Good News From Colorado

I got this in my inbox. One of our candidates, Bert Sargent, is running for Colorado’s Third Congressional District… and it looks like he should be getting into the debates. Here’s the press release in its entirety, since I can’t find it posted on the internets anywhere.


Persistence pays off!

As most of you know, I am serving as campaign manager for Bert Sargent, LP candidate for 3rd Congressional district (western Colorado).

Bert was initially barred from the “real” debates with John Salazar (D””incumbent) and Scott Tipton (R””challenger) at Club 20 (the smoke filled back room powers that be lobbying group of western Colorado) John Salazar made it plain when I asked him in person that he would ONLY debate at Club 20, and that he “had no control over who could participate” (oh, sure). The executive director of Club 20 initially told us “only Democrats and Republicans”

But persistence pays off. I emailed and called the executive director repeatedly until he relented.

Bert is confirmed to be a debate participant on September 9th.

This is what the LP has been striving for for a LONG time! This is a congressional debate with the R’s and D’s.

There will be no other debates in western Colorado for state or federal level other than those put on by Club 20. There will be major media there, as well (Club 20, like them or not, are quite powerful). If Club 20 legitimizes our candidate, through acceptance to the debates—something they have NEVER done before—then so will the media. Now the catch (of course). Club 20 requires a $500 donation from each participant in the debates to cover the costs of the debate (they will also sell 1100 tickets to the event, which will be snapped up since there are no other debates). Each participant will also receive 100 tickets to sell or give away.

We need your help!! This not just about our candidate, it is about the foot in the door for the LP. We need $500 by the end of august for the LP to break into the debates with “the big boys”. Even a couple of dollars will make a difference!

Please help us take our Party to the next level.

Contributions of ANY amount accepted, and can be accepted from anywhere in the U.S. and for those who contribute and would like to attend, we will give you a ticket.

Please send contributions to:
Sargent for Congress

P.O. Box 1115

Cedaredge, CO 81413

Or call me at 970-234-8056

To those of you have already contributed, THANK YOU, and please consider just a little more!
Debbie Schum

Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on and other libertarian sites since 2004.

  1. I’m curious: How unusual is this? How often does a Libertarian, or a third party candidate in general, get to debate the major party candidates in a federal-level race?

  2. Hey Jeremy In Georgia we get into the US Senate debates all the time but we never get into the US House debate because of Georgias wierd ballot access laws. Us Senate is statewide race while US House is considered local.

  3. I suggest that all liberty oriented pepole in the area go to the station with simple respectful signs that say “let the libertarian speak”. If he doesn’t make it to the debates every liberty oriented person that could possibly make it should picket and hold a “last word debate” immediately after the socalled debates. on the steps of the venue if possible. He would generally rebut the arguments of the other candidates, and advance his own policies.
    The repeated use of this technique will generate national attention my manufacturing an eminately coverable story near a great concentration of media after the main event. I am talking real camera bait.

  4. whats this wierdness I hear out of Colorado bout having “trials” for certain libertarians?

    LONGMONT ”” Two prominent members of the Boulder County Libertarian Party say they were slighted by the organization they helped build after the party’s state leaders forced them to defend their beliefs in a closed trial earlier this month.

    In the end, a jury of Libertarians from around the state ruled former Boulder County commissioner candidate Paul Tiger may no longer run for any state office as a Libertarian, saying he intimidated people by carrying a permitted handgun.

    The jury also considered multiple charges against current sheriff candidate and former county Libertarian chief Bo Shaffer but exonerated him on all counts, party officials said.

    “I was done with the state party after I cleared myself,” said Shaffer, who led the county party for four years. “We like to think we got the Libertarians on the map in this county, but we keep getting flack for it.”


  5. Hi Debbie,
    Congratulations! Your persistence was rewarded. I have put a check into the mail today to help with Bert’s debate costs. Let us know how it goes.

    Best regards.

  6. People are being purged for carrying permitted handguns? Is it because of the gun or because real Libertarians dont get permits?

  7. I don’t know Bob Sargent personally but would support him based solely on my contact with Debbie Schum. Debbie has been quite a Libertarian activist the past few years in her part of Colorado and is the LP Colorado Western Slope Outreach Director (west of the Continental Divide). Her local affiliate hosted our LPCO annual convention last year.

    The Western Slope has been an area of proportionally greater growth for LPCO recently. People there are more independently minded (see and San Miguel County (including Telluride) includes two partisanly elected Libertarians, Sheriff Bill Masters and Coroner Robert Dempsey, as well as an elected Green County Commissioner, Art Goodtimes.

  8. Bob’s CD-3 district, which includes the Democratic-leaning area around Pueblo, is a swing district. The freshman incumbent, John Salazar (D), is more of a centrist Democrat and was first elected two years ago when his brother Ken Salazar (D) was elected to our open senate seat, vacated by Ben Nighthorse Campbell (D->R). John currently appears to have a commanding lead over his Republican challenger, particularly in fundraising. Land and water issues are paramount given federal control of much of the land and forest and the arid climate.

    The CD-3 district is quite large and I’m sure Bob could use any help in defraying campaign expenses for travel and advertising as well. I asked Debbie for help in recruiting Libertarian candidates for the open CD-3 University of Colorado Board of Regents seat (same district, also partisanly elected, but no pay and considered very down-ballot) but we didn’t get any response.

  9. Wait… 500 american dollars? Seriously, who’s going to this debate? I mean, I could get a 500 dollar advance on my credit card in a snap if it was that important. Does the Libertarian in question work for minimum wage?

  10. We were invited to a healthcare forum with all the Dems.
    Have some video tape somewhere. GOP Congressman didn’t show up. It was a real collectivist lovefest. Couldn’t blame the Congressman. They didn’t want to hear about free market solutions. Told them anyway.

