Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Wednesday
Apr092014

Scott Brown Leads The Missourian By Five; A Look Back To1978

To be sure, the poll was commissioned by Republican governors, so some bias might be expected, but with that caveat, it's still mighty interesting to note that New Hampshire native Scott Brown has pulled ahead of the Missourian Jeanne Shaheen in the race for New Hampshire Senator.

Detailed results are available in The Weekly Standard, but and while the word "confidential" appears at the top of the poll, how can anything available around the world really be considered confidential?  You can google it and click on the results; heck, I'll even provide the link for you here--so much for confidentiality.

600 likely voters were polled on March 19-20. The margin of error is plus or minus four percent.

Scott Brown's lead over the Missourian is 49-44 percent. 36 percent say they will definitely vote for Brown; 13 percent say they probably will.

Meanwhile, the Missouri native (that's incumbent Shaheen for those who don't remember her past) gets 37 percent definite and six percent probable (I know, that adds up to only 43, but we're undoubtedly dealing with fractions here).

Both Brown and the Missourian have a plus five favorability--48-43 for Shaheen; 41-36 for Brown. The news is even better for Brown in that 16 percent express no opinion while that number is only six percent for Shaheen.

Even as Democrats will be quick to pooh pooh these polls results, word is out that UNH pollster Andy Smith is in the field and comparative results should be available soon.

Prior to this poll, the Missourian was up 7.9 points in the Real Clear Politics average. She was up 50-38 with ARG; 50-41 with Rasmussen; 52-39 with Suffolk; 47-37 with WMUR (those would be Smith's numbers from January 21-26); 46-43 with Democratic-leaning pollster PPP. Purple Strategies had the race even at 44-44 in a poll conducted January 21-23.

Let's say that the Weekly Standard poll is off a few points. Let's say Brown actually trails the Missourian by five points rather than leads by five points.

That still would be very bad news indeed for New Hampshire Democrats. I declared recently, and other pundits have expressed agreement, that Brown would be hampered in poll results until after the September primary. Only then will Republicans come to realize that it's either Brown or the Missourian and be compelled to opt for Brown.

Oh yes, I shall continue to refer to Shaheen as the Missourian, at least as long as Democrats try to portray Brown as someone who has just moved up from Missouri, a strategy doomed to backfire rest assured.

A Lesson From 1978

If you don't believe me, look at the history. In 1978, incumbent Democratic senator (for 16 years) Tom McIntyre took upstart Gordon Humphrey for granted and even tried to portray him as an outsider. In fact, Humphrey had lived here for only three years. New Hampshire law required (and still does today) a seven year residency in the state to run for state senate, but there is no requirement for U.S. Senate.

Lo and behold, team Humphrey discovered that McIntyre's Laconia home was little more than a room; he was living in rather luxurious fashion in Florida. The Republican challenger filmed McIntyre's Florida estate and feature it in a commercial the last weekend of the campaign.

Who will forget how, on election night, ARG pollster Dick Bennett was on Channel 9 predicting McIntyre would win by 30 points. When asked how he could explain his prediction, Bennett confessed that he had stopped polling the weekend prior to the election at which time the commercial of McIntyre the Floridian hit the air waves.

The political lesson was "people who live in glass house (or in this case Florida mansions) shouldn't throw rocks."

The Missourian would be well served if she stops throwing the carpetbagger rock at New Hampshire native Scott Brown, lest Brown's five point lead become locked in stone.

As always, Raybo and the Missourian need not thank me for this sage advice and the main stream media is entitled to use this stroll down memory lane, as usual, without attribution.

Scott Brown Pulls Ahead 5 Points In New Hampshire Poll

9:29 AM, Apr 8, 2014• By MICHAEL WARREN
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Republican Scott Brown leads incumbent Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire by five points in a recent poll obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD. The poll, commissioned by the Republican Governor's Association, was conducted on March 19 and 20 and asked 600 likely voters in New Hampshire who they would vote for in the U.S. Senate election. Respondents were given both Brown and Shaheen's names and their respective parties.

