06 February 2012

Caucus 2012 (the prequel)

Tomorrow are the Colorado Caucuses, occurring in various locations across the state.  Make sure to check out my guide to the 2012 caucus and share it with your friends and neighbors who have not attended a caucus before (or need to brush up).

Also, please consider becoming a State Delegate for Matt Arnold (candidate for CU Regent, At-Large) and if you're excited about his campaign, talk about it at your caucus (here are some talking points and flyers you can bring with).  It is important and it does make a difference.  You have the chance, as a delegate, to determine who goes on the ballot, in what order they are listed and potentially prevent a costly primary in many races (county commissioner, state house and senate, and of course, CU Regent, At-Large).  Please let Matt's campaign know if you did make State Delegate and comment about your caucus experience!

03 February 2012

Rick Santorum

I'm not even going to get into the social issues discussion here (that would put this at way more than 2-3 big items I take issue with), but I do want to mention that being socially conservative does not make up for being a big government neo-con, which Rick Santorum clearly is (in fact, being socially conservative feeds into that to a large extent, but I digress).  It's almost like when someone here in Colorado says that because she worked for Focus on the Family, she's a Conservative across the board... right.

Rick Santorum voted, by my understanding, 5 different times in Congress to raise the debt ceiling (I'll look to see if I can find the article again where I read that... but if you have it or have different numbers, feel free to post in a comment).  Now, how can you trust someone who did that to reduce our deficit and be a fiscal conservative?

Additionally, Fm. Sen. Santorum seems to have an issue with using the government to pick winners and losers in the manufacturing industry through earmarks, grants and pet projects, basically promoting bailouts in Pennsylvania of one company or industry over another.  This also is disturbing to me, because it far exceeds the appropriate role of any government, let alone the Federal government.

Consistent opposition to Right to Work laws is not okay.

Mitt Romney

It's hard to settle on just 2-3 top issues with this guy for me.  He's the quintessential politician, and seems to embody everything that everyone hates about politics.

Most important is the issue of RomneyCare for me.  It has almost nothing to do with the mandate itself, and after speaking to a few people following the Denver GOP First Thursday Breakfast, they actually made it worse with their excuses for his sell-out.

There was a ballot initiative in Massachusetts to implement a single-payer system.  So what did Mitt Romney do?  Work with a bi-partisan effort to implement what we know today as RomneyCare, which helped mitigate some of the worst aspects of the single-payer ballot initiative.

...for those in Colorado, déjà vu, anyone?  Yes, that's right.  It's the same argument we heard from Madame House Majority Leader Amy Stephens that resulted in our "free market" "local, state's rights" solution (erm... government-run, federally funded and Obamacare compliant solution, I mean--oh wait, calling it that makes me a misogynistic anarchist... oops...), known here as SB11-200, or AmyCare.

So here is the question: do you sacrifice your "conservative" principles to make something that is still BAD less bad, or do you stick to your guns and let the bad thing pass?  I couldn't sleep with myself if I allowed the first to happen.  Making bad slightly less bad is like sinning, only less.  It's not acceptable in my book.

My biggest fear would be Romney repealing Obamacare, only to replace it with something slightly less bad.  Next would be if Romney makes this kind of compromise on anything else.  There is a point to working across the aisle and getting things accomplished, but not when that involves sacrificing your principles on the altar of political expedience.

Additionally, I have no confidence in Mitt Romney's appointments to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and fear his picks for federal courts/US Supreme Court.

Finally, I don't know if Mitt Romney has the spine to make the tough decisions necessary to balance our budget, reduce our debt and deficit and cut government back to it's Constitutionally mandated size.  Everything he does seems to be about making sure he gets elected the next time--which is fine, but leaves him looking much like Colorado's Democrat Governor, John Hickenlooper.  Case in point... the same-sex marriage issue.  Romney could have done something to stop that, if he's really anti-gay marriage (as he says he is... when he's not for it, that is), but instead he punted it to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, who he knew would uphold it.  Not only is that weak and spineless, it's despicable.  I cannot respect that.

Ron Paul

Anyone who knows me knows that I am, at my core, a huge Ronulan in that I agree with over 90% of what Ron Paul has to say (whether or not he could be or is the ideal candidate is a whole 'nother debate for another time--one that I am refraining from for 2012 because I have bigger fish to fry in Colorado).  So you should hopefully take it seriously when I say there are two problems with him that have me more than a little annoyed at the moment...

