Sunapee Democratic Committee convenes March 5

The Sunapee Democratic Town Committee will hold its town caucus on Monday, March 5, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sunapee Middle School (music room), North Road. All registered Democrats are invited to attend and take part in electing town committee officers and delegates to the Democratic state convention held in June. For more information, contact SDTC Chair Sue Gottling at 603-763-5904 or

Sullivan County Dems hold ‘Cabin Fever Kick Off’ Jan. 14

Sullivan County Democrats will be holding a Cabin Fever 2011 Kick Off on Friday, January 14 at 7 pm in Claremont. State Senator Matthew Houde (D-Plainfield) will be the guest speaker. The gathering will be held at the Moody Building (2nd floor), 24 Opera House Square. This is a “pot luck party to kick off the new year and all democrats are welcome,” said Pat Kinne, chair of Sullivan County Democrats. For more information, email

Conflicting Interests: Republicans Investigate State Dem Leader | Front Door Politics

The most bitter political fight of the new legislative session could end up to be not over taxes or budget cuts, but a constitutional provision enacted in 1792. How that provision is defined at hearings this week could determine the fate of a Democratic House member from Manchester who could be expelled from the Legislature by the Republican majority.

via Conflicting Interests: Republicans Investigate State Dem Leader | Front Door Politics.

NH lawmakers convene this week amidst talk of gun ban repeal

“Like the start of any good game, formalities are on tap this week as the holiday calm lifts from the State House for the opening of the 162nd General Court. But some lawmakers will be busy even before those begin,” reports Front Door Politics in today’s Daily Dispatch: “Opening Ceremonies.”

Formalities: 1) Convening sessions for the House and Senate on Wednesday morning, including a joint House-Senate session in which Secretary of State Bill Gardner will report the November election vote totals for Governor and Executive Council. 2) Gov. John Lynch will be officially inaugurated to his fourth consecutive term on Thursday.

Bearing Arms at the State House: The Joint Legislative Facilities Committee has already made headlines. Last week, House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) said at a committee meeting that he wants to lift a ban on guns and other “dangerous weapons” at the State House complex.…Read more via Front Door Politics, the Daily Dispatch

Social matters in New Hampshire

This comes to you from the Daily Dispatch courtesy of Front Door Politics: “How much will social issues matter at the State House this year? New Hampshire’s budget is clearly at the top of the agenda, if this fall’s campaign promises bear fruit. But the bills filed so far indicate that social matters are on the table, too. Will the gay marriage law of 2009 be repealed? Will medical marijuana get a closer look? Will parental notification for teenage abortions be restored? These are a few policy questions that lawmakers will consider when the 2011 legislative session opens Jan. 5.” Read more via The Daily Dispatch…

Front Door Politics: Health Care Hubbub

Front Door Politics promises to “keep up on the pulse of New Hampshire’s health care and insurance debates this year.”

Yesterday’s Daily Dispatch reported:

Stopping federal health care reform is the goal of at least seven health care-related bills that will be considered when New Hampshire’s 2011 legislative session opens Jan. 5. We continue our survey of newly proposed laws with a snapshot look at the health care bills and some particular developments to keep an eye on.

No Thanks, Mandates: The most (in)famous health insurance mandate right now is the individual mandate portion — requiring people to purchase health insurance — of the recent federal health care reform law. Plenty of energy is now being garnered to derail this aspect of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Read more via the Daily Dispatch….

Capital Comments: First goal, do no damage

By State Senator Bob Odell

After the swearing in of Sunapee resident, Joe Mollica, as Chair of our state Liquor Commission, Governor Lynch came to my new office for an informal and unexpected end of year chat.  It was a slow day at the State House given it was just two days before Christmas and a good opportunity for the two of us to catch up.

The Governor wanted to make sure I had read a recent article in the National Journal magazine about New Hampshire.  The National Journal is a must read, highly respected publication for federal politicians and Washington policy makers.  The article the Governor was referring to is titled “The First State, Presidential hopefuls, take heed:  New Hampshire isn’t just a proving ground; it’s leading the nation out of recession.” Continue reading

Tax Talk | Front Door Politics

Cutting spending was a campaign promise of many Republicans who swept into office this fall. But that’s not stopping some budget hawks from calling for a different approach: raising taxes.

Yesterday, we recapped a conservative study encouraging spending cuts as the mechanism to resolve New Hampshire’s budget deficit, reportedly estimated at anywhere from $200 million to $800 million. In today’s Daily Dispatch, we bookend that consideration with another recent study — this one by the liberal-leaning New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute. Read more via Front Door Politics

LWV Hosts Candidates Forum in New London Oct. 20

The League of Women Voters of the Kearsarge/Sunapee Area will host a candidates forum on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at Tracy Memorial Library, Main Street, New London at 7 pm. Voters can meet candidates for state offices, including state senate and state house. Candidates for US House have also been invited, according to the LWV website. Question and answer session will follow brief presentations by the candidates. The General Election (for Governor, US Senator and US House representatives, Executive Council, state senate and house, and county officials) is Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Candidate forums are also scheduled for Lebanon and Hanover. For more information, visit the LWV.

