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December 07, 2006 08:17 PM UTC

Q&A With Marc Holtzman

  • by: Colorado Pols

Colorado Pols caught up with former Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman and got his thoughts on whether he’ll run for the U.S. Senate, who he would support for the office, and how he might have defeated Bill Ritter in the race for governor.

Click below to read the interview…

What are you doing these days?

I’m settling into married life and really enjoying it. I’m getting back into investment banking, which keeps me traveling about one-third to one-half of my time. I’m also helping to rebuild the Republican Party.

What does the Republican Party need to do, in your opinion, in order to rebuild?

Ronald Reagan used to say that a party is a group found by common ideals and principles. I think the party has lost its way.

We need an optimistic vision. Lower taxes; smaller, more manageable government; fairness in issues like immigration; economic growth policies that make Colorado a real leader.

What do you mean when you say “fairness in issues like immigration?”

I think legal immigration is a good thing, and I’d like to see the U.S. increase the number of illegal immigrants admitted into the country. We now admit about 1.7 million people each year, and I think we could absorb almost 3 million.

I have no problem with a legitimate guest worker program. In a state like Colorado, there is too big of a burden on our society and economy without other sources of labor. I’d like to see existing laws enforced by the federal government. We need to help Mexico build their economy. Our immigration policy should seek to unite, not divide.

Switching gears a little, do you have any regrets from your gubernatorial campaign?

If somebody told me that I’d learn as much as I did, I would have thought it wasn’t possible. When you run for statewide office, you develop a greater empathy and understanding of people’s hopes and dreams.

But looking back, if I spent less time on fundraising and more time meeting with Republican Party leaders, it would have easily made a big grassroots difference at the state assembly.

Do you think you would have won in a primary against Bob Beauprez?

My campaign really derailed on a technicality. There’s no doubt I would have won the nomination [in August], but we’ll never know.

Why do you say that?

I think I would have won because I was articulating a clear message of how government needs to live within its means, along with market reforms to education and my steadfast opposition to Referenda C&D. I had an economic vision, and I think all of these things would have mattered.

Basically, I stood for an agenda that was bold and clear. [Beauprez] seemed to stand for pastel shades.

How do you respond to the claims that you cost Beauprez the governor’s race?

There’s no basis to that whatsoever. A primary can often be a positive experience if it is used to sharpen skill and focus. The week I exited the race, both Rasmussen and Zogby published polls that showed Beauprez within the margin of error. Even in a difficult year, he still had a seven-point voter registration advantage.

Other than a brief $10,000 radio buy in late October 2005, we didn’t do any negative electronic media aimed at Beauprez – it was all positive about me. I could see an argument if we spent millions of dollars on the air going negative, but that was not the case.

And in spite of his lack of desire to have me involved, I did try to reach out and extend a hand.

What would you have done different as a candidate that might have enabled you to beat Bill Ritter?

I would have emerged from a primary as the victories underdog, the beneficiary of millions of dollars of media attention. From day one, post primary, I would have fought relentlessly to define Bill Ritter and his party as taxers and spenders – using examples of spending the legislature tried to enact but Bill Owens vetoed – and as weak in enforcing tough fair immigration laws. There was plenty of ammunition which was never touched.

I would also have much more clearly articulated a positive, optimistic and detailed message and vision about what a Holtzman Administration would have meant to the economic future of Colorado. In short, I would have attempted to define Ritter much earlier and stay on offense.

You talk about rebuilding the party, and that includes backing Lola Spradley – your former running mate – as state party chair. Why would this be a good role for her?

Lola Spradley would be an outstanding chair and is the kind of voice we need for articulating a vision. Scott McInnis shares my view and is also supporting her. The chair is a particularly important post now that we are out of power, because the chair is the face of the party.

What’s next for you? Will you run for the U.S. Senate in 2008?


I’ve always been more interested in executive leadership. Drew Lewis, the former U.S. Transportation Secretary and a mentor of mine, once said that he would rather run his own gas station than be part of a committee of 100 to rule the world. That’s pretty much how I feel.

If Sen. Wayne Allard decides not to run for re-election, who would you like to see on the Republican ticket?

I believe Scott McInnis would make an outstanding candidate. He has the experience, vision and temperament to be an outstanding senate candidate.

Are you going to run again for public office?

I wouldn’t rule it out. I’d like to serve if the opportunity would present itself. It all depends on the political and economic environment at the time and how the present leaders are performing.


