Free State Project Forum

Archive => Which State? => Topic started by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:35:27 am

Title: The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:35:27 am
Following this message are the opening statements, rebuttals, and closing statements of the 10 candidate states in alphabetical order for easy viewing and reference. Please do *not* post to this topic.

All comments should be directed to;action=display;threadid=2124 (;action=display;threadid=2124)

NOTE: These should now be formatted properly. If you see something that is not, please PM me.

Update 7/16/03: I have now posted all entries which have made it in to the Great State Debate by the deadline. If you find any descrepancies between these postings and the postings in the Great State Debate thread (e.g. they edited it before the deadline and I didn't catch it) please PM me ASAP so the voting will be on the proper version of the argument. Thanks to all who participated. It was an enjoyable and informing experience.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:35:41 am
Alaska -- The Obvious Choice
By Craig Craft (Craft_6)

When deciding which state to vote for, FSP members should ask themselves several questions.  No state provides the best answer to every question, but when all the answers are considered, one state rises to the top -- Alaska.

How many voters will have to be persuaded?   Population is the one issue that cannot be explained away by those advocating New Hampshire or Idaho.  20,000 FSP members will automatically have more influence in the lower population states.  Alaska's population is among the lowest at 644K, roughly half that of the highest population states under consideration, and only slightly ahead of Wyoming at 499K.  In the 2000 election, 288 thousand voted, the second lowest number of the ten states.

How free is the state already?   By most measures of freedom, Alaska ranks at or near the top.  Alaska recently passed Vermont Carry, moving into the top tier of states in gun freedom.  Alaska's tax load is the lowest in the nation, taken as a percentage of income.  In measures of statewide land use planning, Alaska ranks among the best from a libertarian perspective.  

How welcome would 20,000 newcomers be?   Some of the opposition to the FSP will not be political, but simple resentment of outsiders.  Alaska has the lowest percentage of native-born residents at 38%.  Alaskans are used to welcoming refugees from the Lower 48 who moved there to start a new life and to live more freely.

What about the weather?   Unfortunately, none of the candidate states is a tropical paradise, since Hawaii was dropped early on.  Anchorage can be cold, with an average January temperature of +16 degrees F.  Yet this is warmer than a few other candidate cities, such as Jackson, WY (+15), Sioux Falls, SD (+14), and Fargo, ND (+6), and not significantly colder than Concord, NH (+19) or Idaho Falls, ID (+20).  Juneau, AK checks in at +27.

What about jobs?   Alaska has the advantage of a decent-sized metropolitan area in Anchorage, which other low-population candidate states such as Wyoming are lacking.  Job forecasts place it well ahead of other low-population contenders such as Wyoming, North Dakota, and Vermont.  

Will the FSP find any allies there?   New Hampshire may have the small but effective NHLP, but Alaska has the Alaskan Independence Party, a group dedicated to autonomy for Alaska, and sharing many of the same pro-freedom positions as the FSP.  It has elected a governor in the past, and could be revived by an injection of Porcupine enthusiasm.  

Could the state prosper under autonomy?   With the possible exception of Maine (at twice the population), no other state has better potential.  Alaska has an enormous coastline, abundant natural resources and water, an international border, an advantageous position on the Pacific Rim, and an international airport.

Many have held back on their support for Alaska, because they fear others won't support it.  As Libertarians, we should know better -- the same thing happens to our Presidential candidate every four years.  Vote for the best choice -- vote for Alaska.  

[500 words]

Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:36:02 am
Deal-breakers (Alaska's rebuttal statement)

By Craig Craft (Craft_6)

The FSP is a bold new strategy for achieving liberty, but selecting the wrong state could make the task much more difficult, lengthening the time to success and the extent of success that could be achieved.  FSP voters should be leery of any states that might have too many negative factors, or deal-breakers:

High population:   New Hampshire (1.3M), Maine (1.3M), and Idaho (1.3M) may simply have too many people for 20,000 FSP members to convert to even quasi-libertarians.  If fewer than 20,000 actually move, they will be even worse.

Land-locked geography:   Wyoming and South Dakota have neither an international border, nor a coastline.  Hopefully the FSP will never have to play the secession card, but neither of these states offers a credible threat in that direction.

Limited job growth:   Wyoming (36K), North Dakota (34K), and Vermont (34K) forecast fewer than 40,000 new jobs in the decade.  20,000 Porcupines and their families may find it difficult to migrate there in a short time, slowing the FSP's impact.  If jobs are too difficult to find, some of the 20,000 may give up and stay home.

Anti-libertarian citizens:   On an important broad measure of liberalness based on citizen vote percentages for liberal and conservative candidates over many years, Vermont (74.2), Maine (64.5), North Dakota (54.7), and Delaware (52.1) checked in on the wrong side of the ledger from a limited-government perspective.  Perhaps 20,000 Porcupines could convert them, but why not take on an easier task?

Which states have the fewest deal-breakers from the lists above?  See for yourself:

0 - Alaska, Montana
1 - Delaware, Idaho, New Hampshire, South Dakota
2 - Maine, North Dakota, Wyoming, Vermont

Of the two states with no significant deal-breakers, Alaska has the lower population, the lower taxes, and thousands of miles of coastline that Montana lacks.

[299 words, due to penalty on late opening statement]


"Citizen Ideologies in the States";action=display;threadid=1213
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:36:26 am
Alaska -- Common Objections and their Refutation, closing statement (by Craft_6)

Although none of my esteemed opponents in this debate has raised them, several objections are heard when someone asserts that Alaska is the best choice for the Free State.  In the interest of full disclosure, I will raise the objections myself, and explain why they should not discourage anyone from voting for Alaska.

Alaska is the most opted-out-of state. This has been mentioned many times, and is probably true, but the actual numbers of opt-outs for each state have not been disclosed.  Were the opt-outs made after careful consideration, or were they the first thing members did when joining the Project?  If Alaska wins the vote, all those who want to move toward freedom will reconsider the reasons why Alaska was selected, and may well agree with the selection.  

Alaska has no neighboring states for Free State ideas to spread to.  Alaska is nearly a continent by itself.  Libertarian ideas can be copied anywhere, but Alaska will have plenty of room for anyone seeking liberty.

Alaska has oil. It’s hard to see how abundant natural resources could be viewed as a negative.  A more libertarian Alaska might make more oil available for sale.

Alaska has strategic military value.  The goal of the Free State Project is to remain part of the United States, while restoring the traditional and proper balance of federalism, so this would not be a serious issue.  Even an entirely independent Alaska would be a stable, democratic, liberty-loving republic, not the type of nation that causes the US to consider intervention.

Alaska is too cold. This was covered in my opening statement.  Winter temperatures and snowfall in Anchorage and Juneau are comparable to those in several other Free State candidate cities.

Alaska has too much federal and state land. The federal land may be an issue, but the state land could be made available for settlement and development, if the FSP succeeds in gaining control of the state government.

Alaska is too remote.  Compared to what?  For Porcupines on the West Coast, it’s no more remote than any of the Eastern states.  Alaska has an international airport in Anchorage, and can be reached in a single day’s travel from anywhere in the US.  It is only a few hours by air from Anchorage to Seattle.  Is Seattle remote?  If you want to move to the Free State in style, a three-day cruise from the West Coast will take you there.  The journey from England to the New World took several weeks for our forefathers, without the buffets and entertainment.  

Alaska offers the best chance for true liberty.  Its remoteness may be its greatest asset – libertarian political experiments in a physically separate state might be less threatening to the rest of the nation. A Free Alaska with more liberal gun, drug, and privacy policies might be less disconcerting to the federal government than a state surrounded by other states.  If you believe Alaska is the best choice, vote for it first.  Lead the way, and others will follow.

