As the Raleigh Libertarian Examiner, I’m proud to join a coalition of libertarian news reporters as we launch America’s newest independent political news outlet LibertarianPartyNew.com.
Twenty-three experienced and established columnists, all self- proclaimed libertarians, from across the nation have come together to help level the playing field for Libertarian candidates and to promote the cause of liberty. Independent and opposition party candidates often complain of unfair news coverage or no coverage at all. Libertarian Party News intends to change that.
“Most independent and third party candidates are portrayed in the corporate media as aliens with five arms and three heads, if they’re covered at all,” explained Libertarian Party News founder and editor Mark Wachtler, “But then look at where the news is coming from – for-profit, multi-national corporations whose only priority is raking in ever-higher profits.”
Giving a glimpse of things to come from the new news outlet, Wachtler asked, “After three decades of war, debt, corruption and ever-increasing American poverty, why would anyone want to be either a Republican or a Democrat anymore?”
LibertarianPartyNews.com proudly proclaims itself the itself the premier place for Libertarian Party news, candidates, announcements and more. An independent news outlet and not part of the party itself, the site’s sole mission is to assist the Libertarian Party, its members and candidates in getting their message of liberty to the American people.
Eliminating straight-party voting will be a step toward ending the two-party duopoly that controls North Carolina’s electoral process and discriminates against alternative parties and independent candidates, a spokesman for Free the Vote North Carolina said in a statement today.
“The straight-party voting system tends to perpetuate this cycle of individuals going to the polls and casting votes based simply on party label in the hopes of voting for someone that shares their common values,” said Jordon Greene, founder and president of Free the Vote NC.
Two bills ending straight-party voting have been introduced in the General Assembly. Free the Votes opposes one, HB185 and supports the other, SB82.
“Straight-party voting encourages uneducated voting and demeans the value of the individual’s vote,” Greene said. “The manner in which the device is used in North Carolina also is confusing to voters, since it doesn’t apply to the presidential race.”
The North Carolina Libertarian Party has achieved another historic milestone in state politics. It now has the highest share of registered voters than any other third party in modern history, according to an analysis by Richard Winger of Ballot Access News.
Although the actual number, 0.31 percent, is very low, the Libertarians have steadily increased their portion of voter registrants despite having to overcome North Carolina’s draconian ballot access laws every four years.
“Although our numbers are still small, the fact that more and more people are registering either as unaffiliated voters or Libertarians makes these numbers significant,” said state party chair J.J. Summerell. “It’s evidence that more and more people think the Republican and Democrats have failed to effectively manage our government.”
At the close of the Constitutional Convention, so the story goes, a woman approached Dr. Benjamin Franklin and asked, “So, Doctor, what have you given us? A Republic or a Monarchy.”
Franklin replied “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
The Citizens Constitutional Caucus was formed to respond to Dr. Franklin’s concern.
“The Citizens Constitutional Caucus is not just another Constitutional organization,” explained Don Watson, founder and coordinator of the group. “We have a very narrow focus. We’re not going to look at a proposed bill or resolution and decide if it’s good fiscal policy, if it will it help the children, or if it is moral or immoral. Our only question will be: Is it Constitutional?”
The N.C. Political Party Financing Fund programs allows taxpayers to check a block on the state income tax form and designate $3 of their state income tax to a political party. Although the Libertarians oppose giving taxpayer money to political parties, they’re asking people to designate $3 of their state income tax burden to support the state Libertarian Party.
“The PPFF should be abolished immediately,” said J.J. Sumerell, Libertarian Party state chair. “However, the North Carolina Libertarian Party will continue to accept the funds and encourage members of all parties and unaffiliated voters to check the Libertarian block on your NC tax return.”
He noted that while the designation doesn’t reduce the income tax burden, it does allow people to direct their money to a cause they support.
In the first two days of the N.C. General Assembly, four election law bills were introduced. A controversial voter ID bill was not among, even though House Speaker Thom Tillis listed it as part of the Republican Party’s agenda. The GOP is expected to use its veto-proof majority in both house to push the bill rapidly through the legislature.
Free the Vote NC, a ballot access reform group, is expected to have a bill ready in the next few weeks which would dramatically lower the barriers for third parties and independent candidates to get on the ballot. It will be similar to a bill which passed the House last session, but failed in the Senate.
Durham should leave behind a “broken system” and turn over forensic analysis to a private lab, rather than hiring State Bureau of Investigation analysts, said the chair of the Durham-Orange Libertarian Party.
“The purpose of a crime lab is to objectively analyze forensic evidence from a crime scene in order to produce an unbiased assessment of the facts,” wrote Jason Melehani in an op ed published in the Durham Herald-Sun. “Unfortunately, government-operated crime labs present a serious and direct conflict of interest in administering justice.”
Melehani noted that an independent investigation by two former FBI agents requested by state Attorney General Roy Cooper uncovered gross corruption in the SBI lab which lead to the execution of three innocent men. The investigation found more than 230 cases over a 16-year period that were manipulated unfairly to produce results intended to help secure convictions.
Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of Future of Freedom Foundation, writes what I have been thinking:
It is so amusing to see mainstream commentators condemning Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi, for assuming dictatorial powers. Their critiques are well-taken … But what’s amusing about the mainstreamers is how they can so quickly identify and condemn dictatorial conduct on the part of foreign rulers but maintain an absolutely obsequious blind spot when it comes to the dictatorial actions by their own ruler.
Morsi, so far, has only talked about suspending the rule of law. American presidents, including George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama, have already done it, torturing and murdering even American citizens. To our shame, there have been no demonstrations and they were both re-elected.
“Democracy” isn’t worth a damn if there is no rule of law, if we merely get to “choose” which dictator will rule us.
An elective despotism was not the government we fought for. – Thomas Jefferson
Memo to Warren Buffet, and all those other people who think “the rich” don’t pair their “fair share” of taxes. If you are so concerned, you can contribute to paying off the federal debt here.
Make your check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt and please note that it’s “a gift to reduce the debt held by the public.”
Yes, I know the national debt is $16 trillion dollars and increasing every day. But ever bit helps, right?
Thanks to the News & Observer for the tip.
by Sheldon Richman
David Petraeus has fallen — but not as he should have. Before being disgraced by an extramarital affair, the retired four-star general and ex-CIA director should have been shamed out of public life for his horrendous military record in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Are we talking about the same David Petraeus who is said to have heroically saved Iraq with the famous surge and then salvaged a floundering military effort in Afghanistan?
That’s the one. But those “accomplishments” are merely the products of sharp public relations.