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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.