Last year, the Libertarian Party hockey team beat the NHGOP. What will the fate be on February 25th?
Pretty chuffed with myself! A few months ago, I was invited to contribute an essay to an anthology, “Libertarian Autobiographies: Journeys to the Freedom Philosophy in Today’s World,” under contract with Palgrave Macmillan, edited Jo Ann Cavallo and Walter Block.
The deadline was today. I just eked in– honestly, because of PorcFest, I more so “eeked in” (as in I squeaked in in a last minute hysterical panic)–but it is done. Daaaayum, I have had a weird and wonderful life!
Publication timeline is a year from now. I’ll keep y’all posted. Proud moment for me. Huzzah!
Watch this VIDEO to see “the farm that freedom built. Where the pigs are fat and the libertarians are happy.”
This video is five years old and, as I said on Facebook when I re-shared it recently:
Wow! This is actually extremely p.a.i.n.f.u.l for me to watch from a “Holy hell, I was not well, AKA ‘what the fatty fat???'” perspective, but the principles of liberty and freedom I express are still spot on.
The reality is: If you don’t like something about yourself, CHANGE. It is UP TO YOU. No one else can do it for you. Only YOU are responsible for your health and wellbeing. (That realization is Step #1.)
I was unhealthy and anxious, and several years ago, I decided to do something about it. I changed my diet (ancestral/keto/low carb), quit alcohol, reintroduced my yoga practice, made sleeping a priority, started fasting, and through meditation and mindful journaling, learned how to evolve past an unmoored childhood to become someone *I* like and respect. I wanted to return to the person I was: healthy, sporty, ambitious, effective, and happy (with a little “wild and beautiful” thrown in for good measure!). So I did.
You can read about my journey here, but watch this clip to learn more about what Free Staters are trying to accomplish in NH. Our message is even more important NOW–as medical tyranny arises around us–than it was 5 years ago!
Q&A from “Third Parties in the US Political System: What External and Internal Issues Shape Public Perception of Libertarian Party/Politicians?”
I was looking for something else, but ran across this thesis dissertation Q&A from a few years ago, and thought I’d share.
From “Third Parties in the U.S. Political System: What External and Internal Issues Shape Public Perception of Libertarian Party/Politicians?” by Jackie Fiest.
Fiest: First question would have to be if you are okay with my using your name in this thesis?
Fiest: Early on, what prompted interest in first politics and then libertarianism?
Gericke: It would be fair to say, I was always a bit of a rebel. My father was a South African
diplomat, so I was raised in a home where current affairs was always a topic. I first got involved
in politics as a small-time anti-apartheid activist, mostly through creative endeavors like writing
articles critical of the regime for an underground newspaper I founded with some friends at
University, and writing and performing in a play at the Grahamstown Arts Festival, the largest
arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere. I did attend some marches, and was present at Nelson
Mandela’s historic inauguration in 1994. While I was completing my law articleship–a 2 year
“intern” requirement after you finish your law degree to be admitted to the South African Bar–I
also started taking Legal Aid Board cases, representing underprivileged defendants in townships
around Pretoria. I was shocked by how cruel the system was, and that has always influenced my
libertarian views on criminal justice. After winning a green card in the lottery and immigrating to
America, my husband and I settled in Silicon Valley, and after the Internet Bubble burst, and we
both lost our jobs, I was forced to explore why this had happen (like, WTF???) and studied
theories about how the economic bubble had started and why it crashed and burned… and this
led me deep into libertarian thought and Austrian economics (the rabbit-hole of the Internet was
new and minty-fresh back then in 2000), which in turn led me to the Free State Project, and the
rest, as they say, is history… I was a staunch Ron Paul supporter in 2008 and 2012, and here in
NH, he came second in both the Republican and Democrat primaries both times (double check
this, but I think it’s accurate). Libertarianism, simply put, makes sense to me. It is the only
rational, logical explanation I have found for the best way to organize society, with the nonaggression principle playing the core part for me.
I believe we are the neo-peace movement. Government is the world’s biggest bully, and we have
a duty to stop the violence. That is what I am dedicating my life to.
Fiest: What made you want to run for office? Had you run for any local or state offices before
running for senate?
Gericke: I’m a strong supporter of states’ rights, and would likely never run for federal office. I
ran in 2016 and 2018 for NH State Senate in District 20 as a Republican against a now 11 term,
80 year old Democratic incumbent. I hadn’t run for any political office before.
