Why I'm picking Walker Stapleton for Governor

Running for Governor of Colorado is hard, and I have the scars to prove it.

Twenty-eight years ago, I won the Republican nomination, but lost badly to the Democratic incumbent, Roy Romer. Back to the drawing board. 

Then twenty years ago, with an open seat, Coloradans elevated Bill Owens, a two-term state treasurer and proven conservative change agent to the governorship. He did us proud.

Now after a dozen years of liberal Democrats as ineffective CEO's for the state, opportunity beckons again. Ballots for the June 26 primary go out soon.

Once more it's an open seat, and against the Dems' leftist field, any of our Republican contenders are far better suited to lead Colorado.

I'd gladly see GOP contenders Doug Robinson or Vic Mitchell or Greg Lopez elected in November. They've all run well.

But my vote in the June primary goes to Walker Stapleton.

Like the 1998 winner, he's a two-term state treasurer and proven conservative change agent.  

I wasn't for Walker in his first race, 2010. He has won me over as a strong campaigner and a good steward of his executive duties.

He's ready to be our next governor. And I like it that he likes President Trump, don't you?

When you vote this month, please join me in supporting Walker Stapleton for Colorado Governor.


pix walker stapleton 2018.png

Jerry Brown slurs Whitman -- earns NOW's endorsement

The timing couldn't be more profound: just one day after California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown is caught on tape as a campaign aide calls Meg Whitman a "whore", the National Organization for Women announces -- you guessed it -- that it is supporting Jerry Brown for Governor. Proving that liberal orthodoxy trumps gender every time, NOW not only is endorsing a man over a woman in California, but it is apparently not concerned with Brown's acceptance of sexist, demeaning language being used against his opponent. In NOW's view, Whitman -- who is pro-life -- apparently doesn't warrant the kind of protection from mysogynist attacks that the group's charter is supposed to provide all women. But as it has proven time and time again, female conservatives are the wrong kind of women. Not that NOW can't be enraged by a politician's words -- just not those of Democrat politicians. Posted prominently on the NOW website, the group is vehemently denouncing Senator Jim DeMint's "dangerous comments" on gays and sexually active single women "being unfit to teach". According to NOW, DeMint's comments to a "conservative church group" make him a "sexist bigot" who is "ignorant, homophobic" and unfit to serve in the U.S. Congress. DeMint actually made these comments six years ago, and was only recently reflecting on the impact they had in the media in a speech he gave last week to the Greater Freedom Rally in Spartanburg, South Carolina. And he actually said that "gays and unmarried pregnant women" should not be public school teachers -- a statement that NOW extrapolated to mean "sexually active single women" -- as if every sexually active single woman gets pregnant. Leaving aside the wisdom of DeMint's views on these issues, is putting forward a value statement on public education really worse than calling a woman a "whore"?

For NOW -- which has never met a conservative woman it can support, a man who uses a sexist slur is still better than a self-made woman who embodies the very feminist values of hard work and female mobility that the group is supposed to stand for.


Expect a Flawed Governor

A 2010 Republican Survival PlanBy John Andrews

With reluctance, I will cast no vote for the office of Governor of Colorado in this year's general election. The choices are so unsatisfactory that I cannot in good conscience put my moral weight behind any of them. When my fellow citizens have made their choice on Nov. 2, no matter who wins, our state will be looking at a seriously flawed claimant to head the executive branch for the next four years. I say this without personal disrespect to any of the candidates. And I am confident that our constitutionally resilient self-government will come through the next governor's term all right, just as we always have since 1876. But it will occur with this elector having abstained (which matters little to anyone else, I know).

Having known every Colorado governor since 1962, and having been the Republican nominee for governor in 1990, I have a good idea of what it takes to do the job, and a high standard for any individual I would support in seeking the job.

The candidate who earns my endorsement and vote must measure up on four C's: character, competence, conservative principles, and continuity of institutions.

