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Group Votes to Pick State for Experiment
Associated Press [via Yahoo News] ^ | 09/21/03 | Kate McCann Associated Press

Posted on 09/24/2003 8:31:24 PM PDT by archy

U.S. National - AP

Group Votes to Pick State for Experiment

Sun Sep 21, 4:14 PM ET Add U.S. National -
AP to My Yahoo!

By KATE McCANN, Associated Press Writer

CONCORD, N.H. - Some 5,000 liberty-minded Americans have been holding an election, but for a state rather than a candidate, and the one they choose will be a laboratory for what they call the biggest experiment in democracy since the Revolutionary War.

Balloting concludes Monday, and the winning state is to be announced Oct. 1. Then members of the Free State Project hope to quadruple their numbers within two years, move there, and start transforming it into a national model for small government, few laws and individual liberty.

"Projects of this kind have been done before on much larger scales," says project founder Jason Sorens, 26. He cites the Pilgrims, the Mormons and the migration of liberal, back-to-the-soil types to Vermont 30 years ago.

With a Web site — http://www.freestateproject.org — as a forum, members last year narrowed their choices to 10 states with small populations, libertarian tendencies and other characteristics. New Hampshire and Wyoming are considered favorites, ahead of Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Vermont, and North and South Dakota.

Supporters of New Hampshire like its relatively low dependence on federal money, lack of a general sales or income tax, and its "Live Free or Die" motto. The New Hampshire constitution also guarantees the right to revolt and does not prohibit secession. Project members say secession is not their goal, but that the provision could be a useful bargaining chip.

Wyoming scores for its tiny population, low property taxes, lack of statewide land use planning laws, and lack of "politically correct" laws such as those against hate crimes.

Strikes against New Hampshire include its lack of support for Libertarian presidential candidates and its relatively expensive political campaigns.

Though the premise of the project is that 20,000 committed individuals could be a genuine force in a small state, members bristle at the suggestion they want to "take over" a state.

"New Hampshire gets 20,000 new residents annually. So 20,000 people is not like locusts," said Vice President Elizabeth McKinstry, who lives in Michigan. "And in no state that's on our list will 20,000 people be enough to come in to 'take over.'"

Henry McElroy, a retired college professor and Republican state representative from Nashua, says the biggest change in the chosen state would be getting people involved in government.

"You should be reading, you should be studying, you should be doing a better job of understanding your place in society," he said.

Some free-staters have ruffled feathers by questioning the need to subsidize public schools and opposing laws against "victimless behaviors" such as marijuana use for medical purposes, prostitution and gambling.

That's partly why New Hampshire Democratic Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan considers the project "sort of a very fringe group that can best be described as anarchists."

One of 150 project members who already live in New Hampshire, James Maynard of Keene, has been recruiting in Massachusetts.

"With the attitude of everyone in Massachusetts, that freedom is just to their north, that would be a great source," said Maynard, 30.

Project members are mostly men and in their 20s and 30s. Roughly 10 percent are retirees; others are small-business owners. Not all are Libertarian Party members, but their principles are similar.

David Dawson, chairman of the Wyoming Libertarian Party, is a staunch project supporter. Dawson, 60, has run unsuccessfully for governor and Congress twice, and several times for the state Legislature.

"When you're a Libertarian without 20,000 liberty-oriented people in your state, it's not a race you figure on winning," he said. "But you get 20,000 people moving in here and that could change in a big hurry."

But Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat, "has never gotten the impression that many (Wyoming residents) would support legalizing drugs or using secession as some sort of bargaining chip," spokeswoman Lara Azar said.

Libertarian candidates haven't done well in New Hampshire. But University of New Hampshire political scientist Mark Wrighton says the Granite State might be fertile ground for the project anyway.

"The words 'Live Free or Die' pretty much explains a lot of what goes on in New Hampshire," Wrighton said.

###


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Delaware; US: Idaho; US: Maine; US: Montana; US: New Hampshire; US: North Dakota; US: South Dakota; US: Vermont; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: freestateproject; fsp; nh; porcupines
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To: archy
"That was, of course, also the attitude of the Communists ruling the USSR in 1990."

Yea sure, Archy.
But there was an awful lot of misery between 1919 & 1990, too.
Even so, I can appreciate your point.