For a sample ballot in Sunapee, go to the town website.

For reporting on NH politics and public policy visit: Front Door Politics

Front Door Politics: “Jargon-Free” Legislative News

Front Door Politics describes itself as “a jargon-free legislative update for all citizens affected by New Hampshire laws. No pundits, no positions! Just the facts, explained with context, to show how state government is affecting you.” The political blog reported this week on the Granite State’s $210-220 million budget shortfall–the Budget Breakdown–and the Governor’s three-part plan that addresses the debt, spending cuts and revenue increases.

The Pendulum of Justice and Shaping Groundwater Permits are other recent Front Door articles. Published by the Niles Group, Front Door Politics, is a handy on-line source for learning about what’s happening in the NH legislature. The website even offers a primer if you want to learn about the legislative process. Hillary Niles, Michael McCord and Larry Clow are the journalists and reporters behind the site. Check out… Front Door Politics.

Fernald and the NH Progressive Newsletter

This week, Mark Fernald sent out  the 17th edition of his New Hampshire Progressive Newsletter for 2009. (To subscribe.)  It covered the state budget, Congress and health insurance, Paul Krugman on financial regulations, and last week’s US Supreme Court decision on DNA testing for those already found guilty. Fernald is a Democrat from the Peterborough area, a former state senator and a candidate for Congress in the 2nd District.

Continue reading

Amendment Proposes Four Year Term for NH Governor

State Senator Bob Odell (R-Lempster), in this week’s Capital Comments, writes about a proposed Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution (CACR 9) “to have governors elected to four-year terms beginning with the 2012 general election.  New Hampshire is one of only two states still with two-year terms for Governors.  The other state is Vermont.”  Read more by clicking on Columns.

Odell also points to this year’s excellent syrup season for maple producers in the area. Next weekend, March 28 and 29 is NH Maple Weekend. More than 65 sugar houses across the state will welcome visitors, give tours and  hold open houses. Many sugar houses in the Kearsarge-Sunapee region are participating. For locations and hours and to learn more about it, visit the NH Maple Producers.

Traditional Town Meeting vs. Official Ballot

“Perhaps nothing exemplifies New Hampshire so much as the local town meeting. However, as of 2007, only one-third of the state’s residents lived in a town with a ‘traditional’ town meeting; one-third live in municipalities where a city council has governing authority and one-third live in communities that have adopted SB2 or another form of the ‘official ballot’ form of governance which replaces town meeting with a ballot process,” reports the NH Center for Public Policies.

The NH Policy report is available on-line.

In 1995, the legislature passed Senate Bill 2.

Shortly after in 1997, Sunapee adopted SB2 for municipal and school governance, which was a bit out of the norm based on the town’s size. It’s the larger towns that turn to SB2, according the public policy center, and most SB2 towns are in seacoast and southern areas of the state.

Of the 59 towns with SB2 in 2007, the average population was 7,800. Non-SB2 communities averaged 2,700. Sunapee’s population was 3354, according to the census estimate.

Also, “faster growing towns in New Hampshire have been most likely to adopt SB2. The 59 SB2 towns that had adopted SB2 by 2007 grew by almost 1,000 people per year from 1990 to 2000, three times faster than the towns that did not adopt SB2,” said the report.

New London, Newbury, Goshen, Springfield and Grantham hold “traditional” town meetings. Newport uses the SB2 “official ballot” process. In 2008, Article 7 in Newport sought to rescind SB2 requiring a 3/5th vote. The question failed.

Temple “in the heart of the Monadnock region” is currently debating whether to adopt SB2. Check out the “Soapbox.”

The apparent intent of SB2 was to bring more, informed voters into the process and allow more voters to decide on costly budget items. What do you think: Traditional town meeting vs. the “official ballot” process?

Related article: Sunapee Deliberative Session Over New Debate Begins (Sunapee News)

List of SB2 Communities (2007)

List of SB2 Communities (2007)

Hodes Runs for US Senate

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Image via Wikipedia

US Second District Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) hopes to replace Senator Judd Gregg in the US Senate in 2010.

Gregg announced last week he would not be running for re-election. He also withdrew his name for consideration to become the next US Commerce Secretary.

In a Feb. 13  message to supporters Hodes wrote: ” Yesterday, we celebrated the 200 year anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.  And it is well worth remembering the life of Lincoln today.  Because if we could overcome the challenges of civil war and the evils of slavery, we can surely overcome the challenges America faces now with a recession, two wars, and the need to rebuild a working economy and create jobs for the 21st century.”

The two term represenative went on to say: “In order to succeed, we all recognize that we need change in America.  That is why I first ran for Congress. That is why I endorsed then-Senator Barack Obama back in July of 2007.  That is why I have been working with President Obama on his Jobs and Recovery plan to invest in our schools, our green energy technology, and our own workers.”


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