Archive for February, 2013

Court Rules in Favor of DougCo Families

Posted by on Feb 28 2013 | education, PPC

Children win in Douglas County!

What makes the Independence Institute so very different is that we play the long game. The left has been playing this game for decades and they are collecting their winnings now, while the right seems to be in a perpetual, panicked two-minute, hurry-up offensive.

I often say that Einstein was wrong. Compound interest is not the most powerful force in the universe. Political incrementalism is. Political victory doesn’t come like a winning lotto ticket. It comes after thousands of nearly imperceptible and seemingly disconnected steps.

The team here that makes up our Educational Policy Center are black-belts in this. Pam Benigno, Ben and Marya DeGrow, and Raaki Garcia-Ulam are a quiet, consistent, steady force that finds the tiniest opportunities to advance educational reform. Then over time big things happen. Since our founding, the Independence Institute has been working on education issues and we have seen Charter Schools, the School Report Card System, Open Enrollment, and Online Education come alive to name a few.

Another big thing has just become real.

Along with a number of local community members and school leaders, Pam and Ben served on the Douglas County School Choice Task Force that helped craft a number of district policies. One of the most exciting was made real in March of 2011 when the school board unanimously approved a daring choice program. It provided 500 students with public scholarships to attend a partner private school. This would help students who were underserved by the traditional schools. It was a first in the nation.

Well of course the teachers unions front group sued and was granted a permanent injunction on this program. Today the Colorado Court of Appeals overturned that order. For more information see our media release here.

Like so many other advances to help children in Colorado, I am so proud of Pam and Ben’s part in this victory for Colorado kids.

As we say here often: Freedom is a team sport.

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A Question For Colorado State Senator Lucia Guzman

Posted by on Feb 27 2013 | guns, Politics, PPC

Dear Senator Guzman,

A recent piece in the Denver Post quotes you as supporting Colorado House Bill 1224, which recently passed out of the House of Representatives and which says, in part, that it is okay to manufacture magazines that hold more than 15 bullets in Colorado and sell them out of state, but not here in Colorado. In other words, a magazine that holds more then 15 bullets is bad (and soon to be criminal) when purchased and owned by a Coloradan, but okay when manufactured in Colorado but purchased and owned by someone outside the borders of our state. As one of your constituents, I am curious how you reconcile that glaring inconsistency to the point you are willing to see the bill made into law?


Mike Krause
Constituent, Colorado Senate District 34

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Call Obama’s Bluff

Posted by on Feb 26 2013 | Government Largess, obama, PPC, Presidency

Obama is trying to spook state governors about budget cuts that could effect their states. I say call his bluff. I also say no one can notice my double chin thanks to my manly beard. Watch this 9news piece and see if you can catch my chins.

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VIDEOS: Unions and Uber on Devils Advocate

Posted by on Feb 26 2013 | Capitol Crazies, Idiot Box (TV Show), Transportation

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Collective Bargaining For Firefighters And Taxi Cab Cartels On Devil’s Advocate Tonight

Posted by on Feb 22 2013 | Government Largess, Idiot Box (TV Show), Media, PPC, Proposed Legislation

Go ahead and give the role playing websites a rest tonight and instead enjoy public affairs tv with the Independence Institute on Colorado Public Television 12.  First at 8:00 catch research director David Kopel on the roundtable show Colorado Inside Out. Then at 8:30 on Devil’s Advocate, host Jon Caldara is first joined by Kevin Bommer from the Colorado Municipal League to discuss the league’s issues with a proposed state law forcing collective bargaining rights for firefighters on local taxpayers. Then Uber Denver general manager Will McCollum sits down to describe the Colorado Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) efforts to protect the Denver taxi cab cartel from competition. That’s all tonight starting at 8:00, and rebroadcast Monday at 12:30 PM.

You can find your local CPT12 channel by zip code here.

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Legalizing Immorality

Posted by on Feb 21 2013 | Capitol Crazies, Civil Rights, Popular Culture, PPC

The Colorado Legislature is considering repealing a very old, unenforced law banning adultery and criminalizing innkeepers for renting rooms to unmarried couples. Looking for a trusted leader of morality and virtue in our community, the sponsor of the bill repealing the law asked me to testify for it.

