Free State Project Forum

Archive => Which State? => Topic started by: Zxcv on January 10, 2003, 11:25:09 pm

Title: A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 10, 2003, 11:25:09 pm
All things considered, I'm not a proponent of the 2-state (or East-West) strategy. However that does not stop me from thinking about it!

I've got a scenario that might be worth kicking around.

The only East-West combo that has a hope of being viable is Wyoming and Vermont, so let's just say that is it.

Now, say we modify the agreement thus:
1) We vote on the single state as it is currently set up, call that state "A". No change there.
2) Now we say, if we pass some total FSP membership threshold (and we can argue this number) in a certain time, then we let the membership vote in a runoff situation between state "A" and our Wyoming/Vermont combo. If Wyoming/Vermont wins we go that route; otherwise stay the course.

The reason I'm thinking this might be a good way to go is this:

1) If you add the population of Wyoming and Vermont, you get a "hyper-state" with a population that is still less than Idaho, New Hampshire and Maine. But it is almost certain that this hyperstate will draw more FSPers and FSP "friends" than any one of those individual states. So on this basis alone, Wyoming/Vermont is a superior choice to these 3 states. So it ought to be put into consideration.

2) It is a better choice than any single state for other reasons - not putting all our eggs in one basket, (this is sort of the counter to the idea for the one-state strategy of putting all our firepower in one arena); better able to negotiate with the feds if two states are doing it (safety in numbers, even if the number is two); higher overall FSP population as well as "friends of FSP", probably by quite a margin; and it looks more attractive for the other 48 states to emulate if more than one FSP state is doing it (can't write it off as a fluke so easily, can't say "It wouldn't apply to our state" so easily because Vermont and Wyoming are dissimilar); finally it would be cool to have 2 free states if they both succeeded!

If done the way I suggest, or some variation on that, it would eliminate the risk of a 2-state strategy, of not having enough people for either one. Just set the threshold high enough! Yet it would provide an incentive for our troops to go out and recruit more people - trying to make that threshold, you know. And I always think it's a good thing to have strong incentives...

What do you think? Go ahead, shoot holes through it, guys...   :)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 11, 2003, 02:54:00 am
The only East-West combo that has a hope of being viable is Wyoming and Vermont, so let's just say that is it.

We could possibly do Wyoming/Delaware as well due to a few factors that might draw more people to Delaware than to Vermont.

1.  Milder weather would draw more who couldn't or wouldn't adapt to New England winters.
2.  More of the big city types would be drawn to Delaware (since Burlington doesn't seem to qualify as a city these days).
3.  More East Coasters would find it an easier move with greater prospects for jobs that they're accustomed to.

According to the Census Bureau, Delaware's 2001 population was 796,165 as compared to Vermont's 613,090.  This is a difference of 183,075 (greater than the difference between Maine and New Hampshire), but even this might be offset by the larger pool of potential FSP members that might be attracted by some of Delaware's features as opposed to New England's.  After all, two of the biggest gripes about candidate states are that they're too cold and too far from the urban universe (with Delaware as the oft-cited exception).  It would also make the prospects of a move less expensive for a larger number of potential joiners, thus expanding the potential pool of members on yet another front.

So, if a two-state option were included in order to draw more members, including Delaware as one of them would be likely to draw even more.  And even with its lower population considered, Vermont might still be a harder win due to the more radical element present in its population.

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1) If you add the population of Wyoming and Vermont, you get a "hyper-state" with a population that is still less than Idaho, New Hampshire and Maine. But it is almost certain that this hyperstate will draw more FSPers and FSP "friends" than any one of those individual states. So on this basis alone, Wyoming/Vermont is a superior choice to these 3 states. So it ought to be put into consideration.

This is quite a reasonable approach.  One of the more fundamental problems we have right now is that we have some great candidate states out there that are being virtually ruled out because it's feared that they could not presently handle the type of influx we have in mind.  This leaves us with choosing a lesser candidate based solely on the idea that it could probably accommodate our numbers with jobs, housing, etc., which then essentially become the only two criteria that really matter at all.  But then we risk alienating a number of people who might join up otherwise.

Why settle for that when we could divide the emphasis and thus appeal to a larger pool of potential members while at the same time reducing the requirements that candidate states would have to meet in terms of available jobs and housing?  This opens up better candidate states to more viable consideration.  

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2) It is a better choice than any single state for other reasons - not putting all our eggs in one basket...

Another good point, and I would argue that it would also present a more realistic opportunity for people to move in advance of 20,000, thus providing the invaluable service of helping to prepare the way for others and making us appear to be less of an "invasion."  Those moving would also be more likely to stay given the differences between the two option states.  Westerners would be less likely to pack up and leave Wyoming for financial or lifestyle reasons, just as easterners would be less likely to pack up leave Delaware.

All in all, the idea would open up better candidate states to viable consideration, expand the pool of potential members, enable "first-wavers" to more confidently go in and prepare the way, and make it logistically, culturally and financially easier for members to move and then stay where they went.

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What do you think? Go ahead, shoot holes through it, guys...   :)

I don't see what it could hurt to at least conduct a poll on the website.  At least we'd know if it would generate any additional interest and participation.  "Should the FSP consider a two-state approach, perhaps Wyoming and Vermont or Wyoming and Delaware?"

There seems to be a fear that we won't reach 20,000 this way, but it seems equally questionable if we'll reach 20,000 once a single state is chosen.  Because once that's done (1/4 of the way to 20,000), we'll have significantly narrowed our potential pool of supporters.  I could be wrong about that though.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 11, 2003, 10:18:05 am
I used to be against splitting up the FSP into two states, but after pounding my head against the wall trying to convince westerners that our plan would work very well in Delaware, I am now in favor of it, especially a Wyoming and Delaware combo.  Lets do it.  I am sick of the arguing.

I think Joe is right about the culture shock factor.  I lived in Billings, MT for several years, absolutely HATED it, and was very glad to get the heck out, never to go back.  I am sure that this would be true for many others, and it appears that the reverse is true as well.

And, please make the eastern state Delaware, so that those of us who hate cold and snow can have a place they at least can tolerate.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 11, 2003, 10:28:03 am
Burlington doesn't seem to qualify as a city these days

Not to me, it doesn't!  Philly, now that's a city.

Also, don't forget that DE's short driving distances can't be beat.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 11, 2003, 11:17:37 am
A two-state approach would actually make this seem more like a cynical "invasion"... As if we don't really like the state we've chosen, but are trying to grab all we can by invading 2 states at once.  It comes off as a power play.  I think it would be seriously detrimental to the public image of the FSP.

Better idea: pick our state, then those who absolutely don't want to move there can start their own project.  It looks as if one of the smallest states will get chosen anyway, so that is a viable strategy.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 11, 2003, 11:34:40 am
  What most of this comes down to is risk.

 Show me a risk- free guarantee that we are absolutely, 100%-positively going to have success creating a true 'free-state' and I will gladly move my family on foot, at risk of death, to a wind-swept hill in a refugee camp and live out of a tent and feed my family rats --if I have to, of course, just to be in the free state.  

 

You are missing the point!  The point is that we can't free the state if we don't fit in with the locals.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 11, 2003, 11:53:56 am
Jason, I don't buy your comment about invasion. Why would that be so?

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Show me a risk- free guarantee that we are absolutely, 100%-positively going to have success creating a true 'free-state' ...

Guys, I didn't mean this to be a discussion of the advantages of a 2-state project. I meant it to be a discussion of a risk-free way to do a 2-state project, since risk is essentially the only argument against it. After we decide if my risk-free recipe (or some variation thereof) is viable, then we can start talking about advantages! (Yes, I realize I started the advantages discussion - shame on me!  :P )

Please go up and read my strategy again, and comment on it. Suggest improvements to it.

Jason, on your 2-project comment, it's all well and good if we choose Wyoming. But what if we choose Idaho or New Hampshire? Besides, I'm not so sure Wyoming is the default choice. It seems to be the dominant choice here among us, but what about the FSP population? I'm wondering if the distribution of residences within the FSP population would indicate a Wyoming choice? There are a lot more people living in the east than the west, so it's likely there are more eastern FSPers as well.

(BTW, here's yet another strong argument for Wyoming - it enables a subsequent Free Eastern State Project! Hmmm, too bad we eliminated strategic voting.   ;)  )
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 11, 2003, 12:15:32 pm
Here's another 2-state strategy to chew on (call it strategy B, with the above one strategy A) that might eliminate some of the problems with strategy A.

Add two "hyperstates" to our current 10-state list, Wyoming/Delaware and Wyoming/Vermont. Meld the statistics as best can be done in the spreadsheet, and so forth.

Now, if we end up choosing an ordinary state, we proceed as planned. If we end up choosing a hyperstate, we proceed only if we attain that risk-free population threshold (say 30,000 FSPers) by a certain date, otherwise we proceed with Wyoming only.

This way, western proponents can start confidently moving to Wyoming, and eastern proponents can get off their duffs and recruit like crazy!   :)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: RgnadKzin on January 11, 2003, 12:58:35 pm
I will have to agree that if in fact there is a two-state project the Wyoming/Delaware option is the best.

warm urbanites who hate the west can go to Delaware
cool independent minded folks who hate big cities can go to Wyoming.

I will also offer that despite Jason's trepidation, I believe that this proposition will actually attract more potential free staters, as those who shudder at the prospect of being forced either east/west, urban/rural will find their fear substantially mitigated.

It would be interesting to see how many people have "blocked out" either one or the other of these types of prospective states. For example, we could see how many people have already expressed a preference for Delaware or New Hampshire who have blocked out Wyoming and/or the Dakotas. A similar analysis of folks who prefer Wyoming or one of the Dakotas to the eastern states mentioned would be similarly enlightening.

It might give us an indication as to what type of "resistance" we are getting to the one state or nothing philosophy.

Given the current growth trends with regard to population and that of Emergency Rule because of the Forever War, I believe it is imperative to achieve critical mass as soon as possible.

Of course, there is also the prospect that once we have two free states, that they could be merged into a single state:

--cite--
Article IV; Section 3, Clause 1.

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
--end--

So the legislatures of Delaware and Wyoming vote to be a single free state, CONgress agrees, and then we can build the subterranean tube linking the two.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: varrin on January 11, 2003, 03:01:54 pm
Y'all,

I've not really been in favor of a 2 state approach.  However, after reading this thread, the arguments seem compelling.  I, too, agree that WY/DE would be the better combination.  DE is a far better compromise state than VT for weather, and urbanization factors over WY.

Here's a couple of factors not yet mentioned:  1 big state gives us (assuming we're successful) 2 U.S. Senators, roughly 2 house members and 1 governor.  1 small state gives us 2 U.S. Senators, 1 house member and 1 governor.  The WY/DE combo gives us 4 U.S. Senators (wheeee), 2 house members (I didn't look, DE only has 1, right?), and 2 governors.  That significantly increases our impact in Washington.  And all the WY folks can always make a quick getaway to DE when the heat is on in DC ;-)

Seriously, I still like ID best for a single state, but I really think DE/WY woule be even better and draw WAY more people than ID or any other single state would.

As to *how* to move to that strategy, I'm torn.  I understand Jason's objections to changing things to a two state idea, but it might be better to do that within the FSP or somehow associated with the FSP than to just say "start your own".  Would there be any good way to blend our ideas here to come up with an acceptable solution?

V-

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: varrin on January 11, 2003, 03:04:49 pm
Speaking of ideas, I just had one more that might be worth mentioning.

Maybe instead of simply changing the list of states or adding an 'official' plan, we could consider this:  A vote for WY is a vote for WY *or* a WY/DE combo.  That way the people who are anti-WY but pro-DE (ya know, all those eastern, big city, warm weather folks ;-) could ensure that WY gets picked to facilitate for a 2-state strategy...

Thoughs?

V-

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 11, 2003, 04:00:39 pm
Quote
Maybe instead of simply changing the list of states or adding an 'official' plan, we could consider this:  A vote for WY is a vote for WY *or* a WY/DE combo.  

Varrin, I guess I don't see the advantage over adding the two "hyperstates" to the list. Also I'm a little confused about it. It eliminates the WY-only scenario. Or are you including my notion of a 30,000 (or whatever) threshold to select between WY and WY/DE? But that leaves out WY/VT...

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If we consider different thresholds, then the threshold for NH, ID, or ME should be just as high as the threshold for VT&WY.

Well, that does make some sense, but I was hoping to throw a sop to Jason by conceding a higher threshold for the hyperstates only.  ;)  Besides, we can always use a good recruitment incentive...

I'm still not sure I'm a 2-state proponent, but I'm starting to feel like one. As long as the risks can be dealt with.

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Since the FSP move, according to the FAQ, does not begin until it reaches 20,000 members, but the vote for the specific state happens at the 5,000 threshold, how about this amendment to Zxcv's idea. The vote at 5,000 is limited to states under 800,000 (2000 Census).  IF/when the FSP reaches 10,000 then it has another vote which includes the rest of the states because, with the extra 5,000 members, it can afford either a bigger state or a combo of two small ones. There is thus an incentive for the losing side in the first vote to round up more members to have one of their favorites win in the second round or, at least, have one of them as part of a combo choice (which hopefully garners even more members because of reasons stated above).

This sounds a bit like my strategy A, except you are thinking of a much smaller threshold than I am, and you are allowing any state or hyperstate in the second round rather than a simple runoff.

I actually feel like I prefer my strategy B, because I don't want to hold people off on moving. If I were single I would have my car packed and ready to move the instant the results at the 5000 threshold came in.  :)  The earlier people start moving, the better. The other thing is, I don't think it's healthy to keep the uncertainty for so long. We need to focus on one state or possibly an additional one, as soon as we can do it. I think this will actually increase the recruitment potential, as people like to think in concrete terms, not abstractions.

Actually, the real reason I prefer my plan B (Plan B from Outer Space?) to yours is because of the "not invented here" syndrome.  ;) But I'd go along with your suggestion if more people liked it. Or maybe I'd just go back to being a single-stater!

One more comment about "invasion". You are more likely to feel invaded if the people coming in are unlike you. Easterners going into a western state, or vice versa, would be more likely perceived this way.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 11, 2003, 06:54:28 pm
I would like to say something regarding "invasion":

My goal is nothing less than the elimination of tyranny in all 50 states.  If the FSP is not going in that direction, I am not interested in it.  Count me out.

OTOH, If we are going to do more states after the first one, I don't see anything wrong with doing two at once, as long as it will work.  And, from what I've seen of this east-west slugfest, I think it will work better than any single state ever would.

We need ACTIVISTS to make this work - bright, smiling, happy people that are excited about what they are doing, and will never give up.  We don't need people who feel dragged into an enviroment that they don't want to be in.

With two states, everyone will feel that they are in a place they can live in.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: varrin on January 11, 2003, 10:53:04 pm
Joe:

I like your thinking regarding combined state populations fitting under the Idaho limit.  I'm guessing that, though Idaho would be popular, the 2 state strategy would be even more popular.  Hence, we shouldn't have much trouble meeting the 20k (or more) criteria if we choose that route.

