Election 2018

Libertarianish Rep. Jared Polis Leans Left to Snag Colorado Dem Governor Nomination

As a congressman, he worked with libertarian conservatives on privacy and surveillance issues, none of which factored into his campaign.

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Libertarian-friendly Democratic Rep. Jared Polis may end up saying goodbye to some of his Republican buddies like Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan and Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky this fall. Last night he clinched the Democratic nomination for governor of his home state of Colorado.

Polis handily beat three other Democrats, getting 45 percent of the vote. He'll face off against Republican Walker Stapleton, the state's treasurer (as well as several independents and Libertarian Party candidate Scott Helker). Here's his victory speech:

Unfortunately, there wasn't anything remotely libertarian about Polis' campaign. While Polis may be rated as a "moderate Democrat" based on his voting history, he ran about as far left as he could manage for the primary. He's running on universal health care under a single-payer system, universal full-day pre-K programs, and an emphasis on developing renewable energy sources and pushing for adaptation of electric vehicles. He even supports shelling out money to research high-speed rail transit for Colorado.

But as a congressman, Polis frequently crossed the aisle to find common ground with libertarian Republicans. He has been a force pushing for rescheduling marijuana so that it's no longer a Schedule 1 drug. He even helped launch a bipartisan congressional caucus focusing on marijuana policy. He's been a strong supporter of bolstering Fourth Amendment protections against unwarranted searches and surveillance. He pushed for stronger warrant requirements before the feds can access your old emails and has consistently joined lawmakers like Amash, Massie, and Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) in efforts to rein in the surveillance state.

Polis' intersection with libertarian ideals on privacy and personal choice (he's a supporter of charter schools, and has even founded them—though he's opposed to vouchers and not a Betsy DeVos fan) prompted a Reason magazine profile of Polis back in 2014. You can watch my interview with him in D.C. here. Later in 2014 he wrote a piece for Reason himself encouraging libertarians to vote for Democrats as a counterpart to a piece by Grover Norquist encouraging libertarians to vote Republican.

Polis' strong support for due process protections (he's a member of the congressional Fourth Amendment Caucus) came under question when he supported colleges using remarkably low evidentiary thresholds to justify tossing out students on the basis of just allegations of rape or sexual misconduct. He said in a hearing on college sexual assault, "If I was running a [private college] I might say, well, even if there is only a 20 or 30 percent chance that it happened, I would want to remove this individual." He took it even further, adding, "If there are 10 people who have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it, it seems better to get rid of all 10 people. We're not talking about depriving them of life or liberty, we're talking about them being transferred to another university, for crying out loud."

He defended his position when asked about it by Reason, but then subsequently acknowledged he "went too far by implying [he] support[s] expelling innocent students from college campuses… ."

If Polis wins, he'd be the first openly gay governor to do so (there have been governors who have come out while in office). That this doesn't seem to be a big deal to anybody is an interesting indicator of political and cultural shifts.

He may have run to to the left to win the nomination, but that didn't stop buddy Amash from tweeting out praise for Polis' win:

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  1. So, he’s the normal “libertarian-leaning” Congresscritter Reason wets its collective panties over.

    1. And Amash supports him. For Libertarianism.

      Good lord, what a laughable political “movement”

      1. A political movement for freedom is all too much like an orgy for chastity.

      2. It’s not laughable if he’s the best candidate who has a non-trivial chance of winning, or if what he’s running on is the best politically achievable result. Sometimes you have to sacrifice something here to gain something there. That’s how it is with all things in life.

    2. And Amash supports him. For Libertarianism.

      Good lord, what a laughable political “movement”

      1. Funny how “Libertarians” are fooled by con men like Jared Polis. Its because the people that were fooled are not Libertarians. Once lefties like Polis opens his mouth, the socialism spills out.

        You are a fool if want to believe that bad. Just listen to them and what they do in life and in office. Its the easiest way to tell if someone is Republican, Libertarian, Lefty, or Anarchist.

        1. It sounds like Polis is as Libertarian as John Boehner.

          1. Who’s John Boehner?

        2. Just listen to them and what they do in life and in office. Its the easiest way to tell if someone is Republican, Libertarian, Lefty, or Anarchist.

          Right. You’re a Republican.

          1. Says the person that knows nothing about Libertarianism and hates the Constitution.

  2. Libertarianish Rep. Jared Polis Leans Left to Snag Colorado Dem Governor Nomination

    We call them LINOs or RINOs depending on which party they try and hide their true lefty ideals in.

    1. Big Blue Wave coming in November?

      1. Another primary that provides the evidence that the only Blue Wave will be down the toilet.

        Lefties are losing over and over and over.

