Monday, October 26, 2009


The political season is heating up early. All the major candidates are cranking up their fundraising machines and getting their managers in place. Your different political factions are trying to be king makers and choosing what candidates to support and not to support. No matter what party you claim it hasn’t changed in the almost 40 years I’ve been involved and seen it first hand. Now that I’m getting older I can’t get all that excited when the political bugle blows.

The trouble with this is if you become part of a group or machine then that is who you’re beholding to. Not the voters and tax payers that elected you. With a philosophy like this you can see why I don’t garner a lot of support from the political machines.

What about the concept of running on your own merit, or on your own message and ideas.

I’ve talked to some terrific candidates for state rep who share my philosophy of people before politics; candidates who will stick by the message of you first. They have each sacrificed for their country, state and provided loyal dedicated service to their communities.

I think you and I will find it refreshing to support independent thinking republicans who will provide a fresh perspective to serving you instead of loyalty to any political groups or any self interest.

The voters are better informed now than they have been in the past, they know what to look for in an honest person who wants to run for public office for all the right reasons. Candidates who won’t tell you one thing and go to Concord and do what the machine wants, hoping you won’t find out about it.

More people claim to be undeclared rather than to a party. Both political parties have come a long way in disenfranchising voters on both sides of the isle. So when the time comes I think integrity, philosophy of dedication to you the voter and fiscal conservatism will be the message to you.

Many people have asked if I am going to run again and for what office. I haven’t made up my mind and will within the next couple of months. No matter what I do I will run to do battle over issues that are important to you, not the political structure or the special interests.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Tim Copeland’s story has been and is being told as I write this. Tim is a retired NY City homicide detective bureau chief who retired from NY and moved to NH and worked as a liquor investigator for the state of NH. He is a fiscally conservative republican and a selectman in Stratham. During a traffic stop Tim’s car was rear ended by a pickup truck that was involved in a high speed chase with the state police. Tim had to be cut out of the vehicle and was more dead than alive when they got him to the emergency room. Tim sustained many and serious injuries, broken bones, severe head and brain injuries; you name it Tim damaged it.

After a long period of convalescence and physical therapy, which he is still going through, he started working part time as he healed; doing light duty for the liquor department.

Tim and his doctors and rehab people realized that he probably could not go back to work fulltime and would have to put in for a medical retirement. At that time he was getting full health insurance coverage by the state for his wife and children.

Two months before his medical retirement came through he was fired by the liquor commission, which left him with no health insurance and no income from his job. I looked into the case and found no reason to fire him; in fact his immediate supervisor had nothing but praise for his professionalism, work ethic and dedication to the state and his job. Rumor has it and it has not been verified yet, the state 3d party lawyer working for the worker’s comp carrier was the one who did it.

After exhausting all of his avenues to finish the settlement of his worker’s comp case Tim contacted Bev Hollingworth our governor’s councilor. I have been to hearings before the council and Bev did more than an outstanding job representing Tim’s interest before the council. She stood her ground, never gave an inch in public discussions and hearings with the various department heads and attorney’s.

Bev’s support and commitment to Tim’s cause was, I think, over and above what her salary line pays. She really showed a commitment to the cause of doing the right thing, for the right reasons for her constituents.

I am falling short of endorsing Bev for reelection; but, when an elected official works as hard as she has for Tim, or any constituent, I think it deserves respect and recognition.

One of the benefits of being a very independent republican and not part of or supported by the establishment, I can call them the way I see them.

