Manchester state rep's tweet leads to war of words over Free Staters
Responding to stories about the Free State Project in the New Hampshire Union Leader and the Concord Monitor, state Rep. Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, on Tuesday tweeted:
"The crackpots from the Free State Project can pound sand. I stand with my colleague Rep. Cynthia Chase." In another tweet, Sullivan wrote simply: "Thugs and hypocrites."
Chase is the Keene lawmaker who created controversy last month after posting on BlueHampshire.com that Free Staters are "the single biggest threat the state is facing today."
She suggested the Legislature make "the environment here so unwelcoming that some will choose not to come, and some may actually leave.
"One way is to pass measures that will restrict the 'freedoms' that they think they will find here," Chase wrote. "Another is to shine the bright light of publicity on who they are and why they are coming."
Chase's comments were picked up by national political websites and were criticized on the air by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Sullivan tweeted his comments after the Concord Monitor reported that 120 people, led by Keene Free Stater Darryl Perry, petitioned the House calling for Chase's censure and impeachment as a result of the comment, which the petition reportedly describes as showing "her intent to enact laws to interfere with protected rights" and "harm a specific group of people."
The Union Leader published a story about a Free State Project event called the New Hampshire Liberty Forum, scheduled for the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua Feb. 21-24.
The forum is designed to give Free Staters who are moving to New Hampshire a chance to visit the area, network with others and learn more about job opportunities, an organizer said.
"So much for freedumbs!" tweeted liberal activist Susan Bruce in reaction to the Monitor story. "Free Stater censorship in action."
Sullivan's tweets received an angry response from the Tea Party.
"Kind of stuff that proves these regressive thugs want to take away your rights," tweeted "The RealTeaParty." "You won't get anywhere with these neanderthals. All have bad attitudes to toward freedom."
Others, however, called for an end to name-calling.
"I understand tensions are high, but can we all agree that name-calling is counterproductive?" tweeted a Free State supporter.
"I just think we should keep the insults at a minimum, from all sides."
Sullivan could not be reached for comment.