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Dear Amherst Neighbors

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

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I'm writing to you, somewhat belatedly (but not too late thanks to the snow storm), about the candidacy of Jason Sorens to the Amherst Planning Board. While we can applaud the civic commitment of anyone who chooses to run for elected office, and hope the candidate is throwing their hat in the ring for the best of intentions, recent history here in New Hampshire suggests a measure of caution should be employed when scrutinizing the background of candidates. A newcomer to town elections, Jason Sorens, is a candidate that requires this extra scrutiny. There is no doubt that Mr. Sorens has accomplished a great deal from his former position at the Center for Ethics in Society at St. Anselm, to his current role at a Libertarian think tank, Sorens has established himself as an important contributor to the Libertarian cause. Arguably, Mr. Soren’s most important contribution could be as the brainchild of the Free State Party (FSP) which he proposed in a manifesto way back in 2003. Whether you agree or disagree with the basic tenets of the FSP, it is undeniable this insurgent philosophy has insinuated its way into New Hampshire politics and civic life in a big way over the past twenty years. (https://fspmovers.com)


I am a volunteer with the Granite State Progress No Hate team which meets weekly to track the growth of extreme Alt-right organizations and individuals including the FSP. While the Free Staters are cagey about their connections to the far right and secessionist movement, these connections are deep and influence every move of the dozens of FSP elected officials in the house and various offices around the state. (https://patch.com/new-hampshire/bedford-nh/how-st-anselms-prof-led-nh-house-bill-secede-us)


A recent multi-part series on Boston’s NBC 10 television station details the beliefs, growth and impact of the Free State Party on the Granite State in recent years. (https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/life-liberty-and-the-pursuit-of-new-hampshire-an-nbc10-boston-original/2920007/ ) From the near defunding of the school budget in Croydon, to the attempted destruction of the Gunstock Ski area in Belknap county, and the failed legislative attempt for NH to secede from the United States, the FSP has had an outsized and negative influence on the lives of many of our friends and neighbors. The anti-government, pro laissez faire (aka unregulated and unfettered) capitalism approach of the FSP is growing through the efforts of significant numbers of Free Staters elected to the NH legislature, local school boards and other town offices.


While Mr. Sorens has distanced himself from the Croydon and Belknap incidents, his current connection to the Free State Party is undeniable since he was a featured speaker at the annual FSP Liberty Forum this month in Manchester.


While a seat on the Amherst planning board does not seem like the best place to begin a revolution, it certainly is worthwhile to not give the FSP a toehold in our town. My advice, support incumbent candidates Tom Quinn and Arnie Rosenblatt who have demonstrated their competence and experience and do not have allegiance or history with an antidemocratic and harmful social movement.


If you would like to discuss this further please contact me, especially if you have a different opinion about Mr. Sorens and his potential role as an elected official in Amherst. I'm open to hearing other thoughts. Feel free to forward this email in its entirety or in part to other voters here in Amherst.


No matter what, I hope you can get out to vote on March 28th.


Peace,

Bill Maddocks

Amherst









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댓글 8개


johnguzowski
2023년 3월 23일

Perhaps just a coincidence, but the same folks supporting high-density housing seem to be proponents of the $105M school bond and other expensive warrants.

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owedyl
2023년 3월 23일

What is a shame is starting with "It’s a shame some have to resort to making disparaging remarks about someone just because they don’t have the same beliefs." This is designed to shut down criticism. I doubt you don't know him. So how do you know "he is eminently qualified to be on the planning board"? How, exactly, is Jason "eminently qualified"? Has Jason served on a planning board before? What experience does he have contributing to a town master plan? What has he done to make his environment better for fellow citizens? By the way, regarding the $60K, do you know the reason there are lawsuits? It's due to the poorly written, vague IIHO. The same conditions Jason i…

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mrhollands
2023년 3월 25일
답글 상대:

Yes, and that scary pic at the start of this thread is supposed to illicit love and compassion… You say you’re “on the right”, right of what; the alt left that run this town?

Imagine wanting Amherst taxpayers to foot a $103,000,000 bill for a Huge school as enrollment is declining and there’s a decent chance that Mont Vernon will vote to build its own middle school. Get our kids proficient in math and English then we might consider the monolith.

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Russ Hodgkins
Russ Hodgkins
2023년 3월 22일

I would take anything from NBC 10 on the Free Staters and the so called “Alt Right” with a very large grain of salt.

Russ Hodgkins

Amherst, NH

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owedyl
2023년 3월 23일
답글 상대:

All due respect, drop the left v right. This is about common sense. The FSP has two decades of history that the founder (Jason Sorens) is trying to run from. Do your research. Croydon and Gunstock. He denies any violence. This is a planning board position. Do we need this drama?

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majohnson1312
2023년 3월 22일

“While Mr. Sorens has distanced himself from the Croydon and Belknap incidents, his current connection to the Free State Party is undeniable since he was a featured speaker at the annual FSP Liberty Forum this month in Manchester. ” Mr Maddocks, would you mind sharing the topic of his speech at the Liberty Forum?

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owedyl
2023년 3월 23일
답글 상대:

MA Johnson?


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mrhollands
2023년 3월 22일

It’s a shame some have to resort to making disparaging remarks about someone just because they don’t have the same beliefs. I don’t know Jason Sorens personally, but everything I’ve read except for the trash above leads me to believe he is eminently qualified to be on the planning board; a board that has currently cost Amherst $60,000 for perhaps some capricious decisions. But that’s the way with the left, is ok to be alt-left in Amherst but if your middle of the road or God forbid you lean right, you cannot be tolerated. Boy if Jason is allowed to get a toehold in Amherst, all will be lost! And the left preaches “tolerance “ and “inclusion “; give me…

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