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Romanoff courts Huerfano Democrats

by Edie Flanagin

WALSENBURG- Andrew Romanoff’s campaign stop at the Alpine Rose Café and the State Veteran’s Home in Walsenburg Thursday morning brought out the Huerfano County Democratic Party stalwarts along with other voters who wanted to hear what Romanoff would do if he is elected US Senator for Colorado.  Romanoff is in a primary election battle for the Democratic nomination with current US Senator Michael Bennet.  Romanoff took questions from the crowd and seemed to impress the voters with his decisive answers.

    The first question dealt with job creation and what could be done to help improve the economy. Romanoff said he would work in the Senate to ensure that American workers get a fair shake in the world job market.  He said many of the trade agreements with other countries are unfair to American workers therefore need to be rewritten.  He would vote to get rid of the off shore tax credits which take money and jobs away from America.  He also sees Wall Street regulation and banking reform regulations as a way to get money flowing through our system again.  He would vote to make it easier for small businesses to get loans.  Finally, he believes the distribution of stimulus funds are unfair, large cities get more than their fair share; he would vote to get the funds out to the rural areas which are more heavily hit by the economic downturn.

    On health care reform, he said the job is far from done.  We can’t declare victory and say “Mission Accomplished.”  Much more work needs to be done on health care reform to hold down costs, he said.  If he is elected to the Senate he would work toward improving the Health Care Bill.  He believes in forgiving of federally backed loans to medical students who chose to work in rural areas.

    His stance on immigration law is pretty simple, he said that we need to either enforce the laws we have or reform them.  As a child and grandchild of immigrants he knows first hand that most immigrants make good citizens and he would work to lessen the bureaucratic red tape for those seeking citizenship.  Romanoff believes all US borders are inadequately guarded.  We need more surveillance and enforcement on all borders and harbors.  Criminals such as drug and human traffickers must be arrested and prosecuted.  People who knowingly employ illegal immigrants should also be prosecuted.

    Romanoff’s campaign does not accept PAC money, 95% of Romanoff’s campaign contributions to date are from individuals.  The question was posed to Romanoff, “How would you be able to run a campaign without the money raised from the PAC’s?”  Romanoff said he would win the election the same way that President Obama did, by building a broad coalition of supporters across the state.

    This is Romanoff’s second visit to Huerfano County and he promised it would not be the last. Romanoff served as the youngest Speaker of the House in Colorado from 2005-2009.  During his time in the Colorado House he received numerous honors from national organizations for his effectiveness.  His leadership helped pass Referendum C, the “time out” on the tax refunds mandated by TABOR, in 2005 along with many laws to help children, seniors and rural school districts.  Because of this stellar record, many Colorado Democrats felt Romanoff should have been appointed by Governor Ritter last year after Senator Salazar was chosen by Obama as Secretary of the Interior. Romanoff received the majority of the democratic caucus and state assembly votes this spring; therefore he will be listed first on the Democratic Primary ballot.  The all mail election ballots will be mailed out this week and must be returned to the County Clerk by August 10, 7 pm.