A Message from Jay

It seems that politicians are always anxious to talk. Not me. I am not a politician. I am anxious to LISTEN. I believe we were given one mouth and two ears for a reason.

If you are in Colorado House District 37, and vote for me as your representative, know that I will be voting for YOU. If you are not in the district, but support me in becoming a voice in the Legislature, know that I will be voting on YOUR behalf as well.

To do so, I need to hear what you have to say. Please take the time to Tweet me or post on my Facebook page. I want to hear what your issues are, and how you believe we can move forward to a better place in Colorado. Working together, we can do it

A “Militaristic” Checkpoint Worries Many

A “Militaristic” checkpoint worries many. But Jay has a greater concern…

The Border Patrol has a checkpoint. It’s not at the Mexican border, but rather 25 miles north of the border, on the road in and out of the little town of Arivaca, Arizona.

Citizens there are irritated because the checkpoint subjects them – as American citizens – to what they believe is unreasonable delays and harassment by their own government.

checkpointBobbie Chitwood, a resident of Arivaca for thirty-six years said, “This just impedes the movement of people. It feels very militaristic. The checkpoint feels like the beginning of something that could get worse. I don’t like being stopped by people with guns.”

None of us do, Bobbie, none of us. Beyond being a stop “without probable cause” which arguably violates the 4th Amendment, this process trains the American people to accept the kind of police state that characterized Nazi Germany and the former USSR. We are trading freedom for “safety”… and in the end we get neither.

But I have an even bigger problem. Look closely at the photo. Apparently these people, who are carrying around guns, don’t even have the ability to install a sign right-side-up. Do we really want to trust our nation’s security to people who don’t know which side is up.

This is a prime example of why we need common sense solutions for Colorado.

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I Feel Like I Can’t Trust My Government

“I feel like I can’t trust my government”, said a forlorn Andy Barrie.

Well, Andy, none of us can trust our government any more. We have met the enemy, and it is us.

Andy and Ceil Barrie love Colorado, as do we all. They bought an old cabin and the ten acres surrounding it in the White River National Forest. This fulfilled their dream of a homestead surrounded by wild lands. But that dream turned to a nightmare.

Summit County is now trying to take their dream cabin, and the land, by eminent domain. Not to develop the land… but to preserve it.

How did this happen?

Jan. 24, 2014: Andy and Ceil Barrie stand for a photo next to their mining cabin near Breckenridge, Colo.AP

Jan. 24, 2014: Andy and Ceil Barrie stand for a photo next to their mining cabin near Breckenridge, Colo.AP

It all began in 2004. Telluride seized 572 acres that the owner wanted to develop along the San Miguel River. What did they want to do with it? Leave it as open space.

The Colorado Supreme Court upheld the confiscation by Telluride, saying that overcrowded mountain towns needed to preserve their recreational and natural assets.

Summit County tried to purchase the Barrie’s land, but negotiations hadn’t even been finished by the time that the County, in a surprise move, filed a condemnation lawsuit to simply take the land.

Apparently it wasn’t enough that the Barrie’s had allowed hikers across their land, and intended to keep it open space (with the exception of their rustic old cabin).

What did Andy and Ceil do that caused the huge dust-up? They drove a converted ATV up an old logging road the mile and a half from the city limits to their cabin. This is something that the previous owners had done before them. The US Forest Service suddenly went berserk, as did Summit County.

The case is not over. But unless the Congress or the Colorado Legislature intervenes, we all know the probable outcome.

A hundred years ago, this wouldn’t have been possible. Colorado settlers were tough folks, who didn’t take kindly to elites telling them how they can live their lives.

We need some backbone in the Colorado Legislature. This is our land, and the elites in government need to just get back to their own business.


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11 Year Old’s Business Stifled by Big Government

Q: What does an 11 year-old girl in Troy Illinois, and a 40 year-old entrepreneur in Colorado have in common? A: Both have to deal with some silly, unnecessary regulatory hurdles to engage in business.

Chloe Stirling

Credit: Heather Dix Stirling (via Facebook)

Chloe Stirling is eleven. She lives in Troy, IL. She wanted to start a business to raise some money for a car when she is sixteen. Her Mom said the family would chip-in matching funds to fund that first car when she turns sixteen.  So, two years ago, with the help of her Mom, Chloe began baking cupcakes, and the occasional birthday cake. People patronized her little business, and soon some meager profits began coming in.

Her story of personal responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit, and American ingenuity caught the attention of the local paper, the Belleville News-Democrat. [The newspaper’s name should give you a hint regarding the politics of the region].  Soon, Chloe’s fledgling business was the talk of her town. Profits then rose as more patrons wanted a cupcake. Chloe was well on her way to realizing her dream of a car.

So good so far, right? Isn’t that an example of what is right with America?  Well… not really. Enter now the Madison County Health Department.  Being serious about their official duties, those officials promptly did what they do best – they closed-down that cupcake stand!  Why? Because the cupcakes were substandard? No. Because the cupcakes were tainted with a toxin? No.

These bureaucrats reportedly took this harsh action simply because little Chloe didn’t have the required permit, and that put her in violation of the local county ordinance, not to mention the Illinois Food Sanitation Code.  Since government can’t help us succeed, the very least it can do is to get out of the way of our success.  You see, to these government officials, the issue is not the safety of the public. The issue is whether they are in control of the lives of others, and whether they have collected money out of your pocket for the privilege of just having a chance to succeed in their jurisdiction.

Let’s be clear. We all agree that some level of regulation makes sense. We need to all drive on the same side of the road, and we all need to be required to stop at stoplights. Airplanes need to be orderly in their flights, so that they don’t hit one another and kill innocent people. But at some point, most of us can agree that over-regulation is very harmful to our freedoms, and even more harmful to our economy.  The “big government” approach to business is to regulate it as much as they possibly can. They tell us that they know what’s best for us, and we aren’t smart enough to know what is best for us.

Elites empower themselves as masters over us. It’s time to take back our freedoms, our choices, and increase opportunity.

Chloe Stirling

Credit: Heather Dix Stirling (via Facebook)

Government is like crossing a field of thorn bushes. You can’t see them growing taller. But if you go away for a month or two, and then return, you can see that they have grown, and the safe path through that field is getting harder to find, and you must endure more scratches to make it across. Government intrusion in our daily lives never seems to decrease… only increase. And the path to success is getting harder to find, and even harder to cross.

We wouldn’t tolerate this behavior in a restaurant. Picture this. You come in for lunch, but some of the powerful elites got together in the back of the room and decided what all the patrons in the restaurant would have for lunch. Would you tolerate that? Neither should we tolerate that same kind of elitist behavior in the other, more important, areas of our freedoms.

So far, “big government” advocates in Colorado have worked together, making legislation (or regulations) limiting our choices. At the same time, they give themselves cushy jobs paid for by money from our pockets.

As a Conservative, I am in favor of reducing the effect that government has on our personal choices, and to get the monkey of harmful, silly regulations off our backs.

Any person in Colorado, regardless of age, should be able to set up and run a cupcake stand, or start a business, with the least interference by bureaucrats. Success shouldn’t be reserved only for the rich, or the elite. There must be a clear and easy path to success for everyone in Colorado. I have my axe already in my hand. I am ready to clear some thorn bushes.

And while we are at it, let’s work to be sure that the people of Colorado, like little Chloe, can keep the money we earn in our own pockets.

Working together, we can do it.

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