Welcome to our new website!
April 15, 2022

EXPERIENCE 58 | Mike O' Donnell, Former Executive Director of Colorado Lending Source and Candidate for Colorado Secretary of State

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

Mike is the founder of Prairie Rose Development and the former executive director of the Colorado Lending Source and is a candidate for the Colorado Secretary of State. He is from Australia and studied at the university of Melbourne, he got with Ford Motor company and later went back to school, got his MBA with an economics focus and found his way to America.

We talk about all kinds of economic topics and sparking business development and loan programs. We also talk about his family and his journey and ultimately what let him to run for the secretary of state position. It's a really interesting conversation with a really interesting guy, Mike's got a great business journey.

Episode Sponsor: InMotion, providing next-day delivery for local businesses. Contact InMotion at inmotionnoco@gmail.com

💡Learn about LoCo Think Tank

Follow us to see what we're up to:




Music By: A Brother's Fountain


I guess on today's episode was Michael Donal and Mike is the founder of Prairie rose development. He's the former executive director of the Colorado lending source and is a candidate for the Colorado secretary of state. And, uh, Mike's got a great business journey. He is from Australia and after graduating from the university of Melbourne, he got it with Ford motor company and later went back to school, got his MBA with an economics focus and found his way to America. First in Kansas. In Lawrence, Kansas, and then found his way to Denver and working with color lending source. And Mike came to that organization when it was three people. And when he left, there was I think, more than 30. Um, we talk about all kinds of economic topics and sparking business development and loan programs, 5 0 4 loan program, especially, uh, we talk about his family and his journey and ultimate. The let him to run for the secretary of state position. And so, uh, it's a really interesting conversation with a really interesting guy, and I'm thankful for Mike for taking the time to be on the program. And I hope you enjoy. Let's have some fun. Welcome to the Loco experience podcast. I'm your host Kurt bear. This show is produced by me and my team and sponsored by my small business local think tank. And sometimes others episodes feature a range of local and regional business and community leaders. As guests in a conversational interview format, our guests are interesting and successful people with unique business journey. And the more business education and unvarnished truth, we can uncover the bedroom. You'll feel like you really know our guests after each episode. And if I'm doing my job well, listeners will find business principles and tips from there. And a greater appreciation for each of our guests woven into these long format experience episodes, our occasional thought bubbles episodes, topically focused snippets of five to 15 minutes where our guests unfold important and titled business truths. And also I'll read the local perspective blog posts because I'm lazy to prefer to listen than read. And maybe you do too. Thanks for tuning in. And if you'd like to show a please subscribe review and share it with your favorite people. Welcome back to the local experience podcast. My guest today is Mike O' Donnell and Mike is the founder of Prairie rose development. Uh, he's the former executive director of the Colorado lending source and he's a current candidate for the Colorado secretary of state. So, Mike, thanks for being here today. I'm just so glad to have you up. Great. Thank you very much for the invitation. It's very exciting. It might. I think for people that, you know, don't know you through kind of your service, um, Let's just start from the beginning almost to where, where did you grow up? Where'd you come from? A really good question. I probably sound a little different from your average Coloradan. Um, I am originally from Australia, grew up in Australia, uh, worked for many years in Melbourne and then got the chance to work in Sydney for many years. Um, when I actually met my wife to be a Kansan who was at grad school in Sydney. Um, and when I made the big decision to think about coming and living over this side of the world, uh, actually I lost the task. Um, but nevertheless, so then I went through the very lengthy process of applying to permanently moved to the United States, which involved a lot of different sort of background checks. Please check sexually communist affiliation, checks, all the sorts of things that probably have overdosed today. Um, and when I eventually got approval, then I had to wait around for them to then allow me to move here. Um, got that opportunity moved there. Um, we got married. I was able to get my green card and then eventually, um, I was able to become a citizen of the United States. And when was this a circuit? When we moved here in 1988. Um, and then when I got over here, of course, immigration service lost all my paperwork. So I've had to start all over again. Took a year and a half to get through that once more. And then I got my green card and then I was able to apply for citizenship and learn a lot actually about the constitution of the United States and became a, a big sort of fan of, of the freedoms that Patriot because of your education in that regard, it's interesting, you know, America, Americans may not realize how great this country is in terms of the, you know, the constitution and the bill of rights compared to many other countries. Um, and when you grow up here, you may not have that same sort of exposure or appreciation as you would as if you come from, from a different country. Yeah. Can you take us to Australia a little bit? Um, and even just described, so Australia is this big, you know, flat pie or flat circle or whatever, where are Perth and Melbourne and Sydney and well, Australia is about the same land masses, the lower 48 states. So it's a fairly large country, but, um, the population these days, I think has just north of 30 million. So compared to. The U S on top of Australia, Australian, top of the U S it's, it's sort of a vast, different, a lot of big empty spaces in there. Yeah. So Melbourne woke Rob up is in the bottom right-hand corner. And then Sydney's a little bit further up the coast. It's usually about a 10 hour drive from one to the other, but about 80% of Australian sort of lived down there around the coast. And then further north, you get into Queensland and Brisbane. You had further to the left. Um, and you went through south Australia across to Western Australia and south Australia, satellite as the capital in west Australia, Perth, and then up the very, very top you've got down, which is a territory. It's not a state, the kind of like America, the west is a lot more wide open spaces and the east has a lot more concentrated. It's exactly right there. People live mostly around the coast. Um, the inland is, is very arid and very deserty, Colorado itself is, is quite deserty, but not as deserty. And it's, it's not really habitable, uh, the middle bit of Australia. It's just a very vast arid deserty type stuff. Yeah. Yeah. And so like, what'd you do for work when you, um, I guess first what'd you do for schooling? Cause I'm assuming in Australia you were doing different things there too. It's sort of difference, but similar, you know, high school was called college, which I went to and then after my high school, it went to the university. And so I got an undergraduate degree in commerce with the university of Melbourne. And then I, um, this was in the seventies. So I was going through all of the hyperinflation and the high unemployment. And it was really my prospects after graduating from university were pretty slim, but I accidentally found a job with Ford motor company. Actually before that I'd always wanted to be involved with, you know, marketing and advertising and stuff like that. On there. I remember going to an interview with an advertising agency and they told me I was way too boring to work for the, for the advertising industry. Um, but, uh, Ford had a, what they called a graduate trainee program. And someone had dropped out at the last minute and they were desperate to find something. Some Harold that they found me. And I got a chance to work with Ford Australia on the graduate intern intern, graduate intake. And that gave me exposure to all the different elements of Ford Australia from the Foundry, you know, through the plastics plant through the assembly operations, and then through the head office. And I ended up getting assigned in the sales and marketing division. So I worked there for many years. Um, they promoted me or move me to new south Wales to Sydney. Um, and they put me in charge of government sales in new south Wales. So I had the chance of working with the police department and all of those amazing organizations that, um, and just sort of understanding, trying to understand the car. So that was a wonderful experience. And I got promoted back to Melbourne to be in charge of government sales for all of Australia, which was when I decided that, you know, I needed to go back to grad school and sort of explore things and had I stayed with Ford. I mean, there are now no longer any manufacturing facilities for vehicles in Australia. In Sydney. I was working at, um, in the head office in north Sydney. And then also they moved me out to the production plant at Homebush, which, which was eventually knocked down to become the venue for the 2000 Olympic class. And then we had an assembly plant in Queensland that got shut down. Uh, they shut down everything in Southeast Asia kind of manufacturing, general motors was the other big manufacturers. So all of the fecal manufacturing, none of it happens in Australia anymore. It's all, all comes from from overseas. Interesting. So like America, the manufacturing is that just motor vehicles are most, a lot of the manufacturing isn't in Australia anymore because of that same kind of labor cost function here it is. It's sort of it's it's, you know, back in the days when I grew up, we always had national defense or security sort of arguments as to why you'd want to keep some sort of manufacturing capabilities or facilities, but that in, in today's environment. So yeah, it's all been pretty much offshore and even get masks manufactured here a couple of years ago. They're pretty easy to manufacture. And some straps, right? Yeah. Especially the ones that they use and even, you know, what, for what I was in charge of in one church. But I helped out with the export department, which was pretty neat, cause we would actually be providing, uh, cars mostly for American diplomats in Africa and other places. So we'd have to build the cars with bomb-proof specs. So it was a little bit of fun. And even in my government days, I enjoyed working with our secret service in Australia because they would have really unique requirements for vehicles to be produced with little peep holes in the back trunk and, and different. Items that they put into the doors. It was just really interesting times. I suspect that you are a intensely curious human. Is that a fair statement? I am. Yeah. I, I had a lot of fun being involved with Ford and doing things like that. For example, when I was working in new south Wales with the police, um, the government ran out of money up there, which, which governments often do, but the police were still crashing their high-speed pursuit cars and they needed replacements, but there weren't any money to build them, but they told me what they wanted as soon as I got the money. So I ended up, um, taking the initiative of building, you know, hundreds of these high places, high speed pursuit vehicles, and putting them in a field, outside the assembly, plant waiting desperately for their orders to come through so I can actually get them to delivered. So I took a few chances, but we, we helped a lot of people, you know, do what they needed to do, which was fun. So what's this a next level education that you opted for? I ended up going back to, to get my MBA. So that was just the experience. Being a better student in terms of really focusing in on economics, which has always been a, sort of a passion of mine. And that's because of a high school teacher I had. And again, just because of the circumstances of the seventies, which were, again, nothing that any economist had ever predicted or anticipated. Right. Do you want to share that lesson from that? Well, again, I was just, uh, you know, economics and I did that, you know, as my undergrad major, as well as my MBA, you know, co-major, um, it's really, it's, it's nothing much more than common sense. It's it's supply and demand. That's how businesses work. It's how people work. It's all just based on the, how motivation wants and needs. So it's really just made sense to me. Cause I took classes on organizational behavior. This is just the same as economics. So I just became very interested in understanding, but from a macro, which is of course the national economics, but more importantly from the micro, which is how organizations and individuals react or don't react to different things. Okay. One of the aggregate of all those little individual decisions is what makes the back roads and it's how people can shape them or not, or how, you know, the forces in the seventies with the oil crisis and just all the things happening in the world, the back end of the Vietnam war, all the disruption, and, you know, the counterculture movement that was happening was just a lot of things happening in the sixties and the seventies when I grew up. Um, and it's, um, it's just, uh, uh, for people who, um, aren't as old as I am, and haven't seen some of the signs we see today in today's economy were sort of heading a little bit back in that direction. And it's just an interesting, interesting time for me to see all over again. Yeah. I think it will be fun to explore that a little bit with you. Uh, I know we've shared. Posts in common in terms of just what creates inflation and things like that. So, um, so you get out of university. Is that where you met your now wife? Yes, we met at grad school. And so at that stage, then I decided to make the decision to, um, apply for, um, the permission to sort of come to this country. So after that, you know, it was, there was no guarantee as to when or if they would approve me. Um, and so I sort of took some part-time jobs until, until we learned for sure. Yeah. Interesting. And what's her name, if you don't mind, her name is Cathy and we can talk a little bit more about Cathy later, but tell me about the love story. Like how did you meet and how did she sweep you off your feet? Right from the start or? Uh, no, again, I proved that this is public. Isn't it? No sign that's essentially. Yeah, because we both started at the grad school at the same time. Uh, she was an overseas student and we had quite a few overseas students at, in Australia. In fact, a lot of, um, uh, for awhile there, I think Australia was very dependent on overseas students paying the bills because about a third of the MBA students were, were foreign, foreign born. And so now we just, we were teamed up in a few classes and we just got to know each other. And then at the end of our classes, um, after graduation, we sorta just, I came back over to see what happens in the United States. Cause they've never been here. Yeah. Australians travel a lot, but I've never ever had the ambition or the interest in coming to the state. So all through European, um, Southeast Asia. Um, so I came over to see what America is like. And again, it's, you know, it's the land of opportunity, you know, Australia in some respects was as well too, but not with the same sort of freedoms that you have over here in the United States. So. Probably more opportunity to be anything you want to be over here, then you can in many other countries, was that noticeable to you, right? From the start of being in America. It was just, again, there's just a much more abundance, just because of the bigger population, more choices, more opportunities. I mean, you can even, I