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Entries in NH House (12)


Speaker Jasper - Time to Get to Work For the People of New Hampshire

Here in New Hampshire, we have long prided ourselves in having a truly representative government. We have the largest state legislature in the United States.  It is truly a citizen legislature made up of young and old, with diverse backgrounds, beliefs and life experiences.  With 400 house members, by its very design, we are meant to reflect the state we are all proud to represent.

While there has been much political analysis of my recent election as Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, it is with great humility and seriousness that I begin this new legislative session. It is about how best to serve the people of my hometown of Hudson and the state of New Hampshire. It is about taking the confidence expressed by a majority of my colleagues in the House, both Republican and Democrat, and working together to make our state a better place for our families.  It is about making New Hampshire a stronger place to start and grow a business, and assuring that the next generation of granite staters has even more opportunities to succeed.

For the past thirty-five years, I have been committed to public service at both the local and state level.  As a member of my town's Budget Committee and Board of Selectmen, I have always understood the need to make sure that hard earned tax dollars are used cautiously and with maximum benefit.  As a state representative for 20 years, I have always made it a point to listen, gather information and make informed decisions that would benefit my community and state.  There is never a shortage of well-meaning ideas, new programs to be offered or needs to be met.  But without strong stewardship by elected officials, government will always look to grow and consume more revenues.  I have made the tough decisions to keep spending in check , balancing wants with needs, throughout my career.  Through these efforts, I have been fortunate to earn the support of conservative minded groups because of my priority of low spending, from business groups for keeping regulations and impediments to their success out of the way and from law enforcement officials for supporting policies that keep our families and streets safe. It is a record grounded in conservative principles and carried out with a passionate understanding of the people I was elected to represent.

In New Hampshire, we face challenges that must be addressed.  The new biennial budget has built in deficits that must be overcome through sound management and a review of spending to see where we can generate further efficiencies.  We have an energy crisis produced by a lack of new supply that has rates for homeowners and businesses soaring to record heights. Without addressing the need for additional energy sources, we are leaving our families with the potential for overwhelming natural gas and electric costs and our business community at an economic and competitive disadvantage when compared to their peers in New England and across the country.  And while New Hampshire prided itself in leading our region out of times of recession, we are seeing our neighbors with stronger economies than ours, attracting new businesses and offering more opportunities for the next generation to find educational opportunities and jobs without migrating to another state.  These are all challenges that we must face together.  As elected officials, we are all entrusted with a temporary power to lead the state in problem solving. The problems don't require a Republican or Democrat solution.  They require a New Hampshire solution.

As Speaker, I pledge to make the next two years as productive as possible by working with those who are truly committed to public service.  Yes, I have my beliefs and am guided by conservative principles. But, I am excited about the opportunity to join with all 399 of my colleagues to do the people’s business and make sure we leave our beloved state of New Hampshire a better place than we found it.


Speaker Shawn Jasper


Rep. J.R. Hoell - New Hampshire jobs, lives in the cross hairs of gun debate

By Rep. J.R. Hoell
Dunbarton, NH

It would seem absurd to almost anyone if a group of politicians said they wanted to ban a list of controversial books or require a background check that verified the completion of some civics education before anyone could vote in an election.

After all, the state and federal constitutions protect the right to free speech, regardless of where a person happens to be, and it also protects the equal right to vote in free elections for everyone who is 18 and older. Importantly, these constitutions specifically restrict the right to vote for people convicted of treason, bribery or violation of election laws, not to mention those individuals who happen to be 17 or younger.

Now, the federal Constitution also protects the right to “keep and bear arms” and specifically asserts that this right “shall not be infringed” by Congress. Our state Constitution protects the right of individuals who are “defending life and liberty” or “protecting property.” It also specifically affirms: “All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.” Unlike the right to vote, there are no constitutional restrictions on these very clear God given Natural Rights of self-defense.

Why then, is it not absurd for politicians to seek legal restrictions on citizens’ right to defend themselves from potentially lethal attacks “wherever they have a right to be,” as our state law now says? Why is it not absurd to require background checks before someone can buy a constitutionally protected product? Why is it not absurd to contemplate banning any weapon that a person can bear? How are these restrictions of the right to self-defense any different from the restrictions to voting or speech rights contemplated above?

Quite simply: Any restriction on gun rights or the right to self-defense is equally absurd and unconstitutional.

Yet, we now have a group of Democrat state legislators in the House who have made it their priority to violate gun owners’ constitutional rights, at the expense of safety and the New Hampshire economy. The same group of Democratic legislators who complained last session when Republicans lifted the unconstitutional ban on guns in parts of the State House reinstated the ban as their first order of business this year.

Then, the Democrats busily got to work on bills to ban guns in public buildings, to prohibit people from showing a gun to diffuse a violent confrontation, to allow violent aggressors to sue people who use their gun in self defense, to require people to take a safety course before buying a gun, and to force innocent people to run and cower from someone trying to kill, rape or seriously harm them.

