Saturday, August 27, 2016

NH State Rep Takes the GOP Clown Car for a Ride

     NH State Representative Gary Hopper with Donald Trump. 

In this video, Hopper provides his (illegal) solution to the stealing of Trump signs: 

This is the libertea Republican trifecta - violence garnished with name calling AND a sprinkling of homophobia. Apparently that's Hopper's "safe place." 

From the Hopper archives: 

Creepy Old Pervs in the NH House

GOP Leadership Should Take Their Shovels Away

Guns Don't Kill People, Divorced Women Kill People

Photo stolen from Tuck at Miscellany Blue

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ian Freeman: Putting the Goober in Gubernatorial

 This is Ian Freeman. He's a Democrat, running for governor of New Hampshire. 
             These are some candidate videos he's done:

This is why you should carefully research the candidates before you vote. Freeman admits he's a libertarian, but he's too lazy to go out and get the signatures needed for a third party candidate to get on the ballot. Also, he hates the US and wants NH to secede. 

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to read Ayn Rand......

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Led by the Dead, Part 2

This week, it’s time to wrap up the series on NH gubernatorial hopefuls by taking a look at the Democratic candidates. There are five of them. I’ll be reporting on their various positions as shown on their websites.

Mark Connolly is a former Deputy Secretary of State, and former Director of the NH Bureau of Securities Regulation. Connolly wants NH students to have a world-class education, with more emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.) He doesn’t mention K-12 education funding. He would, however, like to return the funding of our state university system to the pre-2011 levels. This would certainly improve the situation, but even if he tripled the level of funding, NH would still rank a firm 50th in the nation for funding post-secondary education. Mr. Connolly would like to modernize our state government, which is certainly a worthy goal, and quite necessary. He wants to strengthen our campaign finance laws. He supports renewable energy and expanded passenger rail. He mentions the need to repair NH’s infrastructure, notably the rural roads and bridges. His site does not mention Northern Pass.

He’s taken The Pledge.

Derek Dextraze has a website. It is not a good one. There are too many fonts and too many paragraphs written in capital letters. There is no biographical information. Digging deeply into the site, I was able to discover that Dextraze is from Dover. He supports raising the minimum wage to $15. He favors legalizing marijuana, and wants tougher laws for heroin dealers. Dextraze wants to lower property taxes. He has taken The Pledge, and favors a constitutional amendment to prohibit an income tax. He also wants to keep the DMV open later in the evening and possibly on weekends. My daughter recently spent nearly 2 hours on hold with the DMV. The reason for this is that NH doesn’t raise sufficient revenue to fund our state agencies and/or run our state as if it mattered. Mr. Dextraze doesn’t seem to understand the role that taxes play in funding our state government. In any case, the real goal of his website seems to be selling his children’s book.

Ian Bernard Freeman does not have a website. Ian Bernard moved to NH as part of the Free State Project. He’s since changed his name to Freeman, an affectation that is common amongst Free Staters, who seem eager to adopt new names once they move to a new state. Ian has been the leader of the Free Keene cult, but has had some problems this past year. The FBI raided his house and took a bunch of computers, amidst rumors of a child porn investigation. This is the house that he’s repeatedly tried to get tax free status for, claiming it is a church. No arrests have been made as a result of this raid, but the raid brought up the old stories about Ian’s views on the age of consent for adult/child sexual relations. He doesn’t think there should be one. This made life a little embarrassing for the new corporate Free State Inc. so they decreed that Ian wouldn’t be welcome at their large public gatherings. Ian has no website or Facebook page for his gubernatorial race. From the NH Liberty website, I learned that Ian wants to legalize marijuana and end enforcement of victimless crimes. He wants equal ballot access for all candidates regardless of party affiliation. He wants NH to secede, and he wants to make all taxes voluntary.

Steve Marchand has been an auditor, auditing municipal, county, and state governments around the country. He served on the city council in Portsmouth, and also served a term as mayor. Marchand supports legalizing marijuana. He’s opposed to the death penalty. He supports paid family leave. He opposes Northern Pass. He’s in favor of eliminating the cap on state education grants. He lists restoring school building aid as an infrastructure issue, where it merited 5 paragraphs. The red listed bridges got one paragraph. He does include municipal and state employees as part of the NH infrastructure, and emphasizes the need to repair the retirement system for these employees. Roads got nothing. Telecommunications infrastructure got nothing. He thinks that college/business partnerships will bring down the cost of college tuition. Marchand had nothing to say about education funding. He refuses to take the pledge, but is opposed to a sales or an income tax. This sounds a little bit like Kelly Ayotte saying she will support Trump, but not endorse him. The late Antonin Scalia might have called this, “jiggery-pokery.”

