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.”
“No man’s life, liberty or property is safe when the legislature is in session.” – Mark Twain.
The N.C. General Assembly is back in session. At least they were for a day. The assembly officially convened their 2015-2016 “long session” Jan. 14, then recessed for two weeks. In those two weeks, most of the legislators will hold fundraising events, just as they did in the days before the session opened. It’s never too early to start collecting money for the next election.
One of the first actions in the House of Representatives was a unanimous bipartisan vote to elect Rep. Tim Moore (R- Clevland) speaker. That will probably be the only unanimous bipartisan vote of the session.
Most of the members of the General Assembly were sworn in Jan. 14, all except for Rep. Edgar Starnes (R-Caldwell) who took the oath early – so he could resign before the session convened to accept a job with the state treasurer’s office. Starnes was slated to be the House majority leader.
“I am not a lobbyist,” Starnes said. “I am a legislative liaison.”
Free the Vote North Carolina has endorsed three candidates for the N.C. State House. They are: Cliff Moore, District 96; Trey Lowe, District 106, and; Norman Bossert, District 113.
“We endorsed these candidates because they show fervent support for the individual’s right to vote and to vote effectively,” said Jordon Greene, Free the Voter founder and president.
“They understand the importance of free and open elections so that the people may have the true ability to choose who represents them and obtain the self-government the founders of this great nation and of our state intended them to have.”
Greene noted that North Carolina now has the nation’s most restrictive ballot access law, requiring the highest number of signatures for a new party or independent candidate to get on the statewide ballot.
“All too often politicians try to limit the ability of competitors to enter the race, and, over time have put strict barriers in place that effectively restrict the free speech and freedom of association in our state’s election process, thereby reducing voter freedom.” Greene said.
“These candidates don’t subscribe to that philosophy,” he said. “We look forward to working with them, and other like-minded individuals in the General Assembly, to reduce the barriers to political participation and re-introduce free, equal and legitimate elections in North Carolina.”
Free the Vote North Carolina sends out candidate surveys each election cycle after the primary and posts the results given by those candidates who respond.
The rounds of charges and counter-charges swirling around the Moral Monday demonstrations illustrate just how low political discourse in our state has fallen. It’s like children exchanging insults on a playground: “I know you are, but what am I.”
This farce is the inevitable result of a political system designed as a duopoly, with Democrats and Republicans taking turns being in charge, yet offering few differences between themselves.
The Stop NC Annexation Coalition has issued a “heads up” to annexation opponents concerning a bill to allow Wake County to forcibly annex areas considered to be “doughnut holes.”
H.B. 486 Wake Municipalities/Doughnut Annexations would allow municipalities in Wake County to forcibly annex so-called “doughnut holes,” areas that municipality has surrounded by annexation.
In 2011, the General Assembly approved a bill to require municipalities to conduct a referendum to allow affected residents to vote on annexation. Previously, the law allowed for a petition signed by 60 percent of affected-area landowners to halt the forced annexation.
“The stealth erosion of the new annexation laws has begun,” said Cathy Heath, StopNCAnnexation Coalition director.
From Free the Vote North Carolina
The legislative session is coming to a close, but HB 794 Voter Freedom Act is stuck in the Senate Rules Committee. This bill was sponsored by the Free the Vote Coalition, an alliance of groups spanning the political spectrum that includes the Libertarian Party of North Carolina.
The original bill would have dramatically lowered our state’s high ballot access barriers. We agreed with the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jason Saine, when he urged us to support transforming the bill into a study bill in order to get it passed. And it did pass the House with an overwhelming 109-5 vote.
That was a month ago. Since then, both houses have been busy working on various budget and tax reform bills. The bill has been left dormant in the Senate Rules Committee.
Kevin Hayes of Mount Olive is running for state House of Representatives in District 4, which includes Wayne and Duplin Counties.
“I will work to restore our state to its founding principles,” said Hayes. “I will work to eliminate regulations and trade agreements which hurt our counties and the state. I will also work towards lowering the gas tax.”
Two of the major Republican presidential hopefuls are learning what third party and independent candidates have known for years, that ballot access laws in most states are rigged against offering voters any real choices in primaries and on election day, said Jordon Greene, president of Free the Vote North Carolina.
“If Newt Gingrich thinks it’s difficult to get on the Republican primary ballot in Virginia, he ought to try getting a new party or unaffiliated candidate on the ballot in North Carolina,” Greene said in a statement. “Then he’d understand how the major parties limit voter choice by imposing restrictive ballot access laws.
There will be no action taken on HB 32, The Electoral Freedom Act of 2011 this year. Sen. Peter S. Brunstetter (R-Forsyth) told Free the Vote NC president Jordon Green bluntly, “There is no chance that HB 32 will be heard during the November 7 session.” He said that many legislators won’t even attend. We take Sen. Brunstetter at his word.
Gov. Beverly Perdue’s comment about suspending elections was completely out of place and indefensible and she should apologize, said Jordon M. Green, an independent candidate for the state House district 87. “Whether or not she was joking or using a hyperbole matters little in this case,” he said. “To make such statements, even if in the context of a joke, which in itself is unlikely at best, is at the least unthinking.”