Jim Rubens - Court Says NSA Spying Unambiguously Unconstitutional: What Will Congress Do?

Here’s what the 2nd Circuit Court (NYC) got very right in yesterday’s Patriot Act ruling. Congress never gave NSA security state bureaucrats unbounded authority to store and to search the phone records (metadata) of all and every law-abiding American citizen.
 
The Court also got it right that there is no constitutional difference between search by a human or by an algorithm designed by humans.
 
But the court utterly failed to take action on its legal findings and to rule these practices a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment. The 4th protects citizens against government search and seizure of our private effects without first getting a judge to sign off on particularized evidence that a crime was committed.
 
The court also failed to discuss that as yet unrebutted Snowden leaks showing that NSA bureaucrats are capturing, storing and running automated queries on nearly all of our personal data (phone, Internet searches and clicks, email, social media postings, snail-mail envelopes, on- and off-line transaction history, location, and more).
 
What Will Congress Do?
 
Either no member of Congress knew that government has been running a blatantly unconstitutional data dragnet. This would be the most chilling evidence yet that government bureaucracy is operating completely without direction or authority from the elected branch.
 
Or at least a few in Congress were complicit in this massive constitutional breach which, by the way, did next to nothing to catch terrorists.
 
Congress and the President are under pressure because the Patriot Act sunsets on June 1. President Obama wants to renew it, sticking a fig leaf over its 4th Amendment violations by outsourcing private data storage to commercial third parties.
 
If Congress gets all bipartisan and goes along with this, expect an encryption standards war between government and some of the big Internet companies whose customers will demand privacy.
 

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Jim Rubens

Jim Rubens - My Testimony to the Texas Legislature on Political Money Corruption

Testimony of Jim Rubens for HJR-146
Before the Texas Select Committee on State & Federal Power and Responsibility

Good evening Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee.
 
While I’ve travelled here from my New Hampshire home, I’ve got some wonderful roots here in Texas. My dad bailed out as a Madison Avenue Mad Man and came here to found UT Austin’s advertising program, which became the top undergrad program in the country.
 
I have served as a former Republican state senator from New Hampshire; New Hampshire GOP Platform Committee Chair; senior policy advisor and spokesman for former US Senator Gordon Humphrey for Governor; activist and advisor in many GOP campaigns; and Republican candidate for US Senate 2014. I am a serial small-business entrepreneur and investor in New England-based high-tech start-ups.
 
I’m here in Texas today as a volunteer to disabuse Republicans of any notion that Washington’s corrupt political money system gives us any advantage in advancing conservative principles. Fixing Washington’s corrupt political money system is not just an issue for Democrats.

This system protects business as usual politics and enriches crony capitalists with obscure tax code distortion, pork barrel spending, and regulatory and diplomatic favors.
 
I can report from direct experience in 2014 that this corrupt money system imposes a money primary in elections before voters even get to make their choice. Candidates and incumbents perceived or proven willing to trade favors with a small number (in the hundreds) of entrenched, big-dollar interests lock up most of the campaign money. This money primary suppresses voter choice among candidates, narrows the range of issues debated, and thereby stifles resolution of major political challenges, harming our nation and souring the public on our beloved Republic. 
 
  • For three decades now, Washington politicians -- in both parties and in every election –- have promised us fiscal responsibility. Instead, they’ve loaded our kids and grandkids with a millstone of debt. They’ve robbed prosperity from our future and weakened our capacity to pay for our nation’s security in a dangerous world. Most of this spending and unfunded promises is payback to campaign contributors.
  • Our tortured, convoluted tax code is a direct result of this system of corruption. Tax breaks are carved out for big money campaign contributors, paid for with higher rates on ordinary Americans.
  • This system puts corn ethanol in our gas tanks, driving up food prices, depressing gas mileage, and harming the environment.
  • Congress is unrelenting in its defense of the Export-Import Bank, where in 2012, 80% of taxpayer-guaranteed loans were provided to one highly profitable company, Boeing Aircraft.
  • Last December’s bi-partisan CRomnibus spending bill, once again does nothing to tackle spending or deficits, but does stick ordinary Americans with the downside risk of derivatives trading by five Wall Street megabanks.
  • While the US government is the world’s largest buyer of pharmaceutical products, over $100 billion per year, Congress continues to forbid Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices – which for Americans are highest in the world. The simple explanation for this rip-off is the drug industry’s $435 million in spending over the past two years on campaign contributions and its 1,400 Washington lobbyists. Mark me: I’m not against the drug industry, I make a part of my living investing in pharma startups. It’s that I back the free-market where the government does not distort capitalism by picking winners and losers.
  • Most dangerous to our Republic is the tens of millions of dollars (likely much more that we don’t know about) given indirectly by foreign governments and foreign nationals to potential candidates, their close relatives, and to their affiliated organizations. While direct contributions from foreign sources are illegal, foreign governments wanting to bend American policy -– sometimes adversely to US national security interests -- are now exploiting this gargantuan campaign money loophole. The New York Times reported this week about speaking fees given to Bill Clinton and contributions made to the Clinton Foundation by individuals and companies associated with Uranium One who were simultaneously and successfully advocating that US and other uranium assets be sold to Rosatom (a Russian firm controlled by the Russian government) during the time Mrs. Clinton served as Secretary of State, had authority to approve or deny the transaction, and was well known to be a likely candidate for President. I note this news highlighting clearly perceivable political money corruption, not because it involves Democrats, but only because it is the most recent and blatant.
These seven examples of special interest privilege and crony capitalism and are not cherry picked anomalies. A ground-breaking 2014 study tested the political outcomes in 1,800 contested issues over a 20-years period and found this:  little surprise that economic elites and organized business interests had substantial impact on policy. The stunner, average members of public have essentially zero influence over what Washington does.
 
Whatever your issue or ideology, we must confront Washington’s corrupted, immobilized political system, accountable to a tiny number of favor-seeking big money donors rather than, as things should be, to the American people.
 
Our Constitution’s framers anticipated a Congress that could become corrupt and unaccountable, unable and unwilling to reform itself. For that reason, the framers included the state-led method of proposing amendments to Constitution in Article V.
 
HJR-146 does not tell us how we will change Washington’s system of political money corruption. It asks that the states engage in debate about the varied approaches because Congress will not.
 
Personally, I do not see a need to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. My suggested approach is to remove all limits on direct candidate contributions and combine that with instant online disclosure and the establishment of a $50 per voter tax-credit voucher system for campaign contributions to broaden the base of potential contributors.
 
Because Congress refuses to address the corrupt political money system, it’s up to the states. Please vote for HJR-146 and add Texas to the Missouri Senate, the New Hampshire House, and the growing number of states already on board and ready to work together to find a solution.

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Jim Rubens

Jim Rubens - Mining Taxpayers: Crony Capitalist ROI

Where can you find a 77,000 percent return on your investment in these times of central bank induced 0 percent interest rates?  Hint: does crony capitalism pay this big?
 
The definitive answer is here.  The Sunlight Foundation spent one year examining 14 million records covering campaign contributions, lobbying spending, federal grants, loans, contracts and bailouts for the top 200 politically active companies representing 26 percent of all campaign and lobby spending.
 
The bottom line: these companies in total got $770 in return for every dollar spent on political influence in DC, among the highest returns on any legal activity imaginable.  That’s right, a 77,000 percent ROI.
 
