Black,White & Right, George Rivera, August 24, 2013

Station:     KZNT, 1460 AM

Show:        Black, White & Right

Guests:     Rivera


Date:         August 24, 2013

Topics:      Morse Recall, Attack ads, Bernie Herpin, Senate District 3, Senate District 11, Angela Giron, John Morse, Social Issues, Platform, Policy Analysis, Second Amendment, Gun Rights,

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HOST DERRICK WILBURN:  Thanks for coming on, George!  Now, our listen – our rad—our footprint doesn’t quite make it to Pueblo, but you can let your people know on your website and on your Facebook, and whatever, that  they can pick up the podcast and listen to this interview online, probably as soon as tomorrow.  George, why don’t you just give everybody the quick elevator speech – uh, who you are, where you come from, what seat your running for and why you’re running for it.

RECALL ELECTION GOP CANDIDATE FOR SENATE DISTRICT 3 (PUEBLO COUNTY) GEORGE RIVERA:   I Well, that’s a lot to kind of compact in, but the short of it is, I’m Pueblo, born and raised here in Pueblo.  34 years in law enforcement, retiring as a Deputy Chief in 2005.  I got into this race because specifically because of the legislation that’s been passed over this last session was just pretty crazy.  And of course, the Second Amendment –um, infringing on the Second Amendment the legislation that was passed just was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

HOST ROBERT BLAHA:  Well, George, thanks for running, thanks for stepping up, thanks for speaking out.  We need more and more people to do that. Give us a low-down on the race.  You know, you’re race is very representative of our race here, of what’s going on —  A lot of nasty ads being run, a lot of untruths out there.  How are things  going?  Just real quick, how are they going?

RIVERA:  Well, I believe that the two races are mirror images of each other.  It’s obvious to me that they are being coordinated by the same folks.  And, uh, you know, the ads are trying to make something of social issues, but once again the idea is just that they’re trying to deflect from the main reason for the recall election which was of course Senator Giron’s vote on that Second Amendment – I mean, on that gun control bill that affected the Second Amendment

WILLBURN:  Okay, now, you brought up the name of your opposition, which is Angela Giron.  Why don’t you give us the quick and dirty on her .  What –first of all, tell our listeners exactly what seat you are running for.

RIVERA:  I’m running for the Colorado state Senate district 3, down here in Pueblo.

WILLBURN:  Okay, and Senator Giron, do you — how long has she been in office?

RIVERA:  Uh, this is her first term.  And this is her only term that she’s had, as far as I know.

WILLBURN:  Her first and only, now! That can be taken more than one way.  So, how are you feeling about your – well, let’s back up.  So, Senator Giron, what is it about her specific actions as a legislator in her freshman term that caused you as a citizen to stand up and say, “Enough is enough!  We need to remove this person from office.”?

RIVERA:  Well, once again, in this legislative session, from what I’m understanding talking to other legislators in it, was like no other that’s been before.  The Democrats apparently had total control of the House and the Senate, and then of course, Governor Hickenlooper in the Governor’s mansion, there.  And so, they pretty much did about anything they wanted to do with legislation.  And whether it had to do gun rights, or whether it had to do with electricity down here – renewable energies, whether it had to do business, whether it had to do with water affected down here, they just kind of went their own way.  And once again, listening to all the things that were being passed, just without a whole lot of input from folks, and not listening to folks.  People who would go up to the Statehouse felt that they were not listened to one little bit.  When it came to a head with the petition driving campaign down here, and then they needed a candidate to run, that’s when I stepped forward.

WILLBURN:   Good for you.  Good for you.  And you say you’ve got a background in law enforcement.  I’ve met George and known him from multiple Tea Party functions and Republican functions in Pueblo county.  What has the support been like for you from the GOP?

RIVERA:  It’s been great, down here!  Becky Mizel , the chairperson for the GOP down here, has been very supportive, has worked very hard to get volunteers, to get people to get involved.  And has been supportive in – well, even today, there was an article in the Pueblo Chieftain, concerning these negative ads that are put out there, and she’s not afraid to step up to the plate and say, “Wait a minute!  This is terrible, what you guys are doing!”

BLAHA:  Well, it is terrible.  And we started to get into this a little bit, George, before the break.  But these ads that are running are totally, complete falsehoods.  They are inaccurate.  They are misleading, misguiding, and the bottom line is, as you’ve said very will, they’re coordinated at a very high level.  I believe—this is Robert – I believe that this is just representative of people taking the money, George.  You know, If they had ethics and morals–the TV stations, the radio stations that were running these ads, the truth is out, they’re false, and they should be taken down.   How are you responding to that?  How are you responding to all these lies that are being told?

RIVERA:  You know, the thing is, is this election is about one thing and one thing only.  And that is that Senator Giron failed to listen to her constituents, specifically as it related to gun control.  They made it loud and clear to her, “Don’t pass these bills!”  She went about her way, and went along with the Democrats in Denver.  And now, she’s being called to task on that issue, and now her campaign, once again, is trying to deflect all attention away from that core fact and going off into social issues  that, like you say, have absolutely nothing to do with this recall election.

BLAHA:   So, what you’re doing, then, is you’re turning that around and getting it back on the issue.  And the issue is, “You don’t listen, and you voted the wrong way.”