Fiest: I know that you’re very involved with your local libertarian community. I’m familiar with
your battle all the way to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals on the right to film police. And your
entanglement with the Concord, NH police of their attempting to buy a Bearcat saying
libertarians were domestic terrorists. I truly believe that you walk the walk when it comes to
being a libertarian. What prompted you to run as a Republican despite this? Did running as a
Democrat ever enter your mind?
Gericke: I ran as a Republican because I wanted to win. The duopoly, and the corruption that
goes with it, is too strong to win as a Libertarian candidate. The NHGOP’s platform is fairly oldschool Republican, so is still fairly libertarian (although there are some dumb stuff on there too).
Many Free Staters and prestaters in NH identify as Republican, and we’re building a strong
liberty caucus within the party. I would not be surprised if the NHGOP becomes the most
libertarian GOP in the US (if it isn’t already).
Running as a Democrat is something I vaguely considered but decided against… mostly because
in NH, the Democrats vote party-line, with very little deviance or independency, and while my
principles align with them on a lot of issues, like criminal justice reform, drug policy reform,
ending the death penalty, anti-crony-capitalism, etc., I don’t agree with them on economic policy
at all (taxation IS theft!), and the NH Democrats HATE free staters, so I doubt I’d be welcomed.
My district is strange in that it encompasses a big part of Manchester, our largest city, which
swings heavily left, and Goffstown, which is rural and +8 Republican. In this 2018 race, my
district had a swing of 10-15% to the left, but, despite this, I increased my take by 2%, which to
me means my message must have resonated with some of the voters, regardless of their party
My opponent can’t live forever, I don’t have a strong sense of “party affiliation” (being a
libertarian immigrant), and I may either run again as a Republican, switch to Democrat if it
makes sense, or, most likely, run as an Independent in the future. Most Granite Staters are
Independents, and as the two party system continues its death swirl around the swamp drain,
more opportunities will present themselves for people to take new and perhaps radical
Fiest: How did you plan to apply your libertarian principles in your role as senator of NH?
Fiest: Principles means sticking to what you believe, so I would have voted to shrink the size and
scope of government, and to increase personal liberty. In NH, we have an organization called the
NH Liberty Alliance that was started by free staters and philosophically aligned locals who
provide a weekly “Gold Standard” to advise pro-liberty legislators how to vote on upcoming
bills. I would have used that as baseline guidance.
Being a state senator also provides a more legitimate platform to spread the ideas of liberty and
individualism. I was looking forward to being that voice!
Fiest: Can you tell us about your time as president of the Free State Project and what this project
“NH Magazine, May 2011
She traveled the world as the daughter of diplomats and went on to practice law in South Africa
and California, but Carla Gericke’s life changed when she heard the call of the Free State
Movement for like-minded people to flock to N.H. and promote greater liberty and less
government. She helped organize two recent Porcupine Festivals – the Free State equivalent of an
Old Home Day – even earning the title “The Quill Queen” (note quill crown, left), and was just
chosen as the movement’s new leader. In this exclusive interview, we found her not to be at all
How does one become the leader of the Free State Movement? Are fisticuffs involved? Duel at
dawn, actually. I’m afraid the truth is rather more mundane: the Free State Project’s board votes
on candidates and someone wins.
What do you think is your primary qualification for the post? My royal lineage, replete with quill
crown. The porcupine is our mascot – porcupines are peaceful creatures you want to leave alone –
and after I organized the last two Porcupine Freedom Festivals in Lancaster, I received the
moniker of “Queen Quill.” As the first queen of the movement, I was the perfect candidate to
take over. More seriously, in a decentralized organization like ours, you have to be able to
balance folks’ differing viewpoints and strong personalities, fondly referred to as “herding cats.”
Iz good catz herder.
Since the Free State movement is not political, does that mean you always get to give straight
answers? Er, em, uh, yes.
So give it to me straight. How’s the movement going? This is an exciting time for us. We have
crossed the halfway mark to recruiting 20,000 liberty lovers to pledge to move to New
Hampshire to create a more free society. I appreciate this sounds scary to some, but think of us as
localization on steroids, as wanting to create an even more prosperous state than New Hampshire
already is–a Yankee Hong Kong, if you will. More than 800 activists have already moved, and
we are hard at work in our communities to create a society based on voluntary exchange, free
from state coercion. As government grows and becomes more intrusive, I believe we will
continue to gain momentum. We also have strong local support, with Friends of the Free State
signing up all the time.
