Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I turned 39 (2014)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Frank Guinta’s vindictive day in court. We need the Anti-Frank Guinta! I am the Anti-Frank Guinta!

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September 26, 2008

Re: E-08-0361, “NH Advantage Coalition v [Mike] Lopez, et al”, NH Superior Court – Manchester, “Temporary”, 9/26/2008, (approximately) 10:05 AM – 10:50 AM.

INTRODUCTION: Frank Guinta’s vindictive day in court.

I, Jonathan Melle, attended the court hearing this morning whereby the Mayor of my city took the city, meaning the 8 dissident Aldermen, to court to request an injunction be filed with the City Clerk’s Office to force the “Spending Cap” referendum to the ballot this upcoming (presidential) election on November 4, 2008.

The presiding justice was a woman named Judge Abramson. The Petitioners – or the Attorneys for the “Spending Cap” – spoke first with Attorney Chuck Douglas pointing out that (a) over 4,000 voters signed the petition, (b) the law does not give discretion to the 8 dissident Aldermen, (c) the 11/2009 vote is outside of the 1-year or 365-day period legal scope, and he asked the court to (d) enforce the law and require compliance.

The Respondents – or the Attorneys against the “Spending Cap” – stated that some of the Aldermen have not been served, as well as some of the city Clerks, too. He – (I did not get his name; sorry) – said that the law provides NO authority to act alone, meaning that unless Frank Guinta’s conservative lobbyist-backed group with undisclosed financial donors – the “NH Advantage Coalition” – sued Mayor Guinta AND the entire Board of Aldermen, then the law does NOT apply to stand alone individual or a sub-group of members of the Board of Mayor & Aldermen.

The Petitioners responded that they represent both the 11-taxpayer signatories and the “NH Advantage Coalition” and that this is a Statutory Construction Matter. To which, the Respondents stated that their opposing counsel – or the Petitioners – are in indispensable error to not have named the entire group because the Petitioners have no legal authority to name individuals – who are the 8 dissident Aldermen.

Judge Abramson then called the hearing into recess and said she would provide her decision as soon as possible.

PART ONE.

My thoughts on Mayor Guinta and his group taking dissident Aldermen to NH Superior Court over a matter that will not be implemented until FY2011 or July 1, 2010 are as follows:

(a) Mayor Frank Guinta is a BULLY! He is unable to handle dissent and has called his opposition “Hostile” since he first ran for Mayor of Manchester, NH, in 2005.

(b) Mayor Frank Guinta is self-defeating! He should not have taken his own city and (dissenting) Aldermen to court in order for him to strong-arm an extremely flawed public policy issue onto the nearest ballot.

(c) Mayor Frank Guinta is derogatory! Instead of treating his colleagues on his administrative/legislative municipal board with professionalism and respect, he is disparaging their integrity by taking them to court. Moreover, he hurled more insults at his dissident colleagues on the Board of Mayor & Aldermen than the overly redundant (13) votes taken on the “Spending Cap” referendum.

Furthermore, as a citizen of this city for over 3.5-years, I did not appreciate his loyalist placing a Blog page on nhinsider.com against me, entitled: “Jonathan Melle is a moron”. Well, to speak truth to my very low opinion of Frank Guinta, I am stating for the record: “I, Jonathan Melle, strongly believe that Mayor Frank Guinta is an ASSHOLE!!!!”

(d) Mayor Frank Guinta represents undisclosed conservative special interests! To be clear, I mean Frank Guinta is a SELL OUT! To this day, Frank Guinta and his henchmen will not disclose who the lobbyist group is that gave NH Advantage Coalition its financial funds and how much money they received from this group.

(e) Mayor Frank Guinta is a political opportunist! I do not believe Frank Guinta gives the slightest care to the city government, as evidenced by his (a) proposed and since failed brutal cuts of 5% – or $4 Million – to public education, (b) a net addition of 19 public schools in the city now in need of improvement – or all 22 city schools are failing to meet state and federal standards, (c) taking the city he is the Mayor of to Court in the name of artificially limiting increased municipal spending, and the like.

(f) Mayor Frank Guinta has political ambitions for high office! I believe the reason why he is keeping his political group going strong with the flawed “Spending Cap” issue is because he is going to use this group as his organizational apparatus to run for Governor and/or Congress in 2010 after he believes he will win a third term as Mayor in 2009.

PART TWO.

The following are my reasons for opposing Guinta’s proposed “Spending Cap” for Manchester, NH:

(g) The City of Manchester, NH, has NO discretionary spending! The whole point of cutting costs is to wait for your firm’s fixed costs to become variable costs, which happens over the long-term, and then find ways to either reduce or eliminate the variable costs. A firm may also make their fixed costs into variable costs and then do the same as above.

(h) Mayor Frank Guinta AND the Board of Aldermen should focus on finding ways to make their city government’s fixed costs into variable costs by restructuring & consolidating departments, renegotiating union contracts, privatizing municipal services, reducing and eliminating municipal services, and the like.

(i) A fixed cost cannot be cut or capped! All Manchester, NH, has in its current and upcoming yearly Fiscal Year Budgets are sunk – fixed – costs. The city’s liabilities and obligations are higher than its ability to reasonably raise revenues, and the same is going to be exacerbated in years to come by increasing energy, healthcare, pension, and the like, costs.

(j) If/when the “Spending Cap” is implemented for the city government, Mayor Frank Guinta will be halfway out the door of City Hall on July 1, 2010. He is putting his efforts behind a (flawed) policy that he will never fully administer.

(k) 80% of Manchester’s budget goes to two units of government: The Hillsborough County Government (Jail & Nursing Home/Medicaid), and The School District. The remaining 20% goes to everything else: Police, Fire, Roads, Public Works, Pensions, and the like. This Fiscal Year, the city is running a nominal +$14 million budget deficit, compounded by the state government’s cut backs in local aid due to their approximately $100 million deficit with a projected budget deficit of nearly $1/2-Billion for FY2009-2010. That means, SPENDING IS ALREADY & WILL CONTINUE TO BE CONSTRAINED BEYOND ARTIFICIALLY-IMPOSED LIMITS!

PART THREE.

The following is my thoughts on the 8 Aldermen who voted against Mayor Frank Guinta on the flawed “Spending Cap” measure:

(l) It is A FREE COUNTRY and an elected official has to choice to vote in favor or against a measure. The Aldermen have the right to dissent against Mayor Frank Guinta’s proposals. That is a big reason why they are there – to fight the tyranny of the minority or one man.

(m) The 8 dissident Alderman asked very important political questions in their deliberation on the “Spending Cap”!

Who is this undisclosed lobbyist group? What do these unknown and outside interests want out of Manchester? How much money did Guinta’s political group receive from this group? ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS ARE STILL UNANSWERED BY THE MAYOR!

Why is Mayor Frank Guinta also serving as the honorary chair of the NH Advantage Coalition? Is this a conflict of interest?

Are the people being rushed into voting on a spending cap under the false pretense that a more of the conservative base will come out and cast their votes for John McCain for U.S. President in New Hampshire’s largest city – Manchester – in order to put Barack Obama at the disadvantage in the Granite State?

(n) The 8 dissident Aldermen asked very important public policy questions in their deliberations on the “Spending Cap”!

How will the “Spending Cap” impact the city’s many outstanding bond debts? How will it impact the city’s ability to raise additional money via bond debts? What will happen to the city’s finance rates on its bond payments if the “Spending Cap” negatively impacts the city’s ability to borrow money? If the finance rates go up, will that completely undermine the point of a “Spending Cap”?

How will the city’s “Spending Cap” impact the city’s ability to raise revenues during difficult economic times? What happens if local aid is cut on the state level? What happens if there is a bad winter? What happens if there is an emergency?

If 2/3 of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen override the “Spending Cap” at a high rate, then why burden the city with such an impractical law in the first place?

(o) Why is there is rush to placing the “Spending Cap” measure on the ballot when it won’t be implemented and administered for nearly-2 fiscal years away in FY2011 – July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011? Why not give the voters another year to study the issue. Why not make a mock “Spending Cap” proposal for FY2010, beginning on July 1, 2009?

(p) I believe the 8 dissident Aldermen did a wonderful job in asking tough questions about Mayor Frank Guinta’s FLAWED “Spending Cap” proposal. Furthermore, I believe the delayed ballot vote will do a great service to the city government because they will be able to see the errors of such a myopic piece of proposed municipal finance!

PART FOUR.

My thoughts on the citizenry of Manchester are as follows:

(q) While I have been put in the constraints of fear in respective points in my life within distinct unfair situations, I understand why people are apprehensive to speak out on political and bureaucratic public policy issues. Authority is tragic because without it we would be uncivilized, but with it we are all afraid of being the outsider.

Well, I guess, in my life, I have been bullied, marginalized and made an outsider so many times, that it is the only way I know how to function. In some ways, I now enjoy being made the target of ignorant and small people, I feel empowered by false accusations and persecutions, and I actually have an aversion with fear of becoming one of the “Good Old Boys”.

I guess I am such a screw up or misfit that I am now comfortable with Letter Writing, Emailing, Blogging, Speaking Publicly, Facing my upcoming UNJUST Trial by Jury (2/17/2009) where I am being wronged by a corrupt system that protects bad cops and a very rude prosecutor instead of an innocent man (me), and living alone as I watch the World become more and more unstable and problematic.

The point being is that the citizenry needs to SPEAK OUT! We all need to be called “morons” by Frank Guinta’s political henchmen! We all need to ask questions about how flawed Mayor Guinta’s policy proposals really and truly are! We all need to demand better results from our Mayor, as well as ask for a Mayor that cares about his community instead of his dream-world political ambitions!

(r) I believe the citizenry of Manchester, NH, like many other locales, are being screwed out of equitable and adequate public services, especially for Manchester in the area of our public educational system. I believe the citizenry of Manchester should state to the Mayor: “Frank Guinta, instead of calling Jeb Bradley a ‘LIAR’ last month when you endorsed John Stephen for U.S. Congress, and now you have endorsed Jeb Bradley after he won the Republican Party Primary Election because you claim Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter told you nearly 2-years-ago that she wasn’t going to do anything worthwhile for the city, why don’t you instead focus on the diminishing school district and come up with proposals to make improvements?”

(s) The citizenry of Manchester, NH, should ask their Mayor: “Frank Guinta, you always talk about filling the full complement of police officers, but now you are proposing a flawed “Spending Cap” proposal that will directly negatively impact their budget? What gives, Mr. Mayor?”

