Florida Porcupine Meeting
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jason Sorens, President
The Free State Project, Inc.
Web site: www.freestateproject.org
Free State Project Director of Member Services to Speak at Central Florida Meeting
December 1, 2002 - Timothy Condon, a Florida lawyer and director of member services of The Free State Project, Inc. (FSP), will speak at a meeting of interested individuals and members of the FSP who live in Florida. The meeting will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2002 at 2:00 p.m. at the Grand China Buffet restaurant located at the intersection of Interstate 4 and U.S. Highway 27 west of Orlando. The organizers say FSP members and interested observers will be attending from all over the state, including as far as north as Tallahassee and as far south as Miami, and everyone who is interested is invited to attend.
The Free State Project is a rapidly growing national movement to obtain signed promises from 20,000 people to move to a single low-population state in the U.S. and work actively there to institute political reforms oriented toward protecting individual rights and freedoms. The project was given a boost several months ago when economics professor and well-known pundit Prof. Walter Williams endorsed the project in his nationally syndicated column in August.
Also boosting the Free State Project is growing concern across the political spectrum with the recent passage of the USA Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act, which boost the ability of government invade privacy and in many situations brush aside crucial constitutional rights. U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R.-TX) has sharply criticized both acts, saying they "create the biggest new federal bureaucracy since World War II" and dramatically change "our most basic freedoms as Americans," including the right to freely travel and not be monitored by the government, the right to privacy in our personal affairs, and the right to confidentiality our in financial and medical affairs. The Free State Project aims to encourage individuals in the state that is chosen to institute political reforms that will ensure the protection of all such rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.
The FSP currently has approximately 2,200 signed-up members, and is considering ten "finalist states" that meet its low-population requirements. Those states include Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Delaware. When 5,000 members have signed up with the FSP---an event which is expected to occur within the next 8 months---a vote will be taken to choose which state to designate. Thereafter the organization will concentrate on signing up 20,000 members. When that benchmark is reached, the FSP members will have five years within which to move to the chosen state.
"There is no single panacea for the increasing incursions of different levels of government on individuals in this country," said Condon. "Many organizations such as the ACLU and Individual Rights Foundation are working to protect the rights of American citizens. But the existence of a Free State will enable anyone to move there and work to protect all constitutional and privacy rights." He added that the FSP membership expects the Free State to be a model for other states, steering both state and local governments in the direction of less taxing, spending, regulation, and controls, and eventually influencing the federal government in the same direction.
Founded by Jason Sorens, a Yale University doctoral student in political science, the FSP has grown to its present size in only 14 months. "It obviously has touched a nerve among those who are concerned about increasing incursions on individual rights," Sorens said. "We aim to demonstrate that 'freedom works', and ultimately show the rest of America that successful state government need not be bloated and out of control in taxing, spending, or government power."
The organization's web site, found at www.freestateproject.org, features intensive research on multiple areas about the 10 finalist states. Those areas, which include political, economic, and social criteria, are used to "rank" each state in each separate variable in an attempt to locate the best state to implement the goals of the FSP. But, some have asked, won't the Free State Project "Porcupines" (as they call themselves, after the movement's chosen mascot) run the risk of hostility and resistance from people who resent the notion of an FSP "takeover"?
That's not the point, says Sorens: "First of all, we will be choosing a state that has a native culture conducive to the values of liberty. That way, we will be able to integrate into the existing culture and help the residents of the state achieve the values in government that they already hold. Secondly, there is no intent to take over anything; we will seek to join and work with existing political and social movements that already support the protection of individual rights and freedom for all citizens."
For more information on The Free State Project, visit their web site at www.freestateproject.org.
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