As part of her campaign against Ballot Measure 2, Laura has created a new radio ad.
Please donate to help keep this ad on the air.
As part of her campaign against Ballot Measure 2, Laura has created a new radio ad.
Please donate to help keep this ad on the air.
By Laura Carno
March 1, 2017
Warning: Mayor John Suthers and City Council Want to Raid TABOR
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and City Council want to take even more of your hard-earned money.
They are using a lawful mechanism to keep money that belongs to the taxpayers by misleading the voters in to thinking that there are no other alternatives to fund essential City services.
Back in 2015, I wrote a blog called Government Should Turn Over Every Stone Before Asking Us For More Money. At the time, I was talking about issues on the ballot then, including Colorado Springs issue 2C, also known as the “pothole tax.”
What I meant by my 2015 blog title is that since every dollar government spends is a dollar you and I earned, they should literally look everywhere in the existing budget for money they could reprioritize for essential services —before they ask us for more money.
That doesn’t seem like much to ask from our public servants, does it? It’s why Colorado passed the Taxpayer Bill Of Rights (TABOR).
But when ballots drop on March 11th for the April 4th election, Mayor John Suthers will again be picking our pockets asking us to pay more taxes. It’s called Ballot Measure 2, and here is the text of the measure:
WITHOUT INCREASING TAXES, SHALL THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS BE PERMITTED TO RETAIN AND SPEND UP TO $6,000,000, THE ESTIMATED 2016 FISCAL YEAR REVENUE ABOVE THE 2016 FISCAL YEAR REVENUE AND SPENDING LIMITATIONS, AND A LIKE AMOUNT OF ANY EXCESS REVENUE IN FISCAL YEAR 2017, SOLELY FOR STORMWATER PROJECTS LOCATED WITHIN THE CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS, ALL AS REQUIRED OF THE CITY UNDER LAW, PERMIT OR CONTRACT, AS A VOTER APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE AND EXCEPTION TO ANY CONSTITUTIONAL OR CHARTER LIMITATIONS THAT MAY OTHERWISE APPLY, WITH EXCESS REVENUE IN FISCAL YEARS 2016 AND 2017 BEYOND THIS $6,000,000 REVENUE CHANGE TO BE REFUNDED TO TAXPAYERS IN SUCH MANNER AS COUNCIL SHALL DETERMINE?
What this means in normal language is that the city would like to keep the TABOR overage instead of refunding it to us. And TABOR means that politicians must ask us for permission before raising our taxes, or to keep excess tax revenues.
Ballot Measure 2 is the City of Colorado Springs asking for permission —because it’s our money and TABOR requires them to ask. Which is also why we love TABOR. It reminds politicians that the money belongs to us.
This will be the third such increase that Mayor Suthers has been in support of since he was elected in May of 2015. Even before he was elected, Suthers proposed 2C, referred to as the “pothole tax”, which eventually passed.
Then in January of this year, Suthers joined a coalition of politicians to raise taxes for roads state-wide, an initiative launched by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. But taxpayers in Colorado Springs already pay City sales tax for Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority (PPRTA), the 2C “pothole tax”, and regular sales taxes that go into the general fund, some of which goes to road work.
And now Mayor Suthers and the City Council want even more of our money by keeping the TABOR overage that is owed to the taxpayers. The ballot measure says the money will go to StormWater projects.
The next logical questions then are, “Should we give them more of our hard earned money? Have they demonstrated that they have made prudent decisions with our money thus far?”
Has Mayor Suthers looked under every stone to redeploy money in the ever-growing City budget before asking us for more?
Let’s take a look at a small sample of the spending priorities for the City of Colorado Springs, where the City’s General Fund Budget has tripled in the past 20 years:
Again, are Mayor Suthers and the City Council responsibly spending our tax money now? Do they deserve more of it? The obvious answer is: No.
We haven’t heard one word from Mayor Suthers since he was elected in 2015 about finding efficiencies in the budget. Not one word about redirecting money to the highest priority services in the City. Not one word about looking at outsourcing to save our precious tax dollars. Not one word.