(t) The citizenry of Manchester, NH, should ask their Mayor: “Frank Guinta, there has been a record level of fires in Manchester in the past year, but now you are proposing a flawed “Spending Cap” proposal that will directly negatively impact their budget, too? What gives, again, Mr. Mayor?”

(u) The citizenry of Manchester, NH, should ask their Mayor: “Frank Guinta, winter is fast approaching and we need safe roads that are plowed and salted and sanded, among other highway maintenance issues, but now you are proposing a flawed “Spending Cap” proposal that will directly negatively impact their budget, too? What gives, again, Mr. Mayor?”

(v) The citizenry of Manchester, NH, should ask their Mayor: “Frank Guinta, my family depends on my elderly parent’s municipal pension after they put in over 3-to-4 decades of service to the city, but now you are proposing a flawed “Spending Cap” proposal that will directly negatively impact their budget, too? What gives, again, Mr. Mayor?”

(w) The citizenry of Manchester, NH, should ask their Mayor: “Frank Guinta, my household depends on clean water and the city’s sewage service, respectively, but now you are proposing a flawed “Spending Cap” proposal that will directly negatively impact their budget, too? What gives, again, Mr. Mayor?”

(x) The citizenry of Manchester, NH, should ask their Mayor: “Frank Guinta, my mom wants to run for Alder-woman next year, but she is afraid you may hurl a dozen or so derogatory insults at her in one night alone if she questions you flawed proposals that may decimate school activities like art and music or sports, or may place the city into junk bond status with sky high interest rates. I want my mom to run for office, but I don’t want you to haul her into NH Superior Court like you did with your so-called “Gang of 8”. Will you be nice to my mother?…Or will you continue to be an ASSHOLE?!”

(y) The citizenry of Manchester, NH, should ask their Mayor: “Frank Guinta, when you run for Congress or Governor in 2010, you will have to disclose those outside lobbyists who are also now supporting you in 2008. Are you going to become honest in 2010 and tell the people you are only beholden to the special interests?”

(z) The citizenry of Manchester, NH, should ask their Mayor: “Frank Guinta, you showed yourself to be vindictive and unfair to the City Clerk, Carol Johnson, after she fairly asked the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen for increased or full staffing levels. You have put her through troubled times, and it is believed you wanted her to leave anyway. Whom are you going to pick on next?”

IN CONCLUSION: We need the Anti-Frank Guinta!

I believe FRANK GUINTA is the most dishonest, fraudulent, bullying, unfair, corrupt, ambitious, disingenuous politician EVER! As Mayor of Manchester, NH, Frank Guinta has clearly proven himself to be the WORST MAYOR IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD! He is another self-serving Pol who believes he may ABUSE his Authority and strong-arm people to blindly or fearfully follow his road to ruin for the community he does not even really care about. Today (9/26/2008), was yet another example of FRANK GUINTA’s terrible leadership. Next year, I hope to either run against Frank Guinta for Mayor OR support a qualified candidate in my place. I believe I would be a good candidate for Mayor because I am the Anti-Frank Guinta!

IN DISSENT!
Jonathan A. Melle
The Anti-Frank Guinta!

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"Tax cap injunction dismissed: Coalition can return to court to try again"
By SHIRA SCHOENBERG Monitor staff, The Concord Monitor at www.concordmonitor.com, Article published on September 19, 2008

The proponents of a tax cap in Concord withdrew their request for an injunction, which would have forced the issue onto the Nov. 4 ballot, after the city said the coalition filed the court documents incorrectly.

Leaders of the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition said they could still return to court - but it is unclear if they have enough time to do so before the November election. If not, the tax cap would go to a vote at a special election.

"We'll talk with the court clerk and find out when we could get a hearing scheduled," said coalition chairman Mike Biundo. "If it's in time to get on the Nov. 4 ballot, there's a good probability we'll come again."

At a hearing yesterday at Merrimack County Superior Court, City Solicitor Paul Cavanaugh filed a motion to dismiss the coalition's request for an injunction, arguing that the coalition needed to submit a court petition with the names of 10 Concord residents - which it had not done.

"The statute is geared toward voters, the local community deciding what they want, not some organization," Cavanaugh said. "They don't have 10 voters on the petition. They have two." The only named Concord residents were Denis Goddard and Seth Hipple.

Because the process was expedited due to ballot deadlines, Cavanaugh only submitted his motion to the court and to coalition attorney Rick Lehmann at 9 a.m. yesterday, as the hearing was starting.
Judge David Sullivan recessed the hearing until 1 p.m. to allow Lehmann time to research the issue. But Biundo said the timing was one reason why the coalition was not ready to proceed.

"It was a surprise to us at 9 a.m., dropped on our laps, and we felt the proper thing to do was talk to 10 voters and figure out if we'll come back," Biundo said.

The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition filed a petition with the city on July 30 to place the question of a tax cap on the city ballot. If implemented, a tax cap would prevent the city council from raising the property tax rate by more than the rate of change in the Consumer Price Index, the national measure of inflation. Councilors could override the cap with a two-thirds vote.

The signatures were deemed sufficient toward the end of August and the language was sent to state officials for review. The city held a public hearing Sept. 4, at which the city council decided to delay action until hearing back from state officials. But Cavanaugh issued a legal opinion that the city needed to act within seven days of the hearing, so on Sept. 8, the council voted to put the tax cap on the ballot within the time frame prescribed by statute, which is between 60 and 365 days.

The coalition argued in its motion for an injunction that the 60- to 365-day time frame started from the public hearing - which means the city would need to place the question on the ballot at the Nov. 4 general election. The city says the time frame started from when the council acted, on Sept. 8 - less than 60 days from Nov. 4. The city would then need to hold a special election, which would cost $20,000.

"It's not the most clearly drafted statute," Lehmann said yesterday.

In their motions to the court, the coalition accused the city of seeking to limit turnout for the vote. The city accused the coalition of trying to "'bury the issue' on this presidential ballot in November in order to push their political agenda upon the unsuspecting residents of Concord." Cavanaugh wrote that the city wanted to hold the vote later to give the public time to understand the impacts of the tax cap.

But before the judge could get to that question, Cavanaugh filed his motion to dismiss. The motion was based on a section of law that says a court petition relating to a charter amendment may be brought by 10 voters. Lehmann and Biundo say the section refers to judicial review only after the amendment is passed. Cavanaugh said it refers to any review.

After a recess, Lehmann withdrew his motion. Cavanaugh asked that the motion be withdrawn with prejudice, which would ensure that the coalition does not return to court. "We've wasted an awful lot of city time and money," Cavanaugh said. "We don't achieve anything by letting them withdraw and come back again."

Lehmann argued that because he only found out about Cavanaugh's motion that morning, he should be allowed to return. "If we're able to come up with 10 plaintiffs, I understand the court may not fit us in, but I don't think we should be foreclosed from trying," he said.

Sullivan agreed that the motion could be withdrawn without prejudice because of the late notice.

But whether the coalition can return in time is unclear. City Clerk Janice Bonenfant said the deadline for submitting electronic ballots to the printer is today. Biundo suggested that paper ballots could be printed and delivered to the Secretary of State's office by Oct. 4, when absentee ballots must be sent out. Bonenfant said she does not know whether that is possible.

The city has not yet set a date for the special election. Bonenfant said she plans to research dates when polling places and staff would be available, and present possible dates to the city council in October.

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"Tax cap advocates sue to put measure on ballot"
By GARRY RAYNO, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
September 27, 2008

MANCHESTER – It's now up to a judge to decide whether Manchester will have to place a spending cap on the Nov. 4 election ballot.

Before Hillsborough County Superior Court North justice Gillian Abramson, attorneys for the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition argued yesterday that aldermen did not meet the letter of state law in scheduling a vote on the proposed charter amendment for the Nov. 9, 2009, citywide election instead of this year's Nov. 4 general election.

"The statute sets out brackets when to place (a petition article) on the ballot. It is not discretionary. Shall means must," said the coalition's attorney, Chuck Douglas. "The aldermen can't say 'We disagree with the merits, so we're not putting it on the ballot.' They can't do that."

A vote is to be held at least 60 days after the public hearing and before 365 days have passed, he said, and noted the November 2009 election is outside that window.

But attorney Peter Chiesa of the city solicitor's office argued that aldermen did follow the law in holding a public hearing and setting a date for the vote within seven days of the hearing on the amendment.

He also argued the suit did not name the Board of Mayor and Aldermen or the city clerk, which would be required if the issue were to be placed on the ballot. The suit names seven of the eight aldermen who voted to delay placing the issue on the Nov. 4 ballot and the deputy city clerk.

"Frankly they have not established irreparable harm, so the petition should be dismissed or denied," Chiesa said.

The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition, which spearheaded the drive for a spending cap in Manchester and several other communities in the state, sued after aldermen voted 8-6 more than a dozen times not to place the issue on the Nov. 4 ballot and instead have voters decide the issue in a citywide election Nov. 9, 2009.

The coalition collected signatures this summer in support of the spending cap amendment and in August submitted them to the city clerk, who certified 4,036 as being from legal city voters, enough to send the issue of aldermen for a public hearing.

Under the cap, spending would be limited to the rate of inflation plus growth, unless two-thirds of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen votes to override the cap.

After yesterday's court hearing, coalition chairman Mike Biundo said the issue deserves to have the highest number of voters deciding the issue. Record turnout is expected in the Nov. 4 general election. He noted a citywide election would draw far fewer voters.

He said if the judge's decision comes quickly, the city should have enough time to print separate ballots on the spending cap question. Absentee ballots are expected to be ready to send out by the end of next week, and Biundo maintains the spending cap question could be ready by then as well.

After the hearing, Ward 1 Alderman Mark Roy, who voted to delay putting the issue on the ballot Nov. 4, echoed earlier arguments by a majority of aldermen saying voters need more time to understand what effect a spending cap would have on the city.

"In my opinion, we should never use a bare minimum to put a question in front of voters," he said. "If you ask anyone out there if they want lower taxes, you'll get an overwhelming 'Yes,' but you need time to look at how it affects the city budget and city services."

Along with Manchester, the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition submitted petitions for a spending cap in Concord, Somersworth and Rochester. Somersworth and Rochester placed the issue on Nov. 4 ballot, but Concord, like Manchester, decided to delay the vote.

The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition sought an injunction against Concord as well, but withdrew its suit last week.

Judge Abramson is expected to release her decision Monday or Tuesday.

