Reed running for District 61 seat |

Reed running for District 61 seat

Jeremy Heiman
Special to the Post Independent

Libertarian Dale Reed of No Name has announced his bid for the Colorado House of Representatives District 61 seat, currently occupied by Gregg Rippy.

Rippy, R-Glenwood Springs, is leaving the state House to campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives (see other page 1 story). Reed will compete for the District 61 seat against Democrat Kathleen Curry of Gunnison and Republican Becky Rippy of New Castle.

Reed, 65, served as a wildlife researcher for the Colorado Division of Wildlife for 30 years. He also taught high school biology for six years, and is a former officer in the U.S. Navy. Reed is single and has one daughter and two grandchildren.

“Libertarians believe in protecting liberty, enhancing liberty, and taking more personal responsibility,” Reed said. His libertarian views include strong stances on reducing the size of government, reducing taxes, supporting gun ownership rights and promoting laissez-faire economics ” allowing business to function unregulated.

“If Darwin was right, then simple principles of biology apply to economics,” he said. “Let free enterprise go without government regulation or subsidies.”

Reed says if the Libertarian principle of personal responsibility were applied to health care, the system would be better off.

“Health care is a mess,” Reed said. Costs are too high, and the system could be improved by simplifying the paperwork and privatizing where possible, he continued.

“Taking personal responsibility is essential. Stop smoking, stop overeating, and take care of yourself,” he said.

The federal government should not be in the business of education, Reed said.

“We need to increase the quality of education, but not by increasing federal oversight, or even state involvement,” he said. “Education is the responsibility of the community.”

Reed doesn’t support current attempts to fund private schools with public money.

“We shouldn’t encourage depleting the quality of our public schools by offering vouchers that allow students to opt out,” he said.

Backs Second Amendment

The right to bear arms is fundamental to Reed’s thinking.

“Libertarians believe, and I believe, we need to ensure rights under the Second Amendment,” he said.

Reed’s Web site, groups.msn. com/dalereed, features a picture of Reed cradling what appears to be an assault weapon.

Reed concedes that a seat in the Colorado Legislature doesn’t wield much leverage over American foreign policy, but he offered his opinion nonetheless. His foreign policy views don’t offer any support for foreign wars, and least of all for using National Guard troops overseas.

“We should make it clear we are not supporting pre-emptive wars or losing young people from our communities,” he said. “The National Guard is for guarding this nation, not for military adventurism.”

Re-examine war on drugs

Reed also expresses strong views about America’s drug problem. The so-called war on drugs doesn’t seem to be working, he said.

“We need to re-examine the methodology,” he said. “We should work on reducing the demand for drugs. People should take responsibility for their children and families and neighborhoods.”

But he also said harsh enforcement is appropriate for drug dealers.

“Strictly speaking,” he said, “a Libertarian would say ‘hands off.’ What I’m going to say is government should do what it can to encourage personal responsibility. That’s a big challenge. Nobody says it’s easy.”

Reed doesn’t support recent talk about cutting Social Security benefits.

“We should not recommend cutting back on Social Security for our elderly. That should be protected,” he said. “But we can cut back on inefficiency and administrative paperwork.”

Reed said he believes if the size of government is reduced, it will lead to lower income taxes. But he said neither of the two major parties really believes in smaller government.

“A motto for my campaign would be ‘Less government and more efficient government,'” Reed said. “Decisions are best left to us on a local level, in our counties, cities and communities.”

Reed said he differs from his opponents because he has more experience, with over 30 years in the field of natural resource management.

Contact Jeremy Heiman: 945-8515, ext. 534

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