This evening, I had the opportunity to meet with Campaign for Liberty of East Tennessee. The group covers the counties of Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hawkins, & Jefferson Counties.
For those unfamiliar with the larger C4L organization, it was one of several pro-liberty groups that formed after the 2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign. As I had never attended a regional gathering of Campaign for Liberty, as they don’t really have a presence in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, I was intrigued by the prospect.
The meeting attracted twenty-one, including several city and county officials, as well as Tennessee State Representative Tilman Goins (R-Morristown).
The first topic discussed was the issue of the welfare state. According to the data presented, the average welfare recipient in many states earned a surprising sum of money. For example, someone in Virginia would make the equivalent of $11.11 per hour, assuming he or she was working a 40 hour week, considerably more than the minimum wage. Given such an incentive, it would seem going on welfare would provide better financial security than some forms of employment. In addition, the leader, Charles Cook, pointed to statistics which showed that Hispanics had a lower percentage of welfare recipients per capita than either whites or blacks. Immigration, he argued, isn’t the major problem concerning jobs in the nation, but rather the continued expansion of welfare.
The second issue was an examination of campaign finance data from selected candidates and a PAC in the recent primaries. Apparently, one PAC in particular donated considerable sums of money to its preferred candidates in this election. In addition, one of the candidates seemed to have mislead voters regarding these funds.
Personally, I thought it was a good sign to see a fairly sizable gathering of individuals, committed to principle, work together to make a positive impact on their community. I especially appreciated the fact that quite a few of their elected officials seemed to care about the ideals of liberty. Perhaps it is a model that can be used in other parts of the country…like a number of regions of Virginia.