Guest Blogs

Tuesday
Jan092007

Epping Fails Again!

By Tom Sutliffe

The Epping School Board and Town officials spend time influencing  the outcome of ballot related items, using taxpayer resources.  They might serve the public more wisely, influencing the children to learn.  New schools won't change the condition the Epping students are in today... good teachers will!

Click here> Epping NCLB results

Sunday
Jan072007

IF RAY BUCKLEY HAS NOTHING TO HIDE, THEN WHY ARE THE DEMOCRATS HIDING HIM?

IF RAY BUCKLEY HAS NOTHING TO HIDE, THEN WHY ARE THE DEMOCRATS HIDING HIM?

(AND WHO DID LYNCH TELL, AND WHAT AND WHEN DID HE TELL THEM?)

by Ed Mosca

In quitting the race for state chairman of the Democrat Party, Ray Buckley unequivocally denied allegations which, according to press reports (the allegations themselves have not been published), involve child pornography: “These politically motivated allegations are completely false. I have no doubt that the allegations will be proven baseless but I am angry beyond belief that the politics of personal destruction have come to New Hampshire.” The obvious question brought to mind by Buckley’s remonstration is this: Why, if the allegations are “completely false” and “baseless,” did Buckley nonetheless quit the state chairmanship race, which by all accounts he already had sewn up? The apparent answer is that Governor Lynch made it known that he wanted Buckley to step down, which in turn raises this question: Why did the Governor ax Buckley?

The answer is easy to surmise. If the allegations are “false” and “baseless” as Buckley claims, then there are no witnesses or physical evidence, which would have resulted in the pending criminal investigation being resolved in Buckley’s favor well in advance of the March 29th election for Democrat state chairman. In other words, porn-gate unlike phone-gate would have turned out to be a tempest in a tea pot. Presumably what happened is that when the Governor’s politicos asked Buckley the predictable question whether it was possible that he could be found guilty of any crimes and thereby embarrass the Governor if the Governor continued to support Buckley, Buckley did not answer in the negative. The question is whether this conversation with Buckley occurred at a time and in a manner that could have compromised the criminal investigation by tipping off Buckley and allowing him to destroy evidence.

One report suggested that current Democrat state chairman Kathy Sullivan refused to say whether investigators had seized computers from state Democrat headquarters. Nonetheless, she did say that “Raymond will be exonerated, and I believe he will be vindicated of these politically motivated charges.” Pay attention to the words chosen by Attorney Sullivan. She clearly knows the substance of the allegations against Buckley and the identity of the alleger. This brings us back to the Governor.

The Governor received the letter containing the allegations against Buckley on December 29th. It was referred to the Attorney General on January 2nd. The delay was attributed to the holiday weekend. But the Governor’s politicos also shared the information with as yet unidentified Democrat party power brokers at yet unidentified times, apparently in some detail. In addition to Ms. Sullivan, there is State Senator Peter Burling who fired off the following Burling-Broadside in response to the allegations against Buckley: “The charges made against Raymond are false, libelous, scurrilous, vicious and hogwash.” Unless Attorney Burling would reflexively use these adjectives to describe any charges against Buckley or unless the Attorney General is in the habit of sharing information regarding pending criminal investigations with the Senator, he was made aware of the charges by the Governor’s politicos. The same can be said about Ms. Sullivan. How many others were told?

Well, the Governor’s politicos apparently went into spin-control mode as soon as they were made aware the allegations against Buckley. No sooner had we learned that Buckley had stepped down, that we learned that Jim Craig, the former Democratic House leader, was stepping up to replace him, and that Craig already had secured the support of Lynch, Senate President Sylvia Larsen and House Speaker Terie Norelli. It is hard to believe that Larsen and Norelli would jump on Craig’s bandwagon without asking what in the world was going and receiving the answer. Presumably, other power brokers in the Democrat party were brought on board in the interim as well.

The question, then, is this: Did the Governor’s politicos possibly compromise a criminal investigation by disseminating information regarding the child pornography allegations and the referral to the Attorney General to Buckley or to people who may have passed the information on to Buckley? It certainly looks like that is what happened. Mr. Lynch needs to identify who was told, and what and when they were told.

 

Friday
Jan052007

Nanny-Nanny Boo-Boo Death Penalty

by Ray Will

The recent execution of Saddam Hussein and the minute or two before the actual event has gotten me thinking again about the death penalty. Before I begin I feel I should say that I am a death penalty advocate. However I have some real problems with how it is being implemented as well as the overall attitude of my fellow advocates. I believe that while I am in favor of it as a tool, the implementation of the death penalty represents a failure. It is failure of society to mitigate the crimes of the accused in any other way than through execution.

Real crime fighters know that it costs more to execute a single criminal accused of one crime then to prevent hundreds of crimes from occurring with an increase in police presence, and the rule of law and social justice. If you really want to fight crime then spend the money and effort where it is needed: police presence and community oriented efforts to have neighborhoods and police work together to fight crime. Isn't this better than waiting until a crime is committed, a family suffers, or an officer in blue is wounded or killed due to our inability to combat crime together as a nation?

Sometimes I think some "tough-on-crime" death penalty types don't really want to be tough on crime as as much as they want to be tough on criminals. They want to lie in wait for a crime to be committed so they can engage in "criminal target practice". Only after the crime has happened a family has suffered, or an officer hurt do they feel the need intervene. And like clockwork when crime is on the rise they propose to broaden the death penalty to other crimes, drawing money away from crime prevention and community policing.