Over the period examined, 2007-2012, these 200 firms spent $5.8 billion on political influence and got almost $4.5 trillion dollars in return. The twenty-two Wall Street firms were America’s crony capitalist stand outs, spending $502 million and getting almost $3 trillion in return – an ROI of almost 600,000 percent return on their investment in Washington influence peddling. These patterns persist whether Democrats or Republicans control Congress and the White House. These brobdingnagian returns do not include difficult to track and quantify tax breaks, regulatory and diplomatic favors, and below market federal land or resource leases.
 
Clearly, unlike ordinary taxpayers, big political donors have extraordinary influence on the allocation of taxpayer dollars. The Washington political money system is extraordinarily costly for the average taxpayer. Voters who do not want their tax dollars spent on politicians they disfavor are getting shafted under the present crony capitalist political money system.
 

New Hampshire voters have one temporary advantage: the opportunity to ask the Presidential candidates what they will do to make the corrupt crony capitalist political money system fair for ordinary taxpayers.
 
Data, including that for five firms doing significant business in New Hampshire:


 

Company Lobbying & Campaign Spending ($M) Fed Contracts, Loans, Grants & Bailouts ($B) Return on Investment
All 200 5,775 4.45 770
       
22 Wall Street Firms 502 2.99 5,956
       
BAE Systems 34.6 44.2 1,280
FMR 19 5.37 284
Tyco 13.5 0.63 47
Verizon 105 3.5 33
Anthem 123 1.25 10

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Jim Rubens

Jim Rubens - Acid Test for Candidates: Tell Saudi Arabia To Stop Funding Terror

Public opinion has reversed almost 180 degrees since ISIL launched its barbaric PR campaign to outdo al-Qaeda as Islam’s leading terror operation. By 62 to 30 percent, American voters now support sending American troops to fight ISIL in the Middle East. With the exception of Jim Gilmore, the Reaganite realist, and Rand Paul, the anti-intervention realist, the potential Presidential candidates are all vying for uber-hawk.
 
Because our new President will not take office until 2017 and because national defense is our federal government’s most solemn constitutional responsibility, candidates owe us more than knee-jerk chest thumping for endless war. Urgently needed now is a deeper discussion of Islamic terror, particularly its root causes and a long-term strategy to defeat it. Two years ago we were arming, training and funding ISIL in Syria, evidence that U.S. whack-a-mole Middle East strategy is ill-conceived.
 
Follow the money
 
As to root causes, let’s get honest about the funding sources that make organized global terrorism possible. We’ve spent billions on NSA’s unconstitutional dragnet spying on hundreds of millions of innocent Americans and (over the period 2001-2013) caught one instance of terror funding, $8,500 from a San Diego cabdriver.
 
We’ll need to reverse the policies of Presidents G.W. Bush and Obama and come clean about our double-standard alliance with Saudi Arabia. Our diplomats wink at their support for the deadly ideology and infrastructure of global jihad. Their Sharia law punishes women for driving, imposes 1,000 lashes for verbal dissent, and publicly beheads several dozen people each year for “crimes” including blasphemy, adultery, and witchcraft.
 
But the Washington establishment hides the truth about Saudi terror funding. In the words of Hillary Clinton, in a secret 2009 State Department cable disclosed on WikiLeaks, “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.“
 
If you don’t believe Hillary (and there is certainly good cause for that), listen to former Senator Bob Graham, lead author of the 9/11 report, who in January went public about the report’s 28 redacted pages which he said “point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as the principal financier” of the 9/11 hijackers. “The position of the United States government has been to protect Saudi Arabia.”
 
President George W Bush ordered this redaction. “I do not understand why the Bush administration chose these 28 pages unless they thought there was something in those pages that would be embarrassing,” said Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC). President Obama has twice promised to release the 28 pages, but has failed to do so.
 
End the silence
 
Ask our members of Congress and the Presidential candidates to co-sponsor and support H.Res.14, urging President Obama to keep his promise to release the redacted 28 pages.
 
Make Saudi Arabia’s terror financing the big issue it should be. Ask the candidates to publicly demand that Saudi Arabia (and for that matter Pakistan and Qatar) cease all funding for terror as a first solid step toward its defeat. Better to embarrass a Saudi prince or even an American President than sacrifice life or limbs of another American soldier in another Middle East quagmire.

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Jim Rubens

Jim Rubens - "Strange Bedfellows" House Vote Backs Article V Convention on Political Money Corruption

By a vote of 181-134, the New Hampshire House yesterday passed HCR2 which, if passed by the Senate, would make our state #5 of the needed 34 to apply for an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution addressing rampant political money corruption.
 
Per Article V, if delegates at this first-ever amending convention were to agree on specific language, 38 states would then be required to ratify, one of many safeguards protecting against damage to our constitutional liberties.
 
84 Republicans and 96 Democrats (and one independent) voted for HCR2, a highly unusual “strange bedfellows” coalition for as controversial a piece of legislation as this.  There is an emerging cross-partisan agreement that Congress has become captive of big-dollar special interests and is no longer accountable to the American people. Here is a YouTube video of me and several other Republican legislators speaking for constitutional reform to address political money corruption.
 
HCR3, which calls for an Article V amending convention to address fiscal restraint, term limits, and strengthened federalism, was tabled late in yesterday’s session when opponents threatened a two-hour debate. HCR3 was recommended unanimously for passage by the State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee.

I urge you to call your Rep, asking that HCR3 be taken off the table and passed.
 
Here’s where I’ll be speaking on these issues:
 
March 16, 7:00 pm
Carroll County GOP
Lobster Trap Restaurant, North Conway
 
April 1, 7:00 am
Plymouth Rotary
Common Main Restaurant, Plymouth
 
Many Presidential candidates will be here
 
Take advantage of our privileged status as New Hampshire primary voters and ask them to get specific about these and other issues!

 

Cheers,

Jim Rubens

Jim Rubens - Hillary's Corporate Cronyism: US State Department for Sale, Perfectly Legal

Hillary Clinton, as former Secretary of State, near-certain Presidential candidate, and through her family’s Clinton Foundation, has perfected to a fine art the legalized bribery and pay-to-play corporate cronyism that powers Washington politics.
 
The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that corporate giants, such as General Electric, Boeing, Exxon Mobil and Microsoft, have been able to enlist the State Department as their private marketing department and Mrs. Clinton has been able to shake down these companies for millions in cash to boost her personal standing.
 
The Journal found that of 425 corporate donors to the Clinton Foundation, the 60 who lobbied the State Department during her four years as Secretary contributed $26 million.
 
Before every overseas diplomatic trip, Undersecretary of State and former Goldman Sachs investment banker Robert Hormats prepared a list of corporate interests for Mrs. Clinton to shill.
 
In one instance in 2009, Mrs. Clinton flew to Russia to pump sales for Boeing. Seven months later, Russia purchased $3.7 billion worth of the company’s jets. Two months later, Boeing made its first contribution to the Clinton Foundation, $900,000.
 
In 2012, Mrs. Clinton flew to Bulgaria, specifically to lobby its Parliament on behalf of Chevron to reverse a ban on natural gas fracking.  While Bulgaria did not reverse its policy, in 2013, Chevron gave $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
 
In another instance reported by the Journal, in 2012, Mrs. Clinton went to bat for GE to persuade Algeria (successfully) to purchase its power plants.  One month later, GE made its first contribution to the Clinton Foundation.
 
While campaign finance regulations prohibit foreign governments from giving money to candidates, both before and after Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, 28 foreign governments have given a combined $51 million to the Clinton Foundation, knowing full well that she is the likely Democratic nominee for President.  Saudi Arabia has given at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.
 
It’s time to fix Washington’s corrupt political money system. Both national and international policy is for sale to the highest bidder and politicians like Hillary Clinton can get very, very rich and maintain a lifetime career in politics by extorting those with an interest in those policies. All of this is legal and this system of corruption involves both parties.
 
