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Publish Date: 10/11/2006

Beauprez criticizes Ritter’s tie to lawyers


DENVER — If Colorado businesses want to keep trial lawyers and labor unions from getting into their pockets, Republican Bob Beauprez said Tuesday, they should support his campaign to be their next governor.

Bill Ritter, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, “has a great deal of support from trial lawyers and the labor unions,” Beauprez told members of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties trade group.

Ritter, for his part, accused his GOP rival of practicing the politics of cynicism by attacking Ritter for having supporters that include the state’s largest teachers’ union, other unions and trial lawyers.

The governor’s race “is not about a Republican versus a Democrat or about the ideological left or the ideological right,” Ritter told the group of investors, owners and developers of commercial and industrial real estate attending Tuesday morning’s debate.

Ritter repeated that theme Tuesday afternoon, during a debate with Beauprez sponsored by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and 14 other Colorado business and civic organizations.

This year’s gubernatorial election is “about hope versus cynicism,” Ritter said.

On Tuesday morning, Beauprez singled out the Colorado Education Association’s support for Ritter to predict that if the Democrat wins, Coloradans can forget about a governor who “is going to shake up education.”

That, Beauprez said, is because the CEA will want its candidate “to maintain the status quo.”

Ritter, however, said it was wrong for Beauprez to assert that Ritter’s CEA endorsement would block education reforms in a Democratic administration.

“That’s just horse-hooey,” Ritter added, “and here’s why: Because teachers in this state care about education reform because they care about the kids.”

Beauprez also numbered trial lawyers among those he said “would like to get inside your pocket” with lawsuits against businesses.

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