Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Munger’

Libertarian Mike Munger in historic WUNC-TV gubernatorial debate

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Media, Politics on September 25, 2008 at 7:20 pm

RALEIGH (Sept. 26) — For the first time in modern North Carolina history, a gubernatorial debate included a third party candidate. Libertarian Mike Munger appeared last night with Republican Pat McCrory on WUNC-TV.

The third candidate in the race, Democrat Beverly Perdue, declined to participate.

Munger thanked both WUNC-TV and McCrory for making this event possible. “A simple respect for the democratic process requires that all views to be heard,” he said. “The fact that we are both here tonight shows that neither one of us is afraid of making sure all views are presented to the public.

The debate was friendly, even when the candidates disagreed, and peppered with Munger’s usual quips.

Munger called the calls for off-shore drilling “a gimmick” that will only produce a “drop in the ocean of oil.”

He characterized as “economic prostitution” incentives used to lure businesses to North Carolina . “A business that comes to North Carolina for money will leave North Carolina for money,” he said.

In addressing construction of large, new buildings for schools and other public facilities, Munger said “I’m a political scientist; I know the technical term for this: BSOs – Big Shiny Objects.”

Both he and McCrory hit hard at the secrecy and corruption rampant in state government. “We have a play-to-pay system. We sell legislation and auction off public policy,” Munger said. He pledged to bring openness to government saying “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.”

When asked about the problems with the mental health system overhaul, Munger quipped, “It didn’t look like an overhaul to me. It looked more like a frat party. There was no unaccountability and no oversight.”

The use of the governor’s veto power is “like spanking your child: It means you’re a bad parent, that you haven’t successfully used all of the things that should come before that. Now maybe it sometimes still happens, but it really means it’s a failure for you, and it’s a failure for the child.”

Even though Perdue was absent, her name did come up during the debate, particularly during the discussion on education.

“Bev said she did not want to have all the same paradigms but she also said the governor is responsible for education,” Munger pointed out. “Why aren’t parents responsible for education?”

The sharpest difference between Munger and McCrory came on the issue of the death penalty. Munger said unequivocally he would commute the sentences of all prisoners on death row to life in prison without parole.

“I don’t think we have any business with the government killing our citizens,” he said. Munger believes the death penalty is administered unfairly. “Punishment shouldn’t depend on the color of your skin or how much money you have to pay a lawyer,” he said.

McCrory would immediately resume executions because “it was the people who said this person tragically deserves death as a result of the horrendous crime they committed …”

In closing, Munger addressed the myth that voting for a third party is a wasted vote. One vote does not decide an election, but it can send a signal, he said.

“Unless you have Jedi powers, you’re not going to be able to control the way other people vote,” he said. “You have one precious vote. Your decision on how to cast it will send a signal to our leaders in Raleigh.”

WUNC-TV will air a second gubernatorial debate Oct. 8. Perdue has also declined to participate in this event. Munger will participate in the final debate Oct. 15. It is sponsored WSOC-TV, WTVI CHARLOTTE and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg League of Women Voters. Perdue has accepted this invitation.

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LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF NORTH CAROLINA
PO Box 28141 Raleigh NC 27611 * 877.843.5762 * http://www.LPNC.org

Brian Irving, Communications Director, 919.538.4548

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Press Release: Mike Munger responds to Public Forum Education Debate

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Media, People in the news, Politics, Press Release on September 19, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Libertarian responds to Public Forum Education Debate

RALEIGH (Sept. 19) — Mike Munger, Libertarian candidate for governor, responded to the Public Forum for North Carolina Education gubernatorial debate held today:

The Democratic and Republican candidates held another alleged debate today, sponsored by a supposedly non-partisan group, which excluded the third candidate in the race. Predictably, their answers focused on how they are going to fix the problem by using government power.

The event was ironically held under the banner: “Education: Everybody’s Business.” Everybody, that is, except those who challenge the status quo, including a professor with nearly 25 years as an educator. Compounding the irony was the fact this “public” forum was held on private property and attendance was by invitation only. The program was recorded by the NC Telecommunications Association, another supposedly non-partisan group, and will be aired by WUNC on cable systems across the state.

News14 Carolina aired the debate live, but to their credit they interviewed me afterward. I hope that the follow-up interview will be distributed along with the main debate.

Public Forum for North Carolina Education President John Dornan opened the event by saying this was the third time his group has sponsored this event. He failed to mention, of course, that it is also the third time they have excluded the Libertarian Party candidate.

Also conspicuously absent was any apparent involvement of parents. Dornan mentioned the teachers, education administrators, government officials and business leaders were among the 400 people attending, but did not say anything about parents.

Lt. Governor Perdue said there shouldn’t be only one paradigm for education. Mayor McCrory claimed he wanted to change the “culture of education.” Yet both talked only about one paradigm and one culture — that of having bureaucrats in Raleigh choose the curriculum, restrict the selection of teachers, and dictate the process of licensing.

