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Author Topic: Concentrating ourselves within-state  (Read 7550 times)

JasonPSorens

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Concentrating ourselves within-state
« on: June 10, 2003, 08:29:31 am »

Within-state concentration is going to be done informally, but it remains something we want to encourage.  After the state is chosen, the main task of the Research Committee will be to research localities within the state on the basis of desirability of living there and political potential.

I've already done some research on this, for the purpose of evaluating the states - it turns out that some states' geographies are better suited to "smart migration" than others'.  So I've undertaken a preliminary identification of the most desirable locales in each state, following these principles:

1) We need to have people near the capital city, for testifying before the legislature, protesting in front of the capitol building, and all that fun stuff.
2) We need people in or near the largest city, for jobs.
3) We need people in the towns with the largest universities, to activate the student vote and influence the next generation.
4) We need rural counties for our wilderness lovers, preferably in "corridors" connecting our other areas of strength.
5) We need to avoid the most statist areas.
6) We should avoid reservation-dominated counties, as we should let Native Americans be the majority in the areas under their sovereignty.
7) Put together, it's best if the population of "smart migration" areas is only just over half the population of the state.

DELAWARE

Delaware has only three counties, and the largest (New Castle) has about two-thirds of the state's population.  If Delaware were chosen, we'd definitely want Kent and Sussex counties (capital city and rural, respectively).  But that gives us only one-third of the population.  Then we need people in New Castle County.  This is where the difficulty comes in, because smart migration is difficult to arrange.  If we tell people, "Live anywhere in Delaware except within the city limits of Wilmington" - the statist hellhole - then we haven't accomplished smart migration, b/c Wilmington accounts for only 72,000 people, 1/10th of Delaware's population.  So Delaware is possibly the worst candidate state when it comes to arranging smart migration: it would be very difficult to arrange.

IDAHO

It's clear we want people in Boundary and Bonner counties, where libertarian activism is already strong.  Kootenai County has already been Californicated to some extent, as it contains Coeur d'Alene, but there is also a strong libertarian element there, so I think we should go for it.  Shoshone County is a good wilderness county and links us with Latah County, where the U of Idaho is located.  Nez Perce is a good county, with Lewiston, but Lewis County, with the reservation, should be avoided.  Clearwater and Idaho Counties should be taken, because they link north with south, and border Montana, a state we'd hope to influence.  Valley and Boise Counties would link with Ada County, which contains the state capital of Boise; we need all of those.  Now we've already got a majority of Idaho in counties we're moving to, but we also want a couple more rural counties bordering Montana and Wyoming: I advocate including Lemhi, Clark, Fremont, and Caribou counties in the mix.  Pocatello and Idaho Falls should be completely avoided.  Because Idaho is dominated by Boise, we'll need a lot of people there, and that reduces somewhat the "smart migration" potential for this state.  I'd say that Idaho is about average.

MAINE

We likely want to include the northern fringe of wilderness counties in our migration: Aroostook, Piscataquis, Somerset, Franklin, and Oxford.  We also want York County, which is commutable to NH and MA and should also be influenced by NH's low taxes.  We want Cumberland because it has Portland, the largest city, Kennebec because it has Augusta, the capital, and Penobscot because it has the U of Maine.  When you put all that together, there's very little of Maine where we won't be: mostly the northern coastal counties.  Maine's smart migration potential is below average but better than Delaware's.

