Glass, Vance Seek Governor Nomination
[The following article originally appeared in the August 2001 edition of Colorado Liberty.]
"You can no longer be elected to public office by trampling on the Bill of Rights."
Bob Glass, who's considering a run for governor under the Libertarian banner, said that's the message Libertarians should send to politicians next year. Speaking at the Boulder Public Library on July 8, Glass detailed his views and answered questions from an exclusively Libertarian audience.
On Tuesday, July 10, James Vance presented his proposals to members of the Denver Metro Libertarian Party. Vance has already openly declared his intention to seek the party's gubernatorial nomination next year—he filed his official declaration of candidacy with the Secretary of State's office on the third of July.
Glass said that as a Libertarian governor he would "appeal directly to the people" to pressure old-party legislators to adopt pro-freedom legislation. He offered his views on a wide range of issues.
Growth: Glass said we should "not use government to foster growth"; tax money shouldn't be used to lure tourism or businesses to the state. But we can't keep new people out of Colorado, either.
Education: Glass believes the best way to improve the education system is to convert government schools to free market schools. He's skeptical about vouchers.
Immigration: Glass said immigrants should be able to come to America, as our ancestors did previously, but the state should not provide welfare benefits to immigrants. Immigrants who escape tyranny to come here "remind us what this country is all about."
Police Accountability: "We have to hold police officers responsible for their actions," Glass said, citing the police killing of Ismael Mena.
Flag Desecration: Glass would oppose legislation to criminalize flag burning. But when asked if he would burn a flag to protest such a law, he said he would never do that. "I have too much respect for people who put their lives on the line" in defense of the country.
Drug Prohibition: Glass will provide "amnesty for every non-violent person rotting in jail" because of drug prohibition laws.
Civil Arms: Glass said the mere possession of property, including civil arms, should never be restricted. Instead, the use of guns to harm others should be prohibited.
Abortion: Couples shouldn't rely on abortion to deal with unwanted pregnancies, and the state should never fund abortions. But abortion should remain legal.
Transportation: "We should put mass-transit on the free market," Glass said, adding that government-run transit is "phenomenally inefficient."
"We need to shake people out of their complacency," Glass said. "Liberty is the most precious gift any human being can have."
Two days after Glass spoke in Boulder, James Vance laid out his top five campaign planks at the Denver Metro LP meeting.
1. Streamline state government. Outsourcing government programs and agencies will save money and improve performance. Vance wants to review state laws and repeal some of them.
2. Eliminate the state sales tax. The sales tax can be wiped out if the state income tax is increased slightly. Vance would like to eliminate the state income tax, but research indicates that move would require too large an increase in the sales tax. 3. Retool the school system. Vance said a "hybrid of vouchers and corporate-managed schools" will increase efficiency and accountability in education.
4. Support the freedom of speech. Colorado should be a national leader in supporting the freedom of speech, Vance said. "The First Amendment is constantly under fire these days."
5. Protect the Second Amendment. "I've always been a defender of the Second Amendment," Vance said. His main proposal is to pass a concealed-carry law linked to drivers' licenses. After talking to a number of Libertarians, Vance has changed his stance on automatic weapons. He now asserts they should be legal.
Vance wants to run on those Libertarian ideas that resonate with the public. "For this campaign to work, for this campaign to win, it cannot be 100% idealistic." A Vance campaign will "express libertarian ideals," but it will also emphasize "what the public can support."
When asked if he's more interested in winning or sticking to principles, he said he's trying to merge the two. Vance supports industrial hemp and medical marijuana, but he doesn't think a plank to completely repeal drug prohibition will appeal to voters. Vance also wants to "use existing tax dollars more efficiently" to promote the state's economy.
Vance became interested in running for public office because of his "utter disgust" with the elections last year. He thinks running for president, governor, U.S. House, or U.S. Senate will have the greatest impact.
Earlier this year, Vance pursued the Reform (a.k.a. Freedom) Party's nomination, but he doesn't like the "right-wing social issues" of the group, such as its positions on abortion and gay rights.
Vance will not accept contributions from corporations or PACs, relying entirely on gifts from individuals instead. He plans to court the Gen X voter by speaking at universities, and he'll "approach people who are forgotten about."
Several Libertarians have expressed some interest in the lieutenant governor's slot.
* John Cochran, chair of the economics department at Metropolitan State College.
* Desiree Hickson, a homeschool mom and a candidate for state House last year.
* Carol Hill, an activist in Leadville and a school board candidate in 1999.
* Sandra Johnson, LP candidate for governor in 1998.
* Shawn Elke Glazer, a medical doctor, member of the state board, and a state House candidate last year.