Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Tuesday
Oct022012

Trivia Time--Quite An Inheritance!

Let's play Jeopardy.
Well, not quite, but let's do at least one trivia question, with enough clues so that most of you should be able to come of with the answer, if only by the process of elimination, by the time we're done.
Which famous American said (at least allegedly), "I inherited only infancy, ignorance, and indigence".
Start the music.
Hint 1--He wasn't a President, albeit not for lack of trying.  That eliminates both Lincoln and the 30-day President, William Henry Harrison who, during the campaign of 1840, made a big deal (not entirely truthfully) about his humble origins.
Hint 2--Although I've been reading a lot on Daniel Webster lately, it isn't Daniel Webster.  In fact this man, while in the same party as Webster, was more often an opponent rather than an ally of Black Dan. 
Hint 3--He wasn't born in New Hampshire, so that will also eliminate Salmon P. Chase.
Hint 4--Although from a slave state and an owner of slaves, he most likely would not have favored secession (he was dead prior to 1860).  That should eliminate South Carolina's John C. Calhoun, moving force behind the Nullification Crisis in the early 1830s.
But you should be getting warmer.
Hint Number 5--Don't compromise your thought process with your answer.
That should do it.  If not...
Hint number 6--Star of the West.
Hint Number 7--You can locate the answer of page 8 of Merrill Peterson's book, "The Great Triumverate", and you shouldn't need to go to the book to get it by now.  Think of the three men of the triumverate; we've already eliminated Webster and Calhoun.   That leaves....
Yes, the answer is Henry Clay, the great compromiser and skilled orator, the 1812 War Hawk and youngest Speaker of the U.S. House,  the Kentucky slave owner who first ran for President in 1824.  He wasn't in the final three in public voting that year.  Thus he didn't make it to the House which decided in favor of John Quincy Adams in what many consider the stolen election over Andrew Jackson (the third place finisher was nearly dead at the time of the election...for extra credit, name him here).  He fact, the election tainted Clay's career because he favored Adams over Jackson and then was appointed Secretary of State...many considered it a dirty bargain...many still do.  Clay lost to Jackson in 1832, lost the Whig nomination to Harrison in a year he could have won (1840); lost to Polk in 1844, and was still running in 1848 when another Whig (Zachary Taylor) beat him.  Poor Clay...in more ways than one.
Ain't history fun.
Yes, I'm reading "The Great Triumverate" now (on loan from the Derry library), not an easy read.

 As I recall, his wife was not what you'd call a pretty woman...nor was Daniel Webster's mother.

Henry Clay (1777-1852) and His Wife Lucretia

There she is...Lucretia.  Thanks Bing!

Monday
Oct012012

How About Binging Judy?

After googling everything for years, I've decided to try binging it. 

Any recommendations?

Is it as good as google?

Better?

I saw the Bing ad on TV and decided to give it a go.

I'll let you know what I discover.

By the way, you'll never guess who was stopped at a traffic light and said Hi to me as I was crossing the street out here by the library in Manchester...Governor Jeanne Shaheen's legal aide Judy Reardon.  I thought she'd be in Washington with the senator, but apparently she's very ill and has been back in Manchester for the past year.  Good luck Judy.  Maybe we should try googling or binging her.

Judy Reardon

Judy Reardon

Hey, it works.  This is fun!  Thanks Bing!