Thanks Bev for being there when your constituents need you.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


A Little Good News, Some Mixed News But Even More Bad News in Concord: by Jeb Bradley

The recent release of New Hampshire’s revenue receipts simultaneously offers glimmers of hope while raising even more concerns about the State Budget enacted in June.
First the good news: The “Rainy Day Fund” which is the State’s hedge against economic downturns ended the fiscal year with $56 million more of a cushion than anticipated. Governor Lynch froze new hiring, deferred equipment purchases, and curtailed out of state travel to produce these savings.
Despite the fact that Governor Lynch and Democratic Legislators approved an overall spending increase in 2007 of 11.17% and in 2009 of 10.48%, the Governor’s executive orders curbed the worst excesses of the Legislature’s spending blitz that has increased expenditures from $9.36 billion to $11.5 billion during that time.
This $56 million in the Rainy Day Fund will be a critical one-time buffer if the State loses its NH Supreme Court appeal of the JUA (Joint Underwriting Association) lawsuit. This lawsuit comes from a budget provision attempting to simply “take” $110 million from a fund designed to keep a lid on physician’s medical liability insurance costs. The State’s attempted money grab has already been ruled in violation of both the State and Federal Constitutions by the Superior Court.
The mixed news is that business tax revenues were only 4% lower than expectations. While it is preposterous to call any shortfall good news, in comparison to last year’s business tax receipts that were off by 25%, being 4% below expectations is a slim glimmer of hope. However, it's also a warning that if the trend continues the State will face a nasty budget deficit.
Despite the good and the mixed news, NH is far from out of the budget woe woods as the bad news dwarfs the good. Other revenue sources are badly underperforming, despite many taxes being increased in the budget. Receipts from the rooms and meals tax, communication tax, and real estate tax are all down by about 9%. The interest and dividend tax is down a whopping 25%. Even tobacco taxes are down slightly. In the three months since the budget was enacted revenues are down a total of $26 million or 6.4%. Should this trend continue the deficit will only grow.
Now that the state employees union has rejected the proposed contract that would have implemented 19 furlough days, Governor Lynch must begin a series of layoffs to save a mandated $25 million. Whether he will run into roadblocks if the union files a grievance for each position eliminated or political roadblocks from his allies in the Legislature – these savings may be questionable.
So with all these budget monkey wrenches, it is certainly understandable that its authors are quick to claim that the national economy is to blame and that revenues are likely to rebound when the economy turns around. But that is a cavalier attitude based on wishful thinking rather than rational evidence.
NH’s unemployment rate just jumped to 7.2% which means nearly 25,000 people have lost jobs this year. As bleak as that is, the national numbers are worse --- much worse. Since the federal stimulus legislation was enacted in February, 2.7 million Americans have lost their jobs and the national unemployment rate is at a 26 year high of 9.8%. The human toll of these numbers is staggering for individuals, families and businesses struggling to stay afloat.
Some pundits have tried to argue that things are getting better as only 263,000 Americans lost their jobs in September vs. 741,000 in January. While true, any signs that employers may be thinking of adding jobs in the future is at odds with the evidence. Job losses continue, while overtime and the average length of the work week both fell. Employers don’t need to hire anytime soon and consumer spending which drives our economy continues its retreat.
So NH Legislators who voted for huge spending increases --- not to mention the property tax hikes from cost shifting and 61 additional tax and fee hikes in the last two budgets --- are desperately praying for a rebound in the economy to produce the revenue they need to balance their budget. Voters should not hold their breath waiting for miracles.
Instead what Democratic Legislative Leaders are planning is a TAX SUMMIT to discuss new and innovative ways to separate taxpayers from their hard earned dollars. Will these leaders recommend an income tax, a sales tax, a tax on mortgage refinancing, an entertainment tax, or new levies on New Hampshire businesses? Every one of these taxes or others could be on the table at a time that 53,330 New Hampshire people are out of work.
After hiking spending 23% in the last two budgets, raising property taxes and 61 other tax and fee hikes one would think that Democratic Legislative Leaders appetite for new and varied taxes would be satiated. Most NH voters are shaking their heads wondering if a SUMMIT to REDUCE SPENDING is too much to ask for. Isn't it time for the Democrats to turn off the tax hike spigot and focus on fiscal discipline?
As tough as things are for families and businesses across NH, they will get much worse if taxes continue to climb to meet revenue shortfalls. Then we will have to re-title this blog to "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"!

