New Jersey Libertarian Party

The Party of Principle

Platform Change Proposals

The platform committee of 2014-2015 consisted of Liz Macron (Committee Chair), Kyler Dineen, Patrick McKnight, Jay Edgar, Dan Karlan, Marc Carcanague, Jim Tosone, Bill Sihr, Justin Quinn, Jim Gawron, Dorit Goikhman, and Sean Riggs.

The proposals were approved by the committee on January 21st. Below are these proposals as they were accepted by the delegates attending our last State Convention on March 21st. All changes made at convention were incorporated below. Changes have also been incorporated into our full platform that can be found here.

Proposal #1. Plank 6 Education Transition statement change

Rationale for change:

The transition section should propose a solution that is politically feasible in today's political environment. The current suggestion having government schools “sold to private or non-profit enterprises” is not feasible as a transition. Technology changes provide much greater options for education than ever before. As a result of this and societal changes there are more educational options available than when the platform was last updated.

Proposed Change: Replace entire transition from:

Transition: All school-related taxes should be gradually repealed starting with the taxes on those without children or those whose children are in private school or no longer in school. We endorse dollar-for-dollar tax credits for any contribution to a recognized school. We also call for the repeal of the “thorough and efficient” provision of the New Jersey Constitution (Article VIII, Section IV, Paragraph 1).

Public schools should be sold to private or non-profit enterprises, including, if they wish, teachers or associations of teachers. Restriction and regulation of home schooling should be removed.

Change to:

Transition: Education choice should be given to parents and children, encouraging schools to compete with each other. We support ending the government monopoly on education by allowing parents and taxpayers more choices where education tax money is spent and where and how their children are educated. School voucher programs, education tax credits, or charitable tax incentives should be used to encourage a free market in education.

All school-related taxes should be gradually repealed starting with the taxes on those without children or those whose children are in private school or no longer in school. We endorse dollar-for-dollar tax credits for any contribution to a recognized school. We also call for the repeal of the “thorough and efficient” provision of the New Jersey Constitution (Article VIII, Section IV, Paragraph 1).

Furthermore we encourage parents to consider all educational alternatives to government schools. Technology today provides parents with low cost ways of providing a better education. Despite the education monopoly, alternatives to the old model of schooling have become widely available. The Internet and the formation of home school cooperatives allow for alternatives like homeschooling and self-directed learning. Restriction and regulation of home schooling should be removed.

Committee Recommendation: The Platform Committee voted 6 to 1 in support of this change.


Proposal #2. Plank 3 Protection of Privacy and Contract

Rationale for change:

The statement is incomplete in that it doesn't include contractors, clients, or other business relationships.

Proposed Change: Change last sentence of Transition Section from:

We further oppose government requiring employers to collect information and report on their employees.

Change to:

We further oppose government requiring employers to collect information and report on their employees and/or business associates.

Committee Recommendation: The Platform Committee voted 7 to 0 in support of this change.


Proposal #3. Plank 7 Discrimination Principle/Solution Statement Change

Rationale for change: According to recent statistics by the Pew Research Center, Americans are even more pro-governmental discrimination protections in the private industry than one would assume, especially in regards to hiring practices. With this in mind, it's important that we affirm our opposition to government-sponsored discrimination in addition to our non-intervention in private discrimination within our platform. Our present Solution only addresses the latter. Additionally, separating sex and gender identity in the Principle section helps us to stay zeitgeist.

Proposed Change: Replace entire Principle and Solution from:

Principle: Individual rights must not be denied, abridged, or enhanced by government at the expense of other people’s rights, on any basis, including – but not limited to – gender, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, political preference, biological factors, or sexual orientation.

Solution: We oppose government attempts to regulate private discrimination, including discrimination in employment, housing, and privately-owned so-called public accommodation. The right to trade includes the right not to trade — for any reasons whatsoever.

Change to:

Principle: Individual rights must not be denied, abridged, or enhanced by government at the expense of other people’s rights, on any basis, including – but not limited to – sex, gender identity, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, political preference, biological factors, or sexual orientation.

Solution: We oppose government attempts to regulate private discrimination, including discrimination in employment, housing, and privately-owned places of public accommodation. While we frown upon those who discriminate against others in privately funded settings, the freedom to associate or trade includes the freedom not to associate or trade— for any reasons whatsoever. However, we oppose discrimination by government in publicly owned or publicly subsidized locations, activities, and enterprises.

