Three major candidates for Colorado governor participated Oct. 4 in Elevate Colorado, a lively forum organized mostly by the South Metro Denver …
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Three major candidates for Colorado governor participated Oct. 4
in Elevate Colorado, a lively forum organized mostly by the South
Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and the City of Glendale, where
the forum was.
The unique format saw former governors Bill Owens, Republican,
and Richard Lamm, Democrat, conduct 2-on-1 interviews with
Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Republican nominee Dan
Maes and former 6th District U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo of the American
The informal conversations included moments of humor, passion
and contentiousness as the former chief executives jointly quizzed
the three hopefuls on topics ranging from political philosophy to
A few of the highlights:
Owens: Colorado is facing some challenges with a lot of
amendments that are on the ballot — Amendments 60, 61 and
Proposition 101. What are your views on each of those?
Maes: … I like all the bits and pieces of them if you broke them
up and implemented them one at a time over a period of time. But
all three at one time I think is going to be a real onerous burden
for the next administrator of our state, given the $1 billion
shortfall that we’re looking at. …
Lamm: We have a structural deficit. It’s more than efficiency or
firing some employees. We’re going to have to stop some functions.
Give us some ideas.
Maes: This is going to seem really silly, but one of my pet
peeves around the state is when you’re driving down the highway and
there’s a big electrical sign over the highway and you can’t read
it because it’s foggy — and then when you finally get close enough
to read it, it says “Foggy Out. Slow Down.” … Every time you see
one of those signs, it’s $150,000 a piece. Is that a wise
investment of our money? …
Owens: Those don’t cost $150,000 each. … To be honest, that has
nothing to do with the structural deficit of the state.
Owens: You’ve supported a lot of tax increases in Denver. Do you
think that we’re about at equilibrium? I mean, have we had enough
or are there going to be more taxes that we’re going to need in the
Hickenlooper: I think that’s impossible to say right at the
moment. But I think at this moment, having traveled around the
state for the last nine months, … there’s no appetite to raise
taxes. So I think it’s a nonquestion. I don’t think any candidate
is recommending that.
But as technology creates opportunity, we become more affluent.
There’s a certain level at which people expect more. They want a
bigger rec center. They want a larger library. What we tried to do
with the city is find efficiencies within the existing government
so that we could expand these services and expand opportunities …
without having to raise taxes. …
Lamm: Would you reverse Gov. Ritter’s order on (unionizing state
Hickenlooper: Everything we’ve been able to see is the impact of
that executive order has been minimal — almost no impact. …
Owens: Have you read the platform of the American Constitution
Tancredo: I have.
Owens: Do you agree with it?
Tancredo: Well, do you agree with every single thing that’s in
the Republican Party platform?
Owens: I’ll do the questioning. …
Tancredo: For the most part, yes. Some of it, I don’t. …
Lamm: Tom, I Googled you last night. … In a speech to the
American Conservative Political Action Conference, you said this:
“If you want to call me a single-issue candidate, just so long as
you know that my single issue is the survival and the success of
the conservative movement in America.” ….
Is that possible as a chief administrative officer of a large
Tancredo: Why not? Why is it difficult to marry both a strong
commitment to philosophy and the practical application of what we
all know needs to happen as a chief executive officer.
Lamm: There’s two aisles there. You’ve got to deal with both of
Tancredo: I’ll bring all the smart people together in the room
and I will tell them this: … Vision all the solutions you want, but
by God, bring me back a budget that’s 10 percent less than what you
got or don’t come back.
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