Rep Steve Vaillancourt


Supreme Courts Send "Caveat Emptor" Message

Yes, I meant courts, plural.

The United States Supreme Court, with its decision essentially upholding Obamacare today, joined the New Hampshire Supreme Court two weeks ago, with its acceptance of a deeply flawed House redistricting plan, that we, meaning the body politic, can't always rely on courts to defend our freedom and correct the stupendous errors of elected representatives.

In other words, the Lain phrase "Caveat Emptor" rules today.  Let the buyer beware...or in this case, let the voter beware.

Unlike Rep. Paul Mirski, R-Enfield, I don't wish to stand on a soap box and criticize any court as unethical.  Such name calling is simply vile, and Mirski should know it.

What the court has told us, both on the federal and state level, is that when Legislatures err, don't expect the Court to find meaning in the Constitution (even if such meaning could in fact be read into the documents) to overrule elected officials.

Voters need to beware of the people they are electing.  They should reject Democrats like Carol Shea Porter, who voted for the insane Obamacare, and Kuster (who would support it on Congress), but voters in New Hampshire should also reject each and every Republican (especially the seven Manchester serpents who went back on their sacred oath) who pushed through a redistricting plan that clearly did not live up to the spirit of people as expressed at the ballot box in 2006.

Unlike Ed Mosca's inane assertion, the New Hampshire court did not vindicate the House for a stupendously poor plan, and the Supremes in Washington did not vindicate the U.S. Congress for Obamacare which remains extremely unpopular.

The courts merely declined to find legal grounds to stop stupidity foisted upon us by legislative bodies.  Not all terrible legislation is necessarily unconstitutional legislation, at least not with these 14 justices (nine and five) deciding.

We can all be thankful for one small thing.  At least Chief Justice Roberts did not allow the commerce clause to be used as justification for forcing everyone to buy health insurance.  He has told us that the Legislature has unlimited ability to tax us.  Knowing that, people must be careful les they send legislators to Washington or to Concord who will abuse that authority.

I would prefer courts more vigilant about using our Constitutions to defend our freedoms, but hey, I'm no Mirski, so I'm not about to rant against black-robed oligarchs.

The fault, dear Brutus, lies neither in the stars nor the courts, but in our legislators.

Thus, caveat emptor.

Stop electing people who would pass such nonsense as Obamacare or redistricting which robs four seats of Pelham for the benefit of the Speaker's friends in Hudson.

As Reagan said in The Exorcist, "MAKE IT STOP!"

Make Legislators stop doing bad things and expecting the courts to correct their stupidity.


Democrats Passed Partial Birth Abortion Ban; Killed Medical Marijuana

While most Democrats oppose a ban on partial birth abortion and favor medical marijuana, members of that party in fact led to exactly the opposite result in both instances.

That's because with votes on veto over-rides requiring two-thirds, and with many close calls yesterday, every vote really mattered.

In the House, the attempt to override the partial birth abortion ban (House Bill 1679) failed 240-118, meaning a flip of only two votes would have meant the opposite result.  Five Democrats voted with the vast majority of Republicans in successfully overriding the Governor's veto.  Roger Berube, of Somersworth, was no surprise, but he was joined by Bill Butynski (not really a surprise) from Hinsdale; Steve DeStefano, of Bow (he's not running again); Peter Sullivan from Ward 3 Manchester (he was elected earlier this year to fill Mike Brunelle's term--wow, think of that!); and Gagnon from Claremont.

Their vote against the party was critical.

It appears that 30 Republicans (truth in blogging--including me) voted to sustain the veto.  With so many absences for the day, I had calculated that 25 Republicans would be enough votes to sustain vetoes, but then I never expected five Democrats to bolt.

The medical marijuana vote was even more stunning.  The Senate vote of 13-10 was three votes short of an over-ride.  Word began to spread that Democrats Sylvia Larsen, of Concord, and Lou D’Allesandro, of Manchester, had voted to sustain the veto.  Only today did I learn that all five Democratic senators in fact voted to kill medical marijuana.  In other words, 13 Republicans voted for it including President Peter Bragdon and Senator Luther from Nashua.

This must be considered high treachery from Democratic senators, all the more so because of the reason.  They reportedly were concerned that they were voting to oppose the governor on so many other vetoes that they had to throw him a bone.  Thus, medical marijuana was used as a pawn to be sacrificed.  This is truly a tragedy, and the three Democratic senators who are seeking re-election (Larsen, D'Allesandro, and Kelly of Keene) should be voted out of office for such partisan gamesmanship when lives and comfort of human beings are at stake...not to mention when fellow Democrats like Evalyn Merrick, of Lancaster, have worked so hard to pass this legislation through the years. 

