Saturday, April 30, 2011


At a recent republican party event, a luncheon for Donald Trump, a number of tea party advocates mingled with free stators were sitting around talking about how they were going to “get” republicans (RHINO’S-republican in name only) by getting rid of anyone who didn’t support the republican platform or the right to work effort. First of all the state party platform committee was chaired by “Bully O’Brian”, so there is a document that might not be part of the main stream NH Republican philosophy. The real RHINO’S, are those who moved into NH to take over the state.

This is really sad, we maybe watching the disintegration of the Republican Party in NH. It is now up to the voters of NH to clean up this mess. The big question is did we do what we promised? If the budget balancing we are doing in Concord does not reduce your tax bill then we didn’t do what we said we were going to do. If the cut backs that we did in Concord causes your property taxes to go up, then we did not do what we said we would do. If we didn’t help create jobs and only caused layoffs like in our public sector, then we didn’t do what we promised.

I was talking to a supervisor of the check list and was advised that the R’s are going back to I’s by the truckload; that was only for one town, I haven’t called around to see if this is a trend or not; but, I have a feeling that it is happening.

Out of the clear blue our legislature attacked our public sector employees; whether it is state, county or municipal. I’ve been in a state union and know that you don’t attack them you sit down figure out the problem and negotiate a solution. Now we (republicans) are facing around 350,000 votes coming against us in the next election. At what point do we sit down and realize we are being led downhill not uphill?

Due to the house fetish for the right to work bill and other crazy retirement proposals the state retirement system is absolutely flooded with retirement requests. In many communities the top echelon, the very best and experienced employees are looking to get out and retire. This will put a huge financial drain on the state and the communities.

NH was known and respected for its common sense approach to dealing with these issues; right to work legislation was killed when the republicans were in charge and when the democrats were in charge; now it might go through because neither is in charge.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Senate Approves HB 474

16 Senators vote against constituents, history, NH economy

This morning, the New Hampshire Senate voted 16 to 8 to approve HB 474, The “Right to Work” (for less) bill. You can read the roll call here.

What happens next? The House is expected to vote next week on whether to accept the Senate’s changes to the bill, or whether to send it to a Committee of Conference.

(a) If the House votes to accept the Senate bill, it will go to the Governor’s desk. Governor Lynch has said he would veto the legislation. The bill would then go back to the House and Senate for a vote on whether to override the veto.

Overturning a veto requires a two-thirds vote by both chambers of the Legislature. The Senate would approve overturning the veto, if all members of the Senate vote again the way they did this morning. The House’s vote next week – on whether to accept the Senate’s version – will be a strong indicator of whether the House would vote to overturn the Governor’s veto.

(b) If the House votes to send the bill to a Committee of Conference, then House and Senate leadership will appoint members of the Committee of Conference who will work to find a compromise between the two versions.

We will keep you up to date as this bill moves forward.

What happened this morning? This morning, 16 members of our state Senate forgot who they are supposed to represent. They voted to approve legislation written and promoted by a Virginia-based lobbying group, even after it was clear that the bill would harm New Hampshire families.

This morning, those 16 Senators ignored decades of legislative history in New Hampshire. Our Legislature has repeatedly rejected “Right to Work” (for less) bills under both Republican and Democratic leadership. For decades, our Legislature respected the autonomy of private businesses, and allowed companies to decide for themselves what provisions to include in their employment contracts. This morning, those 16 Senators decided they know better than the employers do.

“The New Hampshire Senate should be ashamed for choosing politics over the working people of New Hampshire,” said SEA President Diana Lacey, in a press release sent this afternoon.

“The Senators themselves publicly discredited the arguments for the bill. Labor Commissioner George Copadis testified that no business owner had ever asked him about it. Each of the Senators heard from hundreds upon hundreds of their constituents, opposing HB 474. Yet a majority of Senators voted to approve the bill,” Lacey said. “This is nothing more or less than the triumph of back-room politics, where lobbyists and their corporate cohorts have more influence than the middle class families in New Hampshire.”

Click here to read the full press release, including quotes from Randy Hunneyman and Joan Hamblet.

Stay posted for a follow-up "Alert" about emergency meetings taking place over the next week. Plans and actions will be announced in the next 24 hours.

Thank you all for your continued hard work to protect our families and other middle class families in New Hampshire.



