Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Michael Munger interview you may have missed

This from Now Public on May 19, 2008, which I missed at the time, but which contains some excellent points (some excerpted below):

1. What motivated you to run for Governor of North Carolina?

I have been a political scientist for nearly 25 years. I have testified before the U.S. Senate on campaign finance law, I have written books, and many articles about campaigns. But I have never seen a campaign from the inside. Then, once I started the campaign, I became very involved in the ballot access movement here. That is the most important issue, I think. But there are other issues I care about, including ending corporate welfare and ending capital punishment in our state....

4. What can the Libertarian Party offer North Carolina that the Republicans and Democrats are unable or unwilling to offer?

There is no real difference between the state-sponsored parties. Both depend on the state for their existence, using public financing and the public purse to pay off their supporters. Both the Democrats and Republicans run on slightly different versions of the same platform: "Vote for me, and I'll give you other peoples' money!" I would cut spending on make-work pork-barrel projects all over the state, increase the restrictive ceiling on charter schools, commute death sentences to life imprisonement without parole, and stop municipal aggression. North Carolina is one of only seven states that allows involuntary annexation by cities, and that has to be stopped. Cities should not be able to annex country folk against their will....

7. What made you decide to become a Libertarian?

I was registered Republican for a long time. But the Republicans never followed through on their promise to change big government. In fact, the Republicans in Congress, and the Republican President George Bush, have dramatically expanded government in nearly every way. I have always thought of myself as a "small l" libertarian. But the war in Iraq, and the huge spending increases on pork-barrel projects by the Republican Congress, made me change my mind in 2003. I became a Libertarian after the war started, and the Republicans continued spending like drunken sailors on shore leave.

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