Lou’s deceit could come back to haunt him.  Unlike Larsen and Kelly, D’Allesandro is in a tough re-election race with Manchester Ward 10 Rep and Alderman Phil Greazzo, a long time supporter of the bill.  Perhaps it’s time to cue up Don Meredith for Lou, “Turn out the lights; the party’s over.”

Bye, bye, Lou, RIP!

We've come a long way since I first introduced medical marijuana with two to one opposition back in the late 90s.  With Jack Barnes (one of the five Republicans with the Governor retiring, most likely to be replaced by John Reagan (he's for it), next year will most likely be the year it becomes law.  Hopefully, Rep. Merrick will be back to see it; she has a tough race, due to redistricting, against popular Republican Bill Remick.


Two Spotted "Tim" Error

Almost as soon as I'd posted it, I caught my error on naming the Rep who was admonished by the Speaker yesterday.  I got my Tims mixed up; of course the Democratic Rep from Durham is Tim Horrigan, not Tim Commerford.  I immediately posted the correction on the blog, but had already sent it to some people, so I began to wonder how many, if any, would report the error back to me.

Two people have.

As I've always acknowledged, we all err from time to time.  It's how quickly and assiduously we correct the errors that separates those who care about getting it right from those who don't.  I care.

It wasn't quite a typo, but it was of that ilk.  What's my excuse?  My hour was running out from the West Side Library computer, so I was in too much of a hurry.

Sure, that's what they all say.



O'Brien Solicits Applause From GOP; Admonishes Dem Applause

New Hampshire rules and tradition quite clearly states that neither applause or booing is ever in order.  It is up to the Speaker to enforce this policy fairly so that the House does not get out of control.

However, in his final day (hopefully) of wielding the gavel, Speaker Bill O'Brien appeared to go out of his way in soliciting applause when House Republicans overrode some gubernatorial vetoes.  O'Brien announced the passage of the photo ID for voting bill in such a manner that just begged applause.

Sure enough, Republicans begin to hoot and holler, and the Speaker allowed it.

It happened again moments later on another bill, more loud applause on an override.

However, apparently what's sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.  Later in the day, when Republicans were on the losing end of a veto override attempt, a few Democrats cheered.  Not only did the Speaker point out how inappropriate this was, he actually named names (he admonished Durham Rep Tim Horrigan to control himself).

A fish rots from the head down, and this fish once again, hopefully for the last time, showed how rotten it is.


Democrats Jump To 49-37 Lead In NH House Races

Before a single vote has been cast for the 400-seat New Hampshire House, Democrats appear to have built up a 49-37 lead.  That's based on filings from the period which ended a week ago today.  Stated another way, Republicans have failed to file candidates for 49 of the 400 seats while Democrats failed to file for 37 seats. 

Of course, this may not turn out to be the case.  No candidates can either file or be filed by the parties now, but it's conceivable that the parties could discover "willing" candidates and mount campaigns to get them written in during the September primary.  In fact, I've learned that is precisely  what Republicans, having been beaten badly to the punch by Democrats in the first round of this year's struggle, are attempting to do.  Only 35 signatures are required in the primary to gain ballot access come November, but most likely, if someone has not yet expressed an interest in running, he or she cannot be expected to mount a winning campaign later (although the Marueen Nagle effect kicks in from time to time--see earlier post).

In many cases, these filings don't matter a great deal.  For example, Democrats have filled all six spots in Bedford and five in Goffstown, but they most likely will be blanked in the November election in those highly Republican towns.  Call the candidates "sacrificial lambs" if you will. 

Republicans, on the other hand, have not had as much success lining up lambs--they have no candidates for four seats in Lebanon, four in Hanover, and are dramatically short in Democratic strongholds such as Dover, Keene, and Concord.

However, it can make a difference and here's how.  Belmont, one of the most solidly Republican towns in the state, has a pair of Democrats running for two seats, and since Republicans could find NO ONE to run, it appears the Democats will "steal" these two seats.  One of the Democrats, by the way, is the colorful George Condodemetraky who received less than 30 percent of the vote statewide in losing the 1998 U.S. Senate race to Judd Gregg.  Ah yes, I was a Democrat back then and was aboard the Condo campaign in media relations.  (Don't blame me; there was no controlling George, and believe me, I tried).

The thought of George Condo in the NH House is...let's see...what would the best word be?'s shall we say...intriguing.  It's almost enouch to make Republicans long for the days of one of their favorite RINOs, Belmont Republican Dr. Jim Pilliod who it seems has proven irreplacable.  Apparently when former O'Brien operative Bob Mead was being paid taxpayer dollars to travel around recruiting Republican candidates, he never made it to Belmont!

