Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Wednesday
Feb082012

Portsmouth Beat Fosters To The Slur

As you can see from this missive, apparently Fosters wasn't the first to slur me about the Arts Fund.  However, there's no indication that the Herald took it to the extreme of calling me (someone who has spent a lifetime fightng for equality for all) a McCarthyist.  So now Buzz and the folks in Dover attempt to defend their slipshod journalism by pointing the finger at a fellow traveler in the media.  Talk about lazy slipshod journalims.
I have responded to "Buzz" that he can be sure I'll look for the Portsmouth slur and respond in kind although it's far less egregious than Buzz's slur, merely slipshod reporting not out and out premeditated misstating a position.  I also added him to the list of everything I write and note that he is welcome to use anything, in edited form he so desires.
The reason I didn't see the Portsmouth Herald story is simple.  I don't get all papers but do try to read all press clips collected by the House.  Apparently in a cost saving move, then Chief of Staff Bob Mead had the Herald eliminated from papers received by the House.  After all, he did have his priorities...like paying for junkets for the Speaker, albeit not to Taiwan! 
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Mr. Vaillaincourt:
  
We have no problem with you taking us to task, but Jon is long gone and has no input with regards to Foster's Editorial board, which consists of more than a single member (then and now). As for communism, see Portsmouth Herald of Jan. 31, Page A7: "Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, who testified at the Jan. 20 hearing in favor of eliminating the state Art Fund, likened the program to communism."
 
We are unable to find a response from you refuting that report prior to your response to our editorial.
 
Also, we are more than willing to give response equal space. In this case that would be 750 words or so, rather than the 1,000 plus provided here.
 
Paul "Buzz" Dietterle
Editorial Page Editor
Foster's Daily Democrat/Foster's Sunday Citizen
 ----------------------------------------------------------------
my response
"I assume if you eliminate my references to the late great Mr. Breen, it'll be the right size.  You should know that many of your complaints about House leadership are things I've voiced for the last four months--O'Brien has become a despot of the worst sort, and my writings give numerous specific examples.  And I have many more--only not enough time to enumerate them all since I'm so busy fending off attacks from those like you on the left...or at least from those who would extend nanny state and big brother govt in places our founders never intended--like funding the arts.  And of course, in trying to bring meaning to those words "consent of the governed"--when 90 percent break the speed law every time they get in their car, they obviously are not consenting.   Mr. Breen always thought so...hopefully you won't agree with the canard that if we raise the limit, people will just go faster.  All studies prove that is not the case--studies I'll be providing to Transportation Committee next week and then waiting for media to repeat the lie that people will  just go faster."
Wednesday
Feb082012

Media Watch--Fosters In Fantasyland

            Far more ominous than someone expressing an honest disagreement with you—that’s always acceptable actually-- is when someone deliberately misstates your position and then disagrees with the misstatement.

            It’s especially sad when the deceiver is someone in the media, someone who should know better but would rather build up a straw man to attack than deal with the truth.

            Such is the case with the editorial writer of Fosters Sunday Citizen in his or her diatribe “Does chasm of the absurd lie ahead for the GOP?” dated February 5.  This writer used to be Mr. Breen of “I paid for this microphone Mr. Green” fame but most likely he’s gone on to that great deception college in the sky, so I can only assume Fosters has hired an equally delusional editorialist.

            After crediting Governor Lynch for his respect for both sides in a debate, Fosters claims some in the New Hampshire House engage in “harsh rhetoric”.

            The editorialist then makes the absurd contention, “Just recently, for example, Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester, likened the State Art Fund to communism, as if we were still embroiled in the McCarthy era.”

            Whoa, big fella!  Did you actually hear such a thing?  Are you taking the word of a delusional reporter?  Or are you simply making it up from whole cloth?

            I most certainly did not compare any art fund to communism, and only someone deliberately attempting to fool the public would misinterpret what I said to mean that.

            What I actually said is that government should be totally neutral when it comes to art, not supporting one type of art over another.  I then noted that when I lived in Berlin, Germany, for a year, I had noted two types of art which the state should never have been involved with.

            One was National Socialist art, you know, the neo-classical stuff that Hitler and his minions were so fond of.  In fact, there was an entire display of Nazi art in one of Berlin’s main museums when I was there.  Some of it was actually quite good, especially for those fond of ancient Roman and Greek influences.

            My point was not to comment on whether the art was good or bad but to stress that government should not choose which art is best. The point was that your tax dollars (or the German tax dollars in the 1930s) are better spent on services absolutely essential to society, proving aid to the developmentally disabled and those with drug problems, for example.

            My second example was in fact of socialist art which Walter Ulbricht and Erich Honecker managed to foist on four generations of East Germans during their brutal rule, a time when millions of citizens fled to the west and the totalitarian leaders were forced to build a wall to keep their people in.