Scott P. Brown

 

 

According to the poll, 36 percent said they would "definitely" vote for Brown, the former senator from Massachusetts, while 13 percent said they would "probably" vote for him, bringing his total support to 49 percent. The same poll found 37 percent said they would "definitely" vote for Shaheen with 6 percent saying they would "probably" vote for her, with a total of 44 percent in support of the incumbent Democrat. Seven percent said they did not know who they would vote for.

Shaheen, a one-term senator who also served as governor of the small New England state, appears to be a known quantity: 48 percent say they approve of her (higher than Brown's 41 percent), but 43 percent say they disapprove of her (also higher than Brown's 36 percent).

The RGA poll is the first to show Brown with a lead. According to the Real Clear Politics poll average, Shaheen has a nearly 8-point lead, and the seat leans Democratic.

New Hampshire's senior senator, Shaheen was first elected in 2008 over Republican incumbent John E. Sununu. She was one of several freshman Democratic senators to vote for Obamacare. A February poll showed 53 percent of New Hampshire residents oppose the health care law.

Tuesday
Apr082014

Quebec Separatist Movement Dealt A Fatal (?) Blow 

As alluded to here yesterday, the separatist Parti Quebecois was in trouble going into yesterday's election in the province. In retrospect, that is an understatement.

Main stream media wasn't covering the story here at all (Fox News of course was too busy bashing Obama; and CNN never stops looking for the plane), so it was only on Bloomberg, and then only with a headline at the bottom of the screen, that I learned about the PQ defeat. By midnight, the magnitude of the defeat was clear, but probably the full impact hasn't even sunk in yet today.

Google the Montreal Gazette and find out not only about how the Liberals took 70 seats (of 125) in the Quebec Parliament while the PQ was held to only 30, but rumor is already out that the election may foreshadow the end of the separatist party.

Wow! I was planning a spring trip to Montreal next weekend. Maybe I should move it up to this week to get the full impact.

Even as some in the eastern Ukraine think of leaving and forming their own country; even as we saw the Czechs and Slovaks split apart 22 years ago; even as we saw Yugoslavia torn asunder; yesterday's vote should make it clear once and for all (although never say never) that Quebecers are happy as part of Canada and the separatist movement is all but dead.

RIP, Rene Levesque, RIP.

Here are a couple of perspectives from Canadian and Quebec press. Just look at the expression on the face of ousted Separatist Premier Pauline Marois. That says it all.  She couldn't even hold her own seat.  That would be like Democrats being thrown from power in the NH House, but Terie Norelli losing in Portsmouth as well...not that Cassandra is predicting such a thing! 

Elections in Quebec

Separated from power

Apr 8th 2014, 8:49by M.D.  

 

 

CONCERN that the largely French-speaking province of Quebec might soon separate from Canada vanished on April 7th when the separatist Parti Québécois government led by Pauline Marois (pictured) was soundly defeated in a provincial election by the federalist Parti Libéral led by Philippe Couillard. It was a rout. Ms Marois could not even hold her own seat and stepped down as party leader once the results were in. She set two records while in power: the first woman premier of the province and leader of the shortest government in Quebec history. History may yet award her a third title: the woman who presided over the death of the separatist movement.

 

When Ms Marois called the snap election on March 5th, the ruling Parti Québécois looked set to transform the minority government won in September 2012 into a majority. Mr Couillard, a neurosurgeon, was still finding his feet after winning the leadership of the Parti Libéral just over a year ago. The party was still in disarray after being tossed from power under a cloud of suspicion over corruption. But a series of disastrous decisions during an erratic campaign led to the PQ’s defeat.

 

Thirty seats and no leader – how long can the PQ last?

 

The numbers from last night’s general election tell it all: Quebec Liberals, 70 seats; PQ, 30 seats; Coalition Avenir Quebec, 22 seats and three seats for Quebec Solidaire. A solid majority for the Liberals and a solid punch in the political gut for the Parti Quebecois, which also saw its leader, Pauline Marois, lose her seat in the electoral rout. After 40 years of trying to sell sovereignty to this province in one form or another, Quebec no longer seems interested in the sales pitch, much less the product. But if that is indeed the case, how much longer will the PQ be around? We asked that question to Gazette chief editorial writer Hubert Bauch. Click on the grey icon below to hear what he had to say. And remember, you can listen to all of our podcasts at montrealgazette.com/montreal@themoment on iTunes  and follow us on Facebook

 

Tuesday
Apr082014

Senate Judiciary Splits 2-2 On Death Penalty Repeal

NHINSIDER.COM EXCLUSIVE

Ignorance Is Never Bliss

If you're planning to kill a cop in New Hampshire (or commit any other capital crimes on the list) and get off without facing the death penalty, you better wait till the bewitching hour strikes on July first.

