Craziest NH Political Day Evuh?

Today in political news:

1. Enough House Republicans voted with D’s to amend the redistricting plan to conform to the NH constitution; O’Brien recessed to call a GOP caucus, twisted arms, called back into session, would not turn cameras or mikes on for public viewing. This is the same guy who excused clearing gallery by saying live streaming satisfied constitutional requirements.

2. I agreed with Steve Vaillancourt on something (that tax policy should not be enshrined in the state constitution).

3. The Lobby publishes story that O’Brien was tipped off to O’Keefe voter fraud

4. WaPo publishes story that Mitt Romney benfitted from off shore accounts set up in Cayman Islands (hey, the guy bankrolled all these GOP rep elections, so it counts as a NH story)
5. House votes to defund womens health services

6. O’Brien spokesperson Shannon Shutts, when quizzed about cancellation of marriage equality repeal vote, actually says, the only unscheduled votes occur when “attempting to override vetoes”, as if that is an okay thing to do.

7. Bettencourt yells at Democratic reps because some people were whispering while he spoke; DJ, maybe it was Republicans whispering about how your ambitions for higher office are down the tubes. I mean, seriously, joining with O’Brien to blame the Governor for the boiler shutting down at HHS? Really? Come on, DJ, have some pride.  

8. Frank Guinta’s pollster was fined $15,000 for push polling against Carol Shea Porter in 2010.  I’m waiting for outraged response from O’Brien, remember his outrage when D’s agreed to pay $5,000 to settle robocall issue? Somehow I doubt he will call on the congressman to resign….  And somehow I doubt Guinta will apologize to CSP.

Question for tomorrow – will O’Brien put up barricades to stop NH workers from gaining entry to the people’s house?
Question for water cooler – is O’Brien as bad a speaker for New Hampshire as Benson was as bad a governor for our poor state?      

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  • Dean Barker

    Always seems feast or famine with NH political news.

    Today was overload.

    Thanks for helping me keep it all in one spot.  

  • Lucy Weber

    said we were snake oil salesmen.  At least I am pretty sure it was Rep. Bates.  It is all a bit of a blur at this point.  It is certain that his comments were pretty consistently personal and unpleasant about anyone who dared to disagree with him.

    • Kathy Sullivan 2

      For goodness sake.

    • susanthe

      “I’m a follower of Jesus and a good Christian” like insulting others.

    • Marjorie Porter

      equated us with slaveholders and the 3/5 compromise…

      • SethCohn

        As Rep. Pierce will attest, I went up to him afterward, and apologized as I explained that when it fell right into place (There is not only a 1 to 10 ratio between my town and the next, but a very close 3/5 between two of the other towns in the float I’d be in, and the joke “Ah, so that what they meant by Constitutional” was just waiting to be made… I couldn’t resist.)  But I did apologize to him.

        (A good number of Democrats voted against the plan after that.  I won’t take credit for that, all credit goes to the plan)

        Besides which, if you are going to ding me, the much large number of Democrats who shook my hand later in the day, during other events best left unmentioned, shows that there were few hard feelings.

        [I don't plan on making a habit of replying, but the above deserved a comment because it's lacking context.  It was a joke.]

        • Hampshire Ite

          … For the reply, Seth. Your contributions are valued by this reader, at least.

        • Marjorie Porter

          I left at 4 and missed the drama at the end.  So, thank you for that and apologizing to Rep. Pierce.

          It was however hard for me to take it as a joke.  IMHO, the plan could have been opposed by saying it was difficult to understand, and confusing, and hard to explain to constituents–all valid points.  Vilifying  the plan’s sponsor, and the  minority, was harsh.  I guess I expect more civility.  But I’m a freshman, what do I know.

          I did not like the plan much either, but voted for it because it was the ONLY plan that gave Hillsboro, with 6000 people, a rep of its own as it should have constitutionally, and was closest to the requirements of both constitutions.

  • dooper

    #1. I am fully prepared for O’Brien’s gang to again schedule hearings in an inadequately sized room and refuse to move the proceedings.

    #2. “Is O’Brien as bad a speaker for New Hampshire as Benson was as bad a governor for our poor state?” I was discussing this with a co-worker. My $0.02 is that O’Brien will ratchet everything thing up as part of his exit strategy.

    He’s increased the size of his district to include Milford and Hollis, meaning a large district with multiple reps. Even if he’s scraping the bottom of the ticket, it’s not inconceivable that he gets re-elected.