MONTANA

We want some counties bordering Canada and Idaho: Lincoln, Sanders, Flathead, and Toole look particularly desirable.  Glacier and Lake should be avoided because of the reservations.  Most of eastern Montana should be left because there are few jobs, it is bitterly cold, and it is depopulating.  We need Missoula because the U of MT is there, Lewis and Clark because Helena is there, Gallatin because Bozeman is there (MT State), and Yellowstone because Billings (largest city) is there.  We should avoid statist Butte.  Ravalli is most desirable in terms of climate, so we can include that there.  Petroleum County has only 800 people, so if some people want to join with Larry (Zack Bass) in "taking over a county," then that would be the best place for them.  Great Falls is another city left out; it's not very statist, but the climate there is pretty harsh, so it might not attract many Free Staters anyway.  Overall, MT has some good potential for smart migration, although winning over Missoula, Helena, Bozeman, and Billings is going to be tough.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NH has pretty big counties.  Clearly we want Hillsborough for jobs, Merrimack for the capital of Concord, Grafton for Dartmouth and because it is the current hotspot for libertarian activism, and Coos for wilderness lovers.  That totals up to about 40% of the population, with Rockingham, Sullivan, Cheshire, Belknap, Carroll, and Strafford being the omitted counties.  We need to avoid Rockingham to avoid putting the proportion of targeted counties up to 70% and ruining the "smart-ness" of the migration.  Targeting Strafford instead will put NH just about 50%.  Telling people to avoid Rockingham will be difficult because it's a very commutable county and is the only one to border the ocean.  If we included Rockingham in the migration, NH would be about as bad as ME.  If we omit it, there's a significant tradeoff.  For this reason, I think NH is roughly even with ID - both require tough choices to ensure smart migration.

NORTH DAKOTA

Because of its small counties, ensuring smart migration in ND is not terribly difficult.  I'd say we'd want to avoid the coldest, northern parts of the state and concentrate ourselves along the borders with Montana and South Dakota.  We also need Burleigh for the capital and Cass for the largest city (Fargo).  I'd recommend basically targeting the whole southern half of the state and trying to avoid Grand Forks and Minot.  The hardest thing about that is the jobs factor.  Everyone who wants a job will have to live in Fargo or Bismarck; not a lot of choice there.  I'd say ND is about as good as MT when it comes to arranging smart migration.

SOUTH DAKOTA

South Dakota is like North Dakota but better.  We want Pennington with Rapid City, as well as the Black Hills counties bordering Wyoming (Lawrence, Butte, Custer, Fall River), Hughes and Stanley counties surrounding the tiny capital of Pierre, and the southeastern corner with Sioux Falls, Vermillion, and commute possibilities to Sioux City, IA and maybe even Omaha, NE.  South Dakota is about as good as it gets when it comes to arranging smart migration.  It even has some sub-1000 population counties for the Zack Basses of the world.  We want to avoid the reservations and larger towns where we don't need to go (Aberdeen).

VERMONT

We want to avoid the most statist areas (Bennington, Windham, Rutland, and Addison Counties and downtown Burlington).  We want to target Chittenden County outside Burlington (jobs & university), Washington County (capital), the Northeast Kingdom counties of Lamoille, Orleans, Caledonia, and Essex, and other counties bordering NH where tax pressure is greatest (Orange, Windsor).  Taking Washington County would probably be the most difficult part of this whole endeavor (Montpelier is pretty statist), but overall VT's potential for smart migration is about equal with MT's.

WYOMING

We want to avoid the Californicated part (Teton County), and the reservation (Fremont), but other than that, WY is fairly wide open. We need Uinta for commutability, Albany for the university, Laramie for the capital, Natrona for jobs (Casper), Park, Big Horn, and Sheridan for influence on MT and existing libertarian tendencies, Hot Springs and Washakie for climate, and Goshen for small town lovers (Torrington, access to Scottsbluff, NE).  Niobrara is good for Zack Bass & friends, with under 1000 residents.  Campbell County with Gillette might also be an attractive location.  The only problem with WY is that it's difficult to get the "corridors" connecting all our targeted areas.  I would rank WY about even with ND: ND has corridors but fewer options for jobs & commuting.  WY is better on this measure than MT & VT because there are no real statist areas that we would have to struggle to overcome.

