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.

Libertarians support non-partisan redistricting

Press release from the Libertarian Party of North Carolina

RALEIGH (April 15) – Adding a plank supporting an independent, non-partisan redistricting process was one of the changes made to the platform at the Libertarian Party of North Carolina state convention held April 4-5 in Durham.

Libertarians also adopted a plank calling for proportional representation for the state legislature.

The new redistricting plank reads:

Voters should choose their legislators, not the other way around. We support a redistricting process conducted by an independent, non-partisan agency for all local, state, and federal electoral districts. The process should be open and transparent. It should involve significant public input with the opportunity for citizens to weigh in on proposed district maps.

Party registration, voting history data, and the incumbent’s place of residence should not be used to create the districts.

Continue reading

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