Steven J Connolly


A Culture Of Control. 


Former State Representative and County Commissioner Dean Dexter penned in an editorial to the Union Leader which appeared today highly critical of millionaires that decide to run for office in New Hampshire.

So Dexter shows how and why individuals like Craig Benson, Bill Bennie and the embattled state Republican chairman ultimately fail because the environment in the Statehouse not being like a business where orders are given and directives are completed. In other words Mr. Dexter essentially says, to be successful in the statehouse a policymaker has to simply go along with the flow or the established hierarchy of the way things are run. Negotiating skills.


My own experience as a legislator, the way things are run by NH Insiders like Mr. Dexter and the cadre of lobbyists and law firms that surround the statehouse like a chain linked fence. And precisely the reason why nothing is either done or unless it benefits one of the chosen few.

And don't ask any questions they don't seem to like that. Especially their beloved revenue estimates.

Then Mr. Dexter seems to go off on some sort of anti-business diatribe in which he explains how state government works and how "it can't run like a business, it isn't a business." And it isn't a business unless you're a NH Insider then its just a matter or politics and being on the inside track to make something happen. It seems to me that Mr. Dexter doesn't like outsiders or those that would dare to enter the sphere of policy control in New Hampshire. They have it the way that they like it.

At least the citizens of New Hampshire know where they stand.


Let The Revenue Flow In. 


So today I spent some time analyzing slot machine revenues from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control website at:

Some interesting trends here.

For starters revenue for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and my own direct experience visiting the Sands Bethworks casino two times in the past year. Regional economic development and jobs.

Here is just a quick example of my findings:

Slot Revenues and a 34% tax rate and a comparison between two months of July/August 2011 at the Sands Bethworks Casino in Bethlehem, Pa. I picked the Sands Bethworks Casino because I think it demonstrates the greatest example of redevelopment namely, an abandoned Bethlehem Steel mill in the Lehigh Valley.

7/4/2011 (34%)  $1,968,119.06    Year to Date  $3,119,166.77

8/4/2011 (34%)  $1,854,752.32    Year to Date  $10,644,442.94

Source: Pa. Gaming Control Spreadsheets.

And if your wondering why there is a jump in total tax revenue collected between July and August is because I have not included the other three weeks worth of tax revenue that is going into the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from this casino.

Why can't New Hampshire do this?

This is just from slot machines. I can make a similar argument for the revenue that is collected from table games and the sales taxes collected on the food and fine wines in the restaurants like Emiril Lagase right there in what was an abandoned, decrepit hulk of a property on the banks of the Lehigh River.

I'll tell you why because New Hampshire has super tea party legislators like Rep. Vaillancourt and former Senator Jim Rubens and their do nothing, have nothing attitude. This is really moving New Hampshire forward isn't it?

It isn't.



Cornerstone Prop Bet. 


So I'm reading the Boston Globe and the political developments concerning expanded casino gaming in Massachusetts. If passed, I'm confident will meet with results similar to what the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is now experiencing:



State Revenue Growth.

Proactive policy for the future and imagine that. Nearby Maine is also poised to pass similar legislation actually, the former textile mills in Lewiston is the proposed site for yet another multi million dollar casino proposal and doesn't take a degree in rocket science to see where this will lead. Then in New Hampshire comes this:

"Commenting on these developments was Cornerstone Action Executive Director, Kevin Smith:"

“Once again, our neighbor to the south is leading the way in how not to grow an economy and improve the quality of life for its citizens. At the same time, with Massachusetts now saturating the casino market with four new facilities, along with Maine considering adding two more casinos in addition to their existing two, it should be abundantly clear to lawmakers here that there is no market for casinos in New Hampshire – and the Granite State is better off for it.”

I'm curious as to how Mr. Smith could support any of these statements with reality. I don't think he can. This is like saying that there are ski areas in Maine and Vermont and therefor there is no market for skiing in New Hampshire. And it's clear that the societal thinker Mr. Smith doesn't know anything about consumer behavior or the demographics of the gaming market because if he did he wouldn't be saying stupidity like this.

And he actually wants to be a candidate for Governor of New Hampshire

This is a prop bet. And a bad one at that.  




Clement Vote. 


Revealed in the Union Leader that DOT Commissioner nominee applied for $300 million dollars of stimulus federal funds without submitting so much as a spreadsheet as to the reason the funds were requested. (It was for trains that will run between Boston and Concord.)

Is this an example of how to run state government or what.

Bravo to Councilors Wheeler and Sununu for voting against Clement.

Clement showed his true colors when asked why he applied for the funding for an as yet undefined, and unsupported project (wonder how happy the 75% respondents in the UNH survey would be if they learned their taxes are increasing because of this rail idea).

"Commissioner Campbell told me to do it." Restatement. said Clement.

Instead of demonstrating leadership and promising to find the information and/or reasoning for this important policy move he simply passed the buck. Too much of this goes on.



The Departure. 


I'm not sure if he was behind the move but New Hampshire Business newspaper is reporting that Dawn Wivell is departing state government. If Commissioner George Bald was the moving party in this particular case:

Kudos to Commissioner George Bald!

The newspaper article stated that the Wivell position will not be replaced. So is this not only good news to the idea of saving taxpayers money but I believe the improvement of commerce in NH related to international trade and markets. So why might I say this? New Hampshire should not be in the trade recruitment business just like it shouldn't be in the ski area business. Not only are the markets dynamic and sophisticated enough to allow the international trade process to happen state government actually gets in the way. New Hampshire doesn't need this office and its overhead costs. Companies and entrepreneurs are going to come to New Hampshire when the capital, markets and sales potential are there state government doesn't need to be involved with this process. So I'm glad Ms. Wivell is leaving.

Next on deck should be Industrial Agents.

This may not be the title for these position(s). However, DRED still employs them. These are regionally based business recruiters. There can be some arguement for the value of their positions however, I think they should be converted to a commission sales position. So instead of the fixed state salary the agent would recieve a commission for every job and/or gross aggregate economic development project that was completed.

An idea for the future.

The departure of Dawn Wivell says to me that there can be positive change for the future the Romanesque emporers that are in power in New Hampshire don't run everything, forever and this is good.