I just got a call telling me that Susan Emerson, a state rep from Rindge, NH was just thrown off her committee of Health and Human Services by, none other than, Bully O’Brian. The story I was told was that Susan sent a letter to the senate asking them to restore some of the budget cuts. Susan has strong feeling, rightly so, for the needy and helpless that the state budget was going to touch.

Susan was married to a retired Air Force General who died about a year or two ago and all that she wanted was to be able to help people and be on HHS as a committee assignment.

It has become very difficult to work in the legislature under these conditions. State reps cannot think for themselves or disagree to better represent their constituents. It is the speaker’s way or the highway which, in a democracy, is an unworkable philosophy.
It is because of this Bully leadership style that some state reps are talking about the procedure to remove a sitting speaker. I don’t think the votes are there to do it; but, how would you like to be the only speaker or one of a couple that there was an attempt to remove. That is quite an anchor to carry into an election for higher office.

Well, I have to give the speaker credit; he has as many notches on his gun as, none other, than “Bully” the Kid.

I don’t think I can support the expansion of the anti bullying bill unless it includes state reps; this is getting out of control. Each and every state rep owns a part of this leadership, whether they voted for Bully or not, they are standing by and letting it happen. So is the problem the bully in the legislative school yard or is it our fault for not speaking up. The irony of this situation is all the new state reps that consider themselves patriots and freedom lovers who are turning a blind eye on what the house leadership is doing. I think it is most difficult to claim you stand on principles when some are wonder are there any left in the legislature.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Senate kills HB 231

Attempt to harm retirees called “over the line,” “arbitrary,” and “idiotic”
By a unanimous vote, the State Senate yesterday killed HB 231, a House bill that would have seriously harmed public employee retirees who rely on promised health care benefits.

The Senate Finance Committee also stripped HB 231’s financial reductions from the budget trailer bill HB2.

The vote followed last week’s unanimous recommendation by the Senate Executive Departments and Administrative Committee to make the bill inexpedient to legislate (ITL).

Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, said that the bill as proposed by the House would effectively put retirees into harm’s way. “We should not place on the shoulders of loyal state employees this unfair and unequal task,” Carson said.

Sen. Ray White, R-Bedford, also spoke against the bill, saying he understood the need for fiscal restraint on health care costs, but that HB 231 was “over the line”, based on testimony during the hearing that this legislation would impose potentially draconian cuts.

Sen. White added that legislators need to bend the cost curve of the health care and “should involve the retirees themselves in determining the changes we make.”

Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, was more pointed, calling the bill “idiotic.”

Testimony from retirees and current employees against the bill had been relentless since it was first introduced in the House by Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, in February. Hundreds of SEA members appeared at hearings to oppose this reckless legislation; at the first hearing held, dozens of them awaited an opportunity to testify in the House but were turned away.

The number of members who engaged in this battle by testifying in hearings, calling and writing letters to legislators and to newspapers, and speaking out against the proposed cuts with powerful personal stories was too large to count, observed Diana Lacey, SEA President.

"The members' role in defeating this cruel and immoral bill cannot be overstated,” Lacey said. “Bringing their collective voice to the forefront, and having it stand in contrast to the impact of dangerous budget cuts, was key to reminding legislators that New Hampshire can and should do better.”

Retiree Dan Webster, president of SEA Chapter 1, said in a phone interview, “I’m certainly glad they killed that bill; it was murder for retirees.” He agreed that retiree protests made a difference. “I think they (legislators) pay attention – after all, we vote, too,” Webster said. “I’m sure they looked out the window and saw 5,000 people on the day of the rally – and all those people vote, too.”

Overall, Webster observed that while “the Senate is conservative, too -- just like the House -- they are taking a more reasonable approach” to the budget. Webster urged retirees to continue contacting Senators about retirement issues. “It makes a difference.”

As passed by the House, HB 231 would have set an arbitrary limit of $27.5 million on the amount of General Funds that could be used to pay health care costs for retired state employees -- a 30% reduction at a time when more people are entering retirement monthly.

Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem, the chair of Senate Finance, said that he wanted to create a Senate position on this issue in the budget. He has asked Administrative Services to present alternative plans to the budget need this item creates. During last week’s hearing, Commissioner of Administrative Services Linda Hodgdon testified against the bill, and offered to sit down with legislators and retirees to come up with "sensible solutions."

Senate kills ‘At-will employee’ provision in budget bill
Finance Committee removes parts of HB2 as policy meddling
The Senate Finance Committee yesterday stripped dozens of non-budgetary policies tacked onto the budget by the House – and specifically killed Rep. Neal Kurk’s “at-will employee” provisions from HB2.