SUMMARY

My rough ranking of the states on possibilities for smart migration would go like this: SD>ND=WY>MT=VT>NH=ID>ME>DE.  Perhaps others will think of possibilities I have not mentioned that will alter this ranking a bit.
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2003, 09:06:44 am »

Hm, George just mentioned that Strafford County is fairly Democratic and statist, so that would change my calculus above.  We'd want to avoid Rockingham, Cheshire, and Strafford, leaving Hillsborough, Merrimack, Grafton, and Coos as targeted counties, and Sullivan, Belknap, and Carroll in limbo.

Actually, I just looked at the Census Bureau site's estimates for 2002, and Hillsborough, Merrimack, Grafton, and Coos now have just over 50% of the population.  That improves NH's position on the smart migration index.  Avoiding Rockingham will still be tough, but I put NH at least level with MT and VT, possibly higher.
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Dalamar49

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2003, 09:12:41 am »

Wow. Good job Jason. One question though, what about Alaska?
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2003, 10:01:30 am »

Wow. Good job Jason. One question though, what about Alaska?

D'oh!  Forgot Alaska.  That's due to the fact that my road atlas doesn't give borough boundaries. ;)  Here's my analysis:

ALASKA

Anchorage municipality constitutes nearly half of the population of the state.  Clearly the majority of Free Staters will have to move here.  For people who don't like frigid temperatures in winter, we also want to have some of the Southeast open to migration: Juneau, the capital, for example, and possibly Ketchikan as well.  If we add Kodiak Island for the wilderness junkies, we're just over 50%.  The main areas being left out under this arrangement are Fairbanks, the Kenai Peninsula (south of Anchorage), Matanuska-Susitna (north of Anchorage), the Aleutians (large Native population, mostly government owned), and the vast Alaskan bush (large Native population, mostly government owned, harsh climate).  Having to get over 50% of Free Staters in Anchorage might be difficult, and leaving out Fairbanks misses a good chunk of the population, so I would rate AK slightly below ID, but probably above ME.
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2003, 10:05:13 am »

Hm, George just mentioned that Strafford County is fairly Democratic and statist, so that would change my calculus above.  We'd want to avoid Rockingham, Cheshire, and Strafford, leaving Hillsborough, Merrimack, Grafton, and Coos as targeted counties, and Sullivan, Belknap, and Carroll in limbo.

Why would you want to avoid Cheshire?

Well, James says it's the most liberal/statist part of NH.

Quote
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Avoiding Rockingham will still be tough.

I think a few porcupines would do a world of good in Deerfield if some insist on moving to Rockingham county.
Quote

What we'll probably end up doing is creating three categories of locations: counties where we strongly encourage people to move, a middle group of towns and sub-county areas where people can move, and a final group of counties and sub-county areas where we strongly encourage people not to move.  Each category would probably represent about a third of the population.  That way we can sketch out a few areas in Rockingham where people can go, and take an equivalent area away from some of the other counties.
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2003, 10:36:55 am »

Well, James says it's the most liberal/statist part of NH.

My impression is that Cheshire is the most liberal NH county in the classical sense more than in the "statist" sense. I'd guess it would be fertile ground for libertarians. Keene state college is there.  ;)

Oh OK...Well in that case, Cheshire could end up in the "middle group" of "voluntary targets."  However, I think (parts of) Hillsborough, (parts of) Merrimack, Grafton, and Coos all have compelling reasons to be ahead of Cheshire on the "mandatory targets" list.
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jgmaynard

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2003, 10:45:15 am »

Jeez! I HATE having to work when there is a good conversation going on. Yes, I would agree, Cheshire is liberal, but not really statist. Mostly ex-hippie artists miffed off about property taxes... :D
One of the biggest Government shrinkers on the Keene City Council is a Democrat, and the Greens tend to support Libs when there is no Green running.... In 2000, they had rallys for Nader for President, and Babiarz for Governor. :)
Check out these two links for official info on NH voting results by county:

http://www.state.nh.us/sos/general2000/
http://www.state.nh.us/sos/general2002/

Cheshire picks up quite a bit between those two results... It would still be # 4 or 5 or so if you ask me, but it is a strange county politically!

