Voter suppression or voter apathy?

Progressives, and the News & Observer, are up in arms again over another alleged attempt at voter suppression. This time they claim the Republicans have deliberately prevented people from registering to vote. The basis for the charge is that the number of people registering to vote while applying for public benefits or a driver’s license has decreased.

Under the federal National Voting Registration Act of 1993, state agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Motor Vehicles, in addition to boards of elections, must give anyone who uses their services the opportunity to register to vote.

Groups including Democracy North Carolina, Action NC and the A. Philip Randolph Institute claim applications at these agencies have dropped more than 50 percent in the last two years.

While admitting that the reason for the drop was unclear, a May 17 News & Observer editorial concluded, “The likely explanation is that when the McCrory administration took over, new leaders at DHHS, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Board of Elections simply overlooked the requirement.

Oddly, the editorial notes this has happened before – ten years ago when Democrats controlled state government. So it appears such manipulation of the electoral process may be a bipartisan practice – like gerrymandering and restrictive ballot access barriers.

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Libertarian gubernatorial candidate speaks out on Baltimore violence

The recent violence in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore may be setting the stage for another summer of civil unrest, similar to 1968, a candidate for the Libertarian nomination for N.C. governor said in a statement.

While Ken Fortenberry, a former investigative journalist and newspaper editor, condemned the violence he said our nation and leaders have learned nothing from the past.

ken-web-12-19“Instead of solving the problems of nearly 50 years ago, they have created laws and policies that have woven those very same problems into the fabric of our social, economic and political system,” he said.

“As a teen-ager in the summer of 1968, I watched the evening TV news in horror and read the morning headlines in shock as our nation seemed to be coming apart at the seams,” he recalled. Back then he said rioting mobs were angered by an unwinnable war in Vietnam, joblessness, ugly racial discrimination, and police who took the law into their own hands and injured and killed at whim.

Fortenberry said the Ferguson and Baltimore unrest is similar. Politicians have created an weak and unsustainable national quilt, “where the fibers of the citizenry itself are disconnected instead of bound together for the common good.”

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Libertarians call for pardon of medical marijuana dealer

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina passed a resolution calling for the governor to pardon Todd Stimson, who was convicted of marijuana trafficking, at its annual state convention in Durham April 11-12.

Simpson openly ran a medicinal marijuana operation in Henderson County, had a business license and paid taxes on the plants he purchased. He was sentenced to up to 39 months in prison.

The resolution notes that Stimson “is a peaceful, honest family man, and has helped many in North Carolina and victimized no one” and that “no public safety interest is met by sending peaceful, honest people to prison.”

Stimson was arrested despite the fact that he’s paid for a business privilege license for the art of healing from the state Department of Revenue, has articles of incorporation from the N.C. Secretary of State explaining his business and its educational and scientific goals, and has paid for tax stamps on the plants he’s purchased.

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Show Up. Be Nice. Win!

The formula for Libertarian candidate success is rather simple: Show up. Be nice. Win. That will be the message of Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark in his keynote address to the Libertarian Party of North Carolina State Convention April 11.

sarwark_nicholas.pngSarwak said that when Libertarians run for office consistently, it shows people who aren’t libertarian that we’re a political party that’s here to stay, and will be here when they need us.

When we do show up, we should be nice. The means focusing on finding areas of agreement with people, rather than trying to win arguments. This builds relationships that will last long after the election.

“If we do these two things, and keep at it, we can win in the short and long term.” he concludes.

Join us April 10-12, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn on Miami Blvd (just off I-40), Durham.

Libertarians should ‘Strike While the Ire is Hot’

A confluence of factors may present an opportunity for electoral success for Libertarians and the party needs to be prepared to “Strike While the Ire is Hot.” That will be the message renowned political analyst John Davis will present to the Gala Banquet attendees at the 2015 State Libertarian Party Convention April 11.

John-Davis-Pix-e1420343258854Davis will argue that the American political system is undergoing a demographic revolution which is disrupting the status quo. The dominant voter profile is no longer an older, white male. Hispanics, Asians, women, and millennials are becoming significant factors in most elections.

Davis says that the demographic revolution is occurring at the same time voters are increasingly frustrated by dysfunctional government caused by the polarization of the two major parties. To illustrate the polarization of the two parties, Davis’ presentation includes the results of a study by the National Journal showing that the nation’s “political middle” has all but disappeared.

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Keeping North Carolina a one-party state

“There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters”― Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster could have been talking about the Republican majority in the 2015 N.C. General Assembly. Not only do they mean to govern, they also mean to insure that only they can govern. Having the most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation isn’t enough. Nor is gerrymandering electoral districts to guarantee Republican victories.

