Dirty Pool Primaries: News Miner 10
Notes on Republican Primaries, public schools, Sheriff Braudis, Denver, Epps, and more.
Welcome to my latest “News Miner.” Be sure also to check out Self in Society, where I recently interviewed Dave Kopel about guns and tyranny. Go Avalanche!
Complete Colorado published my recent article, “Dirty pool in Republican primaries,” in which I discuss Democrat-linked money in the GOP races. I write:
The irony of these ads, which clearly aim to benefit the Democratic Party by interfering in Republican primaries, is that they reveal a profound cynicism about the democratic process. Basically, these ads hope to trick some primary voters into voting against their stated preferences and interests. I’m assuming here that most people who vote for Ron Hanks and Greg Lopez in the primary would prefer Joe O’Dea and Heidi Ganahl to their Democratic opponents. No doubt some primary voters are instead political nihilists, but I think that’s the exception.
I also restate my position on separating party and state:
I think government should not be involved in party primaries at all. Instead, parties should be purely private organizations, free to choose how they endorse candidates. Government should set equal ballot-access rules for all comers, regardless of party, and not even list party affiliation on ballots. And, to eliminate the “stolen vote” problem, government should institute “approval voting,” whereby people can vote for as many candidates as they want.
Read the entire piece.
Polling on Public Schools
Complete Colorado published my recent article, “Poll shows ambivalence about government schools.” I write,
People generally think public schools suck, their own school districts are so-so, and their local teachers are great. These results don’t make much sense. . . .
People generally think schools suck at spending tax money, so therefore we should give them more tax money, especially for teachers’ salaries. These results make a certain amount of sense if we assume many people are saying that schools should pay teachers more rather than waste funds on bloated bureaucracies and such.
I also talk about the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Read the entire piece.
Sheriff Bob Braudis Has Passed Away
Bob Braudis, sheriff of Pitkin County (home of Aspen) from 1986 to 2010, died June 3. Rich Allen describes Braudis as “a local icon whose style was not to solve issues with handcuffs and jail cells, but with humanitarianism and understanding. He traded in peace, not authority. Conversation, not repression or persecution.” Allen continues:
The “gentle giant,” as former Aspen Mayor Bill Stirling called him, didn’t want to put people in jail. He didn’t believe incarceration was a solution for personal issues like drug use. He relied on the Latin phrase “De minimis non curat lex” — “The law does not concern itself with trifles.”
Although I never met Braudis, I knew of him from my days assisting with Sheriff Bill Masters’s book Drug War Addiction. Braudis called Masters “an early pioneer” for his efforts. Braudis said, “I share his philosophy. If you have a drug problem you should go to the doctor, not to jail. Bill has let that genie out of the bottle and not suffered politically for it. He has an awful lot of courage for stating this.” See my recent podcast episode with Masters.
Braudis was legendary.
Denver Is Largely Nice
Left-Colorado-Twitter piled on Representative Matt Soper for calling Denver a “Toilet bowl.” What’s the reality?
Recently I went to a baseball game and mostly enjoyed the city. But heading in I made a wrong turn and drove through a long depressing stretch of a homeless encampments. On another occasion I walked along the Platte near REI, and the city was absolutely beautiful there. City Park also is lovely.
I’ve also driven along Colfax, and much of that part of town is a mess. The Washington Post described the experiences of a bus driver along that route. “A couple with three plastic garbage bags of belongings and a large, unleashed dog” got on the bus on one trip.
[The bus driver] had been spit on, hit with a toolbox, threatened with a knife, pushed in the back while driving and chased into a restroom during her break. Her windshield had been shattered with rocks or glass bottles three times.
Elisabeth Epps’s Radicalism
Alex Burness describes her more radical political views:
A world without police, Epps says, is a world without harm. If society insisted on housing everyone, providing livable wages and quality universal health care, and on passing legislation with these aims in mind, she says, it would be an easy call to reallocate the money put toward police and prisons. . . . She doesn’t flinch when she concludes that “of course, we should be working to abolish the police.”
This view of hers holds that the only cause of violent crime is the social environment, which clearly is false. Still, there would be little downside to Epps serving in the legislature, as her radical views never would get a hearing. And there might be an upside, as she would join coalitions to focus on harm reduction when it comes to drugs. But Epps’s opponent, Katie March, likely would support comparable policies along those lines. I suspect Epps would be all for harmful taxes and regulations that damage productivity, but the same probably goes for any Democrat who might win that seat.
Montessori: Congratulations to Higher Ground Education for opening its 100th Montessori school, in Centennial, Colorado.
Losing His Head: “Miracle Mike” was a headless rooster in Fruita in the 1940s. After the chicken just wouldn’t die, the owners “began dropping ground grain and water straight into his esophagus.” Now there’s a town festival commemorating this. Weird.
Boebert: Will Sommer says, “The viral Lauren Boebert escort and abortions story is obviously fake.”
Polis: Check out the Wall Street Journal’s recent headline: “Jared Polis bucks the climate lobby.” The topic is building mandates for electric vehicle chargers. See also my article from April, “If electric cars are so great we shouldn’t need mandates.”
Housing: “The amount of time it’s taking the City of Denver to approve building permits has grown exponentially in recent months,” reports the Denver Gazette. The main barrier to affordable housing is government.
Republican Watch: “Colorado Republican powerbroker Joe Oltmann, who called for mass hangings of political opponents, has issued a new call to seize control of the US government. . . . Oltmann’s followers on Telegram responded to his call to action, some echoing his previous call for public executions,” reports Kyle Clark.