|Title:||Free State Project vote set for August|
|Publication:||Casper Star Tribune|
Free State Project vote set for Augustby Nadia White Star-Tribune staff writer 07/08/03
Liberty-minded activists will choose which sparsely-populated state will be the focus of their collective political might in a vote beginning in August.
Members of the Free State Project will have until Sept. 8 to vote on which of 10 states they would like to move to in order to advocate for limited government. Wyoming and New Hampshire are top contenders in the effort.
The Free State Project is an effort to sign up 20,000 advocates of limited government to move to a single state in which they can incrementally reduce the reach of government. That effort passed the 4,000-member mark earlier in June, prompting organizers to set a vote date.
The deadline to sign up to participate in the vote is Aug. 15, by which time the FSP should have more than 5,000 members, according to the group's projections. The deadline for members to return their ballots is Sept. 8, and the selected state will be announced on Sept. 15, according to a press release from Jason Sorens, the Yale University doctoral student who founded and leads the effort.
Tom Parker, a Louisville, Colo., resident who serves as the group's liaison to Wyoming, said the movement is a reaction to the current government climate.
"In terms of liberty, we see things drifting away with the latest moves like the USA Patriot Act, and the various wars, now Liberia, we feel our government is not playing by the rules of the Constitution so we're hoping to change things," Parker said. "By concentrating our numbers in one state we're hoping to have more influence and move things more toward liberty."
Eligible voters will be able to choose from among Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. Once the group reaches 20,000 commitments, members have five years in which to move to the chosen state. Some members have already indicated that they will move as soon as the state is chosen, Parker said.
Dennis Brossman, a Wyoming Libertarian, said the project is very appealing.
" I am tempted by the project even if Alaska or Vermont were to try it. I prefer Wyoming, the climate and terrain and being in the heart of the 48 states, but the freedom experiment is very alluring to me," Brossman said. " I'd be willing to move to Alaska."
Brossman said the idea of newcomers changing the way things are done in Wyoming is nothing new.
"I think it's done in other realms, but not so openly and honestly," he said. "For example, in Lander and Jackson in the last 10, 15 years, we've had a large number of environmentalists move in and they heavily affect the policy in these areas."
He said he thinks the plan has a shot: "I think it's something that would be workable and doable. I don't think it's a pipe dream."
The Free State Project posts additional information on its Web site, (http://www.freestateproject.org).
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).