Evie Hudak resigns.

Evie Hudak has sumbitted her resignation letter to the Secretary of the Senate:

hudak-resignation-letter

This is a victory for the grassroots effort to replace a terrible nanny state democrat.  Hudak was reelected to her seat in Senate District 19 with out the majority of the votes cast in the race.   As a result of the resignation a Democrat vacancy committee will select a replacement to serve out the 2014 legislative session.   The chosen candidate will be up for reelection in 2014.   We look forward to backing a Republican who can attract libertarians, liberty minded independents and limited government Republicans to win this district.

The RLC of Colorado was happy to have done our small part in the coalition of groups and individuals who came together to defend our rights.  We remind our elected officials of all parties that they are our servants and can be replaced at our will.

recallrlc

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Details on monthly social

Get Your Tickets:  HERE

RLC Colorado Monthly Social – Goldwater Award

Thursday, October 17, 2013 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Woody’s Woodfired Tavern
7095 East Evans Avenue  (Evans b/w Monaco and Quebec)

Denver, CO 80224

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RLC Colorado to recognize Rep. Justin Everett with Goldwater Award

The Board of Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado has created the Goldwater award to recognize the state legislator who most consistently acts in defense of liberty and limited government in the state house.  On October 17th, we will recognize Representative Justin Everett for commitment to the principles of the RLC in his voting record.

While running for President in 1964, Barry Goldwater wrote in his book, The Conscience of a Conservative, that America’s march into concentrated power and unlimited government could be reversed.  He wrote the that the turn would come when men and women in communities all over the country vote into office candidates who viewed their first priority as divesting themselves of the power they had just been given.  They would seek to extend freedom by repealing laws and canceling programs that “do violence” to the constitution.  This new kind of politician would first ask if a piece of legislation in constitutionally permissible before asking if it is needed.

It is this kind of principled thinking that forms the basis of the “Liberty Compact” which the Republican Liberty Caucus asks candidates to offer their constituents when being considered for an endorsement.

Goldwater

That compact reads “I, pledge to the citizens of the State of Colorado and to the American people, that as their elected representative I will work to: restore liberty, not restrict it; shrink government, not expand it; reduce taxes, not raise them; abolish programs, not create them; promote the freedom and independence of citizens, not the interference of government in their lives; and observe the limited, enumerated powers of our Constitution, not ignore them.”

The democratic majority in both houses provided ample opportunity to grow government in ways big and small.  Most readers are aware of the big ways; new infringements on basic 2nd amendment rights, two major tax initiatives, and of course a major assault on elections integrity itself.  Most Republicans easily got on the right side of these issues.

But there were many small intrusions as well.  Such as an affront to federalism in giving federal law enforcement more power to enforce local laws.  Or the creation of special tax credits in certain industries called “jobs” bills.  Or the creation of special privileges based on one’s time spent in government, law enforcement or the military.

Justin Everett, R-HD22

This is not a reward for using “liberty” rhetoric.  The most important lesson an activist can learn is to pay attention to a politician’s votes rather than the words they use.   It takes a principled and diligent legislator to work through this myriad of bad legislation and ensure that he votes consistently for liberty.  In 2013, no one more fulfilled the vision of Barry Goldwater or the words of our Liberty Compact than Representative Justin Everett.

If you ask around you will learn that Justin commits long hours outside of the legislative day to understand these bills.  He serves as a resource for others, both in the chamber and in the public, who want to understand a particular bill.  In this way he is more than one vote in favor of our a principles, he is a leader on their behalf.

Thank You Representative Everett.

We will recognize Representative Everett and present him with the award at our monthly social on October 17, at 7pm at Woody’s Woodfired Tavern in Denver.  Details and RSVP here.

Technical note: In assessing the record of state legislators, the RLCCO board made use of the tools provided by Rich Bratten at Principles of Liberty.  We made a thorough review of POLs assessment against our own criteria as well as considering factors relating to pieces of legislation where our board took a position.  The outcome of this analysis was a slight re-weighting of the POL individual category scores but the results for overall rankings are unchanged at the top.  Principles of Liberty is a tremendous and highly recommended resource for the citizen activist wishing to engage the legislative process.

