Wrights to participate in first Libertarian presidential debate

BURNET, Texas (June 17) – Lee Wrights will participate in the first Libertarian presidential debate scheduled during the Future of the Libertarian Movement Conference in Manchester, N.H. June 19.

The one-day conference is sponsored by the Libertarian Parties of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Three candidates will participate in the debate, Wrights, Roger Gary of Texas and Carl Person of New York. The debate is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. and will be moderated by George Phillies. The New Hampshire and Massachusetts Libertarian Parties will give a first-round delegate vote to the winner of the post-debate straw poll.

“I’m looking forward to engaging with my fellow libertarians in what I am certain will be a lively and informative discussion,” Wrights said. “It certainly will be more enlightening than the presidential debate conducted by one of the so-called major parties in New Hampshire recently.”

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Patriot Act renewal gives terrorists another victory

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and thus clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
– H.L. Mencken

BURNET, Texas (June 1) – Using the same tactics of secrecy, deceit, outright lies and fear that they have been using for ten years, Democrats and Republicans steamrolled over the opposition and stampeded Congress into renewing several provisions of the Patriotic Act last week. Once again, both Democrats and Republicans dishonored their oath of office and voted for a bill that will continue to erode the freedom and liberty of all Americans. Thanks to Congress, score another victory for every terrorist in the world who seeks to destroy the land of the free and home of the brave.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even went so far as to accuse Sen. Rand Paul of wanting to put “guns in the hands of terrorists” for daring to offer amendments to the law to protect the liberties of Americans. Sen. Paul had better be careful, because such actions could be construed by federal prosecutors as giving “material aide” to terrorists under the Patriot Act.

At the same time the bipartisan leadership was ramrodding this bill through the Senate, war-hawks in the House of Representatives were quietly voting to give the president the power to take our country to war anywhere in the world, at any time, without further congressional authorization. In a typical tactic used when politicians fear a public outcry, they buried this grant of monarchical power to the president in a defense appropriation bill.

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The killing of Osama bin Laden

BURNET, Texas (May 3) – It will not be a popular thing to say, but the truth is the truth. I am deeply saddened by the death of Osama bin Laden. His demise is not cause for rejoicing, in my opinion. That is why I am perhaps even more troubled by the spectacle of Americans celebrating and dancing in the street to the chant of “U.S.A, U.S.A,” whipped up into a patriotic frenzy and oblivious to the reality that this was an illegal and immoral act which offends the very values which makes us who we are.

I must admit, this is one of the most troubling things I have experienced in my lifetime. The patriot in me wants to breathe a sigh of relief that the war is over and we can go back to life before Bin Laden. But reality ruins the moment as I realize what has happened, and know life will never be the same again. This military action ordered by the President of the United States not only violated every fundamental belief our nation’s founders cherished, it may have destroyed any hope that we will ever learn the truth about 9/11.

What happened to the foundation of jurisprudence in America — innocent until proven guilty? Where is the requirement to produce evidence in order to convict? What about the right to face your accusers and answer charges brought against you? What has happened to the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution? When was the power to convict and execute individuals transferred solely to the Executive branch?

Rather than using a trial to prove to the world that Bin Laden was guilty of the acts the United States accused him of, and that the U.S. was justified in the actions taken in retaliation, the president took upon himself the authority of judge, jury and executioner. He ordered U.S. military forces to kill Bin Laden — and then dump his body into the sea. No evidence was presented. No arguments were heard for and against. No jury deliberated. No judge ruled. The accused was not allowed to defend himself in any court. I can’t help but think that this is the way you act when you have no evidence to convict.

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Wrights pays tribute to Tennessee Libertarian Fred Childress

KNOXVILLE (May 2) – R. Lee Wrights told the Tennessee Libertarian State Convention that he’s not seeking the Libertarian nomination for president in order to tell people what they want to hear. “I am not interested in telling people what they want to hear. I am interested in telling them what needs to be heard,” he said.

He said that message is simple. The libertarian writer and political activist believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war.

Wrights begin his address with an emotional tribute to Fred Childress, a beloved friend and Tennessee libertarian activist killed in a motorcycle accident in July 2010.

“I would not be where I am, or doing what I am doing had it not been for Fred Childress,” Wrights said. “He was like me, he was a warrior. But the anomaly of Fred Childress was that he was also a peacemaker.”

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State Libertarians elect new chair

Matt Drew of Durham County is the new chair of the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. He was elected by a unanimous vote at the party’s annual state convention held in Hickory this weekend. He replaced Barbara Howe, who did not seek re-election.

The convention re-elected the other officers: Bev Wilcox, Rockingham, vice chair; Daniel Change,Wake, recording secretary; John Cavney, Cleveland, treasurer, and; Rick Pasotto, Mecklenberg, membership secretary. In addition, the elected they at-large members of the state executive committee. They are: Bradley Bergh, Buncombe, David Speight, Davidson, Phil Jacobson and Marc Conaghan, Wake County, Alex Vuchnich and Tim Doran, Mecklenberg, Tom Hohman, Union, and JJ Summerell, Guilford.