think that that landfall was, was, you know, somewhere like San Francisco and you see the China, China is Chinatown and the markets and row after row, after row of identical type stores, almost selling the same things and in a very competitive market, you know, you wouldn't see, you wouldn't have that. We didn't have that sort of choice in Australia being back at this sort of the end of the world. Um, and it was just really interesting to see how, how competition really works. I'm sure you're like me after all your years at Colorado lending source to the number of different ways that entrepreneurs find a, to make a bucket, our world is just fascinating. Yeah. There's opportunities everywhere. And. W we've not as probably free as, as we were here in Colorado when I first came here in 2000, but it's still a good opportunity for businesses here. Again, working within the constraints that we now have to face. So what was your early career post MBA? Uh, comprised of, then you get over to the states and you said you had some part-time jobs, things like that, but yeah, part-time jobs on the way when I got over here again, because the immigration service lost all my stuff and I had to recreate it all again. So it took me a little while to learn and permission to actually work here legally. Anyway, um, from my Ford background, I ended up getting a part-time job with the dealership in Abilene, Kansas, and then I accidentally found a position after one month. That was an interesting experience. Cause I was have car dealerships make more money from selling used cars and new cars. So in my, I'm not truly an aggressive salesperson, but in my first month there, I, I sold a lot of cars without really trying. And that really upset some of the people who don't like foreigners anyway. So, so I, and, and the boss wasn't around, they'd be yelling and swearing at me and I just didn't take didn't like that. So I ended up accidentally getting a job with. Small business development center at the university of Kansas. Oh. Um, and then I sort of applied for a consultant position there and ended up getting, um, the opportunity to be the assistant director. And then the person left the next year. And I became the executive director of the small business development center. Wow. And we were rapid progression in your career. Well, it's again, really small centers, small while it's it's Lawrence, Kansas is like a, like a smaller version of Boulder and the SBDC, there was actually co located off campus with the chamber of commerce. So the chamber of commerce used me as their training. Um, so I did all of the classes for the chamber, worked closely with the economic development team, you know, recruiting and helping businesses grow in, in Douglas county and Lawrence, and also taught a bunch of classes at the university and some of the affiliated sort of universities and colleges around there just sort of to get my experience. So that was fun. So I spent about eight years or so. Uh, with the university. And then I, um, while there, I got involved with a lot of different groups, like a certified development company that, that I sat on the board of. And then when I left the university, um, the SPDC back in the early nineties was all about. How can I get rich, you know, starting a business. Cause there was all these mail order businesses or computer work at home type businesses that were advertising and almost every other person wanted to start the same sort of business. It was advertised in the back pages of whatever it was. Right. Spend me $10,000. I'll send you a computer and tell you how to, you know, make a million dollars a year with your own business. It's that sort of stuff. But the education was fun. I'd learned a lot. Yeah. Educating others, uh, worked with, uh, the Kauffman foundation and the Silicon Prairie and got to do a bunch of different things. Um, you know, and this is building on what I did back at forwarders, you know, a very small cog in a big organization, but I really didn't have a lot of superficial. So I learned not to be very good at working for other people. So running the SPDC and just being innovative and creative, it sort of just kept building on that. So I just, I would not be a very good employee and I'm not a good employee, but I'm very good at, at building or creating things. And that's what I enjoy doing. And the SPDC gave me that opportunity to do that. Yeah. Um, as an economist, you know, a lot of economists have kind of either a micro or a macro kind of worldview lens. It seems like you lean more toward micro in some respects. Like these individual organizations are kind of, what's more interesting than even though that you're pretty smart about the aggregate of all those. Well, the micro is just really it's, it's more, you can equate it to entrepreneurship in the census that small businesses, many cases, a person to start with, and then it sort of evolves and, and that was fun. And even at the university, when I was. Um, you know, just after the wall came down, you know, we got a chance to participate in, um, USDA project with a whole bunch of entrepreneurs from, from the Ukraine, coincidentally enough. And so they brought them over to Kansas. Um, and I was given the task of teaching them business planning skills. Um, and then we got a chance there, although I wasn't tenured faculty, you know, they pretty grudgingly let me come back with them around Thanksgiving to spend a week in loveth and just sort of see how things work over there, which was really, really fascinating and eye opening. So all of that was, was really interesting for me. And again, I enjoy learning cause I am, as you say, curious, and you can learn from all sorts of things and all sorts of people. And so it was fascinating just seeing what it was like in a, you know, basically an Eastern European country at that stage. Them having a chain taking us around or, you know, the lights going off every soften and, and just, it's just a weird sort of thing. I, I got myself, my fairy Russian hat, which I've always wanted, so, you know, for almost nothing. So, so those sort of things that actually check off on my bucket list. So, um, but again, it's, uh, it was just a really interesting experience. And I learned a lot from the university, you know, there was another, there was an Australian on faculty who was actually working closely with the Kansas government on economic development policy. So he became my mentor for a while, too. So it was just a, again, all of that helped. Um, I ended up, you know, starting my own consulting business for a little while and doing a bit of stuff. And then I, uh, took over the operation of their certified development company in Lawrence, Kansas, which was just a one person, one county operation. Then it became a one person, two county operation. Um, and then the opportunity arose, um, in 2000, um, to actually move to a similar type organization in Colorado, which is. Someplace that I've always, you know, ever since arriving in the United States, you know, I would take, um, sort of occasionally come out here to, to runs and races. Cause I like to sort of run a little bit and I fell in love with Pikes peak and some other places that always attracted me. So the chance to get to color. Which has a little bit more of the Australian lifestyle and the Australian approach to the world. And then Kansas does. And also the weather's a little nicer here than it is in Kansas. It doesn't have the extremes. So, so Colorado was a great opportunity for me. So I didn't know about the running background. What, uh, what kind of sub races did you run? All right. Never been a great runner, but I've, I finished my 50th marathon, I think a couple of years ago up in Nebraska. And I, I really enjoy the Pike's peak ascent, which has just, I'll never do it up and back, but I can just barely get up there and stuff like that. So I just, uh, I use running as just a way for me to see different places and fall in love with things too, and in a way to also unwind and decompress and think about things. So I'm a Jocko in Australia. We call it fun runner or a geography, but that seems to annoy a lot of Americans. Uh, fair enough. So, uh, tell me about that experience. And is Cathy, is she working in a career? Is she raising littles? Like, what's she up to along this? We had our, um, a daughter, we, um, in 1997, so, and, and we were both sort of working at that stage. Um, and then she decided to sort of come back and sort of look after Erin because it was a garden. So then we moved here in 2000. So Aaron was three. When we got here, it was a little bit. I moved here in 2000, which was the worst year possible to move to Colorado is probably more there's there's been two peak years for people moving to Colorado. One was in 2000 and then one was actually in the seventies. So there were more than a hundred thousand, I think, new residents that one year in 99, you beat in which case, there weren't any houses. And it just took us forever to find a place and get settled down. So, and then we decided, or Kathy decided that she would homeschool Aaron. So we basically took her through a classical sort of program. Cool. And then, you know, Denver got a little busy and homeowner's association was a bit too much in our face. So we ended up moving out to Eastern Colorado. Um, cause Aaron was starting to develop a regional interest in, um, animals and stuff like that. And she was telling everyone she wanted to be a vet when she grows up. So we grew up. So we moved out to the, to the school all the time. Managing Colorado lending source. You were living farther east, I guess. Well, we have from 2002 and 2005, we were living in Thornton, so not too bad. And then, you know, prior to that, we'd bought a little property out east, which was really a dump and everyone said we should just bulldoze it, but we were going out on weekends and fixing it up and eventually got it habitable. And it got out there. I think the previous occupant had pig, Potbelly, pigs in. And the captain's just rubber and it was a fixed her up. As I said, everyone said, if she's just bulldoze the town, but we've actually got it fixed up and it's nice. And so we moved out there in 2005 or six, and then I, wouldn't not commute every day, but I'd have a little place in downtown Denver that I'd stay at and then I'd go back and forth. Yeah. Cool. So, um, Like Colorado, it wasn't Colorado lending source already. And if I remember right, it was just like a two person or one, something like that operation when you first got there. Yeah. Colorado lending source had started in 1990 and then they hired me to come in as the alone officer, you know, there were two positions in organizations like that available in 2001 was to run a group, an executive director, and one was a loan officer. I didn't get a look in at the executive director one, but I did get off at the loan officer position. So I joined on the 10th anniversary of Colorado then. And at that stage, there were three of us. It was the boss and me, and then a person helping out. And then within a couple of months, the board got rid of my boss, so then became a two-person operation. Um, and I was wondering whether it made a really bad mistake or not moving to Colorado. Um, but then eventually, you know, um, while they were going through the process of search and, and reorganization, cause a nonprofit after 10 years really needs sort of a revamp and refocus. And so I helped with organizing that at the same time, they're going through the search process and then these guys are smarter than we thought they eventually decided to hire me for whatever reason, better or worse. Um, and so from. Um, you know, from Matt two person start, you know, we built it up at one stage to just past 40 employees. Um, and then things were going a little slower after the last recession and then they sort of ease back down. So it was, uh, you know, from a sleepy old certified development company doing fuel loans. And I was doing in my one-person two county operation in Colorado and Kansas. Uh, we were able to turn it into one of the top 10 performing organizations in the nation. And we were doing, uh, more SBA loans here in the state of Colorado than any. Um, bank or other financial institution. So it was actually quite a lot of fun. Yeah. For the uninitiated. Uh, when we say that CDC, can you describe kind of that at least that basic model of business and the, a little bit of loan programs and stuff like that. This is the boring part. Essentially the, with the small business administration, us small businesses, illustration has about 11 or 12 different sort of loan programs. Uh, one of the programs, which to me is the best program. In fact, the only one I'm really interested in is what's called the SBA 5 0 4 program. Again, they always have these really exciting, sexy names for the program, but the Fiverr full-on program was the only program had had job creation requirement. It was a program that required or would help a small business when they're willing to, you know, build or expand a building, um, and provide financing for that as long as they were creating jobs. So the premise of the 5 0 4 program as it was created by Congress was, um, a nonprofit entity, a certified development company. What partner with the bank and on typical project, if you, as a small business owner wanted to build a a hundred thousand dollar building, you know, the bank would do 50% of the financing. They would have the $50,000 loan in the first position, the five or four program could come in behind and do 40,000 in the junior position. So it would minimize the down payment was typically a 10% down program compared to 25%. If you worked entirely with the bank and the 10 or 30, or sometimes 40 50, if we went back to the last great recession. Um, and then what happened was that that 40% loan was the loan that was done by There were 200 certified development companies across the nation. Month, they would get together and identify projects. They wanted to fund using that 40% and all of those would be pooled together into a bond that would then be sold on the market in New York, which would be guaranteed by the us small business administration. So it would be a fully underwritten bond instrument. It's a little bit like an FHA kind of program where the investors would buy that kind of guaranteed pool of funds or what, yeah. It's not as, not as cheap as buying why it's a little more expensive, but again, it's fully backed by the full faith and backing of the us government. So we, we typically in a, in a normal month I have like 300, $400 million in that pond, Paul. So. Pension funds insurance companies with buy-in. And so we would have be able to fund our loans doing that. And then we would be essentially the lender, although we didn't make the loan, we facilitated the loan servicing agent and keeping track. And if the loan goes bad, then we would be the ones that would wrap everything up on behalf of the SBA. So, um, which is kind of, it includes like making sure you get all the documentation right in the front end and all those kinds of things. Yeah. So. Organization organizing kind of business and regulations and following all those criteria is, and lots of audits and stuff. So it was really, you know, we were like a bank, but only doing the 40% share. And then we would have to, you know, as you say, you'd work with banks. I mean, that's when we got acquainted, I didn't realize it was such a young ish organization. Cause you, by the time we got acquainted back in maybe oh 7 0 8, you were fairly well-developed or you were, had kind of become the, the favored CDC, uh, in the state because you just provided so much more in the way of service and education and awareness to these bankers that only maybe would do an SBA loan once in a while, you know, a couple a year, maybe at most. Yeah. And that, that was the challenge with the program is, um, just like with many government programs. People could make it as complicated as they want to. And there wasn't any customer service and the SBA is hard to work with. And so our role was to do all of that. And again, it's answering phone calls, returning messages. I mean, it's, it's simple business it's essentially. And even though we were a