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Gubernatorial candidates debate the issues

Bill Ritter

A panel of Northern Colorado journalists asked the questions as Colorado gubernatorial candidates Bill Ritter and Bob Beauprez debated at The Ranch on Monday, Aug. 28.

The questions and corresponding video clips of the candidates' responses are listed below.

Bob Beauprez

Opening statements.

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Northern Colorado particularly must grapple with issues posed by illegal immigration, with thousands of undocumented workers employed in local agriculture, construction, the service sector and other areas. What role should state government play in addressing illegal immigration?

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Would you support the addition of a new regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Northern Colorado to control illegal immigration?

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The state legislature recently increased fines for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. What responsibility do businesses have in curbing illegal immigration, and how do you think that companies that hire those immigrants should be punished, whether or not they knowingly hire immigrants?

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Denver's $1.7 billion T-REX project is now complete. Many in Northern Colorado believe we've gotten short shrift in transportation funding. What is your plan to address the increasing transportation congestion that our communities are experiencing, especially along the Interstate 25 corridor?

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What is your opinion of the "Super Slab" private toll road proposal along the Eastern Plains?

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Describe your water policy and what you would do to increase water supplies in the state.

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Massachusetts recently passed a law requiring all residents to buy health insurance and imposes a penalty on employers that do not offer coverage. Would you support such a plan for Colorado?

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Looking beyond the debate over Referendums C and D, what if anything, regarding TABOR, Amendment 23 and Gallagher, would you propose to further address Colorado's fiscal situation?

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Northern Colorado seems to be well positioned to compete in the highly competitive global market of bio-science advancement, including alternative fuels. Fort Collins and Colorado State University possess a unique and critical knowledge base, while Weld County is the 8th largest ag-producing county in the nation. As governor, what will you and your administration do to assure that Northern Colorado can continue to develop this lucrative market?

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Describe what tools you would propose and use to encourage businesses to relocate to, or expand in, Northern Colorado.

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Millions of dollars have been slashed from higher education in Colorado. Colorado ranks 48th in the nation in per-student funding, while our neighbors in Wyoming rank near the top. Do you think we need to increase higher education funding and, if so, how would you increase it?

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Are you satisfied with the current level of state funding for tourism promotion, and, if not, what would you do to increase that funding?

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During the 2006 legislative session several proposals were introduced which mandated how employers related to their employees, from pre-natal care to communication with their employees and even coverage of medical benefits for larger employers. If faced with similar legislation, which could be perceived as interfering with employer-employee relationships, during your term as governor, how would you respond and what is your general philosophy?

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QUESTION SUBMITTED BY AUDIENCE
Given the growing need for energy independence, do you support the continuing expansion of energy resource development in Colorado? Examples cited are oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale, renewable, and clean energy.

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QUESTION SUBMITTED BY AUDIENCE
The jobs/housing balance is a growing concern in Colorado. Thirty-eight states in the nation have housing investment funds for affordable housing; Colorado is not one of them. What policies and plans do you propose to help fund affordable workforce housing programs in the state of Colorado?

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Bob Beauprez closing statement.

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Bill Ritter closing statement.

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