Guest Blogs


Sorry Kids, There's No More Fish Food!

by Tom Sutliffe

Ok, now all you despicable towns that voted down the teachers' outrageous contracts and budgets, etc.  Get ready for your time on the rack!  Payback is a bitch!  Now, the school board manipulated retaliation upon the school children will come, just like clock work.  You know how it goes, it's well orchestrated and organized  by the teachers' union and  PTO, by the way... the "O" stands for organization.  Get it? Their wrath is like clock work after the money stops flowing.  Brace yourselves. 

Little, things start disappearing from the classrooms in droves like the fish bowls, etc, etc...  Why, because they don't have enough funding for this fish food and on and on, bigger and bigger, more obvious.  Letters go to the parents asking for paper, pencils, toilet paper or whatever! Anything that the kids are acutely aware of seem to rapidly be in short supply.  Why?  so that they will complain to their cheap ass-parents, to pressure them into giving the school whatever it needs.  Seen this before?  No surprise here! 

By the way, you get all this at "no charge", compliments of your local school board system.  You know, the system that watches out to make sure your tax dollars are wisely invested in the communities future.   These tactics impact the children and they know it, thus they use it to their benefit against you, the voter, their boss.  Don't you just love their tactics?  How original.  By the way, the kids are just collateral damage and hostages until they get what they want "mo money."  Watch them, they do it just this way! Their playbook is well documented and very seldom are any original plays added.  My suggestion is to buy some fish food for the classroom and let your kids bring it to school... It's cheaper!

To all the other towns that caved into their school boards extorted demands, your fish food is in constant supply. 



Fellow Veterans & Proud Americans,

I am asking for your help in a matter that is near and dear too many Veterans hearts throughout our country.

I sit on the Federal & State Relations and Veterans Affairs committee and yesterday my Chairman Kris Roberts brought it to our attention, there was a House Resolution 10, coming in late that was approved by the Speaker of the house who sits on the rules committee.

Democrat, Representative Splaine and Representative McEachern from Portsmouth are the sponsors of the bill. My Chairman had scheduled the public hearing for March 19 at 10 AM in Legislators Hall here in NH.

The resolution should have been split into two but I believe that the Democrats are trying to make a political statement at the expense of our troops on the battlefield and at the Walter Reed hospital. One opposing the Iraq war and the other one supporting veterans benefits but they chose to make a political statement.

I have not read the actual bill (HR 10) but I am waiting patiently for the state of NH to post it on our state web page.

Whether you support the escalation or not, we as Veterans cannot let this resolution go forward as we will be feeding and abetting the ENEMY and knocking down our TROOPS MORAL by supporting this BULL. Why aren't the Sponsors providing a resolution to stop the murders in our state or the crime?

As a young Marine in 1975, I remember this happening to our Viet Nam Vets, I am sure that you have seen this happen to you as our country has gotten the Cut and Run Mentality once again. They are already talking about cutting the funding and take the lost. Our Veterans must continue to be treated with respect and not spit on and treated with no respect as what happen in Viet Nam

As a Retired US Marine 1StSgt, Desert Storm Veteran, Disable Veteran, I can not sit back and let this happen. I will try, along with other Veterans to kill this in committee but it will still go to the floor of the house for a vote.

A vote to support HR 10 feeds the enemy to get stronger and stay in place to keep trying to kill our Proud American Warriors.

A Vote to support knocks down our Proud American Warriors Moral, as with the technology, they will know within minutes that we do not support them.

Why should we sit down and be the silent majority; as there is no doubt in my military mind, that many like I, will not take this lack of support for our Veterans anymore.

If you are with us and can be at the New Hampshire State House on March 19 (10AM) for the committee hearings, you will be showing a force in readiness, that enough is enough and keep the politics off the battle field. If you can not be there, please contact your elected officials and write letters to newspapers.

I can not remember who wrote, FOR THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW but I still remember it!


Wanted - Clear thinking in the debate on educational "adequacy"

by Peter Bearse, Ph.D.

There’s a nearly complete lack of clear thinking about what’s important in the debate on what educational “adequacy” represents in terms of either substance or money.

