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Cohorts And Groupies. 

I'm going to start this blog out with an experience that I had in the NH House. The political scene was this: Speaker Harold W. Burns was leaving reportedly to become Insurance Commissioner under the Merrill Administration (it didn't work out) thus leaving the leadership endorsed candidate, Majority Leader David Scanlan against another candidate that had run unsuccessfully before and had clashed with leadership numerous times and this was Salem's Donna Sytek.

This was an interesting race because it was always a 50/50 split and both candidates literally had to work to get that 1% but what was more interesting is that despite the tug-of war it never turned nasty and negative, and it easily could have. Especially in a race that was this close.

The matter was settled when Scanlan ended losing his primary.

And what was the first thing Speaker Sytek did upon getting her hands on the powerful gavel.

Appoint what I think is half the house into either leadership position(s); or a position that directly answers to the leadership. And as you might imagine there was alot of whispering going on with some of the appointments bordering on the absurd. For example, Rep. Gregory Carson was appointed a Whip for Technology his role was to make sure that legislators had access to technology in the Statehouse complex among other duties. I never sensed Rep. Carson had the ability to turn a computer on never mind advance issues in technology like wireless networking or interactive websites, etc.

The Sytek organizational chart with all it's Chiefs worked quite well until the Indians in the delegation, like me started voting against the leadership on a regular basis effectively killing numerous pieces of legislation right on the house floor. For example Gov. Shaheen's ABC Educational Bill passed (I voted for it). And the similar Sytek Plan failed. This happened not because of the strength of the arguments on either side but because the Sytek leadership model was unravelling. This is the structural problem when there is too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. It's one of the oldest leadership mistakes known in the world. I don't believe Sytek was ever able to get in control again it's almost like the inertia started downward and she did nothing to stop it. Perhaps she refused to see the signs or what was really happening, or, her advisors were giving her wrong information. Lastly, I never sensed that she ever held her subordinates accountable for anything this is problem too.

It would appear that Gov. Elect Hassan is going down the same path as Speaker Donna Sytek. And yet again today another announcement for yet another 'Outreach Team.' Charged with advising the to be Governor on the issues of the day. This time in issues like Transportation and northern New Hampshire.

If history has any bearing here then this strategy cannot work.


Reader Comments (6)

Maggie Hassan's "inclusion" approach is a good one. Confident leaders do not need to rule. They understand that by sharing input, by seeking it out, by including people of all types -- all philosophies -- all backgrounds -- in the decision-making process is a good way to achieve consensus. And to do good deeds. We should be cheering that, and become each other's cheerleaders.
December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim Splaine

You must be confused about who you were talking about because Greg Carson, the former State Rep from Londonderry, was the CTO for Priceline.com and has a number of US Patents for Internet technolog, I'm pretty sure he knew how to turn-on a computer.
December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Keene
Well he sure didn't demonstate it in the NH House of Representatives. Now I can see why he was appointed to leadership.
December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteven J. Connolly
Is this the inclusion like placing special needs coded students in the classroom. No Child Left Behind has been a stunning example of success. That's why most States are making a swift exodus. Your arguement might have some merit if the Gov. Elect were appointing qualified and experienced individuals to serve on these teams but this isn't the case.
December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteven J. Connolly
Sounds a little like sour grapes there Steve, but I'm sure Greg has a few million reasons not to care about a no-name blogger. I talked to him not long after my post this afternoon...he had no idea who you were or that you were even a state rep. Apparently you have your reasons but apparently no one seems to care - how sad for you.
December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Keene
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come on to my blog and piss on the floor.

If Rep. Carson is as powerful and productive as you say that he is then I'm sure it will be an easy matter for you to explain, with detail exactly what he accomplished in a leadership position in the NH House of Representatives. I was there and I did not see anything. I'll also make this same arguement for much of the Sytek leadership team: ranging from Majority Leader Wheeler to Deputy Speaker DonnaLee Lozeau. Speaker Sytek employed a top down, total control, micromanaged leadership model. This is my point which you conviently ignored.

It's much easier to be a coward isn't it Mr. Keene. Your attitude is also symptomatic of what is wrong with the Republican Party: Mitt Romney is wealthy therefor he must be successful. This is sad if not pathetic, likely both.

To your personal attacks: "not to care about a no-name blogger." Again thanks for pissing on my floor. I've been blogging on this site for how many years now including how much feedback from how many places including New Hampshire. I think social media like NHInsider is a valuable tool to advance, influence and shape important issues of the day.

But it's also clear you're too ignorant and self-centered to understand this. Sad for you and sad for the state of the Republican Party.
December 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterSteven J Connolly

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