“Many Paths to Liberty” was in action in New Hampshire yesterday. I’m pleased to let you know that 52 free- and pre-staters won their primary races: 5 for NH senate; and in the house: 5 democrats; 42 republicans. Other pro-liberty locals ran and won too.
Whenever it is election season, we, as a big tent community, invariably have the debate about what the best way is to achieve more liberty. Is voting immoral? Will we become them? Fortunately, most free staters now see the value of trying it all–whether running for office, or creating new ventures, or starting private charities. The beauty of this approach is every individual free stater can follow his or her own passions, and exert their fullest practical efforts as they see fit.
Where else do you see self-declared anarchists running for office? Free Talk Live’s Ian Freeman, who ran against Hassan on the D-side, got 4% of the vote. He says: “My goal for the campaign was not to get votes. My goal was to reach people with the ideas of freedom. Mission accomplished, for a measly $102.50. That money bought a decent amount of media coverage. Votes are not an indicator of people you have reached. They could be protest votes against the other candidate.”
The political porcupines did an amazing job. Merav Yaakov (see a profile about her in the enclosed Free Stater) and others affiliated with the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance proactively recruited pro-liberty candidates in districts where they stood the best chance of getting elected. They have be holding planning and training meetings for more than a year. They devised a “Liberty Ballot,” an easy to use cheat-sheet to print and take to the ballot box. Because so many volunteers from 2012 are themselves running this time, our biggest challenge for the primary was finding enough people to support them. I confess, I am sunburnt after spending a long day in the sun holding signs for my friends at polls in several different towns.
We need to Trigger the Move! Getting more movers in-state is crucial–especially as we look to 2016, and beyond. With the two year residency requirement here in order to run as a representative, most new movers won’t be eligible to run until 2018, but they will be able to support those who have been elected and those who will run in 2016, learning the ropes of a successful campaign firsthand.
After another record-breaking PorcFest, the board held a summit in early August. In addition to working on an updated strategic plan, we made Aaron Day–whom you know from The Atlas Society–chairman of the board, and appointed two new board members: serial entrepreneur Matt Philips (he started and sold Right Media to Yahoo), and FSP founder, Jason Sorens. They will be spearheading the FSP Ambassador Program, focussing on two things: 1. training more out-of-state volunteers to attend more outreach events and conferences to promote the FSP; and, 2. finding more in-state “Friends of the FSP.”
We launched our first issue-specific landing page last week, starting with Bitcoin. Thanks to a generous anonymous BTC donation, Blockchain is running a tongue-in-cheek, cowboy-themed “Get Out of Doge” banner ad that redirects to the FSP/BTC landing page which extols the rich connections between free staters and the alt-currency community. In the first week, we received 268 click-throughs, and the sign-up rate accelerated. Next, we will be doing a gun rights page, followed by marijuana legalization.
Based on an analysis of where signers are coming from, I have identified the surrounding New England states as the best bang-for-the-recruiting-buck. Focusing within this region also avoids having to convince the “but it’s too cold” naysayers. We are starting to buy libertarian lists from these states, and would like to start advertising on local conservative radio stations, or perhaps even local NPR stations (e.g. “Marketplace, brought to you by the Free State Project, occupying New Hampshire for more freedom since 2003”).
I am currently in talks with Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets production company. They are working on a documentary about the loss of freedom in America. I keep trying to convince them to do a feature length movie solely about the FSP. This is something that eventually will need to be made, especially as Libertopia is now a few years old. I’m also working with a new mover filmmaker to shoot mini-documentaries featuring porcupines in their natural habitat, a “Day in the Life” of FSP movers. Upcoming after the November election is the independently made feature-length film “101 Reasons,” aimed at attracting disillusioned voters from across the country.
One project I am particularly excited about is reaching out to all our past signers. It’s been too long! The goal is threefold: 1. Reconnect and reinvigorate past signers to encourage them to start planning their moves; 2. Encourage them to seek out more signers; and, 3. At a later date, to fundraise. In order to do this, we have to clean our data, prepare an email campaign and a physical mailer, follow up with phone calls, and follow up with a second mailer. We are budgeting $25,000, excluding my salary. I spoke to Michael about this in Vegas, and he mentioned this may be something you might be interested in underwriting.
Notable recent FSP signers include Bruce Fenton, founder of the Bitcoin Association, who said: “I signed up with the Free State Project because I want to be the change I want to see in the world.” Lyn Ulbricht, mother of the alleged founder of Silk Road, spoke at PorcFest and signed there. She has become a feisty freedom fighter for her freemarketeer son’s rights. She and I are both hopeful that Ross will be out of jail in time to attend next year’s Liberty Forum.
Liberty Forum is slated for March 5-8, 2015 in downtown Manchester. I would like to invite you to attend. If you are interested, it would be wonderful if you did a talk on self-management. As we attract more movers, many are post-college students eager to start their own businesses. Sharing your knowledge and experience would be invaluable.
We have surpassed 16,000 signers. We’re more than 80% of the way to 20,000, and more than 10% of signers have moved. Now that we have 501c3 status, a two-and-a-half year uphill battle we finally won, we are stepping up our fundraising efforts in order to increase our marketing efforts. We know the FSP is a winning, proven strategy. What we need now is to get the word out to every libertarian in the North-East.
Last night, at the post-primary party at the Manchester activist center, I was exhilarated by the conversations I overheard. “What I love most about moving to New Hampshire is there’s real hope here!” “Getting 50+ pro-liberty candidates through the primary would be unheard of anywhere else.” “I can’t believe I won! Makes all of those days knocking on doors feel worthwhile.” “I love this community! Instead of sitting around whining, people here DO things.” “First, New Hampshire, then the world!”
Running for office is one strategy in the arsenal of achieving Liberty in Our Lifetime. Your past donations have enabled me to throw myself headlong into this grand adventure. I am eternally grateful for your support. I will be sending out a comprehensive 2015-2016 strategic plan and budget to our financial supporters soon. In the meanwhile, I hope you will consider continuing to support me now as I attack the next round of projects to Trigger the Move.
Yours in peace and liberty,
President, Free State Project