Author Archive | Miscellany Blue - New Hampshire Politics

Sorg: Immigrants want government to ‘give you stuff’

After Latinos overwhelming voted for Pres. Obama, Republicans are bowing to political reality and embracing immigration reform.

Former state Rep. Gregory Sorg (R-Easton) didn’t get the memo. On NHPR’s The Exchange, he told host Brady Carlson that he is skeptical of achieving immigration reform under “a President who has said that the function of government is to make people’s lives better:”

If they come here with the idea in their head that they’re coming here to join a country and to become eventual voters under a system that is premised on the idea that the function of government is to give you stuff, then we’re headed for very bad trouble in this nation.

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Sabato rating: NH1 toss-up, NH2 leans Democratic

In its debut House ratings for the 2014 cycle, Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball identifies New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District as one of just seven toss-up races.

That’s an improvement for Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. In ratings updated just before the 2012 election, editor Kyle Kondik handicapped the race as “Leans Republican” and wrote that he favored incumbent Frank Guinta to “hang on” against Shea-Porter.

Congresswoman Ann Kuster is also listed as one of the 69 House members who is, at least potentially, vulnerable. The state’s 2nd Congressional District is rated as “Leans Democratic.”

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Quote of the day: Not looking good

“It is not looking good for maintaining our right to self-defense, anywhere we have a right to be, here in NH. The proponents of HB 135 are making headway. The vote in the House Criminal Justice Committee is expected soon; we think the vote will be close, most likely OTP (ought-to-pass). … If HB 135 passes the House we are doubtful we can stop it in the Senate.”

— Free Stater Rep. Laura Jones (R-Rochester) on House Bill 135, which would repeal New Hampshire’s “stand your ground” legislation

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Petition asks NH chiefs of police to cancel gun raffle

An online petition with nearly 3000 signatures asks the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police to cancel a controversial fundraising raffle. The month-long raffle is scheduled to kick off on May 1 with daily prizes of pistols, rifles and semi-automatic weapons.

The police chiefs are holding the Month of NH Made Firearms promotion to raise money for the New Hampshire Police Cadet Training Academy, a one week program of academics and physical training for teenagers and young adults who want to pursue a career in law enforcement.

The police chief president, Chief Paul T. Donovan, has refused to cancel the promotion but responded to criticism in an open letter acknowledging the “recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut” and extending “deepest sympathies to the families and first responders.”

New Hampshire Chiefs of Police feel the issue with these tragic shootings are ones that are contrary to lawful and responsible gun ownership,” he wrote. “We believe in and support the Second Amendment, and encourage education in the area of firearms safety.” 

The petition, which will be delivered to Chief Donovan, asks the chiefs to “give up the gun giveaway and accept the offer of a buyback of all of the raffle tickets:”

The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police have received an offer from a concerned citizen’s group to buy out the raffle, covering the price of all tickets sold, and a jeweler is willing to used the melted guns to create items to benefit victims of gun violence. Ask the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police to take the win/win/win option and save lives.

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Bills would dismantle state’s domestic violence laws

Victim advocates say two bills being heard by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee are “direct attempts to dismantle New Hampshire’s domestic violence laws.”

Rep. Dan Itse (R-Fremont) is the prime sponsor of House Bill 502 and House Bill 503, which would limit the ability of law enforcement to arrest perpetrators of domestic violence. Garry Rayno has the story:

The state’s domestic violence laws are considered some of the best in the country by victim advocates, but as was the case last year, some lawmakers want to significantly change them.

“These bills are direct attempts to dismantle New Hampshire’s domestic violence laws,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public policy for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. “They would turn back the clock to the ’70s, when there was no protection for victims.”

She said HB 502 would change the state’s presumptive arrest policy so that an officer who saw a beaten victim could not arrest the suspected abuser on the spot.

She said HB 503 would take away law enforcement’s ability to arrest someone for violating a stalking or domestic violence protective order until the victim had filed a criminal complaint with the court.

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hold a public hearing for HB 502 and HB 503 on Tuesday, February 5, at 1:00 p.m.

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To think these few misguided souls are a threat is silly

A recent Union Leader editorial on the Free State Project declared, “To think that these few misguided souls are a grave threat to the State of New Hampshire is silly.”

