Saturday, June 23, 2018

How Liberty Republicans can thrive in Trump era

Don’t Write Off the Libertarian Republicans | The American Conservative - Kevin Boyd:

June 19, 2018 - "Last Tuesday’s elections were a mixed bag for Tea Party legislators, or what we might call libertarian Republicans. The bad news was Corey Stewart’s defeat of Nick Freitas in the Virginia Senate primary and Katie Arrington’s defeat of Congressman Mark Sanford in South Carolina. However, the GOP’s libertarian wing picked up wins by Eric Brakey, who prevailed for the Senate nomination in Maine, and Lee Bright, who qualified for a U.S. House runoff in South Carolina.

"Still, questions have been raised about whether or not libertarians are even welcome in a Republican Party controlled by President Donald Trump.... The Trump administration has championed policies that libertarians generally despise, such as increased tariffs, immigration restrictions, spending hikes, and preserving the current entitlements system....

"The GOP under Trump is certainly not a party that values limited government. Then again, the GOP has rarely ever seemed to value limited government, at least when it’s in power. But is all lost for libertarians? A closer look at the both the Freitas and Sanford losses reveals the answer is not a simple one.

"In Virginia, Stewart picked up 44.9 percent of the vote to Freitas’s 43.1 percent, or a little more than a 5,000-vote difference. Stewart ... had the highest name ID in the race. Freitas, on the other hand, ... was a relatively unknown state house member before the campaign, and he spent only $355,749 compared to Stewart’s $680,505.... So ... this doesn’t seem like a catastrophic loss for libertarians. Indeed, Freitas nearly pulled it off despite his lower name recognition....

"As for South Carolina, ... Arrington made her support for President Trump a major focus of her campaign and contrasted it to Sanford’s criticisms of Trump. But a deeper look at the race tells a different story. The fact is that Arrington worked hard on the campaign trail while Sanford took his reelection for granted. The result was predictable, regardless of any Trump factor....

"Still, it’s worth asking what lessons libertarians can learn to survive and thrive in the Trump era. The biggest one comes from Daniel McCarthy, who notes that libertarianism was a success in the GOP when it was anti-establishment.... Rand Paul, Congressman Thomas Massie, Congressman Justin Amash ... are flourishing because they’ve maintained their anti-establishment credentials ... despite the fact that they have opposed and even criticized Trump at times.

"Amash, who was targeted by Trump allies for a primary challenge, wound up running unopposed. Although he faces a tough general election battle, he is still favored to be reelected. Massie is all but certain to return to Congress.

"Contrast their fates with another libertarian leaner and Trump critic, Senator Jeff Flake. Flake was forced to retire after it became clear he would be defeated in the primary.... Flake was a strong proponent of free trade and railed against pork barrel spending in the House of Representatives. He was not afraid to challenge his own party on those issues. But since being elected to the Senate in 2012, Flake had also become a consistent ally of the Republican establishment....

"Libertarians can survive in the Trump era. After all, Trump’s destruction of the old GOP has given them space to operate. But libertarian Republicans must not forget their anti-establishment roots and they cannot take their election races for granted."

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Kraft Heinz helping kids with lemonade stand fines

Kraft Heinz paying kids slapped with lemonade stand fines | Fox Business:

June 7, 2018 - "Kids getting busted and fined by cops for running neighborhood lemonade stands without permits could come to an end this summer — thanks to food giant Kraft Heinz.

"The brand’s Country Time Lemonade unit announced Thursday that it will personally defend and pay for any fines that children get for trying to sell the summertime drink.

"'We recently came across a story of a kid getting her lemonade stand shut down for legal reasons, which had to be an urban myth. After looking into it and seeing even more instances, we realized these weren’t myths, they were real stories,' Adam Butler, general manager for beverage and nuts for Kraft Heinz, told Fox Business.

"Just last week, three brothers, ages 2 to 6, from Stapleton, Colorado, got their lemonade stand shut down by Denver cops after several vendors at a nearby arts festival called the police to complain the kids were undercutting their prices. The brothers, who didn’t have a temporary vending permit, ... were trying to raise money for a nonprofit child-advocacy ministry called Compassion International that supports children in poverty....

"But according to Butler, this summer will be different.

"The fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world with a market cap of $71 billion said it has created a 'Legal-Ade' unit that is on hand to help kids and their parents fight any legal woes or fines associated with their lemonade stands.

"'Any child fined for running a lemonade stand without a permit can have his or her parent apply for reimbursement. To apply, simply upload the image of your child's permit or fine along with a description of what your lemonade stand means to your child, in his or her own words,' the company said in a statement.

