A Republican friend passed along an account of yesterday’s Republican Assembly through the eyes of a very insightful and well-spoken young attendee. Read below to see the report of 11-year-old Elizabeth Armstrong, daughter of delegate Wil Armstrong and granddaughter of former Senator Bill Armstrong.
It’s a refreshing view, less cynical than most political writing these days, and very encouraging to see younger people with intelligent observations about the great democratic process of one of the major political parties. And you surely will find some details in her account of Saturday’s goings-on not included in any newspaper or other blog. Quite thorough. Perhaps some day she will have a political blog of her own.
Here are her unedited remarks:
An 11-year-old’s Perspective and Summary of the Colorado Republican State Assembly
By: Elisabeth Armstrong, a grandchild of Sen. Bill Armstrong
As I arrived and tried to walk into the building, I realized that these people were very serious about whom they wanted their candidates to be, even though we were all from the same party. I could barely move as stickers, posters, and flyers were thrown at me. When I was finally able to get in to the arena, where the action was happening, some people were being announced such as Mr. Bob Schaffer, Governor Owens, and Congresswoman Musgrave, it seemed weird seeing them all onstage, because I had just seen and met them in the hallway. As I was seated they went through resolutions.
1. Be it resolved that the Colorado Republican Party (CRP) supports Pres. Bush in his aggressive, uncompromising leadership of the war against terrorism, including the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
2. Be it resolved that the CRP supports a ban on partial birth abortions.
3. Be it resolved that the CRP affirms its respects for the sanctity of human life.
4. Be it resolved that the CRP supports requiring photo identification for voting and voter registration.
5. Be it resolved that the CRP supports the 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution and re-affirms the right of all law abiding individual citizens to bear arms.
6. Be it resolved that the CRP supports the enactment of a “Right to Work” law, which would make it illegal to require payment of union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
7. Be it resolved that the CRP support Israel in the struggle against terrorism, and in its quest to secure a just peace with its neighbors.
8. Be it resolved that the CRP supports the passage of the Traditional Marriage Amendment, recognizing that marriage means the lawful union between one man and one woman.
9. Be it resolved that the CRP opposes all non-emergency government benefits for illegal aliens, opposes amnesty for illegal aliens, and endorses the prohibition of local government sanctuary programs and supports effects to increase and enforce penalties on employers of illegal aliens.
10. Be it resolved that the CRP supports making Pres. Bush’s tax cuts permanent.
11. Be it resolved that the CRP supports fully the enforcing of laws to control and secure all U.S. borders, ending illegal immigration, and preventing terrorist infiltration. This includes adequate funding for Border Patrol officers; an increase in their numbers; ample equipment for them; and border fences where they are needed.
12. Be it resolved that the CRP supports legislation to prohibit the sue of eminent domain for the benefit of private businesses, or for government revenue enhancement. This will require that property owner be paid no less than full, current fair market value.
13. Be it resolved that the CRP supports teaching U.S. heritage, heroes, patriotism, and founding principles in public schools and universities.
14. Be it resolved that the CRP supports, honors, and prays for our brave and heroic troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere around the world, and our wounded and fall warriors and their families. Support our troops to win, and give them ample time and resources to do so.
15. Be it resolved that the CRP supports reforming PERA, including its method, management, and board, in order to establish fiscal solvency, and accountability without increasing the taxpayers’ burdens.
16. Be it resolved that the CRP supports reducing the U.S.’s reliance on foreign oil, while promoting further development and use of alternative energy sources and reasonable domestic oil and gas drilling.
17. Be it resolved that the CRP supports promoting school excellence and opportunity in education by strengthening school choice, charter schools, school vouchers, school tax credits, and public school and teacher accountability.
18. Be it resolved that the CRP supports Colorado and building more water storage.
19. Be it resolved that the CRP supports the Henderson Mine near Empire as the site for the National Science Foundation’s Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. (DUSEL) This major national laboratory will place Colorado in the forefront of American high energy physics, microbiology and geosciences, greatly expanding Colorado’s economic opportunities in science and technology.
20. Be it resolved that the CRP supports adequate transportation and transit and transit systems that are vital to interstate and interstate commerce, tourism and homeland security and endorses I-70 corridor capacity improvements and developments that consider alternate routes, transit development and realistic construction mitigation procedures to preserve Colorado’s environment.
Then, Lieutenant Governor Norton and Allison Suthers (John Suthers’s eldest daughter) came to speak about nominating John Suthers as Attorney General. Lieutenant Governor Norton spoke of his accomplishments and experience. Miss Suthers spoke of his home life and how he was a, “total nerd” and only listens to oldies on the radio, but who was an excellent role model. When Attorney Suthers spoke he talked about what the Lieutenant Governor Norton said and then confessed to being a “total nerd” at home. I found this funny, great campaigning strategy.
There were big applause rounds when Attorney Suthers discussed being against government takings, protecting the water of Colorado, moving forward with technology, and protecting our individual rights. As the supporting party filed out, there was a lot of discussion amongst the crowd, and a motion was adopt to close any further nominations for Attorney General.
Ambassador Sam Zackem nominated Mike Coffman for secretary of state, and introduced Gigi Dennis, the present Secretary of State, who seconded the nomination of Mike Coffman and told some of his experience. It was Miss Cynthia Coffman, though, who got everyone fired up for Mike Coffman. As he was introduced, at least two-hundred people stood.
