Rep Steve Vaillancourt


Media Watch--Funny, Funnier, And Goodbye

 Loving The Loony--Even though he's a rabid left wing loony (notice I've fixed the spelling) and unapologetic Obama shill, David Letterman remain extremely funny.  Chances are I'll be watching him from 11:35-11:50 each weeknight (before I turn to Kimmel; I'm not fan of Leno).
While some right wing fanatics might accuse Letterman of being disrespectful in his interview with British Prime Minister David Cameron last night, I found it hilarious (and even informative).
I nearly choked laughing so hard when in response to Cameron not being able to translate Magna Carta (that famous document signed by King John at Runymede in 1215), Letterman quipped, "Boy it would be good if you knew this!"  Maybe it was just me but I found it hilarious rather than disrespectful.  It's not that tough a translation...from the Latin, it means something like great charter, n'est-ce pas?  "It would be good" if the P.M. knew that.
Et tu Miller?--Even funnier was Dennis Miller on Bill O'Reilly last night (yes, I usually watch at least portions of O'Reilly).  Never have his rants been funnier.  Not only do he scorch the vile Iranian President over his UN speech and the NFL over substitute refs, but he also got in a great shot at Fox's own foot fetishist Dick Morris.  In a previous segment, O'Reilly had focused on polls with pros like Karl Rove, Larry Sabato, and the fetishist.  The first two made sense.  Morris made so little sense that O'Reilly had to interrupt his twice to get him back on track.
First a confession--You may recall my New Years resolution to change channels whenever Morris appears.  I followed it for seven months, but lately have been catching bit of the fetishist from time to time.  He's just as outrageously smug (and wrong) as ever.  He insists that not only will Romney win big, he'll win Pennsylvania.  How can you trust a guy like this?  Apparently, Dennis Miller couldn't take Morris any more than I can.  He referred to the fetishist's wisdom as not being able to be contained on a grassy knoll, an opening for O'Reilly to plug his book on the JFK assassination.  Dennis also mocked the fetishist's book on his dog Dubbs going to DC but noting the new Morris book on Dubbs humping.  O'Reilly broke up.  So did I!  Why Fox continues to feature this nut case (Morris on most of their shows is beyond me.  He has zero credibility.  He's a mere hack for Republicans just as he was once a hack for Democrat Bill Clinton.  Follow the money, Dubbs!
Matt, We Hardly Knew Ye--So long and good luck to Concord Monitor reporter Matthew Spolar.  I knew he wouldn't last long.  They never do at the Monitor.  It's a great training ground for new hungry reporters on their way to bigger and better (higher paying) jobs.  I thought Spolar might follow Sarah Koenig who went to Baltimore, but apparently he's off to New York.  Like most Monitor reporters, Matt was great.  The paper gives space to its reporters to explore the Concord scene in detail, and they do a great job (not that there's anything wrong with the veterans like Kevin Landrigan, Norma Love and the Union Leader's Gary Rayno...although there was something very wrong with the's been a while since I've used that word... and incompetent guy who preceded Rayno at the Leader...gone and literally forgotten...I couldn't even remember his name...Tim or Tom something).
But I digress.  Matt Spolar and I shared something in common.  I was a Pittsburgh Pirate fan in my teen years (back before Matt was born).  I'd pull in KDKA radio and listen to Bob Prince and the Gunner and the Possum.  Occasionally I quote the Prince line here, "We had 'em all the way"  Matt picked up on that once and noted how he's a Pirate fan.  In fact, he tells me that he has discovered one of the rare copies of the complete broadcast of the 1960 World Series game 7 ("back to the wall goes Berra") which was lost for many years.
Good luck Matt.  I trust his replacement will be good as well and also won't last long.
 Et tu,Tiffany?--Tiffany Eddy, of Channel 9, is also leaving, but she's been on the scene considerably longer than Matt, 14 years.  I've always found Tiffany, like Tom Griffin at Channel 9, unoffensive.  Lest that sound like damning with faint praise, it's actually high praise indeed.  I judge newscasters by their tendency to offend me with their unending happy talk or their bias or their phony forced voices (like the WMUR morning weather guy...just terrible).  Tiffany and Tom through the years have managed not to offend me.  And that's high praise indeed.

