Again with needing libertarians at the local level…

This one out of South Carolina, in a town called Beaufort, which is near Hilton Head:

A church wants the county to rezone its property from rural to suburban to lessen the amount of open space required by law. It wants to do this in preparation for future development, though the only thing they plan to do at the moment is reconfigure their parking lot and enlarge it.

But one of the local commissioners is against it. Why? Because she is a woman and disagrees with the Catholic Church’s positions on female clergy and abortion/contraception rights.

Note that this is a religious, maybe a political issue with the overall Roman Catholic Church, and not one that actually affects the issue or the single church at hand. She gives no reason for disagreeing with the church’s desires regarding the issue, and instead blocks them because of her own religious beliefs.

Fortunately, most of the rest of the commission was more level-headed (and possibly worried about a First Ammendment lawsuit), and the rezoning passed 5-2.

Story can be found at http://www.beaufortgazette.com/174/story/621015.html, tip of the hat to Reason.com‘s brickbat for bringing the issue to my attention.

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Think we don’t need libertarianism at the local level?

The Commissioners of the City of Albany have decided to make mundane things such as rose vases, markers, and rolling papers – things often sold in convenience stores – illegal.

They argue that these items are often used for drug use, and therefore should be banned.

This is wrong on two levels:

1) Businesses should be allowed to sell whatever they like. After all, where do you draw the line in limiting what can or can’t be sold by a particular business? It is better to allow everyone to sell anything they wish and crack down on those who would defraud their customers than to limit the freedom of all. Furthermore, the business selling said items has violated no law other than the one you are trying to create. You cannot hold a business responsible for the actions of its customers. (Oh, wait, didn’t they already do that with Big Tobacco and aren’t they trying to do that with Fast Food??)

2) The War on Drugs is a complete failure and a waste of resources. As long as druggies are only harming themselves, they do nothing wrong. Prosecute them for abusing their kids or stealing to get money or what have you, not just because they hurt themselves. (For the official LP Platform write-up on this, check out the issues section of LP.org, under Crime and Violence. The LP-Georgia’s stance is on their platform page under War On Drugs.

Early Voting Begins in GA

Early voting begins today in GA, with the runoff slated officially for Dec 2 – two weeks from today,

I know of two high-profile runoffs being decided: the US Senate race between Jim Martin and Saxby Chambliss – which Libertarain Allen Buckley forced – and the PSC race between Jim Powell and Lauren ‘Bubba’ McDonald that Libertarian Brandon Givens forced. In the absence of a Libertarian in an election, my personal policy is to go against the incumbent unless its opposition is just TOO bad, but how you vote is up to you.

Saxby Chambliss and the Libertarian Vote

I expect Saxby Chambliss to be in the Albany Herald occassionally. Not only is he a former member of the US House, he is our current US Senator and he happens to be from SWGA.

So it wasn’t surprising that he was in the Herald this morning.

What was surprising was that he was seeking the endorsement of Allen Buckley – his Libertarian opponent from a week ago. This, after proclaiming for quite a while that he didn’t expect a runoff election nor did he need Buckley’s endorsement if one should by some major disaster – according to his thinking – happen.

But he was very insulting to us in it, being extremely condescending. Saying that we voted too early, before we could come to our senses and realize that the bailout that he helped ram through the Senate was ‘for our own good.’

His exact quote and the entire article can be found at http://www.albanyherald.com/stories/20081113n5.htm

I personally voted for Buckley in the general election, and absent some persuasive arguments from Buckley himself or the LPGa, Martin has got my vote in the runoff.

There is nothing worse for a politician known to be a liar than to be a condescending liar.

Republicans and Early Elections

A brief history lesson to start this blog off:

Prior to 1992, GA Election Law stated that a candidate must receive 50% of the vote plus a single vote to win an election, and that anything less than this – including, presumably, an exact 50-50 split- would cause a runoff election between the top two candidates (or only two, as the case may be).

In 1992, Democrat Wyche Fowler was forced into a runoff election against Republican Paul Coverdell – I believe for a seat in the US Senate. The result of the general election was something like 47% – 43%. Coverdell won the runoff election.

