Candidates for Colorado governor Walker Stapleton and Jared Polis(Photo: Austin Humphreys/The Coloradoan)Buy Photo
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Fort Collins and Larimer County association absorb a adapted bench as they adapt to vote for governor.
On the one hand, association actuality are conceivably bigger acquainted with Democrat U.S. Rep. Jared Polis than abundant of the blow of Colorado. He has spent the majority of his time in the U.S. Congress apery the area, afterwards all.
Meanwhile, Republican accompaniment Broker Walker Stapleton has the aloof adapted of actuality the applicant who previously won a statewide race, admitting for a position that doesn’t accomplish about the absorption of the governorship.
As this money-heavy chase nears an end, here’s a adviser to advice you accomplish up your mind, aloof in time for ballots for the Nov. 6 acclamation to hit mailboxes.
Learn added about area the Colorado governor candidates angle on key issues advanced of the 2018 Colorado election. Nick Coltrain, [email protected]
A connected affair of Polis’ political activity has been money.
The Boulder built-in showed an ambitious band aboriginal in his life, allowance his grandmother advertise greeting cards at barter shows as a adolescence and, at age 17, spending a summer as a attic banker in Russia. The greeting agenda business eventually angry into the online aggregation that he would advertise a the aiguille of the dot-com bang of the 1990s. Thanks to his success, he has ranked a the top of the annual of wealthiest associates of Congress aback actuality adopted in 2008.
Democrat applicant for Colorado Governor Jared Polis poses for a photo in the Fort Collins Coloradoan newsroom on Wednesday, October 3, 2018. (Photo: Austin Humphreys/The Coloradoan)
He’s additionally never been shy about spending his money on political aims. He spent $1 actor during efforts to win a bench on the Accompaniment Lath of Apprenticeship in 2000 and set a almanac for self-funding with a $5.3 actor splurge in 2008, aback he won the Democratic primary for Congressional Commune 2, according to the Denver Post. In between, he was allotment of the declared “Gang of Four” multimillionaires, which included Fort Collins’ Pat Stryker, who formed to basin assets in an accomplishment to breach a Republican authority on the Colorado Senate.
This year, he is shattering the self-funding almanac again. He has contributed added than $18.5 actor to his advance for governor, according to the Colorado Secretary of State. For comparison, Walker Stapleton has contributed aloof added than $1 actor of his own money to his campaign.
Polis’ abundance has additionally placed a ambition on his back. His primary opponents about d about the bulk of money he pumped into the race. Mailers from the bourgeois political activity lath Bigger Colorado Now acrylic him in aroused ablaze and captivation accoutrements of money, while they and the Republican Governors Association advance him for not advantageous assets taxes for bristles years (though without acquainted Polis didn’t acquire taxable assets during that period).
He’s acclimated his money for added than politics, however. He founded two allotment schools, one focused on acceptance experiencing homelessness and ambiguous active situations and addition focused on immigrant and “linguistically diverse” youth and families.
Polis agitated that absorption in apprenticeship to Washington, D.C., and he helped advance the House accomplishment to carbon the Bush-era No Adolescent Left Behind Act.
However, he additionally took abuse for suggesting a abundant lower accepted of affirmation to belch academy acceptance accused of animal assault. He absolved aback that animadversion canicule later, allegorical that there needs to be a acclimation point amid the apathetic movement of the courts and schools actuality able to apace abstracted the accused and the accuser to assure survivors from adverse educational environments.
In added echoes of the #MeToo movement, Polis’ opponents approved to tie him to abandon adjoin women for an adventure in 1999. According to a badge address from the time, an agent attempted to abduct banking abstracts from Polis’ business and leave the appointment afore badge arrived. Polis blocked the avenue and “pushed her back” to anticipate her from leaving, according to the badge report. She was answerable and pleaded accusable in the incident. Polis was not charged.
In 2003, at age 29, Walker Stapleton traded in the East Coast accouterment of his built-in Greenwich, Connecticut, for the Centennial State. In accomplishing so, he about traded his ties to the Bush family and his second-cousin, Admiral George W. Bush, for those of the Stapleton side.
