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Independence Institute

Independence Institute
Freedom's Front Line
Established1985; 39 years ago (1985)[1]
ChairCatherine Shopneck[2]
PresidentJon Caldara[3]
BudgetRevenue: $2,230,351
Expenses: $2,782,204
(FYE December 2017)[4]
Address727 E. 16th Ave. Denver, Colorado 80203
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Coordinates39°44′31″N 104°58′40″W / 39.7419°N 104.9779°W / 39.7419; -104.9779

The Independence Institute (II) is a libertarian think tank based in Denver, Colorado.[2] The group's stated mission "is to empower individuals and to educate citizens, legislators and opinion makers about public policies that enhance personal and economic freedom."[5]


The Independence Institute was founded in 1985 by John Andrews, a former Republican state legislator from Colorado.[1][6] Since 1999, Independence Institute has been led by Jon Caldara.[3]

Policy positions

The Independence Institute is a proponent of educational choice and charter schools, as well as the right to bear arms in accordance with the Second Amendment. II supported school board members in Douglas County, Colorado who became the majority there in 2009 and subsequently curtailed the power of the teacher's union, expanded school choice, and attempted to initiate a voucher system.[7] [8] However, a new school board majority elected in 2017 has promised to reverse many of these policies.[9]

Prior to winning election to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat, Jared Polis wrote a white paper for the institute about privatizing the U.S. Postal Service.[6]

Because of the Institute's pro Second Amendment stance, it supports gun rights, including the right of concealed carry.[6][10][11]

In 2013, II opposed Amendment 66, an unsuccessful ballot measure which would have increased the state's income tax by $950 million (which would have begun the hollowing out of Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR)).[12] The organization supported the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which was passed by Colorado voters in 1992.[13]

II opposed the Affordable Care Act.[14][15] The Institute supports the use of fossil fuels.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Jon Caldara to speak at annual Republican Lincoln Day event". Vail Daily News. February 3, 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b Jones, Brad (2009-11-27). "Right wing takes flight at Independence Institute's Founders' Night Dinner". Colorado Statesman. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Jon Caldara's political stunt had a purpose". Denver Post. September 9, 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Independence Institute" (PDF). Candid. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  5. ^ "About the Independence Institute". Independence Institute. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Bunch, Joey (August 11, 2013). "Colorado's free-market Independence Institute finding its place". Denver Post. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  7. ^ Tomasic, John (September 1, 2014). "Who's afraid of Jon Caldara's school board sunshine?". Colorado Independent. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Speaking Out for Douglas County's Important Private School Choice Proposal". Independence Institute. November 17, 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  9. ^ Whaley, Monte (November 7, 2017). "In thorny Douglas County school board races that drew national scrutiny, anti-voucher candidates prevail". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  10. ^ Overbeck, Joy (February 28, 2013). "Colorado anti-gun laws target the most vulnerable". Washington Times. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  11. ^ Bartels, Lynn (March 7, 2014). "Independence Institute celebrates victories during spirited Founders' Night". Denver Post. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  12. ^ Simpson, Kevin (November 5, 2013). "Voters reject big tax hike, school finance measure Amendment 66". Denver Post. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  13. ^ Hoover, Tim (December 23, 2012). "Two decades later, TABOR praised, blamed for limiting government". Denver Post. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  14. ^ Richardson, Valerie (November 21, 2012). "Stryker Corportation [sic] Confirms ObamaCare Layoffs". Colorado Observer. Archived from the original on 29 November 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  15. ^ Tomasic, John (March 26, 2012). "Independence Institute on Obamacare: It's not about the Commerce Clause". Colorado Independent. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  16. ^ Ari Natter (April 13, 2017). "Earth Day Art Contest Showcases 'Awesomeness' of Fossil Fuels". Retrieved April 16, 2017.
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Independence Institute
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