Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Wednesday
Oct102012

What A Choice? Maggie The Fiscally Clueless vs. Ovide The Social Neanderthal!

            The moment I saw Maggie Hassan’s ad about how the first responsibility of a governor is balancing the budget I said to myself, “Well, that’s not really false, but it’s not quite true either.  Maybe I should blog about this.”

            Give Ovide LaMontagne’s campaign credit.  Before I got a chance to point out the half truths in Maggie’s ad, I noticed that Ovide is up with an ad countering the contention in the Hassan ad.

            Of course, the governor is responsible for submitting a balanced budget, and the House and Senate must pass a balanced budget back to the governor.

            So that much goes without saying.

            The real question is how one goes about “balancing” the budget.

            As Team Ovide correctly notes in its counter ad, the Democrats, with Maggie the Majority Leader in the Senate, managed their balancing act only by adding dozens of new taxes and fees.

            But, and this wasn’t noted in the commercial, it didn’t end there.

            Even after Maggie's Democrats inflated revenue estimates by the whopping total of $300 million, they discovered a budget shortfall a year later.

            So what did they do along with increasing more taxes and fees?  Not everyone is likely to remember this, and it wasn't mentioned in the Ovide commercial, but at Maggie’s behest and out of thin air, Democrats grasped for $60 million in phantom revenues.  They imagined sale of state assets and booked them at $60 million.  Guess how many of those assets were actually sold.  If you said ZERO, you’d be right.

            Clearly, Maggie doesn’t have a clue when it comes to balancing the budget with real revenue projections and cutting expenses.

            All responsible numbers crunchers here at the State House agree with my contention that revenues are not going to increase much over the next two years (we’re running almost even for this year—off a couple million—after hitting the mark right on the dot last year).

            With Maggie pledged to no state or income tax, Team Ovide needs to pound away with the question, "Where will you get the money to balance your budget, Maggie?"  Will it be with $300 million in bloated revenue estimates?  Or perhaps with $60 million in the sale of phony assets?  Or with a gambling scheme not likely to pass the House and Senate?

            Don’t get me wrong.

            Although I am a Republican, I am not touting Ovide LaMontagne’s candidacy.  I find Neanderthal social views almost as harmful to our society—perhaps more so—than clueless fiscal impresarios.

            That’s why I stated on my TV show this week that if it were possible, this would be a prime year for a None of The Above choice for governor.

            Democrats argue—and I tend to agree—that Ovide LaMontagne would take us back to the days of coat hangar abortions; of the gay teen suicide rate skyrocketing as gay youth are thrown back in the closest; and of schools teaching transsubstantiation…cue Tom Lehrer for his “Vatican Rag” song, please. 

            “First you get down on your knees; fiddle with your rosaries; bow your head in great respect, and...genuflect, genuflect, genuflect.  Make a cross on your adohmen; when in Rome do like a Roman; ave Maria; gee it's good to see ya; getting ecstatic and sorta dramatic and doing the Vatican Rag.”  (I'll have to dig that song out for next week's show; I have both an audio and a video version).

            Not that there’s anything wrong with espousing your Catholic faith or any other faith for that matter, but to teach it in schools?  Creationism, no thanks, Ovide, no thanks!

            Republicans argue—and I certainly agree—that Maggie is out to lunch when it comes to fiscal issues.

            Then there’s Libertarian John Babiarz who, when asked by Josh McElveen (always EE please) on Channel 9, just pulled eight billion dollars out of thin air as a good number for state spending.  I’m about as fiscally conservative as anyone you’ll find, but even I’d be hard pressed to come in at eight billion, certainly with a plan which could ever pass the House and Senate!

            None of the above?

            This could be the year.

            No wonder the undecided option is so high in polls.  It’s not because people don’t know these candidates; it’s because we know them all too well.

Tuesday
Oct092012

The Week In Polls--Oct. 9--Oh, What A Bounce!

Maybe Obama would do better in the next debate if he just started quoting Pee Wee Herman, "I know you are Mitt, but what am I?"

   
     

 

The punditry world, including the highly respected Nate Silver who noted that the biggest bounce ever from a debate performance was three points, are left scratching their statistical-crammed heads this week.

The bounce was as much as a dozen points in at least one poll--Romney went from eight points down to four points up (49-45) in the latest Pew Poll.

It'll undoubtedly take Nate and Company a few more days to figure out the average bounce, but wanna bet it'll be more than three points.

Ah yes, that's because no other candidate was so totally dominated as was Obama last Wednesday night.

For the first time ever, Romney has pulled ahead in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.  It's 48.0-47.3 Tuesday.  The only question is whether or not there's more bounce still to come.

The pollster average still has Obama up but by only 0.4 points (47.0-46.6).

