Now that the 2016 election results are available by town for New Hampshire, I thought I would take a look at where libertarian candidates tended to do well or poorly, and how that pattern compared with conservative versus progressive support by town. To measure libertarian voting by town, I used different variables in different years. … Continue reading The Changing Political Geography of New Hampshire
There's been some debate about whether independent conservatarian candidate Aaron Day (former chairman of the Free State Project Board of Directors) cost Republican Kelly Ayotte her U.S. Senate seat at this past election. Skeptics point to the fact that Day and Libertarian Brian Chabot between them about equaled Gary Johnson's vote percentage in the presidential … Continue reading Yes, Aaron Day Probably Cost Kelly Ayotte Re-Election
Updated to include two scatter plots Having examined which states have the most and least libertarians, I've decided to do something similar for the 239 populated towns of New Hampshire. Towns are the most important level of local government here, and therefore the degree of libertarian-ness should make some difference to policy at the town … Continue reading The Most and Least Libertarian Towns in New Hampshire (updated)
Even a small win for rolling back the state is so seldom observed that it's worth mentioning when one happens: the medium-sized town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire (one of the most "progressive" municipalities in the state) has abolished all taxi regulations and shut down its Taxicab Commission. Correction: the regulators voted to abolish themselves, but … Continue reading A Clean Win for Freedom (updated)
With this post, I'm reporting updated results on the ideological ideal points of New Hampshire legislators, introduced previously here. In that analysis, I found that libertarians in the New Hampshire House in 2014 tended to vote with the right (and vice versa) on most roll-call votes scored by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance. That included … Continue reading Update and Further Analysis of the New Hampshire Legislature
The New Hampshire Liberty Alliance does a Liberty Rating each year in which they analyze liberty-related roll-call votes of state representatives and senators and grade them. (The NHLA is a great government accountability organization, by the way, and well worth supporting; a lifetime membership is only $100.) I used their roll-call votes for the 2014 … Continue reading This Is What a Legislature with a Bunch of Libertarians Looks Like
While Republicans nationally enjoyed a wave election, Republican federal candidates in New Hampshire underperformed relative to other states. Scott Brown lost very narrowly to incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, dogged throughout the campaign with the "carpetbagger" label. The highly conservative, hawkish Marilinda Garcia also lost in the second congressional district, my district and the more left-leaning one … Continue reading New Hampshire Election Report
Registration for the next New Hampshire Liberty Forum is now open. It will take place March 5-8, 2015 in Manchester, N.H. Sponsored by the Free State Project, the Forum is an excellent opportunity to find out what is going on in the burgeoning liberty movement in New Hampshire. At this year's forum, in addition to … Continue reading New Hampshire Liberty Forum
The Sunday edition of the New Hampshire Union-Leader featured a front-page, above-the-fold story on the Free State Project after 10 years in New Hampshire. The story gives a good sense of the wide range of activities, interests, and views of FSP participants who've moved to the state. A taste: "I honestly don't ever advertise it," … Continue reading Big Story on the Free State Project
And there's real money behind it, with more (hopefully) to come: As for its goal, here is how Day put it in his news release: “Crushing debt, unfunded entitlements, the government takeover of healthcare, overregulation, the decaying of our public schools, and massive government intrusion into our private lives are a direct assault on our … Continue reading New NH PAC Seeks to Transform GOP into “Party of Liberty”
Are libertarians and classical liberals who move to New Hampshire radical extremist anarchist colonizing subversive treasonous subhuman alien life forms? There's been some nasty politics in Bedford, New Hampshire, where a member of the local political establishment has been hurling epithets on his cable access show at two locals of libertarian views who moved to … Continue reading “Infiltrating municipal and state elective office to make radical and anarchistic changes”