In making the recommendation, the Senate signaled that the House had gone too far in their version of the budget by attaching significant policy provisions onto the spending bills.

In media reports, Senate President Peter Bragdon, R-Milford, said that “the House had loaded onto this budget bill (HB 2) many changes in policy that had nothing to do with state spending.”

“The trailer bill is designed to supply the technical statutory changes necessary to implement the policy decisions that are part of the budget. It is not supposed to include non-budgetary policy decisions such as collective bargaining. We believe an issue like that requires a public hearing as well as an up or down vote by legislators,” Bragdon said.

Kurk, R-Weare, slipped the “at-will’ provision into a late-night amendment to the budget bill as the House finalized the budget, effectively making all public workers at-will employees once an existing labor contract expired. A similar version of the “at-will” provision lurks in another Kurk bill, HB580, on public employee pensions.

Kurk has claimed in media reports that he hoped to strengthen Gov. John Lynch’s hand in trying to get $50 million in health care benefit concessions from the State Employees Association in the next labor contract for state workers.

But yesterday, Sen. Chuck Morse, R-Salem, said that this “was not the way to do it.”

“He did what he thought was appropriate,” Morse said of Kurk in one media report. “If a policy committee wants to debate this issue, that’s fine, but it doesn’t belong in the budget.”

Gov. Lynch told reporters yesterday that contract negotiations with state employees are underway. “I’m optimistic we are going to eventually come to an agreement,” Lynch said in media reports.

As for Kurk’s collective bargaining amendment, Lynch said he opposed it and said it was counter-productive rather than helpful.

‘’I think it was unnecessary, inappropriate in where it was put in the budget and raises some unnecessary angst,” Lynch said.

SEA members and other public employee unions vehemently opposed the Kurk “at will” amendment because of the implications it had for hundreds of contracts large and small across the state.

“Mr. Kurk’s amendment was nothing short of a deliberate, ongoing attack on collective bargaining, public employees, unions, and the middle class,” said SEA President Diana Lacey. “He inserted this into the budget without any public notice, without public debate, without a public hearing, and with complete disregard for decades of collective bargaining law in this state. The Senate has shown great wisdom in stripping this from the budget and, we hope, will also kill HB580 as a bad piece of legislation.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I just got back from the state house after testifying on a bill and the conversations up there were quite interesting. I talked to not only democrats but real old fashion republicans. Some used the words “this place is getting ready to implode”. The stress level is quite high and the speaker has a new nickname, “bully O’Brian” instead of Billy O’Brian. That appears to be the perception and it is sticking.

Bill has the potential to be a good leader and I cannot put my finger on why he cannot reach that potential. I know he has some bad staff around him; but, he can overcome that. Is he a control freak? That usually is a sign of serious insecurities.

Maybe there is reason for insecurities when, it is alleged, the Newmarket republican town chair called Sen. Sharon Carson and after a heated conversation told her, I know where you live and I’m coming to get you”. He is also is a self proclaimed free stator and purported to be a former paid staffer on the NH Republican Chairman’s campaign staff for governor. From the rumors, he is the one that was saying that.

The speaker of the house and the state party chair need to repudiate the Free State movement in NH and if they can’t they should step aside. The rhetoric and animosity is getting out of control and I’m concerned someone is going to get hurt. I guess I know why we need to carry guns in the state house.

I’ve talked to many old guard republicans who are getting nervous over the direction the Republican Party has taken. They acknowledge the potential for major losses in the next election with about 350,000 votes coming against us; that’s not counting the barbers and beauticians (12,000) licenses in the state for the legislature trying to make it so you don’t need a license to do these same functions. HUGE HEALTH CARE CONCERN!!! How many people do they talk to on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis for the next 18 months?

What will probably happen is the republican financial backers will stop contributing because they know the party and the house has been infiltrated by free stators and libertarians. The money doesn’t want to bank roll non republicans, we will all suffer.

About five weeks ago I was sitting in the legislative break room at the back of reps hall eating a sandwich when two, I believe, free stators came up to the end of the table and were talking about how they were going to get the republicans that disagreed with them. I didn’t recognize them and still can’t recognize them; because I didn’t pay attention to what they looked like only what they were saying.