Colin Van Ostern was a business manager at Stonyfield, Inc., helped launch the College for America at Southern NH University, a college that helps adults get a college education with little to no debt. He’s also served two terms in the Executive Council. He has the best organized website. Colin mentions a lot of issues that the other candidates did not. He believes that NH needs to expand access to rural broadband! He opposes Northern Pass. He points out the need to safeguard NH’s drinking water. Van Ostern also supports fully funding the NH Alcohol fund. If he succeeded, it would be the first time it’s happened since the initial appropriation in 2003. Five percent of the revenue raised in our state liquor stores is supposed to go to directly to that fund to help finance treatment and prevention. He believes in expanding supportive housing for recovering addicts, and working with businesses to give people in recovery a second chance, by giving them a job. He’s also a supporter of expanded passenger rail and raising the minimum wage. He, too, has taken The Pledge.

Taking The Pledge is a tacit admission that nothing will change. There will still not be enough money to run the state in more than the most rudimentary fashion. The infrastructure will continue to decay, while the costs of repairs will continue to rise. And the libertea crowd will still bray about cutting business taxes, as if that will entice businesses to ride into NH on their unicorns, despite our failing infrastructure, high energy costs, high housing costs, and various other failings. The Pledge allows Mel Thomson and Bill Loeb to continue to run NH from the grave.

Not a one of the candidates mentioned the serious housing problem we have in our state. All of these candidates face an uphill battle with statewide name recognition.

The state primary election is on September 13. Be sure to research all the candidates, be sure to bring a photo ID (to combat the non-problem of non-existent voter fraud), and be sure to vote!

This was published as an op-ed in the August 19 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Frank's Franking 2016

Step into the wayback machine, kids. We're going to travel all the way back to 2010. You may remember that Frank Guinta made a lot of noise about the alleged abuses of the House franking system by Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter. From Guinta's Blog:

 There is a thin line between maintaining a rapport with one’s constituents and electioneering. These pamphlets violate the idea of a “Congressional Update,” and show an abuse of a representative’s franking privileges. This is not the first time either, that Carol Shea-Porter has been singled out in the past as well for exploiting tax dollars for personal gain. 

Yes, Frank was quite incensed. While he was on the campaign trail, that is. Once he landed in Congress, he became the number one franking abuser.  

Lets Be Frank About Frank's Franking:

The Bakersfield Californian had a story in their Sunday edition about how much members of Congress spend on franking privileges:
* Also among individual House members, Rep. Frank C. Guinta, R-N.H., spent the most on franked mail in 2011: $164,650.

And in 2016?  From Roll Call  

On average, members running for re-election in non-safe districts spent $172 per day on mail franking. That’s far more than the $63 per day that members in safe districts have spent.
Three of the top four spenders on mail between January 2015 and March 2016 are running in some of the most vulnerable districts in the country: Republican Reps. Rod Blum in Iowa's 1st District, Frank C. Guinta in the New Hampshire 1st and Will Hurd in the Texas 23rd.
Jay Ruais, chief of staff for Guinta, said the congressman is “committed to openness and transparency, including communicating our efforts on behalf of Granite Staters, important at a time when many feel alienated from their federal government. As a result of our correspondence, constituents have offered ideas for legislation that Rep. Guinta introduced in Congress, and a few have even been signed into law.”

Yeah, Frank is a real paragon of transparency. From How Do You Spell Apology

On October 27, 2014, WMUR televised a debate between Guinta and Shea-Porter. I was there. When Shea-Porter asked about the money, Guinta said he’d been cleared by the FEC, in Dec. 2010, before he was even sworn in, and he had been exonerated. He accused Carol of lying about his record, and huffily announced, “The people of NH ought to know the truth.”  

He's right about that. The people of NH ought to know the truth. It's just that Frank won't ever tell it. I'll give the Union Leader the last word:

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Independent Gubernatorial Candidates

Somehow we have survived both the Republican and the Democratic conventions. It was a very long two weeks, where huge amounts of money were spent on a big public charade meant to convince us that our democracy is working just fine. Meanwhile, back in the real world, the NH state primary election is September 13, about a month and a half away. Candidates who are hoping to get statewide name recognition don’t have much time.

Last time I wrote about the Republican gubernatorial candidates, using information gleaned from their candidate websites. After the two conventions, I’m sick of both major parties, so this week, we’ll take a look at the independent or third party candidates using their websites as our guide….when we can.

There are four of these candidates. One is running as a libertarian, the others aren’t affiliated with a party.

