Latest Discussion

Below, you'll find the latest comments on articles, issues, profiles and Citizen Voices® discussions across our site. Add your voice to the debate.

I must say that I am absolutely disgusted that the out-of-state college students will be allowed to vote in our state elections! This isn't a matter of voter fraud; this is a matter of students, with no ties to our state, being allowed to choose OUR governor, congress, senate, state and local legislature and then go back to their own state without a care of the leadership they left to us. I got an absentee ballot to vote when I was an out-of-state college student. It isn't that hard! I ask, what is next? Should we let the tourists get to vote here too? How about those who come up every weekend? At least many of them are property owners. If they want that much of a say in our elections, then they should become a resident. If they're too lazy to obtain an absentee ballot from their own state, then why bother voting?
- Amanda Cram   Sep 25, 2012
I have lived on the Westside of Manchester most of my life. I am self-employed and I have owned several businesses during my working years. I’m married with 3 grown children. I served 4 years on active duty with the US Navy. I graduated from New Hampshire College with a degree in business. I have served as your Moderator, a Selectmen and a ballot inspector in Ward 12. I am very active in Little League Baseball with over 30 years of experience. Having been the President, Treasurer and Secretary of West & West Side Little League. It was my pleasure to again serve as a volunteer usher during the 11 days of this year’s LL World Series in Williamsport, PA.
- Richard Marston   Sep 23, 2012
I love my country. I want my children to be able to have what I had. Like most Americans, I am sick of political corruption. I despise juvenile tribal warfare that is fueled by groupthink. I hate politics and posturing. I want my political leaders to act with integrity. I am desperate for common sense leadership that puts the long-term needs of the country first, ahead of short-term special interests. I am proud of our New Hampshire Republicans. During this last term they put the long-term needs of the state first by reforming government and cutting spending, in the face of harsh criticism from those that were benefitting from the status quo. That is leadership. I hear good things coming from our New Hampshire Republican candidates. All of them are promising to keep taxes low, to continue to look for savings and efficiencies in state government, to stand up to Washington mandates, and to keep New Hampshire free. Therefore I am honored to support the New Hampshire Republicans wholeheartedly. However, I see no such leadership coming from either party at the national level. I see a Democratic Party that wants to expand the rate of federal spending in order to pay off their special interest factions. I see a Republican Party that has historically spent as much as their Democrat counterparts, and is presenting a budget that won’t balance for over twenty years. Both parties want to grow government. They just prefer different recipients. This is simply not good enough. The Democratic Party, locally and nationally, has become the party of economic and cultural Marxism. They are the entitlement party that uses guilt tripping and demonization to get ahead. The party of John Kennedy is gone forever. The Obama Progressives have won the day. In the national Republican Party I see a party in an identity transition. It knows it needs to change but it can’t get itself to take the steps it needs to take to reinvent itself. The establishment power brokers within the party are holding on tightly to their influence, and instead of welcoming new energy to the party that could make it viable, they are alienating that new energy. The way the GOP establishment treated Ron Paul supporters at the national convention was despicable. They undertook a power play that alienated the grass roots of the party in order to maintain establishment control. They seem to be more concerned about the present than the future. The party is getting older and more culturally homogenous, and yet it seems to be doing nothing to diversify. It is stuck in the past. I endorsed Ron Paul for President last year. I believe Paul’s Liberty Coalition is the future. The national Democrat and Republican Parties as they are currently configured are the past. A new radical center is emerging that will win the day. I call it common sense conservatism, but it could easily be characterized by other labels. It calls for serious reforms in the way we currently do business. It offers a new identity that takes us away from the tired old right-left paradigm. It is a new day. Thus, I cannot in good conscience, support either of the national candidates for President of the United States. Neither is offering a platform I can support. I refuse to support one man, only because he is better than the other guy. Both guys are unacceptable. We need an entirely new way. I support Gary Johnson for President, not because I agree with him on everything. I do not. But like Congressman Paul, Johnson is an honest man who is offering a bold vision to restore America. He is right on all of the key issues of our time. We need honesty and we need a bold vision. We also need to do everything we can to open up the media-controlled political process to other voices. We need to end the two-party duopoly because it is destroying us. Governor Johnson must be included in the national debates to provide an alternative voice. I believe his ideas best represent the emerging radical center that can save the country. Saving the country is more important than advancing the interests of any political party. Will Gary Johnson win? That is an irrelevant question to me. What matters is that his new-paradigm thinking finds its way into the marketplace of ideas. Kevin Kervick Republican Candidate for State Representative Portsmouth District 30
- Kevin Kervick   Sep 22, 2012
