Name Of The Game: Liar's Poker

I keep news articles around for future use - those I find interesting.

Here is a news article I have two new, more appropriate, titles for. Chose the one you like.

Behold - A Pale Governor  or Lynch Took The CNHT PLEDGE




PAC won't help any who take the 'pledge'

By Laura A. Kiernan, Globe Correspondent, April 18, 1999

Political candidates who support New Hampshire's no-tax pledge may be in line for a big hit where it counts -- from the people who give big bucks to campaigns. A brand new group called The Courage PAC was set in motion last week by one of Governor Jeanne Shaheen's contributors, Stonyfield Yogurt president and CEO Gary Hirshberg, a Democratic activist and well-known supporter of a statewide income tax. And we all know Shaheen is dead set against that.

Hirshberg says the PAC will only support candidates who "do the right thing" -- namely refuse to take the pledge. He sent a letter out late last week to a small group of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, looking for "founding sponsors" for the PAC. Invitations to a kickoff event, tentatively set for May 21, will go out this week, he said. Any money the PAC raises would be much needed cash for local candidates who have to scramble to raise money for House and Senate races.

"This is by no means an anti-Shaheen fund," Hirshberg told us. "Part of the reason we are frozen is there hasn't been an open dialogue allowed," because of Shaheen's promised veto. The intent of the PAC is to elect candidates and support activities that promote open debate, Hirshberg said.

Hirshberg said the PAC is a direct result of frustrations stemming from the Claremont school funding debate, but he said he wants the fund to be around long after this debate is over.

Democrats get testy with each other

The Tipper Gore/Bill Bradley sweetness and light at the Democrats' midterm convention last weekend evaporated in a little after-lunch rumble over -- what else? -- the income tax.

Larry Finkelstein, chairman of the Hollis Democrats, says he's usually a calm guy but he and other pro-tax Dems from Hollis, Milford, Amherst and the Contoocook Valley were ripped when a quick motion to adjourn the convention by Manchester's Chris Spirou cut off plans to debate a resolution supporting an income tax (which, as we all know, Shaheen, the Democrats' fearless leader, vows to veto).

"We thought we had been had and we didn't like that," Finkelstein said later. Finkelstein and state Representative James Curran of Hancock, who organized the Contoocook group, say convention chairman Stanley D. Post knew beforehand they wanted to speak, but didn't give them a chance. "I would have to say we were shut off," said Curran. "They did not want to air that topic." Party officials said it was nothing intentional.

There was yelling. Some supporters "jumped up and bellowed and started to protest," Curran said, and aggressively approached the stage. Hollis vice chairman Dick Tartow called the party powers-that-be "Republicans and Fascists." The vote in favor of adjourning was close, 65-61. State party chairman Kathy Sullivan diffused the eruption by offering to talk with about 40 Democrats who decided to stick around for another hour. By all accounts, things calmed down. No vote was ever taken on the income tax resolution.

"I think they got their point across about how they feel about the income tax," Sullivan said later.

She got to face the upset Dems again Monday at a meeting in Milford arranged weeks before the convention. She apologized and "took the rap," said Curran, although he said he didn't think Sullivan was the bad guy. About 30 people were at that meeting in town hall.

As for the governor -- who told convention delegates before the spat that she was simply standing up for what she believed in -- Curran, a freshman lawmaker, says, "I think she's terribly wrong."