When I heard the first ever Straight Pride Parade was happening just an hour from my house, I knew I had to go. I brought along my video camera and a microphone with the goal of conducting as many interviews with interesting people as possible. No gotchas, just straight questions: “What brought you out today,” and “What do you think of the event?”
While I am pouring through yesterday’s footage, I came across 4 minutes of particularly defining footage. A man walking down the sidewalk gets blocked by a woman, and then a group of people, and prevented from moving. He yells for help but his calls are unanswered. The masked thugs revel in their positions of power and his vulnerability. They have deemed him the enemy. Why? That is unclear. But they have him. And they are going to project all their anger and hatred onto him. He smiles. He does not relent.
ACLU Sign to End Death Penalty in NH – Photographed in Keene
New Hampshire today became the 21st state to abolish the death penalty, as the state Senate and House have now both voted to override the governor’s veto. Despite the death penalty having no deterrent effect on violent crime, governor Sununu stood firmly with the police, as he has foolishly done on cannabis legalization, and against the overwhelming tide of history.
It’s refreshing to see some level of compassion win the day and see the police state taken down, even if it’s only symbolic. New Hampshire hasn’t actually put someone to death since 1939 and though one man is currently in state prison with a death sentence, according to the Washington Post, the state prison system has no plan to acquire any lethal injection drugs.
According to one anonymous state rep, bloodthirsty Republican legislative leadership apparently cranked up political pressure in their attempt to stop more compassionate Republicans from voting along with Democrats to end the insanity of the death penalty. While they were successful in changing some votes to back the governor, they ultimately failed as many Republicans followed their conscience instead of party dictates. The bill first passed the House in March by a vote of 279 to 88, while the House’s veto override passed last week by a closer 247 to 123 vote. In April, the NH Senate voted 17 to 6 to abolish the death penalty while its veto override today passed 16 to 8.
All the New England states now no longer have the death penalty! Kudos to all liberty reps who did the right thing and shame on any who sided with the cop-loving governor.
Libertarian Jilletta Jarvis Announces Run for NH Governor in 2018
The 2018 election is over and Jilletta Jarvis, the Libertarian candidate for Governor of New Hampshire has failed to reach the 4% required for the Libertarian Party of NH to retain ballot access, which it achieved in 2016 for the first time in two decades. I want it to be clear, I really like Jilletta and she was a much better candidate than the 2016 offering from the LP, Max Abramson. Jilletta ran a good campaign and was much more active than Abramson, but didn’t even come close to Abramson’s 4%. She got 1.46%. What happened?
It’s pretty clear that 2016 was a fluke. I’d speculated then that Abramson, who barely existed as a candidate, and other “Libertarians” like Gary Johnson at the national level had benefited from people’s frustrations with Trump and Hillary being their main presidential choices. It’s pretty clear this palpable frustration benefited all third parties in 2016, with the Libertarian and Green presidential candidates getting three times their vote totals from 2012. People weren’t voting for the Libertarians and Greens, they were voting against Trump and Hillary.
Add to that the fact that major media entities WMUR and the Union Leader set their debate rules to exclude the Libertarian candidates like Jilletta, and it’s pretty clear she didn’t get a fair chance from all New Hampshire media. Shame on WMUR and the Union Leader for excluding their viewers and readers from knowing about their third choice.
Libertarians Protest Unfair Debates Outside St. Anselm College
Of course, the two-party duopoly has long been complicit in excluding libertarians politically. In the 90s when the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire got ballot access for the first time by getting over 3% of the vote, the Republicans and Democrats voted to raise the bar 33% higher to its current level of 4%.
Not all the blame can be placed on the media and government, however. While Jilletta is a wonderful person and a far better candidate than we had in 2016, she wasn’t the most principled libertarian. Doubt my claim? Even the Keene Sentinel knows what a libertarian is supposed to sound like. In a recent piece in the Sentinel, opinion page editor Wilfred Bilodeau said:
She seems enthusiastic and smart, but we were struck at how her libertarian vision differs from some of the party’s more orthodox candidates. She says she’s for smaller government but outlined several programs that would necessitate spending more money. To improve education, she pitched the concept of centralizing public education, with the state collecting all education taxes and determining how to best spend them. That strikes us as anything but a libertarian approach. Overall, we feel Jarvis has some worthy ideas, but her vision for the state seems unfocused, perhaps due to the pressure of trying to appeal to enough voters to garner the 4 percent of the vote needed to keep the party on the ballot.