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The Fifth Ingredient to Great Beer

In honor of October and the Great American Beer Festival hosted in Denver.   We in the Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado would like to set the record straight on the concept of freedom and great beer.  The two are inseparable.   Regulation and Government involvement result in inferior product and fewer choices.  Our Vice-Chairman, Jason Upchurch,  explains why:

My favorite brewery’s motto is: “Five ingredients to great beer: Malt, Hops, Water, Yeast, and Friends.” This catchy and inherently true statement is the core of the Pikes Peak Brewery. Malt, hops, water, and yeast make beer. Yet, you need friends to make great beer. Friends are a critical ingredient, not just the emotional experience of enjoying beer with others, but because practical feedback from beer lovers results in great beer and better brewers.

US Beer Before the Fall

In 1870, there were 3286 breweries in the United States. Nearly all beer was brewed and sold locally in wooden casks. The industrialization of the US lead to shipping breweries (Pabst, Anheuser-Busch) which reduced the number of breweries to approximately 1500. One could enjoy a production beer from a shipping brewery alongside a local brew. Local markets that produced hooch didn’t survive and regular competition created better beer. This would be the golden age of beer in the United States for nearly 100 years.

The Brewing Dark Ages

The drive to create a moral society through immoral legislation destroyed the beer market (and all other legal alcohol markets) with the passage of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Following this disastrous 13 year ban of beer, the 21st Amendment legalized alcohol; however, the result was a Frankenstein product, reanimated but monstrous.

A three-tier system was created, which separated manufacture, distribution, and sales of alcohol, resulting in monopolies in manufacturing and distribution. Under the new rules no one could brew beer and sell it in the same location. Brewing and Selling onsite had been the business model for more than a thousand breweries prior to prohibition.

Under this system new breweries were rare. The high cost and high risk of creating a shipping brewery from the ground up kept innovation at bay, creating a soft prohibition. Beer variety continued to stagnate and breweries continued to consolidate. Regulations sold to the public as protection from the immoral saloon, had created large corporations thriving in this crony capitalist environment.

By 1978; five breweries controlled 75% of beer sales. Ten breweries controlled 93%! Selection of beer styles was limited to American Lager. Beer sales declined rapidly and product innovation was non-existent by today’s standards.

US Beer Renaissance and the Fifth Ingredient to Beer

The decline of beer to the thin American Lager of the 70’s and early 80’s had little to do with skill. Home brewers and professionals reading this know that an American Lager is one of the most difficult beers to brew. Major commercial breweries consistently produce the defacto standard for this beer in millions of barrels year after year.

Brewing skills are not at issue. What is missing from the mix is customer feedback. I am not talking about customer satisfaction cards and surveys. I am not talking about focus groups and taste tests. I am speaking of the fifth ingredient to beer, friends.

Two major deregulations built the modern craftbrew. First federal restrictions on home brewing were removed in1978. Early home brew was mostly really bad beer. Quality ingredients were not easily obtained; after all, brewing had been unlawful for nearly 60 years. What’s more a three generation gap led to the loss of the family beer recipe and firsthand brewing knowhow.

In those early days intrepid home brewers depended on willing friends to suffer through trial and error as the process improved. Enthusiasts started sharing the less bad beer and, based on personal feedback, they derived better beer. Some of the better brewers wrote books. Some created clubs and competitions. Some created breweries!!!

Second, in the early 80’s, states began creating exceptions to the Federal three-tier distribution system. These “brewpub” exceptions allowed for breweries that not only created beer from the first four ingredients, but constantly innovate beer with the fifth. Brewers in microbreweries, having been home brewers to start, embraced experimentation. They would take the best of their own recipes or the recipes of others and tweak them with innovative ideas, like adding coffee or fruit, or adding late or dry hops, or any number of changes that would create the styles popular today.

