Safeguarding Your Freedoms  


Meet Michael

My journey to run for the North Carolina Court of Appeals began during the 2016 presidential campaign with my family. During one of the debates, my eldest teenage son said to me, “Seriously, is this the way that things are supposed to work?” That got me thinking. Regardless of which candidate you chose, or more than likely which candidate you did not chose, it was hard not to feel ashamed about the process and how degenerate American politics have become. The Trump-Clinton debates were not adult conversations. They were sporting events, and poor ones at that, but with very serious consequences for every one of us.

I told my son to watch the Reagan-Carter and Reagan-Mondale debates on YouTube to contrast the difference.

Meanwhile, my son was quietly getting involved with the Libertarian Party, helping with a few campaigns and doing other things. I really didn’t take much notice early on. Then the recruitment started. I started having lots of conversations with Michael Jr. on a wide range of subjects. He kept talking “status.” The Libertarians have “status” now. I joked with my son that maybe I’d run for judicial office as a Libertarian. I’ve practiced law for about 15 years, and was often looked down upon my attorney peers because I did it part time and not for money. Basically, I was a pro-bono estate attorney helping ordinary families settle things by walking them through the Byzantine administrative process. This process is the same if you die with a billion dollars or $25,000. I helped people on the $25,000 end of the spectrum get through all the paper work. I got paid mostly in hugs and thank you notes.

I was drawn to the appeals process while in the 1990’s, where I studied appellate law under former NC Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr at NCCU.

Being a Libertarian

When I attended the state Libertarian convention this year I realized I have always been a Libertarian and did not know it. Libertarians have a special power. We have the ability to argue like adults. At the end of the argument we can shake hands and say, “Let’s get something to eat.” Then, over a meal, you end up talking about family and things that bind us together. In other words that special power is that we treat people like people despite our differences.

During the convention I also met Larry Sharpe, Libertarian candidate for New York governor. I believe Larry is going to lead the Libertarian Party out of the woods and onto the American political scene as a viable alternative in the next couple of years.

There are two primary reasons I am running. The first is to demonstrate that the Libertarian Party is very serious about entering the political arena and changing the political discourse from school yard taunting to an adult conversation. The second is to educate North Carolinians about their judicial system and why votes for judicial candidates are so important.

Voting for Judges in North Carolina

I believe that voting for judges is second in importance only to voting for members of Council of State. I don’t believe people are paying enough attention. So I’ll be doing a series of YouTube videos to explain how our court systems work and why we elect our judges.

The current candidates running for Court of Appeals have already started using the slogan “We are tough on crime.” This illustrates why my campaign will focus on educating voters about the role of the courts, particularly the Court of Appeals. “Tough on Crime” sounds good and appeals to voters but in reality the Court of Appeals has only a marginal role in the criminal justice system. Most of the cases they hear are civil cases. Moreover, all matters are questions of “law” and not “fact.” That is, the Court of Appeals only determines whether the lower court decision was justified by the law. A more accurate campaign slogan would be “I am going to be tough on procedure,” but of course no candidate will use it because that slogan has no emotional appeal.
  Paid for By Monaco For Court of Appeals