Getting ready for new neighbors
|Title:||Getting ready for new neighbors|
Getting ready for new neighbors
Local libertarians prepare for Free Staters
by Kate McCann Associated Press 10/06/03
BOW - In a small, brick room lit by a few bare bulbs, 20 New Hampshire members of the Free State Project talked strategy over pizza and introductions last night, still feeling their way through the unusual plan.
"It's going to be a learning curve," state Libertarian Party Chairman John Babiarz told the group. "I've never worked for a welcome wagon, and this is probably going to be the biggest welcome wagon in the history of the world."
Last week, the project announced New Hampshire was voted the choice for an experiment to bring 20,000 liberty-minded people to one state and work for a libertarian utopia. New Hampshire beat out nine other finalist states targeted for factors such as small populations and limited government.
Project members stressed they are separate from the Libertarian Party, although there is a lot of cross-membership.
The most attention should be given to members moving immediately, or at least during the next month, leaders said.
But a lot of responsibility falls on members who already live in New Hampshire and are getting peppered with questions project members about the best places to live, work and go to school, they said.
During the coming weeks, state libertarians will write essays explaining the best places to invest in real estate, the most solid employment opportunities and what New Hampshire's home-school laws are. They also will detail the state's political climate. Last night, they even discussed breaking down political atmosphere per district so project members know where they can have the most effect.
Several new members volunteered to be regional representatives for New Hampshire's 10 counties. Grafton and Coos likely will be given multiple representatives because of their large space and popularity among Free State Project members.
Claremont is one town that will be highly recommended to incoming project members. Claremont is "poised for an industrial revolution" and could be fertile ground for project members looking for work, Babiarz said.
Don Gorman, a former Libertarian lawmaker, said one Republican caucus from the State House has asked a Free State Project member to speak at a legislative retreat in late October.
Babiarz urged others to nurture that relationship with the Republican Party. But right now, it is the Democrats who worry him.
State Democratic Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan has accused the project of a "radical, antifamily agenda" that supports legalization of drugs and elimination of everything from fire departments to public schools.
"She's throwing out all this crap about us being wild-eyed, pot smoking gun nuts," Babiarz said. "The point is she's going unanswered."
The most sensational predictions are that the Free State Project would overthrow the government and bring chaos to the streets.
The answer is no, project members said. Instead, police will be able to do a better job because they won't be wasting resources going after small-time drug criminals. One goal of the project is to get rid of "victimless crimes," such as prostitution, gambling restrictions and drug use.
Members still have no estimate on how many new members they have recruited since last week's announcement.
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