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Meet the Republicans running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire: Bruce Fenton

Bruce Fenton at NHPR in Concord
Mary McIntyre
Bruce Fenton, of Durham, is a bitcoin investor and financial advisor. He’s also a member of the Free State Project

Leading up to New Hampshire’s state primary on Sept. 13, we’ve asked local voters to share what issues they most want to see the candidates talk about this election season.

With a wide open Republican primary for U.S. Senate, NHPR is speaking with the top candidates in that race to learn more about where they stand on some of the most common concerns voters shared with us. The winner of that primary will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in November.

Read on for NHPR Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley’s interview with Bruce Fenton. Fenton is a bitcoin investor and financial advisor. He’s also a member of the Free State Project.

What questions do you have for the candidates running for governor, U.S. Senator and Congress? What issues do you most want them to address while seeking your vote? Share your thoughts here.


Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.

Rick Ganley: There's been a lot of misinformation around election security and voter fraud, both here in New Hampshire and across the country. A recent poll from NPR found that 64% of Americans believe that U.S. democracy is actually in crisis. I want to ask you what you believed happened in 2020. Do you feel that it was a fair election?

Bruce Fenton: Well, I think there was definitely some problems with the election and the fact that it is such a divisive issue, shows that there's a problem. There shouldn't be any question. There shouldn't be any, you know, sort of two sides where one side thinks it was unfair and one side thinks it's fair. The fact that there's even a question shows that there's a problem. And I think everybody on both sides, left and right, should have an interest in making sure that future elections don't have those kind of questions where we can just say, you know, absolutely without question, we know exactly what happened. And one thing that would help with that is more discussion. I think that I was disappointed by the censorship of the discussion of the election results after the election, because I don't think anything should be censored by big business or by anybody else. I think that —

Rick Ganley: When you talk about censorship, what do you mean precisely?

Bruce Fenton: Well, mainly social media companies, and the U.S. government working with social media to say this is misinformation or this is untrue. I don't think that social media companies should be the decider of what is true. I think that truth comes out of people discussing things on their own. And I think misinformation, and bad information and lies should be allowed in a free society because that's how we arrive at truth, by looking at lies and looking at things that are untrue and saying that's a lie or that's untrue. That free discussion of information is crucial to arriving at what is actually true.

Rick Ganley: We should point out multiple investigations did find that there's no evidence that the 2020 election was stolen. Many people in New Hampshire are struggling with costs of day-to-day living as inflation nears a four-decade high. What are some approaches that you'd like to see at the federal level to get costs down for people right here in New Hampshire?

Bruce Fenton: Well, one of the biggest things is broken economic policy and bad monetary policy. The money is broken. And one reason we have inflation now is because for many, many years, the government has been printing money out of thin air, and they've been rewarding defense contractors, and having foreign wars of aggression and for profit prisons. And this money is not printed without a cost. By printing lots and lots of money out of thin air, it causes everybody's money to be worth a little bit less, and therefore inflation goes up.

Rick Ganley: Are you against government spending as a whole? I mean, I know you've said before that you would like to just get into Washington and grind it to a halt.

Bruce Fenton: Yeah, I'm against government spending. I want to put more power in the hands of the people, the people who earned the money. I don't want politicians to be in charge. And you may be a fan of Nancy Pelosi or you may be a fan of Donald Trump. I don't want either of them to be in charge. I want individuals to have the power. I want the power to be in the hands of the people.

Rick Ganley: I want to ask you about abortion. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade, states across the country have put in place some severe restrictions in some cases. Would you support federal restrictions on abortion?

Bruce Fenton: No, absolutely not. I am a leave-me-aloneist, and I'm consistent across all issues on that. I want the government out of our lives and out of our wallets. And I don't want any new abortion regulations of any kind or any ban. And interestingly, actually, this is thought of as a left versus right issue, because I have this freedom stance. It also carries over to the drug war. I'm against the drug war, and I believe in drug legalization. That includes abortion drugs. So the incumbent is not in favor of legal abortion drugs over the counter, and she's not in favor of even birth control over the counter. In terms of actually respecting women's right to choose what they put into their body and do not put into their body, I'm better than any candidate on the left or the right.

(Editor’s note: Incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan supports expanding access to over-the-counter birth control.)

Rick Ganley: Well, ultimately, as you said, you're a leave-me-aloneist, and you want less government, obviously. But what government programs would you support in favor of protecting the environment?

Bruce Fenton: That's a great question, because my core belief is that government should be limited to protecting your life, liberty and property, nothing more. But I do believe that your property includes your environment. I live on the Great Bay, which is one of the most important estuaries in the country, in the world, really. And it affects all kinds of sea life in North America. And I believe that is one of the very few legitimate roles of government is to protect the environment of people. I think it is a legitimate role of government to protect somebody from polluting a stream that's nearby you, or polluting your air so that you can't breathe on your own property, or in my case, polluting something like the Great Bay.

Rick Ganley: So is there legislation that you could point to or that you would propose that would do that while adhering to your values?

Bruce Fenton: Yeah, it would be related to anything that views your environment as personal property, things like pollution. Pollution is a great example, and that's why I keep going back to pollution. You know, it's funny, this is what we used to talk about in the environmental movement was pollution. And now we're talking about this phony thing called carbon credits and stuff so that Goldman Sachs can get rich. We should be talking about pollution. And I can show you pictures of massive, massive amounts of pollution and environmentalists who are focusing on, in my opinion, you know, something that is distracting from the real issues.

More coverage from NPR: Do Carbon Offsets Actually Work? 'Planet Money' Takes A Look

Rick Ganley: I take your point on pollution, but of course, an overwhelming majority of scientists on the planet have said that we are warming.

Bruce Fenton: Yeah, sure. But the question is, what does that mean? Putting power in the hands of politicians where they're trying to do something like regulate the temperature of Earth, I just think is a bad idea. Politicians have been very, very bad at a lot of things. I just don't think temperature is the best metric, especially when I can point to some of these very, very same organizations, very same organizations at the World Economic Forum, some of these banks, some of these governments. And I can show you examples of absolutely stunning, disgusting pollution where they are hurting the environment. And it's very, very, very, very obvious. So I just think that's a better metric.

(Editor’s note: Scientists are in broad agreement that the planet is warming due to greenhouse gas emissions, and that poses serious threats to human wellbeing and the health of the planet.)

Rick Ganley: Let's move on to immigration and border policy. It's a concern for many voters heading into this election. What's the specific immigration policy that you would like to see?

Bruce Fenton: I'd like to have borders not matter as much. I would like to have people be able to come here and have our country embrace our old slogan of 'give us your poor, your sick, your tired, your hungry.' And I'd like to have it be much, much, much easier to come into this country. I do think that borders are important as part of a definition of a country. You know, I view it kind of like my farm in Durham. I let people go for a walk. I put up a sign on weekends that say walks are welcome. So I'm, you know, very open and accepting, but certainly at 10:00 at night or something, it's a very different story. And I think a border can be like that. You should have some control over who comes in and who doesn't. But overall, I'd like to make it much, much easier. I think most Republicans and most people kind of in what is maybe lumped in as kind of anti immigration, they're really against illegal immigration. They don't like the situation that's happening now and some of the side effects with human trafficking and fentanyl and things like that. So they have some valid concerns. They mostly want the rules to be followed. So I think we could solve this by making the rules easier. Immigrants are great. I want more immigrants. They would help New Hampshire. They'd help our entire country.

Click here for more information on the criteria NHPR uses to determine which U.S. Senate candidates we're interviewing ahead of the primary.


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