To The Daily Sun,
Summer has been lovely here in New Hampshire. But now, voters need to do a quick pivot to political primary to focus attention on the Tuesday, Sept. 9 Primary Election.
Why? New Hampshire's undeclared or independent voters have an unusual opportunity at the polls. Ordinarily, the primary contests are drab and dull, not much is at stake until the general election. So ordinarily, many of us take a snooze. But this is one of the rare opportunities when our vote can really make a difference.
Scott Brown's campaign for the New Hampshire Senate brings out the cynicism in me. Defeated in Massachusetts, he seems to think it's okay to just switch states and try again ... as if constituents are exchangeable, or expendable and it doesn't really matter who you represent as long as you have the big money behind you backing your campaign.
New Hampshire voters are an independent breed. We take our political responsibilities seriously. We don't fall for slick, surface stuff. We know how to vet candidates and hold them to a high standard of integrity and accountability.
In fact, over 40 percent of New Hampshire voters are undeclared or independent. Whether we lean Democrat or Republican, left or right, many of us reserve the right to cast our votes in whatever manner is most effective. We put certain principles above party politics: Integrity, fairness, character, sound judgment.
At the polls on Tuesday, this Independent will take a Republican ballot and vote for Jim Rubens to become the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate. The reason is as profound as it is simple. Jim Rubens has agreed to make campaign finance reform a centerpiece of his campaign platform. Scott Brown has not. Period. End of story.
Ordinarily single-issue voters aggravate me. But this is no ordinary issue, and this is no ordinary time. Our political system is broken and and we need to fix it.
Even if we feel cynical about our political system, we cannot succumb to feeling cynical about the power New Hampshire voters. We are not mere pawns of the big name, big money political players. Most of us hate political games. But all of us have to recognize that we are inside of one big strategic contest and to sit on the sidelines means checkmate for the people. It's our move.
It's time we let our politicians know that there is no more important issue to their constituents, to the voters, to the citizens of this country. There are some issues which are fundamental. Getting the corrupting influence of big money out of politics in one of these fundamentals. Nothing else matters until we get this accomplished. Nothing.
Vote smart. Send big money and Scott Brown back to Massachusetts.
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 09:49
To The Daily Sun,
I've noticed a troubling pattern with GOP candidate for governor, Walt Havenstein, where he seems to always try to have things both ways and doesn't think he has to play by the same rules as everyone else.
As CEO of a government contracting company, S.A.I.C., Havenstein led the company as it took nearly $100 million to implement the Affordable Care Act, despite his belief that regular people in New Hampshire shouldn't get any of the benefits of the law. His position on healthcare reform is frustrating enough to me, but it's his hypocrisy that I find truly infuriating.
Now, the State of Maryland has said he defrauded them on his taxes. He apparently claimed a tax credit meant only for residents of Maryland, wrongfully taking thousands of dollars from the state. The problem is, since he declared his candidacy here in New Hampshire, he's claimed adamantly that he has always only been a resident of this state. Accordingly, Maryland now wants its money back, and I'm left wondering why we should trust Havenstein as his scandals continue to grow.
On the other hand, Maggie Hassan has been working with all the parties in New Hampshire to expand health care and to support higher education. These are things I can agree with so I will be supporting her for governor of New Hampshire.
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 09:46
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to urge all my fellow citizens to vote in Tuesday's election. It is our right and our civic duty. In recent weeks there has been a lot of bantering going back and forth about the actions of our County Commission. I have written here in the past that the makeup of this body is in dire need of change.
I urge all of you if you value your tax dollars not to vote for John Thomas. He is part of the problem that needs changing. A vote for him is a vote for the status quo. If you have been following the events then you know that the courts ruled completely against the commissioners in how they used our tax dollars illegally.
Further, I have had the opportunity to experience how our county works, or should I say doesn't work. I have first-hand experience and knowledge in dealing with these people. I have said here before and will reiterate that I would not trust the current commissioners and the management in place now to run a hot dog stand.
Just a few short months ago the commissioners tried to get the County Convention to approve $3 million for nebulous projects for the jail. One of these projects was to pay for a temporary fix to the current jails HVAC system. This was estimated as costing $1 million. Now I am not an HVAC expert, but I do know something about these systems having worked on many of them. However, our jail has no AC, nor should it. So how on earth could this cost anywhere near a million bucks. How did they come up with this amount? When pressed on this they were at first reluctant to say, but apparently it was an estimate given by the facilities maintenance manager, aka know as the head janitor. I guess they didn't feel they should get real estimates from licensed HVAC experts.
Is this the kind of leadership we deserve? I think not.
The problems in our county government can be summed up in two short phrases: Poor Leadership, Bad Management. We need changes in our county government.
I urge you all to vote against John Thomas.
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 09:41
To The Daily Sun,
Please vote for Dick Burchell, who is running for County Commissioner in Belknap District 2. Over the last biennium, he has never missed a day at the Statehouse. He has perfect attendance both on the Labor Committee and during session days. He has also attended all County meetings. His voice has been steady in support of sensible policies, which take into account the fair treatment of both state and county needs.
It is not easy to keep one's composure during the sometimes contentious debates at both the state and county. Dick is for improving the County Jail, but not in favor of spending over twice the national average for new construction that has been proposed by his opponent and the other commissioners who currently hold office. He feels that a fair solution to the skyrocketing costs of health-care insurance premiums for county employees, now approaching $30,000 per family must be found. He believes in candid and honest governance where the needs of the many are addressed in an impartial way, in a manner which supports the dignity which should be the hallmark of the process.
I hope the Voters of Barnstead, Gilmanton, Belmont, and Tilton will join me in putting into office a person of integrity who will see that the county resources are used prudently. I am happy to endorse Dick Burchell for County Commissioner.
State Rep. Guy Comtois
Belknap District 7
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 09:35
To The Daily Sun,
Regarding a Daily Sun article by Gail Ober, "City Clerk Clarifies Tuesday Ballot Situation; No Race for Police Commissioner & Only School Votes Are In 4 & 5.": This has to do with an error I made in a Letter to the Editor published in the Daily Sun on Sept. 6 and also submitted to the Laconia Citizen wrongly saying there will be an election for Police Commission this year.
The Laconia City Clerk Mary Reynolds said, "voters in Tuesday's primary who are getting State Ballots only, cannot write-in any recommendations for a city or School Board office because the electronic readers will reject any ballot that has writing where it doesn't belong." This is misleading, I suggested that voters of Wards 4 and 5 write-in someone's name for the unopposed School Board election. The School Board election has to have a separate ballot with a space to write-in someone's name if the voter so chooses. The two top vote-getters then will be placed on the November ballot if the write-in candidate accepts.
In the New Hampshire State Election there is space to write-in someone's name if you don't like the choices or there is no one running for that spot. The Democratic ballot has lots of spots that has no one running for certain positions. The write-in ballot will be spit out but has to be counted if you write-in someone's name in the space allotted for "Write-in."
The City Clerk also noted, "That the recent resignation of Ward 2 School Board member Beth Arsenault must be handled by the School Board through the process explained at the School Board meeting last Tuesday." The process City Clerk Mary Reynolds is referring is for a three-member committee to interview School Board Candidates then recommend their choice to the full board. The Laconia City Charter and RSA 671:33 requires, "The School Board Shall Fill Vacancies occurring on the School Board." There is nothing in the City Charter or the New Hampshire RSAs giving a sub-committee the power to interview and recommend.
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 09:29