Who am I?
I am a full-time working husband and father. I've been married to Kelly for almost 20 years and look forward to fifty or so more. We have three children and one grand-daughter with another on the way.
I have a B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in physics. I was a software engineer for a defense contractor but left after becoming disgusted with the waste I was seeing every day. I've been with the Colorado Department of Corrections for sixteen years with the last six years as a Case Manager.
I don't have great personal wealth or political party connections. What I do have is a desire to see my government be better and to do my part to make is so. One day I'll want to be able to tell my kids that I did everything I could to leave them a better world.
I see this Congress as the worst in my lifetime and possibly in our nation’s history. I'm the kind of person that is not satisfied with just complaining about something when I have the ability to try and make it better.
I was born and raised in Colorado but spent part of my early childhood in Jamestown, NY. The education I received there about the founding of our country has always stayed with me. Its part of why I felt compelled to serve in the military after high school. I served for four years in the 101st Airborne Division. After my first semester of college I was recalled to active duty for the first gulf war, Operation Desert Storm.
My desire for public service is part of why I went into corrections. It’s also why I served four years on my local school board. Today I see a Congress that has forgotten our nation’s history and the lessons of our forefather’s. A Congress that is more concerned with one-upping the other side than with working together to solve problems and move our country forward. I see a political system where candidates are chosen by their ability to raise large sums of money and without regard to intelligence or fealty to the legacy left to us by Washington, Jefferson, et al. A system that rewards name calling and divisiveness.
I live in a country where we are all supposed to be equal. Yet it is in this country where the measure equality is too often determined by the size of one’s bank account. The middle class is dwindling. Basic rights like health care, education and even the ability to put food on the table are being deteriorated by a government that listens first, and most, to those who have the money to be heard. It is something we all complain about. It is something I must try and do something about. I live in country where Bill Clinton and Barack Obama can start life full of disadvantage and become President. Don’t tell me I can’t make it to Congress.
Why am I running?
I'm running because my current representative is failing to represent the people of our district as our forefather's envisioned when they designed our form of government. As the representative from Colorado's 4th CD I will put aside partisanship and lead my colleagues into agreement on the most important issues of our time.
Our past is forgotten, our present is crumbling and our future is at risk.
Our country was founded because the people of the colonies were tired of not having a voice in the English laws that governed them. They didn’t mind paying taxes for the things they received but were not satisfied with paying taxes and receiving nothing in return. The greatest trials and tribulations of our nation’s history have been solved by remembering how and why we became a nation.
Today our country is falling behind and sometimes moving deliberately in reverse. Our infrastructure is falling apart, our middle class is shrinking and the New Deal is becoming a broken promise. The election of our country’s first black president should have caused great national pride. In many of us it has but it also gave birth to the radical, divisive and misguided Tea Party movement. Wealthy interests hide in the shadows behind the Tea Party and use them to prevent important investments in our infrastructure. These investments are fiscally conservative over the long run and bring the kind of jobs that strengthen the middle class.
These shadow interests are also marching us backwards by attacking the right to vote through arcane and unjust rules and strategies to inhibit and disenfranchise voters, all in the name of maintaining their hold on money and power. When they aren’t attacking our voting rights they are trying to undo the New Deal by calling for the privatization of Social Security or otherwise weaken it with Chained CPI. The more success they have with Social Security the more emboldened and stronger they will become as they attempt to unravel other social safety nets.
The legacy we leave for our children is at risk of being one that we are ashamed of. As the rest of the world moves forward socially, technologically and environmentally we are either standing still or moving backwards. Where America was once looked upon as a beacon of home and an example of all that is good with democracy, we are increasingly failing to set the standard for others to follow. If left on our current path our infrastructure will be third world, we’ll be buying all of our technology and our environment will require several generations to repair once we finally realize our failures.
I care about the future, I’m aware of the problems and I have a duty to do what I can to fight for a better legacy for our children.
What are my top three priorities should I be elected? This is a fair question and every candidate is expected to answer it. The problem with trying to answer it is that there is so much wrong in Washington. There are so many problems that must be addressed.
One of those problems is the failure of elected officials to actually represent the people who vote for them, against them or not at all. Our government wasn’t designed to provide for the representation of just those with money. It wasn’t meant to be for just those who voted for the winner of the last election. It was designed to provide representation for people first, all the people. Minority factions were not meant to be sidelined. Nor were they meant to be able to bring our government to a halt. Our government was set up to work through compromise.
The first, and the most important, thing I can do that will positively effect and begin to repair the problems in Washington is to be focused on representing the people of my district as our forefathers envisioned when they founded our republic.
The three things most important to my district are Social Security, Immigration Reform and Infrastructure. There are almost 78,000 residents in my district who are aged 65 or older. There are an additional 47,000 residents under 65 who are disabled. With a so many residents in my district who may depend upon Social Security to meet their basic needs we must have a voice in Washington that will protect and improve Social Security benefits. Those benefits are currently under threat by the idea of the Chained CPI. I will be an ardent opponent of letting this gimmick be imposed upon those in my district who need their earned Social Security benefits.
Another issue that is very important to my district is immigration reform. My district is rural. There are many farms and dairies that depend upon immigrant labor. The families running these businesses aren’t concerned about partisan bickering over border security. They aren’t concerned about how many new voters will exist for one party or another. They’re concerned about getting their cows milked and their crops in. The failure of Congress to pass immigration reform is a daily burden to these families. I will fight for immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship and modernization of the immigration system.
My third priority is to fight for infrastructure improvements. A rural district like mine is full of small towns that are fighting for existence. By fighting for transportation, wind and solar infrastructure I’ll be fighting to give these small towns a chance to survive. These kinds of infrastructure improvements will bring long-term jobs, long-term revenue through royalties and long-term benefits to our environment. This is how we protect a way of life and a place to live it.
My DFA Values
I've been struggling with how to answer this question for more than a week now. I don't know what DFA is looking for here. Community, Security and Liberty are three ideas that encapsulate both the benefits and responsibilities of being an American. If one of these ideas is compromised the other two are compromised also. Of the three of these ideas I believe Community is what has most been damaged by the tone of our national politics over the past several years.
My campaign will, at times, point out the damage that the Tea Party has done to our country since 2008. More importantly, my campaign is going to focus on the issues that are important to the voters and stay away from the partisan anger represented by our current political leaders. I am running in a heavily red district and one of the ideas I'll be pushing is that the differences between Washington, D.C. Dems and Reps are not consistent with the smaller differences that exist between Main St. Dems and Reps. By winning this race when conventional wisdom says I can't, I will show that candidates can win by vowing to cooperate and that voters will reject obstruction. I cannot change Washington by myself but the voters of the 4th CD can send a message to the rest of the country. This message will be that party is not the most important affiliation but citizenship is.
My Campaign is People Powered!
My victory is going to depend upon the grassroots. I'm running in a heavily Republican district. It's winnable because the Republicans in my district are not that different from the Democrats. Like us, they are not happy with a Congress that can't pass anything on behalf of the people. They are upset with the incumbent because infrastructure and immigration reform are vital issues to this district.
My campaign is in its forming stages. I am interviewing campaign managers and finance directors. I have made contact with all of the county chairs and the 4th CD party committee. I'm engaging voters on Twitter and Facebook. Through these efforts I have started to build a base of supporters who believe in my message and believe in me. More importantly, they believe WITH me that this campaign can win and we can elect one of the people when one of the elected fails to remember where he came from.