There’s a rumor going around that former Governor John Hickenlooper is a moderate. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, it’s a testament to just how extreme rank-and-file liberals have become when they think Hickenlooper isn’t far enough to the left.
Hickenlooper is a well-known entity in Colorado, so he won’t be able to use the same tactic he did during his failed presidential race, where he spent months altering his record to try to gain traction.
In fact, during his presidential campaign, Hickenlooper established himself firmly in the liberal camp. There is nothing moderate about saying he would “go even further” than the Green New Deal — a policy that would put an end to energy development and one of our state’s biggest economic drivers.
Further harming Coloradans, Hickenlooper’s support for a minimum wage of “at least” $15 per hour will put 1.3 million people out of work and reduce total real family income by $9 billion in 2025, according to a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report.
Was all of this just a political play to appear more electable to today’s Democratic base? Maybe. But, Hickenlooper has a long history of supporting tax increases in Colorado. Luckily, our state has an additional check on policies that raise taxes — the voters. The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) means that Coloradans have an opportunity to analyze government spending and give a thumbs up or thumbs down to giving up more of our hard-earned money.
As Mayor of Denver, Hickenlooper publicly supported 7 tax increases. And in 2005, he promised that he would eradicate homelessness within 10 years. Those 10 years have come and gone and homelessness in Denver is actually HIGHER than it was before Hickenlooper was ever elected to public office. He probably spent more time filming the perfect pool shot in his Senate campaign announcement video than actually thinking about how to fix homelessness in Colorado.
But I digress. Hickenlooper also supported more than $4 billion in tax hikes as Governor. If the voters hadn’t said no to all the tax increases Hickenlooper supported, what would our state look like now? We probably wouldn’t still have the #1 economy in the country.
It’s false for Coloradans to think that they would get a “moderate” by voting for Hickenlooper. In fact, during his time as Governor, state spending grew by $10 billion. Even with TABOR, between the insatiable appetite for spending in the legislature and Hickenlooper’s support for big-government programs, per person spending in our state has grown by $1,600 in just 10 years. That’s right, while our population has grown by 15%, government has grown by over 70% in the last decade.
You can call John Hickenlooper a lot of things, but a moderate shouldn’t be one of them. Don’t let the extremism of the other Democrats in the Senate primary let you think otherwise.
Lindsey Singer is communications director for Colorado Rising Action PAC.