Recently Shawn Jasper made some of the craziest allegations that, his leadership member nemesis, Matt Quandt would go to lunch and come back intoxicated and was removed from leadership. This is about as true as if someone were to tell untrue, off-color jokes about Shawn Jasper. Well I wouldn’t believe either one.
About 4 weeks ago Matt went to DJ Bettencourt, majority leader, and resigned his position; this decision was festering with Matt for longer than it should. DJ came to me and asked me “what is wrong with Matt”? I told DJ that Matt was very insulted by something that happened in leadership and to give Matt a couple of days to calm down. DJ told me he did not want to lose Matt and I said he is one of the few you can trust and DJ agreed. Later Matt told me that DJ had sent Matt a text that “resignation not accepted”. At a later point, if my memory serves me correctly, Matt and DJ had a conversation and agreed to talk again after the right to work issue was resolved. About 2-3 weeks later Pam Tucker the Deputy Speaker from Greenland left a voice mail on Matt’s cell phone that since he resigned he had a new seat.
Matt had been struggling with this decision to leave leadership and many friends, colleagues and his father (me) were encouraging him to leave. Matt had a strong and long friendship with DJ and knew that he was one of the few people that DJ could trust and Matt felt a loyalty to protect his friend. Matt saw that Bully O’Brien was taking over the majority office and appeared to running the operation; so he quit and the following was the press release that got leadership so upset:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lee and/or Matt Quandt, (603) 772-3417
TWO STATE REPRESENTATIVES RESIGN LEADERSHIP POSTS OVER NH SPEAKER’S EXTREME ANTI-WORKER AGENDA
Extreme House Leadership’s Overreach Costs Them Legislative Support
CONCORD, NH – Six-term State Representative and House Deputy Majority Leader Matt Quandt (R-Exeter), along with House Whip Tim Copeland (R-Stratham), have resigned their leadership posts in a sign of opposition to Speaker of the House Bill O‟Brien‟s extreme anti-worker agenda.
“I submitted my resignation more than two weeks ago,” said Rep. Matt Quandt. “It was a difficult choice to make, but it was the right one. When I was approached about joining House leadership, I was very clear that I would continue to support the rights of New Hampshire‟s workers even as a member of leadership. At the time it was accepted, but it is evident now that pro-worker Republican views like mine are not respected under this leadership team.”
Rep. Quandt‟s resignation was at first rejected; he received formal notice of acceptance of it yesterday evening. Quandt‟s father – Rep. Marshall “Lee” Quandt, also of Exeter – had previously been removed from a key position on the Finance committee after he defied House Speaker Bill O‟Brien and publicly called for the removal of a midnight amendment abolishing the rights of workers to collectively organize.
“Our family is made of staunch Republicans,” Matt Quandt said. “We are not here to blindly follow a leader who is rejecting those values to please a group of transplants who have no understanding of New Hampshire tradition.”
“My wife and I are proud of the decision Matt made,” Rep. Lee Quandt said. “We didn‟t raise him to be a bully. The speaker was obviously raised differently.”
Rep. Tim Copeland, a freshman legislator, also rendered his leadership resignation this week.
“I‟m a retired state worker and know first-hand what these attacks on workers will mean to middle class families in New Hampshire,” Rep. Tim Copeland said. “I cannot sit by and participate in a leadership team that is bent on destroying the strong labor force and good benefits that we have in our state. I cannot condone the incredible disrespect that Bill O‟Brien has shown to other members of our caucus who are trying to represent their constituents.”
In an interview with the Portsmouth Herald earlier this year1, Rep. Copeland questioned the harsh approach taken by House leadership and spoke about overhearing the Speaker berate another legislator who was attempting to advocate for health and human services funding.
“It was embarrassing,” he said. “There was a group of school children a few feet away waiting to sing the national anthem and you could hear him shouting at her (Emerson). The children could hear it and the teacher with them could hear it. The teacher asked me, „Is this the way you do things?‟ and I said „It shouldn't be this way.‟”
Both Lee Quandt and Tim Copeland are members of the State Employees Association retirees‟ chapter.
Now this maniacal and toxic leadership group is attacking him with false and misleading information. At face value reps have about 45 minutes for lunch, how drunk can you get in 45 minutes even for a former 82d Airborne Paratrooper? Going out for lunch with your friends is a social event at the state house, they all have a drink with their lunch. If Matt kept coming back intoxicated why did not leadership counsel him, not a word? I am diabetic and very rarely drink; but, go out with Matt and our friends for lunch, diet coke for me, and cannot remember inappropriate drinking or behavior on the part of anyone. As a father and retired State Probation/Parole Officer if I saw any of this behavior as alleged I would have stepped in; no matter how old your kids get they are still your kids.
At face value these allegations are ridiculous and malicious. Matt and Jasper never got along as did I, we felt we could never trust him. We do not hang out with people we don’t trust or respect and have been kidded by lobbyists that if a lobbyist could sit with the Quandts it was a sign of honor and acceptance, they all kidded us about this.
This maniacal leadership approach is why Republicans are walking away from the party and the toxic leadership attitude is why we are getting more and more numbers to replace this group. This leadership group has dragged the Republicans and the party into a pig wallow that we are going to have a hard time getting out of.
Hey Shawn, WOOF, WOOF.