Oct 18, 2012

The Colorado Springs Gazette — Opinion Column

I have seen the future of the Republican Party. Her name is Jennifer George.

George and I spent an hour in a Manitou café getting to know one another. She is bright, articulate, personable, and most importantly, a passionate advocate of liberty. She understands the greatest threat to Colorado’s future is the tax-and-spend mentality of the Democrats. She wants to fight that every way she can.

But just as importantly, she recognizes the importance of liberty in the social realm, and has little interest in making social issues a cornerstone of her campaign. Press her on these issues, and she responds with the importance of the rule of law and the freedom of conscience.

That’s why George is a dream candidate for independent voters.

Independents like the economic and fiscal conservatism of Republicans, but are justifiably suspicious of their social agenda. When presented with the far-right’s relentless drumbeat of “God, Guns and Gays”, independents’ reactions range from boredom to nausea.

George will have none of that. Her district includes Manitou Springs, a very different place from its more straight-laced cousin. It has a more diverse population and “live and let live” attitude. The faithful tend to live their faith quietly, by example, while the nonobservant and less conventionally inclined live their lives without getting in anybody’s business.

It’s a model for how America ought to get along.

It’s also in one of the few competitive districts in this state, maybe the only one. That’s why the battle for District 18 is so important.

The Colorado Senate and governorship are in the hands of the Democrats. The Republicans hold the House by a one-seat majority. If that is lost, the goal of the Colorado Democracy Alliance, Tim Gill, Jared Polis and Pat Stryker will have been achieved. Colorado will be a one-party state, with one-party government, one step closer to Californication.

California, after all, is on the edge of bankruptcy. Unable to meet its obligations, its residents are leaving in unprecedented numbers, many of them settling here.

It is not a coincidence that California is a one-party state. The Republican party of California, with its obsessive focus on immigration and divisive social issues, is rapidly imploding into permanent minority status.

Colorado’s relatively rosy financial picture is due to the tax and spending limitations imposed by TABOR. If the first step toward Californication is government by the Democratic Party, the next step is the repeal of TABOR.

Once that happens, the usual suspects will smell blood in the water. Maddened by the prospect of getting more money by simply lobbying for it, fiscal chaos will ensue as spending outstrips revenue when politicians make promises they can’t keep.

George is only one woman, but if voters send her to Denver, she can help. She is ready to take on the big issues from day one.

She told me, for example, that PERA’s fiscal obligations are a ticking time bomb that has to be diffused now, and she’s absolutely right. She understands that the entrepreneur is the true hero and job creator in the economy. Government needs to stop making it harder for entrepreneurs to create jobs and wealth.

Even if you are a lifelong Democrat, are you so sure your party will behave the way you want if they run the whole shebang? Isn’t there at least a little merit in having a counterbalancing force to curb the excesses of either party? Wasn’t that the whole point of the American system of government? Anybody remember checks and balances from high school civics class? Bueller? Anyone?

Barry FaginHere’s hoping Jennifer George wins in November. If the Republicans lose the House, Colorado will have one-party government and be one step closer to Californication.

Voters of District 18: Do not let that happen on your watch.

Barry Fagin is a contributing columnist for the Gazette. Write Dr. Fagin at barry@faginfamily.net.

Steve Schuck, iconic Colorado Springs civic leader, philanthropist, and school choice advocate, announced today his endorsement for Jennifer George, candidate for Colorado House District 18:

Jennifer is a rare talent, a dedicated patriot committed to fighting to advance free-market principles with a tough but diplomatic demeanor and the mettle to tackle the burdens of public office. There is no question that she will be a champion for liberty and personal responsibility, and will shake things up in Denver.

Steve Schuck

As a founder or co-founder of both the State and the Colorado Springs private economic development programs, the Greater Denver Corporation, the Colorado Leadership Forum, and the Republican Leadership program, Mr. Schuck’s entrepreneurial accomplishments reach far beyond business.

Presently his focus is on improving public policy, both in Colorado and nationally, so that all parents, regardless of their circumstances, are empowered to choose the education they think is best for their children. In early 2003, his efforts contributed to the passage of Colorado’s HB 1160, the country’s newest and strongest school choice legislation. And he and Joyce have backed up their commitment to education by creating and funding Parents Challenge, which currently provides scholarships and grants to 250 disadvantaged kids in both public and private schools.

He has been named “Citizen of the Year” by the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Association of Homebuilders, the Urban League, the Board of Realtors, the El Paso County Republican Party, and has received a medal of merit from the University of Colorado Board of Regents, Step 13′s first award of leadership, the David S. D’Evelyn Award for Inspired Leadership from the Independence Institute, the YMCA’s Woodgate Award and the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise’s Achievement Against the Odds “Pharoh” Award, and was chairperson, with Joyce, of the Easter Seals Telethon and the March of Dimes Mothers March.

Jennifer is just what we need in Denver: a smart, principled advocate for liberty. She’ll bring much-needed enthusiasm, resolve, and unwavering ethics to the State House.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers today announced his strong support for Jennifer George in her candidacy for Colorado House District 18. “I’m grateful to be recognized by our state’s most stalwart defender of the rule of law,” said Jennifer George. “He and I share a respect for the ethics we demand of our public officials, and I’m proud to receive his endorsement.”

John Suthers was nominated by Governor Owens and has served as Colorado’s Attorney General since 2005.