Rep Steve Vaillancourt


More Proof That Speaker Lied!

Thanks.  I thought I was losing my mind for a minute there...just like I thought I had lost it when I recall EVERY MANCHESTER REP PLEDGING TO SUSTAIN THE VETO ON REDISTRICTING.  I went to City Hall today and sure enough, that's what they all had the Mayor and each other.

From: Webb, James
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 7:45 PM
To: Vaillancourt, Steve
Subject: RE: Speaker lies!

I heard your call for the division and voted with you Steve on the ruling of the chair, as un popular as it was in my section , there is right and there is wrong and you did call for that division  I think there may have been some confusion because of the protest but the speaker could of handled better.




James C. Webb SR.

NH  State Representative

Rockingham District 5


The Reading Room--1948 "Dewey Beats Truman" Revisited.

I've quoted from it in the gay marriage debate on the House floor, the part about the Republican (and not the Democratic) platform being more pro-civil rights in 1948, how Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey had to lead a floor fight to overturn a lukewarm Democratic plank on the subject (the platform committee had voted 70-30 for a less robust plank).

I've used inforamtion from it in other blogs, how California Governor Earl Warren didn't think very highly of his running mate New York Governor Tom Dewey (the last time a major party ticket consisted of two governors).

If you think you know the 1948 election, you're about to learn even more by reading this great new book.  The two most interesting points (for me) from this book were the realization of just how poor a candidate Dewey was, how totally unwilling he was to take a stand on any issue, and how right up to the start of the DEMOCRATIC convention, efforts were apace to draft Dwight Eisenhower as Truman's replacement.  Ike is quoted as wondeing if he in fact could run as the nominee of BOTH parties!  The palbable dislike of Truman by Eleanor Roosevelt and her son is especially revealing (they both came on board at the end--isn't that the way it always is?).

The first hundred pages of this book are somewhat difficult to get through (the section about Truman's work as President just after FDR died especially), but after that, it's a rip roaring good read with lots of colorul barbs from journalists (H.L. Menken) and insiders at the time.  As a fan of American defense of Berlin, I would have preferred more about General Lucius Clay's role in the airlift, and a bit more on the "pumpkin papers" would have made the case against Alger Hiss even stronger, but these are mere quibbles.

Enjoy 1948.






Indelibly, we recall the iconic newsphoto: jubilant underdog Harry Truman brandishing his copy of
1948’s election that a single inglorious headline and a stunning upset victory. Award-winning author
David Pietrusza goes beyond the headlines to reveal backstage events and to place in context a
down-to-the-wire donnybrook fought against the background of an erupting Cold War, the Berlin
Airlift, and the birth of Israel, a post-war America facing exploding storms over civil rights, and
domestic communism.

It’s a war for the soul of the Democratic Party with accidental president Harry Truman pitted
against his embittered left-wing predecessor as vice president, Henry Wallace, and stormy young
South Carolina segregationist Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond. On the GOP side, it’s a four-way battle
between cold-as-ice New Yorker Tom Dewey, Minnesota upstart Harold Stassen, the stodgy but
brilliant Ohio conservative Robert Taft, and the imperious but aged Douglas MacArthur.
But Americans really want “none of the above.” They do, however, “like IKE,” but Dwight
Eisenhower stubbornly resists draft movements in both parties to run—at least, that year.

It’s an election year featuring a uniquely stellar supporting cast. Alger Hiss, Whitaker Chambers
and Richard Nixon. Civil rights crusader Hubert Humphrey. GOP VP choice Earl Warren. Henry
Wallace activists Paul Robeson, Lillian Hellman, and Pete Seeger. A passel of FDR kin—including
Eleanor—disgusted with HST. Wisconsin’s Joe McCarthy, Clark Clifford, William O. Douglas,
George C. Marshall, John Foster Dulles, Adlai Stevenson, Drew Pearson, “Landslide Lyndon”
Johnson, H. L. Mencken, Harold Ickes, Clare and Henry Luce, the “Do-Nothing” 80th Congress,
Curtis LeMay, Ronald Reagan, and, last, but not least, NBC’s forever embarrassed H. V.

