Rep Steve Vaillancourt


Media Watch--GIR Allows Bruno's Buffoonery

Seldom do I listen to the WGIR morning show (at least not in summer), and after catching an hour of it this morning, I am reminded why.  George Bruno, ambassador to some tiny Latin American country under Clinton, has reduced himself to buffoon status.  Bruno the buffoon.  Mouthing the party line is one thing, but Bruno took the art to ridiculous levels this morning.

The host let Bruno The Buffoon ramble on and on about Mitt Romney’s failure to release his tax returns and other Democratic spinning points.  Even when they were trying to discuss Jackie Cilley’s failure to take the no tax pledge, the ambassador couldn’t resist spinning.  Rather than talk about the race for governor, he managed to bring up the Simpson-Bowles commission recommendations.  And the host let him go on and on.  Even kathythes was never this bad back.

Where is Dan Pierce or Gardner Goldsmith?  It’s time for GIR to locate one of them and can the host who lets Bruno the Buffoon ramble ad infinitum.

Kuster For Pelosi?—Thumbs up to WMUR’s Josh McElveen for asking Democratic Congressional candidate Annie Kuster if she would vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker were she to beat Charlie Bass this November.  Thumbs down to Josh for letting Annie get away without answering the question.  Had she said yes, she probably would have slipped five or ten points in the polls, assuming many people were watching.  Only the most ardent Democrat would want Pelosi back, and despite her claims to seek bipartisan solutions, Annie—truth be told—would belly right up to the Pelosi bar.  Nice try Josh.

More Thumbs Up—I concur with The Nashua Telegraph editorial “Sheriff candidate unworthy of post” making the case in hundreds of words that Frank Szabo should not be the choice of Republicans for Hillsborough County Sheriff.  Oh by the way, should a candidate for sheriff be expected to obey the law?  Apparently not Szabo.  As I drive around Manchester, I note his signs illegally posted on public property.  One can only wonder if he would support deadly force against someone posting such signs—just a joke, just a joke.

            The Union Leader also weighed in against Szabo calling him “unfit to serve”.  I agree and will be voting for Sheriff Hardy.

            Another thumbs up to the Telegraph for reporting about a State Rep’s daughter being charged with stealing signs of her father’s opponent.  The Rep is Jack Flanagan, Republican of Brookline (also a town selectman), one of my least favorite Reps in the House.  Daughter Hillary, age 20, was stealing signs of former Rep Melanie Levesque, one of my favorite Reps a few years back.   Flanagan compounded the crime by complaining about his daughter being dragged into the political process.  Oh really, Jack!  She wouldn’t have been dragged into the process if she weren’t stealing.  Maybe Speaker O’Brien will ask Flanagan to withdraw from the race—just a joke, just a joke.  We all know you can’t get out of a race unless you die or move.

            At the Concord Monitor, reporter Annmarie Timmins is doing great work.  Two weeks ago, she investigated some of our No Show State Reps.  (Other papers should follow the lead as we get closer to the November election).  Tom Katsiantonis, of the No Show Katsiantonis brothers in Manchester, offered a particularly absurd explanation.  He tried to claim that he’s missed more than three out of four votes because someone roll calls all come late in the day after he’s left.  Annmarie wasn’t buying the logic nor should voters of Ward 8.  (Truth in blogging.  I’m running for re-election in Ward 8 and will face Katsiantonis in September should I make it past the primary).

            Reporter Timmins also came through with an in depth story on District 7 State Senate candidate Josh Youssef and his pissing contest (my words, not hers) with House attorney Ed Mosca.  Remember last week I released Youssef’s email attacking Mosca and wondered whether anyone in the media would follow up on it.  Annmarie sure did with a lengthy story Monday.

Pheasant Shooting Paradise—Only by watching C-Span’s coverage of the Republican convention would you have learned yesterday that South Dakota is the best state for pheasant hunting.  The roll call of states is an anachronism but a pleasurable one for many of us.  However, apparently on C-Span presented it without commercial interruptions.

            I kept switching back and forth from Fox to C-Span.  Not only was Fox getting in the usual quota of commercials, the roll call came at the same time as The Five, and Fox apparently considered Bob Beckel’s banter more important than the colorful comments from the floor.  While we were learning about pheasant hunting in South Dakota from C-Span, Beckel was enlightening Fox viewers about how the afternoon roll call meant that all the delegates, for the first time, weren’t drunk when it came to announcing the tallies.  Ah yes, Beckel the font of all wisdom.  

