Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CAUTION: Colorado Springs' Mayor’s Vision for a “City for Champions” requires Centralized Planning in place of Free Market Competiton

            Over the past several months, the citizens of Colorado Springs have been presented with Mayor Steve Bach's proposals for projects which address his vision of the city's “need” for increased tourism, greater visibility in the hierarchy of cities, more businesses and jobs, and ongoing general development.  This vision is being strongly supported by the Gazette, the only newspaper in Colorado Springs and owned by Phillip Anschutz, also the owner of the Broadmoor Hotel, that stands to benefit substantially from an additional 500,000 to a million new tourists each year.

            During Mayor Bach's initial campaign for election as the City’s first “Strong Mayor,”  I strongly supported him, being convinced  that he had the best understanding of one of the primary roles of government, that being to protect our individual liberties.    In fact, when placed against the other candidates, he seemed to grasp that understanding far better than most other candidates.  I believe he still does, or at least did.  During the early months of his “reign,” his efforts to make the city more business friendly by reducing regulations, encouraging a more responsive city employee force, and actually reducing expenditures by eliminating city positions were very encouraging.  However, along the way, a different Bach has emerged.  The tenor of his vision has changed from reduced costs and increased efficiencies to acquiring more revenue, albeit from enticing more tourists to our area.  These ideas have not come from the average citizen, but rather from businesses seeking more profit without regard to how they will truly affect the real quality of life of the city’s residents.

Monday, January 14, 2013

What Inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Passion to Risk His Life for the Civil Rights Movement?

During my prior eight years as a Colorado Legislator (6 as a State Representative and 2 as a State Senator) I was exposed to the annual Legislative celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday.  Each year, I saw the Republicans remain mostly silent as the Democrats made political "hay" over this great man, while they seemingly using it to draw recognition to themselves as aligning their Party to MLK and to the Civil Rights Movement.  Never once was there reference to what drove this great man to stand so firm against injustice.

Not unlike other great men and women in history such as William Wilberforce and others, something inspired MLK to put his life on the line for his beliefs.  What was that "something?"  It seemed to e that what actually gave this great man so much courage should be the main focus of any celebration, because without it there may never have been such a profound change in the civil rights movement. .  Many of us have goals we would like to fulfill, but most of those goals are not pursued because of the fear of retribution, fear of criticism, and other forms of resistance;  understanding MLK's source of drivenness may also inspire us.

So...inspired by that thought, I decided to prepare the following remarks for four Senators to be first delivered on the Colorado Senate floor, January 15th, 2009.

Senator Schultheis' remarks: