Libertarians Say Repeal HB2

The Libertarian Party has joined the growing list of organizations calling for the repeal of House Bill 2.

“The state has no authority to determine gender,” the unanimous resolution states. HB 2 also “unduly intrudes state authority into local decision-making and unreasonably limits the ability of the citizens … to govern themselves.”

In addition, the bill reduces individual rights because it “bans citizens from using state courts to remedy discrimination”

Nic Haag, Libertarian candidate for NC Senate 44, introduced the resolution. It was endorsed by General Assembly candidates Brad Hessel, NC Senate 15, Brian Irving, NC House 36, and Rob Rose, NC 37.

The convention was held in Raleigh last weekend.

The convention also passed a resolution calling for the repeal of the ban on counting write-in votes. The state does not count the votes for persons who haven’t gathered enough petition signatures.

This “amounts to the legislature picking and choosing which votes to count, sometimes yielding suspicious results like unanimous vote tallies in our statewide elections,” the resolutions says.

Six candidates for the Libertarian presidential nomination participated in a forum Saturday. They included former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, the party’s 2012 standard-bearer.

In other business, the convention elected at-large members to the state executive committee and adopted a revised platform. It also selected delegates to the Libertarian National Convention and nominated presidential electors.

Read the resolutions here.

Legislative Leaders Subvert Campaign Finance Laws


BREAKING NEWS: So much for Republican grassroots indignation. The “new,” supposedly “grassroots” Republican party chair has caved in to the oligarchs. He agreed to a “compromise” that will now allow an additional “affiliated party committee” to be set up by the senior member of the Council of State (i.e. the governor). Gov. Pat McCrory has siged the bill (or course).

Read more here and here.

“As Chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina, I’d like to express sincere appreciation to both Republicans and Democrats in our General Assembly and Council of State for placing particular emphasis on their absolute lack of morals, ethics and professionalism,” commented J.J. Summerell.  “By stooping to new depths you have raised the LPNC, the Party of Principle, to new heights in the eyes of informed voters.”


by J.J. Summerell

In an eleventh hour back-door maneuver, the Republican leadership in the General Assembly rammed through a bill giving them the unlimited and uncontrolled ability to raise as much money as they want for candidates they alone select.

They’ll be able to appoint an “affiliated party committee” that won’t have to abide by the same rules and constrains that apply to parties and candidates. And if that doesn’t make a sufficient mockery of the law, individuals, lobbyists, and special interest groups will be able to give as much money as the want to these faux committee.

We agree with the Republican assistant counsel David Williams that this is a “poison pill” for the Republican Party. But it’s also a toxic potion for Libertarians, unaffiliated voters–and most especially the people of North Carolina.

We also agree with Rep. John Blust, one of 19 Republicans who voted against this bill, who said, “Honorable people do not conduct the publics’ business this way. The attitude reflected by the leaders in carrying this out shows a profound disrespect not only for the other legislators, but for the people we represent.”

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Short History of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina Project

I’m editing and updating a “Short History of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina,” using several resources, including Wikipedia (which I know is out of date and incorrect), SBOE records, several Google searches, some LPNC archive files, and a section of the legal brief filed in 2005 in LPNC vs. the State of North Carolina.

While I’m working from an old article, I’ve forgotten where it originated or the author (possible Sean Haugh).

I’m trying to reach out to as broad a network of libertarians as possible, which is why I’m posting it here. I’ve also sent it to a list of every activist, candidate, EC member, or anyone who was every involved with the LPNC I could think of and had email address for.

If you have an information, knowledge or experience with the LPNC history, especially the ’70s, or can correct, update or expand anything in this article, and are willing to share it, please email me directly at vicechair@lpnc.org.

Thanks for your help.

Here’s the draft.

Fortenberry withdraws from NC governor’s race

Ken Fortenberry has dropped out of the race for the Libertarian nomination for governor. The nationally recognized award-winning investigative journalist and former newspaper editor cited financial limits for his decision.

