2008 Catalog of Shows
December 12th and 16th – Transparency in Colorado Government
Taxpayers have a right to know how government is spending their money but in Colorado they often have to pay to find out. Across the country, many states, local governments, school districts and even the federal government have embraced transparency. These governments provide — free of charge — online, searchable databases of expenditures and in some cases contracts. When will Colorado do the same? Tune in to Independent Thinking as guests State Senator Mike Kopp and Amy Oliver Cooke of the Independence Institute discuss transparency in Colorado with me. Tune in Friday night at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
December 5th and 9th – The Economics of Climate Change
With the stock market going down and unemployment going up, Americans are in need of affordable energy. How is the economic crisis affecting the global warming movement and followers’ desires to get the US off all fossil fuels within ten years? To discuss energy, economics and climate change the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor, managing editor of Environment & Climate News, joins me on Independent Thinking. Tune in Friday night at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
November 21st and 25th – Democrats Are Standing Up to the Teacher’s Union?
The teachers unions traditionally try to block school reform efforts. Some Democrats are taking a stand for education reform despite the unions’ opposition. Join Independent Thinking host Jon Caldara and his guests Democrats for Education Reform executive director Joe Williams and the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center director Pam Benigno as they discuss the education reform movement within the Democratic Party. Tune in this Friday night at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
November 7th and 11th – 2008 Election Wrap-Up
TABOR? Fairness Doctrine? Card check legislation? Redistribution of wealth? Second Amendment? Supreme Court? Foreign policy? What do the election results mean for the limited government, free market movement in Colorado and at the national level. Join me on Independent Thinking with guests David Kopel and Linda Gorman from the Independence Institute as they discuss what this election means for individual rights and the economy. Tune in Friday night at 7:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
October 31st and November 4th – 14 Ballot Measures Made Simple
With 14 ballot measures, Colorado voters face a lengthy ballot this year. To help speed up the process, this week on Independent Thinking we provide a Cliff Notes version of the Colorado Voters’ Guide so get out your cheat sheets! Dan Haley of the Denver Post and Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News join me as they go through the ballot measures in rapid-fire fashion. That’s this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening — election day — at 5 p.m.
October 17th and 21st – Local or Casino Control?
The limited gaming ballot measure would allow local voters to extend casino hours, add additional games of chance and increase the maximum bet limit. Is this really local control or is it casino control? According to the ballot language, Colorado’s community colleges will benefit from the increased state revenue but is this just a ploy to get voters to approve the gaming measure? How will Amendment 50 affect all Coloradans? I will discuss those questions and more with supporter Katy Atkinson from the Say Yes on 50 campaign and opponent former State Representative Jerry Kopel. That’s tonight at 7:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
October 10th and 14th – Amendment 58 – Yes or No?
Also known as the severance tax initiative championed by Governor Bill Ritter, Amendment 58 will increase the severance tax $321 million on the oil and gas extraction in Colorado. With a struggling economy, serious questions surround what type of impact the tax increase will have in Colorado. How will this tax increase affect the state’s oil and gas industry that already contributes roughly $23 billion to the economy? How will the tax increase affect Colorado residents and their energy bills? What areas of state spending will benefit from the tax increase? Those are just a few of the questions that I will ask guests George Merritt, spokesman for A Smarter Colorado, and State Senator Bill Cadman from Coloradans for a Stable Economy on Independent Thinking. That’s this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
October 3rd and 7th – What is Amendment 49?
II policy analyst Ben DeGrow and teacher Michael Alcorn join me for the "debate." I can’t really call it a debate because the opponents wouldn’t come on the show. No matter how often I ask; no matter sweetly I ask — even bringing flowers and chocolates; the left still rejects all my invitations. Since no opponents had the courage to defend their position, we challenge each other and utimately all come to the same conclusion. Watch this episode here.
September 25th and 30th – Hear Both Sides of the Personhood Amendment
With just 43 words, Coloradans will decide if the term “person” should mean any “human being” from the moment of fertilization entitled to due process and equality of justice. If passed, will Amendment 48 outlaw abortion and make criminals of women who have miscarriages as opponents have suggested? What will be the legal consequences? For a spirited debate over the Personhood Amendment, tune in to Independent Thinking when Amendment 48 sponsor Kristi Burton and opponent Fofi Mendez join me to discuss this controversial ballot measure. That’s tonight at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
September 18th and 23rd – What Does a Colorblind Colorado Look Like?
