Government Lobbying Government Part 2

No man's life, liberty or property is safe when the legislature is in session.” - Mark Twain.

by Brian Irving
LPNC Communications Director 

The N.C. General Assembly is back in session. At least they were for a day. The assembly officially convened their 2015-2016 “long session” yesterday, then recessed for two weeks. In those two weeks, most of the legislators will hold fundraising events, just as they did in the days before the session opened. It's never too early to start collecting money for the next election. 

One of the first actions in the House of Representatives was a unanimous bipartisan vote to elect Rep. Tim Moore (R- Clevland) speaker. That will probably be the only unanimous bipartisan vote of the session. 

Most of the members of the General Assembly were sworn in Wednesday, all except for Rep. Edgar Starnes (R-Caldwell) who took the oath early – so he could resign before the session convened to accept a job with the state treasurer's office. Starnes was slated to be the House majority leader. 

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Government Lobbying Government

by Brian Irving
LPNC Communications Director

Wake County will pay a former county manager and state legislature $100,000 to lobby in the General Assembly. The lobbyist, former state Sen. Richard Stevens, spent 16 years working for the county and ten years in the legislature. They're also going to pay $110,000 for an “intergovernmental relations manager.” 

In other words, our elected commissioners will use taxpayer money to pay a former elected official to convince current elected officials to give more taxpayer money – including money from people in other counties – to Wake. Does that seem right? Isn't that what we elect commissioners to do? 

This redistribution of your tax money within the governing class is a prime example of the revolving door politics pervading all levels of government. 

One commissioner's comments illustrate this illogical thinking. Jessica Holmes said that education was a priority, and wants the county to request a statewide raise in teacher pay. Why didn't any commissioner suggest using the $200,00 for education? Or one of the other programs local official are always complaining don't get sufficient funding from the state. They could even have done something really radical and returned the money to the hard-working people who earned it.

Note: This was published as a letter to the editor in today's News & Observer. The newspaper agrees with me. Read their editorial which ran alongside the letter.

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Ready to Build on Success in 2016, 2020

Happy New Year! Libertarians in North Carolina are more organized and more prepared for success than ever before. This is after the LPNC Executive Committee approved the recommendations of a strategic planning effort outlining key initiatives for the coming three election cycles. The results-oriented plan sharpens and focuses efforts in areas which are vital to strengthening our effectiveness in local, state and federal elections. 

See this overview video for more detail on the strategic plan

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A Libertarian’s New Year’s Resolutions

These resolutions were written by the late Harry Browne in 1998. They are as valid for 2015 as they were then. 

by Harry Browne

Harry_Browne.jpg1. I resolve to sell liberty by appealing to the self-interest of each prospect, rather than preaching to people and expecting them to suddenly adopt my ideas of right and wrong.

2. I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates. My purpose is to inspire people to want liberty—not to prove that they're wrong.

3. I resolve to listen when people tell me of their wants and needs, so I can help them see how a free society will satisfy those needs.

4. I resolve to identify myself, when appropriate, with the social goals someone may seek—a cleaner environment, more help for the poor, a less divisive society—and try to show him that those goals can never be achieved by government, but will be well served in a free society.

5. I resolve to be compassionate and respectful of the beliefs and needs that lead people to seek government help. I don't have to approve of their subsidies or policies—but if I don't acknowledge their needs, I have no hope of helping them find a better way to solve their problems.

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