Health law spurs Gardner to enter Senate race

Cory Gardner

Cory Gardner, the Yuma Republican who shook the state GOP last week when he announced his bid for the U.S. Senate, decided to challenge U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, because of the problems Gardner and other Coloradans experienced with the Affordable Care Act.

Gardner, who served two terms in the House representing the 4th Congressional district in the northeastern corner of the state, said he began thinking of a run for the Senate in August when problems with the Affordable Care Act hit home.

His own health insurance policy was cancelled that month, putting him among 335,000 other Coloradans who saw their insurance policies cancelled because they didn’t qualify under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare by its detractors.

“Instead of acknowledging the problems with Obamacare, they called people who lost their health insurance liars,” Gardner said.

Gardner said he had opted out of the health coverage available to him as a federal elected official and purchased a policy for himself, his wife, Jaime, and their children.

He decided in February that he could make more headway against the new health care law by altering the makeup of the Democrat-run Senate than he could by continuing to hold “a safe seat in a safe majority” in the House.

With his announcement, two Republicans, Ken Buck and Amy Stephens, dropped their Senate bids. State Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, remains in the race.

If he captures the party’s nomination, Gardner would eventually face Udall, a supporter of the health-insurance law who earlier this year tangled with state regulators about how many Coloradans had seen their health insurance policies canceled.

Udall’s campaign manager, Adam Dunstone, said in a statement that Gardner’s voting record in the House “placed him in the top 10 most conservative members of the House,” a record that made Gardner more conservative than former Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, now a candidate for Colorado governor.

Gardner spoke Sunday in a telephone interview with The Sentinel after his Saturday announcement in Denver. Winter weather prevented him from traveling west and he said he it appeared another winter storm would prevent him from returning to Washington, D.C., today.

Gardner said he would present his “Four Corners” approach to dealing with the state’s issues: Environment, energy, economy and education.

He stressed responsible energy development in particular as being needed for the improvement of the West Slope economy and said that education should be left to local officials.

“We should be sure we don’t have Congress in the classroom,” Gardner said.


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With local sign-ups for “ObamaCare” exceeding expectations (causing a 90-day backlog at Mesa County’s Department of Health & Human Services), local voters should heed the Sentinel’s headline to Gary Harmon’s timely report:  “Health law spurs Gardner to enter race” – chronicling how 4th C.D. incumbent Cory Gardner (R-CO) is now running for the Senate against Democrat Mark Udall for the purpose of depriving Coloradans of access to affordable health insurance and/or health care.  In addition, Gardner has consistently:

•  Been an ideological “foot soldier” in Republicans’ “war on women” by ardently supporting the twice-defeated “personhood” ballot initiative to outlaw abortion—even in cases of rape and incest—and to ban many forms of contraception;

•  Voted for the “Ryan Budget”, which would “end Medicare as we know it”, slash education funding, and give millionaires another $125,000 tax cut;
•  Joined fellow-Republicans in proposing to privatize Social Security;

•  Like the 3rd C.D.’s own “subhuman mongrel” Scott Tipton, threatened “the full faith and credit” of the United States—holding our Nation’s solvency hostage for Social Security, Medicare, and/or “ObamaCare” cuts and causing the largest one-day increase in our national debt in history;

•  Like Tipton, voted 40+ times to repeal, replace, and/or de-fund “ObamaCare” – and would still deliberately deprive thousands of Coloradans or the access to affordable health care and/or health insurance the now enjoy under “ObamaCare”;

•  Like Tipton, irresponsibly voted to “shut down” the federal government – costing our economy some $28 billion – while denying any responsibility therefor;

•  Opposed federal aid to natural disaster victims—making it harder for Colorado to receive needed flood relief;
•  Opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—the military’s ban on openly LGBT volunteer-soldiers from serving our Country; and
•  Opposed the “DREAM Act”, which would give young undocumented immigrants brought here illegally as children a “pathway to citizenship”, and instead voted to treat them as criminals and accelerate their deportation.

Clearly, Gardner cannot represent Colorado values like Mark Udall does.

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