Chuck McConnell: Decisions guided by principles

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Election 2012

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Chuck McConnell

Our state’s unemployment rate is more than 8 percent, and that is just not acceptable. Unemployment is not simply a statistic, it represents real pain for families all across Northwest Colorado. I will work every day if elected to help small businesses in our state hire more employees; invest in property, plants and equipment; and help contribute to the American Dream.

We are blessed with God-given resources in Northwest Colorado. Our mountains and unequalled natural beauty provide attraction for tourism and recreation. Agriculture thrives here and across the Western Slope. Our coal mine and electric generation facilities form a substantial economic base even while their continued operations face unprecedented threats from Washington, D.C.

The hard economic times we now face make a strong case for economic diversity. Oil and gas development will, if unburdened by excessive regulations, provide high-paying jobs, revenues to our mineral owners, tax revenues to our state and local governments for schools and needed services and a revived economic vitality so critical to small businesses in our communities. We have been drilling oil wells in Routt County for decades without threatening the health and safety of our citizens. I will fight to ensure that we responsibly can take advantage of this important jobs and economic opportunity.

Another opportunity for job creation is in our extensive forest resources. Drought conditions, beetle-killed timber and unmanaged undergrowth provided a perfect storm for this past year’s dreadful fires in our state. Increasing efforts to allow private-public participation in forest management will produce jobs and benefit our economy. Increased access to forests under state supervision will provide jobs and would help mitigate wild fire conditions that threaten lives, property, water resources and tourism.

As your representative in Denver, my decisions and policies will be guided by my basic principles. Among those basic principles is the belief in the importance of private property rights. Private property rights are fundamental to our foundation as a nation. Property owners have the right to responsibly enjoy the benefits of their property without interference from government at any level.

With the ever-increasing demands for water on the Front Range, I will fight to keep Western Slope water here on the Western Slope.

I think the right to keep and bare arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of our Constitution must be defended.

I will work to protect Coloradans from rapid growth of government and the higher taxes and fees that accompany that undue growth. As recently as 2010, a package of 12 legislative bills aimed at increasing government revenues by eliminating existing tax credits was a back-door attempt to get around TABOR. As your representative, I will vote against tax and fees increases.

With common-sense leadership, Colorado can be at the forefront in bringing America out of our current economic slide. I have the experience and work ethic to very effectively represent you in House District 26.

I ask for your support and vote on Nov. 6.

Chuck McConnell is a Steamboat Springs resident and the Republican candidates for Colorado House District 26 representing Routt and Eagle counties. Learn more at www.chuckmcconnellcolorado.com.

Election Guide 2012

Comments

bill schurman 1 year, 10 months ago

Why did you purchase a Japanese vehicle, instead of an American vehicle and keeping the money here as opposed to sending the money to Japan ??? That is not showing much support for American business. You try to talk a good game but you actions "speak' differently I await your reply.

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cindy constantine 1 year, 10 months ago

Bill, give it a rest!! This is about the 10th time you have mentioned this concern. I think we know how you feel and how you will vote irrespective of what Chuck drives!!

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 10 months ago

"We have been drilling oil wells in Routt County for decades without threatening the health and safety of our citizens."

Right, because we haven't been fracking them...

"Property owners have the right to responsibly enjoy the benefits of their property without interference from government at any level."

Come off it, man. You're saying property owners should be allowed to pump as much of "their" water as they want, or kill as much of "their" game as it takes to feed their families? The fact that some things, like natural resources, are part of the public commons doesn't mean that managing these resources amounts to some sort of undue government interference.

Severance taxes paid on mineral extraction are justified because severing natural resources from the public commons is a privilege, not a right, as are water use and hunting. Politicians who have confused themselves into believing ownership of said minerals is some sort of inherent property right of the landowner, don't get my vote.

Applying this same ideological belief to water or game would be a disaster, so it's best if I vote for candidates who understand what the public commons consists of, and are dedicated to protecting everyone's interests in them -- instead of pandering to the desire of those few among us whose property serendipitously includes these resources, to believe this confers ownership rights upon them.

Saying a landowner should be able to pump as much water, shoot as many elk, or pump as much oil as they want without government interference, is radical extremism we don't need in the statehouse. It is a model of governance which benefits the select few at the expense of everyone else, based on ideology which traces not to the founders of this nation, but to Ayn Rand.

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bill schurman 1 year, 10 months ago

Good comment, Eric. McConnell's opinions are typical of Republicans, you know, "I got mine, screw the rest".

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 10 months ago

Um, Bill, my Japanese car, and the German one before it, were made in the USA -- betcha there's German and Japanese autoworkers kvetching about their jobs being shipped off to America...

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 10 months ago

Heh, didn't see Bill's reply before my last post, making it seem kinda rude... thanks for the kind words, Bill...

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 10 months ago

"McConnell's opinions are typical of Republicans..."

Well, today's GOP, for sure. It wasn't all that long ago when one could discuss the public commons with a Republican without having to explain that, no, it isn't socialism... not that it does any good. The realization strikes me that the last Republicans I voted for for CC (Stahoviak and Monger), may be the last Republicans I vote for, for CC. The national-party talking points and dog-whistles are all I get from Republican candidates any more, at any level above OC Town Board.

