Stacey Cole Tough.

This won't be the most well organized blog I've ever done on nhinsider.com but I wanted to write a few words out of great respect and admiration for the passing of Stacey Cole aged 92. 

This actually happened 20 years ago when I was a freshmen in the New Hampshire House. I'm sure very similar to many freshmen legislators I went into the statehouse with too much idealism, self-worth, ideas, visions and a naive view of what serving in the NH House of Representatives is all about.

Deputy Speaker Stacey Cole solved all of these issues for me and I respect him greatly for this. 

So it goes like this. I submitted an LSR dealing with the movement of solid waste by rail across Vermont and into New Hampshire, including a study committee to consider how this would improve landfills, garbage and the rail networks that these were on. Vermont is doing a similar study on their side of the river.

It got refereed to the wrong committee. I'd think since it was a transportation type of bill it would have gone to either transportation or public works. It didn't it got sent to environment and agriculture.

So I decided to appeal this assignment and under house rules the Deputy Speaker was "responsible for assignment of legislation(LSRs)."   Now let's forward to the meeting in the Deputy Speaker's office on the third floor. Rep. Cole is clearly an experienced, knowledgeable legislator; I think he got his first political appointment in 1959 and has political experience in Washington and Concord in strategic areas ranging from petroleum to timber harvesting. 

So in I go..... I explain to the Deputy Speaker that I felt that this LSR had been assigned to the "wrong committee." And I'll never forget the response that I received: the best way I can describe this would be like a mouse putting on boxing gloves, going into the ring and questioning Mike Tyson about his abilities as a professional boxer. I can remember walking down the hallway afterwards thinking, this wasn't a question of being handed my ass because I never had an ass to begin with. 

Not once did the Deputy Speaker ever raise his voice, not once was there any emotion but he certainly did make it this very clear. Very professionally and very diplomatically. And I could tell throughout that the Deputy Speaker had deep respect for the institution, it's values and what it's role is in New Hampshire. 

I think in today's world it is very easy to forget this. 

But I'll never forget Rep. Stacey Cole. 

My LSR was killed not a week later.