The Manchester Free Press

Thursday • February 21 • 2019

Vol.XI • No.VIII

Manchester, N.H.

Syndicate content Free Keene
Peaceful Evolution
Updated: 47 min 29 sec ago

NH Libertarians Lose Ballot Access – Is taking over the old two parties a viable alternative?

Sun, 2018-11-11 17:42 +0000

Libertarian Jilletta Jarvis Announces Run for NH Governor in 2018

The 2018 election is over and Jilletta Jarvis, the Libertarian candidate for Governor of New Hampshire has failed to reach the 4% required for the Libertarian Party of NH to retain ballot access, which it achieved in 2016 for the first time in two decades. I want it to be clear, I really like Jilletta and she was a much better candidate than the 2016 offering from the LP, Max Abramson. Jilletta ran a good campaign and was much more active than Abramson, but didn’t even come close to Abramson’s 4%. She got 1.46%. What happened?

It’s pretty clear that 2016 was a fluke. I’d speculated then that Abramson, who barely existed as a candidate, and other “Libertarians” like Gary Johnson at the national level had benefited from people’s frustrations with Trump and Hillary being their main presidential choices. It’s pretty clear this palpable frustration benefited all third parties in 2016, with the Libertarian and Green presidential candidates getting three times their vote totals from 2012. People weren’t voting for the Libertarians and Greens, they were voting against Trump and Hillary.

Add to that the fact that major media entities WMUR and the Union Leader set their debate rules to exclude the Libertarian candidates like Jilletta, and it’s pretty clear she didn’t get a fair chance from all New Hampshire media. Shame on WMUR and the Union Leader for excluding their viewers and readers from knowing about their third choice.

Libertarians Protest Unfair Debates Outside St. Anselm College

Of course, the two-party duopoly has long been complicit in excluding libertarians politically. In the 90s when the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire got ballot access for the first time by getting over 3% of the vote, the Republicans and Democrats voted to raise the bar 33% higher to its current level of 4%.

Not all the blame can be placed on the media and government, however. While Jilletta is a wonderful person and a far better candidate than we had in 2016, she wasn’t the most principled libertarian. Doubt my claim? Even the Keene Sentinel knows what a libertarian is supposed to sound like. In a recent piece in the Sentinel, opinion page editor Wilfred Bilodeau said:

She seems enthusiastic and smart, but we were struck at how her libertarian vision differs from some of the party’s more orthodox candidates. She says she’s for smaller government but outlined several programs that would necessitate spending more money. To improve education, she pitched the concept of centralizing public education, with the state collecting all education taxes and determining how to best spend them. That strikes us as anything but a libertarian approach. Overall, we feel Jarvis has some worthy ideas, but her vision for the state seems unfocused, perhaps due to the pressure of trying to appeal to enough voters to garner the 4 percent of the vote needed to keep the party on the ballot.

The good news is the media, at least in Keene, has learned what a libertarian is supposed to say. A true libertarian should be advocating the non-aggression principle and applying it consistently across all government programs. That means eliminating coercion from the system, or eliminating the system entirely. That’s it. If Jilletta believes in some government coercion, she really shouldn’t be the party’s nominee. Watering down the message does not win over votes. Staying true to principles is what the LP is supposed to be about. Hopefully the LPNH will offer more principled state level candidates in the future so we can see how their vote totals compare to Jilletta and her similarly – as the Sentinel described it – “unfocused” predecessors.

NH Third Parties

Meanwhile, the Libertarians have once again lost ballot access and will need to struggle to get it again in 2020 via the difficult and expensive process of gathering petition signatures. All the while the Republicans and Democrats benefit by merely having to pay $2 to run for state rep and $10 for state senate. Plus, the duopoly parties benefit from straight-ticket voting, which appears to be what many voters do. Many voters don’t know who the candidates are, so they just vote for their party – likely the same party to which their parents were registered.

For years, libertarians in New Hampshire have been debating whether or not working within the Republican and Democrat parties is the best strategy. The LPNH folks typically say they’d be stronger if the libertarians who’d joined the major two parties would have joined the LPNH. However the libertarians joining the Rs and Ds are getting elected and have been for many years now. How many of them are watering down their views or hiding them from the big party members, I don’t know. The point is they are winning and many of them have been re-elected multiple times, like the A+ rated liberty “legislator of the year” Mike Sylvia of Belknap county, or Mark Warden, also an A+ rated liberty “legislator of the year”, as awarded by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance.

The sad, unprincipled Libertarian Party

It’s hard to argue with success. Also, in any other state besides New Hampshire this takeover-the-major-parties tactic would be near impossible due to the small number of libertarian activists elsewhere. In NH, we have the largest (and growing) contingent of libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-loving anarchists on the planet.

