Lamb on the runThe New Hampshire GOP has yet to figure out John Lynch, which is why former Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen will be this year's latest entry in the ongoing series, "Republican Gubernatorial Sacrificial Lambs."More than a few Republican insiders are admitting that name recognition, money -- and awkwardness he's shown on the stump thus far -- are not exactly points in Stephen's favor, even against a governor who is hitting his low point in favorability ratings. Of course, that "low point" is 60 percent -- hence the problem.Don't knock it if you haven't tried it
This, from a recent blog posting by attorney Andy Volinsky on NHBR Network:"As many of us know, NH is experiencing a serious budget shortfall. Without much explanation, here is my idea to begin to solve the budget problem."I am going to buy a NH Megabucks ticket today and on the back I will write PAY TO THE ORDER OF THE NH STATE TREASURER. I will then mail the ticket to the Treasurer before the drawing is held. The State Treasurer is Cathy Provencher. Her mailing address is:"NH State Treasurer 25 Capitol Street Room 121 Concord, NH 03301"I urge all my friends to do likewise. Buy a lottery ticket and mail it to the Treasurer. Keep doing this until the State wins its own lottery."Gone but not forgotten
Don't expect folks in the Franconia-Sugar Hill area to be laying out the welcome mat for GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Kelly Ayotte. At least that's true among a sizable contingent of people who resent, and in some cases are still fuming, over what they see as a whitewash investigation by her AG's office in the 2007 killing of Franconia Police Corporal Bruce McKay by Liko Kenney, and the subsequent killing of Kenney by passerby Gregory Floyd.Let's put it this way: While McKay and Kenney are long gone, the investigation of their killings may not be dead yet -- at least as a potential issue in the Senate race.Howdy neighbor
To quote Gomer Pyle, "Surprise, surprise, surprise!"What else can you say about the recently revealed desire of Speedway Motorsports Inc. -- owner of New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon -- to build and operate a casino on their vast expanse?The company, apparently sensing that Lou D'Alessandro's gambling bill could possibly maybe actually reach the finish line sometime in the near future, put its dibs in earlier this month during a Senate hearing on the measure.Why, pray tell would a home to Nascar races and the like seek a casino license?According to Jerry Gappens, Speedway Motorsports' man in New Hampshire, "What we're basically saying is, we want a seat at the table because we know we could do a good job and be a responsible partner with the state on this."Or, to put it another way, "We want a piece of the action."While it might be going out on a limb to say the track's sudden eagerness is a last-minute kind of thing, the desire for a casino-hotel was certainly news to officials in Loudon as well as the people who have been spending a heckuva lot of time sowing the seeds for a gambling measure.Most notably among them is Rick Newman, GM of The Lodge at Belmont ?-- the simulcast racing facility that's barely five miles down the road from the Speedway. The Lodge has been among the three permanent fixtures -- along with Rockingham Park and the track at Seabrook -- on a list of gambling venues in almost any bill calling for expansion of gambling.Thus Newman could barely disguise his disdain for the last-minute entry from the North Carolina-based publicly held company."We're already in the gambling business," Newman told the Concord Monitor. "We're not johnny-come-lately with a big bag of money saying, 'Let me kick the door down.' Having cars turn left for 3-1/2 hours isn't the same as running a casino."F&J TOTE BOARDSean Mahoney: The Business NH publisher is reported to remain extremely interested in running for the GOP nod in the 1st C.D.Nancy Elliott: The Republican state rep from Merrimack is cleared by Nashua police who investigated the possibility of a crime being committed in her untruthful claim that 5th-graders in the city were shown pictures of naked men as part of class instruction on gay sex.Steve Merrill: The former governor and attorney general is elected co-chair of the national organization Society of Attorneys General Emeritus.Brian Blasi: The Plymouth resident, a justice of the peace, faces charges he sent the Concord Police Department a warrant for the arrest of the five members of the state Supreme Court, allegedly to retaliate against the justices for ruling against him in a domestic violence case.Rich Ashooh: The recently announced 1st C.D. GOP hopeful hires Profile Strategy Group, among its founders are brothers James and Michael Sununu.Jennifer Horn: The 2nd C.D. congressional candidate wins the endorsement of the Family Research Council Action PAC.It's been making the rounds...• State Republicans really are starting to look like Charlie Brown to John Lynch's Lucy, now that the guv's gotten on board the LLC repeal bandwagon.• Too bad for David Paterson that he's not governor of New Hampshire, or at least executive councilor in New Hampshire's 1st District.• State Democrats are slowly becoming accustomed to the realization that their plans just a few short months ago for an entirely Dem congressional delegation are worth about as much as a used Toyota floor mat.• Now that it's been revealed that officials of the State Employees Association got their hands slapped in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Labor over holding what was pretty close to a Third World election in 2008, what's next? Further deterioration in support among the rank and file.• On paper, the New Hampshire House is the GOP?s to lose in November -- unless, of course, certain people don't learn to keep their mouths shut.
This article appears in the March 12 2010 issue of New Hampshire Business Review