“A world without dialogue is a universe of darkness." -Erik Pevernagie

Volume 3, Issue 16 | February 2024

“What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don’t like something to saying that the government should forbid it.” - Thomas Sowell

In this issue…

 

 

From the Chair

Today, the extra day granted once every four years, and a week away from the state-mandated time change – significant increase in heart attacks be damned – we are faced with the overwhelming intrusion of the government into every aspect of our lives. But there is something else important about today – we have a chance to fight back in a very tangible way.

Tuesday, March 5, is election day for the North Carolina primary. Early voting has been going for weeks. We have two candidates in a primary for governor for the first time in decades, and we have a significant opportunity to send a message that we are sick of the uniparty fighting over which side gets to take our rights. But we can only send this message if you all show up and vote.

We also have the most substantial slate of presidential candidates, and you have the chance to opine on which you would prefer represent the Libertarian Party in the national election. Again, if you don’t exercise your right to vote, then your voice will not be represented as we make this crucial decision that sets the path for the party’s future, not just this year, but for the next several years.

We have provided polling places for early and day of voting in this edition of the Tar Heel, and we have given you all the material you need to review the candidates and make your decision. Now it’s up to y'all.

The LPNC is doing all it can to fight for Liberty in our great state, and we held our annual state convention earlier this month. The event was an overwhelming success, and I am so thankful to the volunteers and party members who came out and made our convention not just possible, but so successful.

In particular, I want to thank Zac Lentz and Dee Watson for their tireless work on all the details of the convention, making sure everything went smoothly from end-to-end. I want to thank Angela Humphries for all her work helping to raise money and set up the auctions. I want to thank Eric Rowell and Michael Gibson for giving extraordinary talks about their roles in the Liberty movement – and how we can emulate their successes. I want to thank Barbara Howe, Shannon Bray, and Mike Ross for the governor grilling. I want to thank Dan Smotz and all the presidential candidates for the Sunday morning presidential debate. And I want to thank the Village Inn for again being top notch hosts for our annual convention.

I am keeping it short this week, as there is plenty for you all to read below, and I don’t want to take one extra second that you could be using to get to your local polling station. Things are picking up for the LPNC this year, but it starts with you. Please, get out there and vote.

-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair

North Carolina, Go Vote

Just a few days left to vote in the primary, and it matters for the LPNC

by Brad Hessel
LPNC Renaissance Man

Do you know that March 5th is Super Tuesday and that North Carolina is one of 16 states that are holding primary elections that day?

Do you know that the LPNC has a contested primary for Governor for the first time this century? Shannon Bray and Mike Ross are vying to head up the party's Council of State slate—which includes candidates for Lt. Governor, Auditor, and Commissioner of Agriculture in addition to Governor. You can check out their debate at the state convention earlier this month here.

Do you know that if you're a registered L, this is the only gubernatorial primary you can vote in. So please help us pick a candidate who can garner enough votes to keep us on the ballot for another four years!

Do you know that if you are registered unaffiliated, then you have your choice of which party primary to vote in...but in that case, please consider that ours is the only competitive race for Governor, as the polls show Josh Stein and Mark Robinson with commanding leads in the D and R primary contests, respectively. If you want your opinion to count, you should vote in our primary!

Do you know that the LPNC also has the only competitive Presidential primary? Donald Trump has things sewn up on the R side and the Ds only have one candidate on the ballot (Joe Biden, of course). There are ten folks on the Libertarian Presidential primary ballot, and five of them showed up at our convention. This race is wide open, so again, if you are registered unaffiliated, don't waste your vote in a D or R primary that is already decided...vote for your favorite Libertarian candidate and help us choose the best one!

Find your polling place here.

 

Governor candidates:

First 2024 Libertarian Governor Candidate Debate

2024 Four Party Governor Candidate Debate

Shannon Bray on Spectrum News 1

Mike Ross on Spectrum News 1

 

Presidential Candidates:

Jacob Hornberger LPNC Pre-Debate Interview with Dan Smotz

Michael Rectenwald LPNC Pre-Debate Interview with Dan Smotz

Mike ter Maat LPNC Post-Debate Interview with Dan Smotz

Lars Mapstead LPNC Pre-Debate Interview with Dan Smotz

Chase Oliver LPNC Post-Debate Interview with Dan Smotz

Liberty iNC with Mike ter Maat

Liberty iNC with Lars Mapstead

Liberty iNC with Chase Oliver

Joshua Smith on Liberty iNC coming this weekend. 

A Call for More Libertarian Experts in North Carolina

by Joshua D. Glawson
LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina needs specialists and those willing to speak if we are to grow as a party and as an influential organization in the state.

On January 27, 2024, I attended the John Locke Foundation’s Carolina Liberty Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

I was sad to see there were very few outright libertarians speaking, and the liberty-light event was dominated by Republicans, conservatives, and conservatarians.  

Although I think highly of the John Locke Foundation, overall, and I believe they genuinely help to promote liberty in North Carolina and beyond, I have some concerns after attending this conference. 

During the event, the John Locke Foundation took a straw poll on various political topics. The results of the poll reflected a dominant government approach to each category and politicians that fall in line with such interventionism. 