"Each submission will then be reviewed by Country Time Lemonade’s team and if it complies with the terms, the company will cover the permit fee or fine, up to $300. Additionally, it will donate up to $500,000 to help kids with their entrepreneurial pursuits next year and beyond."

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Democrat, Libertarian in 2-man race for Iowa AG

Democrat and Libertarian matchup set for November | Cedar Rapids Gazette - Adam Sullivan, At Liberty:

June 19, 2018 - "Iowa politics will see a first this November — a statewide race between a Libertarian and a Democrat. With no Republican candidate, the race for Iowa Attorney General this November will be between incumbent Democrat Tom Miller and Libertarian challenger Marco Battaglia.

"Battaglia ran in the Libertarian gubernatorial primary this month, falling short with 38 percent in the party’s first official statewide primary since earning major party status in 2016. He was nominated by delegates at the Libertarian Party state convention two weeks ago, after fellow party activists urged him to run.

"'I’ve had problems with Tom Miller going back to when I was a young Democrat and it made me concerned when it didn’t appear anyone would challenge him. I thought we could bring the positivity and momentum we had in the governor race and offer some much needed perspective,' Battaglia told me.

"Miller was first elected as attorney general in 1978. Robert Ray was governor and Jimmy Carter was president. Last month, Miller reported more than $200,000 cash on hand.

"Miller won more than 55 percent of the votes in each of the last two cycles, and he was unopposed in 2006. Edward Noyes ran as a Libertarian for the office in 2002, winning 1.7 percent of the vote in a three-way race, and Natural Law Party candidate Nancy Watkins won 2.2 percent in 1998....

"In a statewide race with only two candidates, Battaglia is almost certain to become the Libertarian Party’s biggest vote-getter in Iowa history this November.

"Battaglia said he sees ample opportunity to raise important issues, and he hopes to have televised debates and widespread media coverage. He said the Iowans he met during his gubernatorial campaign this year are hungry for reforms Miller isn’t offering.

"'On civil and criminal justice reform, I think we have tripartisan agreement from the grassroots level, but we have an attorney general who has been problematic in dealing with rolling out medical cannabis, or on how we’re going to charge people if they break certain laws,' Battaglia said.

Libertarians, Republicans and even some Democrats have been frustrated at the extent to which Miller involves his office in national legal battles. 'There is a considerable number of attorneys around the state who don’t necessarily agree with Miller’s interpretations. Anything you could regulate, he’s put out an opinion on it. He gets involved in a lot more federal issues than most attorneys general around the country,' Battaglia said.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Parliament passes cannabis legalization — but ...

Canadians can't light up yet, justice minister warns after 'historic' bill to legalize pot passes | CBC News - John Paul Tasker & Kathleen Harris:

June 20, 2018 - "The Senate has passed a contentious bill to legalize pot — but Canadians won't be allowed to legally light up for several weeks yet, to give provinces time to set up a retail regime, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould warned today.

"Last night, senators passed C-45, the federal government's bill to legalize recreational marijuana, with a 52-29 vote and two abstentions.

"The bill stipulates the law does not come into force until a date is fixed by an order of the governor-in-council — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet. The government has long said there will be a buffer of eight to 12 weeks between the bill's passage and full legalization....

"'Cannabis for non-medical use is not legal yet. The law still remains the law,' Wilson-Raybould said during a news conference on Parliament Hill. 'The date that cannabis will become legal will be announced soon. Until then, I urge all Canadians to continue to follow the existing law until the Cannabis Act comes into force'....

"The government initially floated July 1 as the date for retail sales to begin but the timeline was pushed back as senators debated the bill at length. Under the current timeline, legalization is most likely to occur sometime in September.

"Until the bill receives royal assent — the last procedural step of the legislative process — it will be illegal to transport cannabis....

"When asked Wednesday if the government was considering pardons for Canadians convicted of marijuana-related offences, Wilson-Raybould said such a question was 'premature.'

'I think, as has already been stated, the law remains in effect until it's repealed and replaced through Bill [C-45] and quite frankly any discussion of those records can't take place until that process is complete,' she said....

"Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut want to ban home cultivation. Today, Wilson-Raybould said the bill provides a 'framework' and that it's not the federal government's intention to challenge provincial laws. She noted that a resident could challenge any province that moves to ban home-growing, though."

