The Official Platforms of the Colorado Republican and Democratic Parties

Healthcare

  • Support the immediate repeal of ObamaCare.
  • Believe citizens should be free to choose their own healthcare and health insurance and not be required to participate in any particular healthcare program.
  • Support the right of healthcare consumers to obtain health insurance from any insurer in any state.
  • Support health savings accounts and other consumer choice reforms.
  • Support Colorado Attorney General John Suthers’ constitutional challenge to ObamaCare and encourage his use of every legal means to resist its mandate.
  • Support a quality universal healthcare system not tied to employment, as a basic right of all citizens.
  • Support guaranteed, quality, affordable and comprehensive healthcare for all through a not-for-profit single payer financed system, which would provide patient choice and continuity of care within our system of private providers; is portable and not tied to employment; returns medical decisions to the patient and healthcare provider (eliminating insurance company interference); includes strong cost containment measures; and reduces administration costs.
  • Support a healthcare system should be focused proactively on wellness, health promotion, preventative medicine, public health, disease prevention, as well as primary care.
  • Support providing for the long-term solvency of Medicare; full and adequate funding of Medicare and Medicaid sufficient to promote the participation of healthcare providers; ensuring that enrollees in traditional Medicare do not subsidize through their premiums enrollees in private Medicare Advantage and permitting Medicare to negotiate drug costs directly with the pharmaceutical industry.

Immigration

  • Support the immediate securing of our national borders. Oppose any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants.
  • Birthright citizenship should not be granted to any person when neither parent is a citizen.
  • Support a well-regulated guest worker program that is important to Colorado agriculture and industry.
  • Oppose the concept of sanctuary cities and support legislation that would prohibit public funding to any locality that refuses to cooperate with the enforcement of immigration laws.
  • Illegal immigrants should not receive any non-emergency benefits, services or privileges from federal, state or local governments.
  • Employers who hire immigrants should be required to verify the prospective employee’s immigration status.
  • Any illegal immigrant who has been convicted of any criminal offense should be deported immediately upon completion of any term of incarceration.
  • Affirm that the English language be the only official language of the United States.
  • Condemn Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, and recognize that the phrase “reasonable suspicion” opens the possibility of racial profiling.
  • All persons residing in the United States deserve equal protection under the law regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and national origin.
  • Support the restoration of medical and other benefits to legal immigrants on the basis of equal protection of the laws.
  • Immigrant populations should be educated about and encouraged to participate in the political process.
  • Oppose the institutionalization of undocumented immigrants as a marked and permanent underclass and oppose the classification of illegal immigration as a criminal offense. Undocumented immigrants who have committed no criminal offense should not be subject to incarceration other than temporary detention.
  • Support a comprehensive immigration reform bill that promotes a more direct path toward citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
  • Support an expedited process for easy and early registration of undocumented residents. Once documented, they should be allowed to work and have equal access to services provided by law including the right to obtain an immigrant driver’s license.
  • Support the use of incentives for other countries to expand their economies in order to provide their economies in order to provide their citizens with work opportunities; we support labor rights that improve their standard of living and so make it unnecessary for their citizens to seek work in the United States.

Foreign policy

  • Fully support the United States winning the war on terrorism and furthermore support the brave men and women of our Armed Forces in defense of the United States of America.
  • Believe foreign terrorists are illegal enemy combatants who should not be treated like domestic criminals and should not be tried in civilian courts.
  • Decisions regarding withdrawal of American troops from foreign soil should be based on the national security interests of the United States and not political timetables.
  • Believe that keeping citizens safe from terrorism must not undermine international agreements affirming the fundamental rights of all human beings including the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International War Crimes Tribunal.
  • Support non-violent conflict resolution and foreign policies based on diplomatic engagement and strongly oppose preemptive military action, violence or threats as tools of our foreign policy.
  • Support expanding the current War Powers Act to preclude any type of invasion onto foreign soils without a formal declaration of war by Congress.
  • The “War on Terror” is not a war. Terrorists are criminals to be dealt with by international systems of criminal justice.
  • Support worldwide nuclear non-proliferation.
  • Support a Department of Peace, which focuses energy and resources toward working with communities on a global level to establish peace and unity.
  • Call for the immediate, safe and responsible withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • In recognition of their service to our country, we support our military and veterans and advocate competitive pay for personnel in our armed forces and supplying our troops with the equipment needed to protect them when put in harm’s way. We call for protecting and maximizing benefits to veterans’ affairs hospitals and military hospitals. We support rescinding the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. We oppose the privatization of the military.

