Rich Hand: Colorado 2010 Candidate Survey

Rich Hand is an independent candidate for governor of Colorado.


In a Twitter-length reply (140 characters maximum), please state why you are running for political office.

I am running to re-affirm our tenth amendment rights and keep Colorado money in Colorado supporting Colorado’s citizens. We must stop the federal spending and borrowing and the Governors are the last resort.

[This is 207 characters!]


* Should the federal or state government spend money in an attempt to “stimulate” the economy? If so, on what sorts of projects?

No. We need to limit the flow of money by challenging the sixteenth amendment through a constitutional amendment of the Colorado Constitution to limit federal taxation to a maximum of 15% of income. The federal “stimulus” kills jobs by undermining free market principles.

* Should tax dollars be directed toward energy projects, tourism, or any other form of business subsidies?

Tax incentives should be used at the state level to drive behavior. In Colorado we need to diversify energy development to use all sources of energy. We should not pursue energy policy based on a political “green” agenda. We need a practical approach that focuses on energy development that works in Colorado based on our resources and 300 plus days of sunshine.

We need to minimize the cost of doing business and reduce regulatory burdens to attract business. We need to stop imposing more and more barriers to business. We need to make healthcare costs deductable for individuals so small business is not burdened with the cost of healthcare. I will review and reduce mandates on health insurance policies so that these companies compete with flexible plans that fit the consumer not some state bureaucrats vision of health insurance.

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights be kept completely intact? If not, how should it be altered?

Absolutely! We need to hold government accountable and make the state communicate the value of programs and fight for funding if necessary. If the voters don’t want to pay for a service then we don’t provide it. I will look to separate funding so that Citizens understand what they are paying for in their taxes and determine if they believe it is worth supporting. We work for the taxpayer not special interests.

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should Amendment 23 be repealed, maintained, or modified?

Education is a key to success. We need to continue to encourage alternate education programs outside of public education. Amendment 23 represents the voters understanding of the importance of education and we need to continue to find the best ways to educate our kids. My plan to limit the amount of income taxes sent to Washington (challenging the sixteenth amendment) would help support additional funding for alternate education funding. We need to revisit the way we are currently funding education overall. We need to look at a stable funding mechanism that limits the fluctuation of the current tax program.

So I agree with the Amendment in principle but I have a problem with public education formulas for distribution, the amount of money leaving our state that could be used for education, and the inconsistency of the funding sources. We need to look at better ways and not be blinded by the current interests surrounding public education. It’s about educating our kids, not supporting union demands.

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should any particular state taxes or fees (such as the state corporate income tax or the subjects of the tax-cutting initiatives) be repealed or reduced? Should any be added or increased?

I would eliminate the state corporate income tax for employers that have their operations based in Colorado. We need to create jobs and stop punishing business for being successful. The more money business can make, the more they will put back into their business and the economy.

* Should state or federal spending (depending on which office you seek) be higher or lower than it is currently?

Federal spending needs to be tied directly to the constitutional limits of the federal government. Colorado citizens and businesses should pay no more than 15% of their income maximum to the federal government. We need to reaffirm the tenth amendment and challenge the sixteenth and while we’re at it repeal the seventeenth amendment.

When people feel they have control of the process they are more likely to support the services needed. Government should not be growing at this point. We have too much already. We need to reduce or transfer funds to programs that have the people’s support. The reason ballot initiatives keep failing is that people are tired of the waste and fraud in government, especially at the federal level. We should not be sending our money to bail out GM, Chrysler, Financial institutions, while we lay off our police and firefighters. People are ticked off and are making that known where they have control; at the local level. We need to bring government closer to the people and start building trust again.

* Should the state or federal minimum wage (depending on which office you seek) be repealed, maintained, or increased?

Repealed. I am a small business man and let me tell you, you get what you pay for. Good business people know this and pay accordingly. Minimum wage kills jobs for our kids and entry level workers.

* Should college education be subsidized by tax dollars?

No. A college education should be earned and not an entitlement. We need to support students that are willing to invest in themselves with tax incentives to their parents and make loans available at fair interest rates. The current system encourages higher institutions to be less efficient because they know that government is under writing college educations. A college education is critical but that means every student needs to make the commitment of their own resources. We need to drive the prices down for college by introducing some market principles into the process. They operate in a bubble and have very inefficient business practices that is supported by the knowledge that government will keep subsidizing their institutions.
Colleges need to start looking at their courses and deciding if they keep a department of foolish studies. Too many college courses today would be better suited for some other venue and we need to increase true disciplines like mathematics, sciences, engineering, history, political science etc…

Education is a business with some unique drivers. I think we need to look at tax breaks and incentives for Colorado citizens to save for a college education. I would support helping individual students that deserve college rather than throwing tax dollars at the institutions themselves.

I expect a lot of push back here because there is an industry around colleges and they believe they should not have to “compete”. I would love to see every Colorado student graduate college, but every kid will want to go to college.

