Flotsam & Jetsam

Freudian slip?

OK, so considering that they had to scurry around to energize their supporters, you can understand that it was a rush job. But the e-mail/fax blast sent by the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association somehow made a point that the group probably wasn’t trying to make.

The trial lawyers tried to rally the troops to give Governor Lynch the fortitude to sign the recently passed House Bill 143, which overturns a recent state Supreme Court ruling on apportioning liability in a civil suit, essentially allowing plaintiffs to sue whoever they want for damages. It was widely opposed in the business community.

“The opposition is pressuring the Governor to veto this bill!” the message read. “Contact any small business owners you know and explain why this bill is NOT GOOD for business! Ask them to contact the governor as well!”

It’s more than likely that the trial lawyers weren’t trying to push the message that the bill was “NOT GOOD” for business (their capital letters, by the way). And while it’s possible they had a last-minute change of heart, considering the effort they put into getting the bill passed, it’s highly unlikely.

Just call him Anne Sullivan

When anti-government zealot and white separatist Randy Weaver – in town this month to lend his support to holed-up convicted tax evaders Ed and Elaine Brown – says, “I’m praying for a miracle that common sense will prevail,” does that prayer apply to his hosts, or just the federal marshals gathering around their Plainfield home?

Actually, it probably doesn’t apply to anyone, considering that Weaver told the dutifully assembled press that he’s an atheist.

In need of a fourth

If you thought that Kathy Sullivan, former chair of the state Democratic Party and at the very least the brawn behind the campaign to “draft” Jeanne Shaheen to run for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination, was even remotely off the reservation, try telling Peter Burling, David Gottesman and Sharon Nordgren – to name just a few – that.

Besides, it makes you wonder who exactly would be taking those fund-raising calls from the Marchand, Swett and Buckey camps.

Name droppers

You might have expected a little more mention of New Hampshire’s senior U.S. senator at the recent tribute to Judd Gregg, hosted by the Republican State Committee at the Center of New Hampshire/Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Indeed, if your were a few minutes late you might have missed the entire tribute to the senator, who wasn’t there anyway, because he was in Washington – probably figuring out new ways how to “bring home the bacon.”

The Gregg tribute was a cover anyway, since the event was a rather transparent pretext for shaking down the Republican presidential hopefuls by providing them with an audience before which they could speak if they bought enough tickets or otherwise contributed a respectable amount to the coffers of Grand Old Party in the state that will host the first Republican presidential primary sometime in January of next year, or possibly December of this year (do we hear November?). And since our good Senator Gregg is one of the few Republicans not running for president or anything else this year or next, no one among the assembled needed to hear very much about him anyway.

It’s a good thing the state party chairman Fergus Cullen isn’t running for high office, either, because Fergie (not the princess of Wales nor the Black Eyed Peas vocalist) was having a hard time with name recognition that evening.

Former Massachusetts Governor Romney – who coughed up 10 grand to speak — called the chairman “Angus” — a guy named “Mitt” should be better at remembering names. And Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor ($1,250) called him “Wolf” when Cullen moved silently and subtly to keep Thompson within his time limit.

Thompson’s “mistake” was an obvious reference to the resentment some of the “second-tier” candidates had over CNN reporter and moderator Wolf Blitzer’s allocation of the most of the time to the “first-tier” candidates in the previous evening’s nationally televised “debate” at Saint Anselm College.

“Governor Romney had 20 minutes, I’m going to take at least three,” said Thompson, who took several more than that. Cullen checked his name tag and good naturedly reminded the audience that his name was still Fergus. We wouldn’t try to tell that to Governor Romney, though. On his next try, it may come out “Fungus” As Cullen later said, “My Irish mother would be mortified!”


Fran Wendelboe: The founder of the insurgent GOP spinoff group the New Hampshire Reagan Network issues a letter to the editor heaping “kudos” on the party and Chairman Fergus Cullen for its “almost flawless” Republican State Committee dinner.
Bea Francouer:
The state rep who gained fame earlier this year when she essentially claimed a constitutional right to break speed limit laws on the way to a legislative event, is ordered by the Hudson Planning Board to replace the playground she removed in the manufactured home park she owns over the objection of residents at her manufactured home park.
John Scruton:
The Rochester city manager is taken to the woodshed by city councilors after he implies criticism of Congresswoman – and Rochester resident – Carol Shea-Porter at a meeting.
Clif Below: The Public Utilities Commissioner raises the ire of the governor’s office after he sends a mass e-mail to state reps urging them to oppose Lynch’s proposed constitutional amendment.
Al Gore:
The former veep and Dem presidential nominee inspires a movement in New Hampshire to draft him for ’08.
John Lynch: The governor dodges a bullet and isn’t forced to decide where he stands on the issue after the Senate defeats the mandatory seat belt bill.
Real ID:
The federal plan for what would essentially be a national driver’s license is totaled in New Hampshire, at least for now.

It’s been making the rounds…

• Talk persists that Governor Lynch is mulling calling a special session of the Legislature this summer to force state reps to confront his education-funding amendment again.

• In order to drum up support for the education amendment, supporters in the House told opponents they should vote for the measure anyway because in the end it wouldn’t be passed by voters anyway.

• Democratic members of at least one city’s House delegation were threatened with primary opposition if they opposed the education amendment.

• The official spin is that the governor is disappointed in House Democrats, but it’s a two-way street, you know.

• There’s a rumor that the New Hampshire Reagan Network had a sold-out crowd for its inaugural Not-The-Establishment-GOP event — but you wouldn’t know by the press coverage, or lack thereof.

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