My family instilled certain core values in me as I was growing up: hard work, excellence, dedication and loyalty. These values have guided me through my life as a father, husband, Air Force officer, and entrepreneur. I’ll bring no less to you in my service as your Congressman.
We're yearning for a new kind of politics, the kind that begins at the grassroots and serves the people, not party or power. I’ll fight to change the status quo and make this a reality. We’ll go to Washington together, with a commitment to being honest with one another and to speaking the hard truths in Congress and in our Community. Join me.
Some say the grand experiment of America – a nation where individuals are free to express their highest purpose while rooted in community that governs for this common good – is dying or even dead. I say history proves that when people unite to serve our greater good, we transcend the pettiness of the ordinary and ascend to the dignity and wisdom of our Founding Fathers.
I’m deeply connected to the people and values of CD2. I’ve lived here for over 20 years with my wife, raising two daughters, hiking trails, working in business and startups, teaching at CU Boulder and taking a leadership role in teaching law enforcement, first responders and others to be mentally prepared for the tough work they do every day. I know how to tackle difficult problems and develop consensus so that progress is achieved, not compromised. And my roots in the people and environment of this community mean I’ll be a dedicated force for good in the halls of Congress.
In the early 90s, after serving in the United States Air Force and flying for American Airlines, I moved to Boulder to attend Naropa University. Since my late teens, I’d practiced Karate, Aikido, Aiki Jiu Jitsu and other martial arts and by 1994 I was driven to learn more about the meditation and mind training that was so integral to these martial traditions. I graduated with an MA in Buddhist Studies and a deep understanding of contemplative religious traditions. These studies became the foundation of the company I later founded, Dynamic Human Solutions.
Early in my career I served as Forward Air Controller (OV-10) and Air Liaison Officer with the U.S. Army’s 25th and the 2nd Infantry Divisions, forces focused on defending and protecting the Korean peninsula. I never thought that 30 years later I’d be considering the same problem, only now with the specter of nuclear weapons thrown in.
I left the active duty Air Force in ’92 and joined the Air Force Reserve as an intelligence officer. I served in Guam and at Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces (HQ PACAF) in Hawaii, as an Asian affairs specialist responsible for analysis of national defense issues in the Pacific. My fighter background led to being selected for the elite Asian Tactics Analysis Team, the group responsible for analyzing and evaluating air combat tactics throughout the Asian theater. Command experience came to me at HQ PACAF when I was chosen to serve as interim Operations Officer of the Air Intelligence Squadron, the unit supporting and reporting directly to the Commander in Chief, Pacific Air Forces.
Here at home, I served as an expert intelligence advisor to the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security in the fight against drug trafficking and human smuggling. My final assignment before retiring was as Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies with the Air Force ROTC Detachment at CU Boulder, where I mentored cadets and taught strategy and international relations to future Air Force officers.
I founded Dynamic Human Solutions (DHS), where training programs combined the meditation skills I learned at Naropa with the high-performance mindset of flying fighter jets. Our group was on the leading-edge of the “mindfulness” revolution. We trained a variety of professionals in the skills of mental toughness, emotional intelligence and peak performance: entrepreneurs, fighter pilots, special operators, business people, SWAT Teams, helicopter pilots, Olympic and other world-class athletes, to name just a few.
Over the years, I’ve had the chance to help those who are first in the line of danger here in CD2 – law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMTs. Through meditation-based training, DHS has helped first responders maintain their mental toughness and develop the resiliency to recover after facing the high-intensity situations they experience every day.
Unaffiliated voters now comprise Colorado’s largest voting bloc. I promise to represent the interests of people over Party. I’ll listen to these voices and every community in CD2 will be stronger for it. I hope to represent all Coloradans by activating the grassroots and kickstarting Lincoln’s vision of America: “…a government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
At the heart of many of the issues facing America and Colorado is one simple fact – the playing field has been tilted away from us.
We feel the disruption of stagnating wages, technology, climate change, rising education and healthcare costs, and declining job security. But when it comes to real solutions that address these critical issues, the average American has lost their voice at the table. Moneyed interests and the powerful seem to define the politics, create the policy and enforce the governance behind half-baked solutions.
Fixing this begins in our communities — in the grassroots — and by electing officials who bring our voices forward again.
I commit to this for the people and communities of CD2.
