Flotsam & Jetsam

They Flynn-chedIt may have been habit on the part of the Legislature, or merely its Pavlovian response, but even without Dick Flynn at the helm, lawmakers still seem to like their Safety Department big and growing.Economic reality, however, may finally have thrown some cold water in lawmakers’ faces.In the waning days of the 2009 session they approved a budget amendment that would shift responsibility for liquor enforcement from the Liquor Commission to Safety – a decision that carries with it the faint scent of nostalgia for those who remember the seemingly unending tenure of former Safety Commissioner Flynn.Flynn’s philosophy was based on a kind of bureaucratic kleptomania, essentially believing that if a state responsibility wasn’t nailed down it belonged to his department.While the transfer to Safety was approved by lawmakers, they also approved an amendment that called for a study of the move to see whether it would require new positions or appropriations. And guess what? The committee studying the change apparently got cold feet and recommended that liquor enforcement authority remain with the Liquor Commission.The matter still has to be approved by the Legislature, and while it seems likely that wiser heads may prevail, the decision also may be reached after it finally dawns on the legislators that Flynn retired as safety commissioner in 2007.College of ordinals

While not as bad as it could be, it’s really not something to crow about when the University of New Hampshire finds itself ranked 83rd on the list of the 100 “most affordable” public colleges, as it was in a recent issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. That’s 17th from the bottom, as most UNH parents could probably tell you.The real candidates of N.H.Not that it’s going to rival “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” or “The Real Housewives,” but GOP gubernatorial wannabe Jack Kimball’s decision to be the focus of an online “reality show” should make compelling viewing. The problem is something can be compelling because it’s really good or because it’s really bad.The Dover resident disclosed to Foster’s Daily Democrat earlier this month that he’ll be the focus of “The Road to Concord,” produced by Hampton resident Greg Brooks’ Action Multimedia Productions Inc.Kimball, owner of a medical facility cleaning business, was previously best known as the founder of Granite State Patriots and the political aphorisms – such “Let’s All Stop Paying Our Mortgages!” – on the sign in front of his Portsmouth business.Brooks, who told Foster’s there’s a chance the show could be picked up by a TV station, sees Kimball (who describes himself as a businessman and “not a politician”) as a natural for reality – TV, that is.“A guy like Jack coming along is the greatest thing that can happen to the state of New Hampshire,” he said. “Will he be able to crack the establishment? Will he be able to get the political backing he needs? I don’t know, but I know I can give him this sort of exposure for real inexpensive money.”Brooks said the show will be unscripted and “look like some of the reality shows on TV.” He added: “It’s my TV show. He’s just the subject of a TV show I’m producing.”As for Kimball, the online show is an effort to boost his name recognition, he told the paper. “What I really need to do is get out there and put the name recognition issue to bed. I want people to know who I am.”F&J TOTEBOARDDan Quayle: The former vice president endorses New Hampshire Senate hopeful Ovide Lamontagne as an “independent-minded leader and fiscal conservative.”Bill Binnie: The GOP Senate candidate becomes the first with paid advertising on the airwaves, using some of the $1.2 million he has already donated to his 2010 campaign.Paul Collins: John E. Sununu’s former campaign manager and chief of staff and staffer for John H. Sununu says in a conference call that his decision to join the Binnie campaign should not be interpreted as an indication of any endorsements by former employers.Carol Shea-Porter: The congresswoman schedules a Jan. 23 town hall meeting in Manchester – her first since last summer’s ill-fated health care forums.Ken Girardin: The Republican activist signs on as 1st C.D. hopeful Bob Bestani’s campaign operations manager.Frank Emiro: The Londonderry Republican state rep says he’s considering a run for governor.Donna Sytek: The former House speaker joins former Gov. Steve Merrill as honorary co-chair of Kelly Ayotte’s GOP Senate campaign.It’s been making the rounds…• If she does run, how often do you think Katrina Swett will utter the phrase “Joe Lieberman” in the Democratic 2nd C.D. primary?• It really would have been bad form for someone to smirk when they read the news of Rep. Steve Vaillancourt’s alleged driving-with-a-suspended-license troubles.• Despite the critics, Paul Hodes definitely knows how to run for office.• The 1st C.D. GOP primary field isn’t complete yet.• Say this for Mitt Romney: At least he’s not asking for six-figure appearance fees and first-class travel expenses to meet with voters in New Hampshire.• We’re still waiting for this LLC tax headline: “Looking for clarity from Clougherty.”