Jimmy Sengenberger Show, Bob Beauprez, May 3, 2014

Station:   KNUS, 710 AM

Show:      Jimmy Sengenberger Show

Guests:    Beauprez

Link:        http://sengenberger.podbean.com/

Date:       May 3, 2014

Topics:     Tea Party, Establishment, GOP, Republican Party Divide, Education, Common Core, Conservative School Boards, Race to the Top, Western Governors, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Regulation, Oil and Gas Industry, John Hickenlooper, A Return to Values, Rural voters, War on Rural Colorado, Renewable Energy Mandates, Gun Laws, Leadership, Opportunity, Economy, Public Safety, Acid Test, Overreach, 2006 Gubernatorial race, Energy Independence, Jefferson County, School Choice

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HOST JIMMY SENGENBERGER:  The crossfire is always going with gubernatorial candidates having their debates, and discussions, and issues of the day.  What happens in politics continues to go on and to shake things up.  There were four candidates running for governor: Mike Kopp, top line – by just 18 votes, but still top line at the assembly;  Scott Gessler, Secretary of State; former Congressman Tom Tancredo; and our guest, who we caught up with earlier, Bob Beauprez, also former Congressman.  Let’s go straight to that interview.

[playing the pre-recorded interview]

I’m very pleased to have on the program, a good friend, a good guy – all-around good guy, candidate for governor, former Congressman Bob Beauprez is with us.  Good evening, sir.  It’s good to have you with us.


SENGENBERGER:  Now, you are all around the state, at least you’re about to be all around the state tomorrow.  You’re kicking off a tour to crisscross Colorado.  Talk to us about that.

BEAUPREZ:  We are.  We’re going to be – I think over in the northwest corner before the weeks out.  We’re also going to be clear down in Lamar, and all points in between. And in the two opposite corner, if I put it that way, the Durango area and then out toward Sterling.  We’ll leave that for the week after.  A good bit of the state, we’re going to get to see next week.

SENGENBERGER:  Now, it’s always interesting to me, because obviously I’ve never run for state-wide office, what it’s like when you have to actually put all those miles on a car and go travel around from one part to the other. And the state is so diverse.  What’s that experience like?

BEAUPREZ:  Oh, this is the part I like the best, Jimmy.  You know, being a native Coloradoan, having spent a good bit of my life in rural Colorado, in uh – we were dairy farmers, now we’re buffalo ranchers up in the mountains.  I always got around  a lot of the state then, because we were always buying and selling our cattle, and I had reason to visit folks from corner to corner, and meeting people where they live, where they work, where they –in some cases of rural CO–they try to eke out a living.  Parts of the state are extremely dry again, unfortunately.  I like to sense that myself. I’m a visual learner. And so I like to see, II like to interact with people.  And you know, it really brings home the point you made when you do something like this – how very diverse our state is. You stick around the metro [Denver] area, as important, as vibrant, as exciting as it is, you get a—you get one perspective.  And that’s a healthy perspective.  It’s important.  But the state is so much more diverse and different than that, corner to corner.

SENGENBERGER:  I do want to give you a chance real quick, because tomorrow night you do have – or tomorrow afternoon you do have an event to kick off that.  You got some details for us?

BEAUPREZ:  Yeah.  It’s going to be at the Tavern down in the [Denver] Tech Center, and I think it starts at 5:30.  Folks, if they want to attend, they can certainly still do that.  We’ll take walk-ins.  RSVPs are nice, but it people just want to show up, that would be fine.  It’s going to be a fun time.  Kind of a kick off to the statewide tour, a formal beginning, I guess, of the bigger part of the campaign now, if you will.

SENGENBERGER:  And now let’s delve in to the bigger part of the campaign, where you have a very interesting race.  I haven’t seen anything like this in a state-wide race in my memory.  And that is a four way primary – and we listed earlier in the program all of the candidates that are running. What differentiates, in your mind, Bob Beauprez from rest of the pack, in terms of the qualifications and the things that you feel you bring to the table?

