It’s a big day for libertarian history in New Hampshire and nationwide. For the first time in two decades, the Libertarian Party of NH (LPNH) has a sitting state representative in the legislature who is just beginning his first term in office. Caleb Dyer, state representative for Hudson and Pelham, announced today at a press conference in Concord’s Legislative Office Building that he has switched his voter registration from republican to libertarian and has also joined the state party as a dues-paying member. Dyer is a New Hampshire native who knocked on 2,000 doors in his district, Hillsborough 37, to win his election in November of 2016. Here’s the press conference video from this morning:
The LPNH was basically dormant for years until late 2016 when superactivists Darryl W Perry and Rodger Paxton won election to chair and vice-chair of the party, respectively. Shortly thereafter the libertarian candidate for governor was able to get enough votes to propel the party into major party status in New Hampshire. It’s the first time the LPNH has had that status in approximately twenty years, surely much to the chagrin of the republicans and democrats, who raised the vote requirement in the nineties specifically to disqualify the LP from major party status.
Libertarian State Representative Caleb Q Dyer
Speaking on the subject of the two-party duopoly at this morning’s press conference, Dyer said, “I believe that it is time to demonstrate to the people of New Hampshire that such a duopoly of partisan interest, which presently controls this house, is not in their interests.” Backed by the executive committee of the LPNH, Dyer excoriated the command-and-control structure of the two other major parties, saying their party leadership expects their party’s elected state reps to, “fall into line with the party, even against their principle”, speaking specifically of those inside the parties who oppose the status quo.
Explaining why he left the republicans, Dyer explained, “I truly believe the best course of action is to organize outside of the party, and force coalition.” He intends to rally “hundreds of people across the state to submit themselves to their peers as libertarian candidates”. He ended his speech by reading from Article Ten of the New Hampshire Constitution: (more…)
This is a crime? – Hampton Beach “Free the Nipple”, 2015
Today was the day of the latest “Free the Nipple” trial in New Hampshire’s Laconia district court. Though the ladies who protested the nipple ban in 2015 were found not guilty after a hilarious trial that I captured on video, this time around three of the ladies were found guilty for a topless event that happened in Laconia early in 2016. Both seemingly conflicting verdicts were given by the same judge. The ladies and their attorney intend to appeal.
Unfortunately I was not there to record today’s trial due to a car breakdown. I was told it was a very short event, as all the testimony in the case was given by the witnesses in a prior hearing in October on a motion by defense attorney Dan Hynes to dismiss the case. Thankfully, Free Keene blogger and legal expert Melanie Johnson was at the original hearing in October to take notes.
Though the very same judge, James M Carroll found the ladies who were topless in 2015 in Gilford not guilty on a technicality because NH is not a “home rule” state, this time he found the Laconia ladies guilty! Heidi Lilley, Kia Sinclair, and Ginger Pierro were sentenced to a $100 fine suspended given 12 months of good behavior.
Judge James M Carroll of Laconia District Court
In November of 2016 Carroll denied Hynes’ motion to dismiss saying that Laconia prosecutors had found an “enabling statute” that allowed the city to ban toplessness.
Since New Hampshire is not a “home rule” state, cities and towns are only supposed to be allowed to make things illegal that they’ve been enabled to prohibit specifically by the state legislature. According to the Concord Monitor’s Nick Reid, the prosecutors argued that RSA 47:17:XIII grants the town the right to regulate female toplessness. The statute does say that cities and towns can,
“regulate the times and places of bathing and swimming in the canals, rivers and other waters of the city, and the clothing to be worn by bathers and swimmers.”
Attorney Hynes, who is also a state representative, told me he’s disappointed in the court’s decision and intends to file an appeal with the NH supreme court. He’s previously stated the statute is unconstitutional and that he doesn’t believe banning female toplessness was the legislature’s intention. He says he’ll also be supporting legislation in 2018 to repeal the statute in question. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest for this important equal rights case.
Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry and his fellow libertarian activists once again drop in on a bunch of hearings at the state house legislative offices. Here are multiple videos of full hearings and a bunch of clips:
HB 436 would carve out an exemption for bitcoin and other virtual currency users from the money transmitter regulations, but there are some problems. Here’s the full hearing video:
Liberty Lobby‘s Darryl W Perry and other libertarians converged once again on the New Hampshire state house and legislative offices last week for more testimony on various bills. Here are some video highlights as well as full hearings:
First up, liberty democrat Elizabeth Edwards’ HB 287 would merely create a study committee to look at decriminalization of prostitution, but NH police and prosecutors packed a two-hour hearing to plead with the house criminal justice committee to stay ignorant and reject even STUDYING the issue! Luckily, there were some stalwart advocates of freedom also in attendance who spoke in favor of the legislators having more information, not less. Here’s the full hearing video:
Just a few weeks after his last appearance in Concord district court, state representative Dick Marple returned Friday afternoon for a nearly 40-minute hearing where he explains his views on why the court does not have jurisdiction over him, among other things.
Marple was arrested as he was campaigning for re-election at the polls in Hooksett, on a “failure to appear” charge relating to a charge for driving while his license is suspended. Marple believes he is not subject to the motor vehicle regulations, as they only apply to automobiles used for commercial purposes. He has citations to back his case (click for PDF of his legal brief filed with the court), but so does the state’s prosecutor.
It’s one of the most interesting cases in recent memory because for a long time we’ve heard all manner of similar claims to what Marple is saying, but virtually none of the courtroom theorists like him have any evidence they’ve actually tried their theories. (Longtime readers of Free Keene may recall I was arrested in Keene district court for “contempt” a decade ago for trying some unusual legal theories out.) At his last appearance, in front of a full courtroom of average court victims, Marple got away with things for which most people would be arrested for “contempt”. Friday, he once again refused to cross the bar, and raised his voice with judge M. Kristin Spath multiple times. However, this time the court scheduled the hearing for 3pm on a Friday when no one else would be around to see it. Thankfully, liberty activists had been given a heads-up the night before, so a small crew headed up from Keene to witness and record the hearing:
David Brooks at the Monitor did a detailed writeup which included him visiting Area 23 to take photos and interview A23 owner Kirk McNeil. It’s a good piece, but whoever wrote the headline got it wrong. NH is not the leader in BVMs for the nation, but we do outperform all of the rest of New England combined.