The system seems to work best for those who have the most. The burden of government is too often placed on the shoulders of Colorado families and inhibit their ability to achieve economic prosperity. Our businesses, both large and small, are the backbone of our economy. I will protect Colorado’s businesses from excessive regulation and government overreach. As a state, we must foster an economic environment that does not stifle innovation and excellence, but rather one that encourages businesses to develop and grow.
As governor, I will stand up to those whose knee-jerk reaction to every challenge is to legislate behavior, regulate business and increase taxes and fees on our hard-working families. I will do so by protecting the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, rejecting unnecessary regulations that destroy jobs, and protect Colorado from the heavy hand of Washington mandates.
Unfortunately, homeownership in Colorado has become out of reach for far too many. Homeownership cannot become an option only for the “haves.” Current construction litigation laws must be reformed to encourage the development of affordable housing for our growing Colorado families and the next generation. As governor, if our legislature fails to address this problem, this will be a top priority.
Colorado has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources and fertile soil. Our mining and energy sectors can safely harvest these resources, deliver high-paying jobs for Coloradans and protect our state’s great beauty. Our farmers and ranchers have been long neglected by politicians in Denver. As the stewards of our environment, their land and water rights must be protected.
We cannot have liberty, opportunity, and prosperity unless we first protect our Constitutional rights. I will fight to protect yours.
Transportation – Fixing our Roads
Our roads suck. My family and I drive them every day. Traffic congestion and deteriorating roads have a negative impact on commerce in Colorado. Time wasted in unnecessary traffic delays is time away from family, fun and productivity. State government must be forced to prioritize just like every hard-working Colorado family does. We can, and should, make transportation a top priority. As governor, I will lead on this issue and work with the legislature to develop a strategy for improving our roads and bridges without raising taxes.
Coloradans deserve access to patient-centered healthcare and affordable premiums. Obamacare must be repealed to make this happen. Since becoming the law of the land, Obamacare has driven more and more Coloradans onto our Medicaid rolls. At the same time, it has stifled the state’s ability to be innovative and has driven costs up at the expense of other state funding priorities, like education and transportation. We need greater flexibility that gets Washington out of the way and allows our state leaders to craft a Colorado-specific Medicaid plan that is best for Colorado’s unique needs.
The foundation to a strong economy and community, and the key to individual achievement, is our education system. Colorado’s education system must be improved. We must recognize that every child learns differently and reject one-size-fits-all education models and federal government mandates dreamed up by bureaucrats far from here, such as Common Core. Colorado should strive for an education system focused on the student above all else. The education of our children ought to be a cooperative effort between parents and teachers with an emphasis on the curriculum, not just testing. We will assess and make the necessary changes to our system by encouraging, creating and training future educators to provide the quality education our children deserve.
A child’s parents are their foremost educators. That is a fact. Parents should have the right to determine the best course of their child’s education throughout every level, including public, private, charter and homeschooling options. Regardless of the route taken, accountability based on results is essential to ensuring that all of our children have an opportunity for success.
I am personally invested in the success of our education system. Our four children are in public schools. They have attended charter schools. Our family will be consumers of Colorado’s education system for many years to come. I want them, one day, to have the confidence to trust their future children to our state’s public educational offerings.
The future of Colorado’s economy is dependent on a diverse and educated workforce. Beginning at the K-12 level, we will nurture and develop the future leaders of our communities.
Colorado should be on the forefront of innovation and technology. To accomplish this, we will assist our local school districts to develop high-achieving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs, encourage student participation and recruit/retain STEM educators. As we continue to develop future leaders in STEM fields, we will draw new companies and high-paying jobs to Colorado with our educated workforce.
We must also recognize that every student is unique. Our high school graduates and returning veterans need to be provided with a variety of opportunities for postsecondary enrichment, including 2 and 4 year colleges/universities, technical schools and online education. I will work with the private sector to create a pipeline to quality jobs for our graduates.
The rising cost of college tuition appears to be out of control and has become a burden on too many Colorado students and families. Seemingly insurmountable debt discourages the pursuit of higher education for some and limits the freedom of others who dare to pursue a college degree. In conjunction with the leadership of Colorado’s public universities, we will develop strategies and programs to award our hard-working students degrees in their chosen fields without forcing them into crippling debt.
Safe Communities and the Rule of Law
As a Colonel in the Colorado Army National Guard and as a District Attorney, I understand well the threats our state and our communities face on a daily basis. Our police, firefighters and first responders are on the front lines of our defense and they need to be treated respectfully and with the highest regard. I will vigorously defend them when they are right, encourage improvement where needed and expect accountability at all times.
I will ensure that our local law enforcement agencies have the resources that are necessary to keep our communities safe. As a prosecutor, I understand the special importance of protecting our children from predators and school violence, and protecting our families from the perils of domestic abuse.
As great as our Colorado law enforcement officers are, they cannot be everywhere there is evil and danger at the most critical moments. I will not waver on my support of the 2nd Amendment as a means for our law-abiding residents to protect themselves and their families.
I will fight to defend innocent life.
As a state, justice and decency dictate that we must do more to combat drug and alcohol abuse, and address the wide range of mental health issues that adversely impact our communities and burden our judicial system. To accomplish this, we will encourage increased availability of treatment programs, as well as educate and empower our residents and families to seek treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues.
I believe in the effectiveness of community policing, community sentencing and restorative justice.
Our laws matter. The process by which we create laws matters. I will not act based on the law as I wish it were, but as the law is written. Elected officials are empowered and bound to follow the law.
A safe community is one in which all feel free to exercise their rights and lawfully pursue their dreams without fear of discrimination. I will continue to work toward an inclusive government dedicated to promoting excellence and opportunity.
From the courtrooms of Colorado to the deserts of Iraq, I have spent my adult life fighting for what is right and just.