McConnell discusses issues in town hall meeting

Congressional candidate says country has "lost its way"


Learn more

For more information about McConnell’s campaign, click here

— Since the day they met, Bob McConnell said his wife, Phyllis, has joked with him about what he keeps in his pockets.

McConnell, a Republican candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, emptied his pockets to a gathering of more than 30 people during a town hall meeting Tuesday night in Steamboat Springs. The items included a pocketknife, a lighter, lip balm, his Army Ranger coin, a headlamp, something to stop bleeding and a compass.

McConnell, 63, is a retired Army colonel and labor lawyer who has lived in Colorado since 1984 and moved to Steamboat in 2007. He told a story about how he first realized his compass was broken while looking for a restaurant in Seattle. Every direction he pointed the compass was north, he said.

But it made him realize something, he said — something about the country.

“I’m afraid right now our compass isn’t working,” he said. “I think we’ve lost our way.”

McConnell will square off in the Republican primary in August against state Rep. Scott Tipton, of Cortez, and 9th Judicial District Attorney Martin Beeson, of Glenwood Springs. Whoever wins the GOP nod will face Democratic U.S. Rep. John Salazar, who was elected in 2007 to his third term.

McConnell used his compass analogy throughout the two-hour town hall meeting, in which he asked those present to tell him what they thought was wrong with the way the United States is operating and brainstorm solutions.

The crowd listed the economy, job loss, the United Nations, securing U.S. borders, the Federal Reserve System, health care, Iraq, Afghanistan and outsourcing jobs.

McConnell said his campaign is based on five core principles: limited government, lower taxes, free market capitalism, strong national defense, and protecting individual rights and developing individual responsibilities.

He said solutions to questions about how the country is operating can be answered using those core principles, but he also mentioned a few specifics.

To stimulate the economy, McConnell said reducing the tax burden on business owners would create more jobs, including in Colorado. About securing the borders, McConnell said immigrants needed to enter the U.S. legally to become productive members of society. And regarding the war, he said President Barack Obama should lead the country to victory or bring the troops home.

He asked those in attendance to help him take the country back.

McConnell said his goal for Congress was to serve only three terms and to “raise hell,” “rattle cages” and “shake things up.”

“We do that by putting citizen leaders, not career politicians, in Washington,” he said.

McConnell said Tuesday’s town hall meeting in Steamboat was the first of more than 25 he’s planned in the district’s 29 counties leading up to the primary.


mmjPatient22 7 years, 5 months ago

No mention of a stance on medical marijuana? Just wondering where it fits in with all the individual rights, free market capitalism and limited government stuff.


seeuski 7 years, 5 months ago

There was no mention of it because no one was interested. What more do you want? The world is in economic chaos and you want to discuss pot smoking? You would never vote for a conservative anyway so why bother?


mmjPatient22 7 years, 5 months ago

No one was interested? I think that a majority vote to put an amendment in our state constitution regarding the people's right to access medicinal marijuana constitutes more than in interest. If there's a candidate for a position that entails representing the will of a group of people, I would think that those people being represented would be interested in what the candidates views are on issues that are important to them. It doesn't seem very likely that there will be a candidate, at least not in the near future, that won't have to deal with this issue. Like it or not, it's been a part of our state's constitution for close to a decade and it doesn't look like there's going to be a huge reversal of trends any time soon. And as far as my vote is concerned, I don't really know how much relevance it bears here. This isn't about my vote. This is about Mr. McConnell's ability to earn the votes of those whom he'll be serving.


ybul 7 years, 5 months ago

If the will of the majority were that we were to all jump off a cliff. Should those in the minority jump off the cliff? The role of government is to protect the rights of individuals not legislate the views of the majority.

This country was founded as a constitutional republic, our forefathers knew what they did not want, for the most part and took much of the foundations of this country from the Iriquois.

I am tired of both sides of the aisle legislating their morality on me. I think under the surface the battle has not been between the Dems and the Repubs, it has been between the individual and the collectivists. The collectivists think that the general public are not enlightened enough to be trusted with their own decisions. Where as if allowed to reach for their true potential most people and the world would be better off if we fostered an environment which allowed the individual to flourish.

Yes the government needs to be there to protect us from others transgressions. Belching toxins into the environment should have an impact fee imposed upon them. Allowing an individual to choose to drink raw milk if the choose with all knowledge of how the milk was produced. If an individual thinks they need pot to survive then as long as those individuals are responsible for their actions after doing so, then let it be.

We need more personal responsibility that is missing in society today. So when the majority makes a mistake, everyone gets to pay for it. Why not make it the individuals responsibility to ensure they are not treading on others or fines will be enforced. We are moving further and further away from being able to do so, entangling ourselves in so many international treaties.

As seeuski stated there are so many things wrong today, pot is so far down the list that who cares. If McConnell's is of the libertarian leaning group of GOP candidates, I am not sure he is, that is what we need more of, to ensure that the individual is able to be protected over the wishes of the collectivist majority, of either party.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

mmjPatient22 , Instead of holding your own personal town hall meeting here on your personal rights to smoke dope why not go to Mr. McConnell's next meeting and ask him yourself? He responded to I believe six issues raised by those in attendance and not to what only he would answer. He gave everyone ample opportunity to ask whatever they wanted and he answered everyone's questions honestly. He put out his reasons for running and he announced that his stint as our Congressman would be for only 3 terms. He indicated his desire for term limits so the people are better represented over the interests of the big business lobby groups. I absolutely have no idea what his stance on pot smoking is and it would not matter to me because he stands for the principles laid out in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which he carries with him and claims as his moral compass in his decision making process. We shall see how the 2010 elections reflect the growing grass roots movement that the 9/12 project and the Tea Party groups are fueling. I was just watching some of the c-span coverage of the Senate Health Care debate but got sick while listening to the Dems continue to lie about this farce and turned it off. This issue is what we will all have to deal with in a big way if they shove this power grab through. So I guess choose your issue of importance but to me pot is low on the list of current needs.


mmjPatient22 7 years, 4 months ago

There's no need to get all bitchy about it. I was just wondering if there was anyone out there with the information. And I'm not the one turning this comment section into a health care debate forum. There was only one mention of health care in the article and it didn't even give light as to his stance on that either. I don't really have the desire to go to any town hall meetings for any candidates. For the most part, they're just dog and pony shows that don't bear a whole lot of weight in the end. My choice of issues is the one that's going to save(make) us money, not the issue that will tax(cost) us more money. By RE-legalizing marijuana, there will be an extra $5 Billion annually, at the least, for tax-payers to re-designate as important for other causes. Surely you don't believe that pursuing potheads and their suppliers is more important than cracking down on really important things like meth, cocaine, heroin, homelessness, hunger, education, corruption and infrastructure, do you? No, it's obvious that you don't. The thing that a majority of people relentlessly fail to remember is that by RE-legalizing marijuana, there will be an instantaneous savings that ranks in the Billions of dollars. However, by pushing some new health care, education, infrastructure or war effort into affect you are instantaneously placing a new tax burden on people, the cost of which is measured in question marks.


Brian Kotowski 7 years, 4 months ago


Touchy today, aren't we? You're the only one here who's "bitchy". I appreciate your passion. You need to appreciate that not everyone shares it. That certainly appears to have been the case at Mr. McConnell's meeting.


seeuski 7 years, 4 months ago

Toke on. Thanks for answering for me I won't need to involve myself with the pot conversation, which was never a topic, since you have both sides of it. Good day.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.