Ethics are the life blood of the Democrat (don’t even whisper income tax) Party these days since Governor Benson lost to the champion of all that is good and ethical – Governor Lynch. At least that is what I glean from his amen corner – the major media in NH.
I noticed the “news” from the Chandler expulsion vote came down hard on the state representatives who supported the former speaker, whom by the way I do not know. Maybe they thought that his pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and loss of his speaker position was enough punishment for accepting $62,000.00 in legal cash donations and failing to report it on RSA 15:b forms just like Executive Councilor Ruth Griffin failed to do without a whimper of protest from the press, by the way. In fact, the press never touched a 15:b form until this year nor did the AG’s office whose job it was to monitor them so Ruth’s $80,000.00 in cash donations went unnoticed until “ethics” became safer to talk about than income taxes.
It could be that those representatives knew what the general public still does not, and that is the fact that Ruth “The Truth” Griffin gets $12,000.00 per year as an Executive Councilor as well as an expense account. Rep Chandler gets car mileage and $100. I think in retrospect the House made a good call on the Chandler vote. What is good for one is good for the others.
Speaking of non-issues as far as the press is concerned, Democrat State Representative Bonnie Mitchell of Jaffery voted to boot Rep. Chandler from the House.
Remember Bonnie? She moved here from NY not long ago, and when I say not long I mean not in time to legally run for the House or hold office. But as luck would have it there she is a sitting, voting, State Representative casting judgment on the ethics of Rep. Gene Chandler.
Update and Memory Check
On the front page of the Concord paper today is troubling story about a young lady gone astray. One Christine Hersom is alleged to have taken over $100,000.00 from an Episcopal Church in Tilton and she has retained a lawyer. I offer my humble taxpayer activist advice.
A few years back when Ashland Town Clerk Rosie McNamara misappropriated $2.4 million in taxpayer dollars from that town, she hired a cracker-jack firm to help her out. Rosie pled guilty to stealing only $111,000.00 and pays restitution at $25.00 per week because she is “indigent” after spending 8 months in “jail”. Even though the prosecutor promised the Ashland selectmen it would be 2 years minimum Rosie walked in 8 months. The parole board let McNamara loose early because she was “sick”.
The insurance company paid Ashland $660,000.00 of the $2.4 and the town bonded the rest. Bottom line: Rosie got off with a veritable slap on the wrist. The insurance company, the NH Municipal Association, covered about half the loss to Ashland whose tax rate then doubled.
The credit for Rosie’s good fortune and taxpayer loss goes entirely to her ethical law firm Shaheen and Gordon, the then ethical Gov. Shaheen-appointed ethical parole board, and the Shaheen appointed prosecutor, AG Phil (The Ethical) McLaughlin. Mrs. Hersom needs this team on her side!
Currently, the huge media driven Benson ethics scandal involving Linda Pepin is still in the works (surprise) as the state tries to reclaim the money paid to that Benson “volunteer” for saving NH taxpayers about $177,000.00 in broker fees when she worked in the insurance department.
For the life of me I can not remember reading how much money Ned Helms saved NH taxpayers when he was “volunteering” to the tune of $113,600 in UNH “discretionary funds” while working in the Governor Lynch administration. (And how do UNH funds wind up in Lynch’s Concord corner office?) I would love to read about it an AG report like I did with “volunteer” Pepin but so far no cry for pay-backs from the NH daily papers.
Our taxpayer group always seems to be outside the box when it comes to ethics scandals. For some reason we take notice when large sums of money are missing for no apparent reason with no apparent objection from the Attorney General’s Office or the NH newspapers.
We also notice things like a certain State Supreme Court Justice lobbying the Legislature. But that is another story you won’t see in our statewide press.
Chair, The Coalition of NH Taxpayers
For more of Ed's writings on this and other subjects see http://www.cnht.org/calendar