The death penalty, if you are in favor of it, is a tool in the toolbox of fighting crime. It is not an excuse to whoop and hollar and yell some bloodthirsty version of "nanny-nanny boo-boo" at the death of criminals who have done inhuman things to others and society as a whole. The death penalty is the ultimate price to pay for crime so this penalty should be respected, not doled out like soft drinks at a ball game for people's entertainment. Other penalties like stiffer jail times or life in prison without parole are actually less expensive than the millions the state would need to provide needed legal defense to be sure the accused was not accused falsely.

Make no mistake, I believe Saddam Hussein should have been executed. He committed genocide against his own people and the evidence was airtight. To place Hussein in prison would have given him even the slightest chance to regain power. But I won't cheer. I won't smile. A horrible tool was used to deal with the horror that was Saddam Hussein. It is certainly nothing to cheer about.

Friday
Jan052007

Upholding Citizen's Rights... New Hampshire Style

By Tom Sutliffe

Notice that this opinion memo from NHMA totally supports the ERPG suit.  It was stricken from the record of our hearing, which is highly unusual.   The information contained in the memo, if stricken would be highly prejudicial to our suit, because it completely supported our complaint!  Judge Morrill struck this evidence and never noticed ERPG of his order.  Thus, we never asked for a reconsideration of this order, having no knowledge it had been ordered.  Only pro-se litigants in New Hampshire have this happen to them,  so that they can't appeal the issue.  Why?... because they have not asked for a reconsideration within the ten day allotted timeframe.  The Supreme Court gang declined to act on this issue because it said we failed to ask for a reconsideration of the Judge's order. They refer to it as a procedural issue!  We found out about the Judge's order only when we requested the entire file to be sent to the Supreme Court for our appeal. Looking for justice in New Hampshire.... go to Federal Court!

NHMA fax cover

NHMA pg 1

NHMA pg2

Monday
Dec252006

NHSBA v. Epping Superintendent (2 different views of the same dicision)

Thought you might like to see the two different interpretaions of the same decision placed on the websites of the NHSBA and the Epping SAU #14 websites respectively.

Tom Sutliffe
ERGP

NH Supreme Court Rules on Epping School Board Case

On October 6, 2006, the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued an order in Epping Residents for Principled Government, Inc. v. Epping School Board. The issue was whether the Epping School Board used "unwarranted advocacy" in support of certain ballot issues and warrant articles, in violation of the Constitutional rights of certain taxpayers who held opposing viewpoints.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld the School Board's actions. However, the order was not a clearcut victory for New Hampshire school boards, as the order raises more questions than it resolved and does not provide definitive guidance for the difference between appropriate and inappropriate advocacy.

The Court's decision was based largely on procedural grounds, as opposed to being decided on the merits of the law. The Court ruled that the taxpayers did not properly preserve certain of their arguments for the Court to review. The Court may have been looking for a better case upon which to make some significant rulings.

It appears that some statements by a School Board are clearly acceptable, such as "we urge you to support the budget because we need it to fund our program" and "we need a new high school and ask you for your support". These kinds of "advocacy" appear to be tolerable, especially if they appear in the School District Annual Report. However, some Epping School Board practices were, in the Court's words, "troubling."

Specifically, the Court had reservations about the Board's direct attacks upon opponents of the budget or new school and using students as "mules" or couriers to send "political" messages home.

Because the decision was unclear, the legality of some board practices is still unsettled, such as using public money for mass mailings advocating a particular position. There probably would not be anything wrong with a mass mailing that conveys information on important issues, provided that it is consistent with the acceptable language. Also, it appears to be unlikely that the Board would be required to give dissenting viewpoints equal space and time in the School District Annual Report, or pay for an opposing mass mailing. Until the law is further clarified, NHSBA urges school boards to proceed with caution when "advocating" for particular political ballot issues and warrant articles. NHSBA Policy KDCA recommends that school districts do not use student as couriers for information that advocates a particular position on bond issues, political matters, labor relations issues or District budgets. NHSBA also recommends that any mass mailings contain purely "neutral" information related to the issue at hand, as opposed to including potentially coercive statements from the school board.

NHSBA

NH SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS DECISION OF SUPERIOR COURT IN ERPG VS EPPING SCHOOL BOARD

On October 6, 2006 the NH Supreme Court issued an order regarding the appeal of the Epping Residents for Principled Government, Inc. versus the Epping School Board. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's determination. In summary the Superior Court:

1. Denied ERPG's request to declare the school district annual report as unwarranted advocacy and an incorrect expenditure of public funds in violation of the State and Federal Constitutions.

2. Denied ERPG's request to enjoin all officials as to the unwarranted advocacy in the future and to contain a statement in the next two annual reports about the constitutional prohibition against using public monies for the purpose of advocacy.

3. Ruled that the statements made by public officials were made on behalf of public purpose, not private statements.

4. Ruled that the district did not inappropriately or excessively use public funds for the annual report.

5. Ruled that the district did not violate ERPG's rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Federal Constitution or the Equal Protection under the State Constitution (to have access for presenting an opposing view).

Barbara Munsey, Epping Superintendent