Stacy Petty Show, Susan Kochevar, June 15, 2015

Station:   KFKA, 1310 AM

Show:      Stacy Petty Show

Guests:    Kochevar


Date:       June 15, 2015


Click Here for Audio

HOST STACY PETTY:  […] With us on the line, [a] dear friend of mine, Susan Kochevar.  She is the new chairperson for CRBC, which stands for Colorado Republican Business Coalition.  Hey, I got it right, there.  Welcome back, Susan!


PETTY:  Well, I’ve always heard, “CRBC!  CRBC!” because I always get invited to the events.  And it kind of — it took me a few minutes to remember what it actually stood for.  [Laughs].

KOCHEVAR:  [laughs] Yeah, and speaking of, our lunches are the third Friday of every month.  And we have Ken Clark this Friday, talking about that Initiative 20, so you won’t want to miss that.  You know, it’s the single payer healthcare plan and we want to make sure that that does not get on the ballot.

PETTY:  Yeah, and the last — we have talked about it briefly, here, on the show. And it’s my understanding that they need a whole lot of signatures to get this on the petition — I mean, I should say, on the ballot. And it’s not looking very positive, at this point.  We hope!  You never know, though.

KOCHEVAR:  Right. Yeah. That’s a good thing.  Well, and what we’ve seen in the past, is when petitions — um, the people who pass petitions around, get people to sign up, frequently they’re not quite truthful about exactly what the petition says.  So, we just want to inform people so they know what they’re signing when they see those petitions being passed around

When they see those petitions being passed around.

PETTY:  Well, and right quick, to let the listeners know, Initiative 20 is basically just another healthcare expenditure that is going to be — if it makes it on the ballot, if it gets passed, — because this time the legislators are deciding to go to the voters because it’s not happening in the state Legislature — this is the brainchild of Sen. Irene Aguilar, correct?

KOCHEVAR:  It is, and this will be so destructive to small businesses.

PETTY:  Well, and she has — I mean, I think that she, — everyone that I know that knows her says she is just a delightful, kind, wonderful woman.  But she kind of has this misconception about the role of government when it comes to healthcare.  But, I think that you and I can wholeheartedly agree on that.  Our liberal friends do not feel that way.  But, passing on an additional healthcare expenditure to not just business owners — the employers, but to the employees as well.  We’re talking about not — what you see coming out of your paycheck — should this make it to the ballot, should this pass by a vote of the people — it’s going to increase your taxes.

KOCHEVAR:  Yes. Employers will be deducting more money from their employees’ paychecks, and match that to meet end [?] which is more paperwork.  And I know, because you know, I have a small business — I can’t do one more piece of paperwork.  And I think a lot of business people feel that way.  And also, if you’re self employed you’re going to have to  pay this.  And it’s 10%!  It’s huge!

PETTY:  It is a big number.  And to me it says, “Well, this is the failure of the already-existing healthcare exchange.”

KOCHEVAR:  Yes!  Yeah, I think there was a bill that went through this year where they were going to audit that healthcare exchange, now.  Or, did that fail?  I can’t recall.  So many bills went through this session, it’s incredible.  Like every session, but there were so many that were bad legislation, which is one of the things — one of the places, I think  —[that] CRBC can make a difference and has made a difference.  We have —one of the things our group does is review legislation — I think actually, it’s one of the most important things that we do,— we review legislation and we let our members know which is good, which is bad, and why.  And when we look at legislation we like to look at it from a free market perspective.  Because what you see happening, sometimes, is, a bill will go through and maybe somebody says, “Oh, this bill seems like a good thing!”  You know, maybe it’s a bill to set up something so that a government entity, maybe, so that another group of people can, um, benefit from it.  So, I think there was a bill that went through that said a portion of — I think it was Northern Colorado — can apply for certain grants to help set up farming and things.  But, the problem with bills like that is it takes tax money from all the other farmers, sets up a government entity to help people compete against these farmers, number one.  And number two, those farmers that give up that hard-earned tax money, can use that money to expand and grow their businesses, or buy new pieces of equipment, or hire people.  So, we try to look at bills from a free market perspective and, um, set a level playing field.  No rent seeking [?], or protectionism, or going to government for dollars or special favors

PETTY:  I mean, that’s one of the things I like to try and point out on a continuous basis, here, is there are so many arguments out there — mostly coming from the left —that corporations are making too much money, people are not getting paid enough.  “Oh, my goodness, you need to increase wages, increase the, you know, the minimum wage.” But they never stop and reflect upon, “Well, maybe the state,”  and by ‘state’ I’m using a capital S, meaning the government — takes too much money in the first place.  That never crosses anyone’s mind

KOCHEVAR:  No, and they don’t spend it well.  Any money you send into the government, first of all, it has to be adminstrated.  So you’re hiring all these administrators and you have to pay those people.  So, the money gets—um, the amount of money that is supposed to go to whatever it is you’re putting it to, is already reduced.  And it would be much better left in the hands of the people who earn it.

PETTY:  Well, and this is why individuals such as ourself [sic] also kind of like to make the argument that we should have the right to privately invest our Social Security withholdings.