A couple of the questions and results:

  • Question: “Should North Carolina allow for the development of casinos outside of tribal lands?”
    • Results: 45.2% said, “No;” 36.5% said, “Yes;” 20.2% said, “Undecided.” (I guess some people decided to vote more than once, with results equaling 101.9%)
  • Question: “If the primary election were held today, which candidate would you support to be GOP nominee for President of the United States?”
    • Results: 53.3% said, “Donald Trump;” 34.3% said, “Nikki Haley;” 6.7% said, “Undecided;” 4.8% said, “Ron DeSantis;” <1% said, “I do not plan to vote in the GOP primary;” and, <1% said, “Ron Paul.” 

Interestingly, almost every question asked in the poll was focused on the GOP and conservative talking points. 

Ten out of 14 questions asked directly about GOP candidates and none involved other political parties. 

If the conference is about liberty, one would naturally think there would be more liberty-related questions and results rather than a Trump bandwagon cloaked in the name of Liberty. 

Here Lies the Problem

The John Locke Carolina Liberty Conference is a prime example of why Libertarians should be more active in educating the public and being politically active, as Republicans, conservatives, and conservatarians butcher the name of liberty for their causes.

Their dominance over liberty is why much of the public is ignorant of the philosophy, politics, and economics of Libertarianism. Instead, much of the public, unfortunately, think Libertarians are a political extension of Republicans, conservatives, and conservatarians. 

In the essay Political Value Structures of the United States of America I discuss the hierarchical values of the four main political parties in the U.S.

In this essay, it is noted that Republicans and conservatives tend to use the guise of liberty to promote their own ideas of government authority over the individual, markets, and [political opponents] alike. Overall, Republicans believe that the government should do more for their causes at the expense of individual rights, liberty, and markets.

Out-of-State Pseudo-Libertarian Speakers 

The event had two libertarian-esque speakers present. These included William Ruger - President of the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), and Scott Lincicome - Vice President of General Economics & Trade at the Cato Institute. 

Now, before you think this is just another example of libertarian infighting deciding who is and who is not a real libertarian, hear me out.

When Lincicome provided his lackluster yawner of a presentation, he alluded that more government intervention was the solution to problems with politicians and their meddling in markets and the lives of individuals without providing additional protections for the individual or markets.  

Even worse was when Ruger presented. Paraphrasing until the video is released, if they dare to post it, Ruger stated that free trade does not promote peace, and free trade for promoting peace is a myth that people have believed since the 1700-1800s. Even more frustrating is that he did not substantiate such an audacious claim, as he paid homage to Trump’s stance against trade with China at the expense of markets and the individual.

Libertarian Party of North Carolina

If Libertarians are to build a movement that relinquishes the death grips of the government over the lives of peaceful individuals and civil markets, while maintaining the truth of our message, we need more libertarian minds writing, speaking, and presenting on related topics. Not only for the sake of the Libertarian Party but more importantly for the lives of individuals and markets in North Carolina and beyond.    

If you are an expert in a particular field such as police reform, philosophy, history, taxes, entrepreneurship, housing, medical field, sound money, law, asset forfeiture, the US Constitution, NC Constitution, guns, free speech, filing FOIAs, or anything else, there’s likely an opportunity to have your work read and your voice heard.

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina is actively working on coordinating more opportunities to publish and present around the state, and we need your help.

If you are like me and tired of Republicans, conservatives, and conservatarians abusing the name of liberty to promote their own warped causes at the expense of free or unhampered markets and peaceful individuals in North Carolina, we need you.

We have a team ready to help you grow and excel. Even if that means speaking at a John Locke Foundation event, or any other, we need to keep our voices from being drowned out by Republicans, conservatives, and conservatarians.

Are you ready to climb out of the stagnant echo chamber and into the world of action?

Joshua D. Glawson is Content Manager for MoneyMetals.com and a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (joshuadglawson.com)

LP in NC

Liberty Babes

Liberty Babes (@LibertyBabesX) is using the power of AI to create Liberty warriors and spread freedom messaging. Now, with Tar Heel exclusives:

"Liberation is the relentless pursuit of individual freedom, the unwavering belief that every person has the inherent right to chart their own course, and the courage to stand against the encroachments of the state. It is a beacon of hope, a call to arms, and a declaration that in the battle for liberty, we are the architects of our own destiny." - @LibertyBabesX

Cheers to Rebellion!

Local Activism and Civil Asset Forfeiture

A Presentation Given at the LPNC Convention*

*edited slightly for print

by: Eric Rowell, LPMeck and LPNC

I want to start by thanking Dee [Watson, LPNC Secretary and Political and Policy Director] for the invitation to speak this morning and to the Libertarian Party of North Carolina for giving me the opportunity to talk about such an important topic. I’d also like to recognize fellow Mecklenburg Libertarians Rob Yates and James Higgins for their encouragement – it’s been great getting to know both gentlemen over past few years, it’s reassuring that even in the liberal stronghold that is Mecklenburg, there are so many advocates for freedom fighting to change the status quo.

My goal today - I hope to inspire at least one person here to head back to his or her hometown with action items on what to do to help end the abusive and corrupt practice of asset forfeiture in NC. And I will commit to being a resource for anyone who needs assistance.

A little bit about myself since I’m not exactly a household name in the liberty movement outside of Huntersville. I’m a North Carolina native, grew up in the Garner area in Wake County. Pretty traditional upbringing, both parents raised in the Garner area as well. I have three younger sisters, almost made it all the way through Webelos, played sports growing up and through high school, spent many a Friday night sitting on a tailgate in the Food Lion parking lot wasting time with friends waiting on something exciting to happen, and I always liked to read.