nonprofit, a mission-based nonprofit, we're very focused on, you know, helping to create jobs here in the state of Colorado. And I think, you know, during my 20 to 20 years there, um, something like 26,000 jobs we created. So essentially it, it helped. And not that we can claim credit for that, but the business has got less expensive financing because the bond market interest rates long term, besides 20 year loans, now I can do 25 years. Um, and it just sort of provided a pathway for a business to expand and invest in the state without having, you know, huge overhead and variable interest rates. Well, so that's the core service. One thing that, that the Colorado lending source really became known for was developing ancillary programs or outlets for financing or spotting gaps, maybe where the CDC or the 5 0 4 or the seven, eight programs weren't really fulfilling customer needs. Can you talk about a little bit of that and that's, again, this isn't my, because I get bored quite easily. I mean, once you sort of do a really good job and create the model for the five or four program, then what else can we do where else is the need? And because our mission at Colorado lending source was to foster the economic growth of diverse small businesses. I still remember the, um, it was a mission that. Gave me a little bit of leeway as the executive director to explore other opportunities and not just sit back and get rich by doing five or four lines, which a lot of business, a lot of CDCs do. It's all about the money, which it is for a lot of people pay their executive director and stuff like that. Then there is, and there was some very huge cases. There was, for example, our California and CDC that was shut down in the early part of the teens that, you know, he was making, you know, more than a million and a half a year. And he had his wife, he was working, she was making a million a year on a private chat and this person was making 600, 800,000. So again, the 5 0 4 program, it does in some respects provide some generous compensation to the CDC. And so I would use some. Excess money that we didn't need to pay people. Cause most the only primary expense we've got is personnel. And so we'd create some different loan programs and work with banks and do a lot of education and just to outreach and sponsor other organizations. So it was a way for us to, again, our mission was broad enough. It didn't mention SBA in our mission, which I didn't want it to cause I was there when we created the mission, which was cool. Um, and so it gave us the license to, you know, try and be, you know, I was trying to be there the, the lending arm or the small business arm of the state of Colorado because the state wasn't doing anything in terms of that sort of lending, which some states do. And so I was wanting to try. Prop up the state and make it a stronger state by through. So talk to me about that mission and I'm backing up a little bit again, but it sounds like you're pretty proud of that kind of recasting that mission for the organization early on. It was, again, during that year after they got rid of my boss or the executive director, again, they, they brought in a consultant who sort of worked with us on creating a mission and a vision for the organization and then sort of some basic goals for strategic plan, which we hadn't had before. I mean, can I go back to the fact that, and in reflection it's silly. I mean, Colorado lending source existed, but it didn't know what it wanted to be. So once you have a mission and division. Um, you've got a direction to head towards and you'll, hopefully we'll never achieve it, but you can constantly work towards it. So, um, I was invited to sit in with the board on crafting that mission statement and defining and arguing about every word that we had or didn't have in there. And so I was able to sway a little bit in terms of making sure that it wasn't too narrow in the sense that it just helping SBA programs. Right. Um, but it was broad enough that it could encompass a range of products. So we could work with the us department of agriculture, which, and our rural businesses, which isn't something that. Many people think of the extremities wouldn't do that necessarily. They tend to rural communities back then there was lower projects. And so some certified development companies wouldn't local work with a project below like X or a hundred thousand dollars or something. Although you could technically go all the way down to 25,000 and you, you maximum loan back in those days was only 750,000. I grew to a million dollars and then I grew to $5 million. And so essentially you've got lot more scope. And so when you're, um, make more money doing bigger lines like banks, um, you tend to focus on doing the bigger loans and ignore the smaller businesses, which tends to then make it harder for rural based businesses who are buying a a hundred thousand dollar building in the downtown building, that sort of stuff. So it made, it, made it, it started to exclude people just through the success of the program and the size of the volume. And again, it was all. You know, some large lenders banks didn't like it. They they'd much prefer to make a 90% loan themselves and they could make more money. And so even though a five or four line with 50% from the bank and 40% from the CDC was a better deal for the small business. There was also that issue about, you know, education. So a lot of our focus was on information education, and that's what I was doing at the university of Kansas. And so that's a lot of what I've been doing my whole life in some respects is not telling people what to do or selling people. It's helping them learn to understand what it is that they really want so well. And I've seen that thread through some of your, uh, I guess just posts and your, your career advance was that desire for inclusivity. Um, and not just from a diversity standpoint or are minorities or ladies or things, but like everybody should be invited to this table of opportunity of American entrepreneurship and. Or to have, and again, we've, we've got, you know, this is probably a longer discussion, but, uh, because we have gotten lazy, um, as, you know, since over the, over the decades and people have become very dependent on credit scores to determine whether or not to make a loan to someone. And of course, we've always had this requirement for collateral in the lending system. And because our, our banking system here is, you know, got three regulators playing in a field with us, you know, only one in most countries. And because the number of banks is sort of falling quite rapidly. So we've got three regulators looking over the shoulders of banks that used to still stretch. Yeah. If you can't hold it enough now that they know better. Yeah. You can't do things on a handshake. I mean, my dad had a business back in Australia and he wanted to borrow some money in it. The bank would make a loan to him based on who he was and what he'd done, as opposed to not what some third-party credit agency says he was worth or, um, whatever. And then when you look at credit, credit scores themselves are incredibly biased. I think there's only 30 to 33% of the credit score has to do with payment history. So a lot of the other components in the credit score have to do with how old you are and how long you've had credit and along in each place, things like that. And it's just, it's whether you've got these cards of those kids. So it's really know people who are hot and fast say, well, you have to have six 80 or I'm not going to talk to you. There are plenty of those out there and that's fine, but it doesn't necessarily work with, you know, 21st century America where businesses don't necessarily have collateral all day being started by, you know, minorities or women or rural based businesses that may not have the credit profile, but also at the same time, You weren't just throwing money at everybody that had a pulse or, you know, you got under the hood of probably a lot of bad ideas and said, sorry, but this isn't going to meet our criteria. Yeah. And again, there's also this, this get rich quick scheme. That's being promoted by a lot of, should we say bad actors, but yeah. That's so from the perspective of looking at projects, um, you know, that are, and we know we can plot. I mean, if you're a business with employees, you know, you're tracked in the federal group by the bureau of labor statistics, and we can see survival rates for all of the businesses. It started in any one particular year in Colorado, not, not individually, of course, but in the aggregate. And so we know what the likelihood of success is of a business. And so that taught me, you know, just because I'm curious to try and understand what differentiates the success of some businesses versus others. There's definitely factors that are beyond the control of a lot of things. You know, a governor shutting down the state and killing, you know, half the businesses we have operational because there's no support system for them, but in normal times you can track, you know, at the survival rate of a business. And, and when I sort of drill down into that over the years, it started to look at what made a business more likely to be successful or succeed or stay around longer survive. I should say, cause it's businesses, I don't think ever, ever fail. I don't like to use that word. They just choose not to succeed. So the businesses that tend to do best are ones that have a team around the entrepreneur. So lead management team, it still could be one person business. Um, if you have a mentor you're twice as likely to be successful as if you don't. Um, and you know, there are plenty of people offering mentorships. Now we've got, you know, the population that we have and more people theoretically retiring. So having a team is important, but then the next step is having a network. So as I would work with, with different businesses, if you know, I'm a stay at home, dad and I, you know, don't have anything else to do. So. Build this line of, you know, bath soaps, and people will buy it from me. And, you know, have you ever gone to a built any before, if you've gone into a farmer's market, do you have a network? Do you have a web presence? It's those sorts of question or who's helping you, you know, to do with your, and then financial literacy or the lack thereof is a big drawback for a lot of businesses. So being open to suggestions as even listening to your, your person last week, he was talking about the fact that he did his own taxes for the first couple of years, and he wasn't quite sure he did it. Right. Pretty sure he didn't do it. Right. And he's just going to see what happens. It's that sort of approach. And, and it's really, and I, I sit on different groups at the moment and one of mine, uh, groups is a loan committee for a group out of Oregon that works with, um, projects in the, um, the cannabis type industry and projects around the world and around the country. And I've been. Yeah, frankly, amazed by the lack of quality in the financial statements that they've been showing with me. Cause I just had these arguments. I said, you can't sell $20,000 worth of products and have a cost of goods sold of $130,000. But you know, please explain that to me. And they, they can't right. It's just some simple basics. And so I'm doing a lot of, a little bit of coaching on my, on my days off as well. I've started to understand, uh, like when you go through those things, that team around you, a mentor, a network, uh, those kinds of things are some of the reasons that you've been kind of a fan of Loco think tank since we've been doing this. Yes. Because creating that support system and it doesn't have to be a formal mentor, you can learn a lot from so much, but you have to be open to it, you know? Cause things. Change rapidly, this everything is dynamic and yeah. And so the, you know, I've come to the conclusion, but also seen many studies that, you know, money is the third, most important thing for business. If you don't have that lead management team, and if you don't have the opportunity or you haven't already started to create a network, then you will really, the money is not going to help you. Yeah. Well, and just the willingness to open yourself up to that kind of experience suggests that you're willing to change what you're doing when it's found to be dumb, which, and, you know, pivoting is what, you know, what they call it now. But essentially it's just being open to change in so many. Study, I'm a big fan of the ice house program, which is, which looks at why these groups of businesses, um, have become successful. When everything says that they shouldn't, whether it's a, you know, a returning veteran who's lost an arm from Iraq or something comes back and starts a business, or a kid has been through so many foster homes, you know, he can't count them and starts a business or, you know, to, you know, a black father daughter type company in Chicago who starts a business and does incredibly well. So trying to understand a lot of those sort of messages from, um, that the ice house, uh, principles, which is just really saying that you, you know, you can be successful in these are some common factors you'll often see when businesses are saying cost is always a passion. Um, yeah, just want to get rich quick and. Crap from China and sell at a flea market. You can always do that, but it's not really, I'm more interested in helping businesses that can either give back and help others, but also invest in the community by creating hopefully local jobs. Um, and so that's really, you know, the, the way a state gets strong is to have strong communities. And if. Offs or outsource all of our manufacturing. And we outsource all of our jobs to big corporations who couldn't care less about wherever it is they're located. Then you don't create the strength and the resiliency that you need to get through a crisis. Like we've been through for the last two years. Yeah. Interesting. Um, talk to me just a little bit about that building of the team as Colorado lending source grew because there was two or three of you at first, and then what were those, I mean, were there adding special specialists to it eventually you had like in-house counsel and different things like that, but what was that progression in terms of organizational who did what? It's a good question too, again, and it's something that I think is important for a lot of businesses. This is probably contrary to a lot of principles, but especially with a group like Colorado lending source at that stage, we were outsourcing pretty much everything. So council was outsourced and I found that, you know, it would take quite a long time for council who was doing other things. Cause it wasn't exclusive, they weren't exclusively working with us. So between the approval of alone, you know, getting it funded, um, you had to go through council had prepare all the documents with MEP reviewed by SBAs council, which would then go up to New York to the bond market route by those guys. And, you know, to get in a bond pool, you had to start at least 45 days in advance of that. And if we started to see lots of hiccups there, which we did, um, then we could see it take longer for us to get. Lauren across the closing film. And we were in an environment back then in two thousands where we were starting to see sort of incremental interest rate hikes. And so if we lost the customers were upset because my rate went up in the time that well, they, for many of them, it was sort of a peak. So we tried to make it as transparent as possible. But for me, it was annoying that if, you know, they'd gone up a quarter point because we messed up something one month, you know, it it's different if the stress going in a different direction, but through most of that period, it was right up. So it became important that I try and bring that sort of skill base in. And surprisingly enough, when I, my previous boss consecutive director left, he had a pretty good, you know, golden handshake attached to that. Some, some hair others. So when he left, he took pretty much all the money. So, um, there wasn't much for me to do other than, until I could build the portfolio. So. And the early days, which was