An Open Letter to Foster’s Daily Democrat (Updated and Bumped)

by Steve MacDonald

letter to the editor[Update: I was just informed that the day after this post originally went up Foster’s Daily Democrat decided to publish Dan Davis’ letter.   We take no credit.  I’m sure it was just waiting in the slush pile for a space to open up and the timing is coincidental.  We do appreciate Foster’s making room on their pages for Dan’s side of that debate and hope it is a trend that will continue on other topics and issues of importance to Granite Staters.



Original post

The following is a letter from Dan Davis of Kensington to Foster’s Daily Democrat, in defense of Free Staters and the Free State project.  According to Dan and NH Seacoast Liberty (where I picked this letter up at Dan’s request), Foster’s has refused to publish it despite publishing editorials critical of the movement.

We think Foster’s can do whatever the hell it wants including being like most other print news outlets that use editorials and letters to the editor to advance their left leaning preferences in ways they might try to hide in their news and other reporting.   But in doing so they should expect to be called out for any obvious biased, one-sided, or misleading  reporting, especially when they do it in their letters section.

Mr. Davis has done exactly that.

As a lifelong NH resident, I am disappointed with recent Foster’s editorials which incorrectly demonize the Free State Project. The paper continually mischaracterizes the FSP as a monolithic force, whose members are conspiring to “take over NH.”

A few weeks ago, an editorial accused some office-seekers with FSP connections of dishonesty because they ran as Republicans rather than as Libertarians. The reality is that the political establishment in NH has created enormous barriers to third-party participation, so it no surprise that these candidates chose the path of least resistance.

Is Foster’s suggesting that there should be some sort of litmus test of party purity in lieu of building coalitions, or do they merely oppose the right of free association? If Foster’s editors truly care about accuracy in party labels, maybe they should consider endorsing a reform like approval voting, which gets rid of “wasted votes” and allows more parties to compete.

Another editorial, on March 3rd, conjured additional “proof” of FSP duplicity. Carla Gericke, president of the FSP, recently declared that she would like to trigger the move of 20,000 Free State Project participants in 2 years rather than 5. Foster’s called this “suspicious” since such a timetable could impact the 2016 elections. To which I say: So what? If these people move to our state, then they have the right to vote like anyone else.

Gericke also mentioned seeking 501(c)3 charitable status to facilitate the FSP goal. Foster’s characterizes this as deception by a group that they perceive merely as advocates for specific political actions, or particular candidates. But as an organization, FSP’s only goal is to encourage 20,000 liberty activists to move to NH. They don’t even define what makes a person a “liberty activist.”

The editorial itself explains that the IRS will not grant 501(c)3 status to groups primarily engaged in political action. That the FSP would apply for tax exempt non-profit status is hardly “political skullduggery.”

In short, Foster’s efforts to portray the FSP as a secretive cabal have backfired with this native; such attacks fortify my support for these idealistic underdogs. After all, the libertarian principles of non- aggression, self-ownership, and personal responsibility are completely consistent with the values we hold dear in NH.

Dan Davis
Kensington NH

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