Rep Steve Vaillancourt


Media Watch--Oh No Kevin, Not Again

For those of you who read are or are about to read Kevin Landrigan's Sunday column in the Nashua Telegraph, beware!
Question three on tomorrow's ballot is NOT a Constitutional Amendment and does NOT require a two-thirds majority.
It asks whether voters desire a Consitutional Convention; the question must go before voters every ten years, and it requies a simply majority.
By a razor thin margin both 10 and 20 years ago, voters decided against having a ConCon.  I would urge everyone to vote against it again.  It would cost cities and towns hundreds of thousands of dollars (a special election would be required to select ConCon delegates) and cost the state even more than that to hold the ConCon.
The ConCon would do what the House and Senate can already do--propose Consitutional Amendments which would then have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of people voting in a future election.
However, the call for a ConCon only requires 50 percent. 
I seem to recall pointing this out to Kevin when he made the mistake once before. 
The reason for the misunderstanding my be that the yes and no totals were reversed in a Red Book (election results book) once thus making it seem like there was a majority of Yeses albeit not two-thirds!  In fact, it was a 51-49 percent No margin!
I will be voting NO on question three.
We do not need a Consitutional Convention, and it will cost precious dollars which could be spent better (if at all) for other things.

Trivia Time--Presidential First Names

If Mitt Romney is elected President tomorrow, he will be at least our third President to go by something other than his first name.  Thus, two questions this week?

What is Mitt Romney's first name?


Which two Presidents had first names of Steve and Hiram?

You say, you want some hints...well, let's not use multiple choice, but let's say Mitt Romney is no rat, but his first name engenders ratlike thoughts.

As for Steve, he was known as "Big" Steve and he was unique in American history.

As for Hiram, there really was no S at the start of his middle name.



Willard Mitt Romney

Steve Grover Cleveland

Hiram Ulysses Grant (no S; Simpson was his mother's maiden name)

President Hiram.  By the way, W. H. Brands has written a  geat new biography of U.S. or H.U. Grant, The Man Who Saved the Union (it's long but very readable, unlike The Great Triumvirate which I still haven't gotten through; even candlelight didn't help).

The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace


Far And Wide Response From "This American Life"

Apparently the long promised New Hampshire edition of This American Life ran Saturday at 4 p.m.  I had been given the wrong hour, so I apologize.  I actually tuned it earlier (as I was heading out going door to door) and missed it, but I have had three responses since.

Most notably, I received an email from a dear old friend from collge days (Plymouth State in the early 70s), someone I haven't heard from in 35 years or so.  WOW!  Turns out she is very left wing (not that there's anything wrong with that) as I suspect a large percentage of NPH listeners are!

Two, some moron sent me a hate email, someone from far fary away.  I've come to expect such things.  No, I didn't respond with the f word although someone so full of hate truly deserves such a response.  My responsee was the more crypitive (I believe from a Kurt Vonnegut book) GTAFFAARD.  You win a prize if you can decipher it here.

Thirdly at City Hall, I ran into Jane Beaulieu, most certainly to be a winner from Manchester's west side in tomorrow's State Rep race.  She liked the show.

Anyone here hear it?


Media Watch--Beware The "All" Word

Journalists, and indeed "all" of us, should be especially careful when using the "all" word.  I caught Kevin Landrigan from the Nashua Telegraphy and Ann Timmins from the Concord Monitor in the past couple weeks.  While I'm sure their intentions were honorable when they used the "all" word, they were indeed overstating the case.

Landrigan, in a Sunday column, noted that House Speaker Bill O'Brien (or his people) had reached out to "all" Republican Representatives for their support in his re-election.  Most would most likely have been appropriate, but certainly not "all" since I would have to be included to make it "all" and I can assure you all that I have not been contacted by the Dictator in Chief (hey, maybe that's why I haven't been contacted!).  I can also assure you all that my good friend (and passenger) Rep. Irene Messier, from Ward 10, has not been contacted by the Dictator's team.  Thus "all minus two" might be appropriate, but I suspect that two would be too few.  Most, Kevin, but not all.

Similarly for the Monitor.  I seem to recall reading a story that "all" Republican Reps had been sent some type of information to use in the campaign.  Again, neither Irene nor I have received any such information whether it be touting the Republican accomplishments the past two years or bewailing the increase of "more than a hundred" taxes and fees when Democrats were in control the previous four years.  Maybe it's just me, but I have received nothing from the GOP (except requests for money from Team Romney), and this is contrary to past years when Republican staffers were on the ball enough to provide opposition reseach (voting records) of my Democratic opponents.  Either Republicans are asleep at the swith this year, or I'm SPECIAL, as in espcecially ingored.

Whatever the case, beware ALL, y'all.

Hysterical Foxes--Speaking of overstating your case, Fox News seems especially dedicated to arousing a state of hysteria in the body politic these final days before the election, and its not just the evening opion dealers like O'Reilly and Hannity and Greta.

Yesterday morning, I actually heard the woman on Fox and Friends claim that some of those devasted by Sandy were "without a stitch of clothing on their backs".  That's a direct quote. 

Are people hurting?  Of course they are.

