Konola for Senate Dist. 7

The campaign between Democrat Claudette Konola and Republican Steve King to replace Josh Penry as the state senator for Mesa County and a portion of Garfield County is a confrontation between two different philosophies about how to grow the state’s economy.

We believe Konola, with decades of experience in job creation and small-business development, has the superior, proactive approach. And it’s one that doesn’t involve raising taxes.

Konola pointed to a federal program that matches private investment money with businesses needing money for capital projects. “I think the state could be a clearinghouse for these funds for the 15 small-business incubators around the state.”

She said there are few programs that provide these sorts of funds for working capital for small business. She wants to find ways to do that, with the state acting as intermediary, not a financier.

“Everything I’ve been thinking of involves bringing private money into small business,” she said.

Konola has a background to help accomplish that, including a career in commercial banking and 15 years working for the nonprofit Community Reinvestment Fund. In addition, she managed the Mesa County Revolving Loan Fund.

She also has extensive experience managing large budgets, and in cutting budgets when it was required.

King argues the solution for growing the economy is simple: Cut taxes, cut government spending and reduce regulation.

His formula requires cutting state budgets by 6 percent across the board, then being willing to tell state employees and some of those receiving state services, “We can no longer afford you.”

But King also says we need a dedicated stream of funding to improve state infrastructure, without identifying where that stream will come from as taxes and budgets are cut.

Most of the legislation King points to as his accomplishments during four years as a state representative support his philosophy. They are largely revenue-neutral. But the majority of them are also about law enforcement or related issues. That raises an important point. King’s law enforcement background makes him a good lawmaker on those issues. But what we need right now is someone with a background in job creation, someone like Konola.

Konola has offered realistic ideas by which the state can help provide funding for businesses, to increase jobs but not raise taxes.

Those creative ideas, and a frugal approach to government that doesn’t involve arbitrarily gutting state programs earn Konola our support. We urge voters in Senate District 7 to also support her.


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