Friday, January 08, 2010

The NH GOP Nanny State

During last year’s NH legislative session, the minority party frequently
accused the majority party of wasting time on unimportant issues, instead of
focusing on jobs and the economy. They wailed and gnashed their teeth over
the time spent on the issue of marriage equality - even though that was an issue of
justice and civil rights. In looking over the bills ready to be worked on this year, it seems that the minority party has chosen to actually do exactly what they whined
the other guys were doing all last year.

There are 834 items for the legislature to deal with in 2010, including bills, 13 constitutional amendments, and approximately 20 resolutions. At least 4 of the
proposed constitutional amendments deal with taxation, including amendments
for and against a broad based tax. There are two amendments that deal with
marriage equality in our state. One calls for an amendment to definite marriage
as between a man and a woman, and CACR 25 would amend the constitution of
our state to provide that the voters can veto laws by referendum. We saw how the
referendum process worked last year in Maine, when out of state hate groups
spent millions to ensure that gay Mainers would continue to be treated as lesser
citizens. The referendum process has pretty much destroyed the economy of the
state of California. This is what Representatives Boyce, Howard, Rodeschin,
Elliot, Hickel, and State Senator Jeb Bradley would like to unleash upon NH. This
is, of course, a response to the marriage equality bill that went into law on
January first. The far right Republicans would love to have all of that out of state
money come in from hate groups, to fund their own version of the nanny state,
and undoubtedly fund their own campaigns as well.

Among the resolutions, a number of gems stand out. HCR 22 calls upon
Congress to audit ACORN funding. ACORN is a community organization that
helps low income folks with issues like housing, and voter registration. They’ve
been demonized by the far right and their media mouthpieces - and apparently
Representatives Ulery, Haefner, Renzulo, Hogan, and Villeneuve aren’t aware
that ACORN has been absolved of any wrong doing.

HCR 26 affirms the state’s religious heritage and the constitutional right to
practice religion and free speech. Since none of this is under assault, this
resolution is redundant - other than to affirm the views of the religious right, as
deemed necessary by Representatives Hinckle, Bates, Palmer, Groen, and Ulery.

Now we move on to some of the highlights (or lowlights, if you prefer) amongst
the bills. HB 1683 is “An act requiring random drug testing of public assistance
recipients.” This bill would require anyone receiving TANF benefits, or food
stamps to undergo random urine tests. If a recipient failed a test, there would be
a mandatory second test. If that test were failed, the recipient would be denied
further benefits, and would not be able to reapply for 2 years. This bill was
written by the same people who abhor abortion, yet think robbing children of
food or shelter because their parent might smoke a joint now and then is a good
idea. I think we should be drug testing all members of the NH legislature. This
obscenity is brought to us by Representatives Baldasaro, Itse, Hinkle, Hogan, and

HB1666 calls for the licensing of outpatient abortion facilities. This is a long and
odious bill, that seems intended, not only to make abortions harder to get, but to
get access to womens health records. In this bill, any woman having 3 or more
abortions would have to be reported to law enforcement for “human trafficking.”
The language of the bill is couched in a lot of faux wording regarding how very
much the State of NH is concerned with “protecting the health of women.”
Clearly, we need men to do this for us, since we’re such silly little ninnies on our
own. This bill is sponsored by Representatives Baldasaro, Hogan, Dumaine, and
Roberge. The same Baldasaro and Hogan who want to randomly drug test food
stamp recipients. No hypocrisy there. It’s also unnecessary, stir-up-the-far-right
nutjob contingent, Big Brother legislation.

And speaking of Big Brother, the minority party also wants to get involved in your
divorce. HB 510 permits no fault divorce, only if there are no minor children
involved. Representatives Hopper, Boyce, Groen, Bates, and O’Brien would like to
make it even more difficult and painful for you to get a divorce, which by all
accounts, would seem to be difficult and painful enough.

By now, you’ve seen a number of the same names repeated, over and over. You
can count on a bill being far right nannyism if it’s sponsored by Itse, Baldasaro,
Groen, Ulery, or O’Brien. These are the same kind of Republicans who were
positively enraged by a proposed seat-belt law a couple of years ago, loudly
decrying the “nanny state.” They love to make stentorian speeches about how the
GOP is against gummint interference in people’s lives. That is, as long as the
people are wealthy, white, heterosexual men. If you’re a woman, your uterus is
public property.

There is a law against adultery in NH - it’s been on the books for 200 years. Some
legislators are trying to repeal it. I’d like to suggest that in the spirit of the GOP nanny state, we keep that bill, AND we add a new one. I propose a panel that
would oversee all Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis prescriptions in our state. The men
who are prescribed this type of drug would have to go before the panel, to make a
case as to why they need this prescription, and to prove that they aren’t going to
be use for adulterous purposes. Itse? Ulery? Baldasaro? Which one of the nannies
wants to write this up and sponsor it?

“Although, he feels pretty confident that New Hampshire will return Republicans
back to state government now that New Hampshire is becoming a nanny state.”

Howie Carr, right wing talk radio host, speaking about former Senator John
Sununu in 2008.

© sbruce 2010 published as an op-ed in the Conway Daily Sun 1-8-10


Paul Bureau said...

I'm embarassed to own property in the town that you live in. Perhaps your house has an oxygen-deficient atmosphere which causes your brain to act abnormally. My suggestion is that you take a walk around Jackson Village in the crisp winter weather, and perhaps when you return home you will have lost your disdain for those of us who are male, white and heterosexual, and for those of us who prefer the America before the likes of Obama, Pelosi, Reed and their gained power.

THE said...

Feel free to move, Paul.

Paul Bureau said...

Given your reply, I presume that you did not take my advice.

Well then, keep writing as you do. Your thoughts will continue to persuade politically moderate Americans that your views, reflective of the left and of the current "administration" in Washington D.C., are not consistent with theirs.

Liberals continually spew that tea partyers and townhallers are intolerant, and liberals are not. Then why is it that that your writings always demonstrate intolerance against one or more groups that presumably have values different than yours? Can't you accept that others may not share your view of the world? Why must you attempt to impose your values on others?

You are a typical liberal. You preach for others to do as you say but your actions don't match your rhetoric. I hope that others see the hypocricy if not in this article, then in future articles.

Keep doing what you're doing to give Americans additional insight into the mind of a liberal. Your work will cause many of those on the political fence to lean to the right, once again.

THE said...

I can see that the idea of the Viagra/Cialis/Levitra Panel really upsets you.

DissedBelief said...

After having witnessed white Americans scream about white South Africans practicing racism and hypocrisy (white apartheid South Africans were violently anti-abortion) it's fascinating for me to watch the "moderates" claim NOT to be anything other than peace loving patriots. For whom I wonder? They don't want health care for anyone other than themselves, they adore war mongering under the guise of "they hate us and are attacking us". The hypocrisy is overwhelming. Why is it they hate Obama who has continued their war mongering policies. Being black has nothing to do with it I'm sure. The Broederbonders are back, they look, sound and protest as loudly as the white apartheid leaders did.

And by the way, no one is pro-life if they consume anything that was murdered. That's right, hypocrisy means also being a specieist something Republicans understand very well.

Thom S. said...

Susan, you are absolutely 100% on target with this post. The capture of the state GOP by the Theocratic right is a danger to both the GOP and the state...its instructive to watch them froth at the mouth when you call them out on it.

I have to admit, I am an anti-nanny-stater...but at least I'm consistent. I dont need the state telling me to buckle my seatbelt...but i dont need them telling me who i can marry, either.