For a governor who will turn Colorado right, Republican businessman Dan Maes is "the man for the moment," says John Andrews in the July round of Head On TV debates, reacting to the implosion of previous front-runner Scott McInnis. Susan Barnes-Gelt has scathing words for both GOP contenders while ignoring John Hickenlooper, her fellow Democrat. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over Afghanistan, Arizona, the Dems' risk of losing Congress, and Colorado contests for Attorney General, Treasurer, and Secretary of State. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997. Here are all five scripts for July:
1. GOVERNOR’S RACE GETS WEIRD
John: Colorado has not done well with a liberal Democrat as governor. The budget is a disaster and the economy is hurting. Trading Ritter for Hickenlooper won’t change that. We need a conservative governor who is pro-jobs, pro-growth, and pro-taxpayer. The obvious choice is Republican businessman Dan Maes.
Susan: So let’s see – candidate Scott McInnis is a liar/plagarist and Maes is a cheat admittedly defying campaign finance laws. And we want one of these two leading our state? Your suggesting that a cheat trumps a plagarist/liar? A real Hobson’s choice I’d say. You’ve set the bar pretty low, John.
John: McInnis was better suited to lead Colorado than liberal John Hickenlooper, but he forfeited trust with fatal mistakes, so scratch them both. Meanwhile the McInnis legal team, fearing conservative outsider Dan Maes, bloodied him on a minor violation. Dirty stuff. But the incorruptible Maes is still the man for the moment.
Susan: You'd better hope McInnis stays in, wins the August 10 primary, drops out and let's the Republican party select a new candidate. Otherwise you're saying that cheater cheater pumpkin eater is a better choice than liar liar pants on fire?
2. DOWN-BALLOT RACES IN COLORADO
John: Colorado voters have a choice to make on several statewide offices with low visibility but high importance. If you believe Obamacare is unconstitutional, reelect Attorney General John Suthers. He’s challenging it in court. If you worry about tax increases and voter fraud, support Republicans for Treasurer and Secretary of State.
Susan: Suthers is exactly the wrong choice for Attorney General.† He's already politicized the office of the people's lawyer by calling for do not retain votes for Democratic State Supreme Court justices.† And incumbent Treasurer Cary Kennedy and Secretary of State Bernie Buescher are terrific.
John: Despite a governor’s race in turmoil, supporters of liberty and limited government have strong options for other constitutional offices. Scott Gessler for Secretary of State will guard against election fraud. John Suthers for Attorney General is a tough lawman. J. J. Ament or Walker Stapleton for Treasurer will stand up for TABOR.
Susan: Your Republican candidates must clarify whether they’re for or against Prop 101 and Amendments 60 & 61-poised to devastate Colorado’s already hamstrung economy, crippling school districts and local government, Ament, Stapleton, Gessler & Suthers must oppose. Why run for an office you want to destroy?
3. ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW
John: The US government has a constitutional duty to protect each state against invasion. Bush and Obama have given the people of Arizona no such protection, ignoring federal law. Gov. Jan Brewer did the only reasonable thing and signed a state law to resist the flood of illegal aliens. Good for Arizona!
Susan: Yes, immigration is the purview of the federal government.† Imagine the chaos if every state set its own immigration policy.† Why not monetary policy, defense policy, or aviation protocols?† Local control is fine, but immigration policy is a federal issue.† D's and R's better step up.
John: Unlike Obama’s attorney general and his homeland security secretary, I’ve read the Arizona immigration bill. It neither allows racial profiling nor usurps federal authority. It simply mirrors the federal law that Obama refuses to enforce. Colorado should pass the same thing – another reason to vote Republican this fall.
Susan: Requiring local law enforcement to check immigration status of those stopped for other offences, detaining them until they provide id’s, is a blatant attempt to usurp federal authority – burdening law enforcement and citizens. Federal databases aren’t well integrated, complete or accurate. It’s a nightmare any way you look at it.
4. WHAT NEXT IN AFGHANISTAN?
Susan: The suicide rate among our troops is at an all-time high.† Service men and women are being deployed three and four times to Afghanistan in an untenable conflict.† We can't trust President Karzai, and we must make a deal with the Taliban.† Obama and Petraeus need an exit strategy.
John: Obama is wrong about many things, but he’s right that we must not lose Afghanistan to a jihadist enemy sworn to destroy us. If we surrender to the jihadists there, they will next take Pakistan with its nuclear arsenal. Islamic holy warriors with nukes -- what a nightmare.
Susan: And what about Iran? Our Afghan policy isn’t working. Richard Haass, conservative head of the Council on Foreign Relations is right in saying we can’t achieve lasting results and its time to scale down our ambitions, it’s not worth the cost in blood and treasure.
John: What about Iran? Ahmadinejad has been making hay out of US weakness for the last two administrations. Walking away from Afghanistan and Pakistan would only embolden the nuclear-bound Iranians and further endanger America. Resisting this triple enemy, bent on mayhem, is absolutely worth the cost.
5. WILL DEMS LOSE CONGRESS?
Susan: Mid-term elections never bode well for the incumbent party.† This fall the Dems are vulnerable.† On the other hand, Tea Party libertarians and the prospect of John "The financial crisis is just an ant" Boehner as House Speaker are frightening.† Frustrated Americans will vote for sanity.
John: Obama’s falling poll numbers translate into a two-year report card no better than C. That would be C as in Carter, who fumbled both the economy and foreign policy. And C as in Clinton, who saw his fellow Democrats swept from power in Congress at mid-term. The endless recession has voters disgusted.
Susan: And the folks who gave us Wall Street abuses, deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, deficit spending and foreign policy based on lies, deceit and nation building – that would be R’s – are just the ones to lead us back to Clinton’s budget surpluses? And the dog ate my homework!
John: It’s the economy, uh, sister. Americans don’t expect miracles -- but after this long, with so little progress on reducing unemployment and boosting prosperity, the Democrats in power are due for a spanking. My Republicans are far from perfect, but look for them to take back Congress this November.