Vance Hosts 'Grilling' in Littleton
by Ari Armstrong
[The following article originally appeared in the March 2002 edition of Colorado Liberty.]
James Vance, who is competing with Ralph Shnelvar for the Libertarian nomination for governor, hosted a "grilling" forum in Littleton January 27. He answered tough questions from the 16 people who attended.
Gregg Stone, known as "Uncle Nasty" on KBPI 106.7 FM radio, moderated the event. Audience members submitted questions on cards and also asked Vance questions from the floor. A few times during the three-hour session, discussion spilled onto the floor as some audience members debated the issues with each other.
Vance first addressed the issue of transportation. He said while the monorail plan is a "beautiful idea in theory," it is a "bad concept in practice." He said light rail is a possible alternative to monorail. Also, for transportation generally, "private funding for roads" and perhaps an expanded toll system would make for a better highway system.
For education, Vance said if elected, he plans to promote alternatives to today's system while "simultaneously making the current system a legitimate one." He said he wanted to redirect education tax dollars without raising taxes for education.
"I consider myself to be a product of the public school system," Vance said, and it's premature to ask the public to reconsider government education per se. Vance would eliminate the requirement for teachers' licenses. He also disfavors bilingual education, saying he'd prefer to use government education dollars to "help parents learn English" if they want.
Vance defended the idea of concealed carry, saying teachers should be allowed to carry a concealed handgun if they want to. Open carry isn't sufficient, because criminals know who's carrying. Concealed carry "has affected the criminal mindset," as shown by a reduction of violent crime where concealed carry has been expanded.
Vance said he would eliminate the security office Owens created after September 11. "We don't need another office with another overpaid bureaucrat."
"I don't want the state involved" in growth plans, Vance said, although he is open to growth planning at the city or county level.
Vance also wants to eliminate the state sales tax. However, he may accept "user fees" on such items as tickets for ski lifts and stock shows. As an example of a program he would cut to save taxes, Vance named the Governor's Advocate Corps.