Today was a big day for the New Hampshire Independence movement. Not only did Karen Sue Steele’s attempt to disqualify the “Independent Thirteen” from the ballot fail by a 5-0 vote of the Ballot Law Commission, but more importantly, the NH Attorney General’s office weighed in with their official position.
Specifically, assistant attorney general Kevin Scura who sits as an advisor on the Commission, was asked to speak to Karen’s complaint. Karen’s email to the Commission had claimed the state reps were in violation of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. The Scura made it clear that “insurrection” and “rebellion” – as cited in the 14th Amendment – involve the use of violence. This is what those of us advocating for peaceful independence have been pointing out. A ballot measure is using the democratic process to change the system, not open violence.
Karen had claimed that insurrection doesn’t necessarily involve violence and further went so far to make the laughable claim that simply speaking words against the government would qualify as “giving aid or comfort to the enemies” of the “United States”.
The commission stated clearly that they had no jurisdiction over constitutional questions, and voted 5-0 to dismiss Karen’s complaint. That’s great news, but it was also great news that dozens of NHexit supporters came out to support independence and even more importantly, the mainstream media was present. Curiously, the media was nowhere to be found when CACR 32 had its public hearing earlier this year, or when the state house voted on it, but as soon as a Karen showed up to start some drama, multiple media organizations descended. I made sure to thank Karen after the meeting for all the free publicity.
Full video coverage of the meeting and the confrontation of Karen will be posted here in the coming days. Meanwhile, here’s a quick media rundown of some of the coverage we’ve gotten within hours of the end of the meeting today. All of the media organizations below had reporters at today’s meeting:
- InDepthNH’s story with fair, and well, in-depth coverage.
- WMUR’s news package with some video and a great quote from Rep. Matt Santonostaso.
- NHPR with a short report.
- New Hampshire Bulletin’s coverage.