Josh Penry Backs Scott McInnis, GOP Unites Behind 20 Governing Principles

Word has leaked to the Grand Junction Sentinel that state senate minority leader Josh Penry will formally announce his endorsement of former rival Scott McInnis for Colorado governor. The endorsement was contingent on the McInnis formally agreeing to 20 conservative governing principles.

“These are the principles that swept the GOP to victory in New Jersey in Virginia,” Penry said. “And they can re-unite our Party too, and pave the way for a successful campaign and, more important, a successful governing party when the election’s over and done with.”

Without further ado, here’s the list of unified governing principles that was forwarded to Mount Virtus, a list that contains a fair amount of specificity:

  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 TABOR revenue limit.
  2. I will rescind the executive order unionizing state government, institute a meaningful hiring freeze, and reduce the number of state government employees by 2012.
  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 Ritter’s mill levy freeze, and the car tax increase 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 “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 state’s rights protected by the Tenth Amendment.
  14. I will adhere to the state constitution and federal law in prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, 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 growth

As the Sentinel hinted, #19 was a very important concession for Penry. For McInnis to follow through on it could have tremendously positive impacts for the governance of Colorado and for the future health of the Party. In this case, sweeping Republicans back into power in 2010 truly would be more than an end in itself.

The question that emerges, though, is whether and how the unified convergence of energy and experience at the top of the ticket will move the heavily motivated Tea Party grassroots to action. If McInnis indeed is the nominee (and ultimately becomes governor), conservatives and lovers of liberty and limited government have something tangible to hold him to.

While Josh Penry has endorsed Scott McInnis, the other remaining GOP candidate — Dan Maes — released his first endorsements:

The Friends of Dan Maes for Governor are pleased to announce that our grass roots campaign has earned the trust and respect of those who are looking for a fresh face and bold ideas that can take the Republican Party forward in Colorado while re-grounding it to it traditional party roots. Our supporters are eagerly seeking a candidate that will stand firm for smaller government, lower taxes, and a more business friendly regulatory environment that will spur economic growth and thus create jobs in Colorado.

Endorsements have been offered by long time political activist Freda Poundstone, Arapahoe county activist Lou Schroeder, Constitutional Scholar Fred Holden, past Representative John McElderry, Jefferson county activist Russ Haas, Southern Colorado Tea Party of Pueblo- Sheldon Bloedon Chairperson, Evergreen-Conifer Tea Party- Joanne Carrington spokesperson, Silver Salazar activist, and various other conservative activists from around the state of Colorado.

Kumbaya in the Colorado GOP? Not quite yet, anyways.


  1. says

    A good and necessary tool that will allow clear and consistent communications with voters.

    Slightly befuddled on the details of committee selection. Seems to me that Dan Maes should of been a part of this out of respect for his efforts and commitment. I thought our party was inclusive.


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