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Delaware not libertarians' promise

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  • skypod@freestatecafe.org
    Del. not libertarians promised land - Free State Project opts for N.H. By SEAN O SULLIVAN, Staff reporter 10/02/2003 The First State was no match for the Live
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2003
      Del. not libertarians' promised land - Free State Project opts for N.H.
      By SEAN O'SULLIVAN, Staff reporter

      The First State was no match for the Live Free or Die state among a group of
      revolution-minded libertarians. Delaware was one of 10 states being
      considered for takeover and was an early leader among project organizers.
      But in a poll of the nearly 5,000 group members, Delaware finished a distant
      8th in the selection process.

      On Wednesday, The Free State Project, whose goal is to move 20,000 "freedom
      loving" people to a single state and use their political clout to create a
      libertarian utopia, selected New Hampshire over Delaware as the target for
      its coup. The group announced its selection Wednesday in New York City and
      its Web site, FreeStateProject.org.

      Keith Murphy, a Free State Project organizer from Maryland, said what really
      hurt Delaware was the state's "absurd" smoking ban and gun control efforts
      in Wilmington. "We see that as an invasion of personal liberty, and that
      turned off a lot of people," he said.

      Murphy said there also did not seem to be strong support for The Free State
      Project among residents in Delaware, but a variety of groups in New
      Hampshire welcomed them with open arms.

      Project organizers hope that over the next few years their membership of
      5,400 will grow to 20,000, triggering the mass move to New Hampshire perhaps
      as soon as 2005. The runner-up to New Hampshire was Wyoming, followed by
      Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Maine, Vermont, Delaware, South Dakota and North

      Project Vice President Elizabeth McKinstry of Ann Arbor, Mich., said New
      Hampshire won because it "boasts the lowest state and local tax burden in
      the continental U.S., the leanest state government in the country ... a
      citizen legislature, a healthy job market and, perhaps most important, local
      support for our movement," she said.

      Project members also have noted the state's constitution, which protects
      citizens' rights to revolution and secession.

      The project has been resisted by those who oppose easing gambling
      restrictions, legalizing medicinal marijuana and strengthening gun rights,
      issues for which some project members plan to lobby.

      But McKinstry says New Hampshire should not view them as trigger-happy
      pot-smoking gamblers. She says the project will promote charitable work and
      scholarship programs, and help citizens take back their government.

      Lisa Busch, New Castle County chairwoman of the Delaware Libertarian Party,
      said she was disappointed but not surprised Delaware was not selected. She
      said New Hampshire lobbied organizers hard. "Delaware didn't cater to any of
      that at all," she said, adding perhaps if the state had marketed itself more
      to the group, it would have fared better.

      Associated Press contributed to this article. Reach Sean O'Sullivan at
      324-2777 or sosullivan@....

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