Rep Steve Vaillancourt


An Invitation And A Restatement Of Rules

State Reps not running again for re-election and with some having been eliminated in the primary, I have received requests to remain on my mailing list.
I will honor all requests (from those who maintain civility) and will add not only Reps, but anyone else who emails me.  I will add you to a special list of people who automatically received everything I post on this blog.
My email address is
Anyone who reads something here and desires to automatically receive everything I post, this is a good time to drop me a line.  I'm updating the list.  In fact, as I was sitting in the Manchester library the other day, a former Rep asked to be added to the list.  He was. 
I also struck up a conversation with a woman holding an Al Franken book in her hand.  She said she missed my column in the old Manchester Mirror, and I told her about this blog.  (She needs to send her email address along to me, and I'll add here to the list).  By the way, I'm not a fan of Al Franken (politically speaking), but I had actually read the book and liked it.  He has a great line about Barbara Bush telling him on an airplane, "I'm through with you!"
Speaking of being through with people...
I should note that rules apply to this blog.  Your responses are welcome only to the extent that ad hominem attacks not be posted against me or against anyone else who chooses to post here.  Of course, your post will go through but I will immediately erase it when I see it.  This applies to two State Reps, both from Londonderry by the way, who were previously deleted from the master list I send out to all Reps.  Now that  Reps Baldie and Tambie cannot get my opinions and insights automatically, they insist on coming to this web site and responding.
I doesn't work that way, gentlemen.  Consider yourself banned.  As I have explained in the past, participating here is like being a guest in someone's home.  If you whipped it out and began urinating on the living room floor, as a guest, you would most assuredly be asked to leave.  My rule here is that once you have been banned, you are never welcome back.  Baldie and Tambie have been banned and are not welcome here.
That goes also for someone who claims to be Silas.
Fortunately, the number of people banned here in small.  Fortunately, most people so civil that they do not whip it out and start urinating on the floor.

"This American Life" Returns To New Hampshire

Remember Sarah Koenig?
She was one of the best and brightest Concord Monitor reporters, one of the many who came and went from the paper back in the 90s.  I'll never forget an in depth profile she did of me; she even watched several episodes of my old TV show, More Politically Alert, and described it in accurate if not exactly glowing terms.
I always like Sarah, but then, The Monitor never fails to grab onto (if only briefly) talented reporters.
Sarah was back in New Hampshire last weekend taping interviews for her nationally syndicated show This American Life who runs on more than 500 public radio stations (including WEVO, 89.1 FM, New Hampshire public radio in Concord, Saturdays at 1 p.m.).
When Sarah left the Monitor, she went to the Baltimore Sun but since has made the transition to radio, and although I can't say from first-hand experience (I've never been much of a public radio listener), I understand the show is pretty good.
It devotes an entire hour to a single subject and thus is able to get into the detail you won't get from Channel 9 on TV or your usual radio show either.
I received an email from one of the show's producers last week and agreed to sit down for an interview.  They were apparently doing a show on the political climate in New Hampshire.  Sarah had just come from interviewing Tony Soltani and David Kidder.  She was planning to talk with Lee Quandt and Susan Emerson and Speaker Bill O'Brien, among others I'm sure.
We spoke for nearly an hour, so it'll be interesting to see how much--and just what--they use, but I suspect I know.
Although the show goes in depth, I suspect part of the depth they wanted to explore were two words I uttered last spring.
You're way ahead of me.
Yes, those words would be "Sieg Heil".  Since so much of the media blew the story completely last spring (leading to Alan Dershowitz's foolish comments--I called him a fool during our interview!), I was pleased to offer as detailed an explanation as Sarah wanted.
Nothing but the truth of course.
I was also pleased to see Sarah again.  I recall her traveling with me to Keene when I was working on the campaign of George Condodemetraky, Democratic sacrificial lamb running against Judd Gregg for the U. S. Senate (Judd refused to debate George, talk about lack of courage!).
Sarah and I next met when the very same show, This American Life, focused on Ray Buckley and the kiddie porn story, whenever that was.  2006?
I was sitting in the WEVO studio; she was a voice in the air from Washington or some place.  I never heard the broadcast; others told me it was quite good.
I'll probably never hear this week's episode either, but I suspect it'll be quite interesting, not to mention fair and balanced and insightful.
That's This American Life, 1 p.m. Saturday on WEVO, 89.1 FM (as best I can tell) and other NH public radio outlets.  I googled it and found the show is based out of Chicago (not that there's anything wrong with that).
Sarah is the best, at least for now!

Media Watch--So This Is News, Josh?

