Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Mike Munger’

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)

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LP/Green ballot access lawsuit in NC goes to trial

In Activism, Big Brother, Courts and Justice System, Democrats, Green Party, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Media, Politics, Republican on May 6, 2008 at 3:25 am
By JOEDY McCREARY
Associated Press Writer
Monday, May. 5, 2008 6:44 pm

RALEIGH (AP)- A Libertarian candidate for governor testified Monday that state law makes it “effectively impossible” to conduct a grassroots campaign in North Carolina.

Mike Munger, a Duke University professor, testified during a civil trial that could determine whether state laws are too stringent and unfairly limit the ability of third parties to get on the ballot.

The Libertarian and Green parties filed a lawsuit that claims state laws that define a political party are onerous and violate party members’ rights to free speech and association. The law also affects how party candidates can be included on ballots.

State attorneys defend the law, saying legislators approved rules that maintain the integrity of elections by requiring a political party to demonstrate it has adequate support from voters.

Under the law, a party must collect nearly 70,000 voter signatures to receive official party status. Party leaders said that’s one of the highest thresholds in the country. If the party’s candidate doesn’t get 2 percent of the vote for president or governor, the party must start over. The requirement had been 10 percent until the rules were changed in 2006.

The Libertarian Party has surpassed the signature requirement for all but one presidential election since 1976, state attorneys argued in court filings. The Green Party has never met the petition standard.

Special Deputy Attorney General Karen Long cross-examined Munger, who acknowledged only four Libertarian candidates have been chosen for the state House, which has 120 seats, and three Libertarians ran for Senate, which has 50 seats, for this year’s election. The party would be able to offer more candidates if it qualifies for the ballot by this year’s petition deadline.

Munger also admitted that since 1992, Libertarian candidates had enough signatures to get on the ballot but did not win any state elections. A party spokesman said later Monday the party has won nonpartisan elections.

But the lawsuit, filed in September 2005, said the Libertarian Party has paid more than $100,000 to hire solicitors to collect signatures along with volunteers for a successful petition. The process and money drain favors the state Republican and Democratic parties.

The signature deadline for this year’s general election is June 2.