Dave Ridley of the Ridley Report was also on-the-scene. His video contains his reporting on the events and also multiple “ambush” videos where he speaks to various politicians and bureaucrats as they enter or exit the hearing:
Karen and her handler Kathy Slade slinked away for now. What will they try next? I’m excited to see and grateful to them for providing the NH Independence movement with so much free publicity!
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:
Karen Sue Steele, Hates Independence, Originally from MN.
A real-life Karen is targeting the “Independent Thirteen”, the thirteen courageous state representatives who earlier this year voted against killing CACR 32, the NH Independence constitutional amendment. Karen Sue Steele of Atkinson NH has sent in a complaint to the “Ballot Law Commission” demanding the state reps be removed from office and barred from ever running again. She emailed her complaint his weekend and Secretary of State David Scanlan forwarded her email to all the state reps involved with an invitation to the upcoming commission meeting on Wednesday August 24th, 1pm at the Archives and Records Management building at 9 Ratification Way in Concord. All reps who have been identified in her complaint are allowed to speak at the meeting, which is open to the public. Pro-independence activists will rally outside the building starting at noon.
Karen’s email to the Commission says:
I would very much like to get on the agenda for this Wednesday’s meeting, August 24, at 1 pm in Concord.
It is my assertion that the following people are no longer eligible to hold office in NH and thus are unqualified to run for office as they are in violation of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, Section 3.
1) The seven (7) members of our NH House of Representatives who sponsored a bill to secede from the United States of America: 2022-2243/CACR32 – “Providing that the state peaceably declares independence from the United States and proceeds as a sovereign nation” and
2) The 13 members of the NH House of Representatives voted to not ITL (Inexpedient to Legislate) or kill the bill/NH Constitutional Amendment.
Given the overlap, there are a total of 14 individuals who should not be allowed to run for or hold office in New Hampshire.
Karen’s wrong, of course. Regarding her first-numbered point, the state reps in question did not sponsor a bill to secede from the United States of America, as anyone who actually bothered to read CACR 32 would know. The bill was a proposed constitutional amendment that, if passed by over 3/5ths of the state house and senate, would have placed a question on the ballot for the people of New Hampshire to decide on whether or not to declare peaceful independence from the US. Passing CACR 32 would merely have caused a vote of the people, and if over 2/3rds voted yes, then the constitution would have been amended to add the following to Article 7 of the NH Bill of Rights:
[Art.] 7-a. [Independent Nation.] New Hampshire peaceably declares independence from the United States and immediately proceeds as a sovereign nation. All other references to the United States in this constitution, state statutes and regulations are nullified.”
State Rep Mike Sylvia Speaks on the State House Floor about CACR 32
Second, we’ve heard her ridiculous claim that the US Constitution’s 14th amendment prohibits what the heroic NH reps did, from loyalist state rep Brodie Deshaies at the public hearing on CACR 32. However, as Mike Sylvia – CACR 32’s prime sponsor – previously argued, the 14th amendment only prohibits office-holders from “engaging in insurrection or rebellion”. Anyone who bothers to actually look up those terms in a dictionary, would see they both involve violence against the state. Obviously a proposed vote of the people on a constitutional amendment to peaceably exit the US isn’t violence in any way, so it will be interesting to see how the Ballot Law Commission rules on this at Wednesday’s meeting.
We knew the loyalists to the Empire would be making secession a major issue this election season, which is great news! The more attention independence receives, the more people in New Hampshire will consider peaceful secession for the first time. The more people on the fence will be convinced to join us. I’m grateful that Karen brought this complaint as either way the Ballot Law Commission decides will make things more exciting. If they rule to disqualify the reps from office it could lead to an appeal to the NH Supreme Court and if they rule to keep the reps in place then it’s official that the reps were indeed working within the system’s own rules by proposing the amendment, which means Karen and her ilk will be even more frustrated.
Interestingly, Karen Sue Steele is quite the busybody around Atkinson, Danville and Rockingham County, as anyone with the ability to search the internet could discover. Also, turns out that Karen’s not from New Hampshire, originally hailing from La Crescent, MN. Many of the most ardent big government supporters in New Hampshire are not natives. I wonder if Karen is willing to debate Alu Axelman about independence for NH. He has yet to be able to find any loyalists to talk publicly about their viewpoint. Alu also covered the news about Karen’s attack on the state reps in his detailed article at the Liberty Block. If you’d like Karen to debate this publicly, she helpfully included her contact information in her public complaint. Be kind if you decide to reach out:
The loyalists are desperate and don’t realize what they are up against. NH Independence is already surprisingly popular amongst NH inhabitants, with nearly one in three supporting New Hampshire being an independent nation and 52% of republicans. See the details on the recent, first-ever Survey USA poll results here.
