Six New Hampshire House Democrats Propose Bill That Looks Like An Attack on Free Speech - Granite Grok

Six New Hampshire House Democrats Propose Bill That Looks Like An Attack on Free Speech

Francesca Diggs, Janice Schmidt, Debra Altschiller, Sherry Frost, Nancy Murphy, and Wendy Thomas have a legislative Service Request (LSR). The LSR Title is “relative to cyberbullying and cyberstalking of a public servant.”

Related: What Does NH Democrat Rep. Wendy Thomas Have Against Religious Schools?

LSR 2020-2194 cyberbullying state reps

We don’t have the language for the bill, but I’d be curious to see what they think Legislators can do to limit public interaction with elected officials. I can’t wait to see it. And I’ve got so many reasons I’m not sure where to begin.

First, Murphy and Thomas are my Merrimack State reps (where’s Rosemarie?) and we’ve published their far-left voting records. Jan Schmidt from Nashua lied on Facebook about GraniteGrok nearly to the point of libel. Altschiller, from Stratham, has physically assaulted one of our authors. And Sherry Frost invites comments nearly every time she opens her social media maw and empties her thoughts on Twitter.

We, as New Hampshire’s leading digital political print media destination, respond to their public statements. 

Most of what we share arrives from their constituents who screengrab their remarks. All of which is protected by the First Amendment. Even in New Hampshire.

Now, it may be that there are people, including people who are acting as watchdogs of elected officials, who are persistent, but that’s protected too. And in a big way. The Court ruled that President Trump could not block people who (for lack of a better term) engage in behavior our sensitive New Hampshire Democrats might consider cyberbully or cyberstalking.

I frequently get reports about some of these reps blocking people.

What Makes Them So Special?

We already have laws in place for remarks that rise to the level of threats and intimidation against anyone. They require someone to target and threaten you. And I’ve no problem with ensuring that those laws are clear and that real risks are addressed even for elected officials.

This LSR, if I have to guess, thinks it is but is nothing like that.

Again, without seeing the language, we can only speculate. But that’s what we do. My initial impression is that these “representatives of the people” are uncomfortable having to face questions and commentary from the public and are looking for a way to use the law to intimidate or punish those who would challenge their public statements, votes, and remarks in open or forums.

If that turns out to be the case, if this LSR actually becomes a bill and is not scrapped immediately by leadership, we welcome the opportunity to explore the motives of Francesca Diggs, Janice Schmidt, Debra Altschiller, Sherry Frost, Nancy Murphy, and Wendy Thomas. An to ensure that their voters know, in no uncertain terms, that this is a use of political power to silence dissenting speech.

Finally, thank you. Thank You. Thank You. You have made my day. And please, go out of your way to claim that this post is an example of the thing you mean to limit, prevent, or stop. That would make my year. 

Here’s to hoping we get to talk about this more.

Correction: an earlier version of this post incorrectly indicated that Debra Altschiller was a rep from Nashua. Rep. Altschiller represents Stratham. The text has been corrected.