Who would need to make such stuff up?

Not I, said the cat.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've run this by some other numbers crunchers, and here's what I get.

Along with the two seats in Belknap County (Belmont), Republicans have failed to fill:

seven seats in Hillsborough County (including five in Manchester, tending to verify my contention that the GOP will be decimated in the Queen City, one in Nashua, and one in Peterborough);

eight seats in Cheshire County (five in Keene, one each in Jaffrey, Winchester, and Swanzey);

four in Coos County (including all three in Berlin and one in Gorham);

nine in Merrimack County (seven in Concord, one each in Henniker and Boscawen);

seven in Strafford County (four in Dover, three in Rochester);

nine in Grafton County (the four in Lebanon, the four in Hanover, and one in Plymouth);

one in a Claremont ward in Sullivan County;

and only two in Rockingham County (Portsmouth and Newmarket), an indication as I've said before that Rockingham is the last stronghold of Republicanism in the state.

Democrats were unable to fill:

four seats in Merrimack County (all in Hooksett):

a whopping 22 in Rockingham County (six in Derry, two in Londonderry, three in Raymond, three in Chester area, three in Seabrook, two in Atkinson, and one each in Epping, Hampstead, and Greenland);

one in Strafford County (Rochester);

four in Carroll County (two in Brookfield, one in Tamworth, one in Tuftonboro, rather solid GOP territory);

two in Cheshire (Rindge);

one in the northern section of Coos County;

three in Grafton (one each in Littleton, Haverhill, and Lincoln--Edmond thanks you!).

As for Hillsborough County, amazingly, Democrats have filled all 122 seats.  As I've said in the past, look for major Democratic gains in Manchester, Nashua, and Strafford Counties.

As for primaries, Democrats apparently only have 16 of them, and each involves just one excess candidate.

Republicans (again I may be off by one or two here, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) appear to have and excess of 88 candidates for a total of 61 primaries, many with numerous excess candidates.  For example, 14 Republicans want 11 seats in Hudson (only three are from Pelham which deserves to get four seats); nine vie for six Bedford seats; eight for five Goffstown seats; ten for seven seats in Londonderry; 12 for nine seats in Salem; six for four seats in Windham.   There's even a single member float, Rockingham 34 (Hampstead, Atkinson) which has four Republicans running. 

While Republicans could not fill five seats in Manchester, they have four primaries in the city including in Ward 4 where four people (including the still hospitalized Leo Pepino--it was a heart attack) are after the two seats.  For the first time ever, I'll face a primary in Ward 8; last year, Republicans couldn't fill the ballot in the ward; this year, there's an excess.

While Democrats have been most efficient in filling seats, it's been either feast or famine for Republicans leaving party leaders scrambling even after the filing period has ended. 

Who merits the blame?  Is it Bob Mead or Speaker O'Brien or the party chair or vice chair?   Heads shoud roll for such incompetence, espeically considering the GOP has been outmaneuvered when it comes to placing candidates in underlying districts versus floterials as well.  Note how Ben Baroody refiled in Manchester from running for a float (in such a Democratic area--Wards 4, 5, 6 and 7 that even a weak candidate will win) to going back to run in Ward 6 where he can be expected to knock out either Republican Gagne or the other guy (no names of the redistricing snakes please).  This is consummate filing skill by Democrats who have run circles around GOP strategizers.  You don't have to thank me Ray; you deserve the praise. 

I have finished my first attempt at picking winners (no names but actual seats) and expect to post all 400 soon here soon.  In fact, I spent considerable time today letting people in single member districts know I was picking against them (a courtesy, so they would not read it here first). For those who can't wait, my tally comes out to 202 Republicans, 197 Democrats, and Independent Cynthia Dokmo from Amherst.  Those are the kind of numbers which dictate against O'Brien ever getting back as Speaker (assuming he survives a primary challenge from Mead and John Quinlan in Hillsborough 5--a two member distict of Mt. Vernon and New Boston).

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy, I say summoning as much sarcasm as is humanly possible.  O'Brien went out with a blaze of ignominy in today's final House session.  When Republicans won a vote, the Speaker, contrary to House rules and traditions which say applause is never in order, seemed to be actually soliciting applause.  He got hoots and hollers from his Republican minions, and he never wielded a gavel to stop it, but then when a Democrat or two attempted to applaud a victory, O'Brien named names.  He told Tim Horrigan, of Durham, to control himself.

YOU JUST CAN'T MAKE SUCH TYRANNY UP, and I suspect we (the royal we) won't have to report such abuse come December.