No, this isn't another April Fools joke.

It's actually the text of an amendment put forth to the Senate Judiciary Committee, apparently an act of sheer desperation if not pure folly, by death penalty foe Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton.

Even with that amendment before it, the committee deadlocked 2-2 on HB1170, the repeal bill, and the Senate is not like in the House where a tie vote in committee means an ought to pass motion goes to the floor first.

The death penalty repeal will come to the Senate floor on April 17 with a motion of inexpedient to legislate.

As expected, bill sponsors Sam Cataldo, R-Farmington, and Betty Lasky, D-Nashua, supported repeal.

Committee Chair Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, and David Boutin, R-Hooksett, opposed it.

Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, who has long been considered a must-get for repeal forces, was absent, having a medical commitment with her father, the famous C. Arthur Soucy.

Inside sources here reveal that Soucy would have voted for the bill, which would have meant a 3-2 majority and an ought to pass rather than an ITL motion.

But wait...bulletin...bulletin...this just in.  As of 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, Soucy and Lask were asking Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, to allow the committee to reconsider the bill adn thus get to that 3-2 vote.  President Morse is believed to be an opponent of the bill.

This move will certainly implant Senator Soucy's fingerprints all over the bill, and her Manchester constituents, by a three to one margin in a recent WMUR Granite State Poll, favor keeping the death penalty.  This news could be just enough to drive a rumored Soucy opponent, Victoria Sullivan, into the race.  Ah yes, the Sullivan name.  Victoria came surprisingly close to upsetting popular Barbara Shaw in the low turnout (thus benefiting Democrats) city race for Ward 9 Alderman last November.  With a vote to repeal the death penalty, Souch would become vulnerable all of a sudden.

But I'm getting ahead of the story at hand.  I have a tendency to do that when I've been sitting on news, like the Sullivan candidacy, for a while.

Wow!  You just can't make this stuff up, and the main stream media wouldn't even have known had I not just handed them a copy of the amendment.

Boutin was also considered a swing vote; he'd been lobbied hard by both sides.

While the loss of Boutin does not mean the bill is doomed to fail, it certainly narrows the range of options.

With Cataldo the only Republican in favor of repeal, the most likely way to get to 13 now would be for long time opponent of repeal Lou D'Allesandro to flilp and join the rest of Democrats who will vote in favor.

That would be 11 votes (assuming Soucy is in fact in favor of repeal).  Cataldo would make 12, and another Republican would need to step forward to get to the magic number of 13.  When it comes to looking for the Republican willing to buck the party...don't get ahead of me here...it's usually Senator Robert Odell of Lempster.

Could the Senate be headed in the same direction as the committee, a deadlock?

Perhaps, and the Cushing amendment should be viewed as a sign of scurrying to avoid defeat.

During the Senate hearing, some concerns were raised that if repeal passes, even though Cushing has long insisted it's prospective, Michael Addison, the state's sole resident on death row, might never be killed.

The Cushing amendment, which could only be considered should the ITL motion fail in the Senate, states, "Any person convi cted of a capital murer that was committed committed before July 1, 2014 may be punished by death.  Any person convicted of a capital murder that was committed on or afer July 1, 2014 shall be sentenced to life improsomment and shall not be eligible for parole."

Thus, the language appears not merely to allow Addison to be killed but anyone who commits capital murder in the next 83 days (and counting) as well.

Another sentence in the amendment reads, "No person shall be sentenced to death in this state fo an offense committed on or after July 1, 2014."

If it weren't on the page in black and white in front of me, I wouldn't believe it.  I showed the amendment to a fellow Rep sitting next to me as I write this...and yes...as expected, he laughed.

Death should not be a laughing matter.

