Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 12:54PM
As I was pondering whether to post this rather provocative piece, I looked down in my driveway and discovered an orange and white "Gene" button. It must have fallen from the pile of stuff I was bringing into the House after dark the other night.
Let's consider it an omen and let's place valor over discretion here.
As much as I admire Gene Chandler and was happy to vote for him for Republican leader Thursday night, I fear that he is going to bring back three of the people I like least...to say I loathe the three would not be going too...far into his leadership team.
Please, Mister Minority Leader, I beg of you. Do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES surround yourself with the likes of Shawn Jasper of Hudson, David Hess of Hooksett, and Sherm Packard of Londonderry. The three were not among those nominating or seconding Chandler's nomination the other night...they were all in the background... so apparently he realizes how unpopular they are with many House Republicans!
Let's start with Packard, perhaps the least objectionable of the three. As minority leader two terms ago, he was an absolute disaster for minority House Republicans. He is also a bully in the tradition of Billy The Bully and is no true conservative. As Transportation Chair, he built a career out of defending laws which he would then proceed to break on a regular basis (the speed limit for example). During a debate on the every other year car inspection bill, he came close to assaulting me on the House floor, sticking his finger so close to my eye that I considered filing assault charges. The people of Londonderry re-elected this bully, but nowhere near at the top of the ticket. He should have no place in leadership, yet I fear he will.
Then there's Hess who loves to be placed on numerous committees and then not bother to show up. He'll waltz in the room and expect the rest of the committee to get him up to speed on the issue he's missed. This happened when he was with me on Local and Regulated Revenues and Redistricting. He also cannot be trusted. I've listened to him for years on the House floor, and there is absolutely no one I trust less. To say he will lie at the drop of a gavel may be an overstatement, so let's put it this way. In his speeches, dozens of times, he has stretched the truth to such a degree it is not recognizable. He's also an old school bully who won't tolerate anyone who disagrees with his perverted view of the world. He should have no place in leadership, yet I fear he will.
Then there's His Vileness Himself who plays as fast and loose with the facts and Packard but without the convictions. Unlike Hess who actually believes in certain causes, Jasper will say or do anything that he thinks will advance his cause or tear down someone else. Note how he slurred Matt Quandt a drunk, a matter that was picked up by the opposition to help defeat the Exeter Republican this election. Note how it was Jasper leading the charge to have Rep Chandler not merely censured but actually thrown out of the House those many years ago. When the going got tough with Democrats taking over the Hillsborough County delegation, Jasper simply quit his position on the Executive Committee. Mister Minority Leader, I know that placing His Vileness in a position of leadership would show that you don't hold grudges. But Shawn Jasper should have no place in leadership; I fear he will.
Lest I be accused of simply being negative, here are three suggestions of people who possess the three most important qualities in public life--intelligence, honesty, and willingness to work hard.
Mister Minority Leader, you obviously realize what a tremendous asset Laurie Sanborn is; she gave the best speech seconding your nomination the other night and seems to know what it will take to get the Grand Ol Party out of the wilderness.
Although he was too close to Billy The Bully, Dan McGuire is intelligent, honest, and hard working. As one of the leaders of the House Republican Alliance the past two years, he is the perfect link to the conservative or so-called Tea Party wing of the party.
I would also recommend two of my favorite Republicans....favorite elected officials in fact...Neal Kurk and John Hunt. Although I gather than Neal would prefer more a policy position (finance of course), I think it's time to elevate the Honorable Representative from Rindge above Commerce into the front line of leadership.
I fear that it'll be Jasper, Hess, and Packard when it should be Sanborn, McGuire, and Hunt as the three leaders next in line to Gene Chandler.
I know, nobody asked me, but there was that orange and white button staring at me from the pavement as I got to my car this morning.