My humble observations of today's hearing at the Legislative Office BuildingOnce again the NH Municipal Association, packing a gaggle of lawyers is attempting to gut the Right To Know Law – because that is what NHMA lawyers do – create loopholes in good laws. In this case its House Bill 82. HB 82 lets officials meet in secret as long as they report it later. Later is not defined.
Here are the "testimonial techniques" used by lawyers at the House Judiciary Committee hearing today, 1/17/07, on HB 82 - The End Of The Right To Know Bill Hearing:
1. Cordell Johnson, NHMA Attorney.
Technique: “This actually makes the RTKL stronger”. Oh yea, letting a quorum of officials from a government body meet and discuss government business without posting the meeting, letting other members know, or keeping minutes, does in “Cordell World” make RSA 91- A stronger – like turning out the lights at night makes things brighter.
2. Peter Smith, Attorney who a few years back had some problems with hiring, by email, employees in Durham where he was on the Town Council.
Technique: “This will make a record of what is already going on”.
3. Rep. Espiefs, sponsored what was HB 626 last year and what they are now trying to shove past the Judiciary Committee as HB 82 this year.
Technique: I don't understand how this wording will change anything.” Or better known as the: “I only understand parts of a discussion that confirm what I want out of a piece of legislation.”
4. John Lassey, Attorney on Right to Know Commission appointed by NHMA.
Technique: “The wording needs some work.” Also known as the “Let's pretend this is the right thing to do.”
The same old crowd is trying to make life easier for big government tax and spenders by letting them operate behind closed doors. In this case by email and phone.
Right now the House Judiciary Committee is being offered a chance to make a recorded vote on this bill. Here are their names:
Chairman: David E. Cote (d) Vice Chairman:
Janet G. Wall (d+r) Clerk: Gail C. Morrison (d)
Frances D. Potter (d+r) Bette R. Lasky (d)
Peter S. Espiefs (d) Stephen J. Shurtleff (d+r)
Maureen Baxley (d+r) Paul L. Hackel (d)
Philip Preston (d) Gary B. Richardson (d)
Lucy McV. Weber (d) Gregory M. Sorg (r)
Robert H. Rowe (r) Maureen C. Mooney (r)
Donald R. Buxton (r+d) Nancy J. Elliott (r)
Bea Francoeur (r) Anthony R. DiFruscia (r)
David J. Bettencourt (r)
If any one of these people is your State Rep. Contact them.
Here are the sponsors of the Gut The Right to Know Bill:
Rep. J. Thomas, Belk 5; Rep. J. Garrity, Rock 6; Rep. Espiefs, Ches 3
They need to be removed from office as soon as possible for even considering this bill, let alone sponsoring it. A Legislator with no respect for taxpayers serves the wrong constituents.