This is the extent death penalty opponents will go to curry favor with that one vital Senator who could make the difference. 

Will the ploy succeed or backfire?

Stay tuned; only your senator knows for sure. 

 

Tuesday
Apr082014

Call Me Cassandra--Legalized Marijuana Drives Mexican Growers Out Of Business

It's not even April 1, the day I posted the famous blog about New Hampshire drug dealers expressing their gratitude to the House for failing to pass HB492 which would have legalized, regulated and taxes small amounts of marijuana in the state, thus driving dealers out of business by quashing their $150 million business in black market street sales in our fair state.

That was a classic, but note that it was written April 1.  Apparently it's true that behind every piece of satire is more than a grain of truth, and the grains are spreading across our beach already.

This item is not a parody at all, but rather a link sent to me by someone out there in the internet ether.  Apparently legalization in states like Colorado and Washington is driving the price of marijuana down to such an extent that some Mexican growers are in fact being driven out of business.

Along with the pertinent section of the story, I've included a link to the overall story, just to prove that this isn't a hoax. The source, mind you, is not some pro marijuana rag, easily disparaged, but the main stream Washington Post.

As I've said all along, the surest way to drive out the lowlife scum who deal illegally and quite profitably...in fact the only way...is to legalize, regulate (thus guaranteeing that adulterated substances stay out of the product), and tax marijuana.

One of my favorite State Reps (no names please; I wouldn't want to embarrass him/her) recently called me the Cassandra of the New Hampshire House, a reference to the ancient Greek who was blessed with the gift of prophecy but cursed that no one would believe her.

Cassandra strikes again here, right on the money but sadly, not believed...at least by the majority...at least not yet.

Here's the quote and the entire link.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

With the wholesale price of marijuana falling — driven in part by
decriminalization in sections of the United States — Mexican drug
farmers are turning away from cannabis

“It’s not worth it anymore,” said Rodrigo Silla, 50, a lifelong cannabis
farmer who said he couldn’t remember the last time his family and others
in their tiny hamlet gave up growing mota. “I wish the Americans would
stop with this legalization.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/tracing-the-us-heroin-surge-back-south-of-the-border-as-mexican-cannabis-output-falls/2014/04/06/58dfc590-2123-4cc6-b664-1e5948960576_story.html?hpid=z3

Cassandra

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Cassandra by Evelyn De Morgan (1898, London); Cassandra in front of the burning city of Troy at the peak of her insanity.

In Greek mythology, Cassandra (Greek Κασσάνδρα, also Κασάνδρα; ),[1][full citation needed] also known as Alexandra or Kassandra, was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. She had the power of prophecy and the curse of never being believed. A common version of her story is that Apollo gave her the power of prophecy in order to seduce her, but when she refused him, he gave her the curse of never being believed. In an alternate version, she fell asleep in a temple, and snakes licked (or whispered in) her ears so that she was able to hear the future. The connection between snakes and knowledge is a recurring theme in Greek mythology, though sometimes it brings an ability to understand the language of animals rather than an ability to know the future. She is a figure of both epic tradition and of tragedy.

 

 
Monday
Apr072014

Pundit Alert--Fowler Crosses Line From Spinner To Liar

 

 

Richard A. Fowler
  • Radio host
  • Richard Fowler is an American radio show host, media personality, and political activist.
  •  

    When does your normal political spinning go so far as to enter the realm of out and out lying?

    In my humble opinion, Democratic radio talk show host Richard Fowler crossed that line in appearing on Fox News this afternoon (in the 1-2 hour). While attempting to defend newfound support for Obamacare, Fowler cited polling results from Louisiana. He contended that in Senator Mary Landrieu is sticking by Obamacare and as a result is experiencing a major boost in the polls.

    After being down 10 to 15 points, Fowler contends that the Democratic incumbent has now regained the lead. When challenged on those past polling results, Fowler actually doubled down...or at least he upped the ante. He referred to polls which showed Landrieu down 15 to 20 points.

    Oh really?

    What polls?

    I keep track of these things; in fact, I spend more time following polls than I really should admit; I write on polling trends here often.

