The prospect of [former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith] running for Senate in New Hampshire gives urgency to the establishment — We need to find someone else and we need to find someone fast.
— Fergus Cullen, former state GOP chair
In writing about Pope Francis, blogger (and Rockabilly Hall of Fame member) Randy Haspel compares the pontiff’s message with that of conservative politicians — including a former New Hampshire Speaker of the House:
Americans of a certain political bent have rejected the pope’s message as leftist propaganda. Famous Christian thinker Sarah Palin reared her ugly head to declare the pope was far too liberal. Other politicians have had so many running commentaries that differ with the pontiff, I thought it might be fun to compare some quotes: […]
"It is vital that government leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education, and health care." — Pope Francis
"And what is Obamacare? It is a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that allowed slave owners to come to New Hampshire and seize African Americans and use the federal courts to take them back to … slave states." — New Hampshire state representative Bill O’Brien
Writing in Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende looks at an issue he describes as “probably the most troubling indicator for Democrats right now,” the electoral drop-off in Democratic votes this year compared to the 2012 general election.
Trende analyzed 170 elections held this year for state and federal offices around the country. He calculated that the vote received by Democratic candidates trailed Pres. Obama’s vote in the same district by an average of 5.9 percentage points.
The five New Hampshire House special elections held this year showed a similar drop-off in the Democratic vote. In four of the five special elections, Democratic candidates received a smaller share of the vote than Pres. Obama received in 2012. Only Democrat Latha Mangipudi, who bested Pete Silva in Nashua Ward 8, outperformed the president.
The average drop-off for Democratic candidates in the New Hampshire special elections was 7.3 points. In two of the races, Hillsborough District 31 and Sullivan District 4, the Democratic vote trailed Pres. Obama’s vote by a whopping 16 points.
"What does this mean for 2014?" asks Trende:
Possibly nothing. There is a lot of football left to be played, the president’s job approval rating could rally significantly, the Democrats could become enthused, and drop-off could become a non-issue. But if that doesn’t happen, Democrats have a real headache coming on.
Today’s Union Leader weighs in on the Stilettogate controversy involving state House Reps. Peter Sullivan (D-Manchester) and Marilinda Garcia (R-Salem). “It was disappointing,” the editor writes, “that so many Republicans chose to play the victim card here:”
Knowing Sullivan’s history, we took his Kardashian comparison to mean that he thought Garcia was an intellectual lightweight, as he said, not that she was trampy, which he did not say. Sexism is a serious allegation, and although plausible in this case, it is debatable. Politics is cheapened by those who leap to label political opponents as sexists or racists or bigots on the flimsiest of evidence, and we were not about to do so here.
It was disappointing that so many Republicans chose to play the victim card here. (If there is one word that we would never think of to describe Marilinda Garcia, it is “victim.”) It is a tenet of conservatism that the accusatory tactics of the left are tarnishing American politics. They should be eschewed, not copied.
State House Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R-Manchester) “not only admits but openly boasts” that he likes both Rep. Marilinda Garcia (R-Salem) and Rep. Peter Sullivan (D-Manchester) — subjects of the latest State House brouhaha.
“What I don’t like,” he writes in his blog, “is ginned up phony outrage, a more and more common staple in our political diet these days.”
Vaillancourt came to Sullivan’s defense after hearing talk-show host Howie Carr condemn the Manchester Democrat for describing Garcia as a combination of Bill O’Brien and Kim Kardashian and for referring to her as “Al Baldasaro in stiletto heels:”
Howie Carr somehow took [the Kardashian reference] to mean that Rep. Sullivan was calling [Garcia] immoral or a porn star. Howie, unlike I, knew that Kim got her start in porn and felt free to extrapolate that must have been Rep. Sullivan’s reason for the reference, an absurd conclusion in my humble opinion, but then I don’t have four hours of talk radio to fill each day.
Howie hasn’t a clue as to who Al Baldasaro is, so he took the reference to imply that Rep. Sullivan was saying Rep. Garcia is into cross dressing. How absurd!
Those of us who know Rep. Baldasaro would certainly not go there. In fact, Rep. Sullivan deserves credit here—it’s a pretty good line, and it has nothing to do with cross dressing.
Rep. Baldasaro and Rep. Garcia are leaders in the House Republican Alliance, the ultra conservative Republican wing of the New Hampshire legislature, the group that Bill O’Brien appealed to when he became speaker. I say this not a pejorative but simply by way of explaining that they are cut from the same political cloth with the exception that one is male; one is female. That’s why it was such a good line—Al Baldasaro in stilettos is in fact no insult (unless you detest Al Baldasaro as some Democrats do); it is rather a statement of fact, colorful to be sure, but we often need color to make points. [typographic errors corrected]
ThinkProgress announces the return of former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith with the headine: “Ex-Senator Who Accused Teachers Of Spreading Homosexuality Wants His Old Job Back.”