RIVERA:  And that’s exactly correct.  And just like I told the reporter from the Chieftain yesterday, the first question that voters are going to have to answer on that ballot is, “Should Senator Giron be recalled?”  Everything else is secondary.  Everything else is secondary.  And I’m secondary in that matter –for that matter, as a candidate.  That is, again, the first and core question.  And that’s the same thing up in Colorado Springs.  That’s the first and core question up there, “Should Senator Morse be recalled?”

WILLBURN:  Very good.  So, George, we understand the differences between you and your opponent.  Why don’t you tell us what you stand for, what your positions are concerning [the] Second Amendment, concerning taxation.  You can’t get into a deep policy platform analysis, but a couple items right off the top, what can people expect if they’re represented by George Rivera?

RIVERA:  First and foremost, I’m a Second Amendment supporter.  I believe in the right of every person to be able to have weapons and defend themselves.  Again, 34 years in law enforcement taught me what weapons can be used by bad people when they get them inappropriately, and what they can be used for by people who use them responsibly, and for the right things such as self defense.  And, of course, Senator Giron and myself, we differ in a couple of things, especially, like I said, the renewable energies, they’re going to – the bill that was passed that’s going to end up costing folks out in rural areas a  bunch of money as it gets put into place.  And the water, which I cannot understand how she could vote in support of a bill that would affect our water rights here in Pueblo.   But, my whole philosophy is try to use common sense –common sense and core values.  Core values are so important, especially in the Hispanic culture:  family, religion, working hard, responsibility, accountability.  All those things are core values that I have, and plan to use when considering legislation that might come before me up in the Statehouse.

WILLBURN:  Now, you mentioned the Hispanic community, and I’m glad you did, George, because Pueblo is a different demographic than Colorado Springs, certainly.  Pueblo leans Democrat, although I would argue leans conservative, at the same time – about 55-56% Hispanic population down there.  Give us a real idea of what your district looks like.  Is this thing winnable?

RIVERA:  Oh, I believe it is very winnable.  I –the – again, speaking to core values, that’s what is important.  And the Second Amendent, again, — gun rights,  is very important here in Pueblo.  We were just talking about that yesterday, how this is a kind of a blue collar town and we’re kind of just the small town – that big town with a small town feel.  Everybody knows everybody down here.  And guns down here are things that people like.  They’re hobbyists, they’re hunters, and so on.  And they don’t want anybody fooling with their gun rights.  And this is shown in the fact that people who were signing that petition with the Pueblo Freedom and Rights, ran across the board, because they were Indepentdent, Democrats, Republican, — they had a lot of people from every political persuasion signing that petition, that’s for sure!

BLAHA:  You know, George, we’re talking about – we’re talking with George Rivera.  We’re talking about Second Amendment issues.  But you know, George, to me – to us—it’s so much more than just Second Amendment.  That will be the motivation to get people out. And as a Second Amendment advocate, Derrick and I are really behind your idea.  But you know what?  You said something really smart earlier in your conversation.  And that is, they just stopped listening.  These people stopped listening, they were going to have their own way.  And she’s part of that whole crew.  That “let’s jam it down your throat, we got our far-Left agenda, you’re going to eat it, that’s how it’s going to be.”  And I think the fact that people like you are standing up is going to have a huge impact.  Are you picking up from a lot of people in your area, “Thank you so much for doing this!  We’ve got to move in a different direction!”  What are you picking up?

RIVERA:  Well, I have.  I’ve been out campaigning and walking the precincts and so on, and I’ve been concentrating a lot on the businesses.  And that’s exactly what people are telling me:  “Thanks for stepping up! Really appreciate it!”  And one of the things that they’re really – I guess —  impressed with is that I’d never been in political office before.  I’ve had no intention of ever running for political office until this situation came about. And when I tell people, “You know what?  I’ve never been in political office”  they’re like – they’re happy about that.

BLAHA:  Well, that’s what we need.

RIVERA:  [inaudible] you know, we need somebody in there that’s not just one of the group.

BLAHA:  Well, we – on both sides of the aisle, George, we need people that will stand up, that have values/ethics/morals, that will speak out, and that’s what you’re doing.  You stood up. You said, “Now, listen, I’m not a politico!  This isn’t what I do for a living, but given what transpired, I’m going to do it!”  You know, we tried to get a couple folks – we had calls out to Morse and to Herpin, up here.  And they chose to not join us here this morning, for some reason.

WILLBURN:  Giron, as well.

BLAHA:  And Giron, as well.  –Because we wanted to turn this into a little bit more of a debate process.  What are people saying about the angle that she is taking in her race down there?  You know, with attack and kind of deflecting things and not dealing with the specific issues.  Are you getting feedback?  Are you getting feedback from the community about this evasive tactics that they’re taking?

RIVERA:  Once again, that exactly hits it on the head.  Like I told you, Pueblo, although being a hundred thousand and some, is still a small town at heart.  Everybody knows everybody.  And so, with these ads that are going out there, people are saying, “Wait a minute!”  You know?  “This is not the George Rivera that we know!”  And they’re getting kind of – I think they’re getting fed up with them.  They’re tired of seeing them – the ones that have talked top me—are tired of seeing them, and they don’t believe that they’re portraying me as they know me to be.  And, once again, they just feel like they’re deflecting from the issue, which is the whole reason of her being recalled – that she didn’t listen to her constituents.


Ends at 14:30