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NH GOP Is Divided Over Free Staters Moving On In Manchester City Elections

A Dozen Free State Project Candidates Advance to Manchester Municipal General Election Amid NH GOP Divide Over Secession  

Free State Project members running for political office often hide or deny their FSP affiliation; Granite State Progress’ Free State Project Watch exposes those connections; In response to report, WMUR NH Primary Source covers NH GOP divide over whether to support Free State Project candidates, some of whom are openly organizing for secession 

Concord, NH – At least a dozen Free State Project candidates will advance to the Manchester municipal general election in November, according to Granite State Progress’ Free State Project Watch. Andre Rosa, the only Free State Project member candidate with a contested primary, narrowly lost his primary bid to represent Ward 11 on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Granite State Progress highlighted Rosa’s participation in the Free State Project in a press release last week; Rosa subsequently lost placing on the ballot by only 14 votes [148-162].

Meanwhile, WMUR NH Primary Source reported today that prominent members of the New Hampshire Republican Party are clashing over Granite State Progress’ report on Free State Project candidates.

“Free State Project candidates running for state house or municipal office don’t openly share their extreme views when campaigning for office, which is why Granite State Progress created Free State Project Watch to better educate voters and constituents. Free Staters moved to New Hampshire as part of a group with the stated purpose to take over state government and dismantle it, and to use the threat of secession once they meet their initial goals. Members of the media and public are strongly encouraged to ask Free State Project candidates whether they disclose their FSP affiliation in campaign materials and, if not, why,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “It is heartening to see Republican leaders in the state join their Democratic counterparts in raising serious concerns about the Free State Project and its goals. We urge NH GOP Chair Jeanie Forrester to listen to the concerns of leadership and rank and file members, and to stop recruiting Free Staters as candidates for office.”

The Free State Project candidate list is part of the Free State Project Watch of Granite State Progress, and can be found online at https://freestateprojectwatch.org/. Granite State Progress released similar candidate lists during the 2012, 2014, and 2016 general elections, and reviews municipal candidate filings periodically.


Previous press releases:

Granite State Progress Releases List of 13 Free State Project Candidates Running for Municipal Office in Manchester, Thursday, September 14, 2017

Breaking: House Speaker Shawn Jasper Condemns Free State Project Electeds, Manchester Candidates Calling for Secession, Friday, September 15, 2017

Free State Project member candidates in Manchester general election by ward and office, including links to Granite State Progress’ Free State Project Watch profile on each candidate:

Ward 3: Selectman candidate Phillip Harris

Ward 3: School Committee candidate Phillip Harris

Ward 4: Moderator candidate Colin Gibson

Ward 4: Clerk candidate Holly Beene Seal

Ward 5: Aldermanic candidate Cameron Barr*

Ward 5: Selectman candidate Cameron Barr*

Ward 5: Selectman candidate Michael Garcia*

Ward 6: Clerk candidate Chandler Blair Gabel*

Ward 8: Selectman candidate William Cerf*

Ward 10: Aldermanic candidate Tammy Simmons (Honorary FSP member)

Ward 10: Clerk candidate Merav Yaakov

Ward 11: Selectman candidate Andrew Vermiglio*

Ward 11: Selectman candidate Alexander Avery

Ward 11: School Committee candidate Alexander Avery

Ward 12: Selectman candidate Clarence Gardner*

* Free State Project members with additional roles or volunteer lead assignments with NH Exit or Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, Free State Project off-shoot groups specifically dedicated to organizing for New Hampshire to secede from the United States, in addition to the Free State Project itself threatening secession. See full candidate profiles for more details.

 

The Most Terrifying And Important Video About #Charlottesville You Need To See

The rise of the “alt-right” has brought with it a rise in white supremecy and neo-nazism.  One of the people in the middle of this push to mainstream nazism and “ethnic cleansing” is New Hampshire’s own Christopher Cantwell.

Cantwell moved to New Hampshire as part of the Libertarian “Free State Project,” though the people at “Free Keene (online)” are claiming he was never one of their bloggers.

Cantwell hosts a podcast called the “Radical Agenda” from his home in Keene, New Hampshire.  (I am not linking to his blog on purpose, if you are really interested in finding it you can google it.)

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Cantwell’s show:

“On his show and in mordant essays published on his website Christophercantwell.com, this 36-year-old self-proclaimed fascist – whose style borrows from such mainstream shock jocks as Howard Stern and Opie and Anthony — argues for an Anglo ethno state free of African-Americans, Jews and non-white immigrants, save, perhaps, for the occasional exception.

