Rep Steve Vaillancourt
As regular readers here know, due to the Democratic bias, I don’t really trust PPP polls. However, even taking the numbers with a shaker of salt, Frank Guinta cannot be happy with results just released today. Remember that last week Larry Sabato had moved the seat from leans Republican to toss-up. Today’s PPP poll has Carol Shea Porter beating Guinta by four points, 47-43. Even considering the source, the numbers tend to make sense. Remember that the UNH poll from a few weeks ago showed people in the Manchester area favoring a Democrat for State Rep by a 20 point margin. This is Guinta territory, and he probably should now be considered an underdog. It’s most likely yet another indication of the rare phenomenon that I refereed to last week, reverse coattails. House Speaker Bill O’Brien continues to so taint the Republican Party brand so severely that he could bring Guinta (and perhaps even Romney) down with him.
Remember, you heard it here first and second.
In the second congressional district, it’s close as expected. PPP has it dead even at 42-42. This should actually be considered good news for Bass although cannons will be fired more, rather than less, here in coming months.
PPP also has Ovide Lamontagne up one point (40-39) over Hassan, but they apparently failed to do a Lamontagne-Cilley match-up or anything with Kevin Smith. Please correct me if I’m wrong; I’m getting this from Real Clear Politics.
Polls at the national level are truly confusing and seem to change on a daily basis. Rasmussen had Romney up over Obama by as much as seven points one time last week. It’s down to one point (46-45). Gallup has a tie (45-45); CBS News/New York Times had Romney up three points (46-43) Monday, but Fox News, which most would consider the most conservative outfit, actually has Obama up seven points (46-39).
Go figure. It’s the polling world turned upside down.
Odds are Fox has gotten hold of some bad data; at least that’s what Sean Hannity, who only reports news he agrees with honestly, is sure to tell us.
IBD/CSM/TIPP (whatever that is) has Obama up three (43-40), but note that Obama is only at 43 percent. More undecided voters than we usually see cannot be considered a good sign for an incumbent.
Similarly, Fox has Obama’s approval rating back into positive territory (49-47) while it’s even (47-47) with Gallup and on the negative side with Rasmussen (47-52).
Republicans are doing much better in a wider range of generic congressional match-ups this week. Rasmussen, which has the margin varying from two to nine points in recent weeks, has it back up to seven points (45-38) this week, and there’s some verification of that trend from USA Today/Gallup which has the generic GOP candidate up six points (50-44). Pundits more aged than I will likely say that’s a result of Barack Obama’s “evolution” on gay marriage. I continue to insist it’s more the result of a new slew of poor economic news.
Numbers out of North Carolina would tend to go against what I say. Rasmussen has Obama trailing by eight (51-43) there now, in wake of that state’s 22 point approval of an anti-gay marriage lawn.
Hey, I’m here to report the facts; not to spin the data. I’m no Sean Hannity!
Nate Silver at 538, whom I greatly respect, has some data with which I disagree with this week. He’s moved the U.S. Senate from a Republican takeover to a 50-49 GOP edge with a likely independent from Maine (King) holding the swing vote (depending on who sits in the Vice Presidential chair).
I might lower my prediction of Republican gains from seven to six seats (Maine will most likely be lost), but I still see five seats easily falling to Republicans—North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, and Wisconsin with Virginia a real possibility (and Ohio and Florida as outside shots), and with Elizabeth Warren’s Indian heritage story not about to go away, Scott Brown will most likely hold on to the most vulnerable Republican-held seat (although polls actually show it fairly dead even).
We actually have new numbers out of Nebraska. Former Democratic senator Bob Kerrey trails Fischer and not just by a few points; it’s 18 (56-38) according to Rasmussen.
All the news out of Wisconsin is bad for Democrats. Just about every poll has incumbent governor Scott Walker up by more than just a smidgeon in the recall race against Barrett (even PPP has the Democrat losing 49-45 while We Ask America has Walker up nine points, 52-43).
There seems to be a spillover effect in the Presidential race. I’ve always had Obama likely to win Wisconsin, but Marquette University has it tied at 46-46, and PPP has Obama up only one point (47-46), and Republican Tommy Thompson is up five points (47-42) in the U.S. Senate race.
Game, set, and match when PPP has a Republican winning outside the margin of error.
As promised to various members of the media, I just wrote a 2000 word explantion of yesterday's House activities. Lo and behold, Luddite that I am, when I attempted to post it, I appear to have lost it all. I'll try to recreate it tomorrow (the second writing is always better). In the meantime, here's one email I received from someone who apparently understands quite well. I've left in errors and deleted the last name. Here's my response first.
Thanks. Someone actually accused me of being anti-semitic. I've done more than 40 hours filming Nazi, Communist, and Kaiser atrocities in and around Berlin! I'll run footage of a trip to Essen and a synagogue destroyed in Kristillnacht on Liberty Express next week... Channel23 Manchester and on the web at vimeo.com/channels/libertyx.
