Hassan’s Budget Gamble Takes Heat From Her Left

by Steve MacDonald

Maggie Hassan Rolls the Dice on Imaginary Gambling Revenu

Maggie Hassan Rolls the Dice on Imaginary Gambling Revenue

No one should be surprised to see Maggie Hassan’s budget has millions of dollars in revenue from a source that does not even exist.

In this instance it is gambling, but a few years ago Senator Hassan was part and parcel to repeated budget balancing fiascoes that relied on non existent revenue.

She voted for budgets “balanced” with revenues from taxes that had not even been through the committee process or had a hearing.  She voted for budgets that relied on revenue from the sale of land even though no one knew what land or how much they might get for it.    She was a gold medal recipient in the Granite-State-Left-Wing-Fiscal Gymnastics Finals, helping execute chess master like moves to create the illusion of paying for what had not been paid for.  She even continues to insist to this day that the 800 million dollars in spending she helped accumulate in the Majority Democrat legislature–for which there was no money to pay for in successive fiscal years–was not a deficit nor evidence of fiscal malfeasance on the part of her or her party.  So why, WHY would we be surprised when her first budget as governor relies on at least $80 million in gambling industry dollars for casinos that do not even exist?

I’m not surprised.  This is Classic Hassan, which now that I’ve thunk it, sounds like a good name for a dish comprised of week old flounder, wrapped in baloney, breaded in crushed nuts, half-baked, that comes to your table at twice the price listed on the menu.

So we’ve got another steaming plate of Classic Hassan, but served with a gambling sauce.   This is of a particular interest given that New Hampshire Democrats, while fond of what I guess we’ll refer to as “rapture revenue,” are as likely to oppose casino gambling as anyone, having shut down the “I think I can, I think I can” Lou D’Allesandro Millennium Express year after year, even when they held a majority in every branch of state government.  And it looks as if the “Gambling Revenue Resistance” (GRR?) is already on the move.

(And hold your breath because if a recent  press release from the NHGOP is quoting correctly, Democrat Peter Sullivan from Manchester and I are about to agree on something.)

In a series of tweets aimed at Democrat Party leaders, State Representative Peter Sullivan (D-Manchester) sharply criticized Governor Hassan and her casino revenue scheme.

“Dem party leaders pressuring legislators to back casino solely to protect Hassan’s hide,”tweeted Representative Sullivan. “Casino gambling is NOT a Democratic issue. Hope@ChairmanBuckley and @nhkathysullivan remember that…I just don’t want to see any thumbs on the scale from party officers. Gov. Hassan isn’t NH’s only Dem.”

Representative Sullivan also indicated that Governor Hassan’s budget gambit is already facing widespread opposition among House Democrats.

“House response to Governor’s casino proposal can charitably be called underwhelming, he tweeted. “ Governor is badly overestimating House Dem support. Outside Manch/Nashua, very thin.”

This is also not surprising, though I am curious to see whether Sullivan has his thumb on the pulse of House Democrats or stuck someplace else.  He was a Cilley person (Still is!).  He ragged on Hassan loud and often during the Democrat primary for Governor.  So for him to come out against anything that avoids what he wants–broad based sales or income taxes–is not surprising; unless you are thrilled at any defection among the Borg.  Then it’s all good.

Dean Barker is also called out in the NHGOP press release as expressing concern for Hassan’s approach.

“I find disingenuous the implication…that we can’t fund needed services without gambling. That kind of blackmail rhetoric will turn off lawmakers rather than get them on board,” said liberal BlueHampshire (3/18/10) blogger Dean Barker. “NH should not be in the business of holding children’s welfare hostage to whether the slot machine industry gets their way.”

I’m not down for the liberal class warfare-welfare narrative but the same idea applies to roads, bridges, public employee wages, or anything else they care or about, or might actually be a function of state government.

The last time Democrats went Classic Hassan on the budget, the word of the day was unpredictable.  State employees often found their jobs swirling around in the blue water of the toilet bowl called Democrat leadership.  From year to year job cuts, furloughs, all manner of song and dance could come up on any given day with Democrats playing with the purse strings.  It’s a feature not a bug.

And the same is true with gambling money.  Even with a contract in hand there is no guarantee of stability tomorrow, or five years from now.  What is guaranteed is that there are Democrats who have already spent it no matter how much it is or isn’t, but they will always (ALWAYS) imagine far more than will ever come down the pipe, just so they can spend it, and gambling revenue is just another channel in their sieve.

These are (of course) all subjects long discussed here, regardless of which party is running the table.   Gambling is not the answer to any question that anyone who is serious about local control or limited government would ask and it will never be the revenue pipe dream Democrats would lead you to believe, solving woes or lowering property tax burdens.  So let’s reminisce on that a bit…

From a 2010 post titled  “Where do we put the Vagina”

So is expanded gambling inevitable for New Hampshire in this economy? 

I think our situation mirrors the tragic tale of a young woman who has set off ill prepared to pursue some dream only to find herself in dire straits.  Penniless, and perhaps homeless, having lived outside her means for too long, she abandons the last tenuous holds on what once constituted in her mind good or safe behavior and turns her body into a revenue center. 