    The Louisiana Senate race is of particular interest to me (I am convinced Landrieu will lose, but it could well be close and extend into a December runoff), and while I do recall Landrieu being down by as much as four points, never, not ever do I recall seeing here down ten, let alone 15 or 20 points.

    Thus, Fowler is no merely a spinner, but he's a liar. In listening to pundits, I always respect their opinions...until they give me reason not to. Fowler has given me reason to remove him from ever being taken seriously again.

    Maybe he has some internal polling data from Louisiana. If so, he should share it with us. However, I suspect he has no such data. He was simply making things up (pulling stuff out of his you-know-what) hoping nobody would catch him on it. That's a dangerous thing to do for any self-respecting pundit, especially in an age when all we have to do is key in Real Clear Politics for the numbers.

    Here are the numbers I come up with; note that while ahead double digits long ago (24 points in fact), Landrieu has never been down that much. Take note, Mr. Fowler before you lie to a nation again. Either you are ignorant or deliberately lying; either way, you are not to be trusted again.

    No wonder Fowler is so willing to jeoardize his own reputation, to go from spinner to out and out liar for Landrieu. Note the story on just how important the Louisiana race could be and note how Landrieu might in fact not even survive for a runoff!

    2014 Louisiana Senate Race

    Louisiana Senate - Cassidy vs. Landrieu

     

    Poll

    Date

    Sample

    Cassidy (R)

    Landrieu (D)

    Spread

    RCP Average

    1/28 - 2/24

    --

    44.7

    42.3

    Cassidy +2.4

    Hickman Analytics (D)

    2/17 - 2/24

    404 LV

    46

    42

    Cassidy +4

    PPP (D)

    2/6 - 2/9

    635 RV

    44

    45

    Landrieu +1

    Rasmussen Reports

    1/28 - 1/29

    500 LV

    44

    40

    Cassidy +4

    Poll

    Date

    Sample

    Landrieu (D)

    Cassidy (R)

    Hollis (R)

    Maness (R)

    Spread

    Magellan Strategies (R)*

    3/24 - 3/26

    600 LV

    39

    26

    3

    3

    Landrieu +13

    PPP (D)

    2/6 - 2/9

    635 RV

    43

    25

    5

    3

    Landrieu +18

    SMOR

    11/6 - 11/12

    600 LV

    41

    34

    --

    10

    Landrieu +7

    PPP (D)

    8/16 - 8/19

    721 RV

    48

    24

    --

    5

    Landrieu +24

    Candidate needs to receive 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff.

    How one race — in December or even January — could determine who controls Senate

     
     

    Republicans are now favored by most analysts to take over the Senate in the 2014 election; this much we know.

    But in what is shaping up to be an intriguing battle for the Senate, some folks are missing a tantalizing subplot. And that is this: There's a significant chance that control of the upper chamber will be decided not on Election Day, but in December or even January, with all eyes on (and money flowing to) a two-candidate runoff in one state.

    Two states holding top Senate races this year hold runoffs if neither candidate attains 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 4: Georgia and Louisiana.

    So what are the odds that runoffs in either (or both) of these states might determine who controls the Senate come 2015? Let's take a look at each one:

    Louisiana - Dec. 6 runoff

    It's much more likely that there would be a runoff in Louisiana than in Georgia. This is because Louisiana's November election is a nonpartisan race in which there will be multiple Republicans splitting the vote.

    That means Republicans will likely be battling to make the runoff — Rep. Bill Cassidy is the favorite, but retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Rob Maness has tea party support and state Rep. Paul Hollis has self-funded $250,000 — and hoping Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) doesn't crack 50 percent.

    (It's possible that Cassidy could simply swamp Landrieu and win outright on Election Day, but if that happens, Republicans have probably already won the Senate in a rout.)

    In her three Senate races, Landrieu has faced a runoff twice (and took just 52 percent the other time). Given that and the fact that the GOP seems to have momentum right now, it seems quite likely she'll be headed for a runoff.

    For now, let's put the odds of a runoff in Louisiana at 75 percent.

    Data above is for the runoff election that will take place on Dec. 6 if no candidate receives
    50% of the vote in the open primary on Nov. 4.

    More Polling Data | News

    Louisiana Senate Open Primary (Nov. 4)