"If it comes to that here, they can have a choice: go out quietly, like Gorbachav and the Communists replaced by Yeltsen, then Putin in turn, or go out like Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu of Roumania in December 1989."

Yes, an excellent attitude.
I pray to God I live long enough to see such a scenario come to fruition.

"Kingdoms fall."

No argument there; &, who could argue this one's had "a fall" coming for some time, too.
Even if such a fall were only to purge the past 150 years or so of misguidance responsible for taking the nation so far from the framer's original intent.

"One of the contingencies we really haven't planned well for is the possibility that we'll attract numbers WAY out of proportion to what we've expected: What happens if instead of 20,000, we get 200,000, or a half-million?"

IF your organization were to attract a half mil numer; or, for that matter 20 times that?
I'd bet anything they'd be the kind of people one could expect order, cooperation & a spirit not seen on this continent for a very, long time.
Your "problems" would be the kind one might find extremely satisfying, I dare say.

"That may be bluesky,..."

Maybe not.
There'll be a lot of people watching y'all like hawks, &, I'll be one of 'em.
The possibility of this dream becoming a reality is exciting enough, but, if it were to become a smashing success?
It'd provide this citizen a golden opportunity to actually *see* which of my friends & neighbors are genuinely serious about the direction this nation's going, as opposed to what they've said.

Maybe even a chance to settle a few other things once & for all, too.

...like whose side God's really on.

21 posted on 09/25/2003 11:43:20 AM PDT by Landru
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To: Landru
"That was, of course, also the attitude of the Communists ruling the USSR in 1990."

Yea sure, Archy.
But there was an awful lot of misery between 1919 & 1990, too.
Even so, I can appreciate your point.

Worse, the Communists exported their misery to a number of locales that really wanted no part of a fight, just to be left alone. For their trouble they wore the yoke of Communist slavery and chains. For YEARS.

But not in Russia's neighboring Finland. When Finland's Communists tried to pull off their own coup there in 1918, it led to a 4-month Civil War, that left many of Finland's Reds dead, others jailed, and the rest running elsewhere for asylum. Only now, 80 years later, have the Communists and Communist appeasers achieved partyicular respectability and positions of power again. If it comes down to it, I expect the Finns will sort their problem out again without excessive difficulty. And there are lessons from them for Americans as well, Porcupines in particular.

-archy-/-

22 posted on 09/25/2003 11:59:35 AM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: Landru
Maybe even a chance to settle a few other things once & for all, too.

...like whose side God's really on.

*** You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.***

--Psalm 91

23 posted on 09/25/2003 12:14:01 PM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: archy
bump to the top
24 posted on 09/25/2003 12:31:46 PM PDT by bc2 (http://www.thinkforyourself.us)
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To: archy
It is so hilarious that the dimocrat in NH calls the FSP idealists "anarchists" - can't have folks reluctant to knuckle under to more and more laws, can they?

The only anarchists I ran into have been at the counter-freeps I've attended and they all lined up with the leftists.

25 posted on 09/25/2003 2:30:09 PM PDT by austingirl
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To: austingirl
It is so hilarious that the dimocrat in NH calls the FSP idealists "anarchists" - can't have folks reluctant to knuckle under to more and more laws, can they?

The only anarchists I ran into have been at the counter-freeps I've attended and they all lined up with the leftists.

It's easy to spot the anarchists, there' the ones with the 666 mark on their foreheads. No wait; that's AntiChrists, nevermind. Though, come to think of it....

26 posted on 09/25/2003 4:46:03 PM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: austingirl
That's partly why New Hampshire Democratic Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan considers the project "sort of a very fringe group that can best be described as anarchists."

New Hampshire Democratic Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan:


27 posted on 09/25/2003 4:47:59 PM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: pram
What are the property prices like in NH? I have relatives in RI (I've lived in HI and the west coast for 35 yrs) and from what I've seen, real estate on the east coast is unbelievably high. I'm wondering about rural property. If they choose, NH, I might want to move there!

NH was indeed chosen; you're in luck!

You might want to check this out.

-archy-/-

28 posted on 10/01/2003 3:22:34 PM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: Landru
"But...they bring with them the liberal politics / big government they are used to, it hasn't reached the point of no return yet. This would be a great time for a project like this to start, I would hate for New Hampshire to go the route of Mass."

If these 5,000 people were to go to NH -- or any other state for that matter -- & build the place into all the good & decent things as set forth in their goals? How long before the riff raff would transcend upon 'em to sieze what's these people have earned & built for themselves?