            I never mentioned those political arguments although Fosters editorialist apparently is so enamored with the good old days of Communism that he or she mistakes any reference to state-controlled art as taking us down the slippery slope to McCarthyism.

            You want harsh rhetoric; I’ll give you harsh rhetoric.

            For any sentient human being, let alone one hired by a real newspaper in our state, to draw such a conclusion can only mean the person is either brain dead or such a slave to his or her prejudices that he or she can’t deal with reality.

            By the way, I found the East German art to be especially depressing (you know, views of people happily at word in their socialist paradise).  Such art, paid for by the government of Herr Ulbricht and Honecler, was still plaguing Alexanderplatz when I was there in 1992 (although it didn’t last much longer).  I’m sure I filmed some of it which I’ll be happy to post on my TV show, The Liberty Express which runs on Manchestertv23 Monday at 10 p.m., Tuesday at 11 p.m., Thursday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at noon (always available at vimeo.com/channels/libertyx).

            Again the point isn’t whether the art was good or bad—it was decidedly bad in my humble opinion—but that government, either from the left or the right or the center, should not be in the business of  creating winners and losers when it comes to art.  Apparently, House members agreed; Dan McGuire's bill to repeal the Art Commission passed by nearly a veto-proof margin!

            Government spends enough of our money on essential services.  We don't have extra money to waste.  No to earmarks and no to state-controlled art slush funds!

            We don’t have money to throw up in the air and when it comes down, to use on one particular art project over another.

            It’s the same as my objection to government paying for sports complexes—yes, I fought against the Manchester Civic Center which for 30 years is costing Manchester property tax payers $5 million a year in bonded indebtedness.

            Government must protect its citizens; the court has ruled we must “cherish” education, but government must not be creating winners and losers in art.

            The State Art fund has nothing to do with communism. 

            To suggest I said such a thing is a vile slur, and Mr. Breen’s successor, like Joe McCarthy (in the words of Joseph Welch) obviously has no shame in suggesting such a thing.

            Such outrageous comments by any editorialist means that his or her entire body of work should be discounted.  Thus, while much of what this writer has to say is obviously true, how can the average reader separate his or her truth from his or her fantasy?

            One cannot make a separation, so the only option is to ignore whatever appears on the Fosters editorial page.

            As I recall, Mr. Breen/Green was fond of attacking me in the past for daring to suggest that a 65 mile an hour speed limited, ignored by 90 percent of the people, is probably not a good thing to keep on the books…so I guess I can expect more slurs from this editorial page when my bill to raise the speed limit surfaces in Transportation next week.  

 

Tuesday
Feb072012

Holy Bigotry Batman! Court Rules All Can Marry

Prop 8, California's Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Declared Unconstitutional

Proposition 8

Talk about sweet irony.

At the very same time, anti-gay zealots were rallying outside the New Hampshire State House demanding that gay marriage be repealed, a federal appeals court in California declared that state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutinal.

Why am I not surprised?  For the same reason I won't be surprised when the U.S. Supreme Court rules gay marriage must be accepted nationwide.

It must be something about those words from Jefferson--"ALL men are created equaL"

Actually a colleague on Finance Committee informed me of the California ruling in mid-afternoon.  I'm yet to find it only the Fox News web site (it's 5:25 p.m.), but I'm sure it's buried somewhere there.

Fair and balanced?

Apparently not when it comes to reporting on gay marriage.

Would you believe I wound up on the Huffington Post when I googled the story?

Tis true, and I NEVER go to the Huffington Post (except when I google pollster.com and am sent to Huffington because it apparently gobbled up pollster long ago).

Huff reports that the California court agreed "to give sponsors of the bitterly contested, voter-approved law time to appeal the ruling before ordering the state to resume allowing gay couples to wed."

David Bates cannot be happy, but as I've said before, good conservatives like George Will have long since come to realize that gay marriage is the wave of the future...or put another way...equality is the wave of the future.  Young people realize that in tremendous numbers and it's simply a truism to reveal that young people will outlive old people.

Remember that until the Loving v. Virginia decision in 1965, blacks and whites were not allowed to marry in most states.  We move forward toward true equality for all.  As a just society, we must never turn back.

I will be eternally proud that New Hampshire, thanks to a Democratic majority and a few Republicans (like me), legalized gay marriage through the Legislature without the court forcing us to do so two years ago.  Thanks Jim Splaine; we miss you.

It would be a sad day indeed if the David Batses of the world have their way and the New Hampshire legislature goes on record in favor of repeal (even though we all know that there is no way a veto by John Lynch would ever be overriden).

I suggest on my TV show this week--with tongue planted firmly in cheek--that the real threat to marriage is not from gay people but from a Brazilian multimillionaire model who insists on defaming an entire NFL team in a misguided attempt to defend her hubby's honor.

