The Bias against Ascent Classical Academy

Ascent Classical Academy is a proposed charter school within the Boulder Valley School District. The district rejected Ascent’s application on January 22. The Colorado Board of Education will hear and vote on Ascent’s appeal on February 14 (2:00 pm).

Regardless of what one might conclude about the details of Ascent’s application, abundantly obvious is that that certain actors are biased against Ascent because of its ties to conservative Christians. The dispute over Ascent is fundamentally about ideology.

Continue reading “The Bias against Ascent Classical Academy”

How to Make Colorado’s Choice for President Not Count

Let’s say that we as Colorado voters support Joe Blow in a future presidential race by 60 percent, and we give Bill Prill only 35 percent of our support (with minor-party candidates picking up the rest). Maybe Joe Blow is a Coloradan and most of us really like him because he speaks to our values.

The obvious approach is to give our electoral college votes to the candidate supported by Colorado voters, right? Wrong, at least sometimes, say many Democratic leaders, including Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

Continue reading “How to Make Colorado’s Choice for President Not Count”

Will Libertarians Hand the Colorado Senate to the Democrats?

Update, November 10, 2018: Never mind! Democrats crushed Republicans so badly this year that no Libertarian candidate came close to being a “spoiler.” But I anticipate that the Republican Party will do better in the future, so the problem described here remains. In terms of approval voting, I support that regardless of how frequently minor-party candidates “spoil” a race.

By running candidates in several of the most-competitive Colorado Senate races, Libertarians substantially increase the odds of Democrats seizing the reins of state government and passing numerous bills that Libertarians (as well as Republicans) are sure to hate. Continue reading “Will Libertarians Hand the Colorado Senate to the Democrats?”

Why the Discrimination of Y and Z Matters

Colorado ballot measures Y and Z are legally and morally wrong because they blatantly discriminate against members of minor parties by excluding them from proposed redistricting commissions.

I have written about this problem before, but here I want to address more fully the claim that Y and Z are not really (or not substantially) more discriminatory than the status quo. Continue reading “Why the Discrimination of Y and Z Matters”

Overbroad Amendment 74 Could Bring Litigation Catastrophe to Colorado

When I first heard about it, I thought the Colorado ballot measure Amendment 74 was a slam-dunk. That government can reduce or destroy the value of your property by prohibiting you from developing it is profoundly unjust (excepting cases where a property use would violate others’ rights). I would welcome well-crafted reforms to prevent (or at least to require government to compensate) such “regulatory takings.” But the stupidly drafted Amendment 74 is a cure far worse than the disease—if interpreted broadly by the courts, it could spell catastrophe for economic activity and governance in Colorado. Continue reading “Overbroad Amendment 74 Could Bring Litigation Catastrophe to Colorado”

Reflections on the Discriminatory Ballot Measures Y and Z

Amendments Y and Z on the Colorado ballot this Fall seek to end gerrymandering by putting Congressional and legislative redistricting processes in the hands of independent commissions. So far, so good. The problem with the measures is that they discriminate against members of minor parties by totally excluding them from the proposed commissions. Continue reading “Reflections on the Discriminatory Ballot Measures Y and Z”

Add More States to Make the U.S. More Democratic

Split up the most-populated states. Do it for democracy.

I am not a democrat in the narrow sense. I see no magical properties in the “will” of fifty-percent-plus-one of some (arbitrarily defined) population as determined by some (arbitrarily established) voting mechanism such that the majority should be able to rule it over the minority. Continue reading “Add More States to Make the U.S. More Democratic”

Are Police above the Law?

Imagine what would happen to you as a regular citizen in the following circumstances. You do not like a woman photographing a public incident, so you demand that she stop. When she declines to stop, you grab her arm and twist it, physically restrain her, and forcibly put her into the back of a car.

Assuming a police officer witnessed the event or arrived at the scene after the fact, we all know what would happen to you as a regular citizen. You would be arrested and charged with multiple crimes. Continue reading “Are Police above the Law?”