Former two-term Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese, who moved to Colorado Springs in 2020 to run for the state House District 14 seat (and won the seat), has been elected Republican House Minority Leader in the Colorado Legislature. She replaces Rep. Mike Lynch (R), who resigned as Minority Leader on Wednesday, 1/24/24 after it was revealed that he had been arrested in September, 2022 on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) and possessing a firearm while intoxicated. Lynch pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months probation and 150 hours of community service.
The former longtime CEO of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, Diane Schwenke, has announced she will be running for the at-large seat on Grand Junction City Council in 2023.
Yes, THAT Diane Schwenke.
The one who endorsed Ray Scott as a replacement for convicted felon Steve King. In 2018, Scott double-billed both his legislative and campaign expense accounts for over $1,000 in Uber rides, effectively doubling his personal reimbursements. He was also sued by the ACLU for blocking constituents from his official social media accounts, costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
The same Diane Schwenke who endorsed Laura Bradford for Colorado House of Representatives in 2012. Bradford was pulled over by Denver police for driving under the influence of alcohol during her first and only term in the House. She quit after that term.
The same Diane Schwenke who endorsed Rose Pugliese for County Commissioner. Pugliese worked to kill the Riverfront Trail System by gutting all funding for it, circulated a petition to force D-51 teachers to stop teaching kids about climate change, and also stumped for the disastrous Tina Peters to be elected County Clerk.
Note: In light of Chamber President Diane Schwenke’s recent announcement that she is finally retiring after 25 years at the Chamber, I am re-posting articles about her disastrous tenure at Chamber in hopes that the Chamber Board will see what a boondoggle she’s been and finally take an entirely new direction when they hire a new president after she leaves. This article was originally posted on 9/28/21.
Local candidates usually tout their endorsements by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, but the Chamber’s long track record of endorsing deeply flawed candidates shows that candidates should run from a Chamber endorsement as fast as they can, or at least politely decline it.
Observation of the Chamber’s endorsements going back a decade reveals that the Chamber does not evaluate candidates based on criteria like experience, background, education, knowledge or qualifications to hold office. Rather, the Chamber only considers a candidate’s political and religious ideology before endorsing them, and nothing more.
This extraordinarily narrow criteria has resulted in a flawed process that has proven detrimental to our community many, many times over.
Rumors are that former Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese hopes to run as the Republican candidate for Colorado Secretary of State, but thanks to the recent antics of her Republican pal, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, there is no clearer indication anywhere on Earth that any candidate is so absolutely unsuited for office than Rose Pugliese is for Colorado Secretary of State.
That’s all anyone needs to know, and it should put an immediate end to Rose’s political ambitions in Colorado, forever, period.