Continue reading →[Adopted October, 2016] Say something about these issues on our Ballot Issues Blog.
Table of Contents
- Amendment T - No Exception To Involuntary Servitude Prohibition - Support
- Amendment U - Exempt Certain Possessory Interests From Taxes - Support
- Amendment 69 - State Healthcare System (ColoradoCare) - Oppose
- Amendment 70 - State Minimum Wage - Oppose
- Amendment 71 - Requirements for Initiated Constitutional Amendments - Oppose
- Amendment 72 - New Cigarette and Tobacco Taxes - Oppose
- Proposition 106 - Medical Aid In Dying - Support
- Proposition 107 - Presidential Primary Election - Oppose
- Proposition 108 - Primary Elections (Unaffiliated Voters) - Oppose
Amendment T - No Exception To Involuntary Servitude Prohibition - Support
The Colorado Constitution currently includes an exemption for slavery and involuntary servitude when it concerns an individual that has been convicted of a crime and is serving a sentence. The text currently reads: “There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”
This is outdated language, and deserves no place in our state’s constitution. Slavery and involuntary servitude violate the Non-Aggression Principle in all its forms, even when a crime has been committed. We strongly support this amendment.
Amendment U - Exempt Certain Possessory Interests From Taxes - Support
This Amendment would create an exemption on the taxation of private use of government property in cases where the government has a possessory interest. Whenever a private party uses government property to derive a profit, such as a farmer leasing government land for grazing, the government traditionally taxes that profit. Amendment U would exempt any private users of government property from a tax on this possessory interest, as long as the value of the property does not exceed $6000. In some cases, these taxes would cost more to acquire than they bring in as revenue.
Although this tax exemption would be better if it was more uniform in its application, it is a net plus for smaller businesses. We support this Amendment.
Amendment 69 - State Healthcare System (ColoradoCare) - Oppose
This is an 11-page document that would amend the Colorado Constitution to create an administrative bureaucracy in healthcare. It is estimated to generate $25 Billion in the first Fiscal Year alone. According to the way the Amendment is written, the following things would become reality in Colorado:
• ColoradoCare will not be a government agency, and will have no government oversight. (Section 3)
• The elected Board of Trustees for ColoradoCare will be elected by the people, chosen by each member’s district, and will serve 4-year terms. However, Board members can vote other board members off of the board by a simple majority, and board members cannot be recalled. The Board also fills vacant positions by a simple majority vote. (Section 5)
• Board members are free to modify their own districts (i.e. gerrymandering), and will create a fraud division to investigate fraud on itself. It will create it’s own benefits packages for its members, it can accept gifts and donations, write its own transparency rules (which are not subject to Freedom of Information Act rules), and it will create a central database for all medical records for the people of Colorado. If any healthcare services are denied, the Board reviews and decides all appeals cases. (Section 5)
• The Board assumes the responsibility to pay for “reasonable care,” but will also determine what constitutes reasonable care. If a person wants to get supplemental insurance, their primary insurance provider would have to get permission from the ColoradoCare Board. (Section 6)
• Paying the taxes for ColoradoCare does not qualify as the purchase of health insurance, and would therefore not fulfill the requirement of the Affordable Care Act mandate. (Section 9)
• ColoradoCare would be exempt from TABOR. (Section 10)
• ColoradoCare would actually be a secondary payor, which means it is not really a single payor system at all. You would still be required to purchase healthcare separately under the ACA mandate, and all tax revenue for ColoradoCare would be used for administrative purposes only. ColoradoCare would, however, reserve the right the deny or force medical services, and could collect as collateral from a citizen a lien against your property. (Section 11)
• Money would be transferred from many other government services into ColoradoCare, including: Workers Compensation, Health Care Services, and any Federal Funds for ObamaCare. (Section 12)
• If the ColoradoCare amendment is ever challenged by a court, including the Supreme Court, and found to be unconstitutional, only the part that is challenge is removed. Everything else stays. (Section 15)
• Although it would be a Constitutional Amendment, the Board can terminate the program at any time. (Section 16)
Even if single payer is something Coloradans wanted, this proposition, as written, is a recipe for corruption. It creates a burdensome bureaucracy that attempts to manage the lives and resources of private citizens, will raise taxes and healthcare costs for everyone, and creates opportunities for serious mismanagement.
