Stacy Petty Show, Steve House, January 28, 2016

Station: KFKA, 1310 AM

Show:     Stacy Petty Show

Guests:  House


Date:      January 28, 2016

Topics:    Equal Pay, 2016 Elections Strategy, Plan to Win, Analytics, Digital format, Data, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, Rick Palacio, Straw Poll, Bound and Unbound Delegates, Caucus, State GOP Convention, National GOP Convention, Open Primaries, Ballot Initiative, Second Amendment, Reasonable Regulations, Oil & Gas Industry, U.S. Senate Race, Amendment 69, Tax increase, Obamacare, Jonathan Lockwood, Medicaid Audits, Weld County, Voter Registration, Marijuana, Business Tax Rates, Personal Property Tax, Millenials, Unaffiliated, Independents, Values, Solutions

Click Here for Audio


HOST STACY PETTY:  What else do you have coming up here that you’d like for listeners to know about, as far as getting around the state and getting the message out?

CHAIRMAN OF THE COLORADO STATE GOP, STEVE HOUSE:  You know, in Fremont County, I think it was a very interesting discussion because –

PETTY:  I have an attachment to Freemont County, by the way, so it always piques my interest when you say that.

HOUSE:  […] Fremont County, in the discussion, I suggested to the people there that we’ve got to start thinking a little bit differently on how we talk to people, especially the 490,000 or so unaffiliated or “leans right” voters that we have got to make sure vote Republican, on top of our base in this coming election.  And that was to say, “Look, guys. I think we need to stop talking at every one of our discussions about the 2nd Amendment.” And people, you know, first bristle at that thought process, because I’m an ardent 2nd Amendment supporter.  I own guns.  And they say, “How can you stop talking about the 2nd Amendment?”  And I say, “Well, because the Democrats know that we own that issue.”  You know, no matter what happens in the world, we’re not going to give up on our 2nd Amendment.   We have defenders in RMGO and NRA and our sheriffs and other people.  The Democrats want us talking about issues that they want us talking about. So, what should we be talking about?  And I suggested we should be talking about education, because I think it’s the number one issue for us as a state, for us as a Party. And we should go beyond the discussion about charter schools.   The problem in this state is 23% of the people that go to high school, or through the system, do not graduate.  And when you don’t graduate 23%, those 23 of one hundred kids make half the income in their lifetime, they are at much higher likelihood to be incarcerated, they end up with a socioeconomic challenge that they shouldn’t have.  And so, as a Party, right now, we’re talking about – even though our job is politics and getting people elected – we’re going out there and talking about  reasonable regulations. Oil and Gas is suffering greatly right now. Why are we still stuck on an alternative mandate that doesn’t make sense for a huge part of our economy, as an example?

PETTY:  And actually, it is concern that I’ve had, and I’ll tell you – I’ll be straight with you, here, Steven.  I think you probably already know this.  I’m very committed to voting Libertarian coming up this November, for the US Senate, for the President.  I don’t have a problem with that.  But I recognize, here, and I actually —  I deactivated my Facebook account yesterday – so you won’t be able to reach me there anymore – but I had a reason that I did that.  And a lot of it came down to the incessant infighting in regards to presidential candidates.  And I spend some time chewing on that particular issue of, “Wait a minute. Why do we spend so much time talking about that individual candidate?”  We need to be talking about issues.  So, that’s heading right down the path that you’re wanting to promote there.  […] I am not a fan of Donald Trump and I am so tired at seeing the support of him on social media, and well, I guess in general across the nation, because he is still polling pretty well. And I look at it and I think, “Wait a minute.” We need to be discussing –you know, as you said, skipping over the 2nd Amendment issue, because perhaps that’s a tired subject to be touching upon — but you mentioned education. And this is something that Republicans are very bad at talking about.

HOUSE:  I agree.  [….]

PETTY:  But, you know, that’s – it is shocking to me that we don’t spend much time — when I say “we” that’s also my former personality as a Republican member, or I should say, a member of the Republican Party.  And the Democrats own education talk, and we’re very bad about that.  So, what are you hearing across the state when you have these conversations with the common people?