Abortion, Definition of Life and Stem Cells

  • Believe life begins at conception and is deserving of legal protection from conception until natural death.
  • Support overturning Roe v. Wade.
  • Believe pregnancy, abortion, and birth control are personal private matters not subject to government regulation or interference.
  • Oppose the use of public funds for destructive embryonic stem-cell research.
  • Oppose the use of public funds for abortions.
  • Support a woman’s right to choose and strongly oppose the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Reproductive choice is a private matter between a woman and her doctor. It is not the province of any other person, private entity, or their government. Oppose any legislation or initiative that would restrict a woman’s right of access to abortion. Such restriction is a violation of privacy. The right of privacy should not be abridged by a requirement for notification or consent from spouse, parents or guardians. No female should be forced to undergo an abortion against her will.
  • Oppose back door or deceptive tactics to undermine Roe v. Wade such as the attempt to legally redefine a fertilized egg as a “person” through the “Recognition of Life” amendment to the Colorado Constitution.
  • Support federally funded research and investigation involving stem cells for the purpose of seeking treatments and cures for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, diseases involving the nervous system and renal failure.

Marriage

  • Support marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
  • Support civil unions for all couples with all the benefits, protections and responsibilities of married spouses; and urge the defeat of the Federal
  • Marriage Amendment and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Urge our elected representatives at all levels to vigorously oppose legislation or ballot initiatives that would narrow the definition of marriage to a partnership between two persons of opposite genders thus excluding other committed, but non-traditional relationships.

Taxation and Fiscal Policy

  • Support making the 2003 federal tax rate cuts, scheduled to expire in 2011, permanent.
  • Support the elimination of federal and state death taxes.
  • Oppose any attempt to repeal or modify the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and condemn the circumvention of TABOR sanctioned by the Colorado Supreme Court and exploited by the Democrat-controlled legislature.
  • TABOR should be supported and strengthened and the judicial “fee bypass rulings” should be reversed so that no tax masquerades as a fee.
  • Support reducing the size and scope of government at all levels by limiting and reducing taxes, regulation, and government spending.
  • Support the removal of the Social Security fund from the general budget so the federal government cannot spend Social Security contributions for anything other than Social Security benefits.
  • Oppose all government bailouts.
  • Believe the economy must meet the basic needs of all Americans for housing, food, healthcare, education, energy, transportation and infrastructure, essential public services such as police, fire legislative, as well as socially necessary public spaces and programs such as parks, open space, recreation facilities, libraries, arts and cultural programs.
  • Democrats are realists who know essential services require tax funding. Given that our middle class is shrinking and an inefficient tax system is causing widening economic disparity between the ultra wealthy and wage earners, we support a more progressive tax system that would address that widening disparity. Progressive taxation would also eliminate tax cuts and tax avoidance and evasion schemes for the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations, and would necessarily reject consideration of a flat tax (since it disproportionately favors the very wealthy).
  • Support legislation that, for all compensation packages that are more than 40 times the average compensation package of an employee, taxes the difference in compensation as windfall income at a higher marginal rate.
  • Believe that the estate tax is the only significant federal tax on accumulated wealth and is an essential part of a fair tax system and must be preserved.
  • Support an economic stimulus package that rebuilds our infrastructure and creates jobs (similar to the HRA of the 1930s), with policies strengthening the U.S. dollar and reducing interest rates on home mortgages.
  • Recommend increased funding and staff for the Internal Revenue Service to allow for collection of unpaid taxes and to increase the frequency of corporate auditing.
  • While appreciative of the efforts thus far to properly regulate pay day loans we continue to believe our financial institutions have acted immorally in their treatment of consumers in perpetuating a cycle of debt at usury levels. In order to restore order and a sense of fairness in the treatment of consumers lending, the “free market” demands regulation to curb these abuses. Support legislation to set a hard cap on (annual) payday lending rates of 15 percent.
  • Request simplification of the tax code and revocation of the TABOR amendment. The financial crisis in Colorado was precipitated by the interaction of the TABOR amendment, the Gallagher Amendment and Amendment 23 and needs to be addressed by constitutional reform.
  • Support repeal of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights provisions of the Colorado State Constitution, which have resulted in unacceptable curtailing of state services, especially the human services safety net.
  • Oppose passage of Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 in the November 2010, election in order to guarantee the future of Colorado and its citizens.
  • Support reintroduction of the Colorado Earned Income Tax Credit and other measures to ensure a living wage and to mitigate the “cliff effect”, which occurs when a small increase in income leads to termination of a work-support benefit.
Democrats are realists who know essential services require tax funding. Given that our middle class is shrinking and an inefficient tax system is causing widening economic disparity between the ultra wealthy and wage earners, we support a more progressive tax system that would address that widening disparity.

