"House of Representatives Diagram State of New Hampshire 2014" by Shabidoo - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Opinion,  Politics

The Anarchy of NH’s House

"House of Representatives Diagram State of New Hampshire 2014" by Shabidoo - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
NH House by Shabidoo

This week’s embarrassing incident in the New Hampshire House, is just another example of the complete uselessness of this body in any sort of serious governance.

To quote WMUR, and mind you, these are fourth graders.

The students from Lincoln H. Akerman School in Hampton Falls worked during class and on their own time to craft a bill to make the red-tailed hawk the official state raptor. They got a sponsor for it, got the bill through a House of Representatives committee and then watched from the House gallery last week to see if it would pass.

Rep. Warren Groen, R-Rochester, rose to speak on the measure, which was defeated.

“It grasps them with its talons and then uses its razor-sharp beak to rip its victims to shreds, to basically tear it apart limb by limb, and I guess the shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood,” Groen said.

So much is wrong with what Rep Groen said and the fact that his party got sucked into the whirlwind and voted down what is usually a no-brainer sort of bill. But others can write about the stupidity of this vote. I’m here to write about our incredibly worthless legislature.

The NH House is a perfectly crafted, anarchist’s tool left over from ancient times. Many “conservatives” love our system due to the fact of it’s inability to ever get things done. It is 400, mostly retired folks who are fine with the $100/year salary and mileage reimbursement. I think that they really want the custom license plates.

The House of Representatives has met in Representatives Hall of the New Hampshire State House since 1819. Representatives Hall is thus the oldest chamber in the United States still in continuous legislative use.  see this

Jason Linkins over at Huffington Post captures the essence of this august body

the New Hampshire state House has 400 members. Think about that for a second. The U.S. House of Representatives has 435 voting members. The population of New Hampshire is about 1.3 million, which means that every member of the New Hampshire House represents about 3,000 people. If the U.S. House represented the United States by the same proportion, it would be a 99,000-member body, and the resulting interplay between legislators would make most Thunderdomes look like a model of decorum.

Compounding this problem is the fact that most New Hampshire representatives are paid next to nothing, and so the chamber can be a haven for also-rans, never-weres, never-will-bes and nothing-better-to-dos, as well as cranky weirdos who believe in fun theories like how the Boston Marathon bombing was an inside job.

Nothing, or nearly nothing, gets done here simply because herding cats is easier than getting 400 cranky Yankees to agree on anything. This is also a reason that my state is the target of the Free State Project.  The Free Stater’s want to turn New Hampshire into an un-governed, Libertarian utopia and one can only assume they chose us because we’re 2/3 there.



Don is 43 year Londonderry resident (eek), blogger, techie entrepreneur, Moodle eLearning consultant, lover of face to face networking and political door knocking.