Republican victory, not choice, is the issue - Colorado Politics

Republican victory, not choice, is the issue

Author: - April 24, 2009 - Updated: April 24, 2009

Dear Editor,

As a candidate, I was pleased to see the article on my candidacy by Face the State in The Statesman. Much of it, beginning with the title, was misleading enough that I hope to get equal time.

While I am pro-choice, that isn’t the driving force behind my candidacy. Indeed, in the past two election cycles, I have put in over 1,000 hours trying to get Bob Beauprez and Bob Schaffer elected.

Not many pro-life conservatives can make that claim. To now imply that my race is driven in any way by pro-choice politics is more than unfair. It is inaccurate.

My candidacy is driven solely by political misconduct. In the past five election cycles, a small number of social conservatives or their allies have sabotaged seven Republican candidates, six successfully.

While they hope that they can replace those Republicans with social conservatives who will enact a social agenda, they have not once succeeded. Instead, they have handed those seats over to Democratic incumbents that they can’t beat.

In 2007, I established a party unity blog, I wrote often about and against the self-destructive elements of the Party who don’t much like moderates 22 months out of every 24-month election cycle.

House District 17 wasn’t on my radar before the election. The description of that district provided by The Statesman is short, but grossly inaccurate:

“In 2008, it became clear that Roupe was pro-choice, representing a generally unpopular stance on abortion in the socially conservative district”

Mark Hillman wrote:

“I served on the reapportionment commission that drew district lines after the 2000 census … It was a conscious decision by the Democrats who held the majority on the commission to combine Fort Carson with Democrat-leaning or swing precincts in order to make it ‘winnable for them.’ Had they combined it with 20 or so active precincts, the Republican advantage would have taken that district off the table …”

So, in 2008 we had a moderate district with a moderate Republican candidate who didn’t win. But why?

There was a rumor that Focus on the Family had threatened candidates and officeholders that they would have trouble if they helped her. Candidates and officeholders avoided helping. Precinct packets were prepared without including her literature. The El Paso Republicans had $20,000 that they chose not to spend on her district. After the election, the executive director of the local party resigned and announced the formation of a fundraising organization whose purpose was reported to be to keep candidates like Roupe off the ballot. Roupe was mentioned by name in a Gazette editorial reporting on the new fund.

I’m running against this kind of self-destructive political misconduct. Voters always punish misconduct, especially when it can be shown that they are paying much higher taxes because of it.

And Schultheis’ response:

Schultheis dismissed McDowell’s strategy. “There’s an awful lot of evangelicals in that district, so he can make that an issue, but it’s not going to play,”

Apparently Schultheis believes that evangelicals can’t read their tax statements and don’t mind paying for every fee, tax and spending program the Democrats he and his allies have helped put in power can dream up.

Because the annual taxes and fees being imposed can’t be reversed, the cost of this political misconduct isn’t a few hundred dollars a family. It is more likely to be thousands or tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime. And that is only at the state level.

Much as some would like, this election won’t be about a pro-life/pro-choice referendum. It is about misconduct and the exorbitant costs of that misconduct to each and every voter.

Thomas R. McDowell
McDowell for Senate District 9
Colorado Springs

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