Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Tuesday
May222012

Two GOP Primaries For County Commission (?)

Although the filing period for state offices is more than two weeks away (longer than that for State Rep seats depending on what happens in court June 6), some races appear to be taking shape.

Republican Hillsborough County Commissioner Carol Holden will face a primary challenge from Merrimack State Rep Chris Christiansen.  This is a district (neither Manchester nor Nashua; many of the towns)which no Democrat has won in the memory of most of us.  Holden must be considered a heavy favorite; she's a true fiscal conservative, and easily survived a challenge from Pam Manney (where have I heard that name earlier today?) four years ago.  The Christiansen decision presumably means that a State Rep seat will be open in Merrimack (I say presumably becuase nobody knows what the court will do). 

It's not my district and I have nothing against Rep. Christiansen, but I would wholeheartedly endorse Commissioner Holden.  We need true conservatives in county government more than just about any place!  As I recall, Carol was a State Rep when I was first elected in 1996, but stepped in to fill a commissioner vacancy at that time and has been there ever since.

(In many (not but not all), these commissioner positions are the closest thing we come to liftetime appointments--just ask Ray Burton.   Keep the job till you graduate to that great budget table up above).

In Rockingham County, I haven't heard whether Commissioner Donald Strith is running again (he's been ill lately), but I've heard that two Republican State Reps, Derry's Phyllis Katsakiores and Deerfield's John Reagan, are in line to run for the seat.

Stitch, of Auburn, one of the more eloquent men to ever serve in the NH House, chaired the redistricting committee ten years ago then moved on to the commissioner's seat when a vacancy opened up.

The primary here would mean two more vacancies for State Rep.

My guess is that Phyllis would be the favorite; she usually tops the ticket for State Rep in Derry which is the largest town in the district.  In fact, were Reagan to ask me for advice, I'd say, "Forget about it; run again for the State House."  Regan had little success in his run for Speaker two years ago, but he'd be the perfect compromise candidate for Speaker when O'Brien is ousted this fall.

As always, you don't have to thank me John.                

Tuesday
May222012

O'Brien Opponents Come Out Swinging

            With the appearance of former Deputy Speaker Linda Foster, a Democrat from Mt. Vernon, in the State House gallery last week, I half expected to see her announce that she’s coming out of retirement to lead the charge against Speaker Bill O’Brien on his home turf this fall.  After all, Foster topped the ticket there in 2006 when O’Brien was thrown out of office (it was a four member district then).

            However, as I dined in beautiful downtown Goffstown today in between Hillsborough County budget hearings (very poorly attended by the way—hey folks, we’re talking about an $84 million budget here), I picked up a copy of the Goffstown News, a weekly freebie, and lo and behold, there was a four column letter to the editor on page A7.

            It was headlined “Let us be your voice in the state legislature” and was signed by Kary Jencks and David Woodbury of New Boston (the larger town which is paired with Mt. Vernon in the House-approved redistricting plan, the one which will be aired in court June 6).

            Thus, it appears that these two Democrats have a head start against the lame duck Speaker.

            Here’s part of what Jencks and Woodbury say in their letter (in quotes).

            “Both of us have lived in New Boston since the 70s and both of us have been active in our community all of our adult lives.  We are both troubled, well more than troubled, with the situation in Concord as it has unfolded in the past two years.  Speaker Bill O’Brien and his right-wing followers have upended the values that so many of us here in New Hampshire hold dear:  a commonsense approach to making law, civility, and respect for our neighbors.”

            Amen!  (My words, not theirs).

            “This is what needs to happen if we are going to regain our footing.  We need to invest in the people of this state.  The citizens of New Hampshire need to be healthy, productive, and prosperous, and the present leadership in Concord is working hard to see this doesn’t happen.”

            They sound more liberal fiscally than I am, but then I could never vote for O’Brien, but then, I don’t live there either.

            “We need to support the middle class by protecting workers’ ability to achieve and keep safe and livable wage jobs and to negotiate effectively for them.”

            Sure sounds like O’Brien will be taken to task for his right to work shenanigans.

            “We need to stop the war on women.”

            Talk about irony; the letter to the editor appears just below one penned by District 20 Senate candidate John Hikel who has managed to push two German words off the front pages with his pole dancing comment about a fellow Goffstowner…but I digress.

            Back to the letter…

            “We need to stop the dismantling of education from kindergarten to the university system.”

            “We need to create a health system that truly serves the medical needs of our citizens in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

            “We need to recreate a workable transportation network.  Those are just a few of the jobs in front of us.
            Sure sounds like Jencks and Woodbury have a plan.

            Of course, O’Brien conceivably could decide to run in a floterial district; or the courts could strike down his unconstitutional redistricting plan entirely—he should be so lucky!

            In my ranking of towns in the state (remember than 50 in absolutely neutral, anything higher is Republican territory; anything lower is Democratic), I have New Boston at 57.17 (rather strongly Republican) and Mt. Vernon at 52.61.

            For comparison purposes, New Ipswich is 67.38 and Peterborough is 37.80.

            Let the games begin.

            Wanna bet Jenks and Woodbury don’t have any trouble raising a ton of money!

Tuesday
May222012

New Hampshire Scores High In "Elasticity"

             According to Nate Silver, the consummate numbers cruncher from fivethirtyeight.com (New York Times-owned), not only is New Hampshire a swing state, but it's also the second most “elastic” state in the country.

            Nate, who must have way too much time on his hands, came out with a ranking yesterday of a concept which really isn’t all that difficult to grasp.  Elasticity measures a state’s ability to change as conditions nationwide change.  The higher the elasticity, the more a state will change as opinion polls change.