The Republicans want to make GOP stand for Grand Only Party. They’re perfectly content with keeping North Carolina a one-party state, as it was for many years under the Democrats. They just want it to be their party. Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev would be proud.

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More Selected Salvos from the Loose Cannon Libertarian

Garry Reed, the Loose Cannon Libertarian on the keyboard.

Garry Reed, the Loose Cannon Libertarian on the keyboard.

“Selected Salvos 2” is the second Fun&Freedom Book by Garry Reed, the self-proclaimed Loose Cannon Libertarian. One reviewer said his writing bordered on H.L. Mencken and Groucho Marx. My opinion is that it’s more more akin to an edgy and irreverent hybridization of Harry Browne and P.J. O’Rourke.

“Selected Salvos 2” is similar to his first self-published book, strangely enough called “Selected Salvos from the Loose Cannon Libertarian.” It is another anthology of his essays, opinion pieces, rantings and assorted writings. Most have been published online on his website Loose Cannon Libertarian and under his alter egos, the Libertarian News Examiner and the Dallas Libertarian Examiner.

Most Libertarians know about the Austrian School of Economics and the Keynesian School of Economics. Reed believes in the “Playboy School of Economics,” and claims bragging rights for creating the phrase “Playboynomics,” the theme for this collection.

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Rightful Remedy Conference at UNC-Charlotte March 28

Rightful-RemedyThe Rightful Remedy Conference will be held March 28 at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The conference is being held in association with the Tenth Amendment Center and Young Americans for Liberty.

Registration opens at 8 a.m. and the conference will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Fretwell Building, Room 100.

Nullification is any act or set of acts which renders a law null, void or just unenforceable. Thomas Jefferson called nullification the “rightful remedy” whenever the federal government oversteps is authority and all other means of redress have been exhausted.

“The federal government has massively overstepped its Constitutional boundaries and citizens across the country are organizing to learn what can be done to stop it,”said Christian Hine, conference director.

“’We the People’ are fighting back against the political class to bring about long-lasting policy change toward greater freedom, less government intrusion into our lives, and a greater adherence to our founding, Constitutional principles, particularly the 10th Amendment.”

Hines noted that states can take many actions to push back against the federal government.

“From transportation to education to homeland security, states have the opportunity to restore the federal government to its Constitutional role,” he said.

Conference speakers will discuss both the history and modern practical application of the 10th Amendment, nullification, and other ways in which government power can be decentralized and brought closer to the people.

Speakers include will include: KrisAnne Hall, a Constitutional attorney; South Carolina state Sen. Tom Davis; Publius Huldah, a retired attorney; Georgia Sheriff Chris Clinton; Dr. Dan Eichenbaum, a Cherokee County (N.C.) commissioner, and; Diane Ruffino, an attorney and teacher.

Seating is limited, so please register.

Governor’s State of the State is More of the Same

By Ken Fortenberry

I nearly fell asleep during Gov. Pat McCrory’s annual State of the State address tonight as he used the same worn-out platitudes that governors of both major political parties have used for years. More than an hour into his speech, I was still waiting for him talk about the critical need to reduce the size of our bloated state government and to protect the ever-declining freedoms of our citizens.

ken-web-12-19Yes, North Carolina is a wonderful place to live. Yes, we face many challenges (who doesn’t?). Yes, our people are resilient, hard-working and neighborly, but I yearned for him to tell us something new, and more importantly, to outline a realistic, financially-and-constitutionally-sound plan to make state government more responsive, more accountable and more efficient.

Instead the governor wants to spend more, tax more and put his signature on more laws.

You could have put any former governor’s face on Gov. McCrory’s body and the message would have been the same: more government, less freedom. One minute he sounded like a Republican, the next like a Democrat.

After hearing his address, I must conclude that the State of the State is status quo, and that means North Carolina is going backwards instead of forward.

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Haywood LP Opposes Emergency Management Ordinance

The Haywood County Libertarian Party is leading the opposition to the county’s emergency management ordinance, which gives the county manager unlimited and unchecked authority during emergencies. Nearly 60 people attended their meeting Wednesday to hear Sheriff Greg Christopher speak about his position on the ordinance.

Don't Tread on AnyoneThe most troubling section of the ordinance, according to Haywood LP Chair Jess Dunlap, allows the county manager to confiscate your food, livestock, money and other property, without notice, without compensation, against the owners will and with armed force.

“The wording upsets me. It’s unconstitutional,” Dunlap said, referring particularly to language allowing the seizure or condemnation of property without following individual protections built into existing law and the U.S. Constitution.

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