Munger for NC Governor--2008!!

Recording the campaign activities, events, and happenings of the Munger for Governor campaign.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dumb Criminal, and Some More Stuff....

A video about an attempted bank robbery in England (legit? I can't tell....)

1. Is this a good idea? Won't the guy just take hostages, if there is ANYONE else in the bank? Won't they have to pull the shield down, if he starts killing hostages?

2. Then...the COMMENTS on the post. What the heck? What is wrong with those commenters? I think we may need regulation here.

Campaign Finance

The Captain Nails It: I have little to add.

Similar to the argument I made in my Senate testimony, against McCain-Feingold. Fat lof of good it did....

Still, an exerpt:

If our campaign finance system should be "reformed," it should be in the direction of making it easier, not harder, for parties to attract "soft" money and other resources required to strengthen national organizations and nurture grass roots participation. Parties are the only alternative to government dominated by special interests and narrowly focused influence groups.

The idea that there is a third alternative, with voters choosing among isolated candidates offering disparate, uncoordinated, and incomplete policy proposals was a conceit of the Progressive reformers. It has shown remarkable vitality as an idea, but it is a wrong idea, a dangerous idea. Politics abhors a vacuum. Only if strong parties are able to articulate coherent, and competitive visions of governance, and be held accountable for the performance of those visions, can democracy in the U.S. survive.

Finally, public financing combines most of the worst features of all the other proposals. It denies equality of opportunity to challengers, and to third parties. Ultimately, voters and citizens must rely on parties to provide a counterbalance to the power of entrenched interests in government. If parties have to rely on the public purse for their funding, how can we rely on those same parties to serve their function of providing effective countervailing power?

I Guess I Am Wrong to Believe....

Interesting dust-up over a Liberty Fund conference.

I should note that I attend quite a few Liberty Fund gigs, and believe very much in the format and discussion. So I am hardly objective.


I am struck -- you may think it is absurd for me to be suddenly struck by this -- but I am struck by how deeply and seriously libertarians and conservatives believe in their ideas. I'm used to the way lefties and liberals take themselves seriously and how deeply they believe. Me, I find true believers strange and -- if they have power -- frightening. And my first reaction is to doubt that they really do truly believe.

One of the reasons 9/11 had such a big impact on me is that it was such a profound demonstration of the fact that these people are serious. They really believe.

"These people"? Does she mean Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or George Bush? Does she think there is any difference?

I think the divine Ms. A wants to rethink the wording, and I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Surely being serious about the fact we are skeptical of the government to enforce any one point of view is different from being serious about the exclusivity of any one view. George Bush is not a Libertarian. The Taliban are not Libertarians. Whether George Bush is an American, Protestant Taliban...a question for another time, perhaps.

It is interesting that one of the core beliefs of squishy American liberalism seems to be that anyone who has any core beliefs at all is suspect. But surely the hallmark of liberalism, the good kind of liberalism, is a belief in a transcendant norm of forebearance. I have to accept, and respect the fact that, your beliefs are different from mine. I can't pretend to do that, and then go back to my little bunker in Madison, WI and snipe out of the rifle slits. Liberals even have to accept the fact that some people believe in things.


Also, do see Virginia P's entry. Remarkable.

I don't know Ms. Althouse, and I do believe that you get to try out arguments on your blog, at a different level than other kinds of writing. But what was A.A. going for here? This was the intellectual equivalent of flashing your shaved girl parts at photographers as you get out of a limo. Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, meet your new friend, Annie.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

We Straight!

"By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, since 2001 we've offered $2 in tax
cuts for every $1 we have spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And
conservatives wonder why we have deficits? At least the libertarians, who
are against both high taxes and an interventionist foreign policy, have
their philosophical story (and their numbers) straight."

[EJ Dionne, Jr. WaPo]

(nod to KL, who notes that the anti-tax-cut, interventionists are ALSO straight. KL thinks too much)

Gary Robertson

Gary Robertson, a reporter for AP here in NC, did an article that was picked up by Myrtle Beach Online.

