Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Tuesday
Sep092014

Where The Brave Dare Not Go--Primary Predictions

It'll be interesting to see what kind of bounce Scott Brown gets in the RCP average following today's likely primary win.

PollDateSampleMoEShaheen (D)Brown (R)Spread
RCP Average 7/7 - 9/2 -- -- 47.7 42.3 Shaheen +5.4
CBS News/NYT/YouGov 8/18 - 9/2 1159 LV 4.0 47 41 Shaheen +6
WMUR/UNH 8/7 - 8/17 609 LV 4.0 46 44 Shaheen +2
NBC News/Marist 7/7 - 7/13 1342 RV 2.7 50 42 Shaheen +8

All New Hampshire Senate - Brown vs. Shaheen Polling Data

RCP Poll Average
New Hampshire Senate - Brown vs. Shaheen
47.7 Shaheen (D)+5.4
42.3 Brown (R)
    
               What do you think?

               Normally I don’t do primary predictions, but I’m tempted.

                Ah, what the heck?  No guts, no glory.  It’ll be one less hour of holding signs at the polls.

                Keep in mind that I base predictions not on what I hope will happen, but what I think will happen.  I’ve already voted and I suspect that, at least at the top of the ticket, I didn’t opt for many winners.

U.S. Senate--Brown Will Hit 50%--As noted a few weeks ago, I voted for Jim Rubens for United States Senate, but not only do I think Scott Brown will win, I also think Bob Smith will finish second.  A few months ago, I would have predicted Scott Brown would receive twice as many votes as all the other candidates combined, but pundits today seem to be questioning whether he’ll hit the 50 percent mark.

                I’ll go with 55 percent for Brown, 30 percent for Smith, 15 percent for Rubens.

1st C.D.—Homophobia Rules--For Congress, the Union Leader editorial writers and I, for different reasons to be sure, voted for Dan Innis, but I think Frank Guinta will win easily, with 60 percent or more of the vote.  Guinta will also most likely beat Carol Shea Porter come November and then lose to her in 2016.  Until the Republican Party abandons its infatuation with homophobia, no wins will be long lasting.  Guinta, for example, went out of his way four years ago to attack marriage equality.  I didn’t see such an over to top piece this year, but he remains out of touch with the vast majority of Americans in believing marriage should be only between one man and one woman. 

                In preparation for writing this, I actually checked all recent polls on the pollingreport.com web site.  Sur enough, here they are, an indication of just how out of touch Guinta and Republicans are (to their eternal shame)

--August 7—Marist—54-38 % support for gay marriage.

--August 4—CBS—53-40 % support for gay marriage.

June 1—CBS—56-38 % support for gay marriage (including 67-28D, 58-37I, and only 37-57 R).

May 11—Gallup—55-42 % support for gay marriage.

March 10—Bloomberg—55-36 % support for gay marriage.

February 26—Pew—54-39 % support for gay marriage.

In other words, in poll after poll, it’s not even close any more.  If you think I'm cherry picking polls, check it out yourself.  (Would I lie?).

I just finished reading the Redeeming The Dream, the excellent new book by conservative Republican Ted Olson and liberal Democrat David Boies, the opponents in the historic Bush v. Gore case in 2000 but united for the appeal of the California Prop 8 gay marriage case which went all the way to the Supreme Court. I challenge anyone to read that book and see if you still cling to the Neanderthal argument that gay people should be denied the right to marry.  Apparently, Frank Guinta does; he’s shown absolutely no progress with this issue on which millions of thoughtful Americans have changed.  Guinta didn’t get my vote (I voted for the gay guy, not because he’s gay, but because he’s the better candidate), but sadly Guinta will win easily.  Some day, the GOP will leave its homophobia behind, but not today; not this year.

2nd C.D.—More HomophobiaThis is not my congressional district and her homophobia and war mongering would prevent me from voting for Marilinda Garcia, but her commercials for and by her (including Laughably Liberal Lambert) have been among the best to air this year.  Never underestimate the value of homophobia, sadly, in a GOP primary.  Unless Lambert gets an especially strong turnout in Nashua, Garcia should win easily, but then Annie Kuster and Democrats will destroy her come November.

