Pfaff not Fluff and Boutin.


Please be advised that in this blog I’m going to be discussing my own experiences in addition to the issues presented, I believe this discussion is divisible; but I still don’t want to  co mingle fact, opinion and fiction. –SC.

I’ll start by asking a question: Who is going to win the upcoming Republican primary for State Senate District Number 16?

I have my opinion or at least who should win on the basis of my experience as a freshman legislator in the NH General Court. And this experience began on or about December 15, 1994 during freshman orientation at the Statehouse.  And I was a freshman in every sense of the word. My knowledge of the legislative process was from attending a few transportation hearings in the LOB and talking with lobbyists like Littleton native Dick Boulet, I’d never heard of Mason’s Rules of Legislative Procedure, or even had the simplest knowledge of parliamentary procedure or even to correct way to read the state budget bill namely, H.B.1 and then, as if this isn’t already enough, compound this with a large, intimidating house followed by a cadre of professional lobbyists and statehouse staffers, it was challenge just being in the Statehouse never mind trying to represent Grafton County District #1; which was the towns of Bethlehem, Littleton and Monroe.

During orientation I think the first two individuals I met were Rep. Mike Whalley and Rep. Terry Pfaff both were in the house leadership under Speaker Harold Burns and if I had to name one word that could characterize both of these experienced legislators it would be patience. It was hectic during orientation and the pace would only increase as organization day approached and the session began, basically the house leadership had a lot to do in a very short amount of time. And both Reps. Whalley, Pfaff excelled at their positions. In addition to being a source of information about policy and procedure both of these legislators would actually take the time to explain why something, like an LSR would or would not work and what the realities were and are in the world’s third largest legislative body. Not everyone in the leadership was like this, especially as some of the committee chairman if not all displayed the polite attitude that freshman are to be brushed aside, politics is a brutal business and not the place for the inexperienced, which I clearly was.

Later during some of the more contentious house sessions I’d get a chance to see these two legislators in action and why they were so good at what they did. Again if I had to define these actions by one word that word would be negotiation. When there was a difficult piece of legislation or the leadership was in danger of losing a vote on the floor, which became more and more frequent both Whalley and Pfaff always seemed to know where the dissention was and quickly worked to put out the fire, they knew where the fire was and why it had started.

To Be Continued…