While Haugh Gives Serious Answers, Hagan and Tillis Bicker

In case you missed the debate—or just want to see a replay of Sean Haugh, Libertarian for U.S. Senate, giving serious, thoughtful answers to moderator Jon Evans’ questions while the other two mostly recited talking points and traded petty personal accusations. Here is the replay.

For most of the debate, Sen. Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis attacked each other and repeated the talking points from their campaign ads.  Only Sean spoke directly to the issues throughout the debate.

In my opinion, Sean won the debate hands down. He actually answered the questions and addressed the issues. What a concept. But I am slightly biased, since he brought me into the Libertarian Party of North Carolina and is a good friend.

Here are some notable comments on Haugh’s performance.

He was who he is. And when you are comfortable enough in your own skin, that is something that comes across as, I think, genuineness. (Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College in the Greensboro News & Record. The article also lead with a comment about Sean being included in the debate.)

The News & Observer also used this quote from Professor Bitzer in their sidebar analysis:

The interesting dynamic for the folks watching was Sean Haugh, who seemed to present both social and economic libertarianism that Democratic and Republican supporters would find appealing. In the end, Haugh may end up drawing enough votes to allow the ultimate winner to claim victory with less than 50 percent of the vote.

The Raleigh newspaper headlined their main story story “Interesting dynamic from Haugh in third debate for NC’s US Senate seat.”

The News & Observer also quoted David McLennan, Meredith College political science professor, in their analysis:

Voters who watched the debate were fortunate that Libertarian Sean Haugh was included because he broke up the relentless attack lines. I don’t think public opinion shifted as a result of the debate, except that Haugh may have created the possibility that neither Hagan nor Tillis reaches 50 percent on Nov. 4.

Not unsurprisingly, the Wilmington Star News, the major newspaper in the city where the debate was held, almost ignored Haugh in their story.

Other coverage

Asheville Citizen-Times

Charlotte Observer

Winston-Salem Journal

WECT-TV

Free the Vote Sponsors All-Inclusive US Senate Debate

AllInclusiveDebate

Free the Vote North Carolina and the Young Americans for Liberty at UNC Charlotte are sponsoring North Carolina’s only all-inclusive U.S. Senate candidates debate on Friday, Oct. 17 in McKnight Hall on the UNC Charlotte campus at 7 p.m.

All the candidates whose name will appear on the ballot, as well as those who have qualified to have their write-in votes counted, have been invited.

“With most debates this election cycle excluding at least one qualified candidate, Free the Vote NC felt it was necessary to provide the voters of North Carolina with a real debate where the voters are not shown who to vote for, but to let the voters make the decision for themselves,” said Jordon Greene, Free the Vote founder and president.

The debate will be also be sponsored by the Carolina Liberty PAC, and CAUTION (the activists arm of Charlotte TEA Party).

Candidates who have been invited include: Democrat Kay Hagan, Republican Thom Tills and Libertarian Sean Haugh, whose names will all appear on the ballot. In addition, Free the Vote has invited the certified write-in candidates: Barry Gurney, John Rhodes, and David Waddell.

Sponsoring an all-inclusive debate is in keeping with the mission of Free the Vote North Carolina, which is to eliminate eliminating barriers to participation in the electoral process. This event will help give voters the information they need to vote for the person of their choice without the debate holders making that choice for them.

The debate will be aired live online. More information will be available closer to the date.

Haugh: Ferguson inevitable result of militarization of police

Sean Haugh, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, said today that events in Ferguson, Mo. are the horrible and inevitable result of the federal government flooding local communities with weapons of war.

“When you give the police military powers, equipment and training, and you fill them up with the war mentality, well you’re just asking for trouble,” Haugh said in his latest YouTube video. “The only enemy they can possibly find to combat here at home is us – the citizens they are supposed to protect and serve.”

“Don’t think Ferguson is an isolated incident,” Haugh warned.” The federal government has been flooding our own streets with the weapons of war just as they have been arming everyone abroad.”

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Fewer Ethics Rules and More Ethical People

Gov. Pat McCroy’s claim that he made an honest mistake by not listing his Duke Energy stock ownership on the ethics form the state requires him to file does not pass the smell test. The governor claimed that he, and his attorney, “misread” the 11 page disclosure form.

In that case, I suggest the governor get a new lawyer who can understand plain English. In Section I, page 2, the form (check it here on the News & observer website) clearly asks for information “as of December 31.”

It’s ironic that the same politicians who create these long-winded and incomprehensible forms themselves always claim they don’t understand them when caught making a mistake. If our elected leaders don’t understand the rules they enacting, perhaps they should rethink the rules?

The governor may have made a honest mistake. And this may only be a minor issue. After all, McCrory’s connection to Duke Energy is no great secret.

