Steamboat Springs House District 57 candidate Terry Carwile charged Gov. Bill Owens with "appalling fiscal mismanagement" while speaking in front of a group of more than 50 Routt County Democrats Tuesday night.
Carwile attributed the state's current budget deficit in part to what he called "hoo doo economics" on the part of the governor.
"He pushed for a $600 million tax cut, then turned around and borrowed $600 million in tax anticipation loans that must be paid back by the end of the fiscal year," Carwile said.
He was speaking during the annual Routt County Democratic Assembly at Olympian Hall in the Howelsen Hill Lodge.
Carwile, who works at Trapper Mine in Craig, is seeking a seat in the state legislature representing Moffat and Routt counties as well as Grand, Jackson, Rio Blanco and a portion of western Garfield County. He is challenging first term incumbent Al White, R-Winter Park .
The makeup of former District 56, has changed since White defeated Jay Fetcher in the November 2000 election. Legislative redistricting in the wake of the 2000 Census lopped Eagle County off the old District 56 and added Moffat County to the new District 57.
Carwile said he has participated in the last seven Ride the Rockies bicycle tours. He pointed to his bike and vowed to campaign throughout the district pulling a trailer piled with campaign literature behind him. He said he had just come from the Democratic Assembly in Craig and was encouraged by the turnout.
"I was astounded to see that many Democrats in Moffat County in one place," he quipped.
A longtime big game hunter, Carwile weighed in on the issue of chronic wasting disease and called for new testing methods that won't necessitate the widespread killing of game animals.
"Chronic wasting disease is a quality of life issue. The current practice of eradicating CWD is a scorched earth policy," Carwile said. "We need to improve our test methods so we don't have to lop the head off every deer and elk in Northwest Colorado to find out if they're diseased."
Carwile called for the development of simplified testing methods that big game outfitters could be trained in.
Carwile also had harsh words for the Motherwell Ranch, where wild deer confined within the ranch fence, were the first that tested positive for CWD.
"I have a deep personal bias about what they're doing at places like the Motherwell Ranch," Carwile said. "To enclose a piece of land and charge $20,000 (for a big game hunt) is unethical to me. It offends me. It's deeply offensive. I'm a public lands hunter."
Carwile also criticized the Owens administration over the impact he believes "content standards" or CSAP testing is having on local school districts. Carwile said he finds it ironic that a Republican administration, traditionally known for seeking to "get government off the backs of the people," has created, in the form of mandated testing, a "huge bureaucratic entity meant to steer local school systems."