While North Carolina officials my object to the labeling of the H1N1 flu as “swine flu,” it hasn’t deterred our congressional delegation from serving up $228 million of pork.
North Carolina’s congressional delegation served up $228 million in pork barrel spending for fiscal 2009, a 5 percent jump from the previous year, according to the latest report from the government watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, writes David N. Bass in the Carolina Journal.
Among the 173 critical items funded in NC according to the CAGW were $349,000 to study “swine and other animal waste management” and $190,000 for “sidewalk and streetscape improvements” in Fuquay-Varina.
Now that all the hoopla over the Tax Day Tea Parties has died down, we can calmly reflect on how poorly the establishment politicians, pundits and press missed the point entirely. Over at Liberty for All, Sean Haugh writes:
“It is simply this: a rapidly growing number of Americans are fed up. That’s it. Nothing more, and nothing less.
“We’re fed up with politicians whose only answer to our problems is to try to spend our way out of them. We’re fed up with corporate fat cats who fly in individual private jets to collect billions of our dollars in bailout money. We’re fed up with this notion that we have to give up our privacy and our freedoms to feel secure.”
Read the article here.
LPNC Press Release
RALEIGH (April 21) — A State Court of Appeals panel on Monday heard oral arguments in the Libertarian Party of North Carolina’s legal challenge to the state’s election laws Monday. The panel included Chief Judge John C. Martin and Judges Sanford L. Steelman and Ann Maria Calabria.
Ken Soo, representing the Libertarian Party, argued that the state’s ballot access laws violate guarantees of free association and free speech in the state constitution, guarantees which are greater than what the U.S. Constitution offers.
Alexander Peters, a deputy attorney general, argued that the state’s laws were reasonable and asserted that the Appeals Court must uphold the ruling of the Superior Court on procedural grounds.
Peters said that a larger ballot presented greater potential for and complications and allowing third parties on the ballot would proliferate and complicate the administration of elections.
Judge Steelman asked if this were sufficient grounds for making it harder for third parties to get on the ballot, and added “We could solve all of it just having one party.”
Peters replied that “probably at least two parties” would always get on the ballot.
It will probably be three or four months before a decision is released.
The Libertarian Party of North Carolina elected a new Executive Committee Sunday on the concluding day of their 2-day convention.
Barbara Howe was re-elected chair and Bev. Wilcox was elected vice-chair. The other officers are: John Cavney, treasurer, Rick Pasotto, membership secretary, and Stephanie Watson, recording secretary.
Jason Bateman, Thomas Hill, Phil Jacobson, Derrick Hinson, Paul Elledge, Matt Drew, and Brian Logsdon were elected at-large members of the committee.
The convention also passed a resolution calling on the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor to assert the sovereignty of the State under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Read the full text of the resolution:
There were thousands of people at the Raleigh Tax Day Tea Party at the Capitol April 15, and not all of them were “rednecks” or white, despite what you may have read in the News & Observer. (Actually, as a reformed Yankee, I think it is a honor to be called a redneck.)
As noted here, the original organizer of the Tea Party is a simple housewife, Melody Aben. who’s fed up with out-of-control government. It’s a sad fact of political life that whenever a grass roots movement picks up steam, the old, established advocacy groups will inevitably co-opt it. That does not diminish the fact that many, if not most, of the folks who turned out were people like Melody.
Inevitably, there were also some “partisan” and anti-Obama slogans, some over the top in my view. But they were vastly outnumbered by the Gadsden Flag and signs that indicated the bearer “got it,” who recognized the problem was not caused by the Democrats, but by both of the duopoly parties.
Another sign that the majority of the protesters got it was that we gave away all the literature from the Libertarian Party table, and 10 people offered donations for a copy of the Declaration of Independence/U.S. Constitution pocket edition published by the Cato Institute. Some where even where wearing GOP stickers.
Mike Munger and B.J. Lawson gave rousing speeches. Check at the video shot by Jeff Palmer here.
From the Grass Roots North Carolina Alert
“The original creation of pistol purchase permits in North Carolina as well as other states has its roots in ‘Jim Crow’ era attempts to deny black Americans their rights to self defense. (See Paul Valone’s column in the Charlotte Gun Examiner). This is the dirty little secret behind many gun control laws that gun grabbers don’t want you to know.
“Like most bad ideas used to selectively deny fundamental rights it, of course, has expanded to make the rights of all people more difficult to exercise.
