(John Andrews in the Denver Post, Oct. 15) Political crossovers are in. Rick O’Donnell, Republican for Congress, says his hero is the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. His opponent, Ed Perlmutter, boasts the endorsement of our former state Senate colleague, Republican Dottie Wham. Bill Ritter, the Democrat currently leading in the race for Governor, has some Republicans backing him. So I’ll cross over and predict that Bob Beauprez, the GOP nominee for Governor, might become this year’s Harry Truman. Notwithstanding the recent Denver Post poll showing Ritter ahead 50% to 35%, this thing’s not over yet. What Truman, the scrappy underdog, did to his favored challenger in 1948 could be the template for a come-from-behind Beauprez win. Bill Ritter as a latter-day Thomas E. Dewey: imagine that.
Now I’m no odds-maker. This is a guy who thought the Beatles were a flash in the pan. I never play the lottery, and my little boy used to beat me at Go Fish, which his four-year-old may soon do also. Yet I have this hunch about a potential Beauprez upset.
Winner or not, Battlin’ Bob gets my vote for at least ten reasons. Immigration, judges, jobs, taxes, education, health care, highways, water, values, and qualifications – that’s the deciding decalogue in Beauprez’s favor. Here is my case for the Republican nominee:
1. Curbing illegal immigration. Beauprez’s commitment to secure borders was clear from the day Tancredo endorsed him in the GOP primary. Ritter’s embrace of sanctuary and amnesty is evidenced by his outrageous plea bargains to help felons avoid deportation.
2. Appointing good judges. Whether judicial term limits pass or not, the next governor will get to name a lot of new judges. On their backbone will depend both public safety and the rule of law. The conservative Republican is the clear choice here.
3. Creating jobs. Beauprez has done it as a businessman, and he’s equipped to do it as Colorado’s CEO. With attorney Ritter will come overregulation, worker’s comp rollback, favors to labor unions and trial lawyers, minimum wage hikes, the whole job-killing liberal agenda.
4. Restraining taxes and spending. Ritter will fatten the budget with every dollar of revenue that comes in. He’ll probably advocate waiving the TABOR growth limits forever. Beauprez will squeeze the bureaucracy and fight for the taxpayer.
5. Excellence for classrooms and campuses. Ritter’s union friends include the teachers in government-monopoly schools and the professors in Ward’s World, our leftist university system. Figure education reform is DOA with Bill. Score this one for Bob as well.
6. Untangling the health care mess. Beauprez understands that consumer choice and market efficiencies are the only answer to a broken health insurance system and a Medicaid budget that is draining the state treasury. Ritter, as a Hillary-minded liberal, doesn’t.
7. Highways for freedom and mobility. The Sierra Club extremists who want you out of that SUV and into denser housing will present their IOU’s the first day Ritter is governor. Transit will be in and pavement will be out – as will energy development. If you drive, vote GOP.
8. Water for the new century. Density is just phase one for the Democrats’ environmental utopian allies. Ultimately they dream of returning the West to buffalo and beaver. Developing Colorado’s water for PEOPLE is better entrusted to Republicans.
9. Values for children and families. Beauprez unequivocally supports protection of the unborn child and traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Ritter, in contrast, has done the both-ways thing on these core values. To make sure, choose Bob.
10. Qualifications for leadership. Bob Beauprez (about whom as a friend I’m admittedly not objective) is superbly prepared to lead our state from his record in government, business, and civic life. The Democrat, a good and decent man himself, is simply less ready.
While I’m too young to remember “Dewey Wins,” the headline waved by a beaming President Truman, I’ll never forget how the upset stunned my parents. Will Ritter’s rooters get a similar shock on Nov. 7 as Beauprez wins at the wire? This Republican hopes so.