So the Democrats in power at the time changed the runoff law to 45%.

When Republicans assumed power in 2002, they changed the law back to the old 50% + 1 rule, arguing – correctly – that the 45% rule was simply a way of keeping the current party in power.

Libertarian US Senate Candidate Allen Buckley got somewhere around 125K votes in this year’s race, which was just enough to dip Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss below the required 50% mark.

Apparently, there has been rumblings for at least a year now within Republican circles that they would like to reinstate the 45% rule, and Saxby Chambliss’ own showing has only invigorated that element to push harder.

They want to strip the will of the People from the People themselves and make it even more difficult for third parties to ‘usurp’ their power – as if the power is rightfully any one party’s to begin with.

Republicans and Early Voting

First off, let me get out of the way that I’m not talking about voting in Early County, GA. (It happens to be in my neck of the woods, so I just want to be ultra clear.)

That said, I’ve seen multiple reports – including from both AJC.com’s Political Insider blog and the Associated Press – that GA Republican leadership is ‘concerned’ about early voting.

A law that THEY put in place. GA Republicans!!

It seems that making voting as convenient as possible for Joe Public doesn’t result in elections favoring Republicans. Yet from what I personally witnessed, early voting was popular with EVERYONE. I voted on October 3, my parents and youngest brother voted in North GA around the same time, and a few coworkers noted that they also voted early. Now, I mention these specific examples due to party affiliation: I am a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party and voted for Barr/Buckley/Monds/Given. My North GA family is solidly (though not officially card carrying) Republican. My coworkers – the ones I talked to – were solid Democrats.

It seems to me ALL party affiliations were taking advantage of not having to sit in line for 6+ hours to vote.

Which brings to mind another point: I would be willing to wager that each and every Georgian that voted would have done so whether early voting existed or not. This was that kind of election year. With the lines reported in even Dougherty County on the final few days of early voting, can you imagine what would have happened had everyone been forced to vote in one day?? Pandemonium and probably quite a few people walking out. From what I saw and heard, I doubt those walking out would have been Libertarians or Democrats, meaning that Republicans probably would have lost even more significantly – possibly even turning GA blue according to Presidential results.

Yet this is evidently what your Republican State Legislature wants for you, my fellow Georgians…

Obama’s Chief of Staff

The choice of the person to fill a President’s Chief of Staff position is a decent indicator of the style and tone of the Presidency to come. Look at George W. Bush and his selection of Karl Rove.

Obama has now, according to news reports, chosen fellow Chicagoan Rahm Emanuel (D-IL 5th).

We know that Mr. Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate, but what about his Chief of Staff?

According to ontheissues.org, a website I found near the top of the page upon Googling “Rahm Emanuel voting record”, Rahm Emanuel has a:

  • 100% rating by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL)
  • 100% rating by the Human Rights Campaign, a militantly pro-homosexual organization
  • 100% rating by the left-leaning National Education Association
  • 100% rating by the American Public Health Association
  • 100% rating by the anti-nuclear weapons organization SANE
  • 100% rating by the Alliance of Retired Americans
  • 100% rating by Citizens for Tax Justice, a pro-progressive tax policy organization
  • 95% rating by the League of Consevation Voters
  • 92% rating by Americans United for Separation of Church and State
  • 87% rating by the AFL-CIO
  • 67% rating by the Campaign for America’s Future, a pro-energy independence organization
  • 39% rating by the US Chamber of Commerce,
  • 23% rating by the National Taxpayers’ Union (NTU)
  • 8% rating by the Christian Coalition
  • 8% rating by US Border Control
  • 0% rating by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
  • F rating by the NRA

On the World’s Smallest Political Quiz based upon his voting record, Rahm Emanuel shows up with a social score of 80% and an economic score of 20%, making him a ‘Hard Core Liberal’.

And this is the man President-elect Obama, who will supposedly ‘unite’ the American People, wants as his Chief of Staff????

Hold on people, we’re in for a very bumpy ride for the next 1459 days or so!