just after the.com bubble burst, um, there was high unemployment, but a lot of wonderful talent that had come through the university system. So a lot of the early hires that I made work, people, kids, I could say now, straight out of college, who knew nothing about what we were doing. So this, the opportunity was there for me to teach and train. The way I wanted them to be trained as opposed to, um, no offense to the banking industry, but hiring someone from the banking industry, learned a lot of regulatory type skills that didn't have any entrepreneurial component, which is what I need to build an entrepreneurial non-profit. So it was looking at all of those things. So, um, I found someone, um, who had graduated from CU and I'm trying to remember what a background. It wasn't the background or rec graduate degree. Wasn't important. But I said, I need someone to be in charge of the closing department and she didn't know anything about closing, but she wanted to challenge. So she took it on and she did it. She became the person and we eventually pulled back everything from the attorneys other than their opinion. So we were able to do that. And then it's like somebody convention and that was Stacy Williams. She's I think she's. Um, had enough, she's busy raising a family at the moment. So she'll be, she may still be a little bit, did she ever distributed here? He didn't have radiator. That was, um, there was a bunch of them. Yeah. So I, I tried to count it up before I left, but I work with about 50 different people over time. And when I was hiring these people, people were telling me, well, this generation generation X, I only stay here for three years and then they've got to find something else. But, um, they didn't. So we ended up long-termers we ended up building a fairly good, strong core of people. Um, and We'd supplement from time to time. You know, things were really strong prior to the last great recession. Um, so I expanded and had sort of salespeople and stuff like that. And then the wheels fell off the economy and. You know, there wasn't much support from the federal government for a five, a four. There was a lot through top for the banks, but nothing to help, you know, what we were doing. And so we had to sort of regroup and started all over again. So, um, it was again, wonderful experience. We primarily, uh, grew it, um, and it wasn't me. It was the people who, who worked with the team that worked there. Sure. Yeah. I mean many hands to, to build an organization like that. Um, and talk to me about, I guess, the decision to make exit from there and, and what that looked like. Well, it was a long time coming. I, I told, uh, you know, the most I'd ever worked anywhere was like about 10 years. And so that was, or eight to 10 years was a long time for me. So I told the board. Um, that as I was approaching my 20th year and I was probably in year 18 or 17 and said, well, I need to can't do this forever. I've built it to this stage. The program has become less easy to work with. Um, there are more complications because, you know, after the last great recession, the SBA moved entirely to credit scoring their lines. And again, that started to exclude the populations that my mission set I should be helping. And so it just became more bureaucratic and more instantly frustrated. With getting shit done. Yeah. Just a bit of that. And then, you know, a couple of businesses that I helped ended up sort of suing me because I helped them and those sorts of things. So I thought got to the stage where I'm like, okay, I'm going to exit and year 20, I've never worked anywhere for 20 years and I probably never will again for someone else. So, um, this is my date. I started on October 1st in 2000. I'm going to finish on September 30th in 2020. And I gave the board a couple of years notice for that, so that we could start the planning. And then of course COVID hit. Um, so that just meant that I was a lot busier in my last year and it just slowed down the process of finding a replacement, but they did eventually find someone and, and, and the organization has gone from strength to strength now. So I know it's expanded to Utah and now it's got a presence in Arizona. So it's doing all sorts of interesting things, which is cool. Well, and they changed their name this year, which caught me off guard. Yeah, it's an interesting name, but again, I, I'm not. A little annoyed with that initially, because we'd had the name for the 10 years before me. So we'd had it for 30 years. Um, and, but then in, in reflection, it's good. So, you know, I had my 20 years at Colorado lending source and nothing changes that someone else can, can build their own sort of this. There's no connection between what it is now and what it was when I was there. Is there any particular key players from that journey that you'd like to give a shout out to for any particular reasons or causes they're all key key players? No one that I would not give a shout out to. They're all amazing people to work with. And it was, you know, I, I wasn't working for them. I wasn't there, they weren't working for me. I was working for them and I learned a lot from everyone, as I said, I'm curious, I like to learn about all sorts of things. So now amazing teams. I'm sure they're doing great guns and I'm just trying to keep out of the way. Right? Right. So, uh, Prairie rose development. Was that something that was around before. Uh, you left Colorado lending source or was that just a way for you to, you know, stay busy and do some things? Well, it's sort of the incubation for that. Was it at Colorado lending source. We dabbled with a character line program because I saw the need for that. Um, and that really was, um, it wasn't true, you know, in, in Colorado, we, we don't do a very good job of helping new businesses get started. So, uh, our Colorado main street program, we called it, it was really focused on startups. 70 odd percent of the funds we did were to startups. Uh, found some different pots of funds. We borrowed some money from USDA. We got, uh, access to a special one-time SBA program and a couple of foundations and some banks would lend us money. And so we made these loans under the Kara Colorado main street loan program, which then morphed into helping the state create the Colorado micro loan program. Again, you're looking at the character-based principles. I mentioned before of having teams and access to them, try to scoop up some of these people that have been excluded by all these changes. Yeah. And they tended to be the most entrepreneurial population. So again, the women or the minorities or the rural based, or the veterans, or in many cases, millennials. So, um, because they, they don't have the credit profile. Lenders nonprofit and for-profit lenders look for well and need is the mother of invention and sometimes the start of entrepreneurial journeys. Um, and so what we did, there was fun then of course, COVID sort of messed that up a little bit, but then we did a lot of emergency lending and stuff, but the intent was because Colorado still doesn't as all the organizations within the states to learn, do a great job, helping young businesses get started. So Prairie Rose's intent was to, to take that, um, and then sort of provide more formal mentoring and in conjunction with the lawns and then have like three tiers of lions and, and allow people to graduate from, you know, small lungs sounds like a lot of running around for a lot of little tiny loans while I, again, it's, it's an investment, you know, someone who starts with a 40 or $50,000 loan, and we've worked with many of those. I mean, there's one of my many favorite businesses at Colorado lending source got a $50,000 one from us under the main street program. They were. You know, through an accelerator, they had investors ready, but they needed some money for a Kickstarter campaign. And so the 50,000 that they took from the Kickstarter campaign, uh, took to, to the Kickstarter campaign, got them some inventory, but also got them in a $650,000 worth of orders over the internet. So that gave them a, another leg along, which then allowed them to get a line of credit from their bank, which again, made them more attractive. So, you know, 40, $50,000 can really go a long way for some businesses. I like to characterize starting a business sometimes as like an old hand crank car, where to get it going. Like it's hard. Like don't, don't don't don't don't and then it goes, oh no, it's going, you know, Um, mom's first car. My dad was a salesperson for awhile in Australia. And so our very first car we got was an old Ford prefect, which had a hand crank. So I used to do that a few times. So I'm that old, I guess I've never even cracked a hand cream, a lot of fun. They can kick back on you, but that's all right. So a kid, it didn't matter. So you threw your hat in the ring, this, I guess this fall, uh, for the secretary of state, is that right? Yeah. And that in some respects, that's a sort of a continuation. And what I'm seeing here is that, um, we, you know, if you look at the secretary of state's office, is it only does three things according to its mission and sort of makes information available publicly. And it does a very good job. The website and in Colorado is great. You can find a lot of stuff about a lot of businesses. Um, the other two things it's supposed to do is enhance con. Which it's never done to my experience. I'm not sure that anyone who's been a secretary state understands what the word commerce means. And then the third thing it does is to ensure the integrity of elections. And I'm not sure that we've done a really good job with that either. So I'm coming at the position as a business person. Not, I'm not a politician I'd like to de-politicize the officer, Lieutenant, his business roots, um, the relationships I've bought or built over the years with people like the office of economic development, international trade and, and other sort of groups here, you know, working in conjunction with the secretary of state could really do great things to help businesses in Colorado. But the secretary state doesn't do anything except except the filing fees. And there's more than a million business filing fees every year. And they primarily support the operation of the office. And then I found out that, um, the incumbent around. I got ahold of a strategic plan, which is on a website, which you did sort of the end of last summer. And she'd arranged with the governor to drop all of the business filing fees effective this next July, um, to $1. And so Colorado's business registration fees are the lowest in the nation. I mean, to register an LLC it's 50 bucks and then 10 bucks a year, um, Texas 300 bucks. I mean, in Maryland, that's like $2,500. So, right. So it, but those fees pay for most of the operations of the office. And so arbitrarily dropping them from $50 to $1 or $10 to $1 cause most of the fees are $10 fees. Right. Um, and, and the whole stated objective of that was to encourage more small business development in Colorado. And I just laughed at that and fell off my chair and saving that $49 is going to make all the difference that $9 each year for most businesses. Cause we have 150,170, 180,000. Employers in Colorado. So we have that many businesses who will probably renew each year. We know we'd lose probably 20,000 of them every year, but we came about 20,000 and then we have a lot of, um, you know, she doesn't worry that the secretary state doesn't work with most businesses, 75% of businesses in the state of sole proprietors have nothing to do with the secretary of state's office. So the enhancing commerce thing is, is, is a joke. And the smallest ones don't have any need for that service. They might register a trade name and that's 10 bucks or something. So they might save nine bucks. That's, you know, coffee or two, these days don't even get your phone. It seems to me as a banker, you know, I consider myself kind of a risk analyst. And it seems to me that if you're beholden to a general fund for your funding, you know, those other missions. You know, making that information available, you know, if you lose all your staff cause he lost part of your funding now, can you actually make a good website that gets information out there? Can you, can you manage and take really of elections? Well, the backup to that is that she's asked in the legislature is approved at least through the house, you know, at an extra $16.71 million allocation of taxpayer funds to the office this next 22, 23 years. So she's dropping the fees. So she's giving away the revenue stream that she had. And she's back-filling that with we taxpayers are now kicking in 16.7, $1 million to an office that doesn't need taxpayer support. So as a. To replace the fees that she's giving back to the businesses. So what we're doing is we taxpayers generally are subsidizing, you know, 180,000 businesses. Um, most of them, again, more than 60% of them have fewer than five employees, but again, for 10 bucks, which is, or nine bucks, isn't going to help anything other than potentially buy some votes to someone because she's going to spin this, that she's helping businesses, which is what the legislature thinks she's doing well. And government, generally, we could use more fee for service and less. Charges. Well, it's again, it's because it's such a good bag in here. I mean, no, one's going to book it. You know, if you wanted an attorney to help you draw up the documents for an LLC, it costs you a lot more than 50 bucks, right? So from the perspective, it's a false economy, but it is a way for redirecting taxpayer funds that don't need to be redirected. And then there's a lot of collide. I posted. Uh, I've had all I can stands and I can't stands. No more words of puppy. Yeah. That's exactly right. And how do you still watch those too, but essentially, you know, I am what I am in the sense that I'd really, you know, as a taxpayer, I mean that's $16.7 million could buy, you know, a lot of fire trucks that we could pass your park, you know, in the Northern part of Denver, if we have any more wildfires or it could be used to fix some of our crappy roads in this state, we don't need to reallocate tax limited taxpayer funds. And, and the presumption is that the Colorado economy is going to continue to grow at the rate. It grew last year, which it won't. So we're going to have to, um, remove those tax payer funds from. Probably more needy service in the state. And so as a business person, it doesn't make sense. You mean that the program could be entirely self-sufficient it's about 90% self-sufficient based on the fees. It wouldn't be hard to tweak a couple of the fees for perhaps a foreign corporations to actually get it up to a hundred percent self-sufficient and again, so this is me looking at it from a business perspective, as opposed to a political, um, opportunity to India, myself, to the citizens of Colorado, by showing them how much I appreciate, you know, small businesses and working towards, you know, the objective of the incumbent is to become the governor in 2026. And so she needs this as a platform to try and promote how great she is. But again, it's so removed from reality. And then when I start looking at the election integrity thing and learning a little bit, yeah. And talk to me about that. We've kind of drifted into our politics segment already here, but we might as well just stay here. No, I've, I've just been, you know, what we have here in, in standing to lucky, just me being analytical is looking at because we have the silly, automatic voter registration requirement, um, even between November of 20, 20 and November of 2021, um, the voter role has grown by three times, the 300% compared to the population of Colorado. So we have a lot more people being added to the voter roll every year. And we go back a few years prior to that, it was 400%. So we're increasing, what are, these are the people who are getting duplicated like they move and they're still back on Boulder county, but they're also in Parker now or wherever well, there's, there's a bit of that. And there's actually at least one federal lawsuit with judicial watch against the secretary state in Colorado for filing to clean up the voter rolls. So as I keep digging into