Election 2014

New Hampshire Pro-Freedom Candidates Make Waves (So Watch Your Local Races)

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Free State Project

Almost all of the political jabber is about which party gets to control the Senate or over a few tight gubernatorial races. But local contests count in people's lives too, and offices further down the ticket are often more accessible to both candidates and voters. There may be no place where that is more true than in New Hampshire, which enjoys a 424-member legislature. Libertarian-oriented Free Staters moving to the Granite State have had such success in making waves that Democratic State Representative Cynthia Chase proposed to "restrict the 'freedoms' that they think they will find here" just to make the state less attractive to migrants.

That genius is still in office, sad to say. But a lot of liberty-friendly people—some Free Staters, others locally sourced—have joined her in the legislature. This year, the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, "a non-partisan coalition working to increase individual freedom in New Hampshire" boasts that "a stunning 80% of NHLA-endorsed candidates advanced to the general election." Many of those candidates—mostly Republicans, but some Democrats, too—are incumbents. There are a lot of them.

Are those lawmakers getting anything done?

Last month, Dick Desrosiers, Chairman of the Hampton Democratic Committee, complained in a letter to the editor:

As a result of the 2010 election, the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance (NHLA), a main organization for carrying out the strategies of the FSP, orchestrated the election of Representative Bill O'Brien to the position of House speaker. As speaker, Mr. O'Brien employed strong arm tactics to oust long-term Republicans and replace them with Free Stators. He used such tactics to introduce and pass legislation to remove any and all government impacts on liberty and property rights and diminished the importance of protecting and promoting the common good.

Yes, I thought that was an endorsement, too. But really, he was expressing unhappiness with the situation. Go ahead and read the rest of it.

And keep an eye on those local races in New Hampshire and, hopefully, near you.

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  1. Spotted (by me) on Huntington Ave. in Alexandria yesterday. These were the only candidate signs on the street, BTW. That’s what happens when you live in VA’s 8th. Sometimes the R’s don’t even bother wasting money to run anyone. So much for democracy!!

    1. And I never saw a single Don Beyer TV commercial after the primary.

  2. …which enjoys a 424-member legislature.

    Ridiculous.

    1. Well, they don’t pay them much at all, so there’s that.

      1. That’s even worse! That means they’re getting compensated in graft.

        1. They’d be doing that anyway.

          1. But now they have an excuse!

            1. I’ve never found government officials to be lacking in the “excuses” department.

        2. That’s an interesting assertion. Do you have any evidence to back it up? You think people who volunteer for charity get compensated in some nefarious way?

        3. LOL. You really have no idea what you are talking about. State reps make $100 per year. There are so many of them that the lobbyist generally completely ignore them. It is a part time (1 to 2 day a week) subset of the year position with most everyone having ‘real jobs’.

    2. Why is having a relatively large number of house members per voter a bad thing?

      Wouldn’t small districts open the possibility of more diverse voices such as libertarians (admittedly also greens or socialists) to be elected?

      1. YEAH BUT THEN GRIDLOCK AND WE GET NOTHING GOOD DONE

        /john

      2. They cost money. Unless they’re part time. Then I could get behind your scheme.

        1. They don’t cost much in NH. And they are pretty part time. And the Senate is small, so it evens out.
          I like the setup of the NH government. Every office has a 2 year term, there is a 2 year budget cycle and the governor doesn’t have a lot of power (there is an elected executive council that most decisions have to go through).

  3. He used such tactics to introduce and pass legislation to remove any and all government impacts on liberty and property rights and diminished the importance of protecting and promoting the common good.

    The greatest endorsement of libertarianism over TEAM BLUE statism (and TEAM RED nagging) one could craft – thanks, Dick.

  4. Dick’s a champion of positive rights. Fortunately, the voters of New Hampshire have an opportunity to debate positive vs negative rights at the polls today.

  5. Cynthia Chase proposed to “restrict the ‘freedoms’ that they think they will find here” just to make the state less attractive to migrants.

    Such tolerance and inclusiveness.

