Grassroots Radio Colorado, Dave Kerber, May 16, 2012

Station:   560 AM, KLZ

Show:     Grassroots Radio Colorado

Guest:     Kerber


Date:      May 16, 2012

Topics:    Hudak, SD-26, Legislature, Foster System, Ombudsman, Unfunded Federal Mandates, 2012 Election, School Discipline, Zero Tolerance, Restorative Justice,  Business Impact Bill, SB-12-005, Arapahoe County

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KEN CLARK:  So, we are joined today with one of those very races.  We have several ‘must-wins’, Randy. We’ve got what, three of four ‘must-win’ senate seats, right?


RANDY CORPORON:  Yup. And we’ve got Dave Kerber, who is running for Senate District 26.  And Dave, there are a couple of other seats that are considered very winnable in Colorado.


DAVE KERBER:  That’s right, Randy.  The … Lang Sias is running up in Arvada and Wheatridge  against Evie Hudak.  That’s a seat that very winnable and should be winnable.  Lang’s a great guy.

RANDY CORPORON:  Great candidate — Leadership Program of the Rockies graduate, as well.

KEN CLARK:  Oh, very good!

RANDY CORPORON:  We’re kind of partial to them around here.

DAVE KERBER:  Absolutely…

RANDY CORPORON:  Both he and I are in that program, right now.

DAVE KERBER:  Yeah.  Also, Mike Kopp, of course, had to resign and Ken Sommers is trying to hold that seat in SD 22 against Andy Kerr.  So there’s two legislators who are running against each other.  And then there’s a seat in the South Valley – San Luis Valley, that we’re going to be able to pick up – Larry Crowder, I think, down there.  And he’s a good candidate.  And if we can pick up three, then we get a majority, and majorities matter, as you can see from this session that we just had.  Folks think that Governor Hickenlooper may actually have to make a decision if we can actually give him some good bills to sign.  So far, he’s just going to work, and I don’t know what he’s doing over there

KEN CLARK:  Well, I’m not going to belabor this point, because it’s over, it’s dead, it’s gone.  But I tell you what, the guy spends not a penny’s worth of political capital for the last two years, and now all of a sudden, he expends a billion dollars worth of political capital to call the special session over civil unions.  I mean, just remarkable!  We don’t have any jobs bills.  We don’t have any energy bills….

RANDY CORPORON:  You know, Frank McNulty came out and reported that there were Democrat operatives in and out of his office, and so the speculation is that this really came from on high … the Obama administration.  Everything was kind of timed to make this the issue.   Dave, you’re running for a very important seat, because you’re in Arapahoe County. And as I’ve said many times on this show, Arapahoe Country is one of three counties in the nations by the Obama administration for their victory in 2012.  So there’s going to be a lot of big Democrat money coming into Arapahoe County.

DAVE KERBER: Yes, there is Randy.  And it’s why we’re having … putting together a pretty good ground game , because at least we know by September, maybe even August and October we’re going to be drowned out by the … the ACORN people were there in 2008.  There were people going door to door in Englewood helping folks fill out ballots, top to bottom, collecting the ballots and depositing them in the ballot box.  And we have to match that.

RANDY CORPORON:  Only legally

KEN CLARK:  You don’t have a primary race, do you?

DAVE KERBER: I do not, no

KEN CLARK:  Okay.  So you’re going toe to toe for… you’re going to be going against on of the progressive Democrats, or liberal Democrats, or Socialist Democrats – whatever you want to call them.  I’ve got all of these names.

RANDY CORPORON:  “A Dem by any other name”…

KEN CLARK:  … is still somebody we need to defeat.

RANDY CORPORON:  There you go

KEN CLARK:  And so,  how are you going to run this?  What are the principles you’re going to be standing on?  What is your message?

DAVE KERBER:  Well, the message is… and it’s amazing.  We’ve been going door to door, and the Republicans, of course, they’re ready to vote today.  But the unaffiliateds and the Democrats are very open to the message that what is going on right now isn’t working.  It’s not working and we need to try something new. With all these that distractions we’ve had, everyone is still concerned about how they are going to get their next job, how are they going to get their next paycheck.  I’ll tell you, we’ve been talking to senior citizens and they are apoplectic that their grandchildren are graduating from college and can’t get a job.

KEN CLARK:  Oh, yeah.  It’s better that one out of every two college graduates cannot get a job. That’s better than 50% of the … I think it’s closer to 53%.  It’s just … it’s criminal

DAVE KERBER: And then they’re thinking about… saying, “Well, we’ll just go to graduate school.” And that costs a lot of money. And then they get out of graduate school and can’t get a job.  So,

RANDY CORPORON:  Now instead of 40,000 dollars in debt, they’re 100,000 dollars in debt.

