One of the things that has always fascinated me about politics is the source of power, where power comes from and more importantly how power evolves.
I’ve often overlaid this power basis against issues that are important to me. On this day I’m interested in Item #111 which was recently tabled by the Executive Council relative to a state rail contract on the line to Bennington.
I’m really wondering what the power base is, how the decision will be made and ultimately what the politics of this whole issue is. “It’s in Councilor Pignatelli’s district so I’ll be considering a lot of her information.” said Councilor Ray Burton in response to my question about his position on item #111.
I’m going to keep this blog short, it’s too nice outside but the vote is still on the 15thwhich isn’t too far away. I think Executive Councilor Pignatelli is in an important position here, a position that could advance or defeat this very issue. And here is my current political speculation assuming item #111 is removed from the table:
It’s in her district so ultimately everything will come back to her. Whether this is jobs created or the line sits rusting for the next 2 ½ years and the vote is yea or nay.
Yea Pan Am Railways gets the state contract as recommended by the NH Department of Transportation the line is reactivated sees new life customers and at least 15 fulltime jobs created followed by at least 20 more. Pignatelli makes a political enemy in the rail lines former leasor Rep. Peter Leishman; a once Republican turned Democrat but this is still enough to impact the re-election chances for Pignatelli. And if Pan Am Railways fails to deliver on what it’s stated in the contract application…
Nea A lot of voters and people could care less about 18 miles of rusting rail somewhere west of Nashua. This isn’t a front burner item anyway. Rep. Leishman could be granted the contract and his Milford-Bennington Railroad could somehow reactivate the rail service, somehow negotiate freight rates with Pan Am Railways from their interchange hub in Nashua and then meet all the NH DOT capital and marketing requirements as stated in its contract application. I don’t see how the Milford-Bennington Railroad could do all this and still turn any profit. How many voters in Councilor Pignatelli’s district would base their re-election vote for her on the outcome of #111. I don’t think very many. I also don’t think the Gov. Hassan ‘Innovation Tour.’ will make a whistle stop on the 18 miles of state owned iron road somewhere west of Nashua.
I’m still hoping for a Yea vote.
This would be the best for New Hampshire.