[500 words]
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:38:48 am

by Gary Snyder (

I've rarely been to Delaware (just driven thru, mostly) but I believe an OBJECTIVE analysis (see Jason Sorens’ brilliant state comparison analysis at makes it the best candidate state for the following reasons:

1) Population:  BY FAR the most important consideration.  Deciding where best to place 20,000 activists is a numbers game.  New Hampshire (nearly 1.3 million, and growing rapidly) and Idaho (1.3 million) simply have too many people for 20,000 to tilt the scales, relative to Delaware (800K).  On this alone, Delaware deserves the nod over those two states.

2) Coastline: ESSENTIAL for a state seeking independence and autonomy.  Wilmington is one of the most important ports in the country.  On this alone, Delaware deserves the nod over Montana and Wyoming.

3) Economics: The FSP is ALL ABOUT economics, and NO OTHER STATE can match Delaware's economic potential.  Delaware has the best job market of the candidate states, and is very business-friendly (  It is a corporate haven, and UNIQUELY positioned to attract new and existing companies.  This CANNOT be overstated.  It is within commuting distance of job-centers like Philly and Baltimore.  Its long coastline provides intrinsic opportunity in the fishing, boating, tourist, and import-export industries.  It is the FRIENDLIEST state to retirees (  And Delaware has the highest income per capita of ANY state in the WHOLE U.S., fostering economic opportunities for FSers and a populace adverse to wealth redistribution.

4) Climate: To attract another 15,000 (and more) libertarians to the FS, it would help SIGNIFICANTLY if the state chosen doesn't suffer thru brutal winters.  Delaware’s the only state on the list that fits that description.  (It's also easier to campaign and do outreach when the temperature's not subzero.)

5) Small Size:  Although a deterrent to many FS members, think about it.  In a tiny state like Delaware, organizing, meeting, campaigning and ASSIMILATING is MUCH easier and cheaper.

6) Location:  Proximity to DC and other media centers is a GOOD thing.  In Montana or Idaho, we will be dismissed and ignored as "right-wing militia types" and isolationists.  The media won't be able to do that in Delaware.  We're too close to home.  We will get attention, and our libertarian model will get a spotlight.  Isn't that what we want?  Isn't that what we CRAVE?  Isn't that necessary to gain support, and spread freedom?  We NEED this experiment to take place DIRECTLY beneath the noses of the eastern media elite establishment.

Also, these population centers ARE WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE.  This is where more LIBERTARIANS are.  If we hope to attract 15,000 more of them, this is where our best chance lies.  The other states are too remote to draw the necessary numbers.

The major knock on Delaware is “lack of libertarian culture”.  This notion that ANY state’s “libertarian culture” is significantly greater than any other is an exaggeration.  Modern transportation, telecommunications (folks, everyone in 2003 gets CNN and MTV) and the fact that people move frequently have lessened the differences between states' cultures.  Culture doesn't matter so much because the culture in EVERY state is VERY far from what we want it to be. Some states are clearly "more libertarian" than others, but even these states are not very libertarian at all compared to what we would consider to be ideal.

For every Delaware "statist sentiment", I could list one for any other candidate state.  And for every "freedom sentiment" cited by another, I could list one for Delaware (  It gets us nowhere.  And it says next to NOTHING about ANY state's "political culture", as most folks don't vote.  It only speaks to what Republicrats in office have been able to ram thru to serve themselves and a few special interests, usually AGAINST the sentiment of most citizens.

Assimilation is the job ahead of us in whichever state we choose.

Delaware has SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE ( a high quality of life (, quaint colonial villages, good farmland, isolated rural areas, state wildlife areas and forests, hunting, beautiful beaches, state parks, small cities and culture.  Check it out, and do the SMART thing for the FSP – vote DELAWARE.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:39:04 am


Best religious diversity

Should rephrase that to best Christian diversity. Wyoming does not have any Muslim or Buddhist religions. Delaware at least has a Muslim base. Can’t expect all members to be Christians.

Smallest number of government employees

Delaware has the smallest period of the ten.

Highest percentage of high-tech jobs

Your source is outdated; the technology industry is a different economic animal today. Checkout ShadyG’s post;action=display;threadid=2277

Delaware - #1 in scientist and Engineering

Highest percentage of knowledge jobs

According to New Hampshire’s link, it ranks #13 and Delaware ranks #4.

Largest amount of venture capital investment

Delaware = #1 in patent per 1000 and #2 in Industry Investments in R&D in nation.

Coastal border, facilitating international trade

New Hampshire coastline is minuscule compared to Delaware, Maine, and Alaska.


Third best homeschooling laws

Forget to mention that Delaware is tied for third with Wyoming.

Only FSP state without hate crimes laws

That’s nice, but will women want to move there if they knew this? I wouldn't want my wife being sexually harassed. Freedom from abuse is a freedom in itself.

High speed limits (75mph)

Only means there are fewer vehicles on the road.

“Live Free or Die” Motto

Delaware State Motto - "Liberty and Independence"


Concentrated population - will not scatter FSP activists over many separate districts

86 percent of the population of Delaware resides in the MSA of Wilmington and Dover.

Best state for voter response to small government agendas (high votes for libertarian candidates)

According to the link from New Hampshire, .05 percent of Wyoming’s population voted Libertarian. Delaware had .09%.

Nonpartisan local elections.

Of the 57 Municipal Elections Delaware possesses, only Elsmere and Wilmington has partisan elections.

Compact size makes campaigning easy

Delaware is the most compact of all the 10 states.

Fusion, making multi-member districts easier than single-member districts!

New Hampshire is not allowed on the ballot and needs to write in. Delaware also has fusion and is allowed on the ballots.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:39:16 am
DELAWARE – The FIRST State for the FREE State
Gary Snyder

Do you really think NH, in the country’s far NE corner, or any state in the remote Mountain West, will be able to pull in 20,000 libertarians from all over within three years?  Or do you think Delaware, more accessible to more folks in the mid-Atlantic, offering a more varied and robust economy, and warmer climate, has a better chance?

THAT is the key question facing every FSP member.  We are not choosing a state so much for us as we are for the 15,000 who follow us.

Delaware is the only LOW population candidate state in a high population REGION.

Relocating to Delaware, or taking a second home as a primary residence, is easier for MORE libertarians than it is to relocate to any other state.

MOST people considering the FSP aren't going to nitpick local laws. Regardless, the whole purpose of the FSP is to CHANGE those laws, to make our own laws; not to gather somewhere where the laws aren’t as bad.  We want to bring about change, rather than “hunker down”, right?

The comparison of local laws only serves to make us all dizzy.

People will, for the most part, vote for who they KNOW; not for whom most resembles their “native culture” (whatever that means).  Assimilation is the job ahead of us in any chosen state.

I also reject the notion that a vote for a Republican reflects a vote for more freedom.  Liberal Democrats are not necessarily less freedom-friendly than authoritarian Republicans.  Which group is more likely to embrace a change in drug prohibition?

Delaware is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, making it easier for a third party to prevail by grabbing as little as 33%.  An entrenched RP or DP would be much harder to displace.

Delaware's Senate has 21 members, 13 Democrats and 8 Republicans.
Delaware's House has 41 members, 29 Republicans and 12 Democrats.

Consider population, coastline, economics, climate, small size and location - and do the SMART thing for FSP – vote DELAWARE.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:39:36 am
Idaho Has a Superb Climate For the FSP[/color][/b][/size] - By Exitus...

   Frequently it is argued that Idaho is at a disadvantage in comparison to other states because it has the highest population.  However, the population in Idaho is a positive due to the high propensity of the Idaho electorate to be persuaded by libertarian arguments, consider the following:
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:39:57 am
Idaho Still Offers a Better Climate for the FSP! (by exitus...)

