Volume 3, Issue 7 | April 2023
"But let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you - and why?" ― Walter Williams
In our May 2023 issue, the Tar Heel takes a look at the flurry of legislative activity that is ongoing in the NC state house right now. We have two great interviews - with Orange County LP Chair Matthew Clements, and with GNRC's Andy Stevens. We have some great opinion pieces on currently pending legislation, a scathing rebuke of the Fayetteville city council by Mike Ross, and a brilliant defense of the second amendment philosophically by Justin Hinckley. Enjoy!
Monthly message from the Chair of your Libertarian Party of North Carolina Executive Committee.
Timely ruminations, calls to action, extraordinary insights, and so much more in the articles featured in the Tar Heel Libertarian.
- Courage in Human Action, by Joshua D. Glawson
- Interview with GNRC's Andy Stevens, by Rob Yates
- There Is No Need To Protect Men From Trans Athletes, by Dee Watson
- School Choice Counterpoints, by Angela Humphries and Ryan Brown
Members of your LPNC are doing big things around the state, and we capture it all right here. This month we share Strategic Communications Adviser Joshua Glawson Foudation for Econmic Education article.
The LPNC affiliate team is seeking regional liaisons to assist counties or regions in becoming official affiliates of the LPNC. Liaisons are responsible for following up with local organizers, as well as keeping open communication with those already active. They serve as coordinators between local groups and the LPNC; offering guidance, sharing information and resources, and updating contact information. They should be organized, with strong communication skills, and the willingness to attend virtual, bi-weekly meetings and work collectively to give updates, resolve issues, and find new opportunities.
Meetings are every other Monday at 8 PM.
Please e-mail Kimberly Acer at [email protected] if you are interested!
Each month, the Tar Heel sits down with the Chair of a county affiliate. We discuss our personal stories, humble Libertarian roots, the latest developments in that county, and what we can expect in the future. In May, we hear from Matthew Clements, Orange County Chair, in a broad interview about getting a new affiliate off the ground and what the party needs to keep growing.
Governor candidate Mike Ross on his experience at the Fayetteville city council meeting and the naked power grab that the people thwarted there.
All things second amendment from the LPNC's 2A issues liaison, Justin Hinckley. This month, he looks at why the second amendment is important on a fundamental level.
Who says Libertarians aren't cultured? This month, Steven DiFiore reviews the canonical 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne
April 17, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Libertarian Party of North Carolina (LPNC) condemns, in the absolute strongest terms possible, the arrest of Monica Ussery for exercising her Constitutional right to peaceful protest, as revealed by the police body camera footage that was released last week, as well as the despicable disregard for the law the police officers demonstrated.
Body camera footage has revealed several instances of abhorrent and egregious behavior by police officers, and is often the only way they stand any chance of facing accountability. We at the LPNC have called for justice for Joshua for over a year now. Homeless veteran Joshua Rohrer was harassed and assaulted by two Gastonia police officers, leading to his manufactured arrest which resulted in the death of his service dog. The city fought against the release of that body camera footage for almost nine months. When it was released, we saw that the truth was even worse than the most dire eyewitness accounts.
Or take the case of Jada Johnson. Johnson was allegedly shot 17 times in the back by the cops while other police officers were holding her down. She was completely unarmed at the time she was shot. Her two-year old daughter and her grandparents witnessed the whole thing. Of course, the body camera footage has been sealed and a gag order placed on anyone who sees it, because why would anyone want to see what actually happened (we assume is the state’s reasoning).
In contrast, the numerous actions by noble police officers each and every day merit exposure, to balance the scales of the conversation. Further, body camera videos serve to protect police officers who follow the law and protect the people, instead of putting themselves above the law, especially when there are unfounded accusations of impropriety.
We, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina, call on the state to change its body camera footage rules. The inability of the public to see how well public servants are living up to their charge is a fundamental necessity to a functioning democracy. The draconian control of information, leveraged to serve the interests of the state, imposed by our current body camera footage release laws, protects no one except for corrupt and errant cops, and fosters an environment of distrust between the police and the public they ostensibly serve.
We call on the legislature and Governor Cooper to act immediately to update the law so that all body camera footage is immediately available to the public, with necessary exceptions only to protect the identities of vulnerable victims of crime (excluding when the crime was perpetrated by the police).
Asset Forfeiture - North Carolina's Dark, Discreet Deal with the Feds
How one Huntersville resident is holding government accountable for the sources of its funding,
...and how we can help
It's a safe bet that asset forfeiture isn't something most North Carolinians are thinking about on a regular basis. Even within the context of legal proceedings, asset forfeiture rarely makes the headlines.
Maybe it's because the odds that any one of us will face asset forfeiture are slim. Or maybe it’s because it's easy to write off, assuming only criminals have their money and property taken.
The reality is far more bleak, and the government continues to steal from citizens, even in our home state of North Carolina. Fortunately, one Liberty warrior has taken it upon himself to raise awareness about this important issue, and try to get his town, Huntersville, to reject the ill-gotten spoils of government theft.
Asset forfeiture is, simply put, when the state takes your money or property as part of legal proceedings. Once a vestige of bygone legal frameworks, it was resurrected in the mid-1980s as part of the failed war on drugs, and has grown to the point that the government takes more stuff through asset forfeiture than the “criminal” robbers who aren’t backed by the state. It is legally justified (by the same entities who reap the benefits of forfeiture) as a means of depriving criminals of the spoils of their crimes. In reality, asset forfeiture is used (sometimes with no regard for due process) to take money and property, fund law enforcement, and leverage plea agreements, fourth amendment be damned.
There are two main types of asset forfeiture - civil and criminal. While both are problematic in concept and practice, civil asset forfeiture is far more nefarious. Where criminal forfeiture generally requires a conviction, civil asset forfeiture only requires the state to assert an arbitrary link between the property and a crime. Further, civil cases do not fall under the Sixth Amendment right to an attorney. This is ripe for abuse, and it has been abused, to horrifying degrees.
As these things always tend to go, there is a loophole. If local law enforcement forms an official partnership with federal cops, the federal law reigns supreme, and civil asset forfeiture is very much back on the table. Without irony, this arrangement is called an "equitable sharing program."
Credit where its due, NC has one more protection, too. Proceeds from criminal asset forfeiture are only allowed, theoretically, to go to funding education, thus, again theoretically, eliminating the incentive for local law enforcement to seize property solely for their own benefit. Of course, there is no requirement that law enforcement report forfeited assets, meaning the education spending requirement is roughly as effective as a screen door on a submarine. NC has reaped nearly half a billion dollars in windfall from the equitable sharing program over the last 20 years.
Enter Eric Rowell. Eric has been a mainstay of local Huntersville politics for the last decade, with the seemingly simple request that elected officials be held accountable for the decisions they make.Read more