Is Colorado truly colorblind? What role if any should race and gender play in Colorado’s public system of hiring, contracting and education? To answer those questions and more, Linda Chavez chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and Executive Director of the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative Jessica Corry join me on Independent Thinking. Tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
September 12th and 16th – Amendment 59, the TABOR Killer
We told you so. We told you that the tax and spend lobby would ask for more even if the massive tax increase known as Referendum C passed. Again this fall Coloradans will be asked to give up more of their hard earned tax dollars by gutting what’s left of TABOR. Amendment 59 would allow the state to keep all TABOR tax refunds forever! To discuss the ballot measure, economist Barry Poulson from the Independence Institute and State Senator Scott Renfroe join me on Independent Thinking. Once again those seeking more of your tax dollars either were unavailable or didn’t respond to our invitation to be a guest on the show. Tune in this Thursday night to KBDI Channel 12 at 8:30 p.m. and repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
September 5th and 9th – Transparency and Accountability in Local Government
Can you name all the governments you currently live within the boundaries of? Probably not. There are over 3,000 governments at the moment in Colorado, a third of which are metropolitan districts. These governments, specifically, are ones we need to keep a very close eye on. Tremendous amounts of debt, secret ballots, questionable accountability, hazy transparency, and shady formation permeate the landscape of Colorado’s metro districts. The Independence Institute’s Justin Longo and State Representative Morgan Carroll join me on this week’s Independent Thinking. They share their insights into why these metro districts are so dangerous to the average Colorado taxpayer, and what we need to know to protect ourselves. Tune in tonight at 8:30 pm to KBDI Channel 12, with a repeat showing the following Tuesday at 5 pm. Watch this episode here.
August 29th and September 2nd – What Will be the Big Story?
Protesters? Hillary or Bill? Hollywood stars? Tight security? Traffic jams? Invesco field? What will be the big story from Denver’s Democratic National Convention? On this special edition of Independent Thinking host Jon Caldara convenes a star-studded media round table that includes Executive Editor of the Weekly Standard and co-host of Fox News Beltway Boys Fred Barnes, Mort Kondracke also of the Beltway Boys, John McCormack of the Weekly Standard and Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi. Tune in Friday night at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
August 15th and 19th – Transparency and Accountability in State Government
A slew of states, including our neighbor Kansas, has embraced transparency in government by creating publicly searchable databases for government expenditures and contracts. Texas requires school districts to put their check registries on-line for citizens to see. Why hasn’t Colorado embraced this movement? To answer that question and more about transparency and accountability in government, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley join me tonight on Independent Thinking. Tune in to KBDI Channel 12 at 8:30 p.m.; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
August 8th and 12th – DNC or Bust!
Is Denver fully prepared to host 50,000 people for this month’s Democratic National Convention as some officials claim? What can metro area residents expect during the DNC: ghost town or torturous traffic? It’s all things DNC on Independent Thinking as I speak with Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown and Denver Post reporter Stephen Keating. Watch this episode here.
July 31st and August 5th – The DNC and First Amendment Rights
For next month’s Democratic National Convention, authorities are kind enough to allow free speech inside a caged area near the Pepsi Center. The Independence Institute has affectionately dubbed it the "freedom cage." This week on Independent Thinking, Brian Vicente, executive director of the DNC-People’s Law Project, and activist Paul Bame join me to discuss what Colorado can expect from those inside the "freedom cage." Watch this episode here.
July 24th and 29th – Colorado Civil Rights Initiative – Amendment 46
This November, Colorado voters will decide if the state can discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any group or individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public contracting, or public education. Independence Institute President Jon Caldara interviews Jessica Corry, executive director of the Colorado Civil Right Initiative, the force behind Amendment 46, and Brad Jones managing editor of Face the State join me on Independent Thinking to discuss the ballot measure and why it enjoys huge support in Colorado. Opponents of Amendment 46 either declined to participate or didn’t respond to repeated invitations. Watch this episode here.
July 17th and 22nd – Supreme Court 2nd Amendment Victory… Now What?