"Constitutional Carry" is an issue that probably does not affect too many of our citizens but unfortunately I am one on them.  I had held a concealed carry pistol permit in Massachusetts since I was 18 years old (and an armed security officer) and also retained it when I moved o NH about 15 years ago.  At age 56 I have never had any violation greater than a speeding ticket.  I also served my country as an elite US Army Airborne Ranger and was given an honorable discharge so I would say that I have far more training in the tactical use of firearms than most any police official   A couple of years ago I lent my motor vehicle to an acquaintance who asked to drive to the Salem town hall which is abut 3 miles from my home.  He indicated that he wanted to register a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, he also crossed into Lawrence to purchase some diabetic needles which can be done over the counter in that state.  Apparently someone in the store saw him opening the needles in the auto and thought that there might be drug usage gong on so they called th police.   There were no drugs found but the police decided to search the ca anyway and that found 2 antique rifles which don't work anyway and 2 handguns which I keep in a knapsack which is legal in NH.  Well the guns were confiscated because this fellow does not have a permit (though he s eligible to get one) and my oversight in not removing them from the car was reported to the Salem police.  I never loan people my vehicle and had forgotten that the pistols ere there much like someone might forget that they have a car manual n the glove box Anyway, the chief ( a known anti-gin zealot) actually sent a uniformed officer to my home to confiscate my permit    I appealed the ruling in court and should have prevailed.  The NH general law states that"Anyone who has not been convicted of a felony or does not have an active restraining pending SHALL be issued a permit to carry"   Unfortunately, this particular judge did not know the ruling and filed to research the matter prior to issuing he judgement.   So, I am actually one those people tat would benefit from the law which states that "anyone who is eligible to purchase a firearm also has the right to carry it concealed   THE IRONY is that a firearm owner may already carry a pistol in public as long as it is visible so the only think that the new law will add is that the pistol owner may plaec the weapon in his pocket or under his belt, thus causing less alarm to the public!
- Dr. Knight   Sep 18, 2012
Ms. Kenyon needs to revisit some of her statistics and some of her assumptions. From 1999 to 2011, the total property tax bill in NH doubled.  The property tax as a percentage of all taxes increased from 58% to 66%. Using Manchester property tax rates to compare to other states is of limited usefulness because Manchester is a relatively low-spending, low tax city (despite what you hear from the Union Leader.)  If you compare the property tax rates of capital cities in each state, NH comes out at or near the top, because Concord is a place that puts more emphasis on funding its schools, and has high property taxes as a result. Finally, the property tax is very regressive.  Retirees typically pay over 10% of their income in property tax, the middle pays about 6%, while the wealthy typically pay less than 2%.  Consider that we have many homeowners with incomes of, say, $30,000, living in average $200,000 homes.  Most of these people are retired.  We also have people with $300,000 incomes living in very nice $600,000 homes.  The second group has ten times the income as the first, but they don't have ten times the house, so they don't pay ten times the tax.  A better example of regressive taxation would be hard to find. Mark Fernald P.S.  Here are the figures showing that property taxes have risen to over 66% of all taxes in NH. Fiscal 2011 taxes (including 2011 property tax year) Property tax:                          $3,147,915,082 Beer tax:                                    $12,900,000 Business Profits Tax:                $297,801,000 Business Enterprise Tax:           $192,404,000 Estate and Legacy Tax:                     $92,000 Insurance Tax:                            $84,902,000 Securities Tax:                            $37,025,000 Interest and Dividends Tax:          $76,597,000 Meals and Rooms Tax:              $235,541,000 Dog Racing:                                    $329,000 Horse Racing:                              $1,005,000 Gambling Winning Tax:                 $3,188,000 Games of Chance:                        $1,136,000 Real Estate Transfer Tax:            $81,962,000 Telecommunications Tax:            $76,500,000 Tobacco Tax:                            $226,654,000 Utilities Tax:                                 $5,955,000 Gas Tax:                                  $124,967,000 Auto Registration (not really a tax) $132,132,000 TOTAL:                                    $4,739,005,082 Property tax is 66.4%.  This will be higher once we have the property tax figures for 2012, and the state tax figures for fiscal 2012, as the property tax has most-assuredly risen again, while state tax revenues have been flat.
Dear Readers: In this year’s governor’s race, I am endorsing Jackie.  I am writing to ask that you consider supporting her too. It has been a difficult year and a half for New Hampshire.  The legislature sent a wrecking ball through institutions and values that we hold dear when it cut general fund spending by 12%. Higher education, hospitals, care for children in crisis, mental health care––the list goes on and on and on. Name anything a vibrant economy and healthy society stands on, and it was cut. You might think the blame lies only with the Tea Party, but you would be wrong.  Republicans?  Wrong again.  The culprit in this tale of woe is Pledge politics. Too many politicians are unwilling to talk about revenue.  Voters at the local level act like grownups.  Sometimes they vote to increase their taxes to pay for a new fire engine, a teacher contract, or a needed road project.  Politicians in Concord take pledges.  