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Author Topic: Editorial in the Keene Sentinel  (Read 9631 times)

jgmaynard

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Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« on: November 10, 2003, 01:39:02 pm »

Hi all:

The Keene Sentinel just ran an editorial about my, Michelle Otterson's, and Pat LaPree's campaigns, and I have just responded to it. Both the editorial, and my response, are copied below.

Sentinel Editorial: Firm underbelly (11/10/03)

The theory is posted on James A. Maynard’s Web site, www.keenenh.us/. “Off-year elections are the soft underbelly of American politics.” Maynard uses the phrase twice in urging fellow Libertarians to run for local office.

In New Hampshire, these local elections are usually nonpartisan affairs, so candidates don’t have to declare a party affiliation. The campaigns are not expensive, Maynard writes. Usually, they cost the candidates “only a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.” What’s more, “financial reporting requirements may be nil to non-existent, petitioning may be just a few signatures, or not required at all, and candidates are usually free to raise money from any source, in any amount, across the country.”

Maynard has spoken and written in favor of the Free-State Project, and there’s link to the project on his Web site. So the implication is that these local elections could prove to be fine launching pads for project members who want eventually to assume state and national office from a platform in New Hampshire.

Give Maynard his due. He did post his theory online for all to see. And he is not suggesting that anyone do anything disreputable. Nonpartisan elections are not supposed to revolve around party matters, so there is nothing underhanded about Libertarians — or Republicans or Democrats or whomever — running for local office and keeping their party affiliations to themselves. That’s pretty much the point.

And Maynard emphasizes that Libertarians who enter public life through the nonpartisan local route will have rosy political futures only if they perform well in office. “Nothing succeeds like success,” he writes, “and if Libertarians prove themselves en masse at city and county levels throughout the nation, we are far more likely to be asked to occupy higher offices.”

Yet there is something about the “soft underbelly” line — and the free-state movement itself — that implies somebody is trying to put something over on us yokels.

If so, it’s not off to a good start. Three free-state Libertarians were on the ballot in this week’s off-year election in Keene. Maynard and Michelle Otterson ran for the Keene City Council, and Patricia Lapree ran for the Keene Board of Education. When the votes were counted, Maynard and Otterson came in next to last and last in a contest that chose five people from a field of nine. Lapree came in next to last in a contest that selected three board members from a field of 10 candidates.

Many factors go into election outcomes, especially familiarity between the voters and the candidates. So it would not be fair to say that last week’s results add up to a resounding rejection of the Libertarians, or of their philosophy. But it does look as if Maynard’s soft-underbelly has been working on its abs.


To the Sentinel:

I first want to thank those 412 people around Keene who voted for me in my recent bid for City Council. It was delightful to see that even in the Democratic stronghold of Keene, people well identified as Libertarians and Free State Project members can earn 15% of the vote for such an important office.
I am also flattered that the Sentinel would write an editorial, and several articles, about a single article of mine (available on my website at www.jmaynard.org). I am humbled that local media would pay so much attention to my campaign, and not be negative about the idea of fiscal responsibility, combined with social tolerance, and environmental protection.
But, the selection of New Hampshire as the choice of the Free State Project only occurred a month ago, and so far, only one additional member has moved to the Elm City. As time goes on, many more members will move to New Hampshire, including Keene, to help our city and state, and our candidates.
People in the free State Project are already beginning to do as much of their holiday shopping as possible from New Hampshire businesses, donating to New Hampshire charities, and working to help the disadvantaged in our state. The members of the Project are also developing our own charities, to provide help for those who need a helping hand.
I have to disagree with the Sentinel, however, when it writes “somebody is trying to put something over on us yokels.” I would never insult the people of this fine state so, and would never try to deceive anyone. I am a native New Hampshire resident, born in Manchester, and I have lived in Keene for over 10 years. I graduated from Central High in Manchester, and Keene State College right here in our city. I have taught throughout the city, and have helped the children of the city to explore the cosmos free of charge, holding free star parties around Keene.  
There is a special spirit here in New Hampshire; one of self-reliance and helping our neighbors, of accountability in government, and citizen participation in the decision making process. These are the same ideals which both the Free State Project, and the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire believe in.
We were the only candidates in the race committed to ending the destructive, over-priced bypass which will, on a whim of a NH court, turn parts of Keene into another blighted Nashua-wannabe. We want better for our beautiful city. I believe the people of Keene want to preserve our spirit and environment as well.
As time goes on, we will work to protect the spirit and environment of Keene, and to make sure that the voice of the people is heard throughout municipal and state government.
So, were we disappointed we did not win? Yes. But we are delighted that the Project is off to such a great start. With only a half-dozen people working on the campaign, 412 people saw that government should remain forever accountable to the people, and to our environment.
So, to those big government forces, waiting next to bulldozers for the word from the courts to destroy our wetlands, and make a bad traffic situation far worse, I say enjoy our time in the limelight. We will only become stronger, more organized, and better financed with every passing day. You’re never getting off this easy again.
To those people who believe in accountable government, property tax relief and social tolerance, I encourage you to keep checking back on the website. There are other projects in the works, which will be announced soon. Your voice will only become stronger as time goes on. We will work together to keep Keene as beautiful, historic and free as it has ever been.
Thank you again.

James Maynard
40 Needle St.
Keene, NH 03431
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The Light of Alexandria By James Maynard

A history of the first 1,000 years of science, and how it changed the ancient world, and our world today.



http://www.lightofalexandria.com

mark

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2003, 02:31:53 pm »


I first want to thank those 412 people around Keene who voted for me in my recent bid for City Council. It was delightful to see that even in the Democratic stronghold of Keene, people well identified as Libertarians and Free State Project members can earn 15% of the vote for such an important office.



