There is a rare opportunity that we can't afford to miss
by Rob Yates
LPNC Communications Director
Comic by Noah Zenger
Official positions, events, campaigns, support, and on and on. There is no time quite like the present to get involved...
It has been a big news month for North Carolina politics. Over the last few weeks, we saw several bills passed and become law. This includes the pistol purchase permit repeal, which Governor Cooper vetoed, and which the legislature subsequently voted to overturn, due in no small part to the pressure campaign of you, the people of North Carolina.
We saw a representative switch parties and the torrent of local, state, and national publicity that came with it. We saw the state house pass a budget and a medicaid expansion bill. We saw a bill introduced covering safety and emissions inspections, another bill that shifts power from the governor to the general assembly.
At the national level, yesterday "officially" ended a covid "emergency" that many of us had ceased to acknowledge years ago. We saw Trump get arrested, grandstanding for all at the Tennessee legislature, and the RESTRICT act quietly making its way to restrict our Liberty. It has garnered the moniker "The Online Patriot Act," which is truly ignominious company, as far as legislation goes.
The machine moves forward regardless of how we feel about it. It's time to take a stand.
The stars are aligned for us to gain significant ground
The year 2023 is the relatively infrequent election cycle where there are neither state nor national level elections. There are definitely elections, though. In fact, a number of city and municipal level races are coming up in 2023, including city councils, mayors, and other municipal-level elected position. We expect to have several candidates. There are open races for several more to join. (We will have coverage on running for office next month, including filing dates, what it takes, and what to expect, as well as resources for candidates.)
In 2020, NC broke records as we pushed $1 billion dollars in total campaign spending. While spending was not that insane in 2021, it was still the most expensive down-ballot election year in history. We bounced back in 2022, with nearly $200 million in campaign spending, and 2024 projections are already at $150 million and more for the governor race.
Here in quiet, little 2023, though, spending is not expected (as of right now) to cross the $30 million mark total, and some projections are significantly less than that. The fundraising reports are coming, and the Republicrats and Democrans are predictably building up their war chests by cozying up with the big donor special interest groups who own their souls and ultimately control legislative action. But next year promises to be a doozy for spending and partisan aggression, and next year's candidates are locking down the money they need to turn their "base" into aggressive attack dogs against their opponents, while they all talk about "democracy."
Given that so much of the machine will be looking ahead, we have the chance to win races where we will be on relatively equal footing against uniparty candidates who don't have an unlimited ATM at their disposal. Further, the apparatus is in place. We have great candidates, infrastructure, materials, support, strategy, and the data to back it all up. However, these races take time and resources to win. We need people to message, phone bank, table events, fundraise, and so much more.
Every tiny contribution matters. They add up to a #2023goldrush.
So much more to do now and into the future
It isn't just local campaigns this year where there is opportunity to get involved. We have an immediate need for an Outreach Director as well as three committees that we are looking to fill. There are a number of other open director and staff positions for those of you who want to share your talents.
Especially with the success of the pistol purchase permit efforts, we are looking to effect positive legislative change where we can, and that takes resources. We already have people in NC working on driving legislative changes in a number of areas (which the Tar Heel will cover in detail in future editions). If you have ever wanted to be involved with the legislative side of things, but not running for office, let us know, and we can connect you.
We have a highly dedicated IT team that always needs good people for our internal development initiatives around data, website refreshing, and CRM maintenance, among others. The communications team needs people to contribute content, help build out our social media profile, edit, handle regular press releases, develop press contacts, and craft messaging and design materials. Our affiliates team needs support and people to start and join local affiliates. There are events through the summer, fall, winter, and into next year where we need people to manage our tables and actively engage with the crowds, building our presence and spreading our message.
Two candidates have announced their campaigns for governor next year, and they will both need people to help them compete. And then there will be a full slate of other candidates on ballot in 2024, and they will need the same support as candidates this year.
But mostly, we need you to represent the LPNC in North Carolina. We need you to spread the message and help other people see what we do. We need to come together to push back against self-interested, and well-funded, forces dedicated to advancing their own causes at the expense of our Liberty.