Mark Brophy Interview

Oct 252004
Authors: Brian Park

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

Valley, Calif.

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.

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