Here in New Hampshire, many on the left and right support passage of HCR2 which, if passed in 34 states, would launch an Article V convention of the states tasked with crafting an amendment to the Constitution to address rampant legalized political bribery and extortion.  Any amendment proposed by a convention must then be ratified by at least 38 states, a high bar designed by the framers to weed out any constitutional changes not supported by a broad supermajority of Americans.

I urge you to call your Rep, respectfully and briefly asking them to support the House State-Federal Relations Committee recommendation to pass both HCR2 and HCR3 (which would launch a convention to propose amendments relative to fiscal restraint, term limits, and enhanced federalism).

 

Thanks for listening,

 

Jim Rubens

Public Citizen - Defeating Citizens United Decision is a Bi-Partisan Issue

Op-Ed submitted on behalf of NH state Senator Fuller Clark and Representative Elliott.

The op-ed is below,

Thanks very much 

Sriharsha

************************************************************************

As Americans, we take pride in our Democracy and in the notion that in our Government we all have equal voice.  However, the New Hampshire legislature is currently debating the very meaning of this word. The State House and Senate will consider a constitutional amendment that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. On January 29th, ordinary citizens, both Republicans and Democrats, argued for its necessity at the Capitol in Concord. They understand that the Supreme Court decision has opened the floodgates to unlimited campaign spending in our State by outside groups, drowning out their voice and that of the average New Hampshire voter.  While an open debate on the best way to rally support for or against individual candidates is important, let it be clear that the citizens of New Hampshire have already overwhelmingly decided on the issue of allowing outside money to influence the outcome of our elections. 

 

According to a University of New Hampshire Survey Center Granite State Poll, 72 percent of residents have said they oppose the Citizens United ruling, and 69 percent saying that they would support a constitutional amendment that would limit outside campaign contributions and spending from special interest groups and corporations 1. Our citizens understand that the presence of money in politics means that politicians are not necessarily beholden to their citizens, but rather to special interests.

Ignoring the support of New Hampshire's citizenry for a constitutional amendment, those supporting defeat of HB and SB try to wedge a partisan divide by claiming that this is only a liberal issue. However, the fact remains that this issue is popular amongst voters across party lines - Republicans, Democrats and Undeclared. The average conservative voters understand that when outside money from special interests become the priority for their Representatives, their own voice is diminished. They understand that liberal special interest groups are no less culpable when it comes to big spending. For example, in the 2014 election, the top two highest spending superPACs in the country were both liberal.  Furthermore, the wealthy liberal donors, George Soros and Fred Eychaner spent more than the top 22 disclosed conservative donors including the Koch Brothers2. What proud conservative voter in New Hampshire would have outside liberal donors such as Mr. Soros and Mr. Eychanar speak louder than any one individual voter does in our state and local elections? 

 

For any American, whether liberal or conservative, we must face a harsh reality. A recent Princeton study demonstrates that America is no longer a Democracy, when any major policy initiative only gains traction with the Government after wealthy special interest groups fight for them 3. In this day and age, if you want your issue taken seriously, you better have a billionaire on your side. 

 

Detractors continue to argue that spending unlimited money for or against a politician is a matter of freedom of speech. But, by that logic, why not allow them to give unlimited amounts of money ("bribes") to a politician and call that freedom of speech? Why not allow lobbyists freedom of speech by allowing them to buy politicians free dinners and cruise trips as a means of gaining votes? Why shouldn't the voices with the most money be allowed to control our elections? Most of us do not believe that this is what the Founding Fathers intended when they passed the first amendment protecting freedom of speech or what the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for our county meant when they spoke of freedom.  And that is why it is so important for our democracy that the Citizens United decision be overturned. 

 

Clearly, if the legislature should represent its people, there is only one outcome possible - the bills are currently being considered in both the New Hampshire House and Senate this week should resoundingly pass in both bodies. How can any politician who votes against this legislation claim to represent his or her constituents?

 

1       Azem Z., and Smith A., Granite State Poll: New Hampshire Coalition for Open Democracy. The Survey Center, University of New Hampshire.April, 2013. 

2       2014 Top Donors to Outside Spending Groups. <https://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/summ.php?cycle=2014&disp=D&type=V&superonly=N.>

3       Gilens M and Page B., Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average CitizensPerspectives on Politics. Vol. 12: 03. September, 2014, pp 564-581.

 

Jim Rubens - New CBO Projection: $1.4 Trillion O’Care Deficit Spending by 2025

New CBO Projection: $1.4 Trillion O’Care Deficit Spending by 2025

 

The Congressional Budget Office yesterday released its updated Obamacare net cost analysis:  $1.4 trillion over the coming eleven years, all of it borrowed and printed money. 
 
Obamacare costs (net of tax income) are divided about equally between $1.06 trillion for health insurance purchase subsidies and $920 billion in Medicaid expansion costs. This year or next, the New Hampshire legislature must decide whether to continue our state’s participation in Medicaid expansion, thereby burdening New Hampshire taxpayers with the risk that the federal government will be forced by currency or bond markets to curtail borrowing and printing and to welch on its promise to pay 90 to 100 percent of the $2.5 billion cost for our state through 2020.
 
The fiscal recklessness embodied in Obamacare must be restrained by two systemic reforms:
 
Ratify a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution. Medicare Part D, Obamacare, Washington under either party cannot stop itself from promising more spending without paying for it. Congress has refused for decades to give a BBA to the states to ratify. So, it’s time for an Article V convention of the states to draft one for potential state ratification.
 
End the corrupt, crony capitalist campaign funding system.  Rather than implementing reforms to reduce America’s highest-in-the-world healthcare costs and using these savings to pay for expanded access, Obamacare was fashioned by entrenched special interests in the healthcare industry.
 
After the fight to pass Obamacare, PBS Frontline reported that healthcare industry (insurance and pharma) refused back Obamacare unless the President backed off his campaign promise for a “public option” (government run health plan), included the individual mandate to purchase private insurance, and continued to prohibit the federal government from negotiating lower prices for pharmaceuticals. Obama caved and to make this deal to pass Obamacare, the White House delegated then-Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), who had taken over $440,000 in campaign contributions (2nd most in Congress after John McCain) from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries during the 2006-2010 election cycles.  
 
Howard Dean told Frontline, “There were two senior staffers in Max Baucus's office, one who used to work for United Health Care and one who used to work for WellPoint, who wrote the bill.” Forbes Magazine reports that Obamacare expected to increase pharma industry profits by $10 to $35 billion over ten years ending 2025.
 
If voters want a fiscally responsible Congress accountable to the people, we must demand an alternative to bought and paid for public policy. When they come to our state asking for your vote, ask the Presidential candidates what they will do to end this system corruption that gave us Obamacare and $1.4 trillion in new debt.

 

 

Jim Rubens

Jim Rubens - A Remedy for Bipartisan Political Corruption

“A Rare Bipartisan Success” crowed the Wall Street Journal on passage of the $1.1 trillion Cromnibus spending bill, supported by House and Senate leaders Boehner and Reid, President Obama, and the New Hampshire Congressional delegation, other than Rep. Shea-Porter.

The bipartisan success is that Congress was once again able to duck its core obligation to craft a fiscally sustainable budget, adding another several hundred billion dollars to the nation’s credit card. Another bipartisan success is the gargantuan incumbent protection amendment snuck into the 1,603 page bill just hours before the House voted on the bill without reading it.

