Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Mark Hounsel: Republican in Name Only and Proud of It.

I don't have his exact words, but yesterday at the Gibson Center Mark Hounsel, the " Republican" candidate for Carroll County commissioner District 1 told the audience something along the lines that he was running as a Republican in name only... because he would have a better chance at getting elected. (Mr. Hounsel was invited to the Moultonboro Candidates Night held last Friday, but did not attend.)
In his letter to the Conway Sun on August 8th 2016, his platform seems to be that he would be a " non-partisan" commissioner.  Personally, I think that the commissioners should be truly non-partisan as are Selectmen. but that is a matter for another day.
Today however, we have partisan elections for county commissioner. You have to choose or run as an independent. Except for Mark Hounsel. He was hoping for the best of both worlds.
He wrote " It might seem crazy to run into the burning house of the GOP while others flee an inferno fueled by Tea Party tinder and ignited by a presidential campaign going down in flames....I am the personification of a RINO (Republican in name only). I’m hoping to become the personification of a new and improved New Hampshire Republican Party, and not remain a RINO."  

In his last paragraph he wrote " At this juncture, I have absolutely no obligations to the N.H. GOP." He concluded that he was hoping to win the nomination of both parties.  He didn't. 
At the time, there was no other candidate declared for that office. In  the primary, Democrat Burt Weiss received far more than the required number of write-in votes to be on the ballot on November 8th as a Democrat.
So on November 8th it's Burt Weiss (d)  vs Mark Hounsel(?) but a  proud RINO. 
What a crazy election season. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bottoms Up

No question that the top of the ticket in this year's national election is polarizing. Some may be thinking of not voting for either candidate or simply not coming out to vote at all. That would be a shame.
There a number of competitive races all over the ballot and should not be overlooked or ignored by voters. 

For example, take the very last race on the ballot, county commissioner 3rd District. Our Carroll County District 04 ( Moultonboro-Sandwich-Tuftonboro) pays 34% of the county tax levy. The commissioners play an important role in proposing budgets and making county policies and the general running of the county.  Not voting for a candidate in this important office would be a shame. 
Our county has been through a lot of turmoil in the past half dozen years and we need to put the past behind us and move the county forward. 
Moving up the ballott, we have a race for county treasurer. I did not realize until the ballot came out that we had an independent/republican candidate in addition to Ken Hill who ran in the primary. Ken Hill will do an excellent job as our treasurer. It is an administrative office, not a political one, but it is an important one. The prior elected treasurer resigned early on due to the financial crisis. The treasurer, among other things, is responsible for the accountability of all monies belonging to the county, with a follow up report at the end of each fiscal year.
Moving up the ballot ( see where I am going with this, vote from the bottom of the ballot up) we come to State Representative District 8, the floterial district covering I believe 8 towns. William Marsh is on both sides of the ballot unopposed , but don't leave it blank. Vote for him anyway and show your support. I've met him twice and he will be a good legislator.
One more slot up the ballot and you come to my favorite race, the one I'm on the ballot for, State Rep for Carroll County District 04. Who to vote for? (Hint: the only candidate whose last name does begin with the letter "C.") 
So, why not just start at the bottom of the ballot and work your way up?  Fill in the correct number for each office, even in non-contested races, and support your local candidates for these very important local offices. Remember, local offices can have the most impact on your daily lives. Choose candidates that put their local constituents first. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Moultonboro Tax Rate Tentatively Set at $8.74, Decrease of 27 Cents.

The 50-50 Club: Highest Student Debt, Lowest State Funding in the Nation

This is not something New Hampshire should be proud of.  New Hampshire’s funding per full time student is the lowest of any state in the country. This cost shifting from the State to families and students is making college increasingly unaffordable for NH students. 