I graduated from NC State University in 2003 with a BA in Poli Sci, worked for a year delivering produce in the mornings and then going to work as a clerk at a law firm in the afternoons, and then was accepted into the first class at the Charleston School of Law. Since graduating law school, I have worked as a state prosecutor, defended individuals charged with felonies and misdemeanors while on the appointed counsel list for Mecklenburg County, spent two years doing insurance defense work at a small firm in Charlotte, five years as an adjuster with an insurance company, and for the past five years now working as general counsel and then risk manager for a large pool management company with offices in multiple states. I’ve also been a two-time candidate for town board in Huntersville. Even though I didn’t win, I’ve remained engaged locally trying to help keep the focus on limiting government locally whenever possible.

I have what I would consider a fairly conservative outlook, so of course I registered as a Republican when I turned 18. I’ve always loved listening to talk radio, still do, and I was a big fan of Rush Limbaugh (make fun all you want, but if it weren’t for Rush I probably would have never been exposed to the great economist and thinker Walter Williams, who used to be a guest host when Rush was out) and watched plenty of Fox News. But I was never active in politics through college other than being a regular voter, and it wasn’t until law school that I really began to think for myself and push back against the index card of allowable opinion, as Tom Woods would say.

Two anecdotes still stick with me from law school – that I’m mainly sharing for anyone here in the room still in college/grad school or who may be heading there soon – a family law professor who tried to accuse George W. Bush of being opposed to gay marriage by signing into law the Defense of Marriage Act when it had obviously been signed years before by President Clinton – I pointed this out to him respectfully after class and he was incredulous until I literally showed him on my laptop the facts. And then another instance in a Legislative Advocacy elective taught by a former legislative aide to Democrat Senator John Breaux (another anecdote involving Bill Clinton actually), who made a claim about Clinton’s popularity by citing his being elected by an overwhelming majority of the vote – when Clinton wasn’t elected either time with a majority of the vote – thanks mainly to Ross Perot. And of course, by the time I started Constitutional Law, I was the annoying student keeping everyone in class longer by constantly questioning the professor.

If my professors could be wrong about simple things that could easily be verified with some quick research, what else could all the adults be wrong about? Finally about a year after graduating law school I had my “red pill” moment while doing mindless legal document review and listening to a replay of Rush Limbaugh with Walter Williams filling in as host – when he shared a quote from Frederic Bastiat’s The Law. The next day I downloaded an audio version of The Law to listen to and I haven’t looked at the world the same since – every line in that work hit me like a ton of bricks – and that’s what started me down the liberty rabbit hole leading me here today.

I share all this with this group in particular to simply say – be patient with those in your network who may not be where we all are yet, who may still be stuck in the Republican Good/Democrat Bad world of the likes of Mark Levin and Fox News. Not everyone comes to the Liberty Movement at the same time, some of us take longer to get here, but Libertarians are fighting a major uphill battle against the legacy corporate media and [AT LEAST] 12 years of public school indoctrination and the general tendency of human nature to seek out pleasure and minimize pain – but if we are going to be successful in rolling back the state in areas like asset forfeiture, we will need all of the help we can get.

So, what does it mean to Lead Locally? To me it means spending time and energy focusing on attainable goals in your own backyard instead of wasting time and energy trying to accomplish far more unattainable goals like changing policy at the federal level. I know this is a presidential election year – and I’m not trying to diminish the importance of having strong candidates and voices from the Liberty Movement involved with presidential politics – but for the vast majority of us here, we can accomplish far more locally than in Raleigh or D.C. One person can make a very dramatic impact on a local level.

A few examples of local activism I’ve been involved with over the past 15 or so years.

  • Speaking at a town board meeting against town of Cheraw (SC) plans to purchase a local golf course – the town ultimately decided against and the golf course was purchased by private investors.
  • Speaking at a Charlotte City Council meeting (I lived in Charlotte from 2010-2013 before moving to Huntersville) and attending transportation subcommittee meeting to oppose a plan to strictly regulate pedicabs in Charlotte – worked with my city council member to minimize the anti-competitive impact of the original regulations.
  • Handing out copies of Bastiat’s The Law to town board members in Huntersville at my first town board meeting after moving there back in 2014 (which of course none of them have probably ever read) and being a government watchdog ever since – running a facebook group dedicated solely to Huntersville Politics since 2017 with now over 1100 members, including multiple elected officials.
  • Being awarded the 2021 Sunshine Award from the NC Open Government Coalition for my efforts at increasing transparency in Huntersville and for advocating for the town following open meeting and public record laws.
  • Helping make Huntersville the second town in the state to opt in to lowering alcohol sales times on Sunday to 10 AM after passage of the Brunch Bill back in 2017.
  • Pushing Huntersville to start live streaming board meetings back in 2015 so residents who couldn’t attend wouldn’t have to wait weeks for minutes to be released.
  • Earning a No Contact letter from an attorney on behalf of the Huntersville Fire Dept. back in 2018 simply for asking for records related to their finances (HFD, Inc. receives about 98 percent of their funding from taxes, but claim to not be subject to public records laws…).
  • Helping to break a number of stories locally as a result of my activism and cultivating sources over the years – HPD officer discharging a weapon into busy shopping area, former Town Board member receiving $97K in no-bid contracts, HPD officer writing speeding tickets with an expired radar certification leading to at least 20 dismissed tickets.
  • And bringing HPD’s involvement with the asset forfeiture program to the attention of the town board over the past few years through multiple posts online and requests for records – and finally last year getting the board to remove this item off of Consent where it was never discussed and forcing the chief to defend the practice and promise reforms.

