Steven J Connolly

Friday
Feb012013

Words As Weapons.

Words as Weapons isn't a substitute for effective leadership.Let’s see how do I offer a compliment and hurl an insult in one sentence.

As a communicator NH GOP Chair Horn is effective if not awesome but I still don’t like her.

It’s clear from the press release below that not only is she in control of the situation but the words are actually weapons and she knows how to use them, effective in politics just pick up the weapon and fight!

But words and fighting as interesting as it may be to consider isn’t any long term substitute for organizational and financial leadership which not only the NH GOP needs but also happens to be the weakness in the Horn portfolio.

New Hampshire could be in a worse position.

If I were to guess I see the GOP Chairman making life very difficult for the Democratic Leadership which like her are under pressure to produce, especially the corner office. I see the new governor being handed her first strategic defeat in the upcoming casino legislation, which is poor self-centered legislation at best. And it should be interesting to see how Gov. Hassan handles this. I think Hassan will pull a Harmid Karzai-- tell everyone there will be a response like an air strike but the whole intention is to head for the hills and save her own skin. Better yet she’ll appoint a committee.

Yeah. This is the way that it will go.

So if Chair Horn can get in here this might be the starting place for some good political leverage and traction.

This would also get the NHGOP back on the track where it desperately needs to be.

Friday
Feb012013

Persistance Doesn't Pay. 

 

This is an interesting article that originally appeared in the Foster's Daily Democrat about the same subject I've been prattling on about.

Consider how this reads.

No means no.

Yet they still plow forward unabated. I especially liked the comments by owner of the rail line in question: "Let's get our house in order then see where we are."

I don't think Lying Lozeau and Political Peter would even listen to this.

I hope that the Executive Council does. 

New Hampshire high-speed rail plan derailed; DOT blames Pan Am Railways

(The following story by Robert M. Cook appeared on Foster’s Daily Democrat website on October 1, 2009.)

CONCORD, N.H. — Plans to create a high-speed rail corridor from Nashua to Concord were derailed Wednesday after state Department of Transportation officials said they would not apply for $300 million in federal economic stimulus funds.

DOT Commissioner George Campbell laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of Pam Am Railways for refusing to participate in talks with the state to create the 39-mile "Capital Corridor" project.

"By walking away from this unique and exiting initiative, Pan Am has effectively closed the window on strengthening New Hampshire's economy. Our citizens and businesses along this corridor deserve better transportation choices than they have today," said Campbell in a prepared statement.

Pam Am Railways was an important player in the process because it is the host railroad along the corridor, Campbell explained. The deadline for "Track 2 corridor service development and improvements" program applications is Friday.

Campbell said the state is discussing with Amtrak its interest in operating passenger rail along the "NH Capital Corridor." Currently, Amtrak's Downeaster train serves riders with five daily round trips between Portland, Maine, and Boston.

State officials and rail advocates said the proposed "NH Capital Corridor" project would run on 78 miles of upgraded track between Boston and Concord, connecting Concord, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and Nashua with Boston's North Station.

Campbell said the state has applied for $1.4 million in planning funds for the Capital Corridor project as part of the $8 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Mark Richardson, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Railroad Revitalization Association in Weare, said in May the proposed rail corridor could serve up to 600,000 riders per year, who would generate economic development for downtown businesses along the route.

"It reinvigorates the downtown areas and makes them livable and workable areas," Richardson said in May.

On Wednesday, he said, "Obviously, this is a setback."

He said until the state can work something out with Pam Am Railways to negotiate the use of the rail line, it will continue to be difficult to obtain any federal funding.

He also said that if a high-speed corridor train is created between Montreal and Boston and it ends up traveling through Vermont instead of New Hampshire, that would be a big loss for the state.

Chris Clement, deputy director of the state DOT, described the setback as "a blip" that will force the state to go down a different path.

He said DOT officials have already had good conversations with Amtrak officials and Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman told Clement he is interested in the project.

Clement said the state can also apply for federal funds next year when the federal government is expected to make another $8.5 billion available for high-speed rail projects.

If the state can reach an agreement with Amtrak, Clement said they can then apply for the federal funds next year. Given the needs of the state and the fact that it will continue to have an aging population, Clement, who lives in Durham, believes it is still a good idea to pursue the Capital Corridor project.

David Fink, president of Pam Am Railways in North Billerica, Mass., said he would be willing to negotiate with Amtrak if Amtrak approached him about using the rail line between Concord and Nashua for passenger rail.

"I do business with Amtrak every day," Fink said. "They run the Downeaster for me every day. They're business partners."

But Fink said during such difficult economic times the state should not be wasting its time on high-speed rail.

