The brief happy tenure of Marty Harty The departure of Marty Harty from the New Hampshire House was a sobering moment for F&J, since in only a few weeks as a state rep, he brought more material than most lawmakers provide in a few terms.Put simply, there would have been a special place in the F&J Hall of Fame if all the former special Republican rep did was write a letter to the editor of Foster's Daily Democrat in which he admitted, "I really don't know what I'm doing" as a rep, that he and many of his fellow freshmen "were all sort of bluffing it out" and that in his first few votes "I really didn't know what I was voting for or against."But, as we all know by now, Harty didn't stop there.In fact, the letter apparently only scratched the surface of his possibilities. Because shortly after its publication, he was reported to have said - and then admitted - that he told a constituent that "I and several of us in the State House believe in eugenics ... I think the world is too populated. So we believe that there is too many defective people ... You know the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions - the defective people society would be better off with out. I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population." You can't make it up.Yes, that's all in the past. But the former special rep's claim that "I and several of us in the State House believe in eugenics" remains an intriguing one. Does that mean there's a Eugenics Caucus in the Legislature, or perhaps a House Eugenics Alliance?And who are the other eugenicists, anyway? One possible member: Rep. Neal Kurk of Weare, the longtime Republican budget whiz, who only recently opined that "the problem with the New Hampshire pension system is that people live too long. We'd be better off if we could get them to pick up smoking, and they would die younger."Can't argue with his logic.Real or Memorex?Time for all you political pundits, amateur and professional, to help out F&J this week. The question: Why weren't the names of Frank Guinta, the honorable member of Congress from the 1st District, and Charlie Bass, ditto from the 2nd District, on the list of sponsors of a resolution calling on President Obama to defend the Defense of Marriage Act?Maybe it's not as much of a slam dunk in New Hampshire as they might think.Making a statementBefore there was Michele Bachmann, there was Sarah Palin, a New Hampshire-phobe whose name may be familiar to Granite Staters.Well, one Granite Stater who's definitely heard of the former reality TV star and half-term governor of Alaska is Judd Gregg, our recently retired U.S. senator. Turns out Gregg's not a fan - of Sarah the person. It's not clear whether or not he was a fan of "Sarah Palin's Alaska."Anyway, the former senior senator authored a recent piece in The Hill newspaper in which he sketched out a GOP presidential primary process in which Palin manages to win the party's nomination on the floor of a convention that, Gregg envisions, could be the closest since 1952. (Don't need to recount that one, do we?)To make the long article short, Gregg basically says a Palin presidential campaign would not be good for the Republicans: "Although she is not viewed by most as strong enough to win, she is viewed by many as a person worth voting for to make a statement. And primaries tend to be populated by people who go to the polls with the purpose of making a statement."Adds the newly minted pundit: "And picking a nominee who it seems would be easily defeated by President Obama might not be the best statement."
F&J TOTE BOARDSteve Duprey:The businesses owned by the Concord developer and Republican national committeeman are the object of a boycott organized by NEA-NH because of his call late last year for the end of teacher tenure and collective bargaining for public employees.Fran Wendelboe:The former Republican state rep from New Hampton is elected president of the Belknap County 4-H Fair.William O'Brien:The first-term speaker of the House gets his charges to approve more than 270 bills in three days, including almost all the legislation he personally pushed for.Mike Dennehy:The New Hampshire political operative and big-time John McCain activist signs on with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour for the 2012 GOP presidential race.James Parison: The freshman Republican rep from New Ipswich, and sponsor of a bill that would lower the state dropout age to 16, challenges Governor Lynch to a debate on the issue.Ray Burton: The North Country executive councilor calls on other state elected officials to join him in opposing the Northern Pass transmission project.Pat Griffin:The Manchester adman and GOP political consultant is named a senior fellow at St. Anselm College's New Hampshire Institute of Politics "to serve as a resource for students, faculty, and the media through the New Hampshire Presidential Primary next year."It's been making the rounds...• With his recent revelation that the passion he feels for his country led him to cheat on his previous wives, Newt Gingrich gives new meaning to the term "patriot act."• If Rudy Giuliani is really serious about running for president, he'd better check out the New Hampshire general election results from last November before makings his decision.• Political consultant/ guru Rich Killion's signed on with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential bid. What happened to Mitt?• There's something creepy about William O'Brien making light of Marty Harty's eugenics comments.• Think the first half of the legislative session was a barrel of monkeys? Just wait until after crossover.• With all but one of the Claremont area House Republicans voting for Speaker O'Brien's school-funding amendment, it's apparent they haven't checked their property-tax bills lately.
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This article appears in the March 11 2011 issue of New Hampshire Business Review