In Cantwell’s world, Blacks are prone to violence and have lower IQs; Jews spread communism and can’t be trusted; immigrants are outbreeding whites; and a race war is all but inevitable.”

Cantwell’s words are vile and disturbing to say the least.  His hateful rhetoric actually scares.  The worst part is that he is not alone.

As the “Unite the Right” rally happening, Vice News, traveled to Charlottesville and followed Cantwell from the torch rally Friday night to the chaos that ensued on Saturday.

This 20 minute video from vice news very hard to watch, but some things must be seen.  Vice does an amazing job of showing the people in this “Unite the Right” rally and that while they claim to be promoting “free speech” their fascist message of violence and ethnic cleansing shows they did not go to Charlottesville to speak, they came prepared for a war.

 

In the most ironic turn of events, as the National Guard descended on Charlottesville and violence exploded Cantwell posted a video where he is crying and begging the police to protect him.  After all of the hateful rhetoric he spews in the 20 minute Vice News story it is hard for anyone to sympathize with his predicament.

 

Fascism is wrong. The thought of “ethnic cleansing” is appalling.  Nazi’s walking freely in the streets is disturbing.  My grandfather volunteered to service in World War II to destroy Nazi’s and fight the fascist regime.

We need everyone to stand up against hate. We need more white people, like me, to stand up against racism.

We beat the nazis before and we will destroy them again.

Breaking: Governor Sununu Considered Free State Project Member Jody Underwood for NH Education Commissioner*

*According to Free Stater Jody Underwood, she was under consideration for NH Education Commissioner 

New Hampshire deserves to know if Frank Edelblut will consider her for any division director openings at Department of Education – at the same time her family is pushing for New Hampshire to secede from the rest of the country

From Wikipedia CC

MANCHESTER, NH – Free State Project member Jody Underwood claims she was considered for the position of NH Commissioner of Education. Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins: 

“Governor Sununu should answer whether he considered Jody Underwood for the position of NH Commissioner of Education, and whether he or current nominee Frank Edelblut plan to consider her for any open division director appointments. Underwood is part of an extreme political movement with a stated mission to take over state government and dismantle it, and her husband is actively organizing for New Hampshire to secede from the rest of the country. Governor Sununu is playing dangerous games with New Hampshire’s future. Did Governor Sununu actually consider her for the role and does Frank Edelblut plan to work closely with her as he has in the past? Both Jody Underwood and her husband testified in support of Frank Edelblut for Education Commissioner at the Executive Council public hearing.”

Free State Project member Jody Underwood claims she was considered for NH Education Commissioner. Underwood made the claim in the description for a workshop she gave at the Free State Project’s NH Liberty Forum in Manchester this past weekend. The workshop “We don’t need no stinkin’ leaders: Getting things done in the world of NH Education” (sic) was held Saturday, February 4th at 4:00 PM. The last line of the workshop description – which was likely written before Sununu announced Edelblut – states: “I now find myself being considered for the position of NH Commissioner of Education. How does that happen, especially to someone who isn’t particularly political? Maybe I am a leader. Come find out.” http://nhlibertyforum.com/schedule/ Sat Feb 4 4:00 PM 

According to the Free State Project, the Underwoods moved to New Hampshire with the Free State Project in 2007 as “early movers” – the FSP’s most ardent supporters who moved early. Jody Underwood served on the FSP board of directors until last summer. She is currently a school board member in Croydon and brought a lawsuit against the NH Department of Education.

https://freestateproject.org/blogs/mover-stories/early-movers-education 

Underwood’s husband Ian – who also testified in support of Frank Edelblut – also hosted a workshop at the event. Title: “A Case for New Hampshire Independence.” Description: “The goal of the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, a 501c3 nonprofit, is to educate Granite Staters about the benefits of the ‘Live Free or Die’ state peacefully declaring its independence and separating from the federal government of the United States. Join FNHI board members Ian Underwood of Bardo Project and Carla Gericke, president of FNHI, to discuss what the future of New Hampshire could look like as an autonomous state.” http://nhlibertyforum.com/schedule/ Fri Feb 3 10:00 AM (Carla Gericke is the former President of the Free State Project – she also testified in support of Frank Edelblut) 

