Nobody Shills for Ray Buckley Like WMUR

Does this tweet constitute “Us[ing] his or her position with the state to secure privileges or advantages for himself or herself, which are not generally available to governmental employees, or to secure governmental privileges or advantages for others to which they are not otherwise entitled”?

That is the absurd position that Ray Buckley has taken.  More particularly, Buckley has filed an ethics complaint claiming that by tweeting Waterville Valley has “the best snow NH has to offer” Sununu “provided Waterville Valley with a marketing platform that excluded every other competitor.”

As of March 25th, the twitter account in question had a grand total of 2,312 followers.  Some marketing platform.  Never mind that Sununu tweeted “Everyone should be in the white mountains this weekend,” not “Everyone should be in Waterville Valley this weekend.”

The real story here is how WMUR, and in particular John DiStaso, shill for Buckley.  Note the following:

The law’s first requirement is that any complaint filed with the committee “shall be filed confidentially.” The NHDP released the complaint publicly, first to WMUR.com and, several hours later, in a press release.

So Buckley gave WMUR a “several hours” scoop – as we’ll see below WMUR, in turn, rewarded Buckley by pushing this non-story much further than the other liberal press were willing to push it.

WMUR and the local press, as you would expect from Democrat Super-PACs, dutifully treated Buckley’s stunt as news.  Only the Boston Globe, hardly a bastion of conservative journalism, did more than slightly reword Buckley’s press release, noting:

Sununu has sent about 300 tweets from the official account. Two of them mention Gunstock ski area, where he apparently chaperoned a school ski club; a handful of others mention diners, restaurants and country stores he has visited.

But WMUR, the following day –in an obvious attempt to keep the story alive because there was nothing new to report– ran another major story on Buckley’s stunt, calling it a serious matter:

The complaint prompted a buzz on the local political scene, but it is a serious matter with a detailed procedure set out in state law, which also specifies what portions of the process must be made public and what must be kept secret … 

No wonder that Buckley gave WMUR, and more particularly John DiStaso, special treatment on this stunt.  It didn’t deserve any news coverage to begin with, yet WMUR ran two major stories, the latter of which reported no new facts or developments, but which called the stunt a “serious matter.”

To clarify a phrase:  Nobody shills for Ray Buckley Like WMUR Does.

Memo to New Hampshire House GOP – a “Public Hearing” is Not a Plebiscite

You have got to hand it to the New Hampshire Democrats and the New Hampshire political press.  Although the Republicans in 2016 won control of all of State government –the House, the Senate, the Executive Council, and the Governor’s office– the Democrats and the press have used the public hearing requirement in the legislative rules as a tool to end-run the election results and push the Democrat agenda.

Rule 43 of the New Hampshire House:

43. Hearings and notices. A hearing shall be held on each bill referred to a committee. Notice of committee action shall be posted as follows:
(a) Public hearings shall be advertised in the House Calendar no less than 4 days prior to a hearing.
(b) …

On February 21, the New Hampshire House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee held a hearing on a bill to add gender identity to the State’s anti-discrimination statute.  From the Human Rights Campaign:

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee overwhelming voted in favor of House Bill (HB) 478, which would add gender identity to the state’s non-discrimination law. The 15-2 vote came a day after a marathon hearing with dozens of supporters testifying in favor of the vital legislation.

I have quoted the HRC because as proponents of the bill they would have no reason to understate the number of supporters at the hearing.  Yet there were only “dozens of supporters.”

Nor would Janson Wu, Executive Director at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, who put the number at just over four dozen:

Contrast that to the number of people who voted in the 2016 election:

We don’t know how many of these voters supported transgender rights because transgender rights was not a major issue in the 2016 gubernatorial election.

What we do know is that the 49 who testified in favor of transgender rights are obviously a statistically insignificant sample size and that, therefore, we cannot assume that the testimony reflects popular opinion.  Indeed, the reasonable assumption is that the turnout at the “public hearing” did not actually reflect public opinion because most of New Hampshire had no idea the hearing was taking place.

