Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Tuesday
May222012

O'Brien Opponents Come Out Swinging

            With the appearance of former Deputy Speaker Linda Foster, a Democrat from Mt. Vernon, in the State House gallery last week, I half expected to see her announce that she’s coming out of retirement to lead the charge against Speaker Bill O’Brien on his home turf this fall.  After all, Foster topped the ticket there in 2006 when O’Brien was thrown out of office (it was a four member district then).

            However, as I dined in beautiful downtown Goffstown today in between Hillsborough County budget hearings (very poorly attended by the way—hey folks, we’re talking about an $84 million budget here), I picked up a copy of the Goffstown News, a weekly freebie, and lo and behold, there was a four column letter to the editor on page A7.

            It was headlined “Let us be your voice in the state legislature” and was signed by Kary Jencks and David Woodbury of New Boston (the larger town which is paired with Mt. Vernon in the House-approved redistricting plan, the one which will be aired in court June 6).

            Thus, it appears that these two Democrats have a head start against the lame duck Speaker.

            Here’s part of what Jencks and Woodbury say in their letter (in quotes).

            “Both of us have lived in New Boston since the 70s and both of us have been active in our community all of our adult lives.  We are both troubled, well more than troubled, with the situation in Concord as it has unfolded in the past two years.  Speaker Bill O’Brien and his right-wing followers have upended the values that so many of us here in New Hampshire hold dear:  a commonsense approach to making law, civility, and respect for our neighbors.”

            Amen!  (My words, not theirs).

            “This is what needs to happen if we are going to regain our footing.  We need to invest in the people of this state.  The citizens of New Hampshire need to be healthy, productive, and prosperous, and the present leadership in Concord is working hard to see this doesn’t happen.”

            They sound more liberal fiscally than I am, but then I could never vote for O’Brien, but then, I don’t live there either.

            “We need to support the middle class by protecting workers’ ability to achieve and keep safe and livable wage jobs and to negotiate effectively for them.”

            Sure sounds like O’Brien will be taken to task for his right to work shenanigans.

            “We need to stop the war on women.”

            Talk about irony; the letter to the editor appears just below one penned by District 20 Senate candidate John Hikel who has managed to push two German words off the front pages with his pole dancing comment about a fellow Goffstowner…but I digress.

            Back to the letter…

            “We need to stop the dismantling of education from kindergarten to the university system.”

            “We need to create a health system that truly serves the medical needs of our citizens in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

            “We need to recreate a workable transportation network.  Those are just a few of the jobs in front of us.
            Sure sounds like Jencks and Woodbury have a plan.

            Of course, O’Brien conceivably could decide to run in a floterial district; or the courts could strike down his unconstitutional redistricting plan entirely—he should be so lucky!

            In my ranking of towns in the state (remember than 50 in absolutely neutral, anything higher is Republican territory; anything lower is Democratic), I have New Boston at 57.17 (rather strongly Republican) and Mt. Vernon at 52.61.

            For comparison purposes, New Ipswich is 67.38 and Peterborough is 37.80.

            Let the games begin.

            Wanna bet Jenks and Woodbury don’t have any trouble raising a ton of money!

Tuesday
May222012

New Hampshire Scores High In "Elasticity"

             According to Nate Silver, the consummate numbers cruncher from fivethirtyeight.com (New York Times-owned), not only is New Hampshire a swing state, but it's also the second most “elastic” state in the country.

            Nate, who must have way too much time on his hands, came out with a ranking yesterday of a concept which really isn’t all that difficult to grasp.  Elasticity measures a state’s ability to change as conditions nationwide change.  The higher the elasticity, the more a state will change as opinion polls change.

            For example, a state with elasticity of 1.0 would change one point for every change in polls.  According the Silver, New Hampshire with an elasticity of 1.28 is second only to Rhode Island (1.29).  Thus if we were to see a move upward of five points for either Romney or Obama in national polls, we might expect a move of  6.40 points in New Hampshire (five times 1.28).

            The greater the number of undeclared or independent voters in a state, the higher the elasticity; that makes sense since independents are more apt to change their minds as conditions change.

            Now, not only can we talk about swing states, but we can talk elastic versus non-elastic swing states.  How much more fun could we ask for!

            Rhode Island, for example, is so Democratic-oriented that even with high elasticity, it’s not likely to swing into play.  Alaska (with a high elasticity of 1.19), on the other hand is so Republican-oriented that it’s’ not likely to swing into play either. 