With no government oversight, and no way for the people to hold the ColoradoCare board accountable, and with no requirement to play by the rules of the Freedom of Information Act or TABOR, ColoradoCare seems engineered to produce the worst of what government can become. Because Coloradans have worked for many years to produces such safeguards against growing government as TABOR, ColoradoCare is like nothing more than a way to circumvent the legislative process by gambling on the ignorance of Colorado voters. For these and many other reasons, LPCO strongly opposes Amendment 69.
Amendment 70 - State Minimum Wage - Oppose
This amendment would raise the minimum wage in our state from $8.31 to $12.00 incrementally over the next few years. This follows a trend of mostly Pacific states like Washington, Oregon and a few cities like San Francisco. to move in this progressive direction.
Libertarians have long been opposed to wage controls because they create distortions in the labor market, lead to cost increases both for producers and consumers of goods, and they result in higher unemployment. Most of this unemployment is experienced by low-skilled workers, such as teenagers, people entering the labor force after a long leave (which may be due to maternity, disability, retirement, or other circumstances).
The number of people that would be benefited by a minimum wage increase represents a very small percentage of the labor market, but the number of people that would be negatively affected by this increase is very great. Those who would be most negatively impacted are, in fact, those that are poor and of low income. This amendment is a violation of freedom of association, and represents an intrusion into private lives and markets, doing far more harm than good. We strongly oppose.
Amendment 71 - Requirements for Initiated Constitutional Amendments - Oppose
This proposal diminishes the right of citizens to decide how government should operate by making it more difficult to amend the Colorado Constitution. It cedes control to wealthy groups who are more capable of raising the funds to pay petitioners to place issues on the ballot.
It is ironic that 1) the proponents probably failed to gather at least 2 percent of their signatures from each state senate district; and 2) would accept passage with less than 55 percent of the vote, both of which are requirements for future constitutional amendments if this proposal passes.
A better way of protecting the Constitution would be to lower the signature requirement for initiated statutes which can then be modified by the legislature. Protections can be built in by requiring super-majority votes and time restrictions in the legislature. Lower signature requirements for initiated statutes provides incentives to go this route to express the will of the people.
Amendment 72 - New Cigarette and Tobacco Taxes - Oppose
This would increase the sales tax on cigarettes from $0.84 to $2.59, resulting in an estimated total tax increase of $315 Million. As with most sales tax increases, a publicly and conveniently disliked commodity is taxed to pay for favorable government uses. In this case, the funds will mostly go to health-related uses, such as educational programs that teach health and substance abuse prevention.
Even if all of these well-meaning and worthy causes were things that voters wished to invest their tax dollars in, this would tie revenues to programs that may prove to be ineffective at their stated missions — a reality that cannot be remedied by the legislature, as it would be an amendment to the actual constitution. Declining tobacco use would actually have taxpayers on the hook for programs that may outlive their usefulness.
This amendment would also lead to many other unintended consequences. For example, some states struggle to deal with the smuggling into the state of cigarettes, and these are states where cigarette taxes are highest. Such laws also inevitably lead to increased confrontation between police and citizenry, as in the case of Eric Garner. Sin taxes eventually lead to underground economies, which require a growing police state to address.
This tax will grow government, even despite the surplus in revenue it took in last year. It will do more harm than good, and will lead to many unintended consequences. We strongly oppose.
Proposition 106 - Medical Aid In Dying - Support
This proposition allows a terminally ill patient to request a physician-assisted procedure to end his or her life. The law would only apply in cases where at least two medical professionals agree on a prognosis that the patient has six months or fewer to live.
Many safe guards are put in place in this law that protect against potential for corruption. Only the patient, being of sound mind, can request the procedure, and no other individual can request the procedure on anyone else’s behalf, including the physician. The individual is in complete legal control of the decision. Furthermore, the physician and/or family members cannot be the only witnesses.
There is a moral reason to support this proposition. The number one reason cited by people who took this procedure in Oregon, where a similar law exists, is the desire for autonomy. A third of the people in Oregon that received this medication never ended up taking it at all. This is because, for a terminally ill person, it is more about having the ability to choose to end one’s life.