Virtually every GOP Rep on the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee, however,  approved the bill the very next day.  It took an all out effort by the GOP leadership to prevent the bill from becoming law on March 9th, when it was voted upon by the full House.  From NHPR:

 A bill that would add gender identity to New Hampshire’s anti-discrimination laws was all but killed by the Republican controlled House Thursday without debate.     

But it wasn’t easy, as the bill’s fate was in doubt for much of the day.     The Republican strategy for defeating the bill was simple: prevent a straight up or down vote by the full House. That meant voting to table the bill, and then keeping it there. But with Democrats united in their support of the transgender rights bill, GOP leaders had to make sure they maintained a majority in the chamber throughout the day to ensure the bill was not removed from the table.     

“I ordered a bunch of seatbelts for Republicans,” Majority Leader Dick Hinch said with a laugh.

The political press essentially took up the role of opposition party on the day of the House vote.  One reporter going so far as to tweet the names of the GOP Reps who had voted to table, obviously to allow pressure to be brought to bear on them to reconsider:

The Democrat co-sponsor of the bill, Representative Renny Cushing, essentially said the different outcome with the full House was because the GOP Reps on the HHS Committee got swept away at the “public hearing.”  Again from NHPR:

“Unfortunately the majority did not have the benefit of a five hour public hearing where they could listen to stories of real human beings whose lives are really affected by this,” Cushing said referring to the public hearing in the House Health and Human Services Committee who supported the bill 15-2.

What the Democrats and the out-of-State advocacy groups did at the public hearing was make the GOP Representatives believe that there was a massive groundswell of support for the bill:

Rushing to redefine gender, on the basis of a “public hearing,” that the vast, vast majority of the public was unaware of and where only four dozen people testified is totally irresponsible.

To state the obvious, a legislative hearing is not a plebiscite.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of Republicans, especially the ones on the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee, fail to grasp that.

More generally, as I discussed in a prior post, legislative hearings in New Hampshire should be reformed.

All the Freedom Caucus, the Koch Brothers, etc. etc. Accomplished Was to Move Us Closer to Single-Payer

From the Club for Growth, in response to Speaker Ryan pulling the American Health Care Act yesterday:

“There is a way forward: Take the three phases of President Trump’s agenda and put them all into a new House bill,” said Club for Growth president David McIntosh. “Unite Obamacare repeal with the repeal of Obamcare regulations, and add in the free-market, cost-saving reforms that the president campaigned on, including interstate competition. Give the House a straight up-or-down vote on THAT measure. Republican voters will rally behind it with overwhelming support, and the Senate can take it up and address its rules.”

“President Trump was elected because millions of Americans wanted a full repeal of Obamacare, followed by free-market health care reform that would give them competition, choice, and lower prices. This bill became a Frankenstein meant to appease the insurance industry and Republicans who really want to keep parts of Obamacare. Now’s the time to do it right.”

The problem with this “way forward” is that it is obviously subject to a filibuster and so has no realistic chance of passing the Senate.

And the problem is  that Obamacare is imploding, despite what its supporters, including the decidedly partisan CBO, say:

In the real world, the Obamacare exchanges are in crisis, millions of uninsured people willingly pay or avoid IRS penalties, and consumers struggle with rising premiums and cost-sharing requirements. But for CBO, Obamacare is a sea of tranquility. … Since [September, 2016], the Obamacare individual exchanges have begun to implode. Fewer people signed up during the open-enrollment period this year than last, due in part to premium hikes that averaged 25 percent. Other insurance companies didn’t bother raising prices; they fled the exchanges. By January, 1,000 counties were down to their last insurer. Five entire states have just a single company selling through the exchanges. A rational observer might worry that the exchanges were on the brink of doom. Not CBO. Its analysts believe that Obamacare is on the cusp of a miracle. The number of nonelderly uninsured not only will drop this year but hold steady in 2018, according to CBO, even though millions could find themselves without an insurer in their exchanges.

And the problem is that as Obamacare implodes, the mainstream media will put President Trump and the GOP under inexorable pressure to “fix Obamacare” by “working with” the Democrats.  That is, the mainstream media will pin the blame for unaffordable premiums and lack of insurers not on the Democrats for passing Obamacare, but on the GOP for not working with the Democrats to fix Obamacare.

