McInnis stresses job growth during local stop

Posted 2/18/10

Gubernatorial hopeful Scott McInnis delivered a message of fiscal discipline and promised to bring jobs to Colorado during a recent local visit. The …

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McInnis stresses job growth during local stop


Gubernatorial hopeful Scott McInnis delivered a message of fiscal discipline and promised to bring jobs to Colorado during a recent local visit.

The Republican and former six-term U.S. Representative from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional district addressed a roomful of about 60 people at the Littleton Rotary Club meeting Feb. 16 at the Columbine Country Club.

“Our leaders took us down the wrong path,” he said, criticizing the current administration’s tough regulations on energy and natural gas companies. “We need a change that understands the importance of a job.”

McInnis blasted Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter for what he said were thousands of energy and military job losses to other states because of too-strict environmental and other regulations.

“Those energy jobs are critical and we’ve lost them by the tens of thousands,” McInnis said after the meeting. “If we bring our rules and regulations back into balance, back into a consensus area where people say, ‘hey it’s fair,’ we protect our environment and on the other hand we enhance our job opportunities.”

McInnis, 56, is considered the Republican front runner in the race for governor. He will face newcomer Dan Maes in the Republican primary. The winner will take on sole Democratic candidate Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper in November. Ritter announced last month that he will not seek re-election.

After serving five terms in the Colorado State House of Representatives and 12 years as a Colorado representative in Congress, McInnis stepped away from politics in 2005. The Glenwood Springs native decided to enter the 2010 governor race when he began to see his friends lose their jobs.

“A lot of our friends are blue collar workers so that was a driving fact,” he said.

McInnis, whose family history dates back to the Colorado pioneers of the 1870s, emphasized his rural, blue collar roots to the audience. Wearing cowboy boots, he related a story of how he and his siblings received piggy banks on their fifth birthdays, an early attempt by their parents to teach them financial responsibility. His wife’s family comes from a long line of Western Slope ranchers.

A former police officer and volunteer firefighter, McInnis is also a lawyer, a point he did not mention to those gathered.

McInnis said state government must partner with businesses, and reduce regulations and taxes to help create jobs. Balancing Colorado’s budget and reducing spending are also high on his priority list.

“The state’s going to have to reduce its fiscal spending and tighten its belt in regard to taxes that are killing jobs,” he said.

If elected, McInnis said his first order of business will be to issue an executive order repealing Ritter’s executive order to let all state employees unionize.

“The unions weren’t asking for it to the best of our knowledge. Certainly the workers weren’t asking for it and it’s caused a lot of, in my opinion, disorder in the market process,” McInnis said. “We don’t need that. We have good relationships with our state employees… It’s not necessary. We’ll get rid of it.”

Despite the fact that McInnis now lives in Grand Junction — a city the U.S. Department of Labor reported earlier this month had the largest percentage drop in jobs out of 372 metropolitan areas in the country in December 2009, compared with a year earlier — McInnis said he’s hopeful about the future of Colorado.

“Help is on the way,” he said. “I feel very optimistic about the future.”


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