Committee Recommendation: The Platform Committee voted 5 to 1 in support of this change (1 abstention). The wording of this proposal was modified during consideration by the delegates at our General Meeting. The changes are reflected above.


Proposal #4. Update Freedom of Communication Transition

Rationale: The methods of communication listed in the existing language is quite dated. Designating the Internet as a common carrier under this obsolete Title would subject the Internet to heavy and expansive regulation of both service providers and consumers. It is attempting to solve a problem that exists in theory rather than in practice.

Proposed change: Replace entire transition section from:

Transition: We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through government censorship, regulation, or control of communications media, including — but not limited to — laws concerning:

a. Obscenity, including "pornography," as we hold this to be an abridgment of liberty of expression despite claims that it instigates rape or assault, or demeans and slanders women;

b. reception and storage equipment such as digital audio tape recorders, public communication radio receivers, personal pagers, and laser/radar detectors;

c. electronic bulletin boards, communications networks such as the Internet, chatrooms, and other interactive electronic media;

d. electronic newspapers, electronic "Yellow Pages," and other new information media; and

e. commercial speech or advertising.

We oppose government ownership of, subsidy of, and grant of monopoly privilege to, any communication organization, such as New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority (NJN) and local cable enterprises.

We oppose court orders gagging news coverage of criminal proceedings — the right to publish and broadcast must not be abridged. We deplore any government efforts to coerce the media in the name of stopping "bias" or ensuring "fairness."

Change to:

Transition: We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through government censorship, regulation, or control of communications media, including — but not limited to — laws concerning:

a. Obscenity or offensive speech or writings;

b. government control, regulation, subsidization, or nationalization of private networks and Internet service providers;

c. Internet censorship of any kind; and

d. commercial speech or advertising.

We oppose reclassifying the Internet as a common carrier under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. The way to provide the best product and services at the best price is to allow choice and competition. We therefore support ending government-granted monopolies at the federal, state, and local level to cable companies, telecommunications providers, or any news outlet (such as New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority (NJN).

We deplore any government efforts to coerce the media in the name of stopping "bias" or ensuring "fairness."

Committee Recommendation: The Platform Committee voted 7 to 0 in support of this change.


Proposal # 5. Add to section I 13. Government Secrecy

Rationale: Due to the proliferation of mobile phone and other handheld devices recording of public officials has become a popular method of documenting abuses.

Proposed change: Add to end of transition an additional sentence:

We oppose any laws or regulations prohibiting or controlling the audio and/or video recording of public officials performing their jobs in public.

Committee Recommendation: The Platform Committee voted 7 to 0 in support of this change.


Proposal #6. Add to section II 1 Internet And Taxation transition

Rationale: Since our platform was written Internet commerce has grown substantially. It has experienced major growth without government interference or taxation. Many government bureaucrats are hungry to get their hands on Internet sales.

Proposed change: Add to end of transition an additional sentence:

We oppose any attempts to tax the Internet.

Committee Recommendation: The Platform Committee voted 7 to 0 in support of this change.


Proposal #7. Reintroduce Immigration plank

Rationale: Immigration policy is very much in the news today. Earlier versions of our platform had a plank on immigration. Several states and Counties across the U.S. have stopped recognizing ICE Form I-247 orders. Courts have held that I-247 orders "cannot be understood as mandatory because any other interpretation would violate the Tenth Amendment."

Proposed change: Insert plank 15 to section I (Individual Rights and Civil Order) as follows:

15. Immigration

Issue: We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality or national origin. The right to freely travel between States and Nations is a fundamental right. Humans must be free to leave tyrannical regimes. Employees, employers, and contractors must be free to negotiate without government interference or restriction.

Principle: We oppose state immigration restrictions, whether for the purpose of cooperating with Federal restrictions or otherwise. We strongly oppose all measures that punish employers who hire undocumented workers. The state has no business regulating productive, voluntary interactions between consenting parties.

Transition: Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor or move about unimpeded. We oppose government welfare payments to non-citizens just as we oppose welfare payments to all other persons.

We support limited control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property, however we assert that peaceful people should be allowed to cross borders peacefully.