A Surprise For Governor?Most pundits say Walt Havenstein should win—one media wag (I believe it was in the Monitor) even sited polls which I haven’t seen, but allow me this one indigence.  Havenstein has run such a terrible campaign that he deserves to win, and I’m going out on a limb and saying he will lose.  Unlike in the Senate race, the establishment guy won’t benefit from a split field.  Look for Hemingway to coalesce the anti-establishment vote and pull in enough undeclared voters to send Walt back home to Maryland.

No State Senate Surprises—I agree with James Pindel who opined on Channel 9 Sunday that none of the tea party insurgents will oust incumbent Republican State Senators. 

This especially includes Jane Cormier who will lose big to David Boutin in District 16 (Manchester Wards 1, 2,, 12, Hooksett, Bow and northern towns).  From the Union Leader to the Koch Brothers/Greg Moore crowd, Boutin has a lot of high powered enemies.  Fortunately for him, he has even more friends; they're known as voters.

In District 18 (Manchester Wards 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and Litchfield), look for Ward 6 School Board member Robyn Dunphy to handily turn back Litchfield Rep George Lambert who is unique in the political world.  I happen to like many politicians (mostly Democrats) with whom I disagree on issues, but Lambert is about the only person I’ve ever agreed with on most issues but still manage to despise.  Only he could get away with heckling an homage to the late Warren Rudman on the House floor and then be allowed to stand at the well while voting was in progress.  To know George Lambert is to never vote for him, and I suspect he’s well enough known now to be gone forever.  Besides, I've received two very effective mailings from Dunphy and nary a word from Lambert.

District 19 (Derry, Windham, Hampstead) is a bit harder to call.  I had Frank Sapareto winning easily with Regina Birdsell and Jim Foley splitting the anti-Frank vote.  Now that Foley has stopped campaigning, the situation is muddied, but you know what?  His name remains on the ballot; about 80 percent of those voting won’t know he’s pulled out, so I still think he’ll take enough votes to give Sapareto the win, albeit by a narrow margin.  Truth in blogging—if I lived in the district, I’d be voting for Sapareto; his work on the decriminalization/legalization bill was stellar, and we need a senator like him.

District 11 (Merrimack, Milford) should go to Gary Daniels since he's the only one of four candidates from Milford.  It seems reasonable to expect the other three will split the Merrimack vote, and besides, after watching Andy Peterson and then Peter Bragdon claim this seat, Daniels is due.  Some see former Merrimack Rep Maureen Mooney doing well; I don't.

District 24 (Hampton, Sencoast).  Tea party types would like nothing more than to see Nancy Stiles lose to Steve Kenda; it's not going to happen or even come close to happening.

I could go on, but then I’d simply manage to alienate more people whom I might need as collegiate colleagues later, so I’ll stop. I honestly have no feel for the Kevin Avard/Michael McCarthy GOP primary for the right to beat Peggy Gilmour in District 12 (Nashua Wards 1,2, 5, Hollis, Brookline, Rindge, New Ipswich).  I’m told the Americans for Prosperity/Koch/Greg Moore crowd have been attacking McCarthy, but he would most certainly be the stronger candidate come November.  Gilmour better hope Avard wins today.

Tuesday
Sep092014

For Governor, All The Way With Hemingway

Seldom if ever have I been so enthusiastic about voting for a candidate for governor as I am this morning as I head out to Memorial High School in Manchester Ward 8 in the next hour to cast one of the first votes for Andrew Hemingway.

After hearing the 32 year old from the Bristol/Plymouth area at his announcement party back in the spring, I was enthusiastic, but little did I know how much Hemingway would grow as a candidate as the campaign moved along.  Meanwhile, Republican Walt Havenstein has figuratively, if not literally, shrunk before our eyes from week to week.

The latest visual, which aired at 11 p.m. and again this morning at 5 a.m. on Channel 9, said it best.  There was a vibrant Andrew Hemingway out meeting with people on the streets, and then came Havenstein barely able to mount the single step to get up to the fireplace of former Governor John Sununu.  They say Havenstein is 65 years old--hey, that's only a couple years older than I am-- but he looks at least ten years older than that (I've seen 80 year olds with less age spots on their faces), but even worse, he sounds like an old man, just the kind of thing New Hampshire Republicans do not need.