Frank Edelblut has a history of involvement with the Free State Project. As recently as last summer, Edelblut participated in a panel at the Free State Project’s annual PorcFest. The workshop was titled “Exploring Your Child’s Educational Fit” and the description read: “This group of experienced parents have directed their children’s educations. Come hear their experiences with homeschooling, charter schools, private schools, and online education.” The workshop notably does not include traditional public education as a potential educational fit, nor does it include any perspectives from a traditional public education family. The panel was moderated by Jody Underwood and Frank Edelblut participated as a panelist.

https://freestateproject.org/blogs/education-activism-track-porcfest-xiii-exceptional-dont-miss-it

About the Free State Project. A decade ago, the ultra-extreme Free State Project voted on a state to move 20,000 libertarians to, with the stated purpose to take over state government and dismantle it. New Hampshire was unfortunately the unlucky recipient of that vote. The Free State Project seeks to create a libertarian “utopia” void of public infrastructure and common laws, and to use their numbers to dramatically change New Hampshire. The Free State Project even threatens to secede from the rest of the country once it meets its initial goals: 

“Once we’ve taken over the state government, we can slash state and local budgets, which make up a sizeable proportion of the tax and regulatory burden we face every day. Furthermore, we can eliminate substantial federal interference by refusing to take highway funds and the strings attached to them. Once we’ve accomplished these things, we can bargain with the national government over reducing the role of the national government in our state. We can use the threat of secession as leverage to do this.”

          Announcement:
The Free State Project
 by Founder Jason Sorens

Granite State Progress has monitored the Free State Project since 2008, particularly its attempts to field candidates and disrupt public policy.

Granite State Progress Releases List of 30+ Free State Project Candidates Running for State Legislature

Free State Project members running for political office often hide or deny their FSP affiliation; Granite State Progress’ Free State Project Watch exposes those connections

Concord, NH – Granite State Progress released a list of more than 30 Free State Project members running for the New Hampshire state legislature, including two State Senate candidates and dozens of House candidates.

“Granite State Progress has been tracking the Free State Project and its influence since 2008, paying particular attention to Free Stater activity in elections and legislation,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Free State Project members running for political office often hide or deny their FSP affiliation from voters and downplay their extreme beliefs when asked. To challenge this, Granite State Progress researches and compiles a list of Free State Project candidates running for office so voters know about the extreme affiliation of those candidates.”

New Hampshire’s role started more than a decade ago when the ultra-extreme Free State Project voted on a state to move 20,000 libertarians to with the stated purpose to take over state government and dismantle it, and New Hampshire was the unlucky recipient of that vote. The Free State Project seeks to create a libertarian “utopia” void of public infrastructure and common laws, and to use their numbers to dramatically change New Hampshire. The Free State Project even threatens to secede from the rest of the country once it meets its initial goals:

“Once we’ve taken over the state government, we can slash state and local budgets, which make up a sizeable proportion of the tax and regulatory burden we face every day. Furthermore, we can eliminate substantial federal interference by refusing to take highway funds and the strings attached to them. Once we’ve accomplished these things, we can bargain with the national government over reducing the role of the national government in our state. We can use the threat of secession as leverage to do this.” – Announcement:
The Free State Project by Founder Jason Sorens

To date, the Free State Project has recruited more than 20,000 people to sign the pledge to move to New Hampshire, hitting their goal to “Trigger the Move” – all those who signed up are supposed to start moving once the agreed upon goal was met. More than 2,015 people have already moved.

“Free State Project members sign a pledge to move to New Hampshire and work to change the way of life in our state. They do not move here for a job, or for family, or even because they like what New Hampshire has to offer. Instead, they move here because a political group they are affiliated with voted on a state to move to and take over, and New Hampshire is the unlucky recipient of that vote,” Rice Hawkins said. “It is not surprising that so many Free Staters run for public office. Free State Project members uproot their families and move to New Hampshire purely to enact a political agenda, and running for office only further helps them reach that goal. Local communities who have dealt with them first-hand know how extreme their ideology can be, and that’s why we’ve seen push back from both Republicans and Democrats to expose them.”

The Free State Project candidate list is part of the Free State Project Watch of Granite State Progress, and can be found online at https://freestateprojectwatch.org/. The website includes the candidate list as well as individual candidate profiles.

Granite State Progress released similar candidate lists in 2012 and 2014. Members of the media and public are encouraged to ask FSP candidates whether they disclose their Free State Project affiliation in campaign materials and if not, why.

