Colorado

May 8, 2010 10:02 PM by Matt Stafford

Political talking points taking shape for both sides

The election fights are well underway, and talking points are taking shape.

Conservatives met at a freedom festival in Colorado Springs, and a lot of Democrats gathered with Senator Michael Bennet Saturday in Pueblo.

This is the Peak Freedom Festival's first year, but organizers want to keep it up annually; possibly making it statewide or even a national event in the future.

The conference is filling up rooms at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Saturday's freedom festival, put on by local limited government groups, focuses on conservative principals and lessening the reach of government.

"We're about limited government but it's not just anti-government it's pro-freedom. I mean the flip side of limited government is expanded freedom, says Sean Paige, executive director of the Limited Government Forum and Colorado Springs city councilman. "That's what's really being talked about here. It's sort of a T.E.A. party movement, without some of the signs and the rowdiness."

Along with seminars, several speakers took the podium, including Denver radio host and columnist Mike Rosen who spoke and took questions Saturday afternoon and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin who will speak in the evening.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Democratic Senator Michael Bennet was in Pueblo Saturday, talking about Veterans' issues.

Senator Bennet faces challenges from within his own party and from Republicans in the race for the Senate seat he has been holding since being appointed.

Beginning Saturday, on the campaign trail, is what Bennet calls a listening tour. He's hearing about problems with Veterans' health care.

Advocates for Pueblo-area Veterans say they still aren't getting help from the Veterans' Administration. One basic complaint: veterans have to file out forms over and over again.

"That shouldn't happen in a world with electronic record-keeping. I think that's a major change that could be made, that actually in the end would not only provide our veterans with better service, but would save money as well," says Senator Bennet.

Some veterans also spoke against Arizona's tough new illegal immigrant law. Senator Bennet called the law unconstitutional and counter-productive.

The new Arizona immigration law was also brought up briefly in Saturday's Peak Freedom Festival. You can already hear discussion on topics, like this new law, shaping up. They're gaining form before the campaign season really starts to heat up.

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