Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Tuesday
Jan242012

The Week In Polls--Jan. 24--Obama Ends Year Three At 44.4%

            After the 24 point swing in South Carolina polling within the five days last week, perhaps it’s time to stop following these primary polls so closely.  Don’t get me wrong; I trust polling, but with the electorate in such a state of flux, it’s obvious that today’s results may not mean anything in a few days.

            Having said that, I guess I remain addicted to the opiate that is polling, but I pledge to try to look less at the numbers which might change day to day and more at long term numbers.

            For example, while Barack Obama’s popularity continues to remain underwater (minus 2.3 points at 46.0-48.3 in the current Real Clear Politics average) and while he’s in worse position than any recent incumbent except Jimmy Carter according to Gallup’s historical analysis, Rasmussen has three numbers this week which will sadden Republicans.

            It’s a week the GOP should already be very sad indeed at the prospect of the Eft dragging down the entire ticket including here in New Hampshire.

            Here are the three troubling results.

            After being down by as much as 21 points in September (57-36), support for repealing Obamacare is down to 11 points today, 52-41.

            By a 47-36 margin, Rasmussen finds voters would support those who would increase taxes for the rich.

            Also, Rasmussen finds that 48 percent continue to blame George Bush for the dismal state of the economy while only 45 percent blame Obama.

            This isn’t PPP or some Democratic polling outfit.  It’s Rasmussen which traditionally shows a slight Republican bias if any at all.

            Also, Rasmussen has GOP lead down to three points in the generic Congressional ballot (42-39).  It was six a few weeks ago.

            The Real Clear Politics average actually has Democrats up by 1.8 points (44.0-42.2) in the generic Congressional ballot.

            I’ve come this far without referring to Florida, and here’s one more bit of bad news for Republicans.  Even as the Eft won big in South Carolina, his numbers against Obama have not improved.  Rasmussen has Obama beating the Eft by nine (49-40) while Romney loses to Obama by only three (46-43).  Should Republicans across the country follow the lunacy unleashed in South Carolina, we may yet see a second term for the Anointed One.

            All right.  All right.  I can avoid it no longer.  PPP, that Democrat-leaning outfit, has Romney within five points of the Eft in Florida (38-33 with Santorum at 13 and Paul at 10), but Rasmussen had Romney down nine (41-32 with Santorum at 11 and Paul at 8) and Insider Advantage had the Eft up eight (34-26 with Paul at 13 and Santorum 11 yesterday).

            I fully expect Romney to turn this around and come out on top in the winner take all state of Florida.  After all, the Eft cannot be expected to go an entire week without stepping in his own excrement, but all bets are clearly off.

            I was going to congratulate American Research Group for its last minute poll which had the Eft up 14 points (40-26) in South Carolina, but then I noticed that it had Ron Paul ahead of Santorum 18-13 for third.  Totally wrong as it turned out.

            To find good news for Republicans, we need to go back to Gallup’s review of Obama’s numbers at the end of his third year in office (it’s still available at gallup.com).

            Gallup reports that Obama’s popularity at the end of year three was 44.4 percent, down from 46.7 at the end of year two and 57.2 percent at the end of year one.  Only Jimmy Carter at 37.4 percent was worse and we all know what happened to him.  Reagan was at 44.9, and his numbers picked up dramatically in his final year.

            Gallup reports that unless Obama picks up in the next quarter, he could be in real trouble…since Eisenhower, no one has ever been re-elected with a 13th quarter rating of less than 50 percent.

            For the record, here are the third year numbers for others—Eisenhower 72.1, Kennedy (at the time of his death) 61.8, Nixon 49.6, Carter 37.4, Reagan 44.9, George H.W. Bush 69.5, Clinton 47.5, George W. Bush 59.6, and Obama 44.4.  Interestingly, the number of polls used to calculate Obama's number is 351 as opposed to only 15 for Ike--talk about a booming industry!

            That tells us that Clinton picked up and Bush I fell between the end of the third year and the end of the 13th quarter. In fact, Clinton was up to 53.0 by April, 1996, on the way to mauling the hapless and helpless Bob Dole. 

