Carbondale candidate challenges Tipton as Washington ‘insider’ | AspenTimes.com

Carbondale candidate challenges Tipton as Washington ‘insider’

Alex Beinstein aims to force a Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District seat held by Scott Tipton.
Courtesy photo |

Republican Congressman Scott Tipton, whose district includes Aspen, is being challenged within his party for evolving into a Washington “insider” despite his roots with the anti-establishment tea party movement.

Alex Beinstein, a Roaring Fork Valley native and current Carbondale resident, hopes to secure enough delegates to advance to the primary and then grab the GOP’s mantle for the 3rd Congressional District race in November.

Beinstein launched his campaign this winter by assailing the conservative Tipton for turning into a “career politician” who is straying outside the bounds of the Constitution, along with most of the rest of Congress.

Beinstein graduated from Aspen High School in 2006, then studied American History at the University of Chicago. He attended the University of Maine School of Law and focused on constitutional law.

“I used to have some liberal tendencies,” he said. Reading about founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Madison rewired his thinking about the federal government. Essentially, it shouldn’t be playing any role that isn’t specifically laid out in the U.S. Constitution, he said. Issues such as affordable housing and quality education should be left to state and local governments.

Jefferson saw that the powers of Congress should be severely limited for the benefit of the country, Beinstein said.

“And that is today’s exact problem, a Congress that acts like a new British Monarchy, taxing and spending illegally,” he posted on his website. “If we are to remain a beacon of freedom and hope throughout the world, we must reclaim our constitutional heritage. Otherwise, we’ll continue to have a government beholden to big money and special interests, making us no different than China or Russia.”

He criticized Tipton for his recent support of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which Beinstein claimed mandates more testing and spends federal dollars “needlessly.”

He also said Tipton voted to grant President Obama too much power on a proposed trade deal with Asia.

Beinstein is 27 years old but contends that age and experience shouldn’t be barriers to elected office. Abe Lincoln was just 23 years old when he first ran for public office, he noted, and Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

He defined himself as a constitutionalist rather than a tea party supporter, though he said the overlap is strong. “I think most of the tea party is constitutionalist,” he said.

When asked Tuesday who he supports as the Republic presidential nominee, anti-establishment Beinstein said Sen. Marco Rubio for his foreign-policy credentials. Rubio is being portrayed by candidate Donald Trump as the epitome of an establishment candidate.

“Rubio is not establishment the way he’s being accused of,” Beinstein said. “Rubio voted against Ryan-Murray, Every Student Succeeds Act and voted to Audit the Fed. He got to the Senate with the tea party. And if we don’t stand down China in the South China Sea and their increasing dominance worldwide, we might all speak Chinese and use their currency one day.”

He is in favor of Ted Cruz being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court because of his “great legal mind.”

Foreign policy is a particular area of interest for Beinstein. He wants to “annihilate Islamic terror” and believes the key is radical change in U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia. He claims that most of the support of terrorism stems from Saudi Arabia, including government officials.

“This isn’t conspiratorial at all,” he said.

He wants to add the U.S. ally to the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and significantly reduce commercial ties with it. He wants to freeze the assets of any Saudi found to have links to terrorism.

Beinstein has been touring the vast 3rd Congressional District this winter. It stretches from Grand Junction to Pueblo and includes liberal Aspen and conservative northwest Colorado. His goal is to build enough support by April 8 to earn support from 30 percent of delegates at the Colorado Republican Convention.

“The message is resounding,” he said. He initially found more support outside of his home valley. Lately, he said, Republicans in Pitkin and Garfield counties have recently been “much warmer and more receptive.”

“People feel like Tipton is an insider,” Beinstein said. The incumbent is serving his third term in Congress. He first won election in 2010. While Tipton has the support of the party establishment, Beinstein aims to “shake it up.”

“I’m totally married to this,” he said.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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