If you go...
What: State and federal candidate debates
When: Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Colorado Mesa University Center, 1455 N. 12th St. in Grand Junction
— Featuring candidates for CD3, SD8, HD57 and HD26. For more information, visit www.club20.org>
“I welcome this comparison. There is a great divide between Sal Pace’s rhetoric and record when it comes to raising taxes. He can continue to say he has stood up for families and small businesses, but that does not mean it’s true.”
Congressman Scott Tipton, R-Cortez
Sal Pace, a Pueblo Democrat running for the Third Congressional District of Colorado, said recently he would welcome the opportunity to compare his record on taxes with that of his opponent and CD3 incumbent Scott Tipton, R-Cortez.
And with the Colorado Mesa University debate on the horizon, Tipton shot back, saying Saturday’s event would be a perfect opportunity to “have the conversation.”
“I welcome this comparison,” Tipton said in a Tuesday news release. “There is a great divide between Sal Pace’s rhetoric and record when it comes to raising taxes. He can continue to say he has stood up for families and small businesses, but that does not mean it’s true.”
As an initial comparison of their records, the Tipton camp pulled the results of eight key pieces of tax legislation proposed in 2009 and 2010 while both candidates were serving in the Colorado General Assembly.
The bills proposed tax increases on vehicle registration, online retailers, agriculture products, candy and soda, downloadable computer software, direct mail marketing, seniors, and hospitals and patients.
Pace voted in favor of each of the proposed tax hikes, according to the Tipton campaign. Tipton voted against each of the eight bills.
“This is the second time Pace has been caught misrepresenting his record to voters. These are his votes, this is his record, he has voted for over $1 billion in tax increases,” said Michael Fortney, Tipton’s campaign manager, in the release. “Pace will eventually have to come clean with voters and own up to his record of raising taxes on Colorado families, businesses and farms.”
Chad Obermiller, Pace’s campaign manager, said Thursday people can pull voting records to reflect whatever message they want.
"Congressman Tipton himself has voted twice for a budget in Congress that the joint economic committee has verified will raise taxes on anyone making under $200,000 a year," Obermiller said. "You can make that case out of anything, but Sal is the only one up on the stage that's actually done something to pass some tax relief, including eliminating the estate tax on farmers and ranchers."
Obermiller said the Pace campaign is looking forward to Saturday's debate and that they plan to raise a variety of issues.
"Sal is interested to know if Congressman Tipton's campaign is being financed by people that have been trying to take rural water out of the state," Obermiller said. "We're looking forward to a spirited conversation."
Saturday’s debate between Tipton and Pace is sponsored by Club 20 and will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Colorado Mesa University Center, 1455 N. 12th St. in Grand Junction.
Joining Tipton and Pace will be Tisha Casida, an independent from Pueblo who also is running for CD3.
Although slated as the featured debate of the weekend, Saturday’s card contains a full day of state and federal debates relevant to Western Slope voters.
At 9 a.m., Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, squares off against Colorado House District 26 opponent Chuck McConnell, R-Steamboat Springs.
Randy Baumgardner, R-Cowdrey, and Emily Tracy, D-Breckenridge, are scheduled to debate for Colorado Senate District 8 beginning at 10:30 a.m.
An hour later, Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale, and Jo Ann Baxter, D-Craig, will debate for the office of HD57.
For more information or to register, visit www.club20.org.
Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.