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Colorado Press Association 2011 Editorial Sweepstakes Winner

FOUNDED IN 1898 ★ VOL. 113, NO. 38 ★ DENVER, CO ★ SEPT. 21, 2012 ©

Romney’s ‘47 percent’ incites Dems Republicans take Obama to task over ‘redistribution’ comment BY ERNEST LUNING

PLUS: Miller Hudson offers some potential political poetic justice on page 4... Calendar on page 16, and don’t forget to wish Happy Birthday to Tyler Chafee on Sept. 26!... Political Connections on page 17...

National, local officials go back to school Learn about lack of school funding in Colorado

THE COLORADO STATESMAN

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio tore into Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday, charging that the former Massachusetts governor’s secretly recorded remarks about 47 percent of Americans betray “something very deep, potentially deeply flawed about his character” at a press conference at a Denver park. “It’s often been said you really know the character of an individual by what they say in private — and yes, this is an election about the

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BY PETER MARCUS THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Flanked by U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and state Rep. Crisanta Duran, Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio blasts presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sept. 18 in Sunken Gardens Park in Denver for remarks the Republican made at a fundraiser. PHOTO BY ERNEST LUNING/THE COLORADO STATESMAN

economy and jobs, but it’s also an election about character and vision and the future and leadership,” said

Udall. “I think Gov. Romney has failed that test.” “It’s hard to believe that

someone who wants to be president of all of the people of this country would write

Education was in the spotlight in Colorado this week, as local politicians and school leaders joined with federal education and health officials on Monday to tout the state’s progress. The event at Denver’s Lowry Elementary came just prior to a Great Education Colorado luncheon on Wednesday when elected officials were told to do more to raise money for education reform in the state. The event on Monday was part of the U.S. Department of Education’s annual back-to-school bus tour, which included U.S. Education Secretary Arne

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Obama has Golden opportunity in state President says tax cuts aren’t answer for everything BY ERNEST LUNING THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Become our fan on Facebook The Colorado Statesman Follow us on @ ColoStatesman Visit our website: coloradostatesman.com Moments after finishing his 35-minute speech, President Barack Obama smiles as the crowd applauds on Sept. 13 in Lion’s Park in Golden. PHOTO

BY

THE COLORADO STATESMAN

The Transportation Legislation Review Committee met on Sept. 14, voting to introduce eight bills when the legislative session begins in January, including revisiting a bill to establish penalties for driving while under the influence of marijuana. But one sore point within the joint committee was a proposal presented by Rep. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, who asked the committee to introduce a bill next year that would allocate a portion of

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ERNEST LUNING/THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Transportation Committee gets wheels up on ‘13 bills BY PETER MARCUS

GOLDEN — President Barack Obama returned to Colorado last Thursday for a speech that mixed a tough foreign policy stance with his campaign’s message that a second Obama term would fight to restore the country’s middle class. Just two days after an attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya killed the ambassador and three other Americans, Obama praised the diplomats and security “who serve in difficult and dangerous places all around the world to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans” and vowed to bring the assailants to justice. “I want people around the world to hear me,” Obama said. “To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.”

increased growth in sales tax revenues to transportation projects. Democrats rejected introducing the bill as a committee, killing the request on a tie vote of 8-8. Priola’s bill — which he is still considering introducing next year — is modeled after a formula developed in Utah, in which the state allocated a portion of future state sales and use tax net revenue growth to transportation. The measure that would be introduced in the General Assembly would require the state treasurer to transfer $10 Continued on Page 18

Romney son stumps for father

Josh Romney tells a crowd of supporters that his father, Mitt Romney, “has the know-how to get this economy going again” at a rally on Sept. 18 in Golden. The younger Romney appeared at several stops on a fiveday, statewide tour by the presidential campaign’s bus. — Story and additional photos on page 11. PHOTO

BY

ERNEST LUNING/THE COLORADO STATESMAN


PAGE 3 ★ THE COLORADO STATESMAN ★ SEPT. 21, 2012 “I’m in competition with myself and I’m losing.” — Roger Waters

