Democratic leadership in the new House majority wants to disarm all those whom we have elected to represent us. … Democrat members need to fully understand that the message their leaders would convey from the membership of the House to the worst of sociopaths living among, is that “We’re defenseless, come and kill us.”
— Former GOP state Rep. Paul Mirski, on House rules that would ban deadly weapons from Representatives Hall and its immediate surroundings.
Two of the three GOP lawmakers who accidentally dropped their guns at the State House went down to defeat in yesterday’s elections.
Rep. Paul Mirski, whose pistol fell to the floor when he sat down during a redistricting committee meeting, was soundly defeated by Democrat Wendy Piper in his Grafton District 10 re-election bid.
Rep. Kyle Tasker, whose gun dropping episode made the national news, placed fifth in Rockingham District 2, a three person district.
Only Rep. George Lambert, who was seen picking up his gun and holster after they fell off while he was standing outside the State House last year, survived. Lambert finished second in the two-person Hillsborough District 44 race.
It is not illegal, of course, to carry a firearm in the State House. One of the first things Republicans did when they took control in 2010 was to repeal a gun ban that prohibited anyone but active law enforcement from carrying a deadly weapon in the complex.
Update: There is an error in the results reported by Associated Press for Rockingham District 2. Tasker actually received the highest vote total in his race and will return to Concord. (h/t: xteeth)
When we last checked in on GOP state Rep. Paul Mirski, he was on the House floor attacking the New Hampshire Supreme Court Justices as “corrupt and unethical.” (At least he managed not to drop his pistol this time.)
That may have been Mirski’s last hurrah. Now that the redistricting plan he championed has been upheld by the Supreme Court he reviles, the Enfield Republican who said “liberal” politicians are all fascists or Marxists will be running for re-election in a decidedly Democratic (PVI: D+11) district.
John Gregg has the details:
State Rep. Paul Mirski, R-Enfield, pushed for the constitutional amendment that has led to more single-town districts in the New Hampshire House, and it could cost him politically.
Mirksi, a six-term conservative lawmaker who chaired the House Redistricting Committee at the behest of House Speaker William O’Brien, is now facing a challenge from an Enfield Democrat who is a newcomer to politics.
Both Mirski and Democrat Wendy Piper, 52, a lecturer at Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, have filed to run for the Grafton District 10 seat that represents only Enfield. Previously, Mirski has been one of three representatives from a larger district that also included the more conservative towns of Grafton, Canaan, Dorchester and Orange.
GOP state Rep. Steve Vaillancourt captures the blatant bias and hypocrisy exhibited by state House Speaker Bill O’Brien while presiding over the House. GOP Rep. Paul Mirski was speaking in support of the educational funding amendment that had been vigorously promoted by O’Brien and the Republican leadership.
Mirski slurred the court on the House floor, calling the Justices who decided Claremont “corrupt” and Speaker Bill O’Brien ruled the slur was in order. Not only that, but in his usual tyrannical fashion, O’Brien then proceeded to rule a Democrat out of order for impugning the motives of a fellow Rep. In other words, it’s all right to impugn the entire court from 14 years ago; it’s all right for Mirski to spew forth unsubstantiated claims from the floor, one of his favorite tactics, but God forbid that someone on the opposing side from the Speaker say anything even a fraction as derogatory.
Keep in mind that virtually all so-called “liberal” politicians, and “liberal” journalists are, at their root and in their hearts, whether they know it or not, either thinly veiled fascists or Marxists for whom ends justifies means.
— GOP State House Rep. Paul Mirski, Chairman of House Legislative Administration Committee and Special Committee on Redistricting.
New Hampshire’s “stand your ground” gun law, which is based on model legislation from the Amerihcan Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is similar to the Florida law that has come under attack following the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.
After Coca-Cola, Pepsi and and Kraft Foods announced they were withdrawing from ALEC, Granite State Progress executive director Zandra Rice Hawkins publicly urged the 14 House members who have been identified with the right-wing corporate-funded organization to do likewise.
“Given what we now know about ALEC and its detrimental effect on New Hampshire’s public policy, there’s no excuse for New Hampshire legislators to continue their involvement in the organization,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Director of Granite State Progress. “The fact that Coke, Pepsi and Kraft have left ALEC speaks volumes to how toxic the group has become. It’s time for New Hampshire’s ALEC members to follow suit.”
House lawmakers, including several members of the GOP leadership team, were quick to respond — by embracing ALEC and demonizing Rice Hawkins. A few of their replies to the “All Representatives” email list follow below the fold.
“If ever there was an opportunity to restore legislative control over the Supreme Court, this is it.”
— Rep. Paul Mirski on CACR 26, a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to make rules governing the administration of the state courts.
The inmates are running the (New Hampshire House) asylum — and they’re armed! When state Rep. Kyle Tasker dropped his gun during a committee hearing yesterday, the national press was all over it.
They correctly pointed out it is not illegal to carry a firearm in the State House. One of the first things Republicans did when they took over in 2010 was to repeal a gun ban that prohibited anyone but active law enforcement from carrying a deadly weapon in the complex.
The press, however, failed to note that dropping loaded guns on the floor has become a routine occurrence among the Republican lawmakers. State Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley reminded everyone that this wasn’t the first time.
“Of course, perhaps Representative Tasker has taken his gun safety lessons from Representative George Lambert, who was seen picking up his holster and gun after they fell off while he was standing outside the State house last year.”
Rep. Chuck Townsend countered that it wasn’t even the second time!
“Rep. Mirski’s pistol fell when he sat down during a redistricting committee meeting. He didn’t notice and we sat watching his pistol on the floor pointing at us through the entire meeting.”
The New Hampshire House is moving forward with a plan to bypass the Governor and send its redistricting plan directly to the Secretary of State for implementation. Rep. Paul Mirski, chair of the House Special Committee on Redistricting, says lawmakers will accomplish this by submitting the plan in a House Concurrent Order rather than a House Bill.
Rep. Steve Winter, sponsor of the HCO, points to Article 9 of the New Hampshire Constitution.
“It says nothing about the Governor at all,” he said. “It is the duty of the Legislature. We have been doing it through a bill, making a law that these are the districts, but looking through the Constitution we cannot see where the Governor is supposed to play a role in that.”
Republican Rep. Steve Vaillancourt says the approach will “most certainly” result in a lawsuit.
“[I]t is both unconstitutional and unwise, is a slap at the separation of powers provision. It would set a dangerous precedent which could come back to bite the same Republican Parfty which is pushing it today.”
Democratic Rep. David Pierce gets the last word, calling it a “breathtaking disrespect for the constitution.”
Pierce argues those in favor of using an HCO are picking parts of the Constitution that work for them and ignoring the document as a whole, and added something as “vitally important” as redistricting should be subject to the same checks and balances as other legislation.