The “fixes” would likely take the form of increasing subsidies to offset the increasing cost of premiums and bailing out insurance companies.  These fixes would move us further away from repealing and replacing Obamacare and toward a European-style “single-payer,” that is government-run healthcare system.  In return, the GOP will get a pittance of what they could have gotten under the AHCA.

And the GOP will cave in the face of story after story after story from the mainstream press about this family no longer able to afford insurance and that county facing the prospect of having no insurance carrier.

 

This One Was For The Establishment

So Chris Sununu has nominated Attorney Gordon MacDonald to be New Hampshire’s next Attorney General:

And New Hampshire’s RINOs are ecstatic.  From lobbyist/insider Tom Rath, one of the political godfathers of liberal-activist-SCOTUS-justice David Souter:

From lobbyist/insider Jim Merrill:

If that is not enough to give conservatives pause, this should be:  New Hampshire’s hard-left was quite pleased with the nomination of MacDonald:

One of the two Democrats that will vote on MacDonald, executive councilor Andru Volinsky of Concord, called it a “generally a positive nomination.”

Volinsky, who earlier this year led the Democratic opposition to the nomination of now-Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut, described MacDonald as a “sophisticated, thoughtful lawyer, which is what I want in an attorney general. Never known to have any ethical issues. There are some questions that I need to ask and I’m sure he’ll be prepared to answer. But I think it’s a generally positive nomination.”

From Volinsky’s sidekick on the Executive Council:

“He’s got sterling legal credentials, community involvement, and he comes highly recommended by folks that I trust,” Councilor Chris Pappas said.

From former New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice John Broderick, a liberal activist jurist:

Former New Hampshire Chief Justice John Broderick congratulated Governor Sununu on his nomination of MacDonald, saying further, “He is a wonderful choice for a very demanding job. He is a highly respected lawyer, a very decent and compassionate person of the highest integrity, and a great listener blessed with very sound judgment. He is a superb choice as New Hampshire’s chief law enforcement officer. If confirmed, Gordon will add his considerable skills and gravitas to upholding and enhancing the long-respected history and traditions of the Office of the Attorney General in our state.”

Has the hard-left abruptly done a complete turnaround from its treatment of Frank Edelblut’s nomination as Commissioner of the Department of Education, and now ideology doesn’t matter?  Or is it that they are comfortable with MacDonald’s ideology?

MacDonald was affiliated with the Campaign for Legal Services, which is supporting his nomination.  While the Campaign for Legal Services stated objective is to assist low-income individuals who cannot afford a lawyer, it also aggressively pushes the left’s political agenda.  For example:

The support of the RINOs and the hard-left suggests this:  don’t expect much of a change in the New Hampshire Department of Justice under Attorney General MacDonald from Attorney General Foster.   The GOP establishment wouldn’t be cheering MacDonald’s nomination if they thought he was going to really crack down on voter fraud or aggressively push back against judicial activism.  Business as usual is good for their business.

And if the Democrats believed MacDonald is a change agent, you would be seeing the same degree and nature of opposition to him as the Democrats directed at Frank Edelblut. Which we are not.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that Sununu nominated MacDonald because he wanted someone who would be acceptable to Volinsky and his hard-left ilk.  I think this nomination was to please the GOP establishment, and the support of Volinsky and Pappas is incidental.

The #VolinskyAgenda

TRANSLATION:

“strong pub schools” – block school choice, so middle-class and poor parents cannot pick the schools their children attend the way rich parents, like Andru Volinsky, can and do.  Forcing middle-class and poor parents into public schools facilitates Democrats inculcating their left-wing values into children, and thereby creates generation after generation of compliant Democrat voters who think, talk and act the way Democrats think they should.  Especially cannot allow children to attend religious schools because abortion must never be seen as the taking of an innocent human life.

