Shawn Millerick, the head of the political fiction section at NH Journal, wanted to know why we at GraniteGrok were not covering the real world story about Ann McKluster Kuster not paying her property taxes. The appropriate response was to provide a link to the story I actually wrote on February 5th about how Ann McKluster Kuster was not paying her property taxes. A story I updated with additional comments from the Chairs of both political parties and a bit of exposition with regard to the sources.
It was a story posted the same day as the first story at NH Journal about how Ann McKluster Kuster was not paying her taxes, at roughly 6 am, perhaps even before NHJ pushed out their version; a story with the eponymous title…”Annie McKluster Doesn’t Pay Her Taxes?”
How hard could that be to find? I’m pondering a pithy epithet for the NHJ Political Fiction Department that involves an ass, both hands, and a flashlight.
How hard was it to find? Skip suggested they just search it on the Grok page but I went one step ” easier.” I went to the alter of the Google gods and asked about “Ann Kuster not paying her taxes”… and they replied. The Feb. 5th Grok story was there, right below an NH Journal story on Kuster, and before the Lowel Sun, Nashua Patch, and even the Nashua Telegraph. It’s the third hit.
Clearly the fiction writers at NHJ did just as much research prior to emailing Skip to call him a dufus for not covering the Kuster story as they did when making up the story about Skip at the secret meeting with Jack Kimball. Research? That’s for Dufususeses!
Be that as it may, let us now put all of that aside…because we appear to have broken new ground I would like to explore. It is now (apparently) en vogue to email the proprietors of other web sites to ask them why they are not covering a particular issue to someone else’s satisfaction, and to then insult them in the process for not having done it even if they have.
Frankly, I say capitol idea, fits in my tool-box, plays right into my wheelhouse, and so on…but I’ll just bypass the email part and get right to it.
Why isn’t the NH Journal covering SB0120 like I did? I searched all their digital couch cushions and came up with nothing about a 2013 Senate Bill bill that would redefine political speech in New Hampshire to a degree that would actually suppress it when it was not busy charging people to engage in it, or intimidating them out of speaking for fear of being fined.
This is a bill that has a very serious chance of becoming law given the Democrat majority in the New Hampshire House, a Democrat governor who has written similar legislation herself as a State Senator, and a current State Senate where….oh, wait. I get it.
Is NH Journal not covering the “free speech is no longer free speech/pay for speech–speech intimidation bill” because it was sponsored by not one, not two, but three…Republican state Senators?
Isn’t that interesting?
Do the editors in chief at NH Journal believe that protecting Republicans is more important than protecting free speech? Is this another example of party before principle? And how does that differentiate them from someone like Ann McLane Kuster who may not always pay her taxes on time as a matter of principle (until caught) but is definitely on board with using the power of the police state to silence political opponents as a matter of principle?
Remember, were’ talking about what should be important that NHJ is not covering. And not for nothing but this may matter more than another millionaire Democrat dodging their taxes. Kuster is just one Congress-person in a US House Republicans still hold, from a left leaning moderate district. SB0120 will affect all of New Hampshire for as long as it is in force. And given the make-up of the New Hampshire state senate, with the support of three Republican State Senators, SB0120 is almost guaranteed to become law. In fact it doesn’t even need three. One will do just as well if they have set their mind on passing it because the Democrats will love this bill right into Governor Hassan’s lap.
The NH House isn’t likely to stop it, nor the governor, because this is something Democrats have wanted since at least 2010 when Kathy Sullivan and Maggie Hassan sat around the kitchen table to figure out how they could use the power of the police state to stop their own political opponents here in New Hampshire. To have it handed to them on a silver platter by a cadre of Republicans is more than any progressive could ever hope for.
It’s speech intimidation with that semi-metallic bi-partisan after-taste. “Hello Utopia, here we come!”
That means, of course, that political “speech” will henceforth be defined and policed by the state. The state will determine if you must pay to engage in “speech formerly known as free,” or if you shall be fined for failing to follow their rules for engaging in it; rules whose only truly certain achievement will be to reserve political speech to incumbents, professional activists, activist groups and lobbyists, as almost no one else will dare risk stumbling across the hidden trip wires buried under the language of the bill for fear of being pilloried in the press (the press gets a waiver), and fined into poverty for daring to have expressed their opinion in a manner not pre-approved, paid for, rubber stamped, and signed off by the state.
You’d think that the NH Jwhorenal would see that as the threat that it is, not just to speech, but to freedom. How it sets a precedent for limiting speech rights of almost any kind, in any time frame in which some slim majority can amend it further, or use it as a precedent to do lord knows what else. You’d think they’d pressure these Republicans to drop the bill, not because of what it is meant to do but because of what it will do–intimidate someone into silence.
But here we are, almost mid February, and I can’t find a damn thing about it on their web site. Searches on their site for ‘Paid Speech,’ “political Speech,” and ‘Free Speech,’ turn up nothing that even relates to New Hampshire. Searches for SB0120, SB 120, SB120, SB 0120 (with or without spaces) bring up stories about Monopoly pieces , Jackie Cilley from 2012, Kusters camera grab video, and the executive council primary race, or nothing at all.
Political speech is at stake and we got the new Monopoly-piece cat replacing the iron. Stop the GD-Presses says J.Jonah Jameson, this is way more important than Republicans kneecapping political speech to protect their blessed incumbency. And that’s all we will be talking about if SB 0120 becomes law–Monopoly pieces. Unless of course anyone who has two thoughts to rub together wants to pony up the cash to register as a PAC, so they can then file paperwork every now and again, for the privileged of bitching about state government without fear of getting taken to court by every “501 (C) How much they screwed you”" who asks the AG to investigate the appropriateness of your two thoughts rubbing up against that semi-metallic-tasting-bi-partisan-anti-speech bill NH Jwhorenal couldn’t be bothered to mention.
I don’t know. Does that fit the new template for bitching about what other web sites are not covering–ignoring the fact that GraniteGrok actually covered what NHJ was crying about while NHJ has not covered SB 0120? I think it does.
And hey, if NHJ did actually post something about SB 0120 – 2013 that I simply could not find, we’re still good. They’ve already set the new standard, I’m just playing by their rules.
You are reading “Hey! Dufus! Why the Hell Aren’t You Covering “This!?”” 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