Forfeiture Basics

Now let’s turn to why I’m here today – civil asset forfeiture. This audience is probably more familiar with this practice, along with the known problems and abuses, than most audiences, but a few basics for anyone not already familiar. We all have our individual areas of focus in the movement (whether it’s monetary policy, licensing, war and foreign policy, etc.), I think for me issues involving abuse by the police have been a focus because I have a background as a prosecutor and I am not blinded by some notion of the benevolent state. I’ve seen police abuse their power in person and I have not been afraid to ask tough questions involving the Huntersville PD.

Civil asset forfeiture is basically any situation involving law enforcement seizing money, vehicles, or other property from the rightful owner without requiring the owner to be convicted or even charged with a crime.

Thankfully, we live in one of the few states in the country that has abolished civil asset forfeiture and only allows property/money to be forfeited after a criminal conviction; NC law requires a criminal conviction and also a connection to a drug offense. Not only has NC taken steps to protect innocent individuals from being abused by this practice by requiring a conviction and by allowing an innocent third-party (like the spouse or parent of a drug offender) to contest the forfeiture in court, the legislature has also essentially eliminated the “incentive problem” by requiring any proceeds from property seized (or actual cash) to go to the local school board for the county in which the property was seized. The law enforcement agency involved does still have the option to retain the property for official use, but this isn’t typically done (does anyone remember Wake Co. Sheriff receiving criticism for keeping a Corvette Z06 a few years back?).

So, if NC doesn’t allow civil asset forfeiture, why am I here today talking about it? Because of what’s known as the Equitable Sharing loophole. Law enforcement agencies in NC are still permitted to benefit from seizing money or property through the Equitable Sharing program, potentially from innocent individuals. According to the Institute for Justice (IJ) – the leading public interest law firm advocating for change on this issue – equitable sharing allows state and local law enforcement agencies to partner with the federal government to seize and forfeit property under federal law—and receive up to 80 percent of the proceeds—regardless of state law. This happens in two ways – through “adoption” or via participation in federal law enforcement “task forces.” In Huntersville, for example, according to the most recent information provided to me by HPD, we have seven officers who are on loan to DOJ and Homeland Security “task forces” and that is where our asset forfeiture proceeds come from – we don’t have a formal policy prohibiting “adoption,” but our chief has stated publicly HPD does not get involved with adoption.

What do I mean by “adoption?”

When money or other property is seized as part of a state or local investigation or prosecution, the forfeiture of those assets can be “adopted” by a federal agency if the offense is also a crime under federal law (as most controlled substance offenses are). Why the federal government even has “federal drug laws” to begin with is an entirely separate topic; however, on a positive note, this is a modern example of nullification since an increasing number of states simply ignore these laws by legalizing marijuana.

Equitable sharing gives state and local agencies another avenue for forfeiting property and gaining a share of proceeds—one backed by the resources of the federal government. More than that, though, the program enables law enforcement agencies to circumvent their own state’s forfeiture laws in favor of forfeiting property under federal forfeiture laws. Thus, forfeiting property through equitable sharing may be especially appealing when a state, like NC, offers property owners more protections, or makes forfeiture less lucrative, than federal law does.

Proponents argue equitable sharing—and the revenue it generates—is essential for federal, state, and local law enforcement to effectively collaborate, especially when it comes to combatting the illegal drug trade. In theory, these forfeitures take the profit out of crime and provide state and local agencies with the resources they need to continually step up their crime-fighting abilities. But, according to IJ, recent research finds no evidence that this is actually true. Results from the 2019 study by economist Brian Kelly indicate equitable sharing payments to state and local agencies did not translate into more crimes solved or lower levels of drug use—though they did correspond to fiscal stress, suggesting equitable sharing use increases when the economy turns sour and law enforcement budgets are likely to suffer cuts.

Part of the reason participation in equitable sharing doesn’t equate to lower crime levels – often the cases/arrests/seizures don’t even take place in the town involving the local officers. Just last week I was provided with details on four recent task force related seizures involving HPD, none of which were actually in Huntersville.


For context – NC law enforcement agencies reported $16 million of forfeiture funds in 2023.

PROBLEMS?

So what if law enforcement goes after the bad guys by taking money and guns and property from drug dealers? If you’re not a drug dealer what do you have to worry about, right? If you’re not guilty you won’t get your money seized.

Tell that to the hundreds, if not thousands of innocent victims of asset forfeiture across the country since the federal government ramped up its involvement in the early 80s, and those are only the ones we know about.

Tell that to Jermaine Sanders in Mooresville, or the child sex abuse victim in Mint Hill who can’t recover against her abuser, or Lyndon McClellan – a convenience store owner in Fairmont, NC, or Jerry Johnson – who owns a small trucking business outside of Charlotte, or any number of airport travelers in Charlotte or Raleigh who have been the victim of random stops by law enforcement for carrying perfectly legal amounts of cash for domestic travel.