Government and Ethics

  • All state and federal employees, including Congress and the judiciary, shall be subject to the same laws and limitations, and receive only the same benefits as other citizens.
  • The United States Constitution should be amended to impose term limits for all members of Congress.
  • Each bill brought before Congress or the Colorado General Assembly shall be limited to only one subject. Colorado Republicans strongly advocate a “NO” vote on the retention of Colorado Supreme Court Justices Mary Mullarkey, Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, and Nancy Rice, in order to restore accountability to the Colorado Supreme Court.
  • Expect that our elected officials at every level of government be committed to the highest standards of behavior, personal integrity, transparency and open government, with substantial consequences for failure to do so.

Federal Budget

  • Support a balanced federal budget.
  • The practice of inserting earmarks into the federal budget should be eliminated.
  • Support granting the President of the United States line item veto authority over the federal budget.
  • Support the removal of the Social Security fund from the general budget so the federal government cannot spend Social Security contributions for anything other than Social Security benefits.
  • Support a return to federal fiscal responsibility and a strong monetary policy, which will reduce the national debt, restore our country’s long-term financial stability and safeguard our children’s future.

Education

  • Support the primary right of parents to direct the education of their children including home schooling, charter schools, vouchers, and tuition tax credits.
  • The federal Department of Education should be abolished and all control of education be returned to the States.
  • Support stable education funding that will bring Colorado up to the national funding average. Call on the Legislature to maximize education funding through reexamination of state funding limits; funds from severance tax increases; and creative uses of, and innovative ways to increase, the revenues generated by the School Trust Lands (such as wind farms), while also protecting the environment.
  • Call for the repeal of TABOR and an increase in funding above and beyond Amendment 23, which at a minimum should remain in place with guaranteed annual funding increases to meet the state’s long-term public education needs. We support efforts to build an adequate tax base for quality public education.
  • Oppose vouchers and all unfunded mandates
  • Oppose charter schools when they undermine the diversity of our neighborhood schools and encourage socio-economic division.
  • Support a full review and revamping of the Colorado Student Accountability System (CSAP).
  • Believe that higher education must be funded at a level that allows it to maintain excellence in its mission and that academic integrity and freedom of expression for college students, faculty and administration is essential for promoting democracy.
  • Recommend that the State of Colorado move toward providing eight semesters of tuition-free public post-secondary education to all eligible Colorado residents who meet necessary admission requirements.

