I am not an Insider and I think that's a good thing
I was born and raised here in Colorado, and while I have a long history of community and civic involvement, I am not an insider. I am not part of the wealthy, well-connected, business elite. I am an ordinary person, and I still believe that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they work hard, are honest in their words, sincere in their efforts, and connected with their communities. I believe that I have the passion, ideas and qualifications to bring real change to this office. This is my first run for public office, but I am not just running for any office for the sake of holding office. I am running for the office where I can use my expertise in service of the public and in helping to make Colorado’s economy strong and vibrant.
Above all else, I hope to inspire other people to get involved in the political process and run for office. I know we are all busy, but our country needs us now more than ever.
Experience and Qualifications Matter
You wouldn't hire a plumber to work on your teeth, so why would you hire a career politician to manage your money? The office of Treasurer is important and requires more expertise than can be provided by career politicians who often use this job as a stepping stone to higher office.
I would not be running, if I did not believe I am the best qualified candidate in this race.
I have a graduate degree in Finance from MIT and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. I've spent the last 25 years in business, including in the healthcare and technology industries. More recently I opened my own math tutoring business, with my own savings. I know what it is like to have to meet payroll within a tight budget when times are tough. In good times, meeting a budget is easy. In tough times meeting a budget is the real test. I have a proven track record of doing both. While many political offices do not necessarily require a certain background, as business and financial markets grow increasingly complex, having a State Treasurer with in-depth experience and expertise in Finance and Economics is a must.
We hear a lot about “fiscal responsibility” from politicians who may or may not understand what that means or have given the meaning of the phrase much thought. These are simply rhetorical buzz words used to gain your vote. Well, I have given this matter a great deal of thought, and in my opinion, being fiscally responsible should not mean cutting taxes and cutting spending so that roads and schools fall apart. It should mean spending your money wisely on things of genuine benefit and making the investments that will yield the best returns in the long run.
From Small Business, For Small Business
While I am many things, as we all are, what may be most relevant is that I am a father, a small business owner, and a Colorado native. I grew up in Fort Collins with my mom, dad, brother and sister, and we all still live here in Colorado.
Today our State has record low unemployment, but we do not know what the future holds. I still remember the 1980's when Denver was called the “See-Through City” because so many of the buildings downtown were empty. Like many of my friends who graduated during that time, I had to leave Colorado to find work. After graduate school, I was thrilled to return home to take a position in the technology industry. I've lived in Denver ever since raising two great kids, Julia and James who are now 16 and 18.
After spending many years in the corporate world, I opened my own math education business in 2010. I started this business because I thought it was vitally important that kids have access to the very best math education possible. My goal is to help our students develop into agile and imaginative problem solvers and, more importantly, gain the confidence and tenacity to succeed in all aspects of their lives.
I can count many blessings in my life, but I've also been tested by adversity living without health insurance and having to make it through lean years when my business took a hit when surrounded by long term roadside construction. I watched as many of the businesses around mine went under because of blocked access due to this construction. It was not an easy time, but with careful management, we stayed afloat.
Politicians constantly talk about how they are going to help small business, but few actually do. Having owned my own business for the past 8 years, I know that complying with state tax regulations can be time consuming and challenging. As State Treasurer, I hope to work with our legislature on some common-sense ideas to streamline the filing process that would both save small businesses time, but also save taxpayers money.
A History Supporting Education and Community
While my business is private, we do offer our services on a scholarship basis and work every day to try and make our programs affordable to everyone. A great education shouldn't be the privilege of a lucky few who can afford it. A great education should be available to everyone and this starts with strong neighborhood schools.
When I first moved to Denver's Stapleton neighborhood in 2003, the first public school that opened was in disarray. The principal was fired before the end of the school year. Our PTA had no money and many families moved their kids to charter or private schools because they feared the worst.
However, a small group of families stayed and stood our ground. We kept our kids in our local school and worked as a community to turn things around - hired a new principal, new teachers and began raising money. Today, that school, Westerly Creek Elementary, is one of the highest performing and sought-after schools in all of metro Denver.
In the end, it was only about a dozen families who led this effort, but the change we brought about was substantial. I am always reminded by this experience that it only takes a small group of committed people to make great things happen.
I hope each person who visits my website remembers this idea as well, and that you'll join me in this campaign. We can change our State to bring about more opportunity for everyone.
Accurate Forecasts are Key to Good Business - and Good Government
To quote Yogi Berra, "It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." As difficult as it may be to predict the future, I think that our politicians and government agencies can do a better job of forecasting costs and revenues. I don't agree that we need to accept huge cost overruns or revenue shortfalls as a default.
Many of us are frustrated. We've been lied to. And forecasts have been just plain wrong in many cases. Take the RTD Fastracks project, which went $1.8 billion, or 38%, over budget, from $4.7 billion to $6.5 billion. Many of us are also aware of the cost overruns for the V.A. hospital, which has gone 3 times over budget, costing taxpayers $1 billion more than originally forecast.
We have many smart, competent people in government, but we can do better if we put more people in office who are qualified, experienced, and independent.
A key goal of mine is to rebuild trust and confidence in government, and I believe this often starts with providing citizens with honest and accurate projections based on responsible and transparent assumptions.
We need a State Treasurer who is truly independent. The Treasurer doesn't vote on legislation, but he can and should be a watchdog - looking out for you and your money.
As your next State Treasurer, I will leverage my background in finance, economics and business to help ensure that our government works fiscally, and is honest and transparent with the people of Colorado. After all, it's our money.
Let's Keep Big Money Out of Politics
I don't think it is right for candidates or elected officials to accept money from corporate or special interest groups - period. While elected officials may say that these donations don't change their votes, even if they don’t actively vote for or against something - sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing while regular people lose out is still taking a position. Financing a campaign without corporate or special interest money is admittedly very challenging. We will need to reach hundreds of thousands of voters, and that's why we need your help.
One last thing — How do you pronounce my last name?
Many people including my next door neighbor of 12+ years, have mispronounced my last name. Maybe the best way to remember it is with a slogan:
“There's no doubt about it. Vote for Douthit!”
I am delighted you have taken the time to visit my page and learn about me and this campaign.
Please donate if you can, every little bit helps, $1, $3, $5, and if you can spare the time, we also need volunteers. Thank you in advance for your help.