The first is his issue with earmarking spending.  Now, I understand the argument that you want to bring back tax money that went to the Fed from your district, but you can't seriously expect us to believe you're anti-earmark when you stick them in bills you know will pass so you can vote against it but still get the money for your district.  That's duplicitous and obnoxious.  I've yet to hear a good answer from his campaign about it.

The second is getting involved at all in the Federal Personhood Amendment deal.  You can't advocate passing a Federal Constitutional amendment to protect life beginning at conception, and then attempt to invoke the 14th Amendment and delegate the enforcement of that to the states.  Then you have 50 interpretations of what a Constitutional amendment means and it becomes disastrous.  Either you go for all or nothing on this one... going halfway is moronic.

Newt Gingrich

I don't know how Gingrich ended up being one of the two most attractive candidates in this race... by comparison, he's certainly one of the more Conservative since the beginning of the race.  But I do have two issues with him in particular...

I think everyone remembers the dreaded Nancy Pelosi-Global Warming advert (if not, watch it here).  I don't care so much about his views on global warming or climate change or whatever the PC-term-de-jour for it is.  What I'm worried more about is what he may try to do about it from a government standpoint.  It's not a government issue, and I would hope he'd keep the EPA and other entities' sticky fingers out of this one.

The second one is, you guessed it, his issues with fidelity.  Of course, I do believe that one can be redeemed and change, but at the same time, I've witnessed first hand how destructive that is to a family... and how irreparable that trust is once broken.  If we can't trust our elected officials, we shouldn't vote for them.  So this issue leaves me torn... I'm not sure if it's enough to vote against him if he becomes the nominee, but it doesn't sit well with me, either.

02 February 2012

GOP Presidential Primary

To be perfectly honest, we don't have a good candidate for President on the Republican side for 2012.  Our bench will be better developed in 2016 and beyond (with the rise of folks like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Allen West, etc.), but if Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are the best we have this year... we're screwed.  I wish we could put them all into a blender and take the best of them and throw it all into one candidate--then we'd be nigh on invincible.  Let me list below the things I like about each guy, and individual posts will follow on my top 2-3 concerns with each candidate.

Newt Gingrich has the smarts and the connections, the experience and know-how (and a track record of actually cutting the deficit, balancing the budget and reducing spending).

Ron Paul has brought focus to economic, fiscal and Federal Reserve issues like no one else in recent history, and he makes a compelling case for focusing on our borders first, and leaving nationbuilding to someone else.

Mitt Romney looks the part--if Hollywood were holding casting calls for the role of President in a movie, Mitt Romney would be your guy, and frankly, he generally has the most articulate surrogate speakers.

Rick Santorum is a great example of faith and family man, the kind that made this nation strong and continue to strengthen the moral fibre of this country.

Today, at the Denver County GOP First Thursday Breakfast, I listened to Representatives from each campaign as they spoke.  I got to ask them a question... for each of the candidates many flaws (the examples I used were Gingrich: Global Warming commercial fiasco; Paul: earmarks; Romney: RomneyCare; Santorum: debt ceiling increase x5 and significant earmarks), how can we as conservatives trust that they will actually reduce the size and scope of government and limit spending based on their records (not platitudes, platforms, talking points or rhetoric--but actual facts from their records).

Actually, the answer from the representative of the Paul campaign disappointed me the most (we'll talk about this in his post later).  But all representatives gave facts to back why they think their candidate would actually cut spending and government.  Romney's surrogate spoke of his efforts to mitigate bad things into less bad (not compelling to me, but a fair point); Santorum's surrogate spoke of his opposition to the bailouts and Paul's representative pointed out that Ron Paul has more "no" votes on record than any other Congressman (just call him "Dr. No") -- Gingrich's representative was not there at the time.  So I do applaud each of them for listening to the specifics of my question and actually giving me a straight, simple answer.  I didn't necessarily agree with all of them, but they do get points for actually answering my question, which never happens at a political event.


I've tried on and off for years to blog with too many failed blogs to count, and am never faithful.  However, there are times were I need a place to post things that Facebook doesn't accommodate very well.  So don't expect consistent content, but I'll be talking about candidates I'm working with, candidates I support, El Paso County GOP Issues, etc. -- predominantly focusing on local and state issues, but I have something in mind for the Presidential Primary, if I get the chance to write it soon.  Drop me a line here or leave a comment if you have comments (no redundancy intended), suggestion, questions or rants!