            The elasticity, however, could help explain why Rhode Island elected a non-Democrat (Chafee) for Governor, and why Democrat Begich actually won the Alaska Senate race a few years back (although the scandal involving the GOP incumbent certainly had much to do with that).

            Here’s the interesting thing.

            Five swing states are listed as among the most elastic, and that’s why these five just might receive more attention in a volatile election cycle than your normal swinger.

            Along with New Hampshire, they are Iowa and Colorado (we could have guessed that), but also Wisconsin and New Mexico.  Romney should be slightly favored in New Mexico and Obama in Wisconsin.  However, as I noted last week, Wisconsin seems to be moving more and more into play.  That could represent the canary in Barack Obama’s coal mine.

            Silver has three elastic states which lean Democratic (Maine, Oregon, and Washington) and two which lean Republican (Arizona and Montana).

            Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Vermont join Rhode Island in the highly Democratic elastic category while North and South Dakota and West Virginia join Alaska in the highly Republican elastic states. 

            Mississippi (0.63) and the District of Colombia (0.45) are the least elastic; since they are also already wrapped up, don't expect any campaign money to be spent in either.

            For the detailed analysis of elasticity and swing states, check out the fivethirtyeight.com site.  It should be near the top of postings if you go there soon.

            It’s almost enough to make a numbers cruncher OD on data.

            In a close election, watch for results for New Hampshire, Iowa, and Colorado; despite all the talk about Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, the three smaller and more elastic states could really make the difference.  Romney actually needs to carry Florida, Ohio, and Virginia for the others to come into play at all. 

Monday
May212012

"A Fish Rots From The Head Down" Analogy--Fan Mail From Some Flounder V

From: Douglas W
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 12:51 PM
To: Vaillancourt, Steve
 
I live in Mason, NH, so you are not technically my representative, BUT your "Sieg Heil" comment certainly does represent my feelings on the matter.  I think it was time someone did speak out against the behavior seen in the NH House this year.  
 
I agree with Ms Noreli's comment as reported in the Nashua Telegraph that "the tone of disrespect in the House starts at the top."
 
The article also mentioned a "restore the center" meeting.  Such a concept is vital to regain some sense of sanity to the behavior seen in the NH House this year.  Please do pursue that agenda.
 
Wonder to what committee Mr. O'Brien will assign you as penance?
Regards.
Douglas Whitbeck
Mason, NH 
Response...
Thanks, Mason.  You might want to write to the ambulance chaser who some times goes by the name of Dershowitz.
Although I technically represent only ward 8 Manchester, I base everything I do on what I believe is in the best interests of society at large.  Certainly standing up to tryrants like Bill O'Brien is essential for society at large.
One of my favorite sayings is, "A fish rots from the head down."  I recall using it when Doug Scamman was speaker and getting in trouble over it then, but it remains entirely appropriate today.
There can be no doubt that William OB is the head of the rotting fish known as the NH House.
Sad but ever so true.
I am not as concerned about the center as I am about treating all people fairly whether they come from the left, the right, or the center.  That's where O'Brien has gone astray.  He allows his right win fanatic friends to get away with the very same conduct he goes out of his way to censure Democrats for using...and it's done so flagrantly, it certainly must be deliberate.  Either treat all people the same, or risk roting from the head down.
I suspect Bill OB will not be a position to appoint anyone to committees next term because I suspect even if he wins his own Mt. Vernon seat, he will be merely a back bencher, Speaker nevermore.
Regarding those calling for me not to run, as usual, I will decide at the last minute, but let's look at history.  In 2006, in the wake of the negative publicity I received over bucleyporngate, Democrats did seven mailings attacking me, yet I survived handily that year at the same time Republicans, including Bill O'Brien and Bob Mead, were thrown out of office.  In fact, I topped the ticket that year, and I was one of only six Manchester Republicans (out of 35) who managed to win.  Not bragging, just stating a fact.  If any sane person were to place a bet on the chances of me or OB and others winning again (assuming we all choose to run), the odds would not be on Bodemeister.  Just like Gene Chandler has been re-elected often since that "scandal''; Gene is the "I'll Have Another" of the House.  OB and Mead, I suspect will be, Bodemeisters, but that's all up to the voters.  No more committee assignments will be forthcoming from, quack, quack, this lame duck!
Saturday
May192012

Fan Mail From Some Flounder--Part IV

 

This one is from a friend who agrees with me about half the time and disagrees strongly about half the time (he's pro income tax and anti-gambling), a former House member and State Senator.  Thanks Bill.

