Low Tax Candidates Won in Portsmouth

Low Tax Candidates Won in Portsmouth

11-08-2011 Portsmouth Municipal Election Results

In Portsmouth, there was a concentrated effort  to not only get the more pro-liberty candidates elected, but to improve their vote totals.  The effort was led by Association of Portsmouth Taxpayers and others.  All of the APT endorsed candidates were elected.  Even better, while many incumbents received fewer votes than in 2009, all of the APT endorsed incumbents received more voter than in 2009.  The more efficient government candidates on the ballot increased their vote totals by 30%, 18%, 17% and 5% versus the 2009 results.  The candidates in favor of more spending and taxes decreases their vote totals 17%, 8% and 7% respectively.  The only tax and spend candidate to increase his vote total was Councilor Bob Lister.
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Conclusion is clear: Lower taxes aid economy

Seacoast Online ran this opinion article by Jack Thorsen today.

Steve Marchand’s opinion piece (Seacoast Sunday, May 30) on the adverse affect that the electric generator tax would have on New Hampshire economics is an excellent example of the kind of analysis we need for every tax increase that Concord contemplates.

Legalizing pot could be boon for New Hampshire

Fellow member of New Hampshire Seacoast Liberty, Jack Thorsen wrote a great opinion piece entitled “Legalizing pot could be boon for New Hampshire” over here. Here’s a brief excerpt
It is ridiculous that we have people in jail for what is essentially a victimless crime, and the whole process from stake-out to bust to arrest to prosecution to incarceration wastes an enormous amount of time and taxpayer money.

Let’s All Take a Deep Breath

Let’s All Take a Deep Breath

By Scott McPherson

At a recent Seacoast Liberty event I was approached by a member of our organization who told me that he planned to start dedicating a great deal of his time to persuading people to homeschool their children. I applauded his intentions, only to quickly re-evaluate my initial reaction.

Because, you see, he then told me that one of his methods for accomplishing this goal would be to “convince parents that sending their kids to a public school is child abuse.”

Moral hysteria plays, sadly, too large a role in the Freedom Movement today. Few of us, myself included, are completely innocent of having employed it at one time or another to make a point. But in using moral hysteria as a ready tool to beat our opponents into intellectual submission we run a very serious risk of losing all credibility.

Admittedly, this kind of behavior is not unique to libertarians. “Godwin’s Law,” which states that “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches,” came to be a popular observation on the World Wide Web precisely because the average American’s ability to dispassionately and fairly argue a point is in rapid and steady decline. Politics is a nasty business.

But even if one feels perfectly up to the task of “proving” to another beyond a reasonable doubt that he is no better than a murderous dictator for failing to support some cause or embrace some point of view or take some action, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to get our overall point across. We will not make any friends this way.

Worse, we will drive away the friends we already have.

And while swimming around as the big fish in a little pond may gratify the egos of some, it won’t move us any closer to the free society we all wish to see in our lifetime.

This came jumping off the page at me today as I read my friend Jacob Hornberger’s blog on the Future of Freedom Foundation website. In a mock contrast of modern “liberalism” and “conservatism,” he shows how alike they are by highlighting the major issues on which they generally find common cause. These are:

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, SBA loans, foreign aid, government-business partnerships, economic regulations, income taxation, trade restrictions, immigration controls, public schools, the Federal Reserve and its fiat currency, home loan assistance, corporate bailouts, the war on drugs, militarism and empire, torture, military tribunals, and the military industrial complex.

I would add “gun control” to this list. Support for these pretty much sums up the liberal/conservative worldview. Now, you might shave a few off here and there, but essentially these are the things that the average American, regardless of the dominant political philosophy with which he identifies, agrees government ought to be doing to us.

Then there is this small but, thankfully, growing number of people who identify with the libertarian view. We by and large oppose all of that. You can shave a few off here and there, but essentially these are things that the average libertarian thinks government shouldn’t be doing at all.

What struck me right away was how large this list really is. It is by no means exhaustive, but it gives us a great perspective. There is a lot of agreement in our movement. It is this general agreement and, more importantly, agreement on the principles from which we derive our stance on these issues, that draws us to one another, and to Seacoast Liberty.

At the same time, it is important to realize that there is not universal consensus even among “hard core” libertarians about every one of those things, let alone some others I could mention. What about “intellectual property rights”? Anarcho-capitalism versus limited, constitutional government? Abortion? Privatization of roads and bridges? Gay marriage? The complete abolition of taxation? Replacing a standing army with a general militia? Age of consent laws?

Do all of these debates have to be settled with complete uniformity of thought before we can get on with the business of promoting individual freedom?

And if changing public opinion about government is truly our goal, then an honest person would have to admit that we are still a long, long way from even modest success. That distance will only grow larger when we abandon civil discourse and start calling people “child abusers” because they send their kids to school.

Scott McPherson is a member of Seacoast Liberty. His children have never set foot in a school.

Americans are quite capable of self-governing

Fellow member of New Hampshire Seacoast Liberty, Jack Thorsen wrote a great opinion piece entitled “Americans are quite capable of self-governing” over here. Here’s a brief excerpt:

The American people are fed up with paternalistic over-reaching government, and we are starting to shout, “Enough is enough!” Freedom is the unifying factor missing from today’s divisive political dialogue.

Portsmouth Pro Liberty!

Last year’s resolution was to get involved with local politics and to write about it, which I mostly did. Not quite weekly, but hey.

This year, I created a new organization. This grew out of some conversations leading up to the election; there was a taxpayers’ group in Portsmouth, but no general liberty organization. Well, there is now.

Announcing Portsmouth Pro Liberty. Currently it is a blog and a mailing list, and we are small, but we are more than just me. Come join us. Check out that site, and e-mail info@portsmouthproliberty.org if you are interested.

Portsmouth election returns

The bad news is that neither serious fiscal conservative, Jack Thorsen or Bill St. Laurent, was elected to City Council. The incumbents endorsed by the Association of Portsmouth Taxpayers all were returned, so here’s hoping they live up to their rhetoric. Promising newcomer Tom Martin was elected to the School Board, so that’s something.

The City Council numbers are very interesting. There is a clear division between the top eleven and the bottom three. Incumbent Laura Pantelakos and previous councilman St. Laurent finished a few hundred behind the last elected council member; then there is a big drop-off of nearly 500 votes to the last three. Ryan Baker and Jack Thorsen would have been newcomers to Portsmouth elected office, and David Adams’s previous experience was only on the Historic District Commission. The two newly-elected council members are Tony Coviello, a veteran of the Planning Committee who was encouraged to run by the mayor, and Bob Lister, who was the School Superintendent for years.

It shows, to me, the parochial nature of local politics. To get elected, one must already have some kind of profile; that means getting appointed to some board or other, or having a very large and strong community support network. Running as a maverick may be satisfying, but is unlikely to be successful.

Meanwhile, I see that our neighbors to the east have voted to continue marriage apartheid. The silver lining is that perhaps it will drive Down Easters who value personal liberty to the Free State.