Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gun Control

I'm very much in favor of preserving our right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. If elected, I will support any and all legislation to expand our right to possess firearms, and will oppose any further attempts to restrict that right. As long as you are not initiating harm against someone, the government should leave you alone. People should not be punished for what they possess; rather, they should be punished (if at all) for their acts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout voted down?!?

Color me shocked. Now let's see if the opponents voted on free-market, non-government-interference principles, or simply because they weren't able to "get enough." Will Our Learned Leaders manage to create a Frankenstein's monster to get a majority? Call me a cynic, but I'm afraid they just might throw in some new programs or add in pork to swing some "Nay" votes. I hope I'm wrong.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Campaign Signs are in!

Please click the "Volunteer" link at the top of my website if you want to put one in your yard. I'll be glad to get it to you however is convenient, and I'll get you more than one if you want to distribute some to your friends, co-workers, and family. Thanks for your support!

If you're new to the site, please check out the links to the right for my archive and related links. Welcome.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gubernatorial Debate Wednesday Night

For the first time, the Libertarian candidate for governor, Dr. Mike Munger, will be allowed to appear in a televised debate. It's on UNC-TV Wednesday night. Mayor McCrory has accepted the invitation, but Bev Perdue has apparently declined. She's participated in the other debates that only she and McCrory were allowed in; she isn't afraid of the little ol' Chair of the Duke Political Science Department, is she?

More information here. Please watch. I'm guessing Dr. Munger and I will agree on most issues.

Agricultural Fair

I have a booth at the Caldwell County Agricultural Fair this week. As you go in the Exhibit Hall, head straight ahead. I'm in the center aisle on the left, about a third of the way down. When I have the time (like most of you, I have a job and a family), I'll either be there or at the main gate, greeting folks and handing out cards about the issues I believe are most important to the citizens of Caldwell County and North Carolina.

I hope I see you there!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Illegal Immigration and Community College

This is one of those issues that may not make me particularly popular with some of you, but I've always stuck to my principles and said what I think. I always will.

We should allow illegal immigrants to attend our community colleges, but at the out-of-state rate. This would serve at least two purposes. First, it would make education available to more people. Regardless of whether someone is illegal or not, they should have the opportunity to get an education. Second, if we charge them the out-of-state rate, we, the taxpayers, will not be subsidizing them. They will be paying their own way, as they should.

If, for some reason, the current out-of-state rate isn't high enough to pay for all of a student's costs of attending community college, I would vote to raise the rate. Regardless of whether someone is an illegal immigrant, or from Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia, we North Carolina taxpayers shouldn't be subsidizing their education at our taxpayer-funded schools. But that's a separate issue, and shouldn't affect this issue. Illegal immigrants should be able to attend our community colleges.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Broyhill/Furniture Brands

So I guess everyone knows by now. The City of Lenoir and Caldwell County have rolled over and taken Broyhill's hijacking, spending our money to make themselves look good.

If you'll recall, one of the arguments used to justify Google's handouts last year was that the tax rebates were on investment that wouldn't have happened without the incentives; we were giving away money we wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Not even that excuse works here.

Furniture Brands International (Broyhill's owner; let's be honest, it's not really "Broyhill" anymore) is staying in Lenoir and consolidating its operations, including closing several other plants. For this, the City and County have given them massive incentives conditioned on placing limits on job REDUCTION, rather than promoting job creation. If Furniture Brands cuts ONLY 100 jobs, City and County taxpayers will pay them $2 million dollars over the next year or so. This isn't tax rebates. Checks will be written out of the general funds, paid for by you and me, to Furniture Brands, a company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

The John Locke Foundation, in its Agenda 2008 pamphlet, put it better than I can:

[Government] will reward specific companies that it deems worthy. If a company will run its business the way politicians and state economic development planners think it should be run, then the subsidies will flow in its direction.

If it locates in the right place, if it hires the right amount of workers, if it compensates the workers with the correct mix of salary and benefits, and if it is producing the right products or providing the right services, then it will qualify for the privilege of being subsidized by the citizens of North Carolina. This is government central planning, plain and simple.