DAVE KERBER: Exactly… exactly.  So what my message is for those folks is we need to focus on jobs.  What the legislature has done, and what my opponent has done is, she’s focused on school districts.  She’s focused on counties.  She’s focused on municipalities.  She’s focused on businesses – making their life harder.  What they need to do is look in the mirror and say, “What can the state do to remove those burdens, if you will, from businesses so they can create jobs?”  The state cannot create jobs.  All they can do is give us some stability, and give us some sense.  You know, I’m a small business man.  You know, I am burdened.  I am one of the burdened ones.  And you know, we need to have some kind of confidence that they’re not going to change the rules, you know, the next legislative session — some new jobs program, or some new bill, or some new tax.  And right now we don’t.

KEN CLARK:  Well, that’s just it.  I mean, you take a look at what happens when the legislator… when the assembly is in session.  So, whenever we’re dealing with a legislative session, every businessman just puckers.  Every single one!  Because you just don’t know what is going to come out of the Colorado House, the Colorado Senate.  You just don’t know what they’re going to pass that’s going to make it harder for us to do business.   Everybody sitting in this room is a small business person.  I mean, we all are.  And you never know what they are going to pass.  Now in 2013, we know what is coming.  We’ve got the Bush tax cuts that are going to expire.  We’ve got Obamacare, if it’s not overturned by the Supreme Court, that’s going to basically cripple us.  We’ve got problems, and the government doesn’t have a clue!  And they con….  We had some good jobs bills.  Hickenlooper even vetoes one that was a good jobs bill, that I think Senator Neville punched through, I can’t remember,  or maybe it was Rep. Holbert.  I can’t remember which one, but it was a good one and Hickenlooper vetoed it

DAVE KERBER: Yeah, it’s … and again, as a businessman, what you do, is you look out and you say to yourself, “Well, could I hire someone or not?”  And you have to have some type of security that things aren’t going to change and so it’s not going to change and so what happens is you just work harder.  You work harder and just sit there and kind of hope that you’re going to have enough money at the end of the day by the time we get taxed and by the time that our healthcare goes up.

RANDY CORPORON:  Ken, you started the segment, we were talking about Governor Hickenlooper and the special session and I was doing the show when Hickenlooper’s executive order starting the special session came out.  And the only … of the seven things that he thought that were so important that we had to spend 24,000 dollars a day bascically to try and pass civil unions and nothing more, there was only one bill in there that really led to jobs.  It was the water authority bill, that had a lot of good ideas to help Colorado water problems and put people to work.  So you’re absolutely right, and it is so great, David, that you’re out on a message of job creation and turning things around.  We’ve got a caller on the line who has a question for you.


KEN CLARK:  All right, we are speaking with Dave Kerber.  He is a senatorial candidate in district 26.  So, I’d like to welcome Carl Porter from Littleton, who has a question for you, Dave.  Carl welcome to the program.

CALLER:  Hey, Dave.  This is actually Carol Porter .


KEN CLARK:  Way to go, Zach!  All right.  Carol, thank you.  What have you got?

CALLER:  Well, it’s a real privilege to talk to you.  You know, I live in district 26, and I’m really on point about this election and I’d like to see Linda Newell replaced by you.  But I would really like to know a little bit more about you and I’m so jazzed to hear you talk about job creation.  And I’m just wondering if you could tell me a little bit more about the strategies you’d support to make this state a national job magnet.

DAVE KERBER:  Well, I think what we have to do is again, focus on the small details.  Like they had a bill go through the legislature this time that would have required any bill to have a business impact statement.  Of course, you know, if you’re going to pass a bill you should know, is it going to hurt people or not hurt people.  And the Democrats said they don’t care.  They don’t care, and they voted that down.  Another thing we need to work on is the federal government gives us a certain amount of money, and the folks down there at the legislature cannot figure out what money they’re being given, and what burdens or what strings are being attached.  Now, everybody talks about unfunded mandates, but we just can’t seem to nail down esactly what an unfunded mandates is, and make a decision – should we take this money or not?  Until we do that we can’t turn this state around.

KEN CLARK:  One thing I wanted to mention about that bill that you had just brought up, Dave, is that there was only going to be an impact statement on every bill.  The Democrats didn’t say, “We don’t care.”  That is not the position they took.  They took the position, “there’s no way in hell we’re going to make this public.  It scared them to death!  Because half of the bills that they … I’m going to say 85% of the bills the Democrats propose are bad for business, bad for the citizens.  Now, a lot of them are great for government, and great for the people that are on entitlements. But they’re bad for business.

