Freestaters claim Gov. one of them
|Title:||Freestaters claim Gov. one of them|
|Publication:||Granite State News|
Freestaters claim Gov. one of them
[no author given] 08/14/03
CONCORD Members of the free state movement have released a statement that Gov. Craig Benson supports their cause.
The Free State Project was founded by North Carolina resident Jason Sorens, a member of the Libertarian Party. Its goal is to enlist 20,000 like-minded people to move to a low-population state in order to advocate for smaller government. New Hampshire, Montana and Wyoming are among the top contenders for the state to which the group would move. According to the 2000 census, the population of New Hampshire is 1.2 million.
According to an Aug. 7 Free State Project press release (datelined Henderson, Nev. and Austin, Tex.), Gov. Benson met with members from the Free State Project who were visiting New Hampshire in June to explore the suitability of the state for settling 20,000 Free Staters.
The meeting was part of the "Escape to New Hampshire" getaway, sponsored by the Welcome to the Granite State Committee and arranged by John Babiarz, Free State Project member, chairman of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire and Benson's appointee to the Efficiency in Government Commission.
According to the Free State Project press release, "Benson welcomed the visit and noted that he had much in common with Free Staters. After careful consideration, Governor Benson has decided to sign on as a supporter of the 'Free State Project.' While making no commitment to move with the Free Staters, he supports their efforts to reform state and local government in order to create a truly free society."
Sorens said, "As a grassroots organization, we draw support from many quarters. In addition to the nearly 5,000 members and hundreds of friends, it's wonderful to have an ally in this state's highest office."
The press release continues, "When asked how he would feel about 20,000 small-government activists moving to New Hampshire, Benson replied, 'Come on up. We'd love to have you.'"
When contacted for comment, Christopher Reid of the Governor's office responded by email, "While the Governor has not exactly 'signed on' to the movement, he definitely enjoyed meeting the representatives, found common ground with them, and welcomed their interest in New Hampshire."
He confirmed that the group met briefly and informally with Gov. Benson and said the Governor was pleased that the group has said that it is for the rule of law, against bigotry, and impressed with New Hampshire. He said Benson spoke with members of the group about "starting businesses, trying new things and their philosophy of limited government."
"The Governor told them that he enjoyed their meeting, and that New Hampshire has always welcomed people who want to work hard and get involved," he said
Reid added, "It is not a surprise that the 'free state movement' is attracted to the 'live free or die state.' They say that their goal is to find a state that believes in reductions in burdensome taxation and regulation, and an increased respect for and protection of people's rights. For centuries people have moved to New Hampshire for similar reasons. We have never discouraged them, and we are not going to start now."
The Free State Project describes itself as "a non-profit organization that is in the process of gathering 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people to move to a single state in the U.S. in the attempt to establish a truly free society. 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. The success of the Free State Project would likely entail reductions in burdensome taxation and regulation, legal reforms, and an increased respect for and protection of people's rights, demonstrating the benefits of liberty to the rest of the nation and the world. The project's membership is currently conducting the vote to choose which state will become 'the Free State.'"
The group maintains a website at www.freestateproject.org. More information about the project can also be found at www.FreeStateNH.com. For more information about the New Hampshire Libertarian Party, on the Internet, look at www.lpnh.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).