Looks like Governor Margaret Wood Hassan will violate her own travel ban again. Hassan issued an executive order several weeks ago prohibiting any out of state travel as part of a spending freeze designed to offset the state’s budget woes. Despite the freeze, Hassan announced she and other state officials will take a fifteen thousand dollar junket to Turkey at the end of this month. Rumor is that she’s looking to open up export markets for basters.
Anyway, on Monday, the gubernatorial campaign of G O P candidate Andrew Hemingway released a statement blasting Hassan for planning a trip to Washington, D C for a fund raiser of her own hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, whose niece Alana declared residency at the home of Patricia Kalik in Manchester so she could vote in state during the last election. The problem according to Hemingway is not that she’s going to Washington to raise funds for her reelection bid, though that raises questions of its own, its that she’s dragging along her taxpayer funded State Police security detail. Hemingway said if she’s going to travel to Washington for political purposes, her campaign should foot the bill, not the taxpayer, especially given the travel ban she’s imposed on everybody else. We’ve posted Hemingway’s statement with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.
The historic and decisive defeat of US Hose of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia is being felt locally and giving hope to underdog candidates in the G O P race for the U S Senate. The campaign of former Senator Bob Smith, who will officially file his candidacy tomorrow, issued a statement saying the defeat of the Establishment Republican Leader, who literally had ten times more money than his unknown Tea Party Republican opponent and outspent him about twenty five to one, was an ominous sign for the campaign of former Bay State Senator Scott Brown and the G O P’s central planners. Smith said quote “The loss is a clear indication that when conservatives unite and stick to the principles of the Republican platform, we win. Money doesn’t vote and doesn’t guarantee an election victory.” End quote. We’ve posted Smith’s release, which identified a number of flash point issues between the G O P Establishment and Grass Roots, with this news read at Girard at Large dot com.
Not to be outdone, rival Jim Rubens also took note of Cantor’s eleven point loss, releasing a statement saying quote: “Eric Cantor’s defeat is an air raid siren loud enough to be heard even through the Washington establishment’s tin ear. Voters are fed up to their eye teeth with career politicians busy feathering their own nests and who have forgotten about their constituents. Their river of campaign money will not defeat the candidate who has built the grassroots support.” End quote. Curiously, Brown’s campaign has been silent on the matter.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Brown’s campaign did issues a statement on this matter. Click here for our story correcting the record.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Teachers in Manchester are raising the eyebrows and ire of some parents by donning buttons with their union’s initials on them. Girard at Large received complaints from parents who said they not only saw teachers wearing the red buttons with the union’s initials, M E A, in white, but that they saw teachers handing them to other teachers during school time and asking them to wear them. When contacted by Girard at Large, M E A President Ben Dick acknowledged that the union had asked all its members to wear the buttons. He said the union wanted to remind its members and have its members remind each other that quote “we are in this together and we are a team.” End quote. He said the thing they were in together was the education of Manchester’s kids. When asked why they decided to hand them out at budget time, one parent told Girard at Large they thought the union was doing a quote unquote “victory lap” after dodging budget cuts following their contract rejection, Dick said at budget time, they are reminded it takes teamwork to move things forward, saying “the last two years have been somewhat more challenging than most.” In response to questions regarding the nature of the activity and whether or not it violated the contract’s prohibition on political activity in schools, Dick said the buttons don’t convey a political message, they just say M E A and that if asked by students or teachers why they’re wearing them, they’re simply supposed to say quote “I am a proud member of the Manchester Education Association.” End quote. We are awaiting comment from Superintendent Debra Livingston.
Our congratulations go out to Manchester Alderman and State Rep. Patrick Long, Democrat from Ward 3 this morning. On Sunday, he was presented with the Officer Michael Briggs Community Hero Award given by the Manchester Police Department at the annual New Hampshire Fisher Cats Law Enforcement Appreciation game. Long, a life-long city resident, was recognized for demonstrating outstanding leadership and support for the Manchester community, exhibiting a genuine interest in improving the quality of life in Manchester’s neighborhoods and enhancing the personal safety of both residents and the city’s first responders. We like Long, not only for his community service, but also because he never ducks a question, never dodges and opponent, is willing to discuss and debate his point of view with those who don’t agree and genuinely believes in dialogue that informs people so they can make up their own minds. Congrats on an honor well deserved, Pat. Our mics are always open for you to state your case.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead.