2016 Convention Calls for HB 2 Repeal

The Libertarian Party has joined the growing list of organizations calling for the repeal of House Bill 2.

"The state has no authority to determine gender," the unanimous resolution states. HB 2 also “unduly intrudes state authority into local decision-making and unreasonably limits the ability of the citizens ... to govern themselves.”

In addition, the bill reduces individual rights because it “bans citizens from using state courts to remedy discrimination”

Nic Haag, Libertarian candidate for NC Senate 44, introduced the resolution. It was endorsed by General Assembly candidates Brad Hessel, NC Senate 15, Brian Irving, NC House 36, and Rob Rose, NC 37.

The convention was held in Raleigh last weekend.

The convention also passed a resolution calling for the repeal of the ban on counting write-in votes. The state does not count the votes for persons who haven't gathered enough petition signatures.

This “amounts to the legislature picking and choosing which votes to count, sometimes yielding suspicious results like unanimous vote tallies in our statewide elections,” the resolutions says.

Six candidates for the Libertarian presidential nomination participated in a forum Saturday. They included former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, the party's 2012 standard-bearer.

In other business, the convention elected at-large members to the state executive committee and adopted a revised platform. It also selected delegates to the Libertarian National Convention and nominated presidential electors.

Read the resolutions here.


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  • commented 2016-05-02 01:46:01 -0400
    Thanks once again for your comments, Mr. Bell. I didn’t really see anything in your latest that is different from what you said before, so I don’t have anything to add to my response.

    I should clarify that I don’t consider the resolution passed by the 2016 LPNC Convention “a mistake.” I did stipulate that there would have been advantages to including explicit criticism of ordinance 7056 in the resolution but there were also material advantages to not doing so and, on balance, I agree with the latter choice.

    Also, with respect to the person who is confused about the LPNC position on the rights of private property owners here is the pertinent portion of our platform: “The LPNC calls for the repeal of all zoning ordinances. In their place, we uphold the rights of private owners to use and develop their property as they see fit, and the rights of their neighbors to be protected from any direct harm caused by such use. We call for the elimination of all laws that dictate to homeowners how they will build, inhabit, or use their property, and of all regulations that increase the costs of housing. We encourage people to establish private contractual relationships that promote harmonious land use and development.” Perhaps your good deed for the day could be to pass this along to your acquaintance and ask if he or she has any suggestions for improving it so it is more clear.
  • commented 2016-05-02 01:13:28 -0400
    A question another person asked on IPR: “How about explaining to me why the NC LP refuses to stand up for the rights of private property owners?”
  • commented 2016-04-29 18:43:03 -0400
    Jim Bell responds inline to Brad Hessel

    “Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I am pretty much in agreement with you except on two points. Well, one -and-a-half points.
    I am ambivalent about leaving the Charlotte ordinance out of the resolution. Manifestly you are right that leaving it out has the potential to be confusing. But the simpler message also has the greater potential to be noticed and communicated and raise awareness that we libertarians exist…and the resolution did indeed get some notable play here in the media. "

    Are you saying that the resolution wouldn’t have gotten “some notable play here in the media” if it had also denounced Ordinance 7056? Looks to me like anything about HB 2 has received extensive coverage so far.

    “We are running seven candidates in Wake County (site of the LPNC Convention this year) compared to zero in 2014 and anything the state party can do to help attract attention to them is a plus for us. If the judicious use of baby aspirin instead of the full strength variety can open some doors for us which otherwise might remain closed, well as a party working hard to compete, we have to consider it. It doesn’t signify if we have the strongest possible medicine but no way to deliver it…and the direct approach is not invariably the most effective.”

    It also appears that despite receiving a lot of opposition from outside the state, HB 2 has also received a lot of support. And, most of that support seems to be based on its prohibition on letting the Charlotte government impose bathroom policy on businesses. The most obvious explanation for LPNC’s stated position is that it was deliberately limited so as to pander to the PC crowd. Sure your organization got a lot of publicity, but you did so by neglecting to adequately explain it. This troubles me. In my 40 years knowing I’m a libertarian, I usually find that fears of how libertarian policy will be taken by the non-libertarian public turn out to be greatly overstated.

    “Be that as it may, I am not 100% sure that leaving ordinance 7056 out of the resolution was the best way to go in they particular instance. "

    I think it would have been better if LPNC had said nothing about HB 2 until you had prepared a better response. LPNC had time. It still does. Swallow your pride and correct your mistake.