First, there’s a tendency to assume that there either is or must be a direct connection between adequacy and educational funding. All the NH Constitution commands the General Court (legislature) to do is “cherish” education; responsibility for implementing whatever “cherish” may mean is left to local authority, not statewide dictates of either Court (General or Supreme). So, let’s start by recognizing that the adequacy and funding issues are separable.

Second, the lack of any reference to international standards is remarkable. I would even go so far as to say: Pretty Darn Dumb. After all, we all live in an increasingly globalized, world-competitive economy. Young people today need to be able to compete with graduates from schools in Europe, China, India and Singapore, among other countries of our “small, small world.” Whatever counts for educational “adequacy” is a moving target. Every year, if not faster, the ante for what counts is being upped by our international competitors. It’s an Einsteinian world, so let’s recognize that “what counts” is relative to foreign competition.

Third, we can count on the fingers of one hand the areas of educational achievement that really count in international competition. They are the 3R’s [reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic (math)] plus science and creative and critical thinking. The latter overlaps one area that’s special to our own state and nation’s democratic heritage: Civics, or what young people need to know to function as responsible citizens in a democratic republic. So add up the scores: 3R’s + Science + 3C’s (Civics + Creative thinking + Critical thinking). Along with international standards, there are international, educational “best practices”. We can; in fact, for the sake of our children, we must learn from our foreign competitors. Competition is healthy, internationally as well as domestically, for the sake of education as well as other “industries.” Do we want our children to be less well-off than we are? Let’s recognize that that the standards that count are being set abroad and make reference to them.

Finally, there’s no humility in the debate. The key actors with power and responsibility, members of the two Courts, are acting like know it alls in an area where they both know very little. Those who are making decisions on education that affect our kids’ futures need to learn more about what works where and for whom, educationally. The major zone of ignorance is on research that would demonstrate, via valid statistical studies, the degree to which schools and school finance make significant differences to educational achievement. HR 8, which properly challenges recent decisions of the Supreme Court on school finance in NH, makes no reference to such research as providing any basis for the Court’s decisions. Let’s pay some attention to it.

A few suggestions can now be made: The best way for the General Court to demonstrate to the Supreme Court that they truly honor the NH Constitutional requirement to “cherish” education would be to (1) define “adequacy” in terms of a performance accountability and benchmarking system for schools, one that measures performance in each of the areas of educational achievement noted earlier, and (2) begin a set of well-designed studies of what differences in achievement are attributable to different educational-institutional and funding arrangements. In addition, given the disconnect between state-level guidelines for adequacy and local responsibility for education, the legislature should provide a blanket allowance for local authorities to adopt whatever taxing arrangements they would like to adopt to finance schools, including charter schools.


To the Legislators and Governor: Do Your Duty

by Mike Biundo, Chairman NH Advantage Coalition

When you entered the ballot box last fall, did you vote for a state Representative?

If you did, did you expect that he or she would take an oath to uphold the NH Constitution?

And did you, when you had the ballot before you, vote for your representative Supreme Court member?


Funny, because the justices are acting like legislators, and if we don’t tell them to stop, we may be backed into a sales or income tax in NH.

You see, in 1993, the Court made up a “right” to a state-funded education. The fact that the NH Constitution doesn’t do this was irrelevant to them. In 1997, the justices ruled that since they had already said that the state had an obligation to fund education, and towns and cities fund education through the use of a portion of their property taxes, that local property tax for education was really a state tax, and all state taxes had to be “proportional and reasonable”. Therefore, there had to be one, uniform tax to fund education equally all across the state. Some politicians, ready to comply in order to get to the political end-game they had desired, proposed, yeah, you guessed it, state-wide income and sales taxes. Luckily, the traditions of NH won out. The sales and income taxes were avoided, although a state-wide property tax of $6.60 per thousand was instituted. That merely began a long period of town-to-town redistribution of wealth, rather than directly taking it from innocent victims. Plunder is plunder, but it was excused by some because, they told us, we all “live in a community” and to resist having money taken from your town and given to another was just un-neighborly.

Well, have no fear. The justices are not done trying to shove us into the economic Mack truck that is a broad-based tax. Their recent “Londonderry” decision, ordering the legislature to somehow define an “adequate” education, will get us there if we do not stop their malfeasance now.