David Pietrusza achieves for 1948’s presidential race what he previously did in
1960: LBJ vs JFK
vs Nixon
—of which Library Journal (starred review) said “raises the bar with his winning and
provocative chronicle. . . . Highly recommended." Pietrusza again brings history to life, spellbinding
readers with tales of the highest drama while simultaneously presenting the issues, personalities, and
controversies of this pivotal era with laser-like clarity.

With 2012’s crucial presidential election approaching, 1948 transforms the way readers see
modern American history.

Just a taste of what’s inside David Pietrusza’s riveting
1948: Harry Truman’s Improbable Victory and the Year that Transformed America

  • Vitriolic Westbrook Pegler’s exposé of Henry Wallace’s secret “Guru” letters.
  • Why the NAACP fired 80-old civil rights pioneer W. E. B. DuBois.
  • Why a disgusted Nina Warren voted for HST—and against Tom Dewey and her own
    husband Earl.
  • How A. Philip Randolph’s threatened “March on Washington” integrated the army.
  • J. Strom Thurmond: Segregationist white knight—with an illegitimate black daughter.
  • The ground-breaking Oregon radio debate that settled a presidential nomination.
  • How “Bull” Connor arrested Henry Wallace’s running mate—and nearly arrested Wallace
  • The Case of the Missing President: HST’s election night vanishing act.


"In '1948' David Pietrusza brings to light some of the forgotten but important figures in American
political history. There’s Glen Taylor, the singing senator from Idaho and running mate of Henry
Wallace on perhaps the most left-wing national ticket of the past century. Mississippi Fielding
Wright also makes a memorable appearance as understudy for segregationist South Carolina Gov.
Strom Thurmond, a reminder of just how solid the South was for Democrats at one time. Pietrusza
brilliantly portrays President Harry Truman’s successful efforts to stave off the challenge of New
York Gov. Tom Dewey, who was making a repeat bid as the Republican nominee. Though Dewey
lost, readers will come to see him as a surprisingly civil libertarian-minded candidate, opposing the
banning of the Communist Party, despite its promotion of a noxious ideology."
                                                  David Mark, Senior Editor, POLITICO


David Pietrusza is the author of 1960—LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Epic Campaign That
Forged Three Presidencies
; 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents; Rothstein: The Life, Times
and Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series
; Silent Cal's
Almanack: The Homespun Wit & Wisdom of Vermont's Calvin Coolidge
, and the award-
Judge and Jury: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. His body of
historical work has garnered media attention from such outlets as
The New York Times,
Newsweek, US News & World Reports, the Washington Post, NPR, C-SPAN BookTV, C-
SPAN American History TV, MSNBC, SiriusXM, The Fox News Channel, Bloomberg Radio,
New York Daily News, The New York Post, the Jerusalem Post, The New York Law
, The New York Sun, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Denver Post, the Weekly
, the Washington Times, The Seattle Times, The Raleigh News & Observer, the
Louisville Courier-Journal, the Long Island Business Press, and the Tucson Sun.

Pietrusza is the Recipient of the
2011 Excellence in Arts & Letters Award of the Alumni
Association of the University at Albany.

The Week In Polls--March 30--It's All Over!

            Now that most southern states have voted, expect pollsters to get it right on Republican presidential primaries.

            That’s good news indeed for Mitt Romney who has moved to an average ten point lead in Wisconsin and even more than that in Maryland and D.C. for next week.  In fact, as I’ve been saying for months, Romney has the nomination all wrapped up.  Polls in New York, California and other delegate-rich states affirm that.  Santorum is only two points ahead in his native Pennsylvania (he now lives inside the beltway) in the latest Franklin and Marshal poll (30-28 with Paul at 9 and the Eft—make that the Zombie—at 6).

            Rasmussen has Romney up ten in Wisconsin (44-34).  NBC News/Marist has it down to seven (40-33), but fivethirtyeight lists the margin at 45.4-36.0.

            Rasmussen has Romney up 17 in Maryland (45-28 with Eft at 12 and Dr. Paul 7).  Santorum isn’t even on the ballot in D.C.

