Business for Breakfast, George Brauchler, July 28, 2017

Station:    KDMT, 1690 am

Show:       Business for Breakfast

Guests:    Brauchler


Date:        July 28, 2017


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It’s a beautiful morning, out here, after a couple days of needed rain. And I have to tell you, you caught me in mid-bikeride. I thought I had timed this so I could get from my house to the office — about 15 miles away– but I got a late start, so I pulled the bike over, hopped on the phone, and we’re chatting here along the Cherry Creek Trail. And it is beautiful out here!

HOST JIMMY SENGENBERGER: Oh, that is wonderful! So are you regularly riding your bike to and from work?

BRAUCHLER:  I get to do that during the summer only because, as any parent of kids knows, you gotta divide up who is taking which kids to which school. So I get the two oldest ones. And I gotta take them in and drop them off by 7:30 in the morning, far away from the office. So I only really get to do this when they’re out of school, and that the summer. So I try to soak up as many miles as I can.

SENGENBERGER:  That is very nice. You know, that could be a little bit difficult unless you were to set yourself up as Governor in the Governor’s Mansion, if you were so lucky to get that position — a bit of a longer bike ride, if you don’t decide to move into that mansion.

BRAUCHLER:  I will not be moving into that mansion and it would be worth it. I’d have to maybe get up a little bit earlier. I wonder if they have State Patrol guys that would bike alongside of you.  I wonder.

SENGENBERGER:  That – you could certainly find that out if given the opportunity, that’s for sure!


SENGENBERGER:  Once again, we’re talking with George Brauchler. He’s [the] Republican candidate for governor. And you know, District Attorney Brauchler, yesterday was — I think, for many conservatives and Republicans — was a very frustrating day, as Republicans yet again were unable in the Senate to get through [a] healthcare bill, which certainly has an impact on Colorado, which accepted Medicaid expansion and so forth. I want to get your reaction to the failure of Republicans in the Senate to pass a healthcare bill yesterday, and — obviously not our own Senator Cory Gardner, who voted in favor — it was only three senators, but still they weren’t able to rally the support.

BRAUCHLER:  As a Republican, as just a citizen of Colorado, not even as someone who is seeking higher office here. I’m just incredibly frustrated at how ineffective and inept Congress seems to be, regardless of who’s in power. I don’t know what the map is on how much we have spent for these 435 members of the House and 100 members of the Senate to generate absolutely zero in terms of addressing the devastating problems of Obamacare. But here we are on a Friday, in July, 2017. Republicans have their hands on every lever of government, and we can’t get it done. And that’s embarrassing!

SENGENBERGER:  You know, there are folks that I know who are wondering, especially here in this Colorado environment — if they are Republicans, and at the moment you’re running in the Republican primary. For those who are Republicans, and they see now there’s an open primary system here in Colorado and they’re seeing so many Republicans in the national level just consistently seem to fail to do their job, from their perspective, there are some folks who are saying, “Why should I even bother participating in the political process as a member of a political party? Why not just unaffiliate? Why not just go ahead and connect up with whichever party in a primary I feel I want to do? I mean, why stay a part of the party?” What might you say to somebody who’s reconsidering their affiliation with the Republican Party?

BRAUCHLER:  Well, one, — look, I’m a Republican because I believe in the vast majority of Republican values, in terms of individuality, the importance of the individual compared to the government, smaller government, a government that does less but does it very, very well. Those are the major principles that I subscribe to — liberty first, right? But I can see – and you can see this in the numbers of registered voters across the state of Colorado, and really, what is happening the country — people are leaving the Republican and Democrat parties to become unaffiliated because, I think, of their general frustration, maybe not with the values themselves but those messengers, those people we seem to be sending to office day in and day out, who say they’re gonna represent those values but tend to keep coming up short. So you look at the trend in Colorado, and it’s not that far in the future you can imagine a situation where the parties become irrelevant. And right now they’re still relevant because you need organization. You need structure — and I’m talking logistically relevant. But that independent swath, there, of voters — those unaffiliated — they could end up—they’re already the number one voting bloc – they could end up becoming the most important part of the state in a way that a self-funder – someone who is willing to dump at least, at this point, 10 million or more bucks in the race — could give a serious challenge to either one of the nominees from the Republican or Democrat parties. I don’t think that’s too far off in the future if these parties don’t figure out a better way to represent Coloradans.