  6. Definition of “cutting off your nose to spite your face”?

    Democratic State Representative Cynthia Chase proposed to “restrict the ‘freedoms’ that they think they will find here”

    She’ll show those mean Free Staters what for! Even if it means burning down her own house!

  7. Check out the comments there, cheered me up.

    1. Overwhelming love for the prickly porcupine.

  8. Yes, I thought that was an endorsement, too. But really, he was expressing unhappiness with the situation. Go ahead and read the rest of it.

    lol, I thought so too from that excerpt.

    The goal of the Free State organizers is to change New Hampshire and its government. Did they ask you if you felt the same way? They sure didn’t ask me! Since their arrival in New Hampshire they have been trying to destroy our government, hoping that volunteerism and free enterprise will fill the void. They have come here to make New Hampshire freer so that they can live with more freedom but, they are the ones stomping on the freedom of others.

    Not forcing other people is enslaving them!

    1. As speaker, Mr. O’Brien employed strong arm tactics to oust long-term Republicans and replace them with Free Stators. He used such tactics to introduce and pass legislation to remove any and all government impacts on liberty and property rights and diminished the importance of protecting and promoting the common good.

      The worst part is he meant it to be derogatory.

      It’s ok though guys, TEAM RED has the best of intentions of doing all those things they say they’re going to do!

    2. Not forcing other people is enslaving them!

      See, Now you’re getting it! “Freedom” means freedom FROM things like “responsibility”, which is a racist/sexist/homophobic term, in of itself. Real freedom also means coercing others to bend to your will at the point of the governments proverbial gun. FREEDOM!

  9. No sobriety checkpoints!? You black-hearted bastards.

    1. Obviously means he’s trying to kill your children.

  10. More endorsements:

    “Your right to ensure a good education for your children, regardless of your financial status, will be lost because they will abolish the state Department of Education, permit parent instructed education instead of public education, and will divert public taxpayer monies to private and religious schools. They will repeal public kindergarten and will allow teens to drop out of school before they are 18.”

    1. Ok, maybe I’ve finally peered into the abyss and lost my sanity, but aren’t those all … good things?

      What type of person sincerely believes the opposite?

      1. It is an interesting mind-set, insn’t it that recoils in horror at the thought of parents actually educating their children themselves. The fact that they already can in NH adds ignorance to a repellent world view.

    2. Wow.

      “Your right to ensure a good education for your children, regardless of your financial status, will be lost because they will … permit parent instructed education instead of public education”

      Even if you accept all the rest of communist horseshit in this statement. This part directly contracdicts itself. By granting you the right to do it yourself, you lose the right to ensure it? Usually progtards are a little better hiding their abuse of the English language.

    3. By refusing to advocate the initiation of force or participate in the cult of the state, we’ve removed ourselves so far from normal human psychology that we can’t understand how much sense that makes to some people. Someday, they will ensure that we receive the psychiatric treatment that we need to participate in society.

  11. I did my part for the cause today. I was pleased to see that TX has many libertarians on the ballot. I voted for all of them.

    I can haz libertarian moment now?

    1. Libertarian moment article in 3 … 2 … 1 …

  12. OT: I just found out that it’s illegal in my state to leave a “child” without supervision until they’re 13 years old.

    If I had to tolerate my mother every day of my life until I reached 13, I’d have committed suicide.

    1. The saving grace is that they don’t intend to enforce that law unless you’re icky or you give a police officer an insufficiently deferential look.

      1. That is right. These laws are meant to keep the dark people and the white trash in line.

        1. It’s a weaponized law, intended to be used by anyone with more credibility and influence to attack anyone with less.

          I’m queer, and I’m 100% sure that I’m going to get CPS visits someday because of complaints from people who are sure that I’m hurting my kid somehow, and since the law presumes guilt, I have no protection. My best hope is to move to some place so plagued by leftist identity politics that the law is obsequiously on my side and I’m essentially above it.

          1. Exactly. The point of those laws is to enable the police to fuck with anyone who doesn’t quite fit in. What constitutes “not fitting in” varies depending on location. But the point of the laws remains constant.

            1. I can only hope that conservatives start to take civil rights and rule of law seriously so that I can move back to west Texas someday without being afraid every time I see a police car.