49 thoughts on “Q&A With Marc Holtzman

  1. I suppored Beauprez but Holtzman just articulated more in his ten minutes of writing this Q&A than Beauprez did in his entire campaign.  I don’t know if he could have won or not but he would have made a great run.

      1.   As a center-left, unaffiliated voter who leans Democratic, I wasn’t a big fan of either Both Ways or the Little Fella, but I had a gut feeling of respect for Holtzman last spring for having the balls to say what he thought and then face the music. 
          After reading this interview, he answered the questions clearly and intelligently. 
          I don’t think he would defeated Ritter but Holtzman probably would have run a closer race, and he definitely would have raised the caliber of the debate from plea bargains, a fatal African traffic accident, Beastiality Rowland, and the abortion rate in the African-American community. 
          Hell, Holtzy even knew which end of the barnyard animal to feature in his commercial, unless B.W.B.

        1. I’ve heard both Holtzman and Beauprez many many times on the campaign trail; Holtz would give me goosebumps while BWB would offend me with his arrogance. 

    1. Some of you people must be independantly wealthy. How can you say “except for the lower taxes bit” in such a way as to say that wanting lower taxes is unintelligent?
      I am flabbergasted when people say that. The only rational that I can think of for anyone to say such a thing is they are wealthy, a glutton for punishment, or they assume that the higher taxes will simply be paid by others.
      Otherwise the intelligent to thing to say in my mind is to say “taxes should be set at a reasonable rate” (PERIOD).
      If you still say taxes just flat need to be higher just as a principle, maybe you and everyone else that thinks so can simply donate more money to the deep dark hole in Denver and D.C.? What is stopping you?
      I for one think I pay way more than I should for what I get in return.
      And since I do not want this country to become a nanny state, I think taxes should at worst stay where they are. At best go down.
      Explain why this is bad reasoning……..

      1. It seems to me, that on the state level, the revenue generated by our taxes is just covering the fixed expenses of education (including higher ed), roads, police, fire, and prisons.  As we saw before, Ref C passed, lowering state taxes was going to drastically reduce our ability to have public state colleges.

        On a national level, as soon as Bush leaves office, we will not have the 8-10 billion spent per month in Iraq. 

        Why are you not outraged by that?

      2. …”taxes should be set at a reasonable rate”.  Much better than I like “lower taxes”.

        The difference between us isn’t so great.  You see a lesser role for government than I do.  I don’t see as great a role for government as some “traditional” liberals might, and they in turn don’t see as much a need as Socialists and, further along the charts, Communists.  You probably want more goverment than would a died-in-the-wool Randroid.

        From my POV, the Colorado State Government has been trimming expenditures relative to inflation + population growth since 1993.  We have trimmed so much by now that most of the school districts have opted out of the formula that gave us that trimming, and the voters have approved a statewide change in that formula for the same reason.

        You want more cuts; we challenge you to figure out just where those cuts should be made.  We as liberals/progressives think that distributing both the risks and the opportunities of a society will affect the whole in a positive manner, and that government has a role in creating a vision for its citizenry.  Within reason, I think this is the best way for society to direct its government to act; that requires a certain amount of funding, and I think we’re close to or below that optimal amount of funding.

        So, yes, “except for the lower taxes bit” I think Holtzman’s got some good goals.

      3. But that is not the Republican mantra. They want “lower taxes” all the time.  At what point are taxes low enough? When we cannot pay for education of our children, funding for transportion needs, or all other state projects? 

        What is it about Republicans that you can’t have a functioning state where you cut the legs from underneath it?

        1. A la Grover Norquist.

          A disfunctional government means that the powerful (rich)run roughshod over the average and the powerless (middle class and poor.)  Governmetn is the only barrier against Robber Barons and their descedndents.  It means no, or little, or poor education. 

          Taxes are investment, not burdern.  I don’t like paying taxes any more than the next guy, but I seem to have some perverted sense of social obligation that I know that I must fulfill.

      4. I just realize that if you want state services (schools, roads) you have to pay for them.  It was clear to me that before C passed we weren’t even maintaining our basic infrastructure.

        People who want “lower taxes” need to explain where they are going to get the revenue, or else what they are going to cut.  Colorado doesn’t have the luxury of running huge deficits so that we can pretend (for a while) that services are free.

