Earlier this year, the historic NH Independence constitutional amendment, CACR 32, was voted on in the state house. Thirteen brave state representatives stood in favor of allowing the people of NH to vote on declaring peaceful independence from the United States, which is all the bill would have done – simply let the people vote.
New Hampshire gets a lot of credit for having a thriving liberty activism migration here and many elected libertarians serving in the legislature as the “Freedom Caucus”. So, why did so many freedom-oriented state reps hide in the shadows on the CACR 32 vote? They privately would support independence, but these reps were too cowardly to show their true colors. A major objection from them was that secession isn’t popular, but the scientific polling done by the Foundation for NH Independence over the summer blew that fear out of the water, showing that nearly one-in-three Granite Staters and over 50% of NH republicans already support New Hampshire being an independent nation.
The other major objection from the reps who otherwise should have supported this issue was fear of not getting re-elected. Now we have the indisputable proof that this fear was also unfounded. Though it’s true that most of the NH population isn’t ready to secede, that doesn’t mean they don’t support putting it to a vote. According to the FNHI polling, 42% support putting the question of NH independence to voters, with 12% unsure. Still, most politicians aren’t known for their leadership and courage, so now they can look at the brave thirteen state reps who were willing to take the arrows from the loyalists to the Empire. Let’s take a look at what happened with those thirteen reps, and why it’s a success story for the NH Exit movement.
Of the thirteen reps who heroically voted in favor of CACR 32, several decided not to run again: Mark Warden, Raymond Howard, Dennis Green, Dustin Dodge, and Alan Bershstein. Of the eight running for re-election, three didn’t make it through the primary: The Seacoast’s Max Abramson who barely got defeated by 54 votes, or just over 1%. There’s no indication that his support of independence played a role in his narrow defeat. In the Lakes Region, longtime reps Glen Aldrich and CACR 32’s main sponsor Mike Sylvia lost handily to their republican opponents. However, Sylvia himself and other election observers attributed their losses to the Gunstock Mountain situation where they were targeted politically from the left and right for trying to de-fund and probably ultimately sell the state-owned ski area. That left five of the eight pro-independence reps who were seeking re-election, advancing to the primary.
All five were successfully re-elected! The big race to watch was Rindge state rep Matt Santonastaso. Santonastaso was a key leader with CACR 32 and was targeted heavily by the democrats for his support of NH independence. He doesn’t just want people to be able to vote on it, he’s a strong advocate for New Hampshire’s peaceful divorce from the United States. Every newspaper article I saw about him labeled him as a secessionist, even in the headlines. He won re-election, along with reps Glenn Bailey, Diane Kelley, Paul Terry, and Josh Yokela. Plus they gained at least one newly elected first-time representative, Jason Gerhard, who was endorsed by the newly-formed NH Independence PAC.The NHIPAC will surely be reaching out to the other new and returning liberty-oriented state reps – of which there were a record number elected this year, including a record 50 free staters – to see who is willing to go on the record in favor of freedom from the United States.
The state reps who had excuses before will probably still have excuses the next time legislation like CACR 32 comes up, but now they can’t claim they won’t win re-election or that no one supports independence, because those are simply fear-based and not the reality on-the-ground in New Hampshire. The popularity of peaceful secession is only going to increase as the federal government continues to ratchet up the tyranny no mater which political party is running it.
What’s next for NH independence? The newly elected and re-elected state reps have a couple of weeks to file legislation for the upcoming 2023 session that kicks off this winter. What secession-related bills will be filed this time? Stay tuned here to NHexit.US for the latest, and don’t forget to sign the petition if you haven’t yet.
P.S. Goodbye to the federal government’s loyalist rep, Brodie Deshaies – the young pro-tyranny state rep from Wolfeboro who was the key spokesman against CACR 32 in the state house. Deshaies didn’t make it through the primary! Of course a new loyalist to the Empire will rise to take his place the next time the state house debates NH independence, but the loyalists never have any argument except appeals to violence and “authority”.