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Mike Krause
Mike Krause directs the Local Colorado Project at the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver, Colorado. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, which included numerous joint agency drug and immigration patrols in the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean. He has been published in over a dozen Colorado newspapers and nationwide in American Outlook magazine, National Review Online, and in both Reason magazine and Reason Online. He lives in northwest Denver.

Entries by Mike Krause

Nederland's Bag Tax Disguised As a 'Fee' Violates Colorado's TABOR

(3) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 2:29 PM

Nederland recently became the latest local government to enact a new tax in violation of the Colorado Constitution by disingenuously calling it a fee.

The town's board of trustees in May passed an ordinance imposing a 10-cent charge on paper and plastic disposable bags...

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Disposable Bag 'Fee' Is Really a Tax That Requires Approval by Denver Voters

(6) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 6:18 PM

Members of the Denver City Council are proposing an ordinance that would impose a 5-cent charge on disposable (paper and plastic) bags used to carry purchases at point of sale at grocery and convenience stores with "over 1,500 square feet" of retail space.

Proponents call this bag charge...

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Colorado Senate Bill 250: A Net Reduction in Drug War Stupidity

(1) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 3:55 PM

On May 1st, Senate Bill 250 passed out of the Colorado Senate with an overwhelming 34-1 vote. At more than 70 pages, the bill is a re-write of much of the Colorado Uniform Controlled Substances Act (UCSA), which is the legal framework for the contemporary drug war in...

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Meet Denver's Chief Sustainability Officer: Q and A With Jerry Tinianow

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 3:23 PM

Jerry Tinianow became Denver's first full-time chief sustainability officer last year, a cabinet-level position in the Hancock administration. Earlier this year I applied for, and was appointed to the Office of Sustainability Advisory Council, formed to give advice and recommendations as denver pursues its 2020 sustainability...

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Three Bills That Tell Colorado Bureaucracies to Do What They Shouldn't Have to Be Told to Do

(1) Comments | Posted February 21, 2013 | 2:06 PM

In a telling example of just how detached and overreaching government has become, the Colorado legislature is considering three different bills this year to require state government bureaucracies to treat citizens with some basic fairness and equity, and follow the intent of the countless other laws already on the books....

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Denver Measure 2A: Who Thinks a Forever Property Tax Increase Is a Bad Idea?

(1) Comments | Posted November 2, 2012 | 4:56 PM

If approved by voters in November, Denver Measure 2A would remove property tax revenue limitations imposed by Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), resulting in a forever and unlimited tax increase for Denver property owners. As an added poke in the eye, 2A would also make permanent a...

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Measure 2A: Denver's Permanent Property Tax Increase Just More War on the Poor

(3) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 5:40 PM

Government wages war on the poor when politicians promote laws and policies that enrich and empower bureaucracies and/or special interests, the cost of which falls hardest on low-income wage earners and those living on modest fixed incomes. A 50-dollar ticket for a street sweeping violation in Denver, a full day's...

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Mayor Hancock's Permanent Property Tax Increase the Wrong Way to Solve Denver's Spending Problem

(1) Comments | Posted August 7, 2012 | 1:19 PM

Mayor Hancock's proposed permanent property tax increase for the November ballot shows a political timidity that has no place in the governance of a great city like Denver. Rather than re-thinking how the city operates, the mayor wants Denver homeowners to balance his budget for him.

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Three Steps Forward and a Couple Steps Back for Drug Law Reform in Colorado

(2) Comments | Posted November 1, 2011 | 4:10 PM

In 2010, Colorado lawmakers took a meaningful step towards drug law reform by passing House Bill 1352, which nibbles at the edges of the disastrous War on Drugs by amending some of Colorado's controlled substance statutes (see my HuffPost piece on HB 1352).

And while lawmakers...