Instead of trying to do anything to make government more efficient and effective, Mayor Suthers and the City Council seem focused on growing government and raising taxes.
And if I were a betting person, I’d bet we will see even more tax increases after the April City Council election. Watch specifically for them to bring back the failed 2014 StormWater Enterprise, along with its mandatory fee.
We will hear all kinds of spin: It’s for the cops, or the kids, or some other cause that intends to pull at our heartstrings. But the fact remains that as long as we have frivolous expenditures like bike path planners and City pharmacies and free medical clinics, the voters of Colorado Springs should take a stand. Not one more dimeuntil they reprioritize our hard earned tax dollars on essential services.
Take a stand against politicians who forget that every dollar they spend is a dollar you and I earned. Ballot Measure 2 is just wrong.
Check out the original post here
By Laura Carno
January 15, 2017
What Difference Does It Make? A Case For Book Reviews.
As a newer author, I’m accustomed to asking readers to post a review on Amazon.com. I get a lot of feedback from readers about what they found interesting about my book, how it made them feel differently about an aspect of politics, or how it caused them to re-think a deeply held belief or political position.
I always ask them to share their thoughts as a review on Amazon, because of the benefits to both the reader and the author.
Posting Amazon book reviews does a few things:
If you already own a copy of my book, Government Ruins Nearly Everything, and haven’t yet written a review, I hope you will consider doing so.
What difference does a review make? A lot of difference, and it only takes a minute.
What’s that you say? You don’t have your own copy of Government Ruins Nearly Everything yet? Here is a sample of some of the 5-star reviews that other readers have posted, so that they can help you decide whether to buy a copy:
I would highly recommend that high schools incorporate this book in Political Science Classes
This is the most well balanced informative political book that I have ever read. The author gave a fair factual balance of views from both sides of the aisle. With all these hard line books out there, it was a pleasure to read this one. I would highly recommend that high schools incorporate this book in the Political Science Classes. It’s that good.
Laura Carno has written an excellent book on choice verses government control
Clear, concise and cogent. Laura Carno has written an excellent book on choice verses government control. She reminds the reader of the proper role of government which is to protect our rights, mediate disputes, and defend the nation. Period. Not afraid to confront the “Fireworks” issues of Abortion, Guns, Schools and Same-Sex marriage, Carno shares stories and insights, with many solutions to these hot button issues. A good primer for those who want a better understanding of how to reclaim social issues from government control and let the free market of ideas and interactions work. A good discussion book for a book club.
Choose personal freedom over government coercion.
Meticulously researched, but not in an intimidating fashion. Equally well-reasoned and expressed, and easy to read. Should be encouraged especially for socially and politically disaffected young people.
This is an awesome book! Every politician, government employee and every citizen in the US should read it! The solutions to the major issues facing our country offered by the author were real, practical and eye opening. Amazing. Everyone should read it!
Fantastic easy read that will change how you think about government’s role in our lives
Read that will change how you think about politics and the government’s role in our lives! Great for young people….
I hope these reviews have piqued your curiosity, and have encouraged you to purchase your first copy of Government Ruins Nearly Everything, or to buy an additional copy for a friend.
I regularly do speaking engagements that include book signings. Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter to be informed of upcoming events in your area. If you have an event you would like to talk about, take a look here and let me know more about your event.
By Laura Carno
November 25, 2016
Colorado Springs residents who live, visit or shop on the north side of town are familiar with Research Parkway. Between the Briargate Parkway and Academy Boulevard exits from I25, it is a main thoroughfare for residents on the east side of Colorado Springs to get to their jobs in Briargate, or downtown via the Interstate. And it’s a big, wide road as its name Research Parkway would indicate —3 lanes on each side, with a lovely landscaped median in the middle.
Imagine the surprise of those who use Research Parkway when, on September 28th 2016, the City of Colorado Springs removed one lane on each side of Research Parkway and turned them in to buffered bike lanes. This means that a full car lane is taken up with a buffered portion and a bike lane portion.
