Miscellany Blue - New Hampshire Politics

'All of you who were insulted by a cartoon — grow up'

When House Speaker Bill O’Brien barred reporters from a press conference as retaliation for a political cartoon published by their paper, lawmakers rushed to the House email system to voice their support.

"[Y]esterday’s barring of the Monitor from the press event was not only appropriate, it was necessary," wrote Rep. Fred Leonard (R-Rochester). "I believe all House members should rally around the decision from the Speaker’s office to bar the Monitor from the event!"

"Thank you Mr. Speaker for standing up to the Liberal press that fails to tell the truth," added Rep. Al Baldasaro (R-Londonderry). "We should boycott the Concord Liberal Monitor!"

Finally, Rep. Chris Serlin (D-Portsmouth) responded.

It’s incredible to watch this train wreck unfold. So many of you calling for the wagons to be circled around the Speaker for the Press has DARED to paint him in an unfavorable light in a cartoon. The HORROR!

If the Press “behaves” then they are afforded access. Oh how rich! As if the people and the Press work for us - or are our peers. What is this — a Banana Republic, where the politicians tell the press what they should and should not do?

We work for the people of New Hampshire, which includes the Press. There is nothing that the press or the citizens of NH owe us. We owe THEM. We owe it to them all to be just a wee bit less sensitive to any who may insult us. A cartoon — from May — really? How ridiculous.

Too many of you sound like my 7 yr old complaining about how so and so would not play the game the way he wanted so now that kid’s not invited to his birthday. Yes, I have work to do with him — to get him to understand that people will often not treat you as you wish to be treated, but that it’s important to rise above it and make better choices despite that. But then, he’s 7.

The fact that I see adult men (in this particular case) arguing over email that the Speaker was right to ban the Press because they were “unfriendly” to him (wahhhhhh!), and had a cartoon that hurt his feelings (boo hoo!) is absurd! how old are you all? Are you grown ups or 7 yr olds?

The press has a right to access the House and every single one of us, most certainly the Speaker — at ANY TIME. We work for the people of New Hampshire — including the Press. They are not ours to command. We are theirs.

This has been the single most embarrassing conversation I have witnessed in my (to-date) 6 years of service to the NH House and people of New Hampshire. All of you who were insulted by a cartoon — grow up.


Today in the N.H. House: “Boring Work”

Today, the New Hampshire House met to vote on Committee of Conference reports for about 40 bills. Kevin Landrigan was there to tweet the results. Rep. Chris Serlin summed up the day: “Boring work.”


Fireworks in the N.H. House

It was another wild and woolly House session in Concord this morning. We’ll pick it up when the House GOP returns from a private caucus called by Speaker O’Brien.

Update: The House Democrats issued a statement calling Speaker O’Brien’s actions “an unprecedented power grab.”


A Day of Action to Protect Women’s Health

Reactions to passage of House Bill 1546, which would grant employers with a “religious objection” the right to exclude birth control and contraceptive services from employee medical insurance coverage. The vote was 196-150, more than enough opposition votes to sustain a gubernatorial veto should the Senate concur.

I never thought that in 2012 the New Hampshire Legislature would be debating the use of contraceptives. This issue is settled for Granite Staters.
— House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli

Allowing employers to decide what’s best for women’s reproductive health is outrageous. Who can imagine going to a job interview and having to ask a prospective employer whether or not they allow female employees access to contraception? 
Laura Thibault, NARAL Pro-Choice NH

My Republicans colleagues are using the banner of religious freedom as a way to mask their blatant attacks on women’s health rights. 
— Rep. Chris Serlin, Constitutional Review Committee

This is more extreme than any similar proposal anywhere in the country. It turns back the clock on a dozen years of bipartisan support for a law that guarantees women have access to contraception, and all at the taxpayers’ expense. 
— Jackie Cilley, Democratic gubernatorial candidate

Speaker O’Brien’s Tea Party legislature has ignored the needs of New Hampshire women who simply ask for access to basic health care. This unbelievable assault on women has to stop.
— Maggie Hassan, Democratic gubernatorial candidate

h/t: Granite State Progress


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