“There is no such think as a free lunch,” Drew told the delegates, recalling an old libertarian slogan. “We need to get out there and work; it’s a long slog ahead.” He noted that libertarian activists often get burned out, but said “We want you to stay. We need you. In order to make the libertarian movement happen we need everybody here.”

The Libertarians unanimously passed a resolution in support of House Bill 32, the Electoral Freedom Act of 2011, which would dramatically reduce the barriers for third parties and unaffiliated candidates to get on the ballot.

“We stand with the Free the Vote Coalition in asserting that ballot access reform is not a partisan or special interest group issue, but a question of fundamental freedom that transcends political differences,” the resolution said. “Free choice on the election ballot is not an issue to be flippantly dismissed but is an issue of utmost importance to democratic ideals.”

The convention also passed a resolution thanking the individuals and organizations that joined in their unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn North Carolina’s restrictive ballot access laws. In that resolution the Libertarian Party expressed “solidarity with the Green Party, the Constitution Party, and all other (Free the Vote) coalition partners past, present and future in the continuing fight for ballot access reform.”

Wrights comes home to open his campaign for the Libertarian nomination for president

HICKORY, N.C. (April 16) – R. Lee Wrights, a longtime libertarian writer and activist, announced today at the N.C. Libertarian Party State Convention that he will be seeking the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. Here is his statement:

“I’m returning to the place where this campaign began … ten years ago. North Carolina is where I was born, where I grew up and where I became involved in the Libertarian Party and the libertarian movement. It’s here in North Carolina that the seed for this campaign was planted and nourished.

Wrights 2012“For the past two years, as I’ve traveled around the country visiting Libertarian groups, people — especially young people — have been asking me: ‘Why isn’t the Libertarian Party out front in opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why isn’t the LP anti-war? Why aren’t we demanding that we bring the troops home.’ I heard this over and over again, and the message was quite strong at the 2010 national convention in St. Louis.

“After hearing from all these activists, it was clear to me that they were right. It was clear to me that the Libertarian Party — and our nation — is tired of war. It became clear to me that it was time for someone in the Libertarian Party to start talking about this issue. And it became clear to me that that someone must be me.

“On July Fourth, appropriately, I formed a presidential exploratory committee because I believe the Libertarian Party faces a critical test in 2012 and I want to make sure that we’re up to the challenge. The Libertarian message in 2012 must be loud, clear, and unequivocal — stop all war! Stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop the war on drugs and alternative lifestyles, stop the war on civil liberties. Stop All War!!

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End the war on dying cancer patients

BURNET, Texas (April 13) – Stopping all war is not just something we need to do in the Middle East. It is something we need just as badly here at home. When I say “stop all war,” I’m not just talking about the bombing and fighting overseas; I’m talking about the wars that the U.S. government wages against its very own citizens. I am talking about how bureaucrats kill Americans, not with guns and bombs, but with laws and regulations.

Perhaps the best example of this is the war against the terminally ill. Did you know that if you are dying and want to take a promising new drug that could save your life you can’t legally do it unless the Food and Drug Administration says you can? A coalition of cancer patients recently sued the FDA for permission to buy promising new drugs that had been tested for safety in people, but had not yet undergone the lengthy and rigorous effectiveness studies. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, so the lower court ruling of 2007 still stands. The ruling says that you have no constitutional right to buy a drug – even one that might save your life – without FDA approval.

This suit was spearheaded by the Abigail Alliance [http://www.abigail-alliance.org], founded by Frank Burroughs, Abigail’s father. Abigail and her family tried to get FDA permission to try the drug Erbitux, which was in human trials for her type of cancer and was eventually shown to be a breakthrough treatment for it. Time and time again federal bureaucrats refused to help her.

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Wrights donates to Arkansas Libertarian Party ballot access fund

BURNET, Texas (April 12) – Potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights donated $250 to the Arkansas Libertarian Party ballot access fund, fulfilling the promise he made when he first began his exploratory campaign. Wrights said that he was committed to insuring that the Libertarian message would be heard in all 50 states in 2012. He pledged to donate 10 percent of donations to state ballot access.

“There can’t be anything more important to any political party than ballot access,” Wrights told the party’s state convention Saturday. “Americans cannot vote for liberty and freedom if Libertarians are not on the ballot. Republicans and Democrats have proven to us they are not going to give that to us, in fact, they are going to take more from us at every opportunity.”

Thomas Hill, Wrights 2012 campaign manager, presented the donation to Rodger Paxton, the Arkansas LP state chair. “I’m very proud to be in this room with committed and dedicated Arkansas libertarians who are willing to do the hard work necessary so the residents of Arkansas can have the libertarian option come election day,” Hill said.

Hill told delegates that Arkansas is the first party to get an installment from the campaign and they were looking forward to helping other state parties.

Arkansas Libertarians have 90 days to collect at least 10,000 verified signatures from registered voters. They began the ballot access drive March 29. Arkansas is the only state where the Libertarian Party has never placed a candidate on the ballot for a partisan race other than president. State law only requires 1,000 verified signatures for a presidential candidate.

In order to retain ballot access and bypass the signature-gathering process for the 2014 election, the 2012 Libertarian candidate for president will have to get at least three percent of the vote.

Wrights 2012 press release