To: Vaillancourt, Steve
Subject: Our Pariotic Representative
Thank you Rep. Valencourt for attempting to stand up for the average citizen! Political Correctness in this country is being a Nazie, and what you said was responding in a patriotic way to emphasize the Nazie tactics preventing Representsive like yourself to act for the citizens of America. It is wrong and nonrepresentative for the citizens of New Hampshire to have the Housespeaker manipulate other Representatives! I don't know if I am in your distrect, but you got my vote anyway! In fact I wish you were the Presidential Candidate!
New London, NH
A.G. can get answers under penalty of perjury. To have confidence in our government and the budget, we need answers on this scandal.
Wow... I feel cheated. To think we gave up our mileage last summer in the name of fiscal austerity. And now this...
I work three jobs to be able to come here and do what we do. Last summer really hurt me. Every lost day at my jobs last summer cost the same as my yearly legislator's stipend. Each day! And to this we stopped our mileage, hurting those from the far corners of the state than those living near Concord. The lost mileage, small compared to lost wages, hurt still. Like salt rubbed in a wound.
And now this news. More salt.
Couldn't they use their cell phones and computers for this recruitment? Or network with local party people over this? This really burns me.
Hon. Steven W Lindsey
Update--Word around the State House today is that Republican staffer Bob Mead has either been fired or allowed to leave as a result of the kerfuffle of him being paid with taxpayer dollars for traveling around the state to recruite GOP House candidates. As you will note in this piece, I believe a fish rots from the head down, and it should be Chief of Staff Greg Moore, not only Mead, who is given the heave ho! Imagine the outrage Republicans would be expressing if Democrats had been caught with their hand in the cookie jar like this. As an equal opportunity outrager, I say, IT'S TIME TO FIRE MOORE.
A tried and true method of police investigations, both in real life and on true crime dramas, is to separate the suspects, to interview them in separate rooms so they cannot get their stories synchronized.
As in crime drama, so in politics as well. Concord Monitor reporters proved that this past week with their expose of Mileagegate for House Republican staffer (and former Chief of Staff) Bob Mead.
Talk about being caught with your pants down! Majority leader D.J. Bettencourt's Deputy Shawn Jasper apparently didn't even know Mead was working for him!
Certainly if Republican leaders had been in the same room at the same time, they could have handled damage control, but they totally failed in this episode.
There is no excuse for paying Bob Mead, or any functionary from either party, out of taxpayer funds for doing partisan work.
That should go without saying, no questions asked, no room for spin.
The amount of money involved is so small that one can only shake one's head in wonderment about just how stupid these Republican leaders can be.
Another black eye for the party of O'Brien, for sure.
And for what reason? Certainly party coffers could have provided the money had Mead needed it that desperately.
The black eye is hardly worth the amount to be gained.
Talk about a risk-reward comparison, this is absurd.
I suppose Mead should not be blamed for trying to shake a few quid free from taxpayer coffers. The real culprit is new Chief of Staff Greg Moore who approved this outrageous travel expense.
GREG MOORE SHOULD BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY.
What irony that a Speaker who wants to impose fiscal restraint on state spending.
This is a classic case of "do as I say, not as I do."
Everybody should trim spending except Bill O'Brien's hacks.
No, you just can't make this stuff up!
Here are five pieces of advice:
1) Give the money back, Mr. Mead.
2) Fire Greg Moore, Mr. Speaker. That's the only thing that will save your honor and the honor of the institution you have trod upon. Actually, the position should not even be filled once the House adjourns in June; we can save $50,000 or so by making the position shut down when the House does!
3) Be quiet Mike Ball (Manchester City Republican Chair and Ward 2 Rep)--Your excuse in the Monitor that Democrat candidates would have been equally as welcome in the Meadian quest is laughable, pure and simple. If Mead is paid to recruit for the GOP, wouldn't it be fair to pay Democratic staffers to do the same for that party? Of course not. Let's put a stop to abuse (there is no evidence that Democrats have ever considered such a tactic).
4) Why the silence, Union Leader? Don't let left wing media like the Monitor monopolize coverage of a right wing scandal. For their own honor (if nothing else), other papers need to inform their readers of this outrage! No comment would have been a better Ballian response. One looks stupid when one tries to defend the indefensible, an all to common occurence around the O'Brien House these days.
5) It could be even worse than a political black eye. If taxpayer money has been improperly used, does it constitute theft? And should criminal charges not be filed, Mr. Attorney General?
As I had previously reported here, Mead, while on the taxpayer dollar, was soliciting Republicans to run for office. His time is probably costing tax payers more than the mileage money, so it's more than ironic that it took Moore's approval of unwarranted travel expenditures to bring this to public attention.
Keep in mind that this is the same Greg Moore who replaced Mead as Chief of Staff late in 2011; apparently a demotion for Mead who was sent over to the Republican office (D. J. Bettencourt’s staff) at the same time one of the most honest and hard working people at the State House (Jim Rivers) was sent packing. In other words, O’Brien and Company conspired to get a political hack in a paid position where party work could be done at taxpayer expense.
There is something rotten in more than Denmark these days!
Now we’ll see if O’Brien has leaned the Nixonian lesson—it’s not the wrongdoing—it’s the cover-up that will destroy you!