Skip to comments.Libertarians Pick N.H. for 'Free State'
Posted on 10/01/2003 1:02:12 PM PDT by luckydevi
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:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elizabeth McKinstry, Vice-President
Jason Sorens, President
Free State Project picks New Hampshire
· Group aims to recruit 20,000 liberty-minded individuals to move
· Membership vote selects NH out of ten candidates for planned migration
· Free Staters hope to reinforce, enhance "sphere of individual liberty" in the Live Free or Die state
· Project has earned backing of NH governor, some state legislators
· Trickle of early movers expected to start this year
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 per cent to 45 per cent.
"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. [OVERà]
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 per cent 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."
And define all marijuana use as "medicinal", and then legalize marijuana, and then legalize all other drugs.
And then explain away the resulting mess.
Just speaking hypothetically, how much would that be like drug warriors that try to explain away the current mess?
Well, to be perfectly honest, John, the Free State Project is precisely about invading and taking over.
One wonders what drove him to tell this particular, glaringly obvious, untruth.
Curious if any LP members here on FR are moving up to NH any time soon?
The strategy is to move 20,000 Libertarians to a small state so that they can form a majority government.
The first part is "invasion." The second part is "taking over."
And yet the head of the NH LP says that it's not really about "invasion and taking over."
The first part is "invasion."
Free, adult American citizens purchasing property or renting a residence in a free, American state, and then moving there, is "invasion"? Only by a very wacky definition of that word (according to which everyone "invades" every single city they move to).
The second part is "taking over."
Actually, you have it slightly wrong in your second part above. 20000 libertarians (assuming they get even close to that) will, I reckon, not be enough to form a majority government of New Hampshire.
That said, their goal is to elect people with like-minded views into office in that state. It is hyperbole, but not wholly inaccurate, to call that "taking over". It's what everyone attempts to do when they cast a ballot at the polls.
When the "free-staters" begin ignoring Federal mandates, it would be nice to have a bunch of Congressmen who would oppose any retribution.
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