    “I am sure, however, that the precedent of invoking the state to nanny a wayward locality—or the Feds to issue mandates to a state—constitutes a terribly slippery slope fraught with the potential of backfiring badly should a statist party control the higher government. Not to mention it flies in the face of our preaching about the central government having too much power and wanting to move that power downhill as close to the individual as possible.”

    Except that the de-facto state of the world, prior to Charlotte’s Ordinance 7056, was (I assume?) that was that the control already occurred at the lowest level of control: The individual businesses owners themselves. Ordinance 7056 was completely unnecessary, the City of Charlotte government already knew that, and itself it pandered to the PC’s. THAT represented “the slippery slope”, not a state law to check the local-government’s misconduct.

    “But the thing is, when there are hundreds of counties and thousands of cities calling the shots instead of dozens of states and one central government, we are going to see a lot of variation, including some who do stupid things, some who do unlibertarian things, some who do both.”

    But HB 2 had specifically stated that building owners should and would be making the decisions, NOT “hundreds of counties and thousands of cities”. HB 2 shouldn’t and wouldn’t have been at all necessary, except for the City of Charlotte’s foolish involving itself in the issue.

    " In such a case, the best way forward is to let people learn from their mistakes."

    And the mistake of the LPNC was to put out a misleading and incomplete resolution that made it appear that the only thing wrong was HB 2, and that none of it was necessary. The truth is that there was no problem prior to Charlotte’s Ordinance 7056: That government act initiated the problem, not HB 2. HB 2 was intended to correct that, but itself it went too far in other areas.

    " If the folks in Charlotte imagine that electing a bunch of social engineers to their city council will improve life there—imposing all sorts of “PC” regs on business or whatever—let them go for it."

    Except that people have constitutional rights, even if those rights have not been well-defended by governments and courts up to now. And, of course, as libertarians we believe people have other rights, even if those aren’t being respected yet. If anything, HB 2 has been that rare example where one portion of government slapped down hard on another portion which violated our rights. Even if the non-libertarian portion of the public cluelessly didn’t understand that. The LPNC could have educated them, rather than merely placate the statist left.

    " If they are right, mazel tov! If more likely they end up driving their best employers and jobs away to cities with citizens who are not delusional, then a good lesson will have been learned."

    A lot of people can, and have, gotten hurt by over-reaching government, mostly when nobody was around to protect them. Rather than trying to slap down the North Carolina legislature, correct them, explain the actual problems with HB 2 and 7056, and tell the public.
  • commented 2016-04-29 17:30:30 -0400
    Mr. Bell,

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I am pretty much in agreement with you except on two points. Well, one -and-a-half points.

    I am ambivalent about leaving the Charlotte ordinance out of the resolution. Manifestly you are right that leaving it out has the potential to be confusing. But the simpler message also has the greater potential to be noticed and communicated and raise awareness that we libertarians exist…and the resolution did indeed get some notable play here in the media.

    We are running seven candidates in Wake County (site of the LPNC Convention this year) compared to zero in 2014 and anything the state party can do to help attract attention to them is a plus for us. If the judicious use of baby aspirin instead of the full strength variety can open some doors for us which otherwise might remain closed, well as a party working hard to compete, we have to consider it. It doesn’t signify if we have the strongest possible medicine but no way to deliver it…and the direct approach is not invariably the most effective.

    Be that as it may, I am not 100% sure that leaving ordinance 7056 out of the resolution was the best way to go in they particular instance.

    I am sure, however, that the precedent of invoking the state to nanny a wayward locality—or the Feds to issue mandates to a state—constitutes a terribly slippery slope fraught with the potential of backfiring badly should a statist party control the higher government. Not to mention it flies in the face of our preaching about the central government having too much power and wanting to move that power downhill as close to the individual as possible.

