Archive for July, 2008

Don’t Feed the Democratic National Convention Protestors

Posted by on Jul 31 2008 | Uncategorized

For next month’s Democratic National Convention, authorities are kind enough to allow free speech inside a caged area near the Pepsi Center. The Independence Institute has affectionately dubbed it the “freedom cage.” This week on Independent Thinking, Brian Vicente, executive director of the DNC-People’s Law Project, and activist Paul Bame join me to discuss what Colorado can expect from those inside the “freedom cage.” That’s tonight at 8:30 pm on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.

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New Charter and Option Schools in Your Area

Posted by on Jul 30 2008 | Uncategorized

For being only five years old, little Eddie sure is smart. The kid has been keeping tabs on what new charter and option schools are opening up around the state. From his blog, Ed is Watching:

Today’s post is the first in a series on new charter or option schools opening up in Colorado this year. I’m out there keeping an eye on developments in the world of education that are important to parents. This definitely includes knowing about specific new options that may happen to be in your area or the area of someone you know, with a child who might fit well into the school’s environment.

So far he has highlighted two new schools, one in Colorado Springs and one in Aurora. Not one to miss any details, Eddie is using our School Choice for Kids website to glean an extra bit of knowledge about each school opening. Keep your eyes on him as he continues the series throughout the year. He may introduce you to a school in your neck of the woods that fits your needs.

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Free Market Movie Night, Thursday the 31st!

Posted by on Jul 29 2008 | Uncategorized

This Thursday the 31st, is our next Free Market Movie Night. We will celebrate Milton Friedman on what would have been his 96th birthday, by watching an episode of his famous Free to Choose series focusing on the impact unions have on the free market. Thanks a bunch to Free to Choose Media for providing us a copy of this great series. Here are the details:

Date: Thursday, July 31, 2008
Reception: 6:00 p.m.
Movie: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Place: Denver News Agency
101 W. Colfax Avenue (map)
The event is free of charge!
RSVP to or call 303-279-6536.

Please come out and celebrate Dr. Friedman and his undying dedication to the free market cause with us.

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Add This to Your Blogroll

Posted by on Jul 28 2008 | Uncategorized

I’ve been given the green light to unveil a new blog from one of our own here at the Institute. The incredibly smart and lovely Amy Oliver has a fantastic blog. Bet you didn’t know that. It’s just like my blog, but written by someone fluent in the English language. Check it out!

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Thanks for Making This an Issue

Posted by on Jul 25 2008 | Uncategorized

Early this week, the Denver Post made an issue out of accountability in government.   This is the kind of thing that gets me excited!  The editorial is one part in a series called Open Government 2008 by the Colorado Press Association. At the end of the article there are links to the other pieces, all discussing open and transparent government. A few of the articles state that Colorado is ahead of the curve with our Sunshine Laws and Open Records Act. (Sidenote: Take a look at Colorado’s page on the Sunshine Review website). Pioneer or not, Colorado still has a ways to go in terms of accountability and transparency. As Justin Longo points out, yeah it’s great that we don’t have a huge and intrusive NJ style state government. Instead we’ve got over 3,000 local governments here in Colorado running around doing what they want, and it’s difficult to keep our eyes on each and every one of them. I’m thrilled that this is an issue to both the Denver Post and the Colorado Press Association, and I hope it continues to stay a hot topic as we continue to work on it here at the Institute.

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Friday’s Funny

Posted by on Jul 25 2008 | Uncategorized

© 2008, Benjamin Hummel. To see more cartoons like this go to

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FasTracks – We called it…AGAIN

Posted by on Jul 24 2008 | Uncategorized

I wish this wasn’t the case, because it’s not exactly enjoyable to be proven right at the expense of Colorado taxpayers. In 2004 I ran the David vs. Goliath campaign against RTD’s 67% tax increase called FasTracks. Goliath won. We said it was plainly obvious that it was going to be underfunded and over-cost. Read what we wrote back then. Of course the corporate welfare machine behind the tax increase, and Mayor Hickenlooper in front of it promised the impossible again.

But as Kevin Flynn of the Rocky Mountain News reports:

RTD conceded Friday that it cannot deliver the FasTracks program as promised to voters four years ago. The program, originally budgeted at $4.7 billion when voters approved a sales tax to support it, rose to $6.1 billion last year and is poised for a substantial increase next month during budget talks with the elected board.

This is an unfortunate situation where we taxpayers are in no situation to continue to fund this massive failure, while no mayor is willing to push the project back or cut lines in their district. At this point, everyone is looking for a viable solution. In addition to my suggestion to ask the voters to kill it, the Rocky gave some other possible solutions:

Strategies that will be discussed soon include some, all or a combination of these:
* Going beyond the original completion year of 2017.
* Trimming some project elements such as was done with the West Corridor light rail, the first FasTracks corridor to start construction.
* Shortening some of the planned lines.
* Privatizing the financing and construction of more than the two corridors now being privatized.
* Asking the legislature for permission to go to voters for additional taxes.

You can bet that TaxTracks, as Ari Armstrong of calls it, will continue to dissapoint its supporters and demand more and more taxpayer money to stay afloat. Those options above are upsetting, no doubt, but fleecing our wallets continuously for another decade or so is even worse. I say we put it to another vote and let Coloradans decide if they have had enough.

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Colorado Civil Rights Initiative

Posted by on Jul 24 2008 | Uncategorized

This November, Colorado voters will decide if the state can discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any group or individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public contracting, or public education. Jessica Corry, executive director of the Colorado Civil Right Initiative, the force behind Amendment 46, and Brad Jones managing editor of Face the State join me on Independent Thinking to discuss the ballot measure and why it enjoys huge support in Colorado. Opponents of Amendment 46 either declined to participate or didn’t respond to repeated invitations. Tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.

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Public Policy with a Minty Aftertaste

Posted by on Jul 23 2008 | Uncategorized

Ever get that unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth? No, not the one you get after you eat your wife’s meatloaf. I’m talking about the bitter beer face you get after reading some irrational lefty article or watching some silly liberal commentator on MSNBC. It’s a pretty gross feeling, but we’ve got the perfect solution: 1st Amend Mints. In order to “alleviate the bad taste left by the liberal media.” And thanks to Bill Husted over at the Denver Post, the cat’s out of the bag: our mints work wonders. So the next time you’ve got that nasty taste in your mouth, or you want to impress that special conservative in your life, turn to the Independence Institute for minty pleasure.

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‘Too Far’ Fails Two Tests

Posted by on Jul 21 2008 | Uncategorized

This is the greatest ever! You have GOT to check it out! The union-funded, and all too ironically named Protect Colorado’s Future, created this fun attack ad featuring State Senator Nancy Spence, Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier, and yours truly. I’m honored they chose to put me in the same company as those two, as that only strokes my limitless ego. However, they should have featured more pictures of me instead of the much more attractive and distinguished Senator Nancy Spence, my initiative co-sponser. Nonetheless, the ad works wonders in getting the word out about our ballot initiative. The ad’s message was so over the top and baseless, both 9News and CBS4Denver ran pieces exposing it. 9News ran the ad against their “Truth Test” while CBS4Denver gave it their “Reality Check.” Needless to say, the ad did about as well as I did in calculus freshman year. But keep it coming, we love this stuff.

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