It’s been a big week for the Constitution as we head toward the Fourth of July. Yesterday, we told you of the Supreme Court decision striking down the Massachusetts Buffer Zone Bill, the model for New Hampshire’s ill conceived attempt to restrict free speech by certain people for certain reasons. Today, we get to tell you that Obamacare can’t force privately held companies, whose ownership has religious or moral objections to contraceptive services, including abortion, like the plaintiff Hobby Lobby, to provide health care plans that cover those items. Reaction was swift across the country, of course. Here in New Hampshire, Governor Margaret Wood Hassan, sent a fund raising email exclaiming she was quote “shocked by the Supreme Court’s decision… to side with big, conservative corporate interests and deny women access to birth control.” That provoked G O P gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway to issue a statement that just dope slapped the governess. Said Hemingway, quote: “Let’s be clear,
the Court sided with the Constitution, not a corporation. We know Governor Hassan has doubled down on her adoration of Obamacare but she should know that the Constitution comes before political expediency.” Hemingway continued, “Moreover, this ruling does not deny anyone access to anything. It simply says the government can’t force someone to do something against his or her religious beliefs. It’s quite simple. The idea Governor Hassan doesn’t support that concept is frightening.” Hemingway noted it was the second time in two days that the court ruled against Hassan’s positions, the first being the Buffer Zone Bill. He finished up by saying quote: “This is where we are now? The Supreme Court rules on religious freedom and she raises money on the idea to fight such freedom? I think Governor Hassan has her priorities wrong.”
Also issuing a statement was former Senator Bob Smith. In response to the ruling, Smith stated, “The Supreme Court put freedom of religion above reproductive freedom and I applaud the Justices. Companies cannot be forced to offer insurance coverage for certain birth control methods they equate with abortion. This is definitely a step in the right direction and I am happy today to support this monumental decision.” Smith consistently led on Life issues with a perfect pro-Life voting record for his entire eighteen years in Congress, said the statement. While in the Senate, he introduced legislation ban the procedure of infanticide, better known as partial-birth abortion. Interestingly, neither of his two rivals, former Bay State Senator Scott Brown and former State Senator Jim Rubens, both pro-Choice, issued statements on the ruling.
Second Congressional District GOP candidates Marilinda Garcia and Gary Lambert also issues statements in support of the ruling. We’ve posted everything we got in our inboxes with this news read at Girard at Large dot com. Hemingway statement, Smith statement, Garcia statement, Lambert statement.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
G O P Gubernatorial Candidate Walt Havenstein got some good news yesterday. The Ballot Law Commission ruled he was eligible to remain on the ballot. Havenstein had asked the Commission to rule on his eligibility as controversy around whether or not he was a resident of the state swirled around his candidacy. The questions were raised by the discovery that Havenstein had taken a property tax exemption only available to residents on his home in Maryland while working there. The commission was split three to two on the question.
Alicia Preston, campaign manager for Republican primary rival Andrew Hemingway issued a statement saying quote: “We are looking forward to the opportunity to demonstrate the clear differences between the two candidates looking for the Republican nomination…Unlike Mr. Havenstein, Andrew has built and sold small businesses right here in New Hampshire and understands the needs of the small business person. Andrew has spent the past 5 years fighting for New Hampshire citizens by leading the charge to successfully repeal the devastating L L C tax, by working to elect 100 House members who stand with conservative values and by fending off the ever growing arm of government.” Preston continued saying Havenstein quote “has already demonstrated his lack of understanding of the process including claiming he would veto a Constitutional Amendment—something a Governor cannot do. He also intends to have the state audit a federal agency—something it cannot do. And, he criticized Concord for not presenting a balanced budget—which the NH Senate absolutely did. These and many other examples show that it’s not the years of experience that matter, it’s the kind of experience. It’s the kind of experience Andrew Hemingway has and we look forward to demonstrating that.” Looks like that primary is going to be harder fought than originally thought.
The twenty three percent increase in the state’s gas tax took effect at Midnight today and District Sixteen State Senate candidate Jane Cormier wanted to remind voters that it happened with the support of her rival, State Senator David Boutin. She took Boutin to task not only for his vote, but for a recent letter he penned to a local newspaper announcing he’d taken the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers’ Pledge against a broad based tax. In a statement released yesterday, Cormier said quote: “Whether you believe the Gas Tax is a broad-based tax or not, you should know that Senator Boutin voted FOR raising the N H Gas Tax this session…Senator Boutin BROKE his Pledge to his constituents, yet is trying to portray his vote FOR the Gas Tax as insignificant when it will impact the price of just about everything.” Of Boutin’s voting record, Cormier said quote “you will find that many times his actual votes do not match his rhetoric…We will feel the effects of the Gas Tax as a broad-based tax, because it raises the cost of everything.”
Aldermen in Manchester met in various committees last night and made some, well, interesting decisions. Ward Twelve Alderman Keith Hirschmann successfully convinced his colleagues on the Committee on Lands and Buildings to facilitate the request of local company R S C C Aerospace and Defense immediately if not sooner after questions were raised over whether or not their desire to better facilitate entry into their property by hardening part of a rail line converted to a trail to facilitate tractor trailer traffic would be allowed. Hirschmann pointed out that several parts of the trail were already hardened and said the city shouldn’t wait to keep a major manufacturer and employer in the city. “I’m tired of seeing our businesses move to Hooksett and other towns,” said Hirschmann. “We need to keep them here in Manchester.” And proving the more things change, the more they stay the same, aldermen on the Committee on Community Improvement voted to recommend the board spend several hundred thousand dollars to facilitate yet another low income housing project.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead.