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House Leaders Respond to Court Decision to Dismiss Democrats Frivolous Gallery Lawsuit

Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today responded to the news that the Merrimack Superior Court affirmed the Speaker’s motion to dismiss the case brought by former Democrat Senators Maggie Hassan and Bette Lasky, as well as the New Hampshire Democratic Party.  The lawsuit stemmed from the closure of the House Gallery after union workers disrupted the House session in March.  In his ruling, Judge Robert McNamara described the lawsuit as “moot” and “an exercise in futility.”

House Speaker William O’Brien

“It’s a shame that state taxpayer funds were wasted in what the Court described as ‘an exercise in futility.’  Former Senators Hassan and Lasky, and the New Hampshire Democratic Party, brought a frivolous lawsuit that clearly had so little merit that it could not survive its first day in court.  We are appreciative that the Court chose to uphold the constitutional right of the legislature to set our own rules, but disappointed that the grandstanding by Senator Hassan has led to the use of courtroom time that could have been better spent keeping our streets safe.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“After four years of frivolously wasting taxpayer money while  helping to raise more than 100 taxes and fees as the Senate Democratic Leader, Maggie Hassan continues to squander state resources by bringing forth trivial lawsuits to clog up our court system.  Clearly, she still  hasn’t figured out why she is a “former” Senator.  Given the fact that the Democrat Party spokesman this week said that plaintiffs should pay the court for bringing frivolous litigation, we certainly hope that the NHDP and Senator Hassan will immediately send a check to the state treasury to cover the expenses for their escapades.”

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Bettencourt statement on Lynch decision not to seek re-election

Posted by on Sep 15, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt made the following statement upon hearing the news this morning that Governor John Lynch would not be seeking re-election:

“While Governor Lynch and I have differed on many issues throughout his tenure, those of us involved in public service fully understand the tremendous sacrifice that public office entails and I appreciate his years of service and deep dedication to the State of New Hampshire. His family must also be sincerely thanked for the sacrifices that they have had to make over the past few years.   Gov. Lynch should also  be commended for his commitment to a constitutional amendment to fix education funding in New Hampshire, for his strong, willing hand to help those in need during our unfortunate natural disasters, and his staunch opposition to a sales or income tax.  Putting politics aside, John Lynch has always tried to do what he felt was in the best interest of the people of New Hampshire.”

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House Speaker Responds to News that Governor Lynch Won’t Seek Re-Election

Posted by on Sep 15, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien today offered the following comments in response to news that Governor John Lynch will not seek a fifth term.

“I want to thank Governor Lynch for his service and look forward with the hope of working with him on important issues, like passing an education funding constitutional amendment and ensuring that the current budget remains in balance.  The Governor has shown a commitment to New Hampshire by stepping up to serve in what is a difficult job for eight years, and has excelled in offering tremendous calm in times of natural disaster, which has been very reassuring for the state.”

“With the Governor leaving, we must now look to find candidates in 2012 who are committed to economic growth through lifting the burden of taxes and regulation on employers and creating jobs, protecting our personal liberties and passing a constitutional amendment to make it harder to raise taxes, hike fees and borrow from our future to spend more.  I am confident that a number of strong candidates will emerge and we will have a vigorous discussion of the issues next year.”

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House Leaders Blast Decision by Federal Government, Lynch Administration to Give Funds to Planned Parenthood

Posted by on Sep 14, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today offered the following statement in response to the federal government and Lynch administration’s decision to bypass the Executive Council and award funds to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“It’s certainly very disappointing that the federal government would step on states’ rights and usurp the authority of the Executive Council by commandeering these family planning funds and handing them to one provider in a sole source, no bid contract.  It’s clear that New Hampshire policies and traditions mean nothing to an Obama Administration that is fixated on delivering a liberal agenda and providing handouts to special interests that support the President.”

“Furthermore, it’s also unacceptable that the Lynch Administration failed to find other vendors to provide family planning services once the Council made abundantly clear that Planned Parenthood was not an appropriate place for the state to spend taxpayer money.  The idea that the state could not find another group to do the work is a slap in the face of the Executive Council and speaks very poorly about the state’s contracting policies.  If Planned Parenthood had gone out of business, how would the Lynch Administration have provided these services?”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“Once again, the governor, who claims that he also represents Republicans and Independents,  has proved that he is beholden to liberal special interests.  All along, we have known that Barack Obama is the most liberal President in history, but Governor Lynch has now sent a clear message that he is no moderate and is just as concerned with protecting a left-wing agenda.  His Administration’s effort to avoid finding an appropriate replacement for Planned Parenthood shows that he is just as beholden to liberal groups as is President Obama.”

