My favorite political show, WMUR’S CloseUP, didn’t fail to impress again this Sunday, with a mini-debate between N.H. Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley and N.H. Republican Party Chair Jennifer Horn. I admit to some bias, but come on, Jennifer. This is the 21st Century.
Ray had to play teacher and fact-checker on everything from the budget process — it’s an evolutionary thing that isn’t just dictated by a Governor, as Jennifer seems to believe — to whose deficit (former Speaker Bill O’Brien’s and the 2011-2012 Republican Legislature) that Governor Maggie Hassan is making up for.
Onto a core current issue, apparently Jennifer and her consultants have assembled talking points which portray public schools as horrible and not worthy of public support. The “voucher” program is, she says, an “opportunity law.” Crazy stuff for any of us who realize that our public school system has made America strong for over 200 years.
Ray blasted Jennifer’s position on the voucher law out of the water by pointing out that her party opposes state funding for education across the board. And the voucher law would take even more money out of the system by sending so-called “tax credits” by businesses to private schools. What a way to treat the kids of New Hampshire.
I’ve kind of enjoyed Jennifer, and some back-and-forth give-and-take through the years. But she really looks and sounds out of her league as chair. Thank you, Republicans, for putting her there. God works in mysterious ways.
I was especially impressed by Ray’s calm during the debate, and his politeness. His patience sure was tested. He had his hands folded much of the time — perhaps in prayer hoping that he didn’t have to stay there long. But that calm didn’t stop him from making it clear that on this day that we “Spring Forward,” Democrats are ready to do so too.
Quote of the debate: “They’re not about fixing government, they’re about destroying government.” - Raymond Buckley, speaking about the NHGOP
WMUR wasn’t finished with its entertainment for the day. Next was former House Speaker Bill O’Brien. Speaking on a one-to-one with host Josh McElveen, he talked about the gas tax/fee by saying “we don’t need the money.” He really did. With our roads and highways with potholes all over, and bridges in disrepair, he says “we don’t need the money.”
He wants to take money from the State Police, and other Republicans want to take money from DRED and Fish & Games, to pay for highway repairs. I’m sure the State Police, and our hunters and those who live here or visit to fish, or those concerned about our economy and jobs, would like to hear what O’Brien really believes.
About a possible race against Congressperson Annie Kuster, he said his private “poll” showed that she has a negative favorability factor. His poll showed him winning by 17 percent, he said. I was listening hard — and I’m quite sure that’s what he said. Sounds like he is running, and we’ll know really soon — “sooner than later,” to quote him. Funny guy. Let’s hope it’s really, really soon. Wait till the campaign begins and people learn about him. Then we’ll see what his own favorability factor is.