BEAUPREZ:  Well, it’s what we were talking about a little bit earlier, Jimmy.  It’s my diversity of experience. I am a Colorado native.  But more importantly, I’ve been in a number of different careers.  [I] started as a typical family farm.  We had dairy cows, did pretty good at that.  Ended up selling our cattle all over the world.  And then we developed the farm and the families asked me to look after that, and I did.  So I had that experience.  Thirteen hundred housing units, no small undertaking, and [I] learned a great deal about how you create jobs and deal with a lot of government when you take on a project that big.  We – Claudia and I – bought a little community bank. grew it from $4 million to $450 million, created a lot of jobs, had five employees, I think it was when we started.  [We] ended up with over 150.  And most importantly, touched a great many people in our part of Colorado.  I think at one point we were in five or six different counties here in the north metro area, including downtown Denver.  And so you get a great deal of experience in dealing with that many different people small, especially small business people.  [I] went to Congress, and now come back home– we’ve got the buffalo ranch up in the mountains. So, I’ve had a great deal of real life experience of creating jobs, seeing how government sometimes does it well, lots of times does it not so well at all.  And in every career, I’ve found myself in a leadership role. I think Colorado is void of leadership, right now.  It’s the place I fault John Hickenlooper the most. I think my experience, –hands on, real world experience–will help me relate to the diversity of Colorado.  I want to get this economy moving again. I think we have lost a tremendous amount of opportunity, and I fault John Hickenlooper and Barack Obama for that. I think there is a better way. I know that way, and I want to lead us in that direction.  So, I think it’s experience that sets me apart, Jimmy, and I look forward to making that case to Colorado.

SENGENBERGER:  Now, one thing we always like to do is give a chance for candidates to respond to one or two of the criticisms that are often levied against them.  There is the 2006 loss, for example, that you had.  Now, it was several years ago. It was a ways back.  What has changed since 2006?  What have you learned since 2006, when you did lose by a fairly sizeable margin, and there were some people that say, “Well, he ran in 2006, and he lost big.  That makes me a little hesitant to support him this go around.  How do you respond to critics in that issue?

BEAUPREZ:  Well, I haven’t done everything perfect in my life, and that was one of the times.  And you know, making a mistake is one thing. You don’t want to do it twice, and I won’t. The biggest mistake I made in ’06 was that I did not give full consideration to how difficult it would be to be a member of Congress, as I was, on the Ways and Means Committee, a fairly involved responsibility, and also running a state-wide campaign back here for the office of governor. It proved to be extremely difficult. In addition to that, Jimmy, the landscape was tough. My pollster told me – and this isn’t meant to sound like an excuse, it’s just a piece of reality–my pollster told me not since Watergate had he seen an environment so difficult for Republicans as it was in ’06. That’s all changed. We’ve now got an incumbent governor in John Hickenlooper, who has taken some hits, most of them self-inflicted. He’s now got a record. I look forward to exposing that record.  I think it is a record of failed leadership and lost opportunity.  And we’re going to take him to task for that.  We’re going to present a better plan for Colorado, a better leadership plan, and a better economic plan, a better public safety plan, a better plan to really make education about our children and give them a fighting chance to get all these jobs we’re going to create in Colorado. And I think, when we’re done, I think we’ll make a clear case to Colorado voters and offer them that better choice. I think this is the year that they’re hungry for a better opportunity, and I look forward to making that case and hopefully being that choice.

SENGENBERGER:  Before we delve into those issues for a few minutes with our guest […], one more thing that I hear, especially in a lot of Tea Party circles, we’ve got this divide that I really want to be bridging,  I think that it’s something we need to move past. I’ve talked a lot about it on my program. But you’ve got this divide between the so-called Establishment and the so-called Tea Party wing.  And there are a lot of people that I know that say, “Oh, Bob Beauprez is somebody from the establishment.  He’s getting establishment support.  He’s getting support from out of state.  He’s getting all of these kinds of things.” How do you see yourself vis-à-vis the supposed divide in the Republican Party?  Do you think that is an accurate picture for people to paint, and say, “Oh, Bob Beauprez is the ‘establishment guy in the race?’”

