A group of entrepreneurs and liberty activists just announced the launch of a new political action committee called Stark360. The PAC is focused on pursuing libertarian-minded political objectives in New Hampshire, a critical state in the presidential election process as it is home to the first-in-the-nation party primary elections. Stark360 is named after New Hampshire-born Revolutionary War hero General John Stark, best known for his heroic actions at the Battle of Bennington in 1777. The committee’s site contains the following quote by Stark, which happens to be the source of New Hampshire’s state motto, “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.”
Stark360 has outlined a specific set of step-by-step objectives that it aims to achieve over the next few years. First on the list is the election of 32-year-old millennial Republican tech entrepreneur Andrew Hemingway to the position of governor of New Hampshire. If Hemingway, who once served as Chairman of the state’s Republican Liberty Caucus, prevails in the September 9 GOP primary, he will face incumbent Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan in the general election in November. Second on Stark360’s agenda is the achievement of a pro-liberty majority among Republicans in the state’s legislature. The group also has eyes on the 2016 Republican presidential primary, as it hopes to lay the groundwork for a win by a liberty candidate. According to the organization’s mission statement, it plans to achieve these goals by deploying “a statewide, data-driven grassroots campaign that will endure beyond 2014 and address a fundamental structural weakness of the Republican Party.”
Aaron Day, Chair of Stark360, expressed the group’s concerns with politics-as-usual in The Granite State, “In recent years, New Hampshire has picked losing Presidential candidates. A small, elite group of the New Hampshire Republican establishment, corrupted by DC interest groups, has disenfranchised New Hampshire voters, alienated the youth vote, and manipulated party rules for personal advantage. Our data-driven grassroots infrastructure will restore the Republican party back to the liberty loving citizens of New Hampshire and serve as a model for the rest of the nation.”
Stark360’s team includes founder and Chair Aaron Day, who serves as CEO of the think tank The Atlas Society, Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, Chairman of the Free State Project, a member of the Hillsborough Country Republican Committee, and board member of the Bedford Republican Committee. Co-founder Matt Philips once interned for The Cato Institute prior to joining forces with internet advertiser DoubleClick and selling his company Right Media to Yahoo! Inc. He now serves on the board of the Free State Project, as a member of the Hillsborough County Republican Committee, and as Chairman of the board of Ethics and Economics Education, Inc. Treasurer and special adviser Dan Backer, also founder and Principal Attorney for DB Capitol Strategies, has experience as counsel to over 30 PACs and 20 members of the US House and Senate.
A particular focus of the group is bridging the divide between the Republican Party and millennial voters. Says Stark360’s mission statement, “What if we could prove that liberty works? What if we could transform the Republican Party into a party of liberty that embraces the millennials? What if we could break the cycle of failed Republican candidates who support the expansion of the welfare state and position the country for a Goldwater/Reagan Republican in 2016?” The group also pointed out, “If both the legislature and governor’s office were controlled by Liberty-Republicans, New Hampshire would be in a position to pass right-to-work, reform its broken pension system, fix voter fraud, and decriminalize, if not fully legalize, marijuana.”
Aaron Day told BenSwann.com that enacting policies on the state-level in New Hampshire would serve as an example as to how other states could benefit from them as well, “For a relatively small investment compared to other races and states, we can prove that liberty works in New Hampshire by winning our state races, and then we become the proof-point for the rest of the country… because we certainly have enough examples of failure of the state as seen in Detroit, Illinois, California, and other places around the country. ”
Stark360 accepts donations in Bitcoin in addition to traditional currency options and believes that liberty activists nationwide should focus on promoting issues in New Hampshire, as the state is influential on national politics and already has a libertarian-leaning electorate. Said co-founder Matt Philips, “New Hampshire is the single best investment to demonstrate and spread liberty throughout the rest of the country through New Hampshire’s critical first-in-the-nation primary status. The case for liberty in New Hampshire is clear.”