Open Letter to Steve Vaillancourt

Some people, including you, have claimed that I’m “not libertarian” because I called for the censure of a State Representative who stated that she wishes to restrict freedoms in an attempt to target a specific group of people. You called this a “witch hunt to deny free speech to a duly elected representative.” You don’t specify how a censure denies anyone’s free speech. Censure is defined as, to “express severe disapproval of (someone or something), typically in a formal statement.” When a legislative body censures someone, they are formally expressing disapproval of a statement or action of an elected official. There is no removal of that person’s freedom of speech, simply a formal statement that the body disapproves of what was said. Impeachment is “a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office.” Again, nothing about removing free speech in that definition either! [NH RSA's do not define either term, so I am using the definitions from Google]

There are now three unanswered questions:
1) Since no action was taken on the petition against Cynthia Chase, am I to believe the official position of the New Hampshire General Court is that “Free Staters” are not welcome in New Hampshire and that laws must be passed that make us leave or not move here to begin with?
2) Since the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to uphold the ruling of the Speaker of the House that a petition for redress can not be heard absent a legislative sponsor filing said petition during a small window in November and December, am I to believe that the people have no right to have their petitions heard outside of a small window in November & December?
3) How does that decision fit with Part 1 Article 32 of the NH constitution which recognizes the right of the people to “give instructions to their representatives… by way of petition…” AND Part 1 Article 31 states, “The legislature shall assemble for the redress of public grievances…”?

UPDATE
Response from Steve Vaillancourt:
“I choose to exercise my right to free speech and hearing and not listen to or read a single word you have to say, but I will not ask for your censure, censor, or impeachment from you libertarian status.”

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  • Robert Constantine

    Very good questions are posed in this letter.

  • MaineShark

    Excellent points. Whether or not Chase is /deserving/ of censure and/or impeachment is a question to be determined by a hearing on the petition. Quashing the petition /was/ a direct attack on freedom or speech (the right to petition is, arguably, the /most/ important sort of free speech).

    Everyone who voted “yea” on that /actual/ act of censorship should be ashamed of themselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fst.sqr Fst Sqr

    In terms of social media she was free market censured by Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and the firestorm of print media..

    Cynthia Chase now knows she screwed up, probably doesnt need more scolding by gubmint.

    Maybe redress of grievances will become obsolete since it can now bypass gubmint and go right to everyone directly via Twitter and Blogs.

    Are we entering the age of what Ross Perot envisioned as an Electronic Town Hall?

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