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READERS' COMMENTS:

Its got nothing to do with 'how it will effect services....' its about trust. People don't trust you to do the correct thing anymore. Far too many times you've said things like "Higher taxes or we'll need to lay off teachers and police and your children will die" the very day after you said "We just spent 1million dollars on a new foot-bridge". People can't watch you every day. People need to put their trust in you. They need to believe you're acting honestly and responsibly. If that trust isn't there, they'll force you into an ever tightening bugdet and hopefully squeeze out the waste. Its not greed on the peoples part, its a lack of trust. Spend on silly things, lose your piggy-bank.
- Mike Duggins, Londonderry

Here that residents of Ward 1?

Your alderman, Mark Roy, thinks you are not capable of making a decision on whether or not you want a spending cap.
- Riley, Manchester

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September 27, 2008

Dear Michael Biundo:

Thank you for emailing me. I appreciated hearing from you. You are a very dedicated public servant, as I have watched you on local TV being interviewed, such as on one of the "2 Joes" Wednesday Evening Call-In Show. I want you to know that I respect the work you are doing in government and politics.

However, I respectfully disagree with your email to me, below. I still believe that Mayor Frank Guinta has it all wrong. No one knows about this mysterious, conspiratorial, secretive..., political group: "NH Advantage Coalition". YET, your aforementioned organization is seeking citizen initiatives to change the very nature of state and local government in New Hampshire. I don't believe you are right to stand for such a DOUBLE STANDARD!

If/when I run against your boss next year after I win my unfair criminal case beginning on 2/17/2009 where I am FALSELY accused of 2 felonies and 5 misdemeanors by a lying, abusive, abuse of authority, illegal uses of force, absurd accounting of the 6/7/2007 incident that defies the laws of physics and common sense: Manchester Police Officer JOHN CUNNINGHAM, I will disclose every dollar and group that supports my run for Mayor. If instead of me running, I would then support a qualified opponent to Frank Guinta, I would demand the same transparency and accountability from my candidate for Mayor of Manchester, NH.

So, Mike Biundo: Where did the lobbyist PAC money come from for your political group? Who is the donor? Where are they located? What is there outside interest in local and state government? How much money did you receive from this group? Who are the other special interest groups who have funded your strong arm tactics of insulting dissidents and then hauling them into NH Superior Courtrooms? Why won't you publicly disclose this information?

Lastly, I do NOT believe the tax/spending cap will work effectively or even adequately for Manchester, NH. In order to cap costs, they must be variable costs, not fixed or sunk costs. Manchester, NH currently and well into the future is running on a NEGATIVE INCOME from FIXED COSTS without any variable costs to artificially limit. Moreover, the spending cap conflicts with the revaluations; it includes the many hundreds of outstanding bond debts; and it also includes all federal, state, county and school district mandates, too. In closing, your proposal for a spending cap for Manchester is FLAWED!

In Dissent!
Jonathan A. Melle
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/09/mayor-frank-guintas-fraudulent.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/09/frank-guinta-for-governor-or-congress.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/05/manchester-nhs-gravy-trains-also-we.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2007/09/we-need-better-than-frank-guinta.html
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www.jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/2008/08/john-stephen-for-us-congress-is-he.html
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--- On Fri, 9/26/08, Michael Biundo wrote:

From: Michael Biundo
Subject: You have got it all wrong....
To: jonathan_a_melle@yahoo.com
Date: Friday, September 26, 2008, 5:14 PM

Guinta didn't sue anyone. He is honorary Chair, I am the Chairman and I was
contacted and talked to the 9 other plaintiffs. Mayor Guinta had nothing to
do with the Court action. So if you're going to take the time to write
something, you might as well take the time to get it right.

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"No vote on city spending cap until 2009"
By GARRY RAYNO, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, October 2, 2008

MANCHESTER – Queen City residents will not be voting whether to cap city spending at next month’s general election.

Hillsborough Country Superior Court North Justice Gillian Abramson sided with the city in a ruling released this morning, saying the board of aldermen met its requirements under state law in setting a date for a vote, within seven days of the public hearing on the issue.

The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition, which spearheaded the spending cap drive in Manchester and several other cities, argued last month that aldermen did not follow state law in scheduling a vote on the proposed charter amendment for the Nov. 9, 2009, citywide election instead of the Nov. 4 general election.

The city solicitor said the board followed the law in setting the voting date within seven days of the public hearing.

The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition sued after aldermen voted 8-6 more than a dozen times last month not to place the issue on this fall's election ballot.

The coalition collected signatures this summer in support of the spending cap amendment and in August submitted them to the city clerk, who certified 4,036 as being from legal city voters, enough to send the issue to aldermen for a public hearing.

Under the cap, spending would be limited to the rate of inflation plus growth, unless two-thirds of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen votes to override the cap.

But the majority of aldermen argued voters needed more time to understand what effect a spending cap would have on the city budget and city services.

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Readers' COMMENTS:

Jim from Manchester, I have the answer you are looking for. When your house value plummets to $150k they will not re-assess your home because they can't afford to lose out on the revenue. So, you will be taxed on a $300k home forever. Unless it's worth more than $300k, then they'll be happy to re-assess it.
- Bill, Manchester

It may be a long year after a disappointing fall for Ms. DeVries! She is up for re-election for State Senate this November. Hopefully the message will be delivered to her a little sooner than for the rest!

Mr. Doug Kruse will certainly make a better Senator than what we currently have now.
- Kevin Verville, Manchester

I lived in Maryland some years ago when a spending cap similar to what is proposed here was enacted. It was a disaster. Highway maintenance ground to a halt; the schools suffered; the police force was reduced. After a few years the voters overwhelmingly repealed it. Let's spare ourselves the same heartbreak. Stop this gimmick from going any farther.
- LJC, Manchester

(I have asked this of several people with no one being able to tell me)
Someone answer this please... If the tax cap goes into place --when my home is assessed at $300,000, and then my property value drops, (like it will to say $150,000), How will the new tax rate be set to adjust for this off set; if the rate can not be increased more than x% of the rate of inflation? The RATE would have to increase 100% for the shortfall wouldn't it? I am confused....
- Jim, Manchester

After carefully reading the Courts opinion I must publicly concur that the judge got it right. There is no question that politics played a part in seven of the eight aldermen who voted not to place the spending cap issue on the Nov. 4th ballot, morally they may be personally and politically corrupt, but legally they did nothing wrong. Tom Clark, the City Solicitor and his office deserve kudo's for their defense of the lawsuit. They won fair and square. The question that remains now, is what effect this will have on the 2009 election. This will be a serius battle between republicans and democrats. Both parties have equally valid arguments for and against this proposal. Guinta v. O'niel just got a lot better and a heck of a lot more interesting. In my opinion, if the aldermen had put it on this Novembers ballot, it would not have passed, now that it going on next years ballot, it most likely will. The republicans now have the message they need to take at least eight seats at City Hall next year, the question now, is whetehr they can put aside their differences, work together and get the spending cap message out, to take back City Hall. Time will tell and it will be very interesting to watch.
- joekelly, manchester

The judge also said that she was skeptical of the manner in which the 8 aldermen handled this and that their delay may not have been the best interest of the voters. Basically - while the law as written might have technically allowed them to do what they did - what they did and how they did it was not the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, the RSA is very poorly written and needs to be corrected - all parties involved have admitted that.

Like Tom from Manchester said, this just means 13 months of rallying even more support for the spending cap while at the same time reminding those same voters which 8 aldermen thought their constituents weren't smart enough to vote on this in 60 days time. I happen to think people are far smarter than that and have a much better memory that the gang of 8 might think.

It's going to be a long year for some people.
- Tammy Simmons, Manchester

Manchester Mike--you were repeatedly schooled on this subject by numerous posters when this charade started. Do you really need to be re-re-re-re-educated on this process and on the malfeasance by the aldermen that lead your city to this point?
- JB, NB, NH

The gang of eight have proven to Manchester that they don't think the voter is smart enough to make their own decision on this issue. I'll tell you what the Manchester voter is smart enough to do: vote every last one of you out!
- Shannon Lee, Manchester, New Hampshire

You may not like the decision by the judge or the aldermen, but I think they were right. Nobody likes to pay taxes but the alternative isn't the answer. A spending cap will limit services that Manchester has had since before World War II - like garbage pick up. Basic services would suffer as well as the most important services of school, fire and police - along with our other city services. Better to look at every line of money being spent and making good decisions with energy use in public buildings.
- Corey, manchester,nh

With constantly rising prices on gas, heating oil, electricity, health and car insurance, food, clothing and medicines. Higher water and sewage bills along with car maintenance and emergency car repair bills, and lets not forget the perennial tax increases! Add on top of that job losses from business closings or layoffs coupled with fewer good jobs out there. Consider those in the "private sector" who have not received any raises for a long time beacause of the economy. Add the fact that record numbers of families and individuals are now really struggling hard just trying to make ends meet "and in many cases aren't making ends meet". We have to ask ourselves, how could they not decide to put a pending cap vote on the ballot for this coming November? The only reasonable explanation must be that our city officials are better paid than the average citizen. They can't possibly be feeling the same financial pinch and squeeze the rest of us are having to endure. Remember these officials the next time you are unable to pay your bills, the next time your taxes go up, the next time you vote!
- Rob, Manchester

The ruling by the judge was absolutely correct. The Aldermen did follow the law much to the shagrin of the Mayor and Mr. Biundo. All the chatter about how the aldermen broke the law seems to have disipated. When will Mr. Biundo and company admit that the aldermen were right?
- Mike, Manchester

In a perverse way, this is great. On Nov. 9, 2009, the citizens of Manchester will get to vote for a spending cap, and vote out the gang of eight at the same time. With the way our government is being run on the federal level, we will probably need to walk from the donut line to the voting line.
- tom, manchester,nh

First of all, I don't understand why Sonja is allowed to post without stating her full name. Also, calling someone a "bonehead" is something that I have been sensored for before, so I believe she should be as well.

In response to her comment, I would like to know how she can defend the gang of eight aldermen who originally voted against bringing this to the people of Manchester in an election to let them decide. She says that Guinta needs to represent Manchester and not special interest groups. I'm pretty sure that fighting to get something put on a ballot to be DECIDED on by Manchester voters is the best way of letting the Manchester voter decide and a paramount example of representing the people rather than special interest groups.

