Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Thursday
Dec152011

Senate Redistricting Plan Is NOT Ready

In response to a rumor (from a State Senator actually) that the Senate redistircting plan is ready, I rushed to the third floor office and can officially annonce that while rumors abound, no plan is ready.  In fact, Senate Chief of Staff Jay Flanders tells me that hearnings will not be held until January.

Thus, if you've heard rumors about Senate plans, don't take them to the bank.

For example, I heard that Senator Lou D'Allesandro's district (20) was going to be changed from Manchester Wards 3, 4, 10, and 11 and Goffstown to Wards 8 (my ward and Senator Tom DeBlois's ward) 9, 10 (Lou's ward), Litchfield, and Goffstown.  Wards 8 and 9 tend much more Republican and Litchfield is one of the most Republican towns in the state, so this plan in effect would meany Bye, Bye, Lou.

Is the rumor true?

Who knows?

It's certainly not official.

Is it easier to herd 24 cats (actually 19 since that's the number of Republican senators) than 400 cats (actually 296 is the number of House Republicans)?

Depends on how big the cat's are...or how big their egos are!

Thursday
Dec152011

In Praise of Mormons--The Choir That Is!

 

 

After an exhilarting hour hosting More Politically Alert (see other posting), I returned home Wednesday night and took special joy in something rather incongruous, the Mormon Tabernacular Choir Christmas special.

Spectacular.

Joyous

Beautiful.

Yes, even awe inspiring.

Those are just some of the words which come to mind.  Actor Michael York has aged, but as a narrator, he's unbeatable (even better than David McCollough who was great last year).  He relates the story of how the choir was born and reads from scripture as well.  American Idol star David Archuleta sings.

I admit.  The show was on Channel 11.  I can only assume that it'll run often on all public television station between now and Christmas, maybe even Christmas Eve.

I'll look for it again.  It's been years since I've been in such a Christmasy mood as this.  I'm not sure if it was the Ron Paul show or the Mormon Tabernacular Choir, probably a combination of the two.

I'm certainly not a believer in the Mormon faith, but then, like the founders, I honor the faith of all.  What you believe in is simply none of my business.  The caveat of course is that you should not care what I believe in.  The Ethan Allen biography goes into this philosophy in detail.  He grew up surrounded by Puritans but became a Deist (perhaps even a non-believer) and suffered because of it.

No one should suffer because of his or her faith or lack of faith.

No one should hold Mormonism against Mitt Romney or John Huntsman or Orrin Hatch or even Harry Reid for that matter.

But that's a political comment.

On the cultural front, make an hour with the Mormon Tabernacular Choir must see TV this Christmas (or holiday) season.

I just googled the web site and apparently this was the 2010 concert, even better because we'll undoutedly be getting this year's extravaganza in the coming days.  Jane Seymour is set to narrate.

Wednesday
Dec142011

Media Watch--Or Rather...Media DON'T Watch

    

Veteran foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour is to be replaced as the host of political show This Week by the former presenter George Stephanopoulos.

Amanpour, 53, is returning to CNN, where she began her career, as an international correspondent.

Stephanopoulos, 50, will go back to presenting ABC's Sunday morning slot as well as carrying in his current job for Good Morning America on the same network.

Apparently others turned off Amanpour as much as I did.On the way out: Christiane Amanpour is leaving This Week for CNN and GMA host George Stephanopoulos will step into the Sunday morning slot
On the way out: Christiane Amanpour is leaving This Week for CNN and GMA host George Stephanopoulos will step into the Sunday morning slot

On the way out: Christiane Amanpour is leaving This Week for CNN and GMA host George Stephanopoulos will step into the Sunday morning slot 



        Soon it’ll be safe to return to watching one of my favorite Sunday morning shows, ABC’s This Week.  Always a big fan of the wry wit displayed by the late David Brinkley, I watched the show every week for years when it first arrived on the scene.  It went only slightly downhill when David was replaced by Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts.  I even found George Stephanopoulos acceptable, but I so despise Christiane Amanpour that I’ve stopped watching the show altogether in recent years, too bad really because George Will is one of my favorites and Donna Brazile is one of the most honest Democratic analysts in the business.

