Rep Steve Vaillancourt


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.


How A Three Point Obama Lead Could Mean A Romney Win

When you see Mitt Romney trailing by two or three (or even four) points in some of these national polls, don't automatically think he's going to lose.  Even if the numbers are perfectly accurate, it's important to look at the number of undecided voters.

All you need is a little knowledge of math and history of late deciding voters, for example, to determine that a 47-44 Obama lead, for example, could translate into a Romney win.

Here's how.

47 and 44 adds up to 91, so that leaves 9 percent undecided.  I don't go along with Dick Morris's assertion that nearly all the undecided voters break for the challenger at the last minute, but it does seem logical to assume--and history bears this out--that a significant number voters are undecided because they have big problems accepting the incumbent and are just waiting to accept the challenger.

I wouldn't put that number at four-fifths or even three-fourths, but it's probably in the two-thirds range.  Let's say it's 70 percent (a compromise number).

Take 70 percent of the nine percent undecided and give that number to Romney.  Seven times nine is 63, so the percentage to add to Romney is 6. percent.

43 plus 6.3 comes out to 50.3 percent.

Similarly, give Obama 30 percent of the nine percent.  That's 2.7 percent.  Add that to 47, and he comes up with 49.7 percent, thus losing even though he's ahead by three among decided voters.

You can do this for any number you see in polls.  Obviously if it's 49-46, the undecided vote, even when skewed to Romney, would not be enough.  Using the 70 percent number, Obama would win 50.2-49.8 (70 percent of four is 2.8; 30 percent of four is 1.2; add them into the 49 and 46 numbers).

The larger the percentage of undecided voters, the more Romney could be behind and still pull it out if you accept the 70 percent premise.  I wouldn’t recommend using any number greater than 70.

For example, let's say Romney trails 44-40 in a poll.  Do the match with me now.  That's 16 points undecided.  16 times 3 is 4.8; 16 times 7 is 11.2.  Add 12.2 to 40 and Romney comes out with 51.2 points.  To add up to 100, Obama must get 48.8, and sure enough--44 plus 4.8 equals 48.8.

Two things matter here, the number of undecided voters, and the assumption that the challenger will capture 70 percent of them.  Clearly, if we rework the numbers at 60/40, we don't get the same result.

This is basic math, so even without much effort, you should be able to plug the 70 percent in to any polling result you see (perhaps with Tom Lehrer's song "New Math" in background).  If you're hoping Romney wins, the exercise will prove most beneficial.

Let's say the poll shows Obama up 48-46.  What do we get?  Six point undecided...six times seven gives Romney 4.2 for a 50.2-49.8 win.

However, it the margin is 49-47 for Obama, he would win--four points undecided--four times seven gives Romney 2.8 or only 49.8 percent to Obama's 50.2.

Don't waste too much time on this exercise, but for what it's worth, try it with the next poll you see.

Ain’t math (it’s basically simple arithmetic) fun?   Mais oui, mon ami.

"Hooray for new math, new-ew-ew-ew-ew math; it won't do you a bit of good to review-ew math.  It's so simple, so very simple, that only a child could do it!


Republican Extremists Gin Up Phony Outrage

Obama campaign print

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Just when you thought Mitt Romney and Republicans were about to settle down and discuss real issues facing this country, along comes another silly distraction which ranks right up there with the birther controversy as far as voter interest is concerned.

Naturally, it's Fox News which is spreading the word about the Obama flag logo.  Some people on the right, the same people who will guarantee the Demagogue In Chief's re-election, are blasting the Obama campaign for developing this design as being sacreligious to Old Glory.

 Get real, Republicans!  This is the kind of distraction which cannot possibly help and most likely will hurt at least a little, by taking attention away from real issues and by providing more evidence, as if any is needed, that Republicans will complain about anything Obama does.

You probably haven't heard about this on the major networks (most people I talk too were not aware of it), but Fox is out there with it.  I've heard about it on that network at least twice.  Google it, and you'll most like find it on The Blaze (isn't that Glen Beck's new outlet) and other right wing web sites.

Oh, the outrage!  The phony outrage!

Even as Romney falls farther and farther behind in state and nationals polls (as many as four to five points in the Real Clear and Pollster averages), certain Republicans seem determined to talk about this flag non-issue.  It's almost as if the Obama campaign has secretly infiltrated Republican circles with some type of Vulcan mind blend to make GOP operatives focus on the silly side, on the ridiculous rather than the sublime.

If in fact it's Fox and the radical right making a big deal out of this inane issue, the old admonition applies--Save me from my friends more than my enemies. 

To borrow a line from The Exorcist, "MAKE IT STOP!  MAKE IT STOP!"


Beware! No Early Voting In New Hampshire

New Hampshire voters beware! 

Both parties apparently are sending out mailers (I've seen one) urging people to vote by mail, thus being able to vote early.  This is very misleading and could lure voters into committing fraud.

When you hear that early voting begins this week in Ohio and that as many as one-third of the votes in the election will be cast prior to November 6, don't think you can just get an absentee ballot and vote early in New Hampshire.

This state has very specific rules for voting absentee.  You are only able to request an absentee ballot and vote early if you are unable to make it to the polls in your voting district on election day.  If you are disabled or infirmed and cannot leave the house, you're eligible to vote absentee.  If you go south and spend the winter in Florida, you're eligible to receive an absentee ballot.  If your business requires that you be out of your city or town while the polls are open on election day, you're eligible to vote absentee.

That's about it.

You cannot simply decide you want to vote early and ask for an absentee.  If you plan to vote by absentee, make sure you read the instructions when you sign the form requesting a ballot.  It'll spell out the limited reasons for voting absentee.  When you sign the form, you are on record that you have a valid reason for voting absentee.

You might get away with voting absentee when you don't have a valid reason, but it's voter fraud in this state.  

It's not a good idea!  For example, let's say you ask for an absentee ballot claiming that you will be out of town election day and then your neighbor sees you in your driveway at noon on November 6, you might be in trouble.  Of course your defense could be that you had planned to be away, but your plans changed.  Why take the chance if you know you'll be here and can get to the polls?

I personally am not a big fan of early voting.  While I believe we should make it easy to vote, I don't believe it's asking too much for voters to show up in a timely manner and cast their ballot at specific polling locations.