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7th Annual Porc-Fest draws a crowd to Rogers Campground

Eric Catman of Stark, Republican candidate for state representative in Cos District 2, turned out to listen to speakers at the 2010 Porc-Fest on Sunday in Lancaster. (Photo by Edith Tucker) (click for larger version)
June 30, 2010
LANCASTER — Scores of like-minded Free State Project activists gathered at Rogers Campground for up to four days of classes, lectures and bonding activities, starting on Thursday, for the 2010 Porcupine Freedom Festival.

Some freedom-loving enthusiasts stayed in motel rooms, but many set up tents, some draped in "Don't Tread on Me" flags, or occupied RVs or pop-ups.

Free State Project members believe that government's role is only to protect life, liberty, and property.

At Sunday's wrap-up session in the campground's large pavilion, former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico, a Republican who occupied the Corner Office from 1994 to 2002 and now honorary chairman of the nonprofit OUR America Initiative, gave the final day's keynote speech. He urged that taxes be lowered, deficits cut, federal entitlements reduced, and that published prices and competition be encouraged to cut health care costs by "blowing the lid off supply."

Health care is the most controlled and regulated industry, he explained.

The crowd cheered when he spoke out against states adopting mandatory motorcycle helmet laws, citing New Hampshire as providing an appropriate model.

Gov. Johnson noted that an effort had been mounted in New Mexico to require pole-vaulters to wear helmets, but he had helped quash that legislation.

"The government has a Constitutional obligation to provide for our defense," Gov. Johnson said, but pointed out that America is not threatened in either Iraq or Afghanistan. From the outset, he said, he was among those who opposed getting mired in an apparently endless civil war in Iraq, but had supported going after Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. However, when bin Laden was no longer there, Gov. Johnson said he became opposed to the effort.

He also urged that immigration dilemma be solved by issuing work-based visas, since securing the 1,600-mile border with Mexico would cost $100 billion and provide no benefit to anyone.

Gov. Johnson explained that he had come to the 2010 Porc-Fest to thank members of the Free State Project for making "a huge difference in potentially changing the world. I came to pay homage to an idea."

The original Porc-Fest, convened to try to convince 20,000 Free State Project enthusiasts to sign up to move to New Hampshire. It was held at Rogers Campground for several of the following years. For a couple of years, other venues in the southern part of the state were tried.

The 2010 Porc-Fest was such a success, however, generating such a great spirit of camaraderie that the Free Stater Project signed up to have the eighth annual festival from June 23 to June 26, 2011, announced Free State Project president Varrin Swearingen.

The Project does not endorse or promote candidates, but some Granite State Republicans came to meet voters, including gubernatorial candidate Jack Kimball, Republican businessman of Dover, and Cos District 2 candidate for state representative Eric Catman of Stark.

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