* Should antitrust law or its enforcement be changed?


* (Federal-level candidates:) Should Sarbanes-Oxley be repealed?



What do you believe is meant by the “separation of church and state,” and do you endorse it?

It is used improperly all the time. We are a Christian nation and I am proud to believe we are endowed by our creator with inalienable rights. As Governor or any politician for that matter can’t force people into any religion. The separation is simple; the state cannot infringe on people that want to worship God. The state can’t mandate a God. People need to read the founding documents and our history to reset their understanding of the first amendment. I am a man of God but I don’t endorse any particular church or religion.

You can’t have a free society without a moral foundation. God should be accepted and celebrated. If that offends people they need to get over it.

* Should religious institutions receive tax dollars for providing welfare or other faith-based services?

Definitely. Government has a horrible track record of helping people get off welfare. They actually have a self interest in perpetuating it. I trust private foundations to provide social services and I would want to insure auditing of the programs is in place but if we are looking for results to help people become productive we have to trust private organizations and churches to do the job government has shown it can’t.

* Should the teaching of creationism or Intelligent Design be subsidized by tax dollars?

I think all subjects that get kids thinking is good for students. I also believe there is no reason religion should not be discussed in the classroom. Are we afraid that knowing about God is going to ruin our kids? Insanity. No special tax dollars are needed we just need teachers that are willing to teach and get kids passionate about learning.

* Should tax-funded schools establish a period of permitted or required prayer?

Permitted prayer is fine. I believe with tax dollars tied to the student, parents can choose where to send their kids. That will eliminate the need for state bureaucrats to get involved. If the school prays everyday and parents don’t like it they move their kids. It is a local issue to be decided in school districts.

* Should government officials promote religiously oriented displays and comments on government property and at government events?

“Government official” is a loaded term. Is a teacher a “government official” just because they work for a public school? As Governor I would promote the Christian faith and Jewish religious symbols at Christmas and Passover. I would recognize the importance of these religions on our culture and history.

* Do you support gay marriage?

No but I do support individual rights. If two people want to enter into a contract with each other and share their resources that’s great. Marriage is an institution that creates the best environment to raise our kids. We need to respect that and also respect people’s individual rights to enter into contracts and call it what they wish. But not marriage.

* If you answered no to the question above, do you support domestic partnerships, civil unions, or comparable legal recognition of gay couples?

I will do nothing as Governor to promote the gay agenda. I will promote the rights of individuals protected under our constitution. The gay agenda is an agenda to promote acceptance of a lifestyle most people don’t agree or take part in. I do not have to accept their agenda but I will respect their right as individual citizens.

* Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children by the same standards as heterosexual couples?

This issue is more complicated for me. I believe and will support adoption of children by people with the right intentions for adopting children. First we want kids in traditional families, man and woman. But when any family is abusive and the choice is violence or no adoption I would support couples adopting these kids with the same vigorous background checks as heterosexual couples.

* Should government never, always, or sometimes mandate parental notification and consent before a minor may legally obtain an abortion, and, if sometimes, under what conditions?

Always notify parents.

* Should government mandate waiting periods or ultrasounds before a woman may legally obtain an abortion?


* Do you endorse the “personhood” measure that may appear on the 2010 ballot?


* Should abortion be legal in cases of fetal deformity?

See the one question on abortion for my stand on the issue

* Should abortion be legal in cases of rape or incest?

See the one question on abortion for my stand on the issue

* Should abortion be legal in cases of risk to the woman’s life, as determined by the health professional selected by that woman?

See the one question on abortion for my stand on the issue

* Should elective abortion be legal?

As Governor this is my position on abortion. I will produce and support an education program that factually describes the procedure of aborting a child. A fetus is a life with a beating heart and with today’s technology we understand more clearly than ever what happens when an abortion is conducted. We see that life struggle to get away; we see the baby’s features and formation. Education will reduce abortion more than any government policy ever could. I will support laws that limit abortion at the point of the baby’s ability to survive without the support of the mother. Before that point we are in very dangerous territory to hand over authority to government. I am consistently suspicious of government in our lives and when it comes to the monitoring of our woman for the purpose of applying law, I can never hand over that decision to a government bureaucrat.

Conservatives are always talking about getting government out of our lives except in the arena of abortion. I am consistent. We will all be judged by our maker and we can only do what we can to convince people of the ramifications of abortion. I will never support the tax funding of abortion under any circumstance.

This is a divisive issue and this is what I can live with as Governor. I will not apologize or pander to either side on this. This is what I believe my maker will accept at judgment time for me. Others will have a different opinion. That is their right.

* If you believe that abortion should be legally restricted, what criminal penalties do you advocate for a woman and her doctor for obtaining or facilitating an illegal abortion?

See the one question on abortion for my stand on the issue

* Would execution ever be an appropriate penalty for obtaining or facilitating illegal abortions?