Certain highly-touted laws among thousands in statute:

     Some states have a heritage of freedom in certain highly significant outward signs, yet when analyzing numerous collections of laws on spreadsheets (, different pictures may emerge.
     Political scientists know to make the distinction between the ideology of citizens  (;action=display;threadid=1213;start=msg16503#msg16503) and their government.  Who would have guessed that Estonia and a dozen other nations  ( would outperform the United States on economic freedom today?  Obviously, the most important test of potential for change comes from measuring the changing yearning of a population, wherein liberty lies (
The Idaho advantage:

     In the last decade, Idaho has made a dramatic change  ( from being a Democratic party stronghold to now the most Republican state in the Union.
     Clemson University  ( made one of the most comprehensive state-by-state analysis of economic freedoms  ( ever made with 125 different indicators spanning several years and 47 indexes.  Idaho came first in the nation.  Upon further examination, the primary reason that Idaho pulled so far ahead of states with different tax structures is that Idaho does exceptionally well with a relaxed regulatory environment, limited licensing requirements, a favorable legal environment and the lowest use of public aid by families in the nation.
     Recently, 26,000 individuals  ( signed a petition and prompted a march to oust a Boise Mayor over spending a few dollars of taxpayer money on a dinner!

Coastal Borders :

     Other than offering highly abstract presuppositions, those who advocate this as a necessary strategy fail ( to prove how this is going to gain a political advantage.  An ocean port used for trade implies forming trading alliances with the people of other nations;  yet this supposes that the increasingly imperial federal government with plenary Constitutional power  ( over the Nation’s borders would grant such an arrangement.  If in its nature to grant autonomy, then why bother?  This also presupposes dramatic changes in the political mind-set of American citizens in one state that would not simultaneously affect other states, especially outlying states in the same region that already share so much culturally and economically.

Idaho advantage:
     It is far more feasible, as strategies go, to gain sympathetic states as allies, none share so great a uniting cause as those in the ‘sagebrush rebellion (’ of the Western states, a fight over federal lands ( and federal mandates ( that have crippled farmers and other resource economies; the issue has embroiled Nevada (, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota and several others who have legislatures that signed 10th amendment resolutions (  None dare call the possibility of a confederacy out of future exigencies, the advancement of regional common interests might be a more accurate term for now.

     Theoretical mathematical probability of viability due to size, coupled with citizen ideology and government ideology is highly compelling for Wyoming.  Despite being entirely possible, the reality that Wyoming may be a hard sell to the remaining 15,000  ( especially assuming the first 5,000 FSP adopters are the most ready to move.
     Most of the remaining 15,000 activists will likely come, not from marginally- less free states, but from those states where the most numbers of libertarians live simply because of inherent advantages of living where large numbers of people have already decided to live: think California.

Idaho advantage
     Sunny and highly desirable Idaho ( offers the next-warmest weather (, the most job opportunities (, abundant land and recreation opportunities and more.  The opportunity to gain synergy by influencing rural counties of states surrounding Idaho  also offers an interesting case for the more populous and more regionally influential Idaho.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:40:06 am

Idaho Offers an Excellent Climate for the Free State Project (by exitus...)

Each candidate state has a unique defining feature.  It seems common knowledge that Idaho is a conservative state, perhaps evidenced by the fact that 80% of the entire state legislature is a member of the Republican Party.  This conservative element could play beautifully into many aspects of our agenda:
All of these facts describe a state that values self-reliance, this established political direction has many elements that would play well for a libertarian agenda to the populace of a single state, especially in those measures which would bring about increased fiscal responsibility.  

One frequently over-looked fact, however, is that Idaho also has many factors that play well into social freedoms:

Idaho has the next-most free smoking laws, tied or next-best for home school freedoms, some of the most freedoms in the country for alternative medicine practices, and a recent history of legalized prostitution. In addition, the city of Boise is considering making a statement of opposition against the Patriot Act, patterned after the opposition of Idaho’s favorite politician, Butch Otter who was the only Republican congressman to vote against the Patriot act among our candidate states.

If you consider this high level of support in the right direction that the people of Idaho present, this combined with the lowest crime rate in the Western U.S., the highest job availability, a favorable sunny and moderate climate and high levels of amenities, Idaho offers a tremendous climate for change, and wonderful success for the FSP.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:40:18 am
MAINE (;action=display;threadid=344) by Joe Swyers, Leadville, Colorado
(a westerner making the case for a northeast state) :o

Maine is the best compromise state for people who like Alaska or the West but want east coast amenities. Maine is larger than the other five New England states combined. Great outdoor spaces -- in the East!  Yet the Portland MSA has a quarter million people! (;action=display;threadid=569) Maine resident Thomas Golebiewski states: "it is certainly less than a 1 hour commute by car/train into downtown Boston, certainly close enough for many of its residents to work and spend time in Boston." Back home, Maine is widely wired for cable internet to support high tech jobs.

Growth is welcome, especially at Maine's premier ex-Air Force Base ( opened for commercial development. It is an international class airport capable of handling any aircraft. Golebiewski also states: "I cannot stress enough that our coastline offers a resource matched only by Alaska.  The opportunity for industry, foreign relations, and commerce abound up and down the Maine coast, and the people who live there certainly are comprised of many sympathetic to the ideals of the FSP."

Maine is best state for autonomy. Maine has less Federal land than all but Delaware.  An independent Maine (;action=display;threadid=895) would not be an enclave nor threaten to separate other states from the lower 48. Maine could ally with neighboring secessionist Quebec or New Brunswick.

Maine's secession from Massachusetts in 1820 fuels Maine's independent spirit. Fishing and logging communities hate government interference in private forests or fisheries. Northern Mainers want to be 51st state. (;action=display;threadid=325)

Maine's 228 mile coastline has mild winters, (;action=display;threadid=311;start=30) hot summer days and cool nights. Maine?s natural diversity is surpassed only by Alaska. It has 27,639 square miles of forest and 3,478 miles of shoreline.
Coastal residents enjoy fresh caught seafood. (
World-class hunting ( includes bear, moose, deer, wild turkey, upland game and waterfowl.

Maine received an "F" from the Brady Campaign Gun Control 2002 Report Card. (
Maine received the worst gun control score in America -- a minus 10 ( -- from the Open Society Institute.

Maine is the most politically independent state. Maine's split in voter registration (31%D, 29%R, 38% unenrolled) gives third parties exceptional influence. It is the ONLY state which gave Perot second place in 1992. In 1974 it was first in electing an independent governor. It did again in 1994 (he term limited in 2002). Maine limits legislators to four consecutive terms and Governors to eight years. A district's population is THE major factor in campaign time and expense and representation. Maine?s House districts have under 9,000 people. (;action=display;threadid=1002;start=msg31442) Idaho's has 36,962. New Hampshire's 14-seat district has 43,246. Maine voters can veto legislation, and make their own with initiative and referendums.

According to the FSP FAQ: ?important criteria include: 1) coastal access (to make ourselves less dependent on the American market and by extension American policies)?.
Only Maine delivers the world-class coastal access and independence needed for autonomy.

Fred Staples stated:
?As the chairman of the LPME, I'm committed to the liberating [of] Maine.
I think Maine is the best choice for the Project.? (;action=display;threadid=29;start=msg7324)
Here are some reasons. (;action=display;threadid=2218)
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:40:28 am
MAINE'S REBUTTAL (by Joe (sequal to Solitar))

• Incredibly diverse terrain - ocean, lakes, mountains, forests
• Multitude of charming New England towns
• Hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, kayaking, hunting, camping, ocean swimming
• Diverse mix of towns, some with less than ten people per square mile
Maine has more all of these assets than any other FSP state, including NH and AK.

Quality of Life:
How can you compare rural life by the sea with Morgan Quitno Press’ dubious factors ( for "quality of life"?

