Rep Steve Vaillancourt


OBs (Obama And O'Brien) Share Delusions Of Grandeur

Neither diehard Republcans nor diehard Democrats will be happy with this posting, but hey, the truth always hurts, and my goal has never been to comfort the diehards.
We have an abundance of proof this week that President Barack Obama and New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O'Brien have more in common that just the OB at the start of their last names.
Both are evincing not only to usual hubris but rampant delusions of grandeur in their attempts, hopefully unsuccessful in both cases, to hold on to their jobs.
Republicans will undoubtedly decry--and rightly so--Obama's comments this week that his economy program has been a success.  The demagogue in chief appears to have taken total leave of his senses.  He's living in a world void of reality, but then so too is O'Brien who has already been assailed--and rightly so--for his inane comments on New Hampshire Public Radio earlier in the week.
Mind you, I never listen to NPR (perhaps it goes back to the days when I was living in Berlin, Germany and came to dislike the only two English broadcasts I could pull in on a regular basis--NPR from Armed Forces Radio--and the BBC--I swore off both of them when I returned to the land of American English).
Thus, the only thing I know about O'Brien's ridiculous comments are what I've heard from friends or read in the media or in other blogs, but that's not going to stop me from noting how O'Brien seems to rival Obama in taking leave of his senses.
O'Brien had the utter gall to contend, against all evidence, that the cigarette tax cut did not cos the stat revenues.  I can't imagine even Republicans (if they choose to be honest rather than hacks) on Ways and Means saying such an outrageous thing.  Facts are facts; they aren't tricky things, these facts.  They tell us the truth, and the facts tell us that the 10 cent per pack cut cost us between $10 million and $12 million.  We can argue which of those numbers is closer to reality, but only someone who has taken leave of his senses would continue to spin the big lie, that the tax cut didn't result in a loss of revenue.
As with Obama, O'Brien merely erodes any shred of credibility he still has when he tries to defend the indefensible.
Perhaps even worse than he cigarette tax lie is his the tortured logic he needed to employ to claim that the advent of gay marriage is costing the state money, made ironically enough on the same day that a study in New York revealed that that state has seen an increase of a couple hundred million dollars since gay marriage took effect.
We certainly don't have that many gay marriages here, but the state gets a cut of every marriage license applied for (it's something like $50).  O'Brien somehow contends (it's on the NPR site) that gay marriage is costing society by destroying families.  Just the opposite is true.  People who are married take care of each other when necessary.  Rather than relying on government as a crutch, married people help each other, so if anything, gay marriage is reducing costs to the state.
For O'Brien to say otherwise makes as much sense as for Obama to contend that his economic program has been a success.
Come on folks.  Isn't it time to put the lie to leaders whether they come at us from the left or from he right; whether they be Republicans or Democrats.
O'Brien seems to be mimicking Obama in two other areas these days. Republicans contend--and rightly so-- that Obama is doing too much by executive order, thus bypassing the founders' insistence that the legislative role be paramount in certain areas.  However, you don't hear many Republicans for criticizing the Speaker/Tyrant who can't help but meddle into non-legislative matters whether it be nepotism in the Department of Employment Security, clearly an executive function, or looking into what happened to liquor supplies, another executive function.
We should not be surprised that O'Brien is ferreting out areas to meddle into beyond what the founders intended for the Legislature.  His delusions of grandeur are unsurpassed except perhaps by the delusional man who sits at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Then there's the treatment of the media.  Obama has Fox News to beat up on (although he hasn't tried to ban its reporters from his press conferences); O'Brien has the Concord Monitor.
O'Brien and Republicans should heed the words of Thomas Jefferson.
"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
The best of all possible worlds is what we very well might achieve this year, a government without both Barack Obama and Bill O'Brien.
I suspect Republicans will believe half of that; Democrats will believe half of it.
We need to all concur on both halves.  Despotism must be eradicated at both the national and state level.  It's time to throw out those with delusions of grandeur, those who spin with such outrageous falsehoods that spins can only be termed lies.
There's more than OB that these two leaders share. 
Out, out, damn OBs, from both our houses.


