Vote Caskey over 'Boondoggle' Buescher
by Linn and Ari Armstrong
The following article was originally published by Grand Junction Free Press on October 16, 2006.
If you vote for Democrats to represent the Western Slope in the legislature, you are voting to put the entire state government under the control of the Denver Democrats who lead their party. For Mesa County and the western part of the state, that's bad politics.
Democrats already control the state house and state senate. Denver Democrat Bill Ritter seems likely to win the governor's race. On his internet contacts page, local Democrat Rich Alward features a photograph of him standing next to smiling Denver Democrat and House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. We expect Romanoff will smile all the more if Mesa County voters hand Denver Democrats even more power by electing Alward or his ally Bernie "Boondoggle" Buescher.
Last year, Buescher fought for Romanoff's net tax hike. Buescher sided with Denver Democrats against the 65 percent of Mesa County voters who opposed Referendum C. As an October 11 AP story reminds us, that measure, originally estimated to cost taxpayers around $3.7 billion, has climbed to around $5 billion.
Boondoggle Buescher was rewarded for his loyalty to Denver Democrats. Bob Ewegen of The Denver Post (the paper to which the Sentinel often seems to play the role of idolizing younger brother) explains: "On the legislative side, Democrats benefit from already controlling both chambers... Romanoff named... vulnerable... Bernie Buescher of Grand Junction... to chair the Joint Budget Committee... As a result, Buescher is favored for re-election..."
Buescher replied to our survey: "I support properly designed Economic Development Incentives..." In this context, "incentive" is euphemism for subsidy, or money taken by force from taxpayers and handed over to corporations and other businesses. For example, Buescher stated, "I have supported the economic subsidies for the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, as a portion of our partnership with New Mexico..." In other words, Buescher believes Mesa County residents should be taxed to fund a tourist railroad elsewhere in the state. (For complete answers, see the survey link at FreeColorado.com.)
The most recent Economic "Development" Commission report, issued in February, lists other "new initiatives" for 2005, including Intel in Fort Collins and the Limon Golf Course. The pittance for Grand Junction doesn't make up for the fact that this so-called "development" actually forcibly redistributes wealth, destroying some of it in the process.
Bob Caskey, Buescher's challenger, responded to the same question: "I believe in the free enterprise system. Government should provide an environment where free enterprise flourishes." Caskey's answer is more in line with the Colorado Constitution, which prohibits the state from making "any donation or grant to, or in aid of... any corporation or company..." Caskey seems to grasp that real economic development comes from protecting our rights to income and property.
In economic affairs, Buescher takes the path of centralization, state micromanagement, higher taxes, and forced wealth transfers -- the path of Denver Democrats. From what we can tell, Caskey takes the path of liberty.
As we mentioned last year, Boondoggle Buescher got a zero in the 2005 rating by the Colorado Union of Taxpayers (CUT). Buescher scored even worse than Denver Democrats did. Romanoff at least got a miserable 8 percent.
This year, Buescher beat Romanoff, improving from a zero to a grade-inflated score of a D-, or 15 percent. He voted with taxpayers on four of 26 votes. By contrast, Josh Penry earned a score of 44, while Ron Teck got a 58.
Penn Pfiffner, President of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, said, "Bernie Buescher had a disappointingly low CUT score. This shows CUT membership that he takes too little care of our tax dollars."
Both Caskey and Buescher oppose "the use of eminent domain for purposes of economic development and/or generating tax revenues." However, Buescher voted to violate property rights with the smoking ban.
On the matter of self-defense, we trust Caskey more to fight for our rights. Caskey answered all of our Second Amendment-related questions directly and on the side of liberty. Buescher expressed general support for our rights, yet he refused to answer specific questions, claiming that they are "impossible to answer without examining the particular legislation that is proposed." Those are weasel words, and Buescher has yet to be tested with Democratic challenges to our right to bear arms, which we expect next year. Caskey didn't hesitate to answer our straightforward questions.
Both candidates oppose Referendum I, regarding domestic partnerships, and Amendment 44, regarding marijuana possession. We support both measures in the Western spirit of "live and let live."
Nationally, Republicans have spent like drunken movie stars and executed a war with less than resounding success. Across the nation, some voters are turning to Democrats to split power. But in Colorado, splitting power means stopping Denver Democrats from seizing the reins to the entire state government. If you want Mesa County to have any real influence in the legislature, send Boondoggle Buescher home and support Bob Caskey.