Maybe other state constitutions would allow such a tax credit (Charlie Arlinghaus and graybeards take note), but our Constitution clearly does not. Democrats understand that. Judge Lewis understands that. I (and a few other Republicans) understand that, but the saddest thing is that the very Republicans who brandish the Constitution when it suits their ends are quick to ignore the Constitution when it goes against them.
— State House Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R-Manchester) on yesterday’s court ruling that education tax credit law is unconstitutional.
State House Rep. Kyle Tasker (R-Nottingham) was tickled pink to be featured in Miscellany Blue this morning. “Just like that, famous again,” he bragged.
The post, which was picked up by Foster’s and Huffington Post, highlighted his Facebook comments concerning a video that declared black women do not care about their children.
The headlines were not ones most politicians would welcome. Tasker says “he does not believe black women are unfit parents, despite his recent posting on Facebook,” wrote Huffington Post. Foster’s declared, “State rep in hot water over Facebook comment about black women.”
Tasker was just happy for the publicity. “Which democrat actually reads my posts and thinks, let’s post this on Miscellany blue and increase his vote count for next election with more name recognition?” he asked.
“…only took 2 weeks to get on Miscellany blue again, they love me,” he crowed.
Yesterday, state House Rep. Kyle Tasker (R-Nottingham) posted a video on Facebook made by controversial radio talk show host Tommy Sotomayor. The Atlanta-based African American courted controversy by bashing Jason Collins, the first openly gay active NBA player, but made his name with his vicious attacks on black women.
The YouTube video Tasker posted is classic Sotomayor: “[Black] Woman Throws her Baby Away So She Can Poundcake Another Woman On The Bus!”
In his video commentary, Sotomayor declares, “Black women are the worst stewards of children on the planet. They are the worst mothers by a long shot. They do not care about their children.”
This leads to the following exchange between Tasker and Rep. John Burt (R-Goffstown):
John A Burt Is this man racist?
Kyle Tasker He thinks black women are the least fit people on earth to rear children.
Kyle Tasker So not really
Bill Duncan, who has been leading the fight for New Hampshire’s public schools with Advancing New Hampshire Public Education, is a plaintiff in the lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the state’s education tax credit law. Here’s his report on today’s court decision.
Today’s Strafford County Superior Court decision declared unconstitutional the provisions of voucher tax credit law that fund religious schools. That portion of the program will have to shut down immediately. The program will, however, still be able to provide funding to secular private schools, out-of-district public schools and home schools. However, 70% of the students must come directly from public schools and very voucher few applicants do.
The court decision confirmed that the law did, indeed, divert tax payments to religious schools. Addressing our key contention that granting tax credits in return for donations amounted to the expenditure of public funds, the Court said:
“The phrases ‘public funds,’ or ‘money raised by taxation,’ focuses the Court’s inquiry not on when the government’s technical ‘ownership’ of funds or monies arises, but on when, or at what point, the public’s interest fairly arises in how funds or monies are spent. The Court concludes that the interest of New Hampshire taxpayers in regard to challenging the legality of legislation such as the program at bar does not arise only after money is deposited in the New Hampshire treasury….
“….A taxpayer’s interest is also not dependent on the number of hands the money passes through. A taxpayer’s concern arises when a large portion of the donated funds are, as here, realized very much through a tax credit….
“This Court concludes that the program uses “public funds,” or “money raised by taxation,” and thus the program implicates Part I, Article 6, and Part II, Article 83. The New Hampshire tax code is the avenue used for producing and directing much money into the program. Contrary to the State’s assertion that “the government has not set aside revenue for a specific purpose,” see State’s Trial Mem. 17, it appears to the Court that is indeed exactly what the legislature has done. Money that would otherwise be flowing to the government is diverted for the very specific purpose of providing scholarships to students.”
Finally, the Court granted an injunction prohibiting the State from paying religious schools with these tax credit funded donations, saying:
“The plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief is GRANTED to the extent that, effective immediately, the State and all those involved with the program’s realization and implementation are enjoined from proceeding to allow scholarships, as well as any associated tax credits, to be approved, granted, or applied, or in any way further carried forth or realized, in regard to, or toward, or covering educational expenses of “schools or institutions of any religious sect or denomination” within the meaning of Part II, Article 83.”
Supporters of the voucher program will probably appeal this ruling to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. As you will see, the opinion is well reasoned and should stand up well to Supreme Court scrutiny. If the decision is appealed, there is no way to know when the Supreme Court would rule.