            Here’s how the others were as of April 19 of the re-election year—Eisenhower 73.2, Johnson 76.0, Nixon 53.7, Ford 47.4, Carter 47.7, Reagan 54.5, GHW Bush 41.8 (how the mighty did fall in that three month period), Clinton 53.0, GW Bush 51.0.

            There—isn’t that more fun than focusing on Florida numbers which could very well change by the time this is posted?

 

Tuesday
Jan242012

Media Watch--Crab Gills, The Asylum And Fahey's Ghost

 

 

WRKO talk host Howie Carr came up with such a great line yesterday that I've already repeated it half a dozen times and feel the need to do so here.  When something is attributed, then it's not theft, so here goes...come to think of it, Howie probably borrowed it from someone else as well.

Reacting to how South Carolina could do such an irresponsible thing as give the Eft 41 percent of the vote Saturday (my words, not Howie's), Howie related an old definition of South Carolina--not large enough to be a country, but too large to be an insane asylum.

It's actually better than my explanation which was that everyone in the state must have been drunk Saturday.

I knew something was terribly wrong in this state when Ron Paul was booed when he alluded to the golden rule during last week's debate.  What kind of people would boo the golden rule?  You know, do unto others as you would have them do unto you--that golden rule.

The kind of people who are either drunk or belong in an insane asylum.

No, I'm not planning to move to South Carolina...or Florida either.

Thumbs up to NBC News for not allowing the crowd to boo or cheer during last night's debate...it was a real turnoff in South Carolina.  I can’t be the only one who thought that.  The crowd turned a serious political event into little more than a big time ‘rassling contest, a great atmosphere for born demagogues like the Eft in which to thrive.

As to those morons who took CNN reporter John King to task for asking the EFt the question about his wife, give it up.  King would have been irresponsible as a journalist had he failed to ask the question.

 

 

Crab gill anyone?  Thumbs up—three thumbs up actually--to The Concord Monitor as well.  It's not often you attempt a bit of humor and have it come out right in the media.  That's what I did with my reference to the TV show chopped and Dungeness crab gill during one of my redistricting speeches last week.  The Monitor Sunday columnists captured the spirit of what I was attempting to do as well as anyone could ever hope.  They also nailed Concord Rep Lynn Blankenbecker for putting party ahead of principle in voting against the interests of her city and with bullying Republican leadership for the GOP redistricting plan.  Clearly, any Republican (and that would include most) who voted for this plan had not looked at it in detail.  It's totally indefensible, especially for what it does to Concord and Pelham, and Blankenbecker, whom I usually agree with, should be ashamed of herself.  (But that's a separate blog).

Also thumbs up to the Monitor for its editorial today "Redistricting plan destined for court".  I don't say that simply because I'm mentioned in it (since Gary Rayno replaced the vile Tom Fahey at the Union Leader, hardly a day goes by that I'm not mentioned in the media these days).  I agree with the Monitor that the House-passed plan in unconstitutional.  My only quibble would be that it may never get to court because we may find 25 to 30 Republicans to do the honorable thing and join Democrats to sustain a promised veto from Governor Lynch.  (But that's a separate blog).

Fahey Repudiated--I had become accustomed to not having anything I say quoted in the Union Leader, and I really couldn't care less.  I have this blog and my own TV show, so I get my message out to the people.  For the last five years or so, Tom Fahey, the most incompetent reporter in the history of the media, simply refused to quote anything I said...unless it happened to make me look bad.  It was no coincidence that he began this treatment soon after he physically assaulted me when I was filming at the press room door (it's still around somewhere in the ether).

Fahey, out of a spirit of vindictiveness, simply decided to make me a non-person.  I'd only be quoted in the Union Leader when Gary Rayno was filling in.  Now that Fahey is gone, I note that I seem to say newsworthy things on a regular basis (redistricting, CACR13, and the Gatsas gambling plan just last week).  Were Fahey still around, you can be sure you wouldn't have seen anything I said in the pages of the Union Leader, just like his former bosses, publisher Joe McQuaid and editorial page director Drew Cline, have refused for years to use anything I write as an op-ed piece.

It's a loss for their readers, not me, but we now have proof just how Fahey refused to report the news but insisted on slanting it as he saw fit. 

