Garfield County commissioners decline to criticize Boebert over comments surrounding presidential election |

Garfield County commissioners decline to criticize Boebert over comments surrounding presidential election

In this October 2018 photo, Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky addresses a question at a candidates forum.
Post Independent file photo

Garfield County commissioners, while decrying the violent actions at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, offered no criticism Monday of Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., for statements some say helped incite the insurrection.

Debbie Bruell of Carbondale asked the commissioners during their regular meeting Monday if they would join other elected leaders from the 3rd Congressional District in holding Boebert accountable for statements she made before, during and after the Capitol riots.

Bruell, a member of the county Democratic Party Central Committee, said she was addressing the commissioners simply as a constituent.

However, she referred to a Jan. 12 letter signed by 68 elected officials in Boebert’s district calling for a Congressional investigation into the freshman congresswoman’s association with right-wing militant groups.

Bruell said some of those same groups had known ties to the Capitol violence.

The letter cites Boebert’s statements on the floor of the U.S. House as the Capitol was being breached by violent supporters of former President Donald Trump, and in social media posts, calling her actions “irresponsible and reprehensible.”

“Whether or not you condemn Rep. Boebert’s actions, this does continue to matter. This issue is not over,” Bruell said.

Boebert has denied any association with the groups that stormed the Capitol, and has condemned the actions by some of the protesters that day.

She said her “Today is 1776” tweet the morning of the Jan. 6 congressional vote accepting the Electoral College vote confirming Democrat Joe Biden as President, which she opposed, was not intended to prompt the violence that occurred.

“For the three of you to remain silent on this issue is an indication that you support Rep. Boebert and find nothing wrong with her statements surrounding the insurrection,” Bruell added.

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, who spoke at a Freedom Rally Saturday organized by the conservative group Stay Free Colorado, said he opposes all forms of violence, regardless of political motivation.

“I’m opposed to all violence, and that includes not only the violence at the Capitol, but all the violence that happened all summer,” he said of riots associated with some of the Black Lives Matter rallies across the country.

“There’s a way for us to protest and talk, and that is peacefully,” he said, pointing to the Saturday rally in Glenwood Springs and Sheriff Lou Vallario’s comments supporting free speech and freedom of assembly.

“But the sheriff also said, as soon as somebody breaks one window or starts to destroy property, he will step in and arrest people according to the law,” Jankovsky said.

Jankovsky said he paid little attention to what Boebert, or any of the national elected officials, were saying during or after the incident in Washington, D.C.

“I’m a local politician, elected to deal with local issues,” he said.

Commission Chairman John Martin seconded that.

“Ms. Boebert is an elected official, and if she says something she has to stand up and take credit or the criticism for it, just as I do,” Martin said, adding he also disapproves of the violent actions that occurred. “I’m not judging any of the elected officials in Congress, because it’s a total mess in Congress right now.

“I’ll just pay attention to what’s going on in Glenwood Springs, Garfield County, Carbondale … that’s what I was elected to do.”

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