For Havenstein, the campaign has been a disaster from start to finish--

from the first days when he managed to alienate the pro life community and the gay community at the same time (not an easy thing to do) till the time when he proved that he doesn't understand a governor has no veto power over a constitutional amendment;
 
from the time when he barely made it onto the ballot with a 3-2 vote from the Ballot Law Commission to the time when Channel 9's James Pindel gave him the worst score (a D) of any of the eight debaters last week; 

from his first commercial when he hid behind his wife's skirt strings (a strange thing indeed for a candidate who began his campaign standing next to two former elected officials who became famous for allegedly cheating on their wives) to the last commercial which made no sense at all.

Clearly if Havenstein survives today's primary, Hassan Democrats, ethically challenged with her own campaign funding misdeeds, will have a field day with the Havenstein who thought he'd save a few thousand dollars in Maryland by not telling the entire truth on his tax submission.  Ah yes, those are the kind of things which often slip past...except when you plan to run for governor and have to prove you've always been a New Hampshire resident.

While Havenstein was and is a disaster, Andrew Hemingway has presented his new ideas with a passion long missing from New Hampshire politics.

While the Union Leader and the good old boys belly up to Havenstein with the kind of praise that evokes the line, "Is that all there is?", Hemingway has won glowing and fulsome praise from creative thinkers like former Senator Gordon Humphrey and true conservatives like former State Representatives Robert and David Lawton who ran a page one editorial in last week's Weirs Times.

Allow me to quote a few lines from that editorial (I've said enough myself).

"At 32 years of age, which some look at as a negative, we find that Hemingway has more of a grasp of the real problems in New Hampshire and how they can be fixed within the legislative process than his opponent who is twice his age.  A lifelong resident of New Hampshire and a small business owner within the state, Hemingway has a true gerasp of New Hampshire unique way of doing things.  At 27 years of age he was Chairman of the Bristol  Budget Committee which came up with a budget that was agreed upon, to the penny, by the Town Manager, Department Heads, Selectmen and Committee, no mean feat."
Indeed!  We should be so fortunate in Concord.

"Ever since Hemingway's father brought him to his first political event as a young boy," the Lawtons write, "politics and how they help shape our state and our country has been in his blood.  In 2010, as chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, the ominous LLC Tax was instituted in New Hampshire, Hemingway was a force in helping to have it repealed, to the delight of small business owners who were the ones to be deeply affected."

That's just a sample of the great editorial.

Secretary of State William Gardner is predicting a 20 percent turnout today with more than three times as many Republicans voting as Democrats (about 145,000 to 45,000).  The more undeclared voters (they are called Independents in some states) who take a Republican ballot, the better it has to be for Hemingway.  After all, he's displayed the type of passion and clarity which should especially appeal to undeclared voters whom Republicans will need if they are to unseat the ethically challenged Hassan in November.

I see it's 5:40, so I'm off to Memorial High School to cast that early vote for Andrew Hemingway.

Won't you join me?  

 

Monday
Sep082014

Greg Moore (And O'Brien?) Attack Fellow Republicans

Even before the first vote is cast in the New Hampshire primary, here's a prediction.

If the race for speaker between former Republican speakers Gene Chandler and Bill O'Brien comes down to one vote and if former Rep Mark Proux, from my own Manchester Ward 8, is back and is the decisive vote, then start practing the words, "Speaker Chandler."

In my mail box at 5 p.m. today, I received not one but two particularly vile flyers attacked Mark Proulx from a group called Americans for Prosperity (funded by Harry Reid's number one enemy the Kock brothers).  Yes that would be the group led in New Hampshire by O'Brien acolyte and former Chief of Staff Greg Moore.

Proulx isn't running against me in ward eight, but in the float (Hillsborough district 44) which includes wards 8, 9, and Litchfield (itself a bastard creation due to O'Brien and Moore).  Four candidates are seeking two seats, and my prediction is that both former Senator Andy Martel (after all, he saved CMC) and Proulx will win.  The other two in the field are anti-Common Core Deborah Olszta and Rhonda Lambert (wife of District 18 State Senate candidate George Lambert who will most certainly lose to Robyn Dunphy--I've received two very impressive mailings from her).  

Proulx's "sin" was that as a former firefighter, he voted against O'Brien's in his push for right to work legislation two terms ago.
As a result, Moore apparently has decided to use Koch brothers money not to attack Democrats but to go after a fellow Republican.

I kid you not.

You just can't make this stuff up.

