Continued from Previous…
Both Reps. Whalley and Pfaff would continue their legislative careers. I think if Whalley had lived he would have been minority leader or speaker. Pfaff would later become Chief of Staff to Speaker Gene Chandler.
My impression of former Rep. David Boutin is extensively less. Rep. Boutin was a freshmen as I was in 1994. I met him briefly during orientation and asked him why he ran for the house he said that he had worked in special projects for Manchester Mayor Ray Wieczorek; he never stated what these special projects were and it my sense during this conversation that for Boutin running for the house was just another step forward in the process of ambition. I never sensed during this time that Boutin had any real interest(s) in the issues, legislation, etc. He would later go to work for the now failed presidential campaign of Lamar Alexander. I think the freshman legislator was on his way to what I’d describe his true purpose of being in the NH House of Representatives, get to the front.
During my first term Rep. Boutin was never a presence in the house, I don’t think many freshman are especially in the experienced, deeply entrenched speakership of Harold Burns but this would begin to change in the closing months of the biennium when it appeared that the speaker would be leaving his position to be nominated as insurance commissioner. And it was right about this time that Rep. Boutin would make a political misstep that would cost him dearly, and a political move that I think shows what this individual is all about.
The organization of the house is such that the more senior members generally get the more preferred seats in the chamber. Some of the coveted areas are the front rows near the well or rostrum, and the aisle seats in any division. So, naturally the death of a senior member, or in this case Rep. Roland Salada opened up a front row seat in division 4 just to the right of the speaker’s chair. By rights or at least fairness the empty seat should be assigned to another ranking senior member of the house or at the very least a committee chairman, vice-chairman, etc. and most certainly not assigned to a freshman. And you’ll probably never guess who ended up with this seat.
Rep. David Boutin.
My seat was in division four (4-60) which has nice view of rostrum but a seat that is nothing spectacular. Well, I can tell you that Rep. Boutin getting this seat angered a lot of legislators in my division, some of which had served in the house 4-5 terms including supporting various iniatives of the house leadership. I never heard what the political reasons were for Boutin getting this seat but I did hear from quite a few supporters of Donna Sytek for Speaker. And the rumor went like this: “If Donna Sytek gets elected, David Boutin will need a pair of running shoes to get to the well.” I don’t know if there is any truth to this rumor. But I do know that Rep. Donna Sytek did become Speaker of the House and on organization day in 1996 I saw Rep. David Boutin sitting in the back of the house wearing a pair of worn out sneakers around his head.
To Be Continued…