This seems odd, because Research Parkway already has a sidewalk on each side of the street. The south sidewalk is 10 feet wide and was constructed with the express intent of pedestrians and cyclists sharing that sidewalk.
In October, area residents launched a Facebook Page called Restore Research, and a website of the same name. On both pages, they have posted their reasons for being opposed to the bike lanes and the manner in which they were implemented. They also have a petition that will be delivered to City officials who are behind this project. They encourage petition signers to write a message to these officials in addition to simply signing the petition.
The change to Research Parkway isn’t the only change of concern to city residents. Another group called Safer CC is concerned about the safety of Colorado College students in the Old North End Neighborhood in the face of the city pushing a similar proposal there. Safer CC has responded with a website, Facebook page and petition of their own.
And all of this is happening while other cities —including Boulder Colorado— that have tried similar redesigns have rolled them back. Why? They cite worse congestion and more accidents.
So, why all the attention to bike lanes in the City of Colorado Springs? In March, the city hired Kate Brady to be its Senior Bicycle Planner. In an interview, Brady admits that, “change is hard,” but residents wonder why city officials made the decision without the consent of those who use Research Parkway. Mayor John Suthers said, “We do know that there is an adjustment factor,” while residents wonder why they should be the ones adjusting.
Colorado Springs currently has a Silver designation with the League of American Bicyclists. In order to have a Gold designation, the League suggest cities take three steps:
Just doing some quick math here, it seems that the City of Colorado Springs is looking to raise its status with the League of American Bicyclists by making decisions without regard to the opinions of the citizens it impacts.
When I authored the book Government Ruins Nearly Everything, I encouraged ordinary Americans to take a stand when their government makes decisions that create problems or when it makes problems worse. I applaud the efforts of Restore Research and Safer CC for taking a stand to hold their government accountable.
Join these groups, sign their petitions, and demand a government that knows whom it serves.
See the original post here.
By Laura Carno
September 23, 2016
In response to a Democratic presidential debate question on Oct. 13, 2015, Hillary Clinton put the 5 million members of the NRA at the top of the list of enemies she is most proud of.
This is unprecedented: On national television, a candidate for president of the United States named peaceable, law-abiding gun owners, who are simply trying to protect the Second Amendment, as her biggest enemies. She even listed NRA members ahead of Iran—the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. Drug cartels, Vladimir Putin, North Korea and ISIS terrorists didn’t even get a mention.
Clinton’s declaration made us wonder how NRA members feel about being recklessly declared her enemy. So we decided to ask them: How does it feel to be named Public Enemy Number 1 by Hillary Clinton?
Today we hear from I Am Created Equal’s Laura Carno, a political media strategist who was instrumental in the recall of Colorado state Sen. John Morse.
I have no armed security detail. In fact, I am my own security detail.I’m delighted to be on Hillary Clinton’s enemies list. She says that NRA members are the enemies she’s most proud of. Well, guess what, Madam Secretary? I’m proud to be on your list.
If I’m on your list, it sounds like I must have done something terrible to you. Is it that I have the nerve to want to keep and bear my own arms for the defense of myself and my family? Is it that I’m not content to simply dial 911 and wait? Is it that I encourage others to think about taking responsibility for their own self-defense? Why is that such a threat to you?
Hillary Clinton is free to make whatever decisions she’d like for her own life. I likely wouldn’t have made those same decisions, but I don’t get to choose for her life. I only choose for my life. And Clinton doesn’t get to choose for me.
I’m not sure if Hillary has watched the news lately, but it’s a dangerous world out there. Sandy Hook, Aurora, San Bernardino, Orlando. Had she been in any of those locations when dozens were killed, she might have fared better than the rest of us. She has a full-time armed security detail. Living a life in a protective bubble has made her forget how the rest of America lives.
I have no armed security detail. In fact, I am my own security detail.
It’s not Clinton’s job to make personal life and death decisions for me. I am a concealed-carry permit holder—a member of the most law-abiding segment of society. She won’t acknowledge that the same people she doesn’t trust with guns are precisely the people who could have saved lives in Sandy Hook, Aurora, San Bernardino and Orlando.I am a free adult American woman who is accustomed to making my own decisions without the help of anyone, especially the president of the United States.
