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Scott McInnis makes campaign stop in Pagosa

Scott McInnis. Republican candidate for governor, was in Pagosa Springs Tuesday, hosting a coffee and discussing issues with approximately 20 people.

McInnis visited Pagosa Country as part of a swing through southwest Colorado that will eventually take him to the I-70 corridor and to the Denver area.

McInnis stopped in at The SUN offices following the coffee and briefly discussed the event and his campaign.

McInnis noted he is pushing a strategy of “retail politics,” meeting as many people as possible, “shaking every hand and listening to people’s concerns.”

Topics at the Pagosa coffee, said McInnis, included Colorado tourism, small business, the state budget and the proper role of government. He also provided a briefing concerning the current status of his campaign.

“I talked to the police chief (McInnis is a former law enforcement officer) and discussed the LEED (green building) program.

“The questions at these meetings are area-specific, at first,” said McInnis, “then get more general.”

In terms of the more general topics, one that McInnis sees as key to his campaign is the “need to cut spending. One of the biggest challenges are unfunded federal mandates, such as the Obama health care plan. This will be a burden on Colorado citizens. We cannot raise taxes in an economic period like this.”

McInnis said, further, that he opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants; that he will “deunionize” state agencies; and will continue his strong support for 2nd Amendment rights.

The onetime U.S. Representative emphasized his campaign push to create jobs in Colorado, seeing job creation as a solution to the state’s economic woes, including the current funding problems in Colorado K-12 and higher education.

He noted, in particular, his opposition to rules and regulations concerning the energy industry — regulations he believes have thwarted job growth, and thus have stemmed the flow of revenue to school districts, state agencies and programs.

“The rules and regulations regarding energy have cost the state jobs,” he said, “and the money coming into the schools has been cut dramatically. K-12 is mandated spending to forty-four percent of the budget; the rest, the modifiers, are not mandated and that’s where the cuts have come.

“Colorado is not a state recognized for being open for business and I want to change that. The key to our funding problems is job creation; we need to adjust our rules and regulations. Trying to get people to work should be our number-one priority.”

McInnis has further promised, as part of his platform, to keep Colorado a low-tax state, and to invest in physical infrastructure (roads, bridges and water systems) and human infrastructure (higher education and workforce training). He wants to appoint “pro-jobs leaders” to key government regulatory and oversight bodies and to pro-actively promote and encourage business investment and expansion.

Noting that “ballots are mailed out in four to five weeks,” McInnis praised his fund-raisers for their efforts and indicated he will focus on major urban areas as he continues his heavy campaign schedule up to an Aug. 10 primary election in which he faces Evergreen businessman Dan Mesa in a fight for the spot on the November general election ballot.