One of the flyers (with a scenic covered bridge) was headlined, "New Hampshire is changing its state motto" from Live free or die to "Join a union or starve."

On the flip side, a fat cat labor boss (presumably) clutches a cigar surrounded by the explanation, "Mark Proulx puts union bosses ahead of New Hampshire families" by "forcing workers to join unions" and "costing New Hampshire thousands of jobs."  

It even lists Proulx's phone number and urges ward 8, 9, and Litchfield voters to call him and ask why he supported union bosses instead of "bringing more jobs and higher wages to New Hampshire."

The other flyer is headlines, "Mark Proulx has not signed the taxpayer protection pledge".  It fails to note that only a small percentage of Republicans have signed such a pledge (yes, I have signed it, and proudly so, but that's another story).

It continues, "Mark Proulx won't support lower taxes" and accuses him of opening the door to:  higher taxes on working families; more government spending; expansion of programs like Obamacare; and forcing jobs in leave our communities.

Wow!  And you might have thought that Republicans would be content to wage political war against Democrats to regain control.
You would be wrong.  Apparently at least Moore and the Kock brothers have decided that there's never a better time to eat your own than the present.

Of course, such filthy last minute attack flyers are nothing new in Republican primaries.  Along with several other Republicans who support marriage equality, I was targeted two years ago, and I suspect Proulx is not alone this year; if Moore and the Kochs have gone after him, rest assured they've got a target list!

Mark Proulx is a good man; although I disagree with him on right to work, I will vote for him tomorrow (now, I may even hold one of his signs) and I suspect he'll win.

Mark Proulx is also no fool; I trust he'll be shown these flyers and will discoverer the fingerprints of not only Greg Moore and the Kochs but also of Bill O'Brien on them.

Don't get me wrong here.  Moore, the Kochs, and OBrien have every right to attack Mark Proulx...just as he will have every right to oppose them when he is elected.

As is so often the case in politics, what goes around comes around, and I suspect Proulx is not the only target.

Let the infighting wars begin.  
Here are two links.

 

Search Results

  1. State Director Greg Moore | AFP - Americans for Prosperity

    americansforprosperity.org/new-hampshire/.../st...
    Americans for Prosperity 
    Greg Moore currently serves as the State Director of Americans for Prosperity andAmericans for Prosperity Foundation in New Hampshire. In this capacity, Greg.

Monday
Sep082014

Regarding Walt's Precarious Patriots' Prediction

 

 Two good reasons to stop rooting for the Pats, alleged triple murderer Aaron Hernandez and girly girl Tom The Condomless Brady.

Here's a question for both sports and political fanatics.  
In fact, it's a question best posed to the numbers crunching fivethirtyeight.com guru Nate Silver (who, by the way, has just upped his odds to 65 percent that Republicans will control the United States Senate come January).

But let's not get sidetracked with politics.  This is a primarily a sports question.

What are the odds that the New England Patriots, yes those same Patriots who were outscored 23-0 in the second half by the Miami Dolphins yesterday, will meet New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein's prediction for the season?

In case you missed it, when asked during Friday night's debate how many games the Patriots would win this year, Havenstein went with "14".

Maybe he labors under the impression that the season is still 14 games long, but one suspects that he knows it's 16.  Thus, for his prediction to come true, the Pats will have to win 14 of their final 15 games.

Any odds on that Nate Silver?

I suspect not, but what this episode really points out is not how bad the Patriots are (Andy Hemingway said 12 games; I was mouthing 9 at the TV screen), but how silly it is for political reporters to force sports onto candidates.

In this case, Channel 9's Josh MeElveen is the guilty party.
In the waning moments of a political debate, do we really need to see how far each candidate will pander when it comes to the Pats?

I suspect not, but an even more important question would be--why should the Patriots have any die-hard fans left.

For the first time in 45 years, since I was a freshman at Plymouth State College in 1969, I was not upset when the Patriots lost yesterday...because for a variety of reasons, I have decided to no longer root for the Patriots.

In an era when many teams have to suspend players for beating their wives and lovers, the Patriots stand out as the only team which had an alleged triple murderer on the squad just a few years ago.  Of course, he had only killed two people (allegedly) while he was hauling in those Brady passes.
At the very least, the almighty Bob Kraft displayed terrible judgement in shelling out millions for a murderer (alleged).

