Frank Szabo, Republican Sheriff Candidate & Sovereign Citizen

In all fairness, I should start by pointing out that Frank Szabo is not running unopposed for the office of Hillsborough County Sherriff.  Longtime incumbent James Hardy is opposing Szabo in the Republican Primary, and Democrat Bill Barry will be opposing Szabo or Hardy in the General Election.

Szabo does have some strange ideas which sadly are by no means unique to Szabo.  He has picked up the endorsement of a former state party chair: sure that chair is Jack Kimball, but Kimball still has some influence.

Szabo's view of his office is, in his own words:

 

[T]he Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the county and has no superior.  The Sheriff is elected by the people and is answerable to them alone.  No federal or state agency has authority in the county unless the Sheriff permits it.  If, in the Sheriff’s opinion, a proposed action is unconstitutional, the Sheriff is duty-bound, and authorized, to block it.County Sheriffs across the country are beginning to re-affirm their role in the checks-and-balances embedded in our Constitutional Republic.  In some western states, water rights are paramount.  The federal Bureau of Land Management has informed some farmers that they must let their crops die; as they may no longer use their own water.  Some County Sheriffs have evicted BLM agents from their county, thereby protecting the lives and property of the Citizens 


Is there is anything in state law which gives the sheriff that much power?  Nope.  Are county sheriffs even mentioned in the state constitution?  Yes, but nothing is said about what their powers are: the state constitution merely says that sheriffs must be elected and cannot be over 70 years of age.  What about the U.S. Constitution?  No, it doesn't even say anything about counties, let alone sheriffs.

 

Szabo has to make an historically inaccurate reference to English history to justfy his view of the county sherrif's power:

 

The Office of the County Sheriff dates back to at least 900 AD in England.  The Sheriff had always been charged with protecting the rights and property of the sovereign.  After the American Revolution, the Office of County Sheriff remained.  At that point, it became the duty and authority of the Sheriff to protect the Rights and property of the Sovereign Citizens – from any unlawful action.

There are many problems with his argument, beginning with the basic fact that England as a unified political entity did not exist in 900 AD.  The old English counties (which were essentially abolished in the 20th century) are not analogous to New Hampshire's 10 counties.  

In case you're wondering, Szabo has no formal training as a police officer, lawyer, or even as a historian. He apparently has spent most of his career driving a limousine.  His main qualification is that he thinks he is a Sovereign Citizen. However, there is no such thing as “Sovereign” citizenship in America.

 

 

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  • TimothyHorrigan

    Mr. Szabo’s campaign web site doesn’t say why he moved from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire.  It looks like he came here from Philadelphia to impose his conception of liberty on the people of a small state.  In 2009, as these videos prove, he was describing himself as the leader of a Tea Party group.  He said he was was the Pennsylvania Coordinator of the “We the People Congress.”

  • TimothyHorrigan

    Szabo turns out to be one of three “Constitutional” candidates fpor sheriff.  Joshua Dickey is running in Grafton County, and Brad Jardis in Coos County.  Jardis is a familiar face around the State House and is a native of NH, although he just recently moved to Coos County.

    I should think Dickey & Jardis have an easier task than Szabo, since they are running in smaller counties.  (Jardis’s county has about the same population as the Town of Derry.)

    Szabo didn’t make up all that historical stuff by himself.  He is selectively misreading the first few pages of an old 1940 law textbook called “A Treatise on the Law of Sheriffs, Constables and Coroners” by Walter H. Anderson.  This treatise notes very early on that in England “Most of the judicial functions of the sheriff to act in a judicial capacity were removed by the Magna Carta.”  (That would be the same Magna Carta so beloved by certain New Hampshire Republicans.)

    • TimothyHorrigan

      Brad Jardis may not be a Free Stater, but he and his bride chose a Free Stater event, PorcFest as the setting for a “state-free” marriage.  That basically means they say their vows and commit themselves to a marriage contract without actually getting a marriage license.  They are a beautiful couple, and I wish them all the best.

