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I want to welcome you to the John Locke Foundation's new
publication providing you timely insight and analysis on individual rights,
constitutional government, and regulation. There is a constant attack on our freedoms. Through this newsletter, I hope to keep
you informed on the challenges faced by North Carolinians seeking to fight for
In the Spotlight:
1. Your Vote May Not Count
What if your vote for President didn't count? Well, that's exactly what would happen
if proponents of the National Popular Vote (NPV) movement get their way. The NPV is a national movement that
seeks to get around the Constitution by creating a special (and questionable)
compact between states. Its goal
it to destroy the Electoral College.
Instead of each state making its own decision for president,
states that are part of this compact would automatically agree to vote for
whomever has won the national popular vote. This means that if North Carolina supported one candidate,
that wouldn't matter if the majority of the national population supported the
other candidate. That other
candidate may even be pushing policies that could be very harmful to North
As I wrote in 2007,
the Electoral College system is set up in part to protect the specific
interests of individual states.
This movement, which one would have thought might be dead
after Obama won in 2008, is still very much alive. Massachusetts just agreed to be part of the compact. To gain
the necessary electoral votes, states representing 270 electoral votes must
sign on to the compact. The NPV
movement has reached 27 percent of that goal.
North Carolina certainly could sign on to such a
movement. In 2007, the state
Senate passed an NPV bill, but it died in the House. This is
something that all North Carolinians need to pay careful attention to. We don't want to give away our voting
You can learn more at SaveOurStates.com.
2. States Need to Take on the EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is shoving
greenhouse gas regulations down the throats of states. Texas is fighting back against this
overreach by the EPA. Based on numerous legal (and sometimes technical
arguments), Texas has made a compelling case that it should not nor will it
comply with the EPA regulations regarding the permitting of GHG emissions.
Here's what Texas wrote in its letter to the EPA:
Dear Administrators Jackson and Armendariz:
In order to deter challenges to your plan for centralized
control of industrial development through the issuance of permits for greenhouse
gases, you have called upon each state to declare its allegiance to the
Environmental Protection Agency's recently enacted greenhouse gas
regulations–regulations that are plainly contrary to United States law
[citations omitted]. To encourage acquiescence with your unsupported findings
you threaten to usurp state enforcement authority and to federalize the
permitting program of any state that fails to pledge their fealty to the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On behalf of the State of Texas, we write to
inform you that Texas has neither the authority nor the intention of
interpreting, ignoring, or amending its laws in order to compel the permitting
of greenhouse gas emissions.
You can read much more about this issue in my recent blog
the national energy blog MasterResource.
3. DNA and Data Breaches.
As I wrote in my recent report
on law enforcement collecting DNA from individuals who have been arrested, a
major issue isn't just government abuse of the data but the government's
inability to protect the information.
This obvious problem is exemplified by this new development: UNC-Greensboro had a data breach putting at risk the health information of 2,500 people.
Imagine if the data were DNA information. Innocent people would have sensitive
DNA information being put at risk for a minimal (at best) gain in
security. In this country, people
are innocent before being presumed to be guilty. By collecting DNA from arrestees, the state is going to be
presuming the exact opposite -- that the most sensitive and private personal
information imaginable (not remotely comparable to fingerprints) must be
provided to law enforcement from all arrestees, regardless of whether these
arrestees are innocent.
The state's new bill
requiring law enforcement to collect DNA on arrest becomes effective on
February 1, 2011.