Heavenly and I went to porfest opening weekend. Porcfest is a year event in New Hampshire where liberty-minded people from all over the world gather to talk and celebrate Free State Project accomplishments, hear from liberty-minded speakers, and explore the possibility of joining the free state project.
We ran into 6 other Vermont besides ourselves there… there were many very passionate speakers. The free staters are so passionate, motivated and full of hope for the future. It’s very encouraging to see and I hope so much that they continue to thrive and succeed. I also hope that some of there success rubs off on Vermont and that Vermont becomes more like New Hampshire. I know many people here have lost hope and it’s a major reason why the voter turnout is lower here compared to New Hampshire.
I’m often asked if Heavenly and I will move to New Hampshire at some point. We certainly have considered it, but I have not joined the project yet. As I say, it would be great if some of New Hampshire’s success could rub off on Vermont.
What is the Free State Project?
The Free State Project is an effort to recruit 20,000 liberty-loving people to move to New Hampshire. They are looking for neighborly, productive, tolerant folks from all walks of life, of all ages, creeds, and colors who agree to the political philosophy expressed in their Statement of Intent, that government exists at most to protect people’s rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else.
I have been very impressed by how much the project has accomplished so far. For starters, the project has managed to get 7,177 people to join, 336 to pledge to move by 2008 and 405 free staters are already in New Hampshire!
This the 3rd year the project has hosted Porcfest with impressive attendance. Last year there were 500 participants and from what I saw this year, I believe they surpassed it.
In the last year, free staters
- Proposed a bill has to prevent officials from confiscating legally owned guns from the citizens of the state during a state of emergency.
- Held protests against eminent domain which got good media coverage.
- Wrote and helped to pass a home school bill which grants more freedom to parents who choose to home school their children.
- Lobbied the state house and senate for an eminent domain constitutional amendment.
- Successfully lobbied and killed a proposed smoking ban in restaurants and bars.
- There are at least two free staters in the state house of representatives… and are on track to getting more elected.
- NH Governor appointed a free stater to a government efficiency commission.
- The Free State Project has the support of the governor with voiced public support on numerous occassions.
- Free State Project has support of New Hampshire GOP… with many members running as fusion candidates (ie. Libertarian-Republican, Repulican-Libertarian).
Why New Hampshire?
- New Hampshire towns vote on their budgets line-by-line, in the form of warrants – the result is incredible control by towns and citizens over their budgets, unlike many states that simply elect representatives to “bring home the bacon” for their favorite pet projects.
- New Hampshire has the 4th lowest percentage of government employement in the country, as a percentage of the total labor force.
- New Hampshire is actively seeking to reduce the size and scope of government, cut costs and improve efficiency.
- In New Hampshire, education is mostly funded at the local level and there is a enormous opportunity right now for any political movement to promoete a workable solution to th school funding situation and end public schooling in those towns that wish to do so.
- New Hampshire local elections are mostly nonpartisan.
- Almost across the board, New Hampshire media has been receptive of and fair to the Free State Project.
- Unlike many low population states, New Hampshire voters are not as likely to be influenced by federal government farm subsidies.
- Within months of selection as the Free State, Porcupines in New Hampshire were already influencing NH politics… testifying at the State House, networking with liberty-oriented groups statewide, and establishing new non-partisan coalition groups to advance and accerlate the cause of individual liberty in New Hampshier.
- New Hampshire citizens have elected a high number of Libertarians to public office. Presently, there are 30 public offices held by New Hampshire Libertarians.
- New Hampshirites HATE TAXES. At every opportunity, New Hampshire citizens vote to cut taxes lower and lower.
- New Hampshire has NO GENERAL INCOME TAX.
- New Hampshire has NO GENERAL SALES TAX (or local option sales tax).
- New Hampshire has NO CAPITAL GAINS TAX.
- New Hampshire is one of the few states that does not regulate raw milk sales. Want to buy milk from the mark down the road? No problem in New Hampshire.
- New Hampshire offers the lowest taxes as a percentage of gross income NATIONWIDE (4.54%)
- New Hampshire is friendly to small business and nurting of entrepreneurs.
- New Hampshire is ranked 4th in the NATION for highest dollar amount of venture capital invested in the state.
- New Hampshire cities have been mentioned multiple times in Money Magazine’s “The Best Places to Live in America” ranking.
For more information: www.freestateproject.org