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June 6, 2016

 

So proud of these two: Tori and Joseph!  Planning a trip together to Paris, saving and then going.

 

Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.  In their case they were lucky because they happened to be in France on the 72nd anniversary of D-Day.  Yes, they made the trip to Normandy today.  

 

As Joseph sets to embark on his next journey in life, joining the military, I know he already has an appreciation for the duty he is being called for, but visiting Normandy will be another powerful reminder of honor, duty and sacrifice.

 

Thank you to all who have served, are serving and those who will serve!

 

 

May 16, 2016

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Bitter Sweet!!!

It was sweet spending Saturday in Pueblo watching the Thompson Valley baseball boys play in the playoffs.  It was even sweeter when the one the first game, bitter when they lost the second in a single game elimination tournament.

It’s really cool watching the seniors, the kids you have watched for years, come to the end of their high school road.  A few are going to college and a couple of boys are enlisting in the Army and Marines.  It really does fill your heart with pride to know these are fine young men will go on to do great things with their lives.

As for Joseph, he is exploring all of his options.  Regardless of the path he travels, his experience playing high school baseball will serve him for the rest of his life.

It is especially bitter since the youngest, Tommy, has taken a full time job for the summer and won’t be playing baseball.  We’re proud of his mature decision but a little saddened that this will be the first summer without baseball in a lot of years.

Time to dust off the fly rods and get back to the river.  Regardless, we’ll still get our baseball fix with the Rockies.

 

May 11, 2016

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Entitlement Spending!

 

Senator Cadman very nicely lays out the argument of why the state cannot continue its current trajectory on entitlement spending and why Republicans held the line on the hospital provider fee.

 

For those that have heard me speak and those I have spoken directly with, you know this is one of the most important issues to me.  We are cannibalizing funding for our kids in K-12 education, higher education and roads because we are unwilling to make the hard decisions on entitlement spending.

 

When I was a regent at the University of Colorado, I worked with Democrats to remove $50 million from the Athletic Department’s budget for field expansion.  It is possible to work with Democrats on difficult budget issues.

 

I promise to work with Democrats and Republicans to fix the core structural issues to Colorado’s impending budget crisis.

 

As you consider who you are going to vote for in the June primary, please consider this fact: I am the only one in this race who has dealt with complex billion dollar budgets; and have saved taxpayers $50 million by working across party lines.  I am also the only one in this race who has a history of standing against budgets that grow too quickly, having voted no on almost every budget presented to the regents while I served.

 

Please take a minute to read Senator Cadman’s editorial.

 

http://www.coloradosenaterepublicans.com/cadman_statement_on_hospital_provider_fee_vote

 

 

 

May 9, 2016

Effective Government Spending!

 

The question for elected officials is simple: do you know the role of limited government?

 

Government isn’t a business.  When a business wants to grow it must increase productivity and sell more product.  Ultimately, business can grow as big as it wants to be.  Government on the other hand is limited by the taxes it collects; its budget is finite.

 

The Founding Fathers understood the role of private property and business to the extent that they debated whether the Declaration of Independence should read “Life, Liberty and Private Property” versus “Happiness”.  Our country has a few bedrock principles that government is supposed to protect; one of them is private property.

 

We know government can only generate its income from taxation.  It must take from individuals and businesses in order to be able to provide services.  As citizens we willingly participate by sending in our taxes.  Therefore, we should be paying attention to how government spends our money.  When roads can’t be repaired, what was the trade off?  When we don’t have money for more police, what was the trade off?  There are always tradeoffs in government.

 

I believe that our state and country still offer the best opportunities for entrepreneurs, we need to get the biggest obstacle out of the way: politicians who have no idea how to create jobs.

 

Unfortunately, we as citizens have done a horrible job holding elected officials accountable for their poor spending priorities.

 

If you believe, as I do, that the private sector creates jobs, wealth and opportunity, then you also believe that a government picking winners and losers, tilting the playing field for wealthy business owners is wrong.  It is a reason why the economy is struggling to rebound.  The more government shifts taxes to areas where it has no business it then leaves fewer dollars for roads, bridges, law enforcement and other core functions.  Just as importantly, it makes it harder for small business to grow, to hire more workers making the economy weaker.

 

I believe it is time to return government to its core functions, including protecting private property, not redistributing private property.

 

May 6, 2016

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Last Baseball Game!!

 

Today is the last high school baseball game for Joseph.  It’s funny how we mark certain chapters in our kids lives: birthdays, graduations, jobs, dances and yes, sports.

 

I was baseball fanatic growing up, playing in the street, playing for competitive teams and a pseudo baseball historian – I still love everything about America’s sport.  As a family, we introduced our kids to baseball and they all fell in love with the game.

 

We had a rule in our house, the kids had to be involved with sports, but they could pick whatever sports they wanted to play.  Joseph wanted to play lacrosse not baseball; we enthusiastically supported him.  If you haven’t watched lacrosse you don’t know what you’re missing, it’s a great sport.

 

Yes, part of me wanted him to play baseball, but he was having fun with lacrosse and he was very good.  Then the announcement came in junior high school, Joseph wanted to play baseball; just like with lacrosse, he jumped right in and played well.

 

It has been a joy watching him learn to play the game we, as a family, all love.

 

While today is the final regular season game for Thompson Valley, they still have a chance to qualify for the playoffs.  We are treating it as his last game; if we get a few more games it will be icing on the cake.  We are rooting for the boys of summer to go all the way to state.