Ironically, it's Rasmussen, the last hope for Romney a week ago as sited by who populate Fox News shows, now has the race dead even at 48-48.  In other words, the Romney bounce, which peaked at  four over the weekend with Rasmussen over the weekend, is back down to two.  However, in the 11 Battleground states, Rasmussen now has Romney up two.

Go figure!

For the first day since the debate, Gallup now has Romney ahead.  It's 49-47 Tuesday, and two more nights of post-debate polling could drive that number up even higher (Gallup uses a seven day moving average).

IBD/Tipp has Romney up 47-45 Tuesday.  And while Politico still had Obama up a point (49-48) that was yesterday's news and probably obsolete in these fast moving conditions.

 The WMUR/Granite State Poll (Andy Smith from UNH) still has Romney ahead, but it's a six point swing from last week when the Demagogue In Chief was up none.  It's only six (47-41) today.

Other state polls are equally good news for Romney.  While CNN still has him down four (51-47) in Ohio, ARG has him up by one (48-47) in that swingiest of all states.

He's even cut a 30 point gap in Massachusetts down to 16 (52-36) in a WBUR poll, good news for Senator Scott Brown who has pulled ahead of Elizabeth Warren 48-45 in that same poll.  He'd been trailing in recent polls prior to the debate.

Other polls show Romney within two or three points in both Michigan and Pennsylvania.  Don't think he's going to win those states, but it's an indication that once you see movement in national numbers, it's sure to follow in all state polling. 

ARG has Romney up four points (50-46) in Colorado.

Rasmussen has him within six points (51-45) in Connecticut, but unlike other pollsters, Democrat Chris Murphy leads wrestling maven Linda McMahon by five points (51-46) for the Senate there.

Where it really counts, Romney has moved up nine (50-41) in a new North Carolina poll.  Expect pundits to start shading that state light red soon.

Nate Silver appears to be a big behind the curve at fivethirtyeight.com. He still gives Obama the electoral college 297-240 with a 71 percent chance of winning albeit by a narrower margin(50.5-48.5).

RCP no longer has the electoral college wrapped up.  It has Obama up only 251-181 with Nevada, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Iowa and Missouri too close to call.  That should change in a few days with Missouri tilting firmly to Romney and New Hampshire going back to toss-up.

Even Pollster (as in Huffington!) has Obama shy of the 270 electoral votes needed to win (it's 263-206 today).

Things are moving so fast there's no telling where they will stop.   While upwards of 70 million people watched the first debate, Obama was left with what Charles the Wise (Charles Krauthammer) calls the wit of the staircase in having to refute days later what he missed during the debate.  If only the Patriots could have mulligans like Obama seems to think he's entitled to, they'd be 2-0 against the Giants in the Super Bowls.  Or the Red Sox would win 1967, 1975, and 1986 World Series.

Sorry, Obie, do-overs aren't allowed in sports or debating.

The wit of the staircase remark, while cruel, does not go far enough.  I'd say that Team Obama/Biden are left like petulant little children who resort to the lame remark, "Your mother wears army boots!"

In fact, Team Obama very much resembles that precocious man/child from 30 years ago, the one with the nervous laugh we all remember so well.

Obama is turning into the Pee Wee Herman of 2012.

"I know you are but what am I?"

Don't get me wrong.  I was a big fan of PeeWee...We'll know Obama has taken total leave of his senses if he starts saying, "It's time for a Penny cartoon"!

