Libertarian and Green Party US Senate hopefuls battle at CU Boulder Sept. 15

Fresh off her first U.S. Senate debate with Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet and Republican Darryl Glenn, Libertarian Lily Tang Williams will take on the Green Party’s Arn Menconi Thursday night.

Moderated by Colorado Independent journalist Corey Hutchins, the two third-party candidates will debate at 7 p.m. at CU Boulder’s Old Main Chapel as part of their joint Town Hall Tour.

“Both financial support and media coverage can be elusive for third-party candidates to make their candidacy and views known to voters,” Williams said in a statement. Which is why the two “decided to join forces to make their alternative views better known to Colorado voters.”

Williams, a Chinese immigrant and real estate investor in Parker, won the Colorado Libertarian Party’s nomination in March and was allowed into the much-anticipated Club 20 debate in Grand Junction Sept. 10 because her party has more than 1 percent of registered voters statewide. The Green Party does not have enough registered voters for a candidate to make the cut.

The national Libertarian Party was founded in Colorado Springs in the early 1970s.

With a passionate delivery, Williams promotes individual freedom and free markets, wants to curb crony capitalism and end domestic spying. She says she’s not afraid to call out members of Congress as “communists” because she knows what one looks like having lived under the rule of Chairman Mao.

Perhaps her most interesting policy proposal: Suggesting politicians wear body cameras so the public knows what they’re up to. (“I am not joking,” she told The Independent about the idea.)

Arn Menconi, a former Eagle County Commissioner, left the Democratic Party and is running a progressive campaign aimed at ending wars, promoting universal health care, shuttering fossil fuel production and closing the inequality gap.

“We’re run by a global corporate mafia,” Menconi says of modern-day America. “Everyone who I’m talking to believes that we’re run by an oligarchy.”

The Unity Party’s Bill Hammons will be on the Nov. 8 ballot for U.S. Senate as a qualified political candidate, but he won’t be joining the two at the forum.

He doesn’t want to be “dragged down by fringe parties who haven’t placed a single candidate in Congress after four decades of spinning their wheels,” he says.