But that's not the only faux pas from Kraft.  In the wake one of the worst cheating scandals in NFL history (filmgate for which Bill Belichick was fined a cool half million), Kraft stuck with his cheating coach.

So too, sadly, did most Patriot fans, including me.

Lest we forget, Brady the Great long ago proved that he is hardly a role model.  Not that I'm a prude (after all, I was a leading advocate of gay marriage), but how long must Patriot fans continue the practice of hero worshiping a guy who just couldn't keep it in his pants, producing one son with super model Gisele Bundchen and another with super model Briget Mohnahan.

Instead of Tom Terrific, long ago we should have referred to him as Tom The Condomless.

Then there was the matter of Gizele, who apparently was the motivating force behind Brady's Fabio-like hair style a few years ago, blaming Brady's teammates for the Super Bowl loss to the Giants, as if the teammates caused a safety by intentionally grounding a ball from the end zone.

Now, apparently this year, the super model prefers the bearded look...although bulletin, bulletin...this just in...in the wake of yesterday's 33-20 loss to Miami, Brady has shaved today.
Enough is enough...at least for me.  There are lots of there NFL teams to root for if root we must.  Actually, during the World Cup, I learned that one could actually enjoy a sporting event even more by passing on the need to root (I liked the French an Brazilians, but the Germans ruled and rightly so).

Here's my pledge--I'll stop rooting for any team when it is found guilty of a major cheating scandal or when one of it's players is most likely guilty of at least three murders.

Should this cost me political points, so be it.  Apparently Walt Havenstein believes that the only way to curry political favor is to pad the number of Patriot wins when asked.  One can only wonder what he would have said if the question regarded the Red Sox.  

160 wins perhaps.

If truth be known, I would prefer a candidate who could analyze a sports situation on the run rather than pander.  9 or 10 wins would have been the better answer, but the best answer of all would have been to acknowledge that the New England Patriots have long since forfeited their right to demand our respect, let alone our cheers.

If you must know, Josh, that's what the candidates should have told you.  "The Patriots?  I'm a Packers fan, Josh, and they'll win nine or ten, like most other good teams.  Not 14."

Brady and his two super model mothers.

Monday
Sep082014

This Week's Trivia--How To Convict Them All

 

As far as I'm concerned, it's about time David Letterman retires.  He's become particulary unfunny these days (unfunny--that's not a real word, but it should be--and it perfectly describes Letterman in his waning months at CBS).

On the other hand, I love, simply love, Craig Ferguson who follows Letterman at 12:37 p.m.  For a late night burst of energy and fun, there's nothing better, and I will miss him tremendously.  He's "keeping it classy all the way to Christmas" but will then part ways with CBS, taking his gay robot Geoff and Secretariat, the horse who's not really a horse, along with him.  

Last Friday, Ferguson actually admitted that the front half of the horse is paid more than the back half.  Why? Because the front half has to act more, like shaking his head.  

Only Craig Ferguson could pull it off.

He also delivered a hilarious (slightly off color, so be forewarned) joke about the U.S. Open Tennis Tourney.  In response to a long match, he noted that the last time fuzzy balls were swatted back and forth for so long was at....Geoff should answer here...a Ricky Martin pool party.  If you don't think that's funny, Craig is probably not your cup of tea.  I laughed out loud.

Yes, I confess, I love Craig Ferguson; maybe I'll get to sleep an hour earlier when he leaves in December; he's truly irreplaceable.

But this is supposed to be trivia time, not an homage to the departing "keeping it classy all the way to Christmas" late night legend.

So here's a real question.

Which former prosecutor, promoting a new fictional book, recently told Ferguson?

"I have turned to fiction to control the outcome."  

In other words, the guilty can actually be convicted in fiction.  Great stuff!  (I scribbled the line down on a crossword puzzle I was doing at the time and have carried it around far too long).

No choices, but a two-letter hint should suffice.

OJ

Yes, of course the answer is the prosecutor who failed to convict OJ, Marcia Clark.  Before she moved on to fiction, she provided us with her take on the O.J. trial; it's on my O.J. book shelf.  Sad to see from google, you can purchase it now for less than two dollars.

Ferguson, as welll as being outrageous with Geoff and Secretariat, is a better than average interviewer, as he proved with the answer to this week's trivia, the L.A. prosector who became wealthy by losing.  You just can't make this stuff up.

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