BEAUPREZ:  Well, I think “establishment” is a word that we throw around a lot, right now. It’s meant to be pejorative. Here’s what I am:  I’m a guy who spent almost all of his live but 4 years of it in the private sector.  Did I serve my party? Yes.  I think that is an important thing for all of us citizens to do. I started as a precinct committee man, eventually was asked to be county chairman, and then state party chairman. And proudly, once I was recruited to go to Congress, I did for a grand total of four years. If that makes you “establishment”, I don’t know, I guess I’ll leave that in the eye of the beholder. What I understand, Jimmy, is that you have to have principle. I wrote a book about this. Lots of people talk about being principled.  I actually wrote it down. Here’s what I believe.  Here’s how I think we need to solve the big problems in front of America today.  I wrote it in a book. I would encourage people to take a look at that – A Return to Values is the name of it.  And in that book, I said there really ought to – here’s the acid test, and it’s one that I’ll use when I’m governor, to be for something or against something. If it enhances, preserves, protects, defends freedom, then we ought to be for it.  If it diminishes, infringes, detracts in any way from the freedom, the individual liberty, the opportunity that has always been at the forefront of the American Dream, then we best be against it.  That’s my guiding principle, Jimmy. I don’t think that that is anti-Tea Party, anti-liberty, or for that matter, anti-Republican establishment. I think it’s at the core of what it means to be an American, first and foremost. So, that will be the case I make, and I hope, just like I was able to do in 2002, that after we’re done with the primary and into the general election, I hope that I could bring this party together, this conservative movement together, and reach even well beyond that to people that are looking for some common sense leadership again.  And I hope I can be that choice and be that kind of governor.

SENGENBERGER:  Now, you just talked about constraints on freedom, Bob Beauprez, our guest.  And we have seen that dramatically increase here in the state of Colorado.  Last year, for example, talking about gun issues, where there are Coloradoans that are deeply concerned, especially in the more rural parts of the state, that you’ll be doing a lot of traveling in, that they don’t feel particularly represented on that issue and energy—we’ll get to that in a moment—and agriculture and some of these other things that have come up.  But on the gun control issue, what does that tell you about John Hickenlooper, and where do fall in terms of repealing those gun laws?

BEAUPREZ:  I look forward to signing a full repeal of those.  I think they were a gross over-reach of our individual liberty and freedom as the Constitution guarantees it. I think he was playing clearly to a constituency within his party that is anti-gun and anti-freedom, but it wasn’t good for all of Colorado. I think the recall election proved that a lot of Coloradoans said it was an over-reach and I think they do want those laws repealed.  I think we have got more than enough–way too many, laws on the books.  In fact, there are some good ‘liberty” things we could do, such as, not requiring people that already have a concealed weapons permit, have already been approved to carry a concealed weapon, why in the world should – if they go buy another gun of any kind, why do they have to go through another background check?  But yet, we make them do that. There’s things we can do to make it better for peoples’ individual liberty and freedom, rather than trample on them.

SENGENBERGER:  And certainly encouraging people to just be safe with their own firearms—which they are!

BEAUPREZ:  Well, you know Jimmy, there is plenty of evidence that one of safest groups of people out there are people that have concealed weapons permits, and do carry — one of the safest constituency groups in all society.

SENGENBERGER:  That’s part of why I remember at the Republican state assembly, somebody – I forget who it was who spoke.  It might have been one of the candidates—said ‘This is the safest I’ve ever felt in Boulder.” Because they were allowed to conceal carry on that location on campus.  All right.  So, one other thing that obviously is affecting countless Americans across the country but also here in Colorado is the job market and the struggling economy.  Across the country we see the lowest labor participation rate since 1978.  Here-in Colorado, my understanding is, the lowest since 1976, before Jimmy Carter even took office.  Bob Beauprez, what do we need to do to get jobs going again in Colorado?

BEAUPREZ:  Well, we need to stop this mindless promulgation of new regulation. Does anybody really think we’re short on regulation?  And one of the biggest reasons the economy hasn’t gotten moving again, –yes, it’s policies that they’ve passed:  Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, here our renewable energy mandate on rural Colorado, the anti-gun legislation.  But in Colorado specifically, this will be the sixth or maybe even seventh year in a row, additional regulation has been dumped on top of just one industry – the oil & gas industry.  And if they have their way, they won’t be happy until they run that industry completely out of the state.  Jimmy, that’s just wrong! It is–if it weren’t for Weld county, –which is producing by the way,  85% of all oil and gas in all of Colorado right now, our economy would be in a world of hurt.  Do we need to do it safely–environmentally safely?  Absolutely.  Do we need to do it in a sound manner?  Absolutely. The good news is that we’ve got the technology and the ability to do exactly that, to move in a huge way in the direction that used to be just a fantasy:  Energy independence for North America. And Colorado can be a big part of that. So, we’ve got a government right now, — and a governor who brags about having put the most restrictive regulation on that industry in the entire nation. And that was before the air quality regulation which he brags are the only regs in the entire nation, so obviously the most restrictive. That’s just wrong. In order to get our economy moving again, Jimmy, we’ve got to get rid of needless anti-job, anti-economic growth regulation, keep that playing field level, put up a great big sign that says, “Business is OPEN in Colorado and welcome here!” And I think we’ll see things flourish.  My goal is–.