The Project on Student Debt  found that NH students graduate on average with $36,101 in student debt and the highest percentage of students that graduate with debt at 76%, both highest in the United States. 
It is not the Legislature nor the Governor who set tuition rates for the University System of NH (USNH). It is the USNH Board of Trustees.
The NH House approved a budget that provided $19 million less than Gov. Hassan had requested -- $81 million in both 2016 and 2017. 
USNH requested state support of $100 million for 2016 and $105 million for 2017, which would have restored state support to the pre former NH House Speaker O'Brien's 2010 budget cuts. In return, USNH guaranteed a second two-year freeze on in-state tuition. Governor Maggie Hassan proposed $87 million in 2016 and $94 million in 2017, and the Republican-led House passed an $11.35 billion state budget last fall that reduced that amount significantly.. As a result, in state tuition increased 2.75%.
The Board of Trustees of the Community College System of NH (CCSNH) voted to freeze tuition for the 2016-17 academic year, In-state tuition will remain at $200/credit, which translates into roughly $6,000 for a year for full-time tuition.Tuition at the state's seven community colleges has not risen since 2011, and in 2014 tuition was decreased 5 percent per credit to the present $200.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities , only 8 states have cut higher education more than New Hampshire, and  per-student funding for New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities is 30% below 2008 levels. 

We've got some work to do in NH. New Hampshire's economy is dependent on a skilled workforce and access to affordable college education is paramount to continue to grow our economy.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

One Picture Missed

Quite unintentionally, my wife Linda who took the pictures for last nights Candidates Night, apparently missed one candidate, Amanda Bevard who is running for County Commissioner. We both apologize for the inadvertent omission. She presented her case for election very well and wish her best of luck in the election.

Support for the Top of the Ticket , Jeb Bradley Deja Vu and the Best Line of the Night

Three pieces to this post. Some of the best questions of the night came from our sponsor for the event, the Moultonboro Academy Class of 2018. One question was posed to both Senate candidates: Do you support your party's nominee for President? Democratic candidate John White said he supports Hillary Clinton and Republican incumbent Jeb Bradley said he would support his party's nominee Donald Trump. Neither candidate hesitated in their responses.

The second piece is a bit of deja vu. 
I wrote this almost two years to the day of the last district 04 Meet the Candidates event held in Sandwich on October 26th 2014, also moderated by Lee Quimby. I bring this up because Sen. Bradley made the same promise about the donor town tax last night in Moultonboro: 

"In the course of the session, the State Senate Candidates had an opportunity to speak and early on in his talk, incumbent Jeb Bradley (r) Wolfeboro made a point that he is opposed to the so called " donor towns" which up until just a few years ago, sent a large amount of our local tax dollars to fund an adequate education to " receiver" towns like Claremont. He thought it wrong that it pitted towns against each other.The funding for this began in 1998.
I have to thank Russ Wakefield for his reminder that Jeb Bradley who was a NH House Rep in 1998 ,voted in favor of donor towns which increased our property tax by about 42% the first year after it was in effect and dropped by 36% the year after it was put on hold.
So I asked Jeb if my information was correct and did he in fact actually vote in favor of donor towns when in the NH House? He was caught off guard, but answered in the affirmative that he did indeed vote in favor back in 1998. Everyone ( even politicians) are entitled to change their minds, but I think it is important for voters to be aware of these facts before taking a politician at his or her word."

Lastly, the best line of the night was County Commissioner Candidate and former Commissioner and current county treasurer, Chip Albee to an audience member who told him she didn't believe him when he said that the " missing" surplus in the county that caused the budget shortfall was due to mistakes in accounting process and the money actually was returned to taxpayers to reduce the tax rate over the years.  His response: " I have no control over what you believe." I have to remember that line. 


Recent comment from Glenn Cordelli:" I am proud of my record. Maybe you should have had the courage last night to repeat your charges against me and my record.
Again, the tired old liberal playbook attack citing the Koch brothers, I do not know them and have no idea what about their agenda. 
I do know Americans for Prosperity and their mission statement is: "Americans for Prosperity exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate".

Too bad Hollis did not ask you about the pledge to oppose any sales or income tax. Would have been interested in your response."

Wow Glenn. I never once called you any names or made disparaging personal remarks about you. I simply pointed out and will continue to do so,  how I oppose your positions and extreme ideology. Disappointing that you have chosen the low road with name calling an insinuations. And this coming form someone who was so concerned about  " negative attacks."

Pointing out many areas where I disagree with your votes, positions and affiliations  isn’t a negative attack. It’s telling voters the truth. You are supposed to represent Carroll County District 04, not strive for an A+ rating  from Americans for Prosperity which you gladly accepted and touted, yet you have no idea of their agenda?

