Schaffer: ‘Strong Colorado-style conservative’ |

Schaffer: ‘Strong Colorado-style conservative’

Bob Schaffer, a Fort Collins resident, is seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Ben Nighthorse Campbell. (AP photo)

If you’re going to accuse Pete Coors of not being conservative enough, you better be pretty darn conservative. Bob Schaffer is pretty darn conservative.The Republican candidate for U.S. senator labeled himself “a strong Colorado-style conservative” and he has suggested in the campaign that Coors is a little soft on some issues. His ads accuse Coors of contributing to tax-increase proposals and supporting gay rights through his brewing company.Coors responded with recorded telephone messages to registered Republicans Wednesday claiming he has been victimized by attack ads that portray an inaccurate picture. He said he opposes same-sex marriages and supports tax cuts.Schaffer and Coors are competing in the Aug. 10 primary. One will advance to the November election with the party’s designation.Schaffer, 42, said voters know where he stands because he has a voting record in Congress. He served three two-year terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving in a district centered around his hometown of Fort Collins. He stepped down in 2003 to honor a personal pledge that he would limit himself to three terms.

Scott McInnis, the congressman whose district includes Pitkin and Garfield counties, also vowed to voluntarily limit his time in Congress. He reneged and explained that he didn’t understand when he made the promise just how important seniority was to effectively represent Colorado in the House.Schaffer said it was hard to step down after winning three elections, but something he felt was right. “I never really considered breaking the promise,” he said.During his tenure in Congress, Schaffer introduced a bill each year trying to make a balanced federal budget a requirement. As a senator he would continue to be a fiscal watchdog. The federal government “wastes” a lot of money, he said.Another of Schaffer’s priorities would be dealing with the “immediate crisis facing the country – the war on terror.” He would vote to keep the military strong and to assure homeland security.Schaffer “fully supports President Bush and the war on terrorism,” he said. “America’s efforts in Iraq are just.”

He claimed that his work on national defense and foreign policy issues as a member of Congress would give him an advantage over Coors as senator.His most important long-term domestic issue is improving education. He is particularly concerned about American students falling behind internationally in math and science.”If we don’t start paying attention we will imperil the republic,” he said.Schaffer wants the federal government “to get out of the way of innovative state programs” designed to improve education. The federal aid system is too dependent on funding education in specific buildings rather than funding improved education, he said.Schaffer supports creating charter schools and a voucher system, which allows parents to apply taxes paid for public school to a private school enrollment.

Schaffer also wants the federal government to grant a 50 percent tax credit for individual and corporate investments in private education. “That would result in a massive cash infusion,” he said.More information about Schaffer’s positions can be found at his Web site,– see Schaffer on page A7– continued from page A3

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