Wrights on ‘Live and Let Live’ radio show

BURNET, Texas (March 26) – Potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights will be the guest on the “Live and Let Live” radio show hosted by Texas Libertarian Gary Johnson Sunday, March 27 from 8-9 p.m. CST. The program airs over Austin station 90.1 and online on the Rule of Law Radio Network. The call in number for this live program is (512) 646-1984.

Wrights, a past vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee, is considering seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination. He believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end, 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 a longtime Libertarian writer and activists. He is co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Born in Winston Salem, N.C., he now lives in Texas.

Wrights for President Exploratory Committee

Ballot access case was wrongly decided

A nationally recognized ballot access law expert said the N.C. Supreme Court made a wrong decision in upholding the state’s elections laws. The court ruled last week that the law did not violate the U.S. or state constitutions, putting an end to a five year long challenge by the state Libertarian Party.

“The N.C. Supreme Court certainly wrongly decided the case,” said Richard Winger, founder and editor of Ballot Access News. “It is outrageous that the court ignored an overwhelming amount of evidence in the case.” For example, the court majority said that the 85,379 signature requirement for new political parties was necessary to prevent “frivolous and fraudulent” candidates from getting on the ballot.

“The requirement was not raised in order to stop ballot clutter, as the record in the lawsuit showed,” he said. “The requirement was raised because legislators were upset that the Socialist Workers Party had qualified for the ballot in 1980, the first time that a Marxist political party had ever appeared on a government-printed ballot in North Carolina.” From 1929 to 1981, when only 10,000 signatures were required for a minor party to qualify, only four parties every appeared on the ballot.

Winger also criticized the court for neglecting to rule many subsidiary issues, like whether voters have a right to register into an unqualified party and for including erroneous assumptions and factual errors in their decision.

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N.C. Supreme Court upholds ballot access law

The N.C. Supreme Court has upheld the state laws that give North Carolina the second most restrictive ballot access requirements in the nation. The justices ruled 5-1 that they were “not persuaded” that ballot access is a “fundamental right.”

“Indeed, ballot access rights, though distinct from voting rights, are central to the administration of our democracy,” said Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson, writing for the majority. “While these rights are of utmost importance to our democratic system, they are not absolute.”

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Paul Newby countered, “Ballot access implicates our citizenry’s freedom of association, freedom of speech, and freedom to vote.”

The state Libertarian Party brought the suit in 2005, contending that North Carolina’s elections laws unduly restrict the rights to freedom of speech, association and due process. The complaint challenged the constitutionality of the “entire scheme” of the state’s elections laws under the North Carolina Constitution. The N.C. Green Party later joined the lawsuit.

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‘Nosy neighbor’ foreign policy creates enemies

BURNET, Texas (March 14) – When former President George W. Bush canceled a trip to Geneva for a charity fundraiser because he feared being arrested for war crimes, it was a shame and a blot on our nation, potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights told the Georgia Libertarian Party State Convention Saturday.

“It’s a shame. It’s a blot on this country and it’s a blot on all of us that one of our former leaders is afraid to go somewhere because he’s going to be charged with war crimes,” Wrights said. In February, Bush canceled a speaking engagement at a charity fundraiser in Geneva because a human rights group filed a criminal complaint against him in a Swiss court alleging torture.

“I’d like to think that if I got the job, you’d never have to worry about that,” said Wrights, former Vice Chair of the national Libertarian Party. The incident is an inevitable and direct result of the “nosy neighbor” foreign policy pursued by both Democratic and Republican presidents.

“What bothers you more than a nosy neighbor? Somebody who moves next door to you and is in your business all the time,” Wrights asked. “It is aggravating and will make you go to war.”

“So imagine that neighbor is half way across the world and sticking their nose in your business … and has pretty big guns to back it up,” he added. “You don’t make many friends that way, you don’t have peace, and you don’t have prosperity.”

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Defending the Constitution means not enforcing unconstitutional laws

BURNET, Texas (March 6) – Most decisions in life are matters of individual choice. When faced with a decision you may ask a trusted friend or beloved family member for their advice or guidance, but most people have no need or desire to have someone else make the decision for them. They certainly don’t want someone from the government to make the decision for them. In fact, I agree completely with Thomas Sowell who wrote, “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

Yet everyday pandering politicians and Big Brother bureaucrats conjure up new ways to insert their collective noses into every individual, personal decision Americans make. Government rules and regulations dictate what color you can paint your house, what substances you can ingest into your body and how you run your business or how much you get paid for your work. Policymakers forget their pledge of “public service” as soon as they are elected and become bureaucratic busybodies determine to insure we live sober and moral lives… each and every one of us.

Government intrudes into even the most intimate and personal decisions a person can make – who they can love and who they must hate. Government tells us who we must hate when it sends our young men and women to war. Government even assumes they have the right to decide for us who we can love by making criminal certain types of sexual relations and tell us who we can marry by mandating that we purchase a permission slip.

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House committee discusses election reform bill

A subcommittee of the state House elections committee considered House Bill 32, The Electoral Freedom Act of 2011 March 2. The bill would dramatically reduce the ballot access restrictions for new political parties and unaffiliated candidates by reducing the number of signatures they must gather to qualify for the ballot. HB32 would set the signature requirements at 10,000 for a new party or for an unaffiliated candidate running for statewide office, including governor, council of state or U.S. Senator.