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House Majority Leader Strengthens Leadership Team

Posted by on Sep 14, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

Republicans Re-double Their Focus on Jobs and the Economy

Concord–House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt today announced moves aimed at strengthening his leadership team as the legislature heads toward the opening of the 2012 session.  “The people of New Hampshire were exceptionally clear during the last election; people need jobs, employers need breathing room and government must be smaller, more efficient and one that actually works for the people.  The additions to my leadership team illustrates my commitment to furthering this effort.” said Bettencourt.

Representative Laurie Sanborn of Henniker, who currently sits on the House Ways and Means Committee,  will join the leadership team as the Assistant Deputy Majority Leader. “In 2011, Representative Sanborn proved her leadership skills through her creation of the job-and-business focused House Business Coalition.  Through her efforts, more than 100 representatives united to become the largest and most powerful voice for small business and job creation issues in the legislature,” added Bettencourt.  Along with her husband, State Senator Andy Sanborn, the pair were both recently selected as two of the top 20 emerging leaders of the Republican Party at the 2011 National GOPAC conference in Washington, DC.

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House Republican Leaders Respond to Lawsuit Against Democratic Party for Campaign Finance Violations

Posted by on Sep 12, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) and House Election Law Chairman David Bates (R-Windham) today responded to the news that Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) has filed a lawsuit against the New Hampshire Democratic Party for violating state campaign finance laws.  Last month, the NHDP paid a $5,000 fine to the Department of Justice for breaking a state law against “robo-calls,” deceptive automated calls that did not fully identify the source.  Rep. Bates filed the complaint with the Department of Justice against the NHDP for the illegal calls.

Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“For the Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, of all people, to say that this was an accident or oversight is just not believable.  Ray Buckley was an active participant in writing the very law that he disregarded.  His deceptive and dishonest message was not only the politics of personal destruction, it broke the law, and he and his party must be held accountable.  What has become crystal clear is that,  even in last year’s primary, the Democratic Party hierarchy knew just how much a threat Speaker O’Brien would be to their reckless agenda to bring income and sales taxes to New Hampshire.  The last thing they wanted was the type of fiscal sanity that the House Republicans have restored to Concord.”

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House Speakers from Early Presidential States Join to Support Current Nomination Calendar

Posted by on Sep 9, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

For Immediate Release:

September 9, 2011                                                         

House Speakers from Early Presidential States Join to Support Current Nomination Calendar

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Meeting at the National Speakers Conference, House Speakers from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina have joined forces to support the current presidential nomination calendar and the traditional positions of the early states.  Florida and Michigan are currently considering moving their primaries forward ahead of the dates suggested by the Republican and Democratic National Committees.

New Hampshire House Speaker William O’Brien

“New Hampshire remains 100% committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with Iowa and South Carolina to ensure that the traditional primary process is preserved and strengthened.  The Granite State has shown time and again that we have the right people to decide who should lead the nation.  Other states have tried to leapfrog the current calendar and move ahead of us, but none have shown that they have what it takes to do a thorough job of vetting presidential candidates like we do in local, retail setting.”

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House Leaders Respond to Senate Vote Against Repealing Cap and Trade Program

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) offered the following statements after the State Senate failed to override Governor Lynch’s veto (15-9) on Senate Bill 154, which would remove New Hampshire from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap and trade program that encompasses 10 Northeast states.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“We’re obviously disappointed that New Hampshire ratepayers will continue to be stuck with higher electricity costs as a result of keeping this failed cap and trade program around.  At a time when we should be doing everything possible to make New Hampshire more competitive in order to create more good jobs here, getting out of this cap and trade scheme that increases costs on employers and our citizens should be a slam dunk.  We will be back next year to get rid of this job-killing income redistribution ploy once and for all.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“The evidence is mounting that RGGI is now a colossal failure for reducing carbon emissions and has been only a success in one area – creating a slush fund for green pork.  As someone who voted for the initial bill to create this program, I can now say that it was a huge mistake for New Hampshire to join this cap-and-tax scheme.  It’s a shame that Governor Lynch was more interested in protecting special interests than offering rate relief to our hard-working citizens, but House Republicans will make defeating cap-and-tax a top priority next session.”

