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Hudson - Litchfield News

4 - May 28, 2010

The Word Around Town...

Letters to our Editor

Legislative

Update

Andrew Renzullo

There is the ancient quote, “Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad.” Washington politics has come to New Hampshire. As we have seen on the national level, hidden deals and ignoring rules has become the norm in the city on the Potomac, or have you forgotten the shenanigans that went on to get Obamacare passed, like the “Cornhusker Kickback” or the “deem & pass” maneuver, where the House passed the Senate version of the bill without actually voting for it, as a way of circumventing the roadblock created by the Scott Brown election? It looks like “the end justifies the means” mentality has now infected Concord, and we are all the poorer for it.

So, what happened? On May 12, the House passed a bill designed to close the budget deficit. While the bill contained some cuts, the bill was primarily several new and increased taxes, as well as significant borrowing. When it got to the Senate the next day, the senators killed the bill (voted to Non-Concur), instead electing to pass their own budget deficit bill, which, while proposing different taxes, had casino gambling as its centerpiece. Now comes the controversial part.

The scene moves back to the House. On May 19, the House Finance chairperson makes a motion on the Senate Bill to “Non-Concur Unless the Senate Accedes to a Request for a Committee of Conference on the House Bill by 3PM.” As far as anyone could find out, never in the 200 years of the New Hampshire Legislature has such a motion been allowed by a House Speaker, but it was. Why had it never been allowed before? Because it’s a double motion and contrary to long-established rules and traditions. For the next two hours, the Republican minority fought to maintain the integrity of House rules, but to no avail. By 2 p.m., the House voted to adopt the motion.

Right now, someone is asking,

“What’s the big deal? Why fight so hard?” It’s simple; the rules are a minority’s armor against abuses by a majority. In a football game, the bigger, more talented team wins, but it must play by the rules. In a legislative body, the will of the majority will prevail, but it must occur within the rules. Otherwise, it’s just one big mob beating up on a

smaller mob. And now, as the late Paul Harvey

would say, “For the rest of the story.” Around 2:30 p.m., the Senate President, Sylvia Larson, presents to the Senate a document she and House Speaker Teri Norelli had signed that morning, where they had agreed that the Senate would reconsider their non-concurring on the House Bill and request a committee of conference, provided the House voted to non-concur on the Senate Bill and a request a committee of conference. The agreement stated there would be only one conference committee; the contents of both bills would be on the table, and the bill to be used would be decided by coin toss. The Senate voted to reconsider their previous action (Non-concur) on the House Bill and changed their vote to Non-Concur and Request a Committee of Conference. The House Bill “won” the coin toss. Everything was completed by 3:02 p.m.

So, the entire action the House

floor was one big charade. There was no need for the drama and the threat of “We’ll kill your bill if you don’t revive ours.” The brinkmanship was just theatre—a secret deal had already been struck. It seemed that the entire episode in the House could have been avoided, had there been a little bit of trust among Democrat leaders in the House and the Senate. What is especially sad is that the Democrat leadership did not trust their own Democrat members. Most were shocked and disgusted when shown the secret agreement. The simple solution, without the

secrecy, would have been for the House Speaker to publicly disclose to the House the contents of the agreement, to vote to non-concur with the Senate Bill, and request the committee of conference and order the House Clerk not to transmit the bill to the Senate until after 3 p.m., by which time the Senate would have acted. It would have accomplished the goal of the House Democrat Leadership without doing violence to the House’s own rules. Equally important, it would have avoided needless acrimony and mistrust. In the New Hampshire Legislature, your word really is your bond. James Carville coined the phrase “It’s the Economy, Stupid.” Well, in New Hampshire, “It’s Integrity, Stupid.”

Boy Scouts to Build

a Life-Sized Chess Set for GMS

I am Matt Rafferty of

Boy Scout Troop 11 of Litchfield. Scouts from Troop 11 and I will be building a life-sized chess set for students at Griffin Memorial School (GMS) to use at recess and after school. With safety issues surrounding the use of the school playground and a thriving chess club, the outdoor chess set will be a popular addition to the school’s play area. To raise money to support this project, we are planning a fundraiser of serving fried dough at the Litchfield Memorial Day Celebration. The fried dough will be for sale at stands at the fire station and at GMS along the parade route during the parade, and before and after the memorial program held at the Old Town Hall. We will not serve fried dough during the program, however. Please bring the family out to celebrate our veterans and enjoy a summertime treat. It will be delicious and all proceeds will go to making the chess set for the kids at GMS. I am coordinating this project as

I work towards the rank of Eagle Scout. Come on down; any support or donations are appreciated. If you would like to learn more about this Eagle project for the outdoor chess set, please come and talk to me on Memorial Day, or call me at 429-2503.

