History lessonYou probably wouldn't have guessed it, but John H. Sununu, the former governor and current chair of the state GOP, is a big fan of Mikhail Gorbachev.In a recent interview with the Times of Malta, Sununu discussed world affairs from his vantage point as chief of staff in the first President Bush's administration. He was in Malta to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Bush-Gorbachev summit - one of the key events that led to the end of the Cold War.In the interview, Sununu can't say enough good things about Gorby."He really deserves credit for having the vision for Perestroika and Glasnost and being smart enough in trying to start a series of events that encouraged the U.S. to come in as a partner. I think history is going to treat President Gorbachev very well for being the one who made very hard decisions. It was not easy for him."Hold that thoughtIt seems like lifetimes ago when New Hampshire's senior senator came thisclose to becoming a member of the Obama administration.
While it was a move that ticked off people on the left and right, it particularly galled diehard right-wingers who immediately saw Judd Gregg as a traitor, turncoat - you name it.Anyway, Gregg felt the pressure - or something - and changed his mind in a Joe Lieberman minute. But at the time the senator dumped Barack for Mitch (McConnell, that is), he implied he would still do something to simulate working with the new administration.Fast-forward to December 2009, and that heady early fog of bipartisanship that once enveloped the Good Ship Gregg has disappeared, and he now clearly is back in the fold. In fact, he's now the ringmaster of the Republicans' organized attempt to defer, derail and deny any attempt at health reform by all legislative means necessary.Gregg's "Dear Republican Colleague" memo - caught and released by various media outlets - spelled out the kind of strategy a college basketball coach would have used in the days before the 35-second clock. In other words, hold the ball as long as you possibly can before even attempting a shot. And when you do, make sure there's as little time left in the game as possible.Food for thoughtAdd the Meredith Food Pantry and St. Charles Borromeo Church to the growing cast in the ongoing Financial Resources Mortgage Inc. bankruptcy and fraud investigation saga.As reported in the Laconia Daily Sun, the Meredith church in October decided that - after 31 years - to drop its support of the Meredith Food Pantry and instead sign on with the Center Harbor Christian Church in Center Harbor."This year St. Charles Parish contributions of non-perishable food items and cash will be donated to the Center Harbor Food Pantry," the Very Rev. Dennis J. Audet, pastor of the church wrote in October. "We have been in contact with Pastor Bob (Farah) in Center Harbor, and been warmly received by him.""Pastor Bob" is Robert Farah, whose son Scott is at the center of the Financial Resource storm, which left investors at least $23 million in the lurch. Scott Farah was treasurer of the church.The Farah financial debacle fallout includes several civil suits by investors to recover their money. One of the suits claims that Pastor Bob helped his son pitch investments that quickly turned sour.According to the Sun, after learning of the decision, a stunned Paul Rowley of the Meredith Food Pantry asked Pastor Bob about the switch. The paper said Farah claimed that Rev. Audet told him that the Meredith pantry was "too small, too disorganized and didn't pick up the food on time."That certainly was a surprise to Rowley, who told the newspaper: "We serve a lot of people. We report monthly, quarterly and annually. And the church never asked us to collect the food because they brought it here. We haven't been here for 31 years because we're disorganized."Rowley did take some solace in the decision by several St. Charles Church parishioners who visited the pantry to express their concern over the change.
He said that one woman asked, "Do you mean I've been taking food up there thinking it was coming here and it hasn't been?""Not since October," Rowley told her.
F&J TOTE BOARDKaren Testerman: The social conservative activist takes yet another step closer to entering the GOP race for governor.Speedway Motorsport: The parent company of New Hampshire Motor Speedway is one of the beneficiaries of a $45 million tax break for NASCAR facilities recently approved in the U.S. House.Jim Splaine: The Portsmouth state rep sponsors HB 341, to codify even further New Hampshire?s efforts to protect its first-in-the-nation presidential primary.Laurie Boyce: The Alton Republican rep seeks to give voters the power to repeal state laws via referendum.Peter Leishman: The Peterborough Democratic rep hires the Manchester Democratic Rep. David Nixon?s law firm to defend him against charges brought against him before the Legislative Ethics Committee.
It's been making the rounds...
• Here's one assessment of the Hodes-for-Senate campaign: "There's room for improvement."
• Make no mistake, Bill Binnie is ready, willing and able to spend some real dough on his GOP Senate race.
• There's a smell of disingenuousness surrounding the op-ed penned by Charlie Bass and Grover Norquist in the Dec. 4 Roll Call.• With Rich Ashooh joining the GOP 1st C.D. race, and with Bob Bestani making some inroads, Frank Guinta's air of inevitability - if it ever existed to begin with - just went poof.
• You'd think Accenture would give Tiger Woods a little more time to rebuild his image, considering that it's the same company formerly known as Arthur Andersen.
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This article appears in the December 18 2009 issue of New Hampshire Business Review