Former New Hampshire Republican Party chair Fergus Cullen caused quite a stir among New Hampshire libertarians this week when he called out Free Staters for “masquerading” as Republicans:
In recent years a growing handful of free staters have managed to get elected to the New Hampshire legislature through, shall we say, false pretenses. Some have masqueraded as a conventional Republican or cross-dressed as a mainstream Democrat, keeping their true views hidden from voters. Mall security guards call this sort of thing willful concealment.
Free State Project chair Aaron Day, who is leading an attempt to purge the party of undesirables, responded in kind:
In recent years a growing handful of establishment Republicans have managed to get elected to the state legislature through false pretenses. Some have masqueraded as fiscally conservative — signing pledges not to raise taxes and then immediately voting for bloated government spending once elected. They have hidden their true views from voters long enough.
In yet another sign of the fissure between GOP party regulars and conservative activists, state Senate candidate Jane Cormier (R-Hookset) has accused the chairman of the Belknap County Republican Committee of “stalking” her.
In a written statement, Cormier said county chairman Alan Glassman trespassed on her property in Alton and “surreptitiously” photographed her house and her husband’s truck in three separate visits.
According to Cormier, when Glassman was questioned by Alton police, he said he was there “documenting stolen signs.” Later that day, she said, Glassman emailed party members with details. “As I’m traveling around Belknap County, I’m noting sign locations, in case I receive word from a campaign that their signs are being damaged or removed,” he wrote. “This way, I may be able to assist them in addressing the problem.”
“The only sign located remotely near my former residence is on a distant property line,” answered Cormier. “If Mr. Glassman was ‘documenting’ signs, why did he require three separate trips to photograph nothing? I understand that politics is not for the thin-skinned,” she continued, “however, what appears to be the stalking of one of its own strikes me as quite threatening.”
It’s not the first time Cormier and Glassman have clashed. In 2012, the two had a public disagreement over the wording on her campaign signs, which described Cormier as the “conservative” candidate. Glassman told the Laconia Daily Sun “he asked her to add the word ‘Republican’ to the signs, reminding her of the line at the bottom of the placard reading ‘paid for by the Belknap County Republican Committee.’” Cormier claimed that he asked her to remove the word “conservative” from her signs and she said she proudly refused.
After the 2012 election, Cormier opposed Glassman’s reelection bid and nominated GraniteGrok owner Skip Murphy for the post. Cormier’s husband, Carlos Martinez, seconded the nomination. Glassman withstood the challenge and was reelected.
The two again clashed publicly a few months later when Cormier, who represented Belknap District 8 in the state House of Representatives, announced she had withdrawn her financial support from the county committee and formed a new group, the Belknap County Conservative Republicans. Cormier denied her intent was to “undermine” the country committee but Glassman expressed skepticism. How could she withhold financial support and then claim not to be weakening the party? he asked.
In May, with backing from conservative activists, Cormier resigned her House seat and moved to Hookset to take on incumbent Sen. Dave Boutin (R-Hookset) in a contentious primary. In the latest incident, year-old video clips of Boutin arguing in a bar surfaced on GraniteGrok. In a subsequent interview with John DiStaso, Boutin was forced to acknowledge he “exercised poor judgment" and apologized to his constituents for the incident.
Carla Gericke, president of the Free State Project, took to the pages of the Concord Monitor today to dispel the notion that the group’s ultimate goal is secession from the United States.
"The Free State Project has never supported secession," she wrote. "From the very beginning, the Frequently Asked Questions section on our website made it clear that the organization takes no stand on this issue.”
When Jason Sorens first proposed the Free State Project in 2001, he described it as a “strategy of secession.” Even when he subsequently conceded that he may have “overstated the importance” of withdrawing or threatening to withdraw from the United States, he continued to support it as an option.
"The point is to take over a state government and then advance liberty as best we can," he wrote two weeks later. "At some point this pursuit may require actually seceding or threatening to secede. However, there are various political tools at our disposal, and secession is just one of them.”
Gericke claims Sorens’ ideas on secession “never formed part of the organization.” Free Staters “have different views on this question, just as other Granite Staters do,” she explained.
Republican House candidates report receiving a letter from former state Rep. Tom Alciere (R-Nashua) threatening to “sink the Republican Party” if the party fails to nominate “extreme libertarians.”
"Ron Paul Revolutionaries have proven that we can and will sink the Republican Party if our demand is not met," the letter read. "Nominate libertarian extremists, — or else!"
"To defeat the Democrats, the Republican Party must stand united, and Ron Paul Revolutionaries will never unite behind enemies of liberty," wrote Alciere. "You must unite behind libertarian extremists. Delay and denial will get you nowhere."