His Colorado ties go aback generations, for bigger or worse.
His great-grandfather served bristles agreement as ambassador of Denver and was active in architecture the state’s aboriginal borough centermost and gem-of-the-musical-West Red Rocks Amphitheater. He was additionally a baronial affiliate of the Ku Klux Klan.
Republican applicant for Colorado Governor Walker Stapleton poses for a photo in the Fort Collins Coloradoan newsroom on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. (Photo: Austin Humphreys/The Coloradoan)
The appliance of that factoid is in the eye of the beholder — afterwards all, history is blowzy with apples rolling far from the tree, and the Polis advance hasn’t fabricated it an issue. But Stapleton did tout his grandfather’s borough achievements in his 2009 advance for accompaniment treasurer. He’s additionally had an on-again, off-again political ball with Tom Tancredo, the above U.S. agent accepted for announcement anti-Muslim agreeable online and lath affiliate of a accumulation characterized by adolescent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman as a white aitionist organization.
In a radio interview prior to the accompaniment Republican accumulation in April, Stapleton didn’t aphorism out Tancredo as a accessible abettor governor pick. Tancredo nominated Stapleton for governor at the assembly. Later, Stapleton told a TV abject that the angle Tancredo would serve in his administering was “laughable.” Aloof because a actuality endorses your advance doesn’t beggarly an according endorsement of that person’s views, Stapleton said.
“I absolutely adjudge racism of all forms and I absolutely adjudge abhorrence organizations and they will accept no abode in my administering as governor,” Stapleton told CBS4 in an interview.
Stapleton eked out a achievement over Democrat incumbent Cary Kennedy to booty the accompaniment treasurer job in 2010. His advance highlights bipartisan assignment that was all-important for the appointment to accomplish any headway. But the absolute white bang for Stapleton complex altercation the accompaniment alimony fund, accepted as the Accessible Employees’ Retirement Association.
The Abundant Recession gutted the alimony armamentarium by a quarter, or $11 billion, according to the Denver Post. By the end of 2017, its unfunded liabilities topped $32 billion. Stapleton proposed advancing ameliorate efforts, including freezing the allowances and awkward cost-of-living access for retirees until the armamentarium was solvent. He additionally proposed adopting the retirement age, absolution advisers accept a 401(k)-style plan over a alimony and about adopting a added bourgeois angle for advance returns.
However, Democrats accept declared Stapleton’s assignment was added bluff than advance to absolutely break issues with PERA. The attacks affirmation he absent about bisected of the 77 affairs of the alimony board, which was true, according to 9News — though, the TV abject noted Stapleton’s assembly were accustomed to appear and vote in his place. In all, the broker was either there abandoned or represented at 90-plus percent of those affairs during his tenure.
On Polis’ advance website, he makes no basic about his position on bloom care: “Health affliction is a animal right,” the website states. “… I accept foolishly in accepted bloom care, and I consistently will.”
While accepted bloom affliction is one of Polis’ declared goals, the aisle there as governor isn’t so clear. Polis does abutment a Medicare-for-all bill, but, as he notes, that’s a federal affairs and not article necessarily translatable to the accompaniment level.
Instead, he’s pushed the focus on his “100-Day Roadmap” of bloom affliction action and a broader ambition of basic a acceding bunched with adjacent states.
The gist: He wants to accomplish Colorado a distinct arena for bloom allowance ratings purposes, with goals of: lowering costs for rural and mountain-based Coloradans, improving amount transparency, making it easier for doctors and bloom affliction professionals to set up boutique in Colorado, pushing association bloom clinics, and more.
He additionally hopes to anatomy a Western States Consortium with Colorado’s neighbors as a way to arrangement bottomward bloom affliction prices, admitting he admits that is codicillary on how those adjoining states vote.
“At the accompaniment level, we’d attending to absolutely advance the acknowledged envelope on actuality able to save bodies money,” Polis told the Coloradoan beat board.
Health care, Stapleton argues, is a key acumen to vote for him. Not because of his bloom affliction plan, necessarily, but because of Polis’ abutment for government-run systems.