The justices have set a deadline of July 1, 2007 for the legislature to define a “constitutionally adequate education”, despite the fact that the term “adequate education” doesn’t appear in the NH Constitution. If the legislature does not jump to the Court’s demands, the justices will appoint a “magistrate” to handle this work for them.

Interesting, huh? The appellate judicial branch of the NH government will make law. Remember when you voted for them?

You remember, don’t you?

Ever read the NH Constitution? Just like a “right” to a state-funded, “adequate” education isn’t in there, the legislative power of the judicial branch isn’t anywhere to be found either!

If the real legislators do not stand up for their civic duty as our representatives and rebuff the Court, they will not only be giving up their Constitutional power, they will be backing us right into a broad-based tax.

As it stands, the proposals for “education adequacy” being produced in concord to fulfill this unwarranted Court “mandate” bring the overall financial liability of NH for education to upwards of $2 billion. If that burden is accepted, you can say goodbye to your control over your own school, and you can say goodbye to the financial distinction that gave New Hampshire an advantage over our neighbors. We will be backed into a broad-based tax to pay for this. The legislators need to know, and Governor Lynch needs to know.

Likewise, they need to know that they have the duty, the responsibility, to tell the court they cannot make law, that their rulings are improper, and that the legislature will not be treated like second-class members of the government.

We elected our representatives, not the justices.

Before July 1, lets tell them we are still aware of this.


Trial Lawyers Love House Bill 143

by Rep. Steve Stepanek, Republican Whip

The Trial Lawyers are in heaven now that the New Hampshire House passed a bill that will allow them to sue and collect damages from the defendant with the deepest pockets, regardless of how liable the defendant is. House Bill 143 would change the way damages are apportioned in personal injury action involving multiple parties.

The easiest way to explain this is to provide an example. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this: a car runs a stop sign and collides with a town plow truck. A passenger in the car is injured. The passenger sues both the driver of the car (his friend) and the town. Before trial, he settles the claim against his friend for $25,000. The trial proceeds, with the town now as the sole defendant. The jury finds that the plaintiff’s friend was 99 percent at fault and assesses total damages of $170,000. Under existing law, the town would pay only its proportionate share of the damages: one percent of $170,000 or $1,700. Unfortunately, HB 143 would force the town to pay 100 percent of the damages awarded even though the town was found to be only one percent responsible. To be fair, this scenario would have the town actual pay $170,000 less the $25,000 paid by “the friend” for a total payment of $145,000. This is still far greater than the $1,700 for which the town would be responsible under current law.

Supporters of the trial lawyers and HB 143 argue that this allows plaintiffs to collect the full damages regardless of each defendant’s ability to pay. They claim that the plaintiffs should have the right to go after whomever they wish, even if that means the defendant with the deepest pockets but the least amount of responsibility. I believe that all plaintiffs have the right to sue for damages, but the question is who should shoulder the most blame? If the defendant most at fault does not have the resources to pay his or her portion of the damages, should the other defendants who have been found proportionally less at fault be forced to pick up the balance of the settlement just because they have more insurance coverage or “deeper pockets”?

The answer is no. If fairness is to prevail in our justice system, defendants must be held accountable for only their proportion of responsibility. The NH Supreme Court agrees and recently ruled that damage awards in civil actions must be proportional to the level of responsibility for the action. HB 143 would overturn this ruling, which is why the NH Municipal Association, the NH Business & Industry Association, NH Police Chiefs Association, New Hampshire’s Hospital and Medical Associations, numerous chambers of commerce (Manchester, Nashua and Portsmouth among others), and many other organizations all oppose this legislation.

The bottom line is that businesses, our towns, cities, and our insurance companies will foot the bill of those who cannot afford to pay their proportion of the decision. This legislation, if passed by the senate and signed by Governor Lynch, would mean increased taxes when our communities pay beyond their fair liability; means increased insurance premiums for us from our companies forced to shoulder more risk in excess of their own; and would put our strong economy and friendly business environment in jeopardy.

Please encourage your senator and Governor Lynch to stand with the Supreme Court, our communities and our businesses and do the right thing by killing this unfair piece of legislation.