Two days ago I announced my candidacy for governor of Colorado. I will seek the nomination of the American Constitution Party and will run on a conservative platform of fiscal responsibility, return to the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and adherence to the rule of law.
And yes, immigration and secure borders will be an issue in the campaign because Colorado has become a sanctuary state with $1.4 billion being spent on services to illegal aliens, and that must end.
My candidacy is controversial at the outset because I am running as a third-party candidate. Why am I doing that?
Conservatives outside of Colorado may have a hard time understanding the implosion of the Colorado Republican Party. Believe me, I wish it had not happened, and I wish I could support one of the Republican candidates. I did my best over the past year to support former Rep. Scott McInnis, but his widely publicized ethical lapses have destroyed any credibility he once had.
Colorado voters deserve to have a real choice in voting for governor, and the Republican Party in 2010 does not offer that choice. A write-in campaign is not a realistic alternative. That’s why I decided to seek the nomination of the American Constitution Party.
I am running for governor because I cannot sit by and watch the state fall into the hands of Denver’s sanctuary-city mayor, John Hickenlooper. He is an ultraliberal Democrat who has catered to every leftist group and cause and raised taxes on Denver residents over a dozen times. With the twin assets of media support and heavy Democratic registration, he has never been subjected to real competition for public office. That will now change.
As mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper has ignored state laws prohibiting sanctuary-city policies. His pal, Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter, has winked at those sanctuary policies and never enforced existing laws. When I am governor, that will change.
In economic terms, for four years now Colorado has been coasting on the momentum created by its past reputation as a business-friendly state. But the accumulated capital of past policies has been spent by the liberal regime that took power in 2006. Colorado now faces a $1 billion budget shortfall, and the only way to close that gap is to reduce state spending. Colorado needs to re-establish job creation and economic growth as the top priority of state government. We need to bring common sense and business accountability to all state spending and end subsidies to politically fashionable industries and interest groups.
Illegal immigration is an issue in Colorado because it is now an issue in every state. Some of the costs associated with illegal immigration, such as the hundreds of millions spent on K-12 education for children brought here by their parents, cannot be curtailed in the short term because of federal mandates. But we can begin the process of challenging those costs and those federal mandates. That is a responsibility of a governor who is looking out for Colorado’s citizens and taxpayers, not inviting a continued flow of illegal aliens into the state.
As governor, I will work in concert with other state governors to partner with the federal government in enforcing federal immigration laws. For example, Colorado will enact and will enforce Arizona-style laws requiring employers to use the federal e-verify program. I will work with other governors who see the immense burdens placed on state taxpayers by our lack of secure borders and will strenuously oppose any new amnesty for illegal aliens.
Like other states, Colorado has drifted away from the sound principles of limited government. Besides balancing the state budget each year without new taxes, we must also scrutinize all of state government operations and find ways to modernize, privatize and downsize agency activities wherever possible. Success in this downsizing effort will require aggressive leadership, not simply a token effort assigned to some “blue-ribbon commission.”
I believe my candidacy will offer Colorado voters a real choice in November, and that choice will be between a conservative dedicated to limited government and a stealth socialist named John Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper is Colorado’s version of Barack Obama, an ultraliberal who masquerades as a centrist. I will challenge him to spell out his vision of Colorado’s future so no citizen, no voter will be fooled by his euphemisms and casual friendliness.
If Colorado voters want to march with eyes wide open into a socialist swamp, they can do that, but I will not let them sleepwalk into it. I will offer a better choice, a brighter future, a reinvigoration of our historic principles and traditional values. I hope patriots across the nation will join me by going to my campaign website, TancredoforGovernor2010.org.