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House Leaders Respond to Senate Vote Against Voter ID

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) offered the following statements after the State Senate failed to override Governor Lynch’s veto (17-7) on Senate Bill 129, which would require that a voter present a valid photo identification to vote.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“This session the House passed this provision overwhelmingly because we believe that New Hampshire’s lax voter registration and balloting laws need to be improved. The Supreme Court has consistently held that requiring a photo ID is not a barrier to our constitutional right to vote.  SB 129 even goes a step further to safeguard that right by making voter IDs available to those who don’t have one through provisional ballots, which are effectively in use in 44 other states.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“This is a good bill that would ensure clean elections and it’s very disappointing that Governor Lynch has chosen against making sure that our elections are as pure as possible,  and free of corruption. We need to protect the integrity of the ballot box and the principle of ‘one man, one vote.’  We will surely be revisiting this issue next year as a legislative priority.”

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House Leaders Respond to Senate Override Vote on SB 88

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today offered the following statements after the State Senate voted (17-7) to override Governor Lynch’s veto on Senate Bill 88, which would ensure lawful gun owners in New Hampshire have an asserted right defend themselves when threatened.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“We are one step closer to becoming the 32nd state to have a Castle Doctrine or ‘Stand your Ground’ law. We applaud the Senate for overturning the Governor’s veto and standing with the people of New Hampshire and will work in the House to do the same. This is a common sense measure that ensures Granite Staters right to protect themselves.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“Taking away the right of armed self-defense from law abiding citizens does nothing to reduce crime. SB 88 was passed by both chambers of New Hampshire’s legislature to confirm the existence of an unalienable right and House Republicans will work to join the Senate in overturning the Governor’s assault on that right.”

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Bettencourt statement on SB88 press conference

Posted by on Sep 6, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

The following statement was issued today by House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt following a press conference held by a number of Second Amendment organizations supporting an override of Governor L ynch’s veto of Senate Bill 88.

“It is important that we get the correct message out to our citizens that SB88 will not result in the mass mayhem that the governor has warned, but rather makes three very important changes to our gun laws, including two changes that came in direct response to problems encountered by law-abiding gun owners.  I applaud these Second Amendment groups for coming forward today and working together in support of overriding the governor’s veto of this important legislation.

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House Republican Leaders Respond to Release of August State Revenue

Posted by on Sep 2, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today offered statements in response to the release of the state’s revenue receipts for the month of August.  Figures released by the Department of Administrative Services show that, for the month, the state took in $9.6 million in more than plan, led by business taxes, which were 34% higher than plan.  For the year, the state is now $5.1 million ahead of revenue estimates.  The report also showed that tobacco sales reversed a 5-year trend of falling and have started to increase, after the state passed a tobacco tax reduction in the recent budget.  For the month, tobacco revenues were $1.8 million higher than the state plan.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“While it’s good news that August revenue figures are ahead of the budget plan, we are coming off July figures that fell short.  This validates the legislature’s decision to use responsible revenue estimates well below those proposed by the Governor and House Democrats.  With a national economy that the struggling, as evidenced by today’s national unemployment figures that show that no new jobs were created last month, we need to take a cautious view of the months to come.  We expect that there will continue to be good months and bad months coming.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“Last month, the Democrats screamed that our efforts to make New Hampshire’s cross boarder sales advantage even more competitive by lowering the tobacco tax would lead to the crashing of our tobacco revenue.  I hope they take a moment today to wipe the egg off their faces and realize that our state always benefits by having lower prices and by seizing on opportunities to further capitalize on the willingness of our high tax neighbors to give their citizens an incentive to shop in New Hampshire. While they are openly disdainful of the idea of the New Hampshire Advantage, because they want to turn the Granite State into ‘Massachusetts-North,’ thankfully Republicans know that having lower taxes gives us a huge advantage over our neighbors, and we are now seeing some results of that hard work.”

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SB 88 Sponsor Reacts to Governor’s Attack on Second Amendment

Posted by on Sep 2, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

Rep. Al Baldasaro today released the following in reaction to the Governor’s statement attacking SB 88, which ensures the right for New Hampshire citizens to defend themselves. Baldasaro is a sponsor of the legislation.

Rep. Al Baldasaro, Chairman State and Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs:

“Gov. Lynch has placed special interests ahead of protecting ourselves and our families. People should have their constitutional right to protect themselves. New Hampshire citizens should not have to run and hide when their lives are being threatened.”

