Take Back the Executive Council!

One of the critical pieces in the this year’s election is to restore a Democratic majority to the Executive Council. This somewhat obscure, but critically important, political body has significant impact on the direction of our State (EC Background/History)

A Democratic Council with a Democratic Governor will help move our state forward. As a defensive play, a Democratic Council with Republican governor will help to keep things in check.

Obviously we are all working towards the former, but the later is important to keep in mind as well.

The NH Executive Council is where:

  • The crusade against Planned Parenthood was kicked-off in New Hampshire last summer when the Council voted to defund birth control pills and other preventive health care for thousands
  • Partisan opposition successfully halted the study of passenger rail from Boston to Concord this winter
  • Close-minded ideology has eroded our consumer protections and stopped efforts to help our businesses find cheaper health insurance.
  • All appointments of judges, state agency heads, members of state board and commissions, and all significant state contracts are voted on.

We have great candidates for this important legislative body

  • District 2- I’m supporting Colin Van Ostern. A smart, politically shrewd, and outspoken defender of reproductive rights. As a young father you know he will keep the next generation in mind as he makes decisions. Website | Donate
  • District 3: Bill Duncan is a businessman, Navy veteran, and public education advocate running to represent the Seacoast and Southern Tier. Website | Donate
  • District 4: Chris Pappas is co-owner of the Puritan Backroom restaurant, former Treasurer of Hillsborough Co, and is running to represent Greater Manchester and Eastern Merrimack Co. Website |Donate
  • District 5: Deb Pignatelli is a former Executive Councilor and State Senator running to represent Greater Nashua , Eastern Cheshire and the Souhegan Valley again in the State House. Website |Donate

Please consider a small donation to one or more of these great candidates and remember to spread the word to your friends and neighbors about in importance of the Executive Council.

(Post inspired from Colin’s eMail Blast today)

11 Responses to Take Back the Executive Council!

  1. Rep. Jim Splaine August 1, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    All four can win.  And what a Governor’s Council that will be!  

  2. hannah August 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Thought perhaps there are scattered terms.  But no, we get a chance to throw them all out every two years. Which raises the question whether we are conceding the seat to Ray Burton.
    According to the Council’s web site, they’ve got a very constricted attitude and I’d suggest that the first order of business should be to revise their mission statement:

           All major executive branch business is conducted in public with the press present.
            All state Departments and Agencies must seek approval of both receipt and expenditures of state and federal funds, budgetary transfers within the department and all contracts with a value of $10,000 or more (amended 11/17/2010 at Governor and Executive Council meeting vote 4-1) not including personal service contracts of $2,500.
            The Executive Council approves the spending of a major portion of the approximately 5.2 billion dollars that is appropriated annually by the legislature.
            Executive Councilors serve as watchdogs of the state treasury to ensure state departments do not spend more than was authorized by the legislature, nor allocate funds for items or services which the legislature has not sanctioned.
            The Executive Council approves the appointments of Judges, Commissioners, Notary Public, Justice of Peace, Commissioners of Deeds and hears Pardon Requests.
            The Executive Council plays a vital role in improving the state’s infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, via management and oversight of the state’s 10 year Highway Plan. (GACIT)
            Executive Councilors make certain that those appointed to the executive branch of state government, whether Commissioners, Department heads or citizens members of the myriad of regulatory boards, agencies and commissions are all responsible to the citizens of New Hampshire and not to special interests. (List of commissions and boards)
            More importantly, Executive Councilors are the constituent’s eyes and ears in Concord. They ensure the executive branch of state government is fiscally conservative and above reproach.
            Each biennium the Governor and Executive Council appoint more than 300 citizens to serve on various state agencies, boards and commissions. The Governor “nominates” and the Executive Council “confirms” unclassified state employees including Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners. They also confirm District, Superior and Supreme Court Justices, medical referees and military officers.
            Councilors are elected every two years to serve as advocates for the people.

    I’d start with a few questions:
    1) What or who defines “major business”?
    2) Why is it necessary to exclude $2500 from “$10,000 or more?” (this makes no sense)
    3) If the press isn’t present, is no business conducted?
    4) Is “watchdog” an appropriate designation for a public servant?
    5) Presumably, the Constitution insures that agents of the state are “responsible.” Whether or not they are responsive to their obligations is another matter, which it is not clear the Council understands. How are either responsibility or responsive behavior insured? Keeping track of how many dollars are spent doesn’t do it.
    6) What is “a major portion”?
    7) “Overseeing” a plan does not improve infrastructure. Just sayin’.

    Given the abuse that has been heaped on the citizens of New Hampshire of late, it would seem that our “advocates” have been both blind and deaf.
    In my book, “fiscally conservative” means “avoid waste.” It does not mean “be stingy and/or don’t pay for anything you can get for free.” Also, “management” does not mean manipulate and deceive your fellow man. It means allocate our public resources and assets to their best effect.

    • susanthe August 3, 2012 at 2:42 am #

      Is ridiculous.  I really don’t’ give a fig for the population argument – that essentially means that if you live in a populated area, you get good representation. If you don’t – you shouldn’t expect it.

      If we want representation (jobs, infrastructure, etc) we should just move, right?  

      • RealNRH August 3, 2012 at 11:15 am #

        Using Dave’s Redistricting App, I took a stab at making a map with the North Country divided vertically into two districts, and I thought it came out even worse than the ‘dragon’ map; one district literally had to cover the entire western border of the state in order to achieve population parity with the other four districts, Brattleboro to Berlin. There’s very little to recommend that variation.

        Is there another way to draw it? Or are you suggesting eliminating the equal-representation requirement, eliminating the Executive Council entirely, expanding the number of seats, or some other modification? I just don’t see a non-awful 5-district equal-representation EC map that doesn’t start with a huge North Country district.

      • Ray Buckley August 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm #


        I really don’t’ give a fig for the population argument

        I am finding it hard to process your comment. Using your argument, Alaska, despite its mammoth size only qualifies for one member of congress, should Alaska get, what, 40 members of congress?

        I think 99.99% of folks would agree that the Supreme Court decision calling for one person, one vote laws is a good one.

  3. FrankLloydMike August 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    I recall the Liberal Dragon district, stretching from Keene to Portsmouth, in the proposed redistricting plan. Does anyone have a link to the districts that were actually approved?

    We can’t get rid of Councilors St. Hilaire and Wheeler soon enough!

  4. mevansnh August 2, 2012 at 1:11 am #


    Howie is coming to campaign for Chuck Rolecek who apparently owns the Chophouse in Manchester.  Howie must be looking for a high priced dinner too.

    • Ray Buckley August 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      To support Chris Pappas’ campaign for the new 4th district. http://Www.pappas2012.com

      • FrankLloydMike August 2, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

        over Hanover Street Chophouse pretense any day!

        For the record, I love the Puritan chicken tenders, and treasure the memories of family gatherings at the Back Room, and riding my bike with my brother to pick up takeout at the Puritan. I’ve also never been to the Chophouse, because it is well outside my budget, but I also fondly remember family gathers at CR Sparks. While I’ve never been to the Chophouse, I’m glad to see a high-end restaurant thriving on the edge of downtown Manchester–both the Puritan and the Chophouse have their place in a vibrant city. But I’m still upset that the Chophouse painted over Gordon Carlisle’s beautiful mural of Manchester, “Lest We Forget”: http://www.gordoncarlisle.com/

        Also for the record, I think Chris Pappas will be the best Executive Councilor Manchester has had in at least my lifetime.

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