              Until then, I’m stuck with Ivy League academics and Bay Area shitheads trying to out-progressive each other, honoring my right to be a parent only because I’m part of their precious protected class. They hold me up as an ideal of what progressive society is supposed to look like, and when I disagree with them, they pat me on the head and tell me that I really need to break free of my false consciousness.

              And you know what? The second that I stop being politically useful to them, they’ll hand me over to Team Red, who will be furious with people like me for being above the law and will be out for blood.

            2. And John, when you culturally right-leaning people act like queers are a uniform constituency who are dedicated footsoldiers in the left’s culture war, you know what?

              It. Does. Not. Help.

              1. You are absolutely right. As far as the left goes, there are a lot of people on the left who would like to use immigration to import enough Muslims to allow Muslims to replace Jews in the Democratic coalition enabling the Democrats to stop supporting Israel. If that ever happens, what do you think will happen to Democratic support of the gays? The gays will go over the side with the Jews.

                As far as the right’s attitude towards gays, you are also right in that it does no good to lump them all into one group. Most of the gays I have known have rejected the prog victim bullshit. But, the left does everything it can to keep people from realizing that. They want the right to associate gays with socialism and the gays to think the right hates them.

                1. Most of the gays I have known have rejected the prog victim bullshit. But, the left does everything it can to keep people from realizing that. They want the right to associate gays with socialism and the gays to think the right hates them.

                  Then I would appreciate it if you reconsider your comments here to the effect that “transvestite rights” are about leftist social justice.

                  1. For the left they are. They wouldn’t give a shit about those things if they didn’t think they could use them to criminalize their opposition.

                    And to my thinking “rights” are positive restraints on the government. They are things the government can’t stop you from doing. They are not and should not be things that the government gives me or forces other people to give me.

                    1. Yeah, being able to use the restroom in a government office that matches the gender you look like without getting on a sex offender list? That’s not an entitlement.

                      Neither is being able to change your legal name and gender without taking out a loan for the fees and legal bills, or seeking medical care without going though thousands of dollars of government hoops that have no purpose other than making it difficult and expensive to transition–oh, and making some transphobic judge convince himself he’s a psychiatric and medical expert who is helping misguided children, and not just an asshole in a black muumuu.

                      Don’t like the new entitlements that the left is insisting on for transgendered people? Fine. I don’t like them either, and I’m not alone. But why are you helping the left to bundle them together with genuine violations of rights against a small but real minority?

                    2. (I assume I don’t need to point out how incorrect, alienating, and generally fucked up your “transvestite rights” rhetorical flourish is, because if you cared, you’d have stopped already.)

              2. No group is ever uniform. But..

                I would guess that at least a strong plurality of my fellow gay men and a decent if not overwhelming majority of lesbians are indeed “dedicated footsoldiers in the left’s culture war”

                My view might be slanted in that I live in a metro area with a large multi-racial and politically motivated gay and lesbian community.

                1. It’s true. It’s a very good guess–in fact, just it might be the most solid political guess you can make. However, it indicates NOTHING about intention or cultural allegiances on the part of individuals in the community, and the assumption that we are uniform, no matter how weakly held, makes life hell for people like me who aren’t on board with the culture war or a socialist economic agenda.

                  It’s also worth asking why the LGBT community is so devoted to the culture war… except that everyone already knows. Most of us have come to the conclusion, quite rightly, that we’re always going to be the subject of a culture war, and we’re determined not to be on the losing side.

                  So if you’re on the right, how about offering a ceasefire? Stop the vicious cycle. Go out of your way to build common ground with LGBT folks.

                  Except that I suspect that there are a lot of people on the right, even among right-libertarians, who have too much to lose from peace. That’s where the “transvestite rights” talk comes from. That is not the language of someone who is looking for peace, but someone determined to win or die.

                  Maybe that’s what it comes down to, but if it does, people like me who aren’t happy with the left are going to be collateral damage. And even if eternal culture war is the destiny of the broader world, it doesn’t have to infect libertarians.

