Brentwood Newsletter – February 2012

The 2012 session of the House kicked off in earnest just a few days into the new year with a calendar so full of bills, it’s hard to keep track of them all. I’ll start by recapping some of the more recent votes you may have read about in the news.

I voted in favor of the proposed constitutional amendment (CACR13) which, if adopted, will prohibit the implementation of an income tax. The measure passed the House with more than the required 3/5 majority. I now goes to the senate, and if passed will appear before the voters on Election Day, when it will need to approved by 2/3 of the voters in the state.

It’s a high hurdle to clear, as it should be, but there are quite a few of us who believe this amendment is needed to preserve our state’s local control system of government to keep as much power as possible in the hands of the individual, and not in a larger, more powerful centralized state government.

Other votes garnering a bit of press attention (note: the boring bills in which we do things like make it easier or more convenient for small businesses to report earnings and file taxes rarely make the 6:00 news) include the recent override of Governor Lynch’s veto of HB542, a bill allowing parents to choose to not have their children exposed to subject matter they deem objectionable.

Also, we passed HB334 a bill that would have the rules and restrictions for the carrying of lawfully concealed weapons on “property owned, in whole or in part, by the state, or an agency, political subdivision, committee, or other governmental unit thereof.” This bill became known by some as “Campus Carry”, as it would take the authority to ban the lawful carrying of concealed weapons out of the hands of the state university system and place it with the legislature.

The arguments made against this bill were quite similar in nature to the arguments made against the HB542 veto override. They were all based on the assumption that adults overwhelmingly cannot be trusted to act in a responsible manner.

“Override that veto and we’ll have parents pulling their kids out of class, because they find math and physics offensive or objectionable.” “We’ll have 20 parents pulling 20 kids out of a classroom, forcing the school to teach them 20 different topics at the same time.”

Or…”Pass this bill and students will get into gunfights over simple grading disputes!” “Drunks will be blowing people away in dormitories over complaints of loud music!”

I reject these fantastical doomsday predictions and believe that an overwhelming majority of adults among us can and do conduct themselves in a responsible fashion. As I’ve stated on many occasion, I reject the notion of restricting the rights and liberties of the many, based on the misdeeds of a minuscule few.

Also passed this month was HB 217, which would include “unborn child” in the definition of “another for the purpose of first and second degree murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide. This expands existing law to allow for stiffer penalties for someone who murders both a woman and her unborn child.

Some oppose this bill on pro-choice vs. pro-life grounds. I see this bill as being very respectful of the choice the woman made to carry her baby to term. If the woman is assaulted, resulting in the death of her unborn child, how can we tell her that her child’s killer will not be brought to justice for taking her child’s life. To do so would be to undo her choice, as if to say “Sorry, your choice doesn’t count here.”

The downside of the bill is that it only covers those unborn children at 24 or more weeks gestation. Speaking from personal experience and knowing how long and hard my wife and I tried, and ultimately succeeded, to have children, if, God forbid, someone were to have murdered or negligently caused the deaths of my unborn daughters, I would want that person to face justice for his crime, regardless of whether my daughters were at 24 weeks gestation or 24 hours.

And, of course, there’s gay marriage news. I’ve received several phone messages and spoken to quite a few people about the upcoming vote on a bill that would repeal New Hampshire’s same-sex marriage law. This remains a heated topic, but my position, which I have previously made quite clear, remains unchanged. I will continue to fight for the rights of ALL New Hampshire residents to enter freely into the contract of marriage with the state. The flag on the wall of my garage says “Don’t Tread On Me”, not “Don’t Tread On Me. Tread On My Neighbors Instead”.

If anyone wants a more detailed explanation of my position and beliefs on this topic, they can read it on my old campaign website which is still on line. (http://www.bruceforstaterep.com/marriage.htm)

I’ll have more to say next month, I’m sure, as the fireworks are just beginning. Never a dull moment under the golden dome. OK, maybe a few. Right now, I’m going to get myself ready for some football conference championship games this weekend. Go Patriots! All the way to Indianapolis!

- Bruce

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Quote of the Day

“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”

Robert A. Heinlein

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Ron Paul for President

CNN:

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson announced his intention to seek the Libertarian nomination for president Wednesday.

Calling his choice “both a difficult decision-and an easy one,” in a statement, Johnson decried the Republican presidential nomination process and pledged to bring a “libertarian voice” to the 2012 race.

In October, I endorsed Gary Johnson in the GOP presidential primary race. As of today, Governor Johnson has left the Republican party and is now seeking the Libertarian party nomination for president in 2012. I have the utmost respect for Governor Johnson and I applaud him for standing true to his principles. I wish him the best.

When I ran for office in 2010, I was asked why I chose to run as a Republican, when my political inclinations run strongly libertarian. I stated then that my intention was, and still is, to affect change within the Republican party (at least in New Hampshire anyway) so that it might truly reflect those principles I hold dear – limited and local government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, etc.

I stand by that decision and will continue to work within the Republican party to support and defend those ideals. Therefore, as of today, I am endorsing the candidacy of Ron Paul for president. He is the only Republican presidential candidate who understands, and is willing to defend, those core principles that have made our country the greatest nation on earth.

Ron Paul is the only Republican running for president who has been consistent in his beliefs and who will work to reduce the size and scope of the bloated and bureaucratic cesspool our federal government has become.

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Yes, It Really Is This Simple

A vote for bigger, more powerful government is a vote for a more corruptible government. What to end the big banks’ grip on our country’s political system? Vote to restrict and limit the size, scope and power of the system.

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First Amendment Fail

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

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Obama By the Numbers

Do ya miss Bush Carter yet?

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Gary Johnson for President in 2012

Just wanted to take this moment to make official my endorsement of former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson in the 2012 Republican presidential primary.

Governor Johnson has proven himself to be a principled advocate for limited government, fiscal responsibility, constitutional ideals, and respect for individual liberties. He has the proven executive experience that we need in a president who will make the tough decisions required to bring this country back from the brink of fiscal ruin and restore the People’s faith in their federal government.

While other candidates talk about reducing the size and scope of government, Governor Johnson has put those words into action. In his administration, “veto” was not a four-letter word.

While other candidates talk about the defense and preservation of individual liberty, Governor Johnson understands that such a fight must include the liberties of those individuals whose behavioral norms might not coincide with his own, or with those of the majority of the American public.

I ran for office in 2010 on a platform of common sense, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and limited, constitutional government. Gary Johnson shares those ideals, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy for the presidency of the United States of America.

- Bruce MacMahon, New Hampshire State Representative

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