Koch Brothers Helping To Fund Free State Movement 


Koch Brothers Funding Effort to Move 20,000 Libertarians to New Hampshire to Take Over, Dismantle State Government

 

At least (4) Koch-funded groups – including Americans for Prosperity and The Josiah Bartlett Center – are allocating money or staff time to extreme Free State Project effort

 

MANCHESTER, NH – Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are helping sponsor an effort to move 20,000 libertarians to New Hampshire to take over and dismantle state government.


“Moved by Liberty” the 2015 NH Liberty Forum hosted by the Free State Project, is being held in Manchester, NH this week March 5th to 8th.The event is designed to expose libertarians to the Free State Project movement – an effort to move 20,000 people to New Hampshire and create a libertarian “utopia” void of public infrastructure and common laws. The Free State Project cites secession from the country as a possible tactic once they reach critical mass. To date, the Free State Project has recruited 16,498 people to sign the pledge and more than 1,700 have already moved.

 

At least (4) Koch-funded groups – including Americans for Prosperity Foundation-New Hampshire and The Josiah Bartlett Center – are allocating money or staff time to the extreme Free State Project effort this week:

 

  • Koch-funded Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz is a speaker
  • Koch-funded Josiah Bartlett CenterPresident Charlie Arlinghaus (and former NH GOP Executive Director) is a speaker
  • Charles Koch Institute Vice President of Research and Policy and Charles Koch Foundation Vice President for Research Dr. William Ruger is a speaker

“The billionaire Koch brothers are once again subverting democracy, this time funding and supporting an effort to move 20,000 libertarians to New Hampshire for the stated purpose to take over and dismantle state government,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “The ultra-extreme Free State Project seeks to radically change the way of life in New Hampshire, and Koch-funded groups like Americans for Prosperity and The Josiah Bartlett Center are working to pave the way for them. AFP-NH and the Josiah Bartlett Center should be ashamed for being in bed with individuals who harass meter attendants, believe we should abolish all public services including public roads and bridges, and who seek to encourage a violent uprising in response to democratic decisions that differ from their own.”

 

*** More Information ***

 

About the Free State Project: A decade ago, the ultra-extreme Free State Project voted on a state to move 20,000 libertarians to, with the stated purpose to take over state government and dismantle it. New Hampshire was unfortunately the unlucky recipient of that vote. The Free State Project seeks to create a libertarian “utopia” void of public infrastructure and common laws, and to use their numbers to dramatically change New Hampshire. The Free State Project even threatens to secede from the rest of the country once it meets its initial goals:

 

“Once we’ve taken over the state government, we can slash state and local budgets, which make up a sizeable proportion of the tax and regulatory burden we face every day. Furthermore, we can eliminate substantial federal interference by refusing to take highway funds and the strings attached to them. Once we’ve accomplished these things, we can bargain with the national government over reducing the role of the national government in our state. We can use the threat of secession as leverage to do this.”

–          Announcement:
The Free State Project by Founder Jason Sorens

 

To date, the Free State Project has recruited 16,498 people to sign the pledge to move to New Hampshire, and once they hit the goal of 20,000 that will “Trigger the Move.” More than 1,700 people have already moved. The Free State Project regularly hosts tours of the state for prospective movers, offers temporary housing for those in transition, and has a network for job, social, and political opportunities once someone makes the move to New Hampshire.

 

The Free State Project has also successfully fielded candidates for local and state government, and each year those members introduce proposals to slash local and state budgets, undermine public education, and overturn common sense community priorities that ensure our people and our communities remain safe and secure. It is not surprising that so many Free Staters run for office. Free State Project members uproot their families and move to New Hampshire purely to enact a political agenda; running for office only further helps them reach that goal.

 

About the NH Liberty Forum: The annual forum organized by the Free State Project is designed to encourage more libertarians to learn about “the most successful migration movement for liberty in the world” and how to “make New Hampshire the hub for liberty in our lifetime.” NH Liberty Forum website, accessed 3.6.15, http://nhlibertyforum.com/

 

About The Josiah Bartlett Center and Koch funding: The Josiah Bartlett Center has received direct funding from the Koch family fortune despite their claims in the media otherwise. See Granite State Progress & The Center for Media and Democracy Report “Bad Bartlett: The Josiah Bartlett Center and NH Watchdog Answer the Call of the Koch Brothers” November 2013 (pages 8, 13-14, 32-35); http://granitestateprogress.org/blog/2013-12-12/new-report-%E2%80%9Cbad-bartlett-josiah-bartlett-center-and-nh-watchdog-answer-call-koch

 

Granite State Progress has been tracking the Free State Project and its influence since 2008, paying particular attention to Free Stater activity in elections and legislation.