As for your matchups, the 2000 census numbers show ND/DE higher than ID but still under the 1.5M cap (1.4something).  I'm not sure there'd be any compelling interest in the SD matchups (much like I haven't seen much interest in any AK matchups).  

So it seems to me that we'd want to consider: WY/VT, WY/DE, ND/VT and ND/DE as the two-state matchups.  They all fit under the current population cap, would still provide huge activist saturation compared to any current location in the US, and would increase the potential for recruiting over any single state.

I think in order to make it work, we'd need to come up with a way of ensuring the activist split wasn't too lopsided.  In other words, if it was 90% WY and 10% DE, it'd be better to simply choose WY (officially anyway) and be done with it.  Somehow we'd need to know roughly how many people were interested in which state.

Hence, the voting should probably not change.  Each person vote for the best state.  But then somehow facilitate the possibility of, given the right criteria, encouraging the WY voters to go to WY and the DE voters to go to DE.  Even if only 10,000 or 15,000 go to each place, (20k-30k total), if those people are active, I suspect there will be a great deal of success.

I haven't considered the details of how Condorcet's method works, but maybe announcing the pairwise winners of contests *without* each of the 'pair' states (i.e. once without DE, once without WY, etc.) would reveal how the preferences fall for a two-state combo.

That's all my little brain can handle for now...

V-

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 12, 2003, 04:19:19 am
There's an air of cooperation between east and west/urban (suburban) and rural factions on this thread that is really quite refreshing...almost scary in fact!   ;D

Here's a few additional thoughts:

In regard to being seen as an "invasion..."

I mentioned that issue because our current strategy would have 20,000 political activists descending upon a single state over a period of five years, moving in by several hundred or so at a time in somewhat coordinated efforts.  I feel strongly that our acceptance by the locals, wherever we go, will hinge on our ability to blend in with them and befriend them, and we might do a better of job of this if we moved in with smaller groups, or with smaller groups over a longer period of time.  Those moving in first could establish themselves in communities and open the door for others to follow, socially, financially, and logistically.  This would also help to open up some of the smaller states where jobs and housing prospects have been called into question.

Moving 20,000 over five years is currently necessary because we need to make sure that everyone is on board in the event that we choose a large state, otherwise we fall back to a smaller state.  This leaves less time for frontrunners to prepare the way, and less time for our total numbers to be absorbed into the population in a less threatening way.  Remember here that we're not just 20,000 new neighbors for these folks, we're 20,000 political activists who are moving in with the intention of eventually changing things to our way of liking if at all possible.  And as skeptical as most people are of all things political, the fewer of us there are initially, and the longer we take to settle in, the less threatening we would probably seem.

I often try to place myself into the shoes of our potential neighbors by thinking of this in terms of how I would feel if a political group of some kind was targeting my state or locality.  If fewer of them initially showed up, and if they began fitting in and making contributions to the community, I would probably feel less threatened by them (depending on what their ultimate goals were of course).

I also try to think of this in terms of how I would spin it if I were a media or opposition member.  Would it be easier to make a threat out of 20,000 people coming to my state asap, or 5,000 voting to garner 15,000 more to join them over two states by an undetermined time?

As for how to go about a two-state plan...

Jason suggests having those who lose the state vote form their own project to tackle a different state.  That could be done, but it seems to me that it would leave the "first FSP" hanging in limbo, as it does not currently assume the existence of another project competing with it for members.  It might also make the second project look like a "sour grapes" movement.

Why not facilitate the matter by adopting the approach that has been suggested by others here and adding dual state options to the ballot?  Joe's recommendations regarding WY/VT, WY/DE, and ND/VT, ND/DE, seem to have garnered some support.  The ballot could potentially read:

"If voting for one of the dual state choices, please indicate which of the two states you intend to move to..."  That would then give us the % split information that has been mentioned in previous posts.  If, say, only 10% of those who voted for the dual state option voted for WY, those people could then decide to throw their weight behind VT or DE, or go independent.  Of course, their % would also be combined with those who voted for WY itself apart from the dual state option.

The FSP could then approach the matter from a standpoint of:  "We will recruit members for both states only if the lesser of the two receives at least X% of the vote, otherwise we go with the majority and those who still wish to go with State X will be on their own."

This would allow the name recognition and ideological identity that is the FSP to recruit for both state choices without a stigma that the organization underwent a secession or, a worse PR word, a "fracture."  We could spin this quite positively since it would be the FSP actually instigating it instead of the media reporting on it as "fallout," or what-have-you.  Either way, we'd be facilitating the current division in our ranks under an actual plan instead of allowing the chips to fall where they may.

Obviously it would require a change in the participation guidelines, but it would stand a good chance of increasing our membership, it would give us a more solid basis to assume that members would actually make the move and then stay there, and it would resolve the single most divisive issue among us.  Besides, if the FSP finds itself having to compete with a splinter group, then it would almost have to alter its participation guidelines anyway to accommodate the new scenario and how it could affect membership and the overall timing of the plan.

Just thinking out loud here...
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: varrin on January 12, 2003, 08:11:16 am
Robert,

I like those ideas a lot.  One of the things I have observed as an LP activist is that the LP people don't always cooperate real well.  There's a few of us who like to work together and the majority who love liberty but can't seem to agree on much else.  So the idea of facilitating a cooperative way to pursue this plan would be a step in the right direction as far as herding cats (errr porcupines) goes.

I, too, am impressed with the 'sudden' spirit of cooperation here.  Along those lines, one of the elements of libertarianism is friendly competition.  This option most definately would foster that spirit rather than the 'you're on your own' outcast mentality.  

As pointed out elsewhere, our ultimate goal is to bring liberty back to the U.S. by creating more of it in a single state (or maybe two now).  Ultimately, the FSP would need to facilitate the adoption of other states.  I don't see why two states within the population cap should be so objectionable.  

exitus:  would you pack up and go to DE or VT right off the bat (v.s. the wait for WY)?  That factor could be important for all of us.

And finally, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned on another thread or not, but I was thinking about success from an urban v.s. rural standpoint.  Being a bit more 'anonymous' in urban areas could actually be an advantage from an acceptance standpoint.  If people aren't asking you how long you've been there, they might follow your leadership easier than in rural areas where they're going to want to find out all about you before saying "yer not from 'round these parts, are ya?"  Just a thought ;-)

V-

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Newt on January 12, 2003, 10:51:30 am
A two-state approach would actually make this seem more like a cynical "invasion"... As if we don't really like the state we've chosen, but are trying to grab all we can by invading 2 states at once.  It comes off as a power play.  I think it would be seriously detrimental to the public image of the FSP.

Acually Jason,  I am not as confident about the eastern states, but in the west, people from the east will be seen as an invasion, no matter how it is couched.  Movement from Western Sates(with the exception of Calif) to rural areas is seen as migration.  It may not seem like much, but Eastern accents and manerisms are viewed as alien and treated with suspicion in western rural states, and these differences last a lifetime - the accent allways identifies you as an outsider.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 12, 2003, 11:50:23 am

Why not facilitate the matter by adopting the approach that has been suggested by others here and adding dual state options to the ballot?  Joe's recommendations regarding WY/VT, WY/DE, and ND/VT, ND/DE, seem to have garnered some support.  The ballot could potentially read:

"If voting for one of the dual state choices, please indicate which of the two states you intend to move to..."  That would then give us the % split information that has been mentioned in previous posts.  If, say, only 10% of those who voted for the dual state option voted for WY, those people could then decide to throw their weight behind VT or DE, or go independent.  Of course, their % would also be combined with those who voted for WY itself apart from the dual state option.


I have another idea:

1.  Vote on whether or not to go with one state or two
2.  If we go with two, give people the choice of an eastern ballot or a western one.

Why should westerners be deciding on the eastern state, and why should easterners be deciding on the western state?
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 12, 2003, 12:41:28 pm
Acually Jason,  I am not as confident about the eastern states, but in the west, people from the east will be seen as an invasion, no matter how it is couched.  Movement from Western Sates(with the exception of Calif) to rural areas is seen as migration.  It may not seem like much, but Eastern accents and manerisms are viewed as alien and treated with suspicion in western rural states, and these differences last a lifetime - the accent allways identifies you as an outsider.
This might have happened to me when I lived in Billings.  All I can say is that it was nothing like what the westerners on the board keep describing.

I really hope that we go with a two state plan, because I am seriously thinking of opting out of all western states.  I do not feel welcome there.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 12, 2003, 01:25:51 pm
First, I think we ought to limit the hyperstates to WY/VT, WY/DE and ND/VT. Any other combo is getting up there; you remember the (almost killing) arguments against ID, NH and ME in the first place are their populations. Let's keep things simple and reasonable.

Second, Ted you have a point on letting Easterners pick the Eastern state and Westerners pick the Western state. The difficulty is how to do this with one ballot, which again keeps things simple and less expensive.

This might work. Add these choices to the ballot: "WY (with DE or VT)", "ND (with VT)", "VT (with WY or ND)", and "DE (with WY)". Then if any of these wins, we have a 2-state FSP. If "WY with (DE or VT)" wins (for example), we still need to figure out if the second state is DE or VT. This can be done by seeing which is higher in the rankings, as either a combo state or a single state.

Probably to make things perfectly clear to voters, the single state choices should be "WY alone", etc.

On the thresholds, it's starting to look like what we really need is a variable threshold, depending on state population (I mean for all choices, single states included). That's not perfect, but it's probably better than a fixed one. However this adds more complexity and changes the agreement again, so it's a problem...
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 12, 2003, 06:19:21 pm
First, I think we ought to limit the hyperstates to WY/VT, WY/DE and ND/VT. Any other combo is getting up there; you remember the (almost killing) arguments against ID, NH and ME in the first place are their populations. Let's keep things simple and reasonable.


I am very unhappy with that, because if westerners want ND, then DE is knocked out.  Why should DE be knocked out because people are going to ND instead of WY???  Whether people are going to WY or ND has absolutely no effect on the number of people DE would get, and how well they would do when they got there.

Besides, people should be voting on a state only if they are actually going there.

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The difficulty is how to do this with one ballot, which again keeps things simple and less expensive.

This might work. Add these choices to the ballot: "WY (with DE or VT)", "ND (with VT)", "VT (with WY or ND)", and "DE (with WY)". Then if any of these wins, we have a 2-state FSP. If "WY with (DE or VT)" wins (for example), we still need to figure out if the second state is DE or VT. This can be done by seeing which is higher in the rankings, as either a combo state or a single state.


That's simple???  My plan is much simpler, and has the advantage of a majority vote deciding things.  No need for Condorcet or anything else when you've only got two choices!

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Probably to make things perfectly clear to voters, the single state choices should be "WY alone", etc.

On the thresholds, it's starting to look like what we really need is a variable threshold, depending on state population (I mean for all choices, single states included). That's not perfect, but it's probably better than a fixed one. However this adds more complexity and changes the agreement again, so it's a problem...


I think what would be best is that each state would rack up people committed to going to it seperately.  Once one of the states reached a certain number (maybe 15,000), then people would start moving to that state.  Once the other state reached that number, then people would start moving to THAT state.  Therefore, one of the states would go first, and hopefully the other one would be able to learn from its mistakes.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: wes237 on January 12, 2003, 07:41:15 pm
Joe, everybody knows that 57% of all Coloradans ARE Texans that couldn't hack it here!
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 12, 2003, 09:16:26 pm
Quote

Quote from: Zxcv on Today at  01:25:51pm    
First, I think we ought to limit the hyperstates to WY/VT, WY/DE and ND/VT. Any other combo is getting up there; you remember the (almost killing) arguments against ID, NH and ME in the first place are their populations. Let's keep things simple and reasonable.

 

I am very unhappy with that, because if westerners want ND, then DE is knocked out.  Why should DE be knocked out because people are going to ND instead of WY???  Whether people are going to WY or ND has absolutely no effect on the number of people DE would get, and how well they would do when they got there.

Well, Ted, population is our most important criterion, after all.  ;)

Your argument would apply as well to DE and ID, yet I'll bet we won't allow that combination, either.

Remember, we were looking at Wyoming pretty hard all by itself, hoping to draw people not only from Idaho, but also from places like Pennsylvania. Now if Pennsylvanians are going to Delaware instead, we have fewer left for Wyoming. That's bad enough, without asking us to put that fewer number of people in a larger state like North Dakota.

This is all pretty academic anyway, as it is (I think) highly improbable ND is going to be our choice. If you like a 2-state FSP you'd better work on the notion of selling 2 states at all to the FSP members, because it's not at all clear people are going to buy the additional risk over just a nice, simple and doable Wyoming alone...
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 12, 2003, 09:53:11 pm

Your argument would apply as well to DE and ID, yet I'll bet we won't allow that combination, either.
No, it wouldn't, because ID would not work with ANY other state, any more than NH would.

It seems to me that the only way to do a two state project is choose one of the two lowest population western states (WY or ND) and one of the two lowest population eastern states (VT and DE).  Each one would need to get its own group of people, and each one would have a separate migration.  For each state, this process would happen totally independently of whatever was happening in the other state.  People in the two states would compare notes (and exchange visitors to some extent), but that would be as far as it goes.  Neither state would be waiting on the other.
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Remember, we were looking at Wyoming pretty hard all by itself, hoping to draw people not only from Idaho, but also from places like Pennsylvania. Now if Pennsylvanians are going to Delaware instead, we have fewer left for Wyoming. That's bad enough, without asking us to put that fewer number of people in a larger state like North Dakota.
Wyoming does not have enough jobs for more than a few thousand people, so that should not be a problem.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: freedomroad on January 12, 2003, 11:50:36 pm

Your argument would apply as well to DE and ID, yet I'll bet we won't allow that combination, either.
No, it wouldn't, because ID would not work with ANY other state, any more than NH would.

It seems to me that the only way to do a two state project is choose one of the two lowest population western states (WY or ND) and one of the two lowest population eastern states (VT and DE).  Each one would need to get its own group of people, and each one would have a separate migration.  For each state, this process would happen totally independently of whatever was happening in the other state.  People in the two states would compare notes (and exchange visitors to some extent), but that would be as far as it goes.  Neither state would be waiting on the other.
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Remember, we were looking at Wyoming pretty hard all by itself, hoping to draw people not only from Idaho, but also from places like Pennsylvania. Now if Pennsylvanians are going to Delaware instead, we have fewer left for Wyoming. That's bad enough, without asking us to put that fewer number of people in a larger state like North Dakota.
Wyoming does not have enough jobs for more than a few thousand people, so that should not be a problem.