The amendment protects incumbents because a single donor and spouse can now give up to $3.1 million over each two-year election cycle to the national political party committees. The two parties and the entrenched incumbents they nearly always protect will now have even bigger war chests to fend off challengers. A small number of big-money donors with their usually narrow, self-serving agendas have now gained hammerlock control over our already bought and paid-for Congress.

Apologists claim that the mega-donor incumbent protection amendment is needed to offset the burgeoning mega-donor super PACs, ostensibly not controlled by the two parties. Having lost my primary against party-backed Scott Brown, I can testify with certainty that most super PAC money hews to the preferences of party leaders in the House and Senate.


Read More (as it appears in the Concord Monitor)

Speaker Jasper - Time to Get to Work For the People of New Hampshire

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/VtOLTKp5k70QT_b_dWXTh2dedWS5wiXat3NFpwNjMsvgwgX-aFoMqXT6YEG2hPIf-Hg_Wf3W6YXt2GOIzaC0jgK9fegH1a6GiFf1osIUHzCXfoZKrSgviOk-wg

Here in New Hampshire, we have long prided ourselves in having a truly representative government. We have the largest state legislature in the United States.  It is truly a citizen legislature made up of young and old, with diverse backgrounds, beliefs and life experiences.  With 400 house members, by its very design, we are meant to reflect the state we are all proud to represent.

While there has been much political analysis of my recent election as Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, it is with great humility and seriousness that I begin this new legislative session. It is about how best to serve the people of my hometown of Hudson and the state of New Hampshire. It is about taking the confidence expressed by a majority of my colleagues in the House, both Republican and Democrat, and working together to make our state a better place for our families.  It is about making New Hampshire a stronger place to start and grow a business, and assuring that the next generation of granite staters has even more opportunities to succeed.

For the past thirty-five years, I have been committed to public service at both the local and state level.  As a member of my town's Budget Committee and Board of Selectmen, I have always understood the need to make sure that hard earned tax dollars are used cautiously and with maximum benefit.  As a state representative for 20 years, I have always made it a point to listen, gather information and make informed decisions that would benefit my community and state.  There is never a shortage of well-meaning ideas, new programs to be offered or needs to be met.  But without strong stewardship by elected officials, government will always look to grow and consume more revenues.  I have made the tough decisions to keep spending in check , balancing wants with needs, throughout my career.  Through these efforts, I have been fortunate to earn the support of conservative minded groups because of my priority of low spending, from business groups for keeping regulations and impediments to their success out of the way and from law enforcement officials for supporting policies that keep our families and streets safe. It is a record grounded in conservative principles and carried out with a passionate understanding of the people I was elected to represent.

In New Hampshire, we face challenges that must be addressed.  The new biennial budget has built in deficits that must be overcome through sound management and a review of spending to see where we can generate further efficiencies.  We have an energy crisis produced by a lack of new supply that has rates for homeowners and businesses soaring to record heights. Without addressing the need for additional energy sources, we are leaving our families with the potential for overwhelming natural gas and electric costs and our business community at an economic and competitive disadvantage when compared to their peers in New England and across the country.  And while New Hampshire prided itself in leading our region out of times of recession, we are seeing our neighbors with stronger economies than ours, attracting new businesses and offering more opportunities for the next generation to find educational opportunities and jobs without migrating to another state.  These are all challenges that we must face together.  As elected officials, we are all entrusted with a temporary power to lead the state in problem solving. The problems don't require a Republican or Democrat solution.  They require a New Hampshire solution.

As Speaker, I pledge to make the next two years as productive as possible by working with those who are truly committed to public service.  Yes, I have my beliefs and am guided by conservative principles. But, I am excited about the opportunity to join with all 399 of my colleagues to do the people’s business and make sure we leave our beloved state of New Hampshire a better place than we found it.

 

Speaker Shawn Jasper

NH Rep O'Brien on Today's Tax Foundation Report

Speaker Candidate Rep. William O’Brien’s Statement on the Non-Partisan Tax Foundation Identifying New Hampshire as Third Worse in the Country for Business Taxes

In 2010 when the Republicans took back the majority in New Hampshire’s Legislature, Democrat tax increases during the preceding two, Democrat-dominated legislative terms had driven New Hampshire down to the bottom of all states in the country for business tax according to the non-partisan Tax Foundation.  New Hampshire had the highest business taxes in the country. We were number 50.
 
Republican fiscal reforms in the 2010-2012 legislative session paid off.  By 2013, New Hampshire jumped past four states and went from last in the nation – the state with the highest overall business taxes – to number 46. The signs looked good for more progress. 
 
Unfortunately, New Hampshire has experienced another two years of Democrats controlling the New Hampshire House.  According to the annual Tax Foundation survey released today, New Hampshire has now fallen back to number 48 and the signs are not good.*  With another two years of a Democrat House majority together with the most liberal Democrat governor in New Hampshire’s history, we will be back at the bottom again.
 
To know how harmful this huge tax burden is on businesses and job growth, we need only compare New Hampshire to Wyoming.  Wyoming’s business taxes are the lowest in the country and its economy grew 7.6% last year, over four times the national average. ** On the other hand, with about the highest business taxes, New Hampshire’s economy grew at 0.9% last year.  This is not only half the national average, but less than Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all of which have lower business tax burdens.***
 
As a high business tax state, New Hampshire is losing ground.  If we shed that liability, we can have Wyoming’s additional 6.5% growth. In our $70 billion state economy that would be $4.5 billion more business and all the resulting jobs.  All we need to do is reduce state government spending and reduce taxes.
 
Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire Democrats say we can’t afford to reduce taxes. Actually, we can’t afford not to reduced taxes.  We can’t afford to throw away $4.5 billion in growth and more each year because of a lack of fiscal discipline in Concord.  We need to reduce state spending so we can get the New Hampshire corporate tax rate of 8.5% below Massachusetts’ 8% and even New York’s 7.1% rate.  If we do that, businesses, jobs and our young people will be able to return and prosper to New Hampshire. And not just that. More tax revenue that will be more affordable will come in from a larger state economy.
 
##############
 
* http://taxfoundation.org/article/2015-state-business-tax-climate-index
**Wall St. Journal, Oct. 28, 2014, page A18.
*** http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2014/_images/gsp_0614.png

Rep. William O’Brien’s - New Hampshire identified as the Worse State for Young People in the Nation

Speaker Candidate Rep. William O’Brien’s Statement on the Investment Group Motley Fool Identifying New Hampshire as the Worse State for Young People in the Nation

On the surface it is a paradox that the Democrat Party, which claims that it is the party for women, minorities, young people, and whatever other group it can conceivably define as aggrieved, invariably harms each of them.  So after years of pandering and false claims of racism and wars on women, under Democrat control in Washington and Concord, labor force participation for women is at more than a 30 year low under the Obama Adminstration. Unemployment among black Americans, especially among young people, as well as their rates of poverty, are at levels not seen since the Great Depression.
 
In Concord, we have listened to this rhetoric for three of the last four legislative terms and it has always lead to more spending.  And it is in that fact – the growth of Government generated by ever increasing spending by Democrats – that lays the solution to this paradox in New Hampshire.  When government grows, the economy stagnates and it is the most vulnerable among us- the young, minorities, the historically disadvantaged, who suffer first, suffer the most and suffer the longest when the economy isn’t growing.
 
In New Hampshire these past two years under Maggie Hassan and House Democrats there has once again been demonstrated that this law of economics – too much government spending leads to too little economic growth - invariably trumps the laws of Big Government, producing the opposite of the desired effect.   A well-respected investment organization geared to young people known as Motley Fool has, for the first time, identified New Hampshire as the worse state in the country for young people.
 
