Thursday, September 03, 2009
Follow the Pinon Canyon Money
"Follow the money", they say. That's not hard to do when it comes to the motives behind the backers of Pinon Canyon expansion. I have to give them credit for their recent honesty. Early on in the battle between landowners trying to defend their land and the Pentagon with it plan to turn their homes into mock Afghan villages, there was a lot of high-minded rhetoric about, "supporting the troops" and "military necessity." But recently expansion cheer leaders like Doug Lamborn, Scott McInnis and Mike Coffman have come down to earth; down to the bottom line. In the words of Scott McInnis, "Hell, this is about jobs!" The position of Doug Lamborn is a no-brainer. He represents Colorado Springs with Fort Carson as its primary economic engine and with 40% of the citiy's economy dependent upon the military and defense contractors, it's pretty obvious. But at first I didn't quite understand why Mike Coffman, from way up north in Aurora was weighing in so heavily on the issue. So I followed the money. I googled "defense contracts" and "Colorado." As I expected Colorado Springs is in the top position, but guess who's second. You guessed it. Aurora is not only the location of Buckley Air Force Base, but also of such military-contracting big names as Lockheed, Raytheon and Boeing. Once you've stripped away all of the phoney patriotism, the issue of expanding Pinon Canyon boils down to feeding hard-working, multi-generational ranching families to the money-hungry wolves of the military-industrial complex.