I disagree.  WY, like any other state in the country, can support plenty of jobs.  However, since WY has very few people it is able to support less jobs than any other state in the country.  WY is still able to support much more than just a few 1000 new jobs.  As more people move to WY the more jobs it will be able to support.  This is true for all of the states.  WY would be able to support 20,000 jobs.  However, many people might not be satisfied with these jobs or with their pay.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 13, 2003, 05:42:31 am
One of the things I have observed as an LP activist is that the LP people don't always cooperate real well.  There's a few of us who like to work together and the majority who love liberty but can't seem to agree on much else.  So the idea of facilitating a cooperative way to pursue this plan would be a step in the right direction as far as herding cats (errr porcupines) goes.

I agree; it would take what is currently an inherent weakness and make a strength out of it.  Trying to do otherwise is rather like trying to put four different size wheels on your car - there's a reason that more similar things should go together, after all.   ;)  It might be accomplished, but how would it look?  And, more importantly, how smoothly would it function?

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As pointed out elsewhere, our ultimate goal is to bring liberty back to the U.S. by creating more of it in a single state (or maybe two now).  Ultimately, the FSP would need to facilitate the adoption of other states.  I don't see why two states within the population cap should be so objectionable.  

Nor do I, especially since it would seem to have strong potential to bring us more in the way of membership, certainly more than just changing the voting method.  And it has tremendous logistical advantages as well, not the least of which is the fact that it would allow people to move early on with greater confidence.  Thus, as mentioned previously, they could help prepare the way for others to follow.  And I believe that it would be easier to keep up higher levels of interest and momentum in the FSP if there were a way for it to go into action sooner rather than later (as long as its goal is still viable, that is).
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 13, 2003, 07:24:13 am
There was some potential support for North Dakota following Tim Condon's report (I even thought about it a good bit myself), but it doesn't seem to have near the support that Wyoming does among western advocates.  In the east, Delaware seems to have the lion's share of support although I've seen a good bit of support for Vermont as well, and Joe's recent legislature analysis may spur Vermont support a bit more.  New Hampshire seems to have fallen a bit by the wayside, which is good for the purposes of a two-state emphasis.

Therefore, for the moment:

WY/DE seems like the combination with the most support, and would probably yield the most additional members.
WY/VT should probably not be ruled out, at least until Joe's analysis of DE's legislature is discussed a bit.  Vermont seems a better choice for a few reasons, but it seems less acceptable to the needs and desires of easterners.

ND combinations should probably be ruled out.  The easterners certainly aren't going to care as they won't intend on moving there anyway, and I don't believe that westerners would greatly support it either for a variety of reasons.  This is not to say that ND's a bad idea; I'm just going on likely support levels here based on what I've seen thus far.

Personally, I would suggest that the ballot offer WY/VT and WY/DE as our "hyper state" options.  In fact, WY/DE would probably garner more votes than Alaska, Maine, Vermont, North Dakota, or South Dakota would separately.

Or, even simpler, we could just hold the vote with all ten individual states as planned, and the two top states win.  Given what we've seen, I imagine that one would be eastern and one western, and I don't think it likely that we'd see a higher population state reflected in the vote, so it would probably be quite safe.

The catch here is the large number of members we have who do not frequent this forum or the Yahoo list.  For that reason, they're not going to be privy to these discussions and we'd have to write this idea up in the letters that the leadership is planning to send out to all members just prior to the vote.  East and west can then concentrate on consolidating support for their respective choices (so as to lock them in the top two), and planning how they intend to coordinate migration in each.

This would effectively halt our endless bickering with one another over which state to choose by handing us two perfectly viable states for our two factions, thus allowing us to spend more time recruiting, strategizing, and generally preparing for political activism and migration.

Otherwise, it seems like we'll stay at loggerheads with one another over this issue until the state vote and then probably split our efforts anyway in contention (which we must avoid at any cost for PR reasons alone).  The idea of a compromise state has just virtually imploded as far as I can tell.  And staying under the banner of the FSP will facilitate our recruitment efforts, exchange of ideas, and probably our respect for one another as well.

So let's turn this weakness into a strength and coordinate our divided approaches to the issue.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 13, 2003, 12:59:58 pm
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Or, even simpler, we could just hold the vote with all ten individual states as planned, and the two top states win.  Given what we've seen, I imagine that one would be eastern and one western, and I don't think it likely that we'd see a higher population state reflected in the vote, so it would probably be quite safe.

Boy, I sure wouldn't make those assumptions, Robert! As you point out, most voters are not privy to these discussions. What's more, who knows who is going to control the information going out in the mailing to them?

We really need to make these combos explicit choices.

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This would effectively halt our endless bickering with one another over which state to choose by handing us two perfectly viable states for our two factions

Looks like the DE and VT boys are already starting to bicker...   ;)

As to which states to include in the 2-state combo, Ted, I'd like to remind you the notion of 2-state viability depended on a total population smaller than some of our candidate states. That is not true of ND/DE; it is 100k+ over our largest single state. The 2-state idea also depends on the notion of being able to compensate for a larger overall population by being able to draw a higher total number of FSPers. It's a hard argument to make with a state like ND in the mix! For those two reasons, we ought to keep it to the three combo choices with populations under that of Idaho.

I'd like to remind everyone of something else. It is nice that this idea reduces our bickering, but that is not exactly relevant. We can make a plausible argument that these 2-state combos are superior to the largest 3 1-state choices. That's not to say we can make that argument for all the 1-state choices! If you want a 2-state choice to fly in the vote, you'd better be selling that to the rest of the folks...
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 13, 2003, 02:26:14 pm
As to which states to include in the 2-state combo, Ted, I'd like to remind you the notion of 2-state viability depended on a total population smaller than some of our candidate states.

No, if we went with two states we would be doing so with more people, maybe 15,000 for each one, which would be a total of 30,000.

If we had 18,000 going into one state and 2,000 going into the other state, that's 20,000 -  but still not much good for the state with 2,000.  That state would need to get more people, regardless of how many are going to the other state.

IOW, the number of people needed for each state must be counted seperately.

Of course, since one stae would reach its required number of people before the other one, the project might wind up starting sooner than it would otherwise.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 13, 2003, 04:32:27 pm
What's more, who knows who is going to control the information going out in the mailing to them?

We will have a supportive paper for each state in the mailing.  My current idea is to let anyone who wants to to participate in the paper-writing process.  The Research Committee will be responsible for vetting the papers, however.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 13, 2003, 05:29:28 pm
I just posted the following and the supporting data over at
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=1002;start=15
Another thread that I missed, and it is an incredible resource.  Thanks, Joe!
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Without term limits, and there are none in Delaware, you won't be gaining control of this legislature in your lifetime!

Thus my comments earlier in this thread about bypassing the New Castle County Council and gaining the state legislature are moot.  At least Wyoming's preponderance of unopposed legislative incumbents will run into term limits in 2004. The first priority for Free Staters in Delaware will be term limits. But that will be one helluva fight against these entrenched power brokers!


I wouldn't be so worried about this.  In Palm Beach County, just north of where I live, we got term limits passed despite the fiercest opposition.  The county has something like three times the population of DE (and is a heck of a lot more liberal and Democratic!), and we didn't have 20,000 activists to work with, it was more like 20.

How did we do it?

The issue of term limits is something that brings people together like you wouldn't believe.  Liberal groups loved us.  Conservative groups loved us.  Gun control groups loved us.  Pro second amendment groups loved us.  Everybody was on our side, except the two major parties - they were the only ones.

A similar thing happened with Florida's Revision 11 in 1998.  Would you believe that both the NRA and Handgun Control, Inc. temporarily set aside their differences to work together on this project?  It happened!  Once again, everybody was on our side, except the two major parties - they were the only ones.

Florida is a huge state with something like 10 million people.  It is so huge that you can drive for over 500 miles and remain with in the state the whole time.  It has at least ten counties that EACH have over the population of DE.  It also has some of the most hard core statist places in the U.S.

We only had a few hundred activists at the most working on this project, not 20,000.  However, the R's and D's did not have a prayer against us.  We won overwhelmingly.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 13, 2003, 06:54:06 pm
Great info on term limits, Ted. Sounds like a good thing to do in any state that has the initiative. Probably hard to get through the legislature in a non-initiative state, though.   ;)

Oregon passed term limits by initiative not so long ago. Just before it was about to start kicking legislators out, it got taken to court and overturned! Our court is pretty bad that way. Beware...
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 14, 2003, 03:10:33 am
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Or, even simpler, we could just hold the vote with all ten individual states as planned, and the two top states win.  Given what we've seen, I imagine that one would be eastern and one western, and I don't think it likely that we'd see a higher population state reflected in the vote, so it would probably be quite safe.

Boy, I sure wouldn't make those assumptions, Robert! As you point out, most voters are not privy to these discussions. What's more, who knows who is going to control the information going out in the mailing to them?

We really need to make these combos explicit choices.

Well, that's why I threw in mention of making sure that the voting members are aware of the justification behind the two-state idea and how it would work, whichever way it was done.  The top-two idea was just another suggestion thrown into the "for what it's worth" category, but I too favor a more explicit choice.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 14, 2003, 03:23:51 am
What's more, who knows who is going to control the information going out in the mailing to them?

We will have a supportive paper for each state in the mailing.  My current idea is to let anyone who wants to to participate in the paper-writing process.  The Research Committee will be responsible for vetting the papers, however.

As far the present is concerned, and based on the likelihood that those not participating in these debates are getting their info from the website, I'd be willing to write up an article on a "hyper-state" approach, specifically with regard to WY/DE and WY/VT.  That would be one sure to way to test the waters and see if it would bring in more members.

Something similar could then be done at the time of the vote if the leadership decides that the approach merits being added to the ballot options along with the other ten separate state choices.  Or, we could add the hyper-state choice and remove one or two less popular state choices to keep from scattering votes too far and wide.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: mtPete on January 14, 2003, 02:35:40 pm
The whole east-west split is something that the FSP has to address and if not worked out, will probebly be the downfall of the FSP. Look at history. The rural-urban splite goes back to the revolution (it had the potential to cause it to fail), it was behind the Civil War, and is one of the reasons our nation is in the position of non-freedom we are in now.

As far as westerners voting for a western state and easterners an eastern state: I have enough local knowledge, expirience and contacts to make a good desision between WY and its neighbors, but I havn't a clue about VT/DE and how the people there think.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: maestro on January 14, 2003, 02:54:54 pm
Great info on term limits, Ted. Sounds like a good thing to do in any state that has the initiative. Probably hard to get through the legislature in a non-initiative state, though.   ;)

Oregon passed term limits by initiative not so long ago. Just before it was about to start kicking legislators out, it got taken to court and overturned! Our court is pretty bad that way. Beware...

What was the basis for the court decision?  If you happen to have a link to the news story, I'd be interested in that as well.  I'm curious as to what a court could do to stifle referenda.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 14, 2003, 03:27:41 pm
I just started a new thread about this. Look here:
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=20;action=display;threadid=1197;start=%200#lastPost
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: varrin on January 14, 2003, 05:23:35 pm
I have 4 (hopefully) quick comments here:

1:  Term limits exist in California for the state legislature.  It's still a disaster.  Term limits aren't the answer to bad government.  They might help a little but in practice, they simply facilitate the 'democratic' change from one bad representative to another.  The real answer is people who will vote for representatives who understand and believe in liberty.

2:  The I&R process, on the other hand, *could* be an issue in DE.  We have ballot measures here in California.  In practice, however, the people voting for them vote much like the representatives would: lousy.  They vote for nearly every bond measure they see, and so on.  Again, the solution is a population who votes for measures that increase liberty.

3:  Regarding state combos, I think it would be best to consider a system that doesn't impose systematic advantages in the east or the west.  What I mean by that is this: if the choices are WY/VT or WY/DE then the east is at a systematic disadvantage because there will be conflic between DE and VT (as we have seen here).  Because of that, we should either do 2 western / 2 eastern or 1 western / 1 eastern.  I would propose 2 of each: WY/DE, WY/VT, ND/DE, ND/VT.   However ...

4:  If the population issue really does prevent ND/DE (which some people think it should), then I would argue for WY/DE as the single choice over WY/VT.  It's true that one is in the east and one is in the west.  However, their differences aren't nearly as siginificant after that.  One of the major points of having two states is to provide variety to satisfy the differing desires of more people than a single state could do.  The WY/VT combo doesn't really do that.  They're both cold, they're both more rural, they're both farther away from major job markets, VT doesn't have a big city, etc. etc.  In other words, VT is much more like WY than DE is.  DE is warmer, has a big city (Wilmington MSA), is closer to major northeast job markets (Philly, and Baltimore/DC), and as a result would appeal to very different people than VT and, hence, WY.  Since the idea here is to expand the appeal, the WY/DE choice makes way more sense than the WY/VT choice.

Okay, so point 4 wasn't that quick... ;-)

V-  (live from Korea - I haven't been shot at *yet* ;-)

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Newt on January 14, 2003, 05:36:49 pm
Quote

What was the basis for the court decision?  If you happen to have a link to the news story, I'd be interested in that as well.  I'm curious as to what a court could do to stifle referenda.

I believe the Oregon Supreme Court declared that the initiative addressed more than one issue and they have "interpreted" the state constitution to prohibit addressing more than one issue at a time in a ballot measure.  Of course it's almost impossible to write a ballot measure that only addresses one issue.

Measure 7 was passed some years ago, broadly limiting government 'takings' (eminent domain) and they are still sitting on it with no decision, I'm not sure under what pretext they will throw it out, but throw it out they will.

The government has found a new way to derail ballot initives at this point, they just claim the signatures do no match the signature on the voter rolls, that way the county clerks can filter out all those troublesome measures seeking to limit government power.  A local tax activist potested in court this year regarding one initiative for which he turned in signature more than 20% above the necessary amount and they threw out enough signatures to make the initiative miss the ballot by a few.  He  brought statements from enough citizens whose signatures were not approved to qualify the measure, but the court would not overturn.  

Go figure....
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 15, 2003, 12:58:15 am
Varrin has some good points here...

3:  Regarding state combos, I think it would be best to consider a system that doesn't impose systematic advantages in the east or the west.  What I mean by that is this: if the choices are WY/VT or WY/DE then the east is at a systematic disadvantage because there will be conflic between DE and VT (as we have seen here).  Because of that, we should either do 2 western / 2 eastern or 1 western / 1 eastern.  I would propose 2 of each: WY/DE, WY/VT, ND/DE, ND/VT.   However ...

I didn't even really think of it in those terms before because, I suppose, Wyoming seems to be favored over North Dakota and South Dakota, and Idaho and Montana would be excluded due to their higher populations.  With Alaska sort of off on its own as the highest opt-out state, that realistically leaves only Wyoming in the west.  Varrin is right that WY/VT and WY/DE would then present easterners with something of a problem.  Based on what I've seen here, I agree that WY/DE would probably stand the better chance, and would probably even receive more votes than Vermont by itself.

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4:  One of the major points of having two states is to provide variety to satisfy the differing desires of more people than a single state could do.  The WY/VT combo doesn't really do that.  They're both cold, they're both more rural, they're both farther away from major job markets, VT doesn't have a big city, etc. etc.  In other words, VT is much more like WY than DE is.  