Keep reading that here

And from Feb 2012 post titled “Gambling?  Seriously? ”

Pro-liberty legislators, if anyone, should know what happens when you  funnel that kind of cake directly into the maw of the state capitol.  It filters vast sums past the gore of the voters palette allowing politicians to expand government based on outside interests and influences. Direct Casino revenue would empower central planners and bureaucrats in Concord in contradiction to the libertarian idea of small government and local control.  It would encourage the proliferation of more lobbyists and influence peddlers capable of further superseding the interests of voters on all state matters.  And it would grow government in excess of any preconceived fiscal advantages.    It always does.

Read off of that one here

Those are recent.  I’ve written at least a dozen like them since 2008.  But I’ve bored you enough with my relevant and timely back links.  Suffice to say,  gambling is not a done deal with Democrats and it never was.  The house could prove to be the place where it goes to die again.  The Senate is less likely where any stand will be made.  Run as it is by moderates who would risk speech intimidation for the benefit of their own political futures suggests that a little gambling revenue song and dance about jobs and commerce–none of the true, are right up their ally, if for no other reason than the promise of the warm comfort of more lobbyists to comp them buffet lunches.

There are plenty of reasons why gambling would wreck a state like new Hampshire and every one of them is good enough, but all together it should be a dead issue.  And yet it is not.  Such is the nature of politics.

Entire NHGOP Press Release follows

DEMOCRAT OPPOSITION MOUNTS AGAINST HASSAN’S IRRESPONSIBLE BUDGET
Governor’s Casino Revenue Gamble Faces Skepticism From Her Own Party

Concord, NH – As Governor Hassan prepares to testify today on gambling legislation, her irresponsible casino licensing revenue scheme is facing increasing criticism from members of her own party.

“Governor Hassan is constructing a fiscally irresponsible house of cards that could collapse at any moment. She is basing New Hampshire’s financial integrity on a non-existent source of revenue that is even facing opposition from members of her own party,” said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. “If Governor Hassan is having difficulty convincing Democrats to support her disastrous budget, then its time for her to come up with a ‘Plan B.’” Granite Staters deserved to know how their governor will address the $80 million deficit that could result from her failed leadership and fiscal irresponsibility.”

Since Governor Hassan delivered her budget address last week, Democrats have voiced skepticism on the prospects of her proposal.

“I continue to have grave reservations with using gambling,” liberal Senator Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) told the Portsmouth Herald following Governor Hassan’s budget address (2/14/2013.) “That’s the conflict for me. I worry that we’re allowing gambling to come to the state, (and it) will divert a huge amount of money earned in the state (to) a problematic industry,”

In a series of tweets aimed at Democrat Party leaders, State Representative Peter Sullivan (D-Manchester) sharply criticized Governor Hassan and her casino revenue scheme.

“Dem party leaders pressuring legislators to back casino solely to protect Hassan’s hide,”tweeted Representative Sullivan. “Casino gambling is NOT a Democratic issue. Hope@ChairmanBuckley and @nhkathysullivan remember that…I just don’t want to see any thumbs on the scale from party officers. Gov. Hassan isn’t NH’s only Dem.”

Representative Sullivan also indicated that Governor Hassan’s budget gambit is already facing widespread opposition among House Democrats.

“House response to Governor’s casino proposal can charitably be called underwhelming, he tweeted. “ Governor is badly overestimating House Dem support. Outside Manch/Nashua, very thin.”

Democrat Party activists have also criticized the tactics that Governor Hassan is using to promote her budget.

“I find disingenuous the implication…that we can’t fund needed services without gambling. That kind of blackmail rhetoric will turn off lawmakers rather than get them on board,” said liberal BlueHampshire (3/18/10) blogger Dean Barker. “NH should not be in the business of holding children’s welfare hostage to whether the slot machine industry gets their way.”

In addition to criticism from Democrats, Governor Hassan’s budget proposal has also faced widespread skepticism and scorn from editorial pages across New Hampshire including The Union Leader, Concord Monitor, Keene Sentinel, Nashua Telegraph, Portsmouth Herald and Foster’s Daily Democrat.

###


Communications
New Hampshire Republican State Committee
603.225.9341 I press@nhgop.org

 

You are reading  “Hassan’s Budget Gamble Takes Heat From Her Left”   by  Steve Mac Donald originally posted at GraniteGrok.com (Home)

 

Steve has been recognized as the Americans For Prosperity Blogger of the month for December 2012

Steve Mac Donald has been recognized as the AFP December Blogger of the month

 

Leave a Comment

  • C. dog e. doG

    Oh darn, looks like Magpie Hassan got herself onto another bloated, tainted carcass. Wonder how many times she’ll peck away at this classic fascist ploy of doling out Grate State favors to a selected few. Perhaps she should brush up on her Italian?
    – C. dog fixing sticks into bundles to burn pols in effigy

    • nhsteve

      She must be the Red-Billed Blue Magpie. (Gang Colors)

      I’m more inclined to compare her to a buzzard–circling the bloated, tainted carcass.

  • Tim from Nashua

    Maggie will gladly spend today, the anticipated revenue of tomorrow. It’s the DemocRat Way.

  • Pingback: Maggie Hassan's On-going Culture of Corruption - GraniteGrok — GraniteGrok

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