The Colbert Report Highlights The FREE KEENE Robin Hoods

Screen shot of the Colbert Report 11-19-14 show on Free Keene

Screen shot of the Colbert Report 11-19-14 show on Free Keene

Last night the Colbert Report covered something that we in New Hampshire have been talking about at length for years, the Free Staters, specifically Free Keene.

The Colbert Report focused on the Free Keene Robin Hooders and their harassment of parking attendants.  The NH Labor News was one of the first to break the story about the harassment of Keene police officers in our story, “Free Keene from ‘Free-Keene’: A Story Of Harassment In The Workplace.

I am glad to see that The Colbert Report is bringing some national attention to the outrageous and threatening actions of the Free Keene Robin Hoods.

Granite State: Political Influencers Moving In because we’re ‘Manageable in Size’

Can’t help but see similarities between the Free Staters and Peter T. Paul, the California mortgage guy who seems to be trying to buy a seat in Congress for his friend, Dan Innis.

Here’s how the Free Staters describe why they chose New Hampshire to be their Petri dish:

On October 1, 2003 we announced that our participants had chosen New Hampshire as the future Free State. New Hampshire’s small population factored heavily in the selection process. Our research showed that 20,000 activists can heavily influence states, like New Hampshire, with populations of less than 1.5 million and our early movers report that even a few hundred can make a significant difference.

And here’s Peter Paul, explaining to the NH Business Review why he is getting into New Hampshire politics:

As for his Super PAC, Paul said he has never been involved politically before. “I prefer to watch.” So when he “dipped his toe” in the political waters at the end of January by setting up the NH Priorities PAC, a $500,000 Super PAC, it was primarily to help Innis… The PAC is also considering donating to like-minded candidates in more local races, such as the state Senate. “I like New Hampshire,” Paul said. “Because it is more manageable in size.”

So far, Paul’s PAC has reportedly spent more money than Innis’ actual campaign has – $226K spent by the PAC, compared to $187K spent by the campaign. The Washington Post calls it a “Must-have accessory for House candidates in 2014: The personalized super PAC.” So let’s follow that money. Where did it come from?

  • “Where did Peter T. Paul get his money? The man whose name adorns the UNH business school is a financier who helped create securitized low-doc loans.” Read the NH Business Review story here.
  • Read the NH Gazette story “Vulture Capitalism Comes Home to Roost” here.

“Small population.” “More manageable in size.”

That’s what they think about New Hampshire. That’s why they’re here.

Really?

 

 

Hat-Tip to Arnie Arnesen for writing the Op-Ed on Peter Paul. 

For more on the Free State Project read Matt Murray’s editorial in the Nashua Telegraph or the Concord Monitor

Beware Of The Free Staters Running For Office

In case you missed it, the Nashua Telegraph (http://bit.ly/1tJQE9j) and the Concord Monitor (http://bit.ly/1tJQPRU) both ran an Op-Ed written by me, about the Free State Project and Dan Hynes a “Free State Mover” who is running for the NH Senate in Merrimack, Amherst, and Milford.

Here is an excerpt from the Op-Ed. Please visit one of these two site to read the full editorial.

You see, New Hampshire is the focus of a unique political experiment, started in 2001 by then-Yale University doctoral student Jason Sorens. His idea was to get 20,000 activists to move to a single state with a small population and an easily-accessible government.

As he said in his introduction to The Free State Project: “Once we’ve taken over the state government, we can slash state and local budgets, which make up a sizeable proportion of the tax and regulatory burden we face every day. Furthermore, we can eliminate substantial federal interference by refusing to take highway funds and the strings attached to them. Once we’ve accomplished these things, we can bargain with the national government over reducing the role of the national government in our state. We can use the threat of secession as leverage to do this.”

Snowplowing? Bridge safety? An adequately-funded judicial system? Public colleges? These things are nowhere on the Free Staters’ priority list.

Free Staters – at least those in Keene – seem more interested in marijuana and videotaping the city’s parking enforcement officers.

The Free-Keene “Robin Hoods” Appear In Court Over Harassment Charges

In May, the NH Labor News did a story about how Free-Staters in the Keene Area (Free-Keene) were causing problems with the local parking enforcement officers.