In the first ever major pronouncement on gun rights, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Americans do have a right to own guns for self defense and hunting. The split decision is certainly good news for Second Amendment advocates but what does it mean to proponents of gun control, and should Americans be concerned about the Court’s lack of consensus? Those are just a couple of the questions that I pose to Independent Thinking guests David Kopel and Patricia Kramer, president of the Colorado Chapter of the Million Mom March/Brady Campaign. Watch this episode here.
July 10th and 15th – The Left’s Guinea Pig?
Can the seismic political shift in Colorado from conservative to liberal be exported to other states? How important will Colorado be in the 2008 national elections? Those are just a couple of the questions that I will pose to Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard and co-host of Fox News the Beltway Boys on Independent Thinking with host Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute. Watch this episode here.
July 3rd and 8th – Gov. Ritter’s First Half Report Card
Governor Bill Ritter is halfway through his first term. Has he made good on his promises to Colorado? Is Colorado better off today than it was two years ago? What grade would voters give him? Those are just a few of the questions that I will pose to guests State Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon and Mark Wolf from Rocky Talk Live as they analyze the Governor’s first two years in office. Tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
June 26th and July 1st – The Telluride Amendment
Music Please! This land was your land; now it’s my land from the Rocky Mountains to the Front Range highlands. In a stunning State Supreme Court decision, local governments now have the power to condemn property outside their own boundaries just because they don’t like how the land is being utilized. Colorado’s highest court upheld the practice of extraterritorial condemnation while striking down the Telluride Amendment designed to curb such eminent domain abuse. Independent Thinking host Jon Caldara will discuss the fallout from the decision with guests State Senator Shawn Mitchell and Property Rights Project director Jessica Corry. Watch this episode here.
June 19th and 24th – Unconstitutional Tax Increase
If only Governor Ritter had asked voters if it was okay to raise their property taxes. Colorado’s Attorney General told him it was unconstitutional and now so has Denver District Court Judge Christina Habas. Where is the lawsuit against the Governor’s unconstitutional mill levy "freeze" headed and what are the possible consequences to the state budget? Those are just a couple of the questions host Jon Caldara will pose to Independent Thinking guests attorney Richard Westfall and State Representative Frank McNulty. Watch this episode here.
June 12th and 17th – Educational Success Stories
There is plenty of bad news surrounding the public education system, but what about the success stories? That’s the theme of the newly-released documentary "Flunked" hosted by Joe Mantegna. On the next Independent Thinking, "Flunked" executive producer Steven Maggi and the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center Director, Pam Benigno, highlight some of these incredible schools with their courageous leaders and lessons for other schools. Watch this episode here.
May 29th and June 3rd – Congressional District 6 Debate
It’s no secret that Colorado’s 6th congressional district leans conservative. Congressman Tom Tancredo won the last two elections by roughly 20 percentage points. With Tancredo not seeking re-election, the republican primary is the race to watch. Independent Thinking has all four candidates: Secretary of State Mike Coffman, businessman Wil Armstrong, State Senator Ted Harvey and State Representative Steve Ward — for a debate hosted by yours truly. That’s tonight at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12. Since 30 minutes isn’t enough time to cover the issues with four candidates, visit the Independence Institute website for part 2 of this hour long debate. KBDI will rebroadcast part 1 next Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch part 1 here and watch part 2 here.
May 22nd and 27th – Oil and Gas in Colorado
Oil and gas is a $23 billion industry in the state of Colorado. Governor Bill Ritter and the state legislature have threatened the industry with onerous regulations and a pending, massive tax increase. Will oil and gas companies leave Colorado taking high paying jobs with them? What does the excessive government interference mean to Colorado consumers? What will happen to Colorado’s overall economy? To answer these questions and more, Greg Schnacke from Americans for American Energy and Bishop Phillip Porter from Colorado Consumers for Affordable Energy join me on Independent Thinking on KBDI Channel 12, Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. and repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.
May 15th and 20th – 2008 Legislative Winners and Losers
More fees. Increased regulations. Severance taxes. Unresolved issues with health care and transportation. Can Coloradans breathe a collective sigh of relief or will they have to hide their wallets and civil liberties? For answers to these and more questions regarding the 2008 General Assembly, tune in to Independent Thinking when guests Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News and Patty Calhoun of the Westword join me to discuss the winners and losers of the legislative session. That’s tonight at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
May 8th and 13th – Fix TABOR or Address Spending?