Many sheriffs are pleading with citizens to protect themselves. These sheriffs know that they can’t be everywhere at the exact time a crime will be committed. They trust the average American to protect her own life. But Clinton doesn’t. She thinks that we are incapable of safely defending ourselves, so we should just wait. Wait for help to come. And she doesn’t care if it comes too late.
Hillary Clinton doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know why I choose to carry a concealed firearm. She knows nothing about my family circumstances. She doesn’t know what it’s like to walk to her car, by herself, in a dark parking garage. She doesn’t know what it’s like to fill up her car with gas in the early morning hours on the way to one of her two jobs. She doesn’t know what it’s like to hear a window break in the middle of the night and be the only one home to investigate. She doesn’t know me—yet I’m her enemy?
Clinton says she is the candidate for women, and that she will advance the lives of women through her presidency. I’m not sure what women she’s talking about, but I don’t need her help. I am a free adult American woman who is accustomed to making my own decisions without the help of anyone, especially the president of the United States.
Is Clinton really running for president with a policy that my safety and the safety of my family is hers to decide? Is she really running for president to decide how we should best defend ourselves?
How does it feel to be on Hillary’s enemies list? Mrs. Clinton, if you put people like me—the most law-abiding among us—on your enemies list, that speaks volumes about the kind of president you want to be.
By Laura Carno
August 13, 2016
Who knows how to educate your children better, you or some faceless bureaucrat at the Federal Department of Education?
While a few parents might want others to make key decisions regarding their child’s education, most believe they know their own kids better than any government official.
So how do parents choose the best schools for their kids?
We hear a lot about STEM schools that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Does that mean charter and private schools are only for those who excel in certain subjects or have specific aptitudes? Absolutely not.
Take the example of Crossroads School in Longmont, Colo. Ross Izard of Colorado’s Independence Institute offers a brief description, where he describes Crossroads School as, “a school for kids who haven’t been able to find an educational home anywhere else.” Ross also wrote a longer profile of his visit to Crossroads.
It is … inspiring.
I dare a bureaucrat to watch Ross’s video or read his profile on Crossroads School and say that they know better than Dakota’s grandparents how to educate Dakota. And Crossroads isn’t the only school that takes on the kids who need a more unique approach to their individualized education.
The Department of Education didn’t come up with the idea for Crossroads or Spectrum or MAX. Nor do officials from the Department of Education have the emotional connections to think about students who learn differently.
Parents, relatives and community members of those who need their education packaged in a different way invented these schools.
Parents are best suited to make all kinds of decisions —the big decisions and the small decisions— for their own kids. Is there any decision a parent makes that impacts their child’s entire life more than how they are educated?
Education has been called the civil rights issue of our day. Students in failing schools are left behind, have a higher chance at remaining in poverty and a higher chance of landing in prison.
No parent wants that for their child.
The 2010 documentary “Waiting For ‘Superman’” details the heartbreak of students stuck in failing schools.
What can parents do?
They can get their kids out of failing schools and in to schools that work. Does that mean the move to charter and private schools will leave neighborhood schools behind? Not in the least.
Competition always improves all the competitors, not just the winner. If school choice is not possible in your state, parents have to demand their state lawmakers change the laws. The stories in “Waiting For ‘Superman’” are heartbreaking.
We can do better.
It’s your job —your obligation— to find the school, whether traditional neighborhood school, private school, charter school or homeschool, that will best educate your kids.
If your state doesn’t allow you to make that choice, remind your politicians that they are public servants who work for you, and that you demand they remove your barriers to choice.
This time, it’s really for the children.
Check out LauraCarno.com
August 10, 2016
Laura Carno is created equal, and expects the government to treat us as if we all were.
The founder of iamcreatedequal.com, she builds on an extensive history of achievement in the private sector, managing large teams to corporate succcesses—and in the public sector, guiding worthy candidates to election victories. But that’s just background. What she does is advance meaningful causes, the only way that matters: one person at a time.
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