As the report indicates, when legislators vote too much spending, people will vote with their feet and leave.  And that is what young people have done in New Hampshire.  They have left and our population of 25 to 34 year olds is shrinking.
 
There is an alternative however.  All of us can vote at the ballot box on November 4 to remove the over-spenders in Concord, from Maggie Hassan through House Democrats and, in doing so, ask our younger citizens to stay and come grow the economy with us.

Ellen Read - Do We Have a Democracy?

With the election less than two weeks away, several of my friends and I have recently attended candidates’ debates and forums, and although we all submit the same question multiple times at each event, the question never gets asked.  And this year we have fewer opportunities than ever to even ask the question, because candidates around the country this year are refusing to debate each other more than ever before.  This is ironic, since our question is what will be done to restore our democracy.  Yet, this doesn’t surprise us,because we know, as most New Hampshirites do, that the U.S. no longer has a government that answers to its People.

     And a recent Princeton study has officially declared what we all already felt:  the U.S. is no longer an actual democratic republic, but a plutocratic oligarchy--rule by the wealthy elite.  The study demonstrated definitively that policies end up reflecting the wishes of the tiny fraction of one percent of the country that makes substantial political contributions, and not the desires of average voters.

     But we didn’t need a study to tell us this, did we?  Ninety-six percent of the public—conservatives, liberals, and everyone in-between, agree that it is important to reduce the influence of money in our political system.  We feel that our legislators do not really care about what we want, but about what their donors, who they spend 70% of their time courting, want—even if their donors are outside their district, or their state, or now thanks to shadowy superPACs, even outside the country, in effect.  In fact, candidates no longer have to raise a single dollar from an actual constituent, yet election spending is higher than ever.

     And that is why my friends and I feel the need to ask our candidates what they are going to do about it.  But our question never gets asked because usually debate moderators have a set agenda based on the hot-topics of the day--things like healthcare, national security, spending, the environment, and net neutrality, for example.  But each of these issues, and so many more, come back to a single issue:  the profit of corporations that have donated to and lobbied legislators until they get policies that benefit them, usually at the expense of the citizens at large. 

     We cannot make healthcare policies that benefit everyone, or be judicious in our use of military force, or rein in spending, or protect the air and water and climate we live in, or ensure an open internet—not as long as the corporations that profit from forcing us into expensive insurance plans, or from selling weapons of war to the government, or from receiving government giveaways, or from polluting without regulation, or from monopolizing access to information, make the majority of political contributions to our legislators, who are supposed to represent We the People.  

     We learn in school that a democracy cannot exist without a well-informed public.  And so it is incumbent upon the so-called “fourth branch of government”--the press and media at large--to show to the people, who already have the sense that big money has corrupted our government, that how we conduct our elections is at the very heart of every other issue, whether it is a conservative or liberal cause.  The press needs to remember that until we have a government that actually represents the will of the people, no other issue will be resolved according to the best interest of the people.  The press must stress that business should mind its business, which is selling goods and services and making a profit within the confines of the law; and remind us that it is the business of the citizenry, and nothing else, according to the constitution, to direct the government in making law.

Eric T. Rottenecker - Governor Hassan Stacks The Wind Energy Deck!

This last July, the mandated SB-245 (establishing the SEC), was signed into law by Governor Hassan, this is what we ended up with.


 There is hereby established a committee to be known as the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee consisting of 9 members, as follows:(a) The commissioners of the Public Utilities Commission, the chairperson of which shall be the chairperson of the committee;(b) The commissioner of the department of environmental services, who shall be the vice-chairperson of the committee;(c) The commissioner of the department of resources and economic development;(d) The commissioner of the department of transportation;(e) The commissioner of the department of cultural resources or the director of the division of historical resources as designee ( all of these commissioners are governor appointees ); and (f) Two members of the public, appointed by the governor, with the consent of the council, at least one of whom shall be a member in good standing of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and both of whom shall be residents of the state of New Hampshire with expertise or experience in one or more of the following areas: public deliberative or adjudicative proceedings; business management; environmental protection; natural resource protection; energy facility design, construction, operation, or management; or community and regional planning or economic development.


I'm surprised that the Chair of Municipal and County Government, wasn't somehow added to this list.

The appointments of the two members of the public was supposed to happen before the Oct 1st deadline.
The two so called "public members" the Governor had chosen were Sen. Bob O'Dell (R) who chairs the Ways and Means committee, vice chair of Energy and Natural Resources and member of Finance, and Rep Amanda Merrill (D) who sits on Science Technology & Energy. Both of these nominees are pro wind-farm, anyone want to guess where this is going? Talk about stacking the deck. 

Three out of five of the Executive Council had voted down these appointments, Governor Hassan tabled the two appointments until after the Nov election in hopes of getting the votes from said council. This is a sad irresponsible way of running a government, call Governor Hassan, tell her to throw her two appointments out. Tell her to read the bill over again, look beyond Concord and choose two members of the public that do not have Concord moon-dust on their shoulders prior to the December 1st deadline when the Site Evaluation Committee needs to submit a permanent funding plan.The site evaluation committee needs time to consider potential funding sources, including but not limited to the imposition of reasonable application fees and the use of general funds. The site evaluation committee shall consider whether a dedicated fund is necessary as part of a permanent funding plan. The plan shall describe the costs of the ongoing administration of the site evaluation committee's duties, including state agency expenses associated with processing an application under this chapter. The plan shall make recommendations for funding sources to meet those needs, except that such funding sources shall not include annual operating fees imposed on energy facilities or further use of the renewable energy fund. This is a tall order to wait until after the election. And what ever happened to the Oct 1st deadline, after all, it’s only been three months since the bill was signed. The SEC is the final word in placement of the so called renewable energy franchises that are popping up all around the state, without a full committee, is it going to be rubber-stamp operations as usual?

As a write in candidate for the House, I can't endorse the choice of Senator O'Dell and Representative Merrill Governor Hassan has chosen to appoint, just as I can’t support the conflict of interest the PUC Commissioners will bring to the table.

Eric T. Rottenecker
Write-in Candidate
Grafton Dist 9
Alexandra, Ashland, Bridgewater,Bristol, Grafton.

ICYMI: Gov. Maggie Hassan's toxic partisanship poisons Concord

Published in the Union Leader, October 1, 2014

 

Gov. Maggie Hassan's toxic partisanship poisons Concord

 

By Sen. Jeanie Forrester

 

LATELY GOV. Maggie Hassan has been taking credit for the bipartisan budget we passed last year. She wants you to forget the scathing rhetoric she unleashed on the Senate Republicans before she reversed course and signed that budget into law.

 

After submitting an irresponsible budget proposal that relied on fatally flawed revenue estimates that included a significant reliance on unproven gambling revenues, Hassan spent the rest of the budget debate taking shots at Republicans, without actually participating in the process. She accused Senate Republicans of choosing “the fiscally irresponsible approach of sweeping, across-the-board cuts,” and claimed that the modest increases in social service spending would be “nothing short of devastating.” She warned of “hundreds of layoffs” that never happened.

 

Sitting on the Senate Finance Committee at the time, I didn’t hear once from the governor about the budget. She didn’t take part in the budget negotiations, except by news release. Republicans passed our balanced budget without a single Democratic vote.

 

Two weeks later, when the Senate budget bill came out of the Conference Committee with few changes, Hassan reversed her position and starting patting herself on the back for a budget she spent months bashing. It was a shocking reversal, given the venom she had unleashed on us so recently. But we were happy to have the governor’s belated support, and we passed the budget with a unanimous Senate vote.

