Reed is not your typical Libertarian

Allyn Harvey

Dale Reed isn’t your typical Libertarian.Yes, he’s for gun rights. And he would love to cut down the size of the state government’s human resources department. “I’m really the candidate who is coming out for smaller government,” Reed said earlier this month.What isn’t so typical about Reed’s Libertarianism, however, is his support for Amendment 35, the proposed tobacco tax increase that would dedicate funds to health care. He’s also in favor of allocating more state tax dollars to education.”We need to increase education spending and decrease a lot of other things and improve the efficiency of state government,” said Reed, a retired state employee.Reed would also look for ways to pressure school districts into lowering administrative costs and put the money saved into the classroom. He also believes the state should be tougher about deporting undocumented immigrants and their children as a means of reducing education costs. “We’re losing teachers because of poor pay,” Reed said.Reed, who lives in No Name, has similarly non-Libertarian ideas about health care. He points out that Colorado as a state now spends less than any other state on health care for family and children.”We need to roll up our sleeves,” he said. “We should look to other states for examples, like Hawaii and New Jersey.”Like both of his opponents for the open House seat in the 61st District, Reed would like to see the state constitution’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights Amendment, or TABOR, changed so that there is more flexibility in how much the state government can spend. He would get rid of the so-called racheting-down effect that lowers the level of spending permanently whenever there is a recession.But unlike opponents Kathleen Curry and Becky Rippy, Reed would tackle the budget crisis with across-the-board cutbacks throughout the government, except in areas like education and health care, where he sees the need for more spending.Reed spent the bulk of his career working for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources as a wildlife researcher. As an employee in the division of wildlife, Reed worked on the deer-vehicle accident study that eventually led to the installation of 8-foot fences along state and interstate highways.”No one thinks it’s a good thing to allow big game on the highways,” he said.Asked if he, as a Libertarian dedicated to small government, would cut his former job off the state payroll, Reed said no. But he did say he’d work toward reforming the culture of state budgeting that forces employees to spend every penny they’re allocated, whether the money is needed or not. “I could have spent less money.”But Reed was always told to spend all the money he’d been allocated, because, he said, the bean counters would cut the DOW budget in coming years if it didn’t spend what it had been given.”I worked conscientiously and I worked hard. Unfortunately, not all state employees do.”Reed is currently a board member of the No Name Water Association and the Glenwood Springs River Commission.Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is