Major League Boondoggle

Major league soccer wants to expand to North Carolina, possibly to the Charlotte or Raleigh/Durham areas. Politicians are already planning a major league boondoggle. Tom Hohman, Union County LP chair sent this letter to the Charlotte City Council and Mecklenburg County commissioners:

"Major League Soccer recently announced it’s intent to add expansion teams and two North Carolina groups are scrambling to meet the imposed proposal deadline of January 31. As a soccer fan, I was ecstatic. After getting a glimpse of the financing, my enthusiasm died when I saw this was another boondoggle – welfare for wealthy corporations and waste for taxpayers.

"We've seen this played out by the NFL and MLB all over our country the past twenty years or more. Independently wealthy individuals with political influence get taxpayer funding to build a stadium. Taxpayers are not privy to owner's financial portfolio, obtain no authority in the running team, don’t receive income from profits of the franchise (if there are any) and if the franchise sold, they receive no share of the profit.

On the other hand, if the franchise is not profitable, taxpayers are conned into making up the difference, so the city doesn't "lose" the team.

"Thankfully, the tide is turning on these wasteful schemes. These proposals are being forced to the ballot box and are failing resoundingly.I share the Libertarian Party of North Carolina’s platform on corporate welfare: The LPNC opposes any action by state or local government to subsidize the costs of private business

The Charlotte city council is apparently balking at the project. Read more here.

John Locke Foundation senior vice president Jon Pritchett, is also calling a foul on this play. He spent 28 years in the sports industry as an executive, investment banker, and consultant. Read his analysis here.

Pritchett thinks an MLS club in North Carolina is a good idea. But, he said "There are smart ways to accomplish this goal … and then there is the way the Charlotte bid has been moving forward." Read more here. 

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Make Boards of Elections Nonpartisan

The changes to the makeup of the state and county boards of elections proposed by the Republicans is just another attempt to consolidate their stranglehold on the electoral system, the state Libertarian Party chair said in a statement today.

“Don’t be fooled. Calling this a bipartisan board is a smokescreen to hide the fact that this proposal is designed to shut-out the fastest growing segment of registered voters – independents and alternative parties,” said Brian Irving.

“In more than half North Carolina’s counties, unaffiliated voters outnumber either Republicans or Democrats, including Wake, Durham, and Mecklenburg. In eight counties, they outnumber both. And if the trend continues, unaffiliated voters will soon be the second largest group in the state, surpassing the Republicans.

“Ten years ago, there were fewer than a million unaffiliated voters. Today, that number has nearly doubled. Unaffiliated voters make up one-third of the registration rolls. The record early voter turnout for the November election was due in large part to a 40 percent increase in unaffiliated voter participation.

“So why do the establishment parties continue to ignore the interests of this major voting block? Republicans have two choices; they can try to reach out to unaffiliated voters, or they can try to shut them out. They have chosen the latter course of action.

“If the Republicans and Democrats want to reform the management of our elections, they should make the boards of elections non-partisan groups, and open membership to unaffiliated voters and other parties. At the very least, they should give unaffiliated voters a seat at the table.

“The Libertarian Party of North Carolina advocates amending state law to provide a process enabling unaffiliated voters to serve on boards of election."

Read the bill here.

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Summerell Rejoins LPNC Exec Comm

The state Libertarian Party Executive Committee just added several people to its leadership team. 

They elected former chair J.J. Summerell to fill the vacant vice chair position. Summerell stepped down as chair in June to run for Congress. 

Michael Desantis was named political director. Desantis was Summerell’s campaign manager. He also worked on three other campaigns, including interning with current Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. 

Bruce Basson, Wake LP vice chair, was named to chair the Strategic Planning Committee. He is the senior scientific advisor at Quintiles IMS.  

Jeremy Hussey was also named County Affiliate Development Director. He is an at-large member of the executive committee and has been serving as affiliate coordinator for central North Carolina.

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