Update, 8/9 AM: Rep Ellen Roberts’ response posted in full at the end of this post.
With election day practically here, a strange development has been unearthed in the Colorado Senate District 6 Republican primary between Rep. Ellen Roberts and conservative grassroots candidate Dean Boehler. Hopes of successfully resisting Obama Care mandates and advancing free market health care reform well may hinge in part on the result of this primary.
What do I mean? Well, first contrast the two candidates’ issue statements on the issue of health care, starting with Boehler:
OBAMACARE HEALTH MANDATE
Dean strongly supports Colorado’s lawsuit to declare ObamaCare UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Dean opposes ObamaCare and favors common sense, free-market solutions to lower the cost of health insurance.
Short, direct, pointed, and on target. Now look at Roberts’ statement:
Common Sense Healthcare Reform
Finding effective ways to deliver high quality healthcare to rural Colorado has been a major focus and passion of mine in the Colorado legislature. I’ve carried legislation that has successfully reduced costs and administrative burden and increased access to affordable healthcare. I’m particularly proud of the new hospice legislation that I helped spearhead in 2009 and 2010 that will provide the seriously ill in Colorado with better access to high quality and high touch patient directed care.
Why be so vague on one of the preeminent political issues of the moment? Take a look at three different entities all housed at the Denver address of 7351 Lowry Boulevard, and see if you might gather an idea:
- COPIC, Colorado’s largest medical malpractice insurance provider, recently reported in the Denver Business Journal as having incurred $48,400 in fines for “numerous” problem business practices, and $400 donor to Roberts’ campaign through its political committee
- Colorado Medical Society, an avowed opponent of the Free Colorado from Obama Care initiative (full disclosure: sponsored by the Independence Institute, for whom I am employed), and $3,000 donor to Roberts’ campaign through its small donor committee
- The 527 political committee Assuring Quality Healthcare Access for Colorado, which was registered in July by COPIC Accounting Manager Shane Schattinger, is explicitly connected to COPIC on its IRS registration paperwork, and has sent out “a slick mailer” promoting Roberts’ candidacy
Throw in the shadowy liberal group Colorado Outlook sending attack fliers against Dean Boehler, and you’ve got a perfect storm of unanswered questions for Ellen Roberts. Has she promised groups funding her campaign to work for Obama Care and against free market health care reform? I am contacting Roberts directly to seek an answer.
But I think it’s pretty clear why a more conservative grassroots candidate jumped into this race. For now, all evidence indicates there is even more at stake in the Senate 6 Republican primary than first anticipated. Any support you can give to Dean Boehler could make a big difference.
Update — Roberts’ response:
I’ve skimmed your blog post and wonder why you didn’t bother to ask me these questions before you posted? Is it that you have your own agenda as in slamming me without having both sides of the story? It’s not like I don’t know what you’ve been posting in this race already.
For that matter, why should I believe you would post the truth now, when I tell you? I guess I don’t necessarily trust that you will, but in the spirit of being fair, something I’ve not experienced from my opponent and his supporters, including you, I’ll answer your questions anyway. You see, I do believe in open and transparent government and campaigns.
Of course I’ve made no deals with anyone as you’re suggesting. In fact, I was one of the first House Republicans to sign on to the letter asking AG John Suthers to join the lawsuit seeking that Obamacare be set aside as unconstitutional. (see attached) Boehler knows that as it’s been something I not only talked about since the district assembly, but also have distributed throughout my campaign this spring and summer copies of the House resolution introduced, with me as a cosponsor, before Obamacare was passed, stating
that if it passed, Colorado should be allowed to opt out. (see attached)
I have written my weekly column published in the Pagosa, Durango and Cortez papers making my opposition to Obamacare known to my constituents. In a district like mine, I did this knowing that there are many on the left in my district who would not only strongly disagree, but sent me emails assuring me they’d work hard to see me not elected this year because of that stance.
I’m not afraid to put the tough issues out there or take a stand even if there’s a political risk to that and it’s a trait sorely lacking in a lot of politicians or candidates. I also don’t pander to any group or sign pledges. My job is to represent the people who elect me, not CUT, not the tea party, not the left wing groups, and not COPIC, CMS or any other organization or group.
You ask, Why does COPIC and others care about my race and decided to do mailings on my behalf without my knowledge or participation (and as they clearly stated this fact on the mailers based on my record and issues, again something sorely lacking from my opponent’s campaign?)
Probably because for all four years since I’ve been in the legislature, I’ve been a huge advocate for Colorado’s continued strong TORT REFORM. Something hugely lacking in Obamacare, incidentally.
Probably because since being in the legislature, I’ve strongly advocated for or sponsored legislation that seeks efficiency, cost savings and access to actual care for medical patients rather than to an insurance card – something we in rural Colorado know well. (see attached legislative summary)
Access to an insurance card doesn’t equal access to care if no doctor or nurse practioner will accept a Medicaid or Medicare patient since the government won’t reimburse for cost, let alone the ability to have a margin to keep the lights on, staff for running the office, etc.
So, again, before posting on your blog when you want to slam me and help my opponent, maybe you should do your own homework first or do me the courtesy of asking for my side of a story before posting your own. That would be responsible journalism, yes?