Quote of the Day: Smells Like Desperation

Running to social issues doesn’t work in New Hampshire (the nation’s second least religious state). Plus, it smells like desperation. (But there are a lot of months to go until November.) Rush Limbaugh may help in certain places and among certain demographics, but New Hampshire independents are not one them.

James Pindell, WMUR.com Political Director


Rep. Lee Quandt: “Why Did You Stab Us in the Back?”

GOP state Rep. Lee Quandt says thousands of New Hampshire Republicans have been driven from the party by the “arrogance and self serving decisions” from Speaker Bill O’Brien and the House leadership team.

There are thousands of union Republicans that have been driven away from the party. The current make up of the Republican Party has no use for senior citizens, veterans, gays, or the working middle class. They have proven this by, not only the right to work issue; but, the myriad of other anti working class bills that they have put in.

The bad House leadership has brought down the Republican Party in NH. The arrogance and self serving decisions that are coming out of our leadership team is being hard to believe according to many active republicans that are watching what is going on. They don’t listen and have put themselves in an un-winnable situation.

While the thousands of public middle class republicans can ask, “why did you stab us in the back, what did we do to deserve this”?


Quote of the Day: Barefoot and Pregnant

I think they just want us barefoot and pregnant, and I’m disgusted. The atmosphere of the whole Republican Party has been going backwards, and the moderates are lost. The religious argument is bogus, because I think they’re just using that as a political tool.

— GOP state Rep. Priscilla Lockwood, on Republican efforts to allow employers and insurers to place limits on insurance coverage for birth control.


Our Problematic Legislature: Number Two, With a Bullet!

When asked to name the most important problem facing the state, 39 percent of New Hampshire adults expressed concerns about jobs and the economy. And the second most identified problem? The Republican state legislature!

That’s right, in the latest WMUR Granite State Poll, ten percent of New Hampshire adults identified GOP lawmakers as their biggest concern, more than those who named the state budget, health care, taxes or education quality. And the number is growing. In October, six percent of the respondents identified Republicans in the legislature as the state’s most important problem.

In other news, the survey confirmed that Gov. John Lynch is very popular (with a 68 percent approval rating and a +52 percent net favorability rating) and that most of us don’t know enough about the potential gubernatorial candidates to have an opinion about any of them.

The WMUR Granite State Poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, which interviewed 527 New Hampshire adults between January 25 and February 2, 2012. The margin of error is +/- 4.3 percent.


Dante Scala: The Yankee Republican Has Disappeared

UNH political scientist Dante Scala analyzes Granite State voting data in presidential elections from 1960 to 2008 and concludes that the “Yankee Republican, that rural stalwart of New England conservative values, has slowly but surely disappeared from the scene.”

The must-read study from the Carsey Institute documents the state’s “slow motion realignment” from reliably Republican to “Democratic-tilting bellwether.” Scala charts the decline of GOP voters in the “Yankee” rural counties in the north and along the Vermont border; and the corresponding growth in the Massachusetts border counties, Hillsborough and Rockingham, which contributed 55% of the votes cast in the 2008 GOP presidential primary.

Scala counters those who argue that New Hampshire is undeserving of its “first in the nation” role in the presidential campaign because it is unrepresentative of the national electorate.

The fate of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and the other competitors will largely be decided by voters who live within the environs of the Greater Boston metropolitan area. As such, they might be a harbinger of how Republicans in other suburbs around the country may choose when it is their turn to cast votes.


WMUR Poll: GOP in Legislature “Important Problem”

6% of New Hampshire adults say the most important problem facing the state of New Hampshire today is “Republicans in the state legislature.” This was the third most frequently cited problem, following jobs and the economy (48%) and the state budget (7%). Republicans in the legislature are seen as a bigger problem than taxes (5%), health care (4%) and education funding (4%).

The WMUR Granite State Pollconducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, surveyed 558 New Hampshire adults by phone from October 7 to 16, 2011 and has a margin of error of +/-4.1%.


Ovide Lamontagne: O’Brien Agenda “Just the Beginning”

Four days after Gov. John Lynch announced he will not be a candidate for re-election, Ovide Lamontagne today launched his campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

"We know that there is such important work to be done right here in New Hampshire, and the rest of the country is looking to us for the message we send,” Lamontagne told the Bedford Republican Committee during a fundraiser breakfast at the Manchester Country Club.

Here’s a small sample of the important work Lamontagne wants to accomplish:

    Lamontagne would rubber stamp the agenda advanced by Speaker O’Brien and the extreme Free State/Tea Party elements of the GOP. In fact, he says, the damage inflicted by the GOP-dominated legislature thus far is “just the beginning.” 

    "Right here in New Hampshire, [we have a] new Speaker of the House, new Senate President, a Republican conservative majority in both houses and it’s just the beginning.”


      Notable Quotes: N.H. GOP Chair Jack Kimball Resigns

      "You’re watching the death of the New Hampshire Republican Party tonight."
      E.J. Bleiler, Dover tea party member.

      "It’s not about whether he was in the establishment wing, or the tea party wing, or the Dunkin Donuts wing."
      Steve Duprey, RNC committeeman. 

      “This was trumped up. It was a lynching. They got the mob going and off they went.”
      Jerry DeLemus, Granite State Liberty PAC chairman.

      “Those people in the government and their friends in the media who want us to fail so they can take more of your money to increase the size of government will attempt to make Jack Kimball’s resignation into a repudiation of our movement…”
      Andrew Hemingway, Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire chairman.