            Thumbs up to C-Span.  Thumbs down to Fox and the other lame stream commercial outlets.


A Duck Trying To Make Love To A Football

Years ago, when I started doing a weekly television show, I began to jot down interesting quotes I happened upon.

I kept a file of them, and last night as Ann Romney began talking about her father-in-law George (Mitt's father); I remembered that somewhere I have a rather strange quote regarding the former Michigan governor and American Motors chief executive. 

Remember that George Romney was running for President against Richard Nixon in 1968 until he admitted to being "brainwashed" on a trip to Vietnam.  (This must have been when he released ten years of tax returns).

I remember it like it was yesterday.

While Chris Christie was busy promoting himself (and his Sicilian mother) rather than Mitt Romney, I dug into my file of infamous quotes and came up with the George Romney quote.  I even had the source noted on the page.  Theodore White, author of the Making of the President series, quoted the line in his book on the 1968 campaign.

I offer this not to disparage Mitt Romney whom I whole-heartedly support. 

The quote is simply too delicious to pass by.

According to my notes, it was James Rhodes, Republican governor of Ohio at the time, who must have been thinking of the brainwashing episode when he said this about the elder Romney:

"Watching George Romney run for the Presidency was like watching a duck try to make love to a football."

Not that there's anything wrong with that...Is there?

I've also been digging into almanacs to verify some Presidential cabinets which Gore Vidal alludes to in his seven-part series on American history.  (I've been reading Vidal since he passed away a month ago--pretty good stuff; he's spot on with his Cabinet references--check out John Hay for McKinley).

I came up with fodder for a great George Romney trivia question.  Not only was he Michigan Governor, but he also served in a Presidential Cabinet.  Which one and in which department?

Cue the Jeopardy Music.

Yes, it would be Richard Nixon's cabinet in his first term (in his pre-crook days).  The department was Housing and Urban Development.

Let's hope watching Mitch campaign does not evoke memories of his father making like a duck, according to James Rhodes.

By the way, I thought Ann's speech was good but not great as I expected it was going to be.  She went a bit fast at times (maybe she felt hurried as the GOP tried to squeeze two nights into one), but she had some good lines.  She certainly did not deserve to be called a "corporate wife" (Juan Williams on Fox News), but the speech would have been better had she fleshed out her claims about what a great President Mitt will be.  Some of us are willing to take her word for it, but others would certainly prefer some evidence; she certainly could have offered some.

All in all, it was decidedly not like watching a duck make love to a football. 

On second thought, Mr. Rhodes, just what would a duck making love to a football be like?

Here's another quote from my file of tricks.  In stepping away from French politics in 1946, Charles deGaulle proclaimed, "I prefer my legend to power."

Sure, Charles, sure.  As my best friend in high school used to say, "Oh de gall of deGaulle."

I also have a great Nixon quote in which he says women should not even be allowed to vote.  As Jack Paar would say, I kid you not.


The Week In Polls--Aug. 27--TCTC

This week prior to the two political conventions is a perfect time to look at the latest series of polls.  After all, in a few days, artificial bumps, first for Republicans and then for Democrats, are sure to occur.

Before the gavel came down in Tampa to signal the start of the GOP convention, TCTC was the only way to read polls--too close to call.

Note that now that we're ten weeks from the general election, some pollsters (which had been tallying all registered voters) have now begun to do what Rasmussen has done all along, look at likely voters.

For example, in a CNN poll released last week, Obama led Romney by nine points (52-43) among registered voters, but by only two points (49-47) among likely voters.  That's a big difference.

I've checked out averages, both nationwide and in swing states, from both Real Clear Politics and Pollster, and while they are in the same ball park, there are differences.  For example, Pollster has Romney up 0.8 points in Iowa while RCP has Obama up 1.0 point in the same state.  I guess it all depends on which polls you're averaging.  Either way, it's bad news for Obama who was up four or so points in Iowa a few weeks ago.  That seems to be the case all over the map; Obama still leads but by less than a few weeks ago.

Nationwide, RCP has Obama up 1.2 points (46.8-45.6) while Pollster has Obama up only 0.4 points (46.2-45.8).  However, RCP has Romney closer in the electoral projection--Obama leads 221-181 while Pollster has him up 247-191.  A few weeks ago, Pollster had Obama above the magic 270 number.

Florida appears to be a perfect deadlock, 46.3-46.3 percent.