Any particular high and low points over the past few years? As an organization, the Free State
Project does not take positions on what participants do once they get here. It’s more the vehicle,
the “bus” to convince liberty-leaning individuals to move. Once in New Hampshire, people
exercise individual activism in different ways. They run for office–twelve participants are now
state reps–they do localized outreach like volunteering at fire departments, they form non-profits
like the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance that rates representatives according to their voting
records, they manage successful businesses, and they practice civil disobedience in the spirit of
Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The media tends to focus on the latter because it is by its very
nature more controversial, but rest assured Free Staters are good neighbors who like ice-cream
Any second thoughts about choosing New Hampshire as the Free State? Absolutely not. I have
lived all over the world, and I love it here. New Hampshire has so much to offer: a ready-built
individualist culture–Live Free or Die, Baby!–and it is consistently named one of the best places
in America to live. With its low crime rate, favorable gun laws, healthy living, buoyant economy,
low taxes and no personal state income tax (which I view as a form of slavery), it is the perfect
place for productive people to settle
Seems like the Free State Movement could use an anthem. Is there a song that you always play at
rallies? We’ve played the Super Secret Project’s “Granite State of Mind” at functions and it
always goes over well. How can you not love lyrics like: “I’m the new Salinger/Cuz I could live
anywhere/But I choose to live here.” This really resonates with me.”
I’m being lazy, but here’s a good resource about the FSP (from 2014, so probably a bit out of
date, but should be good starting point for you):
Fiest: Why do you think they are so few women in libertarian politics? What do you think we
can do to bring in more?
Gericke: I will answer more comprehensively in a sec, but when a reporter from the New York
Times asked me something similar, I retorted: “Well, you are asking an IMMIGRANT WOMAN
who is running a 20K strong libertarian organization made up mostly of men that…maybe we
should just start by acknowledging I exist, and that it’s not such a big deal one way or the
Libertarianism appeals to logical, rational people. Few men, and, frankly, fewer women, are
logical and rational. So that’s one (BIG) hurdle. Also, mal-education is now built into statist,
government-run schools, so less people can think critically, which makes our jobs harder.
In a speech in NYC years ago, I explained the M/F composition this way: “We have a lot of
Spocks, we need more Captain Kirks.”
I am both of these things, but definitely more fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-it-will-all-work-out
Kirk. We need to make our messaging less Spock-like, less about “being right” (logical and
rational) and more about feelings and emotions… YES, we need to learn to appeal to emotion
(without fraud, of course), because we can actually win this way. For example: An average mom
might actually like the message of libertarianism if it’s explained in a way that makes it clear the
government is bad, and personal choice is good… through something like food freedom… like
how bad the Standard American diet is, and through explaining the distortion of ingredients in
our food (making them less healthy) because of sugar and corn subsidies… At the heart, it’s an
economic argument, but you can make it without sounding like a Nobel Prize winning
Women may traditionally also be less good at self-promotion or less comfortable in a public role.
Certainly for me, I had no idea how toxic the online asshole libertarian environment could be.
E..g. We banned Chris Cantwell in Fall 2013–years before he became “the crying Nazi”–and
I took the flak, I was the problem, even though I was right, and I’m still waiting for
someone to be like, ‘Good fucking call, Carla.’ 😛
We need more women thought-leaders to step up. We need more women role models. We need
to celebrate and encourage the ones who put themselves out there. We need to be pushier about
getting speaking slots. We need to demand equal treatment and perks on the speaking circuit. I
LOVE IT when new women movers come to NH, and tell me I inspired them to move. I need to
finished my goddamn book. 😛 [I did, and you should buy your copy of The Ecstatic Pessimist: Stories of Hope (Mostly) today! On Amazon or directly from me.]
Fiest: Another person I’m interviewing has talked a bit about steps that some Democrats and
Republicans have taken to keep libertarians off the ballot in the state of Arizona. Having to
obtain ungoldly amounts of signatures, and things along those lines. Were you met with any of
these roadblocks, and, if so, how would you have handled this?
Gericke: The NH Libertarian Party regained ballot access in 2016 for the 2018 election… and
then lost it again. In NH, you have to get 4% of the governor’s race to retain ballot access.
Unfortunately, in 2018, the LPNH didn’t do the work, or field feasible candidates. They failed to
fundraise in any significant way (which, sadly, is an important metric). The person who worked
the hardest in 2016 to get ballot access, Max Abrahamson, switched back to Republican in 2018,
which certainly couldn’t have helped. Until the LPNH becomes more professional in their
operations and takes themselves more seriously, it’s going to be an uphill slog.
Fiest: According to the LP website, there are 177 Libertarians (or small government
conservatives, if you wish) holding some kind of public office in the U.S., but they are all local
positions. Various school boards, utility boards…but very little at the state level and there are
currently no Libertarians in Congress. Why do you think that is?
