Steven J Connolly

Monday
Feb252013

Must See To Believe.

If the political pages in the NH Sunday Union Leader are to be believed,

Deep issues in the expanded casino gaming idea for New Hampshire.

In her state speech Gov. Hassan stated her support for one “highly regulated, upscale casino.” Whatever this means. Gov Hassan never once stated where this casino would be located, but I think it safe to say that the Rockingham Park in Salem proposal fits this statement.

Now comes in Mr. Jerry Gappens at NH Motor Speedway in Loudon and I don’t have the newspaper quote directly in front of me but it went something like: “the door is open about getting a license.”

And whether this is direct or indirect I don’t think this really matters.

I’m now wondering how many legislators Gov. Hassan spoke with about who would be granted a license whether it be in Salem or Loudon?

This is where the words politics, preference and favoritism come into play.

Now I’ll overshadow this issue with an important policy question: who exactly is deciding who is granted a license and who is being told what?

Dangerous waters ahead.

 

 

Saturday
Feb232013

Questions. 

Initially my plan was to name this blog, Keep Bryce. Dump Rose.  In an argument against the current DRED political nominee in favor of keeping the interim commissioner in place.

Not sure this is exactly fair.

When Bryce was nominated as the interim commissioner I actually called two members of the Executive Council to express my concern over the qualifications of Mr. Bryce to be a full commissioner.

It never crossed my mind that the eventual nominee would have fewer qualifications than Mr. Bryce.

Politics is like that.

That doesn’t make it right especially for an important position like DRED Commissioner. I wasn’t at the recent Executive Council hearing I had to be at work but if I were some of the questions I’d have for Mr. Rose.

  1. Other than politics and public relations have you ever had any other form of employment, say private business or ventures that required you to take risk, demonstrate independent leadership or meet a payroll?
  2. Please describe your strategy to create jobs and taxbase for New Hampshire?
  3. Do you think Cannon Mountain should be leased?
  4. Maine and Vermont are now moving substantially ahead of New Hampshire in economic development, does DRED need to be concerned with this?
  5. Would you support eliminating the DRED position(s) in northern NH to save taxpayer money or at least provide an explanation of what these positions actually accomplish?  
  6. Do you support Regional Planning in New Hampshire and the implementation of Granite State Futures (GSF), regardless of whether local communities want it or not?
  7. Would you support reopening the Int’l Trade Resource Center under new leadership or would you select Dawn Wivell to run it again?

 I don’t know how Mr. Rose would answer these question(s).  But I do think the answers would shed some light on whether he would be effective as DRED Commissioner.

  I have my suspecions...

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Feb232013

Fraternity, Jobs and Policy. 

This is an article I found on CNN.

Looks like NH based Sig Sauer wasn’t the only arms manufacturer to be approached about the idea of moving to Mississippi.

The arms manufacturers should consider this, if for no other reason(s); than costs and the sheer logistics of moving raw materials and finished goods.

And the costs of doing business in New Hampshire is only going to increase.Lack of support by state government is an issue here as well.

I’m not a supporter of anything DRED does in economic development this to me is a state agency that runs more like an established fraternity rather than a state agency charged with working with the business community. It isn’t like this in other states, Mississippi as an example.

I think if the Rose nomination moves forward in the Executive Council this also says something:

New Hampshire wants to maintain the status quo. Let’s forget this innovation economy crap and state the reality to be in New Hampshire you’ve have to be either established or invited here. Just like a fraternity.

The Executive Council could do something else as well. They could reject this nomination.

In the meantime, it would be good business and good strategy for companies like Sig Sauer, Colt, etc. to be looking at places like Mississippi or even Kansas City.

I don’t like the idea of double digit unemployment in New Hampshire but if the policymakers in the Statehouse refuse to do anything then this is just the way that it will have to be.

CNN) -- Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn has invited gunmakers such as Colt to relocate to his state from others including Connecticut, where firearms have been a controversial issue since a school shooting there last December left 20 students and six adults dead.

The gun industry in Connecticut is being attacked and "demonized" because of national politics, Gunn said in a letter this week to Colt's Manufacturing Company CEO Dennis Veilleux.

He also invited gunmaker Magpul Industries Corp. of Colorado to relocate to Mississippi.

