(Chuck Muth) – As often as not these days, candidates run on campaign rhetoric full of platitudes and soundbites, but no substance. Or as they say in Texas, all hat and no cattle. And since the candidates give no specifics as to what he or she would do if elected, they have no mandate from the electorate to do whatever they end up wanting to do.
The beauty of the 1994 “Contract with America” was that it was specific and easy for the average voter to understand. And the candidates that year actually ran on it. Contrast that with Contract 2.0 that House Republicans released this year. Does anyone remember what was in it? Did any candidates run on that platform?
On the other hand, some candidates are bold enough and secure enough in their beliefs and philosophy to lay out exactly what they would do if elected, thereby giving voters a clear choice and getting an absolute governing mandate. As a perfect example, name the gubernatorial candidate who ran this year on the following platform:
1. I will veto any bill and oppose any referendum or initiative that seeks to increase state taxes, or temporarily or permanently relax any spending cap or Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) limit.
2. I will rescind the executive order unionizing state government, institute a meaningful hiring freeze, reduce the number of state employees by 2012, and reduce the amount of state expenditures associated with politically appointed positions, including the Governor’s Office.
3. I will conduct a review of state departments, agencies, boards and commissions and seek to consolidate and eliminate them where appropriate.
4. I will veto, or refer to the public for a vote, any significant fee increase.
5. I will support legislation – modeled on the 2007 Arizona statute – requiring all private employers to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires through mandatory participation in the federal e-verify program.
6. I will work to reverse the massive increase in property taxes brought about by Governor [name deleted so as not to tip you off] mill levy freeze, and the car tax imposed by SB 09-108
7. I will issue an executive order directing the Department of Local Affairs to thoroughly audit compliance with SB 06-90, and will order DOLA to deny state grants to any “sanctuary city” or any “sanctuary county.”
8. I will veto any legislation that would curtail the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and strenuously oppose any federal legislation or international treaty that may curtail that right.
9. I will support legislation, and revisions to state rules, that will promote the responsible development of all sources of energy, including wind, solar hydroelectric, oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear power.
10. I will support and promote efforts to expand school choice through additional charter schools and education vouchers.
11. I will oppose any federal stimulus bill that grows the federal deficit.
12. I will oppose any effort that seeks to roll back tort reforms.
13. I will oppose federal encroachments on states’ rights protected by the Tenth Amendment.
14. I will reinstate the…ban on Taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions, and I will support and defend the sanctity of human life.
15. I will support the establishment of a reserve “rainy day fund.”
16. I will support the enactment of mandatory minimum prison sentences for child sex predators on the first offense.
17. I will appoint conservative judges who respect the Constitution and try to interpret laws, not make them.
18. I will support legislation designed to reduce the impact of the Business Personal Property Tax.
19. I will appoint reform-minded conservatives and new leaders who will bring a fresh perspective to state government.
20. I will support efforts to reinstate a meaningful limit on state spending.
That was the campaign platform of Colorado gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo. And here’s the thing: Tancredo didn’t win. But that’s not the full story. While Tancredo didn’t win, he did chalk up well over a third of the vote (37 percent)…as an independent, third-party candidate.
The Republican in the race received only 11 percent of the vote. Eleven. Percent. Barely one voter in ten voted for the Republican candidate.
By contrast, can anyone tell us what Nevada Republican Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval’s platform was – other than to say now is not the time to raise taxes (but down the road could be another matter)? And that raising drivers, fishing and hunting license “fees” isn’t the same as raising taxes.
Sure, saying little and proposing less was a winning campaign strategery, but there’s no mandate from the people for Gov. Sandoval to use against a hostile Democrat majority in both houses of the Legislature in pursuit of his agenda, whatever it turns out to be. Something tells me the governor is heading for some pretty rough sledding next February.