KOCHEVAR:  Yes, we would all be much richer.  Sure

PETTY:  It’s the same concept, that you have a better idea of what is best for your money, over the government.

KOCHEVAR:  Yes, how to spend it. You know if you need more dental care insurance as opposed to something else.  You know if you need new tires, all those sorts of things that the government just can’t, you know, provide. It doesn’t work that way.

PETTY:  No, and I need to congratulate you on being elected chairperson for the CRBC.  So, there you go. Congratulations!

KOCHEVAR:  Thank you.  And I am so excited.  I take over in the footsteps of some terrific past presidents:  Christine Burke, who sort of set the organization up, and she set our rules and um, you know, just outlined a good structure for CRBC; and then Andy Anderson who set up — we have our small donor committee, and now we have part of out luncheon dues going to our small donor committee.  And that’s really where a lot of the pull comes from in different organizations, because when you have legislators that understand you have a small donor committee and can donate to their campaigns, they listen to you more.  It makes a tremendous difference.

PETTY:  Well, and you found a lot of success, when you were out on your campaign trail, running for your House seat, your district there where you are, talking to small business owners.  I know that you had shared a story with us once that you saw, you know, vans or trucks parked in driveways of homes that had some type of, you know, business name on the side.  And you would talk to those people.   And it was easy to relate to them because, yes, you are a small business owner.  But, listening to their struggles, their challenges, the attempts that they have to make — all that goes into compliancee —  is really quite a labyrinth.

KOCHEVAR:  It is, and it’s quite capricious.  So, you think you’re in compliance with everything and some bureaucrat will come in with a different perspective on what that regulation says, and you’re in hot water.  And the fines and penalties for a lot of the violations of regulations are massiveand they just crush small businsses.  You just — you cannot comply currently with all the regulations, um, — it’s just impossible.
PETTY:  And you are planning on running for that House seat again?

KOCHEVAR:  I am. Yes.  I am planning to run for House District 29 again.  All my paperwork is filed. You can find me at or on Facebook.  Mm-hmm.

PETTY:  Very good.  Hey, we’re going to go ahead and run to our break, and we’re going to be back with Susan Kochevar in just a few.

[commercial break]

PETTY:  […]  So we were talking about, you and i privately, here, there are two things that kind of feed into this segment here with you.  And I spoke with Jonathan Lockwood at the —towards the beginning of the show, and we were talking about the Export/ Import Bank position that Senator Michael Bennet has taken on it.  And I was unaware of the functions of what this bank actually does.  And I did not know that it was taxpayer subsidized.


PETTY:  So, I learned something new from Jonathan on this one — that it is supposed to assist with small businesses, in getting short term loans, helping them grow their business, secure their assets, get new products, new inventory.  And his — Senator Michael Bennet’s —position  on extending this.  And then, we spoke with Joshua Sharff about the situation with the TPA and TPP. At the end of the day, both of these items affect the small business owner.

KOCHEVAR:  Yeah, they really do.  You know, we’re the engine of the country so when these things start to affect small businesses, it’s going to affect the entire country.  Small business is where all the innovation and ideas come from.  You know, as corporations — as companies get bigger, they get more like giant bureaucracies and they slow down, and the innovation just doesn’t come out of them.  And typically, they’ll look around for smaller businesses  to purchase, or those small businesses will just grow and those ideas flourish.  So, there’s a cycle there.  We need to not — we need to make sure make sure we do not crush our small business people.

PETTY:  Well, you’re a small business owner.  I’m a small business owner.  I know those stuggles, those challenges, know lots of people that are also small business owners, and trying to stay on top of all that is required out of us while you have an actual personal relationship with your employees is a very tough one. They’re not shipped off to some Human Resources Department where there is ambiguity there. You know these people. You know what’s happening in their daily lives. It’s a family, in many situations.  And when we see these intrusive steps — whether they’re coming from the Feds or they’re coming from the state —   it’s very difficult to have the desire, and the motivation to remain in that small business.

KOCHEVAR:  It is.  It’s growing tougher and tougher.  You know, you’re required now under court orders to garnish wages, so that puts you into that employee’s personal business, a lot of times.  You’re the tax collector for all of these small businesses.  You send in information to Family Services on your employees, the people that you hire.  It’s just — it’s endless, and mindless.

PETTY:  Yeah, and I’m very familiar with that.  And I am one that receives those envelopes from a county Human — you know, Health and Human Department — Health and Human Services Department in regards to that kind of stuff.   And yeah, I mean, it’s true, and we know what’s happening, and it’s personal.  And, as I said, it’s a family.  And so we want to do what we can to protect that, though:  to keep the government from stepping in and doing — stepping beyond where they should be doing.  And that’s one of the functions of CRBC.  You’re equipping the members.

KOCHEVAR:  Yeah, I think this is the organization to belong to, so that we can start to affect that legislation.  CRBC has worked to do that in the past — 23 years that the organization has been around. But I think we’re set now, with all of this good leadership — past and present — to push forward to   We testify in Committee on bills, to let legislators know where we stand.  We stood — uh, we went in and testified on HB-200, which was the repeal of our state Healthcare. It passed, but at least the business community’s position was made known.  And, uh, through our small donor committee, giving to candidates and helping to promote those people who promote free markets, and in the government — people who understand what it’s like to be a small business.  Some of them are business owners.  So — .