            My problem was strictly Christiane, not merely her blatant anti-American left wing bias which was on palpable display on a weekly basis, but maybe it’s just me, but that high class British accent, whether phony or not, is an absolute turnoff.

            Now comes word that ACB is canning Amanpour and bringing back Stephanopoulos to the Sunday slot Brinkley warmed us up to.  There is a god in heaven, after all!

            Three cheers for ABC!

            I never expected it, and I’ve simply resigned myself that much of the time, I will find certain people or shows so objectionable that rather than complain incessantly, I’ll simply turn off the TV or turn the channel.

            In fact, that’s what I recommend to people who find me or my show, More Politically Alert, bad.  Just turn the channel.  I am forever amused by this moron who comes on following me every week by saying how he hates me and how terrible my show is.

            No one is forcing Tom The Vile Ford to watch More Politically Alert.

            No one forced me to watch Christiane Amanpour this week or any week.

            I didn’t, but I'll certainly go back to this week once she's gone.

             I came up with a list of other shows or people I’ve come to simply avoid rather than to carp about.

            1.  Dick Stockton.  Actually I’ve mentioned this before.  I will automatically change the channel any time Fox has this guy announcing a sporting event.  Usually he’s assigned to the fourth level games, so I don’t miss much.  He’s apparently been popular for 40 years, but I’ve never liked him and avoid him like the plague.  So many sportscasters are outstanding, how can powers that be keep this guy around?  Whoops…that’s getting into a complaint and I've resolved to avoid rather than carp.

            2.  Live with Regis.  It’s not Regis I object to.  Actually I find him rather amusing, but I couldn’t stand Kathy Lee Gifford and I found Kelly Ripa, clutching her coffee mug in a sanctimonious manner every morning, even more annoying.

            3.  Channel 9’s morning weatherman.  I’ve actually stopped watching Channel 9 in the morning completely because they refuse to can this guy with his phony voice.  They won’t can him—that’s they’re right—so I can them.  I can’t even think of his name, but when I woke up to the station on a few days ago, he was still forcing that voice upon us, and I immediately reached for the remote.

            4.  Channel 9’s studio announcer.  This must be a new guy, but it’s another one who forces his voice, and it’s about ready to cause me to stop watching Channel 9 altogether.  It’s a scary phony voice, the sort of thing you’d expect from some child molester…”boy raped on the altar…film at 11.”   The guy is just plain creepy, and he’s dragging the entire station down with him.  But I'm not complaining, just simply avoiding the station.

            5.  Nancy Grace.  I complained about her so often, I finally said to myself, “Enough already, self.  Just stop watching her.”  The pun remains too good to pass up…the woman is a Disgrace.

            6.  Greta the Slurring Stammerer van Susteren.  That’s why I’m sad to see Joy Behar leave Headline News….she’s opposite the unwatchable Greta.

            7.  Sean Hannity.  Yes, I’m a conservative Republican, but this guy is such a hack, I can take him only in limited doses, and tossing that football every night is a real turnoff.

            On the print side, there’s:

            8.  Kathy Sullivan (better known as kathythes).  She may have convinced Joe McQuaid to run her driveling diatribes on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean I have to read them.  I don’t.

            9.  McQuaid.  Speaking of drivel, life is too short to waste a second on anything penned by this nearly illiterate publisher.

            10.  Queen Fergie Cullen, who after ruining the New Hampshire Republican Party, found refuge with the Union Leader.  One loser promoting another…no thanks.

             I’m not blaming the media for keeping these clowns on the payroll.  That wouldn’t do any good.  I simply refuse to watch them or read them.  It’s my decision, but I sure am happy that Amanpour is leaving and Stephanopoulos is returning to Sunday morning.  I outlived one of the clowns.  Now if Fox wanted to really make my day, it'd be bye, bye Stockton.

Wednesday
Dec142011

The Week In Polls--Dec. 14--Just Make It Stop

            Air seems to be seeping, ever so slowly from the Eft balloon; Obama’s numbers are up slightly but a Battleground State Poll is devastating news for the Anointed One; and a huge majority simply wants the whole thing (the election) to be over.

            Those are the headlines in a week even more laden with polls than usual.

            First to the Eft.  What goes up must come down, n’est-ce pas?  It’s not like a burst balloon (Herman Cain-style), but clearly, at least if you trust the Gallup tracking poll, the Eft has peaked and is on the way back to Earth.