Gericke: The Leviathan hates freedom, grows and thrives under socialism like the parasite it is,
and they will do everything in their power to stop our message of individual liberty. It’s that
simple. Unless there is a radical overhaul of how the system works (and there are some
interesting things cropping up, look at this, fyi:
https://www.facebook.com/RepresentUs/videos/410253132875542/), only efforts like the FSP
will be viable. Most of us have already given up on the federal government, and we’re here to
make a difference on a state level. I serve as president of the Foundation for NH Independence, a
501c3 nonprofit that educates Granite Staters on the benefits of more independence from the
federal government. As I have been saying for years: Make America States Again! It’s for the
Income Tax Proponent Weirdly Explains She is Not Libertarian… Umm, Yeah, Your Awful Voting Record Lets Us Know…
A New Hampshire Democrat Senator recently penned an opinion piece entitled, “Why I’m Not Libertarian.” Since NO ONE would mistake Jeanne Dietsch’s positions, like her desire to implement an income tax or her anti-freedom voting record, for anything other than socialism, it seems like an odd title for an essay, but, then again, maybe she knows libertarianism, the quaint notion that you own yourself, is a hot topic and she wanted to get in on the action?!? For me, every media mention of “libertarianism” is a win, even when someone gets it as wrong as she does. To set the record straight, here are a few rebuttals from people who actually understand what libertarianism is…
…libertarians would never force their will upon others. That would be aggression. I can’t speak for every libertarian, big or small L, but I can say that the principle of non-aggression extends to the limits of the Government. For if I can not use force to extort another, the Government shall not be able to either.Chris Maidment for Granite Grok
Foremost, it means a limited government. That is not the same as no government. I fully support a smaller government. However, there are many appropriate areas for the government to be involved in. The first might be to protect property rights. Of those property rights, I should own my own body. Slavery, is the complete opposite of a libertarian government…Dan Hynes for Granite Grok
Dietsch is correct on one point: “Is government always done right? Of course not.” Lets start to right our wrongs, and vote for a smaller government senator, and not a socialist nanny. That’s why I’m not a socialist.
Are you tired of all this politics, politics, politics? Can’t wait for Election Day on November 6th to be over? Me too! 🙂
In order for me to win against my opponent, Lou D’Allesandro (80) who has spent the past 20 years in the senate restricting your liberties and raising your taxes, I need YOUR vote!
I’m a unique candidate: I filed for and am the Republican nominee for state Senate in District 20 (Manchester Wards 3, 4, 10, 11 and Goffstown). After a successful primary write-in campaign by Libertarian supporters, I will also appear on the ballot as the Libertarian candidate.
If you are a Republican-leaning independent voter, I ask for your vote on the Republican slate. Start at the top of the ticket with Governor Sununu, and vote all the way down the ballot–local candidates matter much more to your everyday life, so don’t skip us! I am eager to work with Gov. Sununu on his priorities, including educational freedom for all children, regardless of income or zip code.
If you are an independent voter who doesn’t feel comfortable voting Republican, I ask for your vote in the Libertarian column. I am willing to work across the aisle on issues independent voters care about, including marijuana decriminalization/legalization (with a homegrown provision) and healthcare costs which can be brought down through market competition.
To all voters: I will never support a sales or income tax because #LFOD! Our low tax/low spending culture is exactly what makes New Hampshire better than everywhere else, and I will work to protect this advantage!
EIGHT Letters to the Editor have appeared in the Union Leader in support of my candidacy: from small business owners, health care professionals, single mothers, techies, and more. Only one appeared for my opponent.
Hard working taxpayers want a representative who will look after their interests. You want a senator who is not bought and paid for. You want a fresh, independent voice, someone who is highly qualified and an independent thinker. That’s me!
Running against an institution like Lou is a David against Goliath struggle. I’m sure you, like me, have received a gazillion mailers from him. You will only be getting one from me, because this is all I could afford, and like you, I have to live within my means.
To put things in context, compare our most recent campaign finance filings:
Lou D’Allesandro CAMPAIGN FINANCES
Reporting Date: October 31, 2018
Carla Gericke CAMPAIGN FINANCES
Reporting Date: October 31, 2018
Money shouldn’t matter this much when we are trying to elect our local representatives, but it certainly buys a lot of misleading mail.
It’s incredibly hard to get your name out there on a limited budget, so please, tell a friend or family member in Manchester and Goffstown that there is a real choice for a fresh start on Tuesday.
I respectfully ask for YOUR vote on Nov. 6th. It’s time to vote like your rights depend on it (because they do! And Lou didn’t think you worthy of having a say at all!).
