This was published as an op-ed in the October 26, 2012 edition of the Conway Daily Sun newspaper.
I focus on NH candidates: Ovide Lamontagne who is running for governor, Frank Guinta who is running for a second term as NH CD-1 Congressman, Maynard Thomson and Norman Tregenza who are running for the NH House, and Jeb Bradley, former NH CD-1 Congressman who is running for reelection to the NH Senate. All, if elected, would represent the town I currently live in.
Good news. Election Day is fast approaching. No more ads, no more robocalls or polls, no more emails, and no more debates. The last two years of national politics have been unbearable for all who aren’t marching in Tea Party lockstep. The last two years of NH politics have been unbearable for those who love the state and don’t care to see it continue to be the butt of jokes made by the rest of the world. The opposite of progressive is regressive, and the regressives have had too much control for too long.
Ovide Lamontagne is the regressive running for governor of our state. Ovide is opposed to abortion in cases of rape and incest. He supports the so-called personhood legislation that would make a clump of cells the legal equal of an adult woman. He’s also opposed to marriage equality, and wants to repeal Obama’s health care law. Despite his obvious religious extremism, Ovide manages (with the help of the complicit media) to be presented as a moderate. All of the extremist legislation we’ve seen enacted during the last 2 years will be compounded with Lamontagne in the corner office. He’s no friend to education or infrastructure, the two biggest needs in our state.
Just this week, a report shows that NH is home to a huge gender based pay gap. On average, women earn $0.65 for each dollar a man earns in NH. Ovide said he didn’t think government should micromanage business, by telling them what to pay people. In other words, Ovide supports the right of employers to pay women less because of their plumbing. At the same time, Ovide does support the right of government to micromanage female reproduction. I’ve been seeing a bumper sticker around that reads, “Got Ovaries? Avoid Ovide.” It’s good advice for everyone, regardless of their ovarian status.
Frank Guinta is trying for another term in Congress. Frank ran in 2010, firmly clasped to the bosom of the Tea Party. In 2012, he’s running away from that bosom as fast as he can, and attempting to reinvent himself as a moderate. Frank in 2010 campaigned on alleged abuses on the part of Congresswoman Shea-Porter’s use of the Congressional franking system. In 2012, we learned that Guinta is one of the top franking abusers in Congress. He opposed Obama’s stimulus spending, but couldn’t wait to get his paws on stimulus funding as Mayor of Manchester. We’ve all seen the pictures of him at the infamous ribbon cutting ceremony for the road to the Manchester Airport that was built with stimulus funds. Above all, we’ve seen no resolution of the investigation into the “forgotten” bank account used to bankroll his 2010 campaign. No wonder Guinta’s regarded as one of the most corrupt members of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Speaking of corrupt - disgraced former Carroll County GOP Chair Maynard Thomson is running for the NH House. Thomson resigned from his position as County Chair on the day he received a “cease and desist” letter from the NH Attorney General’s office. It seems that Thomson (retired attorney turned romance novelist) was either too inept or too arrogant to properly file the expenditure forms by the state. Political committees and individual candidates are required to send in itemized receipt and expenditure forms once they’ve taken in $500 before an election. I suspect Thomson didn’t want anyone to know who was bankrolling all those ads that the local GOP ran in the newspaper in 2010. In any case, Thomson was either unwilling or unable to fill out these forms – and it really doesn’t matter which one it was. Either way, his actions should disqualify him from holding higher office.
State Senator Jeb Bradley is running radio ads that urge us to vote for him. In his radio ad, he mentions that he worked to save 5000 jobs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. In the interest of honesty and full disclosure it’s important to note that he didn’t do that as a state senator. That was done in 2005, when he was in Congress. In the state senate he’s worked against the workers at the shipyard, by supporting out of state special interest groups trying to turn NH into a right to work state. Apparently even Bradley doesn’t think his record in the NH State Senate is attractive enough to win voters over, so he’s trying to blur the lines between his former role in Congress and his current $100 a year position in the NH legislature.
Former Rep. Norm Tregenza is worried about perverts. He’s been running ads (big expensive ones, who is funding those?) in the Conway Daily Sun all week, to tell us of his concern about perverts in bathrooms. Why? It’s all he’s got. He certainly can’t run for reelection on his own record, so he’s attacking fellow floterial district candidate and former Rep. Ed Butler for supporting a bill that would have provided some protections for transgendered persons. One of Tregenza’s ads shows a picture of Norm himself (looking rather Hitler youth-ish) telling us what an upstanding guy he is for wanting to keep perverts out of ladies rooms. The ad in Saturday’s paper suggested that the entire ad (squirrelly photo and all) be taped to the back of the ladies room door. Norm’s picture on the bathroom door? Eeeeuuuww! That’s REALLY perverted.
Women know who the real perverts are. I’ve never spoken to a single woman who is afraid of encountering a transgendered person in a bathroom. The real perverts are the Republicans running for office trying to redefine and normalize rape. The real perverts are the men who want to regulate women’s reproductive organs and make their most intimate decisions for them. Tregenza is one of those perverts. He’s voted against a women’s right to bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom every time he had the opportunity.
Norman comes across as a “nice young man.” As such, people tend to overlook the fact that he doesn’t appear to have ever had a full time job, never mind a career. He’s a member of the red baiting, racist, anti-Semitic John Birch Society, and was a supporter of racist/homophobe/misogynist candidate Ron Paul. He’s being presented as a sterling character – so please be sure to ask him exactly when he moved out of his district, and why it took him so long to resign his seat after moving.
As for the three Constitutional Amendment questions, my rule of thumb in these matters is simple: always vote no. The first one is a poorly written mess that will lead to years of expensive court challenges and adversely affect NH’s bond rating. The second attempts to let the legislature run our judicial system. It’s an invitation to all manner of legal challenges. Think about the legislature we’ve had for the last 2 years and vote no. The last question calls for a convention to amend or revise our state constitution. This is an unnecessary action that would cost NH taxpayers millions of dollars.
New Hampshire can’t go forward by moving backward.