By restoring onsite brewing and consumption, we can test these innovations in batches that don’t break the bank. With government out of the way, brewers and beer lovers are free to choose their favorites and the innovations of the future.

Today there are nearly 2400 breweries in the United States. Micro-breweries are the fastest growing segment of the beer industry. There are more than a million home brewers and great beers are being invented every day. Friends and the freedom to associate, share, and trade with them without interference from government are essential to beer and all other aspects of life. I’ll drink to that!

About the author:
Jason Upchurch is the Vice Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado. He is a subject matter expert in the area of security. He served as a sworn law enforcement officer for seven years prior to taking a leadership position within the DoD Computer Forensics Laboratory. He has led investigations in the US Senate, Multi-National Banking, Payment Card industry, national infrastructure, as well as several fortune 100 companies. He is currently the Lead Research Scientist at the Center of Innovation Anti-Malware Laboratory at the US Air Force Academy and is in pursuit of his PhD in Security at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. More importantly, he is an avid home brewer and beer snob.

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado is a political action organization dedicated to promoting the principles of individual rights, limited government and free enterprise in Colorado. If you support these principles, please BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!

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RLC Colorado Attends Western Slope Ron Paul Event

The leadership team of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado was called to the western slope for Ron Paul’s visit to Grand Junction. Despite the passing of the 2012 election, passion among liberty activists is at an all-time high. A diverse crowd than 1,200 people attended a standing room only event to hear Ron Paul speak at Mesa University in Grand Junction.  Fox news and CBS news reporters were there to cover the story. RLC member Tiffiney Upchurch was interviewed by the local CBS Affiliate.

Rp mesa

The national RLC endorsed Ron Paul in the 2012 election cycle. The Colorado chapter was proud to have made the nomination of Dr. Paul to the national board.

With GOP caucus set for March 4th, 2014 many liberty activists are looking for training, organizing and preparation. We met with activists from Delta, Eagle, Gilpin, Mesa, Montrose and Routt, counties who were looking for guidance and advice concerning the upcoming election cycle.  RLC CO will be coordinating with groups around the state to assist in maximizing liberty turnout for caucus.  The RLC is the only statewide organization undertaking such a massive outreach of training and coordination.

If you want help in preparation for caucus email ADMIN@rlccolorado.com

Such efforts are not with out cost.  If you believe that training and coordinating liberty Republicans around the state is a worthy goal, please join us or make an extra contribution today!

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RLC Colorado gains ground at Colorado GOP #scc

“The Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado is a political action organization dedicated to promoting the principles of individual rights, limited government and free enterprise in Colorado.  We do this by:  .…Encouraging our members to participate in the Republican party organization and promoting membership in RLC among party leadership.” – Plank 3, RLC Colorado Mission Statement.

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado was once again present in significant numbers at the Colorado GOP State central committee meeting on Saturday, September 21.  Representing Republicans from counties around the state, RLC members continue to show volunteer leadership in the party and demonstrate that the party is a membership organization open to those who remain organized and dedicated to their principles.

RLC members in attendance were near unanimous in supporting former Douglas County GOP Chairman, Mark  Baisley, in the role of State GOP Vice Chair.  His election to the office over Ruth Ehlers of Mesa County was significant victory for a broad coalition of grassroots activists in Colorado.

RLC members, often accused of causing obstruction and mayhem, once again set a positive example by being principled while remaining polite, consistent while remaining constructive, and focused on political goals rather than petty personal grievances.

Ellyn Hilliard, an RLC member from Boulder County reminded the group, “I urge us to use rules of non-violent communication, by remembering that talking about people, name calling and blaming accusations are the lowest forms of communication.  Conversation about events raises the bar another level and finally talking about ideas is the highest form of discourse.  Please remember that speculation, exaggeration, and the spreading of personal information degrades our reputation as a group.”

The RLC has learned the importance of unity, discipline, coordination and focus when operating in assemblies, conventions and other parliamentary meetings.  Many grassroots activists who are not a part of the RLC sought out our members for help in organizing, communications and research.  It is clear that many of these activists are looking for a banner and a home.  The RLC will continue to expand its infrastructure around party meetings as we pursue our mission of encouraging our members to participate in the Republican Party.