Colorado has conflicting constitutional amendments regarding state revenue and spending. The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) restricts state spending to population growth plus inflation, while amendment 23 forces the state to increase spending on K-12 education even during an economic downturn. Throw in the spending lobby’s desire to make the $6 billion “TABOR timeout,” commonly known as Referendum C, permanent and its obvious the state faces a constitutional conundrum. Some legislators would like to “fix” TABOR rather than address spending. So we ask the question, what has TABOR meant to Colorado and how should the state address the constitutional conflict? Join me tonight on Independent Thinking as I moderate a spirited dialogue between the University of Colorado Denver’s Dr. Paul Teske and former state Senate President John Andrews on KBDI Channel 12 on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m.; repeated Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
May 1st and 6th – Business and Labor Ballot Measures
Are labor leaders and the Colorado business community playing a game of political and economic chicken with the November ballot? Competing ballot measures that affect business and labor in the state promise to make for an exciting campaign but what could they do to Colorado’s economy? Join me as I moderate a spirited dialogue between Kelley Harp of A Better Colorado and Dr. Raymond Hogler from Colorado State University. That’s this Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
April 24th and 29th – Free Speech on College Campuses
Is “chainsaw etiquette” more violent or threatening than male castration? The administration at Colorado College seem to think so. For a discussion on the selective restriction of free speech and political satire on Colorado’s institutions of higher education, tune in to Independent Thinking tonight at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12. Adam Kissel of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and Jessica Corry Director of the Independence Institute’s Campus Accountability Project join me to expose how free expression on some Colorado campuses is encouraged and protected based on race and gender. For a repeat performance, tune in the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
April 17th and 22nd – Eco-Theology
Have some people replaced traditional faith with belief in Eco-Theology? Fred Smith, President and founder of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, exposes the dark side of worshipping at the alter of mother earth including its socialist philosophy on the next Independent Thinking. Tune in tonight at 8:30 p.m. to KBDI Channel 12; with an encore presentation the following Tuesday evening at 5:00 p.m. Watch this episode here.
April 10th and 15th – The Spirit of ’68
Want to relive the revolutionary spirit of 1968 when protesters took to the streets of Chicago during the Democratic National Convention? Glenn Spagnuolo and his organization Recreate ’68 intend to take to the streets of Denver during the 2008 Democratic National Convention to protest the two party system and being sold out by the Democrat party. Looking to maintain law and order, Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown is leery of putting out the welcome mat for the pending protest-fest. Both Spagnuolo and Brown join me on Independent Thinking for what is sure to be a spirited debate about the First Amendment and reliving the “Days of Rage.” That’s tonight at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; enjoy it a second time the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
April 3rd and 8th – The Dirt on FasTracks
FasTracks — over budget, over promised, and underutilized. But there’s more. What proponents don’t want you to know is that the massive taxpayer-funded light rail system is also eco-unfriendly and rather cavalier about property rights. Randal O’Toole, the Anti-Planner and Director for the Center for the American Dream, and attorney and land use expert Bob Hoban detail the energy and property rights problems surrounding FasTracks when they join me on Independent Thinking tonight at 8:30 on KBDI Channel 12. Repeat performance next Tuesday, the 8th at 5pm. Watch this episode here.
March 27th and April 1st – Responsible Health Care Reform
Higher costs. Longer waiting periods. Increased taxes. That’s what Colorado residents can expect if the state adopts the 208 commission’s recommendations on health care reform according to Michael Tanner, a national health care expert. Tanner, Director of Health and Welfare Studies for the Cato Institute, says Colorado should not copy Massachusetts and mandate health insurance for all residents. Tune in to Independent Thinking as Tanner promotes responsible health care reform when he goes one-on-one with host Jon Caldara. Watch this episode here.
March 20th and 25th – Boys Night Out with James Taylor
After thoroughly debunking Governor Ritter’s destructive Climate Action Plan, James Taylor of the Heartland Institute made some time for me on my show Independent Thinking. Tonight at 8:30 on KBDI channel 12, you can see Mr. Taylor discuss his take almost completely unadulterated. Why? Because Heidi VanGenderen, the Governor’s climate change advisor, declined an invitation to appear on the show. I, however, did my best in representing the other side. Although I’m sure Ms. VanGenderen would have done a much better job. The invitation still stands Heidi, just let me know. Watch this episode here.
