New Hampshire GOP May Purposefully Hold Right-to-Work Veto Override Vote on the Same Day as the Biggest Democratic Fundraiser of the Year
That’s right folks. Dirty politics reign supreme in New Hampshire.
It was announced that GOP House Speaker William O’Brien’s attempt at a Republican override of Democratic Governor John Lynch’s Right-to-Work veto — wherein House Republicans would attempt to gain the veto-proof 2/3s majority vote they have as yet failed to achieve — would come on May 25th. Today, Blue Hampshire reported that “O’Brien is urging those Republicans who will not vote for the union-busting bill, to just stay home. Attending the session and abstaining isn’t good enough: that has the same effect as voting No on override.”
O’Brien’s mass email, sent today, goes one further, confessing that the Right-to-Work veto override isn’t so much about Right-to-Work as it is a part of a broad, fanatical effort to undermine the governor. A portion of the email reads:
While it is important to set good policy as a legislature, the issue of a veto override is no longer just about Right to Work. Very simply, the issue is about whether the policy of the State of New Hampshire will be set by a Republican supermajority or by a Democrat Governor…
Rest assured that if we do not override this veto, that Governor Lynch will feel emboldened to veto more bills that are central to our party and critical to reform in New Hampshire such as parental notification, retirement reform and, most importantly, a fiscally responsible budget that does not raise taxes and lives within our means.
But there is something more damaging, though perhaps less explicit, than O’Brien’s devious direct messaging: he scheduled the veto override vote for the very same day as the biggest annual Democratic fundraiser of the year in New Hampshire, The New Hampshire Democratic Party’s McIntyre-Sheehan 100 Club Dinner. The dinner is such a big deal that not only are both Vice President Joe Biden and Governor Lynch himself scheduled to appear, but “in the past 52 years every Democratic President, Vice President and presidential candidate has been a featured speaker at the dinner,” according to Blue Hampshire.
As Shawn Clearly, Business Agent for Ironworkers Local 7, a massive local spanning parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts notes, O’Brien did not have to schedule the Right-to-Work veto override vote at all. He is allowed to bring it up in any session at any moment. Yet, the very same day that Governor Lynch vetoed Right-to-Work, O’Brien announced that the veto override would come on May 25th, during the McIntyre-Sheehan 100 Club Dinner. This will cause many Democrats to either miss the veto override vote — clearly not an option — or miss their biggest fundraising opportunity of 2011.
O’Brien said “we’re going to schedule it for the 25th.” He didn’t need to schedule it, he could have just brought it up in any session. But he announced it for the 25th so that it would happen during the Sheehan dinner. Biden’s coming to town, it’s the biggest fundraiser of the year. If you look at what’s happened lately, how O’Brien said they wouldn’t vote on collective bargaining, waited for a bunch of folks to leave the statehouse after one of the longest days of their political lives, and then brought that vote up at 5pm…this is his M.O.”
NHPR reported that O’Brien has changed his position to moving on Right-to-Work “when the time is right,” but even NHPR, reporting the story, seems wary of trusting O’Brien. Democrats, author Josh Rogers notes, “are concerned O’Brien could try call the the override vote at the end of the day, when the Democrats are holding a party fundraiser featuring Vice President Joe Biden.”
Nasty stuff from what’s becoming one of the nastiest states for politics in the nation.