We asked a series of general and targeted questions to the 3rd congressional district candidates, Congressmen Scott Tipton (R) and challenger Sal Pace (D), to generate a discussion about issues affecting the district.
I grew up in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, it’s where I went to college, started my business and raised my family. Living and working here I understand the importance of agriculture and water in our district; I understand public lands; the importance of being able to access and preserve them while responsibly developing our natural resources. I have a deep respect for the land and people of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and am honored to serve them in Congress.
1.) The Republican nominee and the Republican Party does not support the Production Tax Credits affecting jobs in Pueblo at the Vestas plant. You have bucked Mitt Romney saying you want to extend the credit by 2 years. President Obama supports the extension of the tax credit. Do you think you can get this done regardless of the next President? If so, how?
We will continue to do everything we can to extend the Wind PTC to save jobs in the 3rd Congressional District
** In what other ways can you make Colorado attractive for renewable energy jobs in the 3rd CD?
Colorado has a great abundance of natural resources, we have to make sure to remove duplicative regulations and high corporate taxes to allow the private sector to create jobs.
2.) What is government’s responsibility to spur economic growth; and where do you specifically draw line on financial regulation and tax cuts?
We need to get government out of the way and allow the private sector to once again begin creating jobs. As a small businessman for over 30 years I have first hand experience creating jobs. I know that most of the time government’s high taxes and duplicative regulations hinder job growth in Colorado. We must address our complex tax structure and do away with needless regulations to jump-start private sector job growth.
3.) Both Sal Pace and you have made government spending and the deficit a main tenant of the campaign, voters want to know what are the spending cuts you propose for the district?
We must get our $16 trillion debt under control. This is simple, we cannot continue to spend more than we take in, and have to begin to pay down the debt so we do not leave our mess for future generations to clean up. This is a moral obligation to our children and grandchildren
4.) We have so many failing schools in Southern Colorado, what can you do on the federal level to start improving education in our district?
As the husband of a former school teacher and the proud father of two daughters, education has always been a top priority for me. We must provide our children with the necessary knowledge and resources to compete in the 21st century economy.
I strongly support tougher graduation standards, strong school safety programs, and a robust charter school program. I will oppose all unfunded federal mandates on our local school.
While promoting basic statewide standards, I will work to protect local control so that we can ensure we prepare our students with the tools they need to succeed in life.
5.) Beyond saying you want to protect water interests. How exactly would you protect Colorado and the district’s water interests? What are your water priorities for the Arkansas River basin, the San Luis Valley and the Western Slope?
Congressman Tipton has been standing up for Colorado water and working to keep San Luis Valley water in the Valley, and has a record that bears that out. Congressman Tipton has been one of the most vocal advocates in Congress of advancing common sense water storage projects that would help provide a steady and reliable supply of water for farmers and ranchers in the SLV and across the state. He led the effort in the House of Representatives to protect privately held water rights that ranchers and communities rely on when the federal government tried to confiscate them as a permit condition. Scott Tipton is a champion of Colorado water rights and of protecting the water that the San Luis Valley relies on.
6.) In a (political) climate where politicians need lobbyists and lobbyists need politicians, how do individuals and small businesses (influence/change) the (political) dynamics (in order to feel/so that they feel) fairly represented?
As a small businessman myself it is important for them to stay active in the political process.
7.) How should the majority party, whether that the Reps or Dems work with the minority party to get the work of Congress done?
I am not just talking about bi-partisanship I have been acting on it. In my first term in Congress I have passed five bills through the United States House of Representatives and they have all passed with bi-partisan support. One of the things I have found useful is introducing practical, creative solutions to problems facing our Country and then reaching out to our friends on the other side and simply asking for their support.
8.) Because of your experience you make the small business background one of your central strengths. As a small business owner, could you accurately describe what you believe are the burdens placed on small business from the Federal level?
Often the federal government gets in the way of creating jobs and expanding your small business. I have been able to take my 30 years of small business experience to Washington and be a strong advocate for small businesses across Colorado.
9.) The public is tired of congressional in-fighting. They want to see action from Congress. Yet, Republicans seem in a difficult situation, the extreme right see compromise as a weakness and will vote for more extreme conservationists. Do you think you can adequetely represent the 3rd CD when Republicans have no-compromise policy.
I have passed five bills all with bi-partisan support. As a representative of all the citizens of the 3rd Congressional District I represent everyone not just a certain ideology.
10. Do you think that a woman’s right to choose is her inalienable right?
I am pro-life and I believe abortion should be limited to cases that involve rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother.
11. In light of of the tragic shootings at Aurora and Columbine, under what circumstances should citizens be allowed to or prohibited from carrying guns?
As a gun owner and a lifelong member of the NRA, I am committed to ensuring that neither the federal nor state government infringe on the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. I will oppose any efforts to restrict law-abiding citizens from owning a firearm.