Time To Take a Stand

Remember the old saying about not throwing stones if you live in a glass house? Well, it’s another word of advice that my opponent just won’t heed.

For instance, he claims in one recent attack piece that I’m misusing taxpayer money -- which simply isn’t true -- because I recently had to amend a campaign finance report due to a minor bookkeeping error. We’re all human. Mistakes happen. In addition, we have 30 days, by law, to amend our reports for just that reason. When the error was brought to my attention, I immediately made the correction, as the law allows. Blowing this molehill into some mountainous “scandal” isn’t just dishonest, and hypocritical, given Dan Thurlow the stone thrower’s own history of campaign finance violations. It also smacks of dirty politics and desperation, raising questions about just how far this guy is willing to go – how low he is willing to go -- to satisfy his personal political ambitions.

There’s another old adage about throwing stones that my opponent either doesn’t know or understand. It goes back to that famous passage in the Bible when Jesus says, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” I’m not a perfect person. But my opponent isn’t either. And he ought to take a long hard look in the mirror before trying to take bits and pieces from my personal or professional life and portray them as some broad brush indictment of my integrity and character. 

We both have been in different businesses. And as anyone who has been in any sort of business knows, a smooth and steady road to success just isn’t assured, without occasionally encountering losses, setbacks, disappointments, disputes and other speed bumps -- which can all be taken out of context and used as fodder for attacks on politicians with business backgrounds. We’ve seen this line of attacks used against President Trump. We saw them used against Mitt Romney. And I have no doubt these tactics will be used on me now that the serious mud-slinging has begun. 

As a businessman, I’ve had the usual share of failures and disappointments, including one period, during the depths of the Great Recession, when I was stuck with debt from partnerships and bank debt on a subdivision that almost took me to bankruptcy court. Had I known how bad the Recession would get, I probably would have pulled the plug on the project, or shelved it. But I was an optimist and paid the price for that, when the housing market went into a prolonged dive, just as we began building. Long story short, it took me 9 years of struggle to pay the bank and settle my account. Sadly, others I dealt with lost money too, as the recession took a bite out of many people in the construction trades. But I did my best to pay the resulting debts, at times reaching into personal savings to do so. I personally lost about 40 percent of everything I owned through those terrible times.

My opponent was caught in those terrible times, too, with the Grand Junction Athletic Club failure. People were hurt financially because of its demise. And I’m sure he feels the pain of that failure to this day. As a fellow entrepreneur and risk- taker, as a fellow businessperson, I feel for him and those who were hurt around him. And I’m certainly not going to try to use it against him as a campaign issue.

If my opponent wants to talk about our political differences and compare our legislative record, I’m game for that, because my record, as both a consistent conservative and somebody who gets important things done for his district and state at the legislature, is something I’m damn proud to talk about and debate. The fact that he prefers to sling mud and make baseless allegations and insinuations is a clear sign to me that he knows he can’t win this on the merits – on questions of policy, or on our comparative legislative records -- but believes his only hope is in hitting below the belt with personalized attacks on my integrity and character.

But that just isn’t a smart or effective move if you’re living in a glass house.