Let me make very clear that the Independence Institute doesn’t wade into social issues and has no official stance on the bill. So allow me to speak solely for myself on this issue.

There are busloads of married women who wish to sleep with me but are prevented from doing so solely by this outdated law. Binders full of them. And no, this is not just bravado speaking. In some of their applications for restraining orders against me they have mentioned this law specifically.

Oh yes, there is a limited government argument here as well. Having laws on the books that are not enforced leaves them open to abuse, to be used for selective harassment. The law, and its enforcement, should apply to all, not just to a few. Inn-keepers shouldn’t have to worry that if they become crosswise with some government official, an obscure law can make them a criminal. And while this legislature is now passing similar harassment laws to be selectively used against gun owners, the least they can do is repeal some old ones.

But that’s not why I support its repeal.

Here is a partial list of the married women I plan to make time with should this bill pass:

Selma Hayek

Angelina Jolie

Halle Berry

Marcia Brady

Nicole Kidman

The young Sophia Loren

Faith Hill

The old Sophia Loren

Margaret Thatcher

That chick in the bikini from the “Tab” commercial when I was a kid

Blondie Bumstead (what’s she doing with Dagwood I’ll never understand)

Aunt Bea, but I’ve been in therapy for that.

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TV Tonight: Women’s Messaging, Indefinite Detention

Posted by on Feb 15 2013 | Idiot Box (TV Show), PPC

Who needs private affairs when you can spend Friday nights enjoying public affairs with the Independence Institute on CPT12. First, watch research director Dave Kopel on Colorado Inside Out at 8:00. Then catch my show, Devil’s Advocate, at 8:30. First I am joined by Democratic Strategist Laura Chapin and Colorado’s Future Project’s Krista Kafer to discuss which political party has the better message for women. Then State Senator Jessie Ulibarri and State Representative Jared Wright sit down to explain their pending bill which would bar participation by Colorado in the indefinite detention of U.S. Citizens. That’s tonight starting at 8:00 on Colorado Public Television 12. You can find your local CPT12 channel here.

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All Kopel, All the Time

Posted by on Feb 13 2013 | Constitutional History, Constitutional Law, Kopelization, Law schools, Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution

I’m sure like me, you feel like there is just not enough Dave Kopel in the world to satiate your unquenchable thirst for the Second Amendment, law, history, and everything else Dave knows everything about. We’ll never get enough Kopel, but we can get close. I’ve been visiting Dave’s YouTube channel over the past few weeks and it’s a great way to keep up with everything he’s doing on air. It’s updated regularly so make sure you subscribe to it.

Below you’ll find the latest Dave video – a debate on international gun control held yesterday at DU. It’s basically an hour of Dave dropping knowledge on the panel and the room. Truly remarkable.

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You Can’t Draw Away Scarcity

Posted by on Feb 07 2013 | Economics, Transparency, Transportation

Why on earth does an artist’s rendition of some future utopia merit public policy debate?

Recently, an artist drew a pretty picture of what he imagined high-speed rail could look like in a utopian United States. Why is it utopia you ask? Because only in a utopian world without scarcity could the sparsely populated United States sustain high-speed rail. However, in our current world with scarce resources, high-speed rail can only exist in pretty pictures and in thick red ink on government expense sheets. It is simply not a profitable venture, which is why you see private resources staying far away from rail transit. Nevertheless, big government does not shy away from big losses like the private sector. I can see the slogan now, “No loss is too big to scare us away!”

9News came by the Independence Institute offices the other day to get my thoughts on the whole issue. You can watch the video here, or below in the player.

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Fox 31, Denver Post Reporters On Devil’s Advocate Tonight

Posted by on Feb 01 2013 | Idiot Box (TV Show), Politics, PPC

Friday night means public affairs with the Independence Institute on Colorado Public Television 12. First catch research director Dave Kopel at 8:00 on the round table show Colorado Inside Out. Then stay tuned for Devil’s Advocate at 8:30 as Independence Institute president Jon Caldara is joined by Fox 31 political reporter Eli Stokols and Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels to look at the new legislative session thus far, and what big issues are coming down the line. That’s tonight starting at 8:00 on CPT 12.

You can find your local CPT12 channel by zip code here.

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