JM
« Last Edit: June 10, 2003, 10:47:27 am by jgmaynard »
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2003, 11:07:20 am »

Hm, Cheshire was the only county that gave Fernald more votes than Babiarz and Benson put together. :(  Belknap and Carroll actually look like the best counties by that measure, followed by Coos and then Hillsborough and Rockingham.  That fouls things up a bit, but if we have three categories of places that might give us the flexibility we need.  My tendency would be to say the following:

STRONGLY ENCOURAGE TO MOVE TO:

Coos County (if you like wilderness)
Hillsborough County (if you like high-tech jobs)
Concord area (if you're an aspiring politico)
Hanover area (if you like the college environment)

OVERALL GOOD PLACES TO MOVE TO:

Belknap and Carroll Counties (esp. for small town life)
The rest of Grafton County
The rest of Merrimack County
Keene
Deerfield and Portsmouth

ENCOURAGE NOT TO MOVE TO:

Rest of Cheshire County
Rest of Rockingham County
Strafford County
Sullivan County
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2003, 11:11:25 am »

Oh OK...Well in that case, Cheshire could end up in the "middle group" of "voluntary targets."  However, I think (parts of) Hillsborough, (parts of) Merrimack, Grafton, and Coos all have compelling reasons to be ahead of Cheshire on the "mandatory targets" list.

What part of Merrimack do you like? I am very sceptical about it; lots of state employees live there and my study of voting records of current house members shows that the Merrimack ones are not among the best. (Interestingly, almost all of our best legislators represent Hillsborough and Rockingham counties!).

If you need activists to be in Concord for rallies and such, you can get them from anywhere south of the White Mountains. Heck, I live in Dover and I'm driving to Concord tonight for an LPNH meeting. I do it regularly. It takes under an hour; no big deal. Libertarians from all over the area drive into Concord for our meetings. Concord is centralized.

Yeah, Merrimack doesn't have a great voting record and it has a lot of state employees.  I do think it's important to have some people there in the capital day in and day out, making noise and taking the "commanding heights" of the political scene.  But the rest of Merrimack County could probably be left to its own devices, per my 3-category division above.
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Zxcv

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2003, 03:24:35 am »

Wow, Jason, a lot of work juggling 10 states! This will be much easier when we can concentrate on one.

I have to question the criteria, or at least haggle a bit.

1) (capital city) - agree

2) (largest city) - don't agree. Jobs ease the movement there, but they don't help at all in the sense of getting a state free. The only reasons I can think of hitting the largest city are either that it (or parts of it) are have "swing" potential or ease of being elected, and because it typically is the media center and we want to be involved in that. But some largest cities are hopelessly statist and we should stay out of those.

In Cheyenne's case, at least newspaper media is actually centered in Casper, but there may be TV/radio. And I think there are "swing" districts there; it's not hopelessly statist. A final point is that while it is not hopelessly statist, it is probably more statist than the rest of the state, a very good reason to locate there (we don't want to replace good legislators with good legislators, but bad legislators with good legislators).

3) (university towns) - definitely, even if they happen to be hopelessly statist. We need a campus presence.

4) (rural areas and corridors) - disagree, this does not make sense to me. Instead we should think in terms of getting a position in susceptible county governments and important smaller towns.

5) (avoid hopelessly statist areas) - agree, at least for political work, but there still is the campus work and other volunteer/cultural opportunities for some activists

6) (avoid reservations) - mostly agree, except where county government is not in the hands of Indians and is hostile to them; in that case we might help the Indians out.

