From Peter Blake’s Saturday column in the Rocky Mountain News:
Hillman, who served as interim treasurer while incumbent Mike Coffman was in Iraq, is running against Cary Kennedy. She’s best known for spearheading the campaign for Amendment 23 in 2000. It substantially boosted state spending on public schools and made sure it couldn’t be cut for years.
Indeed she likes to make funding for education a major platform in her campaign. In addition to promising fiscal responsibility and effective management of the state’s investment portfolio – the usual issues in a treasurer’s race – she talks about the importance of not cutting school funding. “People all over the state respond to that,” she says.
And she likes to point out that she supported Referendum C – “because it gave Colorado a true and honest balanced budget” – while Hillman did not.
Hillman is unapologetic about his efforts to cut education funds during the state’s recent economic downturn.
“I believe in getting more from your tax dollars rather than more of your tax dollars,” he says. “I don’t think any part of the budget should be isolated from economic reality.” The state funds that went into education had to be cut from other parts of the budget, he notes.
Both treasurer candidates are campaigning nearly full-time, although Hillman is also trying to keep his farm near Burlington going.
Although Kennedy has never run for office before, and doesn’t enjoy Hillman’s higher profile, she’s been able to match him in fund-raising. She had $130,000 in cash at the end of May; Hillman had $126,000. “She knows how to shake the Democratic money tree,” Hillman said grudgingly.
Kennedy has been able to keep expenses down by running her campaign out of her Denver home. Hillman has a small office in Highlands Ranch.
One question to ask Cary Kennedy: what have we gotten for the bigger per-pupil spending increases of Amendment 23, besides rewards to the union and the bureaucracy?
Mark Hillman is the experienced and fiscally responsible candidate in the race for State Treasurer.