Stan Matsunaka is the Democratic candidate running for the 4th
Congressional District in Colorado for the U.S. House of
Representatives against incumbent Republican, Marilyn Musgrave and
Green Party candidate Bob Kinsey. In the 2002 election for the
House seat, Matsunaka lost to Musgrave.
Matsunaka was born in Akron, Ohio and grew up in Fort Morgan. He
graduated from CSU in 1975 and received a doctorate degree in law
from the University of San Diego in 1979.
Matsunaka served in the Colorado Senate from 1995 to 2003 and
was Senate President from 2001 to 2003. He currently resides in
Loveland and is a lawyer practicing general civil law. In an
interview on Sept. 29 Matsunaka sat down with the Collegian to
answer some questions his vision for Colorado and the country.
Q: What do you think the biggest issue you need to tackle/ touch
upon toward the end of this campaign?
A: For us here at Colorado State University, it’s about, number
one, getting more dollars for CSU. Kansas State University gets
seven times more money than we do at CSU and that translates into a
whole bunch of things for us here – tuition rates, research
opportunities in terms of jobs for college students…. I have
three kids in college right now and I’m really concerned about
where this country is going – that we have borrowed against your
future. That federal deficit that you keep hearing about is really
a $25,000 debt hanging around your neck before you even graduate
from college. And the question is whether you are going to be able
to even pay it when you graduate and if there are even any jobs for
Q: Voter turnout has been low for people in my demographic, ages
18 to 24. What would you say to those voters and potential voters
to get them out to vote?
A: Because your vote counts. If you don’t go do something about
your leadership in Congress and you don’t vote for a president, the
current administration and the current congressional leadership
will continue to raise your debt to $50,000 in the next ten years,
that’s their plan.
Q: How do you feel about the Musgrave ad that has been receiving
a lot of media attention. (The ad shows a woman resembling Musgrave
taking money out of a soldier’s pocket while in combat and removing
a watch from a deceased old person).
A: First of all it is not my ad. The newspaper reporter who
called me about it told me the facts, the text of the ads were
accurate. And so if you believe in the First Amendment, which I’m
sure you do, everybody should be able to say whatever as long as it
Q: The ads Musgrave came out with accusing you of voting for the
$1 billion in tax increases, are they accurate or false?
A: That is all inaccurate. She smeared my record. I have a very
good record in the State Senate. In fact, she voted for me to be
the Senate president so it’s intriguing to me now to have her say I
do not know what I am doing, that I am dishonest. She knows I
worked very hard in the state Senate.
Q: The incidents that have occurred at CSU and CU-Boulder lately
– do you think there is a serious alcohol problem on these
A: I think there has always been an issue of alcohol with
college life ever since I was at CSU. But it is a matter of
personal responsibility that students themselves need to talk each
other and say, “listen this is part of the college experience but
you shouldn’t die from it.” You really should police your own and
that is difficult to do when you have some people who don’t want to
take personal responsibility for themselves.
Q: The big issue of our time – terrorism, what do you have to
say about it?
A: …For us here at CSU, we need to be concerned about a
different kind of terrorism – bio-terrorism. Fort Collins isn’t big
enough for somebody to want to bring a bomb here and destroy it,
but what we do have around here is the Center for Disease Control.
We have cattle, crops and water, so it’s about bio-terrorism. We
need to find ways to detect it quickly, contain it quickly and
inoculate people quickly.
Q: How could you help people in America, Colorado and District 4
get access to health care?
A: I would start importing drugs from Canada. If we did that we
could reduce the surging drug prices by 40 percent. We allow
Medicare to also buy down the cost of services and prescription
drugs. If we just get those two things alone we can then open up
Medicare as the base insurance coverage for everyone in
Q: If you get elected, what would be the three things you would
try to implement/ assess?
A: My first issue is taking care of CSU because that helps our
economy. I would be pushing for new jobs, better health care and
transportation. The four things I have always worked on those will
be the four things I will continue to work on because we still have
those significant needs here. What you see is what you get. No
hidden agendas here.
More information on his campaign can
be found at www.stan2004.com.