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!