HOUSE:  So, first of all, if we lead with the discussion regarding charter schools because we believe the charters or the solution to a problem, I don’t think that’s a bad thing to believe in that as a solution.  I think when you realize, you’re trying to persuade people, you first have to get agreement on what the problem is. And so, by talking about a 23% failure in graduation rate, talking about the fact that 40% of those who do graduate are not ready to move on to the next step — they aren’t ready for college or, you know, an additional trade school, or even some of them are not socially ready to go to work.  So that’s 23% failed to graduate.  Forty percent failed to graduate with the level of education that our Constitution Implies.  And then there’s the others, which is, I like to ask the question, if third grade reading levels are such a strong indicator of graduation rates — the number is well above 80% — if you can read at a third-grade level in third grade, you have a much higher percentage chance of graduating than we do actually graduate kids.  Why is it that we run around 40% achieving the third grade reading level by third grade?   So you start asking the question, “So, what would you do about that?  I can tell you right now, if third-grade reading levels, — and you know what reading does: it allows you to study, it allows you to learn, comprehend stuff If that’s the case, wouldn’t you simply say, “Let’s get rid of all other that all other curriculums until they can read at the third-grade level.  And by bringing the issue up, and talking about the impact on the economy, and more importantly, about the impact on the individual who is now prepared by the time they get through high school, to be competitive and chase their own dreams, it’s really a travesty.  And frankly, I believe we can all look back and say that teachers unions and Democrats have controlled our school system for long enough, and it’s time to make changes because those numbers are not acceptable.

PETTY:  Well, and I don’t spend too much time, I should say, criticizing public education or their teachers unions.  I’d like to think that they have the best intentions in mind.  But when you look at the statistics, I mean, you’re saying 23% within the state of Colorado – how do we rank nationally in graduation rates?  Do you know that off the top of your head?

HOUSE:  We’re in the bottom half.

PETTY:  Okay.  That’s upsetting.  And knowing the teachers union’s presence here in the state of Colorado, them taking the routes and the tactics that they do to control it, you’d like to think that you should be able to drop the responsibility – or perhaps I should say irresponsibility– of graduation rate and the inability to move forward even after graduation on the folks that should be responsible.  And that’s going to be the teachers and the unions.

HOUSE:  Yeah, and you know, I agree with you about not wanting to blame people [inaudible] without a lot more information, but we tend to get into this argument about funding and the negative factor.  And, you know, there’s  55-60% of our budget at the state level goes to education.  You know, that’s either, you know – right or wrong – but the real reality is, things have to change.  Students end their school year in May or June and they lose a lot in the summertime.  You know, right there in Greeley, you know, there’s a group of people who actually takes students in the summertime, put them through a five week course to bring their educational level back up, and their graduation rates end up being much higher than average because they made some adjustments. It’s definitely not purely about money.  It’s about looking at why people do and don’t graduate, where they’re at at third grade, where they’re at at eighth grade.  We need to make some changes, and if the teachers’ union wants to come to us and say, “Okay, we’re going to be part of the solution.  We know things have to change,” then I’m all ears.

PETTY:  But that’s not what we’re hearing.  So–.


PETTY:  Yeah.


PETTY:  And I can’t – like I said, I tend not to take that route, but I’d like to place the blame where it belongs, and that’s where I’m going to place it for right now.  And I don’t remember the number off the top of my head right now, but I know that the growth in homeschooling has increased significantly within just the past five years.  And I know it’s a frustration that a lot of parents have with the public education system.

HOUSE:  Yeah, they do.  And in fact, you know, when I go in to Five Points in Denver or to NAACP meetings, we have the same exact discussions as we do in Republican Party meetings, which is, “Look, my kids need to be educated because once they’re educated at the right level, they can then make whatever they want out of their lives.  That’s the promise of America to begin with.  And I’m not going to say that we should be blaming teachers or superintendents or unions.  I’m saying we should solve the problem, because we have lots of great teachers and great people with great hearts in education.  And the fact of the matter is, the results are not there and we’ve got to make some changes.

PETTY:  What else do you have that you think would be a great topic for those who are right-of-center to be – what conversations to start engaging in, outside of education?  What else is there?

HOUSE:  You know, I’ll go back to discussions we have, and I spend a lot of time these days in meetings with unaffiliated or even Democrat voters just to listen, to see how we can persuade people.  And hospitals and healthcare come up – Obamacare comes up a lot.  And you know, I think as the Party—we’re the Party of entrepreneurship and business.  We’ve got to start going toward solving some serious problems for people and their health.  We need to start curing some diseases again.  And I think – when I talk to people and they say, “Well, you know, you just hate Obamacare.”  And I say, “No, it’s not about hating Obamacare. It’s about making sure that we have the right processes, regulatory structure, and incentives in place to see us solve some problems, like diabetes, like stopping strokes and heart attacks before they happen.  Those are the kind of things you get from innovation and some of the work that’s being done on adult stem cell research and the things we are going to be able to do.  But if you then tax the revenue of companies who exist in the medical space, you stifle innovation.  And I think what we as a population have to say is, “Look, we’re putting up with higher prices for healthcare, through Obamacare.  We’re putting up with limitations on which doctors we can see and where we have access, should we also put up with incentives which are disincentives to be innovative and help cure diseases so that the rest of my life can be better?  I don’t think we should.