Another problem – asset forfeiture too often targets the poor and the powerless. According to IJ, the reality is that the typical forfeiture is hardly the stuff of drug kingpins or major fraudsters. In the 21 states with available data, most currency forfeited in recent years was under $2,000, an average of $1,276 across all states. In most of the 21 states, the median forfeiture is even smaller—often much smaller. Huntersville has been unwilling or unable to provide this level of detail to elected officials about individual seizures – and the same probably goes for most of your towns.

The proceeds flowing into police coffers inflates their budgets and encourages wasteful spending because many agencies literally cannot spend all the money they bring in. Huntersville, for example, has averaged between roughly $350K-$500K at any given time since I have been asking for account balances going back to 2015. Last year they spent $15K on an electric golf cart ostensibly to patrol crime on the greenways! It has been used solely for promotional joy rides to date – not a single criminal apprehended by the greenway police. HPD has also used forfeiture funds to purchase spy cameras and drones – two drones for $55K total back in 2020 – along with other surveillance related purchases like license plate readers – all going to expand the surveillance capabilities of local police. They then share all of this data with multiple other agencies with no oversight of any kind by local elected officials.

As Professor [Michael] Munger would say about the problems with reforming the ABC system, what most of see as costs, many people see as benefits. Every dime of asset forfeiture funds brought in by local police is seen as a benefit to local elected officials who figure that’s less money out of the general fund they have to use for the police budget – hence their literal lack of interest in where the money comes from – politicians don’t see it as a cost if innocent individuals in another town are impacted by this practice when those individuals can’t even vote for them to begin with.

Lending local resources to the feds is also a form of double taxation on local taxpayers – who pay the salaries of local officers to be used on federal task forces (unless OT is reimbursed by seizure monies) while also not helping to do their job of stopping crime locally. Huntersville still has an unsolved murder from 2014 – could we be devoting more resources to solving this murder instead of those resources being used to bring in money from forfeiture? Just last week at the annual budget retreat the HPD chief asked the town board to approve additional funding for five more officers. As a reminder, we have seven officers currently being used for task forces – why not just bring those officers back to have them fill the needs?

GOALS

So what can we do to end asset forfeiture in NC?

First, all of us can start by raising awareness about this issue in our cities and towns if our tax dollars are going to local law enforcement officers being used on federal task forces or if our local law enforcement is engaging in adoption.

Check the report from the DOJ – is your town/county listed? If so, I would suggest emailing your elected officials and encouraging them to ask the below questions any time your police department seeks to spend asset forfeiture funds, and about your police department's participation in the Equitable Sharing program in general. I would also suggest removing any agenda items related to expenditure of this source of funds from the Consent Agenda since there should always be questions from elected officials any time a town department seeks to spend asset forfeiture related funds. It is important for the public to know more about their local law enforcement's involvement in the Equitable Sharing program. It is worth the time it takes to ask these basic questions to try and ensure the funds you are authorizing your department to spend are not coming from innocent individuals.

  • Ask where these funds are coming from? How many cases? What types of cases? How many different individuals? What type of assets - cash, automobiles, real estate, weapons, other types of property?
  • Ask whether any of this money comes from individuals who have not been charged with or convicted of a crime related to the money/property taken from them?
  • Ask whether any of this money comes from individuals who may have had their civil rights or constitutional rights violated related to the money/property taken from them?

(Follow up these questions with records requests for more information. I will always be willing to help anyone interested in putting together a request.)

  • Please provide any and all forms/documents providing how many X Police officers are deputized or cross-deputized by any federal agency or who are are sworn members of any federal law enforcement agency; and
  • Please provide any and all forms/documents providing how many X Police officers are assigned to or who have participated in or had any involvement with any federal task force/federal agency or initiative since July 1, 2021;
  • Please provide the current balances for all equitable sharing/asset forfeiture monies being held for X Police involving DOJ and/or Treasury funds; and
  • Please provide any and all memorandums of understanding (MOU) between X Police and any federal agency related to X Police's participation in the Equitable Sharing Program.

Keep following up with your local electeds and local police for more information and details. With enough focus on this, you will likely expose the lack of oversight of law enforcement and the right electeds will take notice. Write letters to the editor of your local paper, post on social media, try to get the attention of local reporters looking for stories. There are abuses out there just waiting to be uncovered. Monitor your board’s meeting agendas for any forfeiture related items – any expenditures that have to be voted on – make sure these items are removed from the Consent Agenda so they have to be voted on by the board, force board members to take a stance one way or the other on this issue.

Even if the FAIR Act passes the House this Spring, it may not pass the Senate – so we could still be a long way off from reform at the federal level – and I’m not aware of any efforts in Raleigh to reform involvement with the equitable sharing program. If you can ask enough questions, maybe you can convince your town/county to cancel any contracts with federal agencies and opt out of the equitable sharing program entirely. The federal government has never had enough resources to enforce all the laws they pass – it has always had to rely on local resources for enforcement of many laws – examples like the fugitive slave act, the draft – using local draft boards in WW1, lock downs during covid, and obviously the war on drugs.

If we can significantly reduce, or completely end, law enforcement in NC’s involvement in equitable sharing, we can ultimately reduce the size and role of the federal government. Without local law enforcement’s participation, the war on drugs becomes harder to prosecute. And we can help to make our own communities safer by keeping police focused on crime reductions in their jurisdictions only (accepting for the sake of these remarks that privatizing the police isn’t happening anytime soon!).

Thank you for your time and attention this morning.

Watch Eric's talk, followed by the business portion of the 2024 LPNC state convention, here.