This post first appeared on Advancing New Hampshire Public Education.
At least six Republican lawmakers are among a group gathering in Concord tomorrow to protest an event commemorating the thousands of Americans killed by gun violence since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The “No More Gun Control” counter rally was announced on Facebook and is being promoted by the NRA’s state affiliate, Gun Owners of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition.
The group is gathering to protest the Concord stop for the “No More Names” bus tour, sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. During the event, gun violence survivors, family members, and community members will read the names of loved ones who have been murdered with guns in the six months since Newtown. The day will conclude with a vigil to honor those killed and demand new laws to reduce gun crime and save lives.
House Majority Leader Stephen Shurtleff (D-Penacook) and Rep. Deanna Rollo (D-Rollingsford) announced the event in the House Calendar.
State House Reps. John Burt (R-Goffstown), John Hikel (R-Goffstown), JR Hoell (R-Dunbarton), Gary Hopper (R-Weare), Pam Tucker (R-Greenland) and Jordan Ulery (R-Hudson) are among those who have signed up on Facebook to protest the event.
Gun Owners of New Hampshire announced the protest with this “Minuteman Alert:”
Firearms owners need to absolutely overcome this movement of anti-gunners, by showing the legislature we know the truth: Their push for “sensible firearms laws” is just code words for disarming N.H. citizens of their firearms, bit by bit.
We must let them know that N.H. is the LIVE FREE or DIE state, and we intend to keep it that way! We need to show them that Minute Men and Women still live in NH, and can be called on to stand up against challenges to our firearms civil rights both from within and from outside N.H. …
[Representative Stephen Shurtleff] and a few other anti-firearms groups in New Hampshire have scheduled this rally at the state house to hold some sort of vigil for the remembrance of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut victims. While we all mourn the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we need your help to educate this uninformed anti-firearms group. …
“Time to crash Rep. Shurtleff’s party,” wrote Hoell.
Hundreds of Free Staters and fellow travelers are heading to Lancaster this week for the Porcupine Freedom Festival. They’ll be armed.
“Porcfest offers a safe place to carry your gun,” one gun toting libertarian reports. “However, like any well-tuned machine, a gun is only as safe as its operator, and even when we get to a Stateless society the laws of physics will still apply.”
His etiquette tips include this gem:
Wear proper support for your holster. Dropping a gun out of a holster clipped to your droopy drawers is really bad etiquette and can be dangerous. Wear a stiff belt to support your holstered pistol even when using the toilet.
The New York Times reports Sen. Kelly Ayotte is at the center of negotiations that could result in her support for legislation to expand gun background checks.
Ayotte’s spokesperson, Jeff Grappone, denied she is participating in the talks, but other senators confirm the discussions are underway and say momentum is building.
Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledged the effort but warned lawmakers he will not accept “a watered-down version of background checks.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) insisted proposed changes will not weaken the bill:
“We have to give them a credible and commendable way to change their votes,” Mr. Blumenthal said of a handful of senators who could be persuaded, starting with Mr. Begich and Ms. Ayotte. Such modifications do not have to weaken the bill substantially, he added.“Sometimes clarification can have the appearance of change,” he said.
Yesterday, state House Rep. Peter Hansen (R-Amherst) received an email from a constituent requesting his assistance.
“As we prepare to spend time with our Fathers this weekend, my thoughts are with all those families who are separated from each other by prison walls,” she wrote. “I am outraged at the high rates many families pay to make telephone calls to their loved ones in prison.”
She asked Rep. Hansen to write a letter to the F.C.C. supporting a proposal that would prohibit prison phone companies from charging exorbitant rates for long distance calls.
Rep. Hansen circulated the message to his fellow lawmakers to get their input. He received a thoughtful reply from Rep. Steven Smith (R-Charlestown). He received this response from Rep. Ralph Boehm (R-Litchfield):
“boo hoo„„ guess we forget about the ‘hardship’ they cost their victims. “Tough, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”
Next Tuesday, June 18, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ “No More Names” bus tour will make a stop in Concord for an all-day vigil.
The event will feature gun violence survivors, family members, and community members reading the names of loved ones who have been murdered with guns. Participants will urge Congress to pass comprehensive and enforceable background checks legislation to reduce gun violence and save lives.