Kevin Comes Clean—One of the purposes of this blog is to hold the feet of those who choose to make predictions (including me) to the fire.  That’s what I did here regarding New Hampshire primary predictions.    Nashua Telegraph columnist Kevin Landrigan acknowledged his less than stellar predictions.  Hey, it’s not everyone who has the courage to go out on a limb and make predictions.  Kevin deserves credit for that and for the confession.  Although I haven’t read his latest column yet, I’m told that Kevin pins the blame on redistricting chaos on the House floor on Pelham Republican Sean Doherty.  In fact, Seth Cohn, R-Canterbury, undoubtedly deserves much more of the blame/credit.  As do I.  Let’s see if the three of us are back in crosshairs on the veto override when it comes to standing up to what is sure to be withering pressure from the Despot in Chief in the chair and his chief lackey...you know, the one who called the bishop a pedophile pimp.

 I’m just channeling Howard Cossell (no spell check, I don't want "Costello")…remember him?...and telling it like it is.  I’m incapable of doing anything less even if it means being thrown off two committees and losing Irene Messier’s parking space (I drive Irene and therefore, at least until now, have a space in the garage).

 

 

 

  • Crab gills anyone?  The redistricting plan is laced with them.

    Tuesday
    Jan242012

    Grant Bosse Is Right About Income Tax Amendment

    I could not have said it better myself than Grant Bosse did although in fact, I did try to say it (despite being interrupted by His Vileness and silenced by the despotic Speaker) during the debate last week on CACR13, the bill which would enshrine anti-income tax language in the New Hampshire constitution.  Therefore, with permission, I'm reprinting Bosse's op-ed piece which ran in the Concord Monitor over the weekend.

    He makes three of the points I attempted to make (before I was silenced by His Vileness and The Despot)--that we shouldn't be legislating in the Constitution; that having the income tax is a good election issue for Republicans; and that it's not likely to achieve the 66.7 percent necessary to pass.

    Note that the headline, a takeoff of the subtitle of the Dr. Strangelove movie, is rather clever as well.

    Thumbs up to Grant Bosse and to The Monitor for publishing these wise words; it's always reassuring (although not dispositive) to have someone as wise as Grant Bosse and the Josiah Bartlett Center on the same page.

     

    How I learned to stop worrying and love the income tax

    By Grant Bosse on January 22, 2012

    By Grant Bosse
    FOR THE MONITOR

    Let me reassure my friends and critics alike: an income tax is a really bad idea. It’s an especially bad for New Hampshire, which has established a competitive advantage in large part by avoiding broad-based sales or income taxes.

    But even the most ardent opponent of the income tax should think carefully about placing a ban on it in the New Hampshire Constitution.

    Last week, the New Hampshire House approved CACR 13 by a vote of 257-101. If approved by 15 Senators, the amendment will go on the November ballot asking New Hampshire voters to approve the following addition to the Constitution:

    “No new tax shall be levied upon a person’s income, from whatever source it is derived.”

    Here, here! This simple wording has some benefits. It clearly tells voters what they’d be approving, and it avoids the problems created by an earlier draft banning taxes “directly or indirectly” on income. Just about any change to the tax code could be seen as an indirect tax on income, leaving jurisdiction over tax policy in the courts. And we’ve seen what a great job they’ve done with our schools over the past decade.

    Banning an income tax would be frowned upon by the nation’s three big bond rating agencies, which view broad-based taxes as New Hampshire’s ultimate defense from defaulting on its debt. Think of it as the Granite State Airbag. You never want to use it, but they feel better knowing it’s there. I consider this a relatively minor objection to the amendment, since the assurance an income-tax ban would give businesses looking to locate in New Hampshire would more than outweigh any uneasiness at Moody’s.

    There’s also the principled objection over writing specific policies into the New Hampshire Constitution, limiting the flexibility of future Legislatures to make the best decisions for their time. Any lawmaker making this case is employing the technique described recently by Speaker Gingrich as “pious baloney”. Every politician would love to carve his priorities in stone rather than sand.

    So let’s get to the real reason why income tax haters should oppose this amendment; politics. If this amendment were to pass, tax fighters would lose their strongest and more reliable weapon against their tax-and-spend opponents.

    About once a decade, New Hampshire Democrats climb out from behind their protective shield to nominate a candidate in favor of an income tax. That candidate gets trounced, and Jeanne Shaheen and John Lynch keep taking The Pledge. Republicans hoping to hold on to power should cherish the enormous advantage that the threat of an income tax gives them.