I, CARLA GERICKE, promise to serve with integrity, character, and compassion. Let’s get to work on building a better future for us all!
Thank you to this Manchester mom for her support! I promise to do her proud, and to serve all my constituents with integrity, character, and compassion.
"If you are a voter who believes in fiscal responsibility and helping reduce barriers to success that hard-working mom’s like myself face, I encourage you to check out Carla4NHSenate.com, and vote for her on Election Day.
Carla Gericke thinks for herself and will work hard to ensure that our voices are also heard in Concord. I’m excited to be voting for someone for a change!"
If you would like a yard sign or to have me to come speak at an event–I’d love to meet you!–please email me at Carla (at) Carla4NHSenate (dot) com.
Join me at my monthly "Town Square" gatherings at Manchester City Hall on the first Tuesday of August, September and October from 5:30-7PM. Learn more and RSVP on Facebook.
Help me win! Donate today!
Tell a friend or family member in District 20 (Goffstown, Manchester Wards 3, 4, 10 & 11). Word of mouth is a powerful tool!
Thanks for your support! Let’s build a better future for all Granite Staters, young and old.
On Tuesday, I attended a recount at the State Archives in Concord on the Libertarian Party primary ballot after it became clear that someone, somewhere had failed to tally the write-ins for Manchester Ward 11 correctly. I am humbled by the support shown by Libertarian voters who wrote me in, and look forward to appearing in the general election as both the Republican AND Libertarian candidate for District 20. Watch video.
Here’s a recap of what happened:
MANCHESTER, NH: In a twist that could only happen in New Hampshire politics, Carla Gericke, Republican candidate for NH State Senate, today [Tuesday, 9/18] won a Libertarian Party primary recount.
Carla Gericke (46) is running for State Senate in District 20 against a ten-term Democratic incumbent, Lou D’Allesandro (80). Gericke ran against him in 2016, garnering 40% of the vote, a respectable showing for a relatively unknown candidate. “I can win,” Gericke said, “but every vote must be counted.”
“Election integrity matters. I filed for the recount because on the morning of the primary, I was told by several voters leaving Ward 11, where I own a home and where I was poll standing at the time, that they had written me in on the Libertarian ballot. When the Ward 11 moderator read the results at the day’s close, she clearly stated there were 30 write-ins for State Senate on the LP ballot. Imagine my surprise when the Secretary of State’s results showed only one write-in for Ward 11. I had a duty to investigate.”
The NH Secretary of State’s official write-ins tallies for Carla Gericke on the LP ballot in District 20 were as follows with today’s official recount tallies indicated like —-> [THIS]:
Goffstown —-> 5 —-> [FIVE]
Manchester Ward 3 —-> 4 —-> [FOUR]
Manchester Ward 4 —-> 5 —-> [FIVE]
Manchester Ward 10 —-> 4 —-> [FOUR]
Manchester Ward 11 —-> 1 —-> [TWENTY-NINE]
TOTAL RECOUNT FINAL TALLY = 47
New Hampshire election laws allow for what is colloquially referred to as “fusion candidates,” meaning qualifying candidates can appear on the ballot as the candidate for more than one party in the general election. Candidates need at least 35 primary votes to be fused in this manner. In the general election, votes from each party are added together for a grand total for fused candidates.
“This creates an opportunity for me to win by picking up votes from Libertarians who would not otherwise vote for me,” Gericke said.
The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire gained ballot access after getting 4% of the vote in the 2016 general election. In the 2018 primary, some people encouraged Libertarian Party voters to write-in Carla Gericke for State Senate in District 20 as the position was unfilled.
“I am concerned by the fact that we received reports of problems with voters accessing Libertarian Party ballots across the state,” said Chip Spangler, Chair of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire. “I am thankful this recount was completed, but all voters deserve to know that their ballots will be counted properly.”
“This whole recount in some ways raises more questions than it answers,” Gericke said. “What went wrong? New Hampshire voters are concerned about election fraud, and we must trust that our moderators and election officials are doing their jobs right. Today, the Secretary of State’s office helped rectify something that should not have happened to start with, and I appreciate that, but I hope more care is applied at the polling stations during the general election. Every Granite Stater deserves to get his or her vote properly counted, regardless of party affiliation.”
Here’s Manchester Ink Link’s take, "Recount elevates Gericke to fusion candidate".
Carla Gericke, board member and former president of the Free State Project, discusses ongoing if underreported libertarian victories in New Hampshire, her own campaign for state senate, whether and why libertarians should pursue politics, and a lot more. LISTEN NOW.