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Defying Jeff Sessions, the New Hampshire House Votes Again to Legalize Cannabis

The New Hampshire House is well known and respected in cannabis reform circles as being the first state legislative body in the nation to vote to legalize cannabis. The brave January 15, 2014 vote inspired and motivated cannabis reformers around the nation, if not the world.  Following the vote, cannabis reformers pushed forward in several states, with legislators in Vermont recently following the footsteps of their forward thinking neighbors in the New Hampshire House.

In a 207 to 139 vote today, the New Hampshire House again voted to legalize cannabis. While not the vote heard around the world, like the first time the New Hampshire House voted to legalize cannabis, this vote is highly noteworthy. United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced that federal policy towards cannabis would change for the worse. Some were concerned the changes in federal policy would intimidate New Hampshire representatives. Not so in the live free or die state! The 207 to 139 vote in favor of legalizing cannabis is the first time a Republican controlled state legislative body voted to legalize cannabis, similarly to how the New Hampshire Senate became the first Republican controlled  state senate to pass medical cannabis back in 2012.

 

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Only 2.4% Unemployment in the Freest State in America

New Hampshire is not only the freest state in the nation, it also has an economy that is on fire compared to every other state in the Northeast. The unemployment rate is 2.4% or 2.7%, depending on if you go by the unadjusted rate or the adjusted rate. That makes NH the state with the 3rd lowest unemployment rate in the nation!

New Hampshire

While NH is the darling in the Eastern United States when it comes to low unemployment, the Granite State economic prosperity doesn’t stop at the state line. The economy is booming in NH’s Upper Valley, and at least some of the prosperity crosses the border into Vermont. Despite VT’s progressive leanings, the state unemployment rate is under 3%.

Looking for a good job? Check out the Free State Project Jobs Page.

 

Vote Yes on Keno to Support Small Businesses

Voters in cities across New Hampshire are given the rare opportunity Tuesday to vote to support hundreds of the small businesses in our wonderful state. All voters have to do is go to their voting location on November 7th and vote to allow their city to authorize keno.

Thousands of New Hampshire residents travel to Massachusetts for legal keno. These fine residents could be spending their time and money in New Hampshire small businesses instead. Support New Hampshire family businesses by voting yes on keno.

Thank you to the folks at www.LibertyBallot.com for recommending yes on keno for Manchester residents. Thank you to the city councilors and alderman of almost every city for allowing the voters the ability to pass something that will help our small business community. Shame on the Portsmouth city council for voting against New Hampshire family businesses.

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Tripartisan Breakdown of the AFP-NH 2017 Scorecard

Some quick thoughts on the just released AFP-NH 2017 Scorecard

NH House:
12 bills dealing with subjects such as reducing the cost of health insurance and improving the quality of education

Tripartisan breakdown
100% Scores
Republicans – 49 (Not voting wasn’t counted against the legislators so even though Speaker Jasper only voted once, he had a 100% score as he voted to increase worker freedom)
Libertarians – 2
Democrat – 0

Average Score
Republican – Probably around what the Libertarians got
Libertarian – 77%
Democrat – Very low

Lowest Scores
Republicans – Skylar Boutin (perhaps the college student registered with the wrong party by mistake?) and Mariellen J. MacKay (partly due to her voting like an anti-freedom Democrat before she switched to the Republican Party) received 33%
Libertarian – Joseph Stallcop received 30% (partly due to him voting like an anti-freedom Democrat before he switched to the Libertarian Party)
Democrats – Travis Bennett, Michael D. Cahill, Edith M. DesMarais, Paul J. Henle, and David Woolpert received 0%

Note: 5 Democrats did as well as or better than the lowest scoring Republicans and Libertarian.

NH Senate:
11 bills dealing with subjects such as protecting free speech and improving the quality of education

Bipartisan breakdown
100% Scores
Republicans – 2 (John Reagan and Andy Sanborn)
Democrat – 0

Average Score
Republican – 88%
Democrat – 0%

Lowest Scores
Republicans – Sharon M. Carson and Daniel E. Innis received 73%
Democrats – All 9 received 0%

Note: House politicians from all three parties were to be able to have independent thoughts. Did Senate Democrats even have an independent thought among them?

Super Serious Note: This blog post is not an official or even an unofficial AFP-NH post. Go to the actual AFP-NH website to see the full New Hampshire Legislative Score Card (2017).

2nd NH Rep. Switches to the Libertarian Party This Year

Today the New Hampshire House Libertarian Party Minority Caucus held a press conference to announce that Representative Joseph Stallcop of Keene switched his party registration from Democratic to Libertarian. Representative Stallcop joins Representative Caleb Dyer as the second Libertarian Party legislator in the “Live Free or Die” State House.