Candidates for US Senate and Governor were also eager to engage the RLC at Saturday’s meeting.   We look forward to talking with them further through our Candidate Review committee.  Our RLC Colorado Board of directors will be making recommendations for endorsement in these offices to our National RLC board at the end of the year.  All candidates are welcome to attend our social events and are provided a short soap box speaking time.  (Event times listed in our side bar at rlccolorado.com).

There remain excellent opportunities to help out these efforts, please email chairman@rlccolorado.com if you would like to volunteer.  And don’t forget to invite liberty lovers to join the RLC Colorado.  http://rlccolorado.com/join-us/

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Recalls an important element of limiting government.

Rhetorical questions I have heard on the recall: Is a recall justified if what the politician did was legal? What about just allowing the election process to solve it? Why spend the effort on a recall, it doesn’t overturn the law? Shouldn’t we focus on the law in question? What does the recall accomplish? Is it worth the tax payer expense?

My thoughts and questions:

Legality: Almost everything a legislative body does is de facto legal, particularly if it is conducted by the sitting majority. To this end we have, in the past, declared laws banning speaking ill of the government (Alien and Sedition Act) legal and, in the present, declared warrant-less wiretaps and electronic collections legal. You could argue that these examples where/are extra constitutional and thus not legal; however, both of these examples where blessed by the judiciary, so are in fact legal in the sense the government has declared itself within its bounds of authority.

Constitutional Democracy/Republic: The bounds of authority for the government are defined by its respective constitutions. In Colorado, these bounds are the US and Colorado Constitutions. Constitutional governments are limited in that they should not oppress a minority, regardless of the will of the majority. If the majority should decide that those of Japanese descent should not be free, the Constitution is there to protect the Japanese minority from such a thing. Of course it doesn’t always work, and most certainly didn’t work in my example, so how to proceed?

Elections: The idea of a recall is not new. It was originally in the Virginia plan, but was rejected in the Convention. Madison was a big believer in elections at the time of the convention. Our Madisonian system is based on his beliefs at the time. However, it didn’t quite go how he thought. He believed that elected officials would never blatantly violate the constitution. One, he depended on “men of honor” to not knowingly exceed their authority, next he believed that other “men of honor” in government would force any exceeding their authority to stay in line, and lastly, he believed that the voters would punish those that exceeded their authority at the end of the term or during bad behavior. He wrote:
“If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior.” — James Madison, Federalist No. 39, January 1788

Limiting an Unlimited Government: It turns out that Madison was wrong on several points on how our government would operate. PLEASE don’t take my word for it, take Madison’s! During the “Alien and Sedition Act” time frame, Madison himself attempted to invent ways of limiting an Extra-Constitutional General Government with Jefferson. Together they wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, which attempted to nullify the Alien and Sedition Act (which made it a jailable offense to criticize the president and other government officials). They wrote it in secrete because such a writing was forbidden. They committed the crime of sedition as defined by the act; an act which forbade free speech in direct violation of the First Amendment. However, they felt they had no choice. The majority was in favor of the act and the government had blessed it. They minority could not fix the issue through voting (they were the minority after all), so they attempted to use the 10th Amendment to nullify the act in Virginia and Kentucky. There simply was no way for Madison to petition for redress in the Madisonian system if the majority and judicial was in agreement.

Redress: The lack of accountability in the Madisonian system was not lost of some of the newly forming states. While the Convention rejected the recalls in the final US Constitution, many states did not. Colorado added recall to its constitution in 1912. There are many examples where the governments of the united states reject the will of the majority (Bailouts, NSA/DEA surveillance, et al), but the instances where they abuse the minority are near countless. The first, and most common, redress is the courts. It costs a large amount of money, requires standing (you have to be legally injured prior to using the court), takes years, and often is used to silence the person seeking redress. The next is petitioning your elected official (directly related to Morse/Giron) and as we experienced this year, this may not work. Elections, as you argue, are an option. However, consider the voting public has a memory of less than 2 months, unless continuously encouraged to remember. We saw this during the bailouts, ~85% disapproval during the bailout, ~85% voted back in office two months later. A recall allows the public (majority or minority) to get an unaccountable politician to account for his actions. It keeps the issue in the spotlight, doesn’t hide it in a 3 year court proceeding, nor allow voters to forget 1.5 years later (in our case).