The truth is that nothing will change if either of these folks are elected. Perdue believes the “responsibility of education rests with the governor,” a statement that shows her contempt for the parents and teachers of our state.

McCrory said he’d put more business leaders on the state Board of Education. Take away the political sloganeering, and both are telling the insulated and hidebound education establishment: “Vote for me, and I will give you other people’s money.”

My platform calls for a real paradigm shift, and a truly new culture. I believe the responsibility for each child’s education rests with two groups: the parents of that child, and the highly motivated teachers that the parent chooses. And I’ll let you keep more of your own money, money you yourself have earned. I would offer each parent in the state an education voucher, financed by lottery proceeds, of $1,250 per child in their household. This voucher could only be spent at a state-accredited school, or be credited to the household in the case of home-schooling.

And by the way, vouchers don’t “cost” anything, as Perdue claims, because it’s your money, not the government’s. If anything, vouchers would save money in the long run, as the average costs of education would fall.

Competition and school choice will be the central premise of the Munger Administration’s education policy, to give parents more control over their children’s education. I would streamline and simpilfy the accreditation process, lift the cap on charter schools, and foster the growth of charter schools, religious or theme schools, or any other kind of innovative educational program that can attract the children of parents who want to exercise their choices as parents.

I know charter schools work because my son attends Raleigh Charter High School, ranked as one of the top ten high schools in the nation. The cost per student is just over half that of the average for NC high schools. Facilities costs are less, administrative costs are less, and janitorial services are either provided by the students (they take out their own trash), or by contracting out to private firms that clean the bathrooms and mop the floors.

Last, but not least, I would put a floor on public school spending at its existing level, for a five year adjustment period. Our schools need basic infrastructure work, from physical plant improvements to textbooks. So those of you worried about my voucher program should rest assured: the money will come from the payments already owed to education, by statute, but taken by the General Assembly for pet projects. No program cannot work by starving the traditional public schools of revenue. And I don’t want the General Assembly to be tempted to cut education dollars and use them for pork barrel spending in their districts, hoping lottery money will make up the difference.

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LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF NORTH CAROLINA
PO Box 28141 Raleigh NC 27611 * 877.843.5762 * www.LPNC.org
Brian Irving, Communications Director, 919.538.4548

Barbara Howe
Campaign Manager, Munger for Governor
http://www.munger08.com
919-690-1423 (h)
919-475-2371 (c)

’12 Angry Candidates

In Libertarian Party-US, Politics on September 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm

I’m always amused to see the speculation during the major party conventions regarding their candidates for the next election — which implies they expect to lose this time around.  Since it’s unlikely that the Libertarian Party ticket will win this year, who might be on the LP wannabe list for 2012?  Wayne Allyn Root looks like a certainty.  Would Bob Barr run again?  Mary Ruwart?  Steve Kubby?  What about some of this year’s more prominent candidates like Michael Munger?

Who are your favorites for ’12 — and who do you think has a shot at the nomination?  Anyone want to use this thread to declare?

Steve Newton’s “Forty bucks for four Libertarians”

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Politics on June 25, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Forty bucks for four Libertarians on July 4?

Here’s what I would like to propose to my fellow Libertarians, especially those who are skeptical/hostile toward the top of the Libertarian ticket this year.

I’m cheap, and we’ve got a household of six people and two cats to consider, so large political contributions are out of the question.

On the other hand, even I can pry loose a measly forty bucks on Independence Day (or the day before; see below).

And here’s what I plan to do with it:

Send $10 to Dr. Michael Munger to support his campaign for Governor of North Carolina (but I’m sending it to him on July 3, because that’s the date of his money grenade–see the left side of the blog).

Send $10 to Allen Buckley to support his campaign for Senator in Georgia (hoping to offset the Barr PAC’s $3,000+ donations to Saxby Chambliess).

Send $10 to Scotty Boman to support his campaign for Senator in Michigan (if he gets $500 from this, maybe he can go to court to add a “W” to his name, which would be worth at least another 25,000 votes–inside joke, eh).

Send $10 to Jason Gatties to support his campaign for the Board of Trustees of Lake Michigan College (because, as a state-supported professor I really wish our trustees were elected).

You might think that $10 doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to these candidates.

But you’d be wrong.

It’s not even so much the money as the profound message you’ll be sending them that other Libertarians around the nation are watching their races, rooting for them, and want to help build a different kind of national political party.

These, by the way, are my candidate picks, people I’ve researched and can support. Feel free to find your own–but find four candidates around the country that you’re willing to support.

And if you’re flush–or willing to forego the second keg before the fireworks–send them each twenty bucks.

I can’t really think of anything better to do with the money this year.