If a person does not have the freedom to end his or her life, then he does not own his body. The right to life is just as important as the right to death, and it is a violation of the Non-Aggression to make such decisions for other people.
Proposition 107 - Presidential Primary Election - Oppose
This proposition would create an entirely new and separate presidential election, to take place no later than March of a presidential year. Political parties would still have their caucuses during the summer as usual to determine internal party business, but the parties would no longer have the right to nominate its presidential candidate. This law would result in an expense to taxpayers of several million dollars each presidential year at various levels of government — an expense that is currently paid by the political parties privately.
Political parties would no longer be allowed to decide the candidate that best represents their values, and would represent an egregious violation of freedom of association. There is also ample opportunity for corruption by creating a mail-ballotonly system, where unaffiliated voter slips may not get counted, and where accountability and transparency become grave issues. We strongly oppose this proposition.
Proposition 108 - Primary Elections (Unaffiliated Voters) - Oppose
Under existing law, an unaffiliated voter can affiliate with a party in order to vote in its primary up to and including Election Day. Under Prop 108, an unaffiliated would not be required at all to affiliate with a political party in order to vote in its primary. Although parties with Minor Party status, such as the Libertarian Party, can opt out of inclusion in the combined ballot that will be mailed to unaffiliated voters, this proposition nevertheless represents a government overreach into private political processes.
A major party can opt out of having a primary and have a caucus instead, but it requires a three fourths majority vote. A law should not be micromanaging party business in this way. This proposition also results in an estimated expense to taxpayers of at least $5 Million every two years. It also is likely to result in an estimated loss of 7% of ballots being thrown out, as has been shown in states like Washington.
Under this intrusive law, voters who do not share the values of the political organizations they seek to participate in can determine the outcome of that party’s nomination process. This is more likely to distort, rather than correct, the political process, and is a basic affront to freedom of association. We strongly oppose.
Tired of no media coverage? Look in the mirror, and be the change you want.When watching or reading news, do you feel like shouting at mainstream politicians and their misguided positions? Do you wish a reporter or TV program would have deigned to give a Libertarian viewpoint or cover a Libertarian candidate? Use that frustration to inspire productive action: write a letter to the editor or guest column. Libertarians get frustrated when the media doesn't cover our ideas or candidates, but most neglect to take advantage of the free opportunity most newspapers give to spread our ideas via opinion pages. Although frustration can inspire action, be sure to remember that the purpose of a letter is to try to persuade people. If an issue isn't time critical, it can be productive to step back from a letter for a day or two before re-reading it to be sure it makes a reasoned productive case. Imagine if even 1 out of 20 registered Libertarians in Colorado did a letter each month. That would be 1878 opeds submitted, and many of them would be printed. If you don't see Libertarian views in the local newspaper: look in the mirror and realize YOU are the solution. If everyone waits for another person to do it, it may never happen. Assume that if you don’t do it, perhaps no one will.Venting your views can be cathartic and seeing them in print can provide a sense of accomplishment.Its good for your mental health, and the health of the Libertarian Party. Libertarians don't think a centralized government can create products as well as the distributed effort of all the collective minds in the public. The collective minds of all Libertarians working to spread libertarian ideas can do so more effectively than only relying on centralized Libertarian Party organizations with limited resources. Even if you don't usually read the local newspaper or subscribe to it, you can still consider submitting opinions for those who do read it.In the age of the internet, writing for a newspaper opinion page may seem an outdated idea, but it is still effective and important. Although newspaper readership is declining, those who read newspapers are more likely to be better informed "influentials" aka "opinion leaders" who pass information on to less informed members of the public who rely on their views. In the age of partisan online media where people communicate within echo chambers, newspapers are one of the few places where people can be exposed to ideas from other political perspectives. Small newspapers often print most of what they receive, even if larger newspapers like the Denver Post can't. The more letters a newspaper receives on a particular topic, the greater the odds at least some of them will be printed. Editorial departments seem more willing to publish alternative views than news sections are to cover them. There is less incentive for those who hold mainstream views to bother writing letters since their views already get covered in the news sections, and by