I reproduce it, in case it goes down in MB:

Posted on Sat, Dec. 30, 2006

Minimum wage increase, income tax reduction lead N.C.'s new year laws

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. - The new year will arrive with new rules for lobbyists, recreational fishermen and cable television system operators, as well as a little something extra in the paychecks of North Carolinians on both ends of the tax bracket.

On the same day an estimated 139,000 workers earning minimum wage will see their hourly pay rise to $6.15 per hour, individuals and small business owners with six-digit incomes will see the state's highest tax bracket fall from 8.25 percent to 8 percent. Both changes are among the more than 30 state laws taking effect Jan. 1.

"I think we need to help everybody who needs help," said Rep. Alma Adams, D-Guilford, the minimum wage bill's chief sponsor, who also voted for a state budget bill that contained the income tax reduction. "As we look at the poorest people in our state, we have just not paid attention to them ... it just appears that they're always left out."

Adams and others worked for nearly a decade to raise North Carolina's minimum wage, which had been at the federal level of $5.15 since 1997.

The increase finally cleared the Legislature last summer as Gov. Mike Easley added his support and proponents overcame the complaints of small business officials who argued the rise will lead to shorter hours or layoffs for workers.

The new Democratic-led Congress could seek to raise the federal minimum wage when lawmakers reconvene in January, and North Carolina workers would receive whichever rate is higher.

The reduction of the highest individual tax bracket applies to income earned starting Jan. 1. The new rate applies to individual fliers making more than $120,000 and married couples filing jointly who make more than $200,000.

The lower rate is the first step in a planned two-year phase-out of the state's highest tax bracket, which was created in 2001 to help narrow a budget shortfall. The tax will drop back to the original 7.75 percent on Jan. 1, 2008, although lawmakers have twice previously extended the deadline.

Also Monday, sport anglers 16 and older will need a fishing license before dropping a line into coastal waters. Previously, only freshwater anglers and commercial fishermen needed permits. The new law also removes a longtime license exemption for freshwater fishermen using natural bait in their home county.

Anglers will be able to obtain licenses Monday at hundreds of sporting goods, bait shops and other locations, online at or by phone, where N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission representatives in Raleigh will be working on the holiday.

"We're making every effort to make it as convenient as possible," said Lisa Hocutt, the commission's customer service manager.

The driver's license renewal period will be extended from five years to eight years for motorists between 18 and 53. Young drivers' licenses will expire on their 21st birthday, while older drivers will have to renew every five years.

Deregulation of the cable television industry in North Carolina begins Jan. 1, a move traditional phone companies say will make it easier for them to enter markets. Supporters of the change argue it will lead to increased competition and lower TV bills.

Franchise agreements between TV providers and local governments are being phased out. Companies seeking to start offering pay television service through cable, phone lines or broadband Internet will register with the Secretary of State's Office.

And while there are several exceptions, lobbyists will face new rules that will bar them from giving gifts or paying for private dinners with Senate and House members and executive branch leaders.

The change is part of the largest overhaul of the state ethics laws in more than 30 years, designed to reduce the impression that legislators and top agency leaders can be bought with fancy meals and other benefits paid for by corporations and other groups.

"Our hope is that it could change the culture somewhat, where the free-spending days without any accountability are over," said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina.

New election and campaign laws also will take effect Monday, including tighter controls on cash donations to candidates and a ban on contributions by check or money order with blank payee lines.

That issue gained notice when the State Board of Elections ordered House Speaker Jim Black and his campaign to forfeit $6,800 in donations received from optometrists for the 2002 election. Evidence indicated the donors left the payee lines blank and that other people filled them in later.

Another law provides a concession to Libertarians and other smaller political parties. A political party whose candidate receives 2 percent of the total vote in a gubernatorial or presidential race will be able to stay on the statewide ballot in the following election cycle. The threshold has been 10 percent.

The number of signatures required to initially get on the ballot - currently about 69,000 - remains among the toughest initial thresholds in the nation. But Mike Munger, a Libertarian candidate for governor in 2008, says the 2 percent retention requirement is doable.

"If we don't achieve this, it's hard to say we're a legitimate party anyway," said Munger, who is also a political science professor at Duke University.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Legislative Reform

Interesting....I have been a political scientist for 20 year, and have lived in NC for 16 years of that.