"It just doesn't make any sense," Fink said. "Let's straighten our house out and then look at what we have."

When asked if his decision to walk away from negotiations with the state in June was his way of getting back at the state for not allowing him to bid on a separate rail line, Fink would not comment.

"I don't want to sit down across the table from dishonest people," Fink said.

Fink walked away from negotiations with the state DOT on June 30 after he alleged his company was precluded from bidding on a rail line owned by state Rep. Peter Leishman, D-Peterborough.

In June, the Executive Council voted to have the Attorney General's Office investigate Fink's accusations that the state DOT was poised to renew a 10-year contract with Milford-Bennington Railroad owned by Leishman without adhering to renewal guidelines.

The council voted to extend the rail company's pact by only six months, thereby ensuring no interruption to freight delivery to the southwestern part of the state and to give the Attorney General's Office ample time to investigate Fink's claims.

Fink alleged in June that Leishman's contract required his company to notify the state in July 2008 of its intention for renewal and Leishman did not do that. Fink also said a new contract had to be approved by Feb. 1, 2009, which also did not happen.

Fink alleged that instead of the DOT opening the bid process, the contract was put on a fast track because Leishman is a member of one of the House Finance Committee's panels and the DOT was concerned not approving the contract could affect ongoing budget negotiations.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

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Friday
Feb012013

Status Update: Rail. Waiting For The Gauntlet. 

So I checked the agenda items for the Executive Council today. The last Governor and Council meeting was on January 16th and nothing has been stated or updated for the two Governor and Council meetings scheduled for February which are the 6th and the 20th.

It’s February 1st. No agenda items listed for a meeting five days away.

I’m now wondering if the Nashua politicians including Lying Lozeau have signed purchase and sales agreement(s) for the real estate they want for this expensive politically connected rail service into Boston.

This whole thing is surrounded by questionable issues and actions and yet it still seems to be as Fergus Cullen puts it: on track to passage.

And it will change New Hampshire forever.

Thursday
Jan312013

Little Entente Politicians.

Politics and Truth often move in opposite directions. This is true in New Hampshire.I’ve long been fascinated with and a student of World War II history. More specifically, the military and geopolitical action(s) on the eastern front basically from 1941-1945.

This whole field gets more and more interesting as the former Soviet Union is releasing more and more information about what happened from their perspective especially some of the documents related to Hungary, Romania and Slovakia and some of the Balkan and Caucuses regions like Azerbaijan.

Politics and truth often move in opposite directions…

Similar to world history the same is true if not more here in New Hampshire. Recently, I found this UTUBE video with footage that I haven’t ever seen before. So I thought I’d share it:

The first part is straightforward showing the surrender of France and then it moves to what I believe is the signing of the 'Little Entente' agreement showing Ion Antonesceau of Romania. It was in my mind almost as impressive as the Bretton Woods Monetary Conference in Bretton Woods, N.H.

I’ll leave it to you to decide which one of these events featured more lies, deception, manipulation and the outcome of politics.

Politics and truth often move in opposite directions…

I think facts are now showing that after the signing of the Little Entente agreement that a nervous Czechlovakia tried every form of ethical based politics and diplomacy to save its own self centered view of the world especially so with its negotiations (I say ex-parte) with Poland, Soviet Union and ultimately England. All this lead into the later Munich Agreement and politicians like the Neville Chamberlain practice of global based form of diplomacy, don’t get too close but stay far enough away.  This practice continues to this very day.

May history and the truth march on.



Thursday
Jan312013

Status Update: Rail. 

 

This will be a quick status update on my last stand and project involving the upcoming Executive Council vote for the state contract on the rail line known as the "capitol corridor."

Executive Councilor Ray Burton told me that the state contact should appear on the agenda for sometime in February, I'm checking the agenda now and I'll post the official item number as soon as I have it. It is my understanding that there won't be a public hearing on this expensive item however, Gov. Hassan does accept public comments at the start of every Executive Council meeting.  I'm still of the feeling that this vote will still go 4-1 a policy action that brings New Hampshire down with the ship.

Executive Councilor Van Ostern never called me back. Surprise. Surprise.

Last spring the NH Rail Transit Authority the fledgling oligopoly to be created stated that they would be studying freight rail as a part of their proposal. Soon they might not have anything to study. I'm now understanding that the main receiver on this line which is PSNH-Bow and it's weekly coal shipments may soon be announcing a conversion of the plant to natural gas as a fuel source.

If this comes to pass I woudn't find it surprising to see an abandonment filing for this railroad line. Regardless of whether New Hampshire and it's taxpayers want to pour in millions of dollars-- similar to keeping a dead corpse on life support.

Permanently.