Senate President Peter Bragdon, Republican from Milford, will soon no longer be Senate President. Amidst a firestorm of controversy surrounding being named Executive Director of the Local Government Center, Bragdon decided to step down. The controversy centered in two areas: First, the Local Government Center is a membership organization comprised of New Hampshire cities and towns to which it provides a variety of services and on whose behalf it lobbies the legislature. Second, after losing a series of lawsuits and being forced to refund tens of millions of dollars to the communities it serves, the organization is undergoing a massive restructuring that’s being overseen by various state agencies, all of whom are, of course, subject to the oversight of the legislature. While Bragdon’s move has assuaged some critics, it leaves others unimpressed. Legislative conflicts of interest aren’t uncommon in our state given its small size and large legislature. However, that a sitting senator would lead one of the state’s largest lobbying organizations, which is also subject to a number of regulatory authorities is unprecedented, leaving many with questions and others demanding he resign from the upper chamber altogether. Bragdon was scheduled to join us tomorrow morning for an interview, but he’s withdrawn given his busy schedule with the new job and pledged to appear sometime next week. We’ll keep you up to date.
The identity of the man shot by police in Weare last week has been released. He was, yes I said was, thirty five year old Alex Cora DeJesus of Manchester. He died from a bullet wound to the head. Two Weare police officers opened fire on DeJesus near Lanctot’s Plaza late last Wednesday night in what’s being reported as an undercover heroin deal gone bad. The police officers, whose names have yet to be released, have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the AG’s investigation into their use of deadly force.
The Derry Town Council will meet behind closed doors tomorrow night in a special session called by Council Chairman Michael Fairbanks. The meeting agenda cites the section of the state’s Right to Know Law regarding the disciplining of an employee. Given that Town Administrator John Anderson was charged with indecent exposure on Friday, this one’s not rocket science. Anderson was placed on paid administrative leave a month ago while being investigated by the state police for accusations of lewd behavior.
News from our own backyard continues right after this.
Planned Parenthood just got a big chunk of cash from the feds to start the implementation of Obamacare in the state and Cornerstone Action‘s Executive Director Ashley Pratte is crying foul. In addition to receiving several hundred thousand dollars, Planned Parenthood of New England was designated a “navigator” by the feds. As a result, it will play an integral role in helping folks understand the Obamacare insurance marketplaces. Pratte says these dollars shouldn’t be going to an abortion provider and expressed concern over what advice and guidance they’d be giving folks as a result of the grant.
Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire held protests at the offices of congresswomen Carol Shea Porter and Annie Kuster and Senator Jeanne Shaheen to draw attention to all of the town hall meetings they’ve NOT had during their August recess. The group says the state’s three congressional Democrats are ducking the public to avoid having to answer questions on Obamacare, in particular whether or not they and their staffs will abide by the law they’ve imposed on the rest of us or whether or not they’ll take the deal worked out with the President and exempt themselves from it, not that anybody had the authority to come up with a deal under the law, by the way.
A Hooksett woman was arrested for a third time in the past two weeks last night. Sixty six year old Jeanie Dufresne apparently can’t resist visits from the boys in blue. She dialed 9 1 1 yet again. Upon arrival, she told the responding officer from the Hooksett Police Department that she needed a pen. She was intoxicated and incoherent, just like in the past two arrests. She refused the services of the bail commissioner and was brought to the Merrimack County Jail. She’ll appear in Hooksett District Court this morning via a video link for her arraignment. Someone get this woman some help, please!
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ continues in just 30 seconds!