The Free-Staters say they are doing a good thing by putting a quarter into a meter so a stranger will avoid getting a parking ticket.  That would be all well and good, if that was all that was happening.

The parking enforcement officers and the City see this as a matter of harassment.  Officers say the Free-Staters follow them around, videotape them, surround them, intimidate them, and push them.

If you want more detailed information on this story, read this post first.

Yesterday the City of Keene took the Free-Staters to court and the Union Leader covered the story. The trial will most likely last at least another day. The case for the city is simple, “the city is only requesting a 30-foot buffer that would not bar the Robin Hooders, just the activities that the city says are harassing within that 30-foot zone.”

The attorney for the City wants to ensure that people understand what the real problem is.

“This is not about feeding the meters. This is about employees not having a hostile work environment,” said attorney Charles Bauer of Gallagher, Callahan and Gartrell law firm in Concord.

Parking enforcement officer Linda “Desruisseaux described how the group followed her around for an 8 hour shift, taking turns by tag teaming each other, waiting for her outside of a bathroom or waiting for her as she eats her lunch”.  Desruisseaux “testified today that that has had a physiological and emotional impact on her doing her job. …and also going to work. ‘I didn’t sign up for this.'”

Some of the alleged ‘Robin Hooders’ are also a part of the Keene Cop Block’ (http://keenecopblock.org).  After roaming their website, it seems to be exactly what the title implies. They go around video taping the Keene Police force doing their jobs, or worse: interfering with the police while they are doing their jobs.  They have posted the entire police department on their website so you can see all of their posts about a specific employee.

They say “transparency helps bring-about accountability. Individuals, not agencies, are responsible for actions.” So, because someone works for the town or the state they are responsible for everything the town does?  Is a parking enforcement officer responsible for setting the fine or the cost to park? No, they are just doing their jobs.

The officers have every right to do their jobs without harassment from these Free-Staters, who seem hell bent on destroying our system of government.  Hopefully, the court will rule in favor of the City and issue the injunction.

It is unfortunate that the strictest punishment for harassing someone to the point they quit their job is a personal space restraining order.

Let’s hope that after the court rules in favor of the city that this story ends there.

Most likely not, but there is always hope.

Keene City Manager Opposes Harassment of PEOs By Free-Keene ‘Robin Hoods’

A fed days ago the NHLN wrote the story “Free Keene from ‘Free-Keene’: A Story Of Harassment In The Workplace“. The problem is that these ‘robin hood’ members are harassing the Parking Enforcement Officers, and this needs to stop.  Yesterday the Keene City Manager, John MacLean, sent this letter to the public (via the Keene Sentinel).

To the citizens of Keene,

By now you are all aware that the city of Keene commenced legal action against six individuals who have been conducting and coordinating a six-month campaign of pursuit and intimidation of the city’s parking enforcement officers with the stated intention of eliminating their employment, and with them a department of city government.

Contrary to these individuals’ stated motives, and apparently accepted without much question by some in the media, this activity is not about placing coins into parking meters. The city has no interest in whether or not these or other individuals wish to pay the parking meters, and no claim about this practice is made in the legal action. The city does have a legitimate interest in protecting its employees from a coordinated activity involving multiple individuals who use radios to pursue, surround and taunt the officers on a daily basis while they attempt to perform their duties. The city has a legitimate interest in protecting the employment relationship that exists among the city and its employees.

The city took legal action against these individuals after the pursuit and harassment began to extend to the officers even while they were off duty and on their own time enjoying the city as ordinary citizens. Reasonable people would not tolerate such concerted action being taken against them as they go through their workday, or enjoy their private time, and reasonable people would expect their employer to take action to protect them from such abuse. This is not a situation involving an occasional irate citizen objecting to a parking ticket; this is a concerted action occurring over days, weeks and months, intended to coerce the officers into quitting.

Whether or not the city should have parking meters or parking enforcement officers is a legitimate question that the community can debate and act upon through the legislative process. But it is not legitimate, or acceptable, to accomplish the elimination of a function of city government through the intimidation and coercion of individual public employees. This is definitely not about parking meter money.

On behalf of your mayor, Kendall Lane, your elected city councilors, and your dedicated city employees, we are all honored to work for you and this wonderful community. Thank you for your support and understanding.

John A.MacLean

Keene City Manager
3 Washington St.
Keene

I am glad to see that the city of Keene is fully behind the hard working people of the police department.  I hope that the city goes after these free staters to the best of their ability.

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