this, we have about between 160 and 200,000 people every year, move out of color. And about a third of them are people in the 20 to 29 year age group. So I'm going to guess a lot of them are pre CU and CSU. Sure. Not all of them will have established roots here or need to, um, change their voting stuff, but a bunch of them have. So just like anything, I may not even realize that they might not register if you've registered a vote in. Kansas cause you moved there. Does it take you off of the Colorado for them now they used to be a system where they would do that, but the secretary of state, you know, got rid of that system. So they're relying on Colorado's one of 36 states that uses the U S states postal service to look for change of address forms. Now, there are two things you can do with the postal service. When you move, you can do a permanent change of address form. We could do a temporary change of address form a lot of people, smart people don't do the permanent one, even if they're moving permanently. Because when you do that, you get inundated with all sorts of junk mail. If you use the temporary one for six months and then renew it for another six months, you don't get on anyone's list. So people don't know you've gone. Ah, so it's a, it's sort of a little hack that people who move a lot should use. So. That number of people. And even when we do get the change of address forms through the state, I don't know who, how that actually is handled because that used to be the responsibility of the counties. Now it's the state it's officer centralized the power. So we've got that. And then I looked around and in 2018 we had about 550,000 people in Colorado. Like me who were born outside the United States. And only 250,000 of us were actually citizens or allowed to vote. So we've got 300,000 people who, who are potentially there and because of automatic voter registration, oh, I probably on the voter rolls. So we don't require anyone to provide proof of citizenship, which annoys me as someone who went through the lengthy and expensive process of becoming a citizen and earning the right to vote, actually. Yeah. Well, why did I wait? Or they borrow and bothered to spend that money and get my certificate. I mean, it's it's of stuff. And when you look at the data is about 170,000 of those 300,000, it could become citizens, but haven't so, you know, why do they need to become a citizen if they can already vote, if that's important. Right? So we've got potential. And I was just actually doing, I, you know, every citizen in Colorado can buy a copy of the voter roll from the secretary, state cost you 50 bucks and they send you two huge Excel files. You know, that, that are really hard to open on a computer with my memory, but I've been playing around with that just because I'm nerdy enough to do that. And so I was at an event last night in Fort Morgan, so I thought, okay, I'm going to check. I'll go into my 10 files. I'll pull out all the Fort Morgan registered addresses and I'll throw them in a new Excel spreadsheet. And then I'll just check for eight addresses. I thought I'd grabbed the eight hotels that are in Fort Morgan, and I'd look at those addresses and see if anyone is registered at hotel, just from curiosity. And one of the hotels had three registered voters. 100 registered in 2019, and then two had registered in March of 2020, which was when the state was shut down. So I don't know how anyone can register to vote in Colorado with a very temporary, you know, short-term stay at Oregon in Fort Morgan, just for, you know, the staying for a couple of nights somehow or other. They get, uh, get on the, roll it from what I could tell, um, the 2021 ballots were sent to those hotels, hotels and returned, but that means that they become inactive on, on the voter roll. Right. But they likely bow all three of them voted in 2020. So we have two Democrats and an unaffiliated is in terms of identifying. So that's just me looking at eight addresses and in Fort Morgan, just to see if we have people staying at hotels who might also be potentially entitled that, which isn't like evidence of, you're not saying necessarily Trump won Colorado or anything like that, but, but there's where there's opportunity for. Okay for that kind of thing. Like you're not the only person that's noticed this, right? Yeah. There's a fiscal bad actors and that's exactly it. If we've got multiple, if there are ballots being sent out to address. People aren't there, or, you know, there's a potential for bad actors to pick up these valids and repurpose them. And so I'm not suggesting one thing or the other, but with more people on the voter roll than who are eligible technically to vote, they're just going to be excess ballots floating around. And even I was just doing a random check through there, cause you can sort on, you know, the name and the date of birth. And I found the same person, you know, uh, two different addresses getting two ballots. So it, and that's not me being very scientific. And I sat next to a guy at a function the other night who was actually a really intelligent, smart, amazing guy. And he's legally blind. So he doesn't have a driver's license, but he has a state ID. And he said, he moved in 2021 and he got a ballot at his whole place and he got a ballot as new place. He didn't even ask to register just happen. And so, because people don't have to enroll or go out of the. Two one a vote. Uh, we have just lots of extra ballots out there and there's no way to say, you know, who is really floating. And it's just the potential is that then people can create extra ballots. So if they don't send them back, you know, they can, and their issues around the computer and technology cause no technology is foolproof, but sure. Uh, but that, that's my start to those where you're like, eh, essentially, it's, we've got these people who, you know, perhaps there are, non-citizens on, there's a really interesting question. When someone does become a citizen, there's a question on the form, the lengthy form, and part 12, question two that asks, have you ever voted at a, at a federal or state election? That's a question. We ask people that with. And a lot of people answer that positively because they know that if they don't answer those questions correctly, then, then they went become citizens. So when people are serious, we can pick that information up. And as soon as I get my freedom of information act requests back, I might be able to give you us an idea of how many of those existing Colorado, if indeed I get it back. But, but that my sense is that because there's no requirement for proving of citizenship and because it's automatic, unless you tell him you don't want it, um, it's happening to more people than we need and whether or not they use the belts, I don't know, but there's definitely ballots out there that are going to people who are ineligible. And again, from a business perspective, that should be something that we should clean up in this state to reduce the potential for accusations of bad actors, repurposing, you know, missing belts. So I want to go back to the, the mission, I guess, of the secretary of state, we've talked about ensure integrity of elections. Make information available to then the third is enhanced commerce. Like if you got that role, are there buttons and levers that you're inclined to push and pull that would help to enhance commerce from that office? Um, I think, well, it's, again, it's, it's I'm person that if this is the mission, the registration fees, while I could, I can drop it back to, we all tell them, I also wouldn't mind increasing a few of them myself, but it's, again, the dollar is stupid. It's not going to encourage anyone else to register a business, perhaps more frivolous registrations, and then they won't reregister. Um, but yeah, the enhanced commerce, it does give us an opportunity. I mean, there, there are disadvantages to Colorado. We've got the. Um, unfunded pension liability here, which means that big businesses will never move here or won't bring a lot of employees here just because they know that they'll be on the hook for this unfunded thing. So I think the secretary of state position as a cabinet position could help influence legislation or at least force the treasurer to get off the re his or her rear end to try and look at ways to try and do that. It creating links between the secretary of state and the department of revenue. Business collects a lot of information from business, but I don't think they share anything or the secretary state's not interested in getting it. And then of course the office of economic development, international trade, there's a way to cross pollinate and help businesses be educated about, oh, edit programs as well. Yeah. Which ultimately a way to kind of oversee the whole SBA kind of PDCs and stuff too. The waiter does SBDC is, and they do their employee ownership and they do a lot of work around advanced technology and stuff. But again, it's like the silos governments don't tend to be very, is it the secretary of state? It says enhanced comments, but they've never done anything to my knowledge to enhance comms, but they could, the mission is there. And so someone who was more entrepreneurial, creative as opposed to preparing themselves to be the next governor could actually do something that helps the business community. So it opens the door well in a navigator, thing of sorts is kind of. You became at Colorado lending source was that organization was built to help people navigate this often confusing world and to know what resources are available at the edit and what resources are available at beside, or things like that. And I can see how that just knowing those things helps to spur. Yeah, well, that's, again, it's, you've got a database of, you know, million filings every year and there's not much that goes back out from the office once the money comes in. So in the technology that secretary of state's office has, at least from the outward facing website is incredible. So, you know, you can get things from Colorado, like a certificate of good standing, which costs nothing in this state. But if you try and get it from Utah, it costs you like 20, 30 bucks or 10 bucks or something. So, so it's a very inexpensive place to work on that side of the fence. But again, it doesn't work with the sole proprietors or the young businesses. It doesn't help educate people. Sits there and takes their money and that's about it. So again, and that's again, you know, that would be my passion as a business, but again, it's, it's a political office. I don't know why it shouldn't be a political office, but it is a political office. And it's been weaponized by certain politicians over the years, you know, as a stepping stone to somewhere else and then doing that, they haven't really thought very much about the mission. Yeah. Um, I want to get a little bit more into the foundation for some of your political beliefs and things like that. Um, but let's take a quick potty break. Okay. And we're back. So I've heard you reference kind of what's happened politically the charging of the office of secretary of state and, and kind of alluded to larger topics, I guess you've been around. So what has happened to the politics of Colorado, maybe the last 20 years or 10 years ago? Well, it's definitely, again, my attraction to Colorado initially was because it was a very entrepreneurial state. It very much had the feel of Australia, you know, despite this very little moisture here. Um, and the absence of the ocean, which I miss Neely. Um, it's essentially, and really it's really epitomized a lot in the Denver startup. We can not have start up week so that you do up here as well, essentially, it's it's entrepreneurs helping other entrepreneurs and paying things forward as opposed to competing with each other. And that's been very much, um, we saw the overreaction overreaction during COVID, which was, um, draconian in the sense that it really picked winners and losers. You know, the big businesses that were providing similar products or services in the small businesses rollout to continue in the small businesses. What well in the big business, bigger, the bigger businesses that had big payrolls and stuff like that, and big salaries for their team. They got a big PPP, the little guys that were just struggling got like a little pittance. Yes. And so what there was is the government picking winners and losers. And when you, when you start having the government doing that, I mean, it's, I use the example, cause again, I'm on the nerdy side of the economists, but in a prior to COVID Colorado was the ninth lowest unemployment in the nation. Currently 34th. Um, and we've got twice as many people unemployed today, even with more people looking for jobs and we had pre COVID. So, and, and we've got, you know, you've seen some of my little posts, but as I tracked the impact of the stimulus, that's moved through the economy. What it did was fundamentally changed the way Americans spend their money. So because Americans are spending more money on durable goods, things that you touch and, you know, cars and stuff like that, that, that may or may not have needed. Um, but you've got the extra funds. So you're going to have sort of put some of that and buy something. And we're also spending a lot more money on, let me put it politely on hoarding. So non-durable goods. So we've really ratcheted up how much we spend on toilet paper and, and of course food at home and, and other things like that. So, so people have this PNH would make the joke that there's a whole new generation of Americans that have learned how to horde, you know, for people who grew up in the year that I did. That was just part of what you did. Cause you. I've always had a 36 pack of 10 key downstairs, you know, just in case and my wife has do, but, but now we have two of them. So, so there's been all of this. And as that moves its way through the system, as things start to feel better and people don't have to worry about whether the toilet paper will be there the next time they go to the store. And so they buy an extra one this time and because all of that has happened and because disposable income, although it increased quite a bit during COVID because of stimulus, it mostly increased for the richer people. And so we've got the, the less wealthy people have, um, fewer resources to spend, but they're now spending, or they've got more of those resources on the. Non-Euro booklets or goods, um, and less money to spend on services. So what that has done is really impacted the small business sector, uh, because the services that we spend, we used to spend, you know, two thirds of every dollar on services, and now we're spending about 60 cents and it may not seem very much, but when we look within the component of what the services spend spend is on, um, the largest two components are on housing, which has actually gone up and healthcare, which has stayed pretty much the same. So the other sorts of things of ground massages and acupuncture and the cats and dog grooming and car washes and all those sort of things that, that just sort of fall by the wayside because we've got, and then of course, we've got inflation. We throw that on top of things. And so, you know, if you want to buy a hamburger or something, it costs you 10 to top. It did a year ago. And if you can find it. And so we've got all of these issues that have been forced on the economy didn't need to be. And of course, energy is behind most of a lot of. And because we move from being an energy independent nation, which we were a few years ago to an energy purchasing nation where we buy everything from over syndrome tech driving in today. I heard that, that the now in 2021 America bought 236 million barrels of oil from Russia. Oh, really? So all of that money we spade and of course supply and demand, America's not. Energy onto the world market. We have to buy it from someone else. So suppliers constraints. So the price goes up. So we're spending a lot of money and helping out Mr. Putin. So Mr. Putin, his brain, well, he's his break even for his oil was about $80 a barrel. And so we were consistently, you know, well below that. So we've weaponized him by pushing the