Flotsam & Jetsam

Assessing the geniusYou may have noticed that adman, raconteur and political mastermind Pat Griffin has a new book out, “Pay No Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain: How Technology Has Made Traditional Advertising Obsolete” — a book with its fair share of political anecdotes and observations.Among them is this appraisal of none other than Turdblossom himself — Karl Rove, the man who brought us George W. Bush: “Twisted genius that he is, he was more than just a clever Svengali carefully managing his brand. Karl Rove is representative of a certain type of soulless gargoyle whose megalomania and absolute quest for power would make even Rasputin blush.”Just the kind of guy you’d like to have for dinner.The book is available on Amazon and at local bookstores, by the way.The little engines that couldFirst there’s Governor Lynch’s refusal to accept the ongoing smackdowns he’s incurred in his attempts to latch on to the Joint Underwriting Association’s medical malpractice insurance surplus. Then there’s Sen. Lou D’Allesandro’s equally — and even longer-standing — fixation on getting gambling legalized in New Hampshire. How about a name change, guys? Governor Ahab and Senator Sisyphus. Parking breakApparently more than a few New Hampshirites take the “Live Free or Die” mentality a little too seriously when they’re visiting the Big Apple. The New York Daily News recently reported that the city is owed $2.8 million in unpaid parking fines from motorists in two states: New Hampshire and Delaware.City officials told the newspaper that they have tried to collect the fines from the drivers in those states, but their requests for records regularly go unanswered by the states’ motor vehicle departments.“Sometimes we hear back from them, sometimes we don’t,” Owen Stone, a spokesman for the city Finance Department, told the newspaper.Without driver records, the city could not notify the vehicle owners that they were late paying the fees and could be towed – so the city couldn’t take the cars and ensure fine collection.Interestingly, a Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman talked to the News reporter. The New Hampshire DMV didn’t return calls, the newspaper said.Timing is everythingCircumstances do change — and sometimes pretty quickly. Shortly after the attorney general’s report on the Financial Resources Mortgage scandal appeared — a report laying more blame on the Securities Bureau than on the Banking Department or the AG’s office itself — Banking Commissioner Peter Hildreth reportedly waltzed in to the Executive Council chambers and said, “I’m vindicated.” That was about a week or so before Governor Lynch laid into the commissioner for his “incompetent management” before going into a nonpublic session with councilors, reportedly to discuss Hildreth in more detail.Cart Before The Horse Dept.It seems that even Ray Burton has taken what others call him — “Executive Councilor for Life” — to heart. Burton, the 16-term North Country executive councilor, sent out a press release the other day to advise the media of his plans to declare his candidacy for another term as both councilor and Grafton County commissioner (a job he’s held for a mere 11 terms).Considering how many times the Bath Republican has gone through the candidacy filing process, there’s certainly nothing new about that. But what was interesting was the press release’s headline: “Ray Burton Announces Re-election for Executive Council and Grafton County Commissioner.”While you’d have better odds winning Powerball than beating Burton in a District 1 election, you have to think he at least has to go through the motions of winning re-election before announcing his re-election, dontcha think?F&J TOTE BOARDThe Scammans: Former House Speaker Doug and his wife Stella, both currently serving the House as reps from Stratham, announce their joint retirement from politics.Robert Letourneau: The Derry Republican announces he won’t seek re-election to the New Hampshire Senate.Chuck Morse: The former Republican state senator from Salem announces plans to run for his seat again after Mike Downing announces intentions to run for Rockingham County sheriff.Derry Republican Town Committee: In an e-mail to town Republicans, the committee says state Senate candidate Jim Rausch is “the person most qualified” for the job, angering Frank Sapareto, a former GOP state senator and potential candidate himself.Richard Brothers: The former employment security commissioner — recently cleared of fraud charges involving the submission of travel vouchers for reimbursement — endorses Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Binnie.

It’s been making the rounds…

• Now the latest attempt to grab a piece of the Joint Underwriting Association’s surplus is a solvency study of the medical malpractice insurance fund by the state of New Hampshire. And those are state guys who really know their solvency.

• It’s interesting to note that Attorney General Michael Delaney’s report on how the state handled the alleged Financial Resources Mortgage Ponzi scheme stops in 2008. Kind of like the Warren Commission report stopping in 1962.

• The AG’s report on the Dartmouth Hitchcock-Catholic Medical Center deal — which he said wasn’t an “alliance” but a merger — does make you wonder what kind of advice Bishop McCormack got when he earlier approved the deal and when he said he wouldn’t have approved it if it were a merger.

• They recently handed out Volunteer of the Year awards in Concord. How come John Stephen didn’t get one for his “volunteer” work in Rhode Island?