Coming off the rails

This opinion piece was published in the Herald Sun on December 1, 2018.

On behalf of the citizens and taxpayers of Orange County I urge GoTriangle and the local government agencies to cease wasting time and money on the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project.

After millions of dollars planning a critically flawed program, the plan is literally coming off the rails. Splitting downtown Durham up is the final nail in the coffin of this program. The hubris of continuing to assume that any federal funding is going to happen for this project is appalling.

With the limited commercial tax base in Orange County property taxes will end up going through the roof to support the inevitable cost overruns and wildly optimistic planning for what is a vanity project to primarily benefit UNC Hospitals and Duke Medicine along with the property speculators along the DOLRT path. If the rail does not go to the airport it is not a viable option.

End the dream to save us from a nightmare down the road. Duke has already spoken volumes in reference to the lack of foresight on this project. It is time for everyone to come together to say, no more wasted time or effort on this doomed project.

Matthew Clements

Orange County

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LPNC Executive Committee Meeting in Asheboro on November 17th

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina Executive Committee will be meeting at Positano in Asheboro on Saturday, November 17 from 2-4 p.m. Before the meeting (1-2 p.m.) we will have lunch and informal discussion. Libertarians and guests are welcome to attend. There may be a special event before or after the meeting - details will be posted on the event page and the LPNC Facebook page.

The LPNC Executive Committee meets roughly every other week. The meetings are open to the public and are typically virtual presence meetings. This means you can call in by phone or join us online. We endeavor to also make in-person meetings, like this one, accessible via virtual presence. Please RSVP here or contact the LPNC Secretary at secretary@lpnc.org for instructions.

The LPNC Executive Committee members are looking forward to seeing you!

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Libertarian Party of NC makes a statement at the polls

November 6, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: press@lpnc.org or Susan Hogarth 919-906-2106

Libertarian Party of NC makes a statement at the polls

“North Carolina is now a multiparty state”

RALEIGH (November 6) – The Libertarian Party of North Carolina (LPNC) is celebrating strong showings by its candidates for federal, state, and local offices in today’s general election, and the party and its members plan to keep their feet on the gas and continue that momentum.

“North Carolina is no longer strictly the playground of the Republican and Democratic parties,” said LPNC Chair Susan Hogarth. “Tonight’s election results showed that the grip of the two institutional major parties is slipping, the people are looking for better choices, and the direction of the trend is clear.”

In tonight’s election results, based on returns as of 11:00 p.m.:

  • In two nationally watched battleground Congressional races, Libertarian candidates Jeff Matemu (NC 2) and Jeff Scott (NC 9) have had a tangible impact on the outcome. Scott’s vote total exceeded the difference between his major-party opponents, and with Wake County results still coming in, Matemu’s totals are similarly significant. In these high-stakes races, thousands of voters chose to support Libertarian principles instead of either of the old parties.
  • The Libertarian Party’s vocal opposition contributed to the defeat of a proposed North Carolina constitutional amendment that would have removed the lone independent voice from the state Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.
  • The LPNC’s support contributed to the success of another constitutional amendment that will increase the constitutional cap on the state’s power to tax incomes.
  • The LPNC’s first-ever statewide judicial entrant, NC Court of Appeals candidate Michael Monaco, also achieved a strong showing of more than 4 percent, which exceeds the difference between his opponents.
  • Libertarian vote percentages in races across North Carolina are many multiples of the party’s approximate 0.5 percent share of registration -- which shows that voters are eager for new choices and that candidates who engage within their communities are in striking distance of making even greater inroads in future races.
  • In the race for N.C. House in District 65, representing Rockingham County, LPNC candidate Houston Barrow set a high-water mark of almost 8 percent of the vote, which shows voters are receptive to Libertarian candidates when they have a chance to engage with them on the issues.

In the fast-changing landscape of the state’s politics:

  • In the last year, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina’s registered membership has grown more than two-and-a-half times as quickly as the state’s overall electorate: Total state voter registration is up 4.15 percent from November 2017 to today, while LPNC registration is up 10.54 percent over the same period.
  • During the last year, both Democrats and Republicans have seen their respective percentage shares of the total state electorate fall. Over the same period, Libertarians’ share has grown. Today every 190th registered voter in North Carolina is a Libertarian.
  • This year’s total of more than three dozen Libertarian candidates in North Carolina was a record slate for the party, including five candidates for U.S. Congress and the party’s first-ever statewide judicial candidate.

“The voters of this state are telling us they’re dissatisfied with elections that force them into false, binary choices—or sometimes no choice at all,” Hogarth added. “They are leaving the old parties behind and looking for alternatives that represent the ways they live and believe. The Libertarian Party stands for ideals that many people can identify with, and we anticipate that our rapid growth will only accelerate.”

What lies ahead as the two-party glacier continues to thaw? Hogarth noted a number of signs that the heat is on. Already, North Carolina has expanded official recognition to five parties, not only two. Editorial boards and debate organizers are taking more notice of Libertarian candidates and finding it less acceptable to pretend they aren’t there. The LPNC is already working to assemble its slate of local candidates for the 2019 elections.

The LPNC is giving North Carolina voters a choice in federal, state, and local election campaigns across the state. To learn more, visit www.lpnc.org. For more information on this announcement, to contact the LPNC for comment, or for help in contacting a specific candidate, please email press@lpnc.org.

-END-

 

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