Our Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers Cookout started in 1999 with us selling all 1,500 tickets two weeks in advance. C-Span sent a truck and the Boston Globe sent a scruffy little reporter who now works as the mouthpiece of the NH State Supreme Court. (The NH Supremes needed a media person after that unfortunate impeachment incident they slipped out of.)
This Annie Hall wana-be reporter described our event as one where "the extreme right of the extreme right munched on burgers under the scruffy pines of the Hopkinton Fair." Ever wonder why we don’t pander to the press?
Attendees at our first event sat at tables and listened to speakers such as Pat Buchanan and Senator Bob Smith. Things have changed.
Nowadays our event is rather raucus. And that is understandable as we draw people from the taxpayer activist crowd who are used to speaking their mind and being heard.
We like to describe our cookout as a family reunion because several regulars have described it that way to us.
Last year writer and satirist P.J. O’Rourke bought a ticket (still $15) and wrote an article about Tea Partiers, foreign policy, and our event.
P.J. hit the nail on the head when he mentioned that politicians were given polite, and attentive receptions. Speeches are best kept short and interesting.
But most importantly, politicians will meet people who have campaigned for many former presidential hopefuls.
It pays to mingle.
This year we are going noon to 6 pm, if the dogs and burgers hold out, and as always we have a loose schedule to accommodate busy and traveling candidates on the Independence Day Weekend.
We are recognizing NH House Speaker William O’Brien and the Legislature’s deficit stopping warriors.
I hope that makes the liberal press unhappy.
If you are thinking of coming, directions are easy.
Get to Hillsboro by any means possible and head west on the main road in town until you see the Hillsboro American Legion on your left.
If you are coming north on Rt. 202, make a left at the light by “The Bridge to Nowhere.”
Happy Independence Day!