DAVE KERBER:  Yeah.  I just want to bring up one of the bills I’ve got here [that] my opponent is a prime sponsor on – Senate Bill 12-005.  And it’s one of their job creation bills.  And it has no impact, and the reason it doesn’t have an impact is they’re going to have this plan for business retention, but no body has to do anything.  They say if the Office develops a business plan, the office may … and if you actually read these bills, they spend a lot of time passing these bills.  They had press releases and Facebook announcements and all that, but it does absolutely nothing but cause people to do things that won’t work anyway.  And what happens is, it allows the Democrats to say, “Oh, we have a job initiative.”  And some of them might actually believe it.  But it doesn’t solve the problem, and they go home happy and they don’t look to see what the real problem is, which is to focus what the burdens are on business, and take action on them.

KEN CLARK:  Well, when we come back, we’re going to have more with Dave Kerber but real quick, I want to make a correction.  It was actually Senator Harvey who was able to punch that through .. . that bill through the House and the Senate, get it to the Governor’s desk, and it was a regional tourism bill.  And the Governor vetoed it.

[After the break, host Corporon mentions a conversation off-air that merits on-air time:  schools and “one size fits all” discipline policy, citing the examples of a would-be student bringing wood facsimile of a gun to school versus another student bringing an actual gun, or a teenager who touches another student in a sexually inappropriate manner being treated the same as an adult that might commit a sexual assault.  The bill is addressing this is 44 pages long]

DAVE KERBER:  Yeah, Randy.  And the bill passed, with overwhelming majorities.  And some of it was good,  It was…

RANDY CORPORON:  Sponsored by your opponent?

DAVE KERBER:  Sponsored by my opponent.  And some of it was good in that it took away that mandatory “if a five-year-old brings a butter knife to school he has to be arrested” stuff that came out of Columbine.  And that’s what the news media portrayed.  And a lot of people voted for it because they wanted to get rid of that.  But it’s 44 pages!  And what it requires is it requires arbitration, mediation, restorative justice, and you have to fill out these reports of who is suspended , and consider these things, and do a different discipline policy, and I just think that that is the business for the school boards.  In Kit Carson County, perhaps, when somebody is goofing around on the bus, maybe the restorative justice there is for the bus driver to stop the bus and say, “I’m going to tell your mom unless you quit!”  Okay?  Maybe in some other school districts you have to call the police.  But I don’t see any way where 100 people in the state legislature can make those decisions appropriately for every one of the school districts statewide.  The school boards, they’re elected by the people.  If the people don’t like how their school district is doing, they can vote them out.  They can run themselves.  But there’s so much of the school districts that is being run by the state and this micromanagement.  As I say, you know, peer review … there’s that kid in Aurora who was suspended for saying a thing like,  “I’m too sexy” or something like that.  And my opponent was quoted by… and she said, “Well, in my new bill, there will be peer review.” I go, wait!  Are we going to bring these first grade kids in there?

KEN CLARK:  Peer Review!?  Yeah.  So we’re going to have sixth graders deciding whether or not another sixth grader did something wrong?

RANDY CORPORON:  Oh, no, no, no, Ken.  Six year olds!

KEN CLARK:  That was a five year old kid that

RANDY CORPORON:  Yeah, I remember that!  Unbelievable

DAVE KERBER:  It’s just this arrogance of thinking that just because you know … just because you’re a state legislator that you know what other people should do.

KEN CLARK:  My eyes are starting to bleed, Dave.  I apologize, but I remember that story, and so, this bill actually says peer review.  So we’re going to have six-year-olds judging other six-year-olds!  What happens if they’re just mad at him that day because he didn’t bring brownies?

DAVE KERBER:  Well, we don’t know.  They’ll have a team of experts, though, that I’m sure … mediators and aribitrators and counselors  and everyone will get together in a room and they’ll talk about it instead of learning how to read.

RANDY CORPORON:  But here’s the point, Dave.  This is drawing the distinction between a conservative Republican candidate who believes in families and local school boards, communities making decisions about their own communities, whether that community is a group or a church or a township or whatever, versus your opponent who is a central planner, a mastermind, who thinks that the more pages we can write into a bill from the state government, the better we can make everything for everybody.

DAVE KERBER:  Absolutely

RANDY CORPORON:  They never understand the unintended consequences but the history is there, time and time again.

DAVE KERBER:  That’s absolutely true.  And another one of her accomplishments she touts is the hiring of an ombudsman …

RANDY CORPORON:  You can’t even say the word!  Who could?

DAVE KERBER:  Yeah, there was a problem where kids in foster care… there were some deaths.  And there’s about twenty-two different review points that the county government has to fix that.  So what she did is she has a state ombudsman.  And it came up in the news in this session.  Apparently, they spent $250,000 and there’s been 3 investigations.  And I’d say to myself, you know, “Two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars!  Maybe you could hire more case workers with that.  You know, maybe we could hire somebody who could actually do anything, as opposed to reviewing what other people review, and I don’t know does what.  But her response is if there is a problem is to create more structure and bureaucracy.  And my problem … or not my problem, my solution as a businessman is to say, “What’s the problem?”  Look at the problem and fix the problem.  Just don’t add something on top of it and leave the problem in existence.