Labor

  • Colorado should prohibit all state and local governments from deducting membership dues or political contributions from paychecks.
  • No person should be required, as a condition of employment, to be a member of a labor union or to pay any dues, fees, or assessments to a labor union.
  • Opposed to Card Check. Secret ballots should be required for any vote by employees to organize into a labor union.
  • Governor Ritter’s Executive Order granting state government workers the right to unionize should be immediately rescinded.
  • Anyone who does a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay with adequate benefits, rights to organize and a safe working environment.
  • Support the Employee Free Choice Act, including card check and employer neutrality.
  • Oppose the “Right to Work” legislation.
  • Oppose any measure that limits public employees’ right to participate in a labor union including any measure that limits the deduction of dues and political contributions from employee paychecks.
  • Support passage of a Labor Rights Amendment to the Colorado Constitution which would restore the right of workers to belong to a labor union of their own choosing, participate in democratic union elections and engage in collective bargaining when voted upon by a majority of employees in their workplace. The amendment would also provide penalties against employers who attempt to prohibit or infringe upon workers exercising those rights.

Energy

  • Support comprehensive local, state, and federal policies to expeditiously develop all energy resources available to the United States in order to end our dependence on foreign energy sources.
  • Oppose levying special or punitive taxes in an effort to reduce energy consumption.
  • Believe that conservation, the use of renewable energy, and the elimination of energy waste are significant components of responsible energy policy and key to addressing global climate change.
  • Call on the Colorado Legislature and the Congress of the United States to delay the leasing of any further federal lands for oil shale and natural gas development until environmental concerns have been satisfactorily reviewed and resolved.
  • Support repeal of the severance tax exemption for resources extracted from Colorado lands.
  • Development and use of renewable energy sources and technologies and conservation of energy is essential to achieving lasting national security and energy independence. The transition to this new energy economy will require increased use of natural gas. We insist that all energy exploration in Colorado must be undertaken with the utmost regard for the continued protection of our health, our water, our air and with minimal environmental impact on the traditional uses of public lands and waterways.

Elections, Campaign and Media Reform

  • Support mandatory proof-of-citizenship when any person registers to vote in Colorado. Support a requirement that every person must present a United States, state, or local government-issued photo identification card before being allowed to vote.
  • Oppose public funding, directly or indirectly, to any organization participating in voter registration drives.
  • Oppose implementation of “net neutrality” and revival of the “Fairness Doctrine” in any form with respect to the Internet, television, radio, or other publicly available media.
  • Believe trustworthy elections are a cornerstone of democracy. To ensure the effective functioning of our democratic government, we advocate effective campaign reform, public access to the full spectrum of political opinion, full voter registration and accuracy of voting with verification.
  • To ensure better representation and more fair elections, we support rank choice voting in which voters have one vote, but can rank candidates in order of preference.
  • Participation in the election process and in voting must be assured for all eligible individuals with special care to ensure that previously disenfranchised or discriminated groups (including minority groups, persons with disabilities, felons who have completed their sentences, homeless persons, etc.) have full access to the election process.
  • Support voter registration that is convenient for voters and even simpler to renew and that produces complete, accurate, valid and verifiable lists of citizens who are eligible to vote.
  • Should elect the President of the U.S. by popular vote, not through the Electoral College.
  • Freedom of speech and press are the most vital of our constitutional rights in a democratic society. Given the concentration of our media in fewer partisan hands, we support increased support for independent, unbiased, investigative reporting in order to ensure an informed public.
  • Support public financing of election campaigns.