* Should types of birth control be legal that may prevent a fertilized egg or zygote from implanting in the uterus?


* Should fertility treatments be legal that may result in the freezing or destruction of a fertilized egg or zygote?

Yes not government funded

* Should research involving the use of embryonic stem cells be legal?

Yes not government funded

* Should abortions or embryonic stem cell research be subsidized by tax dollars?



* (Federal-level candidates:) Should the U.S. expand a legal guest-worker program or legal immigration, and, if so, by how much?

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should Colorado government force employers to verify with the federal government the legal status of potential employees, and, if so, what penalties should apply for failure to do so?

Yes and I would impose severe penalties for businesses that hire illegal workers.

* Should federal or state tax-funded benefits (depending on which office you seek), including K-12 education, be extended only to U.S. citizens, to legal immigrants and guest workers, or to everyone in the U.S. including illegal immigrants?

We need to get the federal government to do their job of enforcing and closing our borders and as Governor we will not be supporting any illegal immigrant with any services. By creating a severe penalty for business to hire illegal workers we will see a exodus from our state. I support legal immigration and work visas. I have no tolerance for law breaking.


* What restrictions, if any, should be placed on the use of eminent domain?

Eminent domain must pass the test outlined in the constitution. As Governor I will never use it unless the circumstances are so clear that everyone is supporting the land taking and I am the last one standing.

* Do you endorse the use of eminent domain in the case of the Pinon Canyon military expansion? Do you support the military expansion if it does not involve eminent domain?

I support the tenth amendment and state’s rights. I stand by the ranchers and land owners of Pinon Canyon. I could only support expansion if 100% of the land owners agree and there is a contract in place that protects Colorado from a future pullout of Army operations. That land is too precious from a state perspective regarding the economy and if the Army ever closes up and leaves the base, where are we? Overall I think the military has many options besides taking additional land.

* Should the Endangered Species Act be altered or differently enforced?

We need to have common sense here or we will end up like California, ruining human lives for a guppy. Unacceptable to me. As Governor our people will come first and we will be good stewards of our land. They can work together.

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should the smoking ban be maintained, expanded, or repealed? Should it apply to on-stage performances?

This is a freedom issue for me. I don’t smoke but I don’t think government should decide how business is run. If the business wants to ban or allow smoking I am good with allowing the market to dictate. In open air we just need to respect each other.


* Should McCain-Feingold and state campaign finance restrictions be repealed, maintained, or expanded?

Repealed. I support free speech and that includes organizations and individuals.

* Should the federal government control what radio or television stations may broadcast?

If I am Governor they will control very little here in Colorado. They should only control what is important for emergency response and military frequencies to keep us safe.

* Should the FTC’s rules regarding blogger endorsements be rescinded?

I don’t like the FTC but I support people knowing where any information comes from and where the funding source is so they can make good judgments about the information.

* Should students with licenses be legally permitted to carry concealed handguns on the property of tax-subsidized colleges?

I support concealed, exposed, and the ability to carry a hand gun. Good citizens should be able to carry. At 18 I believe we all have adult rights and why limit that at college. I support the constitution of the United States and the second amendment is no exception.

* Should additional restrictions be added (or repealed) on gun ownership? Please specify.

No additional restrictions. I believe the more people that have guns in their homes the greater security we have.

* Do you believe that desecration of the U.S. flag should be outlawed by Constitutional amendment?

I hate the idea of our flag being desecrated because it represents the greatness of our country and veterans that have died for it. I believe the people that have died for our flag would be disgusted but would support the freedom to do so. So no I would not support an amendment although it would feel good to do so.

* Do you believe that pornography or obscene materials involving consenting adults should be legally restricted?

I think pornography is a cancer and needs to be eliminated. It undermines our woman and children and I would support throwing the bums in jail that produce it. The problem is that there are people that have come to accept this degradation of society and is not high on the minds of voters.


* Should state or federal laws (depending on which office you seek) pertaining to marijuana be altered, and, if so, how?

I believe marijuana leads to more addictive drugs and undermines people’s motivation in life. I am not convinced it has medical purposes but if it does it should be in pharmacy outlets and not in separate places where we see criminals targeting them to steal the drug.

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should rules pertaining to petitioners be altered, and, if so, how?

I love that citizens can petition their government. I believe in our representative republic but I think people generally get the issues right when the information is clear.

* If there is any important issue that you believe we have missed, please state what it is and state your position on it.

I just want to emphasize that I will ask the voters of Colorado to amend our state constitution to limit the amount of money our federal government can take from our income. It starts there. When we reduce the scope of the federal government we can focus on the things that are most important here in Colorado like a job creation environment, individual healthcare reform, and a focus on education.

We must reaffirm our tenth amendment rights, challenge the sixteenth amendment, and repeal the seventeenth amendment. It’s that simple…

Rich Hand
Unaffiliated Candidate Governor Colorado