OpEd

What it's Like being Married to a Libertarian

by: Valerie Yates, LPNC Communications Director wife

You know you’re married to a Libertarian when…

  1. It’s time for your kid to learn how to drive, and all you hear is why drivers licenses are unnecessary.
  2. You know more people than you want to who have run for office.
  3. You hear the statement “taxation is theft” more times than you can count, especially during tax season.
  4. Your son has to help set up a podcast at least twice a week (and is homeschooled and learning why the Fed is evil from the Tuttle Twins).
  5. While on a family vacation, “buddies” from that town will almost always come over to hang out.
  6. Cop videos are always on repeat.
  7. At any given moment, someone with a mustache and/or beard may show up on your doorstep.
  8. You’re never the oddest person in the room.
  9. Politics is not a welcome conversation at Thanksgiving with your super liberal siblings and their wives.
  10. You hear the words "secession" and "freedom of association" at least once a day.

County Corner

Mises Club Carolinas:

Replicating Efficacious Leadership and Entrepreneurship Through Philosophy

“He who only wishes and hopes does not interfere actively with the course of events and with the shaping of his own destiny.” -Ludwig von Mises

On Saturday, January 25, 2024, The Mises Club Carolinas, consisting of a group of like-minded entrepreneurs, efficacious leaders, writers, philosophers, economists, and lovers of liberty mingled together in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

The Mises Club Carolinas event was led by Kent Misegades and had around 40 people in attendance that rainy evening. The Meetup club met inside the warm and spacious Beow’s Books & Brews, a locally owned and operated coffee and beer shop. 

The coffee and the beer were both fantastic! The fact that the owners are proponents of liberty is certainly a major plus. 

Many efficacious leaders and pragmatic entrepreneurs of North Carolina showed up, including Bob Luddy, George Leef, Paul Cwik, Lindsay Mumma, Robert Napolitano, and Winston Brady.

Included in this mix were the Libertarian Party of North Carolina’s Chair Ryan Brown, Secretary Dee Watson, and yours truly - Strategic Communications Adviser Joshua D. Glawson. 

The Mises Club Carolinas is primarily based in North Carolina and meets at various locations throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Various city specific chapters within the main club host monthly meetings and help contribute to the growth of this movement. For example, the Charlotte, NC, meetings are normally directed by Pierre Lawson

The club made a point of clarification that they are not directly affiliated with the Mises Institute, but are instead more like a Mises fan club that promotes ideas, encourages entrepreneurship, and invigorates people to take positive action. 

The Mises Club Carolinas is also not a part of the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus, and they tend to consist of less direct political discussions although most attendees and presenters are at least liberty-leaning, and there have been meetings consisting of such discussions. Overall, the Mises Clubs tend to be less political and more personal developent action oriented.  

Meetings tend to have a theme and presenters to keep everyone focused on a specific topic. This most recent meeting centered around free speech and getting books published. They noted this event was fundamentally involving the First Amendment, while the next meeting will revolve around topics included in the Second Amendment. 

In this particular themed series meeting, some invaluable advice was given from professionals in the publishing business as well as those who have either self-published or published by a major publisher. This is where the organizations Classical Conversations and Thales Academy really shined in their presentations. 

The most helpful advice for beginners was to familiarize oneself with Adobe products, start taking small necessary steps of writing with a purpose, and self-publish through Amazon. 

The entrepreneurial leadership movement being generated by the Mises Club Carolinas as led by Kent Misgades is heartening and emboldening. This group of true go-getters is utilizing the powerful philosophy of Ludwig von Mises and turning it into positive action. 

This growing team is assuredly improving the lives of everyone involved along with those externally throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond.  

Get involved and attend a Mises Club Carolinas event or find a local chapter. If you feel so inclined, you may even be able to start your own city chapter. 

It’s certainly a great way to network and meet like-minded individuals while inspiring others. You will meet efficacious leaders, entrepreneurs, and fellow libertarians. 

Take Action

For more information or to register for Mises Club Carolinas events, please contact Kent Misegades, [email protected]. Tell him Joshua D. Glawson and the Libertarian Party of North Carolina sent you. 

Joshua D. Glawson is Content Manager for MoneyMetals.com and a writer and speaker in the Liberty Movement. He has been active with the Libertarian Party of California since 2015. He now resides in his home state of North Carolina. Check him out at Home - Joshua D. Glawson (joshuadglawson.com)

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OpEd

Trevor's Takes

Why Robert Kennedy Doesn't Deserve Libertarian Support

by: Trevor Miles

In the 2024 election cycle, we’ve seen a plethora of interesting and intriguing candidates emerge from the Libertarian Party. However, there is one candidate that seems to be drawing a minority of Libertarian support, and it worries me that this is the case since this candidate is clearly antithetical to the Libertarian Party stance on several issues. That candidate is, of course, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

First issue, the minimum wage. It should be an automatic non-starter in LP circles to have any minimum wage at all, much less a $15 an hour minimum wage. The fact that any Libertarian would support a government imposed minimum wage is ridiculous. Second issue, student loans. His website clearly states that he would impose a 0% interest rate on student loans. What he is essentially saying with this is he would give out taxpayer money to individuals with absolutely no way to recoup any of the cost of giving out that money. Aside from using taxpayer money at all, from a basic financial standpoint this should be another non-starter.

