‘The voice of reason in chaotic times’

To the editor:

New Hampshire is a unique and truly wonderful place to work, raise a family and, frankly, seek refuge from the things in life that people in other parts of the country find challenging.

The natural beauty of this state is unmatched every season of the year. We have many communities that still have vibrant downtown areas. Businesses locate and stay here because of the cost of living but also because of the business –friendly environment and the New England work ethic. Students flock here and many stay after graduation. Retirees find their way back here to settle in their senior years. We welcome visitors and new residents to enjoy the places that we call home.

My family moved here from Massachusetts over 25 years ago because it offered a better place to raise our four children. I don’t regret the decision to live here, but I am concerned about changes in this great state.

Our political climate, like the weather here, runs hot and cold, and while the debate is spirited it is always civil. Whether you are talking about a town meeting, the presidential primary or statewide elections, citizens get to voice their concerns, ask questions and truly participate in the process of deciding issues and who will represent them on the local, state and federal levels of government.

What is frustrating and disturbing is when money and interests from outside the state try to pervert and influence our elections. That is certainly true with the race for the U.S. Senate.

In a race that should focus on what’s best for New Hampshire and the issues that are of national concern, millions of dollars have poured in to our state and polluted the airwaves, print media and social media with lies, distortions and the worse form of political rhetoric. It’s an ugliness that is foreign to the Granite State and leaves many weary, confused or just plain angry.

I understand those feelings, as we have stopped answering our home phone because of the robo-calls, we have opted for Netflix over commercial television because of the bombardment of political ads and the salacious scandals reported in the news on a seemingly hourly basis and we have fasted social media under after the election to avoid ill-feelings against friends, families and colleagues who post or like a controversial story about one candidate or another.

All of this tears at the fabric of this great nation, and especially in this state. Lost in all of this are the issues that matter and the civility of discourse sacred here in New Hampshire.

By way of example, the outside distractions in the U.S. Senate race have reached a fever pitch. I know Sen. Kelly Ayotte, and I know what she has done for this state. She is not the person portrayed in the attack ads funded by out-of-state political action committees that have outspent the Ayotte campaign by over $11 million. Most people in this state know who Kelly is and what she offers the people of New Hampshire.

She is a loving mother, devoted wife, dedicated former attorney general and a tireless advocate for the people of New Hampshire. She is the voice of reason in truly chaotic times. Rather than take the bait and stoop to the level of her attackers Senator Ayotte has presented a positive message for the people of New Hampshire. Over the last six years, in a challenging and divided climate in Washington where brinksmanship has taken the place of diplomacy and constructive progress, Senator Ayotte has put New Hampshire first. Whether it is championing legislation to protect employers and employees  from onerous environmental and job-killing regulations, promoting our port , addressing the plague of the opioid addition in our communities, supporting our troops and law enforcement personnel or protecting our natural resources, Senator Ayotte has worked night and day for the people of this great state. While voters may not agree with every position an elected official takes, there is no question that people in New Hampshire know that Kelly Ayotte stands for them.

Being civil and reasonable doesn’t mean Senator Ayotte doesn’t take tough positions or isn’t strident on issues of policy or principle. On the contrary, she is a fighter. She rolls up her sleeves for the people of New Hampshire. She advocates for our military and for a strong defense in an increasingly dangerous world. She stands with law enforcement, the guardians of the domestic peace,  in a time when they are under attack.  She promotes and protects business interests and at the same time stands up for working mothers. She works to protect the health benefits of our veterans and for women. She helps direct attention and resources to the problem of drug addiction in our communities. She tackles issues others may shy away from because it’s the right thing to do.

At times this may be at odds with political norms. So be it, as long as Kelly is doing what is best for the people of this state and this nation I support her.

When I think about this election season, the image of someone with their hands over their ears and a pained look on their face comes to mind. Frustrated, confused and angry, we can make decisions in haste we could later regret. It’s time for the people of New Hampshire to tune out the noise from outside the state and from other campaigns and to focus on what makes the most sense for New Hampshire and our nation.

I have never taken a public position on a political candidate before, but because of who Senator Ayotte is and the stakes of this election that I now speak up. The future of the U.S. Senate, the composition of the Supreme Court, the security of this nation and the way of life in the state are on the ballot in November. Petty political scandals, boorish behavior and unrelenting volleys of attacks have taken the focus away from the importance of this U.S. Senate race, and Senator Ayotte’s amazing accomplishments on behalf of the people of New Hampshire.

Finally, as a state with nearly equal numbers of Republicans, Democrats and independents, we need to maintain balance in our congressional delegation to represent the interests of all of our residents. We pride ourselves on our independent thought, deliberations and decisions in the ballot booth.

I encourage voters to tune out the negative, distorted and partisan messages from out of state and to instead focus on the independent voice of reason and civility in these uncivil times, and support Senator Kelly Ayotte for re-election to the U.S. Senate.


Jim Reidy


Categories: Letters to the Editor