Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Wednesday
May022012

Redistricting Law Suits--Five And Counting

Last time we checked, the number of redistricting law suits stood at three.

As everybody prepares to head to court Thursday morning at 9 a.m. (Hillsborough Superior--near the police station), we're up to five and counting.

Last week, Manchester, Concord, and Democrats had filed suits.

This week, Republicans (led by Lee Quandt and Tony Soltani but also including me) have filed along with the folks from Gilford/Meredith.

Just to review, Gilford deserves slightly more than two Reps, Meredith slightly less than two Reps.  The House-passed plan denies each town their own Reps and lumps them together, contrary to the Constitutional Amendment passed in 2006, for four of their own.  Thus, either town could end up with ZERO Reps.  The Parison compromise would have allowed each town to have one Rep with two to be floated, similar to the fix that was offered for Hudson and Litchfield in the Seth Cohn Amendment which was passed by the House (until Speaker O'Brien went berserk and bullied Republicans into reconsidering it).

O'Brien, not content to intimidate House members, is now insisting that he be allowed to argue the case in court.  Interestingly, the New Hampshire Senate has filed a motion to NOT allow that.  It would be ironic indeed if the court shuts O'Brien down the way he on the House floor shuts off those Reps he doesn't agree with.

But you know me.  I believe in free speech, so I say let O'Brien plead his case.  Maybe he can explain how House Republicans (including Paul Mirski) ten years ago passed two plans, one with a 22.44 percent deviation, the other with 16.85 percent deviation, but now the Mirskiites are insisting on a ten percent standard which makes it impossible to follow the state Constitution.  I just happen to have copies of those plans…just in case the court is interested!

You just can't make this stuff up.

I'm no lawyer, but I do recall some legal admonition about a man who serves as his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

Hmmm...O'Brien serving as his own lawyer...hmmm....what kind of client does that make him?

As I say on my TV show this week...The Liberty Express...check it out on vimeo.com/channels/libertyx...those four most welcome words in the English language come to mind...

I

TOLD

YOU

SO.

Let the fun begin, but lest we forget...

Tragically this all could have been prevented, but for the HUBRIS of one man…hmmm. Who would that be?

Wednesday
May022012

Attendance Record For Manchester State Reps

Those elected to serve should be there when the time comes to vote.  That's a principle I've always lived by, and more than the main stream media, I believe in letting voters know how well (or poorly) their State Representatives are doing.  That's why I offer scores of all Manchester Reps on my TV show at the conclusion of every session.  We have an early indication of attendance from the House Republican Alliance scoresheets released last week.  The HRA, the conservative Republican organization, has scored nearly half the roll call votes, so this serves a fairly accurate proxy for overall attendance.  In the past, the HRA has noted an average attendance.  They don't do that this year, but I recall it's usually been in the 85 percent range.  If you wish to find the attendance of a State Representative outside of Manchester, check out the final column (% Bills Voted) at the HRA web site--

nhhra.org 

If you check this site out, note that Representatives are not listed alphabetically or geographically nor by attendance score but rather by HRA rating from highest to lowerst; in other words, the most conservative Reps (Republicans) are first and almost all Democrats are near the end.  That's not an editorial comment; just a statement of fact. 

 

The Manchester scores, along with commentary of course, will be noted on this week's "Liberty Express" which airs Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon; Monday at 10 p.m. and Thursday at 9 p.m. (always available at vimeo.com/channels/libertyx)

Manchester State Rep Attendance (from best to worst)

(Based on 105 Roll Calls through April 6, 2012, as scored by House Republican Alliance; approximately half the total roll calls, but an excellent proxy for overall attendance)

 

Representative/Ward/Party/Percent Attendance

Kathleen Cusson-Cail, R7—100%

Steve Vaillancourt, R8—100%

Win Hutchinson, R2—99%

Tammy Simmons, R10—99%

John Gimas, D5—96%

Connie Soucy, R12—94%

Jerry Bergevin, R10—94%

Irene Messier, R10—92%

Ben Baroody, D6—92%

Mike Ball, R2—91%

Jeff Goley, D1—90%

Barbara Shaw, D9—90%

 

Dan Sullivan, D1—88%

Maurice Pilotte, D9—88%

Gail Barry, R9—86%

Larry Gagne, R6—83%

Mark Proulx, R8—81%

Ross Terrio, R7—75%

Carlos Gonzalez, R12—75%

Matthew Swank, R10—72%

Ted Rokas, D5—71%

Phil Greazzo, R10—70%

 

Pat Long, D3—66%

Will Infantine, R6—61%

Kathy Souza, R4—57%

Leo Pepino, R4—49%

Peter Ramsey, R1—46%

Nick Levasseur, D4—42%

Pat Garrity, D7—41%

Cameron DeJong, R2—33%

Jean Jeudy, D3—29%

Tom Katsiantonis, D8—23%

Tom Beattie, R10—16%

Norma Champagne, R5—0%

 

Peter Sullivan—Not Applicable; Elected Midway Through Term

Best Ward—9 (264 for three Reps combined; 88% average)

Worst Ward—4 (148 for three Reps combined; 49% average)

Wednesday
May022012

Hillsborough Commissioners Cut Meals On Wheels

            Out of a Hillsborough County budget of nearly $85 million, take one guess at what the three Republican County Commissioners offered up as a cut at this morning’s public hearing?

