Oct 242004
 
Authors: Brian Park

Bob Bacon is the Democratic candidate running for the Colorado

Senate in District 14 against Republican candidate Ray Martinez and

Libertarian candidate Mark Brophy.

Democrat Peggy Reaves now holds the seat, but she is stepping

down because of term limits.

Bacon was born in Galesburg, Ill. He graduated with a bachelor’s

degree from Illinois State University in 1957 and received a

master’s degree in history from University of Northern Colorado in

1961.

Bacon was a teacher in the Poudre School District for 31 years

and at Front Range Community College for four years. Bacon served

three terms as a Colorado State representative from House District

53 from 1997 to 2002. He is retired.

This interview was conducted on Oct. 15. Bacon met the Collegian

at Rocky Mountain Bagel Works to answer some questions about the

campaign.

Q: What is the most important issue you want to address as

Election Day is now less than three weeks away?

A: I think for Fort Collins and the CSU community it’s state

funding for higher education in the state. It’s critical to Fort

Collins because at least a quarter of the jobs are directly or

indirectly tied to the CSU funding and the students. This is the

major issue and even though one senator out of 35 and one

representative in the entire general assembly out of 100 can’t

affect the change by himself or herself. Certainly I want to add

the voice to modifying (the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights) so that

there are resources so that higher education can get its fair

share.

Q: What can you do to help bring jobs to this community as well

as improve the economy?

A: The major factor in bringing jobs to Fort Collins is the many

things CSU does for the community. One is that it provides

research. And other employers come here because they want to hire

the educated and trained workforce the university provides … For

us in Fort Collins the economy is so dependent on CSU, any

improvement in our economy is dependent on CSU’s viability and

vitality.

Q: Speaking of the community, what do you think about the

incidents and deaths involving alcohol that have occurred at CSU

and CU lately?

A: It’s really a hard question. I know there is a task force

working on it now and many young people in the college age group

think they are invulnerable … Oftentimes (people) don’t recognize

dangers and they ignore real dangers when they ought to be more

cautious. But I think that there can be greater programs for drug

and alcohol consumption education so people in certain age groups

can be better educated so they don’t binge drink … it is

unfortunate that we have had these deaths and it is not an easy

thing to solve. The legislature cannot pass one piece of

legislation in order to prevent these things. What I fear mostly is

there are some people, even one of the candidates in the race, the

libertarian that uses this as an example that students are nothing

but partiers and drunkards so let’s not provide a college education

for them. And, of course, that is not true.

Q: How could you help people in this community and Colorado get

access to health care?

A: It’s one of those nagging problems not only for Colorado but

nationally … the unfortunate part is that when you graduate, to

buy heath insurance on the market is going to be extremely costly.

And many people in your age group don’t buy it and then if

something does occur and you go to the emergency room and then in

effect all of us who are paying insurance then are picking up the

costs for that. And you know some people have said that all of us

are paying for everybody’s care in one way or anther. But the

unfortunate part is that sometimes because of the lack of primary

care for allowing conditions to persist and be exasperated so that

the costs are going to be much greater than they thought … there

are certain things this state can do such as bulk buying of drugs

and using them for Medicaid can reduce the costs. Perhaps in

allowing for some sort of legislation for bulk buying of insurance

services for small business … ultimately it’s going to have to be

a national solution in order to deal with this issue.

Q: What is your stance on the environment?

A: I’m for it … Colorado is one of the most beautiful places

on earth. It draws a lot of tourists so it has an economic value;

many of us came here because of the environment.

Q: How do you feel about the “Ray Likes To Travel” commercials

and pamphlets being distributed lately?

A: If it were left to my campaign I would not have done it. But

of the realities of our world is that we have, at the national

level they’re called 527s, in Colorado they’re so-called education

committees. They collect money and we don’t know where it comes

from and they spend money on what we don’t know but they campaign

for and against. Sometimes I am fearful of the groups campaigning

for me. They might be saying things I didn’t want to say … I

would like for us to stick on the issues.

Q: Do you have anything you have to ad?

A: …I think as citizens we need to determine what it is that

we want to do together. And use government in order to effect

that…another issue is this whole idea of democracy. You’re not

going to have a free society that is participating in its own

direction without an educated population. So education is extremely

important for that … I do not want to leave the world in worse

condition for you than when I found it.

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