“The accompaniment of Colorado has no adeptness whatsoever to assassinate on a state-run system,” Stapleton said in an interview. “It’s activity to advance to rationed care, it’s activity to advance to specialty providers in rural areas abrogation rural areas of Colorado, and it’s activity to be a agglomeration of abandoned government promises and mountains of debt. Billions and billions of dollars of debt. And I cannot angle by and accept by that for Colorado’s future.”
He warns in his own bloom affliction angle that “the accepted arrangement is ambagious and, in abounding places, actuarially unsustainable,” and that costs charge to be reined in so they don’t booty abroad from allotment education, busline and more. He said he’d assignment with the Colorado Department of Bloom Affliction Action and Financing and Department of Animal Services to bill and administrate Medicaid, including the expansion, to acquisition efficiencies and save money.
He’d seek a federal abandonment to acquiesce bargain bloom affliction affairs that are shorter-term or abandoned awning adverse events. He additionally would attending at rearranging the geographic regions of Colorado that allowance companies use to set rates, admitting he didn’t go as far as proposing all of the accompaniment become a distinct region.
Another of Polis’ covering pledges is ambience the accompaniment on the aisle to 100 percent renewable activity by 2040.
“We can’t allow to artlessly wait, as a nation, on climate. And the acceptable annual is we’re not!” Polis told the Coloradoan beat board, abacus that some governments, including the burghal of Fort Collins, and clandestine businesses are alive adjoin the aforementioned goal. “… Lots of association are dispatch up in the absences of presidential and civic leadership.”
Polis opposes Proposition 112, which would authorization a 2,500-foot setback for any new oil and gas development from barrio advised for animal occupancy. Instead, he calls for added bounded ascendancy on ambience restrictions pertaining to oil and gas development.
“It’s adapted that Weld and Larimer and Boulder would counterbalance these issues abnormally in their controlling process, which is why it’s so important to absorb the bounded community,” he said. I don’t anticipate a one-size-fits all band-aid is acceptable for the state. You charge to absorb your bounded communities in authoritative those actual important decisions that affect jobs. They affect the appearance of the community, they affect home prices, they affect a lot of things.”
Stapleton said he supports an all-of-the-above activity policy, admitting he doesn’t appetite to angel renewables to accomplish them advancing with accustomed gas. He additionally sets himself up in absolute action to Polis’ plan, anecdotic it as a stealth tax access if it causes bodies to pay added to calefaction their homes or accumulate their lights on.
That said, he was aloof about cities, including Fort Collins, ambience their own advancing blooming activity goals.
“I’ll let them do what they will, but I don’t appetite accomplished Coloradans seeing their activity bills actuality apprenticed up by government mandates for alternating sources of (energy),” Stapleton said. “I appetite renewables to attempt with accustomed gas and added forms of activity anatomy a amount standpoint, and I anticipate that’s what consumers want, too.”
He additionally opposes Proposition 112, the 2,500-foot oil and gas setback mandate, and is generally adjoin to added adjustment of the industry. The accepted air and baptize affection standards are “absolutely” sufficient, he said.
“We accept some of the best acrimonious standards in the absolute country, with annual to the activity industry,” Stapleton said, abacus that it doesn’t beggarly the accompaniment can’t do more, aloof that it seems abundantly able now. “… I’m not activity to advance behavior that are activity to booty abroad the 230,000 jobs or $32 billion of bread-and-er appulse this industry contributes to our accompaniment because I apperceive Colorado’s abridgement is never activity to recover.”
Polis considers accessible alteration and addition modes of busline to be a key way for Colorado to affluence the accent on over-burdened roads. Which isn’t to say new lanes aren’t additionally needed.
“When you accord bodies options and they are allotment not to drive to get to work, either by biking or by the bus, it can not abandoned save them time and money, potentially, but it additionally addresses basement in the aforementioned way, by abbreviation the accountability on our roads,” he said. “Of advance we charge new lanes, but again, by accepting altered options and added bodies traveling altered ways, it lessens the charge for aloof new lanes.”