But there are two practices of the NC legislature that I had never heard of...and which are APPALLING abuses of power.

They are:

1. "Floaters." These are a kind of strategic reserve for the speaker or the chamber leadership. Floaters are, first and foremost, loyal to the incumbent speaker, and can be counted on to cast votes as the speaker instructs them. If just a few seats on each committee are reserved for "floaters," the speaker can nearly always get his way. And since floaters don't actually serve on the committee, but just show up for the vote, the whole idea of committee deliberation is thrown into a cocked hat. This COULD be more defensible in a parliamentary system, where at least the legislative leader is responsible to the entire government. But in our system the speaker need only win his/her own district to stay in office. Why should someone who wins a majority of some nonrepresentative district somewhere in the state get to decide ALL committee policy votes in the legislature? The practice of appointing floaters, and reserving seats on key committees for same, should be abolished at once.

2. Budget Mess. Consider these common practices on budget legislation in NC in recent years:
a. Blank bills: An empty, or blank bill, with no content, passed at the end of a session, with the understanding that the actual content (the LAW itself) will be written in later, at the discretion of the speaker or a small number of cronies.
b. Omnibus or aggregate spending labels, without itemized spending broken out by line-item.
c. Last-minute "budgets" which are in fact nothing more than stacks of paper that no one has had a chance to read, and which in fact are not available to members to read.
d. Use of amendments and "technical corrections" bills to pass substantive, and sometimes controversial, legislation without the knowledge or consent of the legislature.

The NC Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform sent these suggestions, and quite a few others, to House Speaker candidates. I would work with the Speaker, after inauguration in 2009, to make these changes permanent, and try to reform other parts of the budget and revenue legislation process as well. But kudos to the NCCLR! And thanks to D. Kane and B. Barrett for their short N&O piece on the list....

Monday, December 25, 2006

Thanks to Philip Rhodes

Thanks for the encouragement.

All the more reason to get those signatures!

Star-News Piece

A piece in the Wilmington Star-News (my FAVORITE newspaper in the world, because when I am reading it I am at the beach!) on the governor's race.

Nice of the fellow (Mark Schreiner) to mention the Libertarians. I appreciate the fairness. You don't have to spend a lot of time, just say we exist.

Blue NC Thread

From Anglico's Blog at Blue NC, a shot at Locke, and FAN. It appears that FAN is not a favorite group of our guy Anglico. In discussing the "faculty" (their quote marks), BNC claims:

...One of the Dukies, Mr. Michael Munger, is mounting a run for governor in the Libertarian Party in 2008.

I first learned about Munger at Ed Cone a while ago, and since then I've spent a fair amount of time on his website. He's obviously a bright-but-misguided guy who cherry picks the best of Libertarian philosophy and packages it up into creative sound-bites reminiscent of George Bush gushing about all the happy people in Iraq.

Basically a fair presentation, I'd say. Anglico lists several of my issue claims, and mocks them, but he is at least focusing on stuff I really did say. And since some of the mocking is actually funny, I have to give him credit: good on ya, man!

I have to take issue with one of the comments (which are otherwise also generally quite clever, and funny. The one about "The Greatest American Hero", with picture, is particularly good).

The one comment I would take issue with is:

You forgot one thing about brother Mike. He is a Pope neo-con type of libertarian and jumps with the strings. Those Dookiee stick together. Brother Pope is a Duke law Grad..... When Brother Mike says to get the hell out of Iraq now and loads up the C-130s for instant exit. Than we might take him for real......After all, politics is a contact sport and when the other side says how nice you are and the mainstream media does not knock you, than you know it is simply a academic excise outside of the classroom. Socrates had this same problem until some Greek farmer said if you don't like it, run for Mayor of Athens and we academics know how that ended up in the name of Democracy.

Well, now, pumpkin, I'll try to use short words. The war is a F*E*D*E*R*A*L issue. (Sorry, a big word, but I spelled it slowly). That is the sort of thing the President, and the Congress, and all those really smart men and women we send to WASHINGTON work on. As Governor, I really wouldn't have much to do with that. Governors are in charge of S*T*A*T*E*S.

