Let's face it, Kelly Ayotte wasn't at the top of anyone's list of fire-breathing conservatives before she decided to run for U.S. Senate. But she sure has been making up for lost time.Since declaring her intention to run last summer, Ayotte has been busy bringing a new glistening shine to her credentials as a law enforcer, with Exhibit A her nearly non-stop emphasis on the Officer Briggs case. Then there's her argument before the Supreme Court - something she had to do as part of her job description as AG, BTW - in defense of the state's defunct parental notification law. And then there's her endorsement of Arizona's immigrant law, followed by her more recent decision to hop aboard the 14th Amendment repeal bandwagon. Of course, the cherry on top is the big wet kiss Sarah Palin gave her in claiming her as one of her own "Mama Grizzlies." So where does a recent campaign contribution fit in for a woman who opposes same-sex marriage? The 500 bucks came from Mary Cheney, the lesbian daughter of the former vice president, who coughed up the dough in April. Cheney, who lives in Virginia with her partner Heather Poe and their two children, has caused quite a stir herself among activists in the gay community for giving financial support to candidates, like Ayotte, who oppose marriage equality.Jack HammerAdd a strange conception of New Hampshire's welfare system to a strange conception of the state's tax laws as part of GOP gubernatorial hopeful Jack Kimball's CV.Kimball, who's been going around touting a plan to apply a lower tax rate to businesses that make more money - a move that would be against the state constitution - now is insisting that "welfare in this state has become a way of life."He's also claiming that New Hampshire has a more lenient public assistance system than Massachusetts - which has led, he asserts, to people from the Bay State moving here.Among his fixes, Kimball says, would be to abolish the way benefits are currently distributed - right now, it involves depositing money into an account and recipients getting access to the money through an EBT, or electronic benefit transfer."They won't be able to have it go directly into their checking account so they can take it out and spend it on whatever they want," Kimball recently told an audience in Laconia. And, he said, he would make recipients come in to the state's welfare offices and pick up a check and "do something radical like pee in a cup, something to prove the money isn't going into their arm."You know what Forrest Gump's mama used to sayPerhaps in the next edition of Merriam-Webster's there will be accompanying photos of Timothy Horrigan and Keith Halloran to illustrate the definition of the word "stupid."Horrigan, now a former state rep from Durham, and Rindge-resident Halloran, a candidate to become one, found their way into the 15-minutes-of-infamy rotation after actually posting on Facebook musings about the hypothetical death of Fox News contributor Sarah Palin.Yes, they posted their ruminations on Facebook, which at last count had over 500 million members, so they weren't exactly whispering in a vacuum.For the record, Horrigan posted that a "dead Palin wd be even more dangerous than a live one" and said she "is all about her myth & if she was dead she cdn't commit any more gaffes."Halloran was even less circumspect. In commenting on the death of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens in a plane crash, he posted, "Just wish Sarah and Levy were on board." That's a not-exactly-veiled reference to Palin and the father of her grandchild, Levi Johnston.FYI, Horrigan has since taken to lambasting Governor Lynch and other members of the state Dem hierarchy for somehow throwing him under the bus after his posting hit the fan.Game, set, matchFrom the It Doesn't Take a Soothsayer To Have Seen This One Coming Department the announcement by the New Hampshire Lottery that it has scrapped plans for the PlayNowNH online games, which caused a mass case of outrage among politicos who said they were taken by surprise by the proposal.F&J TOTE BOARDPeter Bragdon: The Senate minority leader endorses ?true conservative? Senate hopeful Ovide Lamontagne in the GOP primary.Ted Gatsas: The mayor of Manchester endorses Kelly Ayotte in the Republican U.S. Senate race.Ryan Gorman: The Manchester comedian and host of the cable TV show ?Manchsterdam? incurs the wrath of Mayor Ted Gatsas after launching a profanity-laden tirade at hizzoner ? including comparing him to Hitler ? and dropping his pants, and telling Gatsas to kiss his backside.Richard Simard: The former liquor commissioner, fired after being arrested for DWI and refusing to take a Breathalyzer test, is found guilty, loses his license for at least six months and is fined.Nancy Crossland: The main organizer of the Miss Seabrook pageant ticks off parents after the contest is limited to two contestants ? one of whom was her granddaughter, the eventual winner.Leigh Bosse: The one-time House majority leader and district court judge reapplies for reinstatement to the New Hampshire bar after his law license was suspended three years ago following a forgery conviction.It's been making the rounds...• Is it too much of a stretch to assume that if David Lovejoy wins the Rockingham County sheriff's race that's as good a gauge of voter anger as anything?• Bill Binnie's either brilliant or crazy in taking on both John H. Sununu and the Union Leader in a week's time.• It's clear by now that Binnie's big (actually, only) hope is to pull a McCain and get independents to vote for him in the GOP primary.• Exactly what business is self-described "businesswoman" Jennifer Horn affiliated with?• At least when it comes to lobbing lobbyist insults, what goes around, comes around, doesn't it Katrina?
This article appears in the August 27 2010 issue of New Hampshire Business Review