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

NH Libertarians get 1st primary in 20 years

Aaron Day files for governor, setting up Libertarian Party primary with Jilletta Jarvis - John DiStaso, WMUR:

June 15, 2018 - "The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has a gubernatorial primary campaign. And party officials are pleased because, they say, it will raise the profile of the low-tax, small government-minded party in the Granite State.

"Aaron Day of Bedford, former chair of the Free State Project and the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, filed his candidacy for governor Friday, setting up a primary with Sandown businesswoman Jilletta Jarvis, who filed last week. The winner of the Sept. 11 primary will be on the Nov. 6 general election ballot....

"The Libertarian Party this year has major party status and will have a spot on the ballot for the first time since 1996, said Secretary of State William Gardner.... Gardner said the Libertarian Party had primaries for governor in three elections in the 1990s....

"The LPNH is back on the ballot in 2018 because in 2016, its candidate for governor, Max Abramson, received 31,243 votes, which was 4.3 percent of the general election vote, more than the 4 percent required threshold....

"In the primary, undeclared voters are free to take a ballot of the party of their choosing and then may, if they wish, change their registrations back to undeclared....

"Day, a longtime conservative activist in the state, ran as an independent for the U.S. Senate in 2016 and, many believe, spoiled Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s bid for re-election by receiving 17,742 votes.... But that was then. 'This time it’s completely different,' Day said Friday ... 'I’m actually running this time,' he said, adding, 'I no longer believe in the Republican Party'....

"Jarvis, who also is running a serious campaign complete with a website and a media staffer, welcomed the notion of having a primary competitor. 'I actually think it’s a good thing to have a primary because more people will take notice,” she said....

"As of Thursday evening, Libertarian candidates had also filed in both of the state’s congressional districts, three of the five Executive Council districts and two state Senate districts. Also filing were 13 Libertarian candidates for the New Hampshire House."

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Taiwan's top court legalized same sex marriage

Lawmaker says same-sex marriage ruling ‘liberating’ for Taiwan | South China Morning Post:

June 13, 2018 - "Being the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage was a big step towards creating a 'broad-minded' society, a Taiwanese legislator said, referring to a ruling last year by the island’s justice system that guaranteed the right under Taiwan’s constitution. People have recognised 'the diversity of Taiwanese society' in the process of discussing the issue of same-sex marriage, 'and they have become aware of disadvantages sexual minorities face,' Yu Mei-nu said in a recent interview with Kyodo News in Tokyo.

"Her comments came after the Council of Grand Justices ruled in May last year that a provision in the civil code, which stipulates marriage is the legal union between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional, making Taiwan the first Asian jurisdiction to allow same-sex marriage.

"Yu, from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, has greatly contributed to pushing forward the moves by stirring debates over the issue and submitting bills to parliament... She visited Japan to share the experience at a symposium organised by the Japan Association for Taiwanese Studies....

"Commenting on the moves in Taiwan, Ken Suzuki, a Meiji University professor of Chinese and Taiwanese laws, said: 'They indicate that changes in education could change a society in 10 years.' Suzuki, who was also present for the interview, was hopeful that Japan would follow the Taiwanese path to legalisation of same-sex marriage.

"Some Japanese municipalities, including Sapporo, Naha as well as Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo, have recognised same-sex partnerships.... Suzuki himself has been involved in a campaign to legalise same-sex marriage at the state level, arguing that excluding same-sex couples from the legal marriage framework constitutes discrimination against LGBTs....

"Among the Group of Seven industrialised nations, only Japan has not yet introduced a same-sex marriage or same-sex partnership system at the state level....

"In Taiwan, authorities concerned are required to amend or enact relevant laws within two years in accordance with the 2017 ruling of the court interpretation."

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Libertarians rediscover their principles, on eBay

Libertarian Party rescues its original founding document from eBay - Washington Times - Jennifer Harper:

May 22, 2018 - "[T]he national Libertarian Party ... has reclaimed its most important founding document.

"Libertarian National chairman Nicholas Sarwark reports that the original 'Statement of Principles' — typewritten on plain paper by early member John Hospers at the party’s first convention — has surfaced in an unlikely place.

"'The existence of this original document was unknown until it turned up on an eBay listing, was purchased by a Libertarian Party member, and then donated to the Party,' Mr. Sarwark said.

"The seller said that her parents were early activists in the California Libertarian Party, and as she was disposing of their estate she found this document hidden behind a framed, photocopy picture of Ayn Rand, where it has likely been for decades,' he explained.

"The simple document has since been properly framed and will be on display at the 2018 Libertarian National Convention in New Orleans next month, then returned to the party’s headquarters just outside the nation’s capital."

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