Libertarian News for April 2002
by Ari Armstrong
[The following material originally appeared in the April 2002 edition of Colorado Liberty.]
More Speakers Join Convention
Several more speakers plan to join the Colorado LP Convention May 17-19 in Leadville. (See pages 4-5 to sign up.) Also, the band Shaft (www.shaftrocks.com) is set to play Friday evening (May 17) to kick off the event. Band member Isaac Davenport, who also plans to run for state representative as a Libertarian, is featured in this month's Activist's Corner on page 12.
Blake Harrison wants to repeal the prohibition on Sunday liquor sales. He writes on his web page (www.liquorlaws.org), "I see this primarily as an economic issue and an issue of convenience. The government has decided that they know what is best for Coloradans. Most people have busy lives and when they are told they are not allowed to purchase a legal product on one of their free days they get frustrated."
Elizabeth McKinstry of the Free State Project agreed to present her group's ideas to the Colorado LP. The Project states on its web page (www. freestateproject.org), "The Free State Project is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to a single state of the U.S. to secure there a free society. We will accomplish this by first reforming state law, opting out of federal mandates, and finally negotiating directly with the federal government for appropriate political autonomy. We will be a community of freedom-loving individuals and families, and create a shining example of liberty for the rest of the nation and the world."
Kris Lotikar and Troy Dayton are "eco-capitalists" who will discuss free-market environmentalism. They work at the Boulder-based Renewable Choice Energy (www.renewablechoice.com), which states on its web page, "Renewable Choice's mission is to make renewable technologies profitable... Renewable Choice is working to harness consumer demand to create sustainable infrastructure within the United States that meets our current and future energy needs. Working to bring renewable energy to homes across the country Renewable Choice will benefit both the environment and the economy."
Sue Armstrong, who directs the Colorado American Civil Liberties Union, had to cancel her speech because of a retreat planned with the group's board of directors that weekend.
Montrose Hosts Rights Rally
The Montrose LP hosted a Bill of Rights rally in conjunction with a local gun show March 23. "We had a nice time, and I thought it went well," said JoJo Ping, chair of the group. Gubernatorial candidates Ralph Shnelvar and James Vance attended, as did former state chair BetteRose Ryan. (Congratulations to BetteRose and Tony regarding their recent marriage!)
Allen Earns Column
W. Earl Allen, a long-time Libertarian activist and candidate for state representative, recently agreed to write a column for The Broomfield Enterprise. Allen's column will appear the third Wednesday of each month.
Swyers Switches to Unaffiliated
Joe Swyers, once the ranking Libertarian on the Leadville city council, announced March 21 he had switched his voter registration to unaffiliated that day with the county clerk.
Carol Hill, a long-time LP member, was elected to the council in November of last year. Lisa Dowdney, a sitting council member, and Ken Cary, who was elected with Hill, also switched their affiliation to Libertarian. With a four-person majority, Leadville became only the second Libertarian city-council majority in the nation.
Referring to the "beleaguered" members on the council, Swyers said he changed affiliation because the mayor of the town and other individuals had attacked Libertarians.
Hill emphasized the need for the council to move slowly and build consensus prior to any change. She noted elections for city council are non-partisan, which means the position is about representing the community, not a political party. She emphasized the need to educate and reassure the people about proposals, and she said most people sympathize with many libertarian positions, such as free speech. Hill expressed confidence that the council will be able to reduce needless contention and focus on the important issues confronting the town, including the budget and animal control.