View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Friday, July 30, 2004

On the Other Hand 

Schaffer is also touring the state, meeting with newspaper editorial boards. It's not just the hustings, it's also the newsroom, where a candidate gets free pub. He had a solid meeting with the Ft. Morgan Times last week, and also got a write-up from the Durango Herald today.

The article, though, makes it sound like Schaffer spent the whole time trying to reassure the teachers' unions. This can't be in any way representative of the discussion. The man strongly supports vouchers, didn't even try to court the teachers' unions, and the whole article reads as though the only problem in the schools is lack of funding.

During his days in Congress, Schaffer supported a bill to give individuals and businesses a tax credit for contributing to education, a concept he thinks would work well in Colorado and would like to see come to fruition.

"I believe Americans want to help schools, and the tax code should support it," Schaffer said. "Superintendents don't have options as to where to go for money. My hope is that a tax credit would help that."

These meetings generally cover a lot of topic, but the smaller papers only have limited space. Schaffer's idea is an interesting one, and one that might well eventually generate more support for vouchers. But it also underscores the need to control the message, something that it's harder to do outside of paid advertising.

Schaffer is also working the western part of the state for a few days, another smart thing to do for the general election. Salazar has some unusual strength there, and the Republicans aren't going to be able to take the area for granted.

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