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Coors vows ‘straight talk, honest answers’

Daily Staff Report
AP PhotoRepublican candidate for the U.S. Senate, Pete Coors, answers a question during a debate with his opponent Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004, at Colorado State University-Pueblo in Pueblo, Colo. This was the final debate between the two before the Nov. 2 general election. (AP Photo/The Pueblo Chieftain, Bryan Kelsen)
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Q: Partisan control of the U.S. Senate may hinge on your candidacy. Why is it important for the Senate to remain in Republican hands this year?A: “Everyone will agree that Washington, D.C. has become far too partisan. To break the logjam and begin the hard work of the American people, Congress needs strong, decisive leadership. That is why I am running for Senate – to bring strong and solid statesmanship to Congress. The premise of my campaign is straight talk and honest answers, something I will take to Washington. “I believe in lower taxes, individual responsibility and empowerment through ownership. I want to fight bureaucracy and bring common-sense Colorado values to Capitol Hill. My platform represents less government, stronger defense, lower taxes and hope for all Americans. This platform is shared by most of the Republican majority and will lead to greater prosperity and opportunity for all Americans.”

Q: Since your votes on national security issues may help determine how the country fights the war on terror, please briefly explain what’s going right, and what needs to change, in our nation’s defense and security strategies.A: “The No. 1 job of our federal government as outlined in the Constitution is keeping us safe from enemies. I will support strong defense and homeland-security funding, increasing defense funding to focus on adequate resources for modernization, troop strength and support, and improvements in force capability. We must enable our forces to respond with rapid power projection and strong combat capabilities. We must build a military that is prepared to fight at a moment’s notice, maintains the ability to fight the current war on terror, contributes to homeland defense and has adequate capability to deter attacks against the United States. “We have made great progress in securing the homeland. We have already increased funding to states and communities, bolstering border security and improving technology to fight terror within the United States and abroad. According to the U.S. State Department, only 208 identified international terrorist attacks occurred in 2003 – a 42 percent decrease from 2001. There is always more that can be done – more that must be done. We must train and educate our citizens to be the eyes and ears of the war on terror, and strengthen our resolve in the war on terror.

“Our efforts to destroy terror networks in Afghanistan and Iraq – removing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein – have given freedom to 50 million people who knew nothing but fear and tyranny before liberation. Thanks to courageous leadership and the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, we are taking strong strides toward a safer, more secure world.”Q: While water is generally a state issue, many residents of “headwaters” areas are concerned that federal agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, may try to usurp state water rights for other purposes. What’s your position on the “federal reserve water right?” A: Water is the lifeblood of Colorado – the most precious of all natural resources. I will fight to protect Colorado water from the federal government. I believe that water is a state issue, and must be administered at the state level. I will fight attempts to usurp state water law and protect Colorado water rights. I am a staunch supporter of the McCarren Amendment, and believe that the federal government must abide by state law – just like everyone else – when it comes to water rights.”If elected to the U.S. Senate, I will work with Coloradans to protect our water. When stakeholders at the state level come together and agree on a water-storage project, I will be a strong advocate for funding and technical assistance. However, the federal government must never dictate to the state how it administers its water.”Q: Transportation funding is one of the biggest issues in Colorado. What can you do in Washington to get more federal transportation money into the state?A: “Transportation is critical to economic expansion, market access and commerce. Passage of a new highway bill will be a top priority of mine if elected to the Senate. A highway bill that provides responsible funding, streamlines burdensome environmental regulations and returns power and decisions to the states is critical to our nation’s infrastructure.”Under the Senate-passed bill, Colorado receives a higher percentage increase in transportation funding than any other state, a 46.5 percent increase over the previous authorization. This means that Colorado will receive nearly $1 billion more over the next six years than the previous six years, for a grand total of $2.9 billion.

“Colorado is a donor state – it sends more money to Washington than it receives in return. Colorado’s current rate of return is roughly 90 cents on the dollar. The Senate proposal would bring this level up to 95 cents by the end of the authorization period. “I will fight for Colorado’s fair share, working to increase formula funding and overall transportation funding. Traffic levels have increased dramatically in Colorado, from the Eisenhower Tunnel to the Mousetrap. Mass transit, highways and common sense will ease congestion and improve our quality of life.”Q: Without relying too much on campaign themes, why are you best qualified to represent Colorado in the Senate?A: “I have spent the last 35 years creating jobs and growing the Coors tradition. Now, I hope to bring that experience to the U.S. Senate. An avowed tax cutter, I will make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent and promote pro-growth business policies. I am a staunch supporter of the war on terror and believe that my experiences represent the type of decisive leadership needed in the U.S. Senate today. “As Chairman of Coors Brewing Company, I learned the importance of health care and common-sense government regulation. I will lower the cost of health insurance through innovative policies and streamline crippling bureaucracy and regulations. Fighting for tort and medical liability reform, I will remove the grip of the trial lawyers. “Most importantly, I will bring straight talk and honest answers to Washington. I will be a strong voice for new ideas and common-sense Colorado values.” Vail Colorado


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