I am with you on this and last night with a few of my senior citizens fm Salem NH at an supposedly Irish Concert at the Palace I was pleased to hear that they understood your intent to show a dictator as a dictator just as a duck is a duck if it walks and talks like a duck.

Saturday
May192012

The Story Behind The Story--The Real Truth

 

As always, any member of the media (they all get this) is welcome to use any or all of it; leider (unfortunately) time does not permit editing, at least not today.

 As regular readers here know, I allow neither a computer nor a word processor in my home (I'm afraid I'd spend all my time there if I did, and there are more important things in life--I'm into an old Babe Ruth biology these days--did you know both he and Ty Cobb had terrible life time averages as pinch hitters, below .225).  Thus I write from the Manchester libarary and I have than an hour to accomplish the task.  Actually, we're given an extra 15 minutes once the hour runs out.

That's an example of how truthful I am.  I'm incapble of letting a statement stand even if it's only partially true, so you can believe me or not; that's your choice.  As in Raybuckleygate, everything I said was true, and I agreed to take a lie detector test to prove it.  So too here.

I believe in treating all people fairly and equally (at least all people who have not forfeited their dignity), so I agreed to write some comments for various media.  I also have answered all media questions that I could get to.  I may have missed a few email questions; it's been a busy week with House sessions three days and Hillsborough County budget hearings yesterday.

As I noted earlier, I actually wrote an hour on this subject Wednesday night but Luddite that I am, I hit the wrong button, and the entire article was lost forever.  I doubt if I'll say the same exact things here, but I'll try.

This is of course in regard to Tuesday's kerfuffle at the State House.

It all began when Speaker Bill O'Brien ruled Democratic Rep out of order for trying to allude to what the Election Law committee had done in its deliberations of the photo ID bil.  Interesting, I thought, so I asked the Speaker which rule allwoed him to rule someone out of order for talking about a committee report.

Five minutes (or so) later he came back with a citation, an obscure rule which only a true despot could have interpreted as allowing him to curtain Rep Pierce's free speech, but then, as we've all come to know, Bill O'Brien is nothing if not a true despot.

Fast forward a few minutes and we have Republican Rep David Bates speaking on the same bill, doing exactly the same thing, referring to what had gone on in committee.  What's fair is fair, I told myself.  If O'Brien silences Pierce (which he never should have done), then he certainly must treat Bates the same way...so I posed a parliamentary inquiry.

The Speaker then tried to shout me down, in the midst of a legitimate inquiry.  Had one of his friends made a similar inquiry, he would have allowed it, and that's precisely what's wrong with the House of O'Brien.

Let's just go to two more recent examples.  The Speaker allowed Judiciary Chair Robert Rowe to begin one of his parliamen tary inquiries by slamming Democratic Rep. Gary Richardson for havin the audacity to look something up in the dictionary.  Rowe was clearly out of order; the Speaker would have ruled a Democrat out of order, but he let Rowe ramble on.

After the House had voted to limit debate to five minutes a Speaker (I always vote against such attempts to quell free speech), the Speaker allowed Republican Brandon Guida to break the rule.  I happened to agree with Guida, but he was merely repeating himself and if anyone should not have been allowed to exceed five minutes, this was clearly the case.  The Speaker, however, allowed a two minute extension.

This happens constantly.  It is beyong the pale of any small d, democratic institution and it is a disgrace that senior Republican, the gray beards, put up with such a thing.  They should be leading the protest, but they are clearly incapbalbe of doing what is right; there is no such thing as courage in the House of O'Brien.

Well, I am not about to be bullied any more.  I have had enough.  I decided that I will summon the courae to do what is right, to marshal enough reserve for a protest.

When the Speaker tried to shout me down, using the German word "Hutchenspiel" to justify Rep. Bates getting the kind of treatment leeway that was denied Rep Pierce, my mind kicked into German.  Mind you, the Speaker began using German--tapes will clearly in dicate this, and it was an out of order attempt to malign me (I had introduced the House to that great German word "hutc henspiel"--the old shell game--years ago).

