Libertarians Resolve for Liberty

The outcome of the 2015 LPNC Annual Convention this weekend was a clear and overwhelming decision by the attendees to “Resolve for Liberty in 2015.” 

Libertarian Party chair Nicholas Sarwark, our keynote speaker, played hooky from the proceedings on Sunday to sojourn into downtown Raleigh for a 40-minute appearance on C-SPAN. We delayed reconvening the convention to watch the last 15 minutes of the show on the big screen in the meeting room.

The result was a grand-slam, out-of-the-ballpark home run. Nick gave great responses to some pointed questions from listeners. 

The inspirational combination of that interview, Nick's address to the convention Saturday afternoon, and the dynamic presentation of our banquet speaker, political analyst John Davis, was palpable. 

Nearly everyone present spontaneously upped their financial pledge and several folks who had not planned to do so were inspired to run for at-large seats on the executive committee. As a result, for the first time in a long time we have a full-house on the EC.

One delegate announced his decision to run for the state House in 2016. 

The new executive committee is: Chair J.J. Summerell (Greensboro), Vice Chair Brian Irving (Wake), Treasurer Alex Vuchnich (Mecklenburg), and Secretary Windy McKinney (Haywood). 

At-large members are: Timothy Lee Cole (Mecklenburg), Chris Dooley (Rowan), Jessica Leigh Dunlap (Haywood), Tom Hohman (Union), Lonnie Holcomb (Wake), Jeremy Hussey (Randolph), Brian Lewis (Wake), Ken Penkowski (Wake), and Erik Raudsep (Durham). 

2015 LPNC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.  Standing: Brad Hessel, Erick Raudsep, Lonnie Holcomb, J.J. Summerell, Ken Penkowski, Brian Irving, (delegate Ken Penkowski Sr.), Seated: Tim Cole, Brian Lewis, LP Penguin, (delegate Jake Badgonas), Windy McKinney, Jessica Dunlap. Not pictured: Chris Dooley, Tom Hohman, Jeremy Hussey, Alex Vuchnich.

Pardon Todd Stimson

Delegates also approve a resolution calling on Gov. Pat McCrory to pardon Todd Stimson, who was convicted of marijuana trafficking and sentenced to up to 39 months in prison.

The resolution notes that Stimson “is a peaceful, honest family man, and has helped many in North Carolina and victimized no one” and that “no public safety interest is met by sending peaceful, honest people to prison.” 

Stimson was arrested despite the fact that he's paid for a business privilege license for the art of healing from the state Department of Revenue, has articles of incorporation from the N.C. Secretary of State explaining his business and its educational and scientific goals, and has paid for tax stamps on the plants he's purchased. 

But according the state revenue department, buying stamps only fulfills an unauthorized substance tax obligation. The website explains that people who buy stamps will still be violating North Carolina criminal statutes for possessing drugs. 

Stimson noted that state government and local police benefited from the tax stamps he bought for his plants. 

Read more on the Stimson case here, here and here

The convention also passed a resolution congratulating the Duke University Blue Devils for winning the NCAA Men's Basketball championship. 

There were also changes made to the bylaws and convention rules. One bylaws amendments combined the offices of recording and membership secretary into a single secretary position. Another increased the number of at large seats on the executive committee to nine.

All-in-all it was a great convention. But wait until next year. In 2016 we'll be celebrating our 40th anniversary, and it's a presidential and gubernatorial election year. So it promises to be a really big show. 


WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina supports ending cannabis prohibition and prohibitions against harmless people self medicating, and; 

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina recognizes that no public safety interest is met by sending peaceful, honest people to prison, and; 

WHEREAS, Todd Stimson, although recently convicted in Hendersonville of marijuana trafficking, is a peaceful, honest family man, and has helped many in NC and victimized no one, 

THEREFORE, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina calls on Governor Pat McCrory to pardon Todd Stimson of all charges in this matter. 

Done in Convention, April 12, 2015, Durham, North Carolina 

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