Jeb Bradley for State Senate 645 SOUTH MAIN STREET WOLFEBORO, NH 03894

Friday, October 16, 2009


MMM MMM MMM, democrat Donna Schlachman say the democrats have saved the day; MMM MMM MMM.

In a recent opt ed piece presented by Donna Schlachman and written by a ghost writer was in the local newspaper touting the typical liberal propaganda of how the democrats have saved the free world with their fiscal responsibility; oh, and how the republicans are all evil. Republicans are not evil, they might be having a problem pulling the party together and sometimes some are not too smart; but, they are not evil. I know I have to deal with them on a daily basis. Oh, by the way, we are trying to build up trust in the party but that is proving elusive.

About the only thing that (whomever wrote this for Donna) has factual is the fact that there is a 76 million $ rainy day fund. The state has turned to financial Pelosi because of the mishandling of the needs and priorities of the liberals in charge.

If you believe the state is in good financial health, stop reading because you won’t believe what I’m going to say anyway.

The democrats have done one of the stupidest moves they could make by attacking the state employees. After 10 months of trying to reach a contract and constant threats from the governor and democrats of “750 layoffs if you don’t agree to what the state is dictating”, taking away bumping rights, the governor requesting 25 million in additional personal cuts from the legislature and then hiding behind them as the legislature mandated these additional cuts; no governor you requested them and can’t hide behind them because we all know better.

After all of this the employees could go no further with the negotiaons and the best deal the association could get was put before the state employee members. I was flabbergasted, after 10 months of threats and intimidations by the governor and the democrats, the employees had enough and voted against the contract language. Some members even said, “I know I will probably get laid off; but, I will see these people at the polls.

Right now the state has 1,357 vacant positions, for a total savings of approximately (up to) 98 million $ in savings. I’ve been told we have about 76 million more that could be saved by getting rid of consultant/private contractors.

While Donna and the democrats lost sight of the political and economic ball and constantly threatening the employees with another 750 layoffs the whole program got away from them. They probably should have paid more attention to this than their crazy liberal social agenda.

If 750 more layoffs take place, than more than 20% of our state employees would be gone, programs cut and services reduced to un-safe levels at the prisons and untenable levels in our social service programs.

The almost good news is that Donna and the democrats are taking credit for only lying off 250 state employees and re-arranging another 50 or 60 for transfers or pay reductions. They never needed to lay off 750 employees, that was a threat and the bluff was called; BUSTED!

What the governor and democrats don’t realize is that the state employees run the state, pay bills, plow roads, process the hiring of other employees through personnel, take in money, pay out money, in other words they make the state run. Who knows more about how an organization works than the employees. It is like the old saying in the military, “if you want to know what is going on ask a SGT”. So when your employees come to you with proposals for huge savings and you reject them, and by the way threaten them with more layoffs if they don’t give in to your way what does that make you; how about the south end of a north bound horse.

You will hear how the liberal democrats try to reach out to the republicans, does it sound like it? They are trying to change the facts and trying to change and divert the discussion away from how bad they stuck it to the state employees, how they screwed up the budget and how bad they’ve screwed up the state.

The republicans share some responsibility in this mess; but, only a small amount. They have not done a good job of getting the word out as to what has happened and what is going on.

MMM MMM MMM the democrats are not doing so good, MMM MMM MMM.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


In a recent editorial, Democratic State Senators Deborah Reynolds and Lou D'Allesandro attempted to explain to the citizen's of New Hampshire why they felt it was appropriate for the State to seize 110 million dollars from the Joint Underwriting Association Fund. They argued that since the State created the fund in the public interest, any excess funds belong to the State. Citing that this is being done, "for the public good," both Senators endorsed the actions of the State and the Governor. To better understand how this has come about, we need to go back to June of this year when the democratically controlled Legislature, along with Governor Lynch, passed a state budget that could potentially devastate the economic well-being of NH.

