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.

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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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Libertarian elected, but can’t serve

One Libertarian was elected to a municipal office Nov. 5, but unfortunately he won’t be able to serve. According to unofficial results, Matt Hoerner was elected to the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners in Cumberland County. But he’s serving as a federal government civilian employee in Korea. He said if his election was certified, he would resign.

He emailed the county board of elections in October withdrawing from the race. Hoerner wasn’t taken off the ballot, however, because the BOE needed a signed written statement. He received 551 votes (10.81 percent).

Andrea Boyer ran a classic door-to-door, grassroots campaign for Woodfin town alderman. This was her first run for office. She received 179 votes (15.9 percent) in an unsuccessful bid for one of four seats on the board.

But she told her supporters, “I am not going away – see you around town! Many thanks and lots of love to everyone who voted for me, supported the campaign, and sounded your voice! Your voice needs to be heard at town hall in the weeks and months ahead!”

In Charlotte, Eric Cable received 7,459 votes (2.12 percent) for city council at-large and fellow Libertarian Travis Wheat got 443 votes (4.55 percent) in the district three race.

“Historically speaking these were great results for Charlotte,” Cable said “I was expecting one to two percent and got 4.55 percent, and Eric (Cable) broke two percent in an at-large race, I believe getting more raw votes and percentage than we did in the last two at large races.”

Cable also noted that more than 63 percent of voters choose a straight Democratic Party ticket. That will not be possible in future elections.

Jason Varner is another candidate who said he’d be back. He got 619 votes (6.19 percent) for Thomasville City Council in Davidson County. He placed eight in a 12 candidate field vying for seven seats.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during this election process,” he told his supporters on Facebook. “While I regret to inform you that I fell a little over 300 votes short, my race is not over. 2015 will be here before you know it. I will never quit.”

Libertarians oppose more restrictions on right to vote

by J.J. Summerell
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina

Republicans claim to be the party of limited government. Now we see what that term really means: when Republicans say limited government, they apparently mean government limited to them and their supporters.

Just when it didn’t seem possible that North Carolina’s election laws could get more restrictive, the Republican majority has come up with a massive bill (HB 589) that would make it even harder for people to vote.

Using the excuse that they are trying to combat voter fraud, the Republicans want to perpetrate an even greater fraud on North Carolina voters under the guise of restoring “confidence in government.”

Republicans claim to be the party of limited government. Now we see what that term really means: when Republicans say limited government, they apparently mean government limited to them and their supporters.

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Free Voter Freedom Act from Senate rules committee

From Free the Vote North Carolina

The legislative session is coming to a close, but HB 794  Voter Freedom Act is stuck in the Senate Rules Committee.  This bill was sponsored by the Free the Vote Coalition, an alliance of groups spanning the political spectrum that includes the Libertarian Party of North Carolina.

The original bill would have dramatically lowered our state’s high ballot access barriers. We agreed with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jason Saine, when he urged us to support transforming the bill into a study bill in order to get it passed. And it did pass the House with an overwhelming 109-5 vote.

That was a month ago. Since then, both houses have been busy working on various budget and tax reform bills. The bill has been left dormant in the Senate Rules Committee.

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Libertarian state convention focuses on growth, activism

Liberty in action was the theme and focus of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina annual state convention held in Flat Rock over the weekend.

J.J. Summerell, who was reelected state chair, noted that the 50 percent increase in party membership in 2012 can be attributed to the growing dissatisfaction of voters with the Republican and Democratic parties. “A healthy part of that growth can also be attributed to youth groups such as Students for Liberty, which are spreading like wildfire on college campuses,” he added.

That activism was evident at the convention. During the Saturday session, there were a series of seminars and discussion groups on various topics, including fund raising, candidate recruitment and training, team building, and communicating libertarian ideas.

Carla Howell, Libertarian Party executive director, conducted a training session on the LP’s new training initiative “Who’s Driving.”

The game is designed to teach Libertarian candidates, activists and spokespersons in the most fundamental skill needed to be effective communicators: controlling the agenda.

During his state of the party address, Summerell talked about the developing 2020 political plan. “The goal is simple: to win one seat in the state Senate and four seats in the state House by 2020, making statewide races viable for the LPNC in 2020 and beyond,” he said.

In the business portion of the convention, in addition to re-electing Summerell, John Caveny was re-elected treasurer. New officers elected were Alex Vuchnich of Charlotte, vice chair and Barbara Howe of Oxford, recording secretary.

The convention also elected eight at-large members of the executive committee. They are: Jon Byers, Arden; Britton Correll, Waxhaw; Ginny Godfrey, Morganton; Kevin Innes, Morganton; Brian Irving, Cary; Jason Melehani, Durham; Bjørn Pedersen, Chapel Hill, and; Erik Raudsep, Durham.

The convention made some changes to the bylaws, including replacing “Robert’s Rules of Order” with “Democratic Rules of Order” as the party’s parliamentary authority.

Media coverage

Hendersonville News Times – NC Libertarians converge in Flat Rock

Libertarians ‘head to the hills’ for state convention

The N.C. Libertarian Party is asking its members to “head for the hills,” and attend the 2013 state convention in Flat Rock June 7 to 9.

“Today, we find ourselves at an important stage in our development,” said J.J. Summerell, state chair. “The stage where we’ve developed enough critical mass that we can discuss with others the lack of logic in the ‘wasting your vote’ argument.”

The convention will be held at the Mountain Lodge and Conference Center. Noted Libertarian orator and author Michael Cloud will be the keynote speaker. Summerell said Tarheel Libertarians will be among the first to hear Cloud’s latest riveting presentation, “The Impossibility Trap.”

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Libertarian Party state convention June 7-9 in Flat Rock

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina will hold its annual state convention June 7 to 9 at the Mountain Lodge and Conference Center in Flat Rock.

The official business of the convention will be to amend the bylaws and elect new officers. However, convention organizers announced that most of the convention will be spent on learning the special skills that are essential to any social or political movement.

“Millions are waking up to finding their freedoms and liberties being encroached upon and smothered by the monstrous growth of government,” said Kevin Innes, convention chairman.

“Many no longer feel that their government is theirs but has instead become an insatiable monster that looks for every opportunity to grow bigger and more powerful.”

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Vote Freedom Act of 2013 filed in N.C. House

Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincolnton) introduced House Bill 794 Voter Freedom Act of 2013 today to dramatically lower the ballot access barrier for new political parties and unaffiliated candidates.

House Bill 794 has bipartisan sponsors, Representatives Paul Luebke (D-Durham), David Lewis (R-Dunn), and Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenberg). A broad and diverse coalition of political parties and public policy groups from across the political spectrum also backs the bill.

The Voter Freedom Act of 2013 would reduce the number of signatures a new political party must collect to qualify for the ballot from nearly 90,000 to about 11,000. The bill would also make it easier for new parties to retain ballot access, by reducing the number of votes they must get to about 11,000 votes.

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