Free State Project Forum

New Hampshire -- The "Live Free or Die" State => NH Information and News => Topic started by: freedomroad on March 10, 2015, 10:05:48 am

Title: Drew Cline: If Free Staters can help it, everything in NH will be awesome
Post by: freedomroad on March 10, 2015, 10:05:48 am
March 04. 2015 9:56PM
Drew Cline: If Free Staters can help it, everything in NH will be awesome

The state’s nano brewery trend was fueled in large part by Free Staters. Small breweries in Merrimack (Able Ebenezer), Manchester (Candia Road) and Concord (Area 23) were founded by Free Staters. A few years ago, the state had no law allowing very small breweries to operate. Kevin Bloom of Area 23 helped draft a nano brewery bill, which was introduced by then-Rep. Mark Warden, R-Manchester, also a Free Stater. The bill passed and took effect in 2011, leading to a blossoming of small breweries that has garnered regional and even national attention.

In state poltiics, Free Staters have made themselves a small but powerful force. It is unlikely that Bill O’Brien would have become House Speaker or Jack Kimball Republican Party chairman without the effort of many active Free Staters and their libertarian-leaning allies. Free Staters have won seats in the Legislature and on local boards and commissions. But one of their biggest impacts has come through the courts.

In 2010, Free Stater Carla Gericke was arrested by Weare police for video-taping officers who had stopped a friend’s car (she was in a following car) late at night. An attorney originally from South Africa, Gericke knew she had the right to record the stop. “As an attorney, I thought none of this is right, you can’t do this,” she said in an interview.

Gericke was the wrong person to arrest on a trumped up charge.

“Having grown up in South Africa during the Apartheid era sort of informs my view of what government should be like and how people should be treated,” she said. “Coming from a police state environment, I’m probably hypersensitive to it.”

She filed a 32-count lawsuit against the town, which fairly quickly dropped the charges against her. She proceeded with the suit anyway, hoping to stop what had been a pattern of police officers arresting people for recording them, only to drop the charges later. In a landmark case in federal court last year, she won. The court firmly upheld the right of citizens to make video recordings of on-duty police officers.

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