            In a poll dated December 1-5, the Eft led Romney by 15 points (37-22).  In a poll dated December 8-12, the lead is down to nine points (31-22), and that was before his Eftiness alienated a huge block of Republican voters by playing the usual Democratic class warfare card, saying Romney should give back money he made by bankrupting companies (and putting people out of work) while part of Bain Capital.

            Ah yes, it’s great to see that His Eftiness has not lost his capacity to open mouth, insert foot.

            Gallup has Ron Paul steady at eight, Rick Perry at seven, and Michelle Bachmann at six (with Santorum at four and Huntsman two).

            However—and now comes the usual disclaimer that you’re not likely to find a bigger Ron Paul supporter than I am—Ron Paul is doing remarkably well in both Iowa and New Hampshire, to the point where it’s still a long shot, but I’m now daring to hope that he could actually win Iowa and build momentum all the way to the nomination and the Presidency.  You know I’ve resisted saying that before, but it's time to dream the dream of less government in our lives and more adherence to Constitutional principles.  It's time to just say yes to Ron Paul.  Numbers seem to be saying that.

            PPP (a Democratic outfit and therefore of dubious reliability) has Ron Paul within one point of the Eft in Iowa (22-21) with Romney at 16, Bachmann 11, Perry 9, and Santorum 8.

            But it’s not just PPP.  Insider Advantage also has Ron Paul in second in Iowa, trailing the Eft 27-17, with Romney actually in fourth place trailing Perry 13-12 and only a three points ahead of Bachmann.

            But the good news for Ron Paul does not stop at Iowa.  Rasmussen has him up to 18 points here in New Hampshire where Romney’s lead over the Eft is 11 points (33-22). Huntsman cracks double digits at 10.

            Even better for Ron Paul, Insider Advantage has him at 21 in New Hampshire, only eight points behind Romney (29) and three behind the Eft (24).  Huntsman is at 11.

            Perhaps I should quit while Ron Paul is doing so well, but that wouldn’t be fair.  He’s up to third in the Real Clear Politics nationwide average but still well behind—Eft 33.5, Romney 22.3, Paul 9.7, Bachmann 7.3, Perry 7.2, Santorum 3.5, Huntsman 3.2.

            Romney continues to fare better than the Eft in almost all head to head match-ups with Obama, and there are many.  USA Today has Obama beating Romney by one (47-46) but the Eft by six (50-44).  NBC News has Obama beating Romney by two (47-45) but the Eft by 11 (51-40)—sadly Ron Paul loses by 13 (50-37).  Associated Press has Obama beating Romney by one (47-46) but the Eft by nine (51-42).  Rasmussen has Obama beating the Eft by 10 (49-39).

            That’s a pattern which would bring a smile to any supporter of Mitt Romney even during these days of Angst.

            As for wanting the election to be over, 70 percent in a USA Today Gallup poll, including 74 percent in the 12 battleground states, say by all means, get if over already.

             Not gonna happen.  In fact, there's inreasing talk of a "brokered" convention.

            The Battleground states are deemed to be Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin (why not Missouri, I wonder).

            Here’s where it gets really bad for Obama.  In non-Battleground States, Obama is expected to win 196 electoral votes and lose 191.  In those states, he leads Romney 47-46 and the Eft 50-44.  However, in the 12 states which most likely will determine the election, Obama loses to Romney 48-43 and even loses to the Eft 48-45.

            Terrible news indeed, especially when you consider that Obama has narrowed the approval margin to only -2.6 points (45.4-48.0) in the RCP average.

            Bad news abounds for Democrats in the Battleground Poll.  Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 11 points in the 2008 election, but the margin is only two points now (30-28) with 42 percent calling themselves independents.  44 percent call themselves conservatives, more than twice the number at the time of the 2008 election, and Republicans continues to hold a big lead in terms of intensity.

            Gallup is out with a poll showing that 72 percent of adults nationwide think television cameras should be allowed in when the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Obamacare.

            This is a great week to check out Larry Sabato’s web site from the University of Virginia (google it).  He has a new analysis of U.S. Senate races including moving Florida from leans Democrat to toss-up and moving Massachusetts from leans Republican to toss-up.  That’s bolstered by a new poll which has Scott Brown trailing Elizabeth Warren 49-42, but Brown’s favorability remains high (48-35 while Warren’s is only 34-27), so I expect once the newness wears off and people realize just what a limousine liberal Warren is, Brown will be back ahead, but it is, after all, Massachusetts.