    It’s seeming increasingly unlikely he could actually muster enough votes to retain the speakership (didn’t he only get it by something like 9 votes, and then only on the second ballot?), and that assumes the antics of the House GOP (and those Free Staters masquerading as NH Repubs) don’t cost them control of the House.

    So what if O’Brien gets re-elected, but loses the speakership, or better yet doesn’t even have a shot at the position if the GOP loses control. Where does he go, what’s his exit strategy?

    Simple. High-paid “consultant”, “lobbyist”, “reseacher” at some Koch-funded “think” tank in DC. I don’t think those trips last session before the vote (cigarette tax much) were coincidental…

    • cblodg

      I have had this wild thought spinning through my head for the past few days.  O’Brien and his band of merry men of been able to ram through an unprecedented legislative agenda, one that cannot be easily overturned.  Anyone else think that he knew this and he knew that when Democrats take back the House that we can’t whole sale remove all of this without the pendulum swing back just as hard?

      That is his exit strategy.

  • Kathy Sullivan 2

    Votes coming up to weaken domestic abuse laws, courtesy of Dan Itse. Do Kevin Smith and Ovide Lamontagne support these bills?

    • susanthe

      Women are the replaceable gender. And domestic violence is just a gimmick. Just ask Crow Dickinson.  

      • Lucy Edwards

        females are kidding that this is a War on Women.  These men want slaves and concubines, not partners.  

        • FrankLloydMike

          men are with you–at least those of us not in the Republican majority in the legislature.

          • Lucy Edwards

            and thank goodness, because I know there are a few benighted women in the R caucus as well.

    • unhhockey

      Kelly Ayotte?  She must be proud of her pals back in Concord.

      • mevansnh

        so I’m sure she’s ecstatic.  Kelly Ayotte, puppet, needs to be A One Term Senator. Bad for NH, bad for America.  

  • JonnyBBad

    tough to answer with my 1st cup of coffee…

    I think Benson’s arrogance was greater and his plans weaker…where O’Brien is evil Benson was simply stupid and vain and so rich he didn’t gaf.

    • political chowder

      O’Brien, on the other hand, was schooled in politics by Felon Finneran who understood that government could be manipulated and used for personal aggrandizement and could be targeted to harm his enemies and perceived enemies. O’Brien does not believe in smaller government or less intrusive government. No Bill wants the government  to be at his disposal so he can wreak havoc on the state, serve wealthy special interests that will provide him with future benefit* and enshrine his narrow, small minded view of the world in legislation and the constitution.

      *just look at the tobacco tax roll back and the bill to bring in new cancer centers that will be gifted with both an exemption from the CON requirement and the medicaid enhancement tax (check out HB 1642) sounds like special favors to me.

      • FrankLloydMike

        I don’t think Benson was stupid necessarily, but he certainly didn’t benefit from the same savvy (if we’re being polite, manipulativeness if we’re being honest) as O’Brien, nor the same tea stater majority. I agree that O’Brien is in this largely for personal and political gain, and he is also using Finneran-style tactics that are unprecedented in New Hampshire politics.

        Still, I think he is so much worse for New Hampshire than Benson ever could have dreamed of being. I hope–but have no idea if this will come to fruition–that O’Brien and his majority are unseated in November, and that his tactics and policies will lead New Hampshire to tilt increasingly more Democratic. Whether that happens or not, it’s going to take a long time to undo the damage of O’Brien and his legislative cohorts.

      • JonnyBBad
  • Kathy Sullivan 2

    On this Guinta push poll…
    According to the settlement, the polling company says it wrote the questions, hired the company to do the calls.

    The polling questions don’t come out of thin air.  The campaign makes suggestions and reviews the questions and the script. It would be so unusual for a campaign to have had no involvement, no review of the script, as to be highly highly unlikely. Professional polling companies hired by campaigns don’t go rogue.  

    • Lucy Edwards

      is incapable of taking responsibility for anything, as far as I can see.

      • JonnyBBad
      • susanthe

        never do. They are incapable on every level of practicing the many things they preach.

  • Brian K

    any indication that this is the likely outcome in  NH? If not, why?

    • MartyInNashua

      Alternet says it was the US Supreme Court, and the outcome does not look positive for someone who likes progressives.

      http://www.alternet.org/newsan

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