Update On New Hampshire House Attendance

In my posting of New Hampshire State Reps with 99 percent attendance yesterday, I inadvertently left off Lester Bradley from Grafrton County.  He missed only two votes, so he should have been included.  Mea culpa.  If you find anyone else I missed, please let me know.

I also was informed by the House Clerk that Moe Villeneuve, of Bedford, was one with 289 votes and since there were only 289 (not 300), he deserves a 100 percent ranking.  In fact, I'm told that the clerk checked into the numbers when she saw that Mo was not at 100 percent.  She probably would have done the same when she saw I was not at 100 percent, but then I'm sure she remembered the tyranny by the speaker.  It's hard to vote when the tyrant has the voting key ripped away, a moment that will live in infamy.


27 NH Reps Were Absent More Than Half The Time

UPDATE--Since I posted this story, I have been informed by the House Clerk that there were 289 roll call votes rather than 290.  While this will not change the percentages much at all, we will discover a few more people with 100 percent.  Sorry.

There may be some adjustments to these numbers as we go along, but the House Clerk's office has released the much anticipated (at least for yours truly) attendance record for all 400 State Reps for the 2012 session.

The data is based on 290 roll call votes for the year which appears to be some type of a record.  Neither committee attendance nor votes other than roll calls in taken into account, but with so many roll calls, we can assume the percentage represents a good indication of the work put forth by each of the 400.

The average attendance was 81.9 percent.  In other words, the average Rep was present for 237 of the 290 roll call votes.

Only 14 Reps had perfect attendance, a significant decrease over prior years.  However, 32 more Reps had at least 99 percent.  In other words, 32 missed three or fewer votes.

27 Reps (not counting a couple who never showed up at all due to year-long illness) were on hand for less than 50 percednt of the votes.

I consider it vital that every voter know the attendance record of all incumbents seeking re-election.  I'm not sure if these are avaialble on line, but the Clerk's office should certainly have them for any and all media wishing to inform the electorate.

Here, I will list the 14, the 32, and the 27 alphabetically.

Present for all 290 votes were:  David Bates (not running again); John Burt; Labor Committee Chair Gary Daniels; Mary Griffin; Edith Hogan; Lawrence Kappler; Neal Kurk; Thomas Laware; Jeanine Notter; Joe Osgood (running for State Senate); Laurie Pettengill; William Remick; Chares Townsend; and Stella Tremblay.

Those present for 99 percent of the votes were:  Mary Allen; Susan Almy; David Babson (not running for Rep again); Anne Cartwright; Sam Cataldo (running for State Senate); Jennifer Daler; Susan DeLemus; Joe Duarte; Philip Ginsburg; Harry Hardwick; Tim Horrigan; Laura Jones; Joseph Krasucki; Donald LeBrun; Jonathan Maltz; Sean McGuinness; Carol McGuire (Dan had 98.6 percent); Robert Moore; Robbie Parsons; Laurence Rappaport; David Russell; Stephen Shurtleff; Steven Smith; Franklin Tilton; Jordan Ulery; Steve Vaillancourt (any guess why I missed the 100 percent mark for the first time in years???); Moe Villeneuve  (another who usually is at 100 percent); Carol Vita; Lucien Vita; David Watters (running for the Senate); David Welch; and Finance Chair Kenneth Weyler.

Worst attendance for a Chair of Vice Chair was Manchester's Will Infantine (Labor Vice Chair).  He was present for only 181 of 290 votes, 62.4 percent (yet he's running again--against Ben Baroody with an 85 percent attendance and Larry Gagne with 87 percent!).

I've saved the worst for last.  Here are the 27 Reps who missed for than 50 percent of the roll call votes (and their percentage scores.  There may have been good reasons--such as prolonger illness, but my guess is that most of the 27 do not have good reasons.  7 of the 27 were from Manchester, meaning that a city which has 8.75 percent of the Reps had 26 percent of the worst no-shows.  That's more than a statistical glitch!