7) (half the state) - mostly agree, but if we get 20,000 in Wyoming we can cover the whole friggin' place.  ;D

I would add one other possibility. In states that do not have term limits and that have long-term statist legislators, we really ought to give at least a few of these bums a run for their money. Don't give them a free ride. That is, we need to find out who writes the worst legislation and put some effort (more if their vote total is marginal in elections) to knock them off or at least give them heartburn. The idea here is that it will start to hurt if you tend statist. We need to make an example of a few of them.
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Robert H.

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2003, 03:56:26 am »

Considering that anyone voting for Harry Browne for president is probably a dependable libertarian voter, Wyoming's counties break down as follows (from the 2000 general election):

Natrona: 195
Laramie: 185
Albany: 128
Sweetwater: 112
Park: 98
Fremont: 97
Sheridan: 92
Teton: 73
Uinta: 70

Those are the top ten by number, and they seem to show us that the larger sheer number of libertarian voters are located in the southern and middle parts of the state.  This is a good thing in that it could help us rally support to oppose statist influences coming up from Denver.

http://soswy.state.wy.us/election/2000/results/g-usp.htm

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2003, 04:07:41 am »

Hi Zxcv,

Ref:  Largest city;

I've got to go along with Jason on this.  The trade associations meet at the largest cities.   For some fields of public policy matters, these meetings must be attended.  This, of course, means holding membership in the association(s) and participating in their meetings.  This assists efforts when showing up at public hearings.

A typical public hearing consists of the chief honchos at the head table, an audience comprised of industry reps related to the subject matter of the hearing, the lobbyists, 1 or 2 college students (who will be moving up in American society) and 1 or 2 retirees.  

The above composition is a good indicator why those public hearings are so important.  The embryonic requirement is to be involved in the trade associations at the big town.

A tangent;  one downstream requirement is to ALSO show up at the Federal Regional Centers for the Federal Hearings.  Denver is Regional HQ for the Great Out West.  (Region 8).  This is why I find Cheyenne a Providential Gift.  I mentioned in the preceeding sentence "requirement".  It's the same folks controlling (and attending) these hearings.  Without being considered a force to be reckened with, allows a pyrric victory at state level.

I'm not one to rush things but "show the flag" is a requirement.

BobW
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BobW

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2003, 04:10:23 am »

Hi all,

Denver is HQ of Federal Region 8 for the Great Out West.  I have no idea how that happy face got posted.

BobW
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Zxcv

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2003, 03:36:17 am »

Bob, that happy face is automatically generated by an 8 followed by a right paren (that's the code for that face). If you don't want a happy face, put a space between the two. Or click "disable smilies" in the reply window.

As to trade associations, I'm out of my element. However does it make sense to have enough FSPers there to handle these, but (if the city is hopelessly statist) not many more than that because you'd never expect to win an election there?

Maybe we need to look at concentration for two purposes, winning seats in governments, and everything else. One hopes we could put people in areas that take care of multiple things at once - voting, running for office, campus influence, etc. Get better utilization out of them.
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BobW

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Re:Concentrating ourselves within-state
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2003, 04:31:40 am »

Hi Zxcv,

Ah ha! Denver is Region 8.  Thus the Happy Face when coupled with my telegraph-key skills.

No, it's not wise to split a new force. I was actually addressing the specifics of Cheyenne and should have mentioned these specifics are not transferable to eg Montana cities.  Cheyenne is WY's major city, seat of government and near Federal Region 8 HQ, Denver.  

Going to Denver a couple to few times a year can be handled.  It can't be worse than Richmond or Arlington/Washington, DC. (I hope!)

I've been making personal charts involving multifunctions.  I don't know if it's somewhat unique to my field but I'm obliged to be active in the trade associations.  This inherently involves Denver (occupational hazard).

We're probably dealing with similiar thoughts.  Someone seeking a political office eg Sheriff, must be involved in the pure political apparatus ie political party and also the associations such as Fraternal Order of Police, Peace Officers Assoc of [state].  I'm sure the college professors and other educators must do this also.  

BobW

 

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