Flotsam & Jetsam

They said it…

“We had one option, and that was to throw the long ball — the Hail Mary pass.” – New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan on the last-minute scramble to run wide receiver Doris “Granny D” Haddock for U.S. Senate.

“Whenever I tell people what Susan does now, the line of people waiting to talk to her after my speech is always longer than the one in front of me.” – Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Lynch describes the response of voters when they hear that his physician wife works at the cholesterol management program at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester. Of course, the short line in front of him couldn’t be because of the speech they just heard him deliver.

“The only thing that captures the attention of the average legislator is discussion of cost. The moral argument, sadly, does not work.” – Dr. Jim Squires, head of the Endowment for Health, on opening up discussions between the non-profit health-care community and the state Legislature.

“Obviously the Democrats are still trying to figure out the successful strategy.” – Katrina Swett on the history of failure she and her fellow Democratic congressional candidates have had against Charlie Bass.

It’s been making the rounds …

• House Republican leadership is already making preparations for Gene Chandler’s possible last-minute withdrawal from his re-election bid to be speaker.

• When will Rick Russman, the former Republican state senator, make it official and join the Democratic Party?

• GOP political consultant par excellence Dave Carney is taking one for the team, at the specific behest of the folks at the Bush-Cheney campaign, who are increasingly nervous about the status of the Benson re-election bid.

• There’s no truth to the rumor that on election day Governor Benson’s going to be handing out golf balls to voters at the polls.

• We’re shocked – shocked – that the sentencing of GOP operative Chuck McGee and consultant Allen Raymond in the New Hampshire phone-jamming conspiracy.

• The reason Governor Benson didn’t fire Dick Flynn after hearing about the AG’s investigation of the Heed investigation is because firing high-ranking administration officials is Dick Flynn’s job.

• As Benson campaign co-chair Bruce Keough said to Benson’s newest political consultant Dave Carney: Misery loves company.

• It only seems like wannabe House Speaker Anthony DiFruscia’s campaign is being run by Frank Sapareto.

Quid pro quo

One of the more remarkable political appearances of the last year or so was the re-emergence of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, in town a week or so ago to stump for Democratic Executive Council candidate Ray Buckley.

You’d think the last thing Lieberman would want to was raise money and votes for Buckley, considering how he ran Lieberman’s 2004 New Hampshire primary campaign — into the ground.

Jeb for astronaut

U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley has been boasting in one of his campaign commercials that he has traveled more than 75,000 miles in New Hampshire since his election two years ago. 75,000 miles! And he’s still in New Hampshire?

Well, we could say we had a car like that once, but we know Jeb takes his travels seriously. Still, this is a small state and 75,000 are a lot of miles to travel going nowhere. If our calculations are correct, Bradley should be nearly a third of the way to moon by now.


Never mind any other alleged flip-floppers of recent American political history, F&J’s nominee for the 180-Degree Turn Hall of Fame is none other than Dave Carney, the political sage of Hancock, New Hampshire.

His qualifications? After spending the better part of a year telling microphones and TV cameras that Craig Benson was essentially the New Hampshire equivalent of Boss Tweed, Carney actually had the wherewithal to perform a triple somersault dive smack into the middle of the governor’s campaign.

Yes, this is the same governor who Carney, on television, said was at the helm of the “the largest ethics scandal in the history of the state,” namely Choicelinx, an “episode” that he said “shows a lack of concern about ethics in this administration.”

But it wasn’t just Choicelinx that got Carney all wound up. He also decried the “pattern of all these Cabletron people” that was “worse than the 1890s, when the railroad robber barons were running the state.”

He also threw the word “criminal” around when describing certain administration activities.

So, as Gomer Pyle said, it sure was a “surprise! surprise! surprise!” when the news emerged that Carney decided to sign on with the Benson camp. Carney didn’t only reverse himself, he seemed almost born again – at least on the subject Craig Benson.

Carney actually told John DiStaso of The Union Leader that Benson “cleaned the mess up. He terminated people, and that speaks highly of the guy. He’s not a status quo guy and he brought in a lot of people, and some of them turned out not to be suited for their jobs. He’s a guy who’s willing to take decisive action.”

But wasn’t Carney saying all that stuff about Benson after the two main Choicelinx protaganists resigned their positions? The answer is yes. Which probably means that ol’ Dave will be using some of his campaign consulting fee on chiropractic services, to straighten out his logic.

Facing facts

If selective memory is one of the gifts successful politicians are endowed with, then Executive Councilor Dave Wheeler of Milford’s got it in spades.

A case in point: Considering it was the only election he ever lost, you’d think that Wheeler would remember why he lost his New Hampshire Senate seat to then-political newcomer Mark Fernald.

But it’s apparent that Wheeler doesn’t – or at least he’s doing a good job pretending that the voters in his Senate district kicked him out of office after he spread sludge from the Milford wastewater treatment plant on his Christmas tree farm. Not surprisingly, it was a move that angered neighbors, who insisted they were not kept in the loop over Wheeler’s decision, which he insisted he had a right to do, no matter the controversy over using spreading sludge. It’s a material, opponents say, that contains heavy metals and other toxins unfit for use on a farm and near groundwater sources.

All of which would rightfully have left you scratching your head after hearing Wheeler’s response to the news that the Granite State Conservation Voters Alliance put its support behind Debora Pignatelli, the Democrat running for Wheeler’s seat. When told of the decision, the councilor responded by saying, “I certainly have a very, very positive record on the environment.”

Perhaps, although his neighbors have a very different view.

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