regular columnists and editorials and other people's letters. We have the potential for a disproportionate share of opinion pieces to be from libertarians since most of the public doesn't bother submitting letters. Its useful to keep up a steady stream of letters throughout the year from a libertarian perspective, not merely during election season. It will take time to get the public on our side, and the only way that will ever happen is by as many people as possible working to educate them as often as possible. Opinion pieces are one of the easiest for people to do since they can be done anytime.Many people have never encountered libertarian ideas, and unfortunately many are skeptical of ideas they haven't heard of before. No matter how good the idea is, they may not take time to think it through to realize it makes sense. Unfortunately many people assume that if an idea were good, then they would have heard of it from the mainstream media or major parties before. Anything different is a "fringe" outlier they take less seriously. Advertisers pushing consumer products repeat their ads until people view their product as a credible option rather than viewing it as an unknown risky potentially fly by night choice they might regret. The more people see libertarian ideas in the newspaper, the less they will seem to be rare "fringe" viewpoints and the more seriously they will be taken. The more often reporters see libertarian views mentioned in letters, the more likely they are to realize they exist and to consider them worthy of mentioning in their news articles.People who aren't very political drift often towards what they view as a safe "centrist" position on issues. Most only get a sense of what the public in general thinks via the opinion pages, so the more libertarian letters we get in the more we can shift the perceived "center" on issues in our direction. A libertarian-friendly Republican (we'll do him the favor of not disclosing his identity) once served on a non-partisan board where some Libertarians had managed to get elected. The more radical Libertarian positions made his less radical suggestions seem more centrist and viable and shifted the results in our direction, even if not as far as we'd have liked.Choosing a topic, and writing it:During election season people are more apt to pay attention to newspapers since they realize they'll need to decide how to vote soon, so obviously its best to focus on Libertarian candidates or libertarian positions on ballot issues. Often no other group is pushing the sort of argument a libertarian might make. Even if another letter has already made a libertarian argument and you can't think of a different one, its useful to repeat it. Not everyone reads every oped, but even if they do it can sometimes takes repetition before the public "gets" an idea. It may be that you've phrased it in a way they grasp better than a prior letter.The rest of the year its useful to write about issues you care about and are knowledgeable about, e.g. a topic where you were frustrated at the media's lack of coverage of a libertarian viewpoint. Ideally it should be a topic the rest of the public cares about as well or they aren't likely to read what you wrote. You can get ideas from checking Libertarian Party sites for press releases and commentary, libertarian news sources like Reason.com or libertarian think tanks like Cato.org to see if there are any new ideas or data that haven't made it into the mainstream media to help spread. You don't need to wait for an ideal topic, its useful to just pick something periodically to get an opinion piece to keep putting libertarian ideas out there.Its best when possible to try to offer people new ideas and arguments they haven't seen before, rather than persuading them to abandon an idea they already believe. For instance if conservatives seem to hold a particular policy view for moral reasons, then argue the utilitarian case that their policy won't achieve the goals they have despite good intentions. If liberals seem to hold a particular policy view based what they claim is supporting data, then see if there is a moral case you can use to argue that it doesn't matter if "the trains run on time" if its done in an immoral way. If you have competing data, then that point can be argued as well after you present other arguments.For instance many people feel recreational drug use is bad. Some people try to persuade them that " no, it isn't as bad as you think" (most commonly used by those trying to say pot is less dangerous than alcohol), which may be like talking to a wall. Sometimes its more productive to avoid challenging their view, but argue that they should still support a different policy. e.g. "No matter how bad you think drug use is, the drug war isn't the way to solve the problem because...". Then if you have more time you can go back and also try to add evidence that you feel backs up your case that "no, it isn't as bad as you think".You don't have to be a polished author to submit an opinion piece, as long as its written clearly enough for others to understand. If you aren't confident with your writing skills it can be useful to have others critique your work, and you can return the favor by critiquing theirs. Practice makes perfect, and you can practice writing by posting comments online as well. Although fewer people usually see online comments, the public is more tolerant of writing glitches in a real time informal medium and you can use a pen name for your less polished online posting while you work to improve