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Gerald Kilpatrick, American Constitution Party

Campaign Website: geraldkilpatrick.com

Campaign Facebook Page: facebook.com/gerald.kilpatrick. 7169

Email Address: geraldjfk@aol.com

Education: Certified Public Accountant — (November, 2001); Master of Business Administration — Regis University (December 1999); Bachelor of Business Administration — Kent State University (May 1981)

Experience: 36 Years of Corporate, Small Business and personal accounting experience; Represented clients with the FEC, IRS, and the Secretary of State; Experienced with Auditing and Fraud investigation

How would your management increase the return on Colorado’s investments and assets?

The question should not be how to “increase” the return of Colorado’s investments and assets, but rather how to “safeguard” those investments and assets. Colorado has laws on the type of investments the State Treasurer is allowed to invest in and what assets it has that can be used in the lease-purchase agreements.

The best way to increase the return is through reducing the costs associated with making and maintaining these investments. We can reduce these costs though using our in-house investment bankers and a competitive bidding process with annual reviews of the administrative costs and a requirement that these contracts be put out for bid annually.

What are your fresh ideas for working with the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association to safeguard pensions?

Again, you are asking the wrong question. The question should not be how to “safeguard” pensions, but rather how to reduce and eliminated the unfunded PERA liabilities. You can’t solve the PERA problem by using fantasy budgets. Since 2010 the unfunded liabilities have grown from $21 to $32 billion; a 52% increase. We need to get a handle on the PERA unfunded liability and to do that we need a realistic budget so we can honestly look at the problem. If necessary, we should look at extending the age and years of service requirements, and possibly lowering the benefits paid. I would not be in favor of a taxpayer bailout of PERA.

What are the largest flaws in the plans your opponents have proposed?

No one has brought up the banking issues that our hemp and marijuana industries have here in Colorado. We need to push the legislature to establish a “Colorado People’s Bank” that is not federally insured so the marijuana industry can bank in Colorado. This would allow us to keep and use those investments here in the state.

They are not addressing the cost containment measures we should be taking in the State Treasurer’s office. The State Treasurer’s office holds the checkbook. Let’s make sure every dollar is spent wisely and openly accounted for.

Brian Watson, Republican

Campaign Website: brianwatson.vote

Campaign Facebook Page: facebook.com/BrianWatsonUS

Email Address: brian@brianwatson.vote

Education: University of Colorado Boulder, BA with an emphasis on Real Estate

Experience: Decades of experience managing complex debt in Colorado, being in a fiduciary responsibility to investors, and successfully growing a $1.3 billion portfolio. Through my company, I’ve created jobs, opportunity, and empowered local communities.

How would your management increase the return on Colorado’s investments and assets?

My professional background is in real estate investment and turning distressed assets into profitable, productive assets that provide jobs to thousands of people. I am entrusted with investments each and every day, and take great care and responsibility in managing others’ funds. Our state’s lack of investment return has led to shortfalls in PERA, putting our state’s credit rating in jeopardy. I will use my financial background and fiduciary experience to find opportunities that put us back on track and create better long-term expectations for our public employees and state.

What are your fresh ideas for working with the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association to safeguard pensions?

We have a promise to keep to our teachers, first responders, and all public employees relying on retirement benefits, as well as all Colorado taxpayers. For too long, PERA has been politicized and used as a weapon in our legislature, where politicians have failed to adequately address the problems. I believe PERA is a people issue. As State Treasurer, I will reach out to every board member of PERA to meet for lunch or coffee and get to know them. If we don’t come together on this vital issue, our public employees and all Colorado citizens will suffer.

What are the largest flaws in the plans your opponents have proposed?

My vision is based on a positive outlook and my extensive experience in the financial industry, providing value for clients and customers. My opponent does not have the financial background and has worked government job after government job. We don’t need more career politicians. My opponent voted against a measure in the legislature that would have begun to put PERA on a better track for the future, and has expressly stated that he wants to strip away key elements of TABOR in order to raise taxes on Coloradans. These are not forward looking, positive solutions to our problems.

Dave Young, Democrat

Campaign Website: daveyoungforcolorado.com

Campaign Facebook Page: facebook.com/DaveYoungForColorado

Education: B.S. in Mathematics — Colorado State University, Ft. Collins (1975); M.A. in Information and Learning Technologies — University of Colorado, Denver (2000)

Experience: State Representative (2011-18); Joint Budget Committee (JBC) (2014-18); Chairman: House Appropriations Committee (2014-18); Professor: Information and Learning Technologies — CU, Denver (2001-2011); Information Architect: iXL (1999-2001); K-12 Teacher: Greeley D6 (1975-1999)

How would your management increase the return on Colorado’s investments and assets?

As Treasurer, I’ll manage our investments safely, transparently and productively. For the past four years, I’ve had a deep dive into every aspect of Colorado’s finances through my work on the Joint Budget Committee. I know what we do well, and I know where we can improve. I’ll work to keep Colorado’s public dollars invested right here in Colorado where they can benefit our businesses and economy. By investing in hard-working Coloradans and local businesses, we are investing in Colorado’s future. Those investments ripple through every aspect of our economy to move our state forward.

What are your fresh ideas for working with the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association to safeguard pensions?

PERA’s defined benefit plan must be strengthened. To do that, we must get back to the basics of good management. Currently, PERA’s funding level is about the same as it was in the early 1970’s. Good management practices from 1970 to 2000 brought PERA to fully funded levels. In 2000, purely political decisions were made that threw PERA’s funding out of balance. As one of 16 members of the PERA Board, I’ll work with the rest of the PERA Board members to return to the basics of good management and not treat PERA like a political punching bag.

What are the largest flaws in the plans your opponents have proposed?

My opponent advocates for eliminating PERA’s Cost of Living Adjustment and raising the retirement age as the only way to restore PERA to solvency. That’s incorrect and, in fact, dangerous to many PERA members and retirees who depend on their pension plan for basic life needs. These plans are part of a total compensation package that our public servants were promised. The consequences of chipping away at the plans can be seen in unfilled professional positions in classrooms and firehouses across the state. We need to find a sustainable pathway for securing PERA, and protecting its members and Colorado’s taxpayers.

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