        1. From your lips to the electoral gods’ ears.

          1. This whole sub is just a mess of Stupid

          2. Check back to 2016. I was right a lot. A lot.

            Funny, only the lefties can discuss electoral predictions. Once the lefties are shown to be wrong, nobody can discuss electoral trends.

          3. Its impossible to predict everything but I was 99% sure Hillary would lose.

            They look at the wrong clues in many political races.

            The media uses polls to get people to vote for who they want and that is why their polls are almost always wrong. The socialists love to use propaganda to tell people who to vote for.

  3. Seems like a pretty shitty “libertarian leaning” politician.

    No to vouchers

    No to due process if it obstructs a bizarre witch hunt by left-wing activists on college campuses

    1. Yup. He almost makes Cruz look like a principled libertarian.

      1. True. And Ted Cruz is a serial killer, so he regularly violated the non-aggression principle in the past

          1. Oh, damn it. Every time I link it never works.

            Anyways, Ted Cruz is the Zodiac killer. I WANT TO BELIEVE

  4. “Libertarian-friendly Democrat” is a pretty low bar, i guess.

    1. “Libertarian-friendly Democrat” = OK with weed, Mexicans, and butt secks.

  5. We’re not talking about depriving them of life or liberty, we’re talking about them being transferred to another university, for crying out loud.

    Are we? Since Robby and Reason started this ‘beat’ I’ve never been clear on whether this is the case. In some cases, it seems like a straight forward “credits for orgy” swap and I find it hard to have sympathy for a kid who’s ‘forced’ to move to another college as a result of choosing to have copious amounts of questionable sex while drunk which someone had likely informed him was a bad idea and/or against the rules. However, there are definitely cases where it seems like we’ve ruined athletic careers and branded kids for life no matter what school they attend, if they can even attend another school at all (despite not having violated any other school’s code of conduct).

  6. “He’s running on universal health care under a single-payer system, universal full-day pre-K programs, and an emphasis on developing renewable energy sources and pushing for adaptation of electric vehicles. He even supports shelling out money to research high-speed rail transit for Colorado.”

    Got some bad news for ya.
    That is in no way anything like a libertarian.
    That is a socialist.

    1. So you just skipped right over the two sentences immediately before what you quoted, huh:

      Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything remotely libertarian about Polis’ campaign. While Polis may be rated as a “moderate Democrat” based on his voting history, he ran about as far left as he could manage for the primary.

      1. Surely you’re not suggesting reading the entire article as opposed to just skimming it, picking out the most PROBLEMATIC phrases and then quoting them out of context to make some kind of point about (t)reason magazine being a den of socialists masquerading as libertarians? What are you, some kind CUCK-FAG?

      2. Libertarianish Rep. Jared Polis Leans Left to Snag Colorado Dem Governor Nomination

        That saves Scotty since this is the title he started the article with.

    2. As if there’s much of a difference anymore, other than a minor dispute over who’s gonna pick up the check.

    3. The modern left’s obsession with 19th-century forms of transit never ends. We’ve had plenty of left-wing lunatics pimping Jetsons-style technology like mag-lev trains to the ski resorts, but it won’t matter in the end because the EIS alone would make it prohibitive. We can’t even get more than 5 percent of people out of their cars during rush hour to ride Denver’s ever-growing light rail system, but these goofballs think we can build a high-speed train from Fort Collins to Pueblo and it will be both popular and profitable.

      This is also a state that is dominated by Democrats and still rejected a universal healthcare plan. Polis is a typical Boulder airhead that thinks you can take policies that work in a far-left city that is 80 percent white and upper middle class to upper class, and apply them to a state that is more diverse both ethnically and economically.

      1. We’ve had plenty of left-wing lunatics pimping Jetsons-style technology like mag-lev trains to the ski resorts

        This reminds me of one of the bumps on KBPI:

        Voiceover: Denver city council approves hyperloop from DIA to the ski resorts
        Retarded sounding city council person: Oh yeah, it’s gonna be really fast… wait, you mean this actually gonna cost money?!

        Or something like that.

        This is also a state that is dominated by Democrats and still rejected a universal healthcare plan.

        I think it’s more like Boulder and Denver are dominated by Democrats while the rest of the state is relatively moderate to Republican leaning (Co Springs is still pretty Republican last time I checked – which admittedly wasn’t that recently). But those two urban centers still hold a lot of influence in the state government, but not enough to go full progtard yet. A few thousand more Californians moving in though…

  7. But as a congressman, Polis frequently crossed the aisle to find common ground with libertarian Republicans. He has been a force pushing for rescheduling marijuana so that it’s no longer a Schedule 1 drug. He even helped launch a bipartisan congressional caucus focusing on marijuana policy. He’s been a strong supporter of bolstering Fourth Amendment protections against unwarranted searches and surveillance. He pushed for stronger warrant requirements before the feds can access your old emails and has consistently joined lawmakers like Amash, Massie, and Sen. Rand Paul (R?Ky.) in efforts to rein in the surveillance state.