Alciere, you may remember, was forced to resign from the House in 2001 when his incendiary rhetoric advocating cop killings was made public. “There is nothing wrong with slaughtering a cop,” one of his messages read. “Just throw the carcass into the Dumpster with the rest of the garbage. Cops are nothing but vicious brutal thugs anyway.”
Alciere’s rhetoric has not mellowed with time. “Cops are brutal bullies in the business of intimidating humans into obeying unjust laws,” reads one of his web sites. “Cops are the scum of the Earth.”
In his message to the state GOP, Alciere wrote, “We are entitled to use any necessary means, — especially nonviolent means — to stop your government from violating our rights. If we give you a choice, you won’t comply; so we won’t give you a choice. We have to win.”
"Sometimes a rapist is so far gone, he doesn’t expect the victim to be angry at him," Alciere continued. "You’re just as crazy if you think you can vote away our freedoms and show depraved indifference to our rights without breeding hostility."
Carla Gericke, president of the Free State Project, objects to press reports that mention the man accused of kidnapping Abby Hernandez referred to himself as as “objectivist libertarian.”
Nathaniel Kibby, described by neighbors as “a loner who sometimes criticized the government and owned guns,” was arrested last month and accused of holding the teen captive for nine months.
Reporters following the case revealed Kibby was arrested earlier this year on unrelated assault and trespassing charges. Their reports included the contents of a court filing in which Kibby protested being forced to surrender his guns as part of his bail conditions. “The accusation is absurd & and not credible based upon my character & and my objectivist libertarian moral code,” Kibby wrote.
Gericke doesn’t think that’s fair. “Why don’t reporters state the D/R political affiliations of other people they arrest?” she asked on Facebook. “I’d love a list of serial killers and their political affiliations. Oh wait, that would include every US prez ever,” she wrote.
Douglas Habecker, a Republican candidate for the state House of Representatives from Nashua, channels Grover Norquist and signals his intent to cripple government.
"I would go beyond a (state government) spending freeze," Habecker wrote in a statement he prepared for the National League of Taxpayers. "I would introduce legislation requiring a budget reduction of all state agencies by 10% across the board. And I would seek to repeal the NH Business Enterprise Tax in its entirety."
"I believe that over-reaching, intrusive, ‘nanny state’ government poses the greatest threat to our individual liberty," continued Habecker. "And it is my belief that an effective way to reduce the size and scope of that government is to starve it of money. Frankly stated, I would seek to dismantle the beast from within.”
Habecker, who has referred to the governor as “Ol’ Horseface Maggie Hassan,” is one of four Republicans in a primary to represent Hillsborough District 34, a three-member district.
Jerry DeLemus, Republican candidate for Strafford County sheriff, has accused President Obama of not caring about military deaths and committing treason by seeking to intentionally destroy the county.
"We all know what the truth is about Barack Hussein Obama most are to afraid to say it," DeLemus wrote in a series of Facebook messages. “Look up the definition of treason in your constitution it only takes 2 witnesses to charge. We have a country full of witnesses.”
"Understand this our President hates this country and what it stands for," Delemus continued. "He detests our military and has no problem with our soldiers dying. He sends out form letters to the surviving family upon the death of a soldier."
"His track record and plan is easy to see if your not purposely trying to not see it. I challenge anyone on the facts on this," DeLemus wrote. "I hear from some he is incompetent but they are wrong. Our president is doing exactly what his goal was and that is the destruction of America," he concluded.
Two Republican candidates for the state House of Representatives, his wife Susan DeLemus (R-Rochester) and Steve Beaudoin (R-Rochester), signaled approval by “liking” DeLemus’ comments.
Republicans scoffed when Democrats first warned of the Koch brothers’ outsized influence on the political process. In a 2013 Concord Monitor op-ed, conservative commentator Grant Bosse equated the concerns with Tea Party paranoia over Agenda 21.
"Somehow the modern left has drawn itself deeper and deeper into a conspiracy theory that the Koch brothers are secretly controlling the entire Republican Party in an effort to bring about some sort of anarchist utopia,” he wrote.
Today, thanks primarily to progressive groups shining a light on the billionaires’ political machinations, Republicans have been forced to acknowledge the influence of the Koch brothers and to publicly embrace them.
Witness this week’s laudatory tribute from Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway. “I don’t care what the Democrats say about the Koch brothers,” he said. “Their contribution to this country and the conservative movement is second to none.”
When congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia traveled across the county to fundraise at the Koch brothers’ secret billionaire summit, her campaign manager justified it as a “wonderful opportunity to speak to some of the nation’s greatest business and philanthropic leaders.”