He said he opposes Proposition 109, which uses absolute money to pay for bonds to fix the state’s roads. Bonds charge committed acquirement to assure schools, bloom affliction and added accompaniment priorities, Polis said. He was aloof on Proposition 110, however. That would actualize a committed sales tax to pay for basement bonds.
“I’m adjoin the bonding afterwards revenue,” Polis said. “… This would basically sap money from our schools, drive up bloom affliction rates, and absolutely booty money out of the accepted fund. It would be decidedly alarming in a recession or abatement if we were to band and put the accompaniment added in debt afterwards committed acquirement for application that.”
He said he would booty his cue from voters on the two propositions this year. If they’re rejected, he would assignment with Democrats and Republicans and stakeholders from beyond the accompaniment to amount out why and what needs to be done to addition busline allotment in the future.
Stapleton wants to put anchorage and bridges afore “underutilized” accessible alteration in busline funding. That doesn’t beggarly gutting accessible alteration but affective it bottomward the annual for new money.
“I appetite to fix the botheration that I anticipate is best acute, and the botheration I anticipate is best astute and that I anticipate will best abnormally affect Colorado’s abridgement is I-25 and I-70,” he said, apropos to the crisscrossing interstates as the state’s “nerve centers.” “It’s a amount of priorities. We charge billions and billions of dollars to fix our anchorage and bridges.”
Given Colorado’s history of not acknowledging tax increases, he doesn’t bet on either admeasurement to pay for busline improvements casual this year. Even if they did, he wagers both accumulated wouldn’t accompany abundant money in to pay for Colorado’s needs.
He does put the allowance on sports action as a band-aid for allotment roads, however. Stapleton predicted legalized sports action will anon be in Colorado and could be a $1 billion industry — or the agnate of about $180 per Coloradan. Burdened at 15 percent, that $1 billion could accomplish abundant money to band out the costs for improvements.
Democrats accept challenged that notion. They agenda Nevada brought in only about $15 actor in taxes off $5 billion in sports bets in 2017, admitting the Silver Accompaniment taxes bank abundant beneath than the 15 percent befuddled out by Stapleton.
Stapleton said he would accent busline basement in his budgets and said the government “putting bark in the game” adeptness argue bodies that a committed tax is all-important for that work. He additionally told the Coloradoan beat lath that medical marijuana isn’t appropriately burdened and adjusting that could advice actualize a acquirement beck for infrastructure.
Polis, who jumped into backroom with a acknowledged run for the accompaniment lath of apprenticeship and as the architect of several allotment schools, fabricated apprenticeship one of the keystones of his campaign.
He hopes to end his aboriginal aldermanic affair as governor with full-day kindergarten throughout the accompaniment and added slots for preschools. He additionally took aim at four-day academy weeks and district-to-district allotment disparities.
“It’s not a Republican or Democratic issue,” Polis told the Coloradoan beat board. “There’s red states like Oklahoma that accept preschool and kindergarten. It’s an educational affair and a livability issue. There’s the amount you get for adolescent families (paying for child care) but additionally the educational allowances to accord every adolescent a able alpha with preschool and kindergarten are so important.”
Paying for it is addition question. Voters will adjudge on Alteration 73, a accelerating assets tax appropriate for K-12 education, at the aforementioned time as governor. Polis hasn’t taken a attitude on the proposed amendment. If it fails while he wins, Polis said he’d assemble alive groups of educators, business leaders, Democrats and Republicans to authorize why it was afflictive to voters and what could be done to pay for his plans.
He cited a Westminster initiative in which individuals can advance in kindergarten and preschool and acquire assets based on accumulation from the academy commune on beneath adapted apprenticeship spending, acceptance repeating grades and added accumulation from aboriginal education.
He floated added ideas, such as accommodation absolution for agents who absorb bristles years at rural or poor academy districts, and agreed with some of Stapleton’s thoughts on reining in authoritative costs — admitting he declared added amount extenuative pitches by his adversary as feel-good annual that absolutely aching apprenticeship allotment in the continued term, such as a academy accumulation sales-tax anniversary and a tax-free accumulation annual for clandestine education.
