El Paso County Colorado District 1 Commissioner, Darryl Glenn, is challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet for his seat in the U.S. Senate. The Republican candidate is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force.
1) Which candidate do you support and why?
While I am not endorsing Donald Trump, I will vote for him because there is too much at stake in this election and as a nation, we cannot afford four more years of the failed policies of Barack Obama, which is exactly what Hillary Clinton is promising. This is a generational election with long ranging impacts as the next president will be responsible for appointing several Supreme Court justices.
2) Why did you decide to go into politics?
Coloradans often ask me why I‘m running for the U.S. Senate. The answer is simple: I have two daughters, and I worry about their futures and the futures of their children. It seems like the American dream is slipping away. But I believe we have a moral responsibility to leave this country better for our kids than how we inherited it from our parents. With a national debt that’s nearly doubled in the last 8 years, high-paying jobs leaving our state, a broken education system, and the growing threat of radical Islam at home and abroad, I honestly don’t think we’re on the path to doing that. I am standing up to bring about that change.
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3) On balance, is the Affordable Care Act working? Please describe what (if any) changes you would make to the nation’s healthcare system if you had the power to enact a plan.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is the latest example of a government entitlement program that neither the federal government nor individual citizens can afford. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that Obamacare will cost the federal government $1.4 trillion over the next decade and $110 billion in 2016 alone. The cost to citizens is also greater than projected, causing average private insurance premiums to jump 6% per year over the next decade. Working families can’t afford this, and yet Michael Bennet still supports it. Colorado has been particularly hard hit by Obamacare. Premiums have skyrocketed, high deductible plans flooded the marketplace, insurance companies are opting out of offering plans, and the state-run co-op, Colorado HealthOP, has shut down due to insolvency, potentially leaving Colorado taxpayers with a $40 million bill.
The solution is clear: we must repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and start over to find something that works. My plan would be to free people of the unconstitutional burden of being mandated to purchase increasingly costly insurance or face a financial punishment from the government. Second, this law must be replaced with a more commonsense approach to healthcare that includes tort reform, permitting insurance to be purchased across state lines, and improving public health to decrease the demand for medical care.
4) Please describe a time when you found common ground with a political opponent.
It is my understanding that after seeing which way the political winds were blowing, Michael Bennet has finally decided to stand against TPP as I have since the beginning of my campaign.
5) What should be the role (if anything) of government in reducing gun violence?
The Second Amendment is a fundamental right of all U.S. citizens and the federal government should not infringe upon that right. To combat gun violence, state and local governments should bring policy makers, law enforcement personnel, and community leaders together to develop strategies to restore safe communities and address the underlying causes of crime and violence including mental health issues.
6) What should the minimum wage be?
I believe in the free market and don’t think the federal government should be involved in manipulating the labor market. Research has proven that the minimum wage has hurt low wage employees by keeping salaries artificially low and by giving businesses incentives to replace entry level jobs with technology solutions. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office came out with a report showing that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would lead to a constriction of the labor force by half a million jobs.
7) When (if ever) is threatening a government shutdown an acceptable strategy?
Members of Congress know when the budget is due and when spending bills must be passed to avert economic crisis. There is no excuse for our elected officials allowing the American economy to go to the brink over partisan bickering and an inability to come to an agreement well in advance of the deadline.
8) Should local governments be allowed to place restrictions, moratoriums and bans on fracking?
Colorado has always been a leader when it comes to safe and responsible oil and gas development. This has contributed to lower gas prices around the country, returning money into the hands of everyday Americans, reduced manufacturing costs, and lessened our dependence on foreign oil, making our country safer. This has been in no small part because of hydraulic fracking and increased usage of natural gas here in our state. Any restrictions, moratoriums, or bans on fracking would not only be ill-advised, it would have a strong negative economic impact.
9) If you could make one change to the tax law, what would it be and why?
Real tax reform policy must recognize that the purpose of a tax system in a free society should be to fund services that are authorized by the Constitution. Taxes should not be used to redistribute wealth and fund unnecessary, ineffective programs. Our tax system must be transformed around two basic elements: simplicity and neutrality. We need to focus on adopting a fair or flat tax policy that positively impacts job creation and promotes innovation without penalizing personal savings and investments. Consideration must also be given to eliminating the double taxation around dividends and capital gains. Additionally, our tax policy should create incentives for companies to stay in the U.S. to create jobs and develop research.
10) What should be done to address the rift between minority communities and police in this country?
While politicians and the mainstream media are quick to point at a rift between our minority communities and the police in this country, we must realize that our heroes in blue are part of the solution and not the problem. By and large, members of our police forces are doing an outstanding job and put their own lives in danger to keep our cities and towns safe. To reduce tensions between the minority and law enforcement communities, police must continue to be seen as being engaged positively within the communities in which they work to build trust and mutual respect. In order to accomplish this, state and local governments should work with law enforcement personnel and community leaders to develop strategies addressing the underlying causes impeding economic prosperity, criminal justice reform, and sex trafficking.