For the record, I have talked to Keith about the problem with the NHGOP in the past. I agree that the problems are systemic and inbred; many of you have heard me say the phrase “Five Families” (you can figure out the reference). My memory goes back to the legitimate election of Jack Kimball as NH GOP Chair. And then Jennifer Horn’s part of the GOPe declaration that he was illegitimate and had to be
impeached de-Chaired (and yes, I phrased it that deliberately) even as she had pushed others aside to “squire” his election ahead (“skirts”, Jennifer?).
There are a number of legit problems that face the NH GOP going forward and I brought a couple of them up with Pam Tucker during that interview. However, in the case of Keith Hanson, one doesn’t berate an older man for over 20 minutes at a public GOP meeting in blaming him for every NH GOP ill ever. That older person is Wayne MacDonald with whom I met up with at a social meeting late last year and he told me the tale. Sure, Wayne has been involved with the NH GOP and its politics for years. He has been the Vice-Chair a few times and the interim Chair a couple of times. So, one might be able to blame him with guilt by association – but only to a point. According to Wayne, Keith Hansen was absolutely brutal and I could tell that his picking on this senior citizen had had an impact (and not a very positive one). Sure, I take people to task but not to the point of screaming at them in public.
A relevant side tangent: both Steve and I had extended an offer to Keith to write for GraniteGrok. It’s the same process for everyone: submit a few Op-Eds, we evaluate, and then we make a decision. Many of our writers have joined us on a permanent basis in this fashion. Keith had shown an interest in doing that so we figured we’d give him a shot. Keith didn’t submit anything. Time passed.
Then, almost out of the blue, he provided a long list of his podcasts and his TV shows – not exactly what we had expected. Keith suggested a dedicated page on GraniteGrok for his content. Sorry, but it’s not our job to act as clerks put that up online and promote it on GraniteGrok. On a dedicated page, no less. NOBODY at GraniteGrok has a dedicated page – not even me. That’s not how we function. We have author pages but that’s different. We wanted Keith to write for us and not use us as a repository for his ‘other kinds’ of content. We’ve repeated the original invitation a few times but Keith never (to the best of our knowledge) responded. Then I found out what some of that content contained and was glad I didn’t put it up.
Now, I did touch base with Keith and talked with him about this incident with MacDonald. He acknowledged that he had “stripped the bark” off of Wayne MacDonald. I just listened to him go on and on about his “exploit” knowing that he was eyeing the Chair position. While I do want someone that will stand up and fight and go back to Principles, I’m not sure that “stripping the bark” off someone that has just tried to put his shoulder to the grindstone in a workman style fashion is the kind of person I would be voting for (again, I can’t so I have no dog in this fight). It’s bad form and poor decorum. Say what you will about whether Wayne MacDonald is entirely or in some small part responsible for the ills of the NH GOP – that is a reasonable discussion. But to have it confirmed by the “stripper” in a manner that implies “he deserves it and I enjoyed doing it,” especially when someone is running for the position that the other guy currently holds (even if on an interim basis) doesn’t have me thinking “leadership.”
Now, I do remember Steve writing a post back in 2013 about how Wayne MacDonald attacked us bloggers: “people who blog are those who are “ruining” the party” so it’s not like GraniteGrok has a favorite son on either side. And we have written about him AND A LOT about the NH GOP since 2006. They only have themselves to blame. If they acted according to the Constitution and their own Platform, the amount of stuff we could write about the State Party would be cut by half. But they haven’t and we still have lots of fodder. But I digress.
For me, this is just another reason why folks ought to be thinking “how do I mark that ballot”?