Caucus that helped sink Republican state budget has heavy Free Stater influence
Concord, NH –A new analysis by Granite State Progress shows that Free State Project members make up a disproportionate percentage of the NH Freedom Caucus that sunk the Republican state budget and is actively threatening to derail other Republican majority items.
Free State Project Members in the House
There are 17 known Free State Project members in the House, including one honorary FSP member who helps the organization network and grow (see FSP Watch profile: Rep. J.R. Hoell). They include 15 Republicans and 2 Democrats.
17 Free State Project members out of 394 State Representatives* = 4% of House
15 (R) FSP members out of 221 (R) State Reps = 7% of House Republican Caucus
All but two Free State Project members, or a whopping 88% of FSP members, voted against the Republican version of the state budget. Free State Project member Rep. Carol McGuire, who serves on Speaker Shawn Jasper’s Leadership team, was one of only two Free State Project members to vote with the Republican majority.
Free State Project Members in the NH Freedom Caucus
There were 66 Republicans who voted against HB 1 on the first vote and these are most likely the members of the NH Freedom Caucus, even though an official membership list is not publicly available. Of these 66 Republicans, 13 of them are Free State Project Republicans.
13 (R) FSP members out of 66 (R) NHFC members = 20% of NH Freedom Caucus
Or, if including the (2) additional Democratic FSP members** who also voted against HB 1:
15 FSP members out of 68 NHFC members = 22% of NH Freedom Caucus
Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins: “There are many reasons the House was unable to pass a state budget for the first time in five decades, not least of which is that Governor Chris Sununu does not know how to lead even when his party controls all branches of state government. But it’s important to note that the elected members of the extreme Free State Project, which seeks to take over state government, slash state and local budgets, and secede from the rest of the country, also played a heavy role. The Free State Project members in the House make up a disproportionate percentage of the NH Freedom Caucus, despite having relatively low representation in the full House. Granite State Progress continues to encourage local communities and the state parties to be aware of the extreme ideological beliefs of these individuals and to help expose the ways they are hurting our way of life in New Hampshire.”
The NH Freedom Caucus leaders – including Reps J.R. Hoell, Dan Hynes, and Keith Ammon – are all affiliated with the Free State Project. Governor Sununu’s Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut is also working closely with non-elected Free State Project members in an effort to gut public education in the state; Edelblut contributed to a FSP-run lawsuit against the NH Department of Education and more recently forwarded an internal job posting to a Free State Project member and then sent the FSP members’s resume to the HR director.
|Free State Project Member||Party||County||District||HB 1, Roll Call #108, 04/05/2017 Adopt Amendment (Nay = reject Republican budget)|
|15 of 17|
|Total Percentage of FSP||88%|
Granite State Progress has monitored the Free State Project since 2008, particularly its attempts to field candidates and disrupt public policy. More information available at www.FreeStateProjectWatch.org, run by Granite State Progress.
* The number of State Representatives during the House budget vote.
** It is unclear whether the Free State Project members running as Democrats opposed the budget because it hurt communities too much or, as the NH Freedom Caucus believes – too little. FSP Democrats Amanda Bouldin and Elizabeth Edwards, Manchester, should be asked.
Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.