Representative Dyer switched to Libertarian earlier in the year, after the Party gained official ballot status due to the Honorable Max Abramson receiving four percent of the vote in his November bid to become the governor of New Hampshire as a Libertarian. The only other Libertarian Party legislator in the entire nation is Nebraska State Senator Laura Ebke. Like the Honorable Abramson and Representative Dyer of New Hampshire, Senator Ebke was originally elected as a Republican. On the other hand, Representative Stallcop has the honor of being the second Libertarian Party legislator in the nation to originally get elected as a Democrat.

Representative Stallcop is the third Democratic legislator and forth overall to switch parties this year in New Hampshire. As was mentioned previously, Representative Dyer switched from the Republican Party to become a Libertarian. Two other New Hampshire Democrats abandoned the Democratic Party for the Republican Party. Rumors have been widely circulating for weeks that additional New Hampshire Democrats are considering abandoning the Party as Democrats are very upset with their state leadership.

Representative Stallcop said “while my time in Concord reinforced the ineptitude that can exist by those in charge. I originally joined the Democratic Party in hopes of making a difference through critical thinking and my classical liberal viewpoint, yet with the lack of unbiased data in caucuses as well as backlash on votes I’ve independently made, it seems there is no longer a place for me here. With a high regard for individuals personally working in their communities to implement positive change, I hereby transfer to the Libertarian Party.”

Libertarian Party New Hampshire Chairman Darryl W. Perry added “today marks only the second time in the 45 year history of the Libertarian Party that a sitting state representative has left the Democratic Party for the Libertarian Party… Today also marks the first time in nearly 2 decades that the New Hampshire General Court will have a Libertarian Caucus!”

Originally formed in 1992, the New Hampshire House Libertarian Minority Caucus had four members: Calvin Warburton, Andy Borsa, Don Gorman, and Finlay Rothhaus. The officially recognized Libertarian Caucus named Gorman as the Libertarian Floor Leader.

Congratulations Representative Stallcop on following the advice of famed New Hampshire poet Robert Frost and taking the road not taken.

Link to the Libertarian Party New Hampshire press release
https://www.lpnh.org/representative-joseph-stallcop-cheshire-4-joins-the-libertarian-party/

Link to the Libertarian Party New Hampshire press conference
https://www.facebook.com/LPNewHampshire/videos/435503536810565/

2016 New Hampshire County Office Election Results

Many people are aware that the voters just elected Republicans to control the entire state government from the governor and executive council, to the New Hampshire Senate and the New Hampshire House. However, it is county offices that really show how dominate Republicans were in winning control of the New Hampshire government. 87% of the county offices with a Republican candidate went to the Republican candidate. Only 40% of the county offices with a Democratic candidate went to the Democratic candidate.

Republicans won 71% of the 73 county office positions up for election in 2016. Democrats only won 29%.

52 out of the 60 Republicans that ran were elected. 21 out of the 52 Democrats that ran were elected.

Half of the counties only elected Republicans to county offices. The most populated county, with both of New Hampshire’s major cities, only elected 1 Democratic candidate to county office. No counties only elected Democrats to county offices.

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New Hampshire Counties Map

Only 292,000 out of the 1,331,000 people in New Hampshire live in counties where Democrats won the most county offices. However, 2 of the 3 county commissioners in Cheshire County are Republicans, so that county government is controlled at least in part, by Republicans. Republican county officials control counties where 78% of the New Hampshire population live. Only 16% of the New Hampshire population lives in the 2 counties controlled by Democratic county officials.

County office breakdown by county in order of population:
Hillsborough County (407,000)
Republicans won 88% of the county races
7 out of 8 Republicans
1 out of 8 Democrats

Rockingham County (302,000)
Republican won 100%
7 out of 7 Republicans
0 out of 6 Democrats

Merrimack County (148,000)
Republican won 100%
7 out of 7 Republicans
0 out of 4 Democrats

Strafford County (127,000)
Democrats won 88%
1 out of 2 Republican
7 out of 7 Democrats

Grafton County (89,000)
Democrats won 71%
3 out of 6 Republicans
5 out of 6 Democrats

Cheshire County (76,000)
Democrats won 86%
1 out of 4 Republicans
6 out of 7 Democrats

Belknap County (61,000)
Republican won 100%
7 out of 7 Republicans
0 out of 1 Democrats

Carrol County (47,000)
Republican won 100%
7 out of 7 Republicans
0 out of 4 Democrats

Sullivan County (43,000)
Republican won 100%
7 out of 7 Republicans
0 out of 4 Democrats

Coos County (31,000)
Republicans won 71%
5 out of 5 Republicans
2 out of 5 Democrats

Sources:
Election results http://sos.nh.gov/2016CountyGen.aspx
Population numbers and map https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_counties_in_New_Hampshire

How the Live Free or Die State Should Vote on November 8th

On the night before the New Hampshire election, many voters in New Hampshire will be asking the same question: of the many candidates on the ballot, which viable candidates will vote to reduce the size of government? By then it’s too late to research the candidates, so LibertyBallot.com did the research for you.

Not sure how to vote? Not sure where to vote? The Liberty Ballot FAQ, located at the bottom of the website, answers these questions and more.

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