Good luck Tiff


Updated State Senate Predictions--Republicans 13, Democrats 11

            My post-primary analysis for the New Hampshire State Senate is that Democrats pick up six seats, falling one short of a 12-12 split.  I’m going out on a limb with only one of my predictions.   I’m calling the race in Nashua and towns to the west for the former senator Gilmour over the Republican incumbent Luther.  However,  Democrats could pull even if they take either the District 24 seat (Hampton incumbent Republican Nancy Stiles against former Senate President Bev Hollingworth) or District 9 (I have Republican Andy Sanborn, of Bedford, a favorite although both Democrats and Republicans are telling me Lee Nyquist could pull a surprise).

            Now is as good a time as any to go through these district by district.  The numbers noted here reflect how far each district tilts to either party (with 50 as a tie), but individuals must now be factored into considerations, not to mention top of the ticket effect.  Until recently, I had counted on neutrality at the top of the ticket.  Now, I think we have to give Obama at least a slight advantage (maybe more than slight); that should benefit Democrats in down ballot races, especially where Obama is expected to run strongly, the North Country, Connecticut Valley, and the Seacoast for example (certainly NOT Bedford; that’s why I’m still going with Sanborn).


District 1—51.15-48.85 Democratic edge

Democrat Jeff Woodburn

Until a few weeks ago, I had Littleton Republican Debi Warner holding onto this seat (the Gallus seat), but Obama continues to run so far ahead in the North County that there should be just enough coattails to propel Woodburn to a win in what is the most evenly balanced district in the state.  Try as they might to redistrict this to get in more Republican voters, GOP senators just couldn’t do it.  The North Country may be forever lost to the GOP.  The good news (for Republicans) is that there are less and less people up there.


District 2—51.80-48.20 Republican edge

Republican Jeanie Forrester

Republican redistricters were faced with the nearly impossible task of keeping this district Republican as Democrats dominate Grafton County more and more.  Robert Lamb, of Holderness, can not be ruled out here but would have to be considered a slight underdog unless he outworks and outspends Forrester.  About the only thing she did wrong in her first term was screw Meredith by accepting the House redistricting plan; if I

remember that, you can be sure Democratic operatives will as well, but she still should win.


District 3—54.21-45.79 Republican edge

Republican Jeb Bradley

With the Conway area turning more and more Democratic, this district isn’t as Republican as it once was, but it’s still plenty Republican, especially as long as Jeb Bradley is the candidate.  This won’t be close.  Oh yes, see…I almost forgot…the opponent is Jeffery Ballard, of Brookfield.


District 4—56.92-43.08 Democratic edge

Democrat David Watters

This is pretty much an entirely new district.  In fact, when I was thinking about the five Democratic incumbents and adding a pick up of five other seats, I nearly forgot about this.  Republican redistricters basically gave this away to Democrats, and State Rep Watters, of Dover, will certainly take it over Republican mover and shaker Phyllis Woods who is much too much a right winger for this area…not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Is there?


District 5—63.43-36.57 Democratic edge

Democrat David Pierce

Republican redistricters stacked and packed Democrats into this area and with Matt Houde not running again, there’s no way Hanover State Rep David Pierce will lose to Claremont Rep Joe Osgood.  I break my rule of never saying never in this one.  Never (at least not in 2012) will a Republican win here.


District 6—53.10-46.90 Republican edge

Republican Sam Cataldo

Prior to redistricting, this seat leaned Democratic (despite Fenton Groen’s win in the Republican sweep of 2012).  Now, it’s fairly safe for a Republican.  Dick Green would have been a surer bet, but Rep. Sam Cataldo shocked many of us by winning the primary, and while it’s not a done deal, the addition of Alton makes this area especially tough for a Democrat.  A better candidate than Richard Leonard might be able to pull it off, but the fact that many Democrats I talk with don’t even know Leonard should mean Cataldo, who is working very hard, should win easily. Just telling it like it is.