A word of explanation about the fourth: it is inseparable from the third. Conservatives conserve; they don't impulsively improvise. When someone asks to be entrusted as chief executive in willful disregard of our two-party system because his persona and the momentary circumstance are so compelling, it's hard to see such a candidacy as genuinely conservative. And so it's hard to grant the candidate our trust.

Applying my four C's to the major contenders for governor in 2010, how does each man score?

John Hickenlooper, the Democrat, is certainly no conservative. I believe we'll also have reason to doubt his character when all the revelations of this, the Mayor's first-ever tough partisan race, are known.

Dan Maes, the Republican, talks conservative and competent, but the super-salesman does not talk straight. The shine has worn off all his pretensions, raising grave questions of integrity.

Tom Tancredo, the ex-Republican now running as an independent (borrowing the American Constitution party line), doesn't put up a reassuring score on any of these four criteria either. Hearing of his crack about elbowing aside Lincoln himself if necessary, it seemed my old friend had somehow become a different person -- a person I'm sadly unable to vote for.

Splitting the Colorado Republican Party in order to rescue it (and ostensibly rescue the state) from an unusually deficient gubernatorial nominee has overtones of the misguided warrior who burned down the village in order to save it. The "rescue" appears likely to worsen our state's governance in the long run, by encouraging freelance personality trips and factional power plays at the expense of fair competition for the political center under rules that everyone accepts.

Maes would be a flawed governor, so would Hickenlooper -- but I prefer to risk 48 months of either one in power, rather than add momentum to a rule-or-ruin experiment with radical populism that could leave us with three (or eventually several) dysfunctional parties.

I look charitably upon fellow Republicans who reach a different conclusion from mine and actively support one or another of the candidates. I hope all of us who believe that the GOP, in most circumstances, governs best can build a firewall around our gubernatorial disagreement and discouragement in order to work aggressively for GOP victories in the legislature, constitutional offices, Congress, and US Senate. The opportunity 2010 presents, and the consequences of an all-ticket defeat, simply leave us no choice.

Expect a flawed governor. It's a certainty. Think long-term and prudentially, not impulsively. It's the conservative way. Cordon off the gubernatorial schism. It's fatal otherwise. And do our utmost, regardless of the Maes-Tancredo fight, to help other Colorado candidates ride the conservative tide and win. That's my 2010 Republican survival plan.

Maes should quit as GOP nominee

This morning I called Dan Maes to withdraw my endorsement and urge him to end his candidacy, for the public good. As a conscientious Republican who earlier voted for Dan, I cannot support a manifestly unfit nominee. He has flunked his job interview with the people of Colorado in the weeks since Scott McInnis faded. The party should cut Maes loose if he does not resign the nomination.

I intend to write in a vote for Jane Norton for Governor.

Disunity may sink GOP this fall

(Nantucket, Aug. 16) The two topics dominating summer cocktail chatter on this resort island thirty miles off the coast of Massachusetts both have a nautical flavor. The first involves the return of the Great White Sharks. Ever since Peter Benchley made this area the thinly disguised setting for his blockbuster novel Jaws the Great whites have become a staple of local legend. A wrongheaded environmental Protection Agency ban on seal hunting has led to a population explosion among the furry little critters all along the Northern New England coast. Unimpressed by EPA logic Mother Nature sought to redress the balance by sending a bulletin to Atlantic based Great Whites (and smaller sharks) that liberals were sponsoring a “Free Lunch” in these waters. Soon shark sightings abounded leading to many beach closings and other attendant economic dislocations. The second involves island summer resident Massachusetts Senator John Kerry who got caught trying to evade taxes on the seven million dollar yacht he just had built in New Zealand (so much for Buy American). Johnny thought no one would notice if he quietly listed the boat’s berthing location in nearby Rhode Island which has no tax on these luxury items. By doing so he would deprive financially strapped Massachusetts of $420,000 sales tax revenue and Nantucket where the boat will usually be docked of $70,000 excise tax. Unfortunately for Johnny someone tipped off the Boston Herald, the Rupert Murdoch owned tabloid that delights in flaying the local liberals. For five straight days the Herald gave the entire front page to this story complete with pictures of Johnny in a digitally added pirate’s hat and juicy details about the boats wine cellar, his and her wet bars etc. The Senator- so unfairly harassed by national and local media- moved from a) “I don’t owe any taxes”, to b) “It’s my wife’s boat”, and finaly c) “We always intended to pay these taxes”- which he promptly did. All in all great fun with yet another democrat who wants to raise your taxes while dodging their own ( see Geithner, Sebelius, Rangel etc.)

