James “Robin Hood” Cleaveland is running for state rep for the first time in Keene’s Ward 1 against another political newcomer. The race is starting to blaze up with a recent article that appeared in Sunday’s Keene Sentinel. If you live in Keene’s Ward 1 (click for a map), then please vote for James on Tuesday 9/9 at 400 Marlboro Road for State Representative Cheshire District 4 and help us bring the party to the state house!
Cleaveland supporters across Facebook are using the picture to the right as their profile pic to show solidarity for Cleaveland 2014. Jump on the bandwagon!
If you are an undeclared voter in Keene’s Ward 1, you can walk into the polls, declare as democrat, vote for James Cleaveland in the race for State Representative district 4 (and Conan Salada in District 16 – for all of Keene, and me, Ian Freeman for Governor.) then on the way out “undeclare” again to retain your political independence.
The full Keene liberty-oriented primary voter’s guide is still-to-come. Stay tuned here to Free Keene.
Two Keene men will face off Tuesday for the chance to run for the N.H. House Cheshire District 4 seat in November.
James Cleaveland and William Pearson are seeking the Democratic nomination in the race, where the victor will face Republican David Crawford in the general election Nov. 4.
Cheshire District 4 covers Keene’s Ward 1.
The seat is held by Kris E. Roberts, who is running for Cheshire District 16, which covers all of Keene.
Cleaveland, a member of Free Keene, said Saturday that his major interest in running for Cheshire District 4 is the legalization of marijuana.
“I don’t want people to be arrested or fined for something I view as harmless,” he said. “Unfortunately, the fines and arrests won’t stop until the laws change.”
Cleaveland, 27, said he is concerned about the economy, and would like to see state lawmakers take steps to make it easier for people to start their own businesses.
In that same vein, he has reservations about raising the minimum wage because it could adversely affect small business, he said.
“I want people to make more money. That being said, a larger corporation such as Wal-Mart, McDonald’s or Wendy’s could more easily weather an increase in the minimum wage than a smaller company,” he said.
His fear is that ordering an increase in the minimum wage could put those smaller, family-owned operations that already run on a tight margin out of business, he said.
If elected, Cleaveland said he would like to sponsor a bill to lower the drinking age to 18.
While an argument against lowering the drinking age is that people do bad things and misbehave while under the influence of liquor, people should get in trouble for those actions and not because they consumed alcohol, he said.
As it is, people can already buy cigarettes, sign binding contracts, join the military and vote at the age of 18, he said.
“Why not make everything standard?” he said.
Cleaveland said he supports repealing the death penalty, and the state having a casino to raise revenues.
The state having a marijuana industry may also be a good source of revenue to tap into, but that would be dependent on decriminalizing it, he said.
During a brief conversation Thursday, Pearson said his views aren’t libertarian, and that he is a “real Democrat.”
He was born in San Diego, and then moved to Bedford at the age of 1, he said. He lived there for 18 years until he moved to Keene to attend Keene State College, he said. He received a political science degree in May.
“It wasn’t even a decision (to run),” he said. “It just made so much sense that I didn’t even think about it. The stars just aligned.”
He said he’s gotten advice from some longtime Keene Democrats, such as Chuck Weed.
Pearson said he’s open to an income tax on higher-earning individuals and that he could support a lower drinking age and revising marijuana laws, but he’s opposed to the libertarian leanings and tactics of Free Keene.
Efforts to reach Pearson for further comment Saturday were unsuccessful.