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Walker Stapleton, commercial pitch man, wants term limits on Congress

By: Joey Bunch ColoradoPolitics.com
February 20, 2017 Updated: February 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm
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That's Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton's voice coming out of your radio and talking to you on YouTube about a rally at the Capitol on March 9 at 11 a.m.

The telegenic public servant is speaking up in a six-figure advertising campaign urging Coloradans to put term limits on members of Congress, paid for U.S. Term Limits, a nonpartisan organization with conservative roots.

But the ads also help Colorado get to know Stapleton a little better. He's made himself familiar from Steamboat Springs to Springfield and Cortez to Ted's Place since he took office in 2010. Stapleton has held meetings about state dollars in every county and taken on one-man crusades over what he sees as shortcomings in the Public Employees Retirement Association, Colorado's $42 billion public employees' retirement account.

Stapleton led the No on Amendment 69 to defeat a Colorado single-payer health care system last year, including starring in its campaign ads. He played with a football at Sports Authority Field in 2012 for an ad to plug the Great Colorado Payback, which unites people with money and goods they might not know they have coming. (I got back nearly $300 from two uncashed checks.)

Who can blame people for using him? He looks like a guest star on "Mad Men."

But if Stapleton decides to run for governor next year, his good will for public service could be rewarded on Election Day. Would-be Republican primary opponents must think heavily about whether they can afford to make their face as familiar as Stapleton's.

"This is common sense," Stapleton said of the term-limits campaign. "We don't need career politicians on either side of the aisle adding to people's mistrust of Washington."

Colorado voters put term limits on state legislators in 1990. House members can serve four two-year terms, and state senators get two four-year terms.

"It was the will of the people then and it's the will of the people now," Stapleton said. "Furthermore, this is not a partisan issue, President Obama and President Trump have both been supportive of term limiting Congress."

U.S. Term Limits, the organization behind the March 9 rally, tried and failed to get a joint resolution from the Colorado legislature last year, as part of a national campaign to put pressure on Washington to enact the limit.

No such legislation has been introduced this session, but something's coming.

"The Colorado Legislature has an opportunity right now to take the lead in fixing our broken Congress," U.S. Term Limits executive director Nick Tomboulides said in a statement. "This is a moment for Republicans and Democrats to join together and fix our country."

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