District 7—51.53-48.47 Republican edge

Democrat Andrew Hosmer

Although this refigured district (Laconia and much of the Lakes Region) tilts Republican, no serious analyst thinks that Joshua Youssef can carry is baggage over the finish line.  Each day seems to bring a new headline about Youssef.  We don’t need to go into them here.  Suffice it to say that like Delaware in the 2010 U.S. Senate race, the Republican primary here guarantees a Democratic general election win.  This district could well go Republican in 2014 (with Youssef gone), but not this year.  Just so you don’t think I have a dog in this fight, I wouldn’t even know Youssef if I ran into him…I only know what I read in the papers and am pledged to honesty here.


District 8—51.53-48.47 Republican edge

Republican Bob O’Dell

Hey, Bob O’Dell won here handily when it was rather Democratic the past several years.  Now that it’s slightly Republican, give no chance to Christopher Wallenstien (who?!) of Bennington.


District 9—53.63-46.37 Republican edge

Republican Andy Sanborn

It’s true; this district isn’t as solidly Republican as it was back in the days of Sheila Roberge.  It’s true; Andy Sanborn is new to the district and had a tough primary fight with Rep. Ken Hawkins.  It’s also true that Democrat lawyer Lee Nyquist, of New Boston, is well known and well funded.  Given all that, as I noted previously, some see this going Democratic.  I’m not one of them.  The Bedford turnout should swamp Nyquist (but I wouldn’t make this a gun-to-your-head prediction; in other words, an upset is not totally out of the question).


District 10—62.18-37.82 Democratic edge

Democrat Molly Kelly

Let’s see?  Who’s the sacrificial Republican lamb…I’ll have to look it up.  It’s not former Republican Senator Eaton; that’s in itself is an indication of just how Democratic this district has become.  It’s Richard Foote, of Swanzey.


District 11—53.67-46.33 Republican edge

Republican Senate President Peter Bragdon

This is the only uncontested district in the state, somewhat surprising since it’s not as Republican as it was prior to redistricting.  Chairman Buckley claims Democrats in this area are focused on beating House Speaker Bill O’Brien, but that’s only Raybo’s way of face saving.  President Bragdon would have been safe even with a quality opponent.


District 12—52.87-47.13 Republican edge

Democrat Peggy Gilmour

This is my upset special; the numbers say give it to incumbent Jim Luther, but I’ve got this feeling Gilmour wins.  Every prognosticator should be allowed at least one unexplained feeling…this is mine.


If you’re with me so far, you can add them up.  So far, it’s 6-6.  Shall we save the rest for another day?  Sure, I’m hungry.

Democrats win easily in 13, 15, and 21.  Democrats hang on in districts 18 and 20 (the Manchester area, Donna Soucy and Lou; hey I'd vote for Gail Barry and Phil Greazzo, but this is what I think will hapen, not what I want to happen!  That’s five for a total of 11.

Republicans win easy in districts 14, 19, 22, and 23.  They win fairly easily in district 16 and 17, and Nancy Stiles hangs on in District 24 although that last one is really a toss-up.

If that doesn’t come out to 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats, let me know.

We’ll get to 13-24 in detail later. 



Condolences To The B.J. Perry Family

Of all the political types I know, I probably am least likely to take note of the passing of certain people.  Thus, you can tell how saddened I am to mention the passing of Bernard B.J. Perry Jr., a former School Board member from Manchester Ward 12 and an successful businessman in the Queen City.

His son, B.J. III, is one of the most competent and astute operatives on the political scene.  B.J. Junior is married to Carrie Perry (a great name), one of staffers in the office of Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas (they're all great people there).

And, of course, as anyone knows who attended the Jim Demers CHAD St. Patricks Day event last winter, B.J. Jr. and Carrie are the proud parents of Elliot, the miracle baby who was born prematurely but is doing just fine now.

This one hurts more than most.

Condolences to the Perry family.

Rest in peace.


Now Annie's Dancing...And Other Ad Thoughts

Amidst the ever-increasing clutter of political ads on a TV screen near you, Congressman Charlie Bass once again breaks through with an ad most people will not simply enjoy but will most likely want to see over and over again.

