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Independent Dave Anderson Runs for Congress in Colorado


I want to ignore the big election for a minute and focus on one congressional race in Colorado. This is a race that's more important than most people realize, because it is an example of one of the few genuine attempts to get America beyond its present partisan gridlock.

Most independent or third-party congressional candidacies are acts of vanity or delusion. Such candidates almost never win, and they can spoil elections in favor of undeserving candidates by drawing more votes from one side than the other.

Dave Anderson, in Colorado's 5th district (around Colorado Springs), is an exception.

For a start, there is no Democratic candidate in the race, so there is no issue of his being a spoiler.

For a second, his Republican opponent, two-term incumbent Doug Lamborn, is the worst kind of Republican: harshly conservative on issues where this achieves nothing, and a limp sell-out on those issues where conservative principles can actually do some good.

Lamborn is also spectacularly bad on trade issues, my own area of expertise. His voting record received an "F" from the Coalition for a Prosperous America, my employer.

We at CPA are a bipartisan organization. We cannot endorse anyone. But it is my personal opinion, upon which I am prepared to stake my reputation, that Dave Anderson means what he says on trade issues. I have discussed them with him extensively, and the man gets it. He recently endorsed CPA's "21st Century Trade Agreement Principles," an attempt to formulate what America must do differently.


You can find his website at

Ian Fletcher is Senior Economist of the Coalition for a Prosperous America, a nationwide grass-roots organization dedicated to fixing America's trade policies and comprising representatives from business, agriculture, and labor. He was previously Research Fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, a Washington think tank, and before that, an economist in private practice serving mainly hedge funds and private equity firms. Educated at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, he lives in San Francisco. He is the author of Free Trade Doesn't Work: What Should Replace It and Why.

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