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« Health Care...and What To Do About It | Main | With Apologies to Warner Wolf »

CHUN Candidates' Forum Post-Mortem

A good time was had by all. We had a crowd of about 50, but probably 10 of those were directly related to candidates, and it seems as though everyone was there for District 6. Apparently the organizers were disappointed that nobody was sticking around for District 8.

As for the organizers, they did a very nice job, and I want to thank them for their efforts. They had both water and Coca-Cola (the sore throat's elixir of youth) available, kept the proceedings moving, rotated our responses fairly. The timekeepers were polite but insistent on their time limits. I might have preferred 1:30 reponses rather than 1:00, especially when the question is about health care. But with five of us up there, anything else would have been unfair to the audience.

I operated under the assumption that most of those present were Democrats, so while I did make a nod to party affiliation, and the fact that the party needs to regain its branding, I did have a job to engage the Dems rather than my primary opponent.

For instance, it was telling that the Dems all support Romanoff's proposal to ditch TABOR in favor of the teachers' unions. Of course, it was also telling that, now in control of the legislature, they have a sudden disdain for the initiative process. An initiative process that was put in place, as a check on the legislature, by their namesakes, the "Progressives." And they all expressed the absolute need to fully fund and finish FasTracks. I may be mistaken, but I believe that was also in response to my own, ah, skepticism of large, sprawling, inflexible capital spending.

As for my opponent, at times it sounded as though I was the only Republican on the platform.

  • In response to a question about vocational education, she expressed sympathy for state funding of post-high school vocational training. (There are already many private schools doing this sort of thing, and companies will pay for the skills and pay for the training.)
  • She also expressed opposition to the ballot initiatives, not out of hostility to their goals, but out of fear that they were bypassing the legislature.
  • She stated that, "right-to-work" appears to be "hard on the middle-class," despite plenty of studies showing that labor benefits from a free labor market.
  • She claimed that subprime lending was "predatory" and contributed to the "devastation of our economy." This is a populist statement that ignores the fact that the government created the subprime market in the first place.

    For someone who claims to be about smaller, smarter government, we've got four statements here that support exactly the opposite.

    In the end, it was a terrific way to start the Candidate Forum Season. We got to draw some distinctions, and we got to lay out the themes of our campaigns.

    Again, my strength is in answering questions rather than the set-piece intros, but sooner or later, the two-minute egg-timer stump speech is a must.

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