    If we make past the petitioning period we might get to the podium.

  11. Check out They appear to be quite influential. This was the first I had heard of them but I didn’t get out beyond Colorado’s Front Range area (extended metro Denver population center sprawl east of the Continental Divide) in my last run for statewide office. If circumstances and resources permit, I will attend, at least to have/share a literature table at their Fall Meeting 2006.

    Again, I don’t know of Bob’s circumstances (CD-3 median income is below the statewide average, but so are living expenses), but personally I’m still suffering from the telecomm bubble burst of 2000 (Colorado went from first in the nation to near last in job growth, but has largely recovered, but still leads in foreclosures etc.).

    It’s difficult to raise money when electoral victory is very unlikely, but in this case simply getting a seat at the table appears to be quite a coup! Those who think the LP should be an educational party should put their money where their mouth is.

  12. When and where is this debate? I live in Denver and may be able to help cheer Bob/Bert on. Are both names correct?

    I see September 9th, but what time and WHERE?

  13. Sorry, it’s BERT Sargent, not Bob. My bad. I don’t know where that came from. I’m still preparing a response about the trial.

    From and the corresponding registration form, the debate is at the Two Rivers Convention Center, Grand Junction, CO, next to the Hawthorn Suites Ltd. at 225 Main St. sometime on Saturday–schedule not available yet (there is no U.S. Senate race in Colorado this year–they might mean a gubernatorial candidates debate instead, where there are Libertarian and American Constitution Party candidates also, subject to scheduling).

    245 miles, four hours one way from downtown Denver. Maybe I can carpool with Richard Randall, our Lt. Gov. candidate and LPCO Legislative Director. Same day if afternoon, else probably an overnighter.

    Wes P, shoot me an email when I finally get my campaign website up.

    CO CD-3 gets little attention in the Front Range area.

  14. Wow. I got a call about this today and didn’t even know it was up on here. Cool.
    $500 American dollars, yes. I have sunk hundreds, even thousands into the Lp already and will sink more, but can’t do it all myself! need help from other Libertarians. Bert is retired, and their are FEC laws about him donating to his own campaign, that are weird at best.
    970-234-8056. we would prefer, obviously, if folks would buy their tickets from us (available August 10) rather than Club 20, to defray all our costs.
    Our Governor Candidate, Dawn Winkler, has also been accepted into the Governor debates the same night 9/9!!
    And Richard Randall will be debating PRA at club 20 two nights before.
    With 2 feet, and one in the door, that leaves one for kicking the door off the hinges!

  15. PRA is Petition Rights Amendment
    Amendment #38 on this November’s Colorado ballot.

    Its co-sponsor, Douglas “Dayhorse” Campbell, is chair of the American Constitution Party of Colorado, a perennial candidate (he holds the non-presidential, non-major party statewide vote share record from his 1994 run for Secretary of State), and one of my opponents in this year’s race for CU Regent At Large.

    Its other co-sponsor, Dennis Polhill, worked with Douglas Bruce to pass Colorado’s Taxpayers Bill of Rights TABOR (maybe Campbell did also–I’m not sure).

    I thought the FEC laws might have had something to do with the funding request.

    I’ll contact you soon, Debbie. Great work!

  16. For Timothy West
    To answer your question of “whats this wierdness I hear out of Colorado about having “trials” for certain libertarians?”

    The first guy mentioned in the article, Paul Tiger, is a NUT who regularly threatens people. He threatened to shoot the 2002 LP of CO candidate for governor in the head if he showed up at a Libertarian event. He sent one of the LP of Colorado Board of Directors a threatening e-mail titled “Things to do in Denver when your dead” just before their 2006 state convention – in Denver. In April he sent an sent e-mail titled “Surrender or Die” to the group, “Coloradoans for Voting Integrity”, threatening to hack into and destroy the computer system.

    Tiger had also been President of NORML for Boulder (Colorado), but was also kicked out of the NORML after the Libertarian Party kicked him out.

    Shaffer is not as crazy as Tiger, but neither of these guys are really Libertarians. Both are constantly attacking Libertarians AND both are promoting Democrats!

  17. Daniel, count me as a POSSIBLE ride-sharer on Sept 9th. I’m in jobsearch mode and don’t know where I’ll be then. I can drive if you get a big group and need another car, or just share the driving duty of someone else’s.

    As an alternative, Amtrak’s California Zephyr has a great schedule for catching an evening debate and avoiding the driving grind. You were blowing the whole weekend anyway:
    Lv Denver 8:05am Ar Grand Junction 3:57pm
    Lv Grand Junction 10:43am Ar Denver 6:58pm
    I don’t support their subsidy, but this is a lovely (and yes, slow) scenic trainride, with a huge-windowed observation car. My wife and I rode it a few years ago, just for the view.

    Oddly, I haven’t been active locally for a while, but this sounds like lots of fun — and being on a weekend, maybe little hassle to attend.

    Email me at

  18. The agenda for the Club 20 Saturday, September 9 activites has finally been posted, a full day of debates.

    Both Libertarian statewide candidates have been included where there is a debate, Bert Sargent for CD-3 at 6 p.m. and Dawn Winkler for governor at 7:30 p.m.

    Note also that Richard Randall, speaking in favor of our Petition Rights Amendment at 11:25 a.m., is our candidate for Lt. Gov. and our LPCO Legislative Director.

    I see one Green candidate included in the SD-7 debate at 10:10 but no Constitution Party candidates included.

    Wes P, thank you for the train info. My outgoing email is still down.

    I’ll post my thoughts on the LPCO trials if anybody is still interested. I wrote most of it a week ago but have been on vacation. It’s a multi-part post given the character limit. The whole public article is at
    from the Longmont Daily Times-Call, Sunday, July 23.