Concord - Today, former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan, House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli, and state Senator Lou D'Allesandro of Manchester called on Republican House Speaker Bill O'Brien to immediately end his unconstitutional effort to expel Representative Mike Brunelle from the legislature. Last week, a press release from Speaker Bill O'Brien's office announced that the Republican majority would be seeking to remove the duly elected state Representative from Manchester for being a Democrat.
The Republican Majority leader told the AP that by filing a bill that was "a Democratic initiative," Representative Brunelle had violated the Constitution. Specifically, referenced was a bill to raise the minimum wage. (AP, 01/05/2011) Since their surprise announcement last Wednesday, the House Republican Majority has taken harsh criticism in public forums, on political blogs, and even from the conservative Union Leader editorial board.
"The hypocrisy of this move is exceeded only by its imbecility," the Union Leader wrote in a Sunday editorial. They pointed to several Republicans who served simultaneously in the House and worked for the New Hampshire Republican Party or Republican candidates including; former Speaker Donna Sytek who was a state Rep. and New Hampshire GOP Chair, Rep. Shaun Doherty who worked for Frank Guinta's Congressional campaign and Rep. Gene Chandler who worked for Charlie Bass' campaign.
"The new Republican House majority is engaging in an unprecedented abuse of power never before seen in New Hampshire's history, which is unsupported by any reading of the New Hampshire Constitution," said former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan. "All Mike Brunelle has done is advocate for the people of his district and New Hampshire. So why does the new Republican House Majority want to remove him? Because he is good at it and because his political ideas are different theirs."
"The Speaker's action towards Rep. Brunelle discourages all Representatives regardless of party from working to improve our economy or create jobs," said House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli. "I am calling on the Speaker to immediately halt this investigation, and to refocus the House away from fringe issues. I also ask him to work cooperatively with House Democrats to improve the economy and help create jobs for those Granite Staters still struggling to find work."
"We cannot work together as a legislature to solve problems and serve the people of this state, if the Republican majority is going to force an elected member from office in a purely partisan attack," said Senator Lou D'Allesandro of Manchester.