Most depressing NH Senate session I can remember.Axed road toll, tobacco tax,medicaid expansion.Poor NH.— Lucy McVitty Weber (@LucyMcVWeber) May 23, 2013
Thursday, the state Senate will vote on House Bill 135, which would repeal New Hampshire’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law.
The bill is almost certain to be defeated. Three Democratic senators, Andrew Hosmer (D-Laconia), Bette Lasky (D-Nashua) and Jeff Woodburn (D-Dalton), have signaled their intent to join the Republican majority and vote against repeal.
Writing on Blue Hampshire, longtime party activist Gary Patton points to the weight of logic and evidence that shows “Stand Your Ground” endangers the public. A vote for “Stand Your Ground” is a vote for a more violent America, he writes:
So why should any Democratic senator vote to repeal a bill that seems destined for defeat? Because a vote against repeal not only defeats HB 135, it is a public declaration that this senator agrees with the premises underlying the Stand Your Ground law. That person adds his or her voice to a chorus which is moving us toward a more violent America.
The bogus testimony came from men identifying themselves as “Adam Sutler” (a character in V for Vendetta) and “Edgar Friendly” (the name of Denis Leary’s character in Demolition Man). The text of their speeches was lifted verbatim from a series of movies: The Verdict, The Contender, V for Vendetta, Tombstone, The Fountainhead and Network.
Free Stater Garret Ean, who filmed the stunt, described the mock testimony as performance art:
This year, the Senate has killed every good bill that has left the State House, from NDAA nullification to decriminalizing marijuana. I wanted to break the fourth wall of government, and show the members of this state and these hearings for what they are: political theatre.
Bad art, wrote Susan Bruce:
It wasn’t just the committee that got punk’d. It was every NH resident who took the time to drive to Concord and testify. It was every resident that loaded up a wheelchair, and packed a bag full of supplies and medications they would need to sit there for hours, while they waited to testify. It was every resident that brought a child. It was the family that brought 2 ASL interpreters for their deaf son. We know the FSP has no respect for NH government. Now we know they also have no respect for the people of this state.
The New Hampshire House today passed Senate Bill 194, which expands Medicaid eligibility for family planning services.
After sailing through the Senate in a voice vote, the bill was approved by the House with a 212-120 margin. Democrats voted in favor 184-2, with Free Stater Reps. Michael Garcia (D-Nashua) and Joel Winters (D-Manchester) being the only nay votes. 28 Republicans crossed the aisle to support the measure.
The legislation now goes to Gov. Hassan for her signature and an additional 10,000 Granite Staters will have affordable access to family planning. NARAL estimates the act will save the state $4.5 million each year and will reduce unintended pregnancies.
Some Republican lawmakers, however, had their own reasons for opposing the increased access to family planning services:
— NARAL Pro-Choice NH (@NARALNH)
— NARAL Pro-Choice NH (@NARALNH)
— NARAL Pro-Choice NH (@NARALNH)
In February, Tamerlan Tsarnev purchased fireworks in Seabrook, New Hampshire that may have been used in the Boston Marathon bombs.
The reloadable mortar kits he bought cannot be legally sold in Massachusetts. They could not be legally sold in New Hampshire until June, 2011. That’s when a bill lifting the restriction became law. Elections have consequences.
A short excerpt from Dean Barker’s look at the law and the consequences:
The bill to make reloadable mortars legal in New Hampshire was born from the 2011-2012 Republican supermajority legislature. It became law without the signature of the Governor. The sponsors were Reps. Christiansen, Coffey, and Hopper.
Rep. Christiansen gained notoriety last biennium for wanting to use the legislature to assist a convicted child rapist.
Rep. Coffey, a Free Stater, led efforts on a bill to put warning signs between the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border.
James Pindell says the upcoming legislative session may not be as much fun to watch as the combative session before it, “but it could be one of the more productive ones in a long time:”
Sure there will be disagreements in the next two years, but the disagreements, these leaders say, will be more about policy specifics and less about sweeping differences in ideology.
If this is true it will be more about the traditional “sausage making” of how bills become law than of the partisan fights and state house rallies that marked the last session over issues like gun rights, abortion rights, union rights and gay rights.
The change in tone is in part a reaction to the last term, part the character and political incentives of those in power, and part of it is the political reality of a first-term governor working with the first politically split legislature since the 1990s.
They made a valiant effort, but New Hampshire lawmakers ultimately fell short this year in their apparent determination to achieve notoriety as the nation’s worst state legislature.
In a scientific survey, Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy concludes lawmakers in Tennessee (who made it illegal to discuss sexual activity during sex education instruction) and Oklahoma (who sought to criminalize the use of human fetuses in food products) surpassed the Granite State in crazy this year.
