Republican House Speaker Shawn Jasper responds to a research brief by Granite State Progress on 13 Free State Project candidates running for office in Manchester – some of whom are openly organizing for secession; Meanwhile, NH GOP Chair Jeanie Forrester is openly courting Free State Project candidates for offices up and down the ticket
Concord, NH – Yesterday, Granite State Progress released a list of thirteen Free State Project members running for municipal office in Manchester. Today, House Speaker Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) reacted to the fact that nearly half of the Free State Project candidates identified are members of active secessionist movements linked to the Free State Project.
“Doesn’t it concern you that 5 of these candidates want NH to withdraw from the United States of America? … I would never consider voting for anyone who doesn’t believe in being part of the USA. I am a proud American! … [State Rep. and Free Stater] Dan Hynes suppoting [sic] the constitutions of the USA and the State of NH are part of the oath of office for all offices in NH, so if your goal is to get NH out of the USA and you are elected and take the oath of office, then you lack integrity. ” – Facebook, House Speaker Shawn Jasper, 9/15/17
Current State House Representatives Josh Moore, Dan Hynes, and Keith Murphy defended the Free State Project municipal candidates on the same thread; Hynes and Murphy are also members of the Free State Project. Full quotes below, along with a copy of the Granite State Progress research brief on the Free State Project candidates running for office.
Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:
“We thank Speaker Jasper for standing by the constitution and rejecting the growing secessionist movement cultivated by the Free State Project. From the original concept paper to its off-shoot groups NH Exit and NH Foundation for Independence, the Free State Project has always embraced the idea of moving enough people to New Hampshire to threaten secession from the rest of the country. The Free State Project candidates running for state house or municipal office don’t openly share those or other extreme views when campaigning for office, which is why Granite State Progress created Free State Project Watch to better educate voters and constituents.”
“We call on NH GOP Chair Jeanie Forrester, who has embraced the Free State Project and spoke at a recent FSP conference encouraging them to run for offices up and down the ticket, to also reject these extreme candidates. It’s shocking that Chair Forrester is willing to turn a blind eye to the hidden agenda of the Free State Project for short-term political gain. Republicans in towns like Bedford and elsewhere have already identified the threat that such extreme views have on the quality of life in New Hampshire.”
The Free State Project was in the news twice recently for the actions of its recruits: Chris Cantwell, the white supremacist featured in national news originally came to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project before his calls to kill police officers got him shunned from the group. Free State Project State Rep. Eric Schleien was recently charged with sexual assault of a minor.
Excerpts from the Facebook timeline & exchange:
Free State Project member and State Representative Dan Hynes (R-Merrimack) reposted the Granite State Progress Free State Project Watch research brief.
Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper (R-Hudson) posted: “Doesn’t it concern you that 5 of these candidates want NH to withdraw from the United States of America?” and “I would never consider voting for anyone who doesn’t believe in being part of the USA. I am a proud American!”
State Rep. Hynes, FSP “No because there is no chance of that happening, but I would have to look at the pros and cons of it anyway if ti [sic] actually went to vote. They really wouldn’t be able to do that while serving a city position anyway.”
Speaker Jasper: “WOW, just wow! It is not about what people can do, it is about what they want to do that matters.”
Speaker Jasper: “Dan Hynes suppoting [sic] the constitutions of the USA and the State of NH are part of the oath of office for all offices in NH, so if your goal is to get NH out of the USA and you are elected and take the oath of office, then you lack integrity.”
State Rep. Hynes, FSP: “Shawn Jasper Art 10 of NH constitution I believe supports it. I support the State constitution per my oath. Also I don’t see anywhere in the US constitution where it says a state who joins cannot later secede [sic]. Also I support the 10th amendment which the fed gov has destroyed over the last hundred or so years.”
Also expressing support for secessionists were Free State Project member and State Representative Keith Murphy (R-Bedford) and State Representative Josh Moore (R-Merrimack).
State Rep. Murphy, FSP: “If I have to choose between any of these people and a ‘make the state bigger’ democratic socialist, I’ll choose these candidates every time,” and “I’m not a Manchester resident, but good luck to these guys.”
State Rep. Josh Moore had initially indicated support, posting “I’m more concerned with people running who claim to stand for limited government and vote for bigger government. At least FSP fights hard to make policy changes and stands by their word.”
Speaker Jasper responded: “Josh Moore I just hope that you make it clear to your constituents that you support candidates who don’t support the USA, so long as they also promise to cut the size of government.”
Moore backpedaled, posting “I never said I supported anyone. I said people in the FSP keep their word and fight for what they believe in.”
Jasper responded “Josh Moore Exactly my point, they are promising to fight to get NH out of the USA. You are making a distinction without a difference.”
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.