Of course, the City and County will go through the motions of the public hearings required by law. Lenoir's hearing will be October 21 and Caldwell's hearing will probably be October 20. But the votes have already been unofficially cast. I'll very likely be the only local official who opposes these taxpayer subsidies.

Despite this, I encourage you to turn out for the public hearings and express your opposition. Because I will, and if enough citizens show up to voice their opposition to this corporate welfare, maybe together we can put a stop to it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ron Paul and the Power of Government

Ron Paul today expressed frustration with the two-party "charade" we have and endorsed the Libertarian, Green, Constitution, and independent candidates for President. He says a lot of things in the article that I agree with, such as "I did not want to run people's lives. I did not want to run the economy and I did not want to run the world. I didn't have the authority to do it, and I didn't have the Constitution behind me to do it."Amen, Dr. Paul.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Criminal Matters

North Carolina wastes too much taxpayer money on harassing and prosecuting non-violent offenders. This includes the court system and the prison system. This takes away valuable resources from prosecuting criminals who have damaged or stolen other people's property, or harmed or defrauded other people. This will lead to safer streets and homes, and a better environment for small businesses to grow in.

When I'm in Raleigh, I'll support laws that will focus our laws toward investigating and prosecuting violent crimes, while opposing laws that further attempt to harass people who are not hurting others.

Feel free to contact me here or directly by e-mail if you have specific questions. This is an incredibly broad topic that could take numerous blog postings to answer fully.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

In Favor Of...

One of the biggest (if not the biggest) line items in the state budget is the Department of Education. Despite this, it seems every school wants and/or needs more money, and teachers are constantly seeking raises. Then there's all the debates about prayer in school, creationism v. evolution, sex education, etc., etc., etc. Most of these issues would go away if parents had real school choice. The way it is now, however, you pay whether you use the public (government) school system or not. Then, you pay again if you send your kids to private school. And of course, if you homeschool you have lots of expenses as well.

I support a 100% tax credit for education expenses, whether you're paying for your own kids or someone else's, and whether you're an individual or a business. This would encourage corporations to create scholarships based on need, aptitude, etc. Credits are better than the other alternative, vouchers. There are a number of reasons why, but the two major ones for me are closely connected. First of all, a voucher means the government is "giving" your own money back to you, for you to use as it sees fit. Secondly, when the government gives you the voucher, it will undoubtedly come with strings attached, much as federal education or highway money does for the states. You will only be able to use the voucher at those schools that teach a certain government-approved way. This will simply continue the current problems with government schools and effectively gut what makes private schools different: alternative ways of teaching, using the Bible if a school wants to, etc. Vouchers will destroy what little choice we have left in the education of out children.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Here We Go!

I'm just starting up this blog. I hope to use this as an opportunity to let folks know what I'm doing and where I stand on the issues. If you've been following my two terms on the Lenoir City Council, you know I'm against economic development incentives, a.k.a. corporate welfare. When the best thing the staunchest supporters of a policy can say about the policy is that "No one likes it, but everyone is doing it, so we have to," you know the policy is bad. I've voted against every incentive proposal that's come before us, including the massive Google handouts. I'll never vote for one, and if elected will propose laws to eliminate State-level incentive programs. If you earn your money, you should be able to keep it, instead of politicians giving it to multi-national businesses and using it to pat themselves on the back over the businesses they want to claim they recruited.

I'm also very much against involuntary annexation. Lenoir annexed my family and me back in the 1990s. It caused me to run write-in in 2001, to get elected in 2003, and re-elected in 2007. Involuntary annexation is wrong. It deprives citizens their voice in government. If I'm elected, I will propose legislation to abolish involuntary annexation, and will support any legislation to enact a moratorium or to limit cities' ability to involuntarily annex.

I'm also opposed to eminent domain for economic development purposes. The government shouldn't be able to take your house and give it to some big corporation that wants to build a big box on your land. If elected, I will propose a constitutional amendment to make clear that politicians can't pass a law that would allow this to happen.

So that's my first post. I welcome your comments and questions.