Rep Steve Vaillancourt



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.

Saturday
Oct062012

Weaning Big Bird From Taxpayer Seed

George is infinitely better than B. Bird, but taxpayer money shouldn't be used for either seed or bananas!

Those of us in New Hampshire--at least some of us--know that Mitt Romney was not the first one to broach defunding of Big Bird (a proxy for the subsidy to public television).

I am proud to say that I successfully led the effort to defund Channel 11 last year.  During the debate, someone mentioned (I think it was Grant Bosse) exactly what Mitt Romney did during Wednesday's debate, that although he personally likes Big Bird, a subsidy for public television is not a proper use of taxpayer money.

Romney phrased it very well indeed, noting that he would eliminate all funding for programs not vital enough to force us to borrow money from China to fund them.

From the hysterical reaction from Barack Obama (a day late and a dollar short to be sure) and his fellow travelers on the loony left, you would have thought Romney was suggesting we stop defending the country or providing relief for the most vulnerable in our society.

Public television is hardly vulnerable.  In New Hampshire until last year, UNH was taking two to four million dollars of state aid, money which was supposed to be going for higher education, and giving it to Channel 11.

My legislation to prevent that funding failed (solons didn't want to handcuff how UNH spent its grant), but the message was received and when UNH was cut $50 million, it stopped funding Channel 11 on its own.

Guess what?  Channel 11 survived just as Public Broadcasting would survive if Big Bird's taxpayer seed went away.

From what I heard yesterday (yes, probably on Fox), Big Bird's Daddy, the Children's Television Workshop, has a $400 million profit...not that there's anything wrong with that.  I'm all for free enterprise and companies making a profit, but not at the expense of taxpayers.

I'm not as much a fan of Big Bird of that funny and smart little monkey, but I'm sure Public Television would find a way to keep bringing us Curious George if tax money went away.

It's true, this is only a drop in a very large bucket of federal spending, but Mitt Romney has it exactly right.  This funding is symbolic of what we can no longer afford to do...lest we want to keep borrowing from China and bankrupting our children's children.

I suppose it could be argued that there was a time when federal funds were needed for public television.  When I was growing up back in the 50s in the Burlington, Vermont area, we received only one station clearly (WCAX-TV).  If we were lucky and wiggled the rabbit ears just right (yes, rabbit ears were these wire thingies which sat atop televisions to pull in more distrant signals in the days before dish and cable), we could haul in two New York stations (WPTZ and WRGB...with a children's show sponsored by Freddie Freihopper..."Who wants to squibble/") and WMTW from atop Mt. Washington.

Television options were limited back then, but that is no longer the case when the average viewer can pull in thousands of stations including those which specialize in much of what public television does.  There are several channels--way too many in fact, but that's the glory of competition-- devoted to just history or science or animals, not to mention food preparation or children. You name it, you can find it on cable or the dish, without taxpayer money funding it.

Private enterprise can handle this just fine.  Mitt Romney was exactly right.

Now if we could only get him to come to New Hampshire and convinced Republicans it's time for counties to stop funding the cooperative extension.

But that's another story...for another day.

 

Saturday
Oct062012

Republicans Promote Absentee Voter Fraud

Democrats may be doing it as well, but there is now incontovertible evidence that the New Hampshire Republican Party is urging voters to commit fraud by voting early...by absentee ballot...without the requisite need to vote absentee.

The proof was in my mail box today, a slick piece explaining to Republican voters (one can only presume all of us) how easy it is to vote early.

As I pointed out here last week and Gary Rayno pointed out in his Sunday Union Leader column, this is not Ohio.

As usual, I don't ask you to take my word for what I say.  Here's the exact wording from the GOP flyer, "This is the worst economic recovery America has ever had.  Help Republicans repair, rebuild, recover.  Apply to vote by mail today."  In another location on the flyer, there's a sign with the words "Sorry We're Closed" and  beside it, "Repairing the Democrats's damange to our eonomy won't be easy.  Voting is.  Request your vote-by-mail ballot today!"  The mailer was "paid for by New Hampshire Republican State Committee.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.  www.nhgop.org"

Only when you fill out the forms for an absentee ballot (assuming you read them before you sign) do you learn of the restrictions.  No where in the bold print on the outside of the flyer does it warn voters that they can NOT simply vote absentee because it's "easy".

Voting by absentee is not at all easy...unless you want to commit fraud!

We are not an early voting state.

There are only four valid reasons for voting absentee, and they all involve an inability to get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, election day, whether for illness or diability which prevents you from leaving your house; intention to be out of town away from the polling place that day; observing a religious rite; or working at a polling location.

If you vote absentee simply because you want to get it done early, you are breaking the law.

You are committing fraud.

It's truly a shame that at least one of the two major parties is urging its voters to commit fraud.  The Republican flyer goes on and on about how bad the Democrats are (and it has every right to do that), but any organized group that urges voter fraud should be prosecuted, whether its my party or the other one.

For the record, since I started voting in 1972 (for McGovern--I was no fan of the Oval Office crook!), I have voted absentee only once, when I was living in Berlin, Germany in 1992.  Thus, the Republican Party cannot contend that this flyer went out only to those with a history of voting absentee. 

If Republicans (or Democrats for that matter) want people to vote early, they should encourage either a State Rep or a Senator elected in November to sponsor legislation to that effect.  I don't think it's a good idea and apparently most people don't either since such legislation has never passed.  However, rather than conspiring to break the law, the proper means of redress is to change the law.

Sorry to pick on Democrats, but I personally have no proof Democrats are doing the same type of thing.  If they are, it's equally wrong!