Foot in mouth diseaseLet’s put it this way: If Rep. Nancy Elliot were involved in a profession that actually required due diligence, or perhaps mere fact-checking, she wouldn’t be planning on receiving that quarterly bonus any time soon. In fact, she’d more than likely have had to clean out her desk by now.In the tried and true tradition of the New Hampshire General Court, the Merrimack Republican in February demonstrated to us Granite Staters yet another new and clumsy way to insert one’s foot into one’s mouth – that’s “foot” and “mouth” — when she made the bogus claim that gay sex was being taught to 5th-graders in Nashua.Elliott’s comments were made during a Judiciary Committee hearing for House Bill 1590 — the measure that would repeal same-sex marriage. She threw a hand grenade into the proceedings with what she later admitted was an unsubstantiated “claim” from a parent of a pupil that the Nashua elementary school students were shown pictures of naked men and taught how to engage in anal sex.In a somewhat rambling statement that was supposedly addressing a measure concerning a marriage law, Elliott began by finding it necessary to explain to her fellow reps why she thinks same-sex marriage is “not normal.”“We’re talking about taking the penis of one man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wriggling it around in excrement. And you have to think, I’m not sure, would I allow that to be done to me?” said the rep.She added: “Because we have made a marriage of same sex, they are now teaching it in public school. They are showing our fifth-graders how they can actually perform this kind of sex. And they are condoning, they are saying this is normal and this is something that you may want to try.”Talk about a big bowl of wrong.First, Elliott – who’s also chair of the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women – took several days before actually admitting what she said was untrue. And, on her first try, she attempted to give her statement what they call “context,” actually saying she wanted to “withdraw” her statement – about the 5th graders, not the interestingly descriptive anal sex part — after realizing it “cannot be verified.”On her second try at an “apology” – apparently after realizing the ramifications of her committee statement becoming an Internet video phenomenon – she went a little further, saying of the claim about the Nashua schools, “I thought it was true,” she added, “but I was wrong and that statement was wrong.” It took a while, but the woman did get closer to accuracy on that try.However, it still leaves the burning question: What the heck does she think about the Nashua schools that she would actually believe such a patently bogus, not to mention slanderous claim?As she said in one of her clarifications: “I was told shortly before the hearing on HB 1590 that what I later said had happened and I firmly believed it to be so.”In other words, she apparently was eager to believe something she wanted to believe, and to hell with the facts.Free association
Nothing apparently gets by Rep. John Graham. It just takes a while sometimes.Graham was the sponsor of House Bill 1663, which would have given New Hampshire motorists a replacement E-ZPass transponder – whose batteries wear out in seven years or so — for free.A House committee hearing the bill wound up recommending that the measure be killed after hearing that the price tag would be about $8.5 million.“It cost a lot more than I thought it would,” said Graham.F&J TOTE BOARDGeorge Lovejoy: The former Republican state senator takes the helm as chairman of the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition.Jim Ryan: The former Democratic state rep from Franklin is sentenced to four to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of embezzling from the state and Franklin Democratic parties and issuing bad checks.Peter Leishman: The Democratic state rep from Peterborough will be sent a “letter of caution” from the Legislative Ethics Committee urging him to be more careful in declaring potential conflicts of interest whenever his railroad business begins to mix with government affairs.Carol Shea-Porter: The 1st District congresswoman finishes 2009 with $407,500 cash on hand – more than double the amount of her closest Republican challenger.Charlie Bass: The former 2nd District congressman announces his candidacy for the GOP nomination in the 2nd C.D.Judd Gregg: In a Live Free or Die Alliance webcast, the U.S. senator adds his name to the list of people who oppose expanded gambling in New Hampshire.It's been making the rounds...• Logic dictates that the Frank Sapareto-led coalition against tolls on I-93 must be in favor of a gas tax increase to pay for the widening.• It was a very good day for Charlie Bass when Scott Brown voted with Democrats on a new jobs bill.• They’re either planning a lot of primary challenges, or opponents are blowing smoke when you consider that 40 Republicans voted against repealing same-sex marriage.• Considering the budget mess, of course a House committee would vote against cider or milk as the official state beverage. There’s a lot more state revenue in liquor.• Don’t pay attention to the spin about the Boutin victory in the District 16 Senate race: Democrats are very worried about November.• Some folks are starting to think that Kelly Ayotte may be peaking too soon.
This article appears in the February 26 2010 issue of New Hampshire Business Review