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Now for the rest of the story: Indeed, we know why our junior senator, Cory Gardner, who, incidentally, sits on the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is so enthusiastic. It's about a guy he's lavishly praised: Colorado native, oil and gas lobbyist and Trump's selection to lead the Department of Interior, David Bernhardt.

It turns out Sen. Gardner's largest individual contributors include Koch Industries, Anadarko Petroleum. The oil and gas industry, PACs and the real estate industry are among his biggest financial supporters.

I presume that Gardner backing Bernhardt is analogous to any business supporting customers or any entity that supports their best customers/supporters — or contributors.

As to Mr. Bernhardt, he, as acting secretary, is quite deft in his lobbying for the energy, mining and large water interests. During the government shutdown, Mr. Bern-hardt "employed novel tactics" to ensure oil and gas drilling permits could be issued — while not protecting our parks and wilderness.

I would agree with others to say: Mr. Bernhardt is a "walking conflict of interests." The same likely goes for our Fifth District Congressman and self-proclaimed "most conservative member of Congress," Doug Lamborn, and Fourth Congressional District Rep. Ken Buck, who both readily and heartily endorse Mr. Bernhardt, even though their major contributors have a similar conflict of interest.

Coloradans should oppose Mr. Bernhardt and his special interest supporters, including Gardner, Lamborn and Buck.

— James M. Hesser

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