Coastline: ESSENTIAL for a state seeking independence and autonomy.
Agreed! But not near Washington. Maine’s remote coast can deliver independence and autonomy.

• Coastal border
Maine has seven major ports ( and 228 miles of coast.  NH has only 18 miles (much in state parks). It has one bottlenecked port at Portsmouth across the River from Kittery, Maine. Like neighboring potentially secessionist New Brunswick, Maine is an Atlantic Province.

• Canadian border
ID's & NH's borders are short, remote, with two roads. Maine’s border is 500+ miles with numerous back roads, many minor roads, seven major highways. Maine is first of the ten in International & Coastal trade.

Districts begin at 2987.
NH's largest districts have 42,586 people. 381 of NH districts are larger than Maine’s with 8,443 people/district. Maine's Constitutionally can't be multi-seaters like NH’s.

32% of Idaho's population was 19 or younger, and 23.4% are 14 and younger
Idaho's population bomb -- maybe 1.6 million by 2010 and 2 million by 2020.  Even NH may only surpass 1.5 million by 2010.

• Highest number of elected libertarians among the ten candidate states
• Highest density of LP members
LP percentages are so miniscule anywhere that being highest is being knee high to a grasshopper.

• Fusion,
Fusion tries to beat NH's straight ticket voting (Of FSP states, only DE & NH have straight ticket voting).

Vermont supported Ross Perot
NH: Over a third of voters are registered Independents!
Maine has over 38% "unenrolled" and they vote independent! Independent governor twice! In Maine Perot beat Bush!

Initiative, referendum, and term limits
Maine is the only eastern FSP state with these!

• Local town meetings,
These are New England wide but Maine's towns also have home rule. ( One town seceded (Frye Island).

• Right to Revolution
It's also in the ME, MT, WY, ID Constitutions.

• Least restrictive gun laws
Maine is least restrictive according to Brady Campaign and SOROS. Thus 48% of Mainers own guns ( (more than NH, less than VT)

Highly individualistic society
Northeast Mainers are so individualist that some want to secede (;action=display;threadid=325).

To be a Montanan means to be accepted by other Montanans. That endorsement ain’t gonna come easy....
So don’t plan on moving here unless you can respect us for what we are, and are as willing to be changed, inside out, as you’re keen to change our great state.
The same said in Maine. But Maine can welcome both Easterners and Westerners in its wide open spaces. (Avoid ME & NH west and south of Portland because of creeping Bostonification).

500 words (not counting such as:
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:40:42 am
MAINE'S CLOSING ARGUMENT (by Joe, aka, Solitar)

Maine is the BEST state for those wanting a warmer, closer version of independent Alaska. Maine’s extensive forests, coastline, and Canadian border are “wild" -- affording privacy unmatched in the east. Yet Maine’s wilderness and warm coast is close to northeastern cities.

Maine is larger than the other five New England states combined. At 60% rural it is tied with VT. The next most rural state (SD) is 48%. NH is only 41% rural. Great open spaces! Rural westerners are welcome! (;action=display;threadid=569)

Could the Free State have its own Air Base? Maine’s premier ex-Air Base is open for private development ( It handled B52’s and 747's. It can expand to handle any aircraft or spacecraft. It was one of the largest Air Bases in SAC and could be the largest international airport in Maine.

According to the FSP FAQ: “important criteria include: 1) coastal access (to make ourselves less dependent on the American market and by extension American policies)”.

Of the lower 48, Maine’s coast is the best for independence. Delaware’s is under the eye of Washington D.C. New Hampshire’s is too short for much privacy or private ownership. According to James Maynard, pirates used to hide in Maine’s profusion of inlets, islands, bays, and harbors along 3,478 miles of shoreline.

The FSP main web page says of Free State activists:
“Then they could use their political leverage to negotiate appropriate political autonomy for our state.”

Maine has less Federal land than all but Delaware. (;action=display;threadid=686) A more autonomous Maine would not be an enclave in the middle of the country. An independent Maine would not threaten to separate other states from the lower 48 as NH would. Maine could ally with neighboring and potentially secessionist Quebec or New Brunswick.  North Mainers want to secede as 51st state (;action=display;threadid=325)

Maine is most independent state, politically, in the nation with independent governors and voting for independent Presidents.  The independent/reform vote in 1992 was:
30.44%   206,820   Maine
28.43%     73,481   Alaska
27.04%   130,395   Idaho
26.11%   107,225   Montana
25.56%     51,263   Wyoming
23.07%     71,084   North Dakota
22.78%     65,991   Vermont
22.56%   121,337   New Hampshire
21.80%     73,295   South Dakota
20.44%     59,213   Delaware

Amenities? Other New England states have only a sample of what Maine offers in full. (;action=display;threadid=2218) Maine’s diversity of wildlife and habitat cannot be matched by any state except Alaska. Maine residents enjoy fresh caught fish, mussels, lobster, scallops, clams, oysters, shrimp, salmon, halibut, haddock, and swordfish. No "flying it in" at exorbitant prices. World-class hunting includes bear, moose, deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, pheasant, upland game and waterfowl.

Summer days are hot but nights are cool.
Winter days and nights are warm by the sea.
SANFORD, MAINE (inland in middle of York County 16 miles northeast of Rochester, NH). Sanford had 20,806 people in the 2000. York county had 186,742 people.
Average temperatures:
January 22
April 45
July 70
October 49
For more cities and data (;action=display;threadid=311;start=30)

Distance from Washington?
Next to Alaska, there is only one choice, MAINE!
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:40:56 am
Finding Freedom Under the Big Sky
by Quincy Daniel OrHai, Bozeman Montana, July 4, 2003

I’m not in the habit of inviting people I don’t know to move to Montana. I believe most of you reading this essay are interested in having more freedom and liberty in your life. Perhaps you’ll even relocate for political purposes. Maybe you’ve some ideas about increasing liberty by lightening the yoke of government, etc.

That’s fine, but it’s not enough of a reason to choose Montana as the Freestate. I say: Ask not what will you do to Montana, but what will Montana do to you?

With or without the Freestate Project, Montana will continue to capture the very best of America’s liberty-loving people. Our cities and rural countryside have room for personal freedom to flourish. We welcome those who want to relocate in our land simply because they can live under our vast arch of blue sky. Montana’s Big Sky stretches well over 600 miles, from the rolling prairies of Medicine Rocks and Little Beaver Creek, south of the Missouri Breaks, to the northwest’s lush silent dripping cedar forests and the peach orchards of the Kootenai. This is a huge land, a land that is guaranteed to break your heart, to melt down what you think you know about yourself and recast your spirit into something bigger than words can say.

To be a Montanan isn’t as easy as just showing up here and getting a drivers license. To be a Montanan means to be accepted by other Montanans. That endorsement ain’t gonna come easy. To be a Montanan is an honor. For most Montanans, the Code of the West is still alive: Honesty, courage, loyalty, generosity, and fairness. We’re an eccentric collection of humanity here. Old-time cowboys, hard rock miners and high country loggers coexist (mostly) peacefully alongside pink punk hairdos, yuppie pot heads and internet home business entrepreneurs. What the Old West and the New West have in common are a deep belief in independence and self reliance (+85% gun ownership), rugged individualism, hospitality and western style ambiance. A deeper resonance (although also divisive) is our love of the land.

We’ve 147,046 square miles (16 times the size of our little sister New Hampshire) of beautiful mountains and open space, and only 902,195 liberty loving citizens. We’re self-sufficient in natural resources, although you won’t many find oranges growing here. Our existing state laws already have great respect for freedom, liberty and privacy. Of course we can improve! Let’s roll back property and income taxes, instigate common grand juries, put some teeth back into the recall laws, elect a Supreme Court more respectful of Montanans right to change our constitution, and fully inform our juries.