Furthermore, if anyone is representing special interest groups over the people, it is the gang of eight aldermen. By voting against bringing this question to the people via an election, they have proven that they are in the tank for Ray Buckley and the NH Democratic Party. They have told those aldermen how to vote, and they followed step perfectly. Regardless of your view on the spending cap it SHOULD be brought to the people to be decided on, but like I said, these eight liberal aldermen are the one's representing their own special interest: Ray Buckley and the NH Democratic Party, so it WONT be voted on any time soon.
- Chris King, Manchester, New Hampshire

I am sure that this is going to really make Mike "Bonehead" Biundo very upset. I can't believe that you were not smart enough to give this to the Alderman in August instead of Sept. 2. What a huge mistake on your part. Hopefully the city will ask the court to have you pay the bill for having the city attorneys defend this unbeatable suit. The Mayor should be ashamed of himself for allowing this to go forward. It shouldn't have taken the opinion of a Judge to tell you that the alderman followed the rules correctly. They stayed within the seven day window period and voted on putting it on the ballot. I applaud the eight alderman for waiting to make sure that they had all of the facts before voting on this controversial referendum. The people of the great city of Manchester will now have plenty of time to weigh what they think is the right thing to do. Hopefully, the Mayor will do the right thing and apologize to the citizens of Manchester. He needs to know that he represents all of the people, not just these special interest groups.
- sonja, manchester

I guess we know that the key issue for the Gang of 8 will be defending their vote and removing voters from the democratic process. The extra year just gives fed up taxpayers the time to recruit candidates to seek defeat of the Gang of 8.
- Craig, Manchester

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The New Hampshire Union Leader Online: Top Stories, October 2, 2008
"No vote on city spending cap until 2009"
MANCHESTER - Updated, 7:19 p.m. Queen City residents will not decide whether to cap city spending at next month’s general election. ...
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Link (below) for the full text of Judge Gillian Abramson's ruling (.pdf format).
http://www.unionleader.com/uploads/media-items/2008/October/nhac%20order%202008.10.02.pdf
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"2009 vote for cap on spending"
By GARRY RAYNO, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, October 3, 2008

MANCHESTER – Saying she was "skeptical" of the way aldermen handled a proposed charter amendment for a spending cap, a superior court judge yesterday ruled Queen City residents will not decide the issue at next month's election.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Justice Gillian Abramson sided with the city, concluding aldermen met requirements under state law by setting a date for a vote within seven days of a public hearing on the spending cap.

But she was critical of how the majority of aldermen dealt with the process.

"Although the Court is skeptical of the manner in which this chapter amendment was handled by the respondents and questions whether the order after the September 2, 2008 hearing was in the best interest of the voters ... the Court is forced to deny petitioners' request to place it on the November 4, 2008 ballot," Abramson wrote.

Petition organizers do not plan to appeal.

"It does not make sense to take this to another court right now. We're within 30 days of the election," said Mike Biundo, chairman of the New Hampshire Advantage Coaltion, which spearheaded the petition drive.

Instead, proponents will work aggressively to promote the spending cap for the November 2009 city election; it has a very good chance of passing, he said.

"I would not want to be an alderman on the ballot on the other side of (the issue) right now," Biundo said.

Aldermen split 8-6 in rejecting a vote this November and ultimately sent it to next year's city ballot.

Opposing the November vote: Mike Lopez, Bill Shea, Betsi DeVries, George Smith, Russ Ouellette, Mark Roy, Jim Roy and Dan O'Neil.

Favoring the November vote: Mike Garrity, Kelleigh Domaingue, Ted Gatsas, Peter Sullivan, Ed Osborne and Real Pinard.

Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, who was a leading advocate for placing the question on next month's ballot, said it was very clear the judge has legitimate concerns about how the eight aldermen conducted the process.

"They probably adhered to the letter of law, but (Abramson) is insinuating the spirit of the law may have been violated. It's clear the (statute) needs to be rewritten to be more specific," Guinta said.

Guinta was disappointed city voters will not have an opportunity to decide the issue when election turnout is historically highest: during a presidential election.

The chairman of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen felt vindicated by the judge's ruling.

"We always said we were not breaking the law although other people indicated we were," Lopez said.

Placing the question on the citywide general election ballot next year will not cost additional money, Lopez said.

"We're not denying anybody the vote. The same amount of people that vote in presidential elections have the same opportunity to come out and vote if they are interested in the city spending cap," Lopez said.

The ruling will give everyone the time they need to understand what a spending cap would mean to the city, Lopez said.

"This is a real opportunity to siphon out what this really means, to look at the pros and cons and have debates on television or in every ward of the city as has been suggested," he said.

Biundo said the losers are the voters of Manchester.

"The aldermen played politics with the decision and they used politics to keep it off the ballot. Whatever their reason, it was not the right thing to do," he said.

His group intends to remind the voters of Manchester "who the gang of eight were and what they did. We believed all along the voters of Manchester were smart enough to make a decision within 60 days, but the eight aldermen didn't," Biundo said.

Under the cap, spending would be limited to the rate of inflation plus growth, unless two-thirds of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen votes to override the cap.

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Readers' COMMENTS:

To David Demers – you ask what Lopez is thinking? Well, not much of the citizens of Manchester. And here I always thought he didn’t think much at all – let’s face anyone that knows Lopez, knows that he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. But, he was able to get seven other dupes to follow the Buckley-Democratic Party manta of free-spending your money.

Unfortunately, 13 months from now the anger will be gone and no one will bother to vote these moon-bats out of office, so we are stuck with them. For me, I will not forget and I ALWAYS VOTE!!
- David Ridley, Manchester

Good for the Union Leader to post this Judges orders! Abramson in the news again and making a ruling that affects a sity that she personally deems disgusting. This Judge needs to go
- Mike, manchester

To John, Manchester.
A heck of allot more than 4000 citizens of Manchester wanted this spending cap placed on the ballot. I didn't sign that petition, but only for lack of opportunity. It is the same with allot, and I mean allot of other people I have spoken with regarding this issue. These alderman are supposed to represent the people and they are not doing that. Why wouldn't they allow it to be placed on the ballot? Because they have their own agenda, they think that they know best and aren't interested in representing the people. I've never met a democrat who didn't like raising taxes and spending more. That is why the petion was started, to put the brakes on the spending and taxing becasue we are fed up! We aren't stupid or as forgetful as the alderman think we are and their days as alderman are numbered. We will remember them come election time. As for Hillsborough County Superior Court Justice Gillian Abramson is concerned, it seems that demcratic liberal injustice knows no bounds and shows it's ugly head once again and the tax payer takes it in the kiester again!
- Rob, Manchester

Good luck to any of there 8 alderman. People will not forget how selfish you are to think of only yourselves.
- olivia, manchester

It's funny too, that Judge Abramson didn't see fit, back in 2005, to notice that statute was also "silent" with respect to required super-majorities in the budget approval process, as she found "support" for her unjust decision then in distantly unrelated statutes. The fix is in.
- Karl Beisel, Manchester, NH

All this anger because 4000 people did not get what they wanted right away? What about the other 100,000 people that live in Manchester. I have not decided which way I'll vote on this issue. I would like to see all the facts. How has it worked or failed elsewhere? Both sides need to stop acting like little kids on the playground. We are ALL in this together. We need to work together to straighten out the bigger problems our city faces.
- John, Manchester

Another unjust decision by Judge Abramson. By her interpretation, the Board was entitled to schedule a special election in the year 1,000,000 AD if they wanted to. To believe that was the intent of the statute is absurd. The intent of the statute was clearly 365 days, despite its poor wording.
- Karl Beisel, Manchester

Readers might appreciate this quote from Mike Lopez. It is from the BMA meeting held fater the public hearing on the spending cap. It comes directly out of the minutes from the meeting:

Mayor Guinta: "Aldermen, what you are asking, your goal, is to have a special election."

Mike Lopez: "Absolutely."

Ah, obstruction.
- Tammy Simmons, West Manchester

Great, in 2009 we get to vote on the cap and toss the Aldermen.
- Marie, Manchester, NH

Well, the "Gang of Eight" has prevailed in this instance. Congratulations, hacks...But let me ask these three questions: 1)Is this win as solid a vindication with this cloud of judicial skepticism that has been hung over the manner in which you folks handled this? 2) How sweet is this victory when the victory was had at the loss of the Manchester taxpayer to have a voice on an issue? 3) Finally, does the "Gang of Eight" think the Manchester taxpayer will not view them as political hacks and hustlers that achieved an end in keeping this question from going before voters?

This is a key example of the fundamental difference between doing what is right and doing what can be done. The Gang of eight refused to decide the issue on September 2, and then decided to keep it off the ballot on September 8 when enough time had tolled for them to do that...it was a tactic, nothing more...The city taxpayer is smart enought to see this. Doing the right thing would have meant deciding to place the issue on the ballot in November at the September 2 hearing for the voters to decide, not running interference for the unions that this corrupt and morally bankrupt, to which this "Gang of Eight" are so beholden.

Well, words mean things....and Mike Lopez, speaks in code. he tells the UL, "We're not denying anybody the vote. The same amount of people that vote in presidential elections have the same opportunity to come out and vote if they are interested in the city spending cap," Lopez said.

Lopez states nobody is denied the vote...yet, I am not going to have the opportunity to vote on this on November 4....

Lopez says The same amount of people that vote in presidential elections have the same opportunity to come out and vote if they are interested in the city spending cap," Lopez said.

"If they are interested"...Yeah Mike! way to go!...wear the people down! make em disgusted so they do not particpate.

your a bunch of schucks and you should be taken out, tarred and feathered.
- Rick Olson, Manchester

The most telling part of the order was the last paragraph. Judge Abramson could have easily stopped before this, but didn't.

She added commentary because she knows - like the majority of people who have posted here in prior articles, the endless people who have called and emailed me to express their outrage, the petition signers and collectors who know the aldermen intentionally usurped their will, and the taxpayers who will now have yet another budget year to worry about how high the spending in Manchester will creep - that what the 8 aldermen did was wrong.

Yes, the poorly written RSA allowed them to puff their ego-filled chests and decide FOR the voters of Manchester what they - the all knowing gang of 8 - will allow the voters to vote on and when. The arrogance of it all amazes me still.

There are only two ways to amend the city charter. One allows for the aldermen to place something before the voters. The other is for citizens of the community to petition the government to require them to place something before the voters.

The second requires many, many hours of time on the part of the citizenry. When the citizens follow the process - only to have the aldermen, for what seems to be their own political agenda, do everything they can to usurp the will of those citizens. The process was many months old when the aldermen suddenly felt as though this was being rushed - some even pretended to have only recent knowledge of the existence of a spending cap proposal. Shame on them. This is not new to Manchester - residents of Manchester have been actively working for a spending cap since early 2005. For any alderman to claim that there wasn't enough time to educate the voters is nothing but absurd. Unless of course educate means instead to confuse and scare the voters with misleading information about how allowing the budget to INCREASE by a certain amount will lead to devastating things like the fire stations being closed, the roads no longer being plowed, teachers losing their jobs, street lights shut off, etc. That would be like your household receiving a small increase in income - and then thinking that means you will no longer be able to buy groceries or put gas in the car.

