Free and Proper Elections

NCFPE Poltical Blog and News Tracker

Free and Proper Elections - NCFPE Poltical Blog and News Tracker

North Carolinians for Free and Proper Elections

Welcome to the North Carolinians for Free and Proper Elections Political Action Committee. There are two questions that we would like you and every other citizen of the great Tar Heel state of North Carolina to ask themselves. First, is the right to vote your conscience one of the citizens’ most basic rights inherent in our Republican form of government? Second, can any level of government rightfully abridge or deny it’s citizens the right to vote specifically based on political affiliation?

As a grass-roots group of concerned citizens in North Carolina, we feel that the answer is obvious. We believe that the right to vote one’s conscience is a valuable and inherent right that our servicemen and women have died to protect over the past two and one half centuries; the right to choose who represents you. So, in return, we strongly believe that that no level of government has any authority to abridge the citizen’s right to vote based on political affiliation. Yet, that is exactly what has continued to happen for over one hundred years now by our state’s policy makers.

In 1901, the state of North Carolina enacted the first ballot access law, along with the implementation of the state printed ballot (called the Australian Ballot). This first ballot access law was simply the definition of a political party recognized by the state. Yet, North Carolina started off with a bang, requiring parties to have garnered at least 50,000 votes in the 1900 General Election to remain a ballot-recognized party in the state, automatically establishing a Republican-Democratic duopoly from the beginning of the state-printed ballot.

Now, over 100 years after the implementation of the state-regulated ballot, North Carolina has revised its laws regulating who can and cannot get on the ballot numerous times and still we do not truly have free elections as required by the North Carolina State Constitution which reads in Article I Section 10: “All elections shall be free.” We ask ourselves why our representatives do not represent us, why they promise one thing on the campaign trail and then deliver nothing in office, why can we not trust them. We at the North Carolinians for Free and Proper Elections, believe that it is a result of the unfair and restrictive ballot access laws which nearly ensure that only the two major parties have an equal chance on election day by making it nearly impossible to gain access to the ballot, allowing the two major parties to run unopposed by third party or unaffiliated candidates in most elections.

What people forget, and neglect to understand, is that in pre-1900 America, elections where generally free and equal; third political parties had a chance and they undertook important, meaningful roles in early-American politics. They served as agents of change and progress, ensuring that issues such as women’s suffrage and the abolishment of slavery were on the table, whereas the two major parties would have otherwise failed to act. Yet, since those grand old days when the citizens and political parties printed the ballots themselves and were able to vote their conscience, things have changed, but regretfully, not for the better.

Please help us to spread the word across the state of North Carolina about these unconstitutional statutes which deprive the citizens of their basic right to vote. The North Carolina citizen needs to be made aware of the problem of ballot access restrictions that have plagued freedom, and real political progress since 1901. We encourage everyone to look around the website, learn more about the ballot issue, and see what you can do to make North Carolina free again. For without freedom we are but pawns and slaves to government, and without the right to vote there is no freedom, just a privilege with the illusion of freedom.

The North Carolinians for Free and Proper Elections is a Political Action Committee which will work to:

-Educate the people of North Carolina about the state’s unconstitutional and burdensome restrictions on third political parties and unaffiliated candidates.

-Push for change and progress in the North Carolina General Assembly and US Congress to free the ballot and level the playing field for all candidates.

-Inform the people of where their candidates for elected office stand on the ballot issue.

Damning report documents new state budget’s inadequacy, lack of vision

It’s been nearly two weeks since Governor McCrory signed the 2017 state budget into law and most North Carolinians can probably be forgiven if they haven’t given the matter a whole of lot of thought in the interim. Fortunately, however, some people have been giving the matter a lot of thought and consideration – most notably, the experts at the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center. While many others have been enjoying vacations and a break from the Legislative Building wars, BTC analysts have been poring through the details, crunching the numbers, developing projections and comparisons, uncovering hidden policy decisions and just generally getting a complete handle on what it is that state leaders have left us with.

The Follies of McCrory’s continuing demagoguery on HB2

In April NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league would move its 2017 all-star game out of Charlotte if state officials did not make major changes to HB2, the sweeping anti-LGBT legislation passed by the General Assembly in a rushed one-day special session in March and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory. The General Assembly adjourned three weeks ago without making major changes to the law and Thursday the NBA announced it was pulling the game, costing the Charlotte area as much as $100 million in lost economic activity. Gov. McCrory lashed out in anger in a statement reacting to the news, blaming the “sports and entertainment elite,” Attorney General Roy Cooper, and the liberal media for the NBA keeping its word. He also bashed “left wing special interest groups,” and “selective corporate elite.” McCrory’s campaign even blamed Hillary Clinton since a former advisor for President Bill Clinton now works for the NBA. It is apparently everybody else’s fault even though McCrory signed the bill and the NBA made plain its intentions three months ago. McCrory’s statement also talked again about bathroom privacy for children, referring to provisions in HB2 that overturned part of a Charlotte nondiscrimination ordinance that allowed transgender people to use the public facilities that correspond to gender identity. That’s been the focus of McCrory and other supporters of HB2 since it was passed, claiming it puts women and children at risk of having their privacy invaded in restrooms or even puts them in danger somehow from sexual predators. Never mind that more than 200 local governments, including 17 of the 20 largest cities in country, have ordinances similar to Charlotte’s in place and have had no problems. And HB2 goes far beyond bathrooms.  It creates a statewide nondiscrimination standard that not only doesn’t guarantee protections for LGBT people, it includes the term “biological sex.” Federal courts and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have interpreted sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity. McCrory’s law goes out of its way to make sure that LGBT people in North Carolina are not protected from discrimination. HB2 also prohibits any Charlotte and any other local government from passing their own LGBT nondiscrimination protections. That’s why the NBA is moving the all-star game out of Charlotte and why 68 corporations including Red Hat, Apple, and Google, recently signed on to a lawsuit challenging the law. It is not about bathrooms. It’s about LGBT people having the same rights as everybody else, protections from being fired or denied services simply because they are gay or bisexual or transgender. Gov. McCrory may not want to talk about it, but he signed into law and continues to defend legislation that allows restaurants and hotels and taxis to refuse to serve gay, bisexual and transgender people. Neither he nor any of the other defenders of HB2 who claim to support equal rights demanded that state lawmakers change the divisive law this session by passing a statewide nondiscrimination standard that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. That’s because the far-right religious groups behind HB2 don’t believe in equal rights for LGBT people. House Speaker Pro Tem Paul Stam even disputes the existence of sexual orientation, equating it bizarrely to polygamy and adultery. That’s what the NBA’s decision is really all about, the rejection of the state’s support and codification of discrimination in North Carolina. McCrory can send out as many mean-spirited Trumpian news releases as he wants, but NBA officials did what they said they would do. And as damaging as their decision is to the state’s economy and already battered reputation around the world, it was not a surprise. Neither sadly was McCrory’s disappointing reaction. HB2 continues to damage North Carolina. And it is his law.

The truth about NC education spending

Fact check shows Pope-Civitas Institute used backwards math to tell false story on public schools budgets

A recent post from Bob Luebke at the right-wing Pope-Civitas Institute incorrectly argues that spending on public schools has increased since Republicans took control of the North Carolina General Assembly. The post makes the absurd claim that the budget for public schools has increased in both overall and per-pupil spending, even when adjusted for inflation. There is one big problem with this analysis, however: Bob Luebke doesn’t understand how inflation works.