 

We shouldn’t forget Hassan’s track record of budget disasters. As Senate Majority Leader, she watched as two consecutive Democratic budgets fell apart. She supported more than 100 increases in state taxes and fees, and that still wasn’t enough to pay for the massive increase in state spending.

 

New Hampshire was forced to borrow more money to pay its bills, to cut state aid to cities and towns, and to employ gimmicks like booking phantom revenues that never materialized.

 

The 2009 budget was such a mess that the Legislature was forced to come back into special session to fill a $295 million deficit. This required dramatic cuts to senior citizen programs, juvenile placement programs, and catastrophic aid to hospitals. And even this was only a stop-gap measure.

 

The 2011 Legislature inherited an $800 million hole in the budget. Republicans reversed some of Hassan’s massive spending increase, and to this day she still blames all of the state’s problems on the budget that cleaned up her mess.

 

Hassan refuses to take responsibility for the recent downgrade of our state’s bond rating outlook. She again tried to blame the Republican Legislature, even though the S&P decision specifically cited the Medicaid lawsuit spurred by cuts she supported, the growing liability in the New Hampshire Retirement System, and our state’s inadequate Rainy Day Fund. Hassan has consistently opposed Republican efforts to address these looming fiscal challenges.

 

Time and again, Maggie Hassan has ignored problems under her watch. Unlike her claims of working in a bipartisan way, she doesn’t work with the Legislature to solve these problems. She prefers to step in once the Legislature reaches a bipartisan solution, and then claim credit for it. She is not leading. She is not solving problems.

 

I respect my Democratic colleagues in the Senate, and our counterparts in the House. We share a common dedication to making New Hampshire a better place to live, even as we disagree on how to do it. But the partisan bitterness coming from the governor’s office is toxic. It poisons the political atmosphere at the State House, making it harder for Republicans and Democrats to reach across the aisle.

 

New Hampshire citizens expect more and deserve better.

 

Sen. Jeanie Forrester, R-Meredith, is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Derek Dufresne - Opinion: Would the Shea-Porter of 2006 oppose the Shea-Porter of today?

As seen in Foster's Daily Democrat's Sunday edition 

It has been said that money and success don't change people; they merely amplify what is already there. Regardless of whether this is true or not, here in New Hampshire, we have firsthand proof of how radically the power and financial gains of Washington D.C. can alter someone. For us Granite Staters, there is no better example than Carol Shea-Porter. Carol's transformation has been so dramatic that it is now fair to ask whether the 2006 populist version of Carol Shea-Porter would actually primary the elitist establishment Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter of 2014.

 

Carol was first elected to Congress about eight years ago. Then, she was an outsider, even within her own party. She was an ultra-liberal community activist in Strafford County who had never held public office before. Other than some local fame for being escorted by law enforcement out of a George W. Bush rally adorning a "Turn Your Back On Bush" T-shirt, few New Hampshire politicos had heard much about her. Regardless, Shea-Porter bucked her own party's establishment, and while I vehemently disagreed with her on many of her beliefs, I respected the fact that she was a renegade. In order to win the Democratic Party's primary in 2006, she harnessed support from the grassroots of her party, and despite being outspent by her Democratic opponent and Washington power brokers by a 10-1 radio, she beat the front-runner by 20 points on election night. Months later, Carol rode a national Democratic wave and went on to win the general election in November of that year.

 

Once Carol's ticket to Washington D.C. was stamped, during her first two terms in Congress, the anti-elitist who once bucked her own party slowly began her transition into just another puppet of the Washington establishment. She quickly became a loyal foot soldier for then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, voting with her agenda on almost every occasion. When asked about her blind allegiance to her party's ruling class by a Concord Monitor reporter in 2007, she actually said "and so far, I have voted I think, 100 percent of the time with (Democratic leaders) because frankly, I think they're 100 percent right." Her new devotion was quickly repaid. Despite originally promising to not accept money from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Carol reneged on that pledge, and nearly $2.4 million in ads where used to bolster her campaign during her first reelection. After one term in D.C., it was clear: Potomac Fever had hit Mrs. Shea-Porter. Unless her campaign slogan, "for the rest of us," referred to her and new buddies in on Capitol Hill, the days of Carol as gritty populist were starting to fade in the rearview mirror.

 

When it came to town halls, the liberal activist also began her metamorphosis. Carol once made a career out of relentlessly following former Congressman Jeb Bradley to his many public forums, but as congresswoman, she made a political calculation to become far more isolated. She did decide to hold some town hall meetings in 2010 after incessant pressure from the local and national media, and headlines in Politico such as, "Has Washington changed Carol Shea-Porter?" However, many of her forums were held in small rooms and were heavily controlled. Ironically enough, the woman who was once escorted from a Bush town hall began having those who disagreed with her thrown out of her own public forums. She even had her security toss an elderly retired police officer from one of her meetings in Manchester.

 

After Carol Shea-Porter lost the congressional seat in 2010 and regained it in 2012 due to the Obama re-election wave, one might have thought she would have returned to her populist roots, but that wasn't the case. In fact, Carol went further in the opposite direction. During the 113th Congress, Mrs. Shea-Porter has continued to vote lock step with her party on almost every issue. Her office hasn't hosted a single real town hall meeting, and at the couple of events she advertised as "public," there is video proof of Congresswoman Shea-Porter banning cameras and removing those who disagree with her.

 

When it comes to fundraising, Shea-Porter continues to embrace the millions of dollars she gets from the DCCC and their lobbyists, and she is quick to campaign or fundraise with Nancy Pelosi and party leaders at any opportunity. She even traveled all the way to Napa Valley, California last month to wine-and-dine with elites and mega-donors like billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer. That's right, she was one of only a handful of representatives chosen by Nancy Pelosi to join her at this swanky Villagio Inn and Spa to woo donors into investing in her re-election. I'm sure very few of Carol's grassroots primary supporters in 2006 would have been excited to join Team Shea-Porter if they had a crystal ball to see her bantering in a vineyard with the wealthiest individuals on the west coast in August of 2014.

 

It's no secret that I disagree with Carol Shea-Porter on many issues. However, that isn't the point. Regardless of party, Granite Staters, like most Americans, are fed up with elitist politicians. They are tired of dealing with elected officials who care more about their cushy careers and Washington power brokers than connecting with their constituents or representing their interests. Crazy as it sounds, I actually believe the populist Carol Shea-Porter of 2006 would agree with me on that point - so much so that she likely would primary the blind party puppet she has become today.

 

Derek Dufresne of Manchester is a partner and co-founder of RightOn Strategies, a national conservative political consulting firm.

Jeff B Willis - "Americas' Forgotten Could Swing 2016 Election

Forwarded to NHI via email

Much has been written about America's "working poor." Yet it seldom went further than some "brushover" condolences and vague statistics. Do we know who these Americans truly are?

Henry Olsen evidently does! In his June 6th, 2011 National Review article, "Dangerous Dissaffection," he introduced the "Dissaffecteds."

According to Olsen's research, 77% are white. 89% do not have a college degree. Two-thirds are classified as "Independents." Most have leaned Republican in recent times. Pundits often describe them as the "blue collar swing vote."

The majority of these Americans earn less than $30,000 per year. 44% are parents. 63% of their households were impacted in a major way by the recession. 71% had a household member unemployed in the past year.

Per Olsen, 28% gave favorable ratings to Barack Obama. Only 22% had said that they would vote to re-elect him. This was at press time of the article. Could something have changed between May 2011 and November 2012?

It certainly wasn't the perception of the two parties. Republicans are viewed favorably by a wide margin over Democrats. In that same survey only 14% of those polled indicated their satisfaction with the federal government. Only 19% said that they "trusted the government to do the right thing always or most of the time."