    But the thing is, when there are hundreds of counties and thousands of cities calling the shots instead of dozens of states and one central government, we are going to see a lot of variation, including some who do stupid things, some who do unlibertarian things, some who do both. In such a case, the best way forward is to let people learn from their mistakes. If the folks in Charlotte imagine that electing a bunch of social engineers to their city council will improve life there—imposing all sorts of “PC” regs on business or whatever—let them go for it. If they are right, mazel tov! If more likely they end up driving their best employers and jobs away to cities with citizens who are not delusional, then a good lesson will have been learned.
  • commented 2016-04-29 16:27:35 -0400
    My response to Brad Hessel, inline:
    “Brad Hessel commented Speaking as one of the delegates present when this resolution was adopted, I can assure you that our opposition to HB 2 does not imply support for Ordinance 7056. "
    As a Libertarian, and now that you have said that, I understand your position. The problem is that most people, and even many libertarians, would not understand without your further explanation. In a quotation widely attributed to Albert Einstein, “EVERYTHING SHOULD BE MADE AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE, BUT NOT SIMPLER”. Loudly objecting to HB 2, and not mentioning anything about Ordinance 7056, at least as a public pronouncement, would lead almost anyone to the conclusion that your objection is only with HB 2, and not Ordinance 7056. No doubt thousands of people have already been confused by thinking that the LPNC position is the ‘correct’ and complete one for libertarians to follow.

    “Government at any level has no legitimate interest in regulating sexual identity.”

    Tell that to the people who create the forms for birth certificates.

    " However [a] the proper remedy for a bad city ordinance is for that city to reconsider…"

    Well, I agree that the city has to reconsider, and abandon, their prior position.

    “…, not for the state or the Feds to interfere with local government…”

    But I very much disagree that to the extent you portray it. The libertarian position, at least in respect to bathroom policies in buildings owned by individuals, businesses, and corportions, should be that they are at the mercy of clueless local government people. If there is one thing that HB 2 gets right, it is that local government should not be regulating business in this way. If that local government should choose to abandon Ordinance 7056, fine, but I see nothing wrong with state government correcting their obvious error in this way, until they do.

    “…and [b] HB 2 includes other provisions that do not bear on Ordinance 7056, most of which are odious.”

    Then the LPNC position should be that HB 2 should be amended to remove such “odious” portions, and keep the rest, including portions made necessary by the Charlotte government.

    FYI, there was discussion among us delegates about including an explicit condemnation of Ordinance 7056 in the Resolution but after due consideration the majority present decided that sticking with the simpler approach of just focusing on HB 2 would be more effective at advancing the ball, politically speaking.”

    Sorry, but by doing so you’ve made a mistake. Perhaps LPNC simply fell into the hands of some PC-types. Is what you did, “simpler”? Perhaps, but remember Einstein’s statement, above:
    EVERYTHING SHOULD BE MADE AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE, BUT NOT SIMPLER
    You have made your position MUCH simpler than it should have been, preventing it from remaining faithful to true libertarian policy. It has become misleading both to libertarians and non-libertarians alike. Once of the advantages of modern Internet use is that a website can contain as much material as you think is proper to include: People will read until they get tired of doing so; to each his own. If you think the LPNC’s position was somehow space-limited, you should have referred to a “complete” exposition of your position at some URL.
    This is being discussed at http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2016/04/nc-libertarians-say-repeal-hb-2
    Jim Bell, libertarian in Vancouver WA
  • commented 2016-04-29 15:10:35 -0400
    Speaking as one of the delegates present when this resolution was adopted, I can assure you that our opposition to HB 2 does not imply support for Ordinance 7056. Government at any level has no legitimate interest in regulating sexual identity. However [a] the proper remedy for a bad city ordinance is for that city to reconsider, not for the state or the Feds to interfere with local government and [b] HB 2 includes other provisions that do not bear on Ordinance 7056, most of which are odious.

    FYI, there was discussion among us delegates about including an explicit condemnation of Ordinance 7056 in the Resolution but after due consideration the majority present decided that sticking with the simpler approach of just focusing on HB 2 would be more effective at advancing the ball, politically speaking.
  • commented 2016-04-28 09:22:16 -0400
    As a long time Libertarian I think you screwed up on this one. The Charlotte law took away the rights of an individual (read private business owner) from choice. It was government overreach. HB2 allows the individual to make that choice and only puts restrictions in government buildings. It also restricts local governments from having over reach of personal freedoms.

    In the past I have voted, given money too and worked on ballot access for the libertarian party, with this poor decision I think my vote, money and time are best spent elsewhere.
  • commented 2016-04-27 23:31:11 -0400
    NC Libertarians, you screwed up with your call to repeal HB 2.
    See https://mises.org/blog/we-need-separation-bathroom-and-state
    You are too busy being PC to be libertarian.
    And I’m a lifelong libertarian, and have known it for over 40 years.
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