They claim our tax structure is a given, and that we can only spend what our current mix of taxes brings in. The trend at the state level is not just discouraging, it’s positively frightening.  We have a tax structure that does not grow with the economy, so government programs cannot keep pace with inflation and population growth.  In the ten years from 2001 to 2011, the total income of the people of New Hampshire grew by 38%, while the state’s general fund budget grew only 20%--lower than the rate of inflation. Over the past thirty years, through administrations both Republican and Democratic, Pledge politics has been ratcheting down the state budget, to the detriment of the people of New Hampshire and its property taxpayers.  Our state parks have deteriorated.  Our community mental health centers, which were a model for the rest of the nation, have been gutted.  State aid to higher education is the lowest in the nation, and our college students graduate with the highest student loan debt in the nation.  State aid to local government has been cut, and cut again, shifting the tax burden onto the property tax.  In 1999, property taxes made up 59% of all state and local taxes in New Hampshire.  In 2011, it was 66%.  In those twelve years, the total property tax bill in New Hampshire doubled. There are two fine women Democrats, both veteran legislators, who are running for Governor this year:  Maggie Hassan of Exeter and Jackie Cilley of Barrington.  Maggie Hassan has taken the Pledge against any broad-based sales or income tax.  Jackie Cilley has not.  And that makes all the difference.  Visit www . pledgezombies . com to see Jackie's first ad on this subject. Jackie Cilley is willing to have an open, honest conversation with the people about all options to fund our priorities. Maggie Hassan is not willing to do that. In fact, Maggie recently told a voter she would not even support a review of our current revenue system. Maggie Hassan has been honest in saying that this is a tactical decision, that New Hampshire is not ready to have a conversation about taxes.  But if she is elected, she will be a Democrat in a Republican box.  On vital issues of taxes and spending, she will have conceded to the Republicans before the legislature is even seated. We have the third-highest property taxes in the nation.  Our state and local tax burden on retired homeowners is the highest in the nation.  Our state and local tax burden on the top 1% is the fifth-lowest in the nation.  If someone comes up with a plan to cut homeowners’ property taxes, restore funding to education and human services, bring in millions of dollars from out-of-staters, and make our tax system more equitable, should we consider such a plan?  Jackie Cilley says YES and Maggie Hassan says NO. This election is not just about property taxes and the state budget.  Jackie will work to defend a woman’s right to choose, marriage equality, and public education.  She will uphold regulations that protect our environment and consumers. If you would like to help Jackie Cilley’s campaign, please do one or more of the following: Make a donation, of any amount, at www.jackiecilley.com Volunteer to make phone calls, or for a road sign or a bumper sticker by visiting www.jackiecilley.com Forward this email to everyone you know in New Hampshire and urge them to vote for Jackie Cilley on September 11. Mark Fernald Sharon mark@markfernald.com
Hello: My name is Devon Claire Boyd and I'm very excited to be running for Barringtons district 4 House of Reps and restore the Live Free or Die Principles that are dear to my heart. I'm a 29 year old New Hampshire native and Liberty Lover. I hope to shake things up and offer some fresh young ideas in the House. I love both the US and also our states Constitution. I am a proud Libertarian running as a Republican. I will work on updating my profile with my stances on the issues. Kind Regards, Devon Claire Boyd
- Devon Boyd   Aug 10, 2012
I definitely agree with many of your thoughts, but I do not believe our democracy is dying.  I think it is the opposite; we may have too much democracy. Since our country began, the U.S. has always had strong political parties and differences, but in the past party leaders had more influence on candidates, issues and when to compromise.  In retrospect, this may have been a better deal for our citizens.  Today, there is complete chaos, even within the political parties. There are three factors that are vastly different today than in the past, which I believe are at the root of the problems you observe.  I call them the three M's--Money, Media, and Morass. Money--There is so much government today, that all kinds of people and entities have found government activity affecting their cause.  So they conclude that they can better accomplish their mission by getting the government on their side, and for that to happen, they have to invest money in political campaigns. We call these entities “special interests”, implying that they are up to no good and work against the interests of the broader base of Americans.  But in most cases, there is nothing evil about these passionate individuals, businesses, unions, and nonprofits of all kinds.  Each believes their mission is the correct and noble one.  And should their candidate win, they try to hold this candidate accountable to support their mission.  And when the victorious candidate tries to deliver for these interests, there is nothing inherently evil about that either. Having accepted financial support from these entities, the candidate presumably supports their cause. Media--Our founding fathers could not have conceived of the power and diversity of the media we have to deal with today.  But they, too, are not evil.  We must keep in mind that media people are part of businesses trying to make money.  To do so they must attract viewers, readers, users, listeners, etc.  And what attracts Americans today?  Entertainment.  We want to be entertained.  And nothing is more entertaining than controversy. So the media will try to take whatever is going on--including our political campaigns--and make them entertaining, i.e. controversial, even if they are not. Relative importance or substance matters, but not enough to bore the customer.  