Obama's lead in Colorado is down to 1.6 points. RCP has him up less than a point (0.6) in Virginia and only 1.4 points in Ohio.  Nevada seems to be fairly safe for Obama; he's up 4.2 points, but his lead has slipped to 1.6 points in Wisconsin.  In New Hampshire, Obama leads by 3.5 points, but I suspect it'll get closer here.

While some pundits are putting North Carolina in the Romney column, he still leads by only a point in the RCP averages.

Not only are Florida, Ohio, and Viginia the big three for the electoral college, but they all feature toss-up Senate races.  Allen and Kaine are not only even in averages in Virgina, but they are dead even in every recent poll it seems.  Nelson has a lead over Mack in Florida, and the numbers are all over the map for Sherrod Brown in Ohio.  Democrat hack outfit PPP had him up 10 points (47-37) last week while Rasmussen has Madell in a 44-44 tie, and just today the Columbia Dispatch weighed in with a 44-44 tie.  So much for PPP!

Todd Akin has gone from ten up to ten down to McAskill in Missouri in the wake of his abortion comments.  Although he continues to claim he won't leave the race, I suspect he'll be out by September 25, and Republicans will field a new candidate to beat the unpopular incumbent.

There are three bits of somewhat surprising good news for Republicans on the Senate front.  Even PPP has Scott Brown up five in Massachusetts. 

I personally never thought incumbent Debbie Stabenow would be in trouble in Michigan, but there's a poll which actually shows her trailing Hoekstra by one today (45-44).  The same poll has Romney pulling even with Obama 47-47 in Michigan, so my guess is it's somewhat of an outliar.

Even more amazing, Rasmussen has wrestling maven Linda McMahon coming from nowhere to go three points up (49-46) on Chris Murphy for the Connecticut seat being vacated by Joe Lieberman.  That certainly wasn't on anyone's radar screeen (Obama leads by only eight in the Nutmeg State).

However, Rasmussen has good news for Democrats today.  For the first time this year, Democrats have pulled even at 42-42 in the generic Congressional ballot race (that will undoubtedly push Democrats ahead in the RCP average; Republicans had a 0.1 point lead prior to the Rasmussen poll).  This doesn't mean Democrats will take control of the U.S. House (they need to be ahead by three points or so to do that), but the news isn't good for the GOP.   Also, for the first time in weeks, Rasmussen had Obama up to a three point lead over Romney today (47-44).  However, Gallup still has a tie, and ABC has Romney up one (47-46).


If you didn't get to see the entire WMUR/UNH poll from two weeks ago, there's some fascinating stuff there.

Democrats actually lead Republicans by four points (39-35) in the generic ballot for State Rep.  That would certainly confirm my earlier prediction that if Republicans manage to hold on to control, it will be by a very narrow margin, certainly not enough to get Bill O'Brien elected Speaker again (I had it 202 for Republicans, 197 for Democrats plus one Independent, Cynthia Dokmo of Amherst).

By more than a two to one margin (28-61), New Hampshire voters do not want gay marriage repealed.  Even if those numbers are slightly off, the margin is so large as to come as terrible new for the O'Briens and other extreme right wingers of the state.

The Constitutional Amendment to ban an income tax gets only 40 percent, far short of the 67 needed for passage--41 percent are opposed to it.

Those four magic words come to mind.  I repeat to my GOP colleagues--


UNH has Ovide LaMontagne beating both Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley by small margins (two and four points) while Kevin Smith loses to both by small margins (two and three points).  However, the highest number for anyone is 35 points which means that, unlike the top of the ticket, there's a great deal of indecision.

I believe pollings shows Ovide and Hassan ahead in the primary 15 days from now.  I sense that's true with Ovide, but the undecided is so large on the Democratic side that I wouldn't rule Cilley out.  I've said it before and I'll say it again--were I a Democrat, I would vote for Jackie Cilley, but the Democratic establishment seems to be rallying around Hassan.  Of course, the last time that happened, they were rallying around Jim Craig who proceeded to get thumped by Carol Shea Porter in the first district c.d. primary.

It's one to watch.




16 Trillion, 136 Million Dollars And Counting

The same week that the United States debt will hit 16 trillion dollars--with no end in sight--comes word of a far less hefty but equally alarming dollar figure.

You may have thought that Republicans and Democrats pay for their own conventions, what with all the millions--hundreds of millions--raised by both parties and their associated Pacs.

If you thought that, you would be only partially right.  No less that 136 million dollars of taxpayer money is going to fund the two conventions.