            PPP has a 30-30 tie in North Carolina which one would think Santorum should win since he captured most of the South.  Santorum is also up 14 points in Nebraska (39-25), but there aren’t many delegates there.

            An LA Times poll has Romney up 19 points (42-23) in California.  Quinnipiac has him up 23 points (42-19) in Connecticut.   SurveyUSA has him up seven points (38-31) in Oregon, and while there’s no recent data out of New York, he was up more than 20 there last time I checked and likely to win almost all the state’s delegates.

            Meanwhile, Romney and Santorum will most likely split the delegates in Texas.  Give Santorum the edge in Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia, but Romney will have this wrapped up long before he takes all of Utah’s 40 delegates in June.

            The picture of how he’ll do against Obama is less clear.  Rasmussen has Obama up one point today (46-45).  Obama’s favorability hovers around even.  Rasmussen has him down four points today (48-52) and Gallup down three (44-47).  Overall, Obama is up less than a point in the Real Clear Politics average, 47.7-47.0.

            Republicans are moving to clear leads in the Congressional generic ballot, and it’s not just Rasmussen which has the GOP up five (43-38).  McClatchy/Marist has Republicans up four (46-43), and Bloomberg up two (46-44). 

            Bad news for Republicans in New Hampshire comes from American Research Group which has Obama beating Romney by seven points here (48-41) and Santorum by 11 (48-37).  It was the other way around a few months ago.  ARG also has Obama up 48-46 in approval here, a total turnaround from two months ago.  His handling of the econony is still viewed unfavorabley 44-50 in NH, but not nearly as bad as earlier.  We await numbers from UNH, but should current data hold, I’ll have to update my predictions on Republicans holding the New Hampshire House and Senate and maybe even governorship.  As always, top of the ticket matters!

            U.S. Senate polling is all over the map.  Quinnipiac has incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown up ten (46-36) in Ohio, but Rasmussen has Brown tied with Republican Mandel at 43-43, a state Democrats were not expected to lose.  Rasmussen has Republican Tommy Thompson four points up in Wisconsin (48-44) at the same time Obama leads Romney by double digits in that state.  Quinnipiac has incumbent Democrat Nelson up eight in Florida over Connie Mack (44-36), but Rasmussen has it even.  Go figure.

There’s a most interesting development in Connecticut where Joe Lieberman is stepping down.  Democrat Murphy leads Republican wrestling maven Linda McMahon by 15 (52-27), but leads former Republican Congressman Shays by only one point (41-40).  The problem for Republicans is that McMahon will most likely win the primary (she leads Shays by ten).  Too bad!  Shays is a good man.

            Godless New Hampshire—Gallup is out with a poll showing New Hampshire tied with Vermont for the least religious state in the country.  Only 23 percent here say they’re very religious.  Mississippi leads with 59 percent and other than Utah (57 percent), all the religious states are in the South—Alabama 56, Louisiana and Arkansas 54, Tennessee 52, North Carolina 50, Georgia 48.  No wonder Santorum did so well there.

            Not surprisingly, the least religious are in the Northeast or Northwest.  After New Hampshire and Vermont come Maine 25, Massachusetts 28, Connecticut 31, New York and Rhode Island 32.  Alaska is at 28, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada (most be those transplanted gambling sinners) at 30.

            All indications this week point to the Supreme Court striking down at least parts of Obamacare.  Rasmussen finds Americans want it struck down by a 50-37 percent margin, but believe it will be struck down b a 54-26 percent margin.  The liberal Huffington Post has opposition on average running five points ahead of support. 


Redistricting Update--Congress, Council, and Seven Manchester Weasels

            Expect Senate changes to House plans for both Congressional districts and executive council districts to hold the day.

            Republicans, clearly ashamed of the executive council dragon-like plan they put together and rammed through their lemming-like House, will vote to accept an amended plan which makes District 3 very Democratic but in a less flagrant manner than the House silliness.

            This blog has learned that a majority of executive councilors (all Republicans) will sign on to the Senate plan and House leadership will concur as a face saving devise (pity poor Paul Mirski who went out on a limb for a plan he knew was wrong only to have limb sawed off in the Senate).

