Tisha Casida, the Independent candidate who is running against incumbent Scott Tipton (R) in the District 3 U.S. Congressional race, held a meeting for residents of Mesa County on Saturday in Fruita. Casida, who is a close friend and ally of Bob McConnell, the Republican from Steamboat Springs who was bested by Scott Tipton in the 2010 GOP primary, claims to be a strong Constitutional conservative.
Tisha Casida's platform, as stated on her website, Casida2012.com, is at times, conservative sounding, but seems to lean heavily toward Libertarianism. Her followers, as well as her posts on social media outlets, reveal her to be a Ron Paul adherent. Her stance on "the war on drugs" is not conservative at all. She believes "The drug war is a complete fallacy and is doing nothing to stop drug use." Regarding the contentious topic of medical marijuana, she states, "I absolutely support the ability of states to legalize medical marijuana. As a matter of fact, it is incredibly beneficial to local economies." Casida seems to overlook the fact that most Conservatives have a great deal of concern about the social and moral impact of legalized marijuana. One could accurately say her stance on the issue of drugs is anything but conservative.
About twelve people attended Casida's Saturday evening meeting in Fruita. She was pressed by a number of attendees about topics that are very important to Western Colorado Conservatives. When asked about her position on national defense, her response was to the effect that the military is guilty of out-of-control spending. When questioned about how the defense budget is apportioned, Tisha Casida apparently was unaware that half of it goes to salaries, pensions, and medical care. One gentleman from Mesa County asked her about her stance on abortion. Her answer, which closely echoed the platform statement on her webpage, was that " The federal government has no role in forcing women to make decisions about what they do with their bodies." Her position on the life issue is decidedly un-conservative. It is a consensus among Reagan Conservatives, social Conservatives, and even Ron Paul, that the government has a role in protecting the lives of the most innocent and helpless people. Tisha Casida refused to state whether she is pro-life or pro-choice.
Tisha Casida apparently took an interest in running against Scott Tipton early in 2011 and by November 2011, had announced her Independent candidacy. When questioned about the problematic nature of running as an Independent, she exposed her lack of understanding about Congressional processes. She was asked by one man at the meeting who she would caucus with as an Independent in Congress. She answered that she has both Republicans and Democrats who agree with her and they would get together and make a difference. That would be her caucus. This response by Casida confirms that her political ambitions far outweigh her knowledge of the political system.
A looming problem for Casida is the non-disclosure of her campaign finances.
For three quarters in a row she has failed to disclose how much her campaign is taking in and from where the funds are coming. In spite of that, she asserted during the meeting that it would take her only $250K to beat Scott Tipton. In reality, it would take anywhere from 3-4 million to unseat an incumbent Congressman, and possibly more since she is running as a third-party candidate.
The inconsistencies and lack of knowledge on the part of Tisha Casida makes one wonder whether or not she is a serious candidate for the important D3 seat in Colorado. Her run against Scott Tipton as an Independent runs counter to the best interests of Colorado Conservatism, which she claims to espouse. Her candidacy is likely to draw away a few percentage points from Scott Tipton, and make a win by Sal Pace, the Liberal Democrat from Pueblo, much more likely.
Tisha Casida may talk the Conservative talk, but she walks the Libertarian/Liberal Democrat walk.