Short History of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina Project

I’m editing and updating a “Short History of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina,” using several resources, including Wikipedia (which I know is out of date and incorrect), SBOE records, several Google searches, some LPNC archive files, and a section of the legal brief filed in 2005 in LPNC vs. the State of North Carolina.

While I’m working from an old article, I’ve forgotten where it originated or the author (possible Sean Haugh).

I’m trying to reach out to as broad a network of libertarians as possible, which is why I’m posting it here. I’ve also sent it to a list of every activist, candidate, EC member, or anyone who was every involved with the LPNC I could think of and had email address for.

If you have an information, knowledge or experience with the LPNC history, especially the ’70s, or can correct, update or expand anything in this article, and are willing to share it, please email me directly at vicechair@lpnc.org.

Thanks for your help.

Here’s the draft.

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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We are Libertarians

Rodger Paxton, Libertarian Party of Arkansas secretary, explains why Libertarian candidates are inevitable asked the question, “Why are you running against a good Republican” or a “libertarian Republican.” The question derives from “a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be a Libertarian.”

Paxton says that Republicans and conservatives throw around words like “Republican-libertarian,” conservative libertarian,” and “constitutional libertarian” as if these word salads have some sort of meaning. “They do not,” he writes.

“A libertarian is someone who believes in the non-aggression principle, plain and simple …that no man may initiate force or fraud against another person or his property. This is also called ‘classically liberal’ in many circles and fits just as well as the word libertarian.

“The political party that upholds these libertarian principles is conveniently named The Libertarian Party,” Paxton says. “Republicans and Democrats have no such moral compass.”

Read more here.

Libertarians Respond to State of the Union Address

All in all, the state of our union is a big mess created by Republicans and Democrats. That was the reaction of Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

“Thanks to unprecedented levels of government interference and government coercion, Americans’ rights are violated like never before,” said Benedict in a statement posted on LP.org. “We are harmed by taxes, regulations, prohibitions, and shocking privacy intrusions”

Benedict said it was unfortunate that most of the harm and injustice of government occurs because too many Americans support existing government policies.

“We’re suffering under a tyranny of the majority,” he said. “Our Libertarian hope is that we can convince enough Americans to change their minds. We hope voters will come to understand that government is force, and force is unjust.”

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Libertarians see opportunity in rising voter discontent

brad_hesselThe Libertarian Party of North Carolina’s new executive director believes the growing public dissatisfaction with the government in general and the “two-party” system in particular offers a new opportunity to move public policy in a more libertarian direction.

“As the Democrats and Republicans move us relentlessly down the road to hell, kicking the can as we go, more and more Americans can feel the heat rising,” said Brad Hessel, who was appointed last month.

Hessel said the advent of the Tea Party, the Occupy Wall Street Movement and, in North Carolina, the growth rate of unaffiliated voters, which is dramatically outstripping that of Democrats and Republicans, are evidence of this discontent.

“These are all signs that most Americans believe something is very, very wrong with our political system,” he said.

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LP joins rally to stop NSA surveillance

Libertarian Party press release

The heroic revelations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden have let the world know: The National Security Agency is watching you and has undermined the fabric of the Internet. Its overreaching surveillance creates a climate of fear, chills free speech, and violates our basic human rights — your Fourth Amendment right to privacy.

But a movement is building to change all this.

stop_watching_us_logoThe Libertarian Party was among the first groups to join a growing coalition of organizations operating under the umbrella Stop Watching Us, which aims to stop the NSA’s mass surveillance of Americans.

The coalition will hold a rally in Washington, D.C., Oct. 26, 2013, on the 12th anniversary of the signing of the Patriot Act. Thousands of people from across the political spectrum are expected to unite in Washington, D.C., to demand: Stop watching us.

Speakers at the rally will include 2012 Libertarian presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson. A march before the rally, music, and other festivities are planned for the day.

Show your determination to stop government surveillance and come to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 26. For more details about the rally, visit: https://rally.stopwatching.us/

Visit LP.org to share this with your friends!

NC Libertarians appoint executive director

Jason Melehani, 25, of Durham, was appointed executive director of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. He will be the principal administrative assistant to the state chair, and oversee all the party’s programs and fundraising activities.

Melehani“I’m proud to accept this responsibility, because I believe North Carolinians are ready for a new option, one that respects individual liberty and supports personal responsibility on all issue, all the time, and puts people before politics,” said Melehani.

“Young people across North Carolina are beginning to realize that they are paying a disproportionately high price for irresponsible governing of decades past,” he said. “This type of fiscal irresponsibility, coupled with the drastic erosion of our civil liberties since 2001, is driving people from all walks of life to the Libertarian Party by the thousands in North Carolina.”

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Libertarian Party state convention June 7-9 in Flat Rock

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina will hold its annual state convention June 7 to 9 at the Mountain Lodge and Conference Center in Flat Rock.

The official business of the convention will be to amend the bylaws and elect new officers. However, convention organizers announced that most of the convention will be spent on learning the special skills that are essential to any social or political movement.

“Millions are waking up to finding their freedoms and liberties being encroached upon and smothered by the monstrous growth of government,” said Kevin Innes, convention chairman.

“Many no longer feel that their government is theirs but has instead become an insatiable monster that looks for every opportunity to grow bigger and more powerful.”

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N.C. Libertarians set another record

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.”

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Two major wins for the Libertarian Party in 2012

Thank you to all those who supported my Congressional run. I’m pleased with the result,but somewhat surprised that Rep. Renee Ellmers was re-elected by such a large margin. I was hoping that whichever of the major party candidates won, my vote would be the margin of difference.

It’s strange (but not surprising) that, despite all the Republicans and Tea Party types who told me how disappointed they were with Ellmers, they closed ranks and voted for the Red Team anyway.

My election prognostications were only half right; President Barack Obama did get a majority of the electoral votes, but he also received a plurality of the popular vote, but just barely. There really wasn’t a change for an Electoral College tie.

The major news for 2012, however, is that the Libertarians scored two major victories.

First, in North Carolina Barbara Howe got two percent of the vote for governor, thus securing the party’s ballot access for another four years.

Second, Gov. Gary Johnson achieved an historic one million votes for president, beating the 32-year old record of 921,128 set y Ed Clark in 1980.  As of this writing Google had Johnson at 1,139,562, more than double that of the 2008 ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne Root. Barr and Root are no longer Libertarians, by the way.

North Carolina has arguable the most restrictive ballot access laws in the nations. Howe’s achievement marks the second time the LPNC has kept its ballot access status through the voting process. Dr. Mike Munger did it first in 2008.

This will save the LPNC a boat-load of money, time and other resources. That means we’ll be able to go into the 2014 and 2016 elections not only without having to exhaust all our resources just to get to the starting line, but with a ample resources to fill the ballot with Libertarian candidates who’ll be able to run competitive races.

More information:

N.C. Libertarian Candidate Results

N.C. State Board of Elections Results Summary

See Google Election Results