The Incredible Shrinking Governor

With not many inches to spare in the height department, Governor Lynch lost a measure of his remaining stature with the recent defeat of his “Education Extortion By The Court Response Plan” which had a mish-mash of factors that really never caught on with some state senators (except using INCOME as a factor). In this case the winning Senator “Gatsas Plan” had the right mish-mash and it was the color green – as in cash to towns in certain senate districts.

Early last week Lynch had the “Lucky 13” state senators on his side and statesmanship and bi-partisanship were the words of the day (more on this later). Then out of the blue Senator Green changed his mind and the “Lynch Plan” went south.

The Governor immediately lambasted the state senate for keeping the property tax and made some other comments about it not being made public even though the plan has been around Concord longer than he has.

 I like the Foster’s Daily Democrat spin on the Governor’s loss. On Tuesday, June 7, Colin Manning was using phrases like “major victory” and I love this sentence:

“Lynch praised the eight Democrats and five Republicans standing behind him. 'They have put politics and partisanship aside, joining together to make progress for the people of New Hampshire. They care about what I care about: putting in place a school funding law that truly meets our responsibility to our children and providing a sustainable and permanent solution to school funding,' Lynch told reporters.”  

But after the Lynch was exposed as a political neophyte for not having the votes he claimed to have in the Senate and was immediately counter-punched with an overwhelming 269-96 vote loss in the House, Foster’s hatched an Editorial on Friday, June 17, that claims:

 “It was win-win for the governor. He exhibited statecraft in rejecting the veto route and got in a partisan shot, blaming Senate Republicans for retention of the statewide property tax.”

Rejecting the veto route? I could print more from the Fosters Editorial but there is a gag factor to deal with so near to my keyboard.

 So according to Foster’s when Lynch wins it is a major victory, and when he loses it’s a win-win, and he is a statesman. And getting in a partisan shot is admirable as well. Not bad for a guy who can’t get his bill passed and has not a prayer for a sustainable veto (like Benson had the stones and votes to do).

Then there is the “Not So Easy Pass” fiasco of gubnatorial indecision. That issue still hasn’t gone away.

The Sunapee expansion drama is hanging over the Governor’s head and for some unexplainable reason he is trying to short circuit the process by not allowing the plan, which he has promised to veto, go before the Executive Council as any disbursement of funds or contracts would. All through the State Constitution the Governor has powers shared with the “advice” of the Council. Lynch is not on solid ground with this choice. The case law is slim pickings.

 The press has given Lynch a pass on the Ned Helms scandal as would be expected but some damage has been done to the sterling reputation campaign hype.

 Lynch’s much touted SB30 morning after pill for minors was “victory” for his hard-core abortion followers but signing that bill and actually having the abortive drug given to minors by pharmacists is a different story - while in the hinterland pro-life and pro-family supporters smolder.

And at some point a new AG will have to be appointed and confirmed. That process has been controversial in recent years and Lynch will be expected to have it go smoothly. We’ll see. One Executive Councilor has no business voting on a certain potential nominee who could be up to her elbows in education and Sunapee suits shortly. That would leave four councilors to vote.

Ed Naile, Chair
Coalition of NH Taxpayers