Thursday, December 18, 2014

Debate on the need for the Republican Party to change

On December 10th there was a guest editorial by Robert Blaha entitled: Republican Party Needs a Makeover, which implied that a more business-like model should be used to "fix" the Party.  That piece can be found here.

I took issue with much of what was written and was fortunate enough to have the Colorado Springs Gazette print what I wrote as a rebuttal.  One can read that here.

These two articles say much about what the Party should consider as it moves ahead to the 2016 Election.  I would welcome any comments on these two somewhat divergent positions.  You can send them to dave@schultheisforcolorado.com .

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Voting Recommendations, Revised November 2014

This could very well be one of the most important, if not THE most important election in your lifetime so far.  I do not say that lightly.  The control of the U.S. Senate is at stake, and the appointment of future U.S. Supreme Court Justices will surely play a role in the coming years as several Justices are considering retirement.

Additionally, the control of the Colorado State Senate may change parties this election season.


While I have examined the ballot issue carefully with an eye to careful evaluation based on conservative principles, I ask you to do the same.  While we may differ in our assessments, I implore you to base your decisions, not on emotion, but on principle.

Also...There is predicted to be considerable voter fraud in Colorado's 2014 Election as a result of bills passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature in the past several years.  This is not a partisan comment, but supported by fact. Please be on the look-out for illegal activity and report it, if found.
Please read the following article from National Review

FEDERAL OFFICES

U.S. SENATOR
Cory Gardner

U.S. CONGRESS DISTRICT 5
Doug Lamborn

STATE OFFICES

GOVERNOR/Lt. GOVERNOR
Bob Beauprez/Jill Repella

SECRETARY OF STATE
Wayne Williams

STATE TREASURER
Walker Stapleton

ATTORNEY GENERAL
Cynthia Coffman

THE FOLLOWING WILL NOT BE ON EVERYONE'S BALLOTS:

STATE SENATE

SENATE DISTRICT 2
Kevin Grantham

SENATE DISTRICT 9 (Uncontested)
Kent Lambert

SENATE DISTRICT 11
Bernie Herpin

STATE REPRESENTATIVES

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT  14
Dan Nordberg

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 15
Gordon Klingenschmidt 

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT  16
Janak Joshi

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 17 (1)

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 18
Michael Schlierf

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 19
Paul Lundeen

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT  20 (Uncontested)
Terri Carver

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT 21
Lois Landgraf

EL PASO COUNTY OFFICES

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 1
Darryl Glenn

COUNTY COMMISSION DISTRICT 5
Peggy Littleton

COUNTY CLERK AND RECORDER (Uncontested)
Chuck Broerman

COUNTY TREASURER (Uncontested)
Mark Lowderman

COUNTY ASSESSOR (Uncontested)
Steve Scheiker

COUNTY SHERIFF (Uncontested)
Bill Elder

COUNTY SURVEYOR (Uncontested)
G. Lawrence Burnett

COUNTY CORONER (Uncontested)
Robert Bux

"Thanks to Clear the Bench Colorado for the analyses of many of the Justices below.  It is disturbing that so many of Colorado's judges seem to show disdain for the Rule of Law.  The decision to suggest a vote of Yes or NO is based on these analyses

COLORADO SUPREME COURT JUSTICES

Brian Boatright (NO)
Does not consistently uphold the Constitution.  For analysis, check this.

Monica Marquez (NO)
Does not consistently uphold the Constitution.  For analysis, check this.

COURT OF APPEALS

Terry Fox (NO)
Alan Loeb (NO)

  4TH JUDICIAL JUDGES

William Bain- YES 
Edward Colt - No position
Jann DuBois - NO
Barbara Hughes - NO
Thomas Kelly Kane - YES
Thomas Kennedy - YES 
Michael P. McHenry - YES  voted to uphold the Colorado Constitution over a conflicting State Statute during the Recall Election held last year.  You can find his comments, With all due respect to the legislature, it did not consider or ignored the clear language of Article XXI – I find that both sad and, frankly, shocking, and more here.
David Prince - YES
Greg Werner - YES

EL PASO COUNTY JUDGES

Christopher Acker - No Position
Lawrence Martin - No position
Douglas Miles - Yes
Ann Rotolo - Yes
Stephen Sietta - No Position
Johathan Walker - No
Regina Walter - No


AMENDMENT 67 DEFINITION OF PERSON AND CHILD  (CONSTITUTIONAL)
YES
It is FACT that life begins at conception.   With the passage of this Amendment, one who kills the unborn baby (with the exception of the his/her mother during an abortion), can be convicted of a capital offense.  If you take time to read the story of Heather Surovik, you will see the importance of this Amendment.