First it was a woman, dressed like challenger Annie Kuster, running away from her record.  Now, the same woman (presumably) is dancing around her record.  It's not just because I oppose Kuster's big tax and spend mentality (I certainly do), but this ad is a sensation.  It deserves a Clio Award.

I've only seen it once but can't wait to see it again.  If only Mitt Romney's high paid ad men could be as creative, maybe he'd have a chance against the Demagogue In Chief.

As for most of the other political ads, hey...that's why they make remote control channel changers.

Just this morning, still half asleep and with the remote control out of reach, I sat through a Carol Shea Porter ad attacking Frank Guinta over veterans issue and then immediately a response from Guinta attacking Carol Shea for her attack.  I'm in favor of veterans as much as the next guy, but this the top issue facing voters in the first Congressional district?  I think not.

Kuster's bleeding heart ads especially make me not only want to reach for the remote control but in fact actually keep it close at hand.  Maybe her handlers have tested these ads and tell here they're effective, but I doubt it.

As for the Ovide and Maggie feel good ads, they just don't do it for me.  I'm waiting for Democrats to drop the shoe on Ovide as the Pedophile Priest attorney for the Catholic diocese.  Hey, if I can think of it, you can be sure Democrats have thought of it.  Undoubtedly, they're waiting for the final two weeks of the campaign.  I can't wait to see it...Ovide?  Family values?  What kind of family values would lead a man to stand up for pedophile priests?  Of course every the accused have a right to an attorney, but what do we think of such attorneys?  Shades of the late, great, "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit" Johnnie Cochran.

Boston channels, with fewer ads for the Presidential candidates (Mass is certainly not in play) are inundated with ads from Scott Brown (clever) and his Indian challenger.

In the meantime, Dance, Annie, Dance.  I'll have my producer get a copy for airing (two or four times) on next week's Liberty Express.

HELP ME OUT HERE!  I've googled Charlie Bass ads and I've googled Kuster dancing ads and all I get are Kuster ads.  If anyone can locate the Kuster dancing ad, please post it below.  Thanks.  It's truly worth a look.

Aha, here it is thanks to Rep. Dan McGuire.  I knew someone would come up with it.  Enjoy.

That Bass ad you like is on YouTube here.


Bill Filing "Secrecy" Is No Big Deal

You might expect me, as a frequent critic of House Speaker Bill O'Brien, to be outraged by his decision to order that proposed bills be kept secret until after the November election (as reported in the lead story in today's Concord Monitor).

You would be wrong.

I find it impossible to get excited about this development.  It's truly much ado about nothing.

Here's how it works.  Although the election is still six weeks away, incumbent State Representatives, who advanced in the September primary, have a window of opportunity to file bill requests prior to the election (the window closes today).

Basically this is a house keeping procedure.  Were we to wait until after November 6, the legislative drafting office would be inundated with requests (as they are anyway).

The early filing gives the hard working staffers a chance to get a head start on drafting legislation.

Every Rep, whether an incumbent or a newbie, will have another opportunity to file bill proposals after the election, so it's truly a case of no harm, no foul.

Sorry O'Brien haters, but I tend to agree with Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, on this one.  These early filings are simply requests and could very well be changed completely by the time the drafting is completed.  While the media would certainly like to gin up some controversy by latching onto bill titles and using them against certain incumbents, that would probably be more of a disservice than a service to both voters and those seeking office.

As I told Monitor reporter Annmarie Timmins (and she apparently chose not to use the comment), if any incumbent is worried about something he or she files at this time, that incumbent can simply wait until after the election.

Truth in blogging, I've filed some drafting requests already, including my usual attempt to allow sanity to prevail on our interstate highways, that is to say, to raise the speed limits as other states are doing.  I'm also looking into that disposal of bodies by the water method (remember that bill from the last two sessions) and a "loser pays" law for civil law suits.

All of these (and any others) could be filed later (by me or any other person who wins in November), but early filing is a useful way of spreading out the work burden at the State House.

I repeat--it's no big deal.

Cut the outgoing Speaker some slack on this one.