The 25-state tour launches in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, the six-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. The 100-day tour will commemorate the thousands of Americans killed with guns since Newtown.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the anti-gun violence group spearheaded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been running television ads in New Hampshire since March targeting Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her vote opposing expanded background checks for gun purchases.
For more information, visit NoMoreNames.org.
So here we are again. It’s kind of like “Groundhog Day” — Republican lawmakers playing politics with women’s health – but this time they’re playing politics with our tax dollars too. Our message to the New Hampshire Senate is this: When you reject federal funding for expanding affordable health care, you disproportionately jeopardize the health and lives of New Hampshire women.
— Jennifer Frizzell, Planned Parenthood, noting women make up 61% of those who would become eligible to receive health insurance by expanding Medicaid
Sen. Kelly Ayotte issued a press release today titled, “What They’re Saying: Praise for Ayotte’s Support of Bipartisan Immigration Reform Bill.” As you would expect, it’s a one-sided survey of editorial support for her position. Here are a few reactions from the other side — most expressing anger over her perceived flip-flop on the issue.
Madison Project’s Daniel Horowitz called her “another Schumer Republican who lied to get elected:”
It’s amazing how many Republicans ran for election as absolutely opposed to any form of amnesty — certainly before enforcing existing laws. Somehow within a year or two, all of them have had an epiphany. The latest example is Senator Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire, the third amigo in the McCain/Graham Schumer club.
In 2010, Ayotte ran strong on the issue of illegal immigration, and actually aired a number of ads lambasting her Democrat opponent on support for amnesty. During the primary, she had a strong Tea Party challenge from Ovide Lamontagne, winning by just 1600 votes. Needless to say, she wouldn’t have been caught dead supporting amnesty during that primary.
Long time conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly said Ayotte should “stop echoing Karl Rove” and read the “Amnesty Bill:”
“As a Senate candidate, Kelly Ayotte had it right when she said that we don’t necessarily need to add new immigration laws, we need to start by enforcing the laws already on the books,” said Schlafly. “Ayotte even ran ads against her Democrat opponent for supporting amnesty.”
“Ayotte betrayed every conservative who supported her when she announced her support for this shameful bill,” Schlafly declared. “She has apparently been spending too much time with serial Establishment election losers like Karl Rove instead of reading the bill.”
Even Birther Queen Orly Taitz got in on the act, linking the immigration bill to the President’s alleged invalid Social Security number:
Senator Ayotte, aside from being a U.S. senator, you are a former Attorney General of New Hampshire, a Chief Law Enforcement officer of a state. You are being held to a higher authority. It is your duty to demand to stay the hearing on the new immigration bill and seek to hear the issue of Mr. Obama’s use of a stolen Social Security number, which failed E-verify.
You will have zero credibility in promising U.S. citizens and your constituents that e-Verify of millions of illegals will be checked, if you are covering up the failed E-Verify of an individual occupying the position of the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief. Moreover, if you do not take action, you will be criminally complicit in the cover up of forgery, fraud, Social Security Fraud, IRS fraud, violation of Identity Theft Act of 1988 and treason.
Huffington Post confirms Sen. Kelly Ayotte undercut efforts by Sen. Marco Rubio to beef up border security measures in the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. The story validates analysis by WMUR’s James Pindell who called Ayotte’s actions a “political fumble” by a rookie politician.
Ayotte’s announcement that she plans to vote in favor of the immigration overhaul weakens Rubio’s hand at the bargaining table as he attempts to make the bill more palatable for conservatives.
Citing three sources, Huffington Post writers Elise Foley and Sam Stein describe a private conversation between the two senators in which presidential hopeful Rubio asked Ayotte to hold back before announcing her position in favor of the bill:
Rubio had privately urged fellow Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) to remain quiet about her support for immigration reform, in hopes that Senate negotiators would amend the bill’s border security measures to win her vote, according to three sources, including one Republican Senate aide. …
Rubio “has not been telling them to vote no,” said one Senate Democratic aide familiar with negotiations. “He has been apparently holding people back from declaring support for the bill, while at the same time saying the bill needs changes in order to garner support. My understanding is he told Sen. Ayotte’s office to hold back, but she didn’t care.” …
A spokesman for Ayotte flatly denied that such a conversation took place. A spokesman for Rubio said he could not confirm the anecdote.
Ayotte apparent rebuff of Rubio’s request came just days after he came to her defense with a six-figure ad buy when she faced withering criticism over her opposition to expanded background checks for gun purchases.