March 18, 2022

Marjorie Porter: What Libertarians Want In New Hampshire

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The good news is that since state Representative Marjorie Porter wrote this op-ed, the Libertarian wing of the GOP went down to defeat in New Hampshire school board elections. But voters still need to pay attention to what they want, and how they’re going about getting it.

The 1980 national platform for the Libertarian Party, under a section entitled ‘Domestic Ills,” contained the following:

We advocate the complete separation of education and the State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children…Government ownership, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.

As an interim measure to encourage the growth of private schools…we support tax credits for tuition and for other expenditures…

We condemn compulsory education laws…

We further support immediate reduction of tax support for schools, and removal of the burden of school taxes from those not responsible for the education of children. 

Ed Clark and David Koch topped the Libertarian presidential ticket that year. They were considered kind of whacky. They didn’t fare very well.

David gave up his political career, and he and his brother Charles went on to found the Koch Foundation and Americans for Prosperity (AFP), spending their billions to lobby for their Libertarian principles in more subtle ways. They are based in Kansas.

The NH branch of AFP is quite active. They have contributed to the campaigns of many of my House colleagues. To get funding, candidates sign a pledge, which they take seriously.

The nice young woman who lobbies for AFP visits my new committee—Education—quite often, to tell us why AFP supports or does not support a bill we are hearing.

AFP also sent postcards and set up booths at public events, inviting people who homeschool or send their kids to private school to sign up for our new education voucher program. It worked well. Instead of the 27 kids Commissioner Edelblut predicted would sign up, close to 1800 have so far, causing the program to be close to $9 million over budget, and rising. We are told it’s not a problem—what’s a few million here or there. (The Legislative Budget Assistant, the non-partisan group which advises the legislature on all things fiscal, has told us we could be looking at a potential $70 million a year moving forward. No big deal?)

If you dig just a little deeper, you’ll find Koch money going to quite a few interesting NH places—directly or indirectly.

Learn more here by reading the full op-ed.

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