But, if it matters, here you go: Fly in the C-130s, and bring the troops home. Now. All of them. That has been my position for more than a year, and I have expressed it in a number of public forums and rallies. You are welcome to mock my real positions, but why attribute to me the OPPOSITE of my real views? You should try working a little bit; it can be VERY rewarding. You are just certain you disagree with me, and you don't even NEED to bother to find out. You say you are an academic; I assume you are in a "humanities" department, where the whole idea of truth is a little fuzzier.

You can say I was wrong, and came to this position too late. And you'd be right! But that is not what you said. Your claim was: When Brother Mike says to get the hell out of Iraq now and loads up the C-130s for instant exit. Than we might take him for real...... I have done what you asked, a year ago, and pretty much coninuously since. I assume you will now change your story, and come up with some OTHER reason why you shouldn't take me seriously. And that's fine. But try to focus on things I actually believe....

Here's the photo that another commenter linked, comparing hairstyles. Pretty funny.

However, let me say again, as I have blogged several times before. (1) My wife had breast cancer. Five operations. I saw lots of people without hair. (2) I decided to grow my hair out, and donate it to "Locks of Love." (3) The harvest is in January, and I will go back to having "normal hair."

Thanks to Anglico, though, for the ink, and the link to the petition drive. Perfectly fair to say "I would never vote for you, but you should be on the ballot," even if the reasons are politically instrumental.


NC Gov Race: Two Clear Front-Runners for Dem Nomination

News and Obs article by Rob Christensen.

Doea a nice job of highlighting aspects of the race for Dem nomination for 2008 Governor election.


The calendar may read 2006, but Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and state Treasurer Richard Moore are behaving as if it were 2008.
That's when both hope to become the Democratic nominee to be North Carolina's next governor.

In recent days, Perdue and Moore have traded elbows over who first pushed for various environmental initiatives and for tax breaks for the working poor. Both have been building political organizations for a primary contest still 17 months away -- from lining up supporters to bringing in hired political guns. Both are already raising money.

Neither Moore nor Perdue, both rising stars in the Democratic Party, has announced his or her candidacy to succeed Gov. Mike Easley, who is not eligible to seek a third term in 2008.

But neither is being coy; both of them clearly would like to lead the nation's 10th largest state. And both say their extensive background in political office in Raleigh has seasoned them for the top job.

"My work in the General Assembly and as lieutenant governor shows that I know how to get things done," Perdue said in an interview this month.

To which Moore counters, "I have something that no one else who is actively considering being governor now has. I have 11 years of executive branch, managerial experience at a very high level."

Many expect a Perdue-Moore primary race to be tough, expensive and potentially divisive. The winner will face one of several Republicans, including state Sen. Fred Smith of Clayton and Salisbury attorney Bill Graham, who are looking to end the 16-year run of Democratic governors in North Carolina.

And, of course, the "winner" will ALSO face a Libertarian candidate, if we get enough signatures to get on the ballot (and we could use your help, on that!). I hope to be that candidate, as I have said, but there may well be other contenders for the LPNC nomination, and that will be up to the party to decide.

(I do have to give Rob Christensen, who is a stand-up guy, credit: He has mentioned my candidacy in another N&O article, and he hardly has to mention it every time, PARTICULARLY unless and until we get enough signatures to get on the ballot. Still, if I may whine: when you say who the Dem candidates "may face," I hope to get to the point where my name, or whoever is the LPNC candidate, is listed in at least "and also" status.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


My heartfelt thanks to Percy Walker, for his kind endorsement.

His description of "libertaroin" may, indeed, be my drug of choice.

And I'm certain that none of the (probably libelous) claims about Mr. Walker have any truth to them.

But I will have to give some thought to his "affirmative action" plank, in his own campaign....

Bruce Bartlett

Interesting piece by Bruce Bartlett on "Real Clear Politics" site.

For many years, those who consider themselves to be libertarians have been fairly reliable members of the Republican coalition. Although no libertarian would consider himself or herself to be entirely in agreement with either major party, they have historically sided with the GOP. But the relationship today seems more deeply strained than any time in the last 30 years, and a divorce may be forthcoming.