Cost: I am a fiscal conservative, more than most. I know the election costs tax payer money, they all do. But, first I ask, who is at fault for the lost money? Is it the persons that received injury from the government or the government that exceeded its authority by moving beyond the will of the people? Is it the constituents or the representative that moved beyond the will of his/her constituents? Next, what do you think will cost more to the tax payers of Colorado? The election or the law suit that the 55 counties have filed against the State of Colorado? The tax payers are paying for both the defense (Attorney General’s Office) and the plaintiff’s (55 Sheriffs of Colorado and their legal team). To top it off, the tax payers are paying the court as well!!! From a fiscally conservative point of view, shall we leave politicians unaccountable for really bad laws and let the tax payers finance the legal battles, or should we spend the money now and hold politician’s accountable to reduce the risk of such bad laws from being created? From a rights point of view, does cost supersede constitutionally guaranteed rights?

Jason Upchurch
RLC Colorado Vice Chair

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Holder asserts veto power on Colorado Constitution. Hickenlooper applauds “thoughtful approach”.

After the passage of Amendment 64, legalizing recreational Marijuana in Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper, who actively opposed the measure, dodged his responsibility as Chief Executive to assert the authority of Colorado in making its own laws.  Instead he established a committee to develop regulations that he hoped would be acceptable to the Department of Justice.

Many who supported the passage of Colorado’s Amendment 64 are celebrating  Attorney General Eric Holder’s  response to Hickenlooper.   Yesterday  the Attorney General released a memorandum in which he established a series of “priorities” for the enforcement of laws relating to recent marijuana legalization efforts in Colorado and Washington state.   It lays out an enforcement regime that will be on a “case by case basis” with out any reference to the law of the United States or the Colorado Constitution.  The memo also detailed a series of threats to the marijuana industry and to the state of Colorado should the federal government feel that its power was not recognized.  The former brewer called the missive a “thoughtful approach”.

The Department of Justice explicitly reserved the “right” to sue the states at a later date since Marijuana is still illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.  Like a lash to threaten a rebellious child, the DOJ threatens to pursue enforcement action when states fail to craft and enforce a regulatory scheme that meets the approval of Washington DC.

Most the standards laid out by the Attorney General are already embedded in local law and supported by the people.  Marijuana is illegal for minors.  Marijuana may not be transported across state lines.  You may not break other laws while conducting cannabis related business.

But then there is this standout priority for the federal government to pursue, “drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use”.

When did the federal government become involved in enforcing  local traffic laws?  Colorado has had a robust debate on the best method of enforcing a scientific law against driving while impaired.  Is the DOJ going to craft our policy for us?  Or can we expect to see TSA VIPR teams deployed to local streets to enforce a federal policy?

There is also this bizzare statement,  “A marijuana operation’s large scale or for-profit nature may be a relevant consideration for assessing the extent to which it undermines a particular federal enforcement priority.”  Making money could be the deciding factor as to whether a business is a threat to federal interests!

Federal prosecutors retain discretion for enforcement and prosecution of Federal drug laws.  Yesterday’s statement was merely “guidance” rather than a statement of policy.  It is also temporary and will remain in effect “for now”.  The administration has arbitrarily chosen not to enforce the law.  This is becoming routine for an administration that views the legislative function with contempt.

What’s worse than a bad law?  A bad law that is only enforced some of the time, in some places, against some people and at the discretion of the executive.  Yesterday’s statement reads “Nothing herein precludes investigation or prosecution … in particular circumstances where investigation and prosecution otherwise serves an important federal interest.”  Such a policy is the very opposite of the Rule of Law.