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Legislature Restrains Its Compulsion to Overcriminalize Colorado

(2) Comments | Posted May 5, 2011 | 5:37 PM

The Colorado legislature has taken a modest, but welcome step towards restraining its own penchant for overcriminalizing the economic and personal lives of Coloradans. Let's hope it makes us all a little bit freer from an often overweening state.

House Bill 11-1239 came out of recommendations by the

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Fiscal Conservatives Should Want Colorado Parolees to Succeed

(5) Comments | Posted April 21, 2011 | 3:27 PM

In Colorado, recidivism is defined as a return to prison "for either new criminal activity or a technical violation of parole, probation or non-departmental community placement within three years of release." Colorado's recidivism rate is fairly high compared to other states, at around 53 percent.


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Give a Listen to Ideas for Criminal Justice Reform in the 2011 Colorado Legislature

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 2:55 PM

In early February the Independence Institute, the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition and the Pew Center on the States hosted a panel event on the ongoing work of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) and the prospects for criminal...

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Sentencing Reform in the 2011 Colorado General Assembly

(0) Comments | Posted January 11, 2011 | 12:30 PM

State spending does not drive the prison population. Rather, just like an entitlement, the prison population drives state spending. The legislature's ability to affect the prison caseload, and thus the corrections budget, rests in its prerogative to write, and when necessary, re-write the state's criminal sentencing and parole laws and...

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Are Colorado Doctors Really Opposed to Amendment 63?

(8) Comments | Posted September 22, 2010 | 2:26 PM

The Colorado Medical Society (CMS) had its annual meeting in early September, and the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (H.R. 3590, aka ObamaCare) was a focus of the gathering. The CMS apparently surveyed its membership, and according to an excellent Colorado Public Radio news piece, around half...

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Q & A with Jennifer Coken on Challenging Denial of Her Petition for HD 4 Democratic Primary

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2010 | 3:59 PM

Jennifer Coken wants to be my state representative. She gathered 1,400 signatures to petition her way on to the Democratic primary ballot for House District 4 (which includes northwest Denver). She needed 849 signatures. The Secretary of State invalidated enough signatures to disqualify her from the ballot. This brings up...

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Q & A With Senate District 34 Candidate Derec Shuler, Part 1

(2) Comments | Posted June 7, 2010 | 3:34 PM

Derec Shuler wants to be my state senator. He's running for the Senate District 34 seat in northwest Denver recently vacated by Paula Sandoval. He's a Republican in a heavily Democratic district. We live on the same street and both married well -- enough in common that I thought we...

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How Democrats Killed Medical Privacy in Colorado

(21) Comments | Posted May 28, 2010 | 5:10 PM

It's tough being the establishment. Sometimes you have to trash your principles for political purposes. Privacy and choice, ideals once championed by liberals and their progressive allies, have been reduced to quaint notions applicable on politically acceptable occasions now that Democrats are the ruling class.

Take health care in Colorado....

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Q & A with District 1 Denver City Council candidate Larry Ambrose

(1) Comments | Posted April 30, 2010 | 12:37 PM

On Tuesday, May 4, there will be a special election to fill the recently vacated Denver District 1 City Council seat. I met Larry Ambrose, one of ten candidates for the open seat, at a March candidate forum at the Oriental Theatre in northwest Denver. When asked what,...

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Modest Sentencing Reform Bill is Long Overdue

(17) Comments | Posted April 23, 2010 | 6:51 PM

On April 15, the Colorado House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1352, which nibbles at the edges of some of the more egregious aspects of the disastrous War on Drugs by reforming some of Colorado's controlled substance statutes.

This is a hugely important step for Colorado lawmakers in...

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Colorado Gets a C for Its Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

(1) Comments | Posted April 19, 2010 | 12:33 PM

The libertarian public interest law firm Institute for Justice (IJ) has put out a tremendous new report on abusive civil asset forfeiture practices in the United States called "Policing for Profit." As the report notes, federal and state asset forfeiture laws often create perverse incentives for abuse by making civil...

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