Over the Top

A strong editorial in today’s Nashua Telegraph on the antics of the O’Brien junta.

The bottom line, of course being:

By telling reporters and others Monday that he didn’t intend to bring Lynch’s veto forward this week, O’Brien may have deprived some lawmakers the opportunity to participate. Of the 397 House members now serving, 39 were absent for a vote that exceeded the two-thirds margin by eight.

What’s worse, the unannounced vote also denied municipal officials – particularly those in communities like Hudson, Manchester and Pelham that share seats – one last opportunity to persuade their lawmakers to sustain the governor’s veto in hopes of a better deal.

Not only did he brush the state constitution aside, like some annoying detritus, he deprived some members of the House from voting. He deprived municipalities from participating. The mayor of Manchester should be furious.

Most grievously of all, (in my opinion, anyhow) in this state with the most representative democracy of all state governments, Speaker O’Brien kept The People from participating. We The People were deliberately not informed that this action was going to take place.

This is unacceptable. So, what happens now? What are we going to do about it?  

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  • Chaz Proulx

    that, between this type of procedural arrogance in our legislature
    ( from our Constitutional experts no less) , and an overtly political Supreme Court and thirdly through voter suppression–why do I and others work so hard at Democracy.

    If O’Brian continues to get away with flaunting the Constitution, and if the Supremes overturn the “mandate” and if Romney becomes president because Florida won’t allow Democrats to register voters — well you get the point.

    Speaking only for myself, I don’t know where all this will lead (even if the worst doesn’t happen, its an inolerable affront to democracy and decency)

    But something would have to give for me personally. Maybe turn full time to protest songs in front of the Statehouse or something along those lines.

    I hate to give up on the ballot box, but its getting harder and harder to keep faith in American Democracy as we’ve know it.

    • cblodg

      I was discussing on Wednesday how disgusted I was when I heard the conservative talking points uttered by a Supreme Court Justice.

      I have been continually disgusted by what O’Brien and his clan have/continue to do to our state.

      We should think that people would see the national war on voters, women, the poor, the elderly, etc. and we see a greater support for our president.  That would be my idealism showing through.  Much to the contrary.  I have never seen such hate and vitriol towards our nation’s leader.  I may not have cared for W but he was our president.  The attacks that have been launched by pundits and now filtering down to the common man are disturbing.

      If Democrats loose in November, my faith will be completely shattered.

      • Chaz Proulx

        I knew I was far from alone.

        My “faith” too will be completely shattered if “Democrats loose in November”.

        I would have to rethink my role ( as I age especially).

        Funny thing is–this now feels like the 1960′s when I dropped out of college and faced the draft.  

        I’m feeling the same angst.

  • calvin

    Many of us have been begging the Obama campaign to make sure people – especially college students – register to vote now, before the laws are changed to prevent them from registering. Next fall will be too late. Nothing has been done!

    • Lucy Weber

      We should not be leaving it to the Obama campaign, or any campaign.  Talk to everyone you know.  Let them know what is going on.  You would be surprised.  

      A couple of years ago, I was talking to a friend–a bright, creative, successful woman in her middle years–who was deploring the state of the country.  I asked her who she had voted for in the last election.  She replied, “Oh, I don’t vote.  that doesn’t apply to me–I am in the Arts!”  I explained to her about Arts Councils and funding programs, and then ragged other until her name appeared on the voter roll at the town clerk’s office.  

      This is something each of us can and must do if we are to be successful.  Don’t wait for anyone else to do it.

      • Chaz Proulx

        Not to pick on Calvin, but in general with all that is going on people still don’t get involved.

        I have an entire circle of very bright liberal minded friends who go on and on about our current state of affairs yet do nothing.

        They do vote, but are “too busy” to really get involved or even send a few dollars to worthy causes.

      • pberch

        that emotion.

  • Chaz Proulx

    this is off the point in this discussion I think, but please clarify.

    I’m guessing you are a student.  

    • calvin

      Not a student but I live in a college town and know that there is no program by candidates to register young people to vote. So many young people, especially young women, are not registered even though they are old enough. With the voter suppression laws being promoted (and most likely to pass) across the country and here in NH, it may be very difficult and even impossible for thousands of them to register this fall for the November election. They’re the ones with the biggest stake in this election. (Think global warming, Social Security, Medicare, Education, etc., etc.)

      She Votes which is described below is great. It’s also great to talk individually to people. But, in order to change the government in Concord, it will take a lot more than that. I mentioned the Obama campaign because they already have offices and staff all across the state. That’s the scale that can make a real difference.

      Chaz, as far as activists go, it’s just not possible for everyone to find the time or energy. You and I do because it’s so central to who we are. I’ve always thought bumper stickers, buttons and yard signs are one of the best ways to get the inactive people to take the first step towards involvement.  Next, get them to sign a letter and send it to the paper.

  • cyndychase

    Last Saturday I attended the Committee to Elect House Democrats training.  We had an informative session but the best part may have been connecting with SHE VOTES NH, a grass roots organization which started in Kingston and is working to empower younger women to vote.  “I don’t have time,” “not my thing’” “I don’t understand the issues” are all reasons given by younger women for not voting.  This has to change!! Women’s reproductive freedoms are under attack.  We did not begin to see the full inclusion of women in American life until women could control their reproductive lives.  The beginning of a solution is right here, in our communities and in our social circles.  Lucy Weber is right when she says it starts with us.  Each one reach one is how we affect change.

    Several women in Cheshire County will be meeting after April 14th to see how we can implement the ideas generated by Carol Croteau and the SHE VOTES NH group in Kingston.  If you would like to be included in this non partisan group or would like more information, I can be reached through the NH House website.  (Full disclosure, my grandmothers Julia Haven Thurber and Vera Sweet Saunders donned their hoop skirts many times to march for women’s right to vote in Providence.  While both were short of stature I truly stand on the shoulders of giants!)  Cynthia Chase, Cheshire 3.

    • cyndychase

      Info please.  In RI where I am from no one can graduate from high school without registering to vote.  If such a law is in place in NH then local citizens need to approach their local school district to ask to speak about the issues and why kids should care and why they should vote.  

      If such a policy is not in place at your high school, well, here are some marching orders. CC

      • elwood

        in the 2010 session, IIRC.  Jim, can you shed light on current NH law?

  • Chaz Proulx

    Thank Heaven for the Carol Croteau’s out there.

    I work with her regularly — mostly because her energy helps me to keep going. She also has organized the Mid Rockingham Democrats. Raymond ( my town) is a member.

    The people who sit on the sideline have no idea how inspiring they could be to the dependable activists who show up time after time..

    And a lot of us aren’t getting any younger.

    Oh well time to stop moaning!

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