Rachel Lea Hunter to Seek Chief Justice
Seat Creating New Educational Foundation
December 3, 2004
Dear Friends and Voters:
As many of you know, I was honored by the Duke College Republicans and Congressman Walter B. Jones on Wednesday evening, as I was the recipient of the first Walter B. Jones Campus Defender award. As I indicated to the group, I am both honored and humbled to receive such recognition from both Congressman Jones and the Duke College Republicans and I will certainly cherish the award.
While some members of the public may not believe that anything can be done or that it is not an important issue, I am here to tell you that IS an important issue, for both students and faculty alike. It does not matter what a person's political affiliation is or the color of their skin, but NOBODY should be subjected to ridicule, harassment, intimidation, threats or other forms of abuse merely for airing their views on a particular issue. You and I may or may not agree with the views expressed. But we are free to express our own views, in support or against. We let the marketplace of ideas compete. It's the essence of our constitutional right under the 1st Amendment right of the US Constitution to speak out. That's what America is all about.
And Congressman Jones led the way in proving that something CAN be done about this problem. I applaud his efforts and know that he is going to keep fighting for both our right to express ourselves on campus and in the pulpits of our religious institutions.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the ways of Washington, our legislators frequently slip things into pending legislation. So it was with a senator named Lyndon Johnson. It used to be in America that our rabbis, ministers, pastors and other religious officials could speak their minds in church, including commentary on political matters. Finding himself the object of such criticism, Senator Johnson inserted a provision into a pending bill prohibiting such conduct under the Internal Revenue Code. And we have been saddled with the rule ever since.
Unfortunately, the IRS cannot police the rule and it's been haphazardly enforced, depending on the political party in power. Regardless of whether the views are expressed by those on the left or the right, its time to end this nonsense. Congressman Jones will once again introduce a bill to do so. Many prominent individuals, including some who have lent their name to the efforts to get the government out of our educational system, have already joined this effort. For those who are interested, I would encourage you to contact your legislative representative in Washington to lend their support and vote.
As for myself, I took the liberty of using the Duke forum to announce my own plans. Many of you are well aware of the problems that were experienced in the last election. During my campaign tour and in emails or other contacts, I have continued to receive support as well as complaints regarding the existing system. Because of these discussions, I have decided that our state needs to have its own policy/think tank that will be dedicated to the issues that have arisen.
Consequently, I have asked Dr. Christina Jeffrey to assemble and head up the board. I am pleased to report that she has obtained not only prestigious individuals to serve on the board, but also has received commitments from many donors to fund the institute.
The institute will be called the Carolina Liberty Foundation and it will be located in Charlotte . Why Charlotte ? I have had discussions with individuals in both North and South Carolina and issues common to both have surfaced. Charlotte is an ideal location to service both areas.
Some of the goals of the foundation will be as follows:
(1) To offer a yearly award to the Duke College Republicans that will be given to the recipient of the Walter B. Jones Campus Defender Award to encourage others to get involved and continue standing up for our 1st Amendment rights on our college campuses;
(2) To enable educators at all levels to obtain training and certification in liberty studies as well as more traditional course work. It is our hope that Christian educators will look to us for school headmasters, teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, fundraising consultants, etc.
(3) To assist good people in grant-writing, management and curriculum development for charter or private schools so that such institutions can be created. We'll also teach, however, independence and the importance of schools positioning themselves to be self-supporting and not beholding to government largess for their very existence.
(4) We will have weekend and summer school programs modeled on Morton Blackwell's Leadership Institute--linked to it if possible-- to prepare our college students to enter student government, journalism and politics and then to move on to real government, journalism and politics.
(5) We'll set up our own private accrediting board to accredit home schools, not for government purposes, but more for the peace of mind and self-assurance of those who home school. We'll also teach courses for home schoolers at our headquarters as well as online.
(6) To offer fellowships to liberty-minded professors so that they can continue their research in an academic/think tank environment. Necessarily, such professors or others can address public policies, politics or other important issues affecting both states.
(7) Finally, we will be a resource for students and faculty who are threatened, intimidated or otherwise have their constitutional rights violated by faculty and administrators. We will find allies and lawyers for them and help them to fight back.
It's an ambitious program.
Another idea that has been developed is one of either aligning with or creating a political action group. I have been approached or contacted by many good people who seek political office. However, they complain of a lack of party interest, support and funding. The political action committee will help find and fund liberty-minded political candidates, regardless of the person's political party affiliation.
The third issue is one regarding my own candidacy. Some critics believe that I should perhaps aim my sights lower and that the Supreme Court of our state is out of reach. As I previously noted, being a trial judge is not the same as appellate work. I have given the idea thought and I simply am not interested in trial work at this time. I also served for ten years on an intermediate appellate court. I have done that. I now want to serve at a different level. That leaves our state Supreme Court.
It's sad to say, but I continue to hear complaints of corruption and other misconduct. I also hear complaints from our judicial system about the lack of funding. One way to do something about the existing system is through the office of the Supreme Court. The next opening will be in 2006 when Chief Justice Lake retires. I am pleased to announce my candidacy for that seat.
Rachel Lea Hunter
Candidate for NC Supreme Court Associate Justice