The speaker and party chair need to step up to the plate and deal with this and stop trying to be the captain and first mate of the Titanic.

Monday, April 11, 2011


A supposed Free Stater from Newmarket called Sharon and threatend Sharon the following is a press release Sharon sent out:

Subject: Statement by Senator Sharon Carson re: an incident on April 10th

NH State Senate


For Immediate Release:

April 11, 2011


Carole Alfano, 271-7585

Statement by Senator Sharon Carson regarding an incident on April 10th

(Concord) State Senator Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry) issued the following statement today:

“On Sunday, April 10th, I received a telephone call from a person who made statements that rose to what I believe to be of a criminal threatening nature and I felt was necessary to report to my local law enforcement. State and local law enforcement have undertaken an investigation, issued a no trespassing order and will resolve this matter as they now see fit. I am thankful for the unanimous support of my fellow Senators and for the personal promise from NHGOP Chairman Jack Kimball that the NHGOP has a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior. Today, I am turning my focus back to what the voters of my district want me to concentrate on such as balancing the state budget, showing fiscal restraint and improving New Hampshire’s economy. As far as this matter; I consider it closed.”


Friday, April 8, 2011


New Hampshire is not a union state , but it is a state in the union!!! Yes, it has a right to exist as a free state, free to congregate with those of like mind and free to move about or out when we do not like what is happening around us. No person in this state is forced to work for those they do not want to work for.

We do have employee unions in the state, or negotiating/bargaining units as some are called. Reasonable groups such as police, fire, teachers, and our state employees, the ones who need to work no matter the conditions because we rely on them to be there. None that I know of is forced to join a union. I have been told that at times overzealous members from out of state can be heavy handed in their encouragement of people to join; but, teachers or other public sector cannot be forced to join a bargaining unit.

We do have, at least with the State Employees what is called a fair share, it was negotiated in the contract and agreed to by both state and the bargaining unit. Those not wishing to be a member are required to pay 59% of the union dues to cover the expense of negotiations for benefits and pay increases. In exchange the employer must treat them with the same respect, pay them the same pay and offer them the same benefits at the same cost as members of the negotiating unit. Not such a bad deal, but that's the way NH is.

Unfortunately, we have a Virginia based group coming into NH once again trying to push legislation that is solely intended to create hate and discontent and break up our bargaining units. It also helps the other states who dislike the fact the latest study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston shows NH's success is not based on just one practice but instead on the diversification of the laws governing business and taxation. This is but one area under attack by outside interests who would settle for NH being only as good as they are but will never cease to end NH being better than they are.

I am reminded of the extremism of the out of control, religious group that protests at funerals of our fallen soldiers claiming the death is gods punishment for crimes committed by others. They bring their own judgements upon the world to places they were never asked to visit and they do so to fill the world with the same hate they fill themselves with. I for one have no use for their hate or their hate tactics.

The antics of this hate group which claims the "Right to Work" organization they work for supersedes NH's right to govern itself in a way which is most beneficial to the most people, is currently trying to beat Senator Sharon Carson from Londonderry into submission by papering her district with untrue, distorted and out landish claims about her voting record in the hopes of intimidating her into changing her mind. So outlandish are they in their representation that they know Senator Carson is the fact they call her a "him". That is after all how the outsiders do their "thing". One size paper to fit all people. It isn't the truth they care about only thing they care about is making you live like they do.

I’ve known Sharon for years; she is a pretty remarkable, smart and caring person. She was in the house with Matt and me. We use to have some strong disagreements; but, they were civil, respectful and issue oriented. No hard feelings and only respect on both sides. After a number of years we all got to know each other and realized that Sharon was fiercely loyal, not only to her family; but, to her constituents as well. Like us she helps anybody with a problem, she deals with problems not politics and if you are a democrat, republican or libertarian, she jumps in to resolve your issue. When the seat became vacant, Sharon ran for senate and won; she is and has always been well respected in her district.

Now she is being portrayed as a villain by out of stators. A villain not willing to sacrifice the NH advantage so the mistakes of other states become the mistakes of the many. They can always correct their mistakes, Senator Carson obviously believes they should go home and spend the money there they are spending here to influence their own legislature and perhaps move toward being more like NH, not that I want the competition.

