Document:National Email 29 December 2017 Tax cuts, surveillance, press freedom, candidates, and more LP news!
Table of Contents:
- Tax cuts are great, but we need balanced budgets
- Congress should let FISA amendments expire
- USDOJ should stop persecuting foreign-owned press
- December issue of LP News now on website
- Pennsylvania Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate interviewed in Delaware County Daily Times
- Illinois Libertarian gubernatorial candidates debate deficits, pensions, gun control
- Colorado Libertarian working to 'stop the shakedown'
Tax cuts are great, but we need balanced budgets
After Congress approved the new Republican-sponsored tax reform bill on Dec. 19, President Donald Trump signed it into law on Dec. 22. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is a mixed bag that will cut taxes for some and increase them for others, and completely ignores the federal government’s chronic overspending.
“Tax cuts are great, but balancing our checkbook is also crucial,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair and Phoenix, Ariz., mayoral candidate Nicholas Sarwark. “This reform package is a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly.”
Congress should let FISA amendments expire
Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act in 2008 to enable surveillance of persons or organizations outside the United States, but in practice section 702 of the act includes sweeping warrants for the National Security Agency (NSA) and its PRISM surveillance program to collect static information stored in widely used online portals like Google and Facebook — no matter whose information it is. Section 702 of FISA is set to expire on Dec. 31.
“Congress should let it expire,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “At the very least, there should be a standalone up-or-down vote in both houses of Congress, so Americans can know which politicians put the illusory quest for security ahead of the Fourth Amendment.”
USDOJ should stop persecuting foreign-owned press
Freedom of the press should be sacrosanct in the United States, especially considering the explicit protection for the rights to speak and publish guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but government officials are using the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in an effort to silence views they don’t like.
“Freedom of speech, especially political speech, is essential to a free society,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “It doesn’t matter if some of that speech is sponsored by people in other countries. The BBC isn’t subject to U.S. government harassment because it’s owned by the United Kingdom. France 24, Deutsche Welle, and Al Jazeera all have a longstanding American presence despite funding by foreign governments. The United States has its own state-sponsored foreign media presence, the Voice of America. If people don’t like the news coverage or commentary published by RT or any other media outlets, they should respond with their own views and arguments rather than resorting to effective censorship.”
December issue of LP News now on website
The December 2017 issue of LP News has hit mailboxes and is now ready to view on our website.
Inside, you can read coverage of Libertarian Party victories and other notable outcomes in the 2017 election; the LP’s ambitious plan to run 2,000 candidates for public office in 2018; notable donors to our Legacy Libertarians program and David F. Nolan memorial office; a ballot access lawsuit in Georgia; Executive Wes Benedict’s remarks at a fair debates rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building; the discovery and acquisition of a priceless piece of party history; 2018 convention registration and package info; Libertarian perspectives on federal spending, foreign policy, the war on opioids, and the Texas church shooting; #ProudlyLP membership card selfies; and more.
Pennsylvania Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate interviewed in Delaware County Daily Times
Kerns is the Libertarian running for the Senate and he’s optimistic it will go well, considering his predecessor’s success with little effort.
“Ed Clifford brought in 235,000 votes without even being a candidate who was campaigning,” Kerns said of the 2016 Libertarian Senate candidate. “I expect us to get far great than that because we have a great plan in place, we have a great volunteer team and student organizations on campuses across Pennsylvania.”
Illinois Libertarian gubernatorial candidates debate deficits, pensions, gun control
Three Libertarian Party candidates for Illinois governor participated in an election debate held on Dec. 6 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The declared candidates, Jon Stewart, Matthew Scaro, and Kash Jackson, addressed such issues as the state pension problem, the possibility of Amazon coming to Chicago, government licensing, the budget deficit, health insurance, the cost of higher education, race relations, gun control, and agriculture.
Colorado Libertarian working to 'stop the shakedown'
Nik Loecher likes the police in his small town of 528. “They make us feel safe and protected,” he said, as he leaned over the counter of his family-owned business.
But some, like former Libertarian presidential candidate Steve Kerbel of Colorado Springs, think about the town and its police department differently – that it relies too much on revenue from traffic tickets and fines – and he intends to do something about it through a ballot measure in the 2018 election.
Kerbel’s ballot measure, however, goes far beyond just stopping small towns from collecting fines through speed traps. The ballot measure also would put the skids on fines collected by city, county and state governments.
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