Skip to comments.Free State Project Picks New Hampshire
Posted on 10/01/2003 8:35:16 AM PDT by jmc813
in the Live Free or Die state
Aiming to preserve one bastion of freedom in the age of intrusive government, members of the rapidly growing Free State Project (FSP) have made a crucial decision. Voting via mail-in ballot after months of feisty debate, Free Staters chose New Hampshire as their future home.
Founded in 2001, the FSP's goal is to concentrate 20,000 liberty-oriented voters in one state. There, it is hoped, they will work to enhance and extend its existing culture of liberty. But until this week, it was anyone's guess whether that state would be Montana, Wyoming, Delaware, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Alaska.
The membership election took place through the innovative Condorcet's Method, which allowed voters to rank all states and selected the state that received a higher ranking than each other state from a majority of voters. The runner-up state was Wyoming, which defeated every other state but fell to New Hampshire by the decisive margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.
"New Hampshire is clearly the consensus choice of Free Staters," commented FSP President and Yale political science professor Jason Sorens. "New Hampshire won a plurality of first-preference votes from every region of the country except the West."
"It's not difficult to see the reasons for New Hampshire's victory," adds Vice-President Elizabeth McKinstry, who is originally from New England. "The state boasts the lowest state and local tax burden in the continental U.S., the leanest state government in the country in terms of government spending and employment, a citizen legislature, a healthy job market, and perhaps most important, local support for our movement."
Over 100 New Hampshire residents have signed up for the Free State Project already, willing to move elsewhere but hoping to bring the movement to their home state. Governor Craig Benson even pledged to support the aims of the FSP, and several members of the legislature have signed up as members.
According to FSP Director of Member Services and Florida attorney Tim Condon, Free Staters should also be a boon for the economy of New Hampshire. "According to a member survey conducted concomitantly with the vote, 50% of our members have at least a Bachelor's degree, with 18% having done postgraduate work. Seventy-five percent are under age 50, with 38% between the ages of 18 and 34. Those earning $60,000 or more per year constitute 44% of all members. The clear picture that emerges is one of a largely young, well-educated, upwardly mobile group."
Several hurdles still face the movement, which currently has about 4,500 members pledged to migrate to New Hampshire. These challenges include recruiting another 15,500 members and continuing to build support for their cause within New Hampshire. If current recruitment trends continue, the group expects to reach 20,000 commitments by 2006, after which point members have five years in which to move.
But as Condon notes, "The member survey shows that 53% of members plan to move within three years, not waiting for the 20,000-member benchmark. Early movers should help recruitment by building a record of success."
I don't get it.
:-) Can we count on you joining us?
I'm still waiting for a post and link on the FSP homepage . But it looks like it's to commence in NH.
There's still an ongoing *Montana project* taking place on a much smaller scale. And something similar is under consideration for a three county-area of Texas, a beginning, at least.
Not all the Porcupine eggs are in one basket.
Heh...my libertarian next door neighbor is gonna be overjoyed. He's been watching this and hoping it'd come to either VT or NH, preferably NH as there's more of a chance of it doing something there, I'd say.
Wonder where in NH this'll end up? I'd guess it might be just across the border in northern NH just because it'd be cheaper...but then again, there aren't many jobs there. We'll see, I guess. Wonder how much affect they'll really have.
jmc813, if you'd care to be added to the FR ping list for FSP-related stories and commentary, just say the word.
I'm pretty sure I'm already on it. If not, please add me. Thanks.
... but, you know, my roots here in New Jersey are kinda deep, and I don't know if this is a good time to sell my house, and my wife is having second thoughts, and the kids will miss their friends, and ...
I never signed on as a member because I could not guarantee I could make the move when the time came and I take pledges seriously. However the way things are going I will be making the move long before they reach the 20,000 member goal. Also I have friends that are plenty sick of the government of NJ (both parties) and the ever escalating costs of living here. They were looking to move and I have them pretty sold on this FSP idea. NH will be an easy move for them.
Can you post links for either of the above.
That's unfortunate. I do think the East is inherently way less free than the west. Try driving out to the desert to plink with you .308 in New Hampshire. On the other hand due to crippling taxes and regulations it is probably true that East Coasters *NEED* a Free State more than Westerners do, where freedom continues to exist to some degree in many states, even nominally liberal ones like Oregon have CCW, strong first ammendment protections, etc. Washington and Wyoming have no state income tax.
The net result of the New Hampshire vote will be that the FSP will tend to become an "east coast" movement, with more new members coming from the socialist hell holes near by. In terms of the project goals this could be ideal. It means that, if successful, their will be this island of sanity surrounded by authoritariand socialist states (some of which will be in dire shape like New York and Cali are).
I think perhaps a unitended consequence of this is that Wyoming, by finishing second, becomes the unofficial Western Free State. And this could become official at any time if others pick up where the vote has left us off.