This is the major reason for WY/DE over WY/VT: other than having smaller populations than most other states, they're polar opposites, and as such this combination stands the greatest chance of attracting a broader range of members who would be willing to commit (possibly even more than would commit to a single state).

The question then is:  Is Delaware a tougher nut to crack than Vermont, and are its various urban and climatory amenities worth the additional effort to most easterners?  From what I've seen, it would seem that the answer is 'yes,' but can you rally the Vermont contingent?

Actually, that should be easy...threaten them with going to Wyoming.   ;D
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 15, 2003, 05:53:15 am
Windcatcher, who works in Delaware and lives in Pennsylvania, just posted an analysis of the political climate in the northern Delaware/Wilmington&suburbs area that, when added to my analysis of the Delaware legislature posted in thread below, makes it obvious that liberty and a Free State has no viable chance in Delaware unless the FSP could move a few hundred thousand "voting Friends" into that state and literally outnumber the communitarian sheep and their authoritarian statist machine.

Just took a look at that, and it seems downright damning as far as DE is concerned.  Ted, or another Delaware advocate might have some answers though. Still, with the term limits issue, I&R, and the experiences related by Windcatcher, DE's prospects don't look very good for the two-state idea.  In fact, it upsets the whole applecart due to the fact that so many easterners find Vermont too close to what they don't like about the western states.

Then again, as I mentioned previously, maybe the easterners would find the risks worth it.

Thoughts?
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 15, 2003, 12:24:11 pm
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Term limits exist in California for the state legislature.  It's still a disaster.

Term limits are not sufficient to bring freedom, but they are arguably a necessary condition for it.

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Regarding state combos, I think it would be best to consider a system that doesn't impose systematic advantages in the east or the west.

Don't see how having more choices for the eastern side gives the west an advantage. If FSPers want a combo, they will have it (assuming it gets places on the ballot - imformally otherwise). If easterners want the eastern part to be DE or VT, they will have that. Where is there any east-west disadvantage? Similarly, there is no point in eliminating VT from the combo consideration; on the most important criterion, size, it wins. The most important thing is that there is be east-west combo choice. Just because VT is "cold" like WY, is not a reason to eliminate it.

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Measure 7 was passed some years ago, broadly limiting government 'takings' (eminent domain) and they are still sitting on it with no decision

Measure 7 has been overturned - multiple subjects.

Joe, I don't see how NH can be part of a combo, the population is just too high, especially when the FSP population will have to be shared with Wyoming. There's no way. We will just have to let easterners choose their poison, DE or VT!  :(





Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 15, 2003, 05:17:54 pm
Windcatcher, who works in Delaware and lives in Pennsylvania, just posted an analysis of the political climate in the northern Delaware/Wilmington&suburbs area that, when added to my analysis of the Delaware legislature posted in thread below, makes it obvious that liberty and a Free State has no viable chance in Delaware unless the FSP could move a few hundred thousand "voting Friends" into that state and literally outnumber the communitarian sheep and their authoritarian statist machine.

Just took a look at that, and it seems downright damning as far as DE is concerned.  Ted, or another Delaware advocate might have some answers though. Still, with the term limits issue, I&R, and the experiences related by Windcatcher, DE's prospects don't look very good for the two-state idea.  In fact, it upsets the whole applecart due to the fact that so many easterners find Vermont too close to what they don't like about the western states.

Then again, as I mentioned previously, maybe the easterners would find the risks worth it.

Thoughts?

The only thing I can say at this time is the best thing to do is pick issues that resonate well with the local population.  Don't hit them with the whole libertarian agenda at once.

DE is good in some areas like homeschooling, in fact Marshall Fritz of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State thinks that DE is the best state for the FSP.  We might start with expanding that.

I would not write off DE simply because it has an urbanized area.  Urban areas are quite doable, it's just that you must approach things differently that you would in rural areas.

All the more reason for a WY-DE combo.  People that do best in rural areas can go to WY (or southern DE), people like me that like big cities can go to northern DE.  (I am not happy unless I am within at least an hour's drive of a city of a million or more.)  Everybody can work in the environment that suits him best.  We are individuals aren't we?  Isn't that what being a libertarian is all about?

The thing that scares me the most about this whole discussion is the subliminal idea that you must not be a true libertarian if you live in big cities.  I don't want people thinking that they are not welcome in our movement unless they are willing to move to a small town, preferably one that is as far away from big cities as possible.  This is not a good way to get more libertarians.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: varrin on January 15, 2003, 05:27:51 pm
DE is good in some areas like homeschooling, in fact Marshall Fritz of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State thinks that DE is the best state for the FSP.  We might start with expanding that.

Heh.. I guess I'm embarrassed that I haven't talked to Marshall yet about the FSP, but then I've been a bit preoccupied.  If he says homeschooling is a plus there, that carries some weight with me.  We're going to homeschool our kids and I'd like to see separation of school and state happen sooner rather than later in the candidate state.

I don't think this can be emphasized enough: Separating school and state is *the* most important thing we can do to lay the foundation for long term liberty.  So, despite DE's minuses in some areas, this sounds like a good and important plus.

V-

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 16, 2003, 06:24:47 am
The only thing I can say at this time is the best thing to do is pick issues that resonate well with the local population.  Don't hit them with the whole libertarian agenda at once.

Essential advice no matter where we go.  And making in-roads in areas that are currently either popular or at least somewhat acceptable, like your homeschooling example, would be the best places to start.

Quote
All the more reason for a WY-DE combo.  People that do best in rural areas can go to WY (or southern DE), people like me that like big cities can go to northern DE.  (I am not happy unless I am within at least an hour's drive of a city of a million or more.)  Everybody can work in the environment that suits him best.  We are individuals aren't we?  Isn't that what being a libertarian is all about?

That's the idea as far as I'm concerned: allowing people to locate themselves as they best see fit and where they can best succeed (and I feel that those two things are greatly intertwined).  Even if the FSP chose Delaware along the current single state line, we'd have a harder time there because those who favor the more suburban or rural environments would not be willing to live and work where it was necessary for most of us to live and work in order to best effect change in that particular state.

Quote
The thing that scares me the most about this whole discussion is the subliminal idea that you must not be a true libertarian if you live in big cities.  I don't want people thinking that they are not welcome in our movement unless they are willing to move to a small town, preferably one that is as far away from big cities as possible.  This is not a good way to get more libertarians.

Well, I think the feeling here is that, given some of the issues that seem to weigh heavily on Delaware, there are those who wonder if it is worth the effort.  Then again, those of us making such comments do so because we think of things in different terms than the more eastern-oriented posters do.  That's the whole purpose of the discussion: splitting the effort along the lines of these fundamental differences.

If easterners feel that Delaware is best for their numbers, then I would back WY/DE in spite of my personal reservations about DE's chances because to do otherwise would thwart the entire effort.  It also opens up the way for easterners to criticize the combination because of what they personally think about WY.  We'd be at an impasse again when the purpose of this discussion is to break that impasse.

The question is whether the FSP will allow the dual state choice on the ballot.  If there is to be such a choice, I would say go ahead and make it WY/DE, as that combination seems to garner the most favor.  Something that is more questionable, although worth some thought, is whether including WY/DE on the ballot should eliminate WY and DE as separate candidate states.  I say this because the two states are such polar opposites that choosing either by itself stands a greater chance of alienating members from the other persuasion, and would also effectively narrow our audience for future recruitment.  Offering both appeals to the broadest spectrum and allows voters to opt for one without danger of the other.

This may be especially important with regard to those not privy to these debates, as long as the strategy is explained in the pre-voting hand-outs.  I have a feeling that justifying a split along these lines would make sense to a good many people who might otherwise be hung up or prejudiced about individual states.  They'd know that there was a combination that they could vote for that would get them closer to what they wanted while allowing others to do the same.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 16, 2003, 12:10:18 pm

The question is whether the FSP will allow the dual state choice on the ballot.  If there is to be such a choice, I would say go ahead and make it WY/DE, as that combination seems to garner the most favor.  Something that is more questionable, although worth some thought, is whether including WY/DE on the ballot should eliminate WY and DE as separate candidate states.  I say this because the two states are such polar opposites that choosing either by itself stands a greater chance of alienating members from the other persuasion, and would also effectively narrow our audience for future recruitment.  Offering both appeals to the broadest spectrum and allows voters to opt for one without danger of the other.

Also, another reason for a WY/DE combo is that if DE does prove as hopeless as some people say, then we can give up on it and  move to WY.  (Hopefully, by then WY will have more jobs.)  Likewise, if people in WY can't get jobs, they can move to DE.

Concerning the question of having WY and DE as separate candidate states, I think our voting method would take care of that.

Quote
This may be especially important with regard to those not privy to these debates, as long as the strategy is explained in the pre-voting hand-outs.  I have a feeling that justifying a split along these lines would make sense to a good many people who might otherwise be hung up or prejudiced about individual states.  They'd know that there was a combination that they could vote for that would get them closer to what they wanted while allowing others to do the same.

I would suggest emailing all FSP members, and maybe even sending them a postcard in the mail (If there isn't much money for that I can help.) saying that the FSP is seriously considering a two state option, and here are the reasons why.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 16, 2003, 12:24:32 pm
As a hybrid rural Westerner and rural Easterner, consideration of southern Delaware or Sussex county is worth keeping on the table IF the urban FSP contingent can succeed in New Castle county.
If the FSP goes with Delaware the proponents thereof must deliver to this forum some specific and detailed strategies and tactics to enable Delaware to regain the Freedom they had when Delaware was the "First State". Please see my suggestions along that line in the Delaware Report thread
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=338


OK, I'll do a detailed plan of how we can win in DE, using what I have learned from my experience and what I learned at LI, and I'll post the results on that thread.  If anyone else wants to join me, please email me directly, using the email address in my profile.  No point in us duplicating our efforts.

This will take some time, especially since I plan on contacting various candidates and  freedom groups in DE to see what kind of issues they are facing.

I also need to get a current district map of the state, it wasn't ready yet the last time I checked.  (How the ??? did they do elections last year if they had no idea where the districts were???)

To make matters worse, my DirectTV DSL service is about to go out completely any minute now (literally!), and I have no idea how long it will take to get service with my new provider.  (They said "three to five days", and apparrently they are not going to do anything until my current provider goes smash.)

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 16, 2003, 01:15:50 pm
Go to this page to find House districts in Delaware (http://www.legis.state.de.us/Legislature.nsf/fsHouse?openframeset&Frame=Main&Src=/Legislature.nsf/Lookup/House_Home?open)

Go to this page to find Senate districts (http://www.legis.state.de.us/Legislature.nsf/fsSenate?openframeset&Frame=Main&Src=/Legislature.nsf/Lookup/SenateHome?open)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 16, 2003, 01:31:14 pm
Quick breakdown of DE political geography:

Sussex County (rural): mostly Democrat in Senate, dominated by Republicans in House

Kent County (Dover): mostly Republican in Senate, dominated by Republicans in House

New Castle County (Wilmington): mostly Democrat in Senate, mostly Republican in House

"Dominated" means that all but one of the seats are held by the given party.  The situation in Delaware is therefore an odd one: Republicans control the House, Dems the Senate - but we already knew that.  What's even more odd is that there doesn't seem to be a sharp ideological difference among the counties.  Kent County, with the capital of Dover, seems the most conservative, judging from its strongly Republican orientation.  I suspect the real issue is that the parties in DE are not sharply ideological: Republicans probably tend to be liberal, and Dems probably tend to be conservative, esp. in Sussex County.  But that is just a hunch, not backed up by any evidence.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: freedomroad on January 16, 2003, 01:52:43 pm
"Dominated" means that all but one of the seats are held by the given party.  The situation in Delaware is therefore an odd one: Republicans control the House, Dems the Senate - but we already knew that.  What's even more odd is that there doesn't seem to be a sharp ideological difference among the counties.  Kent County, with the capital of Dover, seems the most conservative, judging from its strongly Republican orientation.  I suspect the real issue is that the parties in DE are not sharply ideological: Republicans probably tend to be liberal, and Dems probably tend to be conservative, esp. in Sussex County.  But that is just a hunch, not backed up by any evidence.

I would guess that the Dems in New Castle County (Wilmington) are liberal and not conservative, at all.  There are a couple of posible reasons for this.  Wilmington is very liberal and it is the center of New Castle's power and population.  New Castle is a largely urban county.  Urban counties tend (by a large margin) to be liberal.  Also, Dems are liberal in the vast majority of the country.  Since New Castle county has much, much more power than the rest of DE combined and it is Dem. and highly liberal based off its laws the entire state leans liberal as a whole.  Of course, the state laws also indicate this.  At the very least the state is not libertarian.  For example, look at the tax structure.  A libertarian state would have no state income tax.  On the other hand, DE has no state sales tax which is a liberal idea.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Kelton on January 16, 2003, 02:34:34 pm
<<slightly off-topic >>

 In the course of very liberal use of my time towards the end of freely and liberally acquiring knowledge about Delaware, I learned a thing or two about factors that influence those who are called liberals but are certainly not liberal with freedom.
 One big issue in Delaware is race relations.  The city of Wilmington was once the site of very severe destruction in the course of race riots.  Even today, the race- agitators frequently complain about how much more racism exists in Wilmington than other eastern cities.  Delaware also has a large concentration of both rich and upper- income wage earners, in fact, one prominent statistic pointed to it being the richest state, per capita in the entire nation.  The wealth polarization is probably one contention for the race baiters.  But far from being a bad sign, it also points to the fact that there are a large number of highly successful people in Delaware.  There are a large concentration of chemists, industrial scientists and researchers, business people and other people who make their living with their minds in Delaware.  In the early eighties, under gov. Pete duPont, Delaware broke all records as having the most number of people leave welfare rolls ever.  He didn't get ousted- out for having done so either!   I think that one reason that Democrats have so much power in Delaware is because of the Democrat party's nationwide success in painting Republicans as racists, which is a particular sore spot in Delaware.  
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 16, 2003, 07:01:36 pm
Quote
...in fact Marshall Fritz of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State thinks that DE is the best state for the FSP.  We might start with expanding that.

Ted, I am interested to hear where you got this information.

Quote
The question is whether the FSP will allow the dual state choice on the ballot.  If there is to be such a choice, I would say go ahead and make it WY/DE, as that combination seems to garner the most favor.  Something that is more questionable, although worth some thought, is whether including WY/DE on the ballot should eliminate WY and DE as separate candidate states.  I say this because the two states are such polar opposites that choosing either by itself stands a greater chance of alienating members from the other persuasion, and would also effectively narrow our audience for future recruitment.  Offering both appeals to the broadest spectrum and allows voters to opt for one without danger of the other.

Not quite sure what you are saying here, Robert, but I think it is clear WY and DE each must remain on the ballot as individual states, no matter they seem polarizing. As far as I'm concerned, it's far from clear that WY/DE or WY/VT is superior to WY all by itself, despite the lower overall FSP draw WY-alone would cause. It may not matter that the draw for WY-alone is lower, as long as it is "high enough", which it probably would be, and "higher than WY would get in a combo", which is almost certainly the case.

