Steven J Connolly


Decision Time. 

This morning I was reading in the Concord Monitor about the challenges of NH Budget Writers in the upcoming Biennium.

Challenge here is an understatement. Impossibility is the better term.

I think this state is approaching disaster yet, no one is talking about it!

This is a letter to the editor I'm thinking about sending. I'm still working on an employment endeavor in Canada so I'm trying to not move into too many directions at once. And right now NH politics isn't a very good direction to be moving in.

To The Editor:

The upcoming legislative session in New Hampshire will prove decisive in showing either the way forward or the way backward. The granite state is $400 million dollars in deficit as Gov. Maggie Hassan proposes some $2.6 billion in new spending, this amid an expansion of programmes like expanded Medicaid.

This level of spending and debt isn't sustainable or good policy. But it is however, what Gov. Hassan clearly wants for New Hampshire: big government, big spending and a taxation heavy "innovation economy." The vote on the state budget will show exactly which way New Hampshire is heading. Local legislators like Rep. Brad Bailey,Rep. Linda Massimilla and Rep.-elect Erin Hennessey all campaigned on themes of "supporting the North Country."

It will be interesting to see if these legislators demonstrate any real independence and leadership or simply talk like parrots and go along with the big spending and innovative governor. My guess is that it will be the later.



To Respect Florence. New Endeavor. 

I'm sure there won't be a heck of a lot of NH political content in this blog, but I'm still going to move forward. This morning I got up early and left New Hampshire for an out of state job interview. I'm pleased that it went well.

There are still a few details, but at this point it looks like I'll be working outside of New Hampshire in about a month and a half. 

After the interview I ended up finding an interesting art/coffee shop which was right up the road from my new perspective employer. For whatever reason I decided to stop, hopefully the coffee would be of Starbucks or Kureg quality... in this world how could it not be!Florence, Italy

In any case I went into this place and other than an some people huddled intently around a laptop the place seemed deserted. There wasn't anyone behind the counter, but they did have a really good selection of coffee and...

Some really cool art/paintings on the walls of Florence, Italy. Most cool."Can I help you" I hear a voice call out, I'm assuming it's for me. I think the laptop commandos are more or less preoccupied, at least this is my sense. I'm still looking at Florence, Italy and I turn around to a lady who reminds of 1960s Woodstock, Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, and "I'm looking for a coffee and espresso shot." Ask And You Shall Recieve. Espresso Goes Good In Coffee

"What size she says."

"A medium" I respond, and believe it or not I'm not even thinking about the sales tax I'm going to have to pay as the result of this decision, and it was good coffee indeed.







It's Not Bad. It's Politics. 

I'm just finishing watching the Shaheen vs. Brown debate on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. I don't know where politics is going in this state but I'm starting to think these "debates" are nothing more than an agreement between the networks and the respective campaigns for reduced advertising space in exchange for 45 minutes of reality tv which in turn, sells merchandising and advertising.

I think Scott Brown fell mostly on his face. Especially when he was asked "yes" or "no"whether he supports raising the minimum wage. He responded by telling a story about working at Dunkin Doughnuts. His comment(s) about outsourcing the second amendment to the UN deserves some scrutiny as well.

I'm not defending Shaheen either. However, as I've previously reported on this very board is that Shaheen has been in politics long enough to know to come prepared to a debate, especially with her short, pointed answers.

One of them actually floored me. The question was about health care and she stated that "90,000 had signed up for Obama care and that they were better off." This is interesting, I wonder if this statement can be independently verified?

Do you know of anyone in New Hampshire that has signed up for Obama Care? Are they better off?

I was going to use the rest of this blog to outline what my own adventures have been with signing up for Obama Care. So far it has been alot like this U.S. Senate debate and what politics in this state has become.

Everything has been outsourced including the future.




To Rule From The Top. 

This probably won't be the most organized blog I've ever done but here I go!

I haven't been in elected office since 1998 but I'm still on the mailing list for the NH Challenge newspaper which is a small newsletter dedicated primarily to individuals that face challenges in New Hampshire, whether this is Downs Syndrome, Autism or an accident victim in a wheelchair facing years of rehabilitation.

The elections are near and this month's issue is about the candidates which, I think says alot about their true characters. Let's start with the gubernatorial race. The candidates were asked about their position(s) and policy about issues like disabilities and moving forward in New Hampshire. Gov. Hassan Position On Disabilities Is Quality. It's Too Bad That She Can't Run Other Issues This Way.

Gov. Hassan gave some really good answer(s). Much of what she stated had to do with personal empowerment and giving individuals a chance to lead an "independent life." Hassan talked about various policy issues such as Medicaid II and an attempt to "delay it's implementation"for strategic reasons. I'm not a Gov. Hassan supporter, but on this issue she is getting something right.

Walt Havenstein didn't even bother responding to the question(s) poised. The authors at NH Challengedid some research into the Havenstein campaign and from what they've said, Havenstein has never taken any type of position or made a statement about anyone that has a "disability."

The State Senate candidates didn't do much better; a majority of them didn't respond, even some like Sen. Jeff Woodburn, District #1 that were contacted at least three (3) times to find out what his position(s) were on issues described in NH Challenge newspaper.

Three times.

Sen. Woodburn seems to have endless time to babble and fluff in the Coos County Democrat with 3/4 page interviews and he seems to love to talk into the microphone and listen to himself talk at WLTN radio in Littleton but, he can't respond to a question that has been asked three times?

Political affiliation regardless I think politicians like Havenstein, Woodburn are individuals that essentially want to rule from the top. Issues and people that aren't convenient simply don't exist.  



Garcia Should Lose. 

I'm really disapointed in both campaigns for the Second Congressional District. I tried to start watching Rep. Annie Kuster and her Republican opponent Marilinda Garcia, and their "debate" if it even can be called this.

To me it was more like a small minded, petty cat fight. This Is What The Kuster-Garcia Debate Reminds Me Of.

Garcia should lose this race simply because not only could she not "rise above it."she hasn't done anything to prove her critics are wrong in their statements that she isn't experienced enough to be a member of Congress.

An example: Garcia made a gaffe in her statement about the possibility of the capitol corridor rail project. "I'll have to get back to you on this she said." She never got back.If Garcia Can't Run A Political Campaign How Can She Be An Effective Member Of Congress?

Instead one of the Garcia paid staffers issued a press release stating that "Garcia supported the rail project."

This isn't leadership especially since there are literally reams of information readily available. Ranging from academic sources like MIT to railroad companies that have studied the very same issue. Except Garcia isn't interested in substance her presentation shows this.

I'm not defending Annie Kuster either, but she is the incumbent and has the political experience and battle works around her as a defense. This is what has to be attacked and it wasn't.

I'm ready to call this race as well. I think a substantial number of "undecideds won't even bother voting" in this congressional race. I'll go with 45% for Garcia and Kuster 53%. And it not that Kuster will have a good night, it's because Garcia is not running a campaign that goes anywhere.

Literally. And I don't care how much she pays herself.