February 28th and March 4th – Does the Congress Follow the Constitution When it Taxes and Spends?
Should it have to do so? These are particularly interesting questions in light of our Governor’s attempt to change tax policy without a vote of the people. Tune in for a one-on-one conversation with the much esteemed Sheldon Richman, editor of the Freeman and senior fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education. Watch this episode here.
February 21st and 26th – Mining for Prosperity
Mining for prosperity: Just how important is Colorado’s mining industry to the state’s overall economic prosperity? What effect will proposed legislation have on mining? What role does mining play in meeting the state’s energy needs. To answer those questions and more, Colorado Mining Association President Stuart Sanderson joins me on Independent Thinking tonight at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; for a repeat performance tune in on Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
February 14th and 19th – Gov. Ritter’s Climate Action Plan
With alarming rhetoric, Governor Ritter unveiled his Climate Change Action Plan and warned that if we don’t address global warming now the results will be catastrophic for generations to come. Many questions surrounding the executive order have not been answered until now. What is the economic impact of the Governor’s plan? And can it have any real affect on global climate change. For answers to those questions and more, Paul Chesser from Climate Strategies Watch joins host Jon Caldara on Independent Thinking. Watch this episode here.
February 7th and 12th – Colorado Economy Review
Economic downturn, tax hikes, increased fees, more regulation, health care mandates, stimulus packages, mortgage crisis. What does it all mean for Colorado’s economy. Tony Gagliardi from the National Federation of Independent Business and David Milstead, finance editor from the Rocky Mountain News, join host Jon Caldara on Independent Thinking to discuss their perspective on whether Colorado residents and business can expect economic peril or prosperity in 2008. Watch this episode here.
January 31st and February 5th – Why School Reform Has Failed
Why do we keep pouring money into a flawed system? On the next Independent Thinking former Denver superintendent Dr. Jerry Wartgow and former Colorado education commissioner Dr. William Moloney join host Jon Caldara to discuss why efforts to reform the public school system have failed. That’s this Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
January 24th and 29th – Preview of the 2008 Legislative Session
Protect your shins! Hold on to your wallets. Lock up your civil liberties. The 2008 legislative session is underway. For a preview of what Coloradans can expect from their state legislators, tune in to Independent Thinking as Dan Haley from the Denver Post and Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News join host Jon Caldara. Watch this episode here.
January 17th and 21st – Filling the U.S. Senate seat for Wayne Allard
U.S. Senator Wayne Allard is living up to his term limits pledge and not seeking re-election, leaving his seat up for grabs in a competitive race that so far includes Democratic Congressman Mark Udall and Republican State Board of Education member Bob Schaffer. Join host Jon Caldara for a one-on-one interview with the Republican hopeful about his strategy to keep the seat in Republican hands. Watch this episode here.
January 10th and January 15th – Filling the State Senate Seat for Mark Udall
With Mark Udall leaving his second congressional seat to run as the democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, the race is wide open and the vacated seat is up for grabs. Join host Jon Caldara as he talks with two of the democratic hopefuls Jared Polis and Will Shafroth. The third democratic candidate Joan Fitz-Gerald declined our invitation to be a guest. Requests for alternative dates went unanswered. Watch this episode here.
January 3 and January 8 – Who decides end of life treatment
The popular trend in health care seems to be what’s known as a “single-payer system” where government assumes responsibility for residents’ health care. If a government commission is charged with controlling costs and providing health care, how do those two competing issue get reconciled at the end of life? To discuss this morally troubling situation, health care expert Linda Gorman and Sheila Hicks of Colorado Cross Disability Coalition join host Jon Caldara on Independent Thinking. That’s Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.
December 27 and January 1 – Denver’s Diversity Training
Where is the “diversity” in the production and premiere of a training video that perpetuates a stereotype that blue collar, white males are racist, sexist, homophobic slobs? That’s exactly what “Laughing Matters,” a city of Denver, award winning “diversity” video, does. To discuss the affects and fallout, Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown and psychologist Shawn Smith join host Jon Caldara for a lively conversation on Independent Thinking. That’s Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. on KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. Watch this episode here.