FSP Seeks to Restore Freedom, Liberty
|Title:||Free State Project Seeks to Restore Freedom, Liberty|
|Publication:||Magic City Morning Star|
Free State Project Seeks to Restore Freedom, Libertyby Ken Anderson 07/20/03
The Free State Project is a non-profit organization built around the idea of 20,000 or more people moving to a single small state, where they will work within the political system to reduce the size and scope of government, including reducing ties with the federal government.
Free State Project Logo
"Rather than continuing the same failed strategies aimed at bringing the U.S. government to the light of liberty, the Free State Project aims at creating liberty in a single state," said Jason Sorens, president of the Free State Project.
After moving to the selected state, members would work to elect candidates to local, state, and federal offices, effectively taking over a state's governing apparatus on both the state and federal level.
A win in a single state means that the cause gains two U.S. senators, one or two members in the U.S. congress, a state governor, and several local political positions.
Sorens said that while the effort stalled in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, things are now back on track.
"We've done a lot of things to get interest growing again," he said.
With 4,497 members thus far, Sorens expects that the group will reach the 5,000 member mark within three weeks. At 5,000 members, the Project will select the state.
There are about fifty members with Maine addresses.
The final determination of which state to move to will be decided by a vote of the membership, although only ten states are currently under consideration. Voting will continue until September 8, 2003, said Sorens.
Free State Project Slogan
"The membership will vote from among the candidate states on which one to move to: Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, or Wyoming," said Free State Project vice president, Elizabeth McKinstry. "Once the group reaches 20,000 commitments, members have already indicated that they will move as soon as the state is chosen," she explained.
Project organizers will not say which state is currently in the lead so as not to bias the vote, stating that polls often have a way of becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.
Not all of the response to the Free State Project has been positive, with many expressing concerns that the project seeks to hijack a vulnerable state.
Sorens justified the effort, saying that the Free State Project is relying on an American tradition that transcends political affiliation: a healthy debate of ideas.
"With 20,000 activists, we can't win outright majorities," he said, explaining that project organizers will make their ideas relevant by putting them on a level playing field with that of established political parties.
"We'll have to win over a lot of locals in order to make real changes," he said.
McKinstry agrees. "We're using traditional methods the federalist system, voting, and education, to create political change," she said. "We're just doing what people have done for centuries sought out the best place to raise their families, start businesses, and contribute to the growth of the community."
Most Free State Project members support policies such as abolition of the income tax, elimination of regulatory bureaucracies, the repeal of most gun control laws, as well as the repeal of most drug prohibition laws, free trade, decentralization of government, and widescale privatization. This is expected to draw a mix of classical liberals, libertarians, constitutionalists, and paleoconservatives. Those who would promote violence, racial hatred, or bigotry are not welcome, according to project guidelines.
The project has attracted some prominent members, including Art Olivier of Bellflower, California, who served as mayor of Bellflower from 1998-1999, and was the Libertarian Party candidate for Vice President in the 2000 election. Also signed up as members are Michael Badnarik and Gary Nolan, who are currently campaigning to be on the Libertarian ticket for President in 2004.
While many Free State Project members are Libertarians, the organization is not affiliated with that or any other political party.
For additional information, see the Free State Project web site.
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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).