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Deputy Speaker Pam Tucker and Senator Ray White Join to Call on Attorney General to Move forward on Receivership for LGC

Posted by on Sep 2, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

Taxpayer-funded group admits illegal corporate structure

CONCORD – House Deputy Speaker Pam Tucker and Senator Ray White today joined to call on Attorney General Michael Delaney to move to bring the Local Government Center (LGC) into court-appointed receivership after the taxpayer-funded group admitted that it illegally incorporated itself as Delaware non-profit limited liability companies in 2003.  A report released last month by the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Securities Regulation outlined a number of irregularities and violations of law by the LGC, which handles public employee and retiree health benefits, liability insurance and other services for local communities.  Tucker is the prime sponsor of legislation to review the LGC in the wake of the highly critical state report.

House Deputy Speaker Pam Tucker:

“The admission that LGC was illegally incorporated is one more example why this troubled entity may need more state involvement.  The LGC was created by state law and the legislature through the years should have done a better job of overseeing pooled risk management groups like this.  While we work to do our oversight responsibility and get to the bottom of what’s going on with this group which takes in a tremendous amount of local property tax dollars, the Attorney General should begin the process of moving to put LGC into receivership to ensure that taxpayer funds are protected.”

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House Democratic Leader Signs on to Streamlined Sales Tax Proposal

Posted by on Aug 31, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

State House Republican Leadership Blasts Former Speaker Norelli for the Anti-Business Move

Concord–Former Speaker of the New Hampshire House Terie Norelli  is the president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) but she is wasting no time in attempting to further  increase government taxes regulations on New Hampshire employers, much the same way she did while serving as Speaker of the New Hampshire House between 2006 and 1010.

In a letter to the leadership of both the U.S. House and Senate, co-signed by Wyoming House member Rosie Berger and Kansas Senate President Stephen Morris, the Portsmouth Democrat suggested a number of recommendations for consideration for deficit reduction.  Among the proposed moves would be to enact the Main Street Fairness Act, or a streamlined sales tax, which would authorize the collection of state and local sales and use taxes from remote sellers.   If passed, the Act would increase taxes on goods purchased across state lines.

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Mont Vernon Representative Calls for Buckley Resignation

Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

The following statement was issued this afternoon by Representative Frank Holden (Hillsborough, District 4) who represents the towns of Mont Vernon, Lyndeborough, New Boston, Temple and Wilton.  It was issued in response to news that the New Hampshire Democratic Party had agreed to pay a $5,000 penalty to the state’s Department of Justice for illegal calls made for the Democratic Party by its Chairman, Ray Buckley, against O’Brien the day before last September’s primary election.  The agreement for the penalty was signed by Democratic National Committee woman, and former Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan.

“I am absolutely appalled that the Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party would engage in such disgusting and illegal behavior to mislead voters in my district. Governor Lynch should immediately condemn the behavior of his party’s chairman, call for his resignation and direct the attorney general to investigate all campaign calls make by the New Hampshire Democratic Party during the 2010 election. Failure to do so undermines the public’s faith in our state’s election laws and would show his support for illegal campaign activities while going against his own Attorney General.”

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House Republican Leaders Respond to Democrats Agreeing to Pay $5,000 Penalty for Illegal Campaign Calls Against House Speaker

Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) today offered the following statements in response to the news that the New Hampshire Democratic Party had agreed to pay a $5,000 penalty to the state’s Department of Justice for illegal calls made for the Democratic Party by its Chairman, Ray Buckley, against  Speaker O’Brien the day before last September’s primary election.  The agreement for the penalty was signed by Democratic National Committee woman, and former Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“While it certainly is both odd and hypocritical that the same people who complain so vigorously against illegal campaign calls would engage in that very same behavior, I do appreciate the work of the Attorney General Delaney and his staff to bring this matter to justice.  This fine closes the public investigation phase of this matter, and now I will consult with my attorneys to consider what civil recourse exists to determine just how these illegal calls came to happen and exactly who was responsible for inflicting them on my constituents.  I am committed to getting to the bottom of this and look forward to unearthing the truth behind this flagrant violation of the law.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“The New Hampshire Democrats have been unmistakably exposed as having had a vendetta against Bill O’Brien even before he became speaker.  Clearly, they realized as early as last summer just how much of a threat he would be to their big government, tax-and-spend agenda.  However, they continued their smear campaign and the politics of hate-filled personal destruction by having their chairman admit that they were attacking the speaker’s family in order to savage his reputation.  It’s no surprise that they were so blinded by hatred that they would break the law to continue their crusade against the person who is most responsible for bringing the state back from the brink of the sales and income taxes that the Democrats so desperately want.  Ray Buckley and his political attack dog Kathy Sullivan certainly owe Speaker O’Brien an apology. I also believe it is appropriate that Mr. Buckley resign from his post immediately because of  this admitted violation of state law. This also raises serious questions as to whether there should there be a further investigation into other illegal calls that may have been made against Republicans throughout the state during the last campaign.”