            Similarly, embarrassed Republican leaders in the House will sign on to a Congressional plan which both Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta have now agreed to.

              Rather than simply moving Waterville Valley (and absurdly the three people in Sergeants location) as the House plan did, the Senate plan (SB202 which will be heard Tuesday at 11 a.m. by the House Redistricting panel…am I still on that committee?) will move a total of six towns.

            Sanbornton, Tilton, and Campton will go from district one to two.  Deerfield, Northwood, and Center Harbor will go from two to one. 

            The Sanbornton and Tilton move makes sense.  It was actually part of my plan which Republicans in the House ignored.  It’ll mean that all of Belknap County goes to district one, but whoops!  The plan then calls for moving Center Harbor (also Belknap County) out of the district.

            That plus the Campton move will create a rather strange shape, but if Guinta and Bass agree to it, you can be sure House Republicans will throw their previous ideas away and fall in line like sheep are supposed to fall in line.


            Like Will Infantine and the six other Manchester Republican snakes in the grass fell in line on the House redistricting veto override Wednesday. 

            What do you think?

            Is weasel a better word than snake in the grass for the likes of Infantine who led the slimy seven Wednesday?

            Now Infantine has the chutzpah to think he’s atoned for his treachery by resigning as Chair of the Manchester delegation.


            Yes the answer would be that he stood up in front of every Manchester Rep (and Mayor Ted Gatsas) and pledged to lead the effort to keep the delegation united to help sustain the Governor’s veto…and then stabbed his own city in the back.

            Judas is probably a more apt description than weasel or snake for Infantine leading the slimy seven.  After all, we wouldn’t want to give weasels or snakes a bad name.

            As for the House plan, I wash my hands of it.  The Concord Monitor reports that a law suit is likely.  I would be willing to sign on board as would my seatmate, Republican Rep J.R. Hoell.  Give me a call, Paul Twomey or whoever plans to sue.

            The outrage is total.

            Republicans in Manchester, thanks to Infantine leading the Slimy Seven, may well be extinct.  Yes, it’s possible that there will be ZERO Manchester Republican Reps next year…thanks to Infantine’s treachery.

            Four years ago, Democrats took all but six Manchester seats.  Saggy Tahir and Sandy Reeves, two of six, are gone.  Connie Soucy says she’s not running again.  Two of the other three, Irene Messier and I, probably won’t run.  Even if we do, we’re two Republicans who won’t do what the party tells us…Irene votes with Democrats more than just about any other Republicans, and y’all know I vote Libertarian.

            By the way, while I’d never give away a ladies’ age, Irene and my brother share the same birthday, May 9.  My brother will be 51 this May, and he’s 38 years younger than Irene.

            Irene and I are probably the only two Manchester Republicans who could get re-elected in the climate Infantine and the Slimy Seven have created.  And don’t expect either or us to run.     

            I’m sick of the slime.

            Oh yes, the other one of the six was Infantine himself, and I doubt Ward 6 will reward slime.

            Wouldn’t it be something if the only Manchester Republican Rep were from Litchfield?

            It could happen.

            You just can’t make this stuff up.

Ah lest we forget the six other weasels--they are:

Mike Ball, who stood up in front of the delegation and avowed that even though he is Republican City Chair, he would vote to sustain the veto;

Leo Pepino, who three times in the past month asked me when he was supposed to do as the Mayor and delegation had agreed to, then when it came time to keep his promise, weaseled out;

Cathy Cusson-Cail and Ross Terrio, sure losers this November in Ward 7 (bring back Bob Haley and Carol Williams--they may be liberals, but at least they're not weasels);

Carlos Gonzalez--poor, poor confused Carlos;

and the aformentioned Connie Soucy--I was convinced she'd back out on her word, but there's no excuse for Infantine, Ball and the others.

Anyone wanna guess how many times the Slimy Seven will be mentioned during next week's Liberty Express?   


Speaker O'Brien Lied To The N.H. House

Speaker Bill O'Brien owes the New Hampshire House and me personally an apology.