Tom Beattie, Manchester West Side,  14; Norma Champage, Manchester Ward 5, 26; Baldwin Domingo 19; Stephnie Eaton 15; Susan Emerson 36; Larry Emerton 19; Pat Garrity, Manchester Ward 7, 31; Tim Hogan 24; Dorothea Hooper 44 (she was furious last time I named her, but I'm only the messenger here); Karen Hutchinson 6 (although I do recall her getting out of a sick bed to vote against gay marriage repeal); Jean Jeudy, Manchester Ward 3, 23; Tom Katsiantonis, Manchester Ward 8, 24 (he and his no show brother George from Ward 10 are both running this year; Fred Leonard 47; David Lundgren 49; Bruce McMahon 37; Bruce Marcus 41; Jeff Oligny 23; William Panek 6; Michele Peckham 46; Leo Pepino (since deceased), Manchester Ward 4, 49.7;  Peter Ramsey, Manchester Ward 1, 46; Jon Richardson 45; Marie Sapienza 15; Dino Scala 33; Kevin Sullivan 49.7; James Summers 49.7; Dan Tamburello (part of the O'Brien re-election team) 44; and Michael Weeden 46.


The Week In Polls--July 25--Democratic Enthusiasm Wanes

Even as Barack Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney by merely a point in national polls but by three points or so in the ten battleground states, Gallup has discovered a trend which could really hurt Democratic chances come November.

Democrats are significantly less likely to vote this year than they were in either 2008 or 2004.  Of course, these numbers will certainly change by election day, but Gallup finds that only 39 percent of Democrats, as opposed to 51 percent of Republicans, are more enthusiastic than usual about voting.

In 2008, Democrats held a 61 to 35 percent advantage in this important category.  In 2004, their advantage was 68 to 51 percent.

As the election nears, we most likely will find numbers turning up on the enthusiastic question.  In fact, at this time in 2008, the overall enthusisam number was 48 percent; it increased to 64 percent prior to the election.  At this time in 2004, the enthusiasm level was 59 percent, but it jumped to 65 percent by election day.

Both parties combined, the enthusiasm level stands at 44 percent right now.

Most pundits believe that Obama will lose much of winning marginal base of younger and minority voters from 2008 if enthusisam remains muted this year.  

That's one reason why Democrats need to be concerned even as Obama continues to enjoy a 1.3 percent lead (46.3-45.0) in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.  Most polls (except Rasmussen) include the entire universe of potential voters, not merely likely voters.  Thus, Obama could easily lose two or three points depending on turnout.

Today, for example, Rasmussen has Romney up three points (47-44); Gallup has Romney up one (46-45), but other polls out this week give the edge to Obama--he was up as much as six points in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll yesterday (49-43).  Go figure!

Among the ten battleground states (Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Michigan), Obama leads by 3.5 points.  Five Thirty Eight tells us that Obama has led in 43 polls in those states since June 1 while Romney has led ikn only nine (there have been four ties).

Those numbers, while good talking point notes for Democrats, don't really mean all that much.

As always, trends are more important than past numbers.

538 has Florida as a dead toss-up, projecting 49.5 percent for each candidate.  Virginia is next closest with Obama up 50.0-48.9.  Then it's Ohio with Obama up 50.2-48.2, then Colorado at 50.3-48.1 for Obama, and New Hampshire (52-48) and Nevada (51,5-47.1) for Obama.

Interesting, pollster has Obama leading in electoral votes 272-191 with only four states rated too close to call--Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia.  Even if Romney were to win all four of those states, he'd still be shy by three electoral votes.  Guess which state would give him the four electoral votes to carry the election? 

Mais oui, this we!

Two polling anamolies stand out this week.  Survey USA has Obama up five points (48-43) in Florida at the same time that Republican Senatorial candidate Connie Mack has pulled six points (48-42) ahead of Democrat Nelson.  Go figure.