...Is Romney focused on a ‘narrow slice’ of Americans? Continued from Page 1

and Nevada, who said they disagreed with what Romney said. “We have a lot of people that are at the poverty level in New Mexico, but they count just as much as anybody else,” Martinez said. “There is a net that does allow them to be caught and taken care of, whether it be through medical services, whether it be food services, whether it be with funding for apartments, for housing.” She added that the state’s safety net “is a good thing” and that she hoped that voters, regardless of economic status, would get out and vote in November. Colorado Republicans swung back on Wednesday with a press U.S. Sen. Mark Udall says his own mother “would have been included in the 47 percent of the people that Gov. conference meant to Romney said it’s not his job to worry about” during a press conference on Sept. 18 at Denver’s Sunken Gardens draw attention to its own Park. PHOTO BY ERNEST LUNING/THE COLORADO STATESMAN recently unearthed recording, this time of heard the recordings, he couldn’t help campaign to face “an intervention” in a Obama speaking in 1998 at a Loyola think of his mother, who raised a column for the Wall Street Journal. University conference about how to family, volunteered for the Peace Corps “It’s time to admit the Romney make government more effective. and ran a small business. campaign is an incompetent one,” she “I think the trick is how do we struc“She would have been included in wrote. “It’s not big, it’s not brave, it’s ture government systems that pool the 47 percent of the people that Gov. not thoughtfully tackling great issues. resources and hence facilitate some Romney said it’s not his job to worry It’s always been too small for the redistribution, because I actually about,” Udall said. moment.” believe in redistribution, at least at a By coincidence, Udall said, about the In an interview with the Albucertain level, to make sure that everysame number of Colorado voters pulled querque Journal on Tuesday, New the lever for his opponent in the Senate Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Repub- body’s got a shot,” Obama can be heard saying on the audio recording. election four years ago. lican, distanced herself from Romney’s “Roughly 47 percent of Coloradans argument, joining GOP Senate candi— Ernest@coloradostatesman.com did not vote for me, but it’s my job to dates in Massachusetts, Connecticut worry about 100 percent of Coloradans,” he said. Udall tied the release of the secret recordings to continuing turmoil in the Romney campaign, which was reeling over the weekend after a Politico story that portrayed a campaign operation in disarray, filled with infighting and blistering criticism of campaign manager Stuart Stevens. In response, hours before the recordings consumed the news cycle, the Romney campaign promised to get more specific with his policy prescriptions. Instead, Udall said, “We got specifics about how he really feels about half of Americans uttered behind closed doors.” It was the very specifics that alarmed Udall, he said. “This suggests to me, as I’ve said, that Gov. Romney’s focused on a narrow slice of Americans, that he doesn’t understand the plight of the middle Denver Area Labor Federation President Sheila Lieder and state class, that he doesn’t Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, await a press conference called on understand we have Sept. 18 in Denver to blast remarks made by Mitt Romney that were to build our country caught on secret recording of a Romney fundraiser. from the middle class out, not from the top down,” he told reporters. While Palacio didn’t have anything Also on Tuesday, conservative New kind to say about Romney’s other York Times columnist David Brooks remarks — the conclusions about the ripped Romney as “Thurston Howell Israeli-Palestinian conflict are “irreRomney” — precisely the out-of-touch sponsible,” he said and just laughed at millionaire image the Obama campaign the notion a Mexican Mitt Romney has been propagating for months — would be faring better than the Anglo and wrote that “as kind, decent man one — he reserved most of his criticism who says stupid things” and who is for the 47 percent of Americans Palacio “running a depressingly inept presidensaid he was writing off. “These are seniors, working families, tial campaign.” After offering “a quick denunciastudents and people with disabilities,” tion” of Romney’s remarks — “You he said, “and the vast majority pay a wonder how he gets up in the morning” significant portion of their income in if he’s written off nearly half the electaxes — and they often pay even a torate — conservative commentator higher share of their income than Peggy Noonan wrote on Wednesday wealthier families like Mitt Romney’s.” that it was time for the Romney Udall said that when he had first off half of them,” said Palacio, adding that Romney had “failed the character test” when he decided to “write off and insult half the country you’re hoping to lead.” The two top Democrats piled on mounting criticism of Romney for describing what he called “47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” a group he said “are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” According to a recording posted online Monday afternoon by the magazine Mother Jones, Romney went on to tell an audience of wealthy donors, “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” While Romney described his remarks as “not elegantly stated” and “off the cuff” during a hastily called press conference on Monday night, he didn’t back down from what his campaign contends is a serious argument about preventing the country from sliding further into a society where too many Americans are dependent on the government. But Democrats, some conservative commentators and even Republican candidates around the country criticized Romney’s remarks this week, saying that by lumping together everyone who doesn’t pay federal income tax — a good portion of whom pay payroll taxes along with state and local taxes — Romney was wrong to call them all moochers. The remarks were part of a conversation Romney had with donors at a $50,000-a-plate Boca Raton, Fla., fundraiser in May and were recorded surreptitiously. In the rare glimpse of what the presidential candidate says to his most vested supporters, Romney also joked that he would have a better chance getting elected president if he were Hispanic, despaired that Palestinians don’t want peace in the Middle East and predicted that the economy would surge simply in response to a Romney win in November.


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