Political takeover is a reality and the reason why I resigned from the national Libertarian Party in disgust in 2008. The national LP had been infiltrated by a bunch of Republicans and sure enough they took control of the party’s presidential nominations in 2008, 2012, and 2016.

However, if the Republicans and Democrats refuse to treat the LPNH fairly by making ballot access difficult and excluding us from debates, then they shouldn’t be upset when we join their parties instead. Now that the state is going to eliminate Libertarian from the registration options, I can be “undeclared”, or declare as Democrat or Republican. I was a Democrat previously (and ran for governor in the Democrat primary in 2012 and 2014). Perhaps it’s time for a new approach and… join the Republicans? What would you do in my position?

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Democracy The God That Fumbled

Wed, 2018-11-07 01:51 +0000

This past primary was the first primary in New Hampshire in which the Libertarian Party (LP) was a recognized party. The LP has less to do with libertarianism than I would like, but many people’s conversion stories seem to start there, however brief their stay, so if “we” can get the State to draw attention to the fact that libertarianism exists that seems like a good to me. It also seems to diminish the legitimacy of the system, and that’s always a good thing. In the interest of full disclosure I will point out that my conversion story starts with walking into the first election held after I turned 18, seeing more than two presidential candidates, looking up all the parties, and Googling “non-aggression principle’ after reading the LP platform.

The State acted like they just had no idea how to handle having a third party on the ballet. In my opinion, most of this is attributable to incompetence rather than malice, both due to Ochham’s Razor and the fact that the State isn’t exactly an efficient organization. The system wasn’t set up to manage third parties actually achieving ballot access; the system was set up to manage a facade of popular choice while two groups take turns liquidating the value of the general area.

In New Hampshire, you can register and “un-register” with a Party on the day of the election at the polls. Previously, I had to request a form to return to Undeclared after primary elections. No state agent had ever taken the time to go over this process with me. Which is fair enough, just because polling places are located in schools doesn’t mean the poll workers are there to teach civics class. However, when I requested a Libertarian Party ballot in the last primary I was handed a form to return to Undeclared with it and she started explaining how I could return to Undeclared. I don’t have a strong preference for either procedure, but whatever it is should be consistent and should definitely be the same between ballots of different parties. I have received mixed reports for whether people were offered these forms without asking.

Some un-affialated voters reported being asked only if they wanted a “Republican or Democrat” ballot.

Jay Noone of New Hampshire was able to vote after claiming to not be a citizen of the US nor a resident of New Hampshire. Some State agents have decided that it is easier to ignore our responses to questions if we allege enough facts to get them the answer that they are looking for. However, Jay did not allege facts sufficient to determine that he is in fact a US citizen as defined by US law or a New Hampshire resident, he simply stated his opinion on what the word “citizen” means. Perhaps the poll worker decided that only a New Hampshire resident would give such a response.

Though Carla Gericke ran as a Republican candidate for State Senate, she also won as a write-in candidate as the Libertarian candidate for State Senate. After the election results showed a lower number of write-in votes than those in the libertarian community knew occurred, a recount was requested. The recount amount in just Ward 11 was changed from 1 vote to 29 votes. This is concerning for the accuracy of write-in counting in general.

If I believed in democracy I’d be terrified at how the process is treated.

As of the time of this writing, it appears that both constitutional amendments will pass.

 

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Libertarian Ian Freeman: Top Rated Candidate by Marijuana Policy Project and NH Firearms Coalition

Tue, 2018-11-06 05:22 +0000

Free the Guns and Weed

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything about libertarians, but for the record, I’m honored to receive top ratings from both the Marijuana Policy Project and the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition.

Of the three candidates in the race for NH Senate District 10, I was the only one to receive a recommendation from the Marijuana Policy Project, while the Republican and Democrat in the race received a middle “unknown, uncertain, or less favorable” rating.  You can see MPP’s full state senate voting guide here.

I also received a “A” from the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, once again, as they’d previously endorsed me in my 2016 run for the Democrat gubernatorial primary.  Here’s their ratings PDF for Western New Hampshire.

For those unaware, libertarians believe in the non-aggression principle which says we don’t support the use of aggressive force.  Prohibitions should therefore be ended and people who want to own/produce/sell weapons and chemicals or plants should be free to do so.  Live free or die.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Only the Libertarian Candidate for NH Senate District 10 Answers the League of Women Voters Questionnaire

Mon, 2018-11-05 22:14 +0000

As part of my near-zero budget campaign for NH Senate District 10, I’ve been posting my responses to the various candidate questionnaires that I’ve been receiving. Now, on the eve of the election, I’m surprised that neither of my opponents, Republican Dan LeClair nor Democrat Jay Kahn have yet replied to the League of Women Voters’ questionnaire, as shown on their VOTE411.org voters’ guide website. I received their questionnaire over a week ago and it’s relatively short so I was surprised that when I submitted my answers that I was the first candidate in the race to respond and now a week later am still the only candidate to respond!

