As the presidential campaign for 2016 heats up, more presidential candidates will make the mistake of visiting Keene. Last month it was Bernie Sanders. This month, it’s Chris Christie, the well-fed governor of New Jersey, one of the most corrupt and awful of all the fifty US states.
Christie sauntered into Keene today for a speaking event at local bar “Lab N Lager”. The place was at overflow capacity while liberty activists (and former state rep Steve Lindsey) waited outside for Christie’s arrival for a chance to ambush him with tough questions, as has become the tradition since 2012 here in Keene. Here’s what happened:
This is certainly not how a state representative should behave, especially in front of a camera. You’d think she’d know something about the freedom to record, considering she co-sponsored the bill to mandate police body cameras (currently retained in committee). However, her bill does not allow the public access to the police footage, which is a huge issue and goes to show that Johnsen is just an arch-statist to the core. Her NH Liberty Alliance report card for 2014 ranks her as a “D-“. In the yet-to-be released 2015 rankings, Johnsen scored as “Dereliction of Duty”, meaning she missed 70% or more of the NHLA’s scored votes. The NHLA recommends she step down from office as a result of missing so many important votes.
Near high noon today, the first full day of the Free State Project‘s annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, two agents (Phillip Lawrence and Ray Persinger) from the “Department of Revenue” rolled up to Rogers Campground. The sharply-dressed thugs inquired with campground staff if there were food vendors in Agora Alley, a place renown for delicious food available from some vendors who may not have bothered asking government permission to serve their fellow hungry humans.
A crowd of activists quickly gathered, with multiple alerts going out via two-way radio, facebook, and word-of-mouth. They weren’t able to get any further than the first vendor before being told they were not welcome by multiple people in the crowd. A campground staff member ultimately told the criminals to go speak with the park owner, Crosby.
After thirty minutes of meeting with Crosby, the men immediately exited the property. Crosby refused to be interviewed about the conversation, but claimed he was not threatened by them. I suspect he’s not being forthcoming. Porcfest organizers would also not speak on camera, but the conversation I had and overheard leads me to believe that Crosby has been recruited to pass out government paperwork to food vendors. I plan to investigate further with the vendors and see what’s happening behind-the-scenes. Stay tuned here to FreeKeene.com for the latest on this developing situation. Also, Porcfest is just starting, so come out and join us through this weekend!
UPDATE: One vendor reports that Crosby did not hand him the paperwork from the state when the vendor indicated that he’s got his books in order. We’ll be discussing the incident on Free Talk Live tonight at 7pm Eastern. You can listen live at LRN.FM.
The victory is nearly complete, with one exception. The supremes ruled that the lower court needed to consider the city’s request for injunction separately from the claims of “tortious interference” and “conspiracy”. Therefore, the supremes remanded only that detail back to the superior court to decide. If you’ve been reading Free Keene for a while, you may recall that the city’s original suit in 2013 asked for a in injunction of a 50ft radius “buffer zone” around each parking enforcer that would preclude the named Robin Hooders from being in that zone. Eventually, they reduced their request to 30ft, then 10-15ft. The buffer zone concept has previously been ruled unconstitutional in other courts and likely will be again when it goes back to Cheshire superior court.
The rest of the court’s twelve-page opinion backs up the lower court’s dismissal of the city’s outrageous case. The claims of “tortious interference” with the city’s “business” of screwing over people shopping downtown and the claim of “conspiracy” were shut down on a free-speech basis:
However, we need not decide whether a viable tortious interference claim can exist under the circumstances present in this case because we agree with the trial court that holding the respondents liable for tortious interference based upon their alleged activities would infringe upon the respondents’ right to free speech under the First Amendment…we also conclude that the First Amendment bars the City from pursuing its claim that the respondents are liable for conspiring to commit the very same tort.
The city’s lies about the behavior of Robin Hooders (they claimed, without evidence, we were “harassing, threatening, and intimidating” the parking enforcers) had no effect on the court’s decision to dismiss. The court’s judges know that telling government bureaucrats how you feel their job is wrong is fully within free speech protections, even if the bureaucrats don’t want to hear it. Further, the court opinion backed up the Robin Hooders’ non-verbal actions as protected free speech: (more…)
Longtime readers of Free Keene may recall the 2012 campaign season where cornered all the candidates we could with ambush interviews including Santorum, Biden, Huntsman, and Romney. Now that Barack Obama isn’t in the running, we’ll have all kinds of slimeball politicians from both political parties coming to town to campaign.