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Making History in New Hampshire

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  • Tim Condon
    The RLC made a little history in Concord, New Hampshire three nights ago. Not a lot, but enough. Politics is the art of the possible, and a first step in any
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 6, 2004
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      The RLC made a little history in Concord, New Hampshire three
      nights ago. Not a lot, but enough. Politics is the art of the possible, and
      a first step in any endeavor is to get organized. The organizational
      meeting of the New Hampshire Republican Liberty Caucus was held at Makris
      Restaurant on Friday evening, December 3, 2004. We had originally planned
      for 25 people, wondering if we could attract such a crowd. After talking to
      and emailing many supporters, we upped the number to 35. As it turned out,
      exactly 35 turned out for the banquet and talk. The conclave was put
      together by myself (flying in from Florida) and New Hampshirite Sam Cohen
      (who is an activist board member of the powerful Gun Owners of New
      Hampshire organization).
      The purpose of the meeting was to charter a New Hampshire chapter
      of the RLC. Present in the crowd of 35 were about 10 present or former
      members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Also present was a
      large contingent of Free State Project participants, many of whom had moved
      into the state within only the past year...and some who had moved within
      the past few months or weeks (!). Some of the notables present included
      Elbert Bicknell, current president of the GONH; Richard "Stretch" Kennedy,
      perhaps the most libertarian member of the New Hampshire House; GOP House
      leader Bob Giuda; John Babiarz, current chairman of the Libertarian Party
      of New Hampshire; and other current or past members of the New Hampshire
      House, including Henry McElroy, David Scott, Ed Nutter, Harriet Cady, and
      newly elected GOP Rep. Paul Hofgarten.
      At the meeting the title of my talk was "Not all the political
      news in New Hampshire is bad!" Even though GOP Gov. Craig Benson was turned
      down in his re-election bid, and even though the Republicans had lost 27
      seats in the state house of representatives, I wanted everyone to know the
      good news. I told them what is coming for freedom-lovers in New Hampshire.
      "Some people love golf, some devote their lives to fishing, and still
      others love football," I said. "But I'm not interested in any of those. I
      do politics." It is "my sport." And there are thousands of people just like
      me gearing up to move to New Hampshire in the coming years. The migration
      has already begun, and it has been felt already. "How long until the
      Porcupines start to have a real impact on New Hampshire politics?" I asked
      Rep. Henry McElroy. "It's already happened," he responded. When Henry was
      wondering whether to do a recount on the election results (he lost by 46
      votes out of more than 6,000 cast), he didn't know if he could get the
      required 5 people to help. "Don't worry about that," I told him. "You'll
      have all the people you need." On the day of the recount, he had 15
      volunteers, most of whom were Free State Project Porcupines. (The recount
      didn't change the result of the election, but it did show that Porcupines
      can be counted on to turn out when crucially needed.)
      Similarly, I talked about how a Democratic mob was mobilized to
      protest against Gov. Craig Benson when he had a debate before the election
      at a Manchester radio station with Democratic gubernatorial nominee John
      Lynch. The word went out on the FSP email lists and forums that Gov. Benson
      needed our help. The result? On the day of the debate, there were *two*
      mobs. One consisted of the Democrats, the other consisted mainly of Free
      State Project Porcupines. And since the two groups were evenly matched, no
      one shouted down anyone else (though not for want of trying, I heard).
      It was also announced at the RLC charter meeting that outgoing NH
      Gov. Craig Benson had been asked a few days before if he would be
      interested in being chairman of the emerging GOP group. Notably, he did not
      say no. That being the case, it was suggested that we have a caretaker
      chairmanship until it became clear whether Gov. Benson would take the helm
      or not. The chairmanship then turned out to be a co-chairmanship that
      included FSP supporter Henry McElroy and GONH president (and current NH
      House member) Elbert Bicknell. The secretary slot was taken over by a young
      GOP libertarian activist (and FSP participant) from Manchester named Karl
      Beisel (who announced that he would be running for a seat in the NH House
      in two years). And the treasurer is the engaging Bob Pagano, a former
      Marine and veteran of Vietnam.
      With the NH RLC leadership team thus constituted, I suggested that
      the organization take on two initial projects. First, join with the several
      groups who are investigating and documenting vote fraud in the 2004
      election in New Hampshire, so that legislative action can be taken to make
      such shenanigans unlikely in the future. Second, I suggested that RLC
      members in New Hampshire pick a libertarian or other freedom-oriented GOP
      state house member who had lost the immediate past election, and then work
      with them through the next election two years hence. "Every libertarian,
      Goldwater-conservative, or classical liberal Republican House member who
      lost his or her seat in this election will be re-elected in two years. I
      promise it," I said. The new RLC-NH treasurer, Bob Pagano, had already
      indicated he would like to work with Rep. Henry McElroy to get him
      re-elected to the NH House. I then asked Rep. Dave Scott, who had also lost
      his bid for re-election the just-passed voting, if I could be his "shadow"
      for the next two years, working with him up to and during the next election
      to get him back into the NH state House. "Sure, come on," he said
      enthusiastically.
      So there we have it. The Republican Liberty Caucus has yet another
      state organization chartered, up, and running in the Free State of New
      Hampshire. My guess is that the state will slowly outstrip all others in
      the years ahead, because of the increasing in-migration of Free State
      Project participants. That being the case, New Hamphire bids fair to become
      the "Hong Kong of America," surpassing its socialist neighbors (Vermont and
      Massachusetts), and acting as a beacon of hope and liberty to all who hold
      as their highest ideals values such as personal responsibility, tolerance,
      independence, and individual liberty above all else.
      Have you picked "your representative" in New Hampshire, to help
      get him or her put back into the state House? If not, plan to do it:
      Contact me by email and let's talk. There are a number of very good people
      who deserve our help.

      Tim Condon, Participant Services Director, Free State Project
      Tampa, Florida - 813-251-2626 - email: tim@...
      A chance to live what you believe: www.freestateproject.org
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