AMENDMENT 68 HORSE RACE CASINO GAMBLING (CONSTITUTIONAL)
NO
Don't allow yourself to be convinced about the "positive comments" about helping Children and Education.  This is nearly always a ploy to take the focus off of increasing Gambling.  Fact is, the additional funds for Education will amount to about 2% of education funding.  Furthermore, Gambling preys on the poor and creates increased dependency on gambling to fund education.  PRO-GAMBLING ISSUES SHOULD NEVER FIND THEIR WAY INTO THE CONSTITUTION.  It is not the state's role to promote gambling!

PROPOSITION 104 SCHOOL BOARD OPEN MEETINGS (STATUTORY)
YES
Good government requires openness.  Decisions made in secret are seldom in the interest of the citizen.  One can gain greater insight here.   This should be a no-brainer for those who want transparency in government.

PROPOSITION 105 LABELING GENETICALLY-MODIFIED FOOD (STATUTORY)
NO. 
This has been a hotly-debated issue, so here is my take.  Why is it that we want the government to be our first source of control?  If this is an important issue to many citizens, why can't an association be established that puts pressure on the agricultural industry?  Does "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" resonate?  We already see labels on some foods stating NO GMO.  I realize that many citizens naturally want "all natural" foods, (I do as well) but have there been studies that confirm negative health problems associated with GMO products?  The Centers for Disease Control continues to study this issue but to date has found no conclusive adverse affects.  Let's consider carefully before we institute additional laws in this area, until we know there is a need, and then first consider private organizations to form to pressure growers to identify the use of GMO's in their production process.  Click here for a key article in the Wall Street Journal regarding this issue.

EL PASO COUNTY 1A  "RETAIN AND EXPEND EXCESS REVENUE..." in part to acquire more 'open space'" 
NO. 
First, this is a NEW TAX,  and should have been stated as that, as the Constitution requires in Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution" or TABOR.  Instead, the County decided not to return approximately $2million in tax revenue to the citizens---a tax refund worth over $100/yr to property owners.  It happens nearly every time -- citizens are asked to provide tax dollars for a specific purpose and for a specific period of time.  Then, when that time has elapsed, we are asked to continue to use those funds for some other "critical" emergency.  If for no other reason, we should vote NO because this question is misleading.  If a new tax is "needed" the County should have returned the $2million and THEN requested voters to approve a NEW tax for the purposes stated.
Secondly, while it is appropriate to request property owners to pay a tax to benefit them, it is NOT appropriate to request those property owners to pay increased taxes for numerous issues that will not be to their benefit.  Such requests are no more than redistribution of wealth, which government is so good at.

EL PASO COUNTY 1B STORMWATER CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AND ONGOING MAINTENANCE
NO
This will create more bureaucracy...and you can bet it will grow.  This will create another unelected, unaccountable bureaucratic organization, the Pikes Peak Regional Drainage Authority (PPRDA).  You can bet that it will never have enough money for all it will find to do, as it assesses 78 different groups with different yet-to-be-determined "fee" rates).This new agency will exist in perpetuity. 

EL PASO COUNTY 1C SHERIFF TERM LIMITS
YES

TOWN OF RAMAH  2A  TAX ON SALE OF MARIJAUNA
NO
For those opposed to marijuana being sole in their town/city, taxing this drug seems like a positive step (sin tax).  However, taxing such a drug, will create a dependence by government on that money, which will inevitably lead to advocating its use in greater amounts.  

TOWN OF RAMAH  2B  INCREASE LODGERS TAX TO PROMOTE BUSINESS
NO
Promoting business growth should NOT be a function of government, nor should the cost of it be borne by the citizens.  Furthermore, passage will become permanent and circumvent Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution (TABOR).

CITY OF FOUNTAIN  2C LODGER'S TAX
NO
Want more tourism so we increase the cost of stay in the city's hotels?  Does that make sense to anyone?  The propaganda shows states that $1 spent on tourism creates a return of over $6.  As a legislator, I served on the State Audit Committee.  There we saw reports that showed a $16 return for every dollar spent.  No one knows the return, if in fact there is any.  These reports are always just fantasy.


(1) Out of good conscience, I do not vote for candidates who I understand are pro-abortion and/or specifically reject the 2012 platform of the Republican Party.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

God Will Provide ---- Unless the Government Gets There First



During my ten years serving in the Colorado State Legislature, first as a State Representative and then as a State Senator, I was constantly faced with bills that directly usurped the traditional role of the church by providing functions that the religious community had done for two thousand years, and families before that.  