Never has there been such clear proof that a Speaker out and out lied before the New Hampshire House.

The very same week that the Speaker decided to shred the New Hampshire Constitution (Article 44) by bringing up a veto override vote prior to the veto message being printed in the House calendar, the Speaker made a liar out of himself regarding the matter of printing the debate on redistricting in the House calendar.

I almost always vote against printing debates in the Journal.  In this age of streaming audio and availability on the Internet, printing debates is a waste of time and money (both for stenographers to transcribe remarks and for extra pages and binding in permanent journals).

Thus, I always insist on a division vote when motions to print remarks are made.  That way, the Speaker cannot rule a voice vote as he chooses.  In fact, a few weeks ago, a Motion was made by Deputy Majority Leader Shawn Jasper to print ONLY THE REMARKS OF Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt'on a topic in the journal (TOTALLY UNFAIR...IF YOU PRINT ONE PERSON'S REMARKS, IT'S ONLY FAIR TO PRINT THE ENTIRE DEBATE ON A GIVEN SUBJECT).  I insisted on a division vote, and the motion failed, as I had hoped it would.  Thus, Republicans had repudiated the vanity of their deputy and assistant deputy leader when votes were recorded rather than voiced.

 This week, a motion to print remarks on the gay marriage bill (HB437) failed by a close margin ON A DIVISION VOTE.

When Bettencourt moved to print the entire remarks of the redistricting override in the Journal this week, I immediately asked for a division vote (any single member may ask for a division).

Here's what the tape of the session proves.

Rep Vaillancourt stated, "My Speaker, I understood that a division had been requested and accepted prior to people filing their protests.  How could we go back on the division acceptance after the protest?"

Speaker O'Brien, who had ignored his own acceptance of a division and gone to a voice vote, lied, "The Chair will state the chair heard no division vote which is, after all, the criteria as to whether there will be a division vote."


Here's the truth, as will be reported to Democrats this week (and kept from Republicans unless they read it here).

Speaker O'Brien had earlier stated, "The question before the House is shall the debate surrounding the governor's veto be placed in the permanent journal.  IT WILL BE A DIVISION VOTE."

In other words, the Speaker had in fact heard my request for a division vote, and he had stated that it would in fact be a division vote.


Everyone in the room heard me ask for a division vote (I'm not known for a soft voice!).  As Representative Soltani noted, "Mr. Speaker, I heard it; and the birch trees outside of the Ronal Reagan plaza in Epsom heard it.  During the debate, a request for a division was made.  What has become of us?  What has become of our Republican party that we deprive a member a request for a division?"

 The evident is overwhelming.  Not only did the Speaker lie to the House about his hearing, but when I challenged the ruling of the Chair, Jasper (once again living up to his nickname HIS VILENESS) accused me of a "temper tantrum".

Getting to the truth a temper tantrum?  Only a truly vile person would so state!


I won't hold my breath waiting for an apology from either O'Brien or Jasper.  In fact, it's not me they need to apologize to, but to the entire institution.

So what happened?

Between the time I asked for a division AND THE SPEAKER ACKNOWLEDGED THE HE HEARD IT, Democrats filed protests over the unannounced vote on redistricting.  Seven minutes elapsed, but those minutes certainly did not negate my ACKNOWLEDGED REQUEST FOR A DIVISION.

Rather than admit he made a mistake, the Speaker lied about his hearing. 

This whole episode helps define the meaning of tyranny...just as breaking the Constitution defines tyranny and denying Democrats a right to caucus (which O'Brien did Wedneady) defines tyranny.

 We have an out and out tyrant in the Speaker's chair, wielding the gavel of a once proud institution.

 Tyranny is abusing power because you have the votes to do it, and know you can get away with the abuse.

 The fact that only a few Republicans (who had all heard me ask for a division) were willing to stand on principles when I challenged the chair...such unprincipled lemming like action is what allows tyranny to exist.  When (supposed) good people refuse to stand up to a tyrant, then and only then can tyranny exist in New Hampshire or the United States.

 We have a liar and a tyrant in the Speaker's chair only because Republicans (who know better) allow it. 

 We now have the proof!