SENGENBERGER:  Now, let’s look at healthcare in particular because obviously Medicaid is a tremendous issue that is impacting states across the country, especially because Gov. Hickenlooper decided to move forward with expanding Medicaid under Obamacare and so forth. How do you view the fact that Republicans did not accomplish an objective like this in the Senate? It looks like it’s dead in the water right now — anything to do with healthcare. How do you assess the impact on Colorado and what we could see a governor do – in concert with the state legislature — to try to help stem the rising tide of costs and other issues?

BRAUCHLER:  Well, I think part of the problem here with our failure to do ‘Repeal and Reform’ is that we have now put in play the Gov.’s office to play a decisive role, one way or another, into how were going to deal with this exploding Medicaid population in our state. You elect a strong conservative Republican to the governorship and you can see what other conservative governors in the country have done to try to ameliorate against these exploding Medicaid rolls. You look at guys like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Doug Ducey in Arizona, Bevins in Kentucky. These are governors who have used the existing provisions of Obamacare to seek relief from these onerous, ridiculous, unnecessary, bureaucratic burdens put on by DC, and has said, “Let us have the maximum flexibility with these Medicaid dollars. Let us governors of the states work with our legislators who know best about how to take care Coloradans compared to DC. Let us do this!” Now, you don’t see our state having moved 1 inch toward that possibility. I am unaware that the governor of this state has ever asked for some sort of reprieve — except for a mass murderer — reprieve from the federal government to be able to spend these dollars that are in the best way for Colorado. So that’s the biggest devastating thing, here. But I gotta tell you, you elect the right governor to this office, and you’ll get someone who’s willing to try to minimize the impact of these bureaucratic decisions from this Washington DC crowd, and I think we can do some great things with more flexibility.

SENGENBERGER:  Is there anything in particular that you could fathom, George Brauchler, as being potentially done to help stem the rising tide of cost for people on the individual market? Like, I’m 27 years old — my personal situation — I don’t have – I’m on the individual market and I don’t have health insurance because it’s so darn expensive.  And we’re looking at 27% increase next year here in Colorado. I mean, is there anything that can be done at the state level to help folks that are struggling like that?

BRAUCHLER:  Yes, but it would require that big federal lift that we just failed to see. I mean, you know, Obamacare was doomed to fail from the beginning. I think all those Democrats that voted for it with not a single Republican vote knew that. I do think John McCain is right, by the way, we figured out a way to make people more favorable towards this failed healthcare policy because of our own ineptness and trying to get some reform done. But Jimmy, the changes that have to be made include things like getting away from the individual mandate. It has to do with taking away the penalty for that. It has to do with no longer forcing people to buy policies that make them get coverage they do not need and don’t want. We’ve got to return to more free-market principles when it comes to insurance. And we just can’t do that without some effort by Congress.

SENGENBERGER:  And we’ll of course have to see if they can get anything done at any point, [or] at least give some relief. George Brauchler is our guest, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District and Republican candidate for Governor. Now, I want to take a moment to talk about an issue that is also very important to the state budget. We’ve seen, on one end of the spectrum, some budget cuts. On the other end, we see mandated requirements to increase spending in the Constitution. I’m talking about education — both K-12 and higher education. We see issues with both of these areas, in terms of the cost of higher education, although it has kind of slowed its pace — at least, for the time being —  a little bit across the country when it comes to higher ed cost. But we do see a lot of issues with K-12 education and trying to be able to consistently fund that at an appropriate level, as well. When it comes to funding education in particular — for both K-12 and higher education — George Brauchler, how do you view that budgetary issue?

BRAUCHLER:  I think that those are two separate things. I think higher education is distinct from K-12 if only because we jammed in – as you remember – an amendment that puts K-12 funding on this unalterable pace, where we have to continue to increase over a significant period of time, regardless of how the economy and the budget are doing. Can I back up for one quick second?