price of oil up to a hundred dollars a barrel because he's now getting more money in than he would ever have gotten before. So now he's feeling results because of our domestic policy here to remove energy independence, since it's simple as that. So from an economic macro economic perspective, you can easily see that we've now heard him. Yeah, of course. Do that thing. Cause now he's got a captive market. Yeah. Well, and encouraged him with our less than graceful exit from Afghanistan, probably. Well that and the Chinese, I mean, we're just betting on when the Chinese move into Taiwan to do a, um, you know, not an invasion, but just, um, you know, minor and all of the sort of thought is around that. So we can see that. And that will continue to, now that I know not what the stock market did today, but now that there's an invasion into the breakaway states, you know, It's going to create all sorts of other tensions, but it also creates opportunities for politicians to score points. And so all of this is, is unnecessary. So again, from a business perspective, I'm definitely not a politician. And I don't understand politicians who just sort of go back and forth, but it, it sorta makes sense to me that if we want to keep costs down in the United States, keep inflation under control. We need to control the cost of energy. And we shouldn't be buying energy from people who don't really want to support in the long run. So it's you're right. Well, so there's two real problems here, uh, that I've heard. One is you want my grandmother to die, uh, because without locking down the COVID would have run rampant and overrun us and, and this and that. And secondly, uh, you want the world to global warm itself to death. You know, you did go down those rabbit holes there too, but I, I do sort of, um, I like to look at the stats and again, there was a lot of hype and fear and stuff. So, uh, based on how many people have. With COVID not from COVID. So only like about 10% of people who die with COVID have only COVID most of them have co-morbidities. So the death rate in the United States is 99.7 something percent. So it's really the survival rate, I should say. It's 99.7%. So it's not a, from a, from a, from a major perspective, it hasn't destroyed, you know, a third of the population or, or 60% of the population like the black death did. So it's, it's not, it's a relatively mild pandemic, but it did create a lot of fear. And the cost we incurred in doing that, you have to outweigh against the benefit, uh, given that 90% of the people based on the CDC numbers that have passed away, unfortunately with COVID had other co-morbidities, which, um, would have eventually caused them potentially to die. Well, I was observing the other day that during the time when we were locked down, kind of that March through June, There was almost no COVID in Colorado. Like that was the safest time to be out and about. And a lot of respects that wasn't here. Yeah. Yeah. Well that's and that's yeah. And there's some other issues too, but the lockdowns also increased, you know, drug overdoses, more mental issues, you know, development issues. I heard the other day that, um, the, well, we preserve the market for the vaccines. Cause if everybody would've gotten infected right away, then, well, did you see how many dollars the congressmen have invested in the stock market last year? But that the, the, if we look at all of those other sort of contributing factors, I mean, it's, it's the cost benefit and economists tend to, to look at, you know, if we don't want anyone to die from anything, we drop the speed of 10 miles an hour, a minute. It has to be some analysis. And what I, I suspect what you also come from is these people that got hurt the worst, these 20 to 30 year old people early in their career also had the lowest risk, you know? And so they're the ones that got hurt the worst. Correct. Didn't have the least options and that's part of it too. And even too, we've got this a little bit of censorship that goes on there too. Cause I read a really tragic story of, of some woman on the Western slope who ran this stand at a sort of a tourist facility and she ended up, you know, killing herself or committing suicide. And I read that as if someone posted and they repost. And of course it gets shut down. I mean, as you're not allowed to talk about things like, well, yeah, but there were so many stories and then we've got all the fentanyl coming across the border and whatever that was that people in commerce city that passed away at the end. So we've got all of these extra costs and we've got all of these people that are potentially now on our election roll because they come to Colorado and they get a driver's license. So we have a lot of issues that are related to our response, which wasn't necessarily in retrospect and based on studies that the John Hopkins people and other people have done. So yeah, that the John Hopkins study hasn't really. Out and about that much. I thought when I saw that first, like it should be headlines on most of the major news organizations. I think it got suppressed as well, too. So what was the punchline on that? Well, that was it. There was no evidence that there was any value in the, in the lockdowns at all that didn't do anything. So just hurt us. Didn't help us. Yeah. Again, it's just extra cost again, picking winners and losers. Lots of studies that show that with the Colorado small business sector decimated so much here again, and we can see that. Our response in this state versus some other states, which is why we've gone. You know, Nebraska is unemployment rates below 2%, our unemployment rates 4.8, which is not bad, but it's still twice what it was, you know, before COVID. So yeah, so our response was well there's 10,000 small business owners that had their livelihood taken away largely. And again, what they do now or how they do, there are plenty of jobs, but with inflation, you know, you can't make much on 12 bucks an hour. So, uh, talk to me about the politics of climate change and energy, and you know, that kind of a balance between one of the things I really struggle with is if we, you know, make energy so expensive, that it's expensive for Europe and this well, it basically traps Africa and India, and a lot of these other nations in wherever they're at now and are even less, right. They can't use coal, they can't write. Okay. Other things. Yeah. And China is still buying a lot of coal from Australia. You still see them, you know, chugging away because they're not subject to the same sort of restrictions that the rest of the world, even though they are developed, not developing. Um, and I'm, I'm a little fascinated by history. So I, I like to study things and, and so looking back, um, climate changes on a pretty regular basis. So I, you know, I've just been very interested in, you know, weird things that probably no one else should talk about, but the, the, the role of the Assyrians and the Babylonians and like the, you know, the, a couple of, you know, Th th from the, like the 2000 BC through to whenever that, that embers, that, um, that hold those two empires sort of disappeared in about 600 BC, but from the period about 1200 BC to about 900 BC, um, the, um, th there's people with all these fascinating careers that can go and track climate change and just looking at, and even from an archeological liner and a pattern ontology and that sort of stuff. Um, in Europe and that near east, there was a very strong, prolonged period of dry conditions for about 200, 300 years. And so there's evidence of, you know, no activity, we've got fewer remains. We've got evidence of capitalism. There's all sorts of things as is that desert area, which was miss Batavia, basically dried up and, and, you know, Babylon and the Syrian who had been fighting each other for years, you know, stop fighting each other. Cause they were trying to just survive. But there wasn't any evidence of that happening in the north American continent. So we see climate change isn't necessarily universal. So from a historical basis, it will affect more globally. The Sahara was apparently a grassland like 25,000 years ago. And does that every 25 or 50,000 years? Yeah. Well, this year too, was we were, we had the likes through here. And stop. So, so the climate changes over time and, and, and back in those days in Mesopotamia that there wasn't, you know, carbon in the air there, it was just something that happened because it happened. And whether we see volcanoes sort of blackout the skies and create things is all sorts of things. So, um, you know, it's something that we may not be able to address because it's probably going to happen in some respects anyway. And perhaps our carbon is encouraging it to happen quicker, but it won't what we respond to. It won't prevent, uh, eventually happening. Cause we've seen it happen multiple times in the history of this planet, at least from, uh, from the records that the archeologists and historians are able to, to develop. So it's something we should be concerned about. Um, it's. Looking at, you know, energy independent. I mean, natural gas is a very clean and very efficient fuel. There's some discussion about whether it's dirty to get out of the ground or not, but it's, again, it's, it's cost benefit. It's if we're truly interested in preserving lives in this nation, we drop the speed. No one would be driving at 80 miles below, not 25. It's that sort of argument. So we're very selective in what we want to look at to try and help people live longer. Um, well I think civilizationally like energy is almost more money than money is in some respects because it's the ability to do work, especially since the industrial age, but even before then kind of. Yeah. And, and again, I'm not saying that that, that, that, that everything is. Clear smooth sailing and everything has been cleaned. And, you know, if we look at, you know, I'm, I'm in a, I'm in my Roman days, these days. So if we look at Spain and, um, what the Carthaginians in, you know, running that country and then the Romans, you mean, they, they had all of the silver mines and they were extracting all the crap out of my, of Spain. And there was lots of, um, reports from, from on the ground, people about the huge plumes of dirt and the sky being dusty and all that stuff. And we've, we've been through these cycles. Kill the earth, but obviously it killed a lot of slaves, but it, but those sorts of mass extractions that happened, um, there are ways to be more careful and considered in terms of extracting stuff here. I mean, there was, you know, there's lots of, you know, I don't want to necessarily get into the debate. I'm, I'm essentially saying that the climate does change and you can impact perhaps the speed for which it changes, but you may not be able to stop it in the long run right now, if we started heading into her, an ice age, what we'd be doing that, and just like cranking up the carbon generators, we have our little new space seat, Israel be pointing them at the ice flows. And we do go through that. And there's, you know, there's a, um, a lot of books I've read about that, but every, so often the pulse switch here in the, in the world. So essentially if the polls switched, you mean, it changes everything as well, too. What can we do about that? So it's again, it's, you know, we, we don't have a lot of life on this earth and that we shouldn't, um, We shouldn't be, be tyrannical in terms of telling, I think the market's determined. I mean, that people more and more people have been buying electric cars because it makes sense for them to do that. Yeah. And you can't force people on that. You know, it may not work for me if I want to, you know, take an account of that or steer to the, to the slaughter house, you know, with my electric car, but it's, it's going to be different things. And I've been looking at the studies, how they, they're better now in cold weather than they used to be. And, and as we improve battery technology and whether we have this so many, so many advancements that are. Being driven or driving the market in the future. And if we arbitrarily say, we're going to adopt this now, even when the market isn't ready, it's not going to help us as much. Well, and China's kind of cornered a lot of the supply chain that's necessary for the floor conversion to electric cars alone, for example. Yeah. They have all the heavy metals I've been accumulating those for quite a while. Yeah. And we at least have molybdenum here in Colorado for what it's worth and the uranium. Yeah. Anything else that, uh, we should touch on in the politicals major segment? No, again, I'm coming at the politics. How would you characterize yourself? I guess, uh, from a political standpoint, you seemed fairly apolitical a lot of our experience and you've worked with government people and lawyers and stuff like that. Yeah. And, and I, I try not to be I'm running on the Republican ticket. There's some people who are, it's quite a lot of interest actually in running for the secretary state position, which is good because usually candidates, it's not a terribly, it's usually not a very exciting office. Cause again, it's. Do very much other than make information available and ensure election integrity, which should be everyone should want it election integrity and then enhance commerce, which they, they just forget about it because it's two words on the end of the mission. Um, it's, it's something that would appeal to me as a business person, because it would be something, you know, what my strength is, is in growing and building things. And I have fun. I don't get, I'm not good at maintaining things that gets boring. I like to create an entrepreneur. So from that perspective, so we have a couple of people, um, the three other candidates, which is cool. Um, some are a little bit to the left of me and some are a little bit to the right of me. And my approach again is coming from a business perspective. I don't think the offer should be political. It should be deeper. Let alone politicized than it should be. More of a business focus than it's ever had before. And I think everyone should be concerned about election integrity. And if we have questions and concerns about them, we should as a, as a, as a citizens, be able to express those and check into them and follow the audit trails. But the one parallel that I think that I have is that, you know, of course the first amendment, um, you know, it gives us guarantees as free speech, but the way the government seems to be getting around that is they ask the private sector, the Twitters and the Facebooks, and two tubes to do the censoring for them. So that's the way that they can not be blamed for, for limiting. And I see a little bit of that here in Colorado with the elections, because. The voting machines that we have, or the tabulating machines, which are just scanners as far as I can tell, um, are private and no one has been able to check the code of those things to make sure that the code does what it should do. Um, it's essentially we've outsourced election integrity to this private company and it tells us everything is fine. Just take my word for it. We're a big company. Um, so we know what we're doing. And I think from a checks and balances perspective, if it was my business, um, just like we did at Colorado lending source, I want to have more control over this portion over here, or give people more control over that to make sure that the machine is doing what it should do as opposed to taking someone's word for it. So, so I'm concerned about the machines only because I don't know whether they're doing exactly. Group is saying that they're doing, or the groups are saying, and that's something that I think we should as citizens have the opportunity to check into. Right. And then, uh, the problem with that is that if you've got lots of extra ballots flying around, because we do a mail-in ballots, um, and there's no control over people duplicating the balance. Cause we don't, we don't have balance that have watermarks. It's easy. If you're a printer to run off new balance, if you want to, and then you can circulate them to people and you can stuff the belt, but they're just, there aren't enough checks and balances and