Bill of particularsWhether you like the idea of a voter ID bill or not, you should have some sympathy for Sen. Russell Prescott.The Kingston Republican authored what most observers considered to be a compromise bill that won the support of Secretary of State Bill Gardner and town and city clerks, who had what can charitably called serious concerns about a piece of voter ID legislation making its way through the House.Given that, Prescott and his backers apparently thought his bill could have the makings of a compromise with the other legislative body.But that would be wrong, since the word "compromise" is not quite part of the DNA of this version of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.Instead of trying to figure out any common ground with Prescott's bill, the House essentially gutted it and made additions that on the face of it should be unacceptable.Among them: Having the brand new law take effect immediately, meaning all the processes would have to be set up in a matter of weeks. And adding requirements for the clerks to follow -- without, in the New Hampshire Legislature's tried-and-true tradition -- giving the communities the resources to implement them.Result: A frustrated Prescott, befuddled secretary of state and town and city clerks and the very, very, very good likelihood that there will no voter ID bill emerging from the Legislature this year.Which is all well and good for Governor Lynch, presumably, considering that he's vetoed four previous attempts to initiate voter ID in New Hampshire.Tales of the TARPYou may not know it, but Judd Gregg, the former senator from New Hampshire/Goldman Sachs is a regular contributor to The Hill, a newspaper that covers politics, et al., in D.C. Occasionally, the Manchester daily likes to re-publish Gregg's musings, which the editors did on May 8.In that piece, Gregg issued a condemnation wrapped in a warning about the results of the recent French elections, in which the candidate from the Socialist party was elected president.Gregg pointed to France's current situation -- a "cradle-to-grave employment system," a retirement system that allows people to retire at age 55 "at close to full pay" and "for a while" they had 35-hour workweek mandated by law, although now it's only a choice by businesses and government if they want to provide that benefit.To make the long story short: France, in the eyes of the former senator, is a mess that will only get worse under a Socialist president.Eventually, "rather than being lifted up through greater productivity and economic growth, the society becomes mired in finger-pointing where the many, through their politicians, blame the few," wrote Gregg. "It has been a long time getting there, but France now seems to be on the final leg of this journey of self-delusion and self-destruction."(Rather nasty -- although some of that stuff sounds familiar, doesn't it? The former senator doesn't mention the coincidence, probably out of sensitivity to his audience.)Perhaps the most interesting part of the column is what's left unsaid -- by the editors.While they dutifully inform us of Gregg's long career in public service, and even of his current association with Goldman Sachs, there's no mention of the former senator's own foray into socialism.After all, how else would you describe the much-maligned (and often justifiably so) TARP bailout of the nation's biggest banks -- a piece of legislation that the former chairman of the Senate Budget Committee had not just a hand in, but an arm and leg as well?Snitch CornerNow that Rochester GOPer Fenton Green Green Grass Of Groen has made it an odd seven senators that are calling it quits, it doesn't mean the mass evacuation from the Senate may not be over just yet.It also means the mass invasion has only just begin as well. And Dems, believe it or not, think they may actually have an actual shot at a coupla seats upcoming.One of them is Groen's, which -- as well-read Snitcherinos know -- used to be for the most part Prof. Jackie Cilley's Senate claim. That looks to the Dems like it could be an Easy Pick, depending in large part on who the GOPers choose.And one of the potential GOPer names is of particular interest to the Dems in Rochester - none other than Strafford GCer Susie Delemus, the Mama Grizzly of the birther/reps.Believe Snitch when he tells you, the Dems can hardly hold in their giddiness at the thought of Mama Grizz Delemus running in the Senate 6th. Some of them might even have to reach for the Depends they'd be so excited.*****Mittens Romney, the GOP prexy candidate-in-waiting was in NH t'other day, along with GOP vice prexy-in-her-dreams Kelly Ayotte. Visited the Seacoast, stopping in the Port City, specifically Peirce Island, to do their thing.What happened is further proof that Mittens -- the man who tied his dog to the roof of his expensive auto on a 12-hour trip to Canada back in '83 -- just ain't interested in the dog-lover vote.This time, Mittens didn't use enhanced interrogation techniques on one of our four-legged canine friends. Instead, the Mittens event on Peirce Island meant that the one bridge on and off P.I. was shut down while Mittens ventilated.And what, canine-aficionado Snitcherinos, does P.I. have that Port City dog lovers and their charges frequent throughout the day? None other than the P.I. Dog Park.Long story short: Bridge closed for Mittens. No entrance to the park for at least 12 doggies and their peeps.It's called irony, Snitcherinos. Or maybe karma. Arf!It's been making the rounds .... • You have to appreciate the irony when you read about yet another diehard "fiscal conservative" -- this time House Majority Office staffer Bob Mead, who received mileage reimbursement from the state for his political forays into candidate recruiting -- who lives by the old adage, "Do as I say, not as I do." • Doesn't House Speaker Bill O'Brien's pledge to cut another $400 million from the state budget if he's re-elected have all the trappings of a Hail Mary pass? • Just think of how great it would have been if James O'Keefe, the obnoxiously self-important pseudojournalist, actually were slapped with a subpoena while attending that Rye fund-raiser. • Never let it be said that Governor Lynch doesn't know how to play politics -- witness his nomination of Republican Jim Bassett to the Supreme Court. Will a majority of executive councilors dare not confirm him?F&J Tote Board:Jack Kimball: The former state GOP chair announces he'll make his party comeback by attending a big Republican fund-raiser later this month.Cliff Hurst: The newly-elected N.H. GOP vice chair is praised by Kimball, who gives him credit for bringing the former chair back into the fold.Steve Forbes: The multimillionaire magazine publisher and former two-time Republican presidential hopeful visits New Hampshire to endorse Ovide Lamontagne's gubernatorial bid.Sharon Carson: The Republican senator from Londonderry comes up with an amendment that would essentially regulate criticism of legislative incumbents.Bill Binnie: With his latest bid to buy a group of New Hampshire radio stations, the former GOP U.S. Senate hopeful and TV station owner expects to add to his media portfolio -- if and when the deal is OKd.
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This article appears in the May 18 2012 issue of New Hampshire Business Review