Make Schools “Compete” With Prisons, Says Walker Stapleton

From the Cañon City Daily Record, a campaign stop by gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis and treasurer candidate Walker Stapleton.

Gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis made a stop in Cañon City Saturday to speak to Fremont County Republicans about his goals if he is elected as governor in November.

Also speaking at Republican headquarters Saturday was State Treasurer candidate Walker Stapleton.

“Generally, I’m pretty optimistic about the future, but the future is the future,” McInnis said, as he expressed his concerns about the current administration’s handling of the economy. “This is the worst situation we’ve been in since the (Great Depression).”

…Stapleton said he would help open CSP II by advocating repealing Amendment 23, which requires a ratcheting up of education funding each year, thus allowing the Department of Corrections to compete for funding on a more level playing field.

“I think that all state programs are going to have to compete for limited funds,” he said. “It’s time education competes for funds.” [Pols emphasis]

He said the last thing anyone wants is to release offenders.

“We have to stop automatic ratcheting,” he said. “I will allow prisons to compete and ultimately be funded by precious tax money.”

We suppose that saying education should be on a “level playing field” with prisons might not get you run out of town on a rail in the heart of Colorado’s prison industry, Cañon City. It really is about the only place in the state you could get away with saying, in effect, that schools should get less money so prisons can get more. Very few politicians, certainly not the growing number who support sentencing reform for fiscal reasons, will want to touch that–even if they don’t like Amendment 23. We’re curious to hear what McInnis thinks of Stapleton’s choice of words.

And by the time that message, “cut schools, open more prisons,” reaches your average Jefferson County soccer mom? Yeah, we would not want to be Walker Stapleton.


17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Tazistan JenTazistan Jen says:

    You can’t say he is hiding his true opinions.  The voters will have a clear choice in November if he’s the R nominee.

  2. Ralphie says:

    The money goes to what’s more popular in the marketplace.

    “Hey kid–where would you rather be?  Homeroom or death row?”

    I bet schools win.

    Then again, unless we do away with mandatory minimum sentences, maybe not.

  3. DevilishlyModerate says:

    One in every hundred Americans is now locked behind bars. As the prison population grows faster than the government can build prisons, private companies see an opportunity for profit. Furthermore, with less monies going to education, prison population is destined to increase which means more money for the corporate prisons such as Corrections Corporation of America. Which then gives them more lobbying power to add new laws and to maintain marijuana laws, thus increasing prison populations even more.

    Then the icing on the cake, McInnis is likely hoping this will further his position on eliminating public education.

    Sure would be interesting if McInnis received any monies connected to Corrections Corporation of America.  

  4. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    That’s two posts in two days about the frontrunner for treasurer, and our resident treasurer candidate has yet to speak up.

    I can see why Hasan would not want to attack Stapleton on his ties to Bush, since his own family has pretty high connections in the GOP, but this crap about prisons being more important than schools is a wide open shot for Hasan to put the “compassionate” back in “conservative.”

    Also, are McInnis and George Walker Bush Stapleton campaigning together? What’s up with that?

  5. Danny the Red (hair)Danny the Red (hair) says:

    If you want to create more “customers” (what the private prison industry calls convicts) you need to expand the market by increasing the drop out rate, passing mandatory minimums, and limiting drug treatment/vocational education.

    From a business perspective cutting schools means more prisons.

  6. observe says:

    The original post mentions Jefferson County Soccer moms and their opinion on school funding.

    For what it’s worth, the last Jefferson County School District Mill Levy increase ballot proposal did NOT pass.

    I’m not trying to get into the prisons vs. school debate. But where were the soccer Moms in November 2008?

  7. The realistThe realist says:

    He said he would focus on shoring up the state pension system and that he would be an activist on PERA’s board.

    “It’s time, unfortunately, that everyone that benefits from PERA suffers,” he said.

    I can understand emphasizing the importance of prisons in a prison town, but bashing PERA retirees in a community full of PERA retirees — maybe not so wise.

  8. Gray in Mountains says:

    to make schools compete with prisons? Stapleton has wandered away from the Treasurer’s responsibility. For that matter when Hasan promotes TABOR he does the same. The Treasurer’s job is to take proper care of state funds, to invest them profitably for the state in a lawful manner.

  9. FREMONTDEM says:

    Once again, limited understanding of this region is evident among Statewide candidates who stump here.  If you will look at the picture that accompanies the article. You will see that two prominent Republicans on the stump attracted a whooping crowd of 15 people.  The lunatic fringe of the Right wing.  Responsible Democrats and Republicans are touting the need to responsibly reintegrate prisoners into society.  Check out the groundbreaking actions of Pueblo Community College (Fremont Campus) in educating the incarcerated, providing GEDs to those who end up here and will return to your communities.  Note that in the past two elections, Fremont County (Canon City is the county seat) voters have voted to increase funding to all three of our school districts while at the same time denying funds to the Sheriff to increase his efforts to incarcerate more people.  Get rid of your tired stereotypes about this prison community and work to solve real problems in your communities; send us fewer prisoners and we will continue to focus on rehabilitating those that you do send.  If you rely on the Lehman Corporation’s (Longmont based) Daily Record then you will remain misinformed.  As far as private prisons are concerned: who do you think is leading the fight against them? Our representatives – Buffie MacFadyen (D), and Tom Massey (R)Poncha Springs.

    P.S. Grow a pair and include a CD-5 line.

  10. FREMONTDEM says:

    The number of People completely disgusted with Lamborn. (D)99.9% ^ (R)64% ^

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