controls on the system. As I would like to see if I was operating this office as a business. So not so much political, but more from a, just a practical, common sense. Everyone should agree that the elections are as free and as fair as they possibly can be. And that office does have the ability to help. Commerce stronger in this state, but chooses not to. So I'm not sure what the secretary of state does all the time. Um, but it's essentially, it's a, it could be a fun organization to be involved with. Cause it's got, the technology is wonderful. They had the outward facing website, the information easy. It's so good, but they could do so much. And their budgets going up, she's asked for an extra 13.9%. So it's, it's, it's, it's going to take more taxpayer funds to run the same office with the fees going to dollar, which just annoys me because it doesn't really achieve anything other than potentially score some political, you know, point somewhere there, you kind of alluding to like the old term trust, but verify seems like, and what I was thinking about earlier with. That trust is really the lubrication of a great economy like the United States. And it's the trust that the prices aren't going to go up 8% next month. It's the trust that when I vote, it's going to be equally counted to everybody else's vote. It's the trust that, you know, when I fought, when I pay my taxes, that there is going to go to the places at least have some influence over and things like that use them wisely. Yeah. We would hope that. But again, if you know, one of the things I track is the producer price index. The CPI, which everyone uses a measure. Inflation doesn't show what the government spends on things it's just consumers and consumers of course are about two thirds of the GDP. Um, but the producer price index shows how much the government pays for things. When we look at what the government pays for energy or what the government pays for food versus what the rest of us paid for food and energy, they're way off the chart because it's not their money and they're not really responsible. And that's really pushing inflation over there on the PPP, which is then going to push the CPI up. So we should, and then we've got the M the money supply, the money stock, which is through the roof. So. Based on how quickly the money stock has grown. We should be looking at like 40% inflation. So, so essentially that's what the whole world with dollars. Yeah. And we can't keep doing that and someone up there. And then I have the other issue about, you know, just if we, if we disagree with the government position, it's suddenly becomes misinformation, Mel information or disinformation, just because we have a different way or people have a different way of, it was lucky. That's bad news. Brown seems like for our democracy or our federally Federation. Well, if you, if you don't have to stifle free speech, you know, from the government perspective, and you've got willing companions who are indebted or in bed with you, or even have a hold over, you willing to do that. It's just, so again, it's my, my anti-big business biases coming out here in some respects, but yeah, I think if we have a. Um, more of more small businesses and fewer bigger businesses. I think we have a much, much strongest society in a stronger economy. I think that's one of the reasons that the government doesn't really like small businesses is because they have generally more Liberty to be outspoken about what they want from their government than the commonplace. Again, the big. Pick the winners and losers too. They put a lot of money into politics nets. And you know, I, I worked with a consultant when I sort of started my campaign under the money. They told me that I have to spend, if I want to become the secretary of state just blew me away. I mean, at the terms of, you know, millions and millions of dollars, I thought, Nope, I'm not going to serve. So it's really, you know, I don't know what the job pays, but I can't imagine why anyone would spend, you know, I think the governor spent $23 million to win the last election and you'll probably spend the same amount this year to be reelected if he wants to. And so you don't make that much money being the governor. Well, unless there's some other sort of reasons why you would do that again. To be the president. He sort of indicated that that's where you'd like to be. And perhaps it's, it's, it's just, you know, it's power and money for so many things. And so my chance, obviously, of becoming a sanctuary state at great, because I'm not going to be spending billions of dollars on the program, but I'm happy from a small business and a business perspective to try and give it a go and see if we can change the system model is broken as far as I'm concerned. So I'm going to try and break it again. So, yeah. Yeah. I saw a quote the other day, a meme, which has been an interesting development, the whole nature of memes, but it was something like a truth. Doesn't mind being questions, but lies, hate being challenged. Yes. And that's very, very true. There's so many. I have to find more of I'm I'm primarily using on my little. Facebook took forever to approve my secretary of state website, because you were so full of mail information, centralist BS, they didn't, they didn't, they wouldn't approve my identity, but now I've got that. I'll have, I'm only posting quotes from the olden days or from founding father kind of style stuff. And would you describe yourself kind of as a classic liberal in that regard? Okay, well, let's try. I'm not good at labels, but again, I'm from a, I'm rarely coming at everything from an economic perspective, freedom trust, right. Which is essentially it's looking at, you know, what makes sense for the nation or the economy or the community isn't necessarily what makes sense from a political standpoint. So if I'm pushing a particular ideology, whether it's from the extreme left or the extreme art, it's not, it's not, as you think it's the best for the community. Yeah. Well, it's essentially it just, you know, supply and demand. We want local jobs cause juggle jobs are better. They stickier and employee owners better because those jobs are sticky. We'd, you know, if there's a downturn, which they will be this year and people stopped buying from Amazon, Amazon's gonna let all their people go. I mean, it's that sort of stuff. And so you're. Job security, not that you need job security. Cause a lot of, uh, uh, Koran sort of jumped around a bit. Um, but at least opportunity opportunity and the chance to put your roots down and really do something that makes you feel like you're part of society, which again, helps people, you know, know what it is that they, they have to have that network have to have that support group, all that kind of stuff. So a family or faith would you like to touch on here? And we can touch on either. Whichever family is fine. Okay. Tell me more about a parent who was your daughter? Don't have a big family, so it's just myself, Cathy and Erin. Um, so Aaron, um, from an early age, Yeah, it was always the smart one in the family. So she at an early stage wanted to be a vet, or that was one of her really careers when she was six or seven. And we were going to the county fairs on stuff like that all the time. Um, and so that's part of the motivation to move away from Denver to a property out on the Eastern Plains, which was fun. So she's early twenties now, or so she's 25 now. So, and so she got the chance to, um, see what it was like to raise gods, to be part of four H those experiences, which I think is so important. And perhaps sometimes differentiate people grew up in rural communities. The, a big advantage to grow up on a farm, kind of as long as you're not too intimidated by the city, when you get there, it's always a bit of that. Um, but again, you know, she got to experience what it was like to have, you know, animals die or animals get injured. We have a few long horns. And so we, she, and then she, you know, we homeschooled. So it was more of a classical education. That was a lot of my education was the classics and, and the languages and the history and more, a broader view rather than a specialist view. So, so she went through that and we focused on, and as I said, Kathy, my wife focused on homeschooling her for those periods. So she worked a hard and that she, um, you know, we, when we are here in Denver, we be more wanting to get her into one of the sort of schools and a person who analyzes potential students. I forget the name had told her, told us that she would be very good, but she would have trouble, you know, doing the work type situation. She was quite smart. Again, I'm not sure why, but she was. And so through that homeschooling, we're able to provide that sort of level. So she got through that period and then just really enjoyed it. So she was wanting to be a vet, so she would buy. Textbooks from the E-bay and stuff like that, and she'd be lapping them up. And then she went through, um, an undergraduate degree here at CU Denver. Um, and she took two and a half years to get through that. And then she applied for, at schools. You didn't get in the first year. So she worked for a year and a half doing different things. And then she got in the second year. And so she was up at CSU and she graduates in a couple of months now. And so she's coming back out to Eastern Colorado to work with, uh, um, uh, the vet in Burlington who's um, he and his partner started that practice in the fifties. Is there a succession plan potentially? She he's almost 80 now. And so she's, she, he wanted her to come back. So she's, um, helping out a little bit now. And as soon as she's fully, um, Garrett graduated, she'll be there full-time which is gone. So she's, that's the only vet in kit Carson county. So she, well, presently there's a new one apparently coming in soon, but so that's, again, she's, she's. Um, in, in deed with the big business world of vets in the big city where, you know, something that someone over here in Fort Collins will charge a couple hundred bucks for, you know, they, they do it for like 30, 40 bucks, right? It's that sort of stuff. It's more of a community. It's again, that's what I always talk about is if you create community in small towns can often great create stronger communities than, you know, anonymous type things. If you look at the documentation around the global reset, it's all about creating more social isolation. So essentially that's. People, some people for whatever reason want to push society to is where you become less community community focused and you become more isolated and rely on social interactions through media, as opposed to Paul by your real estate on the Metta, because that's where life is really fun. That's right. Yeah. Well, that's, again, that's the difference between the, you know, some cities, Fort Collins is a quite an amazing city it's spread out, but when you start living on top of each other, like you do in China, you develop that sort of mindset and you become, um, you know, hamsters in the wheel. And everybody says, yes. When I asked them, how do they, I can't, I don't know. I haven't explored the Medi yet. I'm still coming to grips with the term woke. It took me quite a while to understand what. Because it's not a word that I, I, in my lexicon, there's a grew up. So fair enough. Here's a t-shirt I don't have to wear one day or at least perhaps up to a political rally. It says awake, but not work. Oh, that's from JP Sears. JP is one of my favorite comedians. I like him. He's very strong. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. You should interview him one day. I would love to. Yeah. So, um, you want to tell me any more about Kathy and, and kind of that continuing love story. You guys must be like what, like 30 plus years now that's 34 years now. So we've just been out there. And again, it's just, um, she's originally from Kansas, a small town in Kansas. So she had a trouble in Denver cause, cause it was so busy. So in a compromise around on the Kansas border almost, and it's not that far from her, from her family where she grew up in, it's not that far to come into Denver or Fort Collins or sure. If I need it. So, so it's just essentially it's um, you know, we have our animals to look after now that Erin is, you know, growing up and moving out. So it's a little bit more work. So. Yeah. So it's, uh, especially in mornings like today, when it was like mine, has she been in favor of this, a run? If you get, get that office, is she gonna be like, ah, no. She's I think she's really keen trying to get you out of the house a little more, how she's she's desperately trying to improve the quality of elections. She, she keeps beating into me that we need to go back to paper ballots and stuff like that. So, and I don't think that's a, an overnight step, but I think we have to build integrity by making sure we clean up the things. So she's, she's, I'm more conservative than her that she really feels like. And she's worried about goals for the impact you can make and the opposite. And I may not live up to those, but she's also worried that the 20, 22 elections, you know, it's still going to be run the same way as the 2021 and 2022. And so 2020. And so there's still going to be bad actors out there manipulating potentially, you know, the votes. And so she's worried. We'll never be able to get in and, and that's, you know, a never-ending type soccer, but we'll see, I have faith in the people in Colorado that they're smarter than other people might think. And they'll see through little guys is like dropping a fee from $10 to $1. It's not really going to stimulate much small business to fight. The press release and the media tells you. Um, but again, people don't know, people just think we need to help small businesses. Politicians say that all the time, but they don't really understand small businesses or the impact of them. And how in Colorado, the startup businesses with employees create all of the jobs in our state and have yeah. With bigger ones coming by them. But yeah, and that's essentially, they do get absorbed. And so that changes things in the. You know, I was, I mentioned I might not, but I was in Fort Morgan last night and at a sort of an event where the candidates were sort of talking and there were three people running for the coroner's position in Fort Morgan, which is precedented, which is quite emotional. It's usually the funeral home or the, of my ride home, but that was recently sold to someone out of county. So, so now that person who was the coroner is stepping down. So they need a local person. And, and, and not that I've done a lot with coroner, but, but an interesting fact that I've learned through the years as the coroner was the only person who can rest the sheriff. So if you ever, if you ever run into that, the coroner is actually the most important person in the counters too. Um, that's just a weird part of co of United States law. Um, but the three people were incredibly qualified. You know, one had spent time around grand zero at, at 9 1, 1. The other one had been in the military and worked on, on, you know, DNA restoration on even mentioned in an aircraft crash in the fifties, trying to piece together elements. Bodies to make sure that so, you know, doing the fascinating things that these people do just, just really amaze me again. It's never a career I would want. It's not just picking up the post. That's the great thing about having such a diverse nation of different interested people, right? Yeah. It's just amazing. It's just like entrepreneurs. I mean, I wouldn't never grow up and want to be a funeral director, but obviously a lot of people do. Yeah. Uh, passionate. They have to make sure that they take care of families and the loved ones in those situations. And all of them were saying how busy they are in, in Morgan county. Um, just much busier than usual and whether that's COVID or other related things is just the fact here we can, we will stay away from that. The various databases rapped about 21,000 deaths related to COVID here in the United States. But again, that's something that they don't report or done, or just misinformation, disinformation and Mellon information, but it is on the COVID