I am disappointed in some of our senators for not standing up (even though they support the RTW issue) and telling this out of state hate group to go home!! Tell them that because of their bizarre behavior and vicious attacks against some of the senators (Sharon is not the only one being threatened) that they have forfeited their right to be heard as guests with an idea. The Senate should then dispose of the bill with the same fate as has previous senates and for the same reason. Hate, bullying, intimidation is not something we accept and we certainly do not want to emulate any state or group who does.

Let the word get out quickly that NH has had enough of this type extreme right wing thugery. Oh, while they're at it let them send the message we dont need any left wing thugs brought in either.

We see this on a daily basis in the house and some of us (now that we have time) are speaking out against it.

So for those of you who are environmentalist and of us who want to do the right thing for NH, when we save the kittens, puppies, sea otters, dolphins and all the other beauties of nature let’s not forget Sharon. Call your local senators, you can find their numbers at Let them know NH has the ability to solve our own issues; we don’t need groups like this for complicating them and if you’re from Sharon’s district, call and thank her for her hard work and for just being Sharon. Sometimes this can be a lonely and seemingly thankless job, a thank you can be a real pick me up.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


With all that you have been reading and hearing about members of the legislature attacking the NH Archbishop and calling him names, another wanting to revoke the tax free status of the Catholic Church I found it necessary to call the Vatican and ask for the Pope.

I wanted to know if the Vatican takes credit cards. The reason for this is, to show that I am a real republican, would see how much it would cost to have the house leadership (collectively} exorcised to drive the demons out of the state house. I got the idea when I watched the movie the Exorcist, why didn't someone think of this sooner?

He hasn’t called me back yet; but, I hope it is soon.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The budget has gone through the house with the funding (HB2) as well. This was a painful experience for those involved in recommending the cuts; the cuts were many and deep in most circumstances. But we promised when we were campaigning that this would have to take place to take the pressure off of the huge deficit.

Did the house budget go too far or not far enough? That will be decided by the senate and the committee’s of conference if there is no agreement. The senate now has to look at the house budget and make changes if they deem necessary and send it back to the house. If the house disagrees then they will go to a committee of conference to see if they can work out the differences. If that is done then it will be up to the governor to veto, sign, or allow it to become law without his signature.

I do not believe we have ever seen so many people show to our hearings. Some of the hearings were so well attended that they were held in reps hall because of the 3-4 hundred people that showed up in protest.

When the finance committee voted on HB2 there was an estimated 4-6 hundred public sector employees in attendance. The room, hallways, stairwells and the LOB lobby was so packed you couldn’t move. Our security staff was totally overwhelmed; but, with few exceptions, the observers were behaved. It was requested that the hearing be moved to reps hall but that was denied. I had a problem with seeing pregnant women having to sit on a hard floor. Our chairman did the best he could; but, we just so overwhelmed any plans we had for security flew out the window.

Then on Thursday, the day we voted on the budget there was about 4,000 people showed up to protest not only the budget cuts; but, how the legislature went after our state employees. We had an increased presence of state police to help our security handle the crowd and, with a few exceptions, the crowd was behaved.

What caused all of this? We have had to make serious cuts in the past; it was the unprovoked attack on our public sector employees. The complaint is they make too much money and too many benefits; but, instead of negotiating with them on this issue, the legislature attacked them and kept it up with almost 3 months of legislative attacks by putting in anti public worker bills and amendments, attacking active duty employees, widows, retired and injured state employees. The legislature then kept referring to the employees as “thugs” and “goons”, etc, so they were villainizing anyone who disagreed with them. When you attack someone using your power who is the real thugs? Certainly not the ones attacked; but, the ones doing the attacking.

When you are dealing or want to deal with unions or public sector employees it is always smart to sit down and talk to them or negotiate with them, don’t come out of the clear blue and attack them.

There is about 70,000 votes in the public sector, and that can be multiplied by 2-5, depending on how many friends, family and relatives they have.

Somebody made a threatening phone call to the speaker and he now has state police protection. Threatening anyone is not always the smartest thing a person can do; but it only shows that this situation is getting out of control.

The voters, I thought,told us they wanted the budget (spending) cut and taxes reduced and job creation. In this process everyone knew that there would be layoffs and program reductions. What I don’t think they directed was the horrific attacks on our public employees, police, fire, and state workforce that started a war you didn’t want and cannot win. Anyone who goes out looking for a fight no one wanted and they can’t win, has misread the tea leaves.

This process has been mentally and physically draining and painful to everyone concerned.

We will see what the next election will bring; but, I don’t think all of this craziness will promote any kind of political agenda, except change.