The Mountain Mail (Salida)
Monday, May 14, 2007

If Republicans want to win the House back, they need to hold fast to Republican ideals and fight corruption within the party.

Former Colorado Senate Majority Leader Mark Hillman made the remarks Saturday night during the Chaffee County Republicans annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

State and local elected officials present at the annual function included Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, district attorney Molly Chilson, State Rep. Tom Massey and Salida councilwoman Nancy McAninch.

Hillman, as keynote speaker, said Republicans need to "stop acting like a watered down version of some other party. We lost because we tried to be all things to all people.

"We tried to offend no one. We need to stick to our guns, literally and figuratively, so to speak. When voters can’t tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans, Republicans lose."

He said, "Our Republican leaders need to be smart and principled. The mandates of 2000 and 2004 led to complacency and unconscionable corruption. We as Republicans forgot our mission."

Referring to the scandals of disgraced Reps. Tom Foley and Randy Duke Cunningham, Hillman said, "These so-called leaders obliterated the public’s confidence."

Hillman said accomplishments of the Bush administration include broad-based tax cuts that stimulated the economy, approval of two new supreme court justices and a national security strategy that "has taken the fight to the terrorists and has so far prevented another attack on U.S. soil."

Hillman commended the Chaffee County Republican Committee for recognizing members of the local community for outstanding volunteer service. He said he hoped this sense of responsibility would be an example to other districts in Colorado.

"You are recognizing the ability of the individual," he said, "recognizing that we don’t have to rely on government to perform all functions."

Central Committee secretary Bev Scanga presented certificates to Bonnie McDonald, Cheryl Walker, Claude Sanchez, Gordon Lacey, Ron Dobson and Barbara McAllistar for service in the local communities.

Also speaking was U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn of the 5th Congressional District.

A first term Congressman, Lamborn said, "It looks a little bleak in Denver and Washington for Republicans, but Democrats are making mistakes. We’re going to take back Denver and take back Washington."

While he works in a "bi-partisan fashion" on several issues, Lamborn said he is fighting the "liberal anti-life or pro-abortion bills. We have to be vigilant and shoot these things down."

Lamborn voted against the Emergency War Supplement Bill proposed by Democrats and said he will vote against it again when it is re-submitted.

"Democrats don’t understand what the stakes are," he said. "They treat the troops like they are children asking for allowance. Democrats don’t care or understand what would happen if we withdrew from Iraq."

Earlier in the evening, Air Force Maj. Gen. Bentley Rayburn, retired, hosted a viewing of "Obsession – Radical Islam’s War Against the West." The film was a follow-up to the presentation last week by Egyptian author Nonie Darwish, who spoke about growing dangers of radical Islam.

"We forget the threat we’re under," Rayburn said. "We live in a very comfortable society. We have short attention spans. These folks don’t."