              There, hopefully I can't be accused of cherrypicking only those polls which show results I like.

Wednesday
Dec142011

REDISTRICTING--Pelham And Manchester "Screwed"

Rather than report on the redistricting action today, I post here a memo I've sent to the Manchester delegation, mayor and board of aldermen.  Since I don't believe in keeping secrets, I've decided I should share it with all.  (All right, all right, I've toned it down a bit).

I repeat in advance that while the overall redistricting plan is excellent (I'd give it a B+), the Litchfield people have caused Pelham and Manchester to be abused ("screwed" is such a harsh word) to the point where the entire plan must not stand. 


 

To--Manchester Delegation

From--Rep. Steve Vaillancourt

Re--Redistricting Plan, Manchester "Screwing"

 

By a 3-1 vote along straight party lines, the redistricting subcommittee today voted for a plan which fixes Nashua, but it most decidedly does not fix Manchester.  In fact, while Manchester already loses two reps (from 35 down to 33), we potentially will lose two more reps if this plan passes.  Rather than have 33 reps in the plan I showed the delegation last week, Wards 8 and 9 have been split apart and will be with Litchfield in a two-member float.  Each ward will get two reps of its own, but by splitting 8 and 9 in with Litchfield for the float, the grouping for all other ward floats changes--two three-ward floats with two reps apiece; and one four-ward float with three reps.  Note how we've been squeezed out of two reps we deserve while Nashua, which actually deserves 26 reps, winds up getting 27!  This works deviation-wise.  In fact, it's a solution I had come up with earlier but only with the caveat that I would accept it ONLY if absolutely necessary to split up a city.

 

By no means is this absolutely necessary.  It's a terrible idea put forward as a sop to Litchfield which should never be combined with Manchester.  After all, when it comes to education funding, Manchester lost $30 million a year because of a plan which helped Litchfield.  No honest person could serve both the masters of Litchfield and Manchester yet that's what this plan would force two Reps to do.  (Don't look at it as affecting me personally--should I ever choose to run again--never a certainty--I would run in the underlying district, not the float).This is not absolutely necessary and I will offer amendments to fix the problem.  If the amendments fail, I will vote against the entire plan (which statewide is fairly good) and I will ask all Manchester Reps--both Democrats and Republicans--to do the same.

 

What the passed plan does to Pelham is even worse than what it does to Manchester.  Pelham deserves FOUR reps of its own, but it gets ZERO according to this plan. (Talk about grounds for a law suit!  Litchfield was going to sue because they failed to get two reps—Pelham fails to get FOUR!)  Rather, it is grouped into an 11 member district with Hudson which will most assuredly dominate, perhaps denying Hudson any Reps (should Sean Doherty choose not to run again).

 

This is totally unnecessary.  The problem is easily resolved by putting Litchfield with Hudson.  Then Pelham and Manchester can stand alone, but I suspect this plan was agreed upon because the Litchfield Reps, like the Nashua Reps regarding the idea of losing Ward 3 to Hudson, complained loudest.  Those in Manchester and Pelham need to complain equally as loudly at the public hearing, Thurs at 1:30.

 

I hate to say it but the whole state is being held hostage by a few selfish people in Litchfield.  The real solution is to give Hudson six reps, Litchfield two, and float two, but the lawyers, without any reasonable argument—they bandy about the word “arbitrary” but in fact what they do to Pelham is far more arbitrary!-- say this isn't possible.  It's time that the lawyers do what we tell them to do rather than the other way around.  I don't believe the 6-2-2 plan would even be challenged in court.  It's much superior to any alternative, but the lawyers seem to be driving this runaway train.

 

This must not stand.  It's most tragic because aside from a small quibble I have with splitting Laconia, Concord and Franklin slightly apart, the plan overall is very, very good.  I would go so far as to say it’s ingenious when it comes to Grafton and Rockingham counties, not bad for the tough challenges of  Cheshire, Carroll, Coos, and Strafford…yet the entire plan now stands in jeopardy because of Litchfield!