The recently-formed NH Independence PAC has called for supporters of an independent New Hampshire to gather for a rally starting at noon on Wednesday August 24th, outside the State Archives at 9 Ratification Way (formerly 71 South Fruit Street) in Concord prior to the start of the Ballot Law Commission meeting at 1pm. They will then attend the meeting in support of the brave state reps who are under fire from this literal Karen. Hope to see you there!
Saturday, Cheshire County Democrats organized and held a rally in Keene’s Central Square to protest the tremendous successes of the Free State Project. For nearly two decades the FSP has been encouraging libertarian activists to migrate to New Hampshire and concentrate their activism in one small population state. The Free Staters’ efforts are starting to pay off and this event is proof.
First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.
The FSP is clearly in the “fight you” stage as dozens of democrats showed up this weekend in protest of libertarians running as republicans and democrats statewide and actually getting elected and making an impact in Concord. Upwards of twenty supporters of the FSP also attended the rally.
Nowhere else in the world are libertarians protested by the people representing the status quo. Everywhere else libertarians are ignored, because there are not enough of them to make a difference. As more freedom-loving voluntarists and anarchists move to New Hampshire and get active, life gets more frustrating and difficult for the statists.
Many government-lovers have packed up their things and left in frustration, as the FreeStateNH account on Twitter has documented. Those still here are feeling like their precious state is being whittled away and are getting desperate. Speakers at the event included democrat state representatives and others who claimed Free Staters are an “invasive species” and that the dozens of Free Stater state reps have upwards of a third of the entire state house regularly voting with them.
If you’re a liberty-loving person who isn’t planning a move to New Hampshire yet, you need to seriously consider joining the only libertarians anywhere who are actually winning. Here are 101 great reasons to move to New Hampshire if you are a liberty-minded person.
In a strong unintended endorsement, the New Hampshire democrats had yet another online meeting tonight to expose the Free State Project‘s migrants for infiltrating the republican party, winning dozens of state house seats, and our various other tremendous successes.
Despite claiming our numbers are small, the entire video conference – put on by former state reps, at least one of whom migrated to NH – was all about how well-organized our decentralized freedom migration has been. The statists are extremely concerned about the Free State Project, as evidenced by the fact that they have held multiple such meetings like this over the last several years. They used to be held in person but now they are too frightened of catching a cold to meet in real life, and it’s easier to keep the liberty activists out of the discussion this way.
The former state reps giving the presentation believe that there’s some secret big libertarian money funding activists to move here, which is totally false. Otherwise, they have clearly done a LOT of homework to learn as much as they can about this movement, because it is working. We are a peaceful threat to the status quo and they hate that liberty is rising in New Hampshire.
Nowhere else in the other 49 states are the people in power actually worried about libertarian activists. The reason they aren’t concerned, is because libertarians are completely ineffective. The reason we’re so ineffective elsewhere is because there are so few of us, spread across the entire country. That’s the reason the Free State Project was formed. It was a good idea and two decades later it’s a proven success. The statists are very, very scared.
This weekend a couple dozen free-faced activists gathered from across New Hampshire at the Monadnock Co-Op in Downtown Keene for a “mask-free flash mob” event. Approximately a dozen of those gathered entered the store and attempted to shop. Why the Co-Op? Organizer Frank “Footloose” Staples said that it was due to the large number of reports of store staff and customers being very unfriendly to people with medical exemptions from wearing masks. One woman even wrote a letter to the editor of the Keene Sentinel about her difficult experience at the Co-Op.
True to form, some customers were downright hostile, including a younger man – wearing two masks – who told a young woman with a baby to “get the hell out of here”, then yelled something similar at me outside the store, despite the fact that I had not gone inside, as I am not a shopper of the Co-Op. I do understand the perspective of those who participated in the shopping: Since the store is open to the public, it should to serve people with medical exemptions. It’s certainly their right to refuse service to people for whatever reasons they want, but if a medical condition is a reason to refuse service, then they should take down their “Everyone Welcome” marquee and become a private club, open only to members.
Another noteworthy character who makes multiple appearances in the video is the self-described “Blue Collar Brawler”. The elderly, double-masked man has words with everyone he comes across, wishing them death and calling the free-faced people “asshole”, and “stupid”. He even loads up his hand with a roll of quarters to white knight for a masked woman who herself is shouting at an unmasked older man in one of the store aisles. It’s a wild video:
To the Co-Op’s credit, the DID allow all the unmasked shoppers to make their purchases, though there were a large number of them. Individuals who attempted to shop at this store prior to this event had reported being made to feel very uncomfortable and even being refused service. I recommend taking your business elsewhere and shopping at places who respect the freedom to choose.
Update 2021-12-15 – the “Blue Collar Brawler” is Tim Congdon of 28 Lee St. in Keene