Flotsam & Jetsam
Reupholstered chairThere was plenty of hoo-ha over the forced-resignation-replaced-by-wrist-slapping of three members of the House Republican leadership team immediately after the three Republicans dissed House Speaker Bill O’Brien in voting to sustain Governor Lynch’s veto of the speaker’s highly coveted right-to-work bill.On Day One of the post-override loss, House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt met with his leadership team, and “as a matter of principle” requested the resignations of the three assistant majority whips — Rep. Michael McCarthy of Nashua, Rep. John Tholl of Whitefield and Rep. David Welch of Kingston.On Day Two, Bettencourt had a change of heart: “After considerable reflection and feedback from individuals whose judgment I respect, I decided not to accept those resignations,” Bettencourt wrote in an email. “I never try to make decisions in the emotional heat of the battle.”Remember, we said that Bettencourt had a change of heart because it turns out that one member of the leadership team actually did lose out. That was Rep. Gary Hopper of Weare who had voted against the bill last session.Hopper told The Lobby that O’Brien had told him during the summer that if he cast another vote against the right-to-work bill he would be expecting Hopper’s resignation as chairman of the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee.Thus, after Hopper voted to sustain the governor’s veto, he submitted a letter of resignation. By the next morning, Rochester Republican Clifford Newton was appointed chairman of the Fish and Game panel.Mittigating circumstancesFolks with some knowledge of New Hampshire political history before the 21st century may have been somewhat amused by a recently released e-book by Politico’s Mike Allen and former Newsweek writer Evan Thomas in which New Hampshire political strategist/guru Dave Carney takes a few shots at Mitt Romney, one of the Republican candidates he hasn’t worked for as yet.In the book, “The Right Fights Back,” Carney is quoted as saying that “everybody knows the book on Romney is that it has to be his way or no way. He’s very stubborn. He’s very thin-skinned … storms out of meetings when it doesn’t go his way. And people who are involved in debate prep in the last cycle basically told us that he would react badly to someone challenging his narrative. He just is incapable of acknowledging that there may be a different interpretation of something.”Carney went on to describe Romney as “unbelievably temperamental … in that [if] he thinks that it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, it’s 3 ‘clock no matter what time it is. …”We’ll let F&J readers determine whether Carney is being accurate or not when it comes to the former Massachusetts governor. But those with memories that stretch back to the dawn of Carney’s career, as chief of staff to then-Gov. John H. Sununu — a big-time Romney supporter, FYI — may see that Romney and Carney’s original mentor apparently share some personality traits.Well, that’s if memory serves…F&J TOTE BOARDTerry Shumaker:The attorney and former ambassador in the Clinton administration tentatively throws his name out as a potential Democratic gubernatorial candidate.Bob Smith:The former U.S. senator from New Hampshire and current citizen of the state of Florida, revisits the Granite State to stump for Newt Gingrich, with whom Smith served as a congressman in the ’80s.Will Wrobleski:The one-time executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party — fired by former GOP Chair Jack Kimball in a move that ultimately led to Kimball’s ouster — is the organizer of a forum on national security at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College.
Bernie Streeter:The former longtime executive councilor and Nashua mayor, switches his presidential endorsement from Mitt Romney to Newt Gingrich.Dean Kamen:The entrepreneur/inventor adds his name, along with interim Community College System of New Hampshire Chancellor J. Bonnie Newman, to the list of people supporting the effort to battle repeal of New Hampshire’s same-sex marriage law.Rick Santorum:The GOP presidential wannabe — who’s been struggling for attention since his campaign began — tells the Conway Daily Sun that voters are thinking, “maybe he can win,” after watching other candidates rise and fall in the polls.It’s been making the rounds… “Newt Gingrich takes his fourth ‘no-adultery pledge'” read the online headline on Yahoo’s The Ticket politics blog. Which raises the question, Isn’t it too late for that? • With GOP gubernatorial hopeful Kevin Smith coming out against Northern Pass, the ball is now in Ovide’s court. • Didn’t former Governor Sununu seem to be relishing every moment as he tore into Gingrich during his media tour? • Ron Paul, remember him? • What happens if Buddy Roemer finishes ahead of Jon Huntsman in the primary?