Libertarians, Guns, And Money

Don’t pick a fight with  state Sen. Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton). Not only has the legislator won awards for her superior handgun skills, she’s also received freebies for them.

That’s according to the most recent disclosure forms filed with the Secretary of State’s office, which show that the Golden-based “free-market think thank” Independence Institute paid for Sen. Tochtrop to attend the group’s annual Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Party and shoot the breeze. Literally. Sen. Tochtrop received (PDF) $150 from the Independence Institute, precisely the cost for a ticket to the event, where Institute supporters and other like-minded glitterati gather to celebrate the vices supposedly being stomped by so-called “liberal nannies.”

Even more discriminating, it does not appear that the Institute offered the same ticket deal to attendees Sen. Nancy Spence (R-Centennial) or Secretary of State Mike Coffman, meaning that the two VIPs may have had to pay their own money to attend the event.

Hows that for free-market politics?

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at

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