Durango Herald - Tipton Looks to Help GOP Find its Way
August 12, 2006 By Dale Rodebaugh Herald Staff Writer
Eight years after a rumor that he was interested in a state Senate seat turned out to be just a rumor, Cortez businessman Scott Tipton has launched a campaign for a seat in Congress - the one held by 3rd Congressional District U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa.
In a 90-minute talk Friday with The Durango Herald editorial board, Tipton, a 49-year-old Republican and owner of Mesa Verde Pottery, said he wants to return some "common sense" to Washington, D.C. Tipton was accompanied by three-term U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Littleton, who faces re-election himself in November. Tancredo made his endorsement of Tipton on Thursday at a rally in Grand Junction.
"Some Republicans seem to have lost their way," Tipton said. "We've forgotten that we're the party of smaller government, lower taxes and individual responsibility. We've strayed in some areas, but I want to return to our values."
Tancredo came to Southwest Colorado to support Tipton because they share similar views.
Tipton, who earned a degree in political science at Fort Lewis College, is a former GOP Central Committee chairman in Montezuma County. He headed George W. Bush's presidential campaign in Montezuma County in 1999 and twice ran regional campaigns for President Reagan in the 1980s.
Among the points made Friday by Tipton:
Immigration reform is long overdue and the nation's borders must be sealed for three reasons - the threat of terrorism, the flow of illegal drugs and the need to create shared values.
"I'm not saying that people aren't welcome to come here," Tipton said. "But they have to come legally."
Tax reform is urgent. Tipton would consider a national sales tax that would make the tax burden proportionate to consumption.
"It's not a perfect answer," Tipton said. "It would eliminate the IRS because all taxes would be collected at the register. We've added 12,000 pages to the tax code but even the IRS isn't able to explain it. It doesn't need to be brain surgery, but we're inflicting pain on people."
The Social Security system must be overhauled, but Tipton wants to look at all the options.
"I'll fight to get people who are owed Social Security all they have coming, but we have an obligation to our children and our grandchildren," Tipton said. "We have to be willing to discuss issues and put privatization on the table.
"I don't know if that is the answer, but we won't get there from here unless we talk about it."
There is no easy solution to the Iraq war.
"It's the $64,000 question," Tipton said. "We can't be there in perpetuity. We can't prop them up forever because they'd become dependent on us, but we can't pull out tomorrow."
Tipton suggested sectioning off Iraq and making that nation responsible for a territory once it has been brought under control.
"Then we'd move on to the next quadrant," Tipton said. "We'd ratchet up the responsibility of Iraq little by little."
Tipton said Salazar's inconsistency on a number of issues facing Congress makes him vulnerable. Tipton said his opponent has taken contradictory stands on immigration, fiscal responsibility and energy self-sufficiency.
"We're enthused with the public response we've received so far," Tipton said. "If we keep our head down, good things will happen. We're just looking for the common-sense approach."