Only Two City Councilors Voted Against Expanding Nicotine Prohibition in Keene

Keene City Council Voting for Prohibition - Photo by Vincent Freeman

Keene City Council Voting for Prohibition – Photo by Vincent Freeman

It’s an early step of the ugly political process that may ultimately expand nicotine prohibition up to age 21 in Keene, New Hampshire. As sadly expected, the full city council voted 12-2 last night to order city staff to write up a new ordinance prohibiting the sale and possession of nicotine-related products for under 21s within the arbitrary geographic area known as Keene.

Several councilors spoke with the majority using the spectre of children using nicotine and how dangerous and addictive the chemical is to justify voting in favor of moving ahead with writing the ban, ignoring all the historic evidence of the failure of prohibition. One councilor, Mitch Greenwald, even voted with the majority despite bizarrely acknowledging in his remarks that prohibition hasn’t worked.

Prohibition is a tactic based on aggressive force against peaceful people that has created terrible unintended consequences each time in history it’s been tried. This time won’t be any different. The council will push legal sales outside the city limits and encourage police to harass even more young people than ever before. Tickets will be written just like they are constantly for underage alcohol possession. The tickets will obediently be paid, and the person who got caught will try to be more careful and not be discovered in the future. Oh, and black market sales to 18-20 year olds will expand in Keene.

You can watch the whole, ugly council discussion and vote here:

It was refreshing to see a couple of politicians stand up against the insanity, including both of Ward 4’s councilors, Margaret Rice and Bob Sutherland who not only voted against crafting the ban, but spoke against it. Rice eloquently said, in her speech to the council:

“It’s not my role to tell somebody what they can and cannot do with their own body, provided that they’re not harming anybody else.” (more…)

Cheshire TV Hosts Debate for NH Senate District 10 Candidates

I had the pleasure last week of being part of the Cheshire TV debate featuring two of the three candidates for NH Senate District 10. Incumbent Jay Kahn was unable to attend so it was a two-way debate between me, the libertarian and Dan LeClair, the republican. We covered multiple issues. Here’s an HD version of the same debate that will be airing on Cheshire TV channel 8 through the election on November 6th. I hope you will vote Libertarian wherever you see them on your ballot!

BREAKING: Auto Dealership Accepts DASH Cryptocurrency for Cars in Tax-Free New Hampshire

The first car purchased at a dealership directly for Dash | AutoFair Nashua

Something big happened this week.

The famous “Bitcoin Pizza” story was overshadowed by a punky, lesser-known cryptocurrency quietly occupying the number 12 spot on CoinMarketCap. The implications of this week’s event will be felt for decades and change the way the mainstream views cryptocurrencies forever.

One question plagues cryptocurrency users everywhere. Whenever you talk with doubters about the numerous advantages of using digital cash over fiat, invariably the response comes:

“But what can I buy with it?”

This question drives you nuts. You explain that at first, there was nothing you could buy with it. Then, there was pizza. Then coffee shops and yoga studios started accepting it. Then you could use a handful of janky websites to buy some (sometimes expired) digital gift cards. But now there is something much more real. More tangible. More serious.

A brand new car.

Yeah, you read that right. This week, the largest chain of auto dealerships in New Hampshire, AutoFair, sold a vehicle off one of their lots in exchange for DASH (digital cash).

(more…)

After Public Hearing, Keene Councilors Vote 3-1 For Nicotine Prohibition for Under 21s

Photo of the audience at the start of the meeting.

Photo of the audience at the start of the meeting.

Last night a committee of four Keene city councilors met to hear from the people on an awful proposal by a group of busybodies to prohibit the sale and possession of nicotine-related products by people under the age of 21 in Keene.

At least, that’s the summary of the proposal the city clerk had prepared for the council and was plastered at the top of the comment cards available in the room. But wait, was that actually their proposal?

Kate McNally, program manager for “Cheshire Coalition for Tobacco Free Communities”, despite being the person who started this awful political process spoke first and explained that her group was NOT asking the city to prohibit the use of nicotine, just the sale. She seems to realize that criminalizing possession would allow police to target young people for harassment and spoke against that clearly. In a perfect example of how you don’t control the government once you set it in motion, the majority of the committee voted 3-1 to ask city staff to write up an ordinance that would prohibit both sale AND possession of nicotine by people under 21 in Keene. That includes tobacco and all vaporizing products like vape pens and nicotine juice.

Congrats, Ms. McNally – you started this hoping to control just the merchants and you got more than you bargained for. The ban hammer is going to swing much farther and harder than even you wanted.

The council members ignored the pleas of various people including downtown merchants, industry associations, and individuals. No amount of logic and persuasion worked. The history and continued failure of prohibition meant nothing to them. It didn’t matter that the lady from Keene Middle School admitted the failure of nicotine prohibition on their campus. Despite the fact that it’s ALREADY illegal for them to buy and possess, even middle schoolers are using nicotine.

Here’s the full hearing including all testimony minus a quick battery change:

Though the owner of Monadnock Vapor, Daniel Cavallero, pointed out they’d just be creating a black market, the councilors still believe in the failed, authoritarian, sick dream of prohibition and voted to move ahead with drafting the ordinance. Next, the full city council will vote on the committee’s recommendation at next week’s Thursday meeting. Presuming that happens, city staff will draft a prohibition ordinance which will then receive a public hearing in front of the same committee.