Enough of politics as usual where corporations, the uber-wealthy and insiders decide what’s best for us. It’s not enough to talk about an oligarchy ruling our country, let’s lead the movement to bring grassroots politics and the voice of ordinary Americans back to the center of the conversation.
Citizen’s United must be overturned and laws passed to increase donor transparency, remove untraceable dark money and eliminate special interest contributions. In the past, getting money out of politics was a bipartisan issue. Now both parties have grown accustomed to doing business in an environment where “anything goes” and secret political money and their wealthy donors have an outsize voice in our political process.
Let’s walk the talk and dedicate time and effort to support the support the “Clean Elections” movement. More importantly, let’s also do the hard work of re-building the grassroots by reaching out in our communities and bringing everyday voices to the center of the political conversation.
Lots of folks in America are feeling that the economy isn’t working for them and that extreme inequality is becoming the rule rather than the exception — the scales have been tipped towards the connected and the powerful.
America’s strength and prosperity is driven by its middle class. In 1980, when the middle class was still strong, those in the top 1% made 27 times more than folks in the bottom 50%. Today America’s top 1% makes 81 times more than the bottom 50%. Their income has grown by over 200% while income for the bottom remains unchanged at about $16,000. The middle class is withering on the vine.
Since 1980, America has seen citizen protections dismantled by efforts favoring special interests over ordinary folks:
• progressive taxation that levels the playing field has been replaced by a tax code that favors the wealthy
• laws protecting people against the excesses of industry, especially in the financial services industry, have been dismantled
• union bargaining power has been weakened and Congress has failed to change a stubbornly low minimum wage.
Data and analysis show that income inequality is largely the result of these policies. As your Congressman, I will fight for citizen protections and reversing the failed policies of the past. Just as importantly, I’ll push that bad actors be brought to justice so folks understand that protecting the middle class and leveling the playing field are Job #1.
Clean energy is good for business. Colorado’s clean energy economy is now reported to have 62,000 people working in this sector, with a substantial number of those in the 2nd Congressional District. With these clean energy investments, Colorado helps to protect its air, water and environment from degradation while doing our part to diminish the effects of climate change on future generations.
In 2004, Colorado was the first state to pass a Renewable Energy Standard requiring utilities to produce a certain percentage of electricity from renewables. It has been increased three times since, leading to hundreds of renewable energy projects in the state. In 2016, wind energy accounted for more than 17% of all electricity generated in the state, ranking us 10th in the nation. We are 11th in the amount of installed solar generation.
We must accelerate our transition to renewables. Coal and natural gas continue to make up the bulk of Colorado’s energy production and emissions, but as the recent tragedy in Firestone demonstrated, they negatively impact citizens living near production sites. These communities must have a strong say in protecting their citizens and their environment and Colorado should lead in establishing and enforcing these protections, just as we are in renewable energy.
Finally, Colorado’s clean energy efforts need to be amplified in cooperation with other states and nations working to ramp up renewable energy investments. Having recently joined the U.S. Climate Alliance with several other states, Colorado is on a long-term path to reduce greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions that will further protect our environment and grow our economy. These efforts must be supported at all levels by the federal government.
Our 2nd Congressional District holds some of the crown jewels of the state for outdoor recreation. They are also the foundation of jobs, and the clean air and water of our state.
There is so much at stake in the 2nd Congressional District, both economically and environmentally:
* source: Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) 2017 report
From Winter Park to Vail, from Rocky Mountain National Park to Horsetooth Reservoir, residents and visitors seek out these spaces to enjoy the great outdoors. Our federal and state public lands deserve to be protected so that they can continue to be a key driver in our state’s economy, and so they exist for future generations of Coloradans.
Medical care is a basic human right. Having health insurance is just and fair, and it preserves the social compact between the government and the people.
I support Medicare for All because it fundamentally and immediately affects the well-being of every American and therefore our nation.
We currently have a healthcare system that is for profit, not for people. Awash in monopolies and oligopolies— and with few checks and balances on their market power— you and I pay the cost in the form of increasing premiums and drug prices but poorer health outcomes.
It’s time to challenge an industry that ranks first in lobbying both parties. Medicare for All offers a single payer system that delivers less costly care with better health outcomes and 60% of all Americans favor it.
I will join those in Congress already supporting Medicare for All and I will also personally work towards decreasing the power of the healthcare industry by pledging never to take their lobby contributions.