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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Government Lobbying Government Part 2

“No man’s life, liberty or property is safe when the legislature is in session.” – Mark Twain.

The N.C. General Assembly is back in session. At least they were for a day. The assembly officially convened their 2015-2016 “long session” Jan. 14, then recessed for two weeks. In those two weeks, most of the legislators will hold fundraising events, just as they did in the days before the session opened. It’s never too early to start collecting money for the next election.

One of the first actions in the House of Representatives was a unanimous bipartisan vote to elect Rep. Tim Moore (R- Clevland) speaker. That will probably be the only unanimous bipartisan vote of the session.

Most of the members of the General Assembly were sworn in Jan. 14, all except for Rep. Edgar Starnes (R-Caldwell) who took the oath early – so he could resign before the session convened to accept a job with the state treasurer’s office. Starnes was slated to be the House majority leader.

“I am not a lobbyist,” Starnes said. “I am a legislative liaison.”

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Government Lobbying Government

Wake County will pay a former county manager and state legislature $100,000 to lobby in the General Assembly. The lobbyist, former state Sen. Richard Stevens, spent 16 years working for the county and ten years in the legislature. They’re also going to pay $110,000 for an “intergovernmental relations manager.”

In other words, our elected commissioners will use taxpayer money to pay a former elected official to convince current elected officials to give more taxpayer money – including money from people in other counties – to Wake. Does that seem right? Isn’t that what we elect commissioners to do?

This redistribution of your tax money within the governing class is a prime example of the revolving door politics pervading all levels of government.

One commissioner’s comments illustrate this illogical thinking. Jessica Holmes said that education was a priority, and wants the county to request a statewide raise in teacher pay. Why didn’t any commissioner suggest using the $200,00 for education? Or one of the other programs local official are always complaining don’t get sufficient funding from the state. They could even have done something really radical and returned the money to the hard-working people who earned it.

Note: This was published as a letter to the editor in the News & Observer. The newspaper agrees with me. Read their editorial which ran alongside the letter.

Free the Vote endorses state House candidates

Free the Vote North Carolina has endorsed three candidates for the N.C. State House. They are: Cliff Moore, District 96; Trey Lowe, District 106, and; Norman Bossert, District 113.

Free_Vote“We endorsed these candidates because they show fervent support for the individual’s right to vote and to vote effectively,” said Jordon Greene, Free the Voter founder and president.

“They understand the importance of free and open elections so that the people may have the true ability to choose who represents them and obtain the self-government the founders of this great nation and of our state intended them to have.”

Greene noted that North Carolina now has the nation’s most restrictive ballot access law, requiring the highest number of signatures for a new party or independent candidate to get on the statewide ballot.

“All too often politicians try to limit the ability of competitors to enter the race, and, over time have put strict barriers in place that effectively restrict the free speech and freedom of association in our state’s election process, thereby reducing voter freedom.” Greene said.

“These candidates don’t subscribe to that philosophy,” he said. “We look forward to working with them, and other like-minded individuals in the General Assembly, to reduce the barriers to political participation and re-introduce free, equal and legitimate elections in North Carolina.”

Free the Vote North Carolina sends out candidate surveys each election cycle after the primary and posts the results given by those candidates who respond.

Haugh: It’s time to vote for me

Libertarian Sean Haugh says “It’s time to vote for me” for U.S. Senate.

“You’ll feel a lot of pressure these last few days to pick the lesser of two evils.” Haugh said. “Stand firm and vote for me.”

“Win or lose, by voting for me you are sending a message to the Democrats and Republicans that they will have to be more libertarian and more peaceful if they ever want to win another election.”

DIY Yard Sign

Haugh won’t be producing yard signs for his U.S. Senate campaign because he’s environmentally friendly, and thinks they’re just roadside litter. But supporters can create their own DIY sign by downloading a hi res PDF file here and printing their own.

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.