EAGLE COUNTY — Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Eagle County Republican Lincoln Day fundraiser on Saturday.
The Independence Institute, founded in 1985, is Colorado’s free-market think tank. It concentrates on areas of expertise in education, the environment, transportation, personal freedom, government reform and criminal justice.
While Caldara is its president, he also makes time to host a radio talk show, “Devil’s Advocate,” on 630 KHOW as well as host his current affairs television program each Friday on Public Television Channel 12.
Caldara started his political career when he was elected to the board of directors of the Regional Transportation District, one of the largest governments in Colorado, and was subsequently elected as its chairman. He also worked as a columnist for the Boulder Camera for four years. Among his many recognitions, 5280 has twice named him one of the top 10 most influential men in Denver.
CALDARA’S POLITICAL BATTLES
Caldara is a veteran of many political battles, running against tax and debt increases and for freedom-based reforms. He fought against the 1997 Guide the Ride tax increase; the 1998 Referendum B billion dollar state wide tax increase; the 2000 Amendment 23 unfunded spending mandate for education; the 2001 spending on the monorail; in 2008, Amendment 49, the ban on deducting union dues from public paychecks; and in 2010, he championed Amendment 63, the Health Care Freedom Act.
And he has been a stalwart proponent for and defender of TABOR.
Most recently, he made headlines for challenging the new voting laws in Colorado during the recall elections. He says he did it to prove a point. The new laws, which usher in same-day voter registration, also appeared to open the door for so called “gypsy voters,” he said.
“(With Jon,) it’s always something as he continues to push the envelope,” said Kaye Ferry, chair of Eagle County Republicans. “And if you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing him speak, now’s your chance. You can be sure that it will be an interesting evening when Jon’s got the stage!”
VISIT FROM GOP CANDIDATES
Rounding out the evening will be many of the candidates running for office in 2014. They include U.S. Senate, Congressional Districts 2 and 3, governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, state Senate District 5, House District 26, county commissioners Districts 2 and 3, treasurer and sheriff.