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The leading candidates for governor in New Hampshire  - in both political parties - are beholden to a tax pledge that cuts off conversation about how best to invest in the future of the Granite State.

Only one, Democrat Jackie Cilley, refuses to play "Pledge Politics." Jackie, while not advocating for any particular revenue stream, is clear that all tools need to be on the table for the people of New Hampshire to decide for themselves what is best for them and their future. For her stand, she was singled out for attack by Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform. It's not enough for Norquist to go after federal politicians. Now, he's even meddling in Democratic state gubernatorial primaries.

How do you respond to pledge enforcers like Grover Norquist? By calling them out for what they are... zombies.

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Yesterday the New Hampshire capitol witnessed the largest rally it has seen in 25 years, where people from all walks of life came to protest the nightmare House budget, which, in addition to abolishing collective bargaining, decimates funding for the mentally ill, the poor, and public unviversities, to name just a few innocent targets.

It was a sign of how united the Granite State is in the face of this radical right takeover in the statehouse that Bishop Gene Robinson and Catholic Bishop John McCormack appeared together at the rally to rail against what this budget will do to the poorest among us.  McCormack said, in part:

"Only after funding our foremost obligation to the poor should budget writers proceed to address the needs of the various state departments,"

Well, 26 year old GOP House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt didn't take too kindly to that.  This morning he lashed out, calling a Catholic bishop a "pimp":

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It's official - the vote was 222-119.  

If passed into law, public workers in NH would become "at-will" employees at the end of their contracts in all respects - including wages.

House Speaker Bill O'Brien was too scared to do it tomorrow, as it was scheduled, because tomorrow is going to be the biggest rally our state capitol has seen in decades. (The Twitter hashtag is #rally4nh)

He also refused to allow the debate on the bill to enter the permanent house journal.  So much for transparency.

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In New Hampshire, "We Are Wisconsin" now.

Ray Buckley, NH Democratic Party Chair first broke the news on Blue Hampshire:

I was just told that the House Republicans just attached an amendment on the budget bill calling for the repeal of collective bargaining.

Time to get on the phones everyone.

I will post more information as soon as I receive it.

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You may remember failed senate candidate Sharron Angle, who infamously said:

I’m hoping that we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.

Yesterday, New Hampshire GOP Chairman Jack Kimball, who once boasted of buying “as much ammo as I could get my hands on,” for the "serious things coming," introduced Angle, who is toying with a presidential run, in Concord.

Where she described Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who defeated her in November’s elections, as “public enemy No. 1.

Not Osama bin Laden.  Not joblessness.  Public Enemy No. 1 for Sharron Angle is a democratically elected US Senator .


(first posted on birch paper, which is mostly NH, mostly politics. title and text altered slightly for nat'l audience.)

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Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 05:19 PM PST

Christa McAuliffe, Nation Builder

by Dean Barker

Is Christa McAuliffe possible today?

This question has been pulling at my heart after a week of looking back at her pictures, her words, her story. I don’t like the answer I’ve arrived at.

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Wed Jan 05, 2011 at 04:57 PM PST

Democrats are Now Unconstitutional

by Dean Barker

Despite guiding New Hampshire extraordinarily well through the worst economic waters since the great depression, Democrats lost in huge, veto-overriding numbers in the state house and senate to Republicans who played into voters' economic anxieties and ran on jobs and the budget.

So what did our brand new GOP majorities do as their first and second order of business?

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What's scarier: this?

Transcript (boldface mine):

Government’s the problem here, ladies and gentlemen. When Social Security was created, you didn’t have the wealth of private sector solutions for lifetime savings that you have today. We have to honor the obligations that have been made to those who are reliant on the federal government - older generations. But future generations should seek different private sector solutions and have personal responsibility start to lead the way. My kids are 6 and 5. They shouldn’t know what Social Security is!

Or...

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Laura Clawson's already gone into NH-01 Republican nominee (and Walking Scandal) Frank Guinta's magical bank accounts here and here.  

(And there's a lot more to be found over at my usual haunt, Blue Hampshire, on our NH-01 and Frank Guinta tags.)

Frank Guinta claims that the focus on the $355,000 of likely illegal money he infused into his campaign is because Democratic incumbent (and progressive grassroots all-star) Carol Shea-Porter doesn't want to talk about the issues.

Ummm. OK, then:

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Meet John R. White, state house candidate from Carroll County, New Hampshire:

This was from the annual Grover Cleveland Dinner that the Carroll County Dems put on once a year.

(Transcript below the fold.)

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My senior senator puts on his finest Concern Troll costume:

The White House may renege on passing fixes to the Senate's healthcare bill once the House has passed it, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) claimed Thursday.

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Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:31 PM PST

Semper IOKIYAR

by Dean Barker

Judd Gregg, today, on using reconciliation for aspects of the health care bill:

If reconciliation is used, it will be a clear signal to Americans that the administration and the Democratic majority are willing to trample the spirit of the Senate in order to pass a highly partisan policy, regardless of the damage it does to the concept of representative government.

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