I have said it endlessly - I know the voters here in Manchester are smarter than those 8 aldermen give them credit for. They are smart enough to know that they elect aldermen to represent them at City Hall. Those voters were fully capable of getting whatever information they would have needed to make an informed decision by this November. Those voters also are not as absent-minded as I would imagine the gang of 8 will hope they will be next November. I am confident that not only will the people of Manchester come out and support a spending cap that will require their city government to function under the same constraints that their households do, but they will come out in force to elect aldermen that will represent THEM, not a political party, not their own personal political agendas.

Betsi Devries, Mike Lopez, Dan O'Neil, Jim Roy, Bill Shea, Mark Roy and my own Alderman George Smith should prepare for a long 13 months until next year's election. People are angry - angrier than I have ever seen from and tax increase. These are not the regular activists either - these are just average residents who are sick and tired of the shenanigans at City Hall. I will gladly remind them throughout the next 13 months of these 8 aldermen and what they did to the voters of Manchester. I am sure there are plenty of others that will be more than willing to do the same.

It's going to be a long, long year for some.
- Tammy Simmons, West Manchester

Tim --- you are misinformed. It is apparent that the Aldermanic Board, though kept there many hours to make the decision twice, never made a decision to do something --- they made a decision NOT to do something.

It was a classic case of the Gang of Eight ruling Manchester just like a gang would. The courts were more than necessary here. But in the end there was no justice to the 4000 people waiting to see the state law enforced.

This is not good government. A great thanks goes to Mike and crew for taking time from their business, and the Mayor for showing us true leadership.

Now we will have to see how we can build onto those good six Aldermen to give them the majority they need to run good government.
- Roger, Manchester

Thank you Frank Guinta! You have proven to me once again why I voted for you! I hope Mike Lopez runs against you so I can enjoy voting for you for a third time even more!
- Gail Arthur, Manchester

What is Mike Lopez thinking? Why would he want to be the poster boy for bad behavior? Hear that sound Mike? It is the clock that is ticking away on your time as an Alderman.
- David Demers, Manchester

I just want to say thank you to Mike Biundo and Frank Guinta. While you lost the battle I think you will win the war. The gang of eight as you are calling them have really stepped into it this time. I am retired and talk to many seniors daily I know first hand that they are very unhappy.
- Steven A, Manchester

I thought Republicans didn't want judges to legislate from the bench and to follow the letter of the law. Now they are crying foul. What a bunch of hypocrites. They really are starting to make me sick.
- Tim, Manchester, NH

I didnt get a chance to sign the spending cap but rest assured I will get a chance to vote the gang of eight out next November. Even the judge agreed that they didn't act in the best interest of the voters!
- Victor L, Manchester

This issue should not be forgotten Mike Biundo has it right. The Gang of Eight slapped the taxpayers of Manchester in their faces and called them stupid. I hope everyone remember that next November and vote them all out of office.
- Normand V, Manchester

I am on a fixed income, my stocks are tanking and my property taxes are going up every year despite Mayor Guinta's continued efforts. The same group of Alderman who give me tax hikes, now want me to wait a year to do what they should be doing and that is controlling spending. I got news for them I now have tow reasons to go to the ballot box November 09 and one of them are to vite the bums out.
- Robert Belzil, Manchester

Mrs. DeVries is my senator and though she has done 'some' good things in Concord for the people she represents, in my opinion her choice to vote down the ballot question until 2009 will have negitive results for her senate run. As a candidate for State Representative here in Ward 5, if the majority of citizens in New Hampshire want the laws rewritten in cases like this, then I would be respectful of them and support or co-support amendments to such laws. Our governments both state and local are the peoples' government. We are elected by them, to represent them, in their best interest. As citizens and voters, new and current, this is our right to voice our choice to who we have represent us, not just the party to which the candidate is listed with.
- Robert M Tarr, Manchester

The Democrat Party has their dirty finger prints are all over this. You have to give them credit, they are organized. Love him or hate him Ray Buckley knows how to muddy the waters. The question is where is Fergus Cullen? Seems the only group in this state actively promoting smaller government is NHAC. Wake up NH they can't do it alone!
- Steve Smith, Manchester

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"Cap effects: Cutting county spending, too"
The NH Union Leader, Editorial, January 8, 2009

It is well documented that tax and spending caps hold local government spending in check. But can they also cut costs up the government food chain? That appears to have happened in Strafford County.

George Maglaras, chairman of the Strafford County Commission, announced a new budget on Monday in which commissioners found $2.5 million in savings to avoid a massive 12 percent tax hike. They kept the tax increase to 2.8 percent, which is below the rate of inflation.

In the budgeting process, commissioners had to decide whether to pass some costs on to municipalities. They opted not to, Maglaras said, because of tax and spending caps in Dover and Rochester. Passing costs down would result in potentially large budget cuts in those municipalities, which are prevented by charter from raising taxes and spending high enough to absorb the passed costs.

So the Dover and Rochester tax and spending caps played a role in encouraging Strafford County to eliminate unnecessary spending.

If more communities adopted such caps, it is conceivable that they would affect spending at the state level, too. That would be a worthy experiment for New Hampshire municipalities to conduct.
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Readers' COMMENTS:

This editorial is right on the mark. We have a great vehicle in these caps to lower taxes on all levels. I for one appreciate the opportunity to see my county taxes go down once Manchester is added to Nashua's Cap.
- Bill Sheanton, Manchester

If the effect that spending caps are reducing overall government expenditures at not only the city level but the town level than they are a working to accomplish exactly what the taxpayers have voted for reduced spending as a means to receive tax cuts.
- Matt M., Hampstead

I wouldn't celebrate to much Ernie. I think the Commissioners took the easy way out and just cut attractive programs to send a message to the towns. Their actions reflect what happened in Massachusets years ago. They (Mass) cut co-operative extension and in the process destroyed long standing programs that benifited the states residents. The Massachusets example is not the example the state of NH needs to emmulate. Who do we look to blame for the current problem budget crisis? Lets start with the Govenor and the Democraticly controlled Legislature they passed a 17% unfunded budget. What did they think would happen? I am not against tax caps but be careful what you wish for.
- Michael King, Epping

Hooray to Strafford County Commisioner's. It's about time some gov't officials stopped picking up some of the costs passed down by the state. Hopefully other NH Counties will follow suit.
- Ernie Towne, Leesburg, Fl. 34788

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TAX-CAP AMENDMENT: A bill making it easier for a city or town to replace its clerk has been rolling smoothly along.

Now Republicans want to add language to it that would allow communities to adopt the tax caps that a Merrimack County Superior Court judge has ruled are against state law and unconstitutional.

Mike Biundo, chairman of the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition, said the amendment would let any city charter carry a provision to cap municipal and school budgets as well as tax rates, and would allow a two-thirds vote to override the cap. It also gives cover to cities or towns that have tax caps in place, saying they will be considered valid.

The coalition lost on a request that the superior court reconsider its ruling, and is holding off on a state Supreme Court appeal until it sees how the amendment fares.

It's not likely to win at the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Betsi DeVries. As a Manchester alderman, she voted against putting a tax cap on November's ballot.

Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon said that if it has to, the GOP will bring it up on the Senate floor. "I'm trying to think why someone would be against it. Only reason I can think, is if we don't want people to control their taxes and spending," he said.
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SOURCE: "State House Dome: Fence now a hot seat for Lynch" (By TOM FAHEY, State House Bureau Chief, NH Union Leader, (Mother's Day:) Sunday, May 10, 2009)
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"Aldermen vs. the law: Gang of Eight busted"
The New Hampshire Union Leader, Editorial, July 28, 2009

Now we know how far a majority of Manchester aldermen will go to keep a tax-and-spending cap off the ballot. They'll break the law.

Last year, more than 4,000 city residents signed a petition to put the tax cap to a vote of the people. By law, aldermen had to vote within one week to get the cap in the first available election, which was at least 60 days away.

Instead of voting at the first meeting after the petition was certified, the aldermen postponed their vote for a week, until it barely fell within the legally mandated seven-day window, but four days too late for the cap to be put on the November ballot. Had they voted the week before, the cap would have automatically been put on the ballot.

At the time, the Gang of Eight anti-cap aldermen (Betsi DeVries, Mike Lopez, Dan O'Neil, Russ Ouellette, Jim Roy, Mark Roy, Bill Shea and George Smith) said the public needed more time to be educated on the tax cap. Some said they would hold public hearings to inform the people. No public hearing has been held since they voted to put the cap off for a year.

This summer, aldermen met in secret with the city solicitor to plot how to throw the cap off this fall's ballot. That meeting resulted in a legal challenge to the tax cap. On Friday, Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge James D. O'Neill III threw out the challenge because the secret meeting that spawned it was illegal. It violated the state's Right to Know law.

Now, a year after it should have, the cap finally goes before the people for a vote. The cap should be supported because it is desperately needed. But now the people have another good reason to vote for it -- to defy the Gang of Eight who went so far as to break the law to defy the people their legal right to control city spending.

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July 28, 2009

Re: Frank Guinta is a hypocrite!

If the "Right to Know" is so important, then why did not Mayor Frank Guinta disclose to the 8 dissenting Aldermen who is his funding source for the tax cap and how much money did his political organization receive from the unknown entity? I would like to know if this is the same special interest supporting his 2010 candidacy for US Congress against Democratic Party Incumbent Carol Shea-Porter! Frank Guinta is full of hypocrisy! He loves to point his finger at others without looking in the proverbial mirror! To illustrate, take the termination of former City Clerk Carol Johnson. Guinta was very upset that she did not properly report an incident of theft. Now, it has been reported that Guinta was at the scene of a bar fight and it took him 6 days to report the incident to the police. Frank Guinta has one standard for himself and another for everyone else. He is a man of very poor character! To read my anti-Frank Guinta Blog, please go to: www.frankguinta.blogspot.com

Thank you,
Jonathan Melle

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"Citizens group mounts challenge to spending cap"
By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, 8/28/2009

MANCHESTER – A group of Manchester residents is taking the city to court in an effort to sink the proposed spending cap.

Members of the group Keep Manchester Moving are asking a Hillsborough County Superior Court judge to deem the cap illegal. The group is also asking the court to block the city from putting the proposal on the November ballot.

"We believe it's an illegal initiative," said Zandra Rice Hawkins, a spokesman for the group. "It would cause damage to the city and the taxpayers if it's passed."

