This past week I had an experience that at first really bothered me but after thinking about it, understand why it's happening but I still don't like it.
A quick story: During my two terms in the NH House of Representatives one of the things I did regularly was write letters to the editor, namely the Caledonian Record newspaper based in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. I knew the Editor back then, Ellie Dixon and her husband Prof. Bob Dixon was a 40 year veteran of the Political Science Department at Lyndon State College and I knew him as well. So I wrote letters to the Editor and they were all published.
Fast forward to 2014: I'm no longer in elected office or NH politics for that matter and the Dixons have long since retired. I'm now a blogger on NHInsider.com and what I'd term very unhappy with the two major policymakers that affect my life and these are Gov. Maggie Wood Hassan and Senator Jeff Woodburn from District #1.
To This end this past winter I decided to send in some Letters To The Editor at the Caledonian Record and it's Editor a Mr. Dana Grey. So I sent in the first letter and Mr. Grey called me to verify it. The content of my letter was simply a much shorter version of what appears in my blogs, especially critical of the Gov. Hassan 'Innovation Programme.' Mr. Grey asked me "If you accept the contents of the letter." which I did, but found his question a bit strange almost like I had done something wrong, like speaking out against the state government. So my letter got published and what few people I know in my local community gave me praise for saying the things I did.
So I'm thinking this is good, so I submitted another letter this one about the pending gas tax increase. It took them three weeks to contact me and then once verified another two weeks to get it printed. The legislation had almost passed the Senate vote; which considering the issue I think is interesting. It's almost like they waited before it was too late to do anything and then they published the letter. Now the legislation is over in the NH House of Representatives, where I've submitted a letter against this gas tax increase in hopes that the voters will exact a 'NO' vote from their legislator. The Caledonian Record hasn't contacted about the letter neither have they admitted that they've even received it when I contacted the news desk recently.
Is this an example of censorship? I don't know the answer to this question. Perhaps in their mind someone that isn't in elected office doesn't have the right to be critical of the administration that was duly elected and in the performance of their position(s). Another way to look at this might be that my position is simply a distraction or might be against what the Editor of the newspaper wants to portray and report on.