BTW, while we would lose some FSPers for WY by going to a combo setup, the ones we'd lose would probably be the most threatening ones to the Wyoming residents (since they would be easterners). Thus they might be less effective there than average, and their loss might not be such a bad thing. Again all that matters is that we still have "enough" to do what we want to do there.

Does anyone have any ideas on estimating how many we would lose, and how many would remain, for Wyoming? Could we poll the current population some way? I don't know how to avoid that naughty strategic voting for this poll, though...

The other thing that makes no sense is this discussion about limiting the combo to WY/DE. It's clear if we are going to allow combos at all, we need to put WY/VT, WY/DE and ND/VT on the ballot. Just because the few of us here might think the WY/DE combo is the obvious one, does not mean the "silent majority" of the FSP would think that. You have to present your case to them, not make their choice for them. The criterion should be, which combo is most doable, not which has most disparate states, or which has a warmer state. I'm far from convinced DE is more doable than VT.

I'm wondering if Jason is still in denial, or if he is going to give us a solid argument why these three combos ought not be put on the ballot.   ;)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 16, 2003, 09:36:24 pm
Go to this page to find House districts in Delaware (http://www.legis.state.de.us/Legislature.nsf/fsHouse?openframeset&Frame=Main&Src=/Legislature.nsf/Lookup/House_Home?open)

Go to this page to find Senate districts (http://www.legis.state.de.us/Legislature.nsf/fsSenate?openframeset&Frame=Main&Src=/Legislature.nsf/Lookup/SenateHome?open)

That's where I looked before, but at that time (week or two ago, but well after the elections) they were unavailable, but coming soon.

It was bad enough in FL when they waited until something like August to let candidates know where their districts were.  But not making this available until AFTER the election?  That is crazy.

Of course, it could have been down for a page redesign, I don't know.  However, it sounded like they had not been posted at that time.

In the meantime, I am doing extensive calculations on the swing vote in precincts where candidates won by narrow margins.  I'll post the results soon on the Delaware thread.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 16, 2003, 09:55:35 pm
Quote
...in fact Marshall Fritz of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State thinks that DE is the best state for the FSP.  We might start with expanding that.

Ted, I am interested to hear where you got this information.


I emailed him, and that's what he said.  He implied that he was a member, but did not say so.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 17, 2003, 12:49:11 am
Ted, did you miss my reference above to the Delaware district maps for 2003?
Each Senate district has its own map, and House districts have two to a few
so these maps do not give an overview, but they are current for the upcoming year.

On the two references that Jason had for maps, I too looked when I did the Delaware legislative tables and again yesterday -- still no go. So I downloaded more of the above district maps.

I never did go to your reference, but I got the maps from Jason's post just fine today.  I don't think I will need any others, maybe precinct maps, but I'm not so sure I really need those.  Knowing what precincts are in each district (DE has a great system for numbering precincts that I wish Broward had.), and how many votes each candidate from each precinct seems to be enough.  I don't think I need to know exactly where in the district each precinct is.

Right now, I am going precinct by precinct in enough districts in the DE House to give a majority, calculating how many votes we could get from each one based on the swing vote.  (This is calculated by subtracting the minimum R vote and the minimum D vote from the total vote.)  This may take a lot of time, but I want everyone to know that I am going to be posting one heck of an anaylsis when I'm done!


Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 17, 2003, 05:54:51 am
Not quite sure what you are saying here, Robert, but I think it is clear WY and DE each must remain on the ballot as individual states, no matter they seem polarizing. As far as I'm concerned, it's far from clear that WY/DE or WY/VT is superior to WY all by itself, despite the lower overall FSP draw WY-alone would cause. It may not matter that the draw for WY-alone is lower, as long as it is "high enough", which it probably would be, and "higher than WY would get in a combo", which is almost certainly the case.

Well, to clarify, I think that Wyoming is best by itself as well, and superior to any combination of states.  The problem is that I don't know if Wyoming can win on its own due to the large number of members who fear straying very far from eastern population centers (judging from what I've seen here, and used to see in the Yahoo forum, and imagining that this is fairly representative of the FSP's overall makeup).  I thought I saw some reference on the Yahoo group once that slightly more of our members come from the east (NH specifically), but this may have been incorrect or may have changed over time - Jason could advise on that score.

Then again, I come from the east but I favor the west, so there may be more of that persuasion out there; I don't know.  And the "closing arguments" that are made for the various states may have some degree of impact as well; again, I don't know.

There are also the other possible advantages that have been cited here before: likely greater future recruitment, greater likelihood that those who pledge to move will do so, greater likelihood that they'll stay where they move, greater likelihood that our activists will be more successful because they will simply blend into the culture of the respective states better, etc...  I think these arguments are compelling, and if made well, could sway many voters, again, possibly more than Wyoming might get by itself.

Quote
BTW, while we would lose some FSPers for WY by going to a combo setup, the ones we'd lose would probably be the most threatening ones to the Wyoming residents (since they would be easterners). Thus they might be less effective there than average, and their loss might not be such a bad thing. Again all that matters is that we still have "enough" to do what we want to do there.

Exactly...which, I believe, is all we're going to get anyway, and as you say, the loss of others might not be a bad thing because they'd be ill-suited to succeeding in Wyoming anyway.  Some opt-outs might change their minds and give it a try, but you never know.  And would their possible failure be a good thing for the effort in Wyoming?  If Wyoming did win the vote, then disgruntled easterners might just form their own project, so why not facilitate the split and offer one option that will appeal to both sides and keep it all under the FSP at the same time (if we're going to lose such persons in Wyoming anyway)?  In which situation then would Wyoming have the better chance?  Contending against the eastern block, or with it?

Quote
Does anyone have any ideas on estimating how many we would lose, and how many would remain, for Wyoming? Could we poll the current population some way? I don't know how to avoid that naughty strategic voting for this poll, though...

I think Jason once said that we could lose upwards of a thousand or so following the state vote.  Like you, I really wish there was a way that we could get a grip on what the non-forum members of the FSP are thinking.  It might make this discussion moot.

Quote
The other thing that makes no sense is this discussion about limiting the combo to WY/DE. It's clear if we are going to allow combos at all, we need to put WY/VT, WY/DE and ND/VT on the ballot. Just because the few of us here might think the WY/DE combo is the obvious one, does not mean the "silent majority" of the FSP would think that. You have to present your case to them, not make their choice for them. The criterion should be, which combo is most doable, not which has most disparate states, or which has a warmer state. I'm far from convinced DE is more doable than VT.

Well, Ted's working on his report, so we'll see what he comes up with, but I agree with you that VT is more doable than DE.  Part of what would make it doable for the purposes of a dual state option though is whether or not it would draw the necessary votes to keep it from actually defeating our intentions.  For instance, if we scatter the dual state votes over four choices, one of the lesser single state options could win and that way we'd both lose.  We could possibly compensate by tallying votes separately even for the dual state options, say, asking people:  "If you're voting for a dual state option, which do you intend on moving to?"  And then tallying the votes by adding each WY, DE, ND, and VT vote appearing in a combo to those appearing for each state separately.  Then a single state would still likely win over any of the combos, and we've defeated ourselves again.

Basically, it just seems to me that those who have an interest in a dual state option should try and throw their weight behind one option so as not to end up defeating themselves.  A statistical analysis would be invaluable here, but I'm not good at that sort of thing.  Anybody care to give it a shot?
Title: The unworkable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 17, 2003, 10:57:55 am
Why two-state combinations will not be considered on the ballot:

1. It will require another change of the Participation Guidelines, bringing on a host of ills.  First, it will be the second change in a month, which is very unprofessional, as well as disconcerting for our members.  If the Guidelines can be changed so frequently and unilaterally, what, if anything, about the Project is secure & determinate?  Second, since it deals with state choices, this change is likely to bring all the pro-Virgin Islands loonies out of the woodwork again, and we would have less of an argument to reject their demands.  "Since you're changing the Guidelines every other week, how would it hurt to include territories now?"

2. It's unnecessary.  Sick of all the east-west whining and bickering, I finally got nearly exact figures on optouts.  1151 of our 2448 members opted out of no states.  A further 515 opted out of only 1-2.  That means 68% of the membership opted out of two or fewer states.  This figure is actually low, because in the early days a lot of people listed states that are not on the ballot, and in my survey I did not weed these out.  Probably about 20% of the membership opted out of 5 or more states.  Of these, about half are Western chauvinists and half are Eastern chauvinists.  So we would lose, at most, 10% of our membership after the state vote.  That would be about 500 people.  It's no surprise that apart from a few people on this forum, there is no demand for splitting this project.  (Oh yes, there's Chuck Geshlider, who thinks more competition is always better.  By that logic we should have 50 FSP's.  Oh wait, that's what we have now.)

3. It still looks bad.  It does look bad if the FSP targets two states on opposite ends of the country.  We have to pick one state.  That's the only way our argument, "We picked this state because we like what it stands for and we want to make it more like itself" holds water.  Otherwise, we're just nasty carpetbagging Hillary Clintons trying to get as much federal representation as possibly by grabbing 2 very different states.  Trust me on this; I'm the one who deals with the media in these states.

4. It's unfair and will raise howls of outrage.  Notice that all the people supporting dual-state options are people who support one of those states.  This is transparently a ploy to make it easier for one of the smallest-population states to win, whether by itself or in a combo.  There aren't any supporters of NH, AK, ID, MT, ME, and SD following this thread, but if there were, they would be screaming bloody murder, as well they should.

5. But it's not even a very good ploy.  If your state wins in a combo, it's unlikely that you'd be able to get 20,000 people to move there.  There just aren't 40,000 libertarian activists in the country.  What's more, having the combo available might not just pull votes from, say, NH, but it would almost certainly pull votes from the small states singly.  Thus, you small-state supporters might well be shooting yourselves in the foot by splitting the Project when you could have had the whole thing.

6. As Joe has mentioned, we need 20,000 activists to win at the state level.  10,000 activists will probably be enough to win lots of local governments and make a splash on the state level, but not enough to win a majority at the state level.  To get 20,000 activists in our state, we will probably need on the order of 30,000 commitments.  That would be impossible if there were 2 states competing for commitments.

7. Easterners' moving to Wyoming would be far from a disaster.  The majority of Wyomingites are descendants of Easterners who moved West 100-120 years ago.  I expect that no matter what state we choose, our members will move there without complaining and adapt to the culture.

8. If the Project does split, it can be handled informally.  The "real" Project will press ahead with the chosen state, while the separatists will struggle vainly to get an adequate number of commitments for their state, presumably at the opposite end of the country.  That doesn't mean the split has to be public, acrimonious, and messy.  By anticipating it, we can amicably let the separatists go their way while knowing that they are doomed to failure.  If the prospect of failure discourages a schism, so much the better.

9. We need to pick the best state for liberty.  Why mess around with second or third best?  This is our only chance, let's not screw it up.  We have a nearly ideal voting system now, likely to yield the true favorite of the group.  We have done extensive state research, the results of which are starting to come together.  Libertarianism is such a marginalized ideology on the American scene that we need to concentrate our resources as much as possible and work as hard as possible to translate those resources into victory, if we are to see liberty in our lifetime.  Let's not waste our energy on arcane squabbling or disperse  & dissipate our resources any more than we need to.

Y'all can feel free to discuss this issue further if you want, but the matter is settled.  I've been watching this thread to see if there are any compelling arguments to outweigh the above, and there are not.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: DadELK68 on January 17, 2003, 01:25:16 pm
Because I agree that we're likely to recruit more people with the 2-state strategy (recognizing the East vs West, Urban-Suburban vs Rural divide) and because I think it is important to increase relative clout at the federal level as well, this is a pretty appealing thread.

However - having lived in (and spent lots of time with relatives in) both East and West (WA, ID, UT, CA, CO, NM, AZ - then MA and NH), I'm more in favor of NH in a 2-state strategy than of either DE or VT. DE would literally be an island surrounded by un-free states, and the current voting base in DE seems less conducive to absorbing FSP principles. DE has a significant population consisting of rather isolationist religious minorities (Amish), and while it is within relatively easy driving distance of major cities I don't see any benefit of being closer to Philly or NJ than I am now, living in NH, to Boston and NYC.

VT is more appealing in terms of numbers but not in terms of climate, and is actually more distant from any urban centers - less likely to attract as many people as NH and/or provide an adequately diverse economic base, but also not requiring as many to accomplish a shift. Remember that in VT, registered Republicans and Democrats are equally split - the others are what shift the balance toward socialist candidates and policies, and that's the result of a concerted effort on the part of the socialists to 'take over' the state.

In the West, I look at it in two ways - there are a few states which are arguably closer to 'free state' status based on the inclinations of the current populations, and a WY would be the easiest to shift with fewer numbers. However, ID would be most appealing to larger numbers of people from 'the left coast' and probably best able economically to support such an influx.

If we get NH, over a period of years I'd expect some 'spillover' effect into VT and ME, also states on the list of possibilities, creating a 'free state zone' in Northern New England. If we get DE, what are the chances of any beneficial spillover into neighboring states? Instead, if we pick DE and have any significant number of supporters move from NH, VT and ME, those states will lose significant ground in the movement.

If we get WY, it's surrounded by states already more favorable toward FSP principles, and if anything it might weaken the movement in neighboring states by drawing people disproportionately from them; on the other hand, if we get ID then it strengthens the movement in the entire Intermountain West if there is any 'spillover' effect (less likely to be significant given the vast distances in the West).

In my mind we do need to focus on one - or at most two - states, but with an eye toward the long-range goal of demonstrating the FSP principles in action so that others will move in the same direction. Based on this long-term goal and the likelihood (for economic and other reasons) of some eventual 'spillover' migration into states bordering the free state(s), I would argue in favor of NH and ID as the best candidates for long-term success and spreading of the movement.

If we can't draw enough participants to go for the 2-state approach (which I think will be the likely result to some degree anyway), I would argue the best long-term results are likely to come from picking NH first, with ID as the runner-up.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 17, 2003, 02:27:02 pm
Jason, I'll address your points in order.

1) "It will require another change of the Participation Guidelines..." I agree this is a rather large problem. I don't know if it is a fatal argument, though. If there is any further change whatever in the guidelines, this ought to be considered.

2) "...I finally got nearly exact figures on optouts.  1151 of our 2448 members opted out of no states..." This initial population probably contains the greatest number of "broken glass eaters". It's likely as the population grows, the opt-outs will as well.

3) "...we're just nasty carpetbagging Hillary Clintons trying to get as much federal representation..." Well, most folks here thought the carpetbagging argument went the other way, that shoving easterners into Wyoming who did not really want to be there was the way to look like carpetbaggers. I think you are off base on this one.

4) "...This is transparently a ploy to make it easier for one of the smallest-population states to win..." Well, I thought it was a ploy to increase freedom.  ;)  But what you say may well be true. If I were an Idaho proponent it would not make me happy (actually I like Idaho...). But so what? We have to work with what we have, and it's silly to exclude viable options because some percentage of our members don't like that it makes their favorites less likely.

