Observations from the 2014 Libertarian National Convention

Ken Penkowsi was a North Carolina delegate to the 2014 Libertarian national Convention. This was the first national political convention he's ever attended. Here are some of his observations and impressions:

penkowski.jpg“In a weekend full of highs and lows, there are three significant take-aways that I would like to convey,” said Penkowsi, of Wake County.

First, he said that the convention body showed strong a strong focus on emerging challenges to liberty, such as National Security Agency surveillance.

“The liberty movement is a global movement and the LP has an opportunity to provide global leadership,” Penkowski also noted.

Penkowski's third observation was that there are two divergent perspectives on what it means to be a successful political party and that divergence was evident in the election for national chair.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Exec Comm Meets in Raleigh

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina Executive Committee will meet Saturday in Raleigh, at 11 a.m. in Natty Green’s, 505 W. Jones Street. All libertarians and interested parties are welcome to attend.

Agenda items will include discussion of the U.S. Senate campaign, a report on the just conclude Libertarian National Convention, and the 2020 Strategic Plan. 

Add your reaction Share

Washington Post: Meet the Libertarian Pizza Guy

While N.C. media continue to ignore him, Sean Haugh is getting national media coverage in his U.S. Senate race. The Washington Post sent a reporter here to interview Haugh, and ran a profile on the race in Saturday's edition. The online version featured clips from several of his YouTube videos.

Excerpts from the article:

So far, Haugh’s campaign barely exists anywhere but on YouTube. But it is doing surprisingly well in a high-stakes Senate contest in which candidates and outside groups have already spent more than $15 million.

***

In his messages, Haugh comes off as folksy and erudite, funny and earnest.

“In Syria, we’re supporting Sunni extremist rebels against government forces, but in Iraq, we’re supporting government forces against the Sunni extremists. How crazy is that?” he asks in one of the segments.

***

Republicans in North Carolina say Haugh is drawing support from Democrats who have lost faith in President Obama and Hagan; Democrats say he is benefiting from the fact that 54 percent of Republicans voted for someone other than Tillis, the GOP challenger, in the May primary.

Read the full article here.

Add your reaction Share

Duke Dilemma: Can utility companies be clean and safe and keep costs down?

by J. J. Summerell
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina

While I'm no apologist for Duke Energy, I understand the dilemma the company faces in responding to the Dan River coal-ash spill.

Because we must buy electricity, and Duke Energy is virtually the state’s only provider, it is a natural monopoly. Why would it have faced any financial barriers to ensuring the environmental safety of its power plants and transmission facilities? Microeconomics theory indicates that Duke could have easily raised prices to cover the costs of environmental-protection measures.

That didn't happen because Duke operates in a contradictory regulatory environment. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

There's a Third Option in the Fracking Debate

by J.J. Summerell
Chair, Libertarian Party of North Carolina

The General Assembly just rushed through a bill essentially lifting the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in North Carolina, even before the rules being drafted by a state appointed commission to regulate the process have had a public hearing.

Many people are adamantly opposed to this, while others are just as certain that this is essential for our state's economic development. Partisans on both sides of the issue have, and probably will continue to, talk past one other, rather than honestly and reasonably discuss the merits or dangers associated with the process This seems another clear case where petty partisan politics gets in the way of good government.

Even for those of us who believe in property rights and the free market, and who oppose unnecessary government regulation and interference in the economy, some provisions of the Senate bill are troubling.

Read more
Add your reaction Share