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Members of the libertarian-minded Free State Project have selected New Hampshire the "Live Free or Die" state as their new home.
Ten states each with populations under 1.4 million were in the running, but New Hampshire was the runaway favorite of the project's 5,000 devotees.
"It's not difficult to see why," said Elizabeth McKinstry, the group's vice president and a native New Englander. "The state boasts the lowest state and local tax burden in the continental U.S., the leanest state government in the country in terms of government spending and employment, a citizen legislature, a healthy job market and, perhaps most important, local support for our movement."
Tim Condon, a Tampa attorney and a Free State director, said the Granite State will benefit from Free Staters' upscale demographics: At least half hold bachelor's degrees and 44 percent earn more than $60,000 a year. Politically, they're an eclectic mix of card-carrying Libertarians, clean-green environmentalists and conservative constitutionalists.
By 2006, the Free State Project expects to make its move. By then, leaders figure they'll have 20,000 like-minded voters ready to take control of local and state governments, establishing "liberty in our lifetime."
Not everyone is enthusiastic. Kathy Sullivan, New Hampshire's Democratic Party chairwoman, says the project's followers "can best be described as anarchists."
Indeed. Given the astronomical odds of getting any two libertarians to agree on anything, this venture has a long, long way to go.
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