Archive for September, 2012

Hurry! It’s Not Too Late!

Posted by on Sep 28 2012 | Economics, Events, PPC

This is your last chance to sign up for the Free Minds Film Festival… for FREE. It begins tonight down in Colorado Springs and continues through the weekend. If you love movies and free markets as much as we do, you’ll sign up here.

Here is the schedule of festivities:

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Report Challenges K-12 Tax Hikes

Posted by on Sep 27 2012 | education, PPC

School districts seeking tax increases face the challenge of persuading voters whose incomes have taken a harder hit in recent years. Senior education policy analyst Ben DeGrow’s colorful, two-page issue backgrounder “Colorado K-12 Tax Hikes Challenged” shows four of the five largest school districts with mill levy and/or bond issues on the ballot increased per-student tax revenues from 2005-06 to 2010-11. All five agencies have fared significantly better than household incomes in the counties they cover.

Over the five most recent years measured, the median Denver household’s earnings dropped 4.4% while per-student tax revenues in DPS grew 2.6%. School budgets grew in Aurora (3.5%) and Cherry Creek (1.4%), while incomes for Arapahoe and Adams County residents fell 5.4% and 6.5%, respectively. Per-student tax revenues range from about $8,500 to $11,000 in the five districts.

Which raises the question: Should we keep shoveling money to school teachers, the unions, administration, etc at the expense of Colorado families?

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Gessler on Voter Fraud, Todd Engdahl on Colorado Education

Posted by on Sep 27 2012 | Idiot Box (TV Show), PPC

This Friday’s Devil’s Advocate is the usual half-hour of public affairs excellence in two segments. First, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler sits down with me to talk voter fraud and voter registration rules. Then reporter Todd Engdahl from Ed News Colorado sits down to discuss the billion dollars worth of school district bond measures on this November’s ballot in Colorado. That’s Friday, Sept. 28 at 8:30PM on Colorado Public Television 12.

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VIDEO: A Look at the Presidential Race in Colorado

Posted by on Sep 26 2012 | Idiot Box (TV Show), PPC

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VIDEO: Kopel on How to Protect College Campuses

Posted by on Sep 24 2012 | guns, Kopelization, PPC, Second Amendment, Terrorism, U.S. Constitution, Video, War on Terror

Independence Institute Research Director, Law Professor, and Second Amendment expert Dave Kopel spoke at the University of Colorado at Denver on Sept. 11, 2012. The anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is a good time to consider how to enhance protection against all forms of terrorism through policy changes which safeguard civil liberties. One of the best such changes is removing restrictions against licensed carry on campus, because such restrictions make colleges into safe zones for mass murderers and other criminals.

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Bleg on First Amendment offensive speech

Posted by on Sep 21 2012 | First Amendment

I thought it would useful to compile a list of some of the most offensive words, images, etc. which have been held to be protected by the First Amendment. I’m especially interested in Supreme Court cases, but other cases are fine too. So commenters, please submit your nominations. Thanks!

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Dave Kopel v. Ken Gordon on Amendment 65

Posted by on Sep 21 2012 | Constitutional Law, First Amendment,, Kopelization, PPC, U.S. Constitution

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 was a landmark case protecting political speech – whether in the form of a guy standing on the sidewalk promoting or bashing a political candidate or that same guy giving money on behalf of his corporation for or against a political candidate or cause. The Court found that restricting political contributions, even from groups of people formed as corporations, was antithetical to our Constitution in general and the First Amendment in particular. On the heels of that decision, the anti-speech interests around Colorado began constructing a plan to combat the ruling.

What ultimately ended up happening was a coalition of forces, mostly on the Left, raised a ton of money (irony?) to put Amendment 65 on this November’s ballot. As it appears on the ballot, Amendment 65 is titled, “Colorado Corporate Contributions Amendment.“Part of the Amendment 65 campaign’s stated goals is to overturn the Citizens United ruling.

This past Wednesday the 19th, local radio station KGNU hosted a debate on Amendment 65, featuring our Research Director Dave Kopel and former legislator Ken Gordon. As you might imagine, Dave took the position in favor of political speech and thus, against Amendment 65, while Ken Gordon argued against political speech and in favor of Amendment 65. You can hear the full 60 minute debate here on

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WATCH Jonah Goldberg and I Crack Jokes

Posted by on Sep 20 2012 | Idiot Box (TV Show), PPC

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Like Free Markets? Like Movies? Check This Out!

Posted by on Sep 17 2012 | Economic LIberties, Economics, Economy, Events, Government Largess, Growth of Government, nanny state, PPC, Video, War on Drugs, War on Terror

From September 28th- 30th, the Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will host a weekend full of films, presentations, and thought provoking discussions at the Second Annual Free Minds Film Festival. The festival explores the ideas of a free society and the specific topics will include the war on drugs, eminent domain, cronyism, gun control, the trail of tears and government sponsored genocide, luck and equality, lessons from ancient Rome and Panem, the horrors of the Soviet Union, and, of course, how to change the world!

Featured titles include blockbuster “The Hunger Games,” Academy Award shortlisted documentary “Battle for Brooklyn,” locally made “Guns and Weed: The Road to Freedom,” the inspiring true story “Amazing Grace,” and “The Soviet Story” will return as a permanent tradition.

Local and national experts will speak after the films and take questions from the audience. Speakers include Lawrence Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education, Metropolitan State University of Denver Economics Professor Dr. Alexandre Padilla, Isaac Morehouse from the Institute for Humane Studies, Dr. Amy Sturgis Interdisciplinary Studies professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University and the Mythgard Institute, retired Denver Police Officer Tony Ryan, and Denver- based Philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh.

Friday and Saturday night will conclude with free beer and food and great conversation at BJ’s Brewhouse courtesy of Liberty on the Rocks.

The first Free Minds Film Festival was nominated for “Event of the Year” at the International Students For Liberty Conference and attracted over 90 attendees. The event is free and open to the public and the media.

A full schedule of the weekend including trailers, biographies, and directions to the event is available at

Register here for FREE!

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Jonah Goldberg on The Tyranny of Cliches

Posted by on Sep 14 2012 | Idiot Box (TV Show), PPC

Sure, Friday night is made for sweet, sweet loving, but why not get warmed up first watching public affairs television featuring the Independence Institute on Colorado Public Television 12. First at 8:00PM, snuggle up with research director David Kopel on Colorado Inside Out. Then feast on some eye-candy at 8:30 on Devil’s Advocate as I am joined by National Review Online Editor-at-Large Jonah Goldberg to discuss Jonah’s new book, “The Tyranny of Cliches.” It all starts at 8:00 PM tonight on Colorado Public Television 12.

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