At first glance, these voters would appear to be firmly in the Republican camp. However, negative vibes toward the left, doesn't necessarly translate to "staunch conservativism." Republicans discovered this in 2010; when they experienced election losses in some solidly Republican districts. So, what makes these people tick?

Perhaps it amounts to a better understanding of what they deem important! Most staunch conservatives see "a balanced budget through the elimination of government programs" key in economic solidity. Not so with these voters! Most would rather keep their programs and see a balance budget as a lessor priority. Primarily because, their perception of our political leadership is cynical at best! They need and count on their Social Security and Medicare! When any politician hints of entitlement reductions, they assume that they will be taking most of the brunt!

Opposition to entitlement reform isn't necessarily consistent with oppostion to lower taxes. Most side with Republicans on the need for both lower taxes and less liberalism. But conservative support does not extend to being the world's commissary! In layman's term, "taking care of Americans here at home, first!" As in, "charity begins at home!"

Olsen's findings revealed that while 59% of staunch conservatives seek program cuts, only 17% of Disaffecteds do. Only 34% of staunch conservatives wanted a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes, 65% of Disaffecteds did. And get this! Only 15% of "Disaffecteds" polled wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare for the purpose of deficit reduction. This was the smallest percentage of any of the Pew typologies. It was actually eleven points lower than voters classified as "solid liberals."

Here is another hint. Disaffecteds are not wild about free trade! New York-26 reflected as much when Tea Party alternative, Jack Davis made it an issue. These same voters swung several traditionally Democrat districts to Scott Walker in Wisconsin in 2010, only to do "a 180" and back Democrat candidates in a Supreme Court election the following year.

Is Disaffected synonymous with the Tea party? No. In fact, 67% have no opinion of the Tea Party, highest of any Pew group. While 72% of staunch conservatives supported the Tea Party, only 19% of Disaffecteds did.

Indications are that Disaffecteds have a slightly more favorable view of labor unions as compared to staunch conservatives. This is further reflected by the tally of 57% who indicated that "free trade" agreements were bad for America.

In short, Disaffecteds can be classified as "somewhat conservative," but not "very conservative." They decidedly find more common ground with conservatives than liberals. But, they are wary. Talk of "austerity measures" amounts to "what little they have will be taken from them." Or, as Olsen phrased, "Republicans cannot reform entitlements if they are seen as motivated by money or as imposing their abstract vision on hard-pressed Americans'reality."

Amazingly enough, Disaffecteds have been pretty much ignored by both parties. In spite of the fact that these "blue collar whites" make up 40% percent of the electorate!

Republicans produced a 2012 ticket that combined "Mr. Grey Poupon" with "right wing social engineering." It might explain how Barack Obama jumped from 22% to a second term!

Conversely, Disaffecteds aren't impressed with Democrats' promise of a "$10 minimum wage and a handout." Smart money suggests that they will not favor a Hillary Clinton Presidency, unless the Republicans revert to the type of nominee produced in 2008 and 2012.

Much to the chagrin of Democrats, Obamacare may not make the cut with these voters. At best, it's seen as a "wash." Most, however, view it as a "backdoor" cut to Medicare, thus a deal breaker.

Indications suggest that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Democrats in general don't have "their back." That's why they are open to Republican alternatives. The key will be to assure them that they won't be left holding the bag; on the short end of the stick!

Specifically, "make Social Security solvent and protect Medicare from expected pillage resulting from the Affordable Care Act." If Republicans can convince Disaffecteds that they mean business regarding these two concerns, they're in!

Any promise of "returning jobs to American shores" scores points with Disaffecteds. Pew polls suggest that while they may have protectionist leanings, they might be open to cuts in the corporate tax, if it produces more jobs. Any measures that reduce offshore outsourcing are greeted with applause!

Any talk of good paying jobs, such as energy sector jobs, not requiring a lot of education hits their hot button! Reducing a bloated federal government payroll will be applauded by these voters. Most become outraged when informed of the public to private wage/benefit disparities.

These Americans need a champion, a president who they can relate to. Ronald Reagan described them as "ordinary people who did extraordinary things." His was based on genuine empathy for the average guy.

Do we have any candidates who can make that kind of connect with this critical, yet seemingly forgotten segment of America? For starters, what differentiated Ronald Reagan from the four Presidents who have since served in the White House?

Disaffecteds are obviously not "blue bloods." Thus, Ivy League credentials don't impress them. If anything, a President like Reagan lacking such a pedigree might be seen as a plus!

Immigration reformers should be especially careful with these Americans. "Across the board Amnesty" is seen as a greenlight for increased competition for what few jobs have been available to them.

While Olsen's research reveals a mild oppostion to "overseas military adventures," it is suspected that many Disaffecteds are veterans. No doubt a lot served in Desert Storm and Viet Nam, not to mention Irag and Afghanistan. Reagan's explanation of "peace through strength" was understood and largely supported.

Republicans can win the 2016 Presidency, if they can connect with these oft-forgotten Americans. The questions are "how" and through "whom?"

In a personal way, Reagan presented a message that linked peace and prosperity to Federalism. When he proclaimed that "government, not people had lived too well," they listened. When he proposed to "reduce the cost of government," they correctly linked that reduction to wage cuts and layoffs for federal workers, not entitlement cuts. When Reagan talked about inflation as the "most cruel of taxes," they put it all together.

Defining Jeffersonism, then differentiating it from Democrat and Neo-Con Hamiltonism might be considered "too cerebral." It will depend on the messenger. The message itself is fairly cut and dry.

Hamilton was for the Patrician. He believed that decisions of government were best left to the rich, powerful and the well educated.

Jefferson was for the common man. He concluded that the best defense against an American nobility was decentralization.

Today's Democrats and Republican "New Conservatives" share the Hamitonian paradigm. In a nutshell, it's either "you're not significant" or "we know what's best; so do as you are told."

It effect, the key to winning the hearts, minds and votes of America's forgotten may be as simple as reminding them that they are not forgotten. That's why mandated voter I.D. cards experience a near universal "thumbs up!" Solvent Social Security and Medicare, affordable college tuition and real health insurance reform likewise top their wish list. Also included are accessible money for mortgage financing and the basic services such as fire and police protection.

The Jeffersonian argument that "all can be better handled at the state level" is welcomed and supported by Disaffecteds.

Closing the deal with Disaffecteds will be as easy as "believability." As with Reagan, they must first like the candidate. Then, they must be able to relate to the candidate. Finally, they must see evidence of a candidate's previous success. As Dizzy Dean phrased, "it ain't braggin', if you've done it!"

Disaffecteds are not "low interest" voters. While overly cynical, they are more familiar with issues than one might think. When they conclude that a candidate can "walk the walk," as well as "talk the talk," they will happily jump on the bandwagon!

In recent times, Republicans were evidently not paying attention to this huge voter contingent. "Why" is a question for another day and a different post. It might have something to do with party leadership.

Democrats may have taken Disaffecteds for granted. Or, maybe the real truth is, they don't fall under the auspices of one of the Dems' special interest groups.

In any case, these "ordinary people," could yield "extraordinary" results at the voting booths! The question becomes, "has America's political establishment become so far removed from America that they fail to see "who" truly is America?

Mark Acciard - Get money out of politics, right?

The ever delusional Harry Reid wants to introduce a Constitutional Amendment to overturn CU, restricting, as he claims; "the ability of the Koch Bros. to buy elections". Of course last week he claimed they were "the main cause of Global Warming".