James, is there a source to find out the actual turnout for the elections, especially the registered voter %? And have you made any effort to identify and invite the 412 people that supported you for further activism? Please consider my idea to "shadow" the city council and act as a representative to those 412 voters regardless of not having an "official" title.
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2003, 03:03:19 pm »

Was it the State Supreme Court that mandated that bypass?

That's Wealth Redistribution run amok. Bypasses many times hurt the economy of local towns and cities. If they want to be done with private dollars, fine. But it's wrong for government to do it.

Tracy
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jgmaynard

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2003, 03:56:19 pm »

Hey Mark:

There were 2,717 people who voted in that election (22% turnout), so my 412 votes was 15%, in THE Democratic stronghold in New Hampshire.

JM
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The Light of Alexandria By James Maynard

A history of the first 1,000 years of science, and how it changed the ancient world, and our world today.



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rdeacon

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2003, 06:27:34 pm »

I wrote an LTE in response to this editorial as well:

To the editor,

Regarding your 10 November editorial "Firm Underbelly": I don't agree with your assertion that the free state movement is trying to "put something over on us yokels".  Maynard's "soft underbelly" article speaks about breaking through cycles of serial-incumbency.  It describes how off-year elections are a good way to get involved in the system if you're not a career politician.  It is not an appeal to somehow trick the electorate.

Maynard's article is a message encouraging ordinary citizens to break the growing trend toward low-level career politicians.  In my opinion, term limits would better serve this purpose, but attacking the "soft underbelly" is a viable option in the mean time, one that should be explored not only by libertarians but by people of all political agendas.

The Free State Project (FSP), by its very nature, may also appear deceptive, though nothing can be farther from the truth.  From what I've seen, FSP members have nothing to hide.  They approach issues openly and honestly, and in many ways are in line with New Hampshire's attitudes toward low-taxation, small government, and individual liberty.

The beauty of the free state movement is that FSP members accomplish nothing without the approval of native Granite Staters.  We'll have to wait for FSP members to arrive en masse before we can determine the success of the venture, but I disagree that we should consider it a threat or deception.

Regards,

« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 09:34:20 am by rdeacon »
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mark

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2003, 09:01:02 pm »

Hey Mark:

There were 2,717 people who voted in that election (22% turnout), so my 412 votes was 15%, in THE Democratic stronghold in New Hampshire.

JM


2,717 out of 15,000 or so registered voters??? Hardly a mandate for the incumbants! The other 12,000 are OUR PEOPLE!   ;D


We all know it! THEY know it too! ;D


Please find those 412 people and tell them they are the only REAL people with opinions of substance in thr Keene area!  ;D
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mark

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2003, 09:11:49 pm »

Maynard's article is a message encouraging ordinary citizens to break the growing trend toward low-level career politicians.
 


Huh? This sentance doesn't make sense Justin. Unless toward meant against.

Quote
The Free State Project (FSP), by its very nature, may also appear deceptive, though nothing can be farther from the truth.

Further from the truth might be OK. But using the term deceptive isn't at all OK , Justin.

I don't see "by it's very nature" anything deceptive about the FSP.  :P
« Last Edit: November 10, 2003, 09:16:23 pm by mark »
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2003, 09:26:38 pm »

The Trend is toward career polititians. Maynards article is to "break that trend." towards career polititians.

Yes, double negatives get confusing to most people, as they don't have a firm understanding of logic. Perhaps their is a better way to say that so it's more readible to the average person.

Tracy
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We agree that "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." --George Washington

Jack Conway

Conway Supports Obamacare
Conway Supports Cap and Trade
Conway Supports Abortion
Conway’s Utilities Rate Hike Scandal
Conway is in Bed with Big Pharma
Conway is Backed by Wall Street Bankers

mark

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2003, 10:33:40 pm »

Perhaps their is a better way to say that so it's more readible to the average person.

Tracy
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rdeacon

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2003, 11:53:51 pm »

Huh? This sentance doesn't make sense Justin. Unless toward meant against.
See Tracy's post.

Quote
Further from the truth might be OK. But using the term deceptive isn't at all OK , Justin.
Though further and farther are to be used interchangably, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, 74% of scholars choose to reserve "farther" for strictly physical measurements, and "further" for more metaphysical attempts.  Looks like I'm in the 26%  ;D

You're right, I shouldn't have used the word "deceptive".  Oh well.  
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mark

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2003, 12:10:27 am »

Huh? This sentance doesn't make sense Justin. Unless toward meant against.
See Tracy's post.

Quote
Further from the truth might be OK. But using the term deceptive isn't at all OK , Justin.
Though further and farther are to be used interchangably, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, 74% of scholars choose to reserve "farther" for strictly physical measurements, and "further" for more metaphysical attempts.  Looks like I'm in the 26%  ;D

You're right, I shouldn't have used the word "deceptive".  Oh well.  


Rock on.  ;D
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RidleyReport

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2003, 02:16:26 am »

James:  well written.
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rdeacon

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2003, 11:08:58 am »

Looks like I got a second chance.  The sentinel wanted my complete mailing address, so I got a chance to send them an amendment to the letter.  I took out "by its very nature".  That cleans things up.

Also, Jim, are they going to print my mailing address?  Is that a rule for LTEs?
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jgmaynard

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2003, 12:25:19 pm »

You have to give the Sentinel your mailing addy, but I think you can ask for it to not be printed. Though I always let mine be published and never had any problems. A couple of strange letters, but.... ;)

JM
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A history of the first 1,000 years of science, and how it changed the ancient world, and our world today.



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Dawn

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Re:Editorial in the Keene Sentinel
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2003, 10:19:53 pm »

Great job with the LTE's!
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