Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Demers to host annual St. Paddy's Day roast

Powerful New Hampshire lobbyist Jim Demers shows ever year that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

This year Demers will once again be hosting annual “New Hampshire Capital St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast & Roast.” Proceeds from the event go towards the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth.

This year special guest roasters include Governor John Lynch, Senate President Sylvia Larsen,
Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon, House Speaker Teri Norelli and House Minority Leader Sherm Packard.

State Rep. James Garrity will sing some Irish songs and their will be a performance by the Professional Fire Fighters Bagpipe Band

Hodes and Gregg on federal budget

U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg and U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes has released statements about President Obama's budget. Below are the key parts from their statements.

U.S. Sen. Gregg remarks at yesterday’s Senate Budget Committee hearing on the President Obama’s FY10 Budget Proposal:

“The budget on balance spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much, it’s that simple.”

“I do not argue with the fact that we are in a severe economic downturn…the government has had to step up with a massive injection, an historic injection, of liquidity to try to move the markets and move the economy forward, and that has cost money in the short-run and we accept that. The problem is that that effort to try to stabilize the economy has been used as a straw dog for the purposes of expanding the size of government in the out-years exponentially, moving the government to the left in a way that has never been projected or seen before, should it be successful.”

“The budget proposes about $1.4 trillion in new taxes over the next ten years, about $725 billion in new discretionary spending and $1.2 trillion in new mandatory spending and virtually no savings.”

Here is what U.S. Paul Hodes said before the House Budget Committee:

We have inherited a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit from the previous administration and have been forced to attempt the largest recovery effort since the Great Depression. Combined with the financial rescue package and other federal spending, the budget deficit will unavoidably reach a record high this year. This is a painful necessity which must be diligently addressed. In this historic economic crisis, we cannot afford government waste and spending on programs that won’t help us reach our national goals. As a result, we must be vigilant in promoting job creation, and rebuilding our economy by investing in infrastructure, education, a 21st century energy plan and health care reform. We must make a long term commitment to debt reduction and responsible long term spending. While decisive action has been and will be necessary, we must ensure that we are not saddling our children and grandchildren with unnecessary debt. After eight years of borrow and spend policies, we must not spend billions on wasteful government programs that will not create jobs and rebuild our economy.

I remain concerned that the President has proposed additional funding for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for banks and institutions without additional oversight and transparency. TARP has lacked sufficient oversight and accountability from its outset, and in recent weeks we have seen new examples of abuse within the program. Due to lack of sufficient funding and lack of zeal by the Securities and Exchange Commission, they have not adequately enforced regulations and cracked down on Wall Street corruption. The Madoff ponzi scheme stands out as a flagrant example of failure of action by federal regulators.

Town meeting day round-up

Zandra Rice Hawkins, from Granite State Progress, has a great round-up of stories from town meeting day.

Here is her story: Town Meeting Round-Up

Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition released this statement about their success with spending cap warrants.

NHAC statement:

The call for controlled spending and efficient government from taxpayers across New Hampshire is getting louder and louder each election cycle. This year’s town meeting has proved to be no different. Tuesday’s resounding win in five of the six towns that spending cap warrant articles were on the ballot prove that taxpayers are tired of government continually reaching into their pockets and they are looking for relief. Spending cap warrants appeared on the ballot in the towns of Kingston, Hampstead, Allenstown, Salem, Hudson and Rindge. With only the Hudson warrant articles not passing.

“Taxpayers across this state are sending a clear message that an efficient government that spends their money wisely is the only path to lower taxes. We are facing very challenging times here in New Hampshire. The economy is down, property taxes are up, we have a record budget deficit on the state level and the federal government is spending at an unprecedented pace. Taxpayers are trying to control what they are closest to and that is their local government.” said Michael Biundo Chairman NHAC.

'Granny D' celebrates 99th birthday

Press Release from Coalition for Open Democracy:

Doris "Granny D" Haddock Celebrates 99th Birthday at State House Today

Concord, NH – Doris "Granny D" Haddock was honored at a belated 99th birthday celebration today in the Executive Council Chamber of the New Hampshire State House. She was born in Laconia, New Hampshire on January 24, 1910.

Former Governor Walter Peterson emceed the event, which included remarks from Governor John Lynch, Senate President Sylvia Larsen, Executive Councilor Debora Pignatelli, Senators Martha Fuller Clark, Molly Kelly, Bette Lasky, House Election Law Committee Chair Jane Clemons, and other elected state officials and members of the public, who read commendations from Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn, U.S. Senators John McCain, Russ Feingold, Arlen Specter, Tom Harken, and Jeanne Shaheen, as well as Representatives Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes, among others.

To a packed room of school children, senators and state representatives and members of the public, Granny D said, "The time for publicly funded elections has come, and people across the country are looking to New Hampshire to help lead the way." She cited a recent national poll by Lake Research Partners that showed 79% of voters think large contributions keep Congress from tackling pressing issues, and 67% support limited public funding for congressional candidates who agree to take no large contributions.

The celebration was sponsored by Coalition for Open Democracy (COD), a nonpartisan coalition of state organizations and individuals dedicated to ensuring integrity, transparency and efficiency in political and legislative processes in New Hampshire and the nation.