I just want to — on the Medicaid thing, I just want to give you some quick facts that I want your listeners to consider. We have, because of Obamacare — and I think everyone listening would agree we have a moral obligation to try to take care of those folks who just can’t take care themselves, either by age or infirmity or some circumstance — short-term circumstance — that they can’t get out from under. I’m good with that. But we had taken Obamacare and blown up the rolls such that we’ve increased the people eligible to get state-funded healthcare to 138% of poverty. Not poverty. A hundred and thirty-eight percent of poverty! On top of that, because we’ve done that, 44% — that’s two in five of this newly expanded Medicaid group – they are able-bodied working age adults. That is a travesty! It’s a waste of our money and it’s a travesty to keep these people hooked on a state system when what we should be doing is try to figure out a way to get them back in the economy. Anyway, the education piece. Here’s my concern with how we’ve done the local education funding piece, is, we have created a public school system that now seems to revolve around the idea – we can have a discussion of it — that money is the answer. Money may be part of the answer, but it is not the answer. And the proof of that is in Douglas County. You look at Douglas County, you have less money being paid per pupil than almost any school district in the state of Colorado and yet their performance is better than almost every school district in the state of Colorado. So that can’t be the answer. It can be part of it. I think the bigger things we ought to be worried with K-12 in the short run — and funding is certainly part of it — is the fact that we have generated a public school system that 70% of our kids are going to come out of, who don’t have skills other than to go to college. We did this college ready only thing about 10 years ago, 12 years ago, with Gov. Ritter and it has left us in a position where – and you may not know this, Jimmy, but in Aurora, it’s only a 50% on-time graduation rate for high school. That’s appalling! Denver [is] 65%! Of those people that graduate high school and finally go to college — and it’s only 50% of our high school graduates that go to college – one-third of them, more than one-third of them, 36% will have to spend time and money taking remedial classes to get caught up to where they should’ve been when they left our taxpayer-funded high schools. And if you’re a minority, if you’re African-American, it’s 50%. So, one in two of African-Americans can figure out how to navigate this public school system and go on to college who will have to spend time and money to take remedial classes. That is embarrassing! Now, we have abandoned the idea of vocational and technical education. That is something that we have got to get back to, when we talk about smartly spending these dollars. There are 50- to 100,000 skilled labor jobs available in the state over the next 2 to 3 years:  glaziers, masons, plumbers, electricians, fill in the blank. That industry – the construction industry – doesn’t feel like we have the labor force to fill those jobs. Those jobs go unfilled. That means the prices for labor go up. It also means they start importing more people, on top of the 8 to 10,000 that we take in every month in Colorado to come in here and get good $75-$80,000 per year job that our kids should be competing for. You tackle those things, and the cost of the education piece begins to work itself out because we have a booming, thriving economy, not just on the Front Range, but across the state of Colorado. And we also start to get more bang for our buck. And I’m sorry I didn’t address the higher ed piece, but I don’t know if you’ve got to cut me off because I keep rambling.

SENGENBERGER:  You’re fine! Why don’t we take a quick break.  And then when we come back, we can delve into higher ed, because you did touch on that! I mean, when we’re talking about vocational and trade schools and those sorts of things, do tie in with higher ed. So it’s a good lead in to that secondary conversation. We’re talking with George Brauchler, Republican candidate for Governor. We’ll take a quick break. When we come back, a quick update from Bill Thorpe, followed by the rest of our interview with George Brauchler, here on KDMT, Denver’s Money Talk, 1690 a.m.  You’re listening to Business for Breakfast. I’m Jimmy Sengenberger.

[commercial break]

SENGENBERGER:  Rocking and rolling back to a little more Ted Nugent for you, because our guest George Brauchler was endorsed by Ted Nugent this week, which I think is just – that’s got to be a fun thing –I have just got to say, you know? – having a major rock ‘n’ roll icon come out and say, “You know what? I support this George Brauchler guy!”  So that’s why I just had to do it. And you know, George Brauchler? I have to say this: a moment ago, or at the beginning of the last segment, when we played coming in another Ted Nugent song, you pointed out that, you know, I was looking at it as like old music, or that kind of thing, because that was before I was born.

BRAUCHLER:  Yeah, yeah.

SENGENBERGER:  And I tell you, most of the best music is from before I was born. I have to tell you that.

BRAUCHLER:  It may not be just “most of the best music”. It may be most of culture. What year were you born, Jimmy?


BRAUCHLER:  Okay. Now, for those listening, and those who just grabbed their hearts because they felt a little D-Fib going on, there, that means you were born after all of the original Star Wars movies, ET, all of the Raiders of the Lost Ark series, after the entire John Hughes run of films including Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink. I mean, it’s going to be hard to imagine how you can relate to people over the age of 40, and yet you do it brilliantly. I don’t know how you have done that, but it’s masterful!