5) "...If your state wins in a combo, it's unlikely that you'd be able to get 20,000 people to move there..." Yes, that is clearly the most important issue. However, these combos are still better in this respect than ID, ME and NH. Is getting 20,000 in Idaho better than getting even as few as 25,000 split evenly between Wyoming and Vermont? I don't think so. The combos don't look so good compared with small states individually, but they look good against the largest states.

6) Seems to be another way of arguing #5

7) "...I expect that no matter what state we choose, our members will move there without complaining and adapt to the culture..." That would be nice, but having 2 states to choose from would obviously make that task a lot easier.

8. Agree

9) "We need to pick the best state for liberty..." This is begging the question, putting it in one-state terms, ignoring that two states may well be better for liberty.

Jason, you forgot one argument, so I will make it for you. "This is my baby, I am in charge, and you guys are getting off the reservation."

I don't want to sound sarcastic. Actually I personally think this is the most telling argument. I am perfectly willing to defer to you on this, because I think there is value in not having what amounts to a mutiny. They are destructive and get in the way of accomplishing anything. You are our leader, and we should follow you. Libertarians need discipline, and here is one way we can demonstrate it: by putting this 2-state argument to bed.

And by getting back to selecting Wyoming as our state.  ;)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Elizabeth on January 17, 2003, 03:07:33 pm
The reality is that while people may feel they could have done the FSP better by making it the Free Moon Project, The Free As Many States As I Want Project, the Free My State Cause I Like It Here Project, etc., the FSP is what it is, and is *clearly* defined in all our materials.

Discussions like this one are moot.  And not just neutral in value, but in fact destructive to the FSP, because they divert energy from the important needs like RECRUITMENT, PUBLICITY, TECHNOLOGY, and RESEARCH.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Elizabeth on January 17, 2003, 05:03:28 pm
Joe, don't get cranky.  The point is that the FSP is committed to a plan to which 2500 people have already signed on, and to many more who will once a state is chosen.  

Anyone who thinks that they have a plan that:
a) is better than the FSP as stated
b) will succeed even in competition with the FSP
c) won't simply destroy the entire community of people who want to move to achieve liberty in their lifetime by splintering it unrecoverably
d) won't humiliate the libertarian movement more than it already has been by infighting, blue guys, spitting guys, Leadville, etc.

is always able to start their own project.

But this project is what it is.  And we want people with critical thinking skills and enthusiasm on board to help us implement the many tactical details (see Dada Orwell and his activism thread, for example).  But we don't need people who are using our resources to develop competing projects or splinter groups within the FSP.

That seems pragmatic to me.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 17, 2003, 06:04:03 pm
Jason is the boss.
Elizabeth is his lieutenant.
Don't cross 'em.
I wish good luck to the rest of the committee members who actually are political pragmatists.
         

I'm with Joe on this one.  The FSP is beginning more and more to look like the organization I just left, and I don't like it.

I am very shocked and saddened by this whole thing.  I don't know what else to say at this point, except please don't delete Joe's posts, since they are so good.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 17, 2003, 07:15:42 pm
I do have something else to say.

Why can't the membership decide this?  I thought I joined an organization that had things decided by a vote of the membership.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Elizabeth on January 17, 2003, 07:34:03 pm
We would *never* delete Joe's posts.  He has to do it himself if he truly wants it done.

What is shocking and saddening, exactly?
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Elizabeth on January 17, 2003, 07:49:53 pm
Quote
Why can't the membership decide this?  I thought I joined an organization that had things decided by a vote of the membership.

First, I would ask why you thought everything would be decided by the membership.  Because I want to make sure that if we have misleading info on the site, we clean it up.

Second, while we put as many things as possible to the vote, we don't put everything to the vote.  This is a private, non-profit corporation.  The corporation was formed for the express purpose of moving to a single state -- in fact, here's the mission statement:

The Free State Project is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to a single state of the U.S., where they may work within the political system to reduce the size and scope of government. The success of the Free State Project would likely entail reductions in burdensome taxation and regulation, reforms in state and local law, an end to federal mandates, and a restoration of constitutional federalism, demonstrating the benefits of liberty to the rest of the nation and the world.

And here's the Statement of Intent, signed by members:

I hereby state my solemn intent to move to a state of the United States designated by vote of Free State Project (FSP) participants as specified in the Participation Guidelines of the FSP. Once this move occurs, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property. I have read and understood the Participation Guidelines of the FSP and agree to be bound by them.

So we really can't (and won't) put to a vote things like, "Should we change to the Free Cheese Project" or "Should we change to the Move to Ted's Favorite State" project.

We have committees which anyone can join which decided how to publicize the project, research the project, help with technology for the project.  We appreciate and support member input and activism in many areas.  Members will decide which state they move to.  

But we will not vote on changing the entire purpose of the FSP, especially when we have been perfectly clear from the very beginning about what the project is.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Solitar on January 17, 2003, 08:06:51 pm
Quote
We would *never* delete Joe's posts.  He has to do it himself if he truly wants it done.
On another thread
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=6;action=display;threadid=416
Quote
Jason wrote:
Quote
Hey Joe - did you delete almost 300 of your posts?
Yes.
I did so for the following reasons.
1) To eliminate potentially incriminating material
-- stuff that my future political enemies could use against me
since anything we publicly say could be used against us.
2) To eliminate that which did not bear directly upon success in getting enough qualified people to make a Free State successful and thus to give liberty as-we-once-knew-it a chance. Thus the stuff on religion, etc. was culled.
3) To eliminate duplication as much as possible.
4) To carve down the entire load so that a person could download it from my profile page. It times out with an error at 30 seconds (250 to 500 posts depending on the length (KB) of those posts). I've written far too much here for any reasonably busy person to absorb or even to sort through or find.
5) To make my posts and the number of posts briefer -- so that people can better understand what I've written. Thus I've culled my submissions from entire threads rather than having my submissions splattered all over this forum.
6) Others, not just Elizabeth, have posted that I say too much here (one of my posts was hacked by someone to make that point to me). Okay, I'll keep it specific to the task at hand.
7) I've stored all my previous submissions in my own archive of my material for use again at a future date when and where it may be appropriate. I'd rather have more control over the dissemination of my work.
8) I've tried to remove pointless cutting remarks from me toward others here. Again the focus is on the success of the Free State after the FSP moves its people, rather than on which philosophical belief is best.
9) I look forward to concentrating my efforts here on pragmatic discussion of how to actually win town, city, county, and state seats AND then HOW to practically implement the grand ideas proposed on these forums with those who've gained enough experience to be able to knowledgably participate in such discussions -- BEFORE they move (and thus know what they are moving into).
Later I deleted the above post along with another few dozen posts.
Thus you will find loose ends.  I apologize for those.
But if you need material, please message me since I've got most of my stuff archived.

P.S.
MouseBorg, one our most pragmatic, wise, insightful, and valued contributors with over a thousand posts, deleted all which were not in locked threads (leaving 99 to which he has added a precious few since). He too has taken on a local government board post to gain some experience and thus likely has little time for the games some play here.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 17, 2003, 08:13:08 pm
Look, we've taken many suggestions in the past that have changed some fundamental aspect of the FSP project.  The change in the vote system was one such change; it eventually became obvious that the vote system we had originally settled on was really, really bad, and that we needed to change it.  In this case, an idea has been proposed that does not serve as a solution to an existing problem but may, in theory and at best, serve as an enhancement to the initial idea.  However, there are equally powerful arguments that it would drag down the idea.  Therefore, there is just not evidence compelling enough to warrant the drastic and cataclysmic change that the proposal would require.  This has nothing to do with, "I want to keep this project the way it is because it's mine, nyah!"  What nonsense.  The fact that I've fallen in with other suggested changes in the past that did have merit disproves such an accusation.

I'm further puzzled that anyone who signed onto a program would become "shocked and saddened" when the program remained the same as it was when he signed onto it.  Speaking for myself, I would only be "shocked and saddened" if I signed onto something and then the terms were changed mid-stream.  I suspect hundreds, perhaps thousands, of our members would think the same way had this proposal gone through.  I guess it's "damned if you do, damned if you don't" in this case for the Board & me.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 17, 2003, 08:14:49 pm

MouseBorg, one our most pragmatic, wise, insightful, and valued contributors with over a thousand posts, deleted all which were not in locked threads (leaving 99 to which he has added a precious few since). He too has taken on a local government board post to gain some experience and thus likely has little time for the games some play here.

I noticed that Mouseborg left and was wondering why; I assumed he had gotten very busy.  I didn't know that he deleted his posts; I wonder why he did?
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 17, 2003, 09:09:45 pm
Ted, Joe, there just comes a time when you have to go along. I don't know how else to put it.

I started this thread because of the talk about it on different threads, and because I thought of a factor that cast it in a new light (perhaps someone else had already discussed these aspects, who knows...)  I thought it was a pretty good idea - not great, but pretty good. I was hoping to convince the "powers that be".

I didn't. Oh, well, so it goes! It would be egotistical for me to push it further. I'm not (that much) an egotist, and I'm not going to sabotage the effort by continuing in this vein. Some things are more important than my feelings and opinions, and any time I don't think so I can always collect my marbles and walk away.

Ted, I know you latched on to this because it made Delaware look like it would be chosen. I'm sorry it didn't fly for you, and I'm sorry it looks like Delaware won't be the chosen state.

Quote
This has nothing to do with, "I want to keep this project the way it is because it's mine, nyah!"  What nonsense.

Well, Jason, I think it does, although I certainly wouldn't put it that way.  ;)  It's clear that FSP is run either by you or by a committee, and either way it's the same, as far as the rest of us are concerned. I accept that you/they run it, and I'm glad someone at least is doing so. If this effort was a libertarian democracy, I truly doubt anything useful would get done, knowing libertarians! I've also found you willing to take some suggestions I've come up with, at least, so I'm content. Any way I can help the effort, I'll do so.

Again, I really hope we can put this one to bed. Oh, and Joe, please don't delete your posts.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 17, 2003, 09:31:50 pm
What is shocking and saddening, exactly?
That you are not allowing the membership to decide whether or not to change or amend the mission statement or the Participation Guidelines.

At the time I signed on, I knew that you had previously changed the method of voting on the states, and I think that the change was a good one.  The previous method was clearly a bad one, and I can't imagine what you must have been thinking when you chose it.

I also ASSUMMED that the change in voting method was done by a vote of the membership.  Apparently, it wasn't.  How was it done then?  I have looked over your documents again, and while it does say that the Participation Guidelines can be changed, it does not specify the manner of change.  In fact, it does not say much of anything (not even the usual refrence to Robert's Rule of Order), and does not appear to be well thought out.

I really wish now that I had been more careful before I had signed on to this thing.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 17, 2003, 10:20:57 pm
Ted, Joe, there just comes a time when you have to go along. I don't know how else to put it.

I will.  I don't want to make a big fight over this.  However, I do wish they would explain things better on how decisions are made.

Quote
Ted, I know you latched on to this because it made Delaware look like it would be chosen. I'm sorry it didn't fly for you, and I'm sorry it looks like Delaware won't be the chosen state.

Actually, I latched on to this because it was the perfect answer to the insane east-west war that plagues the FSP.

Another reason was Joe's posts about how hard it is for easterners to get along with westerners, and how westerners distrust easterners.  His story about how a second generation person wasn't considered a true local is especially chilling.  How many FSP members are aware of this problem?  How many knew of it when they signed on?

Before this whole thing started, my top three choices were DE>NH>ID, with VT near the bottom.  Now all the western states are on the bottom, and I am wondering if I should opt out of all of them.  Not that there is reason why western states can't be free, it's just that it is becoming obvious to me that the ONLY people qualified to change western states are westerners.  Easterners simply won't be able to.

Anyway, don't worry about DE, I am analyzing how we can win there, and so far what I have found is very encouraging.  Lots of races with low win margins, no excessive gerrymandering, and a lot of swing voters.  The more I study it, the more excited I get, and the more convinced I am that this is the state for us, even if it is not part of a combo.

Quote
Well, Jason, I think it does, although I certainly wouldn't put it that way.  ;)  It's clear that FSP is run either by you or by a committee, and either way it's the same, as far as the rest of us are concerned. I accept that you/they run it, and I'm glad someone at least is doing so. If this effort was a libertarian democracy, I truly doubt anything useful would get done, knowing libertarians! I've also found you willing to take some suggestions I've come up with, at least, so I'm content.

I have no idea how the FSP is run, and I really wish I had found out before I signed up.

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Elizabeth on January 17, 2003, 10:52:19 pm
I think that is a reasonable question.  Jason, perhaps we could put it in the FAQ? Something like this (just a draft):

Q.  How are decisions made in the FSP?

A.  The largest and most important decision -- which state -- will be made by a vote of the membership, as outlined in the Participation Guidelines. [link to "which state" FAQ and Guidelines]

For day-to-day management decisions, the Free State Project, Inc., is a private, non-profit corporation.  Corporate decisions are ultimately made by the Board of Directors [include link].  

The various committees, however, are empowered to make certain decisions in several areas such as research, technology, and publicity.  They also make proposals for major decisions (those involving spending, for example) to the Board.  These committees are open to anyone, including non-members.

We do our best to make decisions with input from the membership, and any significant changes to the Project Guidelines allow any signed member to opt out, thus ensuring that no member is committed to a project significantly different from what he/she signed up for.


*************************

Ted, let me explain something else to you -- perhaps a problem in distinguishing the FSP, Inc. from the Free State is the issue.

The FSP, Inc. is a private corporation which is trying to get 20,000 libertarians in one place.  We are *not* interested, however, in being the government of the Free State.  We forsee the FSP, Inc. as either disbanding after the move, or morphing into an advisory/educational think tank.  We aren't proposing that we make all the decisions (or any of them) in the Free State.

But, as the FSP, Inc., we need to make the best decisions we can to achieve the goals of the organization -- which is to move to a single state.

And that's something you haven't addressed -- why did you sign up for the FSP, knowing it was for a single state and then complain because we won't change it to a multiple state project?  As Jason said, it seems that a) we can't win, and b) we are doing the best we can for the members we have by staying true to the project they signed up for.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Elizabeth on January 17, 2003, 10:58:31 pm
I also ASSUMMED that the change in voting method was done by a vote of the membership.  Apparently, it wasn't.  How was it done then?  

We made the voting methods change exactly the way we would make any major changes.  Many people brought up problems with CC, and Jason started to see they had a point.  A debate here and on the mailing list was started to discuss alternatives.  Jason did a thought experiment here on the board, resulting in much more discussion.  Then he and another board member did more research, based on the many discussions.  Jason wrote a paper and made a proposal to the Board.  Then the Board voted to amend the Guidelines.

