Should Another Bush Be Put in Charge of Colorado's Budget?

10/05/2010 06:49 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Colorado has a decision to make this year for the State Treasurer's race. Do we stay with the current Treasurer, Cary Kennedy, OR do we elect political newcomer Walker Stapleton?

Let's take a look at the two candidates.

Cary Kennedy has a track record of helping the State of Colorado navigate Colorado through the difficult budget crises and working with across the aisle to solve problems with our budget.
She helped author parts of Referendum C in 2005 -- which was supported by Republican Governor Bill Owens as a way to keep the state budget solvent.

Since becoming Treasurer in 2007, she has made the sound investments that have kept Colorado's Budget growing at a moderate 3% annually, at a time when other states are defaulting on their loans.
What kind of leadership does Walker Stapleton have to offer?

Walker Stapleton's political activity in Colorado is limited to hosting a website that whose sole purpose was to oppose Senate Bill 228 -- a bipartisan bill that would overturn the 1991 legislative bill known as Arveschoug-Bird that limited the State's General Fund from growing over 6% each year.

Arveschoug-Bird sounded reasonable in the 1990's when the economy appeared destined never again to hit a huge recession. But a perfect storm has occurred since then.

George Bush started deficit spending on two overseas wars while cutting taxes. Then, the housing market collapsed, sending our federal government and economy into a recession in 2007 and 2008.

The federal budget, which is running on empty, passed the hat on federally funded programs to the local state budgets, causing a ripple effect on states' budgets. Nearly every state in the union is having a budget crisis from this federal deficit spending.

In Colorado, moderate Republican leaders like Colorado's Don Marostica joined with Democrats and took a stand for Colorado in helping pass Senate Bill 228. Other states have copied the successful budget fix of Senate Bill 228.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger enacted a similar bill to avoid having to make more extreme Budget Cuts.

Walker Stapleton's express opposition to Senate Bill 228 shows that he is out of touch with the reality that other sensible moderate Republicans and Democrats around the country have acknowledged -- you can't continually cut spending and have a working budget that serves the needs of the state.

Walker Stapleton says on his own website:

Colorado cannot afford to become the next California, with skyrocketing taxes that hurt our state's economy and our quality of life. The time is now to make a stand.

I could not agree more. We should be keeping sensible and proven leaders like Cary Kennedy in charge of our budget and in office as our Treasurer.

This week, Cary Kennedy's campaign is calling for a "Bust the Bonus" fundraising pledge for her campaign. It is based on the fact that Walker Stapleton gave himself $500,000 from his inherited business in bonuses to fund his campaign.

It is hypocritical for Walker Stapleton to withdraw $500,000 from the family business' ATM and then call to oppose budget reforms that will help average Colorado citizens who are really hurting in this economy.

Perhaps Walker Stapleton thinks the way the economy was handled under George Bush was just fine, and the recession we have now is no big deal.

Maybe this economy does not seem so bad to Walker Stapleton because he is part of those richest 2% who don't see how the budget is actually used to keep schools open, roads paved and services for the elderly, the children and those in poverty.

Colorado can't afford to go back to the George Bush/Walker Stapleton way of leadership.

Support a Treasurer with a proven investment track record -- Cary Kennedy for re-election.

(October 6th through October 10th is the 'Bust the Bonus' fundraiser for Cary Kennedy -- please contribute to her here.)