    Likewise, cynical Democrats should do everything they can to get the Amendment though. Without pledge politics dividing their primaries and dooming their more liberal nominees, they would win more elections.

    Of course, most New Hampshire politicians are motivated by more than electoral success. They run for office in order to implement their policy ideas. Most Republicans would sacrifice a few elections if it meant New Hampshire would never have a broad-based income tax. And most Democrats would suffer a few more years in the wilderness in order to preserve their dreams of tax fairness, however they define it.

    Ultimately, the income tax amendment probably isn’t going to make it into the Constitution. As my boss, Charlie Arlinghaus, points out; it’s hard to get 67% of voters to approve a ban on income taxes in a state where Mark Fernald and Arnie Arnesen each got 40% of the vote running on a pro-income tax platform.

    Putting CACR 13 on the ballot this fall likely won’t keep New Hampshire from ever adopting an income tax. But it will ensure that every candidate for office will be talking about the income tax. And most voters will have the income tax on their minds when they go to the polls. As an ardent opponent of the income tax, I wish it were that way every year.

    Grant Bosse is Lead Investigator for the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank based in Concord, NH.

     

    Monday
    Jan232012

    Ethical Clarification Sought On Bullying/Secrecy

    Here's a copy of a letter I sent to Ethics Chair Martin Gross.  Believeing in openness, I have decided to share it with all, including the media.

     

    January 20, 2012

     

    Mr. Martin Gross

    Chairman, House Ethics Committee

    Concord, NH

     Chairman Gross:

    Thank you for the advisory opinion regarding Cannon Mountain.  Since I don’t ski, it certainly doesn’t affect me, and the clarification is useful for those who do.

     Something has troubled me a great deal in recent days, weeks, months, and in fact years, so I would like to ask you for a clarification of some sort.  I refer to Ethics Guidelines, 1 Principles of Public Service, Parts II and III.

    Section II states, “Principle On Independent Objective Judgment—Legislators should employ independent objective judgment in performing their duties, deciding all matters on merits free from conflicts of interest and both real and apparent improper influences.”

    To me, this means that all legislators must put the interests of the Constitution and the people who elected us ahead of party interests.  To me, this means that bullying, coercion, or intimidation by party leaders to change votes would constitute a conflict of interest.

    This is especially timely because, as you might have read in today’s papers, Rep. Susan Emerson has anti-bulling bill before a House committee (page 1, Monitor, Jan. 20).  Charges of bullying were limited in yesterday’s hearing, but apparently there are many such charges.

    As I read section 2 of the ethics guidelines if any such bullying has occurred, the Speaker or his minions who have engaged in such bullying tactics (or those who have allowed themselves to be so seduced) are already in violation of the ethics section sited above.  However, before anyone files charges against any particular member or group of members, I feel we need clarification on precisely what “employ independent objective judgment” means.

    Here are two examples.  I was very saddened last year when various Republican leaders, in an attempt to unduly influence all its members to vote the same way, instituted a policy of having their “whips” wave red or greet hankies from their seats.  To me, this would violate the principle of exercising independent objective judgment.  Actually I was going to write you regarding this earlier, but the practice seems to have stopped this year.

    However, something much more serious transpired Wednesday during the debate on House Bill 592, the redistricting bill.  In an absolute stunning development, an amendment sponsored by Rep. Cohn, Infantine, Hogan, Greazzo, Parison and I passed by a margin of 170-153.  This was not what the Speaker and Republican leadership wanted, so the Speaker immediately called a recess for a caucus.  While I don’t feel at liberty to detail what went on in the caucus, in my opinion there was blatant intimidation, coercion, arm twisting, whatever word or phrase you might choose to use.  When we came back into session following caucus, Rep. Shawn Jasper moved for reconsideration.  The motion carried 209-110, and the amendment was subsequently defeated 202-116.  You don’t need to be a math expert to determine that many people changed their votes in the wake of what I am convinced was undue intimidation in the caucus.