Monday
Oct012012

The Reading Room--Temp Returns To Montreal

Bones Are Forever

Time for some escapist fiction.
Just because it's been a blue moon (defined as a calendar month in which two full moons appear, like August, 2012) since we've entered The Reading Room here doesn't mean I haven't been reading.
In fact, just the opposite is true.  I've been reading (whenever I become annoyed by TV coverage of the campaign, an increasingly frequent happening, on both the Lame Stream media and equally as lame Fox, I reach for a book) so much that I haven't had time to conjure up reviews here.
After the death of Gore Vidal this summer, I decided to get into his historical fiction, but compulsive person that I am, I didn't stop at just one book.  I made it through the even seven part series on American history, beginning with Burr and going on through The Golden Age.  Each book was about 500 pages, so it took a while, but I found Gore more readable than I had remembered.  His history is better than his fiction.  That's why Burr and Lincoln are the two best in the series.  There's also 1876, Hollywood (about the Wilson years; he's kinder to the racist Woodrow than I would have been), Washington DC (the first he wrote; one of my least favorite since it features the most fiction, about the FDR years), and one about the McKinley imperialist age with William Randolf Hearst as a major character--I believe it was called Empire.
It took a while but I also got through the lengthy biography of Walter Cronkite (ironically the author's name is Brinkley, Douglas Brinkley).  It's quite good, and as you learn what Walter was doing at a given time, you might think back on what your life was like at the time.  An easier shorter and more fun-filled biography of another CBS legend, Mike Wallace by Peter Rader, was probably the easiest and best read of the summer.
Finally I fulfilled a promise to read a Daniel Webster biography, and I went with the 800 page one by Remini, not an easy read at all since it features much of Webster's speeches (they may well have been great 170 years ago, but they don't read well today) and his legal battles.  Similarly, Gore's Lincoln fiction led me to a biography of his Secretary of Treasury Salmon Chase (also Supreme Court Chief Justice), like Webster, born in New Hampshire (Cornish) and like Dirty Dan not a good man, but certainly a great man...if you know what I mean.  This 500 pager is by John Niven and is a very tough read.
That brings me to the purpose of this entry.  As a reward, I've picked up the latest piece of fiction by Kathy Reichs, the bone doctor who's responsible for the TV show bones.  She returned to Montreal for the latest one, Bones Are Forever.  It's apparently about babied born and disposed of in dumpsters, but I've yet to start it.  Looks like a quick read.
Reichs is very authentic, at least when it comes to Montreal geography.  A few years ago, I spent an hour tracking down the Montreal location where he fictional character claims to work out of.  Sure enough, it exists, in the Jacques Cartier section of the city.
In the future, I promise to read a bit less and write about books a bit more.
I didn't get into the three dozen baseball books I devoured at all...Bill Lee's bio was a real hoot.
mike-wallace-a-life-book
 Probably the best non-fiction work (and quickest read) out there now.

Great bio of the CBS legend, but very long!

 

mike-wallace-a-life-book

 Probably the best non-fiction work (and quickest read) out there now.



Great bio of the CBS legend, but very long!

Monday
Oct012012

Republicans Enjoy 4.5% Advantage In NH

 
Pollsters, take note.
Democrats do not enjoy an edge in voter registration in New Hampshire, so any poll which samples more Democrats than Republicans (such as was the case in a Democrat poll showing Ovide and Maggie virtually tied last week) is simply wrong.
Why would any legitimate pollster continue to oversample Democrats when it's really not even close in voter registration?
I saw a map on TV last week.  It showed five battleground states in which Republican registration has significantly outpaced Democrats.  Hmm, I thought, I'm not sure this is true in New Hampshire, so I contacted the Secretary of State's office, and sure enough, it is true.
While Undeclared (or Independent) voters continue to lead both parties in terms of registration, Republicans have indeed moved to a 4.5 percent lead over Democrats.  There are more than 35,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats in the state.  Some of that is because more people took Republican ballots to vote in both the Presidential primary back in January and the state primary in September, but since about 90 percent of undeclared voters switch back to their undeclared status prior to leaving the polling locations, that's only part of the story.
Before, I back up these contentions with actual real numbers...let's digress a moment.  Remember when Republican House leaders tried to hold undeclared voters hostage for three months and prevent them from reverting to undeclared status at the polls.  Which Republican Rep fought against that bit of silliness?
You know the answer, and you don't have to thank me, Independents.  A vote for me November 6 will be enough.  We killed that bit of O'Brien/Bates insanity!
Here are the numbers after the September primary voting.  These are directly from Secretary of State Gardner's office 9they should be available on line).  I've created the percentages, but it's really simply math.
Total Registered Voters in NH--793,403
NH Voters Registered Undeclared--308,451--38.9 percent
NH Voters Registered Republican--260,138--32.8 percent
NH Voters Registered Democrat--224,814--28.3 percent
Either check the math...or trust me...I've double checked.
That's a Republican advantage of 35,324 voters and 4.5 percent (32.8 minus 28.3 is 4.5)
Don't trust any pollsters who are sampling more Democrats than Republicans in New Hampshire.

