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.

Public school advocates welcome “champion” in the Executive Mansion, offer advice on the challenges Cooper will face

The N.C. Association of Educators was one of the first major political advocacy groups to side with Roy Cooper.

So when news spread over social media Monday that Gov. Pat McCrory had at last conceded a bitterly contested gubernatorial race to Cooper—three weeks and six days after Election Day—it’s fitting that the 70,000-member political arm of teachers across North Carolina was one of the first to trumpet the news.

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McCrory sidesteps goodbyes, presses for sale of “crappy” historic buildings

Gov. Pat McCrory was jovial at his last Council of State meeting this morning, even cracking a few jokes, but he was also blunt and made no concessions about his feelings on developing dilapidated state buildings. What he didn’t make clear at the meeting were his feelings about conceding the election and leaving his job after one term. Many of his colleagues at the table made small speeches at the conclusion of the meeting, thanking the Governor for his hard work and letting him know that he would be missed. He smiled back at them, shaking his head a few times and then adjourned the meeting and quickly moved around the crowd, shaking just a few hands, before disappearing without taking any questions. Most of the meeting was spent discussing the potential sale of three properties: a vacant Charlotte Correctional Facility; the Personnel Training Center across from William Peace University in Raleigh; and three buildings on Caswell Square on North Dawson Street. Council members expressed concern about the vetting process and the procedure for which the buildings were put up for sale. McCrory grew frustrated about how long the process was taking and the bureaucracy of it all. “We’re almost playing a chicken and egg game in bureaucratic process,” he said. “We’re just making it hard for them.” McCrory has spent much of his term as governor pushing for the repair, sale or demolition of dilapidated state property as part of a plan dubbed “Project Phoenix.” The state owns about 12,000 buildings, many of which are unoccupied or underused, according to the Governor’s Office. The Republican Governor called the Charlotte prison, which has been vacant since 2011, a blight and an embarrassment to the state. He said there was no reason not to sell it and allow for the private sector to redevelop the area. “The state has a responsibility to deal with these buildings,” he added. “This is a huge problem across the state [and] we don’t have the money to demolish them.” The Council agreed to sell the 49-acre property for $6 million, with only State Treasurer Janet Cowell objecting. Council members voted to table the sale of the Raleigh properties, expressing many concerns about construction and development. The Training Center sits on 1.77 acres and currently houses 12 state employees, who, if it would have been sold, would have moved to another building across the street. The state received several offers for the property, with Council members considering an offer of $4.75 million from a group who wanted to demolish it and build an 8- or 9-story retail building with multi-family housing above it, according to John LaPenta, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Administration. “It’s a win, win, win,” he said of the deal, adding that it could cost upward of $40-50 million if the state chose to renovate the building instead of selling. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said she would vote against it because there was already so much development in that area, she didn’t think it would be pedestrian friendly. “That piece of land is the biggest damn eyesore,” McCrory replied. “It’s a piece of crap building. It’s government at its worst.” He went on to say that from an urban planning standpoint, cities want density downtown, and that there wasn’t enough density in downtown Raleigh. He said the state should not be in the zoning business, and that the sale would be money back in the state’s pocket – money for schools and to pay police with. Five of the 10-member council voted against the sale, but the group later unanimously voted to instead table it. They also voted to table the sale of three buildings on Caswell Square. The buildings have been vacant for 20 years and LaPenta said there have been problems with homeless people starting fires in them during the winter. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest was the first to speak against the sale, and said he didn’t think there could be a price tag put on the buildings just yet. He and Marshall said they would like to see the state work with the City of Raleigh to develop the area into a public, green space. “A lot of goals could be accomplished if that kind of deal worked out,” Marshall said. McCrory called the area an embarrassment for the city and the state, but said he also understood the need for more discussion. “You don’t even notice how crappy it looks,” he said. “It looks like a slum. … I don’t know why the state’s getting a pass on this for a hundred years, and now we’re giving them another pass.” McCrory, toward the end of the meeting, did mention the incoming administration, and said he hoped they could continue to transform the old state buildings in a beneficial way for the cities in which they occupy.

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