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Independence Institute

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Title: Independence Institute  
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Subject: Arthur Laffer, Tom Coburn, Concealed carry in the United States, Wendell Cox, The Volokh Conspiracy, The Independent Institute, Dave Kopel, Conservatism in the United States, Shawn Mitchell, WAAKE-UP!
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Independence Institute

Not to be confused with The Independent Institute, a libertarian think-tank based in Oakland, California.
Independence Institute
Established 1985
President Jon Caldara
Staff II Staff Page
Location Golden, Colorado
Address 13952 Denver West Pkwy., Suite 400, Golden, CO 80401

The Independence Institute (II) is a libertarian[1][2] think tank based in Golden, Colorado. Founded in 1985, the Institute "(concentrates) expertise (in) education, the environment, transportation, personal freedom, government reform, local government, and criminal justice."[3]


As of June 2010, the Independence Institute's Research Director is American author, attorney and political science researcher Dave Kopel.[4] The Institute's president is Jon Caldara.[5]


In 2010, the Institute launched the Patient Power website to address US healthcare reform issues.[6]

The Institute created "Mothers Against Debt", a site criticizing the US national debt.[7]


The Institute holds an annual Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) party. In 2008, the Institute president Jon Caldara was quoted as saying, “Now remember, a year from now President [Barack] Obama might make all three activities of smoking, drinking and shooting completely illegal. This might be our very, very last opportunity.” In 2008, the event drew a crowd of around 200 supporters.[8]

Global warming

The Institute has been accused of promoting misinformation on global warming by Media Matters for America. The Institute provided several media platforms to James Taylor of the Heartland Institute. Taylor's claims about global warming were disputed by Media Matters, including the claim that there is no scientific consensus on man-made global warming. The article also noted donations of $561,500 from 1998 to 2005 to the Heartland Institute.[9]

Education reform

In 2008, the Rocky Mountain News published an article describing the Institute's opposition to Colorado's proposed Amendment 59, a measure to "creat[e] a savings account for schools". Jon Caldara and Penn Pfiffner were mentioned as opposing the bill in the article. Pfiffner is also the director of the Independence Institute's Fiscal Policy Center.[10]

Media presence

In 2007, Media Matters accused the Institute of dominating the Colorado media. Media Matters described the Instituteas "a behemoth with an aggressive media strategy and ideological bent." Media Matters expressed concerned with "uncritical quotation" of the Institute's president Jon Caldara by reporters.[11]

Issue advocacy

In 2005, the Institute ran afoul of a law requiring registration of issues-based groups, and disclosure of donors. The Institute's challenge to the laws were successful. Because of the restrictions to freedom of association implied by the laws, the Institute applied to the Supreme Court for a judgement against such laws.[12]


External links

  • Independence Institute

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