There’s not a direct link to my answers I can share with you, but if you’d like to see them, just put in an address in Keene, like 63 Emerald St, Keene, NH 03431 in their VOTE411.org website. Then it will show you the races and issues on the ballot for the address you put in. Choose “State Senate District 10” and you’ll see me there.

Also curiously, Libertarian Jilletta Jarvis is the only gubernatorial candidate to respond to the LWV and in the Keene-wide house race for Cheshire 16, Libertarian Darryl W Perry is also the only candidate who responded to the LWV survey.

Thank you to the League of Women Voters for playing fair and inviting all ballot qualified candidates to participate in their voters’ guide. For voting recommendations for Keene from Libertarian Darryl W Perry, click here. Don’t forget to vote tomorrow, November 6th and remember that in New Hampshire you CAN register and vote same day at the polls.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Taxpayer Standing On The Ballot Tomorrow

Mon, 2018-11-05 18:28 +0000

Everyone in New Hampshire should vote “yes” on Constitutional Amendment #1, which reads in part, “Therefore, any individual taxpayer eligible to vote in the State, shall have standing to petition the Superior Court to declare whether the State or political subdivision in which the taxpayer resides has spent, or has approved spending, public funds in violation of a law, ordinance, or constitutional provision.”  Anarchists of good faith and logical positions can disagree on whether or not voting *for people* is moral. I’m not writing this article to attempt to convince you of trolly problem or lifeboat ethics, or that you should Sophie’s Choice your and others’ rights by picking the least harmful person running for office. I don’t find it immoral to vote for the least harmful person. My husband does. But I have never heard a decent argument against voting on ballot initiatives. If the State is asking you “So… Should I violate the NAP?” there is no logical argument against telling them “no.”

The proposed amendment institutes taxpayer standing in New Hampshire. This has several short-term and long-term benefits, and, to the extent that I can guarantee that a piece of legislation will never have any side effects, it has no negative effects. The only thing that this amendment can be used for is to stop the State from spending/stealing money. Taxpayer standing is a long-attempted, arguably fringe legal argument that a person has standing to challenge the constitutionality of actions of the State based on the fact that the plaintiff funds the actions through funds stolen from them. Flast v Cohen did rule in favor of very limited taxpayer standing, but said that the constitutional violation had to be fundamentally unconstitutional not just regular unconstitutional, whatever the hell that means. It mostly means that the case is very easy to rule around aka there is no taxpayer standing… unless you want to sue the State for an injunction to stop providing textbooks to religious institutions. Its that specific. Generally, taxpayer standing case law reads very much like draft, religious exemptions to taxation, and internment camp case law- which is of the “don’t look behind the green curtain” variety with lots of invoking “Compelling Governmental Interest” and very little if any explanation and legal argument found in most any other US Supreme Court case law which often reaches hundreds of pages per case.

The practical short term effect of not having taxpayer standing is that there are several things that the State can do with impunity simply because no one has standing to challenge them in court. Of course, if the State decides that they are going to do a thing, there are very few people on this earth with the power to stop them, and as far as I know all of people are other States with very little incentive to do so. Luckily for us, the State likes to maintain a facade of legitimacy and non-violence. As it stands the State will generally* back down under its own rules as long as it doesn’t stand to loose something more valuable than perceived legitimacy. *Offer not valid in Southern rural towns. Enacting taxpayer standing will not only prevent the State from wasting money in specific instances where people sue for injunctions, it will make them hesitant to waste money illegally in the first place. It will only waste stolen money legally. The proposed amendment applies to ALL illegal spending of stolen funds, not just unconstitutional spending of illegal funds. In my opinion the State will be sufficiently deterred from illegally spending stolen funds, which will in turn provide less incentive for them to steal as much money. The opinion of productive people being stolen from will have to hold at least some value when the State weighs decisions.

