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.

“The Republican and Democratic parties have shown by their past performances that they are more interested in preserving their political power and guaranteeing retention of their office holders than they are in bringing about truly representative government,” the committee said in its report.

The convention also adopted recommendations to revise the plank Democracy, changing the title to Ballot Access and adding a second plank Representative Government calling for “a proportional representation electoral system for the state legislature in order to better reflect the diversity of voter opinions.”

The Platform Committee’s first recommendation was to reappoint the committee and have it undertake a comprehensive review of the party platform.

At the executive committee meeting following the convention, former state party chair Barbara Howe was appointed to chair the platform committee and recruit members for the project. Party members interested in serving should contact Howe at barbarajhowe@gmail.com,

The revised Immigration plank calls for North Carolina officials to refuse to cooperate with or assist federal officials “in enforcing federal laws which infringe on the liberty of travel, residence, and employment” of any person.

The approved revision to the War on Drugs plank calls for the immediate legalization of marijuana production and use for medical and recreational purposes as a first step toward lifting all drug prohibitions.

Libertarians conduct first ever US Senate candidate forum

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina held its first ever U.S. Senate candidate forum April 5 during the annual state convention in Durham. Candidates Tim D’Annunzio of Raeford and Sean Haugh of Durham answered questions submitted by Libertarians from across the state. The forum was streamed live and moderated by Barry Smith, Carolina Journal associate editor.

Watch here.

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Putting LIBERTY in ACTION

Registration is now open for the 2014 Annual Convention of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina Join us in Durham April 4-5 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 4620 S. Miami Blvd.

This year, our emphasis will be on putting Liberty in Action, focusing on affiliate development and support for our Libertarian candidates. We’ll hear from some candidates during the convention sessions.

Don’t miss what promises to be an exciting event Saturday, the U.S. Senate Candidate Forum, featuring Tim D’Annunzio of Raeford and Sean Haugh of Durham, who are seeking the Libertarian nomination.

On May 6, D’Annunzio and Haugh will compete in only the second primary in LPNC history.

The primary business of the convention will be to review the party’s platform and to fill vacancies on the Executive Committee.

Arrive early on Friday and attend the Affiliate Support and Skills Workshops. Subjects will be Nation Builder, Speech Writing and Delivery, Meeting Process, Fund Raising, and Call Fire.

On Saturday at noon, join us for Lunch and Learn with Executive Director Brad Hessel. Brad will talk about start-up funding, LPNC voter data, social media tips, websites, State Board of Elections report filings, email mining and WakeLP’s Pyramid Outreach Project.

In addition to D’Annunzio and Haugh, our other Libertarian candidates in 2014 are: J. Wesley Casteen, U.S. House 7; P.H. Dawkins, state Senate 25; Paul Meinhart, state House 59; Eric Cable, state House 104; Shelby Mood, state House 117; Windy McKinney, Haywood County Commissioner; Jeremy Hussey, Randolph County Commissioner District 4, and; Ginny Godfrey and Richard Evey, both running for Burke County Commissioner.

We are Libertarians

Rodger Paxton, Libertarian Party of Arkansas secretary, explains why Libertarian candidates are inevitable asked the question, “Why are you running against a good Republican” or a “libertarian Republican.” The question derives from “a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be a Libertarian.”

Paxton says that Republicans and conservatives throw around words like “Republican-libertarian,” conservative libertarian,” and “constitutional libertarian” as if these word salads have some sort of meaning. “They do not,” he writes.

“A libertarian is someone who believes in the non-aggression principle, plain and simple …that no man may initiate force or fraud against another person or his property. This is also called ‘classically liberal’ in many circles and fits just as well as the word libertarian.

“The political party that upholds these libertarian principles is conveniently named The Libertarian Party,” Paxton says. “Republicans and Democrats have no such moral compass.”

Read more here.

Peroutka presents lecture on Constitution roots

Former Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka will present the first lecture of his 12-part series on the U.S. Constitution, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Voice of Faith Studios, 335 Sherwee Dr, Raleigh. 

The event is being organized by the Citizens Constitutional Caucus.

Peroutka is co-founder of Institute on the Constitution, headquartered in Pasadena, Md. He is a graduate of Loyola University in Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law.

According to the institute website, “Discovering that the teaching of law in America had been perverted away from its original design, Michael determined to investigate America’s founding and the roots of our law, in English Common Law and the Bible.” This led to the founding of the institute as an educational outreach of his law firm.

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Libertarians Respond to State of the Union Address

All in all, the state of our union is a big mess created by Republicans and Democrats. That was the reaction of Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

“Thanks to unprecedented levels of government interference and government coercion, Americans’ rights are violated like never before,” said Benedict in a statement posted on LP.org. “We are harmed by taxes, regulations, prohibitions, and shocking privacy intrusions”

Benedict said it was unfortunate that most of the harm and injustice of government occurs because too many Americans support existing government policies.

“We’re suffering under a tyranny of the majority,” he said. “Our Libertarian hope is that we can convince enough Americans to change their minds. We hope voters will come to understand that government is force, and force is unjust.”

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Libertarians see opportunity in rising voter discontent

brad_hesselThe Libertarian Party of North Carolina’s new executive director believes the growing public dissatisfaction with the government in general and the “two-party” system in particular offers a new opportunity to move public policy in a more libertarian direction.

“As the Democrats and Republicans move us relentlessly down the road to hell, kicking the can as we go, more and more Americans can feel the heat rising,” said Brad Hessel, who was appointed last month.

Hessel said the advent of the Tea Party, the Occupy Wall Street Movement and, in North Carolina, the growth rate of unaffiliated voters, which is dramatically outstripping that of Democrats and Republicans, are evidence of this discontent.

“These are all signs that most Americans believe something is very, very wrong with our political system,” he said.

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Public-private partnership is not privatization

Leaving aside the observation that the term “public-private” partnership is an oxymoron, the fact is that such an arrangement is merely a cover for corporate welfare.

The proposal by Gov. Pat McCrory’s Department of Commerce to “privatize” several functions is a case in point. Republicans either are afraid to stand up for the values they supposedly believe in, or do not understand what “private” means. (“Speed, sweep of NC Commerce restructuring raise concerns,” News & Observer, Dec. 6)

Using “authority” supposedly granted in a brief, vaguely worded section in the budget bill – and guidelines in a bill that did not even pass the General Assembly – Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker created a public-private partnership called the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

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Pension spiking is corruption

Once again, the News and Observer has performed an admirable public service by exposing the exorbitant salaries being paid to select state government employees and the manipulation of the law to increase their pensions.

In a series called Checks without balances, the N&O detailed how four community college presidents, two housing authority directors, and a Town of Cary “tennis pro” collected tens of thousands of dollars in perks and benefits in a scheme designed to circumvent salary caps.

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New voters continue to shun major parties

The number of voters registering in a major party continues to decline in North Carolina, even as the total number of registered voters in continues to rise. As of Nov. 2, there were 6,475,017 registered voters: 2,764,123 registered Democrats, 1,990,192 registered Republicans, 22,173 registered Libertarians, and 1,698,529 registered unaffiliated.

The decline in the percentage of voters registered as Republicans or Democrats reached a new record low of 42.69 percent. The number of unaffiliated voters is now at 26.23 percent and the Libertarian portion is at 0.34 percent.

The number of registered Libertarians, 22,173, while still proportionally small, is an historic high for the party.

The Democratic share of registered votes is now at a new record low of 42.69 percent, and the Republican portion is down to a low of 30.74 percent.

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