 

Today marks the end of a chapter for Joseph: he is 18 and about to graduate from high school.  He has grown into an amazing young man.  While this chapter ends, another is about to begin and it will even more fun watching him go from a boy playing baseball to a young man walking into the world.

 

 

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The Snow Keeps Coming!

 

Growing up in Colorado it was always a joyous occasion when the first snow fell.  I would sit on my bed and watch as the flakes drifted towards the ground, imagining all the fun that would soon be had: skiing, building snow forts, sledding, snowball fights, building snowmen, the fun would be endless and generally it was.  Except for getting hit in the face with the snowball from the kid who had the Nolan Ryan fastball.

 

Now that I am older, the first snow still brings back the fond childhood memories, “this is why we love living in Colorado.”   But, as I get older, it seems the childhood fun of snow has dissipated some.  Don’t get me wrong, I still love being in the snow, my enthusiasm is still there, let’s just say I have slowed a little.  My pursuits now include snow shoeing (the picture is from this winter at Cameron Pass), hunting and fly fishing.  Yes, you heard that correctly, fly fishing in the snow.  There is something serenely magical about being in the river when no one else would be crazy enough to be in the snow and cold, casting to fish as the snow falls all around you.

 

However, as adults we just don’t have the time we did as children to always play in the snow.  Now we have to deal with the cold, yes, our joints ache as we get older.  We have to deal with the shoveling and the driving.  As I get older, I now look more longingly to the warmth and beauty of spring, just as I look joyfully for the first snow of the season.

 

Now that it is the end of April, I am ready for warmth – no more cold and snow.  Yes, I will miss you, but it’s okay to go on vacation until October.  I will miss you, but please leave!

“This is your government, and it’s your money being spent”

 

One of the first issues we addressed when I first joined the Board of Regents in 1999 was regarding public comment.  I was astonished to learn that the regents did not allow the public to address the Board.

 

It’s worth noting that agendas for the regents follow the model of the state legislature: presentations happen in committee hearings, where the actual work takes place; and final votes are cast in a meeting with no presentations, resolutions come in final form.

 

Before I came on the Board the only people allowed to address the Board were employees of the University who had something to do with the resolution being formulated.  No one from the public was allowed to address the board about any issue, ever.

 

What was even more perplexing was when it came time to vote on allowing public comment was the fact that I was the swing vote.  A Republican along with Democrats wanted public comment, but it was the Republicans leading the opposition.  As the new guy on the Board everyone targeted me, not knowing if I would stand with Republicans because I was a Party guy, or whether I would stand with the public because it was the right thing to do.

 

I let everyone know right away, I would be standing with the public for transparency and openness in government because it is our government and the public deserves to address elected officials on the official record.

 

Good policy doesn’t have anything to do with being Republican or Democrat, especially when it comes to transparency and openness in government.

 

http://www.postindependent.com/news/21753266-113/editorial-fickle-implementation-of-open-records-law

 

The Future of Business is Bright!

 

I want to make very clear that the future for business can be as strong as we allow it to be.

 

If we take a step back and look at our society, by all objective measurable standards, we live at the pinnacle of Western Civilization.  People live healthier and longer than ever before; food is abundant; freedom and mobility is at our fingertips, to name a few.

 

All of these advancements are because we live in the west.  Think about it for a minute: two key tenets at the core of Western Civilization are private property and freedom.  When you allow someone the freedom to invent an idea or product, they are allowed the ownership of that product and idea.  If they can then market and sell their product or idea then they are allowed to personally profit.

 

The benefits of free enterprise are obvious – what about the future of entrepreneurship?

 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to volunteer with young entrepreneurs at an area high school.  It is always reinvigorating to work with the next generation of entrepreneurs.  Their ideas were creative, idealistic and yet realistic.  They bring hope, optimism and inspiration to the market; it tells me that the next generation is willing and able to continue the proud tradition of entrepreneurship in America.

 

I am honored they asked me to volunteer; and equally excited for the budding entrepreneurs in our community.

April 5, 2016

 

Lucero To Make the Ballot

House District 51 candidate Tom Lucero is one step closer to making the ballot after handing in over 1,300 signatures to the Secretary of State

 

Loveland, CO: Republican candidate for House District 51 (HD 51), Tom Lucero, turned in 1,354 signatures from registered Republicans in HD 51 to the Colorado Secretary of State.  In order to qualify for the ballot Lucero is required to have 1,000 signatures from registered Republicans in House District 51.  The Lucero campaign said its own internal validating of the signatures is 82%, meaning 1,110 of the signatures are valid.

 

Lucero talked about the process, “it is truly humbling to know that so many people came together in such short order to see that we collected the necessary number of signatures.  If you think about it, we literally only had eight days to collect signatures when you factor in two snow days and Easter.”

 

Lucero petition coordinator, Nancy Rumfelt, walked through what it took to collect the signatures.  “We had 34 people involved in the effort. Combined they knocked on over 5,000 doors, collecting 1,354 signatures.  Every evening I matched signatures against the voter file to validate the names.  We received quotes from signature firms ranging from $15,000-$50,000 to collect the necessary signatures, we managed to do it for significantly less.  Once the call went out that we were collecting signatures to petition the response to help was overwhelming.”

 

The Secretary of State has approximately three weeks to certify the signatures, in the meantime the Lucero campaign is moving forward.  Lucero commented, “I have 100% faith in the people who collected the signatures and our internal validating process – we will make the ballot!  I want to thank everyone who signed and helped team Lucero achieve a herculean goal in eight days.  I’m looking forward to continuing talking to voters about what is important to them in this next phase, the June 28 primary.”

 

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