Free-Staters To The Left, Free-Staters To The Right

You may remember the Free State Project, which in 2003 chose New Hampshire as its “Future Free State.” So with that, 20,000 pro-liberty activists vowed to move here, to help make us more “free.”

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Well, nearly 10 years later, they haven’t taken the corner office exactly, but they’re having an impact in state politics. Granite State Progress released this press release Friday expressing concern over the fact that the Free-Staters (not Granite-Staters, mind you), have candidates on both sides of the state House race in Manchester’s Ward 5. And, oh yeah, the opponents are roomates, too.

Following is the full press release by Granite State Progress:

Free Stater Roommates on Both Sides of Ticket in One State House Rep Race

Free Stater Roommates Running on Both D & R Ticket in NH House Race; FSP Leader Promises More of It As Free Staters “Move Here and Take Over the Republican and Democrat Parties” (See below for other FSP candidates)

CONCORD, NH – In case you missed it, Garry Rayno’s State House Dome column in the Union Leader reported that Free State Project roommates Tim O’Flaherty and Dan Garthwaite are running as Democrat and Republican, respectively, in the Manchester Ward 5 State Rep race:

“FREE STATE PROJECT: You have to give credit to the folks in the Free State Project. They have members on both sides of the ticket in at least one House race. In Hillsborough 12, which represents Ward 5 in Manchester, Tim O’Flaherty is on the Democratic side of the ticket and Daniel Garthwaite is on the Republican side. Garthwaite heads research for the board of directors of the NH Liberty Alliance. He and O’Flaherty live at the same Central Street address in Manchester. On O’Flaherty’s Facebook page, he lists the Free State Project as one of his activities, and he has the website Stateless Governance.

O’Flaherty won the Democratic primary in a recount after initial results showed he had tied former Rep. Richard Komi. O’Flaherty and Rep. Ted Rokas are the two Democrats in the race, while Garthwaite is the only Republican, so either Garthwaite or O’Flaherty will win a seat unless there is a write-in campaign.” [Union Leader, Garry Rayno’s State House Dome, 10.28.12]

Prominent Free State member Ian Bernhoft posted the column on a free stater blog and wrote: “Look for more of this in the future as more activists move here and take over the Republican and Democrat parties.” [Free Keene, 10/28/12] Democratic candidate Richard Komi is currently running a write-in campaign to win back the seat.

Granite State Progress released the following statement and information about Free Stater candidates in races across the state, including a look at the extreme views of Manchester candidate Tim O’Flaherty:

“Granite State Progress is very concerned about the extreme ideas pushed by the Free State Project,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. “Tim O’Flaherty the Free Stater is a perfect example as he doesn’t believe in Medicare, Social Security, the Armed Services, or public roads. He doesn’t even think they should exist. O’Flaherty believes that local city police departments and fire stations should be abolished, and in response to a question about state support for public education, O’Flaherty said that he’s an anarchist and doesn’t believe there should be a state. This is the guy running for state representative in Manchester Ward 5.”1

Granite State Progress has launched to educate the public about O’Flaherty’s background and extreme views. Granite State Progress anticipates that if the balance of power in the NH State House comes down to a few votes, O’Flaherty will switch his party registration and that, in general, he would be one of the most extreme members of the State House.

Free Staters are running in other districts as well; including Calvin Pratt in Goffstown (Hil 6); Keith Murphy in Bedford (Hil 7); Joel Winters and Emily Sandblade in Manchester Ward 11 (Hil 18); Michael Garcia in Nashua Ward 7 (Hil 34); Mark Warden in Goffstown, Deering and Weare (Hil 39); Jenn Coffey in Andover, Dansbury, Sudsbury (Mer 1); Dan McGuire in Epsom and Pittsfield (Mer 21); Carol McGuire in Allenstown, Epsom and Pittsfield (Mer 29); Laura Jones in Rochester (Str 24).

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