All of the Democrats’ ideas to restrict gun rights this year are unconstitutional and a distraction from more important business, but the Democrats are now working overtime to convince you it is a compromise for them to advance HB 135, a bill that would make you a criminal for defending your life with a gun outside your house. That bill is scheduled for a vote in the House this week.

Perhaps New Hampshire Democrats expect a woman who is about to be raped to urinate or throw-up on herself as she’s trying to get away from her rapist rather than stop the rape with her gun? Or maybe Democrats expect a disabled man in a wheelchair to let an assailant tip over his chair and take his wallet instead of prevent potentially life-threatening injuries and the theft with his gun? Do they think the well trained, concealed-carry license holder should let a madman shoot 30 people before the cops arrive or take the clear shot that he has and stop the mayhem? Maybe Democrats want a young mother to allow her children to be murdered as she runs under a table to hide instead of take a weapon from her purse and save her most precious loved ones?

With their relentless efforts, it is clearly more important for House Democrats to stop law-abiding citizens from lawfully protecting themselves than to work on efforts to rebuild our struggling economy. What’s worse, a quick look at the statistics show how Democratic efforts to curb lawful gun rights in New Hampshire will actually contribute further to economic malaise.

By far, the firearms industry in New Hampshire generates more revenue per capita and employs more people per capita than the firearms industry in every other state. In New Hampshire, there are over 2,100 people working in the firearms and ancillary industries generating over $150 million of economic activity, according to the National Shooting Sports Association, yet the Democrats want to shut this industry down.

With their uncompromising action, it’s quite clear that Democrats are not only trampling all over constitutionally protected rights, they are also actively working to harm the economy.


Released by House Republican Alliance


Matthew Godlewski - State Government Should Not Be Picking Business Winners and Losers

One-Sided Bill Runs Contrary to New Hampshire’s ‘Live Free or Die’ Tradition

By Matthew Godlewski, Vice President of State Affairs

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Think back to 1998.  Remember your hairstyle?  Your clothes? 

A lot changes in 15 years.  Not only do styles and trends change, but most things need a refresh from normal wear and tear.  The same is true for auto showrooms.

That’s partly why automakers are so strongly opposed to legislation crafted by car dealer lobbyists in Concord that would restrict automakers from requiring New Hampshire’s franchised auto dealers from improving or upgrading facilities for a full 15 years.  Automakers are asking for a reasonable 7 years, the industry standard.

And when they do upgrade and refresh their showrooms and waiting areas, dealers want full freedom to do whatever they want without input or oversight from automakers.  But like with any retail product, brand consistency is important in the ultra-competitive auto industry and manufacturers deserve to be part of the renovation process.

The truth is franchise agreements serve a very real and necessary purpose when it comes to retail sales.  They ensure like quality, style, and design that reflects on the value and character of the product sold.  That’s why a McDonalds looks like a McDonalds or a Jiffy Lube like a Jiffy Lube.  The same is true for selling cars and trucks.

And the illogical changes dealers want in New Hampshire law that regulates their business relationships with manufacturers doesn’t end there.  Their changes hurt consumers.  They will cost consumers.

Dealers insist on changes that would raise retail rates for service and repairs for everyone.  Why should New Hampshire motorists pay more than drivers in other states so dealers can increase their own profits?  They shouldn’t.

Dealers want to eliminate checks and balances built into today’s accounting practices.  Five years ago, automakers could ensure the reimbursements they were paying for warranty and recall work were accurate by auditing those invoices up to 24 months back.  In 2009, that review period shrank to 12 months.  Dealers now insist on 6 months.  What are they hiding?

And, in their bill, dealer lobbyists included first-of-its-kind language in the country that would make it easier for dealers to secure automakers’ proprietary and confidential information and sue, thereby increasing litigation, clogging up the courts, and passing on those increased costs of doing business to consumers.  Good for dealers and their lawyers, but again not for you.

The fact is Senate Bill 126 is poor public policy that lets government pick business winners and losers and sets a dangerous precedent in New Hampshire law.  It benefits car dealer interests, not yours.  And it runs contrary to New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” tradition of encouraging a competitive marketplace for commerce while also protecting the interests of consumers.

The auto industry is in rebirth, and that’s good for New Hampshire.  Close to 24,000 New Hampshire families rely on jobs in the greater auto industry.  And auto-related taxes and fees generate $295 million annually to state coffers, totaling 14 percent of total state tax revenue.

According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, last year dealers enjoyed record pretax profits of nearly $850,000 per store on average.  The ship has been righted.  Automakers want to share that success with dealers, but not at the expense of New Hampshire families who will ultimately be left footing the bill if SB 126 becomes law.

Automakers stand ready to work with both legislators and dealers to find a balanced solution that addresses the needs of all parties and protects consumer interests as well.