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Law Commemorating 9/11 to Take Effect in 2011

Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 in News & Updates, Press Releases | 0 comments

Hudson Representatives Guided the Legislation Through the New Hampshire House

Hudson–This September 11 will mark the tenth anniversary of terrorist attacks against the United States that took the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans and forever changed the way we travel.  Thanks to a group of legislators from the Town of  Hudson, the date will forever be remembered here in the State of New Hampshire.  During the last session, Hudson Representative Andy Renzullo, along with co-sponsors Jordan Ulery and  Robert Haefner, sponsored legislation that will  permanently commemorate the date in history.

“During a conversation with then-Selectman Ken Massey during a previous 9/11 ceremony, I learned that Hudson was the only town in New Hampshire remembering September 11th and the people who gave their lives on that day,” recalled  Renzullo.  “I did some research and discovered that New Hampshire had nothing in statute to commemorate September 11.  That’s when I filed the legislation.”

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House Republicans React to Governor’s Gun Confiscation Tour

Posted by on Aug 23, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

CONCORD – House Speaker Pro Tempore Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett), Deputy House Speaker Pamela Tucker (R-Greenland) and Rep. Jennifer Coffey (R-Andover) today released the following reaction to the Governor’s tour across the state lobbying against a self defense bill (SB 88).

House Speaker Pro Tempore Gene Chandler (R-Bartlett)

“I am of the strong belief that law abiding New Hampshire citizens should have a right to defend themselves anywhere they are legally allowed to be. The Governor’s lobbying tour against crime is especially disingenuous since he championed SB 500 last year, which allowed the release of hundreds of convicted sex offenders and violent criminals onto the streets of New Hampshire. I am a strong admirer of the law enforcement community in this state but I do believe some of them are on the wrong side of this issue. No one should have to make the choice between defense and trying to escape from harm’s way.”

Deputy House Speaker Pamela Tucker (R-Greenland):

“While deadly force should never be used lightly, I do believe New Hampshire citizens have the right to defend themselves when they are threatened.”

Rep. Jennifer Coffey (R-Andover):

“The citizens of New Hampshire deserve the same rights that the Governor, Manchester Police Chief David Mara, and Hampton Police Chief James Sullivan are afforded. Both the police chiefs travel with loaded guns and the Governor with a personal bodyguard. Common sense indicates they would use those tools to protect themselves in the event their lives were threatened. Self-defense is an unalienable right for all people not just high elected officials and law enforcement—Granite Staters’ lives are equally as valuable and precious as the Governor’s. Self a defense is a basic human right.”

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House Majority Whip Responds to Democrats’ Protest of Mileage Cuts

Posted by on Aug 22, 2011 in Press Releases | 0 comments

House Majority Whip Peter Silva (r-Nashua) today called upon House Democrats to, “Stand with Republican lawmakers who are willing to share the pain with the taxpayers of New Hampshire,” by  agreeing to cut  back on mileage reimbursements during the month of August.

“It is ironic that the self styled ‘party of the people’ is not willing to stand with the people  when  it comes to feeling the pain of budget cuts,” said Silva.   ” I also find it a bit hypocritical when you consider  the fact that these very same Democrats, under the leadership of Terie Norelli,  passed more than 100 taxes and fees on to the citizens of this state, while increasing spending by 25 percent,   but  are unwilling to take a cut in their  own  mileage payments .    While  Democrats  seem oblivious to the fact that their constituents are feeling the pain of budget cuts everyday, all  they can worry about is getting  their precious  mileage checks.   I also find it ironic that many of these same Democrats who are  ‘ outraged ‘ today,  remained silent in 2010 when Speaker Norelli cut in-state travel back by 35 percent during  August.  Where was their  outrage then? It is time for the Democrats to quit whining about their mileage payments and realize that we all need to stand with the people in sharing the pain.”

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