    Unfortunately, those are the only issues that he can be described as “libertarian leaning” on, and none of them are state level issues. Maybe he’ll be more friendly to the idea of MJ tasting rooms than Lickapooper was, but that’s about it.

    1. I’ll take a fourth amendment defender progressive over your standard “due process is literally genocide” progressive any day of the week. But, you’re right, it seems like he would be more useful on the federal level than on the state level where he’s going full-on Mao

      1. He’s going full-on Mao because that’s the direction the state’s Democratic party is heading. They don’t even pretend to give a shit about class issues anymore like the old-time Dems did, it’s all gender/ethnic identity idiocy now that the Boomers are exiting the political stage, and the Gen-Xers/Millennials have begun taking over the political apparatus.

        1. He’s going full-on Mao because that’s the direction the state’s Democratic party is heading.

          Pretty much this. He had to go Full Progtard in order to kow-tow to the Boulder/ Denver Progs to get the nomination, and he’ll probably have to walk a tightrope in the general election in order to moderate enough not to turn off moderates and independents while at the same time not alienating that Full Progtard base. It’ll be interesting to see, if he wins the general election, how many of his promises he’s able to keep. Hopefully there’ll be enough opposition in the legislature to block some of the crazier schemes (like full socialized medicine and high speed rail boondoggles)

          1. This year I think a pile of turds could run with a D after its name and win in certain states, Colorado may be one of them, Virginia definitely seems to be

            1. This year I think a pile of turds could run with a D after its name and win in certain states

              Who says Polis isn’t a pile of turds? I keed, I keed… but not really.

          2. Hickenlooper managed to craft a pretty impressive political career in the state because people never got over seeing him as a mild-mannered LoDo bar owner, and he was fortunate enough to run for governor during a period where the state GOP has become absolutely rudderless (it’s a modern miracle that the party was able to secure the majority in the state Senate in 2016, despite having no one of any discernable charisma or ability in the public eye).

    2. You think he’s OK on unwarranted searches & weaker warrant requirements if they’re done by state law?

  8. Pot. Mexicans. Ass-sex.

    Polis checks all 3 boxes, ergo Libertarian.

    1. This would be firghtening if it weren’t true.

  9. he ran about as far left as he could manage for the primary

    And it worked.

  10. So, as a libertarian, I suppose Polis supports voluntary taxes to pay for universal healthcare and preschool. What a joke!

  11. All it seems to take for Reason to like a candidate is for them to say a few nice words about libertarian causes..Reminds me a f when I was in high school and I thought that every attractive girl who said hi to me wanted to jump in the sack with me

    1. Reminds me a f when I was in high school and I thought that every attractive girl who said hi to me wanted to jump in the sack with me

      You mean you actually had an attractive girl say hi to you in high school? Lucky bastard…

      1. Ok-maybe every somewhat attractive girl

  12. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything remotely libertarian about Polis’ campaign

    Because he’s not a libertarian. Or ‘libertarianish’ or anything but a run of the mill lefty.

    You all were desperate to find a leftist you could call a ‘libertarian’ because all the libertarians actually getting elected were doing so with an ‘R’ after their names and you had to show that ‘liberaltarianism’ was a viable thing.

    It’s not and never was, as Polis shows.

  13. But will he be better or worse than Lickenpooper?

    I’m going to miss LIckenpooper. It was so easy to make fun of his name.

  14. Leftists of all types disguised as Democrats have ruined Colorado. We left there in 1973 because they had begun to destroy it. I went back twice to fly fish before deciding never to spend money there again. The last time I spent a dime there was 17 years ago. It’s a great shame. The same thing happened in Oregon and Washington.

  15. Polis libertarian-ish? GMAFB. I live in his district. He’s anything but.

  16. Amash is a Republican, for crying out loud. He had to compromise in order to get elected, so don’t expect anything like consistent libertarianism from Amash. And Polis is just a socialist. Nothing complicated about that. He trusts the right kind of government to infringe liberties in just the right way.

  17. “He’s running on universal health care under a single-payer system, universal full-day pre-K programs, and an emphasis on developing renewable energy sources and pushing for adaptation of electric vehicles. He even supports shelling out money to research high-speed rail transit for Colorado.”

    Another “Libertarianish” Moment, brought to you by Prog Friendly Reason.

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