Flotsam & Jetsam
One thing you can say about the speaker of the House: He lets you know what’s on his mind.Take for example his recent revelation of the real reason he’s so gung-ho about the right-to-work bill – and why he had his hissy fit over the sheer audacity of Governor Lynch exercising his gubernatorial veto of the measure. (See O’Brien’s near-diatribe to a New Hampshire Public Radio reporter about the Lynch veto – which he essentially said he had no right to use – claiming, “The governor cannot function as a third branch of the Legislature. The Senate and the House have spoken with very strong majorities that right-to-work is what the people of New Hampshire want.” What was the law school he went to?)Nevertheless, it’s likely the speaker will get what he wants – he usually does, at least in the House. And his reason for backing the right-to-work measure so strongly? “Forced unionism?” Freedom of association? Economic development?While those make up the usual mantra of RTW proponents, that’s not what the speaker mentioned in his speech May 11 to the Belknap County Republican Committee.The reason to back RTW, according to O’Brien: The bill “is good for our party.” He then claimed that 10 of the 12 largest contributors to Democrats in the 2010 election cycle were unions.And then there was one union he singled out in particular – the State Employees Association, of which he said: “They’re not our friends. They cycle public money to the Democratic Party.”Then he offered this dire warning to his audience: “If we don’t win this veto, we might as well go home.”F&J TOTE BOARDLynne Blankenbeker:The Concord Republican rep and member of the Naval Reserves finds herself in hot water by essentially claiming, and then backtracking, shortly after the death of Osama bin Laden that she didn’t believe he was dead because “as a military person, I’ve received nothing from my superior officers — we’ve had no message trafficking for the first time ever … it was baffling to me that we didn’t even get a single message.”Rudy Giuliani: With Trump and Huckabee out, the former New York mayor is apparently seriously thinking about running for president again, after his disastrous New Hampshire showing in ’08.Paul Ingbretson: The Republican rep from Haverhill says he’s considering removing himself as chair of the House Grievances Committee hearing a complaint about a child custody case because he supervised visits between the father and daughter and failed to mention at the outset that he was personally connected to a Londonderry man’s bid to impeach six judges, marital masters and a guardian ad litem.Kelly Ayotte: The junior senator is appointed to a seat on the influential Senate Budget Committee, a panel once chaired by the man she replaced, Judd Gregg, a few days before being named to the Helsinki Commission, which works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Europe.Local Government Center: The Securities Bureau announces the nonprofit should return as much as $100 million in insurance premiums to municipalities. Gary Hirshberg: The CEO of Stonyfield Farm is one of two people — along with former party Chair Kathy Sullivan — to receive the state Democratic Party’s Dunfey-Kanteres Award at the Dems’ upcoming 100 Club event.It’s been making the rounds…• The real reason self-professed billionaire Donald Trump ended his presidential tease? After his trip to Nashua, it dawned on him how many hands he was going to have to shake if he were going to take the whole thing seriously.
• That Nashua chamber raffle prize trip to the Bahamas was the only thing Trump would have won in New Hampshire anyway.
• Ron Paul’s scaring a lot of people in the state GOP who remember the days of candidate Pat Buchanan.
• Rudy Giuliani’s said to be putting together his ’08 New Hampshire primary team — wow, that worked out well last time, didn’t it?
• Don’t write off another term — or at least another run — for Governor Lynch.