Editor's note about the Westside Pioneer's Q/A with the state candidatesThe election Nov. 4 will decide who represents two Colorado Legislature districts that include parts of the Westside.
- Senate District 11 – incumbent Republican Bernie Herpin vs. Democrat Michael Merrifield.
- House District 18 – incumbent Democrat Pete Lee vs. Republican Michael Schlierf (pronounced with an “ear” sound).
The Westside Pioneer asked the candidates in both races for basic personal information and to respond to the same three questions. The personal information pertained to age, family, years lived in their districts and career outside politics.
The three questions were:
1. Personal ambition aside, why is it important that you win this race? (150- word limit)
2. What is the biggest issue (or issues) facing [Senate District 11 or House District 18, as applicable], and what do you plan to do about it/them? (200-word limit)
3. Who do you prefer in the Colorado governor race? Why? Note: It’s understood that you will have to work with whoever is elected, but surely the statement of any honest differences would not cause irredeemable problems. (150-word limit)
State House District 18 candidate:
Family: Divorced, with three sons.
Elected experience: None.
Time in district: Skyway area for 14 years.
Career outside politics: Engineering (including 29 years with Intel Corporation as an engineer, operations manager, quality assurance manager and strategic marketing planner); business owner (Helios Power and Light Commercial Energy Auditing); and real- estate investor.
1. Importance of winning. Our State Legislature is assaulting our liberty and economic freedom, diminishing our children’s chances for success in Colorado. The Legislature has passed bills infringing upon our right of self-defense, relinquishing our state sovereignty to the federal government, violating our privacy, enriching crony capitalists, diluting the value of our votes and supporting the bureaucratic takeover of education. I am motivated to fight the agenda of billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, who are pouring millions of dollars into our state in an attempt to swamp our local interests. As we discovered during the recalls, a passionate, citizen-led grassroots effort is a more powerful force. I will carry that passion, as a citizen legislator, to Denver to better represent, no, actually represent the citizens of House District 18.
2. Biggest issue(s). Economy: Current policies dole out your tax dollars in the form of tax breaks and grants and impose restrictive regulations for some, limiting competition and consumer choice and discouraging companies from choosing Colorado over other states. I would work for a single set of rules to create a healthy, predictable, job-creating economy “raising all boats.”
Education: Education has become politicized, is being over-managed by politicians and is obsessed with testing and evaluation at the expense of teaching and learning. I would advocate the repeal and modification of legislative mandates that reduce teacher-student classroom time, burden principals and restrict the ability to remove low-performing teachers.
Defending and restoring citizen’s rights: The current Legislature’s members have attacked personal rights with their gypsy voting laws and infringements upon our Second Amendment rights. They have voted for bills that would violate our privacy by allowing taking of DNA for misdemeanor crimes and imposing nanny-state laws restricting personal choice, such as the use of tobacco products and tanning beds. I will fight for your individual choice and against government control.
Fire and flood: We need to demand that all state and federal resources are mobilized for emergency preparedness, urgent response and long-term mitigation.
3. Governor choice. I will vote for, and support Bob Beauprez. I appreciate his “Competitive Colorado” plan, which focuses on getting government out of the way of individuals, cutting regulations and taking advantage of Colorado’s energy resources to grow our economy. I had great expectations for our current governor – that he would veto legislation that was representative of the out-of-state Bloomberg agenda, and encourage bipartisan cooperation for the benefit of Colorado. He has disappointed me in rubber- stamping highly divisive legislation, playing politics rather than providing leadership and reneging on his promise to cut excessive regulations.
(Posted 9/10/14; Politics: State/Region)