Mr. Coffman said he would show the same commitment to the job of Secretary of State, as he had as a Marine in Iraq. He said he would make sure that all elections were honest and fair. He would protect against voter fraud. As the applause was beginning to decrease, the motion was adopted that the nomination was closed.
Nominations were then turned to the course of State Treasurer. Mark Hillman’s campaigning party came forward along with Governor Owens, who then nominated Mark Hillman. Music and applause blared as Mark Hillman stepped to the podium. I was extremely impressed with Mark Hillman’s speech, as it seemed many others were. He spoke about taxes and other such issues. He summed it up with, “The government works for the people who pay the taxes, but the tax payer does not work for the government… I will be a responsible steward.” Once again, the applause was huge, and the music got everyone hyped. The nomination was closed.
A delegate from Denver County said since only one person is running for each office that they be elected. The motion was passed.
The CU Regent nominee was Juli Steinhauer. Many people spoke about her. The top applause line was, “I want Winston Churchill to be a figure that goes down in the history book, and Ward Churchill in the dustbin.” After Juli Steinhauer spoke, Howard Wachtell withdrew from the election.
Lastly, there was a nomination for Dr. Brian Davidson. Dr. Davidson spoke saying that, “CU needs a fresh, conservative regent.” I found him extremely engaging and I believed the crowd found him the same way. He was an excellent speaker and extremely confident. Dr. Davidson said that CU future depends on the vote made today.
Then came the moment everyone had been waiting for. The nominations for governor! Don Hodel, the former secretary of interior, gave an amazing opening speech for Marc Holtzman saying, “I am so tired of candidates saying they believe in what you believe, and then running from it… Marc Holtzman will not do this” Then, there was a mini-video, which showed his accomplishments and gave quotes. Even those who are supporting Bob Beauprez, had to admit his credentials were impressive.
Mr. Holtzman gave a great speech; there were several huge rounds of applause. Mr. Holtzman said, “If you give Lola and me the opportunity, we will take back the state house and state senate.” I loved it when he told the story of how he was, “An opponent of anyone who would raise taxes of Colorado working families.” Though his speech was excellent, he made a few promises that I knew, would be extremely hard and maybe impossible to keep. Then, confetti blasted out of little containers on all sides of the room, and music blasted. Then, I saw a massive flood of blue moving to the stage, and realized Bob Beauprez fans were trying to take the floor.
As Bob Beauprez name was announced, almost everyone was standing. There were countless red signs, and blue tees filling the floor. Then from a side of the room people were yelling Bob Beauprez. You can see a small slideshow playing from the side of the room playing showing pictures of his life. Then, music loud enough to raise the dead starts playing, getting everyone energized. Then, we hear nominations from Wayne Allard and Bob Schaffer. Once again, the music blares and Bob Beauprez parades onto the stage with all the support anyone could want.
Bob Beauprez gave an equally good speech, as his nominated opposition had just done. He gave plenty of chances for audience participation. He addressed all the issues that everyone wanted to know about such as, lowering taxes, marriage between a man and woman, education, illegal immigration should be banned, and abortion should not be happening. The crowd seemed supportive of almost every word that came out of his mouth. Once again music and applause blared.
The nominations were then closed.
Then, Congressman Joel Hefley gave a quick retirement speech. You could tell he had done an amazing job as a congressman by how the crowd reacted, and that he was an extremely wise man. During a quick credentials count, fun facts were shown on the screen. Then, it was time to vote. Even though, in real life I could not vote I made my own ballot to vote on.
The Final Ballot
C.U. Regent: Brian Davidson
Governor: Bob Beauprez
Secretary of State: Mike Coffman
Treasurer: Mark Hillman
Attorney General: John Suthers
I am a huge fan of the Republican Party and would not usually admit to any kind of flaw or error. Nevertheless, even I had to admit the ballot and voting system was extremely inefficient. It took over 2 and half hours for my father, Wil Armstrong, to get a ballot. That was unacceptable! However, this loss was compensated for, during the overall assembly. Everything else went very well; I was glad to see that everything was on cue, the confetti, the lights, and the campaign members. Even though people waited in line for over 2 and a half hours, with the concession stands out of food, Bob Beauprez campaigners still tried to make it a better experience for all there, by walking around giving out free cookies to everyone. Overall, this was a good and productive assembly, even taking to consideration the enormous delay of the ballots.
The next morning, I woke up and was extremely pleased to find that Bob Beauprez had won the nomination, and was also pleased to see that Brian Davidson had won the nomination for CU Regent at large.
Democrat: Bill Ritter
Republican: Bob Beauprez
Democrat: Fern O’Brien
Republican: John Suthers
Secretary of State:
Democrat: Ken Gordon
Republican: Mike Coffman
Democrat: Carry Kennedy
Republican: Mark Hillman
CU Regent at large:
Democrat: Stephen Ludwig
Republican: Brian Davidson
After reviewing the newspaper, (and several other sources.) I came to several conclusions. I was happy to find that Bill Ritter is opposed to abortion. I consider that one of the biggest issues at hand, and would not like to have a governor who was pro-abortion, Republican or Democrat. I believe that Bob Beauprez has a good chance of becoming governor. He has the experience, and the goals that Coloradoans want.