While Haugh Gives Serious Answers, Hagan and Tillis Bicker

In case you missed the debate—or just want to see a replay of Sean Haugh, Libertarian for U.S. Senate, giving serious, thoughtful answers to moderator Jon Evans’ questions while the other two mostly recited talking points and traded petty personal accusations. Here is the replay.

For most of the debate, Sen. Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis attacked each other and repeated the talking points from their campaign ads.  Only Sean spoke directly to the issues throughout the debate.

In my opinion, Sean won the debate hands down. He actually answered the questions and addressed the issues. What a concept. But I am slightly biased, since he brought me into the Libertarian Party of North Carolina and is a good friend.

Here are some notable comments on Haugh’s performance.

He was who he is. And when you are comfortable enough in your own skin, that is something that comes across as, I think, genuineness. (Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College in the Greensboro News & Record. The article also lead with a comment about Sean being included in the debate.)

The News & Observer also used this quote from Professor Bitzer in their sidebar analysis:

The interesting dynamic for the folks watching was Sean Haugh, who seemed to present both social and economic libertarianism that Democratic and Republican supporters would find appealing. In the end, Haugh may end up drawing enough votes to allow the ultimate winner to claim victory with less than 50 percent of the vote.

The Raleigh newspaper headlined their main story story “Interesting dynamic from Haugh in third debate for NC’s US Senate seat.”

The News & Observer also quoted David McLennan, Meredith College political science professor, in their analysis:

Voters who watched the debate were fortunate that Libertarian Sean Haugh was included because he broke up the relentless attack lines. I don’t think public opinion shifted as a result of the debate, except that Haugh may have created the possibility that neither Hagan nor Tillis reaches 50 percent on Nov. 4.

Not unsurprisingly, the Wilmington Star News, the major newspaper in the city where the debate was held, almost ignored Haugh in their story.

Other coverage

Asheville Citizen-Times

Charlotte Observer

Winston-Salem Journal

WECT-TV

Free the Vote Sponsors All-Inclusive US Senate Debate

AllInclusiveDebate

Free the Vote North Carolina and the Young Americans for Liberty at UNC Charlotte are sponsoring North Carolina’s only all-inclusive U.S. Senate candidates debate on Friday, Oct. 17 in McKnight Hall on the UNC Charlotte campus at 7 p.m.

All the candidates whose name will appear on the ballot, as well as those who have qualified to have their write-in votes counted, have been invited.

“With most debates this election cycle excluding at least one qualified candidate, Free the Vote NC felt it was necessary to provide the voters of North Carolina with a real debate where the voters are not shown who to vote for, but to let the voters make the decision for themselves,” said Jordon Greene, Free the Vote founder and president.

The debate will be also be sponsored by the Carolina Liberty PAC, and CAUTION (the activists arm of Charlotte TEA Party).

Candidates who have been invited include: Democrat Kay Hagan, Republican Thom Tills and Libertarian Sean Haugh, whose names will all appear on the ballot. In addition, Free the Vote has invited the certified write-in candidates: Barry Gurney, John Rhodes, and David Waddell.

Sponsoring an all-inclusive debate is in keeping with the mission of Free the Vote North Carolina, which is to eliminate eliminating barriers to participation in the electoral process. This event will help give voters the information they need to vote for the person of their choice without the debate holders making that choice for them.

The debate will be aired live online. More information will be available closer to the date.

Free The Voter Freedom Act

Free Voter Freedom Act

Free the Vote NC has issued a call to action to free HB 794, the Voter Freedom Act of 2013, from the state Senate Rules Committee. They are urging voters to call Rules Committee Chair Sen. Tom Apodaca, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Phil Berger, and the local state Senator on June 10.

“If we don’t act soon, the bill will die and we’ll have to start all over again in January 2015 to reform North Carolina’s highly restrictive ballot access laws,” said Jordon Green, Free the Vote president.

In order to keep HB 794 during the last legislative session, Free the Vote agreed to have the bill converted into a study bill. That effort was successful. The bill passed the House with a overwhelming 109-5 bipartisan vote.

But once it got to the state Senate, it was sent to the rules committee where it has languished ever since.

While the original bill would have dramatically lowered our state’s high ballot access barriers, the study bill, if passed, would task the Joint Elections Oversight Committee to look into all the restrictions on ballot access which we addressed in the original bill.

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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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Libertarian US Senate primary is tomorrow

The second primary in the history of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina will be held Tuesday. The Libertarian U.S. Senate primary is open to all registered Libertarians and unaffiliated voters. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

If you are registered Libertarian, when you go to vote the poll workers should give you the Libertarian ballot. If the don’t, ask for it. Don’t take no for an answer. If you have to, speak to the senior poll worker, the chief judge.


If you are registered unaffiliated, the poll worker should ask you which primary ballot you want. Ask for the Libertarian ballot. Again, if they don’t tell you – ask – and insist.

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Libertarians conduct first ever US Senate candidate forum

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina held its first ever U.S. Senate candidate forum April 5 during the annual state convention in Durham. Candidates Tim D’Annunzio of Raeford and Sean Haugh of Durham answered questions submitted by Libertarians from across the state. The forum was streamed live and moderated by Barry Smith, Carolina Journal associate editor.

Watch here.

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Putting LIBERTY in ACTION

Registration is now open for the 2014 Annual Convention of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina Join us in Durham April 4-5 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 4620 S. Miami Blvd.

This year, our emphasis will be on putting Liberty in Action, focusing on affiliate development and support for our Libertarian candidates. We’ll hear from some candidates during the convention sessions.

Don’t miss what promises to be an exciting event Saturday, the U.S. Senate Candidate Forum, featuring Tim D’Annunzio of Raeford and Sean Haugh of Durham, who are seeking the Libertarian nomination.

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New voters continue to shun major parties

The number of voters registering in a major party continues to decline in North Carolina, even as the total number of registered voters in continues to rise. As of Nov. 2, there were 6,475,017 registered voters: 2,764,123 registered Democrats, 1,990,192 registered Republicans, 22,173 registered Libertarians, and 1,698,529 registered unaffiliated.

The decline in the percentage of voters registered as Republicans or Democrats reached a new record low of 42.69 percent. The number of unaffiliated voters is now at 26.23 percent and the Libertarian portion is at 0.34 percent.

The number of registered Libertarians, 22,173, while still proportionally small, is an historic high for the party.

The Democratic share of registered votes is now at a new record low of 42.69 percent, and the Republican portion is down to a low of 30.74 percent.

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Libertarian elected, but can’t serve

One Libertarian was elected to a municipal office Nov. 5, but unfortunately he won’t be able to serve. According to unofficial results, Matt Hoerner was elected to the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners in Cumberland County. But he’s serving as a federal government civilian employee in Korea. He said if his election was certified, he would resign.

He emailed the county board of elections in October withdrawing from the race. Hoerner wasn’t taken off the ballot, however, because the BOE needed a signed written statement. He received 551 votes (10.81 percent).

Andrea Boyer ran a classic door-to-door, grassroots campaign for Woodfin town alderman. This was her first run for office. She received 179 votes (15.9 percent) in an unsuccessful bid for one of four seats on the board.

But she told her supporters, “I am not going away – see you around town! Many thanks and lots of love to everyone who voted for me, supported the campaign, and sounded your voice! Your voice needs to be heard at town hall in the weeks and months ahead!”

In Charlotte, Eric Cable received 7,459 votes (2.12 percent) for city council at-large and fellow Libertarian Travis Wheat got 443 votes (4.55 percent) in the district three race.

“Historically speaking these were great results for Charlotte,” Cable said “I was expecting one to two percent and got 4.55 percent, and Eric (Cable) broke two percent in an at-large race, I believe getting more raw votes and percentage than we did in the last two at large races.”

Cable also noted that more than 63 percent of voters choose a straight Democratic Party ticket. That will not be possible in future elections.

Jason Varner is another candidate who said he’d be back. He got 619 votes (6.19 percent) for Thomasville City Council in Davidson County. He placed eight in a 12 candidate field vying for seven seats.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during this election process,” he told his supporters on Facebook. “While I regret to inform you that I fell a little over 300 votes short, my race is not over. 2015 will be here before you know it. I will never quit.”

Libertarians oppose more restrictions on right to vote

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

Republicans claim to be the party of limited government. Now we see what that term really means: when Republicans say limited government, they apparently mean government limited to them and their supporters.

Just when it didn’t seem possible that North Carolina’s election laws could get more restrictive, the Republican majority has come up with a massive bill (HB 589) that would make it even harder for people to vote.

Using the excuse that they are trying to combat voter fraud, the Republicans want to perpetrate an even greater fraud on North Carolina voters under the guise of restoring “confidence in government.”

Republicans claim to be the party of limited government. Now we see what that term really means: when Republicans say limited government, they apparently mean government limited to them and their supporters.

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