Basically, libertarians are allied with the right on economic issues and the left on everything else. They believe in the free market and freedom of choice in areas such as drugs, and favor a noninterventionist foreign policy. Consequently, someone who is a libertarian could prefer to ally with the right or the left, depending on what set of issues is most important to him or her.

I first became aware of the libertarian philosophy in 1969, when there was a big split in a college-based group called Young Americans for Freedom, which was supposed to be the right-wing alternative to the left's Students for a Democratic Society. The libertarians broke with those who considered themselves traditionalists -- conservatives in the mold of Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk.

...In the 1970s, the left was clueless about how to fix the economy. They had no idea what was causing inflation and insisted on dealing instead with its symptoms through wage and price controls. The left at that time was also highly sympathetic to socialism and often favored nationalization of businesses like the Penn Central Railroad when bankruptcy threatened.

The right at least understood that excessive money growth by the Federal Reserve caused inflation, and that socialism and nationalization were crazy. So most libertarians moved into the Republican Party, which then had leaders like Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, who spoke their language and had libertarian sympathies.

With the passing of the older generation of Republican leaders who were at least sympathetic to the libertarian message, a new generation of Puritans have taken over the party. They seem to want nothing more than to impose Draconian new laws against drugs, gambling, pornography and other alleged vices. The new Republican Puritans don't trust people or believe that they have the right to do as they please as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. They want the government to impose itself on peoples' lives and deny them freedom of choice.

At the same time, the Iraq War has aroused the isolationist impulse among libertarians. Only a tiny number of them supported the war in the first place, and they have all now recanted. Moreover, Republicans have lost whatever credibility they once had on economics by indulging in an orgy spending and corruption, and by becoming very unreliable allies on issues such as free trade and government regulation of the economy.

Consequently, many libertarians are drifting back once again to the left, where they find more compatible allies on some of the key issues of the day. And a few on the left are reaching out to libertarians, or at least trying to open a dialogue where there really hasn't been one for a long time.

Libertarians probably don't represent more than 10 percent of the electorate at most and are easy for political consultants to ignore. But they are represented in much larger percentages among opinion leaders and thus have influence disproportionate to their numbers. Republicans will miss them if they leave the party en masse.

I'm not sure I have an answer. The Republicans are definitely NOT interested in someone of my views, and I disagree with nearly all of the economic and tax policies of the Democrats. Still, I suppose I could run for office with one of the state-sponsored parties, and see what happens.

In the meantime, though, I'm learning a lot as a Libertarian. And the fact is that I really do deeply believe in the party and its goals.



A friend wrote an email, asking why I had not taken a position on the "Duke Lacrosse / Nifong is Satan" business.

I thought, "That's not true! I've written several times on that." But a GOOGLE search didn't turn up anything (though I swear I have, maybe just in emails, tho).

Have to admit, I'm a bit sick of it. Wherever I go, on trips or professional conferences, people ask. So I certainly TALK about it a lot.

Anyway, my views, for what they are worth.

1. Duke, and Duke's President Richard Brodhead, reacted badly in the first 48 hours after the incident. The season should have been suspended immediately, and the coach and the athletic director fired. That party, and a number of other events leading up to it, revealed a breakdown in accountability and control. That sort of thing would NEVER have happened on Duke's basketball team, for example. The coach is responsible, in my view, for the behavior of student-athletes. And student-athletes have to be held to a higher standard than other students, because they represent the university. Just given what we KNOW, for a fact, to be true about that party (I mean the organized underage drinking, the strippers, and racial epithets), the team needed to be suspended, and responsible adults (coach and athletic director) fired.

2. The President should have treated the incident for what it was: a racial incident. The quick, decisive action described in #1 would have calmed the community. Instead, the administration circled the wagons and went silent for two weeks, AND THEN SUSPENDED THE SEASON AND FIRED THE COACH. It looked like the Prez caved in to pressure, and in fact he did. Either take action, or don't, right away. And decry the racial nature of the confrontation, and abuse.

