Enemies of the People
The 2008 elections, at both the state and national levels, will be the defining moment for the future of New Hampshire and the United States of America. It's become abundantly clear over the last few months what that future would like under a Hillary Clinton presidency:
- massive expansion of the federal government's control over our personal lifestyle choices
- increased regulations on industries, which will serve only to hinder our nation's productivity
- socialized medicine, leading to rationed, lesser-quality healthcare
- higher tax burden for all working Americans
- more taxpayer-funded entitlement programs
- blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants and their extended families
- sweeping gun control legislation which will serve only to disarm the law-abiding citizenry
But, what will become of New Hampshire? What future can we expect for our little corner of the world, should the Democrats retain their majorities in the state legislature and hold on to the governor's office? Will we remain the "Live Free or Die" state?
Fortunately, to answer that question requires neither a crystal ball, nor advanced prognosticative abilities. One merely has to look back at the events of the last 12 months to see what the proud, "progressive" members of the new majority in Concord have been up to. I'm putting this list together to help paint a more complete picture of the Democrats' real agenda and to show the people of New Hampshire what kind of future these nanny-state politicians envision for the Granite State.
As I was going through my archived posts to find all these links, I ran across a few stories I had completely forgotten about. That made it even more clear how important it is to get this information all together in one place and to get it out to the people of New Hampshire, so that they can make an informed choice the next time they step into the voting booth.
The fact that I had forgotten about some of these recent legislative efforts by the Granny-Staters (Granite State nanny-staters) really woke me up. I live for this stuff. If these stories dropped off of MY radar screen, there's a better than average chance they never made it onto the radar screens of the average voter in New Hampshire.
Let's review, shall we?
We'll begin in November of 2006 (quoted text from the Union Leader), with the vice chairman of the Democrat Party, Ray Buckley.
When it became clear that Democrats had won the state Senate, the first thing out of party vice-chairman Ray Buckley's mouth was the proclamation that Democrats would regulate businesses by banning smoking in restaurants and bars, raising the minimum wage and trying to force down health care costs. He did not even mention education funding.
They couldn't even wait for the newly-elected legislators to be sworn in before beginning their assault of our personal and economic freedom. And, believe me, they were just getting warmed up.
Do read on.
Mr. Buckley was immediately followed by Representative-elect James "Chafing at the Bit" Kennedy of Exeter and his proposal for a state income tax. I'm guessing he had to write up several drafts of that one until he was able to produce a saliva-free rendition without too much smudged ink on it.
Come January, once the newly-elected legislators were sworn in and the Democrat majority in Concord was officially in place, they wasted no time pushing their big government, nanny state agenda. As you'll see, the first few months of 2007 proved to be a very busy period for these busybody pols.
First up, we had State Senator David Gottesman of Nashua, who kicked off his New Year's celebrations by sponsoring the bill (that was eventually signed into law) that stripped private property owners of their right to choose which legal, though politically-incorrect, activities would be allowed to take place on their property.
Lawmakers backed by the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society said yesterday they will push for passage of a smoking ban in restaurants and bars.
The ban will cover establishments open to the public, but not private clubs such as the American Legion, said the bill's prime sponsor, Sen. David Gottesman, D-Nashua.
Later that same month, State Representative Laura Pantelakos filed a proposal to criminalize the use of cell phones while driving. Her rationale? Apparently, people who drive and talk on the phone at the same are making it harder for her to endanger the lives of their children by flying down the highway going 20+ mph over the posted speed limit.
As February rolled around, and most folks were trying to find the perfect sweet treat for their valentines, State Representatives Paul McEachern and Jim Splaine were busy trying to push legislation through the senate that would have made it illegal to sell any of those cakes and confections made with evil trans fats. You know, because who better to decide what you put into your body than a bunch of meddling liberals?
Now, they say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. This year, in New Hampshire, March came in like a stampede of crazed, power-hungry donkeys on dope and went out like a, well, a stampede of crazed power-hungry donkeys on dope. Stay with me here, there's quite a bit of ground to cover.
Meet State Representative Catherine Mulholland of Grafton.
While her aforementioned colleagues, McEachern and Splaine, were busy trying to outlaw the sale of any food item made with trans fats, this courageous public servant was working diligently to come up with a "solution" for dealing with the candy and chocolate goods not covered by the trans fats ban.
What did she come up with? A candy tax, of course! Come on, like you really had to ask.