The good news is the media, at least in Keene, has learned what a libertarian is supposed to say. A true libertarian should be advocating the non-aggression principle and applying it consistently across all government programs. That means eliminating coercion from the system, or eliminating the system entirely. That’s it. If Jilletta believes in some government coercion, she really shouldn’t be the party’s nominee. Watering down the message does not win over votes. Staying true to principles is what the LP is supposed to be about. Hopefully the LPNH will offer more principled state level candidates in the future so we can see how their vote totals compare to Jilletta and her similarly – as the Sentinel described it – “unfocused” predecessors. (more…)
Of the three candidates in the race for NH Senate District 10, I was the only one to receive a recommendation from the Marijuana Policy Project, while the Republican and Democrat in the race received a middle “unknown, uncertain, or less favorable” rating. You can see MPP’s full state senate voting guide here.
For those unaware, libertarians believe in the non-aggression principle which says we don’t support the use of aggressive force. Prohibitions should therefore be ended and people who want to own/produce/sell weapons and chemicals or plants should be free to do so. Live free or die.
As part of my near-zero budget campaign for NH Senate District 10, I’ve been posting my responses to the various candidate questionnaires that I’ve been receiving. Now, on the eve of the election, I’m surprised that neither of my opponents, Republican Dan LeClair nor Democrat Jay Kahn have yet replied to the League of Women Voters’ questionnaire, as shown on their VOTE411.org voters’ guide website. I received their questionnaire over a week ago and it’s relatively short so I was surprised that when I submitted my answers that I was the first candidate in the race to respond and now a week later am still the only candidate to respond!
There’s not a direct link to my answers I can share with you, but if you’d like to see them, just put in an address in Keene, like 63 Emerald St, Keene, NH 03431 in their VOTE411.org website. Then it will show you the races and issues on the ballot for the address you put in. Choose “State Senate District 10” and you’ll see me there.
Also curiously, Libertarian Jilletta Jarvis is the only gubernatorial candidate to respond to the LWV and in the Keene-wide house race for Cheshire 16, Libertarian Darryl W Perry is also the only candidate who responded to the LWV survey.
Libertarians Protest Unfair Debates Outside St. Anselm College Yesterday
As of 2016’s election, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire has gained full ballot access as a major party on par with the Democrats and Republicans. This is a big deal as it means we no longer have to jump through ridiculous ballot access hoops like petition gathering to get candidates on the ballot here. This has resulted in more Libertarian candidates appearing on the ballot here in Keene than Republican candidates. If the LPNH’s gubernatorial candidate, Jilletta Jarvis, can receive at least 4% of the vote this year, the party’s major ballot access status will continue for the next two years.
Sadly, the two largest mainstream media entities are working to help stop Jarvis from getting her ideas exposure in their debates they are hosting this week. WMUR-TV and the Union Leader are putting on the “Granite State Debates” and have set the rules to where only the Republican and Democrat candidates will qualify. To get in to their debate, a candidate must have received 12% in a recent poll and have raised over $25,000. Ironically, Darryl W Perry told me that both organizations have opined in favor of getting money out of politics, but when it’s a metric they can use to exclude the Libertarians, they apparently support money in politics.
The idea that such rules are in any way necessary is totally ridiculous. There are only three ballot qualified candidates for governor. It’s not like they’d need eleven podiums on the stage. They could have kept it fair and allowed in all ballot-qualified candidates, but they stacked the deck against the Libertarian campaigns. It’s pretty clear the exclusion was done on purpose, likely to appease the other two parties’ candidates, who as we saw recently may refuse to attend if the Libertarian is invited.
It wasn’t just the race for governor. Last night they held their debate for NH’s 2nd congressional district and excluded Libertarian Justin O’Donnell. In an interview with Free Keene, O’Donnell said this on the matter:
Radio and TV broadcasters are given free access to use public airwaves worth more than half a trillion dollars in exchange for a requirement that such broadcasters “serve the public interest” and provide a fair and unbalanced reporting of the news to inform the American people. By hosting a facade of a debate, and failing to include all the options who have qualified to be on the ballot, these broadcast organizations are negligent in their duty to inform the people.
Tomorrow, Libertarians will gather to protest starting at 5pm, two hours before the beginning of the gubernatorial debate at St Anselm College. They will be standing near the college’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics at 100 Saint Anslem Drive in Manchester. LP gubernatorial candidate Jilletta Jarvis will be present. Last night the turnout was approximately a dozen activists – hopefully we’ll have as much or more tomorrow night! The fake “debate” begins at 7pm Eastern. Here is a facebook event for the protest.