Tuesday
Oct092012

16 No Show Reps Seek Re-Election

 
This information is offered in the hopes that statewide media, as a public service to voters, will pick up on it prior to the November 6 election
For the 400 State Representatives in New Hampshire, the average attendance for 2012 was 82 percent, not all that bad, a solid B- in school house grading terms.  The only way we can determine this is by roll call votes, and there were plenty of them, so no one can claim that he or she missed a day or two (or left early from time to time) thus driving his or her score down.
The average Rep was present for 237 of 289 votes.
When a lobbyist last week asked me what I would consider an acceptable level of attendance, I replied that we should use the A, B, C, D, F grading system.  By that standard, anything below 60 would be unacceptable, but being in a generous mood, I decided to set 50 percent as a standard.
I then went through the list of all 400 Reps.  After removing anyone not running for re-election (after all, they've already decided that they don't have the time to serve again), I came up with 16 what must be deemed the WORST OF THE WORST, Reps who, despite terrible attendance, decided that they should run again.  11 were Republicans, 5 Democrats, not that far out of line statistically since Republicans had 298 Reps and Democrats only 102 after the 2010 election.
What does stand out as a glaring statistical deviation is the dereliction of Manchester Democrats.  Four of the five No Show Democrats are from Manchester.  In fact, two of them fall not merely below 25 percent but below 25 percent!  No Manchester Republican seeking re-election falls below 50 percent.
Dover, Nashua, and Londonderry each had two Reps below 50 percent yet running again.
I've placed an asterik next to two names since these two Reps could be legitimately excused by extended illnesses.  Let me know if I've missed anyone (or included someone who should not be.
Here they are from bottom to top. Some of them even managed to survive primary challenges.
*Jean Jeudy, D-Manchester--67 votes made--ONLY 23.1%
 Jeff Oligny, R-Hampstead--68 votes made--ONLY 23.4 %
Tom Katsiantonis, D-Manchester--69 votes made--ONLY 23.8 %
Tim Hogan, R-Nashua--70 votes made--ONLY 24.1 percent
Pat Garrity, D-Manchester--91 votes made-- 31.4%
*Susan Emerson--R, Rindge--104 votes made- 35.9%
Bruce Markus, R-Peterborough--118 votes made--40.7%
Dorothea Hooper, D-Dover--127 votes made--43.8 %
Dan Tamburello, R-Londonderry, 128 votes made--44.1%
Jon Richardson, R-Allenstown--131 votes made--45.2%
Michael Weededn, R-Dover--132 votes made--45.5%
Peter Ramse, D-Manchester--133 votes made--45.9%
Michele Rocklin, R-North Hampton--134 votes made--46.2%
Fred Leonard, R-Rochester--136 votes made--46.9%
David Lundgren, R-Londonderry--143 votes made--49.3%
James Summers, R-Nashua, 144 votes made--49.8%
 Numbers speak for themselves; no editorial comment is necessary...except to mention that one of the derelict No Show Reps has been chosen by Speaker Bill O'Brien to serve on his re-election committee. In other words, No Shows Reps for Bill.  Any idea which one????

 
Tuesday
Oct092012

Manchester Democrats Top "No Show Rep" List

For the 2012 session, the average attendance among the 400 Reps State Reps was 82 percent; the average Rep was present for 237 of 289 roll call votes.  Let's use that as a base-line as we explore the concecpt of NO SHOW REPS.
At the State House last this week, a lobbyist approached me to ask what I think an acceptable number of absences is for a State Representative.
I'm glad he asked me that question; and I would challenge all members of the media to ask the same question and to publish attendance records of incumbent Reps in their reading area prior to November 6.
In the Manchester area, I've made it easy for the Union Leader, the Hippo, and The Herald (which I began to write for with the issue out today).  I've listed all Manchester Reps from best to worst, noting their ward and party alongside. 
The data is readily available from the House Clerk's office (the Concord Monitor wrote a story a month or so ago about the most chronic offenders statewide).  There was such a large number of roll calls (289) in 2012 that we can use percentages, and there should be no excuse by a Rep that he or she was marked down due to missing a certain day.  Roll calls were frequent almost every day.
My answer to the lobbyist is quite simple.  I would judge a Representative the way we would judge a child in the classroom.  A percentage of 90-100 rates an A; 80-89 a B; 70-79 a C; 60-69 a D; and anything below 60 an F--as in a failing grade. Certainly no voter should ever vote for anyone with less than a 50 percent attendance (except in the rare case of an extended illness).  Being away on business is no excuse because the Rep should have known he would be busy when he or she decided to run; and besides, he or she most likely will be away again come next year.
When I first run for office, I promised to be there all the time; you can't help govern if you don't bother to show up.  Basically, I've kept my promise, missing only one day in 16 years (boy, was I sick that day; it was during Benson's tenure in office).  My attendance is usually 100 percent, but it slipped to 99 percent this year.
To be kind to Reps who really don't deserve such kindness, let's define NO SHOW REP as one who misses more than half (50%) of roll calls.  Technically speaking, half attendance would make him or her a half show Rep, but for the sake of journalistic shorthand, let's use that standard as a No Show Rep (or derelict) and see what we get.  I've actually run a screen for all incumbent New Hampshire Reps who are seeking re-election, and I'll post the results in a separate blog.  I've come up with 16 (11 Republicans and 5 Democrats) who meet the definition.  Since Republicans elected 298 to only 102 Democrats in 2010, we would expect nearly three times as many Republicans to come up in the screen, so this number makes sense.
However, the purpose of the exercise today was to get material together for the Manchester area.
Incredibly, four out of the five Democrats (who missed more than 50 percent of votes) are from Manchesther (Jean Jeudy, Ward 3,  who has an extended illness as an excuse; Tom Katsiantonis from my own Ward 8; Ward 7, bar room brawler Pat Garrity; Ward 1 Palace Theater entrepreneur Peter Ramsey)   That's an incredible total of 80 percent of Democratic derelicts from Manchester!.  Two of the four (Katsiantonis and Jeudy) actually missed more than 75 percent of the votes!  No Manchester Republicans (who missed more than 50 percent of votes) are seeking re-election.  Thus, of the 16 statewide derelicts, four are from Manchester.  That's an incredible 20 percent from a city which has about 7 percent of the population.  This is more than a statistical anomaly.  Manchester Democrats have a shameful attendance.
Were I ever to have attendance below 60 (let alone 50), I would hang my head in shame; certainly not seek re-election.  How such derelicts as these four from Manchester could even think of putting themselves forward for re-election is beyond me, but I fully suspect at least one of them will be returned to office..
I will be offering this list  to all media, not because I am tops in Manchester attendance and one of my opponents is near the bottom, but because voters have a right to know whom their NO SHOW REPS prior to Nov. 6.  It will also be offered on my TV show The Liberty Express (Monday at 10 p.m.; Thursday at 9 p.m.; Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon and always available at vimeo.com/channels/libertyx).
The R or D indicates party, followed by ward number.  The most interesting thing about this is that no editorial comment is needed; the numbers speak for themselves.
From top to bottom (based on 289 roll calls):
Steve Vaillancourt--R8--286 votes--99 %
Tammy Simmons--R10--283 votes--98%
Win Hutchinson--R2--283 votes--98%
Ben Baroody--D6--276 votes--96%
Cathy Cusson-Cail--Not Running--R7--274 votes--95%
Peter Sullivan--(only in office half year)--D3--180 of 189 votes--95 %
Jerry Bergevin (defeated in primary)--R10--269 votes--93 %
Irene Messier--R10--261 votes--90
Barbara Shaw--9D--261 votes--90 %
Gail Barry (running for Senate)--R9--256 votes--89 %
Maurice Pilotte--Not Running--D9--256 votes-- 89 %
Connie Soucy--Not Running--R12--255 votes--88 percent
John Gimas--Not Running--D5--251 votes--87 percent
Larry Gagne--R6--251 votes--87%
Mike Ball--R2--246 votes--85%
Jeff Goley--D1--242 votes--84 %
Dan Sullivan--D1--241 votes--83%
Mark Proulx--R8--233 votes--81 %
Phil Greazzo--Running for Senate--R10--217 votes--75%
Matthew Swant--R10--216 votes--75%
Pat Long--D3--205 votes--71%
Ross Terrio--R7--202 votes--70%
Kathy Souza--R4--198 votes--69%
Ted Rokas--D5--190 votes--66%
Will Infantine (Labor Committee Vice Chair!)--R6--181 votes--63%
Nick Levasseur--D4--160 votes--55 %
Cam DeJong--Not Running--R2--144 votes--50%
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Ramsey--D1--133 Votes--46%
Pat Garrity--D7--01 Votes--32%
Norma Champagne--Not Running--R5--76 Votes--26 percent
Tom Katsiantonis--D8--68 Votes--24%
Jean Jeudy (ill)--D3--66 Vote--23%
Tom Beattie--Not Running--R10--41 Votes--14%
Saturday
Oct062012