Cooking guru Paula Deen, lover of butter and boaster of a great southern drawl, did not know that Live Free or Die is the New Hampshire state motto.  She thought it might have been Connecticut although she decided to skip the question when she appeared on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire this week.
You did not, however, need to watch the game show to know that.
Channel 9 deemed the factoid so important that it was used on its Tuesday evening newscast, just prior to 6 p.m. as I recall.
Is this what we've come to in tabloid news these days? 
U.S. flags are being burned in the Middle East, all the way over to Indonesia these days. 
Four Americans were killed in Libya simply for being Americans.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama appear to be neck and neck again after The Demagogue In Chief blipped upward following the Democratic convention.
So much is happening that should be considered real news, yet here is channel 9, the station that claims to cover New Hampshire like no one else, enlightening us that Paula Deen doesn't know our state motto...
Not at 5:10 a.m. mind you but just prior to the 6 o'clock newscast on a very busy news day.
Not only that, but Josh McElveen (one of my favorites; I even struggle mightily to spell his name right) felt the need to engage in some happy talk banter with his co-anchor.
Some expression greater than Oh Mon Dieux is needed here, but that's the best I can think of...maybe something Yiddish would be more appropriate...
Or how about a line from The Exorcist, Make it Stop Josh, make this happy talk stop!

Maggie Can't Freeze Tuitions

Among the clutter of TV ads for candidates at both the national and state level, a line from Democrat gubernatorial candidate Maggie The Dog Torturer Hassan stands out as especially deceptive.
In her spot, Hassan contents that she will freeze tuitions at UNH.
The only problem with that is that even if she were to become governor, it would not be within her power to freeze tuitions anywhere.
The New Hampshire governor is particularly weak, certainly not with the power to freeze tuitions which are set by the university system.
UNH has suggested that it would hold tuitions steady if it gets back the $50 million which was cut by the Legislature last year.  However, even a Governor Hassan could not guarantee such a restoration.  In fact, either a Republican House or Senate (and it's difficult to envision Democrats taking control of that 24-member body; the most I can see them getting is 10) would most likely refuse to pass a budget with $50 million in restored monies to UNH.  If anything, UNH is likely to see less state aid.
Simple reality dictates that, but then reality is not one of Maggie's strong suits.
New Hampshire, alas, is not like the federal government which simply prints money in order to spend more.
In New Hampshire, we can only spend the revenues likely to come in.  In case you missed it, the thing the Republican Legislature did best last year was estimate revenues.  Ways and Means Committees in both the House and Senate were right on the money, and projections for the current fiscal year appear to be on target as well.
In other words, without new taxes and fees, there would not have been enough for the $50 million to UNH.  Maggie and other Democrats are right in pointing to monies lost with the cigarette tax decrease, but most experts agree that was only in th $10-11 million range, and even had that money been there, it would most likely have gone to health and human service needs rather than UNH.
Rest assured that with the economy still struggling, we're still two years away from experiencing major revenue boosts, so even a Governor Hassan and Democrats in the House and Senate will not be able to pull money out of their collective hats.  Having been badly burned by overestimating revenues (to the tune of $300 million when they were in control), don't expect Democrats to go down that road again, and having created or increased dozens of taxes and fees, don't expect Democrats to try that again.
Bottom line, with Maggie promising no sales or income tax, the monies just won't be there to allow UNH to keep tuition stable.
If she continues to say otherwise, Hassan is either lying or engaging in the old game of self-deception.
Either option is not a good thing.

Run, Annie, Run!

Move over Jackie Cilley and the inspired zombie ad.  There's a new winner on the commercial circuit.  Charlie Bass's ad having Annie Kuster on the wrong is even better than the Cilley ad.
I've seen it only once, but can't wait to see it again.  That's unique; when you've gotten halfway through most ads, that's enough, but the Bass ad is a real winner.
In fact, as I was watching the ad, in which Annie Kuster runs away from her record with clever sound effects, I was wondering what would happen at the end.  As she was posed standing next to words, I wondered if she's fall down.  She didn't, but the fact I was thinking it at all proved just how inspired this ad is.
In the latest UNH/WMUR poll, Bass was up by four points, surprisingly more than Guinta in the first c.d.  The Bass-Kuster race is either one or two in mosts lists of close contests nationwide, so it's too early to say game, set, match for Bass, but if any commercial can move public opinion (and candidates don't spend millions just for the fun of it), this has to be the one.
Whatever actress plays Annie in the ad deserves some type of Emmy Award...or most likely, a Clio Ward (that's the honor bestowed in the ad business).  I would move this race from toss-up to lean Bass just on the strength on this one ad.
I can't wait to see it again.