Either New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper, R-Hudson, is mathematically challenged or we are seeing the first sign of payback to House Democrats for supporting him in the bizarre win in early December.
With 26 members on the Finance Committee, simple arithmetic (based on members of the House in each party) would dictate a split of 16 Republicans and 10 Democrats, yet Jasper has given Republicans only 15 seats on the committee and Democrats 11.
Admittedly it's a close call and some rounding will be involved, but follow along with me.
Republicans captured 239 seats in the House. 239 is 59.75% of the 400 seats (239 divided by 400).
59.75 percent of 26 Finance Committee seats is 15.535. That would be rounded up to 16 unless Jasper had cut some kind of underhanded deal with Democrats.
Look at it the other way. Democrats captured 160 seats. That's exactly 40 percent of 400 seats.
26 times 40 percent is 10.4 seats; anyone not trying to pay back some type of deal would round that down to 10, not up to 11.
Even if you Democrats the benefit of the doubt and credit them with the lone undeclared member for a total of 141 seats, the percentage is only 40.25. 40.25 times 26 is 10.4572 which again should be rounded down to 10, not up go 11.
This fact should be all the more horrifying for Republicans since Finance Committee members are supposed to be able to deal with numbers, and these are the simplest of arithmetic calculations.
How someone like Chairman Neal Kurk or Vice Chairman Lynn Ober did not pick up this mathematical error is beyond me.
Even more alarming is the alternative theory, that they were smart enough to pick up Jasper's mathematical error and he simply pooh-poohed their concerns.
I can't believe I'm the only one who has caught this error and shudder to think how many more errors, either intentional or unintentional, to which the new Speaker will subject Republicans and the people of New Hampshire..
It appears the 11th Democratic seat (to the extent one can judge such things) has gone to former Finance Committee Chair and Marjorie Smith, D-Durham. I feel compelled to point out that I both like and respect Rep. Smith a great deal. Way back in 1999, she and I sat next to each other on the Finance Committee. That fact, however, does not negate the fact that the laws of math--or make that simple arithmetic--were violated in Jasper's creation of this committee.
A difference of 16-10 versus 15-11 could in fact mean a great deal since committee recommendations always carry a great deal of weight on the House floor. The fact that the error occurs in the House's most important committee seems a tragedy which could lead to far more liberal measures being passed. Although I like and respect her a great deal, Rep. Smith is certainly far more liberal than a 16th Republican on the committee would be.
Just in case you don't trust me, here's proof of the 15-11 split.
|Researcher:||Location:||RM 210-211 LOB|
|Committee Members:||Email Committee Members|
|Chairman:||Neal Kurk(r)||Bills Currently in Committee|
|V. Chairman:||Lynne Ober(r)||Bills Originally Referred to Committee|
|Clerk:||Mailing list of Committee Members|