    There was no roll call on the original motion; thus we have no record of those who allowed themselves into being intimated into changing their votes, of the many people who failed to “employ independent objective judgment “.  However, it is clear that Rep. Shawn Jasper was one of those who changed.  We know this since he vouched that he had voted yes on the original motion (as you know, one must be on the prevailing side to ask for reconsideration), and then did as Republican leadership demanded on the reconsideration vote (roll call number 52).  Even more than that, he then left the room and failed to take part in the vote on the Cohn Amendment the second time around (roll call number 53).

    I ask for your clarification as to how much coercion is allowed before it would be in violation of the ethics provision I noted here.  Clearly, as we learn in testimony from the Emerson bill, intimidation has been at record level this year.  It seems to me that the Speaker and his minions and those who have failed to employ independent objective judgment are guilty of ethics violations many times over, but then I’m not a lawyer.

    That’s why I ask for your clarification of this section which I have always taken very seriously but which others apparently don’t take at all seriously.  There must be some line which, when crossed, would constitute an ethics violation. There must be a line between doing what a party wants and violating our oath of office and our ethical obligations.  When is that line crossed?  I fear it has been crossed often this year, but I need your clarification.  Of course, anyone could file a complaint with your commission and should I choose to do that, I would of course follow the provisions that it be done secretly.  However, I understand that this request is a public document and that your committee’s response, like your response regarding Cannon Mountain, would be a public document.

    As we move forward with the Emerson bullying bill, we desperately need clarification on this ethics guideline.  I believe we also need clarification on “Section III Principle of Accountability” which states, “Legislators should assure that government is conducted openly, equitably and honorably in a manner that permits the citizenry to make informed judgments and hold government officials accountable.”

    Others have charged, and I am beginning to agree, that most of the House redistricting process was not “conducted openly”.  I really got a sense of this last Tuesday when I walked into a room and House attorney Ed Mosca and Committee Vice Chair David Bates immediately stopped talking.  Mind you, I am the Clerk of the committee, so if I am being locked out of information, imagine what the public is being denied.  An investigation, sadly, would likely show that much of the redistricting work was done behind closed doors by non-elected officials.  It was so bad that when asked—by members of both parties—who put the plans together, Chairman Paul Mirski had no response other than to say her would take credit for them.  Clearly, others were secretly involved.  Clearly, these others ignored what little public input there was.  The question is how much secrecy is allowed before violation of Section III occurs.  Certainly, words have meaning, and if meaning is to be followed, can such secrecy be acceptable?

    Sincerely, 

    Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, Hills. 15

    161 Faith Lane

    Manchester, NH 03103

    Monday
    Jan232012

    Ron Paul Holds Obama To LOWEST Total

    Here's a bit of truth you won't find from the so-called conservative pundits on Fox News, certainly not from the Dick Morris, the pusher of phony numbers, but according to the very latest Real Clear Politics average, Ron Paul holds Barack Obama to a lower percentage than any other Republican, including Mitt Romney.  Dr. Paul is second only to Romney in the head to head match-up against Obama, and Newt Gingrich (The Eft) is more than twice as far behind as is Dr. Paul.

    Why don't we hear these numbers more from the lame stream media?  Because they have something to fear from Ron Paul.  He's the only true conservative in the race, dedicated to fiscal responsibility, less government spending, individual liberty, and adherence to Constittutional principles.  Even as The Eft scored the big win in South Carolina and has moved ahead of Romney in Florida, all polls show that Dr. Paul would do much better for Republicans against the Anointed One.

    Here are the averages.  Check out realclearpolitics.com for all the numbers including one from CNN/Opinion Research which shows Dr. Paul within two points of Obama (48-46) at the same time the Eft trails the Anointed One by nine (52-43).

    You just can't make this stuff...although Dick Morris tries to make things up every day.

    OBAMA VS. FOUR GOP CONTENDERS

     Obama  46.9   Romney    45.0   +1.9

    Obama  46.8   Ron Paul  41.7   +5.1

    Obama  50.1   Santorum 40.3   +9.8

    Obama  50.6   Gingrich   39.6   +11.0

     Obama 42.4   Generic R  43.6  -1.2

     

    BASED ON REAL CLEAR POLITICS AVERAGES 1/23/2012

    Long Live Lady Liberty!

    Ron Paul For President (he's gotten three times the vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina than he did four years ago...freedom seems to be cathing on).