“Despite my hopes to give a ‘early foot’ to my candidacy, the reality is that after more than six months into the race I have come to the conclusion that the financial support necessary for me to run an effective campaign into the general election simply is not going to be there,” he said.

Fortenberry was owner and publisher of news@norman, a weekly newspaper serving the Denver and the West Lake Norman area before it merged with the Denver Weekly.

In 1987, writing for the McCormick (S.C.) Messenger, his coverage of corruption in the sheriff’s office led to federal prison terms for the sheriff, a bribery conviction of the sheriff’s replacement and changes to state law enforcement certification. During the investigation, his home was bombed.

Fortenberry only other foray into politics came in 2012, when he lost the Republican nomination for N.C.’s 10th congressional district to incumbent Patrick McHenry.

“I had wanted to be able to share the Libertarian message far and wide long before next spring, but without digging deeply into my own pockets, that is just not possible.”

He said by withdrawing now he hopes someone more qualified, perhaps younger and stronger financially, will be able to mount a strong campaign.

“I believe strongly in the Libertarian message of maximum freedom and minimum government, but I have decided to enjoy my retirement and leave the heavy lifting to someone else.”

The governor’s race is critical to the Libertarian Party. It must get two percent of the vote in that race in order to retain ballot status. In 2008, the Libertarians were the first party in N.C. history to meet that burden. The repeated the feat in 2012.

Libertarians seeking new executive director

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina is seeking a replacement for executive director Brad Hessel, who will step down June 30 to pursue other business interests.

“We’ll be focusing our search on candidates here in North Carolina,” said J.J. Summerell, LPNC chair. “We’re looking for someone with strong managerial and communications skills, preferably with experience in politics or non-profits.”

“Hessel will be a tough act to follow,” he added. “But if we have to make a change, on off-year in the election cycle is a good time to do it.”

“We’ve achieved much in the last 18 months,” Hessel said. “Individual contributions were up 81 percent in 2014 and are up again so far in 2015. Last year, Sean Haugh’s U.S. Senate campaign garnered the most votes and highest percentage ever for a Libertarian running a statewide race in a non-Presidential year. And our candidate lineup for 2016 is shaping up to be very strong.”

He noted that the party now has affiliates in 21 counties, including all of the ten most populous, up from 16. More and more voters are registering as Libertarian or unaffiliated, a clear sign people are dissatisfied with the old parties.

Hessel, whose knowledge management consulting firm Intelledgement, LLC was contracted to provide his services part-time as executive director, will continue to perform limited volunteer work for the LPNC. He will be appointed IT manager for the party effective July 1.

“I wish I could continue to do more, but I’ve got bills to pay and the LPNC is not yet at the point where they can afford a full-time executive director,” he added. “Evidently if my objective were to make money in politics, I would have had to work for the Republicans or the Clinton Democrats.”

Prospective applicants should contact J.J. Summerell at chair@lpnc.org for more information.

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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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.

LPNC joins End Gerrymandering Now Coalition

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina has joined a coalition to end gerrymandering in the state.

North Carolinians to End Gerrymandering Now is led by former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot, a Republican, and former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, a Democrat. The coalition, formed last month, will work to bring a nonpartisan redistricting process to North Carolina.

“The Libertarian Party is pleased to join this multi-partisan effort,” said LPNC Chair J.J. Summerell. “Libertarians believe voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around.”

During its annual state convention in April the party adopted a platform plank calling for an independent, nonpartisan redistricting process.

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Haugh polls 11 percent in US Senate race

Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh is polling “a surprisingly high 11 percent” in the U.S. Senate race, according the first poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan is at 38 percent, Republican challenger Thom Tillis is at 36 percent, and 15 percent are undecided.

“This is an extraordinarily high poll result for a third-party candidate in three-way race for U.S. Senate in a major public poll,” observed Richard Winger, a nationally recognized ballot access law expert, writing on his Ballot Access News website.

Haugh said he was excited by the results of this poll. “This supports my belief that people are hungry for an alternative, that they are eager to support any candidate who is against more war and more debt,” he said.

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