After all, in a state of 1.3 million people, how could a thousand Free Staters make any progress towards realizing their goal of dismantling government? Read on.

The Union Leader has this report from yesterday’s town meeting in Weare:

Over the objections of Police Chief Gregory Begin and other residents, the proposed operating budget was reduced by $10,800 to $4,883,567, with $10,000 of that reduction coming out of the police department’s overtime budget. … Begin said the reduction in overtime could result in less coverage, but the reduction — made by amendment — was narrowly approved, 24-23.

A Free Stater who attended the meeting bragged on Facebook that he and three fellow Free Staters (who sometimes call themselves porcupines) made the difference:

The town police overtime budget was just cut by $10k by one vote. Glad I showed up. :-D

24-23, 4 porc votes

In related news, Free State Project president Carla Gericke has filed a 32-count lawsuit against the Weare Police Department alleging state and federal constitutional violations.

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Quote of the day: She will be very busy

I welcome this new Republican attitude of calling on elected officials to act in a respectful manner. I hope that Chair Horn will be as eager to call out Republicans for their bad behavior as she does with others. If so, she will be very busy issuing press releases reining in her legislators.

Ray Buckley, New Hampshire Democratic Party chair, on Republican Party chair Horn’s faux outrage over a Democratic Representative’s retweet.

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Jack Kimball: Our founders knew this day would come

Former New Hampshire Republican Party chair Jack Kimball on why he opposes proposals to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines:

The main reason for the Second Amendment … is because our founders knew that this day would come. They understood clearly, that we may have to fight off an oppressive and tyrannical government and the only way you can do that was to have compatible arms as the oppressors do. That’s why you have to have semi-automatic weapons. That’s why you have to have high capacity magazines.

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Conspiracy theories take center stage at gun rally

Paranoia runs deep among those who oppose proposals to curb gun violence — if the speakers during Thursday’s gun rally in Concord are any indication.

Patch’s Tony Schinella reported that many of the speakers echoed the “black helicopter” conspiracy theories that are accepted as gospel in the right-wing echo chamber; conspiracies that involve Pres. Obama confiscating guns, throwing out the Constitution and assuming dictatorial control.

State Rep. Al Baldasaro “wondered out loud why Homeland Security was buying millions of rounds of ammunition,” suggesting DHS is stockpiling ammunition to put down insurrection among those resisting the gun confiscation.

The deputy chief of staff who handles 2nd Amendment issues for Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-Georgia) provides a more mundane explanation, “DHS buys in bulk to save you money:”

DHS entered into a contract that allows them to purchase up to 450 million rounds of 40 caliber ammunition over the next five years. … Setting up contracts in this manner allows for a cheaper purchase price, saving money over the long-term.

If DHS were to purchase all 450 million rounds over 5 years, then that would equate to only about 1,384 rounds of ammo per year per law enforcement personnel. … Considering those agents go through training exercises several times per year, that is not a lot of ammunition.

Baldasaro also asked “why generals were being let go in the Defense Department,” referring to a Facebook posting by Dr. Jim Garrow that went viral among right-wing conspiracy buffs. In his post, Garrow claimed a “former senior military leader” told him of Obama’s new military “litmus test:”

The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not. Those who will not are being removed.”

Snopes debunks the allegation:

Consider that: The only supporting evidence for this claim is a second-hand account from an anonymous source; not a single reputable news outlet has reported any such story; not a single member of the U.S. government or the U.S. military has come forward to confirm the claim; the claim fits a common model of conspiracy theory which has been repeatedly espoused many times over (but has never proved true) and the person spreading this warning is promulgating other discredited conspiracy theories, such as the claim that Adam Lanza did not use a version of an AR-15 rifle in the Sandy Hook shootings.

Not to be outdone, unsuccessful congressional candidate and former state Rep. Bob Giuda warned the crowd about Executive Order 13603, which “allows Obama to take over just about every sector of the economy if he declared a national emergency.”

Doug Mataconis, from Outside the Beltway, knocks this one down:

[O]nce you actually look at the facts (yes, I know, how dare I muddle up a good conspiracy theory with actual facts) it becomes pretty clear that not only is the reaction to this wildly over the top in some corners, but the Executive Order itself is nothing more than a restatement of policy that has been in place in decades and grants no authority to the President or the Cabinet that they don’t already have under existing law.

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