Republicans race to impose government controls
by Linn and Ari Armstrong
The following article was originally published by Grand Junction Free Press on September 4, 2006.
It comes as no surprise when Marx-inspired leftists promote higher taxes and more economic controls. What's more difficult to explain is why Republicans, who often spout the rhetoric of free enterprise, limited government, and individualism, lead the charge to expand state control of our lives.
Colorado Republicans seem to have a death wish. A main Republican strategy seems to be to try to out-Democrat the Democrats. We won't be surprised if they lose the governor's mansion, lose another congressional seat, and leave both sides of the state legislature in the hands of the Democrats. In the name of gridlock, we desperately hope that the Gutless Old Party recaptures at least part of the legislature.
Our allegedly Republican governor Bill Owens has done more for the Democratic agenda than any Democrat in the state. In 2000, Owens spoke for the group Sane Alternatives to the Firearms Epidemic, the name of which likened gun ownership to a disease. He stood shoulder to shoulder with Democrat Ken Salazar, Democrat Wellington Webb, and disarmament activists such as Tom Mauser. We have a photo in which Salazar, who later beat Owens's pick for U.S. Senate, smiles at Owens as the governor signs a petition to restrict the fundamental human right of self-defense.
Last year, Owens pushed through a massive tax increase. He swayed enough Republican and unaffiliated voters to pass the measure by a thin margin. The Daily Times-Call reported on June 21, "Predictions of how much money state government is allowed to spend under voter-approved Referendum C soared again... The Legislature's staff economists now estimate that the five-year break from Taxpayer's Bill of Rights growth caps will allow the state to keep more than $4.88 billion in surplus state revenue, up from a $4.25 billion forecast in March."
The estimate told to taxpayers before the vote was 3.7 billion. But, hey, what's a billion dollars here or there, when it's other people's money?
Not only did Owens hand the Democrats the pork-barrel spending they coveted, but Owens also handed Democrats ammunition against Republicans in this year's elections. Left-wing journalists along with Democratic candidate for governor Bill Ritter have relentlessly pounded Bob Beauprez, the Republican candidate, for opposing the tax hike, Referendum C. Republicans pretended that Owens is a fiscal conservative, so when he supports tax hikes he undermines the credibility of actual fiscal conservatives.
Owens also bragged about supporting smoking bans, initiated by leftist busy-bodies in violation of property rights. Republican Mike May sponsored the bill. Republican Josh Penry voted for it.
Beauprez gave up his congressional seat to run for governor, and now Republican Rick O'Donnell is running for Congress. O'Donnell wrote, "I propose that after the first semester of 12th grade, all young men in America do six months of service... No one would be exempt..." In other words, O'Donnell proposed that young males sacrifice their education or careers to become political slaves for six months.
O'Donnell's proposal is beyond "big government." Yet, even though O'Donnell wrote his proposal in 2004, Republicans still nominated him for the U.S. Congress.
How did O'Donnell rationalize his position? A press release notes, "...O'Donnell suggested a possible solution in his 2004 article based on ideas from Democrats. From Bill and Hillary Clinton to Senator Evan Bayh, since the 1990's many new Democrats have advocated national community service..."
So this Colorado Republican is trying to pitch his ideas based on the fact that they are modeled on those of Hillary Clinton. And Republicans in this state wonder why they regularly get spanked?
Previously we wrote that Janet Rowland, Beauprez's running mate, wants to spend tax dollars for religious welfare and education. Rowland apologized for wondering whether alternative marriages might include unions with sheep.
Now Beauprez has had to make his own apology. As Mike Littwin summarizes for the Rocky Mountain News, Beauprez said on the radio that he'd seen abortion "numbers as high as 70 percent, maybe even more, in the African-American community." Well, that's a wild exaggeration.
Littwin points to the broader implications: "Beauprez and Ritter are both anti-abortion. But Beauprez likes to point out that he is really anti-abortion, advocating exceptions only to protect the life of the mother. No exceptions in case of rape. No exceptions in case of incest." We hate to break it to Republican primary voters, but these insanely strict limits on abortion are both immoral and politically untenable.
Then there's Plan B. One local Republican we spoke with opposed over-the-counter sales of this anti-pregnancy drug on the grounds that some people would abuse it. The idea seems to be that legal restrictions should punish the responsible in order to protect the irresponsibly stupid.
Many Republicans seem to be in a race with Democrats to see who can impose state controls on our lives the fastest. It is a race Republicans are destined to lose, in every way imaginable.