And just look at Michigan.  The Democrat house organ, PPP, has Obama up 14 points (53-39) while the same day, Mithell Research actually has Romney up one (45-44) in the state.  Yesterday, Rasmussen had Obama up six (48-42) in the state.  Any wonder why I trust Rasmussen much more than PPP?  PPP, on the other hand, only has Obama up six (49-43) in Pennsylvania, so we can imagine it's really a dead heat there.  There's also a Survey USA poll which has Romney withn six in Minnesota (46-40)

Mass Inc (which I'd never heard of before) has Elizabeth I Really Am An Indian Warren up two over Scott Brown in Massachusetts, but it's only 40-38, and I suspect this is one time the mass of undecided voters will not break for the challenger.

American Research Group is out with nationwide approval numbers at minus five (46-51) for Obama.  Both Gallup and Rasmussen have it at minus three (45-48 abd 48-51); the RCP average is minus 0.8 (47.1-47.9)

I didn't report here last week, but I did jot down these numbers--30, 19, 8, and 8.  That's 30 percent of Republican who want Condi Rice to be Obama's choice for V.P., 19 percent (including me) for Marco Rubio, and 8 percent for both Paul Ryan and Chris Christie.  Neither Tim Palwenty nor Senator Portman come with enough support to be even listed. 

Maybe I should take the summer off from this polling pursuit....but then maybe not.  An addiction is after all, an addiction.


Berlin Republican Is First Filing Period Casualty

If you didn't know that you have to have been a New Hampshire resident for the past seven years to qualify to run for State Senate, you're not alone.

Berlin Republican Mark P. Evans, a State Senate candidate for District 1, has been removed from the ballot for failing to meet the residency requirement.

We have learned that shortly after the June filing period, the Secretary of State's office received an anonymous tip that Evans does not have the necessary residency requirement.

Rather than fight the charges, as Fergie Cullen foolishly did a decade ago, Evans simply allowed his name to be removed from the ballot.  Of course, he had committed fraud when he filed his candidacy paperwork asserting that he met all the qualifications, but at least it was unintentional fraud.

That was clearly not the case with Cullen who, with a straight face, took his case all the way to the Ballot Law Commission and lost a decade ago.  Clearly, Cullen had not lived in the state seven years in a row when he decided to run for Senate, and the Commission agreed with Democrats who challenged his candidacy.

It's one of the little known attempts to deceive the public in the state's electoral history.  Rather than be shunted aside in disgrace, Cullen actually went on to serve as Republican party chair, probably the worst one in the history of the state, and now writes an op-ed regularly for the Union Leader.

I guess we can expect disgraced D. J. Bettencourt to sign aboard with the Union Leader which doesn't seem to care about fraud when it chooses its writers.  If it's good enough for Fergie, why not Deej?  Why not Mark P. Evans.

Even with the Evans' departure, Republian voters have a decision to make come primary day.  Running for the seat being vacated by the great John Gallus are Debi Warner, from Littleton, wife of a former State Representative, and Frank Dumaine, from Colebrook.  The winner will meet former Democratic State Chair Jeff Woodburn, from Dalton, in Novemvber.  Woodburn was about as effective as party chair for the Democrats in 1998 as Cullen was for Republicans prior to John Sununu's inheritng the mess a few years. 

That is to say both were terrible.  Current Democratic Chair Raymond Charles Buckley was living with me during Woodburn's chairmanship, and it was a rare day indeed when Raybo did not come home swearing a blue streak about Woodburn's incompentence.

Hey, maybe Woodburn will be a better senator than he was a party chair, but I suspect he'll never get the chance.  I'd rate Warner the slight favorite in this Great North Counry race .   

With the Gallus departure, the District 1 race shapes up as ene of the most interesting in the state, right along with one at the other numerical end, District 24 in which Republican Senator Nancy Stiles faces former Senate President Bev Hollingworth.