There’s a reason we call Montana ‘The Last Best Place’. It isn’t crowded here, and we don’t want it to get that way.So don’t plan on moving here unless you can respect us for what we are, and are as willing to be changed, inside out, as you’re keen to change our great state.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:41:02 am
No rebuttal was submitted for Montana. It is disqualified from the contest.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:41:08 am
No closing argument was submitted for Montana. It is disqualified from the contest.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:41:19 am
The Many Advantages of New Hampshire - By Keith Murphy

Libertarian-leaning population:
• Residents actively searching for education alternatives
• Exploding homeschool population
• “Tax Me More” fund for those who want higher taxes
• Demonstrated hatred of taxes
• Least restrictive gun laws in the nation
• No motorcycle helmet law
• No seatbelt law
• No mandatory car insurance law
• Nation’s first elected openly gay bishop (Episcopalian)
• “Live Free or Die” Motto

Election Advantages:
• One rep per 3089 citizens.  Districts begin at 2987.
• Fusion, making multi-member districts easier than single-member districts!
• Two-year election cycle for the entire state government
• Nonpartisan local elections
• Compact size makes campaigning easy
• Over a third of voters are registered Independents!
• History of electing and re-electing Libertarians
• Highest density of FSP members in the nation
• Highest number of elected libertarians among the ten candidate states
• Highest density of LP members in the nation
• Lots of libertarian Republicans already in office
• First-in-the-nation primary will give the FSP national prominence
• 100% paper ballots
• Local town meetings, giving citizens line-item veto power over budgets!
• Executive Council provides unique stepping stone to governor’s office

Financial Advantages:
• Lowest overall tax burden NATIONWIDE
• No sales tax
• No income tax (dividends and interest over $2400/yr only)
• No capital gains taxes
• No inventory tax
• No tax on machinery or equipment

Smallest State Government:
• Smallest state budget, per capita
• Smallest federal dependence of the ten candidate states.  All other states besides DE get a net benefit from DC.
• Smallest number of government employees, per capita
• Tied for lowest percentage of NEA/AFT members

Friends Already in Power:
• FSP member already in the state legislature
• FSP member already appointed by the governor to the Efficiency in Government Commission, tasked with cutting $300 million from the smallest state government in the US
• Governor Craig Benson: “Come on up; we’d love to have you!” in meeting with FSP members

NH Constitution contains:
• Right to Revolution
• No requirement for public schools
• Provision for State Sovereignty
• Acknowledgement of Natural Rights
• Prohibits unfunded state mandates on local jurisdictions

Quality of Life:
• Among the ten states, NH has:
    o Highest percentage of high-tech jobs
    o Highest percentage of knowledge jobs
    o Largest amount of venture capital investment
    o Highest per capita income
    o Second to ID for number of new jobs forecast
    o Highest quality of life, according to Morgan Quitno Press
• Lowest poverty rate
• Coastal border, facilitating international trade
• Canadian border, facilitating international trade
• Borders with two FSP candidate states – ME and VT
• Incredibly diverse terrain – ocean, lakes, mountains, forests
• Multitude of charming New England towns
• Lowest crime rate in the US
• Second healthiest state in the US
• Extensive cellular and high-speed internet infrastructure
• Hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, kayaking, hunting, camping, ocean swimming
• Diverse mix of towns, some with less than ten people per square mile

Learn more:
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:41:25 am
Putting Population in Context

By Keith Murphy, from Baltimore, MD

Some member insist that NH’s population is too large to accomplish change. But why is population so important?  The typical answer is that a lower population is easier to influence.

This is a very simplistic way of comparing the states, because it assumes that all other things are equal.  They obviously are not.  

There are two primary contexts in which to view population.  They are:

Political Culture

Population is only a concern to the degree to which the native population leans against us.  Isn’t it logical that the FSP would have a better chance of success in a state of 1.2 million with low taxes and a “Live Free or Die” attitude than a state of 900,000 with demonstrably more taxes and regulations? While there is not yet a fully libertarian state, some are clearly closer to the ideal than others.  The closer a state comes to that ideal, the more irrelevant the population factor becomes.  

Of the fifty states, NH is closest to that ideal.

Political Access

The FSP site says, “…move to a single state of the U.S., where they may work within the political system…”  Even more than population, this project is dependent on the accessibility of the political system!  Even if the given state has a small population and leans libertarian, if the doors to power are closed to us then we will not be successful.

• NH is the only state with large multi-member districts.  Citizens get as many votes as there are seats.  In large multi-member districts, the major parties often cannot EACH find enough candidates to run.  D’s and R’s are much more likely to give an extra vote to a third-party than to “that other party.”

• Fusion allows us to run under multiple parties simultaneously, putting us on the majors’ literature and giving us their straight ticket votes.  Only NH offers fusion in conjunction with large multi-member districts, virtually ensuring a quick series of legislative victories.

• Only DE and NH offer nonpartisan local races.  This gives us the advantage of running on our message without the party label being an issue.

• For major party status in NH you must only receive 4% of the vote in a statewide race, compared with 5% with ME, ND, and VT, and 10% for WY.  Had it not been for a two-way race in 2002, in which 29K D’s voted for the LP candidate, the WYLP would never have received major party status, which it will almost certainly lose in 2006.

• Only DE, VT, and NH offer district sizes in which it is easy to campaign.  

• Small average district size: NH – 102 sq. miles, WY – 1618 sq. miles, MT – 1456 sq. miles.  It’s nine hours from Sheridan to Cheyenne, the capital of WY, but only two from anywhere in NH to the statehouse.  

• Only the New England states offer the town system of local government.  Towns control their schools, police, taxes, zoning, and all other services.  Any item on a town budget can easily be put up for referendum, providing unmatched control over spending.  

<514 words>

Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:41:31 am
“They Always Come After the Leader” – Defending New Hampshire

By Keith Murphy
Of Baltimore, MD

NH… may simply have too many people for 20,000 FSP members to convert to even quasi-libertarians.

NH is already quasi-libertarian (;action=display;threadid=2230).  The more a state leans libertarian, the more irrelevant population becomes.

381 of NH districts are larger than ME’s with 8,443 people/district. ME's Constitutionally can't be multi-seaters like NH’s.

Large multi-seat districts with fusion (;action=display;threadid=2389) is a huge advantage that only NH offers.  

Fusion tries to beat NH's straight-ticket voting

With fusion (;action=display;threadid=2389), we get the straight-ticket votes.

Local town meetings
...Maine's towns also have home rule.

NH towns have more autonomy.  Constitution prohibits unfunded mandates and does not require schools (

NH's emphasis seems directed more toward tax-based funding...

The statewide property tax, the only state education funding, has been reduced, and the governor  (;action=display;threadid=2374)is just getting started (

…NH's average district size is much larger than WY's

Only because NH utilizes large multi-member districts, which with fusion (;action=display;threadid=2389) guarantees an instant caucus.

WY has greatest percentage of population in Urban Clusters (39.8%), which will make campaigning there easier...

There’s 100's of miles between clusters! NH has higher % of people in Urban Areas (  

International borders and coastal access also present a strong opportunity for unwanted federal management...

But WY’s 49.7% federal land ownership ( isn’t an “opportunity for unwanted federal management?”  

Nothing about this primary ensures the FSP of any special recognition.

…Except anybody in NH can shake a presidential candidate’s hand and ask him a question – every four years.

WY has the lowest NEA membership… only 5,713.  NH - 11,834.

Which means proportionally the NEA has 27.65% more influence in WY.  Use percentages!  

WY has the 2nd fewest actual government employees: 15,991.  NH - 19,092.

1 in 31 WY residents is a government employee.  NH, 1 in 66. Use percentages!

Neither NH nor WY has short driving distances...

