Libertarians To Host Only Presidential Debate in NC

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina will host the only presidential debate scheduled in North Carolina. It is set for March 7 from 9 to 10:30 p.m. EST and will be webcast on Google Hangouts On Air. The debate will feature candidates for the Libertarian presidential nomination.

Carolina Journal Associate Editor Barry Smith will moderate the debate from a location in Raleigh. Candidate will participate from locations across the nation.

“We’re excited to be hosting a virtual debate with our candidates for president so that the public can see and hear their views on the critical issues neither the Democrats nor Republican candidates and parties will address,” said J.J. Summerell, state party chair.

“We especially encourage the 25 percent of North Carolina voters registered unaffiliated to watch, as well as independents across this nation,” he added. “National polls show that a vast majority of Americans want a choice outside the old parties. The Libertarian Party offers that choice.”

The debate will be held one week prior to North Carolina’s March 15 Presidential Primary. Participants in the debate will be selected by online poll conducted by the LPNC from a list of a candidates who will appear on the March 15 Presidential Primary ballot.

Those candidates are: Marc Feldman of Ohio; John Hale of Kentucky; Cecil Ince of Missouri, Gary Johnson of New Mexico; Steven Kerbel of Colorado; Darryl W. Perry of New Hampshire; Austin Petersen of Missouri, Derrick Reid of California; Jack Robinson of South Carolina; Rhett Smith of Texas, and; Joy Waymire of California.

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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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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.

Republican, Democratic voters ruled by fear of the other

The most important factor in the 2016 presidential election won’t be the candidates but the fact that the American electorate is now divided into two warring partisan camps. Moreover, this blind party allegiance won’t be based on support for “their” candidate, but on fear of the “other “ party – and its members.

That is the conclusion of an essay “The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is the Other Party,” by Alan I. Abramowitz and Steven Webster of Emory University.

“In the seven decades since the end of World War II, Democrats and Republicans have never been as divided as they are today,” they wrote. “Intense dislike of the opposing party and its candidates by supporters of both parties means that party loyalty and straight-ticket voting are much more prevalent than in the past.”

Abramowitz and Webster discount the 10 percent of Americans who identify as independents, concluding that their vote will almost evenly divide between the Democratic and Republican candidates.

Their essay notes that the rise of “negative partisanship” has drastically altered the nature of electoral competition in the United States. This is part of “a vicious cycle of mutually reinforcing elite and mass behavior” and negative views of the other party “encourage political elites to adopt a confrontational approach to governing.”

This essay reinforces some of the points made by political analyst John Davis in his “Strike While the Ire is Hot” presentation to the 2015 Libertarian Party of North Carolina Convention.

Voter suppression or voter apathy?

Progressives, and the News & Observer, are up in arms again over another alleged attempt at voter suppression. This time they claim the Republicans have deliberately prevented people from registering to vote. The basis for the charge is that the number of people registering to vote while applying for public benefits or a driver’s license has decreased.

Under the federal National Voting Registration Act of 1993, state agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Motor Vehicles, in addition to boards of elections, must give anyone who uses their services the opportunity to register to vote.

Groups including Democracy North Carolina, Action NC and the A. Philip Randolph Institute claim applications at these agencies have dropped more than 50 percent in the last two years.

While admitting that the reason for the drop was unclear, a May 17 News & Observer editorial concluded, “The likely explanation is that when the McCrory administration took over, new leaders at DHHS, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Board of Elections simply overlooked the requirement.

Oddly, the editorial notes this has happened before – ten years ago when Democrats controlled state government. So it appears such manipulation of the electoral process may be a bipartisan practice – like gerrymandering and restrictive ballot access barriers.

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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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Show Up. Be Nice. Win!

The formula for Libertarian candidate success is rather simple: Show up. Be nice. Win. That will be the message of Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark in his keynote address to the Libertarian Party of North Carolina State Convention April 11.

sarwark_nicholas.pngSarwak said that when Libertarians run for office consistently, it shows people who aren’t libertarian that we’re a political party that’s here to stay, and will be here when they need us.

When we do show up, we should be nice. The means focusing on finding areas of agreement with people, rather than trying to win arguments. This builds relationships that will last long after the election.

“If we do these two things, and keep at it, we can win in the short and long term.” he concludes.

Join us April 10-12, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn on Miami Blvd (just off I-40), Durham.

Libertarians should ‘Strike While the Ire is Hot’

A confluence of factors may present an opportunity for electoral success for Libertarians and the party needs to be prepared to “Strike While the Ire is Hot.” That will be the message renowned political analyst John Davis will present to the Gala Banquet attendees at the 2015 State Libertarian Party Convention April 11.

John-Davis-Pix-e1420343258854Davis will argue that the American political system is undergoing a demographic revolution which is disrupting the status quo. The dominant voter profile is no longer an older, white male. Hispanics, Asians, women, and millennials are becoming significant factors in most elections.

Davis says that the demographic revolution is occurring at the same time voters are increasingly frustrated by dysfunctional government caused by the polarization of the two major parties. To illustrate the polarization of the two parties, Davis’ presentation includes the results of a study by the National Journal showing that the nation’s “political middle” has all but disappeared.

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Keeping North Carolina a one-party state

“There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters”― Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster could have been talking about the Republican majority in the 2015 N.C. General Assembly. Not only do they mean to govern, they also mean to insure that only they can govern. Having the most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation isn’t enough. Nor is gerrymandering electoral districts to guarantee Republican victories.

The Republicans want to make GOP stand for Grand Only Party. They’re perfectly content with keeping North Carolina a one-party state, as it was for many years under the Democrats. They just want it to be their party. Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev would be proud.

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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.