What North Carolina aren’t more rules and bureaucratic barriers to deter and prevent ordinary citizens form running for office. What we need are fewer rules, and less bureaucracy so that the average man or woman can run for office without having to open up every aspect of his or her private life to government scrutiny.

We don’t need more ethics rules, but more ethical people.

Libertarian Candidates Support Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Libertarian candidates applauded the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down a Virginia law banning same-sex marriage, a law similar to a state constitutional amendment passed by North Carolina voters in 2012.

Wesley Casteen, Libertarian candidate for the 7th Congressional District, said the court decision this week was foreseeable years ago.

“I share the belief with our courts that government should not have a voice about who we love and marry,” said Casteen, a Wilmington lawyer. “That decision is among the fundamental and basic liberties we enjoy as individuals and government should not interfere.”

Casteen said he’s the only Congressional candidate with the courage to lead on the issues of marriage equality, privacy, and individual liberties. He explained his perspective on marriage equality in a book, Musings of a Southern Lawyer. The legal and political arguments he makes are echoed by numerous federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and this week, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis, criticized the N.C. attorney general’s decision not to challenge the ruling in a Tweet. Tillis said, “Too many politicians ignore the will of the people, and it is clear that the Attorney General did just that today.”

Sean Haugh, the Libertarian candidate, quickly replied, “Too many politicians ignore the Constitution, and it is clear that Thom Tillis does that every day.”

Haugh has produced a YouTube video on the marriage issue.

In March 2012, during the amendment, Tillis said he thought public sentiment would force its repeal within 20 years, even though he supported it.

Free The Voter Freedom Act

Free Voter Freedom Act

Free the Vote NC has issued a call to action to free HB 794, the Voter Freedom Act of 2013, from the state Senate Rules Committee. They are urging voters to call Rules Committee Chair Sen. Tom Apodaca, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Phil Berger, and the local state Senator on June 10.

“If we don’t act soon, the bill will die and we’ll have to start all over again in January 2015 to reform North Carolina’s highly restrictive ballot access laws,” said Jordon Green, Free the Vote president.

In order to keep HB 794 during the last legislative session, Free the Vote agreed to have the bill converted into a study bill. That effort was successful. The bill passed the House with a overwhelming 109-5 bipartisan vote.

But once it got to the state Senate, it was sent to the rules committee where it has languished ever since.

While the original bill would have dramatically lowered our state’s high ballot access barriers, the study bill, if passed, would task the Joint Elections Oversight Committee to look into all the restrictions on ballot access which we addressed in the original bill.

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LPNC joins End Gerrymandering Now Coalition

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina has joined a coalition to end gerrymandering in the state.

North Carolinians to End Gerrymandering Now is led by former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, a Republican, and former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, a Democrat. The coalition, formed last month, will work to bring a nonpartisan redistricting process to North Carolina.

“The Libertarian Party is pleased to join this multi-partisan effort,” said LPNC Chair J.J. Summerell. “Libertarians believe voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around.”

During its annual state convention in April the party adopted a platform plank calling for an independent, nonpartisan redistricting process.

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Haugh polls 11 percent in US Senate race

Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh is polling “a surprisingly high 11 percent” in the U.S. Senate race, according the first poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan is at 38 percent, Republican challenger Thom Tillis is at 36 percent, and 15 percent are undecided.

“This is an extraordinarily high poll result for a third-party candidate in three-way race for U.S. Senate in a major public poll,” observed Richard Winger, a nationally recognized ballot access law expert, writing on his Ballot Access News website.

Haugh said he was excited by the results of this poll. “This supports my belief that people are hungry for an alternative, that they are eager to support any candidate who is against more war and more debt,” he said.

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Libertarian US Senate primary is tomorrow

The second primary in the history of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina will be held Tuesday. The Libertarian U.S. Senate primary is open to all registered Libertarians and unaffiliated voters. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

If you are registered Libertarian, when you go to vote the poll workers should give you the Libertarian ballot. If the don’t, ask for it. Don’t take no for an answer. If you have to, speak to the senior poll worker, the chief judge.


If you are registered unaffiliated, the poll worker should ask you which primary ballot you want. Ask for the Libertarian ballot. Again, if they don’t tell you – ask – and insist.

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Libertarians support non-partisan redistricting

Press release from the Libertarian Party of North Carolina

RALEIGH (April 15) – Adding a plank supporting an independent, non-partisan redistricting process was one of the changes made to the platform at the Libertarian Party of North Carolina state convention held April 4-5 in Durham.

Libertarians also adopted a plank calling for proportional representation for the state legislature.

The new redistricting plank reads:

Voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around. We support a redistricting process conducted by an independent, non-partisan agency for all local, state, and federal electoral districts. The process should be open and transparent. It should involve significant public input with the opportunity for citizens to weigh in on proposed district maps.

Party registration, voting history data, and the incumbent’s place of residence should not be used to create the districts.

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