Let Craft Brewers Grow

by David Ulmer

Most people believe if you start your own business, work hard and build it into something, you should have the right to reap the rewards. That is the American dream. However, in North Carolina some local brewers are being denied that right. 

North Carolina has a prosperous and booming craft brewery industry. This economic boon was the direct result of a grassroots effort ten years ago called “Pop-the-Cap.” The reform lifted unnecessary rules and regulations on the craft brewers. It allowed the free-market to respond. 

Dozens of hard working entrepreneurs started making local beer for consumers across the state. They brought in $1.2 billion dollars and created more than 10,000 jobs, according to NC Craft Brewers Guild estimates. State community colleges even have programs to prepare young people to work in this fast growing industry. 

For some politicians and special interests groups, success is a problem. Large, established distributors, with government-granted monopolies on transporting alcoholic products, lobbied for laws requiring any brewery producing more than 25,000 barrels per year to use their services. Distributors then gain total control over where craft beers may be sold.

Distributors want government to give them a cut of a business they didn't help build. 

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Renew Your Passion for Liberty at Lake Lure

Renew your passion for freedom with libertarian friends from across North Carolina at the Libertarian Party of North Carolina’s 2017 Convention Aug. 11-13 at The Lake Lure Inn and Spa.

Bask in the company of fellow libertarians from across North Carolina and prepare yourself to share the vision of a society built on voluntary relationships with all of our fellow citizens, and to bring that dream to fruition.

Be inspired as John Sophocleus shares the story of his court battles to defend our property rights against abuses of the power of eminent domain by the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Learn how to run effective political campaigns from Dena Espenscheid from the Leadership Institute.

Listen as Larry Sharpe shares his insight into how Libertarians can grow our local and state chapters by helping our fellow citizens understand the advantages afforded to them by a society anchored in free exchange and voluntary relationships.

Participate in revising our by-laws and electing the officers to lead the party forward in the year ahead.

Arrive on Friday night for a stay at The Lake Lure Inn, a classic 90-year-old, freshly renovated hotel with panoramic views of the lake and the mountains of Western North Carolina. On Saturday, feast on a luncheon of fried chicken and pulled pork at and a beautiful Italian buffet for dinner.


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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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