In somewhat chronological order, here are predictions for 2013. There may well be revisions along the way. As always, I kept track last year and was doing fairly well on my legislative predictions (except for my out on a limb prediction that NH legislators would be sensible enough to raise the interstate speed limit; I should have known better); then we got to the election, and top of the ticket predictions brought me down. I did very well with revised New Hampshire Senate predictions (24 for 24) and better than almost anyone else with NH and US House predictions, but I missed the U.S. Senate predictions big time...thanks in large part to the idiotic Republican candidates in Indiana and Missouri. Shut up about abortion already, you Grand Old Party. Anyway. We plow bravely ahead for 2013.
1. Cliff Avoidance--We will approach the so-called fiscal cliff (whatever that is), but as New Years Day dawns, we will for the most part have avoided going over it.
2. Lord Stanley's Cup Again--Early in the year, NHL players and team owners will agree to a settlement which will allow for an abbreviated season and for Lord Stanley's Cup to be contested in June. (They better. I'm certainly not the only hockey fan who just doesn't seem to miss it this fall; absence is not making the heart grow fonder!).
3. Brown Returns--With John Kerry moving on to Secretary of State, my favorite United States Senator, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, will be back by midyear. Who will Democrats put up? Governor Patrick? Probably not. Ted's widow? Probably not. Martha Coakley again? Scott should be so lucky. Brown will win because Obama won't be on the ticket to bring out the no-nothing Democratic vote!
4. No Gay Marriage Repeal--This is an easy one. The New Hampshire House will most assuredly not repeal gay marriage. I'm not even sure if head pounding Republicans will even try, but hey, if they couldn't get it out of the House when they had a 299-102 advantage in 2012, how will they be able to do it when they trail 219-179 right now? They won't.
5. Photo ID Remains--This one isn't quite as easy, but my guess is that photo ID will not be repealed in New Hampshire. As much as Democrats might want to repeal it, they are faced with opinion polls which show support in the three to one range nationwide and a New Hampshire Senate which Republicans still control 13-11. My guess is that this repeal will not even make it out of the House; it's not such a bad thing.
6. No Slots For NH--Once again, expanded video gaming (aka slots or casinos) will not make it out of the New Hampshire House. Despite the support of Governor Maggie Hassan, most elected officials in her own party opposed expanded gambling as do most Republicans. Even with the state desperate for a new revenue source, slots will not make it.
7. Bye, Bye, Tax-Funded Scholarships--Democrats will be successful in repealing that tax-payer funded scholarships bill which narrowly passed in 2012 (with John Lynch's veto being overridden). I'll be with Democrats one this one. It's totally against the spirit of our Constitution to provide tax money for religious schools, no matter how much the money is laundered in the process. Besides, it's never good to use tax policy for social ends. Democrats know this; I'm surprised more Republicans don't.
8. Bye, Bye, DOMA--While it's always dangerous to predict what the United States Supreme Court will do (as we learned in the Obamacare decision), my guess is that the court will strike down the defense of marriage act which allows certain states to deny rights other states have given to gay people. That simply cannot stand and although the court would rather see gay marriage legalized through the legislative process, it will come very close to legalizing it as an equal protection issue. You might even see a margin of more than 5-4, but I won't go that far on a limb.
9. Death Remains--For the third time, the New Hampshire House will vote to repeal the death penalty, but despite Governor Maggie Hassan's willingness to sign the bill, the Senate will come up just short of the 13 votes needed to pass it on to the governor's desk.
10. Gatsas Again--Manchester Democrats will not find a serious candidate to go up against Mayor Ted Gatsas. Garth Corriveau? Come on, I said serious. Patrick Arnold? Come on, I said serious. Gatsas will win albeit by a slightly less margin that two years ago when he faced sacrificial lamb Herbert...let's say closer to a two to one than a three to one margin, but that's plenty good enough.
11. Mininal Charter Changes--The Manchester Charter commission will not agree to major changes. Nothing like bringing back partisan elections or getting rid of Aldermen at Large or getting rid of the spending cap. Maybe they'll propose getting rig of the silly primary election and going with a runoff plan (if necessary) such as Nashua does, but that'll be the extent of it.
12. Girard And Lopez Back--Former Manchester Aldermen At Large Rich Girard and Mike Lopez will both get re-elected albeit not necessarily for the At Large seats. As I understand it, Girard lives in Ward 2; Lopez in Ward 10. They could run in their wards, or a certain Joe could prove once again that he's unworthy of public support (as he certainly is).
13. No Fat Men Need Apply--This is my out on a limb prediction. We won't have New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie to kick around any more. Forget about running for President in 2016. The man who did so much to help get Barack Obama re-elected (remember Sandy) will lose his re-election bid, and I say, Gott sei Dank. I'm not a Christie fan!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it...at least for now.