Only one councilor, Bob Sutherland, heroically voted against the proposal. He also asked some good questions of McNally toward the end of the hearing. Sadly, he’s the only councilor on the committee who has his sanity.

Live free or die, unless you’re in Keene. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on this madness.

Libertarian NH Senate Candidate’s Letter to “School Choice for NH”

Logo for School Choice for New Hampshire

Logo for School Choice for New Hampshire

As you may be aware, I’m the Libertarian candidate on the ballot for NH Senate District 10.  Today I received a letter from “School Choice for NH” inviting me to send a statement to their members that they say will be published unedited. Since I’ve been posting all my replies to candidate inquiries from organizations online, here is my letter to the supporters of School Choice for NH:

Dear Supporters of School Choice for NH,

 

As a libertarian, I believe in choices. Real school choice isn’t just choosing where to direct some tax money, which is typically what is considered “school choice” when talked about politically. Real school choice is being able to choose whether or not to support the government’s “education” programs entirely.

 

Government forces you to pay for its awful monopoly system, even if you want to unschool, homeschool, or send your children to private school. If you don’t pay their school taxes, the people calling themselves “the State of New Hampshire” will steal your home from you.

 

The best solution for real school choice is to end the government’s monopoly control of education. Let the current staff have ownership stakes in their schools and have to raise their operating money through consensual, voluntary means like charging tuition, holding fundraisers, or whatever peaceful means. Allow parents to decide whether to fund or not fund those schools.

 

Freedom means the ability choose to say no. Please vote Libertarian this November.

 

Thank you for reading and for your consideration,
Ian Freeman
Libertarian Candidate for NH Senate District 10

First-in-History Transgender Candidate Enters Race for Cheshire Sheriff as Libertarian

Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian

Aria DiMezzo files for Cheshire County Sheriff as a Libertarian

In what appears to be a historic first, the Libertarian Party of Western NH has nominated Aria DiMezzo as their candidate for Cheshire County Sheriff. DiMezzo says that her research shows that she may be the first-ever transgender candidate for Sheriff in United States history.

She’s a principled Libertarian who hosts a weekday afternoon talk show on LRN.FM named “The Call to Freedom“. She’s on the show daily from 4-7pm including the 5pm “Crypto Hour” which features her expertise on the subject of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. (You can watch it via the LRN.FM Twitch channel or listen at LRN.FM.)

The last-minute filing was thanks to the Libertarian Party of NH re-attaining major party ballot access on the level of the republicans and democrats for the first time in over two decades. That means that the party executive committee has the ability to appoint a slate of candidates to fill any races for which no one had yet filed or won enough write-in votes in the primary election. Parties have one week from the primary date to file such a slate.

It’s an interesting approach and throws a surprise libertarian challenger into a long-stale county sheriff’s race that has been a re-match for several terms between incumbent democrat Eli Rivera and longtime republican challenger Earl Nelson.

Aria DiMezzo, LPNH Chairman Chip Spangler, and Robert Call outside the NH Secretary of State’s Office

DiMezzo claims she’s going to be doing real campaigning and has already launched her campaign website which includes her opinions on ending the entire war on drugs. She admits to being a former opiate addict which means she’s got an insight into the world of drug addiction and the insane War on Drugs not shared by her republican and democrat competitiors. As she points out in her essay,

“Each addict has their own unique reason that they turned to drugs as an escape, and the only way to help any of them, if they decide they want help, will be individually and personally. There is no easy, convenient, one-size-fits-all answer. The folly of simplistic solutions like “Arrest them!” is that it allows us to feel like we are doing something about the problem, but we aren’t–at least, not anything beyond exacerbating it.”

 
DiMezzo, on her campaign site, also calls for the immediate release of peaceful, “victimless criminals”. She tells me she’s more than happy to do media interviews and appear at any local events to which she is invited. It’s refreshing to finally have a principled freedom-advocating candidate for which to vote in the upcoming Sheriff election this November 6th.

Robert Call and Aria DiMezzo standing outside the state house in Concord.

Robert Call and Aria DiMezzo standing outside the state house in Concord.

In addition to the surprise appointment of their first-ever candidate for Sheriff in Cheshire County, Keene’s Ward Four (Cheshire District Seven) has also received a libertarian challenger to democrat newbie Sparky Von Plinsky in the form of former Keene mayoral candidate Robert Call. Call is a free sofware advocate and programmer who lives in Keene. Curiously, his democrat challenger Von Plinsky is a former NSA agent. It should be an interesting race!

That gives the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire more candidates on the general election ballot in Keene than the Republican party who could only scrounge up one candidate for just the Ward 5 election. In order to help keep major party ballot access status, the libertarian candidate for Governor, Jilletta Jarvis must receive at least 4% of the vote. If you’re tired of government ruling your life and always growing more expensive and more demanding, you finally have a choice. You can vote for the multiple libertarian candidates that will be on your ballot in the general election on November 6th. Remember, if you’ve never voted before, New Hampshire allows same-day voter registration. Here’s a City of Keene webpage with information about where you should go to vote.

Stay tuned here to Free Keene for interesting libertarian campaign news.