        1. Gecko,

          Which areas of the state government would you reduce funding:  education, higher ed, roads, police, fire, prisons, courts, mental health programs, free/reduced lunch, other?

          Or, how would you bring in revenue without raising taxes?

          1. with a kid here a few weeks ago. He suggested raising taxes to pay for him going to college. He said that the return on our money would be well worth it.
            I told him that I found it rather offensive that some people want ME to pay THEIR way through college. And I still do.
            If someone wants to go to college, like one of my three sons is doing now, they can get a job, take out a loan, borrow from relatives, whatever. But don’t ask me to pay their way.
            Nobody paid my way through life, and I sure as hell didn’t ask anyone to.

            So, one way to keep taxes at an even keel is to not raise them to pay for higher education. Higher education is available to anyone that wants it.

            PERA. What a huge drain on our state’s economy. Taxpayer funded retirement account. Must be freakin nice.
            Cry me a river about how little state employees make to justify their huge retirement payments. BS. When they can retire before they are 50, with GUARANTEED monthly payments, somebody is making out like fat rats. I tried to get on with the city and/or state many years ago. Same with the post office. Freakin near impossible. Nobody ever quits those jobs. Because they all know of the glorious retirement that awaits at our expense.

            So if PERA was revamped, it could help to keep taxes from going up.

            So my point is with a little creativity, our elected officials could streamline the state’s budget and taxes might even go down.

            Anybody that wants them to go up, just to make them go up, is an asshole.

            1. College grads, overall, pay back far more in taxes due to increased earnings over a lifetime.  The WWII GI Bill of Rights was, in the long term, a money maker for Uncle Sam.

              A number of nations provide free college to at least some of their citizens.  You may not like the concept, but it pays for itself, Gecko. 

              What is holy about providing any public education?  Why stop at grade 12?  Sixty years ago grade 8 was the normal end of education.  Why not 16?

              We might not want to fully subsidize English Lit majors or other crowded fields, but what about engineers, nurses, doctors, administrators, biologists, physicists? 

      5. Seriously, I’ve never been independently wealthy — or anything close — in my life.  The thing is, people recognize that when Republicans say “lower taxes”, they don’t mean lower taxes for people who work for a meager living.  There will always be new people to fool with that one, but it doesn’t tend to work so well after years of Republican government followed by people realizing they have less money to spend than they used to have.

        If the lower taxes idea really helped people, it wouldn’t have to be sold.  People would just notice how nice it is on their own.  That isn’t happening.  Doesn’t that make you think?

    2. MH was a poor candidate because he was caught telling some fibs, if not lies. I doubt that he would have beat BWB. He just doesn’t have the right personality, imho.

      Good interview.

      1. Another skeptic, aka Mike Coffman, get over it. You would have sucked as a gubernatorial candidate. The only real problem you have with Marc Holtzman is that he could raise money and you couldn’t, which forced you to tuck tail and run to Iraq, where the Marines put you in some far-off station because they knew you were incompetent and didn’t want you fucking up things worse than they already were. Have fun in the secretary of state’s office, if you are sworn in. You’ll always be a tier-two candidate, Mike. Always.

          1. Everybody knows Phoenix Rising is Ken Gordon. And haven’t you heard, Coffman and Gordon are going to work together. They like each other. As in like like each other. I wonder if Dan is jealous. Are you jealous, Dan? Are you afraid Ken will become Coffman’s new best boy friend?

            1. And since when is Coffman gay? And he’s “Another Skeptic”??? Now that’s just crazy talk. I could have sworn “Skeptic” was that one Jewish blogger who worships Jack Welch on a periodic basis.

              Besides, I thought Gordon was in to straight porn… I mean I wasn’t at that fundraiser, but that’s what I heard.

              I could have sworn Phoenix was Nancy Pelosi. I mean geez, I promised to can Rummy just so she wouldn’t impeach me. I better call to make sure the deal is still on.

              Dick! Come on Dick, chime in here will ya, help a Commander in Chief out.

                  1. Where have you been man?
                    Since you, Voyageur, Go Raiders, BMR and a few others left, these liberals have been running literally amuck…….it has been kinda like fighting at the Alamo, surrounded by hostile white (heterosexual) man hating liberal renegades………
                    I’ve fought and a few others have pitched in to help but we are definately outnumbered here………….and damn near out of bullets.

