Concord - Sunday, Foster's Daily Democrat ran an op-ed by Republican Bonnie Newman, former president of the Business and Industry Association and chief of staff to then Congressman Judd Gregg, touting Governor's Lynch steady leadership for New Hampshire.
Newman commended the Governor's responsible stewardship of the state budget, his work to rebuild the economy in wake of the national recession, and the progress he has made improving education. And Newman also complimented Governor Lynch's willingness to reach across partisan lines, and "work with people of all parties, or political points of view, if they share his goal of working in good faith to solve a problem."
The full text of the op-ed is below.
John Lynch: Steady leadership for N.H.
Foster's Daily Democrat
June 20, 2010
Steady. Principled. Hard working. Selfless. These are the qualities we expect of a true leader, and these are exactly the qualities that have made John Lynch such an effective leader for New Hampshire over the last 6 years.
We saw those qualities of leadership at work over the last few weeks, as the legislature struggled over finalizing a budget. John Lynch could have grandstanded, or played politics, but instead he worked quietly, nights and weekends, bringing the leadership of the house and senate together, doing the hard work necessary to forge compromise. Lynch set clear parameters - no expanded gambling until an adequate regulatory structure is in place; no new taxes; and protecting the safety net for New Hampshire's most vulnerable citizens.
And in the end, that's the budget that passed. Is it perfect? Of course not. It's a budget that required hard choices and the setting of priorities. But during a national economic recession that is straining state budgets across the country, New Hampshire is in an enviable position of actually having a budget that addresses our most pressing needs and defers others until the national economy recovers.
Throughout this recession, John Lynch has led to help rebuild our state's economy and create jobs, through expanded job training, tax incentives for research and development, the promotion of renewable energy, rebuilding of our roads and bridges, and keeping state taxes and spending low. Today, New Hampshire has the lowest unemployment rate in New England, and economists predict New Hampshire's economy will lead the region as we emerge from the recession.
On matters of integrity and accountability, John Lynch has never waivered. Lynch set high standards for state officials, passing the first ever ethics law for the executive branch. And when officials haven't met those standards, he has acted decisively to remove them from office to protect the public interest.
We have seen plenty of people from both parties playing politics with the FRM matter, but John Lynch has done exactly what we would want a Governor to do. He's acted responsibly - asking the attorney general to undertake a complete review of the state's regulatory structure and management of the FRM matter. And John Lynch has insisted upon accountability, seeking the removal of the banking commissioner, when the AG's report made clear the insufficient management and oversight from that department over a period of years.
John Lynch has led in the area of education - setting a goal of reducing our state's dropout rate to zero. He worked to pass common sense legislation to increase the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18, and provide alternative programming for students at greatest risk of dropping out. And in just one year - the state's dropout rate has gone down by 30%. What a tremendous accomplishment that is for our state, our young people and our future.
Our state has a proud tradition and history of leading on civil rights. And it was in that tradition when John Lynch signed a marriage equality law for New Hampshire last year. I suspect this was not a decision he reached easily, but one he approached with care and open - mindedness, with principle and commitment to do what he thought was in the very best interests of all the people of New Hampshire. That's what leadership is all about.
John Lynch not only leads in these high profile areas, he leads through the quality of character he shows every day - the calls and visits he makes to those sick or in need, or the private words of support and encouragement he offers to the families of our military.
I have known John Lynch for nearly 35 years. Back then, he was a student at UNH and I was the Dean of Students. I saw tremendous potential then, and my admiration and respect has only grown as his career progressed. I happen to be a Republican, but I know John Lynch has always been willing to work with people of all parties, or political points of view, if they share his goal of working in good faith to solve a problem.
Quiet, steady, principled leadership. How refreshing that is, and how fortunate we are to have John Lynch as our governor now and hopefully, for the next two years.