            Don’t think too long now.

            Here’s a hint.

            Elderly people showed up in droves to protest, but the cut amounts to only $64,350, hardly enough to have much of an impact on the county tax rate.

            Give up?

            It’s support for the Meals on Wheels program.

            Many of you probably never knew your county tax dollars went to support Meals on Wheels, but they do, and that’s what County Commissioners want to cut.

            No, you just can’t make this stuff up.

            It’s like the oft-quoted ploy said to be used by some school boards.  When told that they must cut spending, they reach for the sports’ programs, knowing (dare I say hoping?) that these cuts will anger so many people that demands for all cuts will be dropped.

            What a cynical ploy, but that appears to be just what Commissioners Sandra Ziehm and Carol Holden are doing.  (Commissioner Toni Pappas voted not to take money from Meals On Wheels; she would simply raise taxes even more or use even more of the surplus).

            The budget they proposed would raise county taxes by $882,188 dollars (about two percent).  Not only that, but after using only $2.1 million of the county surplus last year, the Commissioners’ budget more than doubles that, up to $4,818,273 this year.  That’s an additional $2,718,273 which, of course, if used this year will never be able to be used again.  That’s what some in Concord refer to as one time money.

            Even with the extra $3.6 million ($882,188 plus $2,718,273), Commissioners want to cut the county’s $64,350 to Meals on Wheels.

            You better believe senior citizens were out in force to express opposition.  One wonders how many of the seniors realize that it’s not just food and transportation that is spent in the program.  When the matter came up last year, I asked how much the administrator of the program earns.  “They” were reluctant to tell me, but if anything I’m persistent, and there are actually two administrators.  The head honcho pulls in—this is before benefits mind you—something in the $80,000 range if memory serves.

            In other words, the county contribution to Meals on Wheels doesn’t even pay enough for one employee, the high paid administrator.

            The 123 State Representatives from the county must approve the budget.  Hearings on all departments are spread through the month of May.  Last year commissioners came in with what would have amounted to a six percent increase on the tax rate.  Reps cut budgets so as to not raise the tax rate at all. 

             Two legislators spoke against the Meals On Wheels cut at today's hearing.  Perhaps by more than mere coincidence, they are the two Republicans on record as planning to oppose Senator Lou D'Allesandro this year, Phil Greazzo from Manchester Ward 10 and John Hikel from Goffstown.

            What do you think the odds of Meals on Wheels being defunded when all is said and done?

            About the same as schools cutting sports programs, I’d say.

            The squeeze is on this year because about $4 million in federal funds have dried up.

            The commissioners’ overall budget actually represents a cut of $389,163 in spending across the board, a mere pittance considering how many hundreds of millions was cut at the state level last year.

             The budget does not include any monies for new contracts which may or may not be presented to the delegation's executive committee later this month.  A decision on contracts has not yet been made, but if new monies are added, they would have to be added into spending totals later.

            The biggest raise this year appears to be for the County Sheriff, an increase of $345,425 or more than ten percent ($3,584,085 requested versus $3,238,660 approved last year.

            I’m only one Rep, but it seems to me it’s time to take a totally new look at what we expect county government to do.  For example, why are we cutting meals for the elderly while we continue to spend $386,766 for the cooperative extension? 

            Should county government still be funding special aid to farmers?

            I’m just asking…and many more questions will need to be asked before the county budget is approved.

Tuesday
May012012

The Week In Polls--May 1--46es Are Wild!

            May Day!  May Day!  May Day!

            Mark this day down as one to remember.

            Three polls (Gallup, Rasmussen, and Fox News) all have the race for President at dead even, and they all have it at 46-46.

            I kid you not.

            Rasmussen and Gallup update their numbers every day, so if you check tomorrow, the 46es most likely will be gone. (Yesterday, Gallup had Romney up one, 47-46, and Rasmussen had Romney up two, 47-45).

            We’re at the point where you can’t take a single poll as gospel, but you can’t take a single average of polls at face value either.

            For example, in the Real Clear Politics average today, Obama leads by 3.1 points (47.3-44.2), but in the Pollster average (that’s the Huffington Post site); Obama is up less than a point (46.6-45.9).