                    You are really the one and only original iron Mike aren’t ya?……Tell me it is true………
                    Being surrounded by the likes of Sirhan Robin has led to extreme bouts of depression……I’m rambling……Must be hysteria from such heavy doses of liberalism…..

                    Hey bud, glad to see ya back. Check in every once in awhile.

                    1. I just lost all motivation to participate in the “debate”. I was totally prepared to pitch in for the Beauprez for Governor effort here on Pols, but every time I wrote something a Beauprez hack would get on to slap me down. Why do that? Just because I wasn’t on the “winning team” from the start? Dare to say, it took some wind out of the sails.

                      So I figured “deeds not words” were called for, so I walked my precincts, showed up for the non-event that was the “Final Four” thing and prayed for a miracle. Obviously God has something else in mind for us.

                      Anyhow, I’m not Davy Crockett and I don’t have a troop of wild eyed, sharpshooting Kentuckians with me, but I’ll be happy to pitch in on our fight to preserve liberty.

                    2. besides, look at the power house line up they had posting on here during the campaign:  Moonraker, Cybil-Ruthie-Fright Wig, and of course, Andy Bradshaw.

                    3. their help too.
                      But look at your side. You have Sir Robin the Bravely Running Away!
                      That is a minus 25 in your column if you ask me.

        1. That’s a funny one. (Obviously you aren’t serious.)

          Coffman is a brave patriot, unlike chickenhawks like Tom Tancredo who haven’t accomplished anything REAL in their entire lives, who dress up like play soldiers without ever having served, and who abandon honor and integrity the moment anything remotely threatens their firm grip on the public teat. It speaks volumes of Coffman that he refused to share the stage with Tancredo.

          1. Maybe if your ideas of bravery and patriotism are running off to the Middle East every time you’re afraid of losing at home in front of your friends and family. The guy only gets in fights he knows he will win. That’s not courageous, it’s lazy and cowardly. At least Holtzman took on a real challenge and saw it through to the bitter end. Coffman took the easy route, per usual.

            And if you think Tancredo is a drain on the taxpayers’ tits, you’ve conveniently forgotten Coffman has not been not publicly employed for nearly two decades. He smells that PERA prize, and he wants it, no  matter how many times he pretends to hate PERA. Coffman’s a hypocrite and about as honorable and ethical as Ted Kennedy.

  2. … that he mentioned Ronald Reagan. Heck, his wedding vows probably quoted the Gipper.

    But it WAS a surprisingly articulate, positive interview. He came across a lot better in this interview than he did in the media. Maybe Holtzman ’06 will be like Nixon ’62.

  3. I think Holtzman would have run better against BW ‘lottsa baggage & horse’s arse’ Bob…

    I wish I could get back my portion of the $350+ billion Bush’s failed overseas misadventure at ‘nation-building’ has cost us.  Oh well, another republican tax-cut and spender!

      1. Democrats = Balanced Budget with Surplus

        Republicans = $9 Trillion Debt

        Who is fiscally responsible? And who has neglected the US problems ($Billions missing from FEMA in NO) while spending $2 Billion per week in terrorist vacuum?

        1. what I wrote was more to point out a dangerous mindset many of our pols have.  There has to be a limit to the spending free for all, and I know W more than anyone still hasn’t learned that lesson.

  4. Isn’t it more fiscally responsible to be a ‘tax and spender’ then a ‘tax-cut and spender’?  Seriously, Bush’s policies have cost us so much–purely in financial terms, not to mention our standing in the world, lives lost, wilderness destroyed, etc.–and it will take a lot to dig us out of this pit he has sunk us in.

    While setting taxes at a ‘reasonable’ or ‘fair’ level is great (and no I don’t like to see my paycheck reduced either, but services cost money and I am willing to pay for some that I don’t even use, such as schooling for other people’s kids), cutting taxes while simultaneously increasing govt spending (talking U.S. here) is simply irresponsible and morally corrupt.  Morally corrupt because the politicians (read GOP-led) are basically stealing from our future to pay for their political protection today.  Disgusting.  I do not have much hope that the Ds can truly ‘drain the swamp’ but I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and let them prove me wrong.

  5. What happened to Reagan’s commandment, “Thou shall not speak unkindly of a fellow Republican”, guess Marc missed that Reagan history lesson.

    Interesting that Holzman is in a Q&A with ColoradoPols, and not another news site…very interesting….

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