3. Now, at this point, my sympathies switch entirely, from "punish the team" to "help the three falsely accused players." The team, the coach, and the university have paid for the racially motivated harassment of the dancers, and for breaking the (stupid) drinking age law, when the season was suspended and the coach fired, even if belatedly. So the vendetta of the (as my friend CL calls him) "Righteous Townie DA" Nifong against the players charged with the flimsiest conceivable case of rape is reprehensible. The three players charged with rape may not be choir boys (though no one knows that, except for the whole D.C. assault conviction thing). I'll not reprise the evidence against the three young men, or rather the evidence of prosecutorial misconduct by RTDA Nifong. The charges should be dropped, immediately. Nifong should be removed from office and disbarred.

4. The famed "Duke 88" were out of line. I don't deny their, or anyone else's, right in expressing their views. I find their judgment questionable, however. Their statement was, even in the most charitable reading, full of opportunities for what signers later called "misrepresentations", though it appears to me that the critiques of the statement are based on the plain meaning of the words in the statement. Let me be clear: the 88 were not out of line for expressing a view. They were out of line for (a) a rush to judgment, and (b) presuming to speak, or appearing to be presuming to speak, for Duke and Duke's faculty as a whole. Finally, I do have to ask, as many others have asked: If the Group of 88 was so concerned that people react to THEIR WORDS, not to what rumor claimed about the statement, why was the statement removed from the Duke servers? (Again, you can find a transcription here. Two disclaimers: (a) I can't tell if this transcription is accurate, since the Group of 88 is too ashamed of its words to allow them to be seen in public. (b) I do not endorse the invective at the top of the this article, but I am reduced to linking this source because the Group of 88 is too ashamed to...(ditto))

5. But that means that the relative silence of the President (though he was on 60 Minutes, for heaven's sake!) is also appropriate. What is going on now is a criminal proceeding. For Duke to use its public relations apparatus to try to influence the case would mean that we have sunk to Nifong's level, or close to it. (To sink to Nifong's level, we would have to be hiding important evidence, also). Either the three young men did, or did not, commit a rape. If they did, it was on private property. They should be punished, if they committed a rape. But the evidence now appears overwhelming (actually, it was overwhelming three months ago; now it is outrageously overwhelming) that the prosecution is conducting a politically motivated and cynical witch hunt. The system is broken, and Nifong has to go. I would go so far as to say that the city of Durham should have to pay most, or all, of the legal costs of the three young men.

6. Finally, I have heard from a number of people (Radley Balko, for one) that this protest against abuse by prosecutors is a bit too little, too late. Poor people, black people, and those who have inadequate representation are often railroaded by a legal system dominated by overzealous D.A.s. The only reason, the argument goes, that people are upset now is that the routine abuse has crossed race and class lines, and some rich white boys are involved! Where were you when the poor and the black and the brown were being abused? You didn't protest then!

Well, there are two answers. First, if the prosecutor can go after wealthy people, with good lawyers, and still cause so much misery, that is proof the system is broken and needs fixed.

Second, and more important, critics are missing the point: these young men are not charged with rape in SPITE of their race and class. They are being charged precisely BECAUSE of it. The whole point, for Nifong and for some (I don't know how many) of his supporters is that this is a chance to get back at the elite. Nifong's side appears to want to argue this way: If these particular white boys didn't commit the rape, well they have done other bad things we don't know about. And the very fact of their wealth and privilege is an outrage, and someone needs to be held accountable.

It is difficult for me even to type these last words, because it makes me so angry. And, I may be caricaturing the view, though I think I am guilty only of terseness, not misrepresentation.

So, to summarize lest I be misunderstood:

-- Ending the season, and firing the coach, was appropriate (and sufficient) punishment of the team for the racial and drinking incidents at the party. AD should have been fired also, and it should have been done in first two days, not two weeks.

-- All charges against the players should be dropped immediately, and their lawyers' fees paid by the County of Durham.

-- Nifong is criminally negligent, at least, and should be removed from the case and disbarred.