I should have said “two hours from everywhere but the Canadian border.  My apologies.  

It's 7 miles from Concord to the center of population, but 206 miles from Cheyenne  ( the center of population[/url].  

NH might have some type of town meeting government, but VT is known for having the strongest...

NH’s is stronger.  Constitution forbids unfunded mandates, and does not require public schools (  The NH Supreme Court  ( not require schools, it required the state to fund them for poor towns that want them.  VT does not protect from state mandate.  NH towns control 100% of their budgets, and citizens have line-item veto referendum power. 15 signatures required.


NH is good for gun laws, but it down there with states like ID and WY

NH does not require fingerprints or photo for CCW.  WY sends your fingerprints to the FBI. (;action=display;threadid=2454)

Overall, VT has the 2nd Smallest districts while NH has the 2nd Largest.

...Because NH offers multi-member districts (;action=display;threadid=2389), which are better than single-member districts.  NH’s single-member districts are the smallest in America.

NH's accessible political system and liberty-oriented population offers the best chances of success.  For freedom, vote for NH!

<484 words.  1500 words total for the debate>
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:41:42 am
The Case for North Dakota - By Karl Beisel


North Dakota is situated along the Canadian border between Montana to the west and Minnesota to the east, and South Dakota to the south.

Geographically, North Dakota is a big state – more than 44 million acres (  Of that, an astounding 40 million acres are under cultivation (; among the largest crops are wheat, barley and sunflower seeds (  It has the 3rd most privately-owned land of any state, more than enough for any free stater to own very large plots of inexpensive raw land, should they so choose.  Most of the uncultivated land is green grassland (, with ample game (, including bighorn sheep, whitetail and mule deer, antelope, moose, birds and waterfowl.


North Dakota’s cold winters are an oft-cited disadvantage.  Although its weather is best characterized as rapidly changing extremes, instead of simply bad, it compares favorably ( with some northeastern candidate states, with mild and comfortable summers, plenty of sunshine and low humidity.


North Dakota’s most significant advantage is its low population.  At about 642,000 (, only Wyoming and Alaska are smaller.  With this lower population, 20,000 people might have a more direct influence on the vote, thus more sway in electing liberty-friendly candidates into office.

North Dakota’s population growth has been very low for decades.  Over the next 20 years, it is expected to grow by only 9,000 people (  This situation is perceived as so desperate, it has spawned ill-conceived ideas such as the New Homestead Act ( The Free State Project could offer North Dakota a vital influx of new people.  This low population growth is important as we progress with our reforms, since we can be reasonably assured that the in-migration is mostly pro-liberty.


North Dakota has been trying to diversify their economy lately, with hi-tech businesses setting up shop in its largest city, Fargo (, where its business-friendly policies ( contrast with those of neighboring Minnesota.


The overwhelming majority of North Dakota’s legislators and its governor are Republicans (, suggesting that the state may tend toward fiscal conservatism.  Indeed, this is backed up by the fact that North Dakota has one of the smallest governments ( of the candidate states.  Additionally, it has referendums and initiatives (;action=display;threadid=828;start=60#lastPost), as well as term limits ( for the legislature and governor.  This can give our activists a great deal of power in directly influencing state law and preventing political entrenchment.  Finally, it has the least expensive campaigns ( of any other candidate state.

It is sometimes obvserved that North Dakota receives a disproportionate amount of Federal money (  However, the impact of this money on most citizens is unclear, and may be minimal, since much of this money may be in the form of large farm subsidies that benefit primarily large agribusiness operations.  Free staters may have more leeway on this issue than is immediately obvious.

20,000 enterprising liberty lovers could make a significant and immediate mark on North Dakota, both politically and economically.  It should be given serious consideration as an alternative to Wyoming, South Dakota, or Montana.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:41:49 am
No rebuttal was submitted for North Dakota. It is disqualified from the contest.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:41:56 am
No closing argument was submitted from North Dakota. It is disqualified from the contest.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:42:07 am
South Dakota - By Azurecanine

Let's consider what South Dakota has to offer in
relation to the other states and what makes it the
best candidate for success in this "free state race."

    South Dakota has taken it upon itself to prove
that states don't need income tax from the people.  It
is interesting because there are VERY few states that
believe this.  This is not to say that SD doesn't have
taxes.  When considering the sales tax of the states,
SD only has a 4% tax on all items. This percentage is
relatively low when considering other states.

    Cost of living is another factor.  South Dakota is
among the bottom percentage of cost of living.  This
lower cost of living coupled with a growing economy
only spells success for the state in more ways than
one.  Sioux Falls is home to many large corporation
businesses because there is no corporate tax in this
state.  It is interesting to note that more and more
companies are moving here from other states to take
advantage of this tax break.  With an increase in big
business, little businesses can only benefit.
Construction of new homes and new factories is driving
the premium cost of land in Sioux Falls up very
quickly.  Even though Sioux Falls is a city of about
100,000, it has been noted that it is one of the top
three cities of that size that are showing a high rate
of growth while keeping unemployment at an all time
low of only 2.9%.  Rural living is a majority in South
Dakota but Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen are
all relatively large towns that offer the many things
that individuals enjoy about big cities.  

    The right to keep and bear arms is a big issue for
a many involved in this project.  Even though Alaska
ranks as number one for their gun laws, South Dakota
hasn't ever had a law that made carrying a pistol a
financial burden.  It is VERY economical and
convenient to apply and receive a concealed carry
permit in South Dakota.  If it were any more
economical, it would be a mimic of Alaska and be no
cost at all.  It is important to note that South
Dakota believes that the owner of a firearm is
responsible for that firearm and NOT the manufacturers
or sellers of such items.  

    This porridge is not too hot nor too cold, but
just right.  Because of this middle of the road
outlook and position, South Dakota is best placed at
the top of the FSP list simply because once South
Dakota is picked and changes for the betterment of the
living conditions and political outlook is made, North
Dakota won't be far behind in making the same changes.
This factor is very important in the choice of which
state should be THE Free State.  Within months, North
Dakota would join the trend of South Dakota's success
as it has done so many times before.  Not too cold,
not too hot, but just right.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:42:15 am
No rebuttal was submitted for South Dakota. It is disqualified from the contest.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:42:22 am
No closing statement was submitted for South Dakota. It is disqualified from the contest.
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:42:35 am
Vermont - By FreedomRoad

The Green Mountain State is Calling

Vermont is a wonderful state like one of the largest lakes in America (Lake Champlain), the prettiest city in the Northeast (Burlington), and historic mountains.  Vermont has the best hunting laws (along with Wyoming) and a large outdoors culture.  Vermont is a huge tourist destination from April to November.  Why do all of these tourists flock to Vermont?  They flock to Vermont because it is a beautiful state with plenty to do and friendly people.  Do you want to sail from Lake Champlain to Mexico?  Vermont offers this option.  Where are America’s favorite ice cream and the best maple syrup in the world from?  Vermont is the answer to all of these questions and much, much more.

While those are all great subjective reasons to choose Vermont, they are nothing compared to the objective reasons:
•   Smallest cities
•   Very low crime
•   An Independent Senator and US Representative
•   Very Strong third party movement
•   Slow growth rate
•   Compared to the rest of the Northeast, very low cost of living
•   The libertarian Ethan Allen Institute
•   The best border trading partner (Montréal)
•   No federal dependence

Three very important factors pretty much assure that Vermont will be the best New England state for winning election:
1. Second smallest districts (only to Wyoming)
2. Second lowest campaign costs (only to North Dakota)
3. Second smallest population (only to Wyoming)

Take a look at the spreadsheet. (
It ranks Vermont about it the middle.  However, if you take out either the federal dependence factor or the jobs factor, Vermont moves above such states as New Hampshire.  

