U.S. Senate candidate Robert Blaha has his overarching philosophy down to one simple phrase: "Make a difference."
After meeting with all major Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate, and watching forums and debates, The Gazette's editorial board determined Blaha is best suited to defeat Sen. Michael Bennet in November and improve Colorado's representation in Washington.
It is time for someone who makes a difference by offering a change in direction. Rather than prioritizing the wants and needs of Coloradans, Bennet has acted like a yes man for President Barack Obama. He voted with the president 98 percent of the time, and even supported the president's dangerous Iranian nuclear weapons deal against the wishes of most Coloradans.
Blaha promises to work as a nonstandard Washington leader. He despises what he calls "the permanent political class." As a successful Colorado Springs businessman, whose work includes heading the nationally prominent Human Capital Associates, Blaha has played a key role in the success of dozens of startups. A hands-on job creator, he has a decidedly businesslike approach to his pursuit of public service.
Blaha offers a "product guarantee," promising to not seek re-election if he does not get constructive and quantifiable results. He guarantees to cut the deficit, "slash illegal immigration in half," and "fix our horrific tax system."
Several candidates on the national and local stages this year have promoted themselves as outsiders who are unlike standard politicians. With Blaha, it is more than just words. Anyone can see he is not like the rest. He exudes a passionate, nonpretentious confidence in who he really is.
If ever there were a time for the likes of Blaha to win a major election, it is 2016 — a year in which voters have made clear their desire to reject politics as usual.
Blaha — smart, rough-hewn and tenacious — has succeeded by overcoming obstacles and finding efficient solutions to complicated problems. He calls himself a "change agent," and his background supports the claim.
We like his depth on the issues, but also his personality and humor. A series of self-funded TV ads began with the comparison of business-as-usual in Washington to a strikingly unpleasant proctology exam.
To win against an entrenched Bennet, backed by big party money, we believe a successful challenger must run somewhat of an unconventional campaign and have the confidence to ruffle feathers and challenge the status quo.
A happily married father of seven, Blaha has a unique ability to quickly earn trust.
On the issues, Blaha would:
- Push to abolish the IRS and devise a simpler, more understandable and predictable tax code.
- Support a balanced budget amendment, forcing government to cut spending to match revenues.
- Introduce a term limits bill that would reduce members of the House of Representatives to three two-year terms, and members of the Senate to two six-year terms.
- Stand up against "any and every measure that threatens to erode our Second Amendment rights."
- Support all-of-the-above energy policies that encourage solar, wind, hydropower, biofuels, nuclear, coal, natural gas and oil.
- Honor all commitments to veterans and military retirees.
- Support pro-life policies, because "every human being, born and unborn, has the right to life."
- Oppose President Barack Obama's Iranian nuclear deal, and Bennet's support of it.
As seen in debates and forums for much of the past year, most GOP candidates share a platform that is nearly the same. The question for voters becomes:
Who can get it done?
Blaha is clearly the best answer, for anyone who has watched forums and debates and analyzed the candidates. He has devoted his personal and professional life to boldly solving problems and getting results.
Coloradans need to replace Bennet with someone who is nothing like a traditional politician. In Blaha, they will get a refreshingly dogged scrapper who will fight for Coloradans. It is a vote to make a difference, at a time we need it most.
U.S. Senate GOP primary:
☑ Robert Blaha
The Gazette editorial board