Here’s Murphy’s look back at the year in Concord that earned our Republican-dominated legislature the bronze medal for crazy:
Comedy Central’s Ilya Gerner described the state House of Representatives as “a bunch of part-time real-estate agents throwing monkey feces at a wall.” But that’s not entirely fair to the 400 members of the English-speaking world’s third-largest democratic body—some of them are lawyers too. In January, three Republican representatives introduced legislation mandating that all new legislation “include a direct quote from the Magna Carta.” The Senate has its moments, too. Later that month, the upper chamber overrode a veto of a bill that allowed parents to object to any part of a curriculum—say, biology or European history. In January, lawmakers considered a bill to make it harder for police officers to make arrests for spousal abuse, and a bill to strip state courts of their powers of judicial review.
Moment of Truth: After the state passed a bill allowing lawmakers to carry concealed weapons in the statehouse, GOP state Rep. Kyle Tasker dropped his gun on the floor of the Capitol during a hearing of the—not making this up—public safety committee. “All I could think was, yup, that was bound to happen one of these days,” he said later.
In 2010, 80% of the 107 candidates endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire in the general election were elected to the New Hampshire legislature. Those lawmakers went on to lead the Tea Party-dominated House for two years.
Candidates endorsed by the RLCNH in 2012 won’t have quite the same impact.
- The two RLCNH-endorsed Executive Council candidates, Robert Burns and David Wheeler, lost.
- Four of the six state Senate candidates endorsed by the RLCNH went down to defeat. Republicans John Reagan and Andy Sanborn were the only successful RLCNH-endorsed Senate candidates.
- 66 of the 116 House candidates endorsed by the RLCNH lost their general election race. RLCNH-endorsed candidates will make up about 28% of the Republican House caucus in 2013, about the same as in 2011 and 2012.
- The RLCNH endorsed the two constitutional amendments on the 2012 ballot. Both amendments failed to receive the two-thirds vote required for ratification.
This week, state Senate candidate Josh Youssef took to Facebook to complain that his opponent had created a “fake website” using his name.
My opponent and his clan are getting concerned. They created a fake website using my name and are advertising it like crazy on Facebook and Youtube. I wonder if they know that they are using photos of me for which I own the copyright? These Democrats will use anything they can find to try and steal an election.
In September, the Union Leader reported House Counsel Ed Mosca filed a lawsuit against Youssef for, you guessed it, creating a “fake website” using his name.
Ed Mosca of Manchester filed the complaint against Republican candidate Josh Youssef, alleging Youssef falsely replicated Mosca’s blog to make it appear Mosca supports Youssef’s candidacy.
Mosca filed the complaint alleging Youssef created a false blog, edmoscablog.com, to make it appear Mosca supports the candidacy of Youssef. Mosca runs a blog at edmosca.com.
Research indicates text messaging while driving creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. In 2008, New Hampshire joined more than a dozen other states and made it illegal to send a text message while driving. Scores of Republican candidates for the New Hampshire legislature would like to repeal that ban.
Campaign for Liberty, the libertarian advocacy group founded by Rep. Ron Paul, claims the ban “has been shown to increase crash rates.” They asked New Hampshire candidates if they support its repeal. Seven candidates for the state Senate, five Republicans and two Libertarians, voiced support for repeal:
District 6: Sam Cataldo (R, Farmington)
District 7: Joshua F. Youssef (R, Laconia)
District 9: Andy Sanborn (R, Bedford)
District 13: Joseph F. Krasucki (R, Nashua)
District 14: Richard B. Kahn (L, Hudson)
District 16: Richard Tomasso (L, Manchester)
District 17: John Reagan (R, Deerfield)
60 House candidates support repeal. The full list follows below the fold.
In his latest state Senate projections, James Pindell says Democrats are likely to fall short in their bid to win a majority of the 24 seats. The WMUR-TV political director rates 13 seats as likely Republican, seven seats as likely Democratic and four are rated toss-ups.
The toss-ups include open seats in District 9, where New Boston Democrat Lee Nyquist is taking on Bedford Republican Andy Sanborn; Manchester’s District 18, where Democrat Donna Soucy faces Republican J. Gail Barry; and the North Country District 1 race between Democrat Jeff Woodburn and Republican Debi Warner.
Pindell rates the District 7 contest between Democrat Andrew Hosmer and Republican Joshua Youssef, who has been dogged by personal and financial questions, as the most competitive Senate race in the state.
In this analysis ranking the 24 senate races in terms of competitiveness, eight were listed as solid Republican, five were listed leaning Republican, four were tossup, one was a lean Democrat and six were solid Democrat.
The current make-up the Senate is 19 Republicans and 5 Democrats. This latest analysis would mean Democrats would gain at least two seats, but fall short of a majority. The possible range would be in somewhere between 17 Republicans to 7 Democrats and 13 Republicans to 11 Democrats.
Pindell’s projections, ranked in order of competitiveness, follow below the fold.