            For example, a state with elasticity of 1.0 would change one point for every change in polls.  According the Silver, New Hampshire with an elasticity of 1.28 is second only to Rhode Island (1.29).  Thus if we were to see a move upward of five points for either Romney or Obama in national polls, we might expect a move of  6.40 points in New Hampshire (five times 1.28).

            The greater the number of undeclared or independent voters in a state, the higher the elasticity; that makes sense since independents are more apt to change their minds as conditions change.

            Now, not only can we talk about swing states, but we can talk elastic versus non-elastic swing states.  How much more fun could we ask for!

            Rhode Island, for example, is so Democratic-oriented that even with high elasticity, it’s not likely to swing into play.  Alaska (with a high elasticity of 1.19), on the other hand is so Republican-oriented that it’s’ not likely to swing into play either. 

            The elasticity, however, could help explain why Rhode Island elected a non-Democrat (Chafee) for Governor, and why Democrat Begich actually won the Alaska Senate race a few years back (although the scandal involving the GOP incumbent certainly had much to do with that).

            Here’s the interesting thing.

            Five swing states are listed as among the most elastic, and that’s why these five just might receive more attention in a volatile election cycle than your normal swinger.

            Along with New Hampshire, they are Iowa and Colorado (we could have guessed that), but also Wisconsin and New Mexico.  Romney should be slightly favored in New Mexico and Obama in Wisconsin.  However, as I noted last week, Wisconsin seems to be moving more and more into play.  That could represent the canary in Barack Obama’s coal mine.

            Silver has three elastic states which lean Democratic (Maine, Oregon, and Washington) and two which lean Republican (Arizona and Montana).

            Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont join Rhode Island in the highly Democratic elastic category while North and South Dakota and West Virginia join Alaska in the highly Republican elastic states. 

            Mississippi (0.63) and the District of Colombia (0.45) are the least elastic; since they are also already wrapped up, don't expect any campaign money to be spent in either.

            For the detailed analysis of elasticity and swing states, check out the fivethirtyeight.com site.  It should be near the top of postings if you go there soon.

            It’s almost enough to make a numbers cruncher OD on data.

            In a close election, watch for results for New Hampshire, Iowa, and Colorado; despite all the talk about Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, the three smaller and more elastic states could really make the difference.  Romney actually needs to carry Florida, Ohio, and Virginia for the others to come into play at all. 

Monday
May212012

"A Fish Rots From The Head Down" Analogy--Fan Mail From Some Flounder V

From: Douglas W
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 12:51 PM
To: Vaillancourt, Steve
 
I live in Mason, NH, so you are not technically my representative, BUT your "Sieg Heil" comment certainly does represent my feelings on the matter.  I think it was time someone did speak out against the behavior seen in the NH House this year.  
 
I agree with Ms Noreli's comment as reported in the Nashua Telegraph that "the tone of disrespect in the House starts at the top."
 
The article also mentioned a "restore the center" meeting.  Such a concept is vital to regain some sense of sanity to the behavior seen in the NH House this year.  Please do pursue that agenda.
 
Wonder to what committee Mr. O'Brien will assign you as penance?
Regards.
Douglas Whitbeck
Mason, NH 
Response...
Thanks, Mason.  You might want to write to the ambulance chaser who some times goes by the name of Dershowitz.
Although I technically represent only ward 8 Manchester, I base everything I do on what I believe is in the best interests of society at large.  Certainly standing up to tryrants like Bill O'Brien is essential for society at large.
One of my favorite sayings is, "A fish rots from the head down."  I recall using it when Doug Scamman was speaker and getting in trouble over it then, but it remains entirely appropriate today.
There can be no doubt that William OB is the head of the rotting fish known as the NH House.
Sad but ever so true.
I am not as concerned about the center as I am about treating all people fairly whether they come from the left, the right, or the center.  That's where O'Brien has gone astray.  He allows his right win fanatic friends to get away with the very same conduct he goes out of his way to censure Democrats for using...and it's done so flagrantly, it certainly must be deliberate.  Either treat all people the same, or risk roting from the head down.
I suspect Bill OB will not be a position to appoint anyone to committees next term because I suspect even if he wins his own Mt. Vernon seat, he will be merely a back bencher, Speaker nevermore.
Regarding those calling for me not to run, as usual, I will decide at the last minute, but let's look at history.  In 2006, in the wake of the negative publicity I received over bucleyporngate, Democrats did seven mailings attacking me, yet I survived handily that year at the same time Republicans, including Bill O'Brien and Bob Mead, were thrown out of office.  In fact, I topped the ticket that year, and I was one of only six Manchester Republicans (out of 35) who managed to win.  Not bragging, just stating a fact.  If any sane person were to place a bet on the chances of me or OB and others winning again (assuming we all choose to run), the odds would not be on Bodemeister.  Just like Gene Chandler has been re-elected often since that "scandal''; Gene is the "I'll Have Another" of the House.  OB and Mead, I suspect will be, Bodemeisters, but that's all up to the voters.  No more committee assignments will be forthcoming from, quack, quack, this lame duck!
Saturday
May192012

Fan Mail From Some Flounder--Part IV

 

This one is from a friend who agrees with me about half the time and disagrees strongly about half the time (he's pro income tax and anti-gambling), a former House member and State Senator.  Thanks Bill.

I am with you on this and last night with a few of my senior citizens fm Salem NH at an supposedly Irish Concert at the Palace I was pleased to hear that they understood your intent to show a dictator as a dictator just as a duck is a duck if it walks and talks like a duck.