But even some Republicans now question the billionaires’ influence on Granite State politics. “Wonder where those millions and millions of dollars for her latest TV ads are coming from,” wrote state House Rep. Bob Elliott (R-Salem) in a Facebook message. “Certainly not New Hampshire voters, they only gave her $150,000 or so. Is it coming from the Koch Brothers?” Elliott asked. “You betcha.”
"Wonderful," answered Rep. Glenn Cordelli (R-Tuftonboro). "A ‘Republican’ criticizing the Koch Brothers. Unreal."
Jerry DeLemus, the founder of Rochester’s Glenn Beck-inspired 9/12 Project, posted an image on Facebook yesterday picturing a man wearing traditional Arab garb mowing his lawn with an AK-47 slung over his shoulder.
"Scary," wrote DeLemus, who recently returned from a stint commanding the Bundy ranch militia to run for Strafford County sheriff. “I don’t have the details on this picture but if and when I do I’ll post,” he explained. “It was a gals neighbor here in the US.”
Actually, it’s a well-traveled Internet meme, frequently posted with the caption, “My neighbor is acting a little strange. Should I be concerned?” In fact, the version DeLemus posted even included the watermark from 9gag.com, a humor site based in the Silicon Valley.
A few commenters pointed this out and called out DeLemus and others for their Islamophobia. “It is a meme. Haha intolerant losers,” wrote one. “Would it be scary if he had a baseball cap and cutoff jeans on with a old holey sweat stained t shirt?” asked another.
Others defended the mower’s Second Amendment rights (even while disparaging his religion). “If this goat fucker is a citizen, he has the right to own, use, and posses that weapon,” one wrote, “and from what I can see, he is carrying in a safe manner.”
DeLemus was unapologetic. “Truth is Muslims have been the current A list of savagery around the world. Christians are being massacred around the world by Muslims and the majority of the rest never voice outrage,” he wrote. “The twin towers, the headless victims, our Ambassador and the other 3 heroes butchered make it difficult for us not to form a view of what appears to be a Muslim with an ak47 strapped to his back.”
"Islam is a Satan-inspired and FALSE religion. That is my 2 cents," added Josh Youssef, the 2012 Republican state Senate nominee in District 7. “‘Tolerance’ is what got America into this most precarious situation. It’s time for a little bit of intolerance, and a whole lot of political incorrectness."
In a candidate forum sponsored by the New Boston Republican Committee, second district congressional candidates Marilinda Garcia and Gary Lambert expressed strong support for impeaching the President.
The question from a member of the audience, the last of the evening, was simple and direct. “Would you vote to impeach?” he asked the candidates.
"I would," Garcia replied. "He has many, many impeachable offenses, it seems to me, in terms of his disregard for our Constitution alone, so I would…"
Lambert responded that he supports impeachment on principle (“I’m with you on this”) but would only support moving forward on it if he thought Republicans would prevail in the attempt to remove the President from office.
“It’s a big hypothetical. You heard me how I feel about winning, so first I gotta see whether or not that would work, whether or not we could win,” he told the audience. “Then I’ll evaluate it at that time. … I’m with you on this but we gotta keep our eye on the ball and the eye on the ball is to win elections…”
The forum took place in New Boston on February 6, 2014. The candidates’ remarks were first reported by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on their web site.
Everytown for Gun Safety, the group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is airing a dramatic new television ad in New Hampshire that calls on Sen. Kelly Ayotte to support legislation to close federal loopholes that allow many domestic abusers to purchase guns.
The spot will run next Tuesday, the day before the Senate begins hearings on a bill sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar. The proposed legislation would expand the federal law that prevents people who have been convicted of domestic abuse from buying or possessing a gun to include dating partners, individuals under a restraining order and convicted stalkers.
The National Rifle Association opposes the legislation claiming it “manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions.”
Last year, the NRA ran ads defending Ayotte when she faced angry constituents and plunging poll numbers for voting against a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases.
On the Porcupines Facebook page, the Free Staters were lamenting the quality of the Republican congressional candidates. “Garcia doesn’t have an impressive voting record in the NH House, and Lambert, well, looks as if he’s an interventionist,” complained FSP founder Jason Sorens.
"The Republican primary over in CD1 is just about as hideous," responded state House Rep. Emily Sandblade (R-Manchester), ”with one libertarian who doesn’t stand a chance, a Dem in Republican clothing (registered Dem until recently and a significant contributor to progressives like Jackie CIlley), and an interventionist NSA SOPA social conservative. Urk.”