclosures for Jones reveal strong backing from unions and lobbyists who toe the line for the liberal environmental groups in Colorado. Lobbyists ranked number one in donations to Jones’ 2010 campaign, giving $13,000, while public sector trade unions came in second. The single largest contributor to the Jones campaign was Jones himself. Campaign finance reports for the 2012 cycle show similar trends in support. Matt Jones’ personal political giving show donations to leading environmentalist groups like Colorado Conservation Voters, an organization that campaigned for the retention of federal “roadless rules” in Colorado, hampering mitigation efforts during many of the state’s wildfires earlier this summer.

 

Follow Kyle Forti on Twitter: @kyleforti