Here's the latest from the new legislative session, via friends in the legislature... The New Hampshire House just authoritatively slapped down a bill that would authorize automated license plate readers for police, 250-97. The bill had been reported out of the fairly reliably police-statist Criminal Justice committee with an "ought to pass" recommendation. Just nine … Continue reading News from New Hampshire (update) (update)
The title is from Fergus Cullen's latest editorial in the New Hampshire Union-Leader. Here's a taste: A dilemma for conservatives is that to advance the cause of limited government, some of them have to join government and pass laws. Ironically, the most active state legislators come from the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. Rep. … Continue reading “Why Libertarians Are NH’s Most Active Lawmakers”
Will May has done some really interesting analysis of roll-call voting in the New Hampshire legislature. Recently he did an analysis of where Free Stater legislators fall on the left-right spectrum as revealed by W-NOMINATE data (this procedure places legislators on a dimension of votes as revealed by correlations in voting behavior, not an "objective" … Continue reading The Latest from New Hampshire and the FSP
New Hampshire has an abnormally strong regime for the protection of privacy rights. It extends from strong wiretapping laws to laws prohibiting the retention of personal information in government databases against the consent of the individual. While getting my driver's license in Claremont, N.H. yesterday, I snapped this photo, which got memed by the Free … Continue reading Privacy Rights in New Hampshire
Mother Jones has followed up on the story reported here about the controversy over the city of Concord's acquisition of a Bearcat armored truck. The Concord police chief has this to say about the language of the grant citing the Free State Project and Occupy New Hampshire as potential sources of domestic terrorism: While the … Continue reading Concord Police Chief Regrets FSP, ONH Language
Concord, NH is about to acquire a Bearcat "tank" with federal grant money, similar to the one that spurred protests from all walks of society in Keene, NH recently. (One Keene councilman looks back and describes the purchase as a "waste of money.") More disturbing is the fact that the Concord police cited "Free Staters" … Continue reading Two Stories from NH
This piece was originally intended as an op-ed for the Union-Leader. However, they did not pick it up. Therefore, I'm running it here. Why did Republicans do poorly in the last state elections in New Hampshire? There is no shortage of theories, but what has been lacking is any attempt to test those theories on … Continue reading Understanding the NH House Elections of 2012
An interesting new poll from Public Policy Polling shows strong support for marijuana reform in New Hampshire: For legalization (taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol, with licensed stores): 53%. Opposed: 37%. For decriminalization (replacing criminal penalties for possession of less than an ounce with a fine): 62%. Opposed: 27%. For medical marijuana (allowing seriously or … Continue reading New Hampshire Supports Legalizing Marijuana
In Canada, provincial parties are totally organizationally independent of federal parties and may not even have the same names. Thus, the British Columbia Liberal Party has generally been right-of-center, and British Columbia Liberals tend to vote Conservative at the federal level. Quebec Liberals have generally been more Quebec-nationalist/decentralist than the federal Liberals. Most provinces have … Continue reading Should State Parties Change Their Names?
Pileus's own Jason Sorens is, among many other things, the founder of the Free State Project. The FSP is an initiative that aims to put the convictions of people who talk about individual liberty to the test. Its proposal is based on the straightforward premise that a relatively small number of committed and organized activists can … Continue reading Can New Hampshire Be the Hong Kong of America?
Just another small -- very small -- way in which Free Staters are making New Hampshirites' lives better: a successful bill legalizing nanobreweries was sponsored by a couple of Porcupines in the legislature.