Please note, though, that the voting method, while a major change, did not change the nature of the project.  The voting method was a tactical change.  What you want would be a change in the entire basis of the project -- changing a single state project where we condense our forces, into a multiple state project where we scatter our forces.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 17, 2003, 11:33:59 pm
The FSP, Inc. is a private corporation which is trying to get 20,000 libertarians in one place.  We are *not* interested, however, in being the government of the Free State.  We forsee the FSP, Inc. as either disbanding after the move, or morphing into an advisory/educational think tank.  We aren't proposing that we make all the decisions (or any of them) in the Free State.

But, as the FSP, Inc., we need to make the best decisions we can to achieve the goals of the organization -- which is to move to a single state.

You keep saying "we".  Who is this "we"???  How many?  What are their names?  How are they chosen?  And, WHY, WHY, WHY IS THIS NOT EXPLAINED ANYWHERE???

I don't know why I didn't ask these questions before I joined, but I can only say that for some reason it just simply didn't occur to me.
Quote
And that's something you haven't addressed -- why did you sign up for the FSP, knowing it was for a single state and then complain because we won't change it to a multiple state project?  As Jason said, it seems that a) we can't win, and b) we are doing the best we can for the members we have by staying true to the project they signed up for.

At the time I signed up, I had absolutely no idea that this east-west thing was such a problem.

Let me put it this way.  I was born in Miami.  This makes me a true Floridian, someone actually born in the state.  Where my parents born in Florida?  Heck, no.  My mother was born in upstate NY, my dad was born in Chicago.

None of this matters to Floridians.  I was born here, that makes me a native, and a rarity.  They could absolutely care less about how many generations I have been here.  Heck, just about everybody here is from somewhere else, and almost nobody was actually born here.

Live in FL for as little as a year, and you're a local.  No one cares, not very much anyway, if you have been here longer.  (It does help a little to be a native, but only a little.)  And, they certainly don't care where your parents were born, to say nothing about generations before them.

Joe's post about the fourth generation candidate besting the third generation candidate while the second generation candidate apologized for being such a newcomer was a real eye opener.  So were all his other posts on the differences between east and west.  So were all the posts from other people on the differences between east and west.

I now see things very differently than I did before.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Elizabeth on January 18, 2003, 12:01:07 am
You keep saying "we".  Who is this "we"???  How many?  What are their names?  How are they chosen?  And, WHY, WHY, WHY IS THIS NOT EXPLAINED ANYWHERE???

We, as I explained, is the Board of Directors.

You can find out all about us here:
http://www.freestateproject.com/about.htm

and how many and how we are chosen here:
http://www.freestateproject.com/corpbylaws.htm

All that info is on the website and has been from the very beginning.  Previously it was under a link called "About" but is now under a link called "Leadership" -- both of which have been always linked from the front page (and all other major pages) of the website.

I agree that a FAQ on decision-making processes might be useful.  See my draft, above.

How much of this is "I'm not getting what I want, so it must be your fault from hiding info from me!", Ted?  Be realistic.  We have always had info on the website about:

1) It's a single state project
2) Who the leadership is
3) How to get in contact with them
4) How they're chosen
5) How many there are
6) The corporate nature of the FSP, Inc. (including our pending 501c3 status)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 18, 2003, 01:17:15 am

All that info is on the website and has been from the very beginning.  Previously it was under a link called "About" but is now under a link called "Leadership" -- both of which have been always linked from the front page (and all other major pages) of the website.


Correct.  Somehow this totally escaped my attention, and I did go through the entire FAQ before I signed up.

My suggestion is to put links to the corporate bylaws right where you sign up saying something like "Before joining, please read our bylaws. "(put hyperlink here).

In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you would address my concerns about western states being unworkable for easteners.  Hopefully we won't have this problem because an eastern state will be chosen.  However, people who don't understand the situation (Jason seems to be one of those) may prevail, and a western state may be chosen instead.  The result could be a disaster.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Elizabeth on January 18, 2003, 01:27:25 am
As for the east-west problem, I agree that it is a concern.

The problem, from my POV, is that both groups are completely irrational.  Therefore, I cannot see a way to address the concerns.

If people are going to plug their ears and say loudly "I'm not listening! I'm not listening!" whenever a state not in their preferred location is discussed/proposed, there's not much we can do.

Remember, too, that while there are some VERY squeaky wheels around here, their assertions do NOT necessarily represent a) other members, or b) the truth.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: varrin on January 18, 2003, 03:20:56 am
I'm not too sure why I feel compelled to add to this thread at this point, but here goes.

First off, Jason (and the rest of you who agree with him), I've been an ID supporter from the beginning and I was *not* opposed to the two state combo idea.  I did (still do) see some benefit to it instead of just going to Idaho.  I pointed out one factor which could become useful later on (as in decades down the road): having 4 U.S. Senators instead of 2.  Of course, there are other issues too.  But that's all water under the bridge at this point.

Also, the people on this thread *do* (or did) seem to be cooperating much better once this idea got going.  So it is not as though this idea is without benefit, at least in terms of getting people to get along.

Having said all that, I'm just fine with leaving things the way they are.  Either we'll go to a state that I've included, or I'll cheer everyone on from afar (likely overseas if an opted-out-of state is chosen).  

So here's what I think is important:  Cooperate.  If Jason and the board want to keep it to a single state, that's just fine.  It's *their* baby.  The fact of the matter is, lots of us have had similar ideas to this.  *None* of us ever set up what he (they) have set up.  They are the leaders by virtue of simply doing something, so I'm happy to let them lead.  Even if we think the 2 state combo idea was swell, if it's not going to happen it's time to move on.

So when do we get back to Idaho????? ;)

V-

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 18, 2003, 05:22:33 am
As for the east-west problem, I agree that it is a concern.

The problem, from my POV, is that both groups are completely irrational.  Therefore, I cannot see a way to address the concerns.

What do you find so irrational about the groups involved or the discussion in general?  

Quote
If people are going to plug their ears and say loudly "I'm not listening! I'm not listening!" whenever a state not in their preferred location is discussed/proposed, there's not much we can do.

This has not happened all that often; most here give what they feel are valid reasons for the positions they hold, and whether those positions are indeed valid or not is another issue.  However, the inability of various people to agree with one another does not necessarily mean that they're not listening to one another or that they're being "irrational."
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 18, 2003, 06:19:06 am
Discussions like this one are moot.  And not just neutral in value, but in fact destructive to the FSP, because they divert energy from the important needs like RECRUITMENT, PUBLICITY, TECHNOLOGY, and RESEARCH.

If this is true, then the voting method should never have been changed because that's what people signed up for when they joined the FSP, and the board was wrong for even considering any arguments to the contrary.  Nevertheless it did consider them, and a fundamental aspect of the state selection process was changed as a result.  It's now agreed that this change was a good thing, but if the above philosophy had been enforced it never would have happened.

Discussion is never moot or destructive among those who consider themselves rational and open-minded, and for that reason, the above statement is, quite frankly, alarming.

"Having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise."  - Benjamin Franklin

And we want people with critical thinking skills and enthusiasm on board to help us implement the many tactical details...But we don't need people who are using our resources to develop competing projects or splinter groups within the FSP.

People with critical thinking skills are going to start discussions like this one because it is inherent in their nature to question things and explore alternatives in search of better solutions.  

If the Guidelines can be changed so frequently and unilaterally, what, if anything, about the Project is secure & determinate?  ..."Since you're changing the Guidelines every other week, how would it hurt to include territories now?"

How many times have the guidelines been changed?  Certainly no one here has suggested changing them "every other week," nor is this likely to happen.  This is taking an argument to an unwarranted extreme in order to make it appear absurd, and it is itself absurd.  No one here has even so much as mentioned when the guidelines should be changed.  They hadn't even fully explored the possible combinations that could be proposed for such a change to say nothing of demanding that it happen this month!  Most of the discussion related to that issue has been about whether the FSP would even consider such a proposal in the first place, why it might be a good idea to do so, and which combinations would be best.  And the issue of changing the Free State Project guidelines is not automatically connected to the issue of expanding the project from states to territories.  That's a bit of a larger leap than the consideration (consideration mind you) of an additional state.

It's no surprise that apart from a few people on this forum, there is no demand for splitting this project.

Since most people in the FSP aren't on this forum at all, we really don't know what they're thinking, or what would appeal to them, do we?

Notice that all the people supporting dual-state options are people who support one of those states.  This is transparently a ploy to make it easier for one of the smallest-population states to win, whether by itself or in a combo.  There aren't any supporters of NH, AK, ID, MT, ME, and SD following this thread, but if there were, they would be screaming bloody murder, as well they should.

This implies some sort of underhanded attempt to sabotage the state selection choice and is a veritable slap in the face despite being downright ridiculous.  Of course people proposing dual-state options are likely to favor the proposed dual-states!  What's so surprising and outrageous about that!?  As for transparency, nothing on this thread is encrypted; it's all wide open for anyone and everyone to read if they choose.  If people who support NH, AK, ID, MT, ME and SD don't follow it, then that's their choice.

As for this being a "ploy" to make it easier for one of the smaller states to win, this idea is specifically geared toward combos of states that do not exceed the 1.5 million cut off point, which necessarily excludes the larger states from such considerations.  They are excluded by definition, not by subterfuge.  Do you think that anyone in the FSP is actually out to make it harder for their favored choice to win?  In fact, are their arguments not all directed to make it easier?  What's the difference with this idea?  There's nothing cloak-and-dagger or underhanded about it.

You yourself have said that states with over one million inhabitants would be very difficult to justify.  Was that also a transparent ploy to make it easier for one of the smaller states to win?  Should supporters of the larger states be screaming bloody murder about that as well?  Are you in fact trying to provoke them into doing so, as you imply that this discussion is doing?

No one here is conspiring to overthrow the FSP's leadership or doom the cause of liberty in this country, and I have absolutely no desire to stir up a hornet's nest here more than has already been done.  The fact of the matter is that I do not believe that the FSP can succeed in all of these states even with 20,000.  In fact, I think that there are only a few in which we would really stand a fighting chance, but that's just one person's opinion.  I personally favor Wyoming as the best state for liberty, but that's hardly a secret.  I supported a WY/DE combination here because I personally felt that it would potentially lead to the enlistment of more committed members who were better able to work with one another in those respective states.  Having a large army in one place is certainly an advantage if its regiments and divisions are capable of working well together, but many of history's most famous battles have gone to smaller, better harmonized armies that emerged victorious over larger forces.  Cannae and Chancellorsville come to mind immediately.

We do not have a unified force here.  A cursory glance through these threads will demonstrate that quite capably.  For that matter, we do not even know what more than half of this organization's members are thinking.  A general who does not know where most of his troops are to begin with can hardly be assured of his ability to move forward with any real purpose.  And I'm not referring to opt-outs here; I'm referring to what criteria they're using to judge what state is best for liberty.  Or are they just thinking of what state is best for them?  Human nature being what it indisputibly is, you judge for yourself what they're likely to do.

Anyway, like Varrin, I really don't know why I felt compelled to return to this matter.  I suppose I just felt the need to respond to some of the implications contained in various statements here that I thought of as unfounded and/or unjust.  This has become an emotional discussion, and it's probably best if it's just dropped since we appear to have a firm answer on the issue, and before we make enemies of each other.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 18, 2003, 11:13:07 am
I also ASSUMMED that the change in voting method was done by a vote of the membership.  Apparently, it wasn't.

No, it was done by consensus, as I think all changes to the Guidelines must be done.  There should be no changes to the Guidelines unless an overwhelming majority of people support them, and the minority that do not support them are nevertheless reconciled to them.  We had a long period of public comment on the proposed Guidelines change.  No one involved in those discussions objected to the change, though some had particular systems they may have favored over the one we eventually picked.  In the end, only a handful of people opted out of the Project because of the change, and none of them had been involved in the discussions on this forum and the mailing lists.  Consensus is not unanimity, but unanimity is impossible in a group of this size.  I do think consensus stands up well against all the other alternatives.  We can't have a membership vote on every harebrained idea that comes down the pike (not saying this is a harebrained idea, just making a point), and letting the majority triumph over a strongly opposed minority would also be counterproductive in a change of this magnitude. The Participation Guidelines should only be changed after a long period of public comment & if there are no reasonable arguments against the change.  I guess we should put this in the FAQ.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 18, 2003, 11:57:09 am
I agree the FAQ should be changed, and I think the change Elizabeth suggested is a good one. Just so people know where they stand. It might avoid some future head-butting...
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 18, 2003, 12:01:44 pm
As an aside, I think it's understandable why the FAQ didn't have anything about Participation Guidelines changes, because we never expect the Guidelines to require any changes at all!  The 2 changes that have been made were unexpected: serious flaws were suddenly revealed, and it became obvious that the change was necessary.  (The 1st change, BTW, was about a year ago - we removed a clause that implied that we expected all FSP members to vote.  It didn't change the intended meaning behind the Guidelines but cleared up a serious confusion.)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 18, 2003, 01:01:53 pm
I also ASSUMMED that the change in voting method was done by a vote of the membership.  Apparently, it wasn't.

No, it was done by consensus, as I think all changes to the Guidelines must be done.  There should be no changes to the Guidelines unless an overwhelming majority of people support them, and the minority that do not support them are nevertheless reconciled to them.  We had a long period of public comment on the proposed Guidelines change.  No one involved in those discussions objected to the change, though some had particular systems they may have favored over the one we eventually picked.  In the end, only a handful of people opted out of the Project because of the change, and none of them had been involved in the discussions on this forum and the mailing lists.  Consensus is not unanimity, but unanimity is impossible in a group of this size.  I do think consensus stands up well against all the other alternatives.  

Good enough.  I am happy with that.  I was only saying that the FSP needs to reflect the will of the membership.   You do not need a formal vote of the membership every time to do that.

Having said that, it would not surprise me at all if the membership approved of the two state plan once it was properly explained to them, and once they understood the problem this east-west war thing presents.

The way I see it, if I had known then what I know now, I would have opted out of all western states when I signed up.  Instead, I no idea that this problem existed.  I am sure that this is true of many others as well, and I think you would have seen a heck of a lot more opting out of western states than you did if people knew the full story.

The thing that shocked me was the idea that there was no need at all to ask the membership about this.

Quote
The Participation Guidelines should only be changed after a long period of public comment & if there are no reasonable arguments against the change.  I guess we should put this in the FAQ.

Good idea.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 18, 2003, 01:32:56 pm
As an aside, I think it's understandable why the FAQ didn't have anything about Participation Guidelines changes, because we never expect the Guidelines to require any changes at all!  

UNBELIEVABLE!!!  I simply can't believe what I am reading here!

I don't see how ANYONE, no matter how smart, can do a project like this without making a lot of changes along the way.  This has happened with the voting method.  I'm sure other changes need to be made as well.

The thing that scares me the most is the way it is becoming more and more clear that you haven't a clue of how to run a project of this kind.  You just don't get it.