An official with a rival group, the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition, said it "just doesn't seem right" for the petitioners to take this step so close to the Nov. 4 election. "People have been waiting a year to have their say on this," the official, Matt Murphy, said.

Murphy, the coalition's executive director, got his first look at the petition yesterday. He said coalition leaders would have to consult their attorney before deciding what to do about it.

The petition puts the city in an odd position, since the City Solicitor's Office has already argued in court that the cap is unconstitutional.

City attorney Peter Chiesa said it "remains to be seen" how his office will respond to the petition.

"It's currently under evaluation," he said Wednesday.

City officials are waiting for a response to a petition of their own, also in opposition to the cap. That petition asks a superior court judge to reverse his decision derailing the city's case against the proposal.

A hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 30. Rice Hawkins, however, argues voters can't afford to wait until then to find out if the proposal passes legal muster.

It won't be long, she said, before the city starts printing up the November ballots. Her group's petition says the city "must proceed with the printing of ballots for the general election immediately after the September 15, 2009 primary."

Attorney Bob Backus filed the petition last Thursday on behalf of 11 city residents, all active opponents of the cap, according to Rice Hawkins. The group includes Manchester firefighter Ryan Cashin, McLaughlin Middle School guidance counselor Maxine Mosley, postal worker and union officer David McCloskey and City Democratic Committee Secretary Mike Farley.

"It's out of a love for this city," Farley said, explaining his participation in the filing. Farley said he believes a spending cap would take elected officials out of the budget-writing process "and essentially put the city on auto-pilot. I think that's harmful to the interests of the city."

The proposed cap has been presented as an obstacle to large-scale tax hikes. It would amend the City Charter to block the aldermen from increasing city spending by more than the national consumer price index. However, aldermen could override the cap with a two-thirds vote.

Members of the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition, the group that authored the proposal, have accused the aldermen of trying to block the public from voting on it. Murphy noted the group collected more than 4,000 signatures in order to earn a spot on the ballot.

"It seems, I don't know, 10 people want to overrule the will of 4,000 people that went through the process and signed the petition to put it on the ballot, which doesn't seem fair," Murphy said.
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READERS' COMMENTS:

@Mike in Manchester
"The pro tax cap group is all in favor of having the issue go before the public but they are against anybody who dares to mount a challenge."

Right! Not much of a challenger if they only agree with you.
- Dan Garthwaite, Manchester

For those of you who would like to convince readers that the "pro-spending cappers" are just upset that there is opposition to the spending.....you are confusing apples and oranges.

The Gang of 8 aldermen very clearly stated that this couldn't be on last year's ballot not because the language was somehow flawed but because there just wasn't enough time to provide the needed information to what they seem to think are the ignorant voters of Manchester in time for last year's November election.

They said they would educate us with informational meetings.

That was a year ago and not one tidbit of information has been provided by these aldermen.

The only "information" has been fear tactics by opponents and attempts to keep the issue off the ballot.....nothing as to to substance of the initiative.

I really should be thanking Zandra for all of her efforts with Granite State Progress, Keep Manchester Movin, and all the other liberal organizations she is affiliated with - the more they try and stop the voters from being able to vote, the more support there seems to be FOR the spending cap and the LESS there is for the Gang of 8 aldermen.
- Tammy Simmons, West Manchester

It would seem that the unions lackeys have all but conceded that a tax cap, put to vote, would be passed. They don't even want it on the ballot. Democrats and Democracy and nary shall the twixt meet the twain.
- JB, NB, NH

James in Manchester, I agree with you. What has to be understood is that the proponents of the tax cap are upset because others are against it and are now fighting back. The tax cap proponents only feel things should be done if it suits them but how dare a group of citizens ask a court to make a ruling that might hurt the tax cap position. The pro tax cap group is all in favor of having the issue go before the public but they are against anybody who dares to mount a challenge.
- Mike, manchester

"It seems, I don't know, 10 people want to overrule the will of 4,000 people that went through the process and signed the petition to put it on the ballot, which doesn't seem fair," Murphy said.
Well Mr. Murphy you and your group want to be heard and you suppor that but when it comes to opponents being heard you are against it. Double standard at best. All it takes is one person to bring this forward and that is their right as a citizen to do so. I guess my question to Mr. Murphy is, are you for or against citizens having the right to be heard because where I sit, you say you are for it until and unless somone wishes to oppose your view.
- Mike, Manchester

I'm planning on voting for the spending cap as many times as possible. My moto? Vote early and Often. It is the democrat way.
- tom, manchester,nh

The will of 4,000 people (3% of the population) is not being subverted in the least. There was no "secret meeting", it was a closed session with the city's attorney which is done legally when discussing legal matters for the city. The vote taken should have been done in public session, but the discussions held were entirely appropriate when discussing legal strategy with legal counsel.

It is much more appropriate to find out the legality and constitutionality of this propsal before it is voted upon. This tax cap merely allows the opportunity for a vocal and uninformed minority to impose its will on the majority through a short-sighted and disproven method of budgeting. If the BOA and Mayor are doing such a poor job of governing and budgeting then indeed they will be voted out of office by the true majority of citizens. So far, in this nationally recognized, tax-friendly city, they have done very well under the current system. Trying to subvert the will of the true majority through deceitful and possibly unconstitutional means is counter productive. 4,000 signatures are worthless if they are asking for something that can't possibly come to fruition if their proposal can't pass legal or constitutional muster.

Why not get back to your other worthwhile pusuits like proving that Obama isn't a legal citizen or that WMDs existed in Iraq. How did those work out for ya??
- James, Manchester

To Jack from Manchester...
Your analogy to MA and CA is flawed...those tax caps require a 2/3rds override by the voting citizens...I believe that this tax cap as written requires a 2/3rds majority of the board to override. The board can choose to override if the financial situation of the city calls for it, but they will be held accountable for their decision to do so in the next election cycle.
I see no "gimmick" here...
- Ellen Bissonette, Manchester

A "gimmick" laments Phil Greazzo of West Manchester. No, pal, the gimmick was your attempt to push this through without fully knowing the impact of such a proposal. How tough would it be to have someone sign a petition when the person holding the clipboard asks... would you like to cap taxes and spending? Who wouldn't sign?

I am not a union member but a working class citizen. I've witnessed what similar proposals have done in Massachusetts and have read of the damage done in California. In both instances, the spening cap proposals were repealed by voters. A spending cap looks great on paper but does not work, crippling government. Responsible government and spending, however, is what keeps a municipality vibrant.

Ironic, but I see some of the same names below who often bemoan how Manchester/NH is coming to resemble certain former mill towns on the NH/MA border. Well, it that is ever to be, a spending cap will hasten that scenario and make it a reality.

"The people have got take back control of their own governments. Policy must not be dictated by the people's public servants" ... says Jerry from up there in Claremont. Huh!?! Ummm..., Jerry, those public servants are elected to office by the will of those same, "people."
- Jack, Manchester

People should be mindful of the fact that Mike Farley is actually a State Rep, who has missed more than 95% of his term in Concord. He's spent more time trying to void the will of the people then he has in representing them.

I don't understand what is wrong with these people??? What is so wrong with making sure the Democratic process moves forward instead of this groups crazy agenda of bilking the taxpayers??
- Tom Walters, Manch Vegas

"Keep Manchester Moving", a liberal front group at its finest, fronted by Zandra Rice Hawkins, who doesn't even live in Mancheste (she moved from Massachussetts to Goffstown last year, just in time for the election), want to keep this off the ballot because they represent the AFL-CIO, not the residents of Manchester!

What about the thousands and thousands of people who signed the petition? Even some of those who signed because they wanted to vote AGAINST the Spending Cap are being denied that chance here.

Always remember, Zandra Rice Hawkins, Granite State Progress, and now "Keep Manchester Moving" are nothing more than the most extreme liberal front groups.
- Brian, Manchester

As far as I now, the steps these people took to get the tax cap on the ballot was and is legal. Now on the other hand the steps that the aldermen took to keep it of the ballot was totally illegal. My father is on the Derry zoning board and before he was put in this position it was explained to him that holding secret meetings is illegal. As an alderman I think that they would know this, where as some of the aldermen are senators. I believe what the aldermen violated was the right to know act.
- James C Webb Jr, Manchester

"... The group includes Manchester firefighter Ryan Cashin, McLaughlin Middle School guidance counselor Maxine Mosley, postal worker and union officer David McCloskey and City Democratic Committee Secretary Mike Farley."

Thank you, Mr. Brooks, for pointing out that what we have here are wolves protesting that the sheep shouldn't have a say in what goes on the next year's menu.
- Dan Garthwaite, Manchester

This would be hilarious except for the 11 people who oppose the tax cap.

"The group includes Manchester firefighter Ryan Cashin, McLaughlin Middle School guidance counselor Maxine Mosley, postal worker and union officer David McCloskey and City Democratic Committee Secretary Mike Farley."

Look at where all 11 get their moeny from. They are government employees. They get paid from Manchester tax dollars. Of course they don't want to cap how much money the tax paying residents of Manchester contribute to their salary.

if the votes for the spending cap were held union style, where someone got to watch how you vote (a law carol shea porter voted for) I would wager my entire life savings on it. Tax payers will vote for a spending cap and government employees will vote to keep sucking money out of taxpayer pockets.
- Michael Layon, Derry

here we go again!!!

The Democrats blocked it at last election. They tried to earlier this year and was shot down, so they filed a petition asking the judge to "reverse" his decision..

Now Organized labor and other liberals within the city of Manchester are filing a petition??

All of this after the Unions and Democrats caused such havoc with the Budget proces earlier this year causing hasty last minute decisions and back room deals to be made....

This reminds me why I am NOT a Democrat and do not support Unions..
- Scott, Manchester

Last year there were 8 Alderman who told the residents of Manchester they weren't smart enough to know about the tax cap and they stopped it from being put on the ballot. This year there are 11 more individuals who think they are smarter than the rest of us. I think the average citizen knows how to make a budget work...don't spend more than you have and make cuts when income decreases....something our elected officials fail to do. We need a tax cap to control the spend happy liberals in Manchester politics.
- DM, Manchester

Where are those "information sessions" alderman promised they'd hold to ensure the electorate was fully informed before getting the opportunity to put the brakes on spending?