New Hampshire's status as a swing state has had several negative consequences for its residents: Its politics have been nationalized, and so the national political mood determines the partisan composition of the winning state legislative candidates. Its residents have to put up with avalanches of political advertising and campaigning by national candidates. There are controversies … Continue reading Why New Hampshire Should Give Its Electors to the National Popular Vote Winner
Here is what my coauthor William Ruger and I wrote about New Hampshire in the 2011 edition of Freedom in the 50 States: Index of Personal and Economic Freedom: New Hampshire is by our count the freest state in the country. Depending on weights, however, it really shares the slot with South Dakota. New Hampshire … Continue reading The “New Hampshire Advantage”: Nearly Killed Off in 2009-10
The New Hampshire House and Senate have overwhelmingly approved a bill that would give businesses tax credits for contributing to scholarship funds, which could make payments on behalf of students attending private schools. Even if the governor vetoes, the bill should pass into law. According to the Ruger-Sorens database of state policies, New Hampshire will … Continue reading NH Legislature Passes School Choice by Veto-Proof Majority
The New Hampshire House, dominated 3-to-1 by Republicans, has just voted by an approximately 2-to-1 majority to kill a bill that would have repealed same-sex marriage and reinstate civil unions. Along with passage of marijuana decriminalization (by a single vote), this vote helps to demonstrate the increasingly libertarian, live-and-let-live character of the New Hampshire GOP.(*) … Continue reading NH GOP Kills Gay Marriage Repeal
Here is a convenient, occasionally updated source on liberty-related legislation that has been enacted into law in New Hampshire this session. There have been a number of changes since the Republican sweep in 2010, some of them despite vetoes from the populist Democratic governor. Most of these changes are minor, but the cumulative effect of … Continue reading New Hampshire Liberty-Related Bills
I've recently returned from the New Hampshire Liberty Forum, held February 23-26 in Nashua, NH and sponsored by the Free State Project. The two evening keynote speakers were libertarian free-range farmer Joel Salatin and investor and recent U.S. Senate candidate Peter Schiff. In addition, session speakers included school-choice economist Angela Dills, former Libertarian Pennsylvania gubernatorial … Continue reading NH Liberty Forum Report
The NH House passed a resolution today condemning the White House for its infamous contraception rule. The NH Journal notes that this was a national first: "The New Hampshire House of Representatives has thus become the first elected body in America to officially vote to condemn the ruling." Although without teeth, this move is still nice to see. Here is the story: The … Continue reading New Hampshire House of Representatives v. ObamaCare
That's from the lede of a new story in Mother Jones about the Free State Project, entitled "City on a Quill." Mother Jones is definitely coming from the left, but the story is meritoriously free of those lazy, paranoid arguments ad Kochum that we've seen about Free Staters from The Nation (no, I'm not going … Continue reading “A decade ago, libertarian activists… hatched a crazy plan to take over New Hampshire… It’s kind of working.”
I was recently interviewed for a National Journal story, which has just come out, on how the Free State Project may influence the 2012 presidential primary. Pileus also gets a link!
Free Staters continue to blow minds in the New Hampshire legislature, now with a bill that would define the new pat-down regime at airports as sexual assault. Video story here, text here. An update on that Approval Voting bill: it was killed by the House in a fairly lopsided vote. The sponsors pledge to try … Continue reading NH Bill to Criminalize Intrusive TSA Pat-Downs
A bill to adopt approval voting has been filed in the N.H. House, and one of the co-sponsors is a member of the relevant committee. The bill would establish approval voting for all state offices and presidential primaries. Approval voting is an electoral system for single-winner elections that allows voters to cast not more than … Continue reading Will New Hampshire Be the First State to Abolish First-Past-the-Post?
Here is a quick summation of last night's results in state races in New Hampshire. The moderate-to-conservative Democratic governor, John Lynch, won re-election by about a 6-point margin, down from something like a 45-point margin in 2008. The state senate now has a veto-proof Republican majority, overturning the previous Democratic majority. (As of this writing, … Continue reading New Hampshire election report
Tomorrow my current and future states of residence are holding primaries. In New York the Republican gubernatorial contest has generated quite a lot of controversy, even though the nominee is likely to lose to Andrew Cuomo, while I've heard almost nothing about the special senatorial contest, even though that nominee has a fair shot at … Continue reading Tomorrow’s Primaries in NY and NH
Given my estimate of the effect of the size of the liberty constituency on freedom, what would be expected to happen to freedom in New Hampshire if the liberty constituency in that state grew?
PorcFest 2010: thoughts on Gary Johnson and the state of play in New Hampshire.