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SENGENBERGER:  […] I want to ask you about education.  We saw a tremendous push-back against the status quo last November when we had reform school boards elected across the state, especially in Jefferson County which remains the single largest school district in the state as of at least this school year.  We also saw the tremendous downfall – two to one, of the Amendment 66 push to raise our taxes and set it up as a progressive income tax, despite Mayor Bloomberg and Bill Gates coing in and spending a couple million dollars combined on this initiative. What do we need to do in your view in terms of reforming education, providing better quality education that diminishes the status quo, while enhancing the education of students, the opportunities for parents and students, and also the ability for teachers to do what they do best?

BEAUPREZ:  Well, there is plenty of opportunity, Jimmy.  And the simplest way, we need to turn the model on its head. We have been top down– and Common core is the latest example of Washington trying to tell us what to do. Our governor embraced and supported that. They think they know better than local school districts, than parents, than teachers do. We need to turn that upside down, give more choice to parents, more flexibility to teachers.  I would pass, and encourage to be passed something that’s called a “Teachers bill of rights.” Let the teachers teach.  I’m told, Jimmy, that right now, that 1 in 6 days – 30 – basically 30 out of the 180 days in a school year — are taken up by mandatory testing. That doesn’t allow them enough time to teach. Common Core and PARCC call for more of that, not less of that.  We also need to give teachers the flexibility to manage their own classrooms, to deal with problem kids and problem parents so that they can teach.  We need to put 100% effort behind a shameful, disgraceful problem in Colorado that has existed too long, that 30% of our third graders can’t read at third grade level proficiency. We passed some laws several years ago, and said we’re going to put an end to that and provided the means to do it. But nobody seems to know if we’re even making any progress yet.  On my watch, we will.  There’s an opportunity to provide something called a Scholarship Tax Credit that would be a huge benefit to about half of our lower economic level folks in the state – their children, to provide an opportunity for scholarships for them to choose a school that best suits their child’s needs, provide an incentive for companies and wealthy individuals to give, and for at risk kids– kids without great means, to be able to attend those better schools, the best schools.  And that’s the way we can unleash the —liberate our young people in the state and get them really job-ready and opportunity-ready so that they can live out the best of the American Dream.

SENGENBERGER:  And we have talked with Pam Benigno of the Independence Institute about that very proposal, I think–

BEAUPREZ:  They’re doing great work!

SENGENBERGER:  –they’re right on spot with you there.  Real quick, final question, before we give you a chance to let everyone know where they can find information about you.  One of the cornerstones of education policy in this state that started this Common Core push and some of these other things, was the Race To the Top program, at the federal government, where they dangled this carrot – “we’re going to give you money if you make these reforms.”  So we do it. We do SB 191. We take some steps and then we don’t get the money.  As governor of the state of Colorado, if elected, how would you respond to those kinds of carrots that are held out by the federal government that could drive Colorado into position that would hurt our society, rather than improve upon it?

BEAUPREZ:  Jimmy, I talked earlier about the need to do the ‘Freedom Test’.  And states and state citizens are not free if you are ever more dependent, ever more at the beck and call of the federal government. Common Core is one of many of federal mandates, federal interventions that I look forward to pushing back on.  Not just alone. But I’m convinced that there is a huge group of like-minded, almost universally Republican governors in the Rocky Mountain west that want to band together and do just that.  It’s time we remind Washington D.C. what the 10th Amendment was all about:  everything not expressly defined in the enumerated powers of the Constitution was to be left for the states. And that certainly means education. We know what’s best for our kids. We don’t need Washington telling us that. So, I’d look forward to not only pulling the plug on Common Core, but a whole bunch else, including, importantly, letting our federal lands go. Let us manage our federal lands. And keep Washington D.C.’s hands off of our precious water out here, as well.

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