Environment

  • Support prudent, science-based environmental policies and oppose climate-change hysteria.
  • Government should make no effort to impose Cap and Trade legislation.
  • Support conserving Colorado water through the development and expansion of water storage projects to supply the needs of Colorado municipalities, industry, and agriculture.
  • Believe a clean, healthy global environment is vital for today and for the future. Global climate change poses one of the greatest challenges humanity has faced. We call for the preservation and strict enforcement of critical environmental protection and the introduction of science-based sustainable environmental policies include consideration of alternative modes of transportation and energy efficiency, production of clean renewable energy, conservation of resources through reduced consumption and recycling, and reduction of our carbon footprint. We will act to ensure clean air and water today and for future generations.
  • Resolve to arrest global warming through legislation promoting carbon neutrality.
  • Resolve to make climate change legislation a major priority. The ultimate goal should be to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80-90 percent by 2050 starting this year and ultimately reducing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere to no more than 350 ppm. The legislation should also contain concrete ways to stimulate “green jobs” creation, rapid switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and energy conservation efficiency.
  • The overarching and unprecedented challenges of both global warming and “peak oil” necessitate investment in domestically produced and sustainable energy sources, the upgrading of the energy grid and the repair and replacement of other critical massive jobs program that would put America back to work and would also address these critical challenges for our time.
  • Global climate change, pollution and resulting environmental problems may be the biggest crises humankind has ever faced. We believe the U.S. must deal with these urgent issues immediately and pursue polices of rational and sustainable use of resources that maintain ecosystem integrity, species preservation including humans and the overall health of the planet.

Jobs and Economy

  • Support reduction of government regulation and support all private and public efforts to create and expand private sector jobs.
  • Believe that the current economic crisis, trade deficit and the upwards redistribution of our nations’ wealth over the last 10 years demand that we re-think our financial regulations, taxation, jobs programs, trade treaties, and priorities for the spending of dwindling taxpayer dollars.

Limiting Government

  • The 10th Amendment should be strictly observed as written in order to limit federal government actions only to those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution.
  • Support, defend, and enforce the Constitutions of the United States and Colorado as written.
  • Oppose government taking of private property for the benefit of private individuals, private entities or for government revenue enhancement.

Other Republican Platforms

  • Support the 2nd Amendment’s fundamental right of individuals to keep and bear arms.
  • Support retaining the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Support tort reform such as limiting non-economic and punitive damages and product and professional liability.

Growth

  • We believe that preserving the diversity and quality of life in Colorado’s communities is best served through managed growth, land conservation, thoughtful zoning regulations, policies of cooperation on growth planning within the region, and public involvement in all phases of land use planning. We support consideration of strategic water and transportation development in all planning decisions. We maintain that any development should pay its own way fully reflecting all costs and infrastructure demands. We support the availability of affordable housing.

Human and Civil Rights

  • Every human being has the right to be treated with dignity and all persons residing in the United States deserve equal protection under the law regardless of their race, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin or age.

Criminal Justice

  • We insist that our criminal justice system have the capacity to solve crimes, prosecute dangerous individuals and incarcerate criminals when necessary to protect our communities. We seek implementation of government policy to support the right of citizens to feel safe and secure in their homes, neighborhoods and communities. We believe that one of the primary responsibilities of state and local government is to provide for adequately funded, staffed and trained public safety resources (police, fire and EMS) to respond to emergencies and prevent crime and disorder.

Corporate Personhood

  • One of the gravest threats ever to free and fair elections and therefore to the core of our Republic comes to us via the United States Supreme Court. The Court, led by Bush-appointee Chief Justice John Roberts, actively overturned decades of prior law in concluding that corporations have the same free speech rights as actual people. We, the real people, know that money is not speech and corporations are not people. The Court’s stunningly activist ruling this year increases the likelihood that candidates will be bought and paid for. The decision threatens our democratic process by giving unlimited funding-capabilities to moneyed corporate interests. This decision will likely further divide us into a society of haves and have-nots and take us further away from the United States that the Founders fought for. To protect our rights as living persons, we seek an immediate legislative remedy and if necessary, an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Science and Technology

  • We believe in the power of the human mind to gain understanding of the world around us to solve problems facing humanity. To that end, we support funding research and education in scientists, appointing qualified scientist to panels without regard to political or religious beliefs and allowing scientist to publish their results without political interference.