Steven J Connolly


When Strategy Isn't Enough. 

It must be quite something to be inside the Walt Havenstein for NH Governor campaign. They've got every political resource known, market analysis, pinpoint analysts the capability to amass money and the support of the well established political elite in New Hampshire.

The one thing that this campaign is missing: a clear shot to win.

The primary is over and as one of the 19% that actually voted in this state I still don't have a clear idea as to what Walt wants to do if he is elected. Whether this is the state budget or even the controversial Northern Pass and the towers that will march to the sea. It's probally very interesting to be a part of the Walt Havenstein campaign.

This is one of the problems in being surrounded by 'experts' and establishment. They might actually be analyzing themselves right out the market; or at least an alternative to Gov. Hassan and the power of incumbency that will do well with a low voter turnout in the general election which, with a 30% statewide turnout will be more than stunning.



Not Far Behind. 

Everett, Mass. got a good boost last week with the granting of a expanded gaming license and the construction of a new Wynn Casino. This is will be a real and needed economic revitalization for this area.

But like all things political not everyone wins unfortunately. Suffolk Downs Will Be Closing In December. I'll Predict Rockingham Park Won't Be Far Behind

Suffolk Downs which has been running since 1935 has announced that it is scaling back and closing permanently in December. Part of this is sad but the reality has been known for a long time: thoroughbred horse racing, as an industry and sport is dying. I've been in Kentucky and it's dying down there. Farms that have been breeding race horses for generations are either being sold or subdivided into to condos and manufactured housing. The only horse racing tracks that are succeeding are the ones like Penn National that are anchored by a nearby casino operation(s) where a portion of the revenue has to be dedicated to the track.

I've been to Rockingham Park in Salem and Scarborough Downs in Scarborough, Maine recently, my prediction  is that unless something happens within the next 1-2 years both of these tracks, like Suffolk Downs will close as well.

Their histories are similar to that of Suffolk.




Throwing Rose Petals. 

For whatever reason(s) I'm still thinking about the 19% voter turnout for the recent primary, actually in northern NH it was lower than this, it was closer on average to about a 11.5% turnout.

Either the voters had a decisive reason for not voting such as work or they are/were generally pleased with the way things are running in the granite state. My guess continues to be the latter.

The Recent Election Turnout Was Poor. This Elevates The Position And Stature of Gov. Hassan.Case in point. Gov. Hassan is going to be in town this week and all of the politicos in town whether this is Republican or Democrat are throwing rose petals for her. I've been reading all week 'Guest Editorials' praising Gov. Hassan and what the future may bring for the north country.

Honorarium befit a saint or saintlike stature.

I think the statistics of 81% percent of the NH population not even voting possibly creates this environment.

Guess it works for them.


When The Taxpayers Win. 

Spent part of the morning researching an unfounded rumor. In any case the rumor went like this: The paper mill in Gorham, New Hampshire's last surviving paper manufacturer has reportedly gone through significant challenges ranging from market conditions, to fuel prices and finally the basis of the rumor: being over-valued and overtaxed by both the NH Department of Revenue Administration and the Town of Gorham.

And what I heard which I can't confirm is that New Hampshire Public Radio reported that the mill owner had appealed both of its tax assessments before the Board of Tax and Land Appeals; and they prevailed they won!!!!

With the judgement resulting in not only the return of some $4.7 million dollars of overpayment and the removal of tax liens and interest penalities. Hearing this I immediately went over to the BTLA website looking for the case and found nothing. I also looked on the NHPR website for any information about this tax case nothing there either.

This is the problem in listening to "rumors" but it would still be good if the taxpayer could win.


Not Content With This. 

In a past, more recent blog I've made the statement that most people are content with the way NH is running. I do think that if a study were done the results would bear this out. If there were a comparison with NH, Massachusetts and Connecticut-- the results would show that New Hampshire is still ahead in alot of areas.

I'm thinking in metrics like quaility of life, comparative taxation, crime, health, schools, etc.  Both Massachusetts and Connecticut are heavily taxed so of course their schools will offer mandarin Chinese and advanced calculus. But consider how much higher the taxes really are down there.

But I'm still not content with the way New Hampshire is running, I think more could be done in this state without more tax revenue coming into Concord.

This has to be a discussion about leadership.

In the meantime, this is a letter to the editor that I'm working on: It Could Be Much Better In New Hampshire

To The Editor:

  It's interesting to listen to Sen. Jeff Woodburn discuss optimism and his re-election campaign, especially with his record of failure across District#1.

  Northern NH is a challenging region many of the resources available in the southern tier are not here. This is both good and bad. A saying at town meetings, "If life is so much better in Massachusetts then why don't you go there." This is good advise. Elected officials need to understand this.

  Sen. Woodburn doesn't understand this. Consider his voting record for the increased and unneeded gas tax, inaction on the PSNH Northern Pass and his continual if not slavish support for Gov. Maggie Wood Hassan and the NH innovation economy. A socialistic scheme that increases the size and intrusion of state government at the direct expense to the taxpayer. Just like what is done in Massachusetts.