To back up President Barack Obama's statement that he goes skeet shooting regularly, which some Republicans questioned, the White House released this photo of Obama firing a gun at Camp David in August. See more commanders in chief taking advantage of their right to bear arms.To back up President Barack Obama's statement that he goes skeet shooting regularly, which some Republicans questioned, the White House released this photo of Obama firing a gun at Camp David in August. See more commanders in chief taking advantage of their right to bear arms.
Arming the commander in chief
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Gunn, a Republican, said firearm manufacturers are "under attack in anti-Second Amendment states."

"In our state, you will not be criticized for providing goods to the law-abiding citizens who enjoy hunting, shooting or who just want the peace of mind that comes with the constitutional right to protect their families," Gunn wrote to Colt on Thursday.

"We welcome you with open arms!" he said.

In an interview with CNN affiliate WLBT, Gunn said having gunmakers move their operations to Mississippi is a "natural match," saying the industry "meshes well" in a state with citizens who "love to hunt, ... love to shoot, (and) people enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have the right to defend themselves."

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said Gunn sent letters to three gunmakers in his state and called Gunn's proposal "preposterous."

Connecticut residents support the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership, "far from demonizing firearms products made here," Blumenthal said in a statement.

"This preposterous pitch to companies with long, successful histories in our state shows the need for national standards and statutes to reduce gun violence," the senator said. "Competition among states for less protective laws is a race to the bottom that should be avoided. The poison of illegal gun trafficking respects no state boundaries and threatens to cause more horrific tragedies like Newtown and the 1,900 gun violence deaths that have occurred since then."

Newtown is the name of the Connecticut town where last December's mass shooting occurred, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Representatives for Colt and Magpul couldn't be reached immediately for comment Friday.

William "Mo" Cowan, interim U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, called Gunn's attempt "gimmicky" and predicted it wouldn't work to draw Smith & Wesson from its base in Springfield, according to CNN affiliate WGGB.

That sentiment was echoed by Springfield's mayor, who said his city's and Massachusetts' skilled and educated workforce measured up favorably against those in Mississippi and other states.

"Smith & Wesson is not going anywhere," Mayor Dominic Sarno told WGGB, adding he still stands by his support for "sensible gun control." "They've been a vital and good corporate citizen here in the city of Springfield."

Friday
Feb222013

Should Sig Sauer Move? 

Should Sig Sauer Move To Mississippi?News headlines including the Union Leader are reporting on efforts in Mississippi including the speaker’s office to encourage NH arms manufacturer Sig Sauer to move to Ol’ Miss.

I’m confident that the offer and incentives will be hard to turn down.

Free real estate, tax credits, discount electricity and a hungry workforce is what Sig Sauer will find in Mississippi or they can stay here in New Hampshire and face the challenges here.

Increasing taxation, property values and ever increasing regulation(s) to name a few. The recently passed R&D tax credit might be something of an advantage but again it will be pale in comparison to what they’ll find in Mississippi.

This is also an example of why I think the Rose nomination to be the next DRED Commissioner should fail, and especially with his reported answers before the recent Executive Council hearing. I don’t think his background as a congressional staffer and public relations executive are the best credentials to retain and attract business to be in New Hampshire.I also think as time goes by more states like Mississippi will be coming to New Hampshire to encourage business to leave the Granite State.

Something needs to be done.

 

Thursday
Feb212013

LBAO Screw Up. 

I’m trying to read through the released fiscal notes for HB 678 and SB 152 and the for lack or better words, “revenue estimates” for NH casinos if either one or both of these bills pass.

It’s a bunch of crap.

From what I’m reading the assumptions made here are from slot machine revenue from Maine and Connecticut with $162.89 and $285.98 per machine respectively.

This is the problem when professional bureaucrats are given the chance to wade into the waters of policy and business. They screw up.

This makes sense because their paycheck and environment isn’t dependent upon the very elements that run business and markets, and there are many; a short sampling: innovation, ideas, forecasting, differentiation, imagination, risk, projections and sometimes fate.

So let’s get political here.

How did the LBAO select Maine and Connecticut as the slot machine revenues of choice?

I’m not even going to try to answer this question, but if the LBAO were interested in comparative analysis of gaming revenue for New Hampshire they would have looked at comparable demographics and tourism statistics at areas like the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York and the casinos in newly licensed Pennsylvania and then overlaid these numbers with the assumption that Suffolk Downs in Boston will be granted one of the licenses in that state.

They didn't.

I hope this legislature flushes both HB 678 and SB 152 down the toilet this is where both of these bills belong.

Call your legislator.