For Rep. Markey, one small step

January 7, 2009

She won’t call it a lesson from her predecessor, but new Rep. Betsy Markey got to work in Congress on Tuesday by tackling relatively small, local issues rather than any big, national controversy.

Markey, 52, officially took over the 4th Congressional District seat once held by Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, who also worked on local issues but became better-known – for better and worse – as the author of a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

As a Democrat from a conservative-leaning district, Markey’s grip on her new office is as fragile as they come. The National Republican Congressional Committee wasted no time sending out a news release Tuesday blasting Markey’s first votes.

Markey, a businesswoman and former aide to Sen. Ken Salazar, took the first-day pressure in stride. She took her first crack at legislation by addressing two decidedly local issues: a proposed wilderness designation for Rocky Mountain National Park and legislation that would advance the Arkansas Valley Conduit, a pipeline to bring water to southeastern Colorado….

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