William Beau Meredith, Libertarian
Place of residence: Asheville
Occupation: Welder, business owner
Political experience: Hemp and cannabis activist for 30 years; Libertarian for 20 years; held office as elected executive officer of party; ran for Asheville City Council in 2007.
Amount of money raised: DNA
Top three donors and amount contributed: DNA
Why are you running?
I want to give power back to the people from the hands of government. (Liberate civil liberties.) Freedom is my default position. We should always side with the people over government when it comes to issues of personal choice. My chief interests are: Second Amendment rights, freedom of medical choice (including medical marijuana and informed consent, HB 1161), reducing tax burden wherever possible and limiting control of government [to be] as local as possible.
Federal judges have deemed a number of North Carolina’s House and Senate districts illegal. How would you propose districts be drawn so that they are fair?
A scientific approach should be taken to assure that the intent of equal representation is not perverted to favor one party or another. Our current system of seat trading and appointment through gerrymandering is an affront to representative government, and it should be ended immediately.
Are you in favor of using economic development incentives? If so, what kind? If not, why? Incentives are preferable to corporate charity. But I would like to see that the citizen is given the same consideration as a corporation when it comes to incentives. Tax breaks come to mind.
Is HB2 protecting the residents of your district? Why or why not?
This is a smoke screen issue designed to drive a wedge between left and right, and an utter waste of government time and resources and valuable discussion time.
Should Asheville City Council elections be held by district? Why or why not? Should it be decided by Raleigh or a city referendum?
I think that all decisions are best made by those closest to the problem. That said, I think there is merit in the idea of district representation. For instance, when you have an issue the city should address, you have a place to start with your district representative.
What is an underrated, underfunded economic engine that could help attract jobs to Western North Carolina outside of the service and tourism industries? And how would you recommend utilizing this untapped potential?
Medical marijuana would be a good start as it would draw from surrounding states where it is unavailable due to government intransigence on the issue of personal freedom. Also, we need to look beyond a tourist economy and remove barriers to cottage industry. The internet provides a literal worldwide market for many things from crafts to intellectual property that individuals could and should be taking advantage of. To keep this ability, we should keep the internet tax-free and unencumbered by government obstruction. Small-scale hemp framing and more farmers markets will help increase local income.
What state-run service needs the most improvement and how would you address it?
Every department could use improvement. Government is a complete bloated nightmare of waste and inefficacy. As in lean manufacturing, you reduce all department budgets by 10 percent and demand an increase in productivity. Now I realize that many times government programs are hard to measure in terms of productivity, but perhaps that is why their approach is so wasteful.
What is the most important issue facing the state and how do you plan on addressing it?
I think medical freedom is the most important state-level issue. And it has everything to do with why I am running for a state office. If you are not free to treat yourself and family as you see fit, we are not free people but merely chattel. The government has no right or role in your health care decisions, be that medical cannabis or your right to refuse vaccination. I plan on passing HB1161 medical cannabis bill. And I plan on supporting informed consent restraining the government from being able to forcefully inoculate you.
How do you represent a constituency with varied political ideologies?
My understanding is that there are core natural rights that are not up for a “vote,” so I will not be taking anyone’s rights or supporting the infringement of rights by government or corporate entities on individuals. So, you are free to have whatever “political ideology” you like, but if that includes taking someone’s rights, then you’re not getting far with me. On the other side of that I will respectfully listen to people’s ideas or concerns, not in a patronizing manner, but in an attempt to understand where I can help from my office. All wishes are not granted by government certainly, but is it not a representative’s job to hear out his constituents?
What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?
Well, I am not sure I am the most qualified person for this office, but I am the most qualified on the ballot.