Forth, Republican candidate for state
The Westside Pioneer sent election-related questionnaires to both candidates. Only Forth returned his.
(For the Westside Pioneer article on Lee's refusal, go to this link.)
District 18 covers much of the older Westside, as well as the downtown, Manitou and Skyway.
Two Democrats (Michael Merrifield, four terms/eight years, followed by Lee, three terms/six years) have had the job for the past 14 years. The term limit for state representatives is four terms.
The Westside Pioneer asked the candidates for basic personal information and to respond to the same questions. The personal information pertained to age, family, years lived in their districts and career outside politics.
Forth is 41, a professional land surveyor and former Air Force captain. He has lived in District 3 (Skyway) since March 2015. Previously Forth had attended high school in Colorado Springs, moving back here in 2007.
Although Lee did not respond this time, he had done so when he ran for re- election in 2014. At the time, he was age 66 (so 68 now) and worked as a lawyer.
There were nine questions, each one allowing an answer of yes or no.
In addition to a one-word reply, candidates could elaborate as much as they wanted on any or all questions, with a 600-word maximum for the entire response.
Here are the questions, followed by Forth's responses:
1. If a tight state budget forces such a decision in 2017, should less money go to transportation and more to education?
Forth - Yes. I support education. However, I believe our education system would be better off without any federal involvement, giving the local communities more control. I also oppose the social indoctrination that Common Core is trying to implement.
2. Would the Amendment 69 initiative creating a single-payer, universal health-care system be good for Colorado?
Forth - No. When health care businesses, from insurance companies to private practices, compete with varieties of models, options, and innovative practices, everyone wins. Costs in health care would go down in a free-market, less-regulated, less-litigious health care system. Government control of health care is dangerous and irresponsible. It leads to undertreated patients, unfair burdens on taxpayers, violations of religious beliefs in some cases and less incentive for innovation.
3. Should refugees from war-torn countries (Muslim, Christian or others) be thoroughly vetted before being allowed to settle in Colorado?
Forth - Yes.
4. Should the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan be implemented in Colorado, despite negative impacts on the coal industry and the risk of higher energy rates?
Forth - No. I believe that there is over-regulation of the energy industry by the EPA. The government should not be subsidizing select industries/ companies like Solyndra. I encourage free-market alternative energy.
5. A three-year-old state law limits gun magazines to 15 rounds. Should this law be repealed?
Forth - Yes. I think it's pretty clear what “shall not be infringed” means.
6. When the state addresses minority concerns, should the main problem be seen as “white privilege”?
Forth - No. The main problem is the Democratic party trying to keep divisions among the people for their socialist agenda.
7. Should there be a state law disallowing panhandlers on road medians for safety reasons?
Forth - No. As a professional land surveyor, I have spent a lot of time surveying medians. The medians are safe as long as drivers are actually paying attention to the road and not their phones.
8. Based on concerns about assaults at state universities, should students be allowed to carry registered, concealed weapons on their campuses for self-protection?
Forth - Absolutely. Many recent attacks have occurred in “gun-free zones.” Attackers target these areas because of their vulnerability.
9. Should Christian schools or businesses that oppose LGBT philosophies be pressured to change or close their doors?
Forth - No. Should LGBT businesses that oppose Christian beliefs be pressured to change or close their doors?
Westside Pioneer article