Coram told a crowd of about 50 of the party faithful at the Holiday Inn Express that he was proud that he had helped bring some bipartisan bills forward in the legislature, and helped kill a lot of bad bills.
“We had some common sense legislation,” he said after making a brief announcement that he was running again.
He also talked about unfunded federal mandates and state mandates that some businesses find impossible to follow, and said he would continue to fight them, if re-elected.
The main speaker for the luncheon was State Sen. Steve King, of Grand Junction, who expounded on some of the same views, particularly the extension of unemployment benefits.
“We are giving people unemployment for two years and saying it is not an entitlement,” he said. “It’s another case of the federal government invoking what we have to do and it will break us. Two years is extreme and it is unreasonable.”
King said states will go broke if they must keep following federal mandates.
In the past three years, the American standard of living has fallen “faster and deeper” than any time in the last 50 years, King said, with “real income” down 9.8 percent. He said all Americans, collectively, have lost $5.5 trillion during that time period.
“We are the first generation whose children will not have it better than us,” he said.
The federal government exercises tyranny over citizens, he said, suggesting the national health care legislation that will soon be tested in the U.S. Supreme Court for blame.
“A one-word definition of tyranny is Obama-care,” King said. “It forces every person in this room to buy a product or face fines and jail, and that is socialized medicine.”
King went on to quote Socialist Norman Thomas, who in 1945 said that liberals had taken up the Socialist cause.
King said the average person has lost $1,315 per year “out of pocket” in the last three years, going on to urge those present to support conservative candidates.
“And then you will get back that $1,315,” he said.
In response to a question from Jim Hougnon of Montrose about education funding, King said the news was not good, and that cuts next year to school districts will probably be about the same as this year.
“In District 51 [Grand Junction] we cut $8 million last year and probably will cut $8 this year,” he said. “Whatever happened to you last year, you can expect much the same.
One man asked King what exactly he was doing about immigration, “to protect the borders of Colorado.”
King replied that there was not enough support for true reform at this time, attributing that assessment to the president.
“We do not have the political will, and that political will comes from the Oval Office,” he said.
King said the state has beefed up State Patrol efforts to look for “coyotes,” or people who habitually smuggle illegal foreigners into the country, and there are other safeguards.
“To get a business license in this state, you have to prove citizenship,” he said. “The problem is that I am in the minority in the Senate, and we have a one-vote majority in the House, and no help in the governor’s office.”
He also blamed “the media,” saying there is not enough reporting on the good that Republicans do, and that funding is the answer.
“Our ability comes from financing and getting those fliers out there,” he said. “We don’t want to be a purple state, we want to be a conservative red state with common sense.”
When asked about specific legislation, King said he was working on legislation to stop heavy regulations on water testing on the Western Slope, something he predicted the State Department of Health and Environment “will not like very much.”
The problem, King said, is that the same testing criteria are being used for rural areas as for populous areas, like Denver, and cost between $1 million and $3 million per county.
“In Denver, there are places where runoff water needs to be tested, but we should use some common sense, because this is an unfunded mandate,” he said. “We need to do testing only where it needs to be done, or I’ll do a moratorium. We can’t afford this or we will have to raise taxes.”
Bureaucrats, not laws, are forcing counties “to test water that runs off a dirt pile,” he said.
King congratulated Coram on his decision to run for re-election and said they had worked closely together in Denver, where “there are so few of us representing rural Colorado.”
“Don rides the brand,” he said.