  13. All this really comes down to is “The Free Staters are gonna cause me to lose my cushy job!!!”

  14. Speaking of elections, breaking news has it that Shaheen conspired with the IRS in their anti-conservative actions.

    It looks like the administration told health insurers to hold their 2015 rate announcements until after the election.

    Biden blew Ormond’s cover, saying he would caucus with the Dems if elected.

    Braley got heckled by a millionaire donor over his obsession with abortion.

    I’m too lazy to post links, and there’s a limit of two per post, anyway.

    It has been a pretty interesting election season, in that the Dems haven’t caught a break, and little they’ve tried has seemed to work.

    1. I think the release of that letter says the White House figures Shaheen is toast.

      1. Isnt it awfully late for the scandal to have any effect?

        There has to be a decent percentage of the vote that is already in.

        And for how many New Hampshire voters will this be a “fake scandal”?

  15. That letter to the editor is comedy gold. The block quote given doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Fuck you JD, how dare you try and deprive us of this kind of idiocy.

    It appears that Representative O’Brien is working hard to “stack the deck” for the November election thus ensuring that the Republicans regain control of the house and he regains the speaker’s position. If that happens, your rights as a non-Free State, Libertarian, and citizen will be lost.

    Your right to be safe from accidental or deliberate gun violence will be lost. Bill O’Brien will again ensure that all citizens, including convicted felons, will be allowed to open carry weapons anywhere they go and use them at will. Have we not learned anything from all of the senseless killings in the past two years?

    Your right to be safe on the highways will be lost because he will prohibit the police from conducting sobriety checkpoints.

    Your right to ensure the health and wellbeing of your family will be lost because they will again eliminate essential health services for the most vulnerable, the elderly and disabled. They will eliminate the N.H. Healthy Kids program, they will repeal the prevention program for at-risk child program, and they will eliminate the Children in Need of Services program.

    1. And it continues…

      Your right to ensure a good education for your children, regardless of your financial status, will be lost because they will abolish the state Department of Education, permit parent instructed education instead of public education, and will divert public taxpayer monies to private and religious schools. They will repeal public kindergarten and will allow teens to drop out of school before they are 18.

      Your right to affordable health care was delayed, and the state lost millions of dollars in government funding to establish a health care exchange program managed by the state. Ironically the program we now have is managed by the government because O’Brien refused to accept the ACA.

      1. Yeah, he has to be a sleeper agent for the Free Staters right?

        No one can really spout that seriously. Pro wrestlers are more believable than that tripe.

        1. Peak retard is not attainable. But this guy shows that if you chase peak retard you will catch idiocy.

          1. QOD. Nice.

  16. I’ll say it again – the problem with the FSP is the location. For every person they recruit, another 50 Massholes will jump the border and vote for the exact same shit they just left.

    1. Largely true, but alternatively, with the People’s Republic so close, a liberty minded person can keep his job in MA, and move to the Free State to live.

      (I don’t know how the income tax thing works out, however.)

    2. But the large legislature and small population is good. Whatever other state they might have chosen probably would have become the next place everyone from California decided to move to.
      Or maybe I’m just glad they chose NH because I’m a native and life long resident.
      And a lot of the Massholes seem like they might be fleeing to get away from the corrupt Democrat machine that runs that state.

  17. “used such tactics to introduce and pass legislation to remove any and all government impacts on liberty and property rights ”

    “if this be Treason, then make the most of it!”

  18. Democratic State Representative Cynthia Chase proposed to “restrict the ‘freedoms’ that they think they will find here” just to make the state less attractive to migrants.

    Well, to be fair to Ms. Chase, that would be what the Democrats in Washington and California have been doing for decades. Whatever you do think of the Free State Project, they didn’t choose California or Washington, now did they?

  19. He used such tactics to introduce and pass legislation to remove any and all government impacts on liberty and property rights and diminished the importance of protecting and promoting the common good

    They’re engaging in counterrevolutionary activities, they are capitalist roaders and running dogs of the imperialists!

  20. Damn it. Now I feel like I should go vote today. I was all worked up to not vote. Maybe I’ll just lie and say I voted. Or vote and say I didn’t. I’m all confused now.

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