It would also set fixed numbers for other offices, including U.S. House, state House and Senate and local offices.

The consensus among subcommittee members was to change from fixed numbers to percentages. The members who supported this idea cited the state’s growing population and the need to pass a law that they would not have to come back to change in a few years. They discussed using one-quarter of one percent of the vote for governor for new parties and statewide unaffiliated candidates, and one-half of one percent for district and local races.

Some representatives voiced their concern over the bills elimination of the write-in candidate signature requirement as well. It is likely that the section regarding write-ins will either be stricken from the bill or revised to call for some number of signatures less than those called for unaffiliated candidates in the bill.

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Wrights takes stop all war message to Kentucky, Georgia

BURNET, Texas (March 2) – Potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights will be in taking his stop all war message to the state Libertarian Party conventions in Kentucky and Georgia over the next two weekends.

Wrights will be he luncheon speaker at the Kentucky LP convention in Maysville March 5. The convention will be held at the French Quarter Inn, 25 E. McDonald Parkway.

The following weekend, Wrights will attend the Georgia state convention which will be held March 11 and 12 at the Atlanta Airport Weston, 4736 Best Rd.

Wrights, 52, is a longtime libertarian writer, political activist, a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party, and a past vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee. He is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he’s determined that the Libertarian message in 2012 be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end, 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 is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. He is also co-founder and president of the Foundation for a Free Society, an educational organization dedicated to promoting the principles of liberty, personal sovereignty, private property, and free markets in order to create a more free and prosperous society. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., Wrights now lives in Texas.

FairVote joins the Free the Vote Coalition

FairVote Action has joined the Free the Vote Coalition, a group formed to work for passage of a bill to dramatically reduce the ballot access restrictions for new political parties and unaffiliated candidates.

FairVote is a catalyst for reforming our elections to respect every vote and every voice through bold approaches to increase voter turnout, meaningful ballot choices and fair representation.

“That brings the coalition membership to eight public policy organizations, six political parties and one news source, a total of fifteen separate and politically diverse organizations,” said Jordon Green, Free the Vote North Carolina president, organizer of the coalition. Free the Vote NC is a non-partisan political action committee dedicated to protecting freedom of speech, association and the right to vote of every North Carolinian through education, research and legislative advocacy.

House Bill 32, the Electoral Freedom Act of 2011, would set at 10,000 the number of signatures a new party must collect to be listed on the ballot, or for an unaffiliated candidate to run for a statewide office, including governor, council of state or U.S. Senator.

A subcommittee of the N.C. House elections committee will hold an informational meeting, March 2 to discuss the bill. The purpose of the meeting is for committee members to ask questions and raise concerns. According to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Stephen LaRoque, they likely will work on a “committee substitute.”

Sen. Andrew Brock (R-34) will file a companion bill to HB32 in the state Senate this week. That bill is also expected to have bi-partisan support, including Sen. Eleanor Kinnaird (D-23).

The Free the Vote Coalition now includes the Conservative, Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Modern Whig, and Reform parties, Ballot Access News, the N.C. Center for Voter Education, N.C. Common Cause, Democracy NC, Fair Vote, the Free and Equal Foundation, and the John Locke Foundation.

Opposing war doesn’t make you a pacifist

“The only defensible war is a war of defense.”
– C.K. Chesterton

One of the most misunderstood principles of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle. The belief that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatsoever; nor advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else including government is the very essence of the non-aggression principle. The misconception starts when we use the phrase “initiation of force.” People tend to focus on the last word and ignore or forget the first.

Most libertarians are not pacifists so our adherence to the non-aggression principle doesn’t mean we won’t defend ourselves. On the contrary, the right to self-defense is inherent in the concept of self-ownership. It is absolutely necessary for every individual to be prepared always to defend him or herself. Your life is too precious to trust it to the hands of strangers.

There seems to be similar confusion with the understanding of the theme of this exploratory campaign – stop all war. That theme was chosen based on the feedback and comments I’ve been hearing from Libertarians across the nation for the past several years. They are asking why the Libertarian Party isn’t out front in the anti-war movement. The questioning was particularly strong and passionate from many of the young people who were delegates to the 2010 national convention in St. Louis.

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Libertarian message is peace

by Thomas Hill

Since I signed on as the campaign manager of the Lee Wrights for President Exploratory Committee I’ve taken some heat from some of my radical and anarchist friends in the libertarian movement, people I love and respect, for getting involved in electoral politics. Some of them have even called me a statist, which is very hurtful.

Now I understand libertarians may have disagreements about tactics, and I understand that some in the movement refuse to participate in electoral politics because it’s based on force and violence. I understand and I agree with many of these views. But a true libertarian attitude is to respect each other’s choices, not condemn them.

I’ve chosen to become involved in the electoral process because I’m driven to do it. I’m driven to do it first because I love and respect R. Lee Wrights and what he stands for, and second because it’s a way to use the networking infrastructure of electoral politics to educate the mainstream about radical libertarianism, the heart and soul of libertarianism.

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