Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 12:57PM
With the decision by anti-gay marriage Rep David Bates of Windham and the death of Leo Pepino, the other leading opponent of the issue, many were surprised when Speaker Bill O'Brien revealed on public radio earlier this summer that he remains intent on pushing for repeal.
Apparently, Mister Speaker got the message from other Republican leaders to put the lid on such talk. After all, in an expected close race, Mitt Romney and Ovide LaMontagne cannot afford to lose each and every vote of gay New Hampshire citizens and their ardent supporters.
With the latest polls showing opposition to repeal of gay marriage running at more than two to one, neither O'Brien nor LaMontagne broached the subject at this morning's unity breakfast at the Manchester Country Club. Gay people know quite well that LaMontagne is very much against gay marrige. In fact, many noticed how the aforementioned gay hunter Bates was standing next to him during Tuesday night's victory ceremonies.
The thought of Bates in a LaMontagne administration is abhorrent to those who fought to pass gay marriage in the first place.
Most likely it will not be enough for Ovide to silence himself on O'Brien on this issue in the coming weeks. He and GOP leadership will need to assure the public that they will neither push for repeal nor place Bates in a cushy high paid job.
Talk at the unity breakfast was of jobs, taxes, and the economy.
Oh yes, Ovide mentioned that he will attempt to get right to work legislation onto his desk for something John Lynch refused to deliver, a signature.
It was a Kafkaesque moment for me personally since Republicans attacked me in my primary and left alone my Republican opponent former firefighter Mark Proulx who was a leader in the anti-right to work movement (I favored right to work and a veto override)
Go figure. If Republicans want to focus on jobs and right to work, why would they attack me for my pro gay marriage stance and leave anti right to worker Proulx, the kind of person they would need to get rid of in a close call situation (which it is sure to be)?
It makes no sense, but then lots of things make no sense these days.
Several right to work opponents (including Tony Soltani, Bill Remick, Peter Bolster, and former Criminal Justice Chair David Welch) were targeted and defeated by their Republican brethren Tuesday, but apparently in their haste to oust me (an unsuccessful effort), they left Proulx alone.
Even with a 298-102 advantage in the House this past year, Republicans could not muster two-thirds to override the veto. Most likely (with Proulx and the Quandts and their ilk most likely to be back), Republicans would need 240 or so House members to get the measure to LaMontagne's desk.
Even with the huge advantage, Republicans could not pass gay marriage repeal. In fact, at the end of the day, a few more Republicans opposed repeal than voted for it. That's why O'Brien's earlier comments were especially troubling. If you couldn't get it passed with a 298-102 majority, what sane person would make it a priority with assuredly lesser numbers next year?
It makes no sense.