 

Monday
Oct012012

Liberty Express Mystery Guest Revealed Prematurely 

 


For the first time ever, the Liberty Express, my weekly show on Manchestertv23 (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) features a pair of guests this week.
Rather than announce them immediately, I thought I'd play it cute and do a five minute intro, alluding to the guests, giving clues and only then introducing them, sort of in the old style of "What's My Line".  Remember the John Charles Daly line, "Will you enter and sign in please."
It didn't quite work out, thanks to a new director who wasn't familiar with the political scene and couldn't differentiate faces.  I introduced Gail Barry, Republican Senate candidate in District 18 (Manchester Wards 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and Litchfield) and noted that we'd get to our mystery guest, a former Manchester Alderman and State Representative and Chairperson of the most recent Manchester Charter Commission (great hints), in just a few minutes, but lo and behold, rather than cutting to a shot of Gail Barry, the producer cut to the mystery guest.
The jig was up.
Yes, indeed, there was one of the most colorful people in the history of Manchester politics, someone who moved to Florida nine years ago, someone who had her own show "Speak Your Mind" on Channel 23 way back when.
Yes indeed, rather than Gail Barry appearing on the screen, there was....you've certainly guessed it by now, Leona Dykstra who, like me, began her political career as a Democrat but couldn't take the big taxing and spending and switched to the Republican Party.  Also, like me, she ran as a Libertarian in 2000 (I won, sadly, Leona did not).
What a great pleasure it was go have Leona back after all these...she even insisted on giving her age (70).  I wasn't going to ask since a gentleman never asks a lady her age.
Back in the days when Manchester still had partisan primaries for mayor, Leona just barely lost to Emille Beaulieu (they were both Democrats back then).  She was involved in a Ward 6 Aldermanic race with Donna Soucy in which Donna's father C. Arthur Soucy committed so many errors as moderator that the Ballot Law Commission ordered a new election (the courts ultimately reversed that decision).
Thus, we've come full circle.  Gail Barry is running against Soucy this year.  C. Arthur is no longer moderator (what a scandal that was!), but last time I checked, Donna is still living with her father...not that there's anything wrong with that.  Is there?
I had always credited the late Leo Pepino with legislation which assures we have a paper trail for recounts, but in fact, it was Leona.  When she lost in the close race for mayor and wanted a recount, there was no paper trail, only computer read-outs.  Imagine that!  She sponsored legislation to change all that (Pepino was the co-sponsor).
Not only do we get a lively stroll down memory lane with Leona, but we get the chance to remind Manchester voters if you're a big tax and spender, you can choose between Democrat and Democrat running as Independent Arthur Beaudry for Senate, but if you believe in responsible government spending, Gail Barry should be your choice.  She's done an outstanding job keeping county spending under control and would do the same for the state in the Senate.  Soucy, meanwhile, was Chief of Staff (making more than $100,000 a year) for Democrat Senate President Sylvia Larson when dozens of taxes and fees were increased in an assault on the body politic.
Both Soucy and Beaudry are currently serving on the inept Manchester School Board.
Why anyone would want either of them in the State Senate is beyond both me and Leona.
We also learn that Gail has family connections with Connie Mack the man who, by the most recent poll has pulled into a dead even tie in the race for Florida Senate.  You'll have to watch Liberty Express to figure it out.
It's worth an hour of your time, whether you want to stroll through a quarter century of history or learn why to vote for the best candidate for State Senate.
As for that producer, no big deal.  Gail is the red head.  Leona...well you'll have to watch and determine that magnificent color.  Just kidding Leona.  She's one of my favorite people.  As is Gail (just a notch shy of Irene Messier's league of course).