Perhaps you should have told the public last night about some other of your positions and votes, such as:
  • You voted against a bill (HB 1661-FN) that would ban so called gay conversion therapy by persons licensed to provide counseling services on minors, a process that has been called child abuse by some professional organizations as well as dramatically increasing the risk of depression and teen suicide. This bill passed the house and a similar bill passed the senate, but it was killed in a committee of conference by two of your party's colleagues who refused to discuss it.  The American Psychiatric Association “opposes any psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”
  • You co-sponsored a bill to abolish regional planning commissions which was overwhelmingly defeated in the house.That bill  could have cost the state more than $100,000 a year as well as place federal highway funds at risk, according to two state agencies. according to  2014 House Journal 13 page 733:  "RPCs provide in-depth and valuable information communities need when applying for state or federal funding, ensuring that New Hampshire tax dollars are returned to the state to meet our local needs. Regional planning commissions serve an important function in the state; abolishing them would be foolhearty."
And we all heard Jeb Bradley last night talk of why he voted in favor of expanded Medicaid and how it is benefiting 50,000 NH citizens and NH hospitals. Your position is to end it with no plan to replace it. That is irresponsible leadership.

As I stated last night, I oppose extremism and support collaboration. People are tired of the negativity and fighting for ideology over the people of our district.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Moultonboro Candidates Night Well Attended

A good turnout, but it ran way past the 8:30 planned end. Which was a good thing I think. Lots of good discussion. Some interrupted by uncalled for heckling and rudeness , but hey, nothing compared to the national stuff, right? The usual suspects though.
Connor Shipp of the Moultonborough Academy Class of 2018 opened the session and he and his classmates are proof positive that our schools are doing a great job. Some of the students asked some very good questions of the candidates. In a few years they will be voters.
The forum started with Glenn Cordelli asking if candidates could respond to " negative attacks"  and was told they could. What is that about? Public officials need a thick skin, Glenn. Criticizing your record is not a " negative attack." Nor is criticizing your extreme political affiliations. Get over it..

Moderator Lee Quimby did a good job allowing all candidates to speak their minds and in the end, the consensus seemed to be that it was long, but  a very good session.  I'll have much  more to say in future posts.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Carroll County Republican Committee Misleading Again on the County Farm

"Know the Real Facts"  is very good advice. As is verifying the facts. The ad below was in the Granite State News today and it is remarkably disingenuous in a number of ways.
Firstly, no member of the delegation of either party, not just Republicans , has advocated selling the County's land assets.
Secondly, and this is the most disingenuous and highlights how some members of the Republican members of the delegation just can't figure out how to work for the people of Carroll County, is the alleged $400,000 in losses paid over the past 6 years. I checked this morning with the County Administrator and he was not asked by any delegation members for any  information. None. Once again they have proven that they are unwilling to work with the County and get the facts correct, but  continue to try to run for cover in an election year.

Why in the world do they not want to work together to solve this once and for all so we can plan for the future and move on?  Perhaps bullet number 3 has the  answer: call your Republican representatives for information. For sure an election year. It doesn't matter to them to get this right. It only matters to cover their respective butts and blame everyone else for spreading misinformation.

Nice try Chair Umberger. Keep trying to defend the short sighted actions of your majority to defund the farm with a new " study" many months after you made the decision. Tell that to the 20 plus year employee who lost his job because of it.

As a candidate for a seat on that same delegation, I will vow to work with the county and commissioners and across the aisle, because my job as a legislator is to do what is necessary for the citizens of our district, first and foremost, not partisan politics.

TONIGHT: A Healthy Discussion of the Issues at Tuftonboro Town House, Thursday October 20th

For those frustrated by this election season, with its constant name calling and lack of attention to issues of real concern, help is on the way! Join a group of interested citizens for Cider and Issues: Taking a look at Healthcare, Women's Reproductive Health and Aging, in New HampshireThursday, October 20, 6:30 - 8:30, Tuftonboro Town House, 247 Middle Rd. (Route 109A), Tuftonboro. Discussion inducing refreshments will be served. The panel will be moderated by Mike Lancor, former Superintendent of Schools in Moultonborough.
The public is encouraged to come to this interesting evening of information and discussion, sponsored by the Democratic Committees of Moultonborough, Sandwich, and Tuftonboro. For more information call Cindy Stanton at 253-6470.