Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why North Carolina Libertarians are making a dent in the Demopublican monopoly: candidates like Brian Irving

Brian Irving, a 25-year USAF veteran, former United Way communications director and Fayetteville City Planning Commissioner, is the Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of North Carolina and candidate for State Senate in District 17 (Wake County).

Here's the kind of position that makes Tarheel Libertarians like Irving an up-and-coming force in State politics:

North Carolina legislators succumbed to their addiction again by passing the 2008 budget with increased spending, funding for more boondoggles to buy votes for selected legislators, and increased debt for taxpayers.

Libertarians would offer the people a real economic stimulus package by the simple expedient of letting you keep more of your money. My fellow Libertarian legislative candidates and I would never vote for such spending.

↓↓↓No $857 billion more debt

Legislators are afraid to let taxpayers vote on bonds, so they increased debt through “certificates of participation,” which do not require voter approval. This scheme should be called “certificates of non-participation” because only legislators, lobbyists and special interests groups can participate

↓↓↓ No $90 million for ABC bonuses

A classic example of Catch 22: The State sells alcohol to the people, then arrests them for DUIs. The State shouldn’t be selling booze to begin with.

↓↓↓ No $30 million for ‘More at Four’

Despite the fact that this State-run pre-kindergarten program has never been evaluated and is barely monitored, it now costs $170 million a year.

↓↓↓ No $9.4 million for NC Health Choice

This is another State-run insurance program for low-income children. Another feel good program. Why not just give the parents of these kids the money directly, or better yet, let them keep more of the paycheck.

↓↓↓ No Corporate & Non-profit Welfare

The legislature approved several expenditures to improve the “quality of life” — especially for oysters, polar bears and horses — not taxpayers.

$12.9 million in non-voter approved debt for a Film School Production Design Facility at the NC School of the Arts

$4.3 million in non-voter approved debt for a “Research Oyster Hatchery”

$2.7 million in non-voter approved debt for the NC Zoo Polar Bear Exhibit renovation and expansion.

$2 million for an “Oyster Sanctuary Program”

$900,000 for the Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh

$600,000 in planning funds for the African Pavilion at the NC Zoo.

$500,000 for “Green Industries Education and Promotion”

$500,000 for promoting the CIAA Basketball tournament in Charlotte

$450,000 increase funding for the North Carolina Symphony

The seat is currently held by Republican Richard Stevens, who not only signed off on the aforementioned budget deal, but--interestingly enough--does not even appear to have set up a website for his re-election campaign. Probably doesn't think it's necessary: he won his seat with 62% in 2002, 58.74% in 2004, and in 2006 did not have an opponent.

Go get him, Brian.


Waldo said...

Irving sounds like the sort of candidate you get from cities like Fayetteville strung out like a crack whore on military base money and the endless turnover of personnel who spend a lot but rarely stay long: who needs the arts? Pointy-headed intellectual stuff. Who needs to restore oysters to NC's polluted waters (there used to be enough oysters in Chesapeake Bay, for example, to recycle its entire water volume every couple of days, which was in no small part why so much other aquatic life flourished and so many made a living from it.

And the Symphony? It's the only professional orchestra in America that travels extensively around the state as part of a third to fifth grade music curriculum. I played my little tone flute with a few hundred other fifth graders and the Symphony forty years ago, in a town that would never see such a thing otherwise, ever. They do about 40 a year- free- in a quarter of that state's counties.

H.L. Mencken would be proud of Mr. Irving.

Steve Newton said...

Happy as I am that you got to play the flute, I don't necessarily think that's the point of his objection.

All of us have our lists of what we consider state-run boondoogles that nonetheless manage to make it through late-night budget deals.

I believe strongly in the arts, but I think the current model of state support is pretty well skewed toward paying off political favors rather than providing a wide range of arts experiences for all citizens in NC.

I'm far more concerned with millions of dollars in bonuses to ABC store employees, and I think Irving is, too.

Arthur Torrey said...

Would seem to me that ALL of the items listed are things that COULD be paid for by voluntarily donated funds from people that consider the particular programs important / valuable, as opposed to paying for them with funds extracted at gunpoint from those who are less interested...

(Remember, tax money is ALWAYS taken at virtual gunpoint - ask what happens to those that refuse to give it up - and see if it's any different from what is done by the common street mugger to a disarmed victim...)