My favorite weekend biker chick, outraged Delaware voter, food porn addict Shirley at Delaware Curmudgeon is good friends with Jan McKay, who is the Libertarian candidate for North Carolina State Senate in District 15.
She's prevailed upon Jan to release a letter on motorcycle helmet laws that she send to her current opponent, Senator Neal Hunt, when she was a constituent. It explains in large part, I think, (a) why Jan is running and (b) why Libertarian activists around the country need to pay attention to her.
A short excerpt (but you really, really need to visit Shirley and read the whole thing):
Regarding the motorcycle helmet issue, I prefer to make my arguments based on loss of rights and violations of constitutional law. The current situation is that the law leaves enforcement up to arbitrary decisions of enforcement agencies, and with a state highway patrol which describes itself as paramilitary, I would prefer to make the laws clear.
I spoke with a Cary police detective last week, and told her there are tens of thousands of people who wear full-face helmets which conceal identities. They could all be rounded up, in violation of GS 14-12.7 and .8, the concealed identity statutes, and be sent to trial, facing prison for a year.
She said, "True, but we wouldn't do that."
I said, "Enforcement is arbitrary and at your discretion".
She said, "Yes, so it's okay."
I said, "What do you mean it's okay?! I am not okay about any part of that! That is why the law must change."
Here's Jan's announcement of her candidacy at the Cruiserbike meet-up site:
The Bikers Candidate
You all know me as organizer for Just a Bunch of Bikers.
You also know I have been fighting for motorcycle rights.
I am proud to announce I have been selected as the Libertarian candidate for State Senate, District 15, Wake County.
In 2006, the only name on the ballot was Neal Hunt. In 2008, Wake County voters will have more choice, with a three way race! The other candidates for senate in district 15 are the incumbent state senator, and democrat Chris Mintz who was defeated in an election bid for the NC House in 2006, and failed to get his parties nomination for state treasurer.
I am the only candidate who comes into the race directly from a freedom fighter background. This extends my continued commitment and dedication to rights, freedom, and liberty, for all North Carolina AMERICANS. Please share this good news with your friends, and have a
Happy 4th of July!
She's also the NC Executive Director of BOLT--Bikers of Lesser Toleration (hence the cool graphic above, since I couldn't find a picture of Jan).
The Libertarian Party has this horrible habit of thinking that without much money there isn't much to do, time after time, but throw a raft of candidates out there and let them sink or swim on their own. That's why we lose. That's why we will continue to lose if we continue to play their game. We need to think outside the box, and outside our state lines, and not wait for articulate candidates like Jan McKay to get press coverage; instead, we need to create that press coverage for them ourselves.
You may be thinking, that's all well and good, but who besides Libertarians reads our blogs.
You'd be surprised. If you cover Libertarian candidates, then people who are searching for information on their own district races through Google or Yahoo will pick up your stories very high on the list. I've got Google Alerts standing for Mike Munger, Allen Buckley, and Scotty Bowman, and--you know what?--they are picking up my posts and their echoes. Just to test it out I put up a Google Alert for the NC governor's race and the GA senate race without their names or the Libertarian identifier and guess what? Delaware Libertian's coverage of their campaigns almost always places two or three stories on the first page of search results.
People see this stuff when you write it. Near as I can tell from Google Analytics, at least half the traffic to this blog comes from non-Libertarians.
It doesn't cost money--it just takes time and energy. Last Free Voice and Independent Political Report can't do it all, even though they're out punching every day. Get into the damn fight: there are great candidates like Jan Mckay out there who need your support: money if you got it, but everybody else can at least pay attention.