The election is only 2 months away, and according to the last article above, September was the month that alderman were using this utterly facetious argument to keep it off the ballot for 2008.
- Alec Muller, Manchester, NH

They seem to be terrified that Manchester residents do not want to pay higher taxes. I do not understand how requiring 16% more support from the Alderman to exceed the "limit" is such a terrible burden it will put the city on autopilot.
- Will Albenzi, Pelham NH

"We believe it's an illegal initiative" On what basis? Believing something doesn't make it so. Unbelievable. The Constitution is a document that restrains government. Restraining government is what has made this country so great. And the spending cap is a way to restrain government. Nothing illegal about that.
- Jim Forsythe, Strafford, NH

This is so completely ridiculous!! I have never seen anything like this before.

Those who earn a living off of the tax payers of this city, don't want the voters of Manchester to have their voices heard on how the city spends the people's money?

The "Keep Manchester Moving" group is just a front, and a gimmick, being used to take focus off of the Alderman who originally kept it off the ballot in the first place, last November.

Don't forget the challenge they offered in doing so; "Let's put this off until next year, so we can educate the voters on just exactly what this means for the city, and if the residents of Manchester don't like what we've done, some of us will be up for re-election and the people can hold us accountable."

The "spokesperson" for this "Keep Manchester Moving (towards higher taxes)" group, Zandra Rice Hawkins, is a paid "astro turf activist" and reportedly a Massachessetts resident, so why is she working against the tax payers and residents of Manchester???

Trying to stop the voters of Manchester from exercising their contitutional right to vote on issue's brought forward by fellow city residents is disgusting.

LET THE PEOPLE VOTE!!!

Phil Greazzo
West Manchester
- Phil Greazzo, West Manchester

Of what are you afraid? Let the people vote!
- Cathy, Croydon, NH

"Keep Manchester Moving?"

More like "Keep Manchester Moving BACKWARD." Unbelievable. What ought to be illegal is tax hike after tax hike by politicians who refuse to listen to the will of the people and rein in their spending.

I love how they claim it's illegal and then offer no evidence as to how the measure breaks the law. These people are desperate and they'll do or say anything to try to keep the measure off the ballot. They know if the measure gets put before the people it stands an excellent chance of passing.

It would cause damage to the city? Doesn't tax increase after tax increase do MORE damage to our city and, equally as important, our neighbors?

Our elected officials have abdicated their responsibility on fiscal matters. It's time we held them accountable and a tax cap is a good--and necessary--first step. They have proven time and again that they can't be trusted with our money.
- William Smith, Manchester, NH

I wish people would stop wasting city dollars by going to court over and over again and just let me vote on this. If you don't want a spending cap you can vote no. I will be voting yes on the spending cap.
- Ben, Manchester

Granite State Progress....er, I mean Keep Manchester Moving is really starting to sound desperate to keep the voters in Manchester from deciding if they want to cap how much the city budget can grow each year.

The seem to be worried that their scare tactics (calling it a gimmick, saying that it's illegal, saying it will force cuts to public service and education, etc.) aren't working. If an organization - or in this case a whole family of interconnected organizations - has to resort to lying to the voters in order to gain opposition to the spending cap, then people should really wonder why.

If it's the language, it's the same language that these groups have been looking at since last Spring when the petitioning started. Why now, just months before the election, are they just getting around to being so concerned?
- Tammy Simmons, Manchester

Are these 10 simply "citizens" or are they the mouthpice for unions and city employees afraid the gravy train will be derailed after all these years...Yea..I know...city workers are underpaid.
Well...private workers are unemployed! and cant afford to support your kingdom any longer.
- John, Manchester

Like Murphy said, 11 Manchester residents want to stop the will of over 4,000 people who signed the petition. The aldermen had no right to stop this and these 11 people have no right to stop it either. This is going to be a very heated election indeed. We will see many new faces in elected positions.
- GJP, Manchester

We have the same situation in Claremont.400 people signed a petition to put a tax cap proposal on the Nov. ballot.Take note that it's the city union employees voicing opposition the loudest.The people have got take back the control of their own governments.Policy must not be dictated by the people's public servants.The private sector has limits and so should civil servants.
- Jerry Moriarty, Claremont

Is it fair to say that 3300 union employees get three years of raises and the sum of 30,000+ taxpayers have to get hit with a large tax increase over those three years just to pay for those raises? Let the question appear on the ballot, let the people of Manchester have their say up or down on the spending cap. As to this reader, in my opinion I think it would be best to limit city spending so that we can focus more on what is needed in this city. Besides how is a COLA increase helping when your paying it back (in your tax increases) at the end of the year? Seems it would be better to offer a tax cut to everyone while maintaining a reduction in spending, thus everyone is a winner come tax time.

Robert M Tarr
Candidate for Ward 5 Alderman
- Robert M Tarr, Manchester

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"Tax cap foes: They don't want you to vote"
NH Union Leader, Editorial, 8/30/2009

What do a Democratic Party city official, a liberal group activist, and two city employees have in common? They all have gone to court in yet the latest attempt to prevent Manchester citizens from having a vote on a tax cap. Gee, wonder why that would be?

First it was a majority of the aldermen who tried to stop the voters from having a say on a tax cap. A citizen petition (from thousands of taxpayers, not the 11 who have signed on to this court challenge) required the aldermen to place the question on the ballot. Through outrageous tactics, the aldermen managed to delay a vote last year.

Then, with this November's vote looming, the aldermen, in an illegal secret meeting, instructed the city's lawyer to go to court to try to stop the cap vote. The court struck them down. The city lawyer may or may not appeal and the aldermen may or may not let him.

Now comes this latest attempt. If ever a group should be collectively labeled "special interests," this is it. The "non-partisan" aldermen who have been thwarting the public vote are all Democrats. The Democratic Party is dead set against any such cap and isn't about to allow the public to have a say if it can be avoided. The teachers' union and the firefighters' union certainly don't want a tax cap that might affect their pay or their jobs.

The voters of Manchester ought to be outraged by these efforts to thwart their say. No matter the outcome of this litigation, they should ask their candidates this fall about the tax cap in principle and they should vote accordingly.

In the meantime, our only question about this latest court maneuver is how the heck did a postal workers' union representative get involved? Is that union worried that Manchester's streets won't be paved, or do these guys just automatically oppose letting the public have a say on anything?
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READERS' COMMENTS:

The amount of avarice and trick that the Democrats in Manchester have used to get this tax cap off the ballot is amazing. It says a lot about their tactics when they won't even let the people vote.
- Jack, Concord

So, if someone got enough signatures to vote on something that had been ruled unconstitutional or illegal in another community, we should put it on the ballot anyway? We should dedicate public and private resources toward something that will never come into effect, as written, because the courts will shoot it down? Putting the cart before the horse is an idiotic course of action and the tax cappers should want to present a viable plan, instead of wasting our time.

Get the court ruling first and let the citizens vote on something that will pass legal scrutiny. The motions, by both the city atttorney and this special interest group (who are acting well within their rights) came AFTER a court found the same verbage to be illegal in the State of New Hampshire. It would be foolish not to make sure that this action is indeed legal after knowing that there's a very real possibility that it is not.

I find it amusing that the tax cap crew are so afraid of having their proposal looked at by a judge.....if they did their homework and covered their bases, then there is nothing to worry about. I think they should be worried.
- James, Manchester

In my opinion it sounds like the Gang of Eight has enlisted Bob Backus and his crew to do their bidding - so that they can fly under the radar and deflect any responsibility for these challenges to the spending cap ballot question.
- David R, Manchester

Democrats trying to suppress a vote?
Why am I not surprised...
- JD, Nashua

Mr. Tarr,
I have read on here that you have children. You really want to put a tax cap in a city that already does not respect education? The city schools have lost 100 teachers this last year alone. Maybe some of the people so in support of these caps need to stop going against education and look at the city side that never cuts... Mr. Tarr you have an awful lot to say on this site that does not leave your kids with a better future than your parents left you with!
- Katherine, Manchester, NH

Manchester's voters should be allowed to vote on the tax cap in November.

If it is found to be constitutional and if the vote has not taken place in November, a special election might take place or a vote might have to wait to November 2010.

Both parties should be hosting public forums dealing with the tax cap. I hope Manchester Community Television and/or MCAM will televise.
- Ken Stremsky, Manchester, NH

Here's a suggestion for those eleven and the gang of eight. How about this. Should 2/3 of the Board of Mayor and Alderman be replaced come this November, maybe the newly elected should consider the past union contracts (made by the past alderman) null and void until the newly elected members consider those contracts and decide whether or not the taxpayers should pay the bill on a COLA increase the unions want. Wouldn't it be best if the city could offer a tax cut for the next two years while maintaining services instead of giving a COLA increase only to have to give it back at tax time when the bill becomes due? So how about it? Sound like a plan or what, forgo those raises so you can have a savings in your tax bill? Who's with me?

Robert M Tarr
Candidate for Ward 5 Alderman
- Robert M Tarr, Manchester

Democrats want to redistribute our wealth, well not all Democrats or Republicans, nor Independents want their wealth taken from them and given elsewhere in the hopes we are going to have a shiny new city at the end of their spending spree.
- Jack Alex, Manchester

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"Tax cap backers seeking dismissal"
By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, September 9, 2009

MANCHESTER – Once again, the battle over the city's proposed spending cap is playing out in court.

Activists on both sides of the debate made a repeat visit to Hillsborough County Superior Court yesterday, this time to argue over a local group's bid to spike the proposed cap from the November city ballot.

The group, Keep Manchester Moving, is trying to convince a judge the cap would be illegal. The group also has argued that asking residents to vote on it would cause its members "irreparable harm."

Proponents of the cap fired back yesterday, urging the judge to dismiss the case on technical grounds. Their attorney, Joe Kelly Levasseur, went further, accusing Keep Manchester Moving of wasting the court's time on an unnecessary petition.

"This is all an attempt to keep this (proposal) off the ballot," Levasseur said in an interview after the hearing. A former alderman, he claims city Democrats and left-leaning groups are afraid the cap will draw conservative voters to the polls, costing some Democratic office-holders their seats.

Josiette White, president of Keep Manchester Moving, said city residents "have a right" to know whether the proposal is legal.

"We have needed this ruling ever since a similar tax cap gimmick in Concord was found to be unconstitutional," White said in a statement, "and it's only right that we have a court rule on this before we waste taxpayer time and money on a ballot initiative that at least one court has already deemed illegal."

The judge did not rule on the petition yesterday.

Both sides in the debate have been wrangling over the proposal for more than a year. Those who favor the cap say it would protect taxpayers from large-scale tax hikes by tying city spending to the rate of inflation. Opponents call it a "gimmick" and say it would hurt city services.

The City Solicitor's Office has argued in court that the cap would be illegal. A judge dismissed the city's case in July.

The city is contesting that ruling. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30.

