Grassroots Radio Colorado, Robert Ramirez, October 24, 2012

Station:      KLZ, 560 AM

Show:        Grassroots Radio Colorado

Guests:      Ramirez


Date:         October 24, 2012

Topics:      House District 29, Negative Campaign Ads, Mailers, Majority, Senate, House of Representatives, Governor Hickenlooper, Internal Polling, Yard Signs, Redistricting, Reapportionment Maps, In-Vitro Fertilization, Personhood, Civil Unions, Budget, PERA, Judiciary, Education, Medicaid, Birth Control, Presidency, Robo-calls, Amendment 64, Amendment 65, Susan Kochevar, Legislation, Regulation, Campaign

Click Here for Audio


HOST KEN CLARK:  We are not done by any stretch of the imagination.  We have the one and only Representative Ramirez is joining us on the line.  Representative, welcome back to Grassroots Radio!


CLARK:  You know, we are hanging in there.  How’s everything in your world?

RAMIREZ:  Chilly and wet.

CLARK:  Okay.  Has it started snowing yet?

RAMIREZ:  Not yet.  It’s just wet.  It’s just raining.  No, it’s going well, it’s going well.

CLARK:  So, you are in the midst of a pretty heated general election battle, aren’t you?

RAMIREZ:  Oh, yeah!  Absolutely.  I mean, you figure by only winning by 197 votes last time, and knocking out a three-term incumbent, and then also flipping the House to Republican, the Democrats weren’t real happy.  And they’ve come after me pretty hard, with everything from making sure that there was a third party candidate, to making sure that the maps went their way, to really saying whatever they want to say about me in their fliers.

CLARK:  Well, I’ve seen some of those fliers and I’ve got to tell you, they are appalling—some of the things they’ve tried to , you know, no so subtly accuse you of.

RAMIREZ:  Mmm-hmm.

CLARK:  I mean, give me a break!  I mean, but—

RAMIREZ:  There’s one going out now saying I’m against in-vitro fertilization.  Really?   I’ve never even been asked.  [laughter]

CLARK:  And you make it sound like that matters, somehow.

RAMIREZ:  You know, if somebody wants to get pregnant and they go to their doctor and say, “Does this work?”   That’s their business, not mine.

CLARK:  [laughing with Ramirez] Oh, God!  So, Representative, how is the race going?  Do you have any internals?  I mean, what’s it looking like?  Do you know?

RAMIREZ:  You know, there are polls out there but I don’t want to know what they are, to be honest with you.  We’ve knocked on a little over 29,000 doors.  The best poll I had was when we did our yard sign list.  When we’re out walking, we ask people if they want a yard sign.  If they say yes, we simply take their first name and their address and then my campaign guys go through and match those with voter rolls.  Well, twenty-five percent of the people that asked for my yard signs were registered active Democrats.

CLARK:  Really?


RAMIREZ:  Now, that doesn’t mean that that is 25% of the district.  That was of a couple hundred people.  So, that amazed me.  That surprised me.  Um, you know, just the name recognition I’ve got in the district, the things—like when we’re out waving signs, you know, for every one thumbs down or single finger salute, we get five to ten people honking and waving and [giving] thumbs up.  So I just – it’s hard to tell.  It’s going to be close, I think we’re going to pull it out, but you know, when you spend two years getting yelled at by the Republicans, getting yelled at by you and Jason, getting yelled at by the Democrats, you’ve got to be doing something right.  [laughs]

CLARK:  Well, look, we only – Jason and I only yell at you when you votes the wrong way.  I mean, that’s it!

[PETTY and RAMIREZ laugh]

CLARK:  And so, if you would vote the right way, we’d leave you alone.

RAMIREZ:  Oh, you didn’t yell at me that much.  There were only a couple times.  But the point being,–

CLARK:  [laughing] Why did I know you were going to bring that up?

RAMIREZ:  –[inaudible] do a good job representing the district, not just my own interests, and you know, sometimes some of the those votes weren’t so easy for me.  And you know that.  And, uh, but [inaudible].

CLARK:  Well, you’re absolutely right. And we’re in a situation now where we have got to mobilize everyone, and we’ve got to make sure that we hold the House of Representatives here in the state of Colorado,–

RAMIREZ:  Mmm-hmm.

CLARK:  –and we’ve got to make very sure that we bring the Senate back.  Because if we don’t, you know, we’re going to see all this garbage legislation and, and you know we–

RAMIREZ:  And four more years of Hickenlooper!

CLARK:   Well, yeah, and I mean, you know, so far he’s only had to take a stand once, and he decided to expend all of his political capital on civil unions.  I mean –


CLARK:  How about balancing a budget?  How about, you know, cutting some spending?  How about something real that really affects – and not to say that civil unions don’t affect people.  Please, don’t misunderstand.

RAMIREZ:  Absolutely.

CLARK:  But when you’ve got issues like PERA out there, that are going to bankrupt the state of Colorado, and you’re –

RAMIREZ:  Mmm-hmm.  Yeah!

CLARK:  Really?  I mean, where’s your priority here?

RAMIREZ:   Yeah, we’ve got 46% of the budget is education.  You know, 24-25% of it now is Medicaid.  I mean, that’s frightening in itself.  And then 20% or so of it in Judiciary, and we’ve got 9% of the budget we’ve got to deal with, and we’re going to make a stand on civil unions, instead of, “Let’s figure out what we’re going to do with our state!”

CLARK:  Yeah, and I–

RAMIREZ:  You know?

CLARK:  And, I mean, financially, both the state of Colorado, pretty much every county, most cities are in financial distress, and I—don’t even get me started on the federal government.  And those are the things that will change everyone’s way of life.  I mean, you’ll get free birth control but you won’t have a job.


CLARK:  You know?  You’ll be able to get married but you won’t have a job.

RAMIREZ:  You’re not going to be able to eat, but you can keep from having a baby.

CLARK:  That’s right.  You won’t be able to eat, either.  You won’t be able to feed your family, but you can marry whoever you want.  I mean, really?

RAMIREZ:  Exactly.

CLARK:  And that’s why I get so frustrated with those issues, but —

RAMIREZ:  It’s –absolutely.  I mean, we’ve got a governor that – and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this—is actually done a flier with my opponent.

CLARK:  Really.  I didn’t know that.

RAMIREZ:  Yeah!  Yeah, he spoke out in my — he took a position in my race.

CLARK:  Now, are you having some outside interests taking a look at your race?  Are they spending money against you?

RAMIREZ:  Oh, my God!  There’s so much money being spent in this race, its frightening.  I have no idea of the amount, but I mean, the amount of fliers I’m seeing going around, uh, the robo-calls I’m hearing about, um, there’s a lot of money being spent in this race.  There’s a lot of it being spent against me, as well.  So –

CLARK:  Well, they’ve—I guess they’ve targeted you as somebody they think that they can beat, right?

RAMIREZ:  Oh, yeah!  Even FightBackColorado named me as their number one target because Civil Unions didn’t pass.  Well, I didn’t even vote on it!  Um, they’ve – they’re going after me and J. Paul and Cindy Acree, because we are the three seats that they were able to gerrymander enough with the maps to make it easier to try and flip.  This has nothing to do with any real issues.  This is simply about the Democrats getting their way.  And turning the state back over and let’s do everything that feels good, instead of doing what is right for the state.  I was speaking to some kids at a high school yesterday, and I told them, I said, “You know, if I wanted – you know, there is no such thing as a difficult vote.  Everyone says, “Ah, I can make the hard decisions—the difficult votes!”  The only difficult vote is the one that you have to you say, “Well, I know the right vote is this, but I’ve got to vote the other way because”

CLARK:  You know, that’s a very good point. That’s a very good point.  And if you – I always believe that if you stick to your principles, you’re going to be able to tell, and sometimes not right off the bat, because I mean, like, let’s face it. Some of the legislation that comes down is just –

RAMIREZ:  [laughs]

CLARK:  –it’s just brain dead.  You know?  I mean, take a lo—I’ll bring up [Amendment] 64, not that I want to talk about it again, but I mean, it’s a very uncomfortable way it’s written.  I mean, it’s got some real issues in just the way it’s written.

RAMIREZ:  Yeah, well, somebody said that to me today, and I said, “Look!  It’s written like statute, not like an amendment,–

CLARK:  Right.  Exactly.

RAMIREZ:   –which will bind the hands of the legislature to do the regulation—or create the regulations that need to be created for it.

CLARK:  And then there’s a lot – and my favorite legislation is the legislation that actually tries to hide what it’s really trying to do. And—

RAMIREZ:  [Amendment] 65?

PETTY:  That’s what I was thinking, too. [laughs]

CLARK:  Exactly.

[Laughter all around]

RAMIREZ:  What a joke!

CLARK:  Yeah, and so—yeah!  Exactly!  And so, you have to, you have to really break it down and you know, you guys get hit with—what?  Five hundred bills a year, if not more?

RAMIREZ:  Um, six to eight hundred, depending on the year.

CLARK:  Yeah.  And so, I’m sure you’ve read them all, right?


[Hosts laugh]

RAMIREZ:  And somebody – you know, a good friend of ours, Susan Kochevar, used to say that, but she came down and watched one day.  She goes, “How could you possibly read them all?  You know, I read everyone of mine, and I know it backwards and forwards and I can argue every point on it.