The only state in a better position to win elections is Wyoming.  However, Vermont has several powerful advantages that Wyoming is missing:
•   Smallest state house districts
•   Vermont Carry Gun law
•   Extremely independent population (even conservatives will vote for socialists as long as they claim to be independent)
•   Northeast location
•   Best chance for Left-Libertarian strategy

Why a Left-Libertarian strategy?
•   Vermont has some public nudity
•   Vermont has same-sex civil unions
•   Vermont has small districts that cost almost nothing to win
•   Vermont has real fusion for candidates
•   A Left third party controls Burlington, we can help keep them in power if they help us
•   Even conservatives vote for socialists
•   Strong geo-libertarian power
•   Vermont supported Ross Perot
•   Vermont has a strong libertarian tradition
•   Vermont is the only state that does not mandate public (government) schools in its Constitution
•   Vermont allows the selling of organic foods and raw milk
•   Libertarians have a proven history of getting elected

In many of the factors Vermont ranks in the middle.  However, in most the very important (make or break) factors Vermont is near the top.  While Vermont does suffer from New England winters, it offers a great deal of things to a great variety of members.  In conclusion, if you rate other small population or New England states highly, than Vermont deserves to be near the top of your list.

Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:42:41 am
Vermont Rebuttal
By FreedomRoad

All states:
Short Driving distances and smaller districts:
Neither New Hampshire nor Wyoming has short driving distances, despite what NH supporters claim.  Although, Idaho and Montana have the worst driving distances.
(Source: Yahoo Maps)

From NH Debate: It’s nine hours from Sheridan to Cheyenne, the capital of WY, but only two from anywhere in NH to the statehouse.

•   Colebrook to statehouse – 3:04
•   Berlin – 3:12
•   Stewartstown – 3:18
•   Dixville Notch – 3:19
•   Milan/Pittsburg – 3:23
•   Happy Corner – 3:31
•   Errol – 3:35
•   Etc, etc, etc…

Northern WY (Sheridan) – capital (Cheyenne): 4:51

Northern ME (St Francis) – capital (Augusta): 6:14

Northeastern SD (Rosholt) – capital (Pierre): 6:38

Northeastern ND (Walhalla) – capital (Bismarck): 6:38

Eastern MT (Glendive) – capital (Helena): 7:03

Northern ID (Sandpoint) – capital (Boise): 7:41

Anchorage – capital (Juneau): unable to calculate

Vermont, on the other hand, really does have short driving distances:
Largest city (Burlington) – statehouse (Montpelier): 0:57 min.
Statehouse – southern VT (Bennington): 2:54

New Hampshire:
NH might have some type of town meeting government, but VT is known for having the strongest in the nation.

From NH Debate: No requirement for public schools
Vermont is the only candidate states that has no state Constitutional mandate for public schools.

Vermont: (Section 68): "a competent number of schools ought to be maintained in each town unless the general assembly permits other provisions for the convenient instruction of youth"

NH: "it shall be the duty of the legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this government, to cherish the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries and public schools"

What does the NH Constitution mean?  Ask the students, teachers, and lawyers of NH and they will tell you, in makes NH just like every other state (except VT).  The Supreme Court of NH would laugh out any challenge to this law, anyway, because they are very liberal (but they would even laugh it out if they were conservative).

From NH Debate: Least restrictive gun laws in the nation

Vermont is world famous for its Vermont Carry law.  Up until a few weeks ago, when Alaska passed an even better bill, Vermont had the least restrict gun laws in the nation.  It (and Wyoming) still has the best hunting laws.  NH is good for gun laws, but it down there with states like ID and WY and not even in the same ball park as Vermont.

NH is not the best state according to:
Vermont and other states beat NH according to these sources:
Boston Gun Bible (;action=display;threadid=2291;start=msg34229#msg34229)
Brady Campaign (;action=display;threadid=2328)


From NH Debate: One rep per 3089 citizens.  Districts begin at 2987.

Overall, Vermont has the 2nd Smallest districts (only to Wyoming) while NH has the 2nd Largest.

The average state house district size for Vermont is much smaller:
Vermont 5,609 (the best)
NH 14,489 (6th)

The average state senate district size for Vermont is much smaller:
Vermont 20,500  
NH 53,000 (worst)

The average statewide election size for Vermont is much smaller:
Vermont 613,000 (2nd best)
NH 1,275,000

(;action=display;threadid=2271 )
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:42:47 am
Vermont Concluding Statement

Follow the Green Mountain Boys to Success
By FreedomRoad

The goals of the FSP are very lofty and high.  They might be possible but even that is uncertain, since this has never been tried before.  Because of this, we must pick a low population, low growth state like Vermont.  In Vermont, if we only had 10,000 people, we could do more good than 20,000 people in a very large, high populated candidate state.  Vermont is the only state that has a proven track record of a small amount of people moving to it and changing it political via an organized effort.  Back in the 1970’s, a group of socialist moved into Vermont and have since changed the state into what it is today.  They agree with us on a lot of our platform and Vermont’s original inhabitants agree with us on many other parts of our platform.

We could work and run as the popular “independents” in Vermont and work with both the controlling socialist and the minority conservatives.  We could make the two groups see eye to eye on many measures and work to make Vermont much freer than Alaska or Wyoming currently is.  Vermont will work and we can make it happen.

Other states have too many problems:

People from Boston are literally taking over southern NH, the 9th largest (overall) districts, the most expensive elections, the 9th largest number of voters, the 8th highest population (soon to be 9th, because of NH’s rapid growth rate), the highest housing costs, and the highest cost of living.  Together, this means VERY SERIOUS FUTURE PROBLEMS.

Montana is another popular state but Montana has very statist courts and press, the lowest standard of living, more socialist than even Vermont, restrictive gun laws, a large and growing Californian population, a huge state government, much higher crime than Vermont, and heavy federal government dependence.

Vermont’s main weak point is not much of a problem:
No Problem with Jobs
Some are concerned about Vermont jobs; even though 20,000 activists (which includes many self-employed, retirees, and non-working spouses) don’t need all the 34,400 projected new jobs; even though libertarians tend to be some of the best and brightest so they will be able to displace many of the unproductive managers and such from their current jobs; even though our immigration will itself generate tons of jobs; even though seasonal, telecommuting, and special jobs will allow members to work in Montreal, Canada, and Albany, Troy, Plattsburg, NY; even though we really only need 9,500 activists (and likely much fewer than 9,500 jobs) in Vermont to be equivalent to 20,000 in a large state.  When you think about, there is very little true concern about lack of jobs in Vermont.

Vermont can do it, but only with your help.  We can lead Vermont to freedom and inspire the people of the West to free either Alaska or Wyoming.  Pick Vermont and two states might be freed.  Pick a large population state and maybe no states will ever be freed.