Third issue, economic revitalization. Kennedy talks about increasing government involvement in the economy to levels not seen before, all in the name of "revitalization," severely missing the point that government involvement at any level is what contributed the most to the economic downturns we’ve seen since the late sixties, and that increasing government meddling is not what we need, nor should any Libertarian be advocating for it. Final issue, the 2nd Amendment. Mr. Kennedy has made several remarks at various points that leave his overall attitudes towards the 2nd Amendment ambiguous at best. This is a problem for any candidate for elected office, but especially for one who might seek the LP nomination. Any LP nominee should be resolute and clearly support the 2nd Amendment and civilian ownership of weapons of all kinds.

On several issues I will concede that Kennedy makes it halfway to arriving at a conclusion which could reasonably be supported by the LP. However, this is not enough to overcome the glaring problems with his positions on several issues that should be non-starters in all Libertarian circles. On top of that, the LP should not be compromising to support an outside candidate, especially when we have a slate of several candidates from within the LP who I believe demonstrate adherence to basic Libertarian principles better than RFK Jr. ever could.

Help Wanted

The LPNC is seeking passionate and dedicated volunteers to join our team and play pivotal roles in advancing the cause of liberty across North Carolina. Currently, we have exciting opportunities for individuals interested in serving as "Secretary" and "Assistant Treasurer." Job description.

Our Secretary position offers a chance to contribute to the smooth functioning of the LPNC by assisting in record-keeping, meeting minutes, and organizational documentation. If you have strong organizational skills and a passion for detail-oriented tasks, this role might be a perfect fit for you. 

Likewise, our Assistant Treasurer is instrumental in supporting the financial operations of the LPNC, ensuring transparency and accountability in our financial management. If you have a keen eye for detail and a commitment to fiscal responsibility, we encourage you to explore this essential role.

Additionally, the Communications team is seeking content submissions and regular writers, artists, editors, and support staff for the newsletter, the podcast, and several other ambitious plans for 2024. We can use an hour a week, or 40; as long as you are fighting for Liberty there is a place to make your voice heard. We can't do it without you!

To learn more about these positions and other exciting volunteer opportunities, please visit our staff page at https://www.lpnc.org/staff. Your involvement can make a significant impact on the success of the LPNC, and we welcome individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds to join us in championing liberty in North Carolina.

Take the next step in your commitment to liberty by becoming a vital part of the LPNC team. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

If you are interested in filling one of these positions, please email why you would be a good fit to Ryan Brown at [email protected].

Liberty iNC

Your rights, all the time. Nothing more, nothing less, no exceptions. Simple as that.

Check out Season 3, and get ready for Season 4, coming soon!

If you want to assist with the show, be a guest, suggest a guest, or have any other comments or feedback, please, reach out to [email protected].

Book Review

The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health, by RFK Jr.

Review by Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

ubman

RFK Jr.'s The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health, is very much worth the read. 

Recently, discussion around whether RFK Jr. should potentially be accepted by the Libertarian Party as a candidate has distracted from some of the good work he has done exposing the revolving door connection between industry and the regulatory agencies ostensibly providing oversight. 

First, to caveat, I am completely against the entire covid regime. I think the jab is a useless cash grab that statistically is more likely to harm you than help, if it provides any help at all in any situations. I think lockdowns were madness and the way which most of the populace complied was even greater madness. I think masks were useless, at best, and became the biggest virtue signaling in all of history. And I think Mandy Cohen is the worst export from the state of NC in at least 50 years. The list goes on.

That being said, this book is relevant to any Libertarian regardless of your feelings on lockdowns, jabs, masks, and all other things covid related. Further, while the book does explore some conspiracies, or at least conspiracy-related rabbit holes, what it also does is meticulously document the way agents of the state abuse the power they have in regulatory agencies to hoard and wield power. Further, industry similarly exerts control over regulatory agency decisions by dangling high-paying jobs for those who play along once they leave the public sphere and enter the private.

Spanning from the emergence of AIDS and the ensuing panic through the covid insanity, this book traces the career development of Anthony Fauci. In punctilious detail, RFK Jr. tells the tale of Fauci, driven by hubris and self-indulgence, as he weaponizes fear and the power of his position to generate huge financial gain and cement his position in the NIH and as a power broker in the federal government, with no concern who he might hurt. Fauci ruined careers, blacklisted dissenters, broke laws around patents, covered up malfeasance, and drove through any roadblocks until he had achieved near complete dominance in his realm.

In a time when we need as many allies as possible to push back against the ever-growing machine that is the state, and when single-issue coalitions are a potential powerful way to unite against the power that is being taken from us by the uniparty, we should not forget that, although not all potential friends are Libertarian or libertarian, they are friends nonetheless. This book, in its focused capacity, is a powerful reminder of how the overreach of the omnipotent state can distress those who are not as far along the Liberty path as we are. 

Purchase here

2A Talk

Gun Laws and the Holocaust 

by Justin Hinckley, LPNC 2A Issues Coordinator

Read this article, and then check out Justin's site, Port City Firearms. Support your fellow Libertarians and protect yourself at the same time!

"The Nazis loosened gun laws right before the Holocaust"

This is a refrain I've encountered from the anti-gun crowd a few times. Mostly uttered by the slightly more experienced, but no more informed, types it seems this phrase has mostly arisen as a debate tactic. The assumption being the pro-gun person debating with them is not familiar enough with Nazi gun laws to deny the “citation.” So far no one I have seen utter such nonsense is actually able to cite the law they're supposedly referencing. In this article we will go over the gun laws of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich to arm you with the facts to debunk the above quote. Luckily, there is a succinct book written by Stephen Halbrook, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and "Enemies of the State", which is where all dates and details are taken from for this article.

