Project is a state of mind
|Title:||Project is a state of mind|
|Publication:||Las Vegas Sun|
Project is a state of mindby Susan Snyder 06/27/03
June 28-29, 2003
Susan Snyder's column appears Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Reach her at email@example.com or (702) 259-4082.
Debra Ricketts would trade life in Henderson for a home on the range in Wyoming, Montana or Idaho.
She could be lured to the mountains of Vermont or New Hampshire, the wilds of Alaska, the Maine backwoods, Delaware's river country or the plains of either Dakota.
By September, Ricketts and other Free State Project members will choose where their moving vans will be headed to start a statewide, Libertarian-leaning community.
"It's a big commitment for a better lifestyle and a quality of life that means a lot to me," said Ricketts, a computer information systems manager and treasurer of the national group.
The Free State Project is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 dedicated to moving 20,000 "liberty-oriented people" to a state where they will work to reduce the influence and size of government.
The state is to be chosen by popular vote when the membership reaches 5,000, and that could be soon, Ricketts said. Current rolls show 4,179 members, including 75 Nevadans, and the group gains about 95 new members each week, she said.
At 20,000, they'll make their move. They're shooting for September 2006.
The project is not an official Libertarian Party affiliate, though members share similar beliefs, said Joe Silvestri, Clark County's Libertarian chairman. Project members considered, but rejected, Nevada as a home state.
"We're already too regulated here," Silvestri said.
We also have more than the maximum 1.5 million residents desired, according to a report on Nevada written by Anita L. Joule and posted on the group's website (freedomproject.org). [This should be freestateproject.org]
"Nevada can be a fun place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there," Joule writes. "It offers ample opportunities to indulge in guns, gambling and girls.
"One would think that a state with legalized gambling and prostitution would be extremely liberty oriented. This, however, is not the case in many areas the FSP (Free State Project) members would be interested in."
For example, we're too strict on home schooling and marijuana, the report says.
"Frankly, given the large percent of federal land, the projected population increases, the unemployment rate, and the (Yucca Mountain) nuclear waste project, not to mention the lack of water, poor soil and extreme heat, I do not believe we should waste our time with further consideration of this state," the report says.
Well, residents of the winning state may not exactly see the project as a golden ditty bag of charms, either.
But Ricketts says they have nothing to fear.
"Twenty thousand people couldn't take over a Macy's white sale," she said. "Even in Wyoming, it's only 13 percent of the population. That's really a drop in the bucket, even if we could get all 20,000 people to vote the same way. And that's not likely to happen."
Silvestri says a mass move is commendable, but too prohibitive for some supporters.
"I've signed on as a friend. I support what they're doing and wish them well. But I'm not going to move," Silvestri said. "My wife would kill me."
Well, you know what they say.
These media articles are maintained on a non-commercial basis by The Free State Project, a non-profit organization, for historical, educational, scholarship, and research purposes. (For information regarding "Fair Use", see US Code Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107).