There are thousands of acres of idle (and for-sale) paper company land in northern New Hampshire. It looks dinky compared to Wyoming, but there are still some very remote places. And if you run out of places in NH, Maine is still very very empty in the middle.
In most of NH, you do that in your back yard. You don't need to drive somewhere to do it.
As for driving, from anyplace in NH, you're never more than an hour or two from, mountains, lakes, shopping, or the ocean. What's chances we could drive to the ocean for a day at the beech and have dinner at a nice restaurant in the mountains, anywhere in Wyoming, Montana, or Idaho? everyplace has its advantages and disadvantages, still NH is definitely not for everyone. There is no place like that.
If New Hampshire hits critical mass because people like me who were unwilling to pledge in advance join the cause, it would be time to start a second Free State Project anyway.
If you're not too insistent about your beach having an accompanying ocean, you can do that right here in Utah :-)
WELCOME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE - NOW GO HOME
...just so you get the flava' of the place. And don't botha' askin' a native if they know something, like "do you know where the fair gounds are," or "can you tell me how to get to the L.L. Bean stoa, 'cause the ansah is always the same, "ay-ah," which means the same as "yup" anyplace else.
I'm sure it's lovely, but I'd miss my lobster and steamed clams.
There are always conflicts and different points of views. The difference is, libertarians do not believe in shoving their view down the throats of those who disagree them at the point of a government gun. In a libertarian state, you will not only be able to have and express you different point of view, but to live it as you choose.
Maybe not desert...but if you think it's very populated up here, you've never been here. We may not have HUGE open spaces, but there are plenty of acres of woodland, believe me.
I think people tend to think of all of New England as being citified and crowded like maybe much of MA is...but it's not.
Libertarians Pick N.H. for 'Free State'
By KATE McCANN
Associated Press Writer
CONCORD, N.H. (AP)--A group of libertarians announced a project Wednesday to get 20,000 Americans to move to New Hampshire and work to transform it into a ``free state'' with fewer laws, smaller government and greater liberty.
New Hampshire, whose motto is ``Live Free or Die,'' beat out nine other finalists for the Free State Project. Wyoming was runner-up in balloting conducted by about 5,000 members of the project around the country, vice president Elizabeth McKinstry said.
The 5,000 members have already pledged to move to the selected state, Free State Project organizers said. They hope to increase their numbers to 20,000 within two years and start transforming the state into a national model of liberty.
Some free-staters want to roll back restrictions on gambling, legalize medicinal marijuana and strengthen gun rights. But McKinstry said members also will work for charities and scholarship programs and help citizens get more involved in government.
``We won. That's fantastic,'' New Hampshire Libertarian Party chairman John Babiarz said of New Hampshire's selection. ``It's like New Hampshire has won a nationwide popularity contest based on its fundamentals.''
McKinstry of Ann Arbor, Mich., said New Hampshire won because it ``boasts the lowest state and local tax burden in the continental U.S., the leanest state government in the country, a citizen legislature, a healthy job market, and perhaps most important, local support for our movement.''
Project members also like the New Hampshire Constitution, which is seen as protecting the right to revolution. It reads: ``Whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government.''
The prospective new neighbors worry some New Hampshire residents.
``I like to be left alone by the government. But I need my trash picked up. I need police protection,'' said Dennis Pizzimenti, a lawyer in Concord.
Kathy Sullivan, state Democratic Party chairwoman, said project members ``can best be described as anarchists.''
Babiarz, a database consultant, said critics have it wrong: ``We're not here to invade or take over. We're here to restore the American dream.''
Doug Hillman, 39, said he is looking forward to leaving Graham, Ala., and moving his wife and four children somewhere near Littleton or Lancaster.
Hillman was most impressed with Republican Gov. Craig Benson's attitude toward the project--``Come on up, we'd love to have you,'' he said last summer.
``That led me to believe that libertarian thought and libertarianism is more accepted in New Hampshire,'' Hillman said.
Following second-place Wyoming in the voting, in order, were Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Maine, Vermont, Delaware, South Dakota and North Dakota. ___ On the Net: http://www.freestateproject.com
I'm guessing he believes libertarians to be unamerican, and wants them to leave the country.
The Republican party will not benefit from an ideological purity campaign, particularly one which pushes libertarians out of the party. Further, were this still the party of Reagan, there would be no "libertarian problem."
Some seem incapable of seeing this.
No worries, so long as that Bean feller's store has a good supply of Stetsons, as my old one's about worn out and I really ought to be looking my best for the new neighbors.
But I already found the feller who sells the shootin irons.
I know. You're my neighbor. Thought you might want to add something about the local "cultcha".
Most people do not know what it is like to live among people who really believe in minding their own business, and expecting others to mind theirs. They are really the only kind of people who deserve to live in a decent free society.
I'm not a bit surprised. Maori, I'd expect.