First, we should acknowledge that, like most misinformation, there is a grain of truth to the idea that the Nazis loosened gun laws before the Holocaust. This notion is so vague as to be useless but let's talk details. The gun law I assume most people refer to when they cite loosened gun laws would be the 1938 German Weapons Act. This law was designed to aid the suffering German firearms manufacturing industry and to loosen regulations for Nazi Party members and regime officials. One specific loosened regulation was that a license was no longer required to acquire shotguns or rifles. In these very narrow manners, Nazi gun laws could be said to be loosened.

Licenses to obtain a handgun still existed for non-party members, permits to carry a firearm were still required and could be denied by local police for any reason, and police still maintained a registration of every firearms transaction and owner. Perhaps most egregious in the new law was the prohibition of Jews from holding ownership stake in any companies dealing in the trade or manufacture of guns and the prohibition of Gypsies from being issued permits to carry.

In order to understand the hollowness of this “loosening,” we should look at the myriad activity from German authorities both before and after the passing of the 1938 law. For instance, in 1935, Werner Best, chief legal advisor of the Gestapo, issued a decree titled “Issuance of Weapons Permits to Jews,” which resulted in the countrywide denial of issuing new gun permits to Jews. The day after Kristallnacht, Nov 10, 1938, Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, declared possession of a firearm by a Jew to be a crime punishable by up to 20 years in a Concentration Camp. The following day, Interior Minister Heinrich Frick issued the “Regulation Against Jews’ Possession of Weapons” which prohibited acquisition, possession, and carrying of firearms and ammunition by Jews.

With all of this groundwork laid, it was a small but catastrophic step to begin the disarming of the Jewish population in earnest. This began with a series of declarations by local police throughout Germany requiring Jews to surrender weapons in the weeks prior to Kristallnacht. Confiscations at people’s homes and at police stations began immediately after the declarations. This is perhaps the climax of the evidence which disproves the spirit of the “loosened access to firearms” which continued seizures and arrests into, during, and after Kristallnacht, sometimes considered the start of the Holocaust. By the end of 1938, the German Jewish population was essentially entirely disarmed after years of piecemeal confiscations ending in the pogroms which seized en masse the remaining Jewish arms.

Some may attempt to distract from the reality of registration, confiscation, disarmament, detention, and finally extermination by claiming the gun control laws did not cause the Holocaust or that the Jews never had enough arms to put up significant resistance to the Wehrmacht. Do not be distracted by such attempts, as the primary concern with the reference to Nazi gun control is to demonstrate that registration has led to confiscation, which has followed further atrocity. Diving down the rabbit hole of what-if surrounding ownership rates, effective resistance, or whether all gun registration leads to confiscation and atrocity is pointless and often frustrating since those realities do not exist and cannot be proven or disproven. What is vital to point out is that, irrespective of whether registration leads inexorably to atrocity, what we know for sure beyond any doubt is that this atrocity was preceded by registration and confiscation.

Support Your Fellow Libertarians

Port City Firearms

Our very own Justin Hinckley, 2A Issues Coordinator, has opened an online store, and you don't want to miss it!

Port City Firearms and Training 

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Non Crappy Crafts

Angela Humphries is a free-spirited watercolor artist who lives by the calm, colorful waters of New Bern, North Carolina. With her loose, expressive strokes, she works to impress the magic of flora and fauna onto her canvases. Her lighthearted, whimsical mark making, infused with the inspiration of her surroundings, invites admirers to walk in nature to enjoy it’s beauty and magnificence.

Angela is a member of the North Carolina Watercolor Society and enjoys working in the privacy of her small home studio. She shares more of her work in the digital realm on her greeting card creations. Her work may be discovered in New Bern, NC at the local Bank of the Arts Gallery, as well as the Nautical Star Coffee Shop and finally her online store via Etsy.

Angela's Etsy shop

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Dr. Dan's Freedom Forum Radio

"The right to own private property that cannot be arbitrarily regulated or confiscated by the government is the moral and constitutional basis for individual freedom"

Listen Live: Freedom Forum Radio 

Podcast: Freedom Forum Radio Podcast Index 

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Libertarian Owned, Heritage Breed Pastured Pork

Nothing says "Freedom" like a freezer full of quality meat! Fox Knob Farm near Elkin, NC raises heritage breed pastured pork the old-fashioned way, no medications, and nothing toxic. Reserve your whole or half pork share today and select how you'd like your pork custom processed. If you haven't started building your locally-sourced food network yet, we can help get you started! Learn more at foxknobfarm.com and contact us at [email protected].

 

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Whiskey and Wisdom Podcast

Check out New Hanover Affiliate member Tyler Yaw and his co-host Chris Kellum in their exploration of the world, its people, and its spirits. They smartly and succinctly cover a truly eclectic array of engaging topics, all while enjoying the quintessential American libation.

Discussing life's most fascinating topics over a good glass of whiskey.

Managing Editor - Rob Yates, LPNC Communications Director

Staff Writer - Joshua D. Glawson, LPNC Strategic Communications Adviser

2A Editor - Justin Hinckley, LPNC Second Amendment Issues Coordinator

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