“basic healthcare=human rt.” – heavy and ubiquitous government control over healthcare (including de facto rationing), and higher taxes.  It is beyond cavil that “free healthcare” would produce a far higher utilization of  healthcare.  To try to restrain the cost of “free healthcare,” government bureaucrats will decide what medical procedures will be reimbursed, which as a practical matter empowers bureaucrats to ration healthcare.  Doctors and nurses aren’t going to work for free.  Nor are medical devices going to pay for themselves.  A new healthcare tax will be imposed to pay for the “free healthcare.”  As a comparison, in the United Kingdom the tax rate on incomes from $0 to approximately $30,000 pounds is 20 percent, which would be a massive tax hike for the 45 percent of Americans who presently pay no income tax.

“humans cause climate change” – more taxes, more regulations and more crony capitalism.  A carbon tax, which would cause a flood of money into government coffers without doing anything to arrest CO2 emissions in China, which in 2015 were approximately twice that of the United States.  The carbon tax would disproportionately hit the poor and middle-class and provide a pretext to massively expand economically unviable  public transportation, which in turn would have to be subsidized by new and higher taxes.   Regulations increasing the cost of automobiles, light bulbs, air conditioners, heaters, televisions and anything in any way connected to fossil fuels.  Again the poor and middle-class would be disproportionately affected by the cost of these regulations.  Subsidies for businesses that the central-planners favor; that is, more Solyndras.  In short, climate change is a pretext for replacing free-market capitalism with the type of centrally-planned socialist economy that was tried and failed under the Soviet bloc.

“reduce inc inequality” – increase government dependency.  Allow more people to qualify for food stamps, Medicaid etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, which are dependency traps because recipients lose benefits for earning more income.  Raising the minimum wage, which reduces the number of entry level jobs where workers can learn the skills to do higher-paying jobs.  And, of course, raising taxes on “the rich,” which has never reduced income inequality:

The flip side of the progressive agenda to redistribute income to those with less is to raise taxes on the “rich.” The data show that it is also an ineffective way to reduce inequality.

President Clinton increased the top tax rate on higher earners—yet inequality rose during his administration, and faster than under the tax-cutting Ronald Reagan. The same happened under President Obama. Tax rates went up on upper-income earners. Inequality rose too, and more than under his tax-cutting predecessor.

It’s A Fact That Thousands of Democrat Voters Were Bused Into New Hampshire From Massachusetts

In February, the mainstream media (both nationally and in New Hampshire), the Democrat Party and the New Hampshire establishment-GOP (not that there is much difference substantively between them and the Democrats) all lost their minds when President Trump allegedly stated, during a meeting where no press was present, that he and former United States Senator Kelly Ayotte lost the 2016 election in New Hampshire because thousands of Democrat voters had been bused into New Hampshire from Massachusetts.

Trump was assailed for having “no evidence” that thousands of Democrat voters had been bused into New Hampshire from Massachusetts, although these same taking-heads and politicians were at the very same time demanding an investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia despite the lack of any evidence of collusion.  “Fact-checkers” proclaimed Trump’s claim “false”.

This is the brilliance of Trump.  While it is not literally true that thousands of Democrat voters were bused into New Hampshire from Massachusetts, it is true that both the Presidential race and the United States Senate race were decided by out-of-State or drive-by voters and Trump’s tweet is finally drawing national attention to that fact. Continue reading It’s A Fact That Thousands of Democrat Voters Were Bused Into New Hampshire From Massachusetts

NH State Senate GOP Takes a Pass on Voter Fraud

Let’s start by defining voter fraud.

Voter fraud occurs when someone who shouldn’t legitimately vote in New Hampshire votes in New Hampshire.  Only permanent residents of New Hampshire should be considered legitimate voters.  If a person is residing here only for a  temporary purpose, he or she shouldn’t be allowed to vote here.

For example, someone who moved to New Hampshire just to work on a political campaign shouldn’t be allowed to vote in the corresponding election.  As, for example, Joe Biden’s niece did in 2012: Continue reading NH State Senate GOP Takes a Pass on Voter Fraud

Random Thoughts on the Sununu Budget

Here is the transcript of Governor Sununu’s budget address.

While not mentioned in the address, the press reports that overall spending is slated to increase, over the next two years, from $11.3 billion to $12.1 billion.  That’s an increase of seven percent in Fiscal Years 2018-2019 over the two prior Fiscal Years, July, 2015 through June, 2017. Continue reading Random Thoughts on the Sununu Budget