Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard has clarified remarks made to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday night regarding potential refugees coming to the city. We reported yesterday that we caught a tweet from Willard on the topic. After the broadcast, we were able to locate his statement, speak with him and view video of his comments at the meeting. While Willard did not say that the number of refugees the F B I told him were coming to the state were Syrian, he did not, given the context of the discussion, which was entirely about Syrian refugees, make it known that he was talking about refugee totals in general. When he became aware that his comments were attributed to Syrian refugees, he issued a statement saying his reference was to all refugees potentially destined for the state in the upcoming year.
“The fact that today’s vote garnered enough support to override a veto from President Obama proves how strongly the country feels about this national security issue. It is high time for his administration to finally start listening to the will of the American people.”
That’s what Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire Spokesman Derek Dufresne had to say after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would block Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the country unless they pass strict background checks – setting up a collision with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats.
With nearly fifty Democrats voting for the bill, including Second District Congressman Ann McLane Kuster, and only a handful of Republicans voting against, the legislation passed 2 8 9 – 1 3 7. First District Congressman Frank Guinta also voted for the bill. While the White House has issued a veto threat, Republicans won a veto-proof majority for the measure. Now it’s off to the senate where we’ll see if Jeanne Shaheen takes the same stand on behalf of our security as Kuster and Governor Margaret Wood Hassan, who seems to be waffling under the withering attacks from the left over her stand in favor of screening and security first.
The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of New Hampshire Right to Life versus the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. The pro-Life group had sought the release of internal documents from Planned Parenthood after the department decided, in 2011, to make grants on a sole-source basis to Planned Parenthood for a period of sixteen months after the New Hampshire Executive Council, concerned that taxpayer funds were being used to subsidize abortion, refused to approve their contracts. The department required Planned Parenthood to submit internal files on its policies and procedures to ensure it wasn’t violating federal statutes preventing the use of taxpayer dollars to terminate life in the womb. Planned Parenthood reportedly provided the documents.
Later that year, N H R T L asked the department, under the federal Freedom of Information Act, to disclose the papers that had been filed, as well as internal documents describing its plan to go ahead with the grants. When they refused, the group sued. H H S turned over about twenty five hundred pages but withheld some of the Planned Parenthood filings, claiming they were exempt under the law. A federal district court judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld their refusal.
In an unusual five page dissent, justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia dissented, stating
“The First Circuit’s decision warrants review. It perpetuates an unsupported interpretation of an important federal statute and further muddies and already amorphous test.”
Responding to the decision, N H Right to Life President Jane Cormier said quote:
“Despite the fact the NH Executive Council voted down the funding…in 2011, US Health and Human Services chose to fund Planned Parenthood without going through proper state approval or even follow federal regulations requiring competitive bidding. All attempts to obtain full transparency with regard to this federal non-competitive grant have been rejected. NHRTL believed it was time the taxpayers of NH receive all the facts regarding the spending of their tax dollars.”
Who could possibly want that?
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The state Board of Education unanimously accepted the conclusions of the Sandown Withdrawal Feasibility Study Committee which said that it would not be feasible for the town to leave the Timberlane Regional School District. Members of the Timberlane Regional School Board discovered the news when the district, instead of informing them directly, posted a news release on its Facebook page. Ain’t that special?
The Goffstown and Hooksett school districts have announced an agreement to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow Hooksett high schoolers to go to Goffstown High School. Hooksett School Board member John Lyscars told Girard at Large he expects an agreement will be in place by this spring.
The Manchester School District has released the state’s accounting of its adequacy aid grant which explains why the district received about one point one million dollars more in state aid than expected. Of note is what the state says is the number of students in Manchester. At about thirteen thousand three hundred, it’s a far cry from the fifteen thousand plus the district has recently claimed. Girard at Large has also obtained a class by class breakdown of students that shows about fourteen thousand four hundred kids. We have no explanation yet for the wide discrepancy in the numbers. You can bet there’s a discussion coming on this.
Turns out Goffstown State Representative John Burt isn’t running for President after all. We reported he’d filed his candidacy yesterday, but it was a hoax! Yes, he did go in to the Secretary of State’s office and announce he was filing and yes the media on hand for other presidential candidate filings bit and started to roll their cameras. In the end, Burt was just having fun.
When contacted about coming on the air for an interview, Burt told Girard a Large that maybe he should have put a disclaimer under all those photos he posted on Facebook with the announcement that he’d filed. Yeah, probably. Anyway, we were looking forward to a “Freer America” with John Burt as President and will still have him on the show s a guest. He’s pledged to run for real in twenty twenty. We shall see…
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!