Ballot riggingSometimes history gets in the way of a good storyline. For instance, the tale being spun by Republican Rep. David Bates of Windham, sponsor of the bill that would repeal New Hampshire's same-sex marriage law.Bates - who's a sponsor of one of the bills seeking to overturn the law - insists the majority is with him, despite polls conducted by the UNH Survey Center and others that show quite the opposite is true. (A Survey Center poll conducted at the end of January and early February found 62 percent of the 520 adults polled are against repeal - including 51 percent who are strongly opposed.)Bates, however, dismissed those surveys, telling the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune he doesn't place a lot of faith in them. Instead, he points to a warrant article that was considered last year at town meetings around New Hampshire. In that, voters were asked to support placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman."I find this more meaningful than any telephone survey," said Bates. "I put a lot more stock in actual votes that you cast."Funny he should say that. If memory serves, of the 140 towns that had petitions placed on their warrant, 48 voted to table or amend the language to kill the article. Another 33 voted it down outright. That left 59 of the original 140 towns at issue approved the measure.Let's see now ... 59 out of 140 - last time it was calculated that's 42 percent. How much stock should you put in that?Fill in the blankWhat do the following have in common:I'll respect you in the morning.The check's in the mail.It's not about the money.The new ownership won't affect you - the company will remain the same.Rep. Paul Mirski insists that he'll handle the inquiry into House Deputy Democratic Leader Mike Brunelle in a nonpartisan manner.A secret recipeSometimes you just have shake your head and wonder, and sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to do all the shaking and wondering that's required. Consider the argument made by Rep. Jeanine Notter during the hearing earlier in February over HB 440, the bill that would order the attorney general to join the lawsuit challenging the federal health care reform law.The Merrimack Republican stood up to explain why the law is unnecessary - and, judging by her argument, why any health insurance is necessary in the first place:"Americans are generous people, they've been known to be generous people, and I think that when - maybe you'll agree with me - that when someone in their community has cancer and no insurance, they're going to rally, they're going to fundraise, and they're going to get the treatment that person needs."But, as with many things, her comments need to be put into context. Notter's comments came in response to testimony by a citizen who praised the law's new federally funded high-risk pool that has helped people with cancer and other pre-existing conditions obtain health coverage that they had previously been denied. Apparently all those whiners never even bothered to think of holding a bake sale to raise the money for chemo.F&J TOTE BOARDGeorge Condodemetraky:The 1998 Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate withdraws his candidacy to run as a selectman in Belmont, although he remains a candidate for the planning board and budget committee.Ron Paul:The congressman and '08 Republican presidential candidate agrees to speak at the Dover Republican Committee's inaugural Lincoln-Reagan dinner on March 25.Michelle Bachmann: The Republican congresswoman from Minnesota - and potential presidential contender - will make her first stop in New Hampshire March 12.Daniel Itse:The Republican state rep from Fremont is leading the charge to require formation of a volunteer "permanent state defense force," separate from the New Hampshire National Guard, to assist with disaster relief and "defend the state against invasion."Tim Pawlenty: The former Minnesota governor and potential 2012 GOP candidate for president will speak at the April 14 meeting of the Nashua Republican City Committee.Rick Santorum: The former Pennsylvania senator will speak to the Nashua Republican City Committee on May 12.It's been making the rounds...• It's not just Democrats who are upset over the House's railroading of the rail authority, but whether it becomes an issue among Republicans remains to be seen.• This is how much times have changed: The governor's budget could just as well have been written by John Stephen, but Republicans say it's not good enough.• The smart money still says House Republicans are biting off more than they can chew now that on-again, off-again Oust Brunelle effort is on again.• Whatever happened to Ray Buckley?
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This article appears in the February 25 2011 issue of New Hampshire Business Review