I really hope that this problem with the FSP is fixed before we move anywhere, or the project will end in disaster.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 18, 2003, 01:45:55 pm
This has to be the most thankless job on the planet.  Everyone thinks he can do it better than I.  Not a day goes by that I don't wish I could tell someone, "Here, you think you can do it better?  Go ahead, take my position."  It would make my life a heck of a lot easier.

But for the sake of freedom, I have to try not to let these jerks get me down.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 18, 2003, 02:03:22 pm
I forgot to say that I don't know how to run an organization of this type either, but at least I am aware of that.

I do know, however, is that the single most important thing we can have is as much political experience we can possibly lay our hands on, combined with the willingness and determination to put this knowledge and experience to use in fighting some very tough battles.

If we don't know how to fight, and we are not willing to fight, all we are doing is rounding up 20,000 sheep for the slaughter.  I am not telling you that this is how it should be, I am telling you how it is.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Elizabeth on January 18, 2003, 02:42:06 pm
The difference, Joe, is that FSP members are supposed to be supporters.  

Obviously, we know we will face opposition.  But does it always have to be FSP members who give us such a hard time, instead of jumping in and helping out?

The same people complaining that the FSP will never get off the ground because we won't do it their way are the reason it won't get off the ground if that happens.  Can't people see that working with people with whom you agree 90% is infinitely better than fighting the good fight alone?

Apparently some people are too selfish to be willing to work with others towards a common goal.  It has to be about them.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Mary Lou Seymour (libertymls) on January 18, 2003, 04:00:19 pm
Second, while we put as many things as possible to the vote, we don't put everything to the vote.  This is a private, non-profit corporation.  The corporation was formed for the express purpose of moving to a single state

Yeah, it seemed clear to me from the beginning the ONLY thing I as a member would vote on was the final state selection of ONE STATE, after 5000 was reached.

Quote
But we will not vote on changing the entire purpose of the FSP, especially when we have been perfectly clear from the very beginning about what the project is.

Exactly. I myself joined the FSP precisely for that reason. It had a premise I thought viable. Pick ONE state. Not "go to some foreign country", not "set up a Galts Gulch somewhere", not "take over one county" not "take over 5 states". Presumably, thats why most folks joined. If they disagreed with the plan, WHY would they have signed up?

If the FSP suddenyly changed its bylaws and purpose at this point and went with this "hyperstate" idea I personally am outa here. I don't think its a viable strategy. 20,000 activists in a small state is barely enough, when you actually analyze the data. Waiting til we have 40,000 people (to impact two states) is impractical. It'll simply take too long.

The East-West "split" just isn't that serious.  Look at the info Jason posed about opt outs. So we may lose 500 people. Big deal.

Lets stick with the original premise and direct our energies to that end, rather than going off on "what ifs" here.

Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Zxcv on January 18, 2003, 06:36:00 pm
Quote
I forgot to say that I don't know how to run an organization of this type either, but at least I am aware of that.

I do know, however, is that the single most important thing we can have is as much political experience we can possibly lay our hands on, combined with the willingness and determination to put this knowledge and experience to use in fighting some very tough battles.

If we don't know how to fight, and we are not willing to fight, all we are doing is rounding up 20,000 sheep for the slaughter.  I am not telling you that this is how it should be, I am telling you how it is.

Geez, Ted, lighten up!

There is no leader or group of leaders or organization that is perfect. Human beings are not capable of perfection. So, it is pretty silly to get petulant when Jason et. al. turns out not to be perfect.

Go read about the campaigns of George Washington in the Revolution. He went from one disaster to the next, against the most powerful country on the planet. Yet, he won in the long run.

Half the revolutions I've read about looked hopeless or near impossible.

We are not sheep going to slaughter. We are people moving to a state. Is that so difficult? So dangerous?

Take a look at the alternatives. If you want to continue to support some guy who will get 2% in an election, you're welcome to it. But I am done with that. FSP is the best thing going, and I'm not going to get mad if they don't take all my suggestions. Sheesh!  ::)
Title: A word with you all, please?
Post by: Condon on January 18, 2003, 06:36:31 pm
Sheesh. I've just read this entire forum thread. As a member of the FSP board of directors and as an "old guy," I'd like to ask that everyone tone down the volume and the rhetoric a little; it doesn't help us at all to get seriously pissed off at one another.

Let me say a few things here, for everyone. First of all, I'd request that everyone kindly cut out the personal attacks. That kind of stuff doesn't help, and we all know that we all want the same thing ultimately. The debate is over how to get there, and because some of us disagree with others doesn't mean the others are jerks or idiots or plotting to undermine the organization.

Next, a word about leadership and decision-making. It is clearly stated on the web site that the FSP is a private corporation and decisions are made votes of a five-person board of directors. Each of the board members has an equal vote to the other four. Two of the board members---me and Matt Cheselka---were elected to the board by the other board members when vacancies appeared, in accordance with the corporate by-laws. The other three board members---Jason, Elizabeth, and Debra---are original members of the board from when the corporation was formed a little over a year and a half ago. Although all votes on the board are equal, I tend to defer to Jason (despite the fact that I'm a practicing lawyer and easily old enough to be his father) because he came up with the idea, he founded the movement, and he has pulled the people together, amazingly enough, to actually start making it happen. *Nevertheless*, Jason has continuously shown himself able and willing to listen to alternate views, and in fact he has been voted down on issues in the past. So he's not "the boss" or any kind of "dictator" by any stretch of the imagination. Nor is Elizabeth "his lieutenant," any more than any of the rest of us are. We have disputes and debates on the board, like any corporate board, and they are decided by a vote among the five of us, as is required by the by-laws and the law of the state of Nevada where the organization is incorporated.

Now, allow me to continue blabbing for a little more, about the very subject of this thread, the notion of a "two-state strategy." Believe it or not, I kind of liked the ida; it is facially appealing on the surface, and I'm therefore sympathetic to it on a notional (i.e. theoretical or speculative) basis. However, on a real-world strategic *and* tactical basis I must tell you all that officially splitting our forces in any way now would be a kiss of death to the Free State Project. If we were to actually entertain such a plan, the whole foundation of the movement would be undermined; we have birthed a plan to choose a "single state" only. Anything in addition to or in alternative to that---whether it be dual-states or considering islands or foreign lands or the such---would essentially gut the project, which we all see and know is starting to enjoy phenomenal success. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A VOTE *THIS YEAR* EVERYONE! THE FREE STATE IS GOING TO BE CHOSEN IN A FEW MONTHS! And that, in and of itself, is an extraordinary triumph. We must not now dilute the power that is ours by even thinking of fundamentally changing the idea undergirding the organization (okay, it's a rhetorical flourish; debate is okay, but we need to keep our eye on the ball).

Because of the above, I give extra thanks to Zxcv. Although you were a little bit mean in your characterization of Jason and his position (not to mention mistaken), you have essentially said "Let's put this discussion away, since a decision has been made, and move forward to making the FSP a success on its own terms." Ted, as a fellow Floridian and someone who has met you personally (for which I am thankful), I cannot tell you how much I want you to stay and work with me in getting as many Florida Porcupines signed up as possible. It is true that your idea has been vetoed, and you have the right to be disappointed. But this movement is truly an exceptional, historical force, and you and I are in positions to help move it forward and make it successful (not to mention getting our own small footnotes in the history books). Don't fail me now Ted; don't get angry or discouraged enough to stop working with me. We're making history here, and all of us needs the help of all the rest of us.

My last thought, and I'll shut up: Delaware and Vermont and New Hampshire are all *good choices*, as I've said publicly and repeatedly about *all* the FSP candidate states. Ultimately, if the Free State Project is successful and one of them is not chosen in the vote, I would expect them to be "next in line." In fact, if we're successful in the Free State, I'd expect them to start having their own "homegrown free state projects." But to have that happen, it is crucial that we pioneers first demonstrate it in ONE STATE...the state that will be chosen and transformed by our migration. I have no idea what state will be chosen (although I doubt it will be my article's choice of North Dakota), but I do not think that the so-called "east-west split" is serious or widespread. Of course there are people who prefer an eastern state to a western state, and vice versa. That's to be expected. But I and *most* Porcupines will move to either *any* state chosen or just about any state, whether we're easterners or westerners. And I here and now pledge yet again, publicly, that *whatever* state is chosen, I will be moving to it and working to create Liberty in Our Lifetime. Stay with me you guys!  ---Tim Condon, FSP member services
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: TedApelt on January 18, 2003, 09:28:44 pm
I would like to apologize to everyone if I was out of line, and I suppose that this kind of thing is inevitable in any political movement of this size.

Zxcv, and Mary Lou Seymour, I do admire your political experience, and I was not trying to criticize either of you, just in case I gave you that impression.  (I don't think I did, but I am trying to be careful here.)

Jason, I do not think that you are stupid.  In fact, I have found your analysis of voting methods to be absolutely the most brilliant writing on the subject I have seen anywhere.  It even beats the heck out of a similar article in a science magazine a year or so ago, and that article was one of the best I've seen.  However, I do know that people that are really great in some areas fall apart in others.  Remember Isaac Asimov?  Absolutely brilliant in the hard sciences, but his understanding of economics was horrible.  Fortunately, he wrote very little on that and spent most of his time writing about what he knew best.

And, while I am concerned that many of us are charging ahead into something they know little about without first doing the necessary homework, I do not think, nor have I ever thought that anyone is deliberately trying to wreck things, trick people, or hide things, other than in strategic voting, and this problem seems to have been solved by the current voting method, and also by making our votes public so that no one can accuse anyone of voter fraud.

One more thing.  This thread, and others like it, are nothing compared to the kind of bickering that went on in the last two LP national conventions.  We are all around the campfire singing when compared to that group!
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: nonluddite on January 19, 2003, 12:12:21 am
Obviously, this would have been better if it was purely philosophical thread.  

Anyway, people did bring up a really great idea--if you have 2 states, can bring in much more than the 20k people, and reconcile the East/West "split", how can you lose?

At the very least, this shows that single state ~larger than the consensus Wyoming/Delaware 1.2 million people (New Hampshire, Maine, and Idaho), should probably be axed, pronto.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 19, 2003, 12:35:42 am
I suppose I should chime in with Ted here and say that nothing I posted was intended to be personally disparaging in any way.  I tend to avoid hostilities whenever possible, and posted my response only because I believed that those of us who were involved in this discussion were wrongfully accused of being underhanded, manipulative, and disruptive (if even only by simply discussing the matter).

So, let's chalk it up to the sort of thing that happens when fiercely independent-minded people get together, and move on to other things.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Newt on January 19, 2003, 10:50:50 am
As an aside, I think it's understandable why the FAQ didn't have anything about Participation Guidelines changes, because we never expect the Guidelines to require any changes at all!  

UNBELIEVABLE!!!  I simply can't believe what I am reading here!

I don't see how ANYONE, no matter how smart, can do a project like this without making a lot of changes along the way.  This has happened with the voting method.  I'm sure other changes need to be made as well.

The thing that scares me the most is the way it is becoming more and more clear that you haven't a clue of how to run a project of this kind.  You just don't get it.

I really hope that this problem with the FSP is fixed before we move anywhere, or the project will end in disaster.

The problem with the FSP is this kind of disrespectful discourse, it is not even civil.   It is desctructive in the most malignant way.

I think Jason and the others have done a marvelous job of constructing this whole thing.   As a life long participant in Politics (the local kind that Joe is talking about)I've run into my share of abuse.  I was the Chairman of the only school district to ever(at the time) close it's doors due to a funding crisis (in Sandy, OR)  you wanna talk about abuse.  

I am impressed with the INTENTION it takes to make a project like this actually go anywhere.  If you want to understand intention and the craft of visualizing success, read:  Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 19, 2003, 03:26:20 pm
I suppose I should chime in with Ted here and say that nothing I posted was intended to be personally disparaging in any way.  I tend to avoid hostilities whenever possible, and posted my response only because I believed that those of us who were involved in this discussion were wrongfully accused of being underhanded, manipulative, and disruptive (if even only by simply discussing the matter).

Yeah, I read your post, Robert, where you objected to my characterization of this idea as somehow underhanded... That was not my intention at all.  I stated my arguments somewhat strongly in that post, but I was intending it to be matter-of-fact or incisive rather than emotional.  I certainly don't think the idea of a 2-state strategy is itself dishonest or underhanded or anything like that.  Just misguided. ;)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 19, 2003, 03:33:14 pm

However, I do know that people that are really great in some areas fall apart in others.

Well, God knows I'm not perfect; heck, I never wanted to be "head" of this thing.  Go back and read the article in TLE that started it all! :P But I'm learning.  (And I do think you took some of my quotes well out of context.)  Nevertheless, if there's someone out there who can do a better job than I and the rest of the Board, I would be ecstatic to bring him in.  The FSP is probably damaging my "real" career, and my wife isn't too happy that I work 60 hours a week (on the FSP & research).
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: cheselka on January 19, 2003, 06:59:03 pm
I'm not gonna add any real value to this discussion beyond what's already been said, except to underline Jason's characterization of a two-state strategy as being very misguided.  If we are successful with one state, no doubt in 100 years no one will have to move anywhere becuase the entire country will be a Free Country.  The people of the FSP are pioneers in the true sense of the term in that we are gonna pack our bags and move somewhere that we hope will be a better life.

So please let's not dilute ourselves!  We MUST stick together!

See you all there...

Matt Cheselka
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Robert H. on January 20, 2003, 06:21:34 am
Yeah, I read your post, Robert, where you objected to my characterization of this idea as somehow underhanded... That was not my intention at all.  I stated my arguments somewhat strongly in that post, but I was intending it to be matter-of-fact or incisive rather than emotional.  I certainly don't think the idea of a 2-state strategy is itself dishonest or underhanded or anything like that.  Just misguided. ;)

Thanks for the clarification, Jason.  No hard feelings.   :)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 20, 2003, 12:22:42 pm
Thanks for the clarification, Jason.  No hard feelings.   :)

Nope.  :)
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: redbeard on January 20, 2003, 03:12:11 pm
How about this: I'm against a two state plan as long as the one state turns out to be WY!

Jason, I think this whole project is an amazing endeavor. Thanks for your work.
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: MouseBorg on February 05, 2003, 06:04:41 am
Quote
author=JasonPSorens
I noticed that Mouseborg left and was wondering why; I assumed he had gotten very busy.  I didn't know that he deleted his posts; I wonder why he did?

Yes, very busy as of late... up to my neck in fact and barely time to sneeze. Actual hands on political stuff is quite time consuming, as is fishing, hiking & biking (along with a bit of work here and there just for fun.) ;)

Posts were deleted for several reasons. One being excessive clutter, many being rather off-topic in some way or the other. Other possible reasons I will leave to the reader's imagination. ;D
Title: Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
Post by: Hank on August 04, 2003, 10:18:20 pm
Ah, Hah!

Here is an explanation from MouseBorg why he deleted his over one thousand posts.  His involvement in "hands on" political stuff probably also meant cleaning out of the old closet (of stuff his opponents could use against him).  Frustration with which direction this project was being pulled probably also contributed to him getting off of this wagon.