I never thought I would say this, But, Harry, I agree with you, and REPUBLICANS SHOULD TOO! YES! restrict ALL contributions, INCLUDING the 58 groups who donate vastly MORE than the Koch Bros.

But, Harry, you might want to think this one through, according to opensecrets.org 16 of the top 17 donors donate primarily to DEMOCRATS. Evidently THEY are the truly big money party.

So you want to limit the Kochs, You ALSO have to limit, ActBlue, SEIU, NEA, AFT, Teamsters, AFSCME, IBEW, UAW,National Trial Lawyers, etc. And for the UNIONS this means not only CASH, but "in kind" donations. The phone banks, bussing, canvassing, ALL OF IT!

In the 2008 campaign cycle, this would have CUT Obama's take by $563M. While only reducing Romneys donations by $233M. Go for it Harry!

This should be fun to watch.

Gary Lambert - The Politics of Tough Choices

Thursday, May 15, 2014

 

The politics of tough choices

 

By GARY LAMBERT

 

Gary Lambert, R-Nashua, is seeking the Republican nomination for New Hampshire’s 2nd District congressional seat.

 

There is perhaps no sector of the economy more vital to sustained economic growth than American domestic energy production. To become more competitive in a variety of economic sectors – technology, manufacturing, transportation –we need affordable energy sources with stable pricing in order to compete globally and create more jobs domestically.

 

A reasonable person might expect that given the importance of a strong American energy sector, an 830,000 barrel-per-day pipeline would be a sure thing to be approved by an administration which has repeatedly asserted its commitment to an all-of-the-above energy policy.

 

A reasonable person would be wrong. After an exhaustive review by a multitude of executive departments, President Barack Obama has still not approved the Keystone XL pipeline. Democrats in Congress are perfectly happy with that outcome; it means embattled incumbents like Ann Kuster don’t have to face a politically tough issue in an election year.

 

Earlier this year, White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough had this to say about the president’s approach to the Keystone XL pipeline approval process: “What the President’s role is now is to protect this process from politics.” Judging by the other promises the president has made and broken (“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” anyone?), we shouldn’t be surprised he broke this one too.

 

When the president last month delayed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline until after the November election, he gave up on any pretext that the delay was based on substantive issues about the pipeline’s environmental impact. Rather, President Obama basically admitted that there is only one reason why this project has not been allowed to go forward – politics.

 

The president does not want to give House Republicans, who have fought the administration’s delaying tactics at every step, a win in an election year. On the other end of the spectrum, liberal activists have fought the president at every step to delay, sabotage, and stop the pipeline project because it isn’t an energy source popular with the left – no windmills, I guess. To make matters even worse for the president, labor unions have supported the Keystone XL project from the beginning and now they are making their voices heard in favor of approval. So President Obama and Washington democrats like Ann Kuster are in a political pickle – trouble to the right and to the left.

 

No wonder people can’t stand Washington politicians. After statements flaunting “shovel-ready projects,” after a two-year re-election effort which highlighted the president’s “maturity” and “desire to get something done,” and after a 2014 State of the Union speech which declared a “year of action,” an item which satisfies all of those promises comes to the president’s desk for approval, and he takes a pass. He whiffs. He takes the coward’s way out.

 

As typical as that kind of “leadership” may be in Washington, I still find the president’s capacity to put the politics above the people absolutely astounding. It’s unacceptable leadership for a great nation and its unacceptable leadership for a trying time in America. We need better.

 

If you send me to Washington as your representative, I’ll raise my voice and cast my vote as many times as necessary to make sure the Keystone XL pipeline is approved and construction begins as soon as possible.

 

I cannot promise you that I can fix Washington alone. I cannot promise you that you will agree with me 100 percent of the time. If I did, we all know I’d be lying. What I can promise you is this – I will never take the coward’s way out. I’ll step forward and take the tough vote, take the stance which is right and honorable and moves our country forward. I won’t represent you based on political polls and the punditry; I won’t make a decision which directly affects American jobs and economic growth based on politics. I’ll represent you on the basis of what is best for America, New Hampshire, and the 2nd District. If the career politicians don’t like it, so be it.

 

That is my campaign pledge, and it’s why I’m running for Congress. I want to serve. I did it for 35 years in the United States Marine Corps and I did it in good times and bad. Service is the same regardless of the circumstances – you have a duty to do what is best for others. If President Obama understood that concept and understood that what is best for him politically is not what is best for the country, the Keystone XL Pipeline would have been approved long ago.

 

Gary Lambert, R-Nashua, is seeking the Republican nomination for New Hampshire’s 2nd District congressional seat.

 

Ellen Read - Our State Senators are not listening to us

For the jaded among us this isn’t a surprise.  We’re cynical because we know our government is bought and paid for by the highest bidders.  Our legislators no longer have constituents, they have investors—groups not even from legislators’ districts with whom legislators spend 70% of their time fundraising, and who donate in order to obtain favorable policy.  A recent Princeton study showed definitively we no longer have a democracy, but an oligarchy—rule by the wealthy few.  It showed that public policy is dictated by the 0.000042% of Americans who give substantial contributions, not by the People, as we all believe.  But we don’t have to resign to apathy.

 

New Hampshirites, true to our independent spirit, are trying to restore government to the People.  Building on work of years past, this March resolutions were on 61 Town Warrants calling for a constitutional amendment that would:  1) guarantee the right of the people to regulate political spending, and 2) clarify that artificial entities such as labor unions, SuperPACs, and corporations are not entitled to the same constitutional rights as actual human beings.  Out of the 61 towns, 48 passed the resolution —and most by an overwhelming majority. The people of New Hampshire have spoken.

 

Yet when this same resolution, SB307, came before our State Senate, twelve Senators rejected the original language, gutting it—although 32 of the 48 towns that passed warrant articles were in these Senators’ districts.  For example, Senator Forrester voted against the purpose of the bill, but seven of the nine towns in her district passed similar resolutions.  And although all five towns in Senator Bragdon’s district and all four in Senator Bradley’s district also passed these resolutions, both of them also voted no.  Why aren’t they listening to us? 

 

A UNH Poll revealed 75% of New Hampshirites, across all political lines, want a constitutional amendment to return control of government to the People.  New Hampshire cares about this.  A lot.  There is a movement building in response to government corruption, and it stems from our collective innate sense of what democracy is--from the wisdom of leaders from James Madison and Teddy Roosevelt to Warren Rudman and John McCain.

 

It’s tempting to be apathetic, thinking the system is rigged.  It is rigged; that is why we have to fix it.  SB307 is now passing the State House, so it will go back to conference with the Senate, where our senators may try to weaken it again.  We have to make our State Senators hear us, on this more than anything else, because this is the one issue that decides whether we have a say in any other.  No matter your politics or cause, if you want to have a say in it then we have to get big money out of politics.  No one should have to have money to have a voice--not in a democracy.

 

Ellen Read, Newmarket

Bob Martens, Bridgewater

George Blaisdell, Bridgewater

Max Stamp, Bristol

Nancy Dowey, Bristol

Maria Weick, Dorchester

Herb Moyer, Groton and Exeter

Pam Martin, Plymouth

Kenneth McKenzie, Eaton

Richard Devens, Sandwich

Penny Voyles, Wakefield

Michelle Russell, Hancock

Gerald Debonis, Sharon

Lucy Edwards, Northwood

Peter White, Nottingham

Scott Abercrombie, Salem

George Manos, Danville

Carol Croteau, Kingston

Evert Lamm, Stratham

Joseph Bagshaw, Conway (passed previously)

State Senator Martha Fuller Clark, District 21, Sponsor of SB307