That kind of coming would be inevitable, don'tcha think? Isn't that, essentially, what's happened in California?

Well, it is indeed NH that's been chosen, and I've been giving your concerns some serious thought.

At Halloween a year ago, we had roughly a thousand pledged supporters, a year after signups began. Now, not quite a year later, we have 5500. In two years.

Given the present rate of growth- which has not remained constant- it's predicted that we'll reach the goal of 20,000 members in We will reach 20,000 members in approximately 113.7 weeks, at which point the migration begins [though something like 150 Porcupines are already NH residents, and several from nearby states are making the move now, without hesitation, just as I would have had Wyoming been picked]

But the movements are to take place within a 5-year timeframe after the goal of 20,000 has been reached, perhaps as late now as 7 years into the future...and recruiting and pledges will NOT be halted. What happens if they continue to more than double the numbers of pledged porcupines annually for 7 years. Or quadruple, or otherwise increase exponentially? Oct 2002: 1000 FSP member porcupines/ gain 1000

Oct 2003: 5,454 FSP members [as of September 10, 2003]/gain 3500

Oct 2004?

Oct 2005?

Oct 2007?

Oct 2008? [Election year!]

Oct 2009? [5 years from the 01 Oct 2003 announcement of NH as the Goal State]

If the numbers *just* double each year from what they are now:

2004: 10,908

2005: 21,816 [porcupation migration to continue until completion in 2010]

2006: 43,632

2007: 87,264

2008: 174,528

[2009] [349,056]

[2010] [698,112]

NH State voter registration, September ’02 2001 [after list purge]

REPUBLICANS 245,791/ 37.3%
UNDECLARED 242,028/ 36.8%
DEMOCRATS 170,405/ 25.9%

And the projection that the numbers will *only* double is a VERY conservative one, based on the last 24 months. I'm now not as worried as I was, but the Democrats had better be doing some fast dancing. It looks as if they could be in fourth place, not very good for a *major* party.

-archy-/-

29 posted on 10/01/2003 3:59:10 PM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: nh1; pram
Here is a link to a real estate search engine for the area.

Here's another Real estate link:

http://www.ohwy.com/nh/r/realesta.htm

30 posted on 10/01/2003 6:40:26 PM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: archy
I assume NH has an LP affiliate? Do you know how strong it is?
31 posted on 10/01/2003 8:06:25 PM PDT by ForOurFuture (Tancredo for Senate!)
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To: archy
Different way to ask the same question as I, arch

Not that it would, should or could have any impact on this effort, hardly.
Just that forewarned *is* forearmed; so, the inevitability of this happening, eventually, must be a high priority of the FSP planners.

...of which I'm sure you're aware.

32 posted on 10/02/2003 6:33:27 AM PDT by Landru
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To: Landru
Different way to ask the same question as I, arch

Not that it would, should or could have any impact on this effort, hardly.
Just that forewarned *is* forearmed; so, the inevitability of this happening, eventually, must be a high priority of the FSP planners.

...of which I'm sure you're aware.

'preciate it! And it's answered with a link to our original discussion of the matter, with a few other thoughts thrown in.

It's not the problem that I see as our greatest worry or threat, but you're right, it's one we should indeed be giving some attention to. And we will.

-archy-/-

33 posted on 10/02/2003 8:10:07 AM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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To: ForOurFuture
I assume NH has an LP affiliate? Do you know how strong it is?

They do indeed; I believe the NH Libertarian Party chairman John Barbiaz is a FSP Porcupine, or possibly, like NH Governor Benson, signed on as a *Friend of the Porcupines*.

I don't know what their numbers are, but I bet you can find out from the link. NH listed 242,028 registered voters as undeclared, 36.8% of their total, in the 2000 election, second only to the Republicans and well ahead of the Democrats in a distant third place. And soon, perhaps fourth....

Not all of those *undeclared* are Libertarians, of course, but I'd expect that most Libertarians are so registered. And it'd certainly be a good number for the Libbies to shoot for.

But I'd expect most Porcupines to register, if not necessarily vote, as Republicans.

-archy-/-

34 posted on 10/02/2003 8:25:57 AM PDT by archy (Keep in mind that the milk of human kindness comes from a beast that is both cannibal and a vampire.)
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