[Clark asks the question, if he’s elected, what will Kerber’s keynote legislation be as a new state senator?]

DAVE KERBER:  Well, you know, I would jump on board and pass that bill that has the business note on all the legislation.

KEN CLARK:  The fiscal note

DAVE KERBER:  Yeah, the fiscal note on government has really stopped a lot of bad Democrat legislation.  You see it in a lot of these things.  There’s no fiscal note, of course there’s no requirement on any of these bills, to get a fiscal note on businesses will highlight the fact that what they’re doing is harmful.  It will actually require them and everyone else  — you know, not just Democrats but Republicans as well to think about things that make sense.  And the other thing I’d like to focus on is, you know, what is the cost of our federal mandates.  My daughter’s a teacher, she teaches eighth grade up in Windsor Middle School.  And I’m talking to her, and she’s getting mad at me, and she says, “You know, Dave…”   or uh, Rachel, you know, I may be a state senator someday.  You know?  What do you want me to do?  She says, “Stop taking federal money!”  She says, “it’s killing me!”  She says, “I’m on all these review committees. I’m drafting all these programs for Race to the Top.  We don’t get any money!”  So here we are, we’re taking our tax dollars, we’re sending them to Washington.  Then we have to compete for it to get it back–taking valuable teacher time!  She could spend that time either doing lesson plans, grading, tutoring, or she can be on a committee coming up with some curriculum that the federal government wants that will never go into effect because we don’t have any money!”

KEN CLARK:  Yeah, and let’s make no mistake about that.  Whenever the federal government comes up with a new program for education or whatever it may be, and they’re going to give the state of Colorado $100,000,000 to do this great thing and blah, blah, blah, and we only have to match it by 10%, that’s for … usually the way that works is that’s for the first two years, three years, five years, whatever.  Then the federal money dries up and blows away and the state of Colorado is left with a taxpayer funded mandate that we have to cover that was a federally implemented program.  I mean what is it, better than 60, 70 percent of our Colorado budget is a mandate, it’s untouchable.  We can’t do anything about it.  I can’t remember what the percentage is.

RANDY CORPORON:  Well, and we all forget that the money that they’re sending to us is the money that we sent to them in the first place.  So, there’s no efficiencies when you send money to government and then they give you some of it back to try and get something done.  We’re talking with Dave Kerber, the Senate District candidate for District 26.  David, people who want to know more about you or help you along, how can they find you?

DAVE KERBER:  Well, I have a website: www.kerberforColorado.  And that has our website.  We have links, of course, to volunteer.  We have links for people who want to have yard signs, which is a good way to get our name out.  As we talked about earlier, once the Obama people come in, it will be very difficult for anyone to differentiate these issues.

RANDY CORPORON:  It’s going to be impossible hang on to yard signs.   They steal them.

DAVE KERBER:  Well, I bought a lot of them.  I…I…I… which isn’t that sad?  You know, I bought an extra amount of yard signs to prepare for a certain amount of theft.

RANDY CORPORON:  Yeah.  You have to, because they come and get ‘em.

KEN CLARK:  That’s amazing.  I have a friend up in Fort Collins who during the 2010 election cycle kept putting out yard signs.  And they kept stealing them and then stomping them into the ground, and all that.  So she actually electrified her yard sign in front of her house.  It didn’t happen again.

RANDY CORPORON:  Yeah, I’ve heard about spraying them with black pe… or some kind of pepper, or something like that.  So when they touch them, as soon as they touch their eyes, you know, then at least there’s a penalty paid.  You can have some satisfaction as you’re

KEN CLARK:  We’re not condoning …


KEN CLARK:  We’re not condoning or suggesting that that’s what our listeners should do

RANDY CORPORON:  I was not talking in my official capacity as the official attorney of Grassroots Radio Colorado, either

KEN CLARK:  That’s right.  We’re not condoning such behavior.  I’m just saying that that’s what we’ve heard out there.  That’s all that I’m saying.  We’ve heard that Obama is corrupt.  We’re no condoning corruption.  I’ve just heard that he’s corrupt.  Dave, I’ll give you the last word.

DAVE KERBER:  Well, thanks guys.  I really appreciate having an opportunity to come in here and talk to the folks.  And that’s what it’s all about.  It’s about the people.  You know, people talk about being a state senator and it is a matter of being a public servant.  And trusting the people. Democrats don’t trust the people.  They really don’t.  They’re going to have their solutions and they think they’re smarter than everybody else,  and they think that they are wiser, they think they are kinder.  And I think as good conservatives and as human beings, you’ve got to trust the folks who put you into that office.  And that’s what I commit to do.

RANDY CORPORON:  Well, they think they know better.  They don’t.  They’re … you know.  We’ll get into more of that in the next segment, but we’ve got a lot more to talk about.