New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner has determined Derry Town Moderator Mary Till violated state election law during the Sept. 13th primary. As a result, the Attorney General’s Office will appoint election monitor to oversee Till, who is on the ballot as a Democratic candidate for state rep., and the ballot counting in November.
Among the actions Gardner said Till took despite the prohibitions in state law were:
- handling marked ballots, which she couldn’t do as a candidate on the ballot
- conducting a hand recount of an AccuVote machine, despite being told by his office she had no authority to do so
- failing to identify a central polling place; how the ballots were delivered; and the handlingof ballots
- delivery of the ballots in a manner that violated state law
Gardner initiated an investigation after receiving complaints from Derry residents, including Republican State Rep. Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien, who narrowly lost her reelection bid in a contested primary.
Governor Margaret Wood Hassan is facing allegations of yet another pay to play scheme in her administration. This time, the charge centers around her now infamous trade trip to Turkey. At the time, Hassan took heat for the trip because it violated her own executive order banning out of state travel by government officials as the state wrestled with a budget crisis. The trip cost fifteen thousand bucks.
In a news release raising the pay to play accusations, Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, a vocal critic of the trip and its failure to produce any economic results for the state, wrote that lobbyist James Demers who went on the junket contributed, along with Robert Blaisdell, a partner in his firm, twelve thousand dollars to Hassan’s campaign coffers in May of two thousand fourteen, just weeks before the June trip to Turkey, which Demers went on, along with members of the Hinkley Allen lobbying firm, whose employees donated nearly seven thousand dollars to Hassan’s reelection effort.
Strong N H spokesman Derek Dufresne said this latest revelation was part of a disturbing pattern of selling access to contributors that goes back years. Said Dufresne, quote:
Under Maggie Hassan, if you want something from the state government, whether it’s a contract, a special favor, or a seat on the plane for a junket to Turkey, the best way to do it is to slip a big check into the Governor’s campaign coffers. The door to the corner office in Concord is blocked by a toll booth, and the price of the toll is high. The people of New Hampshire are left out, but they’re still the ones left with the bill.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green from Sandown had her microphone shut off by Board Chairman Peter Bealo during last night’s meeting of the board and was threatened with a lawsuit by Superintendent Earl Metzler during a meeting recess gaveled by Bealo after trying to read into the record a Right to Know Request she’d filed with the district. Green released what she was not allowed to read on her blog last night. It reads as follows:
Dear Mr. Bealo and Superintendent Metzler:
This is a formal Right to Know request under RSA 91-A for the following information:
1) All records of invoices and payments concerning Achieve3000;
2) All communications from August 2015 to the present, and all accompanying documentation, between any member of the administration, faculty, or staff of TRSD and/or SAU#55 concerning Achieve3000;
3) All TRSD. Hampstead School District and SAU#55 records of invoices and payments made for services rendered, or any other consideration, for Mrs. Beth Metzler from August 2015 to the present along with all accompanying documentation. This is to include payments to third parties who have Mrs. Metzler under contract or employment and is not limited to SERESC or Achieve3000;
4) All records of contracts and supporting documentation between Achieve 3000 and TRSD and/or SAU#55 relating to the purchase of and training for Achieve 3000;
5) All records of any disclosure provided to the TRSD board concerning Mrs. Metzler’s employment with Achieve 3000; and
6) All records of any disclosure provided to the Curriculum and Assessment Committee concerning Mrs. Metzler’s employment with Achieve 3000.
Thank you. I will be inspecting these at your office and expect them to be made available to me within 5 business days from Oct. 17. You are welcome to call me if any part of my request is onerous and you think there could be an more convenient way for you to address my request.
Green filed the request as the district authorized a one hundred sixty seven thousand dollar contract with Achieve 3000, an organization for whom Metzler’s wife works. We’ll have more on this story as it develops. Looks like the Metzlers may have hit, with the help of the school board, Taxpayer Pay Dirt yet again.
For detailed reporting on this controversy, click here.
The Manchester Police Department in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration will host to three locations for tomorrow’s National Drug Take Back Day. Manchester residents can drop off their unwanted prescription medications from ten to two at The Elliot at Rivers Edge Pharmacy on Queen City Avenue, police headquarters on Valley Street and the Army National Guard Armory on Canal Street. Needles, sharps, asthma inhalers, and illicit drugs are not accepted at the drop box.
The Derry Police Department will also participate in tomorrow’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. From ten to two, residents can drop off their unwanted prescriptions at the Derry Police Station.
That’s NEWS from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!