Archive for April, 2011

2011 Energy Legislation, Xcel, and the PUC

Posted by on Apr 30 2011 | energy, Environment, Idiot Box (TV Show), PPC

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2011 Energy Policy, Xcel, and the PUC

Posted by on Apr 28 2011 | energy, Environment, Idiot Box (TV Show), PPC

Tune into Devil’s Advocate this Friday as guest host Todd Shepherd is joined by the Independence Institute’s Amy Oliver Cooke and Polly Page from the Colorado Consumer Coalition to discuss the relationship between the Public Utilities Commission and Excel energy, the numerous energy-related bills in the Colorado legislature, and what these bills might mean for the future energy costs of Colorado’s residential and commercial rate payers. That’s Friday, April 29 at 8:30PM on Colorado Public Television 12. Re-broadcast the following Monday at 1:30PM.

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You Can Take My Snuggie From My Cold, Dead Hands!

Posted by on Apr 27 2011 | energy, Environment, PPC

I want to give a big thanks to Amy Oliver for keeping us up-to-date on what’s going on with Xcel’s stranglehold on the general assembly. She wrote last night of some great quotes coming out of the Senate floor debate regarding HB 1291 – Xcel’s fuel-switching paradise.

Here are some of the great quotes:

Senator Lois Tochtrop: “I’m buying stock in snuggies because that’s all my constituents will be able to afford if this bill [HB 1291] passes.” Senator Kevin Lundberg: Arguing in support of an amendment to save Xcel ratepayers $132 million, “I find it funny that I am arguing in favor of the moderate approach.” Senator Shawn Mitchell: “This isn’t a state implementation plan. It’s a payoff plan to special interests.” He got the gavel for that one.

And of course HB 1291 passed second reading. Whatever Xcel wants, Xcel gets. It’s that simple.

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Peak Freedom Fest 2011

Posted by on Apr 27 2011 | Events, PPC

Our friends at the Limited Government Forum and The Center for the Study of Government and the Individual came together and are putting on a fantastic event next month. And I’m not just saying that because I’m one of the key speakers. They are hosting the Peak Freedom Festival down at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs. It will be an all day affair on Saturday, May 7th. The event will start with a luncheon starring yours truly. From there it only gets better, I promise you. According to the agenda, there is a whole slew of sessions to choose from during the afternoon followed by a happy hour reception. The event will then capped off by an extravagant dinner gala featuring a keynote address by Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News.

Don’t wait to register. This event will sell out! You can register online here.

*For any questions, please contact Molly Homec at or call 719-235-5476 and leave a detailed message and your call will be returned within 24 business hours.*

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One Way Ticket to Fuel-Switching Paradise

Posted by on Apr 26 2011 | energy, Environment, PPC

The general assembly continues to do Xcel’s bidding and Amy Oliver continues to out them for it. Yesterday, two pro-consumer pieces of legislation that Xcel wanted buried were killed 3-2 in a Senate committee. Meanwhile, Xcel’s preferred plan is flying through the gold dome. The preferred fat cat plan, also known as HB 1291, will allow Xcel to fuel-switch themselves to the tune of hundreds of millions of ratepayer dollars. There are few things in this world as delicious to state-sanctioned monopolies as good old fashioned corporate welfare. As always, we’ll keep you up to date on all things energy over at our Environmental Policy page.

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Interview with Colorado Public Defender Doug Wilson on criminal justice bills in the legislature

Posted by on Apr 26 2011 | criminal justice, PPC

Doug Wilson is Colorado’s State Public Defender and a voting member of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ). In this ten minute podcast, we discuss several criminal justice related bills generated out of the work of the CCJJ that have passed the legislature and been signed into law already this year. One of the bills discussed is Senate Bill 96, which excludes class-6 drug possession felonies (the lowest felony classification in Colorado’s presumptive sentencing range) from being used to classify someone as a habitual offender. The other bill discussed is House Bill 1239, which requires that the fiscal analysis of bills creating new crimes, or enhancing or amending existing crimes, include information about whether that crime is already covered under existing statute.

Give a listen to the MP3 podcast here.

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Dog Wars and the First Amendment

Posted by on Apr 25 2011 | First Amendment

(David Kopel)

A new app for Google’s Android phone is “Dog Wars.” The player takes the role of a thug who trains a pit bull to fight. In Denver television Channel 7’s coverage of the story, I explained that the First Amendment protects the right of the game producers to make and distribute the game, and also protects the right of people who criticize the game and attempt to convince Google not to distribute it. One part of the interview which didn’t make the final cut was my observation that game promotes prejudice against American Staffordshire Terriers, by reinforcing the myth that so-called “pit bulls” are inherently vicious and dangerous.

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Independence Institute Writers In The News

Posted by on Apr 25 2011 | criminal justice, Health Care, health control law, Kopelization, obamacare, PPC

U.S. intervention in Libya, ObamaCare health benefits exchanges and criminal sentencing reforms are all article topics that Independence Institute writers had published last week.

First check out research director Dave Kopel in The Daily Caller as he explains why the Libyan intervention is not wholly legal.

Then our health care guru Linda Gorman wonders if Colorado should establish an ObamaCare health benefits exchange. You can read Linda here in the Summit Daily, or here in the Salida Mountain Mail.

You can also check out my own piece in the Huffpost Denver on why fiscal conservatives should want parolees to succeed in Colorado.

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The President’s Massive Earth Day Footprint

Posted by on Apr 22 2011 | Environment, obama, PPC

From the Washington Whispers blog:

President Obama declared today’s 41st annual Earth Day proof of America’s ecological and conservation spirit—then completed a three-day campaign-style trip logging 10,666 miles on Air Force One, eating up some 53,300 gallons at a cost of about $180,000. And that doesn’t include the fuel consumption of his helicopter, limo, or the 29 other vehicles that travel with that car.

Almost makes Al Gore seem like a conservationist.

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Stun gun prohibition violates Second Amendment

Posted by on Apr 22 2011 | Non-firearms Arms, Second Amendment, stun guns

(David Kopel)

So rules a state judge in Bay City, Michigan. According to the ruling, the regulation of stun guns would be constitutional, but not their prohibition. Other than Michigan, the only states that prohibit stun guns are New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Eugene Volokh’s Stanford Law Review article, Nonlethal Self-Defense examines the Second Amendment issues involving stun guns, chemical sprays, and the like, concluding that they are protected by the Second Amendment.

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