Now suck on this Gobstopper (via WMUR.com):
As a candy maker and retailer, [Dave Quinn, an employee at Can Otis Chocolates in Manchester] would have to get multiple "candy licenses," which would cost his store about $450, and his store would be required to buy 'tax stamps' to be put on all candy, a cost that would be passed along.
You might want to give that one another reading or two, just to make sure it says what you thought it says. I know I had to.
I'll tell you, if I had a nickel for every time I've said "I wish I was making this stuff up", when commenting on this abject lunacy, I'd actually have enough cash on hand to afford to live in their Utopian fantasyland, where the very air we breathe would likely be subject to some kind of user fee.
Though, I'm not sure I'd have accumulated enough nickels to be able to afford a pistol license, if people like State Senator Peter Burling were to get their way.
Yes, March also saw the all-too predictable opening salvo against New Hampshire's "lax" gun laws. You know, the ones that allow all law-abiding American citizens residing in the state to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to bear arms in the defense of their homes, families, and communities, irrespective of their income level or their level of coziness with the state's political power structure.
That piece of legislative poison (Senate Bill 44) would have undoubtedly proven itself to be to "foot in the door" that the area's anti-gun rights groups have been clammoring for in their attempts to bring Massachusetts-style gun control to the rest of the country. Seems that Burling and his supporters agree with Boston Mayor Tom Menino that equal rights for poor people living in poor communities is simply a tired, outdated concept that has no place in their "perfect world" scenario.
There's more. It's still only mid-March.
We haven't even made it to the vernal equinox yet.
You're all likely aware of how the Democrats in Washington have been trying to expand the SCHIP program to provide taxpayer-funded healthcare benefits to all those "poor" families living in 4-bedroom homes, driving multiple vehicles, and pulling down over 80-grand a year.
But, did you know that the Democrats here in New Hampshire were way ahead of the curve, as far as the left's insatiable appetite for unfettered expansion of taxpayer-funded handouts is concerned?
Meet State Representative Martha McLeod from Franconia (quoted text from the Union Leader).
How many 25-year-old college graduates would you say really need to go on the dole? If you answered, "all of them," you might be a Democrat in the Legislature.
House Bill 790, sponsored by Rep. Martha McLeod, would expand the New Hampshire Healthy Kids program, which is sort of a Medicaid for minors, to cover "young adults who are less than 26 years of age."
And by the way, the bill would cover non-New Hampshire residents enrolled in colleges and universities in New Hampshire. So the New Hampshire Healthy Kids program would give subsidized health insurance to some Dartmouth and UNH students from Massachusetts and Connecticut.
But, hey, let's cut the lady some slack. As I've said before, it's not like it's HER money she's throwing out the window.
Fast forward now to the month of May.
Ahhh, spring! When a young man's thoughts turn to beer, women, and baseball. And the liberal New Hampshire Democrats' thoughts turned to looking around to see if there are any freedoms still being enjoyed by adults in this state that they haven't been successful in eliminating yet.
Of course, they managed to find one.
Even more predictable than the previously mentioned assault on the rights of New Hampshire gun owners, was this attempt to pass a mandatory seat belt law. And, just as it was a couple months prior when we were fighting to preserve our second amendment rights against this stench of statism, we find State Senator Peter Burling's name all over this latest affront to our freedoms.
Rule #1: If a politician (especially a politician with Peter Burling's pedigree) uses the phrase "common sense", while arguing in favor of the expansion of the powers of the government, bad things are going to happen to you if he gets his way.
OK, I know I said this was going to be a "year in review" kind of post, and we're barely six months into it. But, my fingers are getting tired, so I'm gonna wrap it up here. I believe I've made my point.
I won't even bother going into any detail about this year's massive 17% increase in the state's operating budget, and what the Democrats are doing to pay for (some of) it. That's more than enough material for a separate post altogether.
It's not pretty. Trust me.
It goes without saying that I'd like to go out and buy myself a new 57" LCD TV, but I'd be hard pressed to justify breaking into my neighbors' homes to find the money to pay the Visa bill when it comes due. If only our benevolent legislators in Concord shared that sentiment.
So, anyway, if you're a New Hampshire resident, and you feel it is in your best interest (and mine) to keep voting for these nanny state Democrats, please share with me and my readers your rationale for doing so. I'm trying to see what the attraction is, but I keep coming up empty.