GOP tax fairness plan is unfair

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

The tax reform plan announced by state Sen. Phil Berger is just another charade designed to make citizens think Republicans are actually reducing taxes. Calling it the Tax Fairness Act and claiming it’s the largest tax cut in state history is misleading at best.

In fact, it isn’t fair and it isn’t a tax cut. Senator Berger and the other Republican leaders at their press conference last week probably used the word “fair” hundreds of times.

No tax is fair. Taxes are inherently unfair. Every tax hurts someone. The only difference between taxes proposed by Republicans and Democrats is which special interest group is going to benefit and which is going to pay.

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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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N.C. Libertarians set another record

The North Carolina Libertarian Party has achieved another historic milestone in state politics. It now has the highest share of registered voters than any other third party in modern history, according to an analysis by Richard Winger of Ballot Access News.

Although the actual number, 0.31 percent, is very low, the Libertarians have steadily increased their portion of voter registrants despite having to overcome North Carolina’s draconian ballot access laws every four years.

“Although our numbers are still small, the fact that more and more people are registering either as unaffiliated voters or Libertarians makes these numbers significant,” said state party chair J.J. Summerell. “It’s evidence that more and more people think the Republican and Democrats have failed to effectively manage our government.”

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Check Libertarian on your state income tax form

 LPNC_PPFF

The N.C. Political Party Financing Fund programs allows taxpayers to check a block on the state income tax form and designate $3 of their state income tax to a political party. Although the Libertarians oppose giving taxpayer money to political parties, they’re asking people to designate $3 of their state income tax burden to support the state Libertarian Party.

“The PPFF should be abolished immediately,” said J.J. Sumerell, Libertarian Party state chair. “However, the North Carolina Libertarian Party will continue to accept the funds and encourage members of all parties and unaffiliated voters to check the Libertarian block on your NC tax return.”

He noted that while the designation doesn’t reduce the income tax burden, it does allow people to direct their money to a cause they support.

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Libertarian Convention in Raleigh

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina will hold its annual state convention March 24-25 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Research Triangle Park.

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N.C. Libertarians to Request Presidential Primary

The North Carolina Libertarian Party will ask the State Board of Elections to conduct a Libertarian Presidential Preference Primary which may be the first in the state’s history.

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Libertarian state convention in Hickory

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina will hold its annual state convention April 15-17 at the Gateway Center Hotel and Convention Center in Hickory. The theme is “Making It Real: Liberty Comes From You, Not To You.”

“The slogan we’ve chosen this year, ‘Liberty Comes From You, Not To You,’ expresses an idea we think most Americans believe,” said Bev Wilcox, state vice chair. “Our nation was founded on the idea that all human beings are born free, and that the purpose of government is to help them preserve their liberty, not run their lives.”

Convention business will include revision of the bylaws and elections of officers and members of the executive and judicial committees. Guest speakers will present information on grassroots activism, political campaigns, and effective lobbying, interspersed throughout the business sessions.

R. Lee Wrights, a potential Libertarian presidential candidate and North Carolina native, is expected to make a major announcement at the convention. Wrights is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he is determined that the Libertarian message in 2012 be a loud, clear, and unequivocal call to stop all war.

Wrights has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will go toward ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states. Wrights, 52, is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine, Liberty For All. He is a longtime libertarian writer, political activist, a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party, and a past vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee. Born in Winston Salem, Wrights now lives in Texas.

Sharon Harris, president of the Advocates for Self-Government, will be the featured speaker at the Saturday night banquet. The Advocates for Self-Government is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1985 that specializes in libertarian communication and outreach. The group is the creator and publisher of the world-famous World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Ms Harris will be presenting special awards to outstanding activists. She will also make a presentation to the county represented by the greatest number of young libertarians.

Harris has been active in the libertarian movement since the early ’70s and is a founding member of the Georgia Libertarian Party. She was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of Georgia’s law requiring candidates for office to take a drug test. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional.

President Obama contradicts Sen. Obama again

The North Carolina Libertarian party has condemned the U.S. attack on Libya, saying that President Obama not only circumvented the U.S. Constitution but contradicted his own statements about presidential power to order such attacks.

“The Libertarian Party of North Carolina joins the national Libertarian Party in condemning President Obama for this military assault on Libya, circumventing the constitutionally required Congressional vote,” said Barbara Howe, Libertarian Party state chair in a statement posted on the party’s website.

In 2007, then candidate Obama told the Boston Globe, “”The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

“The president was correct then, but he’s wrong now,” she said. “His actions are a direct contradiction of that statement. He has forgotten his own words. The selected bombing targets posed no imminent threat to the U.S.”

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Free the Vote Coalition formed

Free the Vote North Carolina has announced formation of the Free the Vote Coalition, an alliance of the state’s alternative political parties and several electoral reform groups, who have banded together to enact major ballot access reform this year.

Rep. Stephen LaRoque, a Lenoir Republican, is expected to file the Electoral Freedom Act of 2011 this week. It will be co-sponsored by Rep. Paul Luebke, a Durham Democrat. The bill will dramatically reduce the restrictions placed on new political parties and unaffiliated candidates attempting to get on the ballot.

“The Free the Vote Coalition is a truly non-partisan alliance of alternative political parties and public policy groups joined together in the common cause of the right to vote,” said Jordon Greene, founder and president of Free the Vote NC in announcing formation of the coalition.

In addition to Free the Vote NC, coalition members include the Conservative, Constitution, Green, Libertarian, and the Modern Whig parties, the N.C. Center for Voter Education, NC Common Cause, Democracy NC, and the John Locke Foundation.

“These groups have joined together to work to restore the right of every citizen to vote for the candidate of their choice, a right currently denied by the state’s exploitative, unequal and free speech stifling laws that keep most alternative political parties and unaffiliated candidates off the election ballot,” Greene said.

Greene said that it was very significant that the coalition includes political parties and groups representing all shades and colors of the political spectrum.

“North Carolina has the second most restrictive ballot access laws in the entire nation,” noted Greene. “This scheme is deliberately intended to impede competition to the two major parties by placing unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions on any potential electoral competitors through restrictive signature requirements unparalleled in most other states.”

Key provision of the Electoral Freedom Act of 2011 are:

  • Reduce the number of signatures a new political party needs obtain for ballot access to the fixed figure of 10,000.
  • Reduce the number of votes a new political party must get in order to remain on the ballot the fixed number 10,000 for any statewide candidate.
  • Reduce the number of signatures an unaffiliated candidate for statewide offices needs to obtain to the fixed figure of 10,000.
  • Set a fixed number of signatures for unaffiliated candidates to run for U.S. House, the state General Assembly and local office.

For more on the Electoral Freedom Act of 2011, go to Free the Vote NC.

N.C. withdraws from LNC region

On the heels of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina withdrawing from the Libertarian National Committee’s Region 1, the Texas Libertarian Party has directed it chair to seek the removal of the region’s representative Stewart Flood.

The regional representatives on the national committee are supposed to represent the interests of the states in the region. The regions are formed at the party’s biannual convention by the state delegations. Region 1 includes Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.

The number of representatives allotted to each region is determined by the number of party members in that region. Region 1 has three representatives: Doug Craig (Georgia), Flood (South Carolina), and Daniel Wiener (California). The three alternates are: Scott Lieberman (California) Guy McLendon (Texas), and Brad Ploeger (Georgia).

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