Cleve Tidwell speech and Caucus trainging event

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While his tonic and linguistic accents may remind one of Jimmy Carter, philosophically he is far from it. Cleve Tidwell is just one of the candidates running for U.S. Senate in Colorado. On January 5, 2010, he arrived at meet & greet session with likely voters. He is not a politician by trade. He was in the Marines and worked in the corporate world for 20yrs. He said he was motivated to run for office because of the direction he saw the Obama administration going in terms of domestic/foreign policy. “Obama was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Because of him, we are all sitting here”, he said. What he meant was that because of the Obama administrations policies and such, which is what motivated him to take action and run for office and people were motivated to get involved in the process. “I can’t go through the rest of my life and watch this country turn to socialism.”   To demonstrate this point, in one of the photographs you see him holding up a paper with the Communist Manifesto written on it.

On the subject of corruption, he said, that people ask him, “How do you know you are not going to fall into corruption in Washington?” His answer to that is “I don’t have any ties in Washington. I don’t want any” making the case to the voters that he does is not a big fan of lobbyists or corruption. He believes that lobbyists are part of the problem in Washington, not the solution. “I don’t want any lobbyist offering me money to try to get my vote because I will throw them out of my office” if they do offer him money for legislative favors of some sort. ““It might be legal, but it is corruption. If you’re in business and I come and pay you to do a special deal for someone, that is corrutoption, I don’t buy it, I don’t like it, and I won’t stand for it.” He does not like the idea of a lobbyist telling him what to do. “It’s the people of Colorado telling me what to do. That’s my lobbyist.” The crowd erupted in applause upon hearing that.

With respect to fiscal responsibility, he said he has been running his campaign in a fiscally conservative fashion “on purpose.” He wants to show that he can run his senatorial office the same way in a financial context that he can run his campaign. He does not seem to like the fact that 85 percent of the money people running for office spend there money on is advertising. He said no one on his staff gets paid. “I did not send a fund raising letter out for the 1st 7 months of my campaign” he admitted to the packed audience.  He championed a pay as you go financial policy. This is the fiscal approach he takes to his campaign and one he says he would like to adopt if elected.

On immigration policy, he is opposed to amnesty. “I am against amnesty. Period. He goes onto say “immigration has been good for our country. No doubt.” He is for legal immigration. “We need to enforce the laws of this country” with respect to immigration policy, he said. He also found it amusing that most of the people in Congress are attorneys and don’t assist in enforcing the laws. He does not have a problem with building a fence along the Mexican border. “A wall is not a wall like the Berlin Wall” he said. The purpose of a fence or a wall would be to try to enforce the “unenforceable areas” of the southern border in an effort to keep illegal aliens out. He has no problem with letting people apply for citizenship legally.

When asked how he feels about English being the official language of the U.S., his response was “I think it should be recognized as the language of our country. I think it’s important because you help people assimilate better” culturally and in terms of communication.

With respect to small business regulations, he said “government is not going to create jobs, but government can put us in a position where we would create jobs.” He is in favor of less regulation on small business so they can thrive. He likes the idea of tax incentives.

Imminently after Mr. Tidwell’s session with likely voters came to an end, the caucus training segment of this event started. And while the sausage making analogy is often referred to when discussing how legislation is made, with respect to electoral politics, it can be used to describe the caucus process. One source described a caucus as follows:  “Caucus training explains how you can go to your neighborhood precinct caucus on March 16 and either try to become a delegate for the Republican Party, who will then go on to bigger more involved caucuses and vote for specific candidates to get on the primary ticket.  Or if you don’t want to get that involved, you can just go to your neighborhood precinct caucus to vote for someone specific to become a delegate.  Either way you should definitely participate.”

Caucuses are normally held in local precincts. Any registered Democrat or Republican activist can participate in their respective caucuses. The people at the caucus elect delegates to go to the county conventions, who in turn elect delegates to go to state conventions, who in turn elect delegates to go to the national convention. You cannot be a delegate if you do not go to the caucus.

At this particular event, they stressed the importance of attending the caucus in an effort to get the desired candidates into elected office. Each month, district captains hold a meeting.

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