Cross Talk, Cory Gardner, 8/06/2010

Station: King FM Online

Show: Cross talk

Guest: Cory Gardner


Date: 8/6/2010

Topics: Energy, Cap and Trade, Colorado Clean Energy Development Authority, Sexual Predators, Representational Government

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BLECHA: Corey Gardner is our guest. Corey, thank you so much for taking time to be part of the show today.

GARDNER: Good morning. Thank you for having me.

BLECHA: You are running for US Senate. Tell us a little about yourself for people that might not be familiar with you.

GARDNER: Well, I’m actually running for just a little different place, the U.S. House. I am running for the House in the 4th congressional district of Colorado. I am a neighbor of Logan County living in Yuma Colorado, where I grew up. My family owns and operates a farm equipment dealership in town there and I have been serving the past five years in the state legislature being a strong voice for agriculture, water, water storage, protecting our water rights and property rights and making sure that for places like Logan County and Eastern Colorado to have opportunities to thrive economically.

BLECHA: You look at your five year stint here in the state legislature, what would you say has been your biggest accomplishment?

GARDNER: We have actually stood strong and fought time and time again to protect small businesses from burdensome taxes to make sure we are giving our communities in Eastern Colorado not only attract and keep generations of existing families but to bring in new families to our farms and ranches. I think we have accomplished a great deal from natural resources protection in Eastern Colorado to farms and ranches to making sure that we are able to expand our energy opportunities in renewable energy and traditional energy.

BLECHA: Talk a little about that because the renewable energy is something that has hit the news waves here in Northeast Colorado because of a $1.3 million grant MGC got for their wind farm program. Talk a little about your approach to that as a politician and how you have been able to help the green energy initiative that has really taken Colorado by storm.

GARDNER: I actually have been one of the strongest proponents of renewable energy and alternative energy in the state legislature. I created the Colorado Clean Energy Development Authority, which is designed to match private investments with a need to create new transmission lines and to manufacture new clean technology here in Colorado. I also sponsored legislation that actually funded the clean energy curriculum program at Northeastern Community College and other community colleges around the state. The money that the state was able to provide to the community colleges for the wind energy and their renewable energy curriculum program is actually from legislation I pursued trying to make sure we have opportunities to maintain a workforce on renewable energy in our rural communities.

BLECHA: You talk about a lot of things through the state legislature and that is whether you are in Washington or Colorado or on a local level getting not necessarily agendas but getting done what is necessary is a very important. Talk about some of the bi-partisan efforts you have done in the state legislature as well.

GARDNER: Absolutely.  I have carried legislation that allowed our schools to use their dollars in a flexible manner. There were some federal mandates that were directed at the state of Colorado and the state prohibited schools using certain reading monies in a flexible of a manner as possible. They should have been able to. So I carried legislation that got government out of the way so we could use those reading moneys in schools to actually help children before they fail instead of after they fail. I carried legislation to protected children from Internet predators. Predators who were trying the lure children over the cell phone. All of these efforts took, and the clean energy development, of the efforts took bi-partisan efforts to pass and certainly have been one of the state’s leading proponents of our second amendment rights. Carrying legislation like the Make My Day Better law, which allows homeowners to protect themselves without worrying if, they will be prosecuted by government. That has been a bi-partisan effort that we have undertaken. It received bi-partisan support. Certainly working had to make sure that we have a strong voice for Eastern Colorado, not only in the state capitol in Denver but working to make sure that in Washington, D.C. that people on main street are being listened to.

BLECHA: And going to Washington DC is going to be, if you get elected, you will likely be in the minority because of the current democratic control in the House. How important is it going to be for you to work with the other party if you get elected in November?

GARDNER: I think that is very important to work, regardless of whether you are in the majority or minority, with your collogues on either side of the isle. What’s more important than trying to figure out who is Republican and who is Democrat, is making sure that we are not spending this country into the ground. That we are not bankrupting the coffers of this nation and that we are starting to get the economy back on track. Once again creating jobs and empowering the private sector to do what they do best. And that is running their own businesses. So what I will do in Washington, D.C. is stop the madness that is taking place right now. This congress has spent more money then in the history of the entire country combined.  Our deficits are over $1.5 trillion this year alone.  Our debt has reached $14 trillion. Each one of us owes  $42,000 to the federal government. Its got to stop and what is even more frightening is Congress is being called back into session next week, the House of Representative, to spend even more money.

