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."
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.
Guess you better stock up before you come up heah!
I'm sure it's lovely, but I'd miss my lobster and steamed clams.
You're certainly welcome to bring your pets. Or spouses, friends, or whatever.
But the clams needn't get upset just because they're moving to New Hampshire. They'll find some local friends there, I'm sure.
My liberal, gay as all getout college professor and some of his namby-pamby prof friends were driving through in Maine (motto: "You can't get there from here") trying to reach Rutland or somewheres, got lost and asked this old guy on the side of the road:
"What road should we take to get to Rutland?"
"Doesn't matter to me!" he replied!
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.
Guess who the founder and moderator of the Wyoming FSP discussion board is....
Actually, theres a *ISM* project already underway for a FSP-like resettlement of several politically tenable counties there, and that's more likely to attract more of the western-minded *cowboy* FSP adherents, many of who opted out of their pledge to relocate eastward, just as many easterners similarly opted out of a western or Alaskan choice.
We'll see what's said as the considerations roll in. But for those so inclined:
Mmmmmmmm, OK, excellent point.