In case you don’t know, there is no sales tax or state income tax in New Hampshire, but very heavy local and estate taxes, plus the usual federal stuff. [Mais oui, if you want schools and snow-free roads, you’ve gotta get the money from somewhere!]
Consequently, in rich NH towns near Boston or Hanover and even Keene, schools are well-funded. Elsewhere in the state, the quality of public education reflects what the locals can afford, which ain’t much.
You would think this craziness would not appeal to many, but no, it’s attracting a raft of wingnuts from all over the US, especially from those places where extremists tend to gather.
A few weeks ago, for example, Massachusetts State Police made a routine speeding stop involving a New Hampshire car on I-91. Inside the car, they found cocaine, scales, glassine envelopes, camouflauge clothing, targets, ammunition, as well a .357 revolver loaded with hollow-point ammo tucked under the driver’s seat. They arrested the driver and two passengers, and later arrested two of their friends who showed up to bail them out. I won’t go into the whole story, but, according to the news story, the friends went out of their way to antagonize authorities into offering them a few free nights' lodging.
The friends refused to follow rules for posting bail or to cooperate with police because, they said, they were Free Staters and did not believe the state had any right to impose any laws on them.
One described himself as a “Voluntaryist.” According to the story in the local newspaper, Voluntaryists believe in minimal and entirely voluntary government and they reject the idea of licensing for guns or the importance, by society, of rules on their members.
According to Wikipedia, the Free State Project, begun in 2001, is designed to convince a minimum of 20,000 libertarian-leaning people—including Voluntaryists---to move to New Hampshire in order to make the state a stronghold for their political ideas. They recommend people move to Keene, on the southern border, near Massachusetts and Vermont (where people do pay taxes and have services).
Those who formally join must sign a statement of intent to move to the state within five years of the group reaching 20,000 participants. (What happens to them if they don't move?) As of March 14, 2010, according to organizers, there were 10,000 participants, 797 of whom had moved to New Hampshire. See their website for more information.
They also are putting up candidates for state office. One Free Stater NH judge has been elected and six state legislators have ties to the Project.
How can an anarchist run for office? And win? I hope he/she didn’t take any salary for the work.
Listen up, you people in Oregon, California, western NYS, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Texas: please keep tyour fringe people happy and home in your own states! We already have our own crazies in New England. We don't need this.
And they can leave their guns and their drugs home, too!
What are folks gonna do when winter comes and there are no volunteers to go out in the sub-zero night to plow the roads?
And, New Hampshirites, are you really interested in building the No State?