Levasseur has argued it is a "waste of judicial resources" for the judge to consider Keep Manchester Moving's petition while the city presses on with its own case against the cap. Keep Manchester Moving was an intervener in the city's case.

At the same time, Levasseur contends the anti-cap group has no right under state law to ask for a judge's input on the proposal until after the November election. He also argued Keep Manchester Moving should have named the state -- not the city -- as a respondent in the case.

"If the City had the ability to take the charter amendment off the ballot, it would have done so without filing a suit against the State," he wrote in a filing on behalf of his clients, the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition and conservative activist Phil Greazzo.

Two attorneys with the City Solicitor's Office appeared in court yesterday but did not say much. City Attorney Peter Chiesa said he told the judge "we already articulated our position" while contesting the cap in court earlier this summer.
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READERS' COMMENTS:

The City's initial case was dismissed because Right To Know laws were violated and the court determined that the City had no standing to be there. They have filed a motion to reconsider.

In this latest case, Keep Manchester Moving, filed against the City of Manchester when they clearly should have at the very least been filing against the State of NH. The efforts of Keep Manchester Moving is a petition of 10 voters, and the RSA only allows for them to challenge the amendment during the 30 days AFTER the charter amendment is approved....not now.

Attorney Backus referred to RSA 49B:10, which in part reads:

A petition for declaratory relief may be brought on behalf of the public by the attorney general or, by leave of the court, by 10 voters of the municipality. In the case of petition of 10 voters, the attorney general shall be served with notice of the preliminary petition for leave, and may intervene as a party at any stage of the proceedings; and the petitioners shall be liable for, but may in the court's discretion also be awarded costs, which may include reasonable attorney's fees.
Judicial review to determine the validity of the procedures whereby any charter is adopted, revised or amended may be had by petition of 10 voters of the municipality brought within 30 days after the election at which such charter, revision or amendment is approved.

Additionally, Keep Manchester Moving is asking for injunctive relief. I would love to hear what immediate or irreparable harm would occur if the spending cap is put on the ballot? If the voters approve, it does not go into effect until July 2011 - allowing more than ample time for review - at the appropriate time - after the amendment has been approved by the voters.

Attorney Backus also mentioned that allowing this amendment to go forward would cost an "enormous amount" of money to the taxpayers of Manchester. Really - because the poll workers are already there and the ballot scanners can scan both sides of the ballot that will be printed for the general election anyway. What is wasting the taxpayers' money is the time spent in court and the court fees involved. Maybe to many of our tax dollars are being spent in the City Solicitor's office if they have nothing better to do that to spend time trying to figure out how to prevent the residents of Manchester voting on the Spending Cap.

Both the City Attorneys and Attorney Backus would additionally like the court to combine the two cases - even though the parties served each are different - and the City of Manchester is the plaintiff in one and the respondent in the other.

Violating the Right To Know laws, filing against the wrong parties, not following the very RSA that they reference, and as usual attempting to mislead the public.

I have to believe that the people are Manchester can see this for what it is. Just let the residents vote already.
- Tammy Simmons, West Manchester

As a candidate and supporter of the tax cap, I can truly say; "Let the people vote, up or down" on this very important issue. Over the past 11 years I have been a resident, we have seen tax increases as high as 7% when the last reval went into place. Since then, taxes continue to go up, students in our schools continue to recieve text books 10 to 15 years old, torn and poor condition, our city streets continue to be plowed poorly, homeowners are told to pay 50% of the repair on the sidewalks in front of thier homes, etc. Tax increases have not helped the majority of people in Manchester, they have hurt the majority. Time to reign in spending, time to have budgets that reflect true fiscal responsibility, time to reduce taxes and fees or even offer a tax cut when the city is able to do so.

Robert M Tarr
Candidate for Ward 5 Alderman
- Robert M Tarr, Manchester

What a wonderful way to waste time and money. The petition recieved the required amount of signitures yet some groups are still determined to block people from voting on it. If these people feel we should not have a tax cap, convince me and everyone else who thinks our Aldermen have lost fiscal control. This will force them to use the sound judgement and fiscal control they should have used all along. Now let us VOTE! (I am one person who is looking foward to vote on this when I return)
- Brian, Manchester (currently Iraq)

White and her group are ridiculous! There are many other towns and cities with tax caps and so if it were illegal, they wouldn't be allowed to have them.

White and her group want not to keep Manchester moving, but to retard its growth with higher and higher taxes and spending.

Please take your astroturfed groups and get lost.
- Sue, Manchester

The spending cap is flawed because it does not address the revaluation, hundreds of millions of dollars in city bond debts, cuts in state aid to the city and school district, mandated fees to the county government for the jail and nursing home, and unfunded liabilities in the city's healthcare insurance and pension fund accounts. In a perfect world, city spending would not increase beyond the rate of inflation and new growth (i.e., population & business growth). However, Manchester's city government's budgets are not structured around a perfect world! They are structured around revaluations, bond debts, state aid, school district spending, county government fees, & healthcare insurance and pension unfunded liabilities! Until the spending cap proposal properly addresses these complex budgetary issues, the spending cap proposal should be scrapped!
- Jonathan Melle

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"Both sides claim spending cap win"
By JIM FENNELL, New Hampshire Union Leader, September 16, 2009

MANCHESTER – Nothing was resolved, but both sides involved in the debate over a proposed spending cap for the city claimed victory last night.

A Hillsborough County Superior Court judge decided yesterday to let the state Supreme Court rule on a petition requesting a spending cap question be kept off the November city ballot.

Keep Manchester Moving, a group that includes some city employees, filed the petition. The question was slated for the ballot after more than 4,000 signatures were collected to have it included.

Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, a proponent of a cap, said he wants people to have the right to vote on the cap and believes the Supreme Court will find a cap constitutional and will allow the question to stay on the ballot.

"I think it's a victory for the over 4,000 people who signed the petition," Guinta said.

The proposed cap limits increased spending to the rate of inflation, but does allow the aldermen to exceed that cap by a two-thirds majority vote.

Guinta said the cap will help keep taxes low and that making the aldermen vote to override the cap will force them to be more accountable and responsible.

Proponents and opponents of the cap each offered their own reasons for approving the decision to send the issue to the Supreme Court.

"We applaud the judge's ruling not (to) grant this union-supported special interest group's legal maneuver to keep the spending cap off the ballot," said Michael Biundo, a Manchester resident and former chairman of the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition which has advocated for the cap.

"As we've stated from the start, we believe that Manchester residents have the right to know whether the tax cap gimmick is legal or not," said Josiette White, president of Keep Manchester Moving.

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"Court to hear case against city tax cap"
By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, December 24, 2009

MANCHESTER – The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over Manchester's newly approved tax cap in a case that could have implications far beyond the Queen City.

Activists who campaigned against the cap in the run-up to this year's city elections are hoping to the court will affirm their claim that the policy is unconstitutional. A ruling in their favor, they say, could invalidate not only Manchester's cap, but similar tax or spending restrictions in communities throughout the state.

Likewise, supporters of the voter-approved policy say the high court's judgment could clear the way for more towns and cities to follow in Manchester's footsteps and approve caps of their own.

"This has serious ramifications, one way or the other," one supporter, Alderman-Elect Phil Greazzo, said.

The court announced its intentions to hear the case in a letter to attorneys earlier this month. Bob Backus, who represents activists opposed to the policy, said the announcement had been expected ever since a Hillsborough County Superior Court judge referred the case to the high court in September.

No dates have been set, but Backus said he anticipates a hearing will be held within the next two months.

Manchester's cap was approved in a public referendum last month. It is set to take effect in July 2010.

The cap would place limits on property taxes and city spending, so that in a given year, neither could increase by more than the rate of inflation.

Opponents of the policy, led by a group known as Keep Manchester Moving, have argued in court that caps on taxes and spending take power away from elected officials and are not allowed under state law.

In a filing last summer, the group contended that state law does not give voters "a right to legislate, regulate, or ratify the municipal or school budget themselves."

The activists have frequently noted that a Merrimack County Superior Court judge ruled in March that a similar proposal in Concord was illegal.

"One of the struggles right now is we have a strong ruling from the court in Merrimack County, but we really need to know statewide," said Zandra Rice Hawkins, who has led campaigns against tax and spending caps in several New Hampshire communities.

Manchester's cap comes with the certification of three state agencies.

"Barring some unforeseen major development, I don't see the Supreme Court knocking this down," Greazzo said. Greazzo, a Republican, was elected Ward 10 alderman in November.

The city of Manchester, represented by the City Solicitor's Office, came down against the cap in a hearing last summer in Hillsborough County Superior Court. A judge dismissed the suit on technical grounds. The city appealed that decision, and members of Keep Manchester Moving filed their own case against the cap soon afterward.
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READERS' COMMENTS:

It will be a sad day for "We the People" if we are not allowed to vote on tax caps and spending. If it is indeed against State law, then CHANGE THE LAW. We the people are the government and the ones electing these officials to do as we request.
Keep NH moving should read, Keep NH spending and taxing. Power to the tax payers/voters, not a few "elected" public servants. It is now and always has been, by the people and for the people. Never forget that.
- EM, Nashua

The people have spoke. That is the whole point of the democratic voting system that we have.
- JAC, Manchester

To the people behind Keep Manchester Moving: How can we miss you if you won't go away? We won, you lost and thats that. Better luck next time. Get the hint?
- Dale A., Manchester

This court case strikes at the very notion of "home rule" at the municipal level. While NH isn't a home rule state, interfering with a community, with a legally binding charter, from putting a cap in place would set an extraordinarily dangerous legal precedent.

In simple terms, this would mean that every component of a municipality's charter is voidable, which of course means that the election of our Board of Mayor and Aldermen is voidable, which ultimately means that having such a board set a budget could be thrown out, because it abridged the one-man, one-vote principle for setting budgets. Could you imagine having a "town hall" meeting each year in Manchester to set a budget?
- Glen, Manchester, NH

Happens in California all the time. Voters speak and some sympathetic/pathetic judge overrules the people.
Don't get bogged down with this issue as the control freaks are going for broke with immigration reform right behind healthcare (to insure re-election). signing on to a UN small arms treaty (gun grab) to disarm you.
Can't wait for Obama's, " We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
Won't that be a hoot!! hahaha
Somebody is gonna have a real bad day.
- Michael, Manchester

I simply cannot understand the logic by which some people operate under...the people said we want our taxes to be under control, yet there are some who say no, the people should not have that kind of "power"...well, if the "people" should not have that kind of power, then who should?...government is supposed to be for the people, by the people...what's