Pardon me for weighing into a pissing contest which I had hoped to avoid, but I totally agree with Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, that 120 so-called free staters who have filed a petition against free speaker Rep. Cynthia Chase, D-Keene, should go pound sand!
When state House Rep. Cynthia Chase called the Free State Project “the single biggest threat the state is facing today,” the right-wing media machine geared up to attack. But something got lost in translation.
“A New Hampshire legislator wants her constituents to know that she feels conservatives are the ‘single biggest threat’ her state faces today,” wrote Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston. “Cynthia Chase wants conservatives to leave New Hampshire,” explained Rush Limbaugh.
Foster’s, the state’s most conservative newspaper this side of the Union Leader, knows better. In today’s editorial, the editors educate their conservative brethren. Chase’s comments “aptly reflect what many Granite Staters have been quietly saying for more than a decade,” they write:
Unfortunately, the Free State Movement came to New Hampshire with the stated intent of taking over our way of life, — a way of life the vast majority of us believe is pretty darn good.
And even though [Free State Project founder Jason Sorens] made his intentions clear from the get-go, the Free State Movement has gone about its work in a surreptitious manner.
Free Staters are more libertarian then they are conservative or Republican. Yet, their chosen road to Concord and legislative chambers has been through the Republican Party, not the existing Libertarian movement. This allowed Free Staters to often run for office without have to clearly state their Sorens-ian intentions of political domination. It also wrongly has brought brand-named conservatives to their defense.
In a powerful op-ed, Democratic state Rep. Cynthia Chase recalls “a truly awful time” before a woman had a right to control her sexuality and her reproductive life.
I am old enough to remember what it was like for women when contraception was illegal….
I remember when back alley abortions were performed in secret on kitchen tables with no anesthetic….
I remember the Sophia Little Home … where “disgraced” young women were sent to await the birth of their babies….
I remember being about 9 or 10 years old and hearing of people being jailed for telling woman about contraception.
Allowing women to control their reproductive life, Chase reminds us, led to their “full participation in American society.” That equality is now threatened, she charges, by the Catholic Church and right wing ideologues who have declared war on contraception and on the women of New Hampshire.
The audacity of such a move is exceeded only by the silence of women whose lives will be significantly changed should legislation such as House Bill 1653 become law.
This is not a religious issue, no matter what the oracles in Concord may claim. This is a health issue, a secular issue and a privacy issue.
Rep. Cynthia Chase takes a look at how the state is faring under the budget, opposed by Democrats and moderate Republicans, that cut funding for many state services that formed our social safety net.
- [T]he finance committee decided to keep the federal [Medicaid] reimbursement funds. … The net result: a $250 million cut to our hospital operating budgets over two years.
- A recent report by the U.S. Department of Justice said that the New Hampshire mental health system is in crisis.
- The Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program … has been cut to 50 children from over 1,500, with the fallout being experienced by schools and families across the state.
- [T]he cost cutting to higher education has left New Hampshire in-state students with the dubious distinction of graduating with the highest debt load of any state in the nation.
- This Legislature has passed the most frightening relaxation of gun laws seen in modern times.
- Other items facing cuts are Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, heating assistance, social service agencies and senior services.
“The majority in Concord,” she concludes, “appears to see no reason why they should be concerned about the needs of others less fortunate than themselves.”