Republican State Representative Max Abramson of Seabrook is running for governor as a libertarian. He doesn’t really have a candidate website. He has a personal website that announces his gubernatorial run as almost an afterthought. He has a Facebook page for his position as State Representative that seems to sort of function as a site for his gubernatorial campaign as well. Given the absence of a real online presence, one wonders how serious Representative Abramson is in his quest to become governor.

Abramson moved to NH in 2004 as part of the Free State Project. Abramson achieved some notoriety after being elected to the House, when it turned out that he had been assigned to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Abramson is a convicted felon. He had a party that got out of hand and decided the way to calm things down was to pull out a gun and start firing - in a residential neighborhood. (Hey, it works on TV!) After being removed from the Criminal Justice committee, Abramson refused another committee assignment. In fact, he refused to meet with Speaker of the House, Shawn Jasper, claiming it was “a trap.”
Max is a quirky fellow. He’s ranted extensively about the fact that legislators are paid $100 a year.  He’s running for governor because he’s upset about high property taxes. When the House refuses to raise sufficient revenue to run the state properly, the costs get shifted to the towns. Welcome to the property tax! It’s difficult to discern what Abramson did for 2 years in the House, but he doesn’t seem to have learned anything about NH fiscal policy. 

Also hoping to put the goober in gubernatorial is Michael Gill from Derry. Gill the owner of a company called The Mortgage Specialists, and is best known for his electronic billboards that are often defamatory or profane. Gill regularly produces semi-literate rants about corruption in NH. He’s a regular on right wing talk radio and has a website that appears to be the NH equivalent of Alex Jones.

One thing Gill does not have is a campaign website. Not even a candidate Facebook page. No positions, no policy –  no reason given to vote for him except his rage against this big, unspecified corruption. He is paying people $5 a signature to get his name on the ballot. He can pay signature collectors, but he can’t manage to put together a campaign website? It’s hard to take this candidate seriously.

Jilletta Jarvis of Sandown is running as an independent. She has a website and a Facebook page. Her website has a schedule of events, and offers information about her views on the economy, drugs, family, casinos, health care and more.  Ms. Jarvis appears to be opposed to Social Security and supports state’s rights. Her views on how health insurance should work are rather naïve. She thinks that people on welfare should have to work for it, and somehow childcare for them will be worked out. Again – naïve, but hey - at least she is willing to put a position out there that doesn’t involve slander on an electronic sign. Jarvis appears to be allied primarily with the libertarian crowd.

William Fortune is our final indy candidate for NH governor. According to the Secretary of State’s office, Fortune is from Rochester. The Live Free or Die Alliance site has him listed as living in Lee. His non-candidate Facebook page says he’s from Warner. On the positive side, they’re all towns in New Hampshire, so we know he lives somewhere here in the granite state. Mr. Fortune has no candidate website. He does not have a candidate Facebook page.

He has two questions answered on the LFOD Alliance page. Apparently Mr. Fortune doesn’t care for college students, and he attempted snark about their need for free college. He’s opposed to renewable energy, saying that it is cost prohibitive and obsolete, “just ask China.” Does this mean all that smog over Beijing is from solar installations? Who knew?

Fortune does have a Facebook page.  It is a treasure trove. You won’t find his gubernatorial platform, but you will find out what he thinks about a lot of things. From a July 31 entry: “Apparently hysteria is not limited to just females.” Oops. He just lost my vote. Further down the page, “This all starts with the destruction of the family by the feminists, the growth of government dependency fostered by the Liberals and the lack of meaningful employment.”

Oh, those pesky feminists. They ruined everything with the crazy notion that women shouldn’t have to stay with abusive husbands. A little more research reveals that Bill Fortune is the head of an angry dad organization. Mad dads are men who have lost custody of their children, and may have lost visitation rights. Over the years I’ve seen men friends lose their kids to vindictive ex partners. More recently I’ve seen women friends lose their kids to abusers.  And it wasn’t just the woman they were abusing. The angry dads have created a backlash against mothers that has led to some kids being sent off to live with molesters. Doing what is best for children is not a gender issue. As long as parents use children as weapons, this problem will continue. I repeat – this is not a gender issue. It’s an adult behavioral problem.

Of the four independent candidates, only Jilletta Jarvis has an actual campaign. Given that Gill is buying signatures, he may well be the only independent candidate that gets on the ballot. All of these candidates plopped down $100 to run for governor. None of them have the kind of name recognition that will propel them into the corner office. Dreamers? Fools? Check them out and decide for yourself. The independent candidate of your dreams may be closer than you think.