      “This is the establishment Republicans versus the Tea Party that helped get them into office. They rode us in, now they’re bringing us back to the barn.”
      Jeffrey Diggins, Fremont Tea Party activist.

      “Outgoing chairman Jack Kimball gave the New Hampshire Republican Party an invaluable gift tonight.”
      —Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Reps. Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass, state Senate President Peter Bragdon and state House Speaker Bill O’Brien.


      Lee Quandt: Kimball Scapegoat for O’Brien Agenda

      Reviewing the Jack Kimball imbroglio, Republican state Rep. Lee Quandt says Kimball is the fall guy for the blowback from Speaker O’Brien’s extreme agenda. Kimball needs to go, he concludes, but so does O’Brien.

      So I can say that what caused the most problems in the Republican Party is the unprecedented attacks on our public sector employees: our teachers, our fire fighters, our police officers and state workers. This agenda is being manically pursued by Speaker Bully O’Brien and his little band of merry followers.

      This has caused thousands of republican public sector employees to pull back from the party, and forced into working with the unions and democrats to defeat these people who are attacking us and our families; hence, the Republican Party is losing special elections. … In short these people, mostly lead by O’Brien have done a good job at splintering the party and placing the lion’s share of the blame on Kimball. There is no question Jack needs to go; but, so [does] O’Brien and his out of control leadership group.


      Quote of the Day: Left-Leaning Lunatics

      "I’ve been spending a lot of time on this and it seems like there’s no possibility for anything but a contested convention. The media and pollsters want this to be decided in primaries? Well, who gives a rip who wins New Hampshire? There’s a bunch of left-leaning lunatics up there."

      — Curly Haugland, RNC committeeman from North Dakota, on the likelihood of a brokered convention

      h/t: @CharliePerkins


      Jack Kimball’s Greatest Hits

      It looks like September 1, 2011 may be Jack Kimball’s last day as chairman of the state Republican party. The party’s executive committee has scheduled a meeting that day and Kimball’s ouster is sure to be on the agenda. Kimball’s brief tenure has been eventful. Here’s a look back at Kimball’s “greatest hits” as chairman. 

      January 22, 2011: Kimball, a tea-party-backed grassroots activist, wins election for party chair in close, contested race against a representative of the party establishment. “Jack Kimball’s election as chair completes the radical right-wing takeover of the Republican Party in the Granite State,” responds state Democratic chair Ray Buckley.

      February 19, 2011: Kimball uninvites Birther Andy Martin from addressing the Contoocook Valley Republican Committee after — and only after — Martin’s anti-Semitic comments are publicized.

      February 21, 2011: Kimball issues a press release attacking Blue Hampshire blogger Susan Bruce saying, “There is no place in a civil society for such vitriol.” Even conservative editor Drew Cline objects. “Asking to have a little ole blogger shut down is not the way to encourage civility,” Cline writes.

      April 6, 2011: In the wake of House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt’s “pedophile pimp” controversy, Kimball admonishes House members to get their act together. Speaker O’Brien and Bettencourt are not amused.  

      May 17, 2011: Democrat Jennifer Daler wins state House seat in a special election in Speaker O’Brien’s district. Kimball accepts the blame and vows, “We’re having meetings today about it to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

      June 12, 2011:  Kimball claims the reelection of President Obama would mean American military killed in action died “completely in vain.” When veterans groups protest, Kimball calls them “fronts for the left wing.”

      July 21, 2011: The party’s financial straits become public. “The state party is running on financial fumes, and Jack has not really made any effort to reach out to the people who didn’t support him,” says former chair Fergus Cullen.

      August 2, 2011: Kimball calls for Newmarket GOP chair Joe Barton to resign. Barton had offered a bounty on the state GOP Facebook page for anyone willing to primary GOP state Sen. Carson. Barton refused to resign.

      August 9, 2011: Democrats win the second state House special election on Kimball’s watch. Kimball doesn’t accept the blame this time and blasts winning candidate Bob Perry for his “tax-and-spend” votes.

      August 9, 2011: Kimball is photographed signing a petition for the State of New Hampshire to recognize the Libertarian party.

      August 16, 2011: Kimball asks NHGOP Executive Director Will Wrobleski to resign. Wrobleski refuses and is subsequently fired by Kimball. 

      August 19, 2011: The Union Leader calls for Kimball to resign. “Jack Kimball was the wrong choice at the wrong time. … The party needs a change, now.”


      The Impact of Medicaid Cuts on One N.H. Mother

      The Portsmouth Herald examines the impact of the state’s $230 million reduction in hospital Medicaid reimbursement by recounting the story of one New Hampshire mother — and calls it the GOP’s “worst decision.”

      Exeter resident Suzanne Brooks said she will forgo her own medical needs to care for her young children, ages 1, 2 and 5, if she loses medical assistance as a result of the New Hampshire Legislature cutting Medicaid funds for the state’s largest hospitals.

      Republican Speaker William O’Brien, Rep. Lynne Ober and Rep. Neal Kurk defended the Medicaid cuts … referring to short-term pain for long-term benefits. Was a single mom’s loss of medical care the short-term pain they envisioned? The GOP trio defended the decision to cut the Medicaid funds by blaming the federal government’s stimulus and federal health care reform, which they sarcastically referred to as “ObamaCare.”

      They offered little on how someone like Suzanne Brooks is supposed to live without Medicaid.


      Miscellany Blue