Free State Project Reaches 2500 Members
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free State Project, Inc.
February 4, 2003 - The Free State Project (FSP) announced today that it has reached the halfway membership mark on its way to choosing a single state as the best location for libertarians and other advocates of limited government to settle and live. The FSP attained 2,500 signed-up members on January 29, 2003, putting it halfway toward its near-term goal of 5,000 members, whereupon the membership will vote on which of the finalist candidate states will be chosen.
The Free State Project aims to marshal 20,000 politically committed members who promise to move to the chosen state by signing a Statement of Intent. As such, they agree to migrate to the "Free State" within five years after the FSP attains 20,000 commitments. Part of the pledge is that once they arrive in the Free State, they will work to reduce the size of government until its only functions are protecting life, liberty, and property. If the Free State "Porcupines" (thus called because of the group's logo) succeed, state and local taxes will ultimately be reduced to a fraction of current levels, laws creating "victimless crimes" will eventually be repealed, and property rights will be rigorously respected.
"The Free State Project's growth rate has been increasing over the past six months," noted president Jason Sorens. "If we maintain our momentum, we will reach 5,000 and hold the vote before the end of this year, perhaps as soon as this summer." Sorens, a doctoral student in political science at Yale, says that research shows that 20,000 political activists could have a major effect in all of the states being considered.
Which states are being considered? The ten final candidates are Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. "We'd like to pick a state that already has a freedom-oriented population," said Tim Condon, Free State Project Director of Member Services. "That should enable us to migrate to the state and work with an already existing movement to lower taxes, restore property rights, and reduce state government bureaucracy." To that end the Free State Project has been researching states on the basis of multiple factors such as voting population and trends, dependence on federal monies, and taxation levels, as well as cultural and "liveability" measures. The organization's website, found at www.freestateproject.org, features in-depth models and research on the candidate states.
The Project has been featured in publications such as "Reason" and "Liberty" magazines, has received coverage in local newspapers in San Francisco, Montana, Delaware, New Hampshire, and elsewhere, and has been endorsed by many figures in the libertarian movement: author "Boston T. Party," professor Walter Williams, writers Vin Suprynowicz and Claire Wolfe, and the former president of free-market.net, Louis James. In addition, the Libertarian Party organizations of New Hampshire and Maine have officially endorsed the Free State Project and are lobbying FSP members to vote for their respective states. Several other state Libertarian organizations are expected to follow suit.