Shawn Jasper, the Speaker of the House of Representatives in New Hampshire, has targeted Free Staters in comments related to his bid for reelection as Speaker.
Responding to criticism he has faced over his top-down authoritarian approach to the legislature, Jasper insisted that this was result of a “false narrative” regarding his leadership, blaming vaguely-labeled libertarians and Free State Project participants for their unwillingness to tow the line:
“You’ve got to look at the facts at what’s gone on for decades now, certainly the last 10-15 years. We have people who – former Libertarians – who may still be Libertarians at heart, I don’t know. … There’s some people who call themselves Free Staters, and I don’t know what can be done there.”
Reaction comes as Jasper gets hammered for his pro-government voting record
The impetus behind Jasper’s ire against Free Staters comes following his tough primary election. Because of his work as the deciding vote striking down a work requirement for an expansion of Medicaid, Jasper faced a barrage of mail, phone calls, and door knocking in his district letting his constituents know about his record.
Rep. Joe LaChance, who was the prime sponsor of the Medicaid expansion bill, faced a similar attack, with activists hitting the streets to let his voters know about his reversal of a previously-stellar voting record.
The last time a state rep attacked Free Staters, it didn’t go so well
This is not the first time a state representative from New Hampshire had harsh public words for the Free Stater community. In late 2013, Cynthia Chase, leftist rep from Keene, delivered a scathing critique of Free Staters, calling them the single greatest threat to the state and calling on government to limit their freedoms so they go away. As a result of these comments, the Free State Project experienced a significant surge in publicity and signers. Several early movers got together a gift basket for Ms. Chase, thanking her for inadvertently helping the project she hated so much.