December 27. 2012 2:17PM
What's next for the Free State movement?
By Henry Metz and Dan Moberger
Here are a few short parts of the article.
The logo of the Free State Project includes a crudely drawn image of a porcupine, a symbol that became part of the movement’s iconography after an online vote by early project participants.
The porcupine won out over more conventional symbols of liberty, such as the “Don’t Tread on Me” snake, menacing and coiled, depicted in the early American flag designed by Gen. Christopher Gadsden.
According to the Free State Project’s website, the porcupine was chosen by popular vote of its members because something more original and “public relations-friendly” was desired to emphasize the “freshness” of the movement’s approach.
“Porcupines are cute and nonaggressive, but you certainly don’t want to step on them,” explains the official literature of the organization.
There’s little doubt that the Free State Project has established a foothold in New Hampshire. But even one of its more high-profile adherents acknowledges that there’s work to do in order to get the organization instantly recognized by the average Granite Stater.
When asked why Free Staters who run for political office in New Hampshire don’t identify themselves as such in their official campaign literature, Warden, the state representative for Goffstown, Weare and Deering, dismissed the need to do so.
“First of all, I challenge that premise,” said Warden. “It sounds like one of the talking points of the Democratic Party. That’s like saying we should have to identify ourselves as being Catholic or Protestant if we decide to run for political office. No one would demand that, so why should it be done in this case?”
Putting labels on Free State participants can be a tricky endeavor, given that not all Free Staters are in agreement about important issues facing the state and the nation.
...one last part...
Free State Project President Carla Gericke, who describes herself as a “recovering lawyer,” moved to New Hampshire with her husband from Manhattan in 2008, during a blizzard.
“We are originally from South Africa – I won a green card in the diversity lottery while I was in law school – and we landed in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-nineties,” she said. “We both ended up working in the tech sector and were hit hard when the Internet bubble burst in 2000-01.”
When asked to comment on the charge that Free Staters are simply trying to take over the state’s political apparatus, Gericke said that’s simply incorrect.
“I love this question,” Gericke said. “First, I think we should establish where the criticism is coming from. If it is from folks who benefit from the largesse of government, I would caution others to take it with a pinch of salt. Secondly, 20,000 people cannot ‘take over’ a state with a population of more than a million. Even when the move is triggered (when the 20,000 pledge signers are expected to come), FSP participants will make up less than 1.5 percent of the entire population. Third, did you know that two-thirds of the 2010-12 legislators were not New Hampshire natives? That Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen aren’t from here originally? Are they trying to ‘take over’? Lastly, the FSP itself is not a political action organization, it’s not tied to any political party, and we do not run candidates for election. What individual participants do once they get here is up to them.”
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