That's The Liberty Express which airs of manchestertv23 Monday at 10 p.m., Tuesday at 11 p.m., Thursday at 9 p.m., and Sunday at noon.  Always available at vimeo.com/channels/libertyx.

Next week in honor of the upcoming Iwo Jima anniversary, I'm going to rerun an interview from 2000 with the late great Rep (and Senate President) Alf Jacobson.  What a great man.  I have no doubt he would have supported gay marriage.

Long Live Lady Liberty!

Marriage for all...at least all who want it.

 

Tuesday
Feb072012

Week In Polls--Feb. 7--Obama Leads Eft By 25!

            Were it not for Rasmussen’s generic congressional ballot which shows Republicans back ahead (albeit by only two points, 43-41), all the news would be good for Democrats this week.

            Take New Hampshire for example.  The UNH/WMUR poll has Obama beating Romney by 10 (50-40) just a couple months after Romney appeared to hold a convincing lead here.  But you want even worse news than that.  Should Republicans somehow move completely off their rocker and nominate The Eft, expect Obama to win by 25 points here, 60-35.  Obama also leads Santorum by 21 points (56-35).  Only Ron Paul holds the anointed one to a single digit lead (50-42) in our state, and odds of Dr. Paul getting the nomination seem to be slim indeed.

            Yes, I am a Ron Paul supporter, but I’m also a realist.  After Florida and Nevada, Romney has moved back into clear front runner status, and the battle appears to be for second place.  Romney is up 15 points in today’s Gallup tracking poll.  It’s Romney 37, Eft 22, Santorum 16, and Dr. Paul 11.

            Indications are that Santorum could actually win both Minnesota and Missouri today while Romney wins Colorado, so the Eft may be buried once and for all when the cock crows tomorrow morning.

            This will be a real test for the veracity of PPP (the Democratic pollster).  It has  Santorum up 33-24 over Romney in Minnesota (with Eft and 22 and Dr. Paul at 20) and 45-32 over Romney in Missouri with Dr. Paul at 19 (Eft missed the deadline there as he did in his home state of Virginia).

            PPP has Romney up 10 over Santorum in Colorado (37-27) with Eft at 21 and Dr. Paul 13.

            All three states are not very heavily polled.  In fact at fivethirtyeighty.com, Nate Silver is already focusing on Arizona and Michigan which he expects Romney to win fairly handily. 

            But back to the bad news for Republicans.  For the first time in more than six months, Obama has moved into positive territory in the Real Clear Politics average.  It was plus two yesterday and is down to plus 1.8 today (48.8-47.0).  Although Obama has slipped into the negative side with Gallup (46-48), he’s up 51-48 with Rasmussen, 50-46 with ABC/Washington Post, and his lead seems to widening against Romney, the likely GOP nominee.         

            Rasmussen has Obama ahead of Romney by 6 (48-42), and he actually hits the magic 50 percent number with ABC (51-45 over Romney).

            This could all be just a temporary blip due to better than expected employment numbers last Friday, but there is actually talk in the blogosphere that Republicans could lose control of Congress.  Democrats would probably need a four point lead going into the election, and it’s still only two points in the RCP average (44.3-42.3), but the sense of optimism is certainly leaving the GOP.

            Here’s another reason why.  While most Republicans (except Ron Paul of course) seem to want the U.S. to continue to play the role of policeman of the world, Rasmussen finds that a whopping 67 percent of Americans favor the President’s proposal to have troops out of Afghanistan by the end of next year.

            While Republicans led by David Bates in New Hampshire continue to be doubling down their opposition to gay marriage, most—if not all--  polls (including those conducted by Republican pollsters) show that more than 60 percent of New Hampshire residents believe the issue is settled, and the Legislature should move on to other business.  If Bates and Company get their way, we may see the impossible happen—Republicans could actually lose more than 100 seats to lose control of the NH House.

            Any numbers from Andy Smith on that front would be most appreciated, but Speaker Bill O’Brien’s Republican Party seems totally capable of self-destructing at this point.

            It is after all the same leadership team which sent a Vice Chairman to the House floor last week with the message—I don’t know anything about this bill but vote for it anyway.

            Sad but true.  You just can't make this stuff up.

            But I digress…that’s another blog completely.

            Gallup is out with a bit of good news for Republicans in what it refers to as its “State of the States” series.

            According to self-described identification (as opposed to actual registration), no less than 30 states were solidly Democratic in 2008 and another six states leaned Democratic with 10 states considered competitive and Republicans solidly ahead in only four states and one other leading Republican.

            Today, 15 states are deemed competitive (including New Hampshire).  Democrats enjoy at solid lead in only 12 states and a slight advantage in seven while Republicans now have a solid lead in no less than 10 states, and seven more states lean Republican.