The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the leading advocacy group for the auto industry, represents 77% of all car and light truck sales in the United States, including the BMW Group, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen Group of America and Volvo Cars North America.


Ed Mosca - NH House Democrats Seek To Legalize Mob-Rule 

Incredibly (or perhaps not so incredibly if you were present on March 31, 2011 and watched House Democrats give a standing ovation to an unruly and menacing mob of protestors while they were being evicted from the House gallery), House Democrats are bringing forward legislation that would give their special interest constituencies the legal right to shut down the House and Senate whenever things aren’t going their way.  Specifically, Rep Tim Horrigan is sponsoring a bill that would require a body of the Legislature that closes its gallery while in session to immediately recess and to remain in recess until its gallery is reopened.  Let’s consider the implications if such a law had been in effect last session.

            During the budget bill debate on March 31, 2011, a raucous and apparently preplanned outburst of shouting from certain Democrat special interest constituencies who had packed the House gallery made it impossible to continue conducting legislative business.  The gallery was cleared and closed, and the House was able to resume its business, working through a series of dilatory amendments proposed by Democrats.  The gallery was reopened before the final vote, and the budget was passed.

            If Horrigan’s bill had been law and had been followed, the House would have had to go into recess and remain in recess until the gallery was reopened.  Which means that all the special interest constituencies would have needed to do to block the budget was to repack the gallery every time it was reopened, renew the protest, and force the House back into recess.  This is not democracy; this is mob-rule. 

            Horrigan’s bill is blatantly unconstitutional.  The New Hampshire Constitution gives the House (Part II, Article 22) and the Senate (Part II,Article 37) the exclusive authority to set their own rules of proceeding.  That means each body gets to decide on its own if to recess and and how long to recess. 

            Horrigan contends that his mob-rule bill is constitutional because it just effectuates what already is required by Part II, Article 8, which provides that “[t]he doors of the galleries, of each house of the legislature, shall be kept open to all persons who behave decently, except when the welfare of the state, in the opinion of either branch, shall require secrecy.”

            Horrigan confuses the means with the end.  The historical record of Part II, Article 8 makes it clear that its purpose was open government, to allow the citizens to be informed by preventing the Legislature from conducting its business in secret.  In 1792, physically keeping the doors to the House and Senate open to the public at all times was the only way to achieve open government.  Television, radio and Internet did not exist and were inconceivable.

            The House conducted its business after the gallery was closed on March 31, 2011 in a far more open manner than required by a literal reading of Part II, Article 8.  The proceedings continued to be live-streamed, and none of the press, television-cameras or recording equipment was removed.  To claim, as Horrigan does, that live-streaming does not effectuate the purpose of Part II, Article 8 is equivalent to claiming that the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment apply only to the forms of communication and the types of search technology that existed in the 18th century.    

            While it was unfortunate that some had to suffer because of the selfish and stupid actions of the protestors during the budge debate in 2011, it simply was not practical to immediately reopen the gallery.  It was eminently reasonable to assume, given the scale of the demonstrations occurring outside the Statehouse and the obviously planned nature of the outburst, that there was a sizable number of additional protestors who would enter the gallery, if it were immediately reopened, in order to renew the disruption.  Moreover, there was no efficacious way to prevent most of the expelled protestors from being readmitted to the gallery.  While some probably could have been identified because they were especially menacing and vociferous, there were simply too many to have any confidence that security had the capacity to identify and exclude most of them.

            Horrigan’s mob-rule bill can be understood as a manifestation of O-O-S: O’Brien-Obsession-Syndrome.  A visceral reaction against anything former Speaker O’Brien is for, and a visceral reaction for anything O’Brien is against.     


John Hikel - I am asking for your vote for State Representative from Goffstownon September 11

My name is John Hikel and I am asking for your vote in the Republican Primary on Sept. 11 to once again represent you in the NH House of Representatives for the 3rd term. I was first elected in 2008 and again in 2010. For the past two years, I have served as the Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee which primarily deals with Dept. of Safety legislation.

I own and operate a small auto repair shop here in Goffstown and understand the concerns of other small businesses and employers.

I have a proven track record of being a strong Republican with fiscally conservative principals based on my oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitutions of the US and NH. My outspoken stance on more jobs, strong NH economy, lower taxes, no sales or income tax, less government, more freedoms and liberty, strong family values, education, pro 2nd Amendment, and firm believer of individual states rights. My voting record stands for itself as one of the higher scoring Republican in all categories based on the party platform over the past 4 years.

We are a compassionate society who must never put profit above the truly needy, elderly, and most vulnerable. I have had the pleasure serving all of my friends and neighbors of Goffstown and assisting them to maneuver through the red tape of state government whenever a question or concern came my way.

Please feel free to stop by my repair shop, call 860-7891, email, or check out and my door is always open and my phone is always on.

Again, it's been a pleasure to serve you all and look forward to do it again and keep NH heading in the right direction.

Thank you,

John Hikel