Several years ago, a friend of mine sent me this article, by W. Bradford Wilcox which highlights this continuing and troubling trend.  While I realize we will never get back to these past era, our awareness of the continual usurpation of church functions by government should be ever on our minds. -- Sen. Dave Schultheis


Secularism seems to be on the march in America. This week, a new study from the Program on Public Values at Trinity College found that the number of Americans claiming no religion now stands at 15%, up from 8% in 1990 and 2% in 1962.
The secular tide appears to be running strongest among young Americans. Religious attendance among those 21 to 45 years old is at its lowest level in decades, according to Princeton sociologist Robert Wuthnow. Only 25% of young adults now attend services regularly, compared with about one-third in the early 1970s.

The most powerful force driving religious participation down is the nation's recent retreat from marriage, Mr. Wuthnow notes. Nothing brings women and especially men into the pews like marriage and parenthood, as they seek out the religious, moral and social support provided by a congregation upon starting a family of their own. But because growing numbers of young adults are now postponing or avoiding marriage and childbearing, they are also much less likely to end up in church on any given Sunday. Mr. Wuthnow estimates that America's houses of worship would have about six million more regularly attending young adults if today's young men and women started families at the rate they did three decades ago.

Now, President Barack Obama seems poised to give secularism in America another boost, however inadvertently. This may come as a surprise to some, given Mr. Obama's outreach to religious voters last fall, his strong showing among them in the election and his eagerness to cultivate the faithful since. The White House has even been opening many of Mr. Obama's public appearances with a prayer, sometimes surpassing presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in displays of public piety.

Nevertheless, the president's audacious plans for the expansion of the government -- from the stimulus to health-care reform to a larger role in education -- are likely to spell trouble for the vitality of American religion. His $3.6 trillion budget for fiscal 2010 would bring federal, state and local spending to about 40% of the gross domestic product -- within hailing distance of Europe, where state spending runs about 46% of GDP. The European experience suggests that the growth of the welfare state goes hand in hand with declines in personal religiosity.
A recent study of 33 countries by Anthony Gill and Erik Lundsgaarde found an inverse relationship between religious observance and welfare spending. Countries with larger welfare states, such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark, had markedly lower levels of religious attendance, affiliation and trust in God than countries with a history of limited government, such as the U.S., the Philippines and Brazil. Public spending amounts to more than one half of the GDP in Sweden, where only 4% of the population regularly attends church. By contrast, public spending amounts to 18% of the Philippines' GDP, and 68% of Filipinos regularly attend church.

"For many centuries, average citizens and local communities have often relied upon the support of religious organizations to meet their various social needs, including assistance for the poor, counseling in times of crisis and education for the young," explains Mr. Gill, a political scientist at the University of Washington. "But as the welfare state has expanded, many people have found that they can get these same services from the government without having to give a time commitment to the local church."

Other research indicates that religious giving also falls when the welfare state increases its spending. MIT economist Jonathan Gruber and Notre Dame economist Daniel Hungerman found that charitable spending by churches declined 30% in the wake of the New Deal and that nearly all of the decrease can be accounted for by increases in public spending in the 1930s. They conclude that "government spending does crowd out private charity, at least through churches."

A successful Obama revolution providing cradle-to-career education and cradle-to-grave health care would reduce the odds that Americans would turn to their local religious congregations and fellow believers for economic, social, emotional and spiritual aid. Fewer Americans would also be likely to feel obliged to help their fellow citizens through local churches and charities.

This is not to say that the health of the American religious sector depends only on some level of economic or social dislocation to attract people to congregations. Many Americans are religious for reasons that have nothing to do with the mutual aid found in churches and charities, such as the desire to be in a personal relationship with God or to keep faith with important family traditions. But the reasons for going to church are not so easily separated. And many of those who initially turn to religious organizations for mutual aid end up developing a faith that is as supernatural as it is material. But first they need to enter the door.

Mr. Wilcox is a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Colorado Springs misleads readers regarding "Undocumented Immigrants."

The Colorado Springs Gazette must STOP referring to illegal aliens as Undocumented Immigrants!” They are NOT immigrants, but lawbreakers who have illegally invaded our country. If the Gazette wants to retain its credibility it must stop mischaracterizing them; it is untruthful, misleading and deceitful journalism! The Gazette should return to the business of truth-telling, not misleading its readers about a very serious issue. Interestingly, after challenging the Gazette yesterday, I received an email advising me that they use the Associated Press' lexicon.  Why would a newspaper conform in this way?  Conformity seldom leads to good journalism.

Illegals flaunting their illegal status by applying for a drivers license, should be arrested and sent back across the border. We allow those in this country illegally to drive legally? Are we out of our minds?  I fear so.

Colorado has borders that must be protected every bit as much as the nation’s borders. We used to be a nation of laws -- or at least we used to be.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Response to May 18th Colorado Springs' Gazette Editorial regarding the “Tancredo Problem.”



We were very disappointed to read your May 19th editorial supporting Bob Beauprez for Governor. You did your readership a disservice by resting your case for Beauprez on several very poorly-informed assumptions.  As conservatives, we strongly disagree with your choice.