BLECHA:  That is something that is very frightening and I know something a lot of agricultural people have frightened about are some of the recent laws that have been passed in Congress. How are you, if you get elected, going to approach what is necessary for the agriculture community here in Eastern Colorado so that we can continue to thrive as a community.

GARDNER: Sometimes it is not only as much as passing something as it is defeating something. I will give you an example: growing up at the equipment dealership I learned a lot about farming and ranching from the other side of a parts counter and making sure that the farmers and ranchers have the tools necessary to make their operations successful. What they don’t need is more government bureaucracy, more government regulations and higher energy taxes.  The cap-and-trade bill that my opponent supported in the 4th congressional district will devastate agriculture. In fact, the Rural Electric Association sent out a letter to their customers, their members, saying that if cap-and-trade were to go into effect it could cost you as much a $1,700 more per meter to run your irrigation. Its irresponsible, the costs that it would drive in irrigation, not only in the coast of that but in input like your fertilizers and fuel, this is extremely bad policy for agriculture. And unfortunately the current representative has not been representing agriculture and supported the legislation.

BLECHA: One thing that you talked about earlier was the green energy that has been happening here in Colorado. How do you intend on approaching energy if you get elected in November in Washington?

GARDNER: I support an “all of the above” energy policy. I think we need balance. In fact I was listening to the radio as you were getting ready for my call and heard a commercial from Tri-State talking about making all the pieces of energy working together and that’s what we have to do. Whether is it natural gas, whether it is clean coal technology, whether it is wind energy, we need it all because right now we cant rely on one single source to make sure we have all of our energy needs. This country, to thrive economically for our farmers and ranchers, to make sure that they can meet their bottom line, they have got to be able to get affordable energy. So I would approach energy policy as an all of the above policy. Somebody who supports increased responsible drilling for natural gas in Eastern Colorado and Northern Colorado. We have some of the nation’s greatest resources right here in our backyard. Why aren’t we accessing them?   If we could use our own domestic resources, it does a couple things: 1) its economic development and creating jobs. 2) Its energy security and energy independence. We are not relying on other people and that is good for our national security.

BLECHA: Another important issue, I feel in this upcoming election, we can talk about agriculture and green energy and all of this the effects “the now” as it is, but education affects the future. What are your stances on how you would approach education and its funding if you should get elected in November?

GARDNER: In the state legislature I worked hard to ensure the laws that were passed in Denver didn’t affect adversely the schools in rural Colorado that I represented.  It’s easy for a state legislature that is mainly made up of urban legislators to think that “one-size-fits-all” approach works. And a lot of the rules and laws that they pass in Denver don’t work for our Eastern Colorado schools. So I fought hard as a state legislator against efforts to hurt rural schools because they thought it was good for Denver. I passed legislation to help rural teachers stay at their schools. But as a federal legislator running for Congress, I believe that the federal government needs to keep its nose out of local school districts. The school district has a school board, it should be run by the parents in that district and the school board. It should not be run by a politician or a career bureaucrat in Washington, D.C.

BLECHA: You look at everything you have done in the state and headed toward November as you have the election coming up, what do you feel as your biggest strength in this election that will propel you towards Washington.

GARDNER: Obviously my family has been in Colorado 100 years on both sides. I understand what this district is about. I have lived there my whole life and for generations, all four corners, from Baca County to Larimer County, I understand and am very excited to be a part of a district where we have a great future ahead of us. So I think not only our stances on fiscal responsibility, limited government and individual accountability are important for this district. I am actually somebody who will say the same thing in the district and do the same thing in Washington, D.C. When I say I am going to work to cut spending, I will work to cut spending in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately we see so many people right now who say one thing in the district and do another exactly opposite thing once they get to Washington. That’s got to stop, that’s business as usual. And we are going to win and make sure that the people of this country have a brighter future.

BLECHA: Along with that, one thing that over my last six years here at the station I have kind of find with a lot of representatives that are running for or representing this district 4, it’s a pretty diverse district. You’ve got the rural community, you’ve got the urban communities up on the Front Range. How would you balance that to make sure both sides get what they need?

GARDNER: You’re right, it is an act of balance but I will work tirelessly to be in communities throughout the district. I believe that representation means that you are actually with the people, meeting with your constituents, talking to voters about   their concerns and hearing what they have to say. This isn’t something about trying to lecture on high from Washington, D.C. We are hired by the people of Colorado and that is exactly how I will approach this. Through town meetings, through tele-forms, from videoconferences, I will be in every part of the district as much as and as often as humanly possible.