Here are the top three items on a well-researched list of “things everyone should know about Smith,” compiled by senior investigative reporter Josh Israel:
1. He rabidly opposed the “homosexual lifestyle.” As a Senator, Smith opposed LGBT equality at every opportunity — voting to keep anti-gay employment discrimination legal, opposing hate crimes protections, and refusing to even institute a non-discrimination policy for his own employees. …
2. He waved a plastic fetus on the Senate floor in opposition to abortion rights. A self-described “consistent pro-life leader with a perfect pro-life voting record for his entire 13 years in Congress,” Smith was the author of a proposed constitutional amendment to grant equal legal rights to fetuses and to ban all abortions not necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, even in cases of rape and incest. …
3. He voted repeatedly against background checks for gun purchases. Smith, who believes in an “absolute” right to bear arms, voted against the 1993 Brady law which established instant background checks for gun purchasers. He voted against a 1999 proposal to require background checks on guns purchased at all gun shows. …
Scott Brown today claimed three-fourths of New Hampshire’s primary care physicians and a majority of the state’s hospitals offer “inferior care.”
The doctors and hospitals Brown criticized make up Anthem’s health provider network for individual insurance plans offered through the health care marketplace.
In a FoxNews op ed, Brown said New Hampshire policy holders will be forced to choose between two undesirable options: rack up higher costs by using out-of-network providers, or use caregivers in the Anthem network and receive “inferior service:”
For example, in New Hampshire, only 16 of the state’s 26 hospitals are available on the federal exchange, meaning patients must either pay more to keep their current doctor or seek inferior care elsewhere. [emphasis added]
Anthem’s Pathway provider network includes 74% of the state’s primary care providers, 85% of specialists and other professional providers, 98% of the current ancillary network and 16 of the state’s 26 acute care general hospitals.
Brown’s piece was widely interpreted as a signal Brown is serious about entering the race to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Funny way to show it.
He was rejected and thrown out of office … and I see very few folks who will rally to his tattered banner this time either. He is a craven free media seeker and he will provide some comic relief but in the serious business of fielding credible candidates he does not fit into that equation.
— Dave Carney, Republican consultant, on former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith
The filing period closed for the special election to fill the Executive Council seat vacated by the death of Ray Burton — and 2012 state senate candidate Josh Youssef passed.
Youssef, the Laconia businessman with a checkered past, had told James Pindell he was “very seriously considering" the race and even went so far as to rename his senate campaign’s Facebook page: "Draft Josh Youssef for Executive Council District 1.”
Libertarian state House Rep. George Lambert (R-Litchfield), who is officially “exploring” a run for the corner office, took to Facebook today to let everyone know he’s still in the mix.
Lambert answered a Kevin Landrigan piece in which “GOP prognosticators” dismissed his candidacy as “a hopeless match. My friends are “newly minted Bitcoin millionaires,” he warned:
Hopeless? So say the people who lead the State Republican Party and yet are unable to develop a plan for a better candidate. Those who don’t have money to pay their own staff are worried that they are smarter?
Fundraising could take a major turn in the next 60 days in this race, with all of my friends who are newly minted bitcoin millionaires that share my passion for liberty? Not quite hopeless yet.
After a fellow Republican challenged “free staters, and libertarian leaning republicans” to run for political office rather than complain about the candidates who do run, gun slinging state House Rep. Kyle Tasker (R-Nottingham) described a “Tasker for Congress 2016" campaign. "I might be able to wrap up my [N.H. House] agenda in 3 years," he wrote:
Kyle Tasker Other then [Marilinda Garcia’s] position on gay marriage and medical marijuana her record is fine. But that’s hardly a breath of fresh air. It’s disconcerting that a youthful candidate has the same old ideas.
Joseph M. Weber Because so many of those “ideal” candidates, free staters, and libertarian leaning republicans are stepping up to the plate running for federal office these days…. In other words, how about some of them actually run thereby providing us with an alternative to “old ideas”.
Kyle Tasker Tasker for Congress 2016, CD1, gotta get some checks coming in, I’m a working man and I burned through my savings being a state Rep. Youngest running this term is 24 from Maine, by the election he will be the minimum 25, I’ll be 31 if I run for 2016. Marilinda is 30 now, all republicans. Maybe youth will be the salvation of the Republican Party.
Kyle Tasker There is the matter of unfinished work at the state level. Cameras on police, marijuana decrim, I might be able to wrap up my agenda in 3 years.
At five that kid should have known firearm safety already. Not teaching your kids things will only lead to them finding things out on their own. This is why my kids learned firearms safety when they learned how to talk.