Unlike Bob Beauprez, Mike Kopp has never lost a primary or general election campaign for office. He was elected by party members as the National Committeeman for Colorado.  Beauprez already tried his hand at running for Governor in 2006, and lost to Bill Ritter by 15 percentage points! Not only does Mike Kopp have a history of winning, he represents a new generation of solid and reasonable conservatives that Republicans are hungry for in our state. Unlike Bob Beauprez, Mike Kopp didn’t buy his way onto the primary ballot. He earned his way to the top line position by testing himself in the trenches and presenting his case to grassroots Republican delegates at the Colorado State Republican Assembly. Unlike Bob Beauprez, Mike Kopp is loyal to the caucus system, the decisions of elected Republican delegates, and didn’t wait in the wings until the last minute to get into the race which allowed him to avoid that process.. Mike had been campaigning for months by the time Mr. Beauprez finally revealed he would run. Your editorial said Mike Kopp should defer to Bob Beauprez and leave the race to prevent a Tancredo nomination. Perhaps that duty should have rested with Mr. Beauprez by declining to enter the race in the first place.

There’s a reason we have primary elections – to allow Republicans an opportunity to look at the totality of each candidates’ record and make an informed decision.  For Colorado conservatives that decision is clear– Mike Kopp for Colorado Governor.

Sen. Kent Lambert
Fmr. Sen. Dave Schultheis

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Why I can no longer endorse or support a Primary Candidate for Colorado's House, Senate or Governor who does not participate in the Caucus process.



Unlike most other states, Colorado citizens are fortunate to have a campaign system that encourages grass-roots participation in the process of selecting candidates to represent them.  Most citizens across our wonderful country feel that they have little or no say in their states’ election process other than casting their final vote at the Primary and/or General elections for a candidate they know virtually nothing about.  Fortunately, that is not true for the citizens of Colorado.

In Colorado we have two methods available for those seeking political office to have their names placed on the Primary Ballot:

The first method is The Caucus System

Those Colorado citizens, desiring to take part in selecting which candidates will represent them, feel very fortunate to have a Caucus System integrated into the election process. 

Held on a designated Tuesday evening during each election year, the Caucuses are held prior to the Primary elections where citizens can be elected as delegates to their respective county and state assemblies in order to cast their vote for the State Representative, Senator and Gubernatorial candidate they believe best represents their values.  Should their candidate achieve the threshold percentage of votes required, that candidate’s name is then placed on the Primary Ballot; if a particular percentage is not achieved, that candidate’s name will not be found on the Primary Ballot.

Notably, the process leading up to and following the caucus requires considerable interaction between the candidate and the electorate in order to become known to the delegates.  Phone calls, walking of districts, direct mail, etc. are among the methods utilized by prospective candidates to make their case to future delegates.  Much time, effort, commitment and organization is expended in making themselves known to the citizens by those seeking election.



The second method is The Petition Process

I would call this the “Avoidance Method”

Colorado, unfortunately allows an election process that is often used by candidates to circumvent the caucus system.  Generally, a candidate will select this approach for one of two reasons:  First, the person believes he/she cannot acquire a sufficient number of votes by county or state caucus delegates at their respective assemblies to get a spot on the Primary ballot; Secondly, the person is not willing to spend the needed effort to become acquainted with voters and delegates, instead, finds it easier to collect a couple thousand signatures to acquire ballot access.  I call this, “The easy way out.” 

This method takes much less time on the part of the prospective Candidate who believes he/she can get access to the Primary ballot by hosting several coffees for voters, mailing fancy direct-mail brochures, buying radio ads, and presenting shallow arguments in venues with few voters challenging his/her reasoning. 

Conservatism generally takes a hit when the caucus system is circumvented

Most caucus attendees and delegates to the various assemblies generally have a stronger set of beliefs consistent with the national Republican Platform than the average voter.  Many hold strong, conservative views regarding School Choice, 2nd Amendment, Religious Freedom, Homeschooling, Property Rights and Limited Government, to name a few.  Thus, when the delegates vote for their selection of a future candidate, that candidate most-often holds views similar to those of the delegates.  

No wonder establishment Republicans give only tepid, if any support for the caucus process?  No wonder establishment candidates are more-likely to choose the petition process rather than going through the caucus process?  Yes, there are exceptions, but how can the average voter know, when voting in the Primary election that they are voting for the most conservative candidate?

If citizens vote for candidates who use the petition process to gain access to the Primary ballot, they, too, undermine the value of the Caucus system and over time that system will become increasingly irrelevant.

Let’s agree that in the Primary election we will ONLY support candidates who make it to the Primary ballot through the Caucus Process.  We’ll be better for it. 

Senator Dave Schultheis