      There are a couple of small ironies.  The first is that the groom is an avowed anarchist running for a governmental office which in his view has almost infinite powers (way beyond what most people ascribe to that office.)  The second is that, as one of their friends confides towards the end of the video, the couple actually are planning to get a marriage license, because they foresee the need to take advantage of some of the legal protections afforded by formal marriage.

  • Chaz Proulx

    Yikes almighty. His opening statement is right out of Alice in Wonderland.

  • Rep. Jim Splaine

    …if at all.  So many of these right-wingers hate education, and they’re opposed to funding public education because they hate education.  Many doubtless skipped lots of classes.  That’s why they’re so ignorant.  If you don’t know your history, you can make it up.  If you can’t read, you can imagine the U.S. Constitution as you want to.  

    • TimothyHorrigan

      I am not on Szabo’s mailing list, but one of his supporters emailed me this.  I doubt I was the only person the supporter sent it to:

      NEWS RELEASE

      MURDER IS NEVER LAWFUL

      August 9, 2012
      Goffstown, New Hampshire

      Frank W. Szabo, candidate for Sheriff of Hillsborough County, announced to his supporters last night his position on abortion.

      The County Sheriff is duty-bound and fully authorized to protect the Citizens, their property and their Rights.  That includes all Citizens.  A Citizen’s Rights are Natural Rights and unalienable simply by virtue of the Citizen being alive.  Life begins at conception.

      Abortion on demand is murder.  Once elected, Sheriff Szabo will arrest anyone involved in the murder of a Citizen of Hillsborough County.

      For those confused about this position in relation to Roe v. Wade, Frank points out the fact that there have been many court decisions which were unconstitutional and unlawful.  The Office of Sheriff requires that the Constitution be honored and obeyed in agreement with Common Law.  Aborting otherwise healthy fetuses violates both.

      Inquiries may be directed to Frank at 215-793-4132.

      *****

      Frank W. Szabo will be a Constitutional Sheriff, protecting the Citizens as well as their Rights and property.

      Far too often we hear of rogue federal and state agencies trampling the Rights of Citizens, unlawfully taking personal property and intimidating and harassing Citizens.  As recognized by the United States Supreme Court and a multitude of historical documents and court cases, a Constitutional Sheriff has the authority to protect Citizens and private businesses from all unlawful actions.  Frank W. Szabo will be that Sheriff.

      Interested Citizens may review previous interviews with Frank at http://szaboforsheriff.com/abo…  or contact Frank directly at Frank@SzaboForSheriff.com or 215-793-4132.  The campaign FaceBook page can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pa

      #######################################

      This may be a petty thing to comment on, but I se that Szabo still has his old cellphone number from Pennsylvania.

  • Legal Beagle

    I should have just made things up like this crazy man. Or better yet just watched his you tube videos!

  • The Money Magician

    Probably.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see
    the Wikipededia article.  

    Self-described sovereign citizens take the position that they are answerable only to common law and are not subject to any statutes or proceedings at the federal, states or municipal levels, or that they do not recognize U.S. currency and that they are “free of any legal constraints”.

    They especially reject most forms of taxation as illegitimate. Participants in the movement argue this concept in opposition to “federal citizens” who, they say, have unknowingly forfeited their rights by accepting some aspect of federal law.

    • hannah

      The nation, rather than some deity, gives them authority and lets them interpret it as they will.
      However, in hankering after sovereignty, they’re not entirely off the track. As I’ve noted not a few times, until 1947, public officials at all levels enjoyed the immunity of the sovereign and their performance (or non-performance) of their official duties could not be challenged. When Richard Nixon embarked on his public career, that was still the standard.  For sure, if the President did it, it’s not a crime. Holding public officials to account is a revolutionary notion.

  • MartyInNashua

    Starting to see Szabo for Sheriff “Because it’s YOUR property!” signs popping up on the public right of way.  Because it’s the government’s property, I guess.

    If this creature were to be elected, New Hampshire would be elbowing Sheriff Arpaio off the news on a regular basis, I’d think.

  • Kathy Sullivan 2

    Another Free Stater who wants to use the powers of government to harrass people.

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