Supporters of personal liberty, the rule of law and federalism should work to have Federal marijuana laws repealed in congress or overturned via the judicial branch. We won’t be fooled by this reassertion of arbitrary power.  We must look for a Governor who will be a leader in this fight for our principles.

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Tell Governor Hickenlooper to veto SB252

Governor Hickenlooper ran for office as a business smart centrist Democrat. The Democratically controlled legislature has pushed him to govern as a Denver progressive. This is his chance to show his true colors.

Senate Bill 252 will soon hit his desk for signature. The bill mandates that rural electric cooperatives in Colorado begin using 20% “renewable” energy sources by 2020. Yet the bill does not count hydro-electric power as renewable.  It also ignores the previous operating mandate that these energy providers achieve 10% renewables use by 2020.

This will obviously result in higher utility rates for co-op members but will also hurt businesses who consume power in those areas.  Rural areas of this state have been under attack by the crony capitalist “Green” energy industry for several years. Enough is enough. The Governor should show that he is more than the mayor of Denver. He should veto this centrally planned and scientifically unsound bill.

Tell the Governor “VETO” on SB252!

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Don’t Rush, Be Happy, and Please Go Home

NEWS RELEASE

 Message to the State Legislature from GOP group

MAY 7th, 2013 – DENVER, CO. The State Legislature is set to wrap-up the legislative session this Wednesday, May 8th. Members of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado encourage members of the legislature to JUST VOTE NO on the raft of liberty-destroying bills left on the calendar, pack up things quietly and get back to the reality of their home districts.

“This session, the Democrats have offered to lock you up indefinitely without trial, take your DNA for overdue library books, prevent parents from buying a beer for military aged sons, re-institute marijuana prohibition, and of course raise your taxes and utility rates,” observed Earl Bandy, Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Colorado. “I’ve never been more happy to be on the other side.”

Since January, voters and non-voters have seen the defeat of numerous bills that would exercise the proper role of government: to defend liberty. Consider HB 13-1045, the Colorado Citizen’s Freedom Act, sponsored by members of both parties in both houses. Rep. Jared Wright (R-Fruita) introduced the bill and it was co-sponsored by Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D-Commerce City). It was, sadly, defeated by procedural maneuvers. In complete disregard for constitutional protections, the Colorado legislature confirmed that people within this state can be locked up forever without trial. It’s the law. From time-to-time, limited government ideals win the hearts and minds of independent, liberty-loving voters concerned about loss of freedom. People should demand more from their elected officials. Voters need to question their candidates on how indefinite detention of Colorado citizens is in defense of liberty. Legislators should explain the procedural maneuvers to voters.

One law that shouldn’t have been passed – and needs some explaining – was the new Undercover Secret Federal Police law, SB 13-013. Colorado legislators outsourced law enforcement to Washington. This law gives secret undercover federal agents powers over your local elected sheriff. The bill was introduced and co-sponsored by Sen. King, Aguilar, Heath, Jones, Todd, Morse; also Rep. McCann, Buckner, Fields, Hamner, Hullinghorst, Pabon, Rosenthal, Schafer, and signed into law on April 19th by Governor Hickenlooper. It is flatly un-constitutional.

Also left in tatters this session were numerous free market solutions of government not picking winners and- losers, fixing prices, tax-stamping and other such dangerous practices that destroy jobs and hurt economic opportunities for all people. The use of force needs to withstand considerably more scrutiny than was exercised by two (2) branches of government over this legislative session.

Members of the third branch – judges and jurors – need to exercise their duty to check this overreach of power. In several questions of law, jurors will need to be more fully-informed of their rights to nullify bad laws. Judges need not stop defense attorneys from advocating for pardons by jury trials. Or, more broadly, government employees should choose to be allowed to take their oath to uphold the Constitution seriously, with all the limits on power that it provides for in plain text. “Enough laws already,” added RLC member Nick Lundberg, expressing his mantra.

Colorado Charter of the Republican Liberty Caucus

Contact: Chris Maj, Media Relations Director media@RLCcolorado.com

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