            That’s an astounding turnaround in four years.

            Gallup has Republicans with a 3.6 percent advantage in New Hampshire, 44.2-40.6 percent. 

            The closest states where Republicans also lead are Georgia 3.4, Colorado 3.0, Missouri 2.3, Virginia 0.9, and Arkansas 0.2.  Close states in which Democrats lead are North Carolina 0.9, Ohio 1.3, Nevada 1.7, Florida 1.8, Iowa 3.9, and Oregon 4.0.

            Gallup also finds an overwhelming trend toward self-identified conservatism.  Only one state (guess which one) has liberals in the lead and by only 1.3 points.

            Yes, that would be Massachusetts—no wonder George Will was rooting against the Patriots.

            New Hampshire is only the 36th most conservative state, but with a 12.3 percent margin, we’re the leader in the entire Northeast—36.7 percent conservatives, 34.9 percent moderates, and only 24.4 percent liberals.

            Here are the top ten most conservative –Mississippi (+42.5%), Utah, Wyoming, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Idaho, and Tennessee.

             Caveat—don’t read too much into these numbers.  For the entire listing, check out gallup.com.

            Rasmussen finds 59 percent of Americans believe elections are “rigged” to help incumbents and 48 percent believe the U.S. should aid Israel if it attacks Iran.

Monday
Feb062012

House Demands Court To Fly Like A Bird

 

             House Bill 1718 takes me back about 40 years, to the first time I read The Little Prince, a great fairy tale for adults by the Frenchman Antoine de St. Exupery (I read it in English, but since have bought the German version; no, I never tried it in the original language.).  The special committee on redistricting passed this silly bill along party lines this afternoon (with only me joining Democrats) and with the usual four fill-ins, Reps who were absent for the hearing on the bill sat in to pad the vote (a practice that happens, sadly, all too often this year).

            Here's the minority report which I wrote with a few enchancements.

           House Bill 1718, as originally filed, demands that the superior court shall hear and rule on any redistricting law suits not later than ten days following the commencement of any such action in Superior Court.  This is simply not feasible, a fact which even the majority recognized in offering a substitute amendment. 

            After delaying action on redistricting for eight months (yes, it's sad but true--that's an enhancement), the legislature displays the ultimate in chutzpah to expect the court to be able to handle the matter in ten days. 

            The minority is reminded of the book The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery.  The Little Prince lived on such a small planet that he could witness a sunset simply by taking a few steps.  When he visited a large planet ruled by a king, the Little Prince longed for a sunset and asked the king to order one. 

            Alas the king could not make such an order contrary to the laws of nature, so the Little Prince demanded to know how such an absolute ruler could not demand absolute obedience.  In positing this bill, the majority assumes the role of the Little Prince who thinks he can get his way whenever he wishes. 

            The king, attempting an explanation, asked the little prince who would be wrong if the king demanded that a man sprout wings and fly like a bird.  Would the man be wrong for failing to carry out such an order or would the king be wrong for issuing such an impossible order?  Obviously, the king would be wrong and obviously the House is wrong if it attempts to pass such a bill as this. 

            Howie Zibel, representing the Supreme Court, assured the committee that it would do everything in its power to handle any law suit in as expeditious a manner as possible.  In opposing the bill, he asked that a bit of comity be displayed between branches.  The minority believes that in pushing such a bill, the House displays more comedy than comity. 

            The bill, even as amended to delete the ten day language, still demands that any appeal be filed within five days.  This is totally unnecessary and could do more harm than good. 

            Since this bill could be challenged in court, it might actually slow down rather than speed up any redistricting court action.  Most likely, this bill would have as little impact as the House’s order to cities to get their ward maps drawn in January; that bill has not advanced beyond the Senate, and January is long gone (sad again, but oh so true--but don't take my word for it--check with the Senate clerk).

          Also, legal experts are quick to note than any good barrister could meet the five day requirement with a rudimentary appeal and fill in details later. 

           The minority asks that we display a bit of comity and common sense and ITL this bill and the amendment.  It’s time for us to stop huffing and puffing and demanding things which just aren’t possible, especially since we are the most guilty of delaying the process.

Here's more enhancement.

              Wanna bet that Republicans will be whipped into line in supprot of this nonsense and then, like the bill forcing cities to draw ward lines in an impossible time frame, it'll just sit there in the Senate.

              Sad, sad, sad but true.  And as always, you just can't make this nonsense up!

               Ironically, the redistricting committee today passed another bill worthy of a passage from the little prince.  It's the excecutive council redistricting plan which looks like a boa constrictor having swalllowed an elephant, a most approrpriate image from The Little Prince.

               House Republicans, having turned the body into a three ring circus, are now leading into the realm of children's fairy tales.

                Sas, sad, sad, but true, true, true.