Flotsam & Jetsam


“We took an oath when we became police officers to impartially enforce the state’s laws and treat people fairly, with respect and dignity. Governor Benson took a similar oath when he took office. Maybe it’s time that he receive some remedial training in that area.” — Tim Cashman of the Portsmouth Police Patrolman’s Union reacts to the governor’s decision to forego taking part in last month’s gubernatorial forum and his alleged ‘attack on the integrity’ of the Keene Police Officers Association following its endorsement of Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Lynch.

“Barbara’s gotten so … she won’t even listen to the television. I’m wearing this wireless thing – I look like a space guy sitting there in my own bed.” – Former President George H.W. Bush, during his visit to New Hampshire, describes his life with former First Lady, and apparent media critic, Barbara Bush.

“I thought it would have been pretty neat to get to a tie and have it decided by the century-old leather balls.” – Sen. Clif Below, whose write-in Executive Council candidacy recently fell two votes shy of winning the Democratic primary against write-in Republican Ray Burton. To which we might add, whatever floats your boat, Clif.

“I am not going to do it because the Republicans need to do this. This is about Republicans. There is a Republican who is challenging the speaker. That is the person who should be saying this stinks.” – House Democratic Leader Peter Burling on whose job it is to stir up the pot when it comes to House Speaker Gene Chandler’s efforts to raise money for personal expenses.

Making the rounds

• Last-minute write-in Democratic New Hampshire Senate candidate Mark Fernald sent out the word to supporters that he if he won the nomination he would only run against eventual nominee Peter Bragdon, who beat incumbent Andy Peterson in the District 11 GOP primary.

• It looks like state Rep. Robert Rowe choose to put his interest in chairing the House Judiciary Committee over his ties to Walter Peterson, the former governor and father of soon-to-be former state Sen. Andy Peterson, in Peterson’s recent District 11 race against Peter Bragdon.

• How does John Lynch spell integrity? E-N-T-E-R-A-S-Y-S.

• There’s no truth to the rumor that John Kerry’s new Secret Service code name is “Swifty.”

• It apparently didn’t help much, but supporters of Paul McEachern’s losing Democratic gubernatorial campaign sent out an 11th hour e-mail blast to gay and lesbian voters to drum up support for their candidate over John Lynch, who they say “equivocates” on issues – like John Kerry.

Getting the message

You may have sniffed a hint of Richard Nixon, circa 1962, in state Rep. James Holland’s statement to the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune after finishing 14th in a field of 15 in last month’s District 76 GOP primary.

The Salem resident, who suffered this latest loss six months after getting bounced out of his selectman’s seat, told the newspaper: “All I did was offer myself to help the community. If they don’t want me, that’s fine. I’m not sure if I’ll ever play politics in this town again.”

Does this mean voters won’t have Jim Holland to kick around anymore?

What’s a little money among ‘Friends’?

In the latest example of blaming the victim, all those folks with their knives out for House Speaker Gene Chandler apparently should be ashamed of themselves.

Chandler – whose Friend of Gene Chandler Committee was outed last month – has admitted that the panel has raised some $64,000 in cash and gifts over the last four years to help him make ends meet while serving the greater good of the Granite State.

“I guess I’m becoming a poster child because of my race for speaker, and it’s a political season,” said Chandler of the all-out attack on his Friends.

Some folks even have had the audacity to question the speaker’s intentions, even going so far as to point out that all those folks from the tobacco, construction, real estate, automobile and health-care industries, to name a few, were doing something more than helping one of their pals continue in his selfless career of public service.

After all, how can anyone be a speaker and a Bartlett selectman if he has to worry about making car or mortgage payments, buying gas, paying insurance on his car and paying for laundry – or, as Chandler himself said, “that sort of thing”?

And we all know that in this day and age $125 – the amount the House speaker gets paid each year – can only go so far.

Anyway, it’s all legal – according to state law, the speaker could be raking in hundreds of thousand of dollars, but he has apparently refused to do so.

“Other people have to decide whether that is appropriate or not, but it’s what the law says you can do,” said the speaker of the contributions.

Besides, as more than one FOG – that’s Friend Of Gene – was quick to remind us, the speaker has always been ethical, above-board, fair – you get the drift. In fact, he apparently is a model of innocence, victimized, as House Majority Leader David Hess was quick to point out, by “people purporting to be experts. When you ask lawyers, accountants for their advice, you generally rely on it, and act on it,” he said.

And exhibit No. 1 in the Blame the Victim game comes from Rep. Anthony DiFruscia, the Windham Republican – and attorney, of course — who is challenging Chandler for the speakership.

DiFruscia He had the audacity to say, “I believe you cannot take money from individuals and use it for personal use. We have to ask the question, ‘Does anybody in the world believe that the tobacco company contributed money to Representative Chandler for any purpose other than political?’”

Apparently DiFruscia didn’t take the time to hear the speaker’s reason for taking the money and running – for office, that is.

“It takes a lot of time to do this job. … and I couldn’t do it without this help,” said Chandler of the fund-raisers.

Just file those fund-raisers under “Constituent Service.”

Clinton: Dialing for Dean votes

Considering his political ties, and other furnishings, you wouldn’t cast former President Clinton as a good candidate to be a Deaniac.

But then again, you wouldn’t necessarily think that he’d stoop to an attempt to derail the budding presidential candidacy of Howard Dean .

According to Dean, in his recently published book, “You Have the Power,” the former Vermont governor learned that the former president was calling Democrats encouraging them to switch allegiances to Clinton fave, retired Gen. Wesley Clark in the months before the Iowa caucuses.

Dean recounts that one of the people Clinton called was a Dean supporter who described how the former president said that Dean “had forfeited his right to run for President.” That was because, according to Dean, he had signed a law creating civil unions for gay and lesbian couples and Clinton believed Dean couldn’t be elected because of that.

Heath: Start the presses!

OK, so Jack Heath (or perhaps it was Governor Benson) finally got the message and decided to leave his publicly financed job burnishing the governor’s image as “media consultant.”

That doesn’t mean Heath will be filing for unemployment.

It turns out NSP Graphic Communications, the printing company owned by Heath’s consulting firm, is handling all of the printing needs for the five major Republican campaigns in New Hampshire. That’s Bush for president. Gregg for Senate. Bass and Bradley for Congress. And, oh yes, Benson for governor.

The same Benson for whom up until a couple of weeks ago Heath was working, courtesy of New Hampshire taxpayers.

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