An open letter to NH Republicans - Granite Grok

An open letter to NH Republicans

To: 	  NH Republicans
From:	  Skip 
Subject: Gas tax proposed by a Republican	

Yes, I know that Doug has already blogged about the DOT here and here, taking Governor Lynch to task for the problem.

I had a long email string with a member of the GOP leadership team last week about empowering the local Chairs and Republican messages as we try to restart things locally.  But my gosh, how can I, with a straight face, tell people that we are for less taxes with this? 

This does not "empower" us!

Enter Rep. Fred King (R-Colebrook), who has filed a bill to raise the tax by 6 cents a gallon. The increase would raise an estimated $50 million for maintenance of the other 4,800 miles of roads not dotted with toll booths.

O’Leary said that unless the Highway Fund sees an infusion of new revenue, his department will have to cut one in four jobs starting in 2009.

Gov. John Lynch, who said the need is urgent on the turnpikes, doesn’t want to talk about gas taxes. So Democrats who control the Legislature won’t cross Lynch by bringing in a bill.

King said he checked with Bouchard first and found no one would touch the issue.

"Nobody had the guts to do it, so I’m doing it," King said.

He said he wants the extra money to go toward maintenance and repairs, not new projects.

Shades of Minnesota, where PowerLine and Captain’s Quarters easily showed that their state chose to spend their transportation monies on lots of stuff – just not the right stuff (like bridge that fell down).  The word is "squander", or mismanagement, isn’t it?  Yet, the MN Dems promptly cried out for more taxes (and not demanding the tough thing and logically assess where priorities had gone awry and fix it).   Is money, more and more of it, always the answer? 

This cry for more taxes by a Republican just makes my job HARDER in attracting people to the Party – the Party that espouses lower taxes.  And we JUST had the NH media show that lots of other departments and programs raiding money away from that Highway fund!!!  Who has the guts to stand up and say – leave that money alone and let’s manage the budget correctly?  If the money isn’t there, then cut back to the basics?  Do we have someone with the guts to say and push that?   Where is the Leadership on this (go here if you want to sign a petition protesting the tax) and willing to not just protest the tax but offer the tough solutions?

What’s the official Republican line on solutions?
Wouldn’t it send a great message to  families all over the state that the Republicans are trying to treat the State budget like they have to treat their family budget?  Instead of excerbating a 17% Democratic increase, just "suck it up" (intestinal fortitude, not the money in our wallets) and cut back to bare minimums?  Sound looney? Sound wacky? Sound unrealistic? Sound politically undoable?  Ask families what happens when they overspend – consequences have actions. 



…I know that leadership have decided not to "reign in" / admonish / toss overboard / hold accountable those Republicans that act like Democrats and not adhere to the platform.  But you know, if you did, it might make it easier for us at the local level if you did….because then we could prove that Republicans actually stand for something and are willing to enforce it.
I may be sounding like a loon, a loose cannon, or a naysayer (so be it), but the guys at the top have got to start helping us at the bottom.  I am in a very cynical area – the present messages are just being sniffed at…..and as I told my contact, my Dem counterpart in Laconia was literally laughing at me as he said "You have a tough row to hoe".  
That is not a good sign…..

Think about trying this mesage at the State level. If it is working there, why not all over?  What a message that would send!