-- Duke University should continue its policy of cooperation with authorities, but should not make public statements that either support or criticize any of the parties in the pending criminal trial. It is wrong when Nifong tries to try the students in public, and it would be just as wrong for Duke to do so.

UPDATE: Dec 25, 3 pm: I should note that the initial recognition that the statement of the Group of 88 had been deleted from its Duke site came from DiW. I found the Johnsville reference through KCJ's site, and should have said so. I regret the omission.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Immigration: A State Issue....

When folks ask me about my views on immigration, I usually try to beg off, saying it is not a state issue. Plus, I think the answer is long and complex, and I am suspicious of any quick fix.

But, now it appears that our man Mitt believes I am wrong on both counts. That is, it IS a state issue, and there IS a quick fix!

Check this!

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Mitt Romney, who is weighing a White House bid, signed an agreement Wednesday that allows Massachusetts State Police troopers to detain illegal aliens they encounter over the course of their normal duties.

Under the terms of the agreement, made with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, an initial group of 30 troopers will receive five weeks of specialized training next year, paid by the federal government.

The troopers will be drawn from the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Squad, the Criminal Investigation Section, the Anti-Gang Unit, the Drug Enforcement Unit and the Community Action Team.

"The scope of our nations illegal immigration problem requires us to pursue and implement new solutions wherever possible," Romney said in a statement. "State troopers are highly trained professionals who are prepared to assist the federal government in apprehending immigration violators without disrupting their normal law enforcement routines."

(nod to KH, with thanks)

I used to be a Republican

I am a recovering Republican. One never quite gets over an experience that horrifying.

But I was reminded why I used to have hope. Here is an excerpt from a speech by Mitt Romney, in his 1994 Senate campaign:

"If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and
lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent [Ted Kennedy] cannot do this. I
can and will...I think the gay community needs more support from the
Republican party..."

Yep, that's right, Mitt! Whatever happened to ya, man?

(nod to KL)

Mark Steckbeck

Just got a note from Mark Steckbeck, Hillsdale College prof. He says he is moving back to North Carolina.

Great to have you, Mark!

And, here is a link to his very nice libertarian blog, "A Liberal Order."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Durham Herald Article

A nice article from the Herald, on the campaign:

Munger needs 67,000 signatures, that is, 2 percent of the turnout in the most recent governor's race, to get the Libertarian Party on the ballot in 2008.

If he does that -- and wins the Libertarian nomination -- then he would have the right to officially compete with Democrat and Republican nominees to replace Mike Easley, the Democrat first elected in 2000 who must step down because of state term limits.

Munger said that while Easley, 56, is in many ways an admirable person, he believes Easley has been too hands-off, particularly in dealing with the Legislature. "I think it's got to be infuriating to the Democratic leadership to have someone that's just useless," Munger said.

State Democratic spokesman Schorr Johnson quickly countered by saying that Easley is doing "a great job" and pointing out that the party gained larger majorities in the House and Senate in the Nov. 7 general election.

Johnson also said Democrats would have a strong nominee in 2008 "and be on track to winning the governorship again."

Unfortunate that the article makes it sound like *I* am running the signature campaign, when in fact it is the state leadership of the party, most particularly our terrific LPNC Ballot Access Director, Bob Ritchie. I'll have to be clearer from now on.....

Anyway, here is Bob Ritchie's picture; if you click on the pic, you'll get his email. Contact him about the signature drive; we NEED your help!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Ric Flair: Bring It ON, Man! WILL be a race among giants, after all!

Ric Flair, onetime "Nature Boy" and of course now a promoter and fan of hockey in Raleigh, has announced his intention to run for gov of NC in 2008.

"Ric Flair, a professional wrestler...officially announced in the premiere issue of WWE Mag that he will run [for NC governor] in 2008, saying 'My platform will be education, crime, healthcare for the elderly, and highway tolls'."

The Tale of the Tape:

Rick Flair, Republican
Ring name(s) Ric Flair, Rick Flair, Black Scorpion, Nature Boy
Billed height 6 ft 1 in
Billed weight 243 lb

Mike Munger, Libertarian
Ring name(s) Killer Grease, Mungowitz
Billed height 6 ft 1 in
Billed weight 248 lb