06/22/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

ORION: Where was Mr. Coffman?

Colorado's Senators Udall and Bennet, along with Representative Perlmutter and other important leaders, saved the ORION manned space vehicle. ORION is important to the national space program, to Lockheed Martin, one of CD 6's most prominent employers, and to our communities for all of the secondary jobs the program creates.

Our Senators spoke directly with NASA administrators when they visited Colorado about the importance of ORION. Rep. Perlmutter wrote a bipartisan op-ed piece with Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) on April 5 in defense of the program. Business leaders from around the state, especially the Jefferson Economic Council, fought hard to retain the jobs that would be lost if ORION was shut down.

ORION is a source of jobs and pride right here in Colorado's 6th District. It is a program that truly represents the spirit of America. So why is it that the Congressman from CD 7 is the Representative we have to thank for fighting for this great program? Where was Mr. Coffman?

Here's what Mr. Coffman had to say regarding this great success, "He's (President Obama) not going back and cutting (the budget) . . ." He added, "I still think we're going to fall short in terms of manned space flight by this direction. But again, I'm glad that at least ORION is reinstated."

He did not fight to retain the program. Yet, when a reasonable compromise was reached, Mr. Coffman criticized both the direction of the program and the cost. There is no rhyme or reason to Mr. Coffman's analysis -- he may as well have said he does do not approve of anything proposed by this administration, even if it is in the best interest of his constituents.

The people of the 6th District deserve a leader who will fight for programs such as ORION, programs that are important to our communities on so many different levels. We need a leader who will fight for Colorado; a leader who will work with those across the aisle and with all our community leaders; a leader who has a vision for the future of our district.