The JUA was established by the State of NH pursuant to administrative rules issued by the NH Insurance Department in 1975. This fund was created because by the mid-1970s physicians throughout New Hampshire had great difficulty purchasing affordable medical malpractice insurance. This had a dramatic effect on New Hampshire consumers and health care providers who experienced a lack of needed health services. Successfully implemented, this fund has experienced both deficits and surpluses over a thirty year period.

In response to the state's difficult economic times (After increasing spending levels by 6% while states are cutting their budgets an average of 2.5%), the democrats decided to seize $110 million from the JUA Fund to balance excess budgetary spending for 2009, 2010, and 2011. In response, the JUA filed a lawsuit against the state claiming that the State of New Hampshire was unlawfully taking the money from a fund that it had no legal rights to. In July, the Belknap County Superior Court blocked the State from seizing the monies from the JUA Fund indicating that the confiscation of private funds in this manner was unconstitutional. The state responded by appealing the decision to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The state argued that any charitable group that is exempt from taxation, such as the JUA, is liable to state government. Therefore, the fund's "excess" assets were subject to government taking whenever the State saw fit to do so. The State appealed the Superior Court's decision, and oral arguments begin mid-month.

The Senate Republicans warned Speaker Norelli, Senate President Larsen, and Governor Lynch that the passage of a budget dependent upon $110 million that belongs to the members of the JUA would be devastating to the economic well being of this state. Governor Lynch endorsed this budget, signing it into law knowing that these precarious proposals would be subjected to lawsuits endangering the budget as a whole.

True government leadership would have held the line and spent only what was necessary, just as thousands of New Hampshire citizens have. True leaders understand that they are stewards of the people's money, and that the people expect them to lead by example. If democratic leadership had held the line on spending, as Republicans suggested, there would have been no need for the money in the JUA Fund and hence, no costly lawsuits.

In a recent press conference, Senate and House Republicans called on Governor Lynch to work with the Republicans and take an initiative towards a "Plan B" budget which would be designed to handle a impending fiscal crisis if the Supreme Court denied the state's taking of privately held JUA funds. While developing his proposed budget last fall, Governor Lynch directed each department head to submit their cost-saving recommendations for their departments, keeping in mind that they had to fall within 97% of the current year budget levels. We agree with the Governor that the Commissioners are in the best position to make these types of recommendations when developing an alternative plan. We believe that the Commissioner's suggestions are a good place to begin when planning a fiscally responsible budget.

Republicans have not heard from Governor Lynch, nor has he revealed his "Plan B" to New Hampshire's citizens. Adopting a wait and see attitude is not the way to handle this impending fiscal crisis. We have an opportunity to work together to come up with an appropriate budget. Republicans understand the need to work together to guide the state through these tough times. We understand that only by doing so will we come up with a plan based on lower spending, so that we can weather these difficult financial times. We also understand it requires all of us working toward the same goal.

Senator Reynolds and Senator D'Allesandro stated in their editorial that, "this is exactly why state lawmakers are elected, to benefit their constituents as a whole," and we agree. We are elected to make good decisions on behalf of our constituents, and to be fiscally responsible with the State's money. We need to remember that when we are sworn into office, we swear to uphold the constitution. Let's all come to the table together and work to create a budget that meets the needs of all NH Citizens, is constitutionally sound, and reflects New Hampshire's long standing tradition of fiscal responsibility.

By: Senator Sharon Carson

Senator Sharon Carson is serving her first term as State Senator for District 14. She is a member of the Election Laws and Veterans Affair Committee and the Executive Departments and Administration Committee.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Just recently our lost in the fog senator went off on a tirade about how the economy is in the worst recession since the great depression and how the republicans are not helping the situation by bringing out how bad the liberals have screwed things up.

The old political saying if you lie enough and keep telling lies people will accept those lies as truth. The fact is the republicans in Concord did try to work with the democrats on budget matters; they did try to reduce spending to keep spending in line with revenues and were voted down each time. Now in the last two budget cycles (4 years) the democrats have been in control of the governor’s office, the senate and the house. The first two years the democrats increased spending by a billion dollars and raised 18 fees and taxes. The second two years they raised the budget by another billion dollars and increased 38 fees and taxes in the face of tough economic times. Hello, have you ever heard of reducing spending?