As the Speaker continued to shout at me in the most undignified tyrannical manner, two German words came to mind which perfectly summed up the situation.

I never shouted the words.

Contrary to the vile lie spread by Rep. Larry Gagne, R-Manchester Ward 6, I never used the word Hitler.

Contrary to the large headline in the Nashua Telegraph (the paper really ought to be ashamed of itself), I never gave a Nazi a Nazi salute or any salute.

I very quietly spoke the two words which best summed up O'Brien's rule.  As Speaker, with a majority of mindless sheep to back him up, he has attained vitory.  He can shout down anybody he wants; he can be as despotice as he so desires because the mindless sheep--who should know better--will always back him up.

Victory is yours Mr. Speaker, and just as the German word for shell game, as the Speaker noted seconds earlier, is Hutchenspiel (what a memory this man has!),  the German word for vitory is...are your ready for this?...yes, it's "Sieg".

As I've pointed out in recent and not so recent blogs, I lived in Berlin (Germany, not Coos County) for a year studying the language, culture, and history.  I've filmed more than 40 hours with historical commentary based on extensive research.  Probably the most famous landmark in Berlin (maybe second to the Brandenburg Gate--it's a tough call) is the Siegessaule, the Victory Column in the Tiergarten, the spot where Barack Obama spoke on that landmark day in 2008 in fact.

So Sieg is not a word with any sinister meaning, not for those who know German.

I stated "Sieg Hei" which some choose to relate to anti-Semitism, but it was a phrase used in German long before the Nazia and only the phony politically correct, would fail to see that it was a perfect mocking phrase for the lowness, the absolute baseness that Bill O'Brien has brough to the New Hampshire House.

Here is a man who yells "fucking" to Republican leadership from the well, and they never have said so much as a word as being offended, but all Hell broke loose when the appropriate phrase was uttered.

The Speaker ordered me from the hall; I fully complied with his order, and then returned.  Let the record indicate there was no order not to return; the incident was over as far as I was concerned.  Order made; order followed.  We had important bills to vote on, but one of the most vile Reps in the House could not accept that.  The Deputy Majority Leader insisted on donning the politcally correct mantle, or perhaps in this case--I don 't want to use a Nazi reference here--of donning the STASI mantle, and making a bad situation worse.

Lest there be any doubt, was not about to voluntarily leave the room again once I had complied with the Speakers orders.  The Speaker apparently realized that he did not have the power to have police drag me from the room (undoubtedly his fourth rate lawyer/lobbyist/gendarme--a nice French word--Ed Mosca) told him as much because the Speaker indicated that even without a vote of the House, he would allow me back.  Not that he every had the power to deny me to vote, but he in fact did that...courts will have to decide whether he trampled on the Consitution...it wouldn't  be the first time.

As state police gathered around me, I was prepared, in the tradition of Ghandi, Thoreau, Martin Luther King, and yes in the tradition of thousands of Germans--including German Jews!, I was fully prepared to resort to passive resistance.  Taser me, handcuff me senseless, it would be an entirely appropriate gesture in the House of O'Brien.

I was not about to back down.

The so-called apology became a farce because I was not about to apologize for something I never did--again I never saluted anything; I never used the H word (although rest assured Bill O'Brien has used the F word).  I was reading a book a Mugsy McGraw/Christy Mathewson Tuesday night and turned on the 11 o'clock news late, so I missed the Channel 11 report.  Similarly I didn't go to the blog sites to read about the episode but more than one Democrat friend told me the Democratic blog Huffington Post got just about everything wrong, including the statement that I was removed from the room.

I never was.

The only thing I saw was a Channel 9 report which the producer of my TV show had emailed to me, the one which Channel 9 apparently ran.  I seemed farily accurate to me.  I couldn't help but be amused that the two Reps who were at my side were two women with a combined age of nearly 170 years.  Yes, that would the great Irene Messier and the courageous Julie Brown.  All the virile young men (and women) who were supposedly elected to defend liberty and freedom were nowhere to be found, having slunked away lest they arise the wrath of the foul-mouthed tyrant (he regularly says fuck from the well) at the podium.  God sake us if these cowards are the same ones the country needs to defend us when our enemies in invade.  We're sure lucky these cowards weren't at Lexington or Concord or Bunker Hill (or in Weimar Germany for that matter). 

Only Irene Messier, age 89, and Julie Brown, age 80, appear ready to stand up to tyranny.