PETTY:  So, let me ask —and if you can release this information.  How many members do you have there?

KOCHEVAR:  You know, I don’t have that right at my fingertips.  We have — gosh, I think our mailing list is over a thousand. So—.

PETTY:  And is this just in Colorado? Are there chapters in other states, other cities?  How does that work?

KOCHEVAR:  No.  No chapters in other states.  We’re just here in Colorado, focusing on Colorado.  And we do have a very exciting golf tournament coming up September 14th.

PETTY:  Well, tell us about that.

KOCHEVAR:  Oh, so excited!  It is on the Interlocken Golf Club.  We have lots of prizes.  There’s a million dollar shoot-out contest.  Tens of thousands of dollars worth of prizes.  Just a 2015 Lexus that we’ll be given away, vacations, golf clubs. It’s a great way to come and meet other small business owners.  And we will also have legislators there.  So, talk to these legislators.  Tell them what is hurting small business, what bills could be run to change Colorado so that it’s very open for business.

PETTY:  And you said, again —I’m sorry — this golf tournament, is when again?

KOCHEVAR:  It is September 14th.  And you can find the golf tournament online here at

PETTY:   I will try and make sure I get that hooked up and get that on my show [facebook] wall, so that people can follow that link.


PETTY:  There are a lot of contributors, I’m assuming, sponsorships involved with this.

KOCHEVAR:  Oh, yes! And we still have sponsorships available, too.  There are some hole sponsors that are available and a whole layer of different things that you can get in to promote your business and advertize.  So, reach out, because this is going to be the event, I think, in September. I’m very looking forward to it.

PETTY:  Now, is the website that people can go to if they’re interested in a membership for CRBC?

KOCHEVAR:  Uh, you can go, for more information on CRBC and to become a member and see everything —we’re very affordable, by the way — but, it’s

PETTY:  […] Well, I know a lot of people that have been involved with CRBC for these few years here, that I’ve been aware of what it is you guys do.  There are some fine people in there that are working diligently to assist the small business owner.

KOCHEVAR:  Right. Yeah, and you can come and connect.  You know, we share problems and so you can figure out some ways to resolve them.  I’m working on some ways that we can start pushing back on the regulations, and expose what business owners are going through when regulators come in and audit, and stuff, from —.  We’re finding some pretty horrific things are happening to people.  So, let’s work out some strategies to push this back and to get our government to pay attention, and stop doing this.

PETTY:  Hey, Susan, can you give us a feel good story of a difference CRBC has made for someone?

KOCHEVAR:  Someone in particular?  Uh, well, for myself, certainly, it’s given me a lot of people to talk to about issues that I face,

in terms of addressing city councils, and actually just a way to go to the Capitol and learn about that and how to impact legislation.  I think that’s actually the biggest thing I got out of it, so—.

you know, that’s—.

PETTY:  You know, the interesting part of of this is it’s not just the day-in and day-out labor and effort and energy —


PETTY:  —that’s placed into running your small business. The fact that you have to worry about fighting a government entity to remain in control of that business, to keep it fruitful, is just disturbing.

KOCHEVAR:  Yeah, it is.  And it’s just — lots of times people will just pay fines and just shut the doors because they’re — they can’t fight back.  And so, I don’t want to see that happen to people.

PETTY:  And we — and we’re paying attention — you know, you and I, even though, as you said, it’s very difficult to keep up with all the legislation that comes through.  There’s just so many bills.  I think there were close to 800, or something, dropped this past session.  And it’s very difficult to stay on top of what all of those bills are. But, gosh!  If you really look at a lot of them, it just makes our challenge greater.  And we have to stay on top of it.  CRBC does that.  They help equip that small business owner to accomplish that.  And again, if they want to find more information, it’s ‘small biz’ […]

KOCHEVAR:  Yes, that’s right.

PETTY:  And to find out more information on this golf tournament that’s coming up on September 14th,

KOCHEVAR:  Yep. And join us Friday for lunch, at 11:30, and we meet at Brooklyn’s at the Pepsi Center at 11:30 to 1:00.  And you don’t have to be a member to come.  And lunch is $25 for non-members, $20 for members. So, come check us out!

PETTY:  Is there a Facebook wall for CRBC?

KOCHEVAR:  Yep.  CRBC —Facebook.  Colorado Republican Business Coalition.  Mm-hmm.

PETTY:  That’s a great way to find out more information about all the upcoming events and what you guys are doing. Again, every third Friday of the month is the CRBC luncheon.  I know that you’re going to see a lot of fellow friends there, our mutual friends, and I appreciate all that you guys do.  Susan Kochevar, she does CRBC, she’s the new chairwoman, and she does so many other things.  She’s the owner of the 88 Drive-In, there, in Commerce City.  Plus, she makes some important connections for me.  Thank you so much, Susan!

KOCHEVAR:  Absolutely, you’re welcome!