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Libertarians to pick candidate for U.S. Senate

For the first time since 1916, a primary will be held on Aug. 10 for a party other than the Democratic and Republican parties, when the Libertarian party decides which candidates will run for governor and the U.S. Senate.

The last third party to hold a primary in Colorado was Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive (or “Bull Moose”) Party.

The Libertarian Party in Colorado will decide between Monument, Colo., businessman and retired U.S. Army Officer John Finger of Centennial, and businessman and retired U.S. Air Force Officer Maclyn Stringer to run against the winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries in November’s general election.

Finger’s website states that he supports reducing income taxes for everyone, reducing Congressional pay by one-third (along with ending Congressional pensions and imposing term limits), reducing the pay and salaries of most federal employees, and eliminating the Departments of Education and Energy, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Finger also favors an elimination of the federal minimum wage, revoking federal drug laws, allowing companies to fail with no federal assistance, and in order to achieve energy independence, providing tax breaks to companies who produce renewable energy and for customers who use those energy sources.

Finally, Finger supports a mandate that Congress be subject to the same laws it enacts on the rest of the U.S. citizenry, mandating a 72-hour waiting period before bills are voted on, and putting an end to unfunded mandates that Congress forces on states, as well as the partial privatization of Social Security and Medicare.

Like most Libertarians, Finger opposes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and supports the immediate recall of U.S. troops from those regions.

Holding views similar to Finger on corporate welfare, entitlement programs and taxes, Stringer’s views vary slightly in that he has not called for the elimination of the various departments and agencies (but supports a reorganization of the Department of Education) and favors a “sensible war on drugs” (but not its end) but, like most Libertarians, advocates for the decriminalization of victimless crimes.

Stringer’s website speaks out against nation-building as a function of the U.S. military, but does not state support for the immediate end for the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Mail-in ballots have been sent out from the Archuleta County clerk’s office and must be returned by Aug. 10 to that office. Early voting in the primary is Aug. 2-6 at the county courthouse.

The deadline for changing party affiliation has passed, but registered unaffiliated voters can declare a party affiliation at the polls on Aug. 10 in order to vote in a party’s primary.