For Republicans a more ominous political symbol manifested itself last week with the appearance on the island of Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick for a re-election fundraiser. Patrick who gave the disingenuous “Hope and Change” campaign theme its very successful trial run in 2006 is a very lucky man- and not just because bosom buddy Barack Obama has sent his own political guru David Plouffe to run Patrick’s 2010 re-election effort. Owing to the familiar democratic penchant for taxing and spending Patrick is the most unpopular Massachusetts governor in living memory. Nonetheless current poles make him a good bet to win re-election thanks to the third party candidacy of renegade democrat now Independent State Treasurer Tim Cahill who is ruining the once excellent prospects of republican Charles Baker.

Patrick’s good fortune is very like that of Florida Governor Charlie Crist who went from Dead Man Walking in the Republican Senatorial primary to third party independent now topping the polls.

And we have Colorado ex-congressman tom Tancredo whose impending third party candidacy will be the final blow to the once bright prospect of Republicans reclaiming the governor’s mansion in the wake of the inept taxing and spending regime of democrat Bill Ritter.

Twentieth Century history gives prominent examples of third party candidacies that were ruinous for Republicans and by extension the whole country.

The most consequential instance was the fierce quarrel between President William Howard Taft and ex-President Theodore Roosevelt over the “true meaning” and “soul” of the Republican party which led to TR’s third party or “Bull Moose” candidacy. Their fracturing of the Republican Party delivered the White House to Progressive icon Woodrow Wilson whose redistributive “New Freedom” became the model for FDR’s New Deal and the intellectual ancestor of the Obama approach to governance.

Eighty years later the twangy voice of the egomaniacal third party Presidential candidate Ross Perot persuaded millions of voters that George H.W. Bush had “corrupted” the Republican Party and that America needed a “rebirth” and “purification” under his leadership. What America got instead was Bill Clinton. Enough said.

For generations Republicans and Conservatives have disemboweled themselves in a fruitless quest for “Purity” (e.g. Goldwater 1964). If conservatives in Colorado or elsewhere insist on “clarity, specificity, and agreement” on identity, issues etc., we are just forming up yet another circular firing squad. The ultimate temptation of course, is the suicidal Third Party impulse.

If our country is to be saved, it is imperative that Democrats be decisively defeated in the next two elections. All else must be subordinated to that goal for if we fail the damage to our country will be catastrophic and irreversible. As I sit here in Nantucket watching the liberal species up close (MSNBC yakkers Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough within walking distance) I am reminded that Democrats never accurately define themselves or publicly admit of their real plans for “transformational change”. Such deception allows them to win elections every time Republicans screw up. The Progressive agenda like that of its union core is narrow, radical, and unchanging and it has advanced incrementally- by fits and starts- for nearly a century.

Great election victories (1932, 1964, 1980) are won when people decisively reject the opposition (Hoover, Goldwater, Carter). The issues all conservatives can agree on are the Deficit, the Debt, runaway Spending, Metastasizing Government, and the Death of the American Dream for our own children and grandchildren. Let’s leave Purity and Perfection to the afterlife.

William Moloney’s columns have appeared in The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Washington Times, Human Events and other publications. He lives in Colorado.