your writing. Its important with any medium to check your facts and be sure your reasoning is sound before you post, even if your writing isn't polished. Libertarians should maintain a reputation for having good evidence based arguments, in contrast to the major parties.Its important to remember the goal is to reach non-libertarians and not to "preach to the choir" by using arguments that appeal to those who already think the way libertarians do. Try to find arguments that would potentially appeal to liberals and/or conservatives. For instance, find principles liberals and conservatives where superficially claim to agree with us, but where they don't consistently apply those principles. For instance liberals claim to be "pro-choice" but don't follow through to be "pro-choice on everything" the way libertarians are. Conservatives often claim to be prefer smaller government, but then given in too easily when GOP politicians give in to increase spending. Establish common ground by pointing our how you applaud some goal a policy of theirs is meant to address, like a program "for the children", but that a libertarian solution would provide better results. Check your newspaper to see how often will publish letters from repeat authors. Although fewer people read comments and social media posts, those are also important to make since some people are only reached that way, and they also allow you to get feedback on your arguments (though beware that often you will merely get unrepresentative troll replies). Its also important to check the length limits for opinion pieces in the publication you are targeting. Most word processing programs will show a word count to let you work on tweaking your writing to fit within the limits. One way to get started is to forget about the length limits or polished text, and merely write out all the points you wish to make in some form. Then go through your writing and focus on finding the fewest words to best make each of your points, and removing any points you don't have room for.Some publications allow you to submit longer "guest columns", but they print fewer of those due to limited space. There are ways to increase the odds they'll print a guest length piece. If a co-author represents a group, like a local Libertarian Party official, they are more likely to give extra space. You can try to find a co-author who has credentials indicating they are an expert in the topic, even if you do most of the work. Some libertarians don't wish to use their name on publicly printed opinion pieces. They may be concerned about expressing their political views publicly for fear of a backlash from their work or social circles, or value their privacy for some other reason. If you know of a well informed Libertarian who doesn't wish to submit opinions, ask for their help writing yours. If you don't wish to have your name in print but have ideas, see if any friends might let you help them do letters.This was submitted by a Libertarian activist who wishes to remain anonymous. To see some published Letters to the Editor, please visit the LPCO website here. We will also be collecting some submitted language that you can use for your own. Please submit links to your published Letters to the Editor and any proposed language for general use.Thank you for all you do for Liberty.
DENVER, CO: The October 2016 Voter Registration statistics have been released, the number of registered Libertarians in the State of Colorado grew over 26% since January 2016. In contrast, the Republicans only grew by 4.25%, and the Democrats only grew by 7.09%. State Chair Jay North commented:
As the fail rate of government intervention has become obvious with the realization that the country cannot continue along this path, people are starting to look at new solutions, and the common sense pro-individual, pro-freedom stance of the Libertarian Party has struck a nerve. The fact that the old parties have nominated two of the most disliked candidates in American history has certainly helped. The system is broken. Liberty is the answer.
The Libertarian Party of Colorado welcomes all persons from all backgrounds who now accept the Libertarian principles of self-ownership and non-aggression.
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Caryn Ann Harlos at 561.523.2250 or email at CommunicationsDirector@LPColorado.org.
Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 09:00 AM · 14 rsvps16th Street Mall Skyline Park in Denver, CO
The LPCO will be hosting a booth amount the undead at the 11th Annual Zombie Crawl in Denver. Volunteers needed, contact Marie at email@example.com for more info.Thursday, November 03, 2016 at 06:00 PM · 1 rsvpOn the Rox Sports Bar & Grill Parker in Lone Tree, CO
PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION!!!
Join the Douglas County Libertarian Party Development Group the first Thursday of each month at 6:00 PM at On the Rox Bar & Grill in Parker, 11957 Lioness Way, Parker, CO 80134.
On the Rox has generously agreed to give us a private room area where we will be able to communicate and socialize with much less distraction than at our previous location.
OUR TOPIC THIS MONTH IS: Gary Johnson Election Update with Steve Kerbel - VICTORY!! Steve is a staff member of the Gary Johnson campaign and will give us current news on the road to victory and answer any questions you may have.
For additional information on this Meet-Up or the Development Group please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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