While the liberals were spending their way into the history books, the republicans were saying, ‘slow down there cowboy’; but, fell on deaf ears.

While Queen Maggie (given the name after she pushed for a $100,000 renovation of the ladies room by the senate officers giving her an Italian marble throne) was ranting about the lack of republican support the governor’s office was holding a press conference talking about the money they found, or came in, and things were not as bad as they thought.

This was almost as good as a candidate’s night in Exeter during the last election when Maggie was trying to deny there was a $250 million dollar deficit when that very day the governor’s office was saying there was.

This is like a Star Wars movie, “there is an imbalance in the force”. This is also what happens, either on a local level, state level or federal level, where there are no checks and balances. Liberal democrats go nuts with power and crazy liberal programs, republicans try to keep spending and government expansion down and taxes go up. As the battle rages, the taxpayers lose, at least until the 2010 elections.

The fact remains, the democrats have had total control for 4 yrs, the budget has gone through the roof with wild spending (two billion dollars in 4 years) and we are left holding the tab.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Governor Lynch who I nicknamed “Turn around John”, has gone off the deep end in his treatment of the State Employees. First of all I call him “TAJ” because when he first ran for governor against Craig Benson, part of TAJ’s campaign was how he turned around a failing furniture company to a profitable status. Now with the help of Maggie Hassan he has, after being elected governor, turned a healthy financial state, into one that is in the process of going bankrupt.

The State Employees has been treated worse than private sector. TAJ went to the legislature and with Maggie’s help pushed through a bill requiring personnel cuts to the tune of 25 million dollars. Then TAJ starts the state employee contract negotiations and keeps hiding behind the 25 million $ cuts that “the legislature mandated”, that he requested. The state employees brought more than the 25 million cuts to the table that TAJ requested and each time was refused to negotiate on those cuts. The message was clear; you will do it my way or suffer large amounts of layoffs.

The so called negotiations appeared to be one sided from the beginning. With not the usual give and take. We are all seeing a side of the TAJ that the state has not seen before. The end result is we are now seeing a governor who cannot lead and cannot manage; this isn’t good.

One issue that is overlooked is that NH doesn’t pay into the unemployment compensation fund, we are self funded. So when state employees get laid off the money they are paid comes from the state budget general fund, which is about broke. The private sector employees are funded, during layoffs, by a payroll tax their employer pays, not so the state. In fact the state has to pay the unemployment fund 110% of what the cost is to pay the unemployment pay to the employee, the extra 10% is an administrative fee.

It actually gets better because there are triggers built in to the fund that when it drops to a certain level the amount paid into the fund by private employers is raised; the payroll tax is increased. This means that the laid off state employees go to the unemployment office and collects unemployment benefits that the state, which is broke, has to pay 110% of the cost for which will raise the payroll tax to private businesses for employees they never hired or laid off. The state will borrow the money off of the feds with the requirement that the borrowed money must come out of the general fund.

When ever you’re in a budgetary battle you wonder who is telling the truth and who is not; most of time the answer is both all at the same time. In this case the answer is clear the state employees are. The state just released their periodic report on vacant state positions for a total of 1,359 empty positions for a biannual savings of over 150 million dollars; by the way the 1,359 figure is about 10% of our state work force.

So why are the governor and the liberal democrat leadership trying to screw the state employees so bad? First of all they are still drunk with power that they cannot handle. Secondly, I’ve lived through tough times in my 27 years working as a State Probation/Parole Officer and watching politics. What a governor does, and I don’t care what party they are from is to cut deeper than they have to so they can build up a surplus and show everyone how wonderful they are as administrators. You are the losers by loss of services and paying business paying higher payroll taxes.

There will be a day of reckoning for these politicians and it will start in the next election cycle. Turn around John and I want to get ahead at anyone’s expense by mine Maggie will have some “asplaining to do”.