SENGENBERGER:  Well, I appreciate that. I will tell you, because next week is my birthday — next Wednesday. I was born the day Iraq invaded Kuwait. So, there you go.

BRAUCHLER:  You just made my heart twinge a little bit more! Like, Good Lord! I remember that moment! Oh!

SENGENBERGER:  I ought to tell you, because it’s fun. My parent like to say, “The day Iraq invaded Kuwait, you invaded our lives,” which certainly shows how much they think of me.

BRAUCHLER:  [laughs] Right. Right, [inaudible].  Well, congratulations and happy birthday!

SENGENBERGER:  Thank you. I appreciate that. So let’s talk about higher education in our final moments with you. We talked about K-12, and addressing some of those issues. Obviously, the big issue with higher ed is the cost.  [The cost] of higher education is rising while budgetary support for some of the public schools and so forth has had to be cut back. What is your take on that whole issue?

BRAUCHLER:  Listen, higher education has somehow gotten away from us, not just in terms of the financial piece –the fiscal structure piece – but in terms of the substantive stuff. And I think people are down on the traditional concept of universities and college, especially if you’re a moderate or Republican. And that is because we feel like it has been hijacked by an ideology, not by a commitment to learning facts or knowing the truth or exploring the unknown, but as a commitment to some sort of ideology that tends to be left of center. And I think that makes people down on wanting to invest in higher education. if you’re not a consumer of it. But if you’re a consumer of it, higher education seems like it is about 10 years behind, right? I mean, everything we do is online. Major corporations, the United States Army — of which I continue to serve as a Col. in our National Guard — have all move towards more online-based learning structures and vehicles to get certificates, licenses, all sorts of education things. It seems like the brick-and-mortar schools have only slowly moved in that direction. What I want to see is something that I think Heidi Ganahl and the other CU regents are pushing for right now, and that is:  let’s come up with a no joke Bachelors’ degree that you can get in three years for $30,000. It is not the first time someone has come up with an idea like that. I think Rick Perry, down in Texas years ago, he went to the UT system and said, “You will generate a four year degree for whatever it was – for whatever the low cost was at the time — as a way to make sure that people can get the education that they need to move forward without having to saddle them with decades of debt. And you know, if we saddle them with decates of debt, you only got to listen to Bernie Sanders and his group, and they – some of them are running for Governor too – who want to say, “That debt? That should be spread out amongst you and me, Jimmy, and all of your listeners.” No, thank you. No, thank you. You want to take on debt to go to higher education, you’re on the hook for that, just like I was on the hook for that.

SENGENBERGER:  There certainly are a lot of ways that you can– angles that you can approach this issue, as well. And so that’s a very interesting approach, to be sure, George Brauchler. And, you know, I ought to share with you and the other gubernatorial candidates some thoughts that we have at the Millennial Policy Center — a think tank I head up–

BRAUCHLER:  I’d love to hear it!

SENGENBERGER:  –you know, where we have addressed the issue.

BRAUCHLER:  Absolutely!

SENGENBERGER:  So, we’ll send that out to different candidates. I’ve got about 30 seconds or so left here with you, George Brauchler. So, I want to ask you the question – I think the favorite question where someone has the question that I think the favored question of every candidate I have on this program — left or right, and that is, where can people go to learn more about you and your campaign?

BRAUCHLER:  [laughs]  Yeah, um, my house. No, please don’t come by my house. Go to I could not make it any simpler. It had to be simple for me. You can learn about us. You can ask questions, sign up to volunteer, throw some money at the campaign. Listen, the last thing I’ll leave you with: as the grassroots guy, we’re the only campaign I can think of anywhere in the state that in its’ first quarter – and by the time we reported – had all 64 counties represented by people who had given some type of contribution. And that takes real effort and a real commitment to want to represent the state, not just Denver or all the out-of-state interests that seem to want to play in our gubernatorial race.


BRAUCHLER: – come there! Get us over the goal line!

SENGENBERGER:  Thanks, George Brauchler! [I] appreciate it! Tomorrow night, tune in [to] 710KNUS, [at] 5 p.m. – I’ve got Milo [Yianopolous] on! That should be a fascinating conversation! Tune in then!