Cook On Concord: Thoughts on sausage-making, then and now
Among the notable books I received for Christmas was, “We Ain’t Making Sausage Here,” a memoir by Marshall Cobleigh, former New Hampshire House Speaker. Starting with his exploits in the early 1960s, the book traces Cobleigh’s legislative career through the leadership of Stewart Lamprey (speaker and Senate president), Walter Peterson (majority leader, speaker, governor), as majority leader himself, and then speaker. In the process, Cobleigh ended up calling for many reforms, including the business profits tax to replace the regressive “stock in trade tax,” reducing the size of the Legislature and increasing the size of the Senate, adding professional staff to aid solons in their work, adding to what became the Community Technical College System, liquor stores on the highways, and many other achievements. When he called for a broad-based tax, he was slammed by the Union Leader — and all of the cartoons are in the book. After he completed his legislative service, Cobleigh was hired by Meldrim Thomson, and he explains why these philosophical opposites attracted. From there to work in the executive branch and then as an aide to a congressman, Cobleigh spares no one — especially himself. For those of us who witnessed a lot of the things he describes, it brings back memories, even if we don’t remember them quite the same way all of the time. One thing is sure, Marshall Cobleigh tells the truth here as he sees it. Anyone who was in New Hampshire during the period, or who wants to get a new perspective on what preceded present New Hampshire politics, should read this book. The book is available at local bookstores and at Amazon.com.