Mark Brophy is the Libertarian candidate running for the state
Senate in District 14 against Republican candidate Ray Martinez and
Democratic candidate Bob Bacon.
Democrat Peggy Reaves holds the seat, but is stepping down
because she is term-limited.
Brophy was born in Lynn, Mass., and currently resides in Fort
Collins. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1986
with a bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering.
Brophy led the campaign to repeal the Fort Collins grocery tax
and primarily financed its petition drive. Brophy has performed
legal research on Colorado and Arizona institutions for the
Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm. Brophy has also
worked as a software engineer in Massachusetts and in Silicon
Q: Why are you running for this office?
A: I want to make government smaller. I think it consumes too
much of a portion of our lives, both in our personal liberties and
Q: What is the most important issue you want to address as
Election Day approaches?
A: The one I would most like to address is the one that has
received the least attention. We have pretty much gotten rid of
trial by jury, the Constitutional right. So, we have replaced it
with plea-bargaining, which causes two problems. One is that we’re
convicting innocent people and second, we’re shortening the
sentences of guilty people. I think that’s a huge problem. We’re
using shortcuts to put people in prison and we’re trusting the
government to put the right people in prison and I don’t think
that’s a very smart idea. The people are smarter than the
government and juries exist because of that belief that we should
have a government of the people, by the people and for the
Q: Tuition is increasing and the cost of college is rising. What
could you do to help CSU and its students?
I think (University of Colorado System) President (Elizabeth)
Hoffman had a good suggestion; you guys should take enterprise
status like (University of Colorado)-Boulder has done. That will
give more control over your education and tuition will rise and it
will force the administration to give you the education that fits
your price range. Right now when the government gives you money, or
anybody money for something, it tends to get overused. I think if
they put a product out that people can afford rather spending as
much money and getting as much money as they can. I don’t think at
either here or Boulder you do a good job from separating the
serious students from the students that are here to get drunk. I
think that we should have more students who spend their free time
doing things like playing a musical instrument or reading a book or
some craft like photography or woodworking.
Q: Speaking of alcohol and college students. One student has
died from alcohol poisoning here at CSU, as well as at CU. Do you
think there is a serious alcohol problem?
A: Yeah, I do. If you take a drive around this campus and count
the bookstores, count the music stores and count the liquor stores
you will find there is more liquor stores than music stores and
bookstores, which is what you should be doing with your free time.
I do think there is an alcohol problem, but I would also lower the
drinking age to 18. I think you guys ought to take responsibility
for yourselves. I completely disagree with, I think it’s the
president of CU in Boulder, who says to the city of Boulder stop
allowing people to build liquor stores around my campus. The reason
you have lots of liquor stores around your campus is because you’ve
created a demand for liquor. You’ve accepted all these people into
your university who would rather drink than study. I don’t think
you should be blaming the city of Boulder for your own problems. I
think you ought to solve your own problems.
Q: What could you do to bring jobs to this community as well as
improve the economy?
A: I think we ought to get rid of the business personal property
tax, which discourages businesses from buying expensive equipment
and businesses that have expensive equipment need high-paying
people to make sure that equipment is running properly. So, we’re
chasing a lot of high-paying jobs out of the state. I would also
make sure that the state has more power to prevent cities like Fort
Collins from interfering with property rights. Fort Collins is
growing a lot slower than Loveland and Greeley because the
government here is very oppressive … I think the state needs to
protect the people from the local government.
Q: How can you help the Coloradans without health care gain
access to it?
A: I would get government out of health care as much as
possible. Forty years ago when we let our government get involved
in health care it used to cost $50 to get your appendix out. Now it
costs $3,000 dollars and some of that is because of inflation, but
most of it is because of all these government mandates and doctors
have to give you all these extra tests to make sure they’re covered
in case somebody sues them. Also, whenever a doctor performs any
operation he has to document it in excruciating detail … Then he
has to go and spend a lot of time trying to get the money from the
government once he’s documented all that. Government makes health
care much more expensive.
Q: What are your general policies and what do you think needs to
be done (with the environment)?
A: I think that any time you give something to people for free
it gets overused. As far as the environment goes we have all these
free roads so we have people commuting to Denver. But they’re not
paying for the roads. The people who are paying for the roads are
taxpayers in general. I think that the people who are driving on
the roads ought to be paying for the roads, not the taxpayers. If
you don’t own a car you’re still paying for those roads. And it
would discourage people from taking long commutes and it would
encourage people to have commutes within Fort Collins. They are a
lot of people who work in Fort Collins who are coming over from
Greeley and Loveland and they do it because the roads are free.
Q: How do you feel about the debate being canceled?
A: I’m actually very angry about it. I think CSU should have put
on a debate between me and Bob Bacon, and if Ray Martinez doesn’t
want to participate that’s his choice. I think what they’ve done is
said I’m not as important as Ray Martinez or Bob Bacon, so they are
perpetuating the two-party system. They’re not allowing the voters
any choices. You don’t really have a choice between Bob Bacon and
Ray Martinez. They’ve both been government employees their entire
lives. They both represent the government. I represent private
industry. I’ve never worked for the government. We need to have
more third-party candidates. This is the only Western country that
has a two-party system. Every other country in the world has
multiple parties. I think CSU is doing their best to destroy any
hope we have of getting more parties out there.
Q: How do you feel about the “Ray Likes To Travel” commercials
and pamphlets that have come out lately?
A: I think it distracts people from the main issues … but what
really bothers me about Ray Martinez is several other things. One
thing in particular is that he has issued two bonds for $67
million. The debt service on those bonds will be $2.5 million a
The money he wasted on his travel was $65,000. Yes, he did
travel too much. He really has no business promoting Fort Collins
all over the country. He should work on solving Fort Collins’
problems in Fort Collins and mind his own business. But boy that’s
pretty trivial compared to all this debt he has put us into without
us asking for it. He is required to ask for voter approval of any
debt under the provisions of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
Q: Is there anything you want to add?
A: … There was an anti-smoking ordinance proposed and it was
accepted … if a bar owner’s business before was worth a million
dollars, now it’s only worth $500,000. That’s $500,000 of theft.
Now if I don’t like smoke, and I don’t, I have a respiratory
disease, I don’t smoke. If I see smoke I turn around and I walk out
the door. That’s everybody’s choice and you have freedom of
association, or at least you should, to patronize whatever
establishment you want to patronize. They’ve destroyed freedom of
association, which is right there in the First Amendment, the most
important amendment of the Constitution … I want the state to
prevent cities from being overly oppressive. We have a law here
that says if you and I and those people over there (points to a
couple sitting at a table) share a house, we’re committing a crime
because there are four of us. But if the four are in the same
family we’re not committing a crime. To me that rule is
unconstitutional because it prevents the four of us from
associating. It doesn’t prevent four people from the same family
from associating. So we have an unconstitutional law here … it is
a way of discriminating against students, it’s a way of saying you
don’t deserve the same rights as anyone else. The reason I want to
lower the drinking age to 18 is because I believe in the
Constitution of the United States. It says that we get equal
protection under the law. That means that you get equal protection
if you’re between the ages of 18 and 21. You get all the same
rights as anybody else gets as any age. The Equal Protection clause
has many different facets to it. My opponent Bob Bacon wants to
give a special tax break to old people, a property tax break. Their
houses increase in value and their property taxes keep decreasing
every year and he thinks they should be able to get exceptions.
Well I don’t think they deserve that. I think that everybody ought
to pay the same property tax. If you’re living in a big house and
your children have all moved out you should sell the big house and
pay your taxes like everybody else and move into a small house.