CLARK:  Well, yeah!  And—

RAMIREZ:  I mean, everything and know it well that comes to my committee. And then those [bills] that I take an interest in.  And then I have to trust my cohorts, my associates down there, that they’ve done the same thing in their committees so I can ask them earnestly, “Tell me what is wrong or what is right with the bill.”

CLARK:  That’s exactly right.  And you know that I—

RAMIREZ:  And that’s what you have to do.

CLARK:  You know that I’ve spent time down there as well, and I’ve testified in front of committees, and I’ve seen the process.  And it is extremely difficult.  But—

RAMIREZ:  Mmm-hmm.

CLARK:  And even sometimes when you read the synopsis, the synopsis that they put forward, especially if it’s written by a lobbyist, has absolutely nothing to do with the bill you’re actually voting on.

RAMIREZ:  The  hardest bill I had to read was a half-a-page bill.  It was the hardest bill to read,  because it said, “In this, but not in this section—and they give you a section, this, this, and this section—and you know,  you had to constantly flip back between fifteen statute books.  And it was actually should have been a bill that was about seventy pages long —

CLARK:  Right, right.

RAMIREZ:  –because they were changing stuff in all those different sections.  But you’re right.  It is very difficult.  But, the long and short of it is, we’re down there doing a job.  And in the past two years we’ve stopped the bleeding in this state.

CLARK:  Yes, you have.

RAMIREZ:  And you know, a couple drops got through, [inaudible] but it could have been worse.  And we need to do something to change that this next year.  We need to get the Senate.  We need to get Lang Sais in there.  We need to get Dave Kerber in there.  And there’s a couple others – Ken Summers and Andy Kerr, we need Ken Summers in there.  So, you know, those three seats make a difference in the Senate.

CLARK:  Absolutely, they do.

RAMIREZ:  And if we pick up the new one in the south, that’s four.  That means we have a majority.

CLARK:  And Representative, we’ve been talking a lot about getting out the vote, the boots on the ground.  I mean, let’s face it, for the most part the debates are over, the campaigns are over.  I mean, yeah, there’s still mailers going out.  Yeah, there’s still, you know, robo-calls as you had mentioned.   But the biggest push we need to focus on right now is getting people to the polls, getting their absentee ballots in, getting their early voting done, getting people to the polls and getting a HUGE Republican turnout.

RAMIREZ:  Mmm-hmm.  And that’s funny, because that’s what we were just concentrating on.  I’m pulling lists right now of people who are newly registered voters in the district and have asked for mail-in ballots and haven’t returned them yet.  And so we’re going to start calling those tomorrow night, and tomorrow during the day and leaving messages for these people and making sure they get their things in.  Because as I know well, every vote counts.

CLARK:  Absolutely, it does.  And we have got to hold the House, we’ve got to get the Senate, that’s what it boils down to.  I mean, we are in an all out prize fight.  We are.  And we have to win.

RAMIREZ:  Absolutely, we are.

CLARK:  Yeah.  And we have to win.  There is no second chance after this.  There is no tomorrow after this.

RAMIREZ:  Yeah.  I’m afraid that if we don’t take the presidency, it is enti—actually, I’m not afraid, I know.  If we do not take the presidency, it is going to be up to every state’s legislature to keep this country together.

CLARK:  Yes.  You’re absolutely right.  And if we—

RAMIREZ:  It’s going to be up to those individual states.

CLARK:  And if we don’t take Colorado, and if we get Dems back in control of the governor’s office and both sides of the Assembly,–

RAMIREZ:  It’s over.

CLARK:  It’s over.  I mean, all we have to do is look at PERA and stupid things like that.  Representative Ramirez, how can our listeners help you?  What’s your website?  How do they get involved?

RAMIREZ:  The website is  [spells out website URL].  I still need some money coming in.  We’ve got a – I just spent $50,000 on mailers.  We’ve got a couple more telephone Town Halls I’m planning on doing.  We got, you know, get-out-the-vote efforts, so it is going to take some more money.  So if anybody can spare a couple bucks here and there, that would be great.  If anybody listening, as we go into the next election cycle, which actually starts in January, you know, not just my race but everyone.   Pick four people that you know are going to running again and send them ten bucks.

CLARK:  Absolutely

RAMIREZ:  Every Republican.

CLARK:  Absolutely.

RAMIREZ:  Or every conservative.  Or every person – every person you want to vote for, send them ten bucks.  Because in my district, that would have added up to $150,000, or close to $160,000 I would have had.

CLARK:  There you have it.  All right.  Representative Ramirez, keep up the good work.  We’ll be right back after this.


keep up the good work. We’ll be right back after this.