Taken to the woodshed
It may seem like a bad dream to the hard-working people at the state Republican Party, but let us assure you: It's all real - very, very real.
With the painfully public fissure between the Bergeronians and the Kimballites threatening to develop into a chasm before the party's Jan. 22 annual meeting, it's clear that the euphoria that followed the state GOP's landslide/government takeover in November is reaching the hangover stage.
There are plenty of examples - actually, beyond counting at this point - of how and where the battle lines have been shaping up. But Example No. 1 is the warning-cum-dressing down on the Union Leader's editorial page, house organ of the GOP.
In the editorial, "State House hackery: Partisanship as principle," the paper tears into House Republicans' attempt to oust Rep. Mike Brunelle on the grounds that, as executive director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, he apparently has no right to promote or support the Democratic agenda when serving as a democratically elected Democratic rep from Manchester.
"If Republicans stick to this newly discovered 'principle,' they will have to oust perhaps dozens of legislators, including numerous members of their own party, for doing nothing anyone ever thought was wrong before now," says the UL.
And that was the nice part. Consider a few more painful excerpts: Ouch No. 1: "The hypocrisy of this move is exceeded only by its imbecility." Ouch No. 2: "... this is no principle at all; it's a naked power play, a sleazy, sophomoric trick to expel a Democrat they dislike."Ouch No. 3: "If this is how Speaker William O'Brien's House is going to be run, then it will be a long, painful, and bitter legislative session - and one that will only help Democrats in their efforts to portray Republicans as bumbling partisan hacks."Ouch No. 4: "That [O'Brien] he let it go forward is an early strike against him as the leader of the people's House. He needs to squash it now and send the signal that the adults are in charge and similar chicanery will not be tolerated."Do you think they got the message? Stay tuned.
Is the new GOP majority Santa's extra-special gift to F&J?
Asked about a bill he proposed that requires any store with signs in any language other than English be required also to post signs in the six official languages of the United Nations, Hudson Republican Rep. Jordan Ulery defends his measure by saying, "When you establish a ghetto, you're leaving yourself open to what happened to the Jews in Eastern Europe because you're setting yourself up to be different."
Later, asked to expand on his comments by Fox News, Ulery replied: "What I was trying to convey is when you do not participate in your society around you, and when you become different, you become subject to what the Nazis did to the Jews."
Wearin' of the green
In his recent inaugural address - No. 4, for those keeping score at home - Governor Lynch turned to the tried-and-true tactic of New Hampshire exceptionalism. He proclaimed that the Granite State is the "the envy of the nation."
At that very moment, 305,681,975 Americans suddenly turned green.
Officials of the National Institute of Health are puzzled, but expect the condition may be temporary.
James Coffey: The Republican state rep, New Ipswich selectman and former administrator of the town of Hillsboro, is charged with stealing his personnel file from the Hillsboro town offices.
Dick Ingram: The executive director of the New Hampshire Retirement System takes a job to head the $32 billion Teachers' Retirement System of Illinois, which last year was cited by the Pew Center on the States as worst in the nation when it comes to setting aside enough money for its pensions.
Ray Burton: The District 1 executive councilor comes out against the $1.1 billion Northern Pass Northeast Utilities/Hydro-Quebec transmission line project.
Steve Lindsey: The Democratic state rep from Keene says he will be introducing a bill urging the National Park Service to permit the exhumation of the remains of Meriwether Lewis - the Lewis of Lewis and Clark - to determine the cause of death.
Sean Mahoney: The once - and future? - Republican candidate for office sells Millyard Communications, publisher of Business NH magazine, to the publication's associate publisher.
It's been making the rounds...
• You could say the new Republican House leadership is an accident waiting to happen - but it appears the accident has already happened.
• If the newly invigorated right wing of the Republican Party shows no respect for outgoing GOP Chair John Sununu, then how do you think they'd treat Judd Gregg?
• Bank robbers beware: Noted gun rights activist Rep. Jenn Coffey, R-Andover - now in charge of the House Commerce Committee's banking division - is minding the store now.
• If turning back the clock on legislation seems to be Job 1 among House Republicans, do you think they might move to reinstate "Civil Rights Day" at some point in the session?
• Question for Jack Kimball: With "dear friends" like John Sununu - that's the term the outgoing GOP chair used to describe his relationship with the self-described tea partier - who needs enemies?
• If you look at the line-up of people supporting Jack Kimball for state GOP chair, almost to a man and woman, it's the same crowd that's been shut out and pretty much told to keep quiet lo these many years by the party's powers-that-be.
• You'd think Bill Binnie would have been eager to sign on in support of Jack Kimball - if only to stick it to Chairman John.
This article appears in the January 14 2011 issue of New Hampshire Business Review