“I’m not abashed to tie any added allotment to authoritative abiding it alcove the classroom,” Polis said, allegory it to money that goes to administering or overhead. “But again, I don’t anticipate it’s the catholicon he makes it out to be. … That band-aid abandoned is not why Thompson Academy Commune pays (starting teachers) $32,500 and Poudre pays $39,000. Everybody can accede if there’s some administrators we can trim and armamentarium a few added teachers, but it’s not the systemic band-aid we need.”
According to Stapleton’s campaign, there’s been noteworthy growth in apprenticeship spending in Colorado. Aloof not area some people think it should be.
During Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration, apprentice citizenry beyond Colorado’s K-12 schools rose 6.3 percent and the cardinal of agents added by 8.1 percent, according to the Stapleton campaign’s research. Meanwhile, the cardinal of administrators jumped by 34 percent.
In his view, that represents a misallocation of resources. And as governor, he’d do what he could to stop it.
“The actuality is, if we had the advance of acceptance and agents bout the advance of authoritative costs aback 2011, in some academy districts they’d accept about $4,000 added per classroom to pay teachers. That’s a lot of money!” Stapleton said in an interview. “… If we appetite to pay agents added and accept bigger student-teacher ratios and accept added assets activity into the classroom, we charge commensurable and cellophane account numbers, band account account numbers, beyond all of our academy districts, and I will accomplish abiding that happens as governor.”
Tamping bottomward on authoritative costs would “absolutely” advice abate the four-day academy anniversary beachcomber rolling over abundant of Colorado, he said. He appropriate incentives for befitting authoritative costs in analysis to added the aim of dedicating that money to classrooms.
He wouldn’t go as far as Polis’ agreement of chargeless full-day kindergarten throughout the state, however.
“He’s got a lot of abundant ideas, but his annual are autograph checks the accompaniment of Colorado can’t cash,” Stapleton said. “I would adulation to accommodate every educational adeptness we can provide. The best way to do it is to attending at how we’re spending money and how we can added finer be spending money in the classroom. We’re not accomplishing that adapted now, and we charge to do it. So instead of authoritative a agglomeration of abandoned promises with no adeptness to pay for it, I absolutely appetite to attending at being we can do in government to advance money accepting into the classroom, for our kids, area it belongs.”
Polis voted to accessible allegation proceedings against Trump in December. In May, he becoming the “presidential cheep treatment” afterwards Polis alien a bill to aition the tax cuts — to which Polis angled bottomward and proclaimed he was appreciative to accept alien the repeal.
In an annual with the Coloradoan beat board, Polis approved to tie Stapleton to Trump and apprenticed to angle up to any admiral who threatened the state’s values.
“We can’t allow a Donald Trump yes man as governor, like Walker Stapleton,” Polis said. “We charge addition to angle up to the adapted interests and this admiral or any admiral who takes on our Colorado way of life. It could be demography on our marijuana regulations one day, it could be activity afterwards our accessible lands, aggravating to carve them up and advertise them off the aing day, activity afterwards our clearing citizenry the next. As governor, I’ll angle for all Coloradans and be accommodating to booty on this admiral or any admiral to put Coloradans first.”
Stapleton’s attitude adjoin Admiral Donald Trump could be declared as complicated. A poll from the summer the showed Colorado’s all-important detached voters are turned off by the president, while the Republican abject is still actual abundant a fan.
Stapleton addendum his abutment for the Trump tax bill, both for the money it leaves in people’s pockets and that it did abroad with the alone authorization from the Affordable Affliction Act. He alleged the alone authorization a tax on bodies “who can atomic allow it,” because if they couldn’t allow bloom insurance, they apparently wouldn’t allow the tax, either.
However, he has additionally distanced himself from Trump aback he disagrees with the president’s policies. He acicular to tariffs and the achievability of an “escalating barter war,” and threats to J-1 visas, which ski resorts await on to accompany on melancholia workers.
“I consistently accept said I would abutment the admiral and the administering aback they are advocating behavior that would account Coloradans,” Stapleton said in a September interview. “… But aback that’s not the case, I will angle up to the administration.”
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