These are beneficial results and would put New Hampshire in a near unique position regarding this issue. (It seems that two other states have at least some form of taxpayer standing, but I’m not going to vouch for that without thoroughly researching it.) I do not believe that we will ever be able to “vote the State away” or otherwise successfully ask it nicely to go home and quit oppressing people. However, that does not mean the the position of non-aggressors can not be improved via the political process. In my opinion, the long-term cultural and perception effects are much more important. Granting taxpayer status is something of an admission on the State’s part that it is indebted to tax victims. It reveals part of the nature of the State. The reason the US Supreme Court got rid of it was not only so that the State could do what it wanted without the aggravation of additional lawsuits; it was because dismissing tax victims as significant entities that have a steak in the operations of the State, the State can further obscure what it actually is. The people paying, however unwillingly, are not significant players under the law- there are various and complicated groups of supposed protectors, scholars, and protected classes. Taxpayer status brings to light who pays the bills- actual tax victims, not metaphysical powers. If society is consciously clear on who pays the bills, people are more likely, though not guaranteed, to change their opinions on some policy. I understand that people are cognitively aware of where tax funds come from. But the reality of the situation is deliberately obscured by layers of metaphysical claims about the State, and I believe that being more direct about the reality of the situation would be helpful.

In addition of the nature of the State being more front and center, my prediction is that in the long-term the State will appear to be more of a fee-for-a-service entity. Stolen fees- yes, wildly immoral services- absolutely, but what it will be less likely to be perceived as is an all-powerful benevolent force of nature that judges wisely and literally can not run out of resources. If the population is forced to be aware of the source of State resources if they choose to be aware of policy, then they will be more aware of the nature of the State. Some people will be less inclined to advocate theft. Some people will be less inclined to trust in the infallible power of the State. The way people think about the State will be shifted, and at the end of the day, that is what “we” need to win.

 

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

2018 Cheshire County Candidate Forum Speech : Ian Freeman

Sat, 2018-11-03 05:58 +0000

I was recently honored by the Walpole Grange in that they invited me (and the other local libertarians running for office) to their candidate forum event. I was given six minutes to speak about my campaign, where I struck at the root against the entire idea after the state after covering the drug war, voluntarizing taxation, and secession in four minutes. Later, I was given two more minutes to speak regarding the gubernatorial campaign of Jilletta Jarvis. Here’s the video:

You can learn more about my campaign here.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Libertarians Protest Unfair “Granite State Debates”: Last Night & Thursday Night

Wed, 2018-10-31 21:37 +0000

Libertarians Protest Unfair Debates Outside St. Anselm College Yesterday

As of 2016’s election, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has gained full ballot access as a major party on par with the Democrats and Republicans. This is a big deal as it means we no longer have to jump through ridiculous ballot access hoops like petition gathering to get candidates on the ballot here. This has resulted in more Libertarian candidates appearing on the ballot here in Keene than Republican candidates. If the LPNH’s gubernatorial candidate, Jilletta Jarvis, can receive at least 4% of the vote this year, the party’s major ballot access status will continue for the next two years.

Sadly, the two largest mainstream media entities are working to help stop Jarvis from getting her ideas exposure in their debates they are hosting this week. WMUR-TV and the Union Leader are putting on the “Granite State Debates” and have set the rules to where only the Republican and Democrat candidates will qualify. To get in to their debate, a candidate must have received 12% in a recent poll and have raised over $25,000. Ironically, Darryl W Perry told me that both organizations have opined in favor of getting money out of politics, but when it’s a metric they can use to exclude the Libertarians, they apparently support money in politics.

NH-2 Congressional Libertarian Candidate Justin O’Donnell

The idea that such rules are in any way necessary is totally ridiculous. There are only three ballot qualified candidates for governor. It’s not like they’d need eleven podiums on the stage. They could have kept it fair and allowed in all ballot-qualified candidates, but they stacked the deck against the Libertarian campaigns.   It’s pretty clear the exclusion was done on purpose, likely to appease the other two parties’ candidates, who as we saw recently may refuse to attend if the Libertarian is invited.

It wasn’t just the race for governor. Last night they held their debate for NH’s 2nd congressional district and excluded Libertarian Justin O’Donnell. In an interview with Free Keene, O’Donnell said this on the matter:

Radio and TV broadcasters are given free access to use public airwaves worth more than half a trillion dollars in exchange for a requirement that such broadcasters “serve the public interest” and provide a fair and unbalanced reporting of the news to inform the American people. By hosting a facade of a debate, and failing to include all the options who have qualified to be on the ballot, these broadcast organizations are negligent in their duty to inform the people.

Tomorrow, Libertarians will gather to protest starting at 5pm, two hours before the beginning of the gubernatorial debate at St Anselm College. They will be standing near the college’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics at 100 Saint Anslem Drive in Manchester. LP gubernatorial candidate Jilletta Jarvis will be present. Last night the turnout was approximately a dozen activists – hopefully we’ll have as much or more tomorrow night! The fake “debate” begins at 7pm Eastern.  Here is a facebook event for the protest.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

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