Certainly was that way when Mr. McConnell appeared at my door the other month with his substance-free doorhanger and dodged my questions about exactly what he meant by "public-private partnership to clean up our forests" when he brought that up while talking about the wood pellets stacked on my porch. I wrote here the other week about how I once filed an antitrust lawsuit against the County, what they un-did in response was a public-private partnership, so that's just the sort of thing I'm going to ask a candidate about if he broaches the issue on my doorstep -- dodging that question just makes it seem like he already has some cronies in mind to reward for their generous campaign contributions with beetle-kill contracts, or something.

I may agree with the ends a candidate favors, but I expect more from a candidate, like the means they'd use to achieve those ends -- exactly the sorts of details which are now taboo for candidates of a certain political party to discuss, apparently, and not just at the top of the ticket. Just too disgusted with the GOP anymore (not that the Dems are much better) -- I used to vote for the person not the party, but that 'R' now gives me serious pause. Call it voter backlash against, mainly, the permafilibuster -- it is NOT how we're supposed to do things in this country to require a 60% Senate majority on every little thing... don't get me started, but a vote for a Republican is a vote against good governance.

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mark hartless 1 year, 10 months ago

O.K. I've got to take a crack at this one...

Perhaps, Mr "in love with America", he purchased his Jap car because, like mine, his last Chevrolet was a POS.

I know I'm not nearly as bright as you, Mr Bowman, but I have read McConnells letter twice and I could not find one phrase, sentance, or even word about letting people take minerals, wildlife, or water from their land without any restriction like you talk about.

He even states that oil production would "provide... tax revenues to our state and local governments..." as if to say he agrees with that premise.

However, property owners do, in fact, own water. Try to stop a rancher from using "his" water and every single court in the state will correctly side with the rancher.

And, um, I could be mistaken but I believe Monger is a Democrat.

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bill schurman 1 year, 10 months ago

Mark, But the Courts will side with the greedy developers and cities in the front range who keep the water from the "thirsty" Eastern Slope farmers. BTW: Monger runs as a Democrat but thinks as a Republican. Have a good evening... , Bill

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 10 months ago

"...is so completely devoid of principle that there is no trusting her..."

Isn't that just another way of calling someone a politician? I would happily vote for politicians who stand on principle. Sadly, I'll have to make do with the choices on offer...

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 10 months ago

"However, property owners do, in fact, own water. Try to stop a rancher from using 'his' water and every single court in the state will correctly side with the rancher."

Really?

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2012/aug/28/head-gates-pumps-shut-down-elk-river-north-steambo/

If property owners own their water, then they can use as much of it as they want. Instead, they only have a right to use x amount of water, subject to calls from senior rights holders (ultimately the state) and are subject to having their ditches shut down if they can't prove they aren't exceeding their state-mandated allowance -- what court would stop the state?

"I have read McConnells letter twice and I could not find one phrase, sentance, or even word about letting people take minerals, wildlife, or water from their land without any restriction like you talk about."

Then what does he favor? I'd love specifics, but we just get "Property owners have the right to responsibly enjoy the benefits of their property without interference from government at any level" which, lacking specifics from the candidate, certainly implies making their own decisions about what constitutes responsible use of natural resources, not the state. How else would you take his meaning, combined with his previous quote in this paper about how it's "their" minerals?

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Eric J. Bowman 1 year, 10 months ago

"He even states that oil production would 'provide... tax revenues to our state and local governments...' as if to say he agrees with that premise."

I certainly didn't accuse a politician of making sense. Yes, it is a contradiction to support taxation on the one hand, while disputing the very basis of that taxation (the state owns natural resources, not the property owner) on the other. You realize the "Property owners have the right to responsibly enjoy the benefits of their property without interference from government at any level" quote is referring to the Camilletti's right to unfettered drilling of "their" oil by whomever they decide to contract with, right? Without the government interference of requiring that contractor to establish a monitoring well not required by the State of CO? It's dog-whistle phrasing, but that's clearly the issue here.

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Harry Thompson 1 year, 10 months ago

Eric, you need to look into Colorado law, let me say that again COLORADO LAW. The state established minerals as a property right, that can run with the land or be severed from the land. Either way it is owned, if the minerals are severed from the land, taxes are collected. If you don't pay your taxes the county will auction your minerals or land to someone who will pay. Fact is there is value in owned minerals.

What Chuck is saying is that the minerals can be extracted in a responsible way. I've never heard him say any anything else and know that he would never stand for it being done in any other manner. End of point.

He rightly points out the good things that can be done with the monies that the county collects from the extracted minerals. You know, like the roads and bridges that need improvement, schools, law enforcement, the county airport, social programs and so many other items. Maybe if the the county commissioners would look ahead and de-Bruce we could even have a huge surplus in the county coffers for capital improvements and emergency funds.

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mark hartless 1 year, 10 months ago

No, Eric. If property owners own THEIR water they can use all of THEIR water. I didnt say they owned ALL water and niether did anyone else. They own a certain number of CFS and can use ALL of that which they OWN.

You have decided who is right-wrong, good-evil, corrupt-honest and are just stopming all the pieces into what I'm ready to label the very bizzare and hate-filled puzzle you have in your mind.

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