The State of New Jersey must refuse to recognize federal immigration detainer orders ("Form I-247") unless arrestees have been charged with or convicted of violating certain criminal offenses.

Committee Recommendation: The Platform Committee voted 7 to 0 in support of this change.


Proposal #8. Crime

Rationale: A concern had been raised by one of the Platform Committee members about a possible ambiguity in the language in the Transition section of the Crime Plank. Specifically the current wording would give a pass to government officials who flout the law.

Proposed change: change plank 9 (Crime), Transition section listing of "We advocate:", paragraph h from:

h. the repeal of any law which makes it a criminal offense to improperly or inadequately complete paperwork related to government requirements.

Change to:

h. the repeal of any law which makes it a criminal offense for a private individual to improperly or inadequately complete paperwork related to government requirements.

Committee Recommendation: The Platform Committee voted 6 to 0 in support of this change. (1 abstention)


Proposal #9. Family Life

Rationale: Some felt that our platform plank did not allow for sufficient protection of the rights of children from abusive parents.

Proposed change: Replace entire transition from: (only underlined portion is impacted, underlining not to be included in final plank)

Transition: We call for the repeal of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991, NJSA 2C:25-17. This law creates an artificial and unnecessary distinction between violence outside and within the home. It establishes invasive reporting requirements, fosters the confiscation of weapons and often dispossesses a spouse or partner without due process of law.

We call for the abolition of the Division of Youth and Family Services, the Board of Family Development, the Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence, the Advisory Committee on Child Care, and the Child Life Protection Committee. We oppose all laws that empower government officials to seize children and make them “wards of the state” or, by means of child labor laws and compulsory education, to infringe on their freedom to work or learn as they choose. Guardianship belongs to those who most love and value the child and his or her development — normally the parents.

We call for the abolition of the juvenile court system. Juveniles should be held fully responsible for their crimes but they should not be prosecuted for offenses that are only offenses by virtue of their youth. We support the repeal of all laws establishing any category of crimes applicable only to minors, such as curfew, smoking, alcoholic beverage laws and laws creating the status of “persons in need of supervision.” It is up to the parent or guardian to make these decisions in the best interests of the child until emancipation. We call for an end to the practice of detaining children not accused of any crime. We support the right of children or their parents or guardians to seek voluntary custodial arrangements suitable to themselves (including emancipation) without the blessings of the state. We call for repeal of all laws and regulations that restrict or limit private adoptions.

Until the state ceases defining and regulating the institution commonly known as marriage, we support the option of all couples, regardless of gender, to enter into marriage, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of heterosexual couples.

Change to:

Transition: We call for the repeal of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991, NJSA 2C:25-17. This law creates an artificial and unnecessary distinction between violence outside and within the home. It establishes invasive reporting requirements, fosters the confiscation of weapons and often dispossesses a spouse or partner without due process of law.

We call for the abolition of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, the Board of Family Development, the Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence, the Advisory Committee on Child Care, and the Child Life Protection Committee. We oppose all laws that empower government officials to seize children and make them “wards of the state” or, by means of child labor laws and compulsory education, to infringe on their freedom to work or learn as they choose. Young people should be guided and protected by those whom they trust and who love and value them and their development - normally their parents. However, the state may act to protect a child from abusive or neglectful parents as long as due process is observed.

We call for the abolition of the juvenile court system. Juveniles should be held fully responsible for their crimes, but they should not be prosecuted for offenses that are only offenses by virtue of their youth. We support the repeal of all laws establishing any category of crimes applicable only to minors, such as curfew, smoking, alcoholic beverage laws and laws creating the status of “persons in need of supervision.” It is up to the parent or guardian to make these decisions in the best interests of the child until emancipation. We call for an end to the practice of detaining children not accused of any crime. We support the right of children or their parents or guardians to seek voluntary custodial arrangements suitable to themselves (including emancipation) without the blessings of the state. We call for repeal of all laws and regulations that restrict or limit private adoptions.

Until the state ceases defining and regulating the institution commonly known as marriage, we support the option of all couples, regardless of gender, to enter into marriage, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of heterosexual couples.

Committee Recommendation: The Platform Committee voted 4 to 2 in support of this change. (1 abstention). The wording of this proposal was modified during consideration by the delegates at our General Meeting. The changes are reflected above.