TOP-DOWN POLITICS DON'T WORK ANYMORE:
On appointing someone to fill the vacancy to be created by Sen. Gregg's stepping down
The process by which someone may be appointed to serve the remainder of Judd Gregg's U.S. Senate term is of the sort that has given politics a bad name -- it's strictly an insider's game. It's not the kind of politics that has made New Hampshire the "First State."
A leading state Republican senator says that the "short list" to guide Gov. Lynch's application of his appointment power is being made up by Democrats in Washington with minimal, if any, input from NH voices, even that of the strong, new Chairman of the state's GOP, John Sununu the elder. Strange. Shouldn't John Sununu the younger be considered a leading candidate? To add insult to injury, the Republican grassroots have had no voice at all.
Ideally, the "appointment" should be made by NH voters through a special election, but this would require a change in the NH Constitution. This calls for the governor to appoint.
To add further insult to injury, leading outlets of the national press have declared that Bonnie Newman is the leading candidate. Though a Republican who once served as Gregg's Chief of Staff, she has not been seen or heard to be active NH state politics for many years. Nevertheless, the fix may be in. If so, it's sad to see a top-down, insider's game replace someone elected by NH voters. It's also sad to see NH support an undesirable emerging trend -- of congressional seats increasingly filled by former congressional staffers. This trend is almost as bad as the rise of dynastic politics. But at least Caroline Kennedy traveled her state in pursuit of the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.
Our former independent-conservative candidate for Congress in the 1st Congressional District, Peter Bearse, is at least as qualified as Bonnie Newman. There are others well qualified who should also be considered.
Our politics should represent the best of NH. Call or write Gov. Lynch. Ask him to open up the process so that we get a U.S. Senator worthy of the "First State."
Released 2/2/09 by Supporters of Peter Bearse for Congress