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New Hampshire wins 'free state' vote
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 10/01/2003 @ 5:00 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
A group of 4,500 libertarians who all agreed to move to one state to work toward restoring certain personal liberties and limited government has voted to choose the state of New Hampshire as a new home.
The Free State Project, which has been collecting commitments from members to move to the winning state for two years, announced the results of its balloting this morning. Ten states were under consideration, with New Hampshire prevailing over Montana, Wyoming, Delaware, Vermont, Maine, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alaska.
Leaders of the Free State Project now hope to recruit another 15,500 people to migrate to New Hampshire, hoping to “reinforce and enhance the ‘sphere of individual liberty’ in the Live Free or Die state,” said a statement by the group. It is the participants’ goal to “preserve one bastion of freedom in the age of intrusive government.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, Jan Helfield, a Falls Creek, Va.-based attorney and Libertarian Party activist, is one of the group’s leaders.
“The Free State Project proposes to identify the easiest state in the union to free, and then relocate 20,000 people to implement the liberation,” he wrote last year. “The people interested in moving will sign up with FSP and vote on the state selected to be freed.”
The 20,000 newly relocated activists “would permit Libertarians to register large numbers of new voters to vote Libertarian, a factor that could easily make the difference and lead to a Libertarian victory,” Helfield said.
“We could end state redistribution of wealth, repealing state taxes and wasteful government programs. We could privatize education and utilities. We could repeal laws regulating guns, drugs and other victimless crimes. We could abolish asset forfeiture, abuses of eminent domain, inefficient regulations and state monopolies.”
The group’s statement said organizers expect the first wave of movers to migrate to New Hampshire by year’s end.
The runner-up state was Wyoming.
“New Hampshire is clearly the consensus choice of Free Staters,” commented FSP president and Yale political science professor Jason Sorens on the group’s website. “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,” said FSP 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.”
According to the group, New Hampshire Gov. Craig Benson pledged to support the aims of the FSP, and several members of the legislature have signed up as members.
The group says if current recruitment trends continue, organizers expect to reach 20,000 commitments by 2006, after which point members would have five years in which to move to New Hampshire.
Noted Tim Condon, FSP director of member services, “The member survey shows that 53 percent 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.”
Not all in New Hampshire were thrilled with the prospect of thousands of libertarians moving in.
“I like to be left alone by the government. But I need my trash picked up. I need police protection,” Dennis Pizzimenti, a lawyer in Concord, told the Associated Press.
The news service reported Kathy Sullivan, state Democratic Party chairwoman, said project members “can best be described as anarchists.”
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