( words 495 )
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:42:57 am
Wyoming: the Best Opportunity for FSP Success[/color] - By RobertH

Access to the Political System:[/color]

1. Smallest voting-age population ( - Maximizes FSP activist impact
2. Concentrated population ( - will not scatter FSP activists over many separate districts
3. True citizen legislature based on small districts ( - smallest statewide districts,
second smallest Senate districts, and on average, the second smallest House districts,
57 seats needed to control the legislature
4. Best state for voter response to small government agendas ( (high votes for libertarian candidates)
5. Third least expensive elections (
6. Initiative, referendum, and term limits (
7. Second highest percentage of citizens born out-of-state (

Libertarian Indicators:[/color]

1. State LP has Major Party Status (
2. No personal or business income tax (
3. Lowest property taxes
4. Best for lack of planning and zoning (
5. Second lowest percentage and lowest number of welfare recipients (
6. Lowest federal dependence in the West (
7. Best hunting laws, highest gun ownership, legal open carry of firearms (
8. Third best homeschooling laws (
9. Only FSP state without hate crimes laws (
10. Helmets not required for adult motorcycle operators (
11. WY GOP platform ( supports euthanasia, pro-choice,
reclaiming all federal lands, and looser adoption restrictions
12. Open containers permitted for auto passengers
13. Wyoming's Congressional Representation (GOP) voting record has been rated as follows (

Republican Liberty Caucus: "libertarian" (both social and fiscal issues)
American Federation of Government Employees: Worst state
National Education Association: Worst
Americans for the Arts: Worst
Gun Owners of America: Best
National Taxpayers Union: Best Best
Citizens Against Government Waste: second best

14. American Lung Association ranks Wyoming smoking laws: Worst in the nation (;action=display;threadid=1200;start=30)
15. Anti-Gun Brady Campaign ranks Wyoming: Worst in the nation (;action=display;threadid=2328)
16. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal federal circuit court (
17. High speed limits (75mph) (
18. Highly individualistic society (;action=display;threadid=1665;start=0)
19. Very friendly and volunteering citizens (
20. Liberty and FSP-friendly statewide newspaper (;action=display;threadid=1569&start=0)
21. Liberty-friendly neighboring states

Opposition Groups:[/color]

1. Fewest unionized teachers (
2. Second lowest number of unionized workers (
3. Third lowest number of government employees
4. Best religious diversity (
5. Lowest voting percentage for Ralph Nader in the nation (
6. Big government groups hate Wyoming - see how they rank it in the above section

Jobs and Living:[/color]

1. Casper/Cheyenne 1st and 2nd for "cost of doing business,"
two of the top 12 small US cities ( for "business and careers"
2. "America's Wealth-Friendliest State" (
3. "America's Best Tax Climate for Businesses" (
4. Third most "small business friendly" state, nationwide (
5. Second for renting costs, "economic freedom," and "general livability." (
6. Low housing, land prices, and cost of living (
7. Closer to large urban areas than any other Western state (

Some states may rank higher on various individual measurements, but when you compare the broad scope of current liberties and opportunities that Wyoming presents, no other state even comes close.  Nowhere else will each of our activists count for so much by themselves, and nowhere else is the state legislature small enough, and the population individualistic and libertarian enough, for us to realistically achieve the majorities that will make liberty in our lifetime possible.  

Wyoming is the best opportunity for FSP success and the future of liberty in this country.[/color]
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:43:06 am
Wyoming's Rebuttals (by RobertH)


...deep belief in independence and self reliance (+85% gun ownership), rugged individualism, hospitality and western style ambiance.

Wyoming has this same culture with a much smaller voting population, less federal dependence (particularly farm subsidies), lower taxes, a smaller, better-managed government, and fewer opposition groups.

We're self-sufficient in natural resources...

Wyoming exceeds Montana in firearms production (, and  energy self-sufficiency (  


Idaho consistently has a high percentage of Libertarian Party votes; the highest percentage of total votes for all Libertarians among states for which we have complete data; and indisputably the highest actual number of people willing to vote for LP candidates.  

Idaho does well in these measures but Wyoming has the highest percentage ( of LP votes of all the candidate states.  

New Hampshire[/color]

Residents actively searching for education alternatives

What evidence is there that NH residents are interested in "education alternatives" other than as concerns taxation?  In Wyoming, public schools have actually been closed, and fundamental alternatives are desperately needed.  New Hampshire's emphasis seems directed more toward tax-based funding than alternative education systems.

Exploding homeschool population

Wyoming has the best homeschool regulatory environment ( following Alaska and Idaho and ranks as a "low regulation state."  NH ranks as a "moderate regulation" state.

Districts begin at 2987

This reflects the very smallest districts, but NH's average district size is much larger than Wyoming's:  

WY - 8,317
NH - 14,489

Wyoming's average Senate district size is also much smaller:

WY - 16,500
NH - 53,000; action=display; threadid=2271 (; action=display; threadid=2271)

New Hampshire's many districts and many multi-seat districts add up to a 400 member House, which, by itself, will require us to take over 200 seats in order to create a majority.  Counting the Senate, we would need some 214 seats to take control of the New Hampshire legislature, as opposed to 57 seats in Wyoming.

Compact size makes campaigning easy...
Multitude of charming New England towns

Wyoming has greatest percentage of population in Urban Clusters (39.8%), which will make campaigning there easier in spite of the state's large size.  NH - 14.6%

Highest per capita income

Wyoming has the highest PER CAPITA INCOME after adjusted for cost of living. (

This is because while the pay is somewhat similar in the two states, the cost of living is higher in NH.

Cost of living: lower is better
Casper, WY- 96
Cheyenne, WY- 97.6
National- 100
Manchester, NH- 110.5
Nashua, NH- 138.5
Portsmouth, NH- 138.6
Rochester, NH- 138.6"    

Coastal border, facilitating international trade
Canadian border, facilitating international trade

International borders and coastal access also present a strong opportunity for unwanted federal management and interference due to "security" concerns.

Borders with two FSP candidate states - ME and VT...

Wyoming borders three FSP states, which are, arguably, more liberty-friendly than ME and VT:  SD, MT, and ID.

First-in-the-nation primary will give the FSP national prominence

Nothing about this primary ensures the FSP of any special recognition.

Tied for lowest percentage of NEA/AFT members

Wyoming has the lowest NEA membership (, period (of all 50 states) only 5,713.  NH - 11,834.

Smallest number of government employees, per capita

Wyoming has the 2nd fewest actual government employees: 15,991.  NH - 19,092.


6) Location:  Proximity to DC and other media centers is a GOOD thing

Wyoming is close to Denver/Fort Collins, Colorado (45 and 90 min, respectively)
Title: Re:The Great State Debate Debates
Post by: ZuG on July 08, 2003, 01:43:13 am
"It's not a road you're riding on, it's a path to freedom."[/color] (by RobertH)
   - Slogan in official 2003 Wyoming Vacation Directory

We in the FSP have looked at this "which state?" question from just about every conceivable angle.  In fact, years from now, we may reflect on our discussions here with a twinkle in the eye and a slight, self-deprecating smile when we consider just how really naive the lot of us were at the time.  Then, such is life.  We live and, I hope, we learn.

I could go into more statistical analysis here, or present some flashy list of factors designed to impress the socks off of you FSP'ers, but, given the degree of discussion that has taken place so far, and the resources that are available for you to consult, I don't feel inclined to do so.

In closing the short case for Wyoming, let me reiterate one primary point, without which none of us would be here:

Liberty in our lifetime

This is our goal, the treasure we hope to find waiting at the end of the rainbow, is it not?  Liberty: the right to be me.  The right to live as I see fit.  The right to raise my children as I wish.  The right to struggle and save and go home at the end of the day without someone else's hand in my pocket.  Liberty was the first American Dream, and its pursuit made all of our other dreams possible in return.

The spirit of liberty lives on in Wyoming.  It's not just a word there; it's an attitude, a lifestyle.  The people of Wyoming are among the last truly individualistic and independent people you will find anywhere in the modern world.  And it will take such a people to support the FSP's dreams if those dreams are to become reality.

Wyoming's population is also the smallest in the nation, meaning that each of us will count for more before anything else is even considered.  By interacting with just a few people each, FSP'ers in Wyoming could have a greater impact than in any other state under consideration.

With so few of us able to reach out to so many in Wyoming, given how liberty-friendly those "many" already are, and considering that it would take only 57 seats to create a majority in the legislature, is there any doubt that we could not accomplish great things in Wyoming?

The dream we call "liberty in our lifetime," can be made real in Wyoming.  The first American Dream still lives there, and should we choose to call Wyoming our home, that dream may become our reality.

A vote for Wyoming is not just another road before us.  It's the path to freedom.

438 words ( ( (