Inside WMUR's Latest Polls

Normally I would headline this as the UNH poll, but Andy Smith asks that it be referred to as the WMUR/Granite State Poll, and since the station is paying for the poll results, we should at least honor that request.

As regular visitors to this site know, I look to look at the geographical breakout of votes.  When it comes to predicting State Senate and State Rep races, this data can be extemely useful

According to the poll which showed Barack Obama up 15 points (52-37), he was leading in every region except the Massachusetts border (no surpise); and it was close in the Manchester area (no surprise since that region includes the highly Republican towns of Bedford, Goffstown, Londonderry, Hooksett, etc).  Similarly, although ahead of Ovide LaMontagne by only two points (42-40 or 38-36 depending on which group you focused on), she was ahead everywhere except the Mass border and Manchester (Ovide's back yard).

Here on the numbers:

For President--

North Country--Obama 61-37 (+24)

Central/Lakes Region--Obama 54-33 (+21)

Connecticut Valley--Obama 63-28 (+35!)

Seacoast--Obama 57-28 (+28)

Mass Border--Romney 45-42 (+3)

Manchester Area--Obama 45-44 (+1)

I also was amused by these numbers:

Those Reading The Union Leader--Romney 48-41 (+7)

Those Listening to NHPR--Obama 75-17 (+58!)

No wonder Democrats were so quick to spring to Big Bird's defense.

 

 

For Governor

North Country--Hassan 51-38 )+13)

Central/Lakes--Hassan 50-40 (+10)

Connecticut Valley--Hassan 47-31 (+16)

Mass Border--Ovide 45-32 (+13)

Seacoast--Hassan 44-34 (+10)

Manchester Area--Ovide 48-41 (+7)

Union Leader Readers--Ovide 52-35 (+17)

NHPR Listeners--Hassan 64-21 (+43!)

My guess is Republicans are doing better in the wake of the first debate, but thanks to Andy Smith and WMUR for this snapshot in time.