Flotsam & Jetsam
Words association Where oh where to begin with the Facebook musings of New Hampshire’s esteemed House majority leader?Unless you’ve been trapped in a cave, too involved in following the trials and tribulations of the B- and C-listers on “Dancing With the Stars,” the tale of D.J. Bettencourt and his “pedophile pimp” predicament is likely all too familiar. (And judging by the speed with which he scrubbed his Facebook wall of all his no-doubt-enlightening ruminations and cogitations, there likely were more pearls ready for the plucking. Rats!)But considering how eagerly the 27-year-old, Not Ready For Facebook law student/rep from Salem took a poke at Bishop John McCormack – likely deep-sixing any aspirations he may have had for a political career beyond Rockingham District 4 – there’s a good chance that Bettencourt’s political world was going to be rocked eventually.In fact, there may have been a slight hint of what was to come on March 31, the day before the “pimp” posting.Early that afternoon, as debate over the House budget was ending, the majority leader was given the floor to address his colleagues and tie one last little bow on the proposal. In his eight-minute or so speech, Bettencourt defended the budget and praised the House Finance Committee, but he also put aside a minute or two to address opponents of the proposal.Climbing atop his high horse, Bettencourt blasted what he said was the “outrageous and exaggerated political hyperbole” that he said opponents engaged in during the budget process.He went on to lambaste the “motives” of opponents as “extreme,” “immoral” and “evil,” adding in his best Churchillian tones (Winnie’s picture is what Bettencourt uses on his Facebook page, by the bye) that such behavior was a “disgrace” at “such a difficult time in our state’s economic history.”Added the majority leader: “Leadership isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always popular. It’s about doing the right thing.” Indeed.Which leads to one last observation: He who casts stones shouldn’t do it on Facebook.F&J TOTE BOARDLee Quandt: The Republican rep from Exeter – the only GOP member of the House Finance Committee to oppose the recently passed budget proposal – predicts his party will lose 125 seats in the 2012 election ‘based on what has happened so far.’Andy Martin:The anti-Semite and self-described birther tells the press he’s going to file a lawsuit against state GOP Chair Jack Kimball and other party officials as well as Rabbi Robin Nafshi of Temple Beth Jacob in Concord after he was disinvited to speak at a party event in Deering.Gary Wheaton: Hours after being arrested for driving after suspension and speeding, the Republican rep from Seabrook announces his resignation from the House. His license was suspended in February when he pleaded guilty to reckless driving in Londonderry – a charge plea-bargained from driving while intoxicated.Carla Gericke: The program director of the New Hampshire Writers Project is named the new president of The Free State Project, replacing Varrin Swearingen, who resigned for a second time as president of the organization earlier this year.Maggie Hassan:The former Democratic state senator and possible gubernatorial candidate is among those tossed out of the gallery during the House’s recent budget debate.Annie Kuster: The former 2nd C.D. Democratic nominee says she’s running again for the seat.It’s been making the rounds… • Think the House budget process might have gone a little more smoothly if they handed out some Valium to certain House members before they began?• Really now – strongarming Republican reps who had the audacity to oppose the budget proposal – a proposal that was passed on a 2-1 vote?• If you could have a dime for every time someone who doesn’t like a bill making its way through the Legislature says, “let’s hope the governor will veto this,” you wouldn’t be rich, but you’d have yourself enough money for a couple of nice seats at Fenway Park.• There’s never been any love lost between Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and his predecessor, Congressman Frank Guinta, but a very public tongue-lashing of the congressman by hizzoner over funding federal grants took even folks in the know by surprise.