But is anyone without a stitch of clothing on his or her back?  I truly doubt it...this would be from the woman (y'all know her name undoubtedly--if not big it) who is directed by management to minimize the stitches of clothing she uses to cover her legs on the set!

Shortly after nine, Martha McCallum arrived on the set, and in an attempt to portray the Obama administration as not responding properly to the pain being felt in New York and New Jersey, she noted the long lines at gas stations, but it was not enough to say there were "miles" of people in line.  Oh no, she stated there were "miles and miles" of people in lines.

As a Romney Republican (albeit no neocon or social neanderthal), I usually agree with the Fox viewpoint, but the network hurts its credibility by such overblown reportage.

Are people suffering in the New York area?  I repeat--of course they are.

Is Obama to blame?  Of course he's not.

Only Joshing--Apprarently Channel 9 reporter Josh McElveen (double e, please) is not reading this blog.  Last Sunday, apparently thinking back to the Jefferson/Burr election of 1800, Josh noted that it was 212 years ago that the House of Representatives last was called upon to vote for President.

Wrong!  As I noted here two weeks ago (and as I emailed bo Josh), 1824 was probably an even more exciting year than 1800 although it didn't take as many ballots for the House to make its decision.  With four candidates in the field (JQ Adams, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and William Crawford), no won received an electoral majority.  Popular vote was even tabulated in some states ack then, but Jackson had about 41 perecent of what there was of it to some 33 percent for Adams.  However, Clay (who had been eliminated by virtue of not being in the top three) threw his support in Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio to Adams in what became known as the "corrupt bargain" (a "promise" to become Secretary of State, a promise that probably was never made), and Adams won.  It's a great story.  Josh would do well to note it.  If Romney and Obama get to 269-269 this year (and I've stumbled upon two ways it could happen--there are many, many more), we'll relive the history of 1824 in more detail than I've given here. 

Cheers For The Monitor, Sentinel, And Other Papers which are devoting space not merely to the top of the ticket but to races for State Represenative.  These papers are printing responses from candidates to a variety of questions.  Not every candidate is responding (it would be three strikes against non-responders if I were the umpire), but the chance for a more infomed electorate is there.  Of course, Manchester voters are not so fortunate.  Neither the Union Leader (undoubedly with the excuse that it covers the entire state) nor the Hippo has lifted a finger to inform voters of how candidates stand on issues.  I remember that several election cycles back, I actually shamed McQuad into offering space to all candidates, but apparently as newspaper profit sink and fewer and fewer people get their news from the printed page, that's asking too much for W today.  A big thumbs down to all media which is ignorning this responsibility.

Also a thumbs up to the Monitor for actually endorsing one Republican.  It's exceedinly amusing to find how the Union Leader endorses "all"  (maybe I should use the word "most") Republicans and most liberal papers endorses almost all Democrats.  It's actually laughable.  However, in an endorsement of five State Senate candidates, the Monitor opted for Republican David Boutin in District 16 (Wards 1, 2, 12 in Manchester and Hooksett and other towns).  The paper suggested that Democrat Kathy Kelly get a few years experience as a State Rep prior to running for Senate (this is in fact her second run).  The paper did NOT point at how Kelly, reportedly in a poor state, ran into a series of parked cars and left the scene of an accident a few winters ago.  Oh well, that would perhaps be asking too much...and I'm not even going to go there as to whether or not it would have been reported had the reckless driver been a Republican!


Expect 700,000 and 48,000 Voters Tuesday

Far be it from me to disagree with Secretary of State William Gardner, the man I most admire in the state of New Hampshire (Rep. Neal Kurk has moved into second), but I'm going slightly lower rather than slightly higher for statewide turnout versus four years ago when it was 719,000.

Bill is going with 722,000.  He may well be right, but I'm going with an even 700,000 number.  In the past, population growth has, at least in part, accounted for growth every four years, but keep in mind that the state's population has not grown the past four years--in fact, we might be down slightly.

Plus, I sense a lack of absolute enthusiasm, especially on the part of Obama Democrats.

My latest report from Manchster City Hall is that, as opposed to 2008 when 4395 votes were cast by absentee ballot, 3554 have been cast so far this year.  That's as of Friday, and a few hundred most likely will come in Monday and Tuesday's mail (4271 absentee ballots were requested), but the Manchester absentee total is still likely to be 10 or 15 percent shy of four years ago when more than 49,000 votes were cast in the city.

I'm going with a 48,000 turnout in Manchester this year (hey, what can I say, I like round numbers).  That's not a big decrease, but in this atmosphere, every vote could count.  The most recent poll for New Hampshire, from Gravis, had Obama up 50-49 yesterday.

Paul Bergeron, Nashua City Clerk, is projecting a record turnout there, but numbers absentee requests seem to be down in Keene, rather significant because it leans so heavily Democratic (of course, a wave of Keene Staters could all show up and register election day, but that's not really likely).

I'm predicting Romney to carry the state by about the same margin he does the nation (51-48), and while I'm predicting the state's four electoral votes won't be vital (Romney wins 279-259), they just could if he fails to pick up Colorado.  Take away the 9 from Colorado, and indeed New Hampshire's four votes would move Romney from 266 to the magic 270!

Full details and all predictions will be updated here Monday.