Saturday, April 29, 2006

It’s not Marriage They Want to Protect

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPa)
3915 Union Deposit Road #223
Harrisburg, PA 17109
1-800-774-4487
www.lppa.org

For Immediate Release:
Date: 04/28/2006

For more information contact:
Doug Leard (Media Relations) or Chuck Moulton (Chair) at 1-800-R-RIGHTS

Pennsylvania Marriage Protection Amendment

It’s not Marriage They Want to Protect


Harrisburg, PA – Over 80 members of Pennsylvania’s House have co-sponsored a proposed constitutional amendment defining “marriage” as a union between one man and one woman in H.B. 2381, the Pennsylvania Constitutional Marriage Protection Amendment.

“Is marriage a basic human right, or a privilege defined and granted by government?” asked James Babb, Libertarian candidate for Representative in the General Assembly, District 157. “Evidently no part of our lives is immune from interference by the state legislature. What will be the next religious ceremony for government regulation? Baptisms? Bar Mitzvahs? Confirmations?”

“It’s not about protecting marriage, but protecting something else” offered Tom Martin, Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate. “Lowering taxes and regulations help married couples, their families and their employers by letting them keep more of their money. Instead of simply reducing government spending and taxes, incumbent politicians both in Pennsylvania and Washington promote constitutional regulations on marriage. They want to protect something, but it’s not marriage. This amendment changes the subject to protect their do-nothing record of addressing high taxes and their outrageous spending programs.”

LPPa Media Relations Chair, Doug Leard made a final observation, “With so many co-sponsors, what common principle drives social conservatives toward bigger state government and liberals toward a church-state alliance? Political self-preservation. Incumbent politicians desperately want us to forget the pay-grab during this election season and are treacherously using marriage as a distraction. Don’t be fooled and don’t ever forget the pay-grab.”

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States with over 600 officials serving in office throughout the nation. Please visit www.LP.org or www.LPPA.org for more information on the Libertarian Party.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Separation of Charity and State

by Jacob G. Hornberger, Posted April 17, 2006

The primary function of the federal government these days is to help out others with federal welfare assistance. The assistance is dispensed in a variety of ways — directly, in the form of a money payment (Social Security); indirectly, by helping people with payments to third parties (Medicare and Medicaid); subsidies to government entities and private organizations (grants to public schools or corporate welfare); and in-kind benefits, such as housing or food. After the recent Hurricane Katrina disaster, federal officials even went so far as to disburse bank debit cards to hurricane victims.

Federal welfare assistance to Americans has become such an ingrained part of our lives that most Americans hardly give it a second thought. While “waste, fraud, and abuse” have become a standard part of the welfare-state lexicon, the answer for many is simply, “The system needs reform.”

Yet when recommended reforms are instituted, “waste, fraud, and abuse” inevitably rear their ugly heads again, which then generates the call for new reforms, perpetuating an endless cycle of problems and reforms.

All this fiddling avoids the central issue: Why not separate charity and the state, in the same manner our ancestors separated church and state? Why not get government totally out of the charity business? I’m suggesting that we do much more than simply repeal all welfare-state programs. I’m suggesting that we go further and elevate our vision to the same level as that of our American ancestors when they separated church and state. I’m suggesting the following amendment to the Constitution: “The federal government shall not provide any subsidy, grant, welfare, aid, loan, or other special privilege to anyone.”


Read the rest…

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Conservatism vs. Libertarianism

Conservatism vs. Libertarianism
by Jacob G. Hornberger, April 12, 2006
http://www.fff.org/comment/com0604c.asp

The Conservative:

I’m a conservative. I believe in individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government, except for:

1. Social Security;
2. Medicare;
3. Medicaid;
4. Welfare;
5. Drug laws;
6. Public schooling;
7. Federal grants;
8. Economic regulations;
9. Minimum-wage laws and price controls;
10. Federal Reserve System;
11. Paper money;
12. Income taxation and the IRS;
13. Trade restrictions;
14. Immigration controls;
15. Foreign aid;
16. Foreign wars of aggression;
17. Foreign occupations;
18. An overseas military empire;
19. A standing army and a military-industrial complex;
20. Infringements on civil liberties;
21. Military detentions and denial of due process and jury trials for citizens and non-citizens accused of crimes;
22. Torture and sex abuse of prisoners;
23. Secret kidnappings and “renditions” to brutal foreign regimes for purposes of torture;
24. Secret torture centers around the world;
25. Secret courts and secret judicial proceedings;
26. Warrantless wiretapping of citizens and non-citizens;
27. Violations of the Constitution and Bill of Rights for purposes of “national security”;
28. Out-of-control federal spending to pay for all this.

The Libertarian:

I’m a libertarian. I believe in individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government. Period. No exceptions.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email (jhornberger@fff.org).

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pennsylvania Libertarian Party denounces ruling on election law

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
3863 Union Deposit Road #223
Harrisburg, PA 17109
1-800-774-4487
www.lppa.org

For Immediate Release:
Date: 04/10/06

For more information contact:
Doug Leard (Media Relations) or Chuck Moulton (Chair) at 1-800-R-RIGHTS


Pennsylvania Libertarian Party denounces ruling on election law


Harrisburg, PA – The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPA) must vehemently disagree with the ruling of U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III upholding the unequal election laws of the Commonwealth. As a result of the denial of a request for a preliminary injunction, minor party and independent candidates for statewide office must collect at least 67,070 valid signatures for their names to appear on the November ballot.

Major party candidates need no more than 2,000 signatures to appear on the primary election ballot and winners need nothing further to appear on the ballot in the general election. Minor party and independent candidates are precluded by law from participating in the primary election process.

The most disturbing factor in this decision was the indication by the Judge that the current requirement reflects a legitimate interest of the Commonwealth. According to LPPA Western Vice-Chair Michael J. Robertson, "The legitimate function of the Commonwealth should be to secure the right of the citizens to choose their elected officials, not unfairly limit their choices."

Article I Section 5 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth clearly states that all elections shall be free and equal. The inequality of current election law was highlighted most succinctly by Libertarian candidate for United States Senate, Tom Martin, when he asked, "If there was a football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles, would it be considered fair if the Steelers needed 67 yards to get a first down and the Eagles only needed two yards?".

The LPPA holds the position that voters in the Commonwealth deserve choices on the ballot for their representatives in government. In recent elections, there have been many cases where only a single name appears on the ballot in the general election. There is a least one previous court case demonstrating that additional signatures are not needed for a qualified party's nominees. In reflecting on the decision, Richard Winger, publisher of Ballot Access News and a leading expert nationally on ballot access legal issues, noted "Judge Jones was not as thoughtful as he could have been."

If there are to be requirements for candidates’ names to appear on the ballot, then the laws must be more equitable. The LPPA asks Pennsylvanians to contact their representatives and demand that they reconsider current election laws and adopt the Voters' Choice Act, as written by the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (www.paballotaccess.org). This will bring election laws in line with the constitutional requirement.

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States with over 600 officials serving in office throughout the nation. Please visit www.LP.org or www.LPPA.org for more information on the Libertarian Party.