            In the favorability sweepstakes, Obama has fallen to 0.1 (47.8-47.9) in the RCP average, but he’s down 1.7 points (46.9-48.6) in the Pollster average.

            It’s going to be a long, crazy year.  According to Rasmussen, Obama only leads Ron Paul by two points, and the Anointed One is held to 42 points (42-40).

            Long Live Lady Liberty!

            Ron Paul for President!

            Keep hope alive!

            Obamacare is losing ground, if anything.  Rasmussen has it out of favor by 19 points (36-55) this week.  The UNH poll from last week had it down ten points (36-46) even here in New Hampshire, and it’s down double digits nationwide even with Gallup.

            Good news for Democrats is that Rasmussen, which had Republicans up to a ten point lead in the generic ballot a few weeks ago, has it back down to only three (43-40), and Republicans lead by only 1.4 points (43.2-41.8) in the RCP average.

            There are also mixed signals from U.S. Senate races.  Rasmussen has Florida Democratic incumbent Nelson has moving to an 11 point lead (47-36) over Congressman Connie Mack at the same time Romney has moved to a one point lead (46-45) over Obama in that state.  Rasmussen also has Romney up one (45-44) in Virginia.  Certainly, he needs to win both Florida and Virginia (other polls have Obama ahead in both, but I trust PPP so little that I’ve decided not to report its results any more—you can find them elsewhere, I trust). 

            However, Democrats had hoped to steal a seat in Nevada, but incumbent Republican Heller is up 11 points (51-40) over Berkley according to Rasmussen.

            American Research Group is out with New Hampshire numbers which tend to verify last week’s UNH poll results.  Obama has a three point favorability margin (49-46) here and is only down two points (47-49) on his handling of the economy.

            In the Veep sweepstakes, it’s good news for former Secretary of State Condi Rice.  Rasmussen has her favorability at more than two to one positive (66-32), numbers both Obama and Romney would drool over (I was going to say “would kill for”, but I don’t want to be accused of being politically incorrect—does the mere fact I thought it make me incorrect?).           

            New Hampshire Republicans are touting right to work numbers from the UNH poll, 71 percent in favor to only 12 percent opposed and 17 percent neutral,

            Here are some UNH numbers which I failed to note last week which will make Republicans less happy.  Obama is viewed favorably 54-40 on foreign policy and 47-42 on his position in Afghanistan.

            The pollster giveth and the pollster taketh away.

            “Can the U.S. win the war in Afghanistan?” UNH asked.  No by nearly a three to one margin (24-64)!  Democrats say no 17-70, Republicans 24-66, and undeclared voters 24-62.  Strangely, the only sub-group that thinks the U.S. can win the war is 18-34 year olds (51-36).

            Go figure!

Tuesday
May012012

Dump O'Brien Movement Begins

Just today, I have received four emails, all from voters in my own ward by the way, in opposition to House Speaker Bill O'Brien (text below).  Since the messages are all the same, it's only logical to assume an organized effort is underway.

I have responded to each of them and will respond to all others, "Thank you for your message.  I have no intention of supporting Bill O'Brien for Speaker, but you should be aware that the next Speaker will not be chosen until Decmeber, and the choice will be up to the Legislature elected in November."

Hopefully, I've picked up four votes, in the event I decide to seek re-election (put me down as firmly undecided at this time)!

I assume other Reps are getting similar messages from their own voters (I recognize some of the names as those in the vanguard agaisnt repeal of gay marriage).  It appears clear that support or opposition to O'Brien will be a campaign issue, no surprise.  That's not good news for Republicans since O'Brien's positive/negative, according the the UNH poll last week, is negative twelve.  The Nashua Telegraph, which weighed in with an editorial on the poll results, is running a series on O'Brien this week (fair and balanced, of course). 

Here's the message I've received from constituents:

"I urge you to oppose Bill O'Brien's bid for reelection as Speaker of the House.

New Hampshire working families need leaders in Concord who will keep our state strong, not pursue divisive Tea Party proposals. Another two years of Speaker O'Brien's leadership means two more years of unnecessary attacks on workers and cuts to education and healthcare for children and seniors.

This isn't the leadership we need in Concord. Speaker O'Brien doesn't speak for me - don't let him speak for you."
----------------------------

Update--I'm also getting responses from my response.  No name please, but here's one, indicative of the sort of passions the gavel wielder is arousing.

You just can't make this stuff up.

Here it is (sic):

"I couldnt agree more steve!we appreciate your hard work and dedication representing our state.its time to get hitler out and someone with real new hampshire values in.the personal gains by ones political pressure should not be in existance in todays society.its time we show o brien the door!"