In celebration of Columbus Day and anticipating mail ballots heading out to voters on Tuesday, Colorado Republican candidate for governor Bob Beauprez shared details of his economic plan Monday.
Standing before a crowd of roughly 30 Colorado business people he explained represented the more than 400 businessmen and women who have endorsed his campaign, Beauprez promised to audit state government and slash all “anti-freedom” regulations, including taking a serious look at Colorado’s new first-in-the-nation air-quality standard, which regulates methane.
Beauprez also suggested that Colorado trade public state or school trust property with the federal government in order to regain control over more valuable federal lands.
“[W]e could swap for very productive land — either for the natural resources on top of the surface, or the natural resources under the surface, energy rescues, that could be put to use for Colorado’s economy.”
He also advocated shorter wait times for oil-and-gas drilling permits and to reconsider the new rural renewable-energy standard.
Beauprez maintained that real unemployment is still above 10 percent in Colorado, but asserted that any uptick in the economy resulting from deregulation should, and could, be followed by the kind of income-tax cuts that characterized Bill Owens’s term as governor.
Owens was an economic inspiration to Beauprez in other ways as well. He said that like Owens, he would ask voters to re-up Colorado’s transit bonds for the first time since the late 1990s, potentially making $3.5 billion available for transportation projects.
“What we call priority-based budgeting,” said Beauprez, “what that really means is cultural change.”
[Photo by Tessa Cheek]