on the CDC website. So, yeah, so there's just, and that's what fascinates me as a, you know, being out there. I liked the peace and quiet, um, a little bit and you know, it's hardly any traffic and our neighbors really nice. And we get to know them, you know, we've got to Natalie enable on one side, who's kind of one of those alerts on him and he fell over the other day. So it sends off. So they call us and call us two or three times. We'll go and check them in. I love that. That's I graduated a class of five in North Dakota, so that real small community. You know, everybody knows everybody and what's going on. Sometimes that's good. Sometimes bad, but again, you know, I'm still, even though it wasn't too bad of a kid, I got, I've been out there. We've been living. Since 2006, but we bought the property a bit early. We're still newcomers. I mean, that's essentially, it always will be. And is the one that's creating the related? Well, she'd be the second generation kind of, that really establishes you there. Yeah, she knows all of the farmers and the crazies out there and ranches, they all know her because she goes around with the vet and does all of the prac checking and checking on things anyway. So she's, she's the next generation. I know. I'd like the next generation to not be in debt forever and not be overwhelmed by taxes. And I think that there are things we can do this generation or perhaps me to try. You know a little bit. Yeah, you can, you know, we, we could be a freer if we look at the, you know, first and second first amendment, particularly, you know, bring that back and just make more, you know, bring, have informed discussion and facilitate yeah. Only speech worship assembly. Those three are under, have been under pretty heavy. What other, whatever, first amendment. And that was the primary ones. And again, but again, if I look back, you know, growing through some college in the seventies, not in the sixties, but we still had a bit of the free speech and the anti war and all that sort of stuff. So people could speak their mind. Now we don't seem to have them. And so it's just a well, and how much self-censorship is going on besides it has to be a ton. Um, so let's talk, touch on face before we get into the end here. Yes. Well, again, my dad was, um, um, from Ireland, he immigrated to Australia. So he's, he's a new entrance. And after world war two, Australia lost so many of its men during the world war two that they invited, uh, even the Irish over, even the Irish, she let her be. And so Australia had what they call the white Australia policy, which is not some strange finest moment, but they wouldn't let anyone who wasn't white into the country, but they, through the fifties, while they were trying to resettle the country, he came out on a, on an assisted passage, which means, so the Greeks and the Spanish weren't really as invited kind of thing. There were a lot of Greeks Italians. I went to school with a lot of Greeks and Italians but again, a lot of Europeans. So it was mostly more that, um, people, people who were unfortunately in the different. Um, so essentially it was a weird time in Australia's history and we were just, again, who was, was, um, killed a lot of people that didn't need to be killed mostly in Japanese concentration camps. So, um, not in conflict. Um, and so he came out, so again from an Irish Catholic background, and so I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic schools, um, and I continue that faith here. Um, and it's essentially, um, There are some challenges in the church at the present time. And so there's, you know, tuning in for Pope right now. Are you allowed to say I'm probably not the last I'll probably be ex-communicated he's, he's a little more liberal and he's really jumped on the, um, the social extra walk for my taste and that's exactly it. And when you look at, uh, the scandal, that's continues to wreck the church and not just narrowly from SRA from the priest standpoint, but from the bishops, which they don't really talk about. And the elevation of preferred friends too, you know, there's a. Australian Cardinal called Cardinal. Um, I don't remember his name in a minute. Who was, um, wasn't a strain counter. Um, I should remember his name, but I moved into the Vatican to work in the financial affairs office. And then, um, there was, um, one of the people in charge or overseeing that office. There were evidence of, of exchanges of like 800 and $900,000 sent to someone in Australia. And the rumor was that he was paying up some people to create some allegations of sexual impropriety. So Australian police came over and arrested him, brought him back to him, went through a couple of trials, eventually was acquitted at the Supreme court, the high court in Australia, and went back to to things. So there's, this seems to be more, um, political things, shenanigans going on in Nevada. And then there ought to be, it should be a fairly straightforward doctrinal type thing. And this is what the thing says, but there's just, again, just like corruption of power and power corrupts and absolute. How could absolutely. There've been plenty of examples of great rulers. History that haven't been corrupted, but we just see it's all about money. And parents seems to be just, this seems to have either it's more aware to me, or there's just more people looking for more money or there's more money because we're printing so much money, um, that it was just out there and trying to be funneled to people and their friends. So it's really interesting time, um, very weird time, but we've been through as a nation and as a world society, lots of really interesting times, you know, reading up on. Playing everyone was thinking the world was coming to an end. That that's cause everyone was dying. And, and, and, but that, um, created the opportunity for labor who was pretty much constrained in surf term and owned by people because there were so few people to work the land when there was less supply. And then there was some more draconian rules about making sure that people couldn't move. And just because the person up the valley was going to pay you more than, than I was going to pay you couldn't move. So it just created a lot more interesting intra interactions and yeah. So human rights, human Liberty in some ways were spurred along by that black plague. Yeah. And, and so, you know, that's where I come to from a climate change perspective. We've seen plenty of episodes of that over the years and how that has changed society. Perhaps the dust bowl here in the thirties, you know, And then the last six months of 2021, where the hottest six months ever in the history of Colorado since records started, but we've only got records going back, you know, not that long ago, precise at least. And so, you know where all of that takes us, we're still in a drought out. I was in Eastern Plains. Sure. I was thinking about Canada the other day, because Canada's pretty assertive in terms of their climate change kind of things and stuff. But what's their downside. Like if they warm up a bunch, don't they just have a whole bunch more farmland and a lot nicer winters. It could be. And that's exactly right. Is that you play that off again. And we see that people like, you know, ALGOL, Biser, you know, a huge property beside the seat, wherever it is. And so if the sea rises a couple of feet, he's in trouble. Um, but we've seen evidence of that, you know, all through history, the sea goes up, the sea goes down, the ice melt it it's, it's not the end of the world. Like some people think that it is, but it could make changes to the world that everything does. We change the world. As I said, by allowing lunatics on 8 25 to drive 95 miles an hour. As I, you know, even though the spoodle spend them it's whatever is 70 or 75. So it's, you know, cars in the older days, I've got an old enough car in my shed that 55 was the maximum speed it's it's that sort of stuff. So, and, and as an economist and studying those sorts of things, I mean, you, you know that if you don't have a traffic light at this intersection, you know, there's going to be some, if it's this sort of intersection, there's going to be so many deaths, you know, how do you put a price on whether you get a traffic light or whether you don't. So it's those sorts of things. You can, you can reduce everything to dollars if you want to. And people may do that in their head, or they just. Yeah, but I'm waffling on too much, so it's okay. Yeah. Well, to wrap up the faith conversation, you know, been with the Catholic phase a long time and, and I guess to some degree, He's got it figured out. And so you don't have to worry too much, but also do your best to make it a better place here while you're. Yeah. And that's exactly right. I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. And again, it's history, you know, our generations here, and most generations think that things will always continue to get better. It doesn't happen. It's like two steps forward, one step back. So we've been improving things. Every generation has been better off than the generation before. Unfortunately I think that that may not be the case for this next generation. Um, so having faith is important to get through these slight backwards steps as we move forward, you know, that another political comment that, uh, you know, Russia and China about a month ago signed up sort of a pack together, which didn't get much publicity over here, but the two of them have agreed to work together to make sure that by 2015. Um, the U S is no longer the dominant nation in the world. And so that's their objective working in conjunction with each other to make sure the dollar isn't the national standard and everyone adopts. And they want us to be a vessel or a supporting organization for China. So this is their goal, and this is what China and Russia have signed on for Ken. Didn't get much visibility here. It's like a 5,000 word treaty from in the middle of January type situation. Um, that really is scary if you want to look at that. And so with those two ganging up, which is part of your Ukraine, um, and probably part of Taiwan in the near future, right. You know, what does this country look like in yet? Well, and plus Europe's, I thought it was hilarious when the were like trying to threaten Russia. They're like, you know, it's like Europe and Japan are, you know, Germany, Britain, France, Japan, Canada, And it was like, which of those paper tigers do you want to fight? Like all of them at the same time? Cause it's going to be easy, you know, except for the U S kinda w what was the no longer, um, invasions or very rarely there's going to be economic or going to be informational warfare or, you know, cause you know, I, even with my tiny little candidacy factory state, I had some guy on LinkedIn was just harassing me all the time. And, and I wonder if he's part of the 10 penny China group where they pay everyone 10 cents to just harass other people on social media. And so there's, there's businesses that do that just to annoy them and earn a little bit artist silence, annoying people that are spreading a message of Liberty in a faith of pragmatic change. Cha challenge or that we've got going on is kind of continue for awhile. And I don't think the government telling us what is, and isn't misinformation is going to be, this is also part of that war in some respects. I think we need to have discussion and debate and be able to talk about willing to share it on some of the silos. Yeah. So the local experience is your craziest moment or week or year in the life that you'd like to describe. I've had lots of crazy moments. What have I, my crazy moments, um, the risk of getting arrested on my way out of here. Um, I was, um, back in my Kansas state was actually recruited by the CIA, uh, to work for them, which is not something I applied for a job. Um, that wasn't a CIA job. It was actually an international consultant job, but they, they cloak things pretty well. My crazy moment was being flown up like the next day to some secret hotel room in Maryland and hooked up to a lie detector and subject to, you know, 12 hours of intensive questions to see whether I am at the right material. And this was happening at the same time as bill Clinton, what stood out was no sex. We didn't have, I did not have sex with them. Yeah. Was just so that he didn't have to get hooked up to a lie detector. Why are you doing this to me? So, um, and I didn't pass, cause obviously I had too many, um, lots of reasons, but, uh, at the time it was still a backend of the troubles in Northern Ireland. So I had an uncle who was a priest over there who sort of stoned it as what he was trying to help with a British, a fallen soldier or something. So, so there's all these sort of things. So I was very, a little bit anti British and in some of my responses to things. So it wasn't that it wasn't a good fit for them. Reimbursed my airfare and cash, unmarked bills, and it put me on a plane and send me back. And so really weird, surreal type moments. So, but that's just my one in my lifetime experience. And I always liked James Bond and I thought, oh, that'd be cool working for the CIA, but no, just finished your interview. Yeah. I just didn't talk that I'd never, ever recommend anyone go through a polygraph test. It's the worst. Did that change, like the way that you looked at organizations like the CIA or government in general or things like that? It didn't change. It, it wondered cause they, they were talking about having me assigned to like Africa. This was before Erin came along. Excuse me. And it was interesting. And then the, you know, the place that would have assigned me to was subject to sort of like a terrorist, right. A few years later. So I was wondering, I always wondered if, if I had been there doing counter-intelligence, whether that could have helped prevent that or not, but that didn't last very long. So no, it didn't change my opinion, but the more. The more I learned about how the CIA has sort of messed around with some different things. The less I've been a little bit impressed with them. So fair enough. Fair enough. Well, how can people find you, um, if they'd like to donate to your campaign volunteer? Uh, it seems like probably you need like a big fat packets phone, uh, you know, funder out there to really get your message out. And that's, again, I, I'm not sure that I have just had to make some promises. The, the incumbent secretary of state is supported by George and there she has 30 of the leading attorneys for a law firm here in Colorado who represent dominion are also supporting us. So she has a pretty decent time or to watch as semi secretary state website is pretty easy. It's just Miko donald.us. Cause I'm a us citizen. Two NS and two ELLs. Okay. And then you could find that, and I've tried to, again, to my cost and make it an informational website. So collect a lot of information. I actually made a little video about what the role is of the secretary of state, which I think four people have looked at so far, which is pretty impressive. Then my Prairie rose my nonprofit or the one that I started is called prayer, gross development.org, and prayer heroes is the reason it's called Prairie roses that were out on the prairies. And we do grow Prairie roses, which are wild flowers that grow all across the United States to go to state flower. Yeah, they're amazing flowers. And they're very, very resilient, very Hottie, just like small businesses can be if, if, unless you're over, over overreached and provide that. So prayers, development.org, and we primarily do the Kiva lawn program in Colorado, which is 0% interest rate loans up to 15,000. So we helped a woman in Fort Collins a little while ago who had mental health counseling business get a $12,000 cave Alon. So cool. And those sorts of things have fun. So it's, again, my passion is trying to help more businesses get started in this state and a 0% loan it's crowdfunded, um, is a really easy way for a lot of businesses to get off the ground. So yeah, we'll just do as many of those as we can. Okay. Well thank you for making time. Thank you for the opportunity to come in and meet with you and be part of the Loco experience. Thanks Mike. Okay.