The editorial board of the Portsmouth Herald, generally a voice of moderation and restraint, is forceful and unambiguous in condemning the “bully” Speaker O’Brien for his “sneaky” and “manipulative” handling of Right-to-Work legislation.
House Speaker William O’Brien and New Hampshire GOP Party Chairman Jack Kimball both predicted a vote Wednesday on deceptively named “Right to Work” legislation would be “a defining moment.”
The right and fair thing to do Wednesday would have been to hold the vote as scheduled. All the representatives have made up their minds. As one wise member of our editorial board noted, you can’t do any more arm twisting when representatives’ arms are already in casts. But instead of doing the honest thing and allowing the representatives to vote, O’Brien retreated to wait for a time when the numbers in the House chamber are stacked in his favor. He and his leadership team are literally going to wait until enough Democrats or anti-Right to Work Republicans are away and then, when they think they have the numbers, they’ll call the vote.
And that’s why this is a defining moment. We already knew O’Brien was a bully, and he bullied members of his own party again Wednesday when they urged him to call a vote. But now he has further defined himself as sneaky, manipulative and willing to do whatever he needs to do to give the out-of-state puppeteers holding his strings the victory they want.
A truly defining moment.