Cook On Concord
Writing a column is interesting business. Often, people comment that they have read it, bringing to mind that early advice I was given when this started: “Be careful what you say, someone might be reading it!” After writing my last column, I was both gratified and puzzled by an e-mail I received almost immediately on a Friday morning. Knowing that the print version of New Hampshire Business Review does not arrive in mailboxes until the weekend or early in the week, I was gratified that the writer had read the publication online and, moreover, this column. However, he was taking me and the editor to task for a comment I made while “grading” various politicians. It seems I marked Governor Lynch down for his rigidity on the Sunapee matter and the writer was criticizing me because he claimed I had a direct monetary interest in that issue, the law firm for which I work representing the lessees of the Mt. Sunapee Ski Area. The issue this brings to the fore is whether it should be brought to light every time there is a possible monetary interest or other connection between what is written and the writer’s other connections. I pointed out in a response to the writer — an opponent of the proposed Sunapee expansion who agrees with the position Governor Lynch has taken on the matter — that it is possible to be paid to advocate a position and believe in it as well, and that I had been a supporter of the expansion before I ever knew our law firm represented the lessees. Also, in a state as small as New Hampshire, if every connection is disclosed, the disclosures will be longer than the comments! But in the interest of full disclosure, I would also like to disclose that I gave money to Lynch, helped him with his inauguration, support him on some issues and oppose him on others, and in fact know most of the other politicians who I graded — having given some money and some not. I have never received a nickel from any of them.