This will be my final posting (maybe) as a State Representative, and lo and behold, I just couldn't leave without passing along an email sent to me by a newly elected State Representative.
Apparently, anti-Bill O'Brien forces have found a person to rally around, and it just happens to be the one State Rep I've truly come to despise above all others through the years, Shawn HV Jasper, R-Hudson.
Regular readers of this blog will undoubtedly recall that HV stands for His Vileness. To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How do I loathe thee, let me count the ways!"
As an aside, one of my most humbling moments as a Rep was when I attributed that line ("How do I love thee; let me count the ways") on the House floor to the Immortal Bard. It was E.B. Browning (in "Songs from the Portuguese") not Shakespeare, a gentle Rep from Claremont corrected me. Ouch! Talk about being hoisted on one's own petard...but I digress.
This apparently is not just any old draft His Vileness effort. As you'll notice in this email, it's from former Speaker Bill O'Brien's one time Chief of Staff (a highly paid position) Bob Mead. Mead and O'Brien were leaders of the House Republican Alliance before O'Brien became Speaker; Mead in fact had to abandon the House seat he'd just been elected to in 2010 to take the paid position. The falling out was hashed out in public, and while I know a little more about it than most people, I'll pass on the temptation to become a historian here.
Suffice it to say that for Jasper to overtake O'Brien tomorrow, with Republicans in control of the House 239-161, he would need to capture all Democratic votes (that's very unlikely) and persuade at least 39 Republicans to bolt from O'Brien who won the Republican caucus by four votes of Gene Chandler two weeks ago.
From all indications, Chandler is not part of this coup attempt, but my sources are not so sure about David Hess, R-Hooksett.
I said all along that Jasper and Hess were the two main reasons Chandler lost to O'Brien in the first place, so we appear to have come full circle.
But as of midnight tonight, it won't be any of my business, and you know how I always mind my own business...so while the big egos fight it out at the NH State House, I'll be tuned in to Big Cat Week on Nat Geo Wild.
Who says losing doesn't have its advantages?
For all of you who were planning to protest the caucus speaker nominee by withholding your vote or casting a blank ballot on Organization Day,
you now have another choice. You no longer have the dilemma of wasting your vote or voting for a speaker candidate you are opposed to.
Although the motion was brought forward, the Caucus failed to vote to unanimously support the Caucus’s speaker nominee.
This deliberate slight by the Caucus, opened the door for another candidate’s nomination on Organization Day, which has now happened.
Bowing to growing pressure from a long list of supporters, Representative Shawn Jasper, who will be starting his eleventh term,
will now have his name placed in nomination for speaker on Organization Day.
So, once again, you have an opportunity to cast your ballot for a more moderate speaker.
Just goes to show that it isn’t over till it’s over.
Please don’t waste your vote on Wednesday!
The Hon. Bob Mead