Matt Rafferty - Litchfield

Friends of the Library Book Fair a Success

On Thursday, May 13, the Friends of the Library of Hudson sponsored a book fair at Barnes & Noble in Nashua. With the support of the citizens of Hudson, we accomplished our goal of purchasing floor seating for the Children’s Room at the Rodgers Memorial Library. We extend our thanks to those

who made the event so special—the Benson’s Park Committee, the Alvirne B Naturals, the Youth Poetry Readers, and authors Lynne Ober and Kate George. Thanks also to the librarians at Alvirne High School, Hudson Memorial School, and Rodgers Memorial Library who distributed vouchers, told stories, or helped the evening of the event. Art teacher Janice Walsh

and 16 enthusiastic members of the Hudson Memorial School Art Club did a fantastic job providing creative face painting. Friends of the Library Business members provided support by posting our flyer on their bulletin boards and providing vouchers in their offices. Special thanks to Hudson Animal Hospital for the use of their sign, and to the Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce for including our event in their Newsletter. The guidance of Barnes & Noble’s Community Relations Manager, Kathy Puglisi, contributed greatly to our success. We appreciate those of you who attended the Book Fair, and the many thoughtful shoppers who purchased books from the Library’s Wish List.

Jane Bowles, Co-Secretary, Friends of the Library of Hudson - Hudson

Join our Parade for our Soldiers, Past and Present

It’s not too late to join Litchfield’s Memorial Day parade and program honoring our soldiers. If you want to march as a school group or local organization; make your own homemade float; drive your favorite car; and carry an American flag, why not come out and do it? The parade lineup is organized at the

Litchfield Middle School at 9:30 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31. The parade steps off at 10 a.m. and marches to the old town center at the Litchfield Historical Society next to the Fire Station and the Litchfield Presbyterian Church. A short program featuring Campbell High School’s outstanding orchestra and chorus will be held at that site.

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The Litchfield Historical Society has organized this event for the town of Litchfield for years. It is an important event where we, in our small town, take the time to recognize how lucky we are to have the men and women who have served and/or are serving to protect our freedom. So join our parade, come to our program, and help make this Memorial Day a memorable and meaningful day for you and your family. It’s an important “stop and smell the roses,” give genuine thanks, small-town opportunity.

Gail Barringer - Litchfield

Food Drive Thank-You

A big thank-you goes out to the citizens of Hudson who donated non- perishable food items to the food drive on May 8. This was again a great success due to the efforts of volunteers who unloaded the baskets and helped sort the food once inside the church. The Post Office did a fantastic job of organizing the drive. We at First Baptist Church stand

ready to assist in any situation that may arise, be it financial hardship, medical calamities, legal challenges, or other tragic circumstances. To the many “cheerful” givers who sensed the prompting of His hand in their spirit and gladly responded in obedience, I wish for you a full measure of God’s choicest blessings.

Bertha Ashford, Food Pantry Ministry - Hudson

Friends of Benson Park

by Lynne Ober

Hudson’s yet-to-be-opened Benson Park got a much-needed shot in the arm last night when Hudson selectmen agreed to allow them to have a table at the park on Saturday, May 29, at the park opening.

While the Friends cannot ask people to stop by the table because

that would be soliciting, they can chat with anyone who does stop. A group of private volunteers, their mission is to help raise funds for the park so that projects can go forward. The group plans to coordinate fundraising with the Benson Park Committee in order to prevent conflicts and duplication of effort with regard to Benson Park Committee efforts already undertaken. The group was originally formed after discussions with the Benson Park Committee chairman, who recognized the boundaries of town budgets. While the Friends group will raise funds, they have also spoken about collaboration with the Benson Park Committee, which is a part of town government because the Board of Selectmen appoints members. Friends of Benson Park met with selectmen and sought approval for a table at the opening so that they could begin their fundraising efforts and proceed with a membership drive.

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