Certainly I can't be the only person who thinks this is an out and out OUTRAGE.

In fact, if anybody believes this is an acceptable use of taxpayer money, let me know.

For 20 or 30 years, the conventions have been totally meaningless as far as selecting candidates is concerned.  They are little more than expensive dog and pony shows staged with great fanfare to give the two parties temporary boosts in support.

We the taxpayers should not be paying for these public relations extravaganzas.

We shouldn't have paid for them when they actually meant something.

We certainly shouldn't be paying for them now.

136 million dollars is truly only a drop in a 16 trillion dollar deficit, and pols from both parties certainly are guilty of foisting this outrage upon the American public, but that doesn't make it right.

It's virtual theft of taxpayer monies, enough to make our founders take another roll in their graves.

Make it stop!


O'Brien And Smith Display Ignorance of NH Law

If Channel Nine reporting is to be believed--and the station ran the story over and over again ad infinitum--for the second time in as many months, House Speaker Bill O'Brien has proven that he doesn't understand New Hampshire election law.

According to Channel 9, both O'Brien and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Smith are asking Frank Szabo, Hillsborough County Republican candidate for Sheriff, to get out of the race in the wake of his comment that he would use deadly force on abortion doctors.

Even as Szabo appears to be apologizing for the comment--he now says he would not use deadly force--he also says he'll stay in the race.

But the truth is, as reported here earlier this summer, in New Hampshire, there are only three reasons for getting off the ballot once the filing period is over.  You must either die (Leo Pepino, of Manchester) has in fact died and been removed from the ballot; move out of the voting district (as Dick Green did several years ago when he decided he wanted to work at the development authority rather than run for Senate); or incur a serious illness since the filing.

As far as anyone can tell, Szabo is still very much alive, living in Hillsborough County, and has not contracted a debilitating illness since the filing period.

Thus, O'Brien and Smith are simply deceiving the voters by calling for Szabo to get out of the race.

Szabo can stop campaigning, be he cannot get off the ballot.  One would think the current Speaker and a candidate for Governor would know that.

As far as I'm concerned, and I am a voter in the county, Szabo had virtually no chance of defeating incumbent James Hardy in the Republican primary, and now his slim chances have become none.

Thus, the call for him to leave the race is simply absurd.  Republicans, including O'Brien who lives in Mt. Vernon and Smith who lives in Litchfield, can simply display their displeasure by voting for Sheriff Hardy September 11.  (Hardy has been a fairly good sheriff; a bit too much of a big spender for my taste but after complaining about the need for more money, he manages to live within his budget—just barely!)

But no, in the afterglow of Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's absurd abortion comments this week, O'Brien and Smith apparently decided that they have to distance themselves from Szabo and the abortion issue.

The fact that they chose to do so in a manner not consistent with New Hampshire law certainly does not make either candidate look very good.

Earlier this summer, O'Brien called for Democratic State Rep candidate (and bar room brawler) Patrick Garrity to get out of his Ward 7 race and resign his seat.  Of course Garrity could resign (he has not done so), but like Szabo he cannot get off the ballot unless he dies, leaves the ward, or becomes very ill.

It's a very simply law, Mr. Speaker; it's a very simple law, Mr. Smith!

Garrity is facing two other Democratic candidates for three seats in Ward 7, former state Rep Carol Williams and Clecio Terrio who shares the same address as the incumbent Republican Rep (talk about diversity within a family).  My guess is that Garrity and Williams win both the primary and the general election.  In other words, Garrity may well do what O'Brien may well not do, retain his seat.  Oh if only Mister Speaker had a bar room brawl (or two as in the case of Garrity) on his resume! 

O'Brien is in a three-way race for two seats in the House district which includes Mt. Vernon and New Boston.  One of the three candidates is O'Brien's former friend and chief of Staff Bob Meade; the other is a New Boston Selectman whom O'Brien has endorsed.  Go figure.  Wouldn't it be something if O'Brien loses to primary to Meade and the other candidate he's endorsed?

Ah, we certainly don't deserve that much schadenfreude!

Smith will most likely lose the Republican gubernatorial primary to Ovide LaMontagne who has apparently remained mum over the Szabo comment which may well be just as bad as the Akin comments in least Akin didn't threaten to kill anyone!

Is there something in the water regarding Republicans and abortion these days; or is it some strange Vulcan mind meld which Wasserman whatshername and Raybo have been able to master, thus implanting destructive thoughts in the minds of GOP wannabes?