And, sadly, when it comes to political advertising, twisting the facts (i.e. spin) just adds juice and entertainment. Morass--This is the most difficult of the changes to deal with, and is the worst problem of the three.  And again, this is not about evil players. To visualize this, start with budgets.  Most Americans are pretty careful when they are spending money, perhaps in the fives, tens or certainly hundreds of dollars.  For very wealthy people, let's say this moves up to thousands.  Now look at what government jobs entail.  Suddenly the numbers escalate, depending on what government one is serving--millions, billions, even trillions of dollars.  Do you know anyone who can properly conceive of a trillion dollars, so they can evaluate whether it is spent wisely or not?  I don't.  We have assigned these individuals an impossible task.  Beyond money, when it comes to most laws and regulations, there are few, if any, individuals that can properly visualize the full repercussions of these actions in our complex economy and society.  Look at The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), for example.  Healthcare makes up about 17% of our GDP--that means trillions.  It is highly complex with incredible interconnections between the myriad of participants. I think it is safe to say there is no one in the administration, congress or elsewhere that can understand the full consequences of Obamacare – this is not a criticism, it is just that it is new, vast and well beyond the experience of everyone. There is a solution to these problems of our democracy, but it is a conundrum. All three of these factors would be minimized if we had less government and we could elect candidates who pledge to do nothing.  But look at what would happen.  Since the funders of campaigns have no vested interest, he or she would get no money, so they couldn't run an effective campaign; their positions would be boring and would attract no media attention; and, since they don’t entertain us, they would have no "name recognition" and we certainly would conclude they were ill equipped for office. But despite all the problems with our democracy, what system is better?  Let’s work to fix ours, rather than replace it.  I think Jimmy Carter had it right in his "Crisis of Confidence" speech in 1979.  Our nation lacks a unity of purpose, he said, and without it we are in trouble.  Perhaps we should start our work there.
- Paul Montrone   Jul 30, 2012
I am amazed at how many intelligent people have been conned by windpower. Here is an energy source that makes no economic sense without huge government (taxpayer) subsidies, produces tiny amounts of unreliable energy, and destroys our environment. We willingly sacrifice the beauty of our mountains, the pride of NH, as we skin our mountain tops to replace trees with 400 foot high industrial propellers (do people realize how tall that is?). Suddenly, we don't seem to mind killing birds, and making such a noisy racket that people can't live near these power plants, and certainly hiking in their area will end. Moreover, since they are mechanical monsters, they will require lots of maintenance, i.e., truck traffic running around our mountain tops, adding to their lack of long term competitiveness. Since they consist of a large number of small power plants, they require tons of wires to connect them all together and into the grid, the production and installation of which are all negative to the environment. And most importantly, they do not replace power plants using other fuels. Since the wind is so unreliable other power plants have to be built anyway, and turning them on and off to jibe with the fickle wind has a more negative impact on the environment than running them continuously. Everyone in the state seemed to rise up against Northern Pass, which was all about towers ruining our natural land, but the poor people of Groton who object to this fiasco have been thrown overboard. Finally, in an economic era when we endlessly complain about taxes, deficits, and family incomes, we support an energy source that eats away at our income, causes higher taxes, and adds to our fiscal deficits, at home, here in NH and in our national governement. If it is the 150 jobs that caught your interest, there are plenty of way to create uneconmic taxpayer funded jobs, let's just start hiring people to sweep the streets. They would be better jobs that burdening our citizens with the long term economic and environmental devastation of wind power. Where are our economists, where are our environmentalists, where are our home rule advocates? What am I missing Granite Staters?
- Joseph Settipane   Jul 22, 2012
This issue has been brought up time and time again, it goes back and forth between acceptance and no acceptance and the legislative body has set in motion a ping pong ball with people's lives.  It is for this reason that we should get the government out of the pulpits of faith, to each their own faith as it is their natural and unalienable right to worship and practice according to their own conscience.  This means that ministers, priests, pastors, rabbis, and all those who lead their faithful have the right to perform their religious ceremonies without the intrusion of government. If not which faith wins in this debate?  Do Catholics trump reformed Jews, or Baptist trump universal Unitarians?  Who gets to be in the front of the bus and who is relegated to the back? If we are truly a nation of religious freedom then we need to stop trying to control what religions practice and get out of the personal lives of the people.
- Jennifer Coffey   Jul 12, 2012

Pages

Join Citizens Count

Join our constantly growing community. Membership is free and supports our efforts to help NH citizens become informed and engaged. 

JOIN TODAY ▸

Like what you see?

Your support makes our unbiased, in-depth coverage of elections and issues possible.

 

©2018 Live Free or Die Alliance | The Live Free or Die Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.