“Thanks to Rep. Mark Hilton and Sen. Doug Berger these vestiges of the past may become just that – a thing of the past. Hilton has introduced HB 892 and Berger is sponsoring SB 782 -Repeal Pistol/Crossbow Transfer Permit.”
Both bills have moved into committee.
Then there’s the other dirty little secret from the Jim Crow era the mainstream media won’t tell you about. State-issued marriage “licenses” originated in many states to prevent whites from marrying anyone of color, including blacks, mulatto, Chinese, Japanese, Malay and Filipino. Of course,this list was not all inclusive. Check out this Wiki entry.
Why won’t Democrat-Republican duopoly politicians and so-called civil rights leaders talk these civil rights issues?
LPNC Press Release
RALEIGH (April 3) — Restaurant owners and their lobbyists are choking on the second-hand smoke wafting from the back rooms of the North Carolina General Assembly, said a Libertarian Party of North Carolina spokesman. “It’s ironic. They’re coughing and wheezing in the smoke generated by their own attempts to burn the rights of all North Carolinians,” said Brian Irving, LPNC communications director.
The restaurant owners were lobbying to ban smoking in all restaurants and bars. In a another of their infamous midnight maneuvers power-brokers in the General Assembly amended the bill just before the final vote to exclude bars and nightclubs.
“They also exempted non-profit clubs and country clubs, so apparently lobbyists for those special interests were in the house,” Irving said. “Now the restaurateurs’ attempt to maneuver and reverse course is obscured by their own smoke-screen. How fitting.”
Irving said that there is no direct evidence to support linking any death to second-hand smoke. “This is not an issue about science or health, anyway,” Irving said. “It is about rights. It is about a person’s right to chose where they eat and drink, and about the right of a business owner to decide what they allow on their own property.”
Irving, who is not a smoker, said non-smokers always have the choice to patronize restaurants and bars that don’t allow smoking. Restaurant and bar owners can decide to go smoke-free if they think it will be good for their business.
“This bill simply strips us all of yet another opportunity to exercise our right to choose,” Irving said. “Where will it end? Are hamburger lovers in danger of losing their right to have it their way?”
“In contrast, we know alcohol abuse causes more deaths than second-hand smoke, yet the state not only sells alcohol but profits from the sale of alcohol and tobacco. So why are legislators targeting smokers?” Irving asked.
Former Gov. Mike Easley is not the only politician who knows where to get a good set of wheels. The News & Observer reports that Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand is cruisin’ around town in a 2008 Chrysler 300 courtesy of a car dealership friend in Fayetteville.
Rand has not reported the car on his ethics form (surprise) because, according to the report, “It’s not clear whether use of the car meets the threshold for disclosure as compensation.”
The Kelly Blue book value of that vehicle is about $18,000. State ethics rules require any compensation greater than $10,000 to be reported. Rand admits he gets use of the car as compensation for his director’s role as well as legal work he has performed for the Bleeker dealership.
Yes, I can see where that is unclear. Gimme a break!
On election night, Mike Munger told those gathered at his victory celebration, “We don’t have anymore excuses. We can’t say ‘if we didn’t have to get those signatures we’d be something then, if we didn’t have to spend all our time getting those signatures then we could run a competitive campaign.'”
“If we do not run competitive races for several general assembly seats in 2010 … if we don’t do that, thence have not held up our end of the bargain. We have not actually followed through on the claims that we have made.”
Yes, I believe November 8, 2008 was victory for the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. It was a victory because we beat the Democratic-Republican Duopoly at their own game. Despite having all the rules stacked against us, we prevailed.
But it was a victory that came with a price, and with a responsibility. In short, we need to “put up or shut up.” No more lamenting, “I could’a been a contender.
I’m running for Vice Chair because it’s time the LPNC get serious about being a political party. A serious political party engages in politics, promotes agendas and runs candidates for office.
LPNC Op Ed
by Barbara Howe
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina
The “voter owned elections” bills currently circulating in the General Assembly will do nothing to end corruption in government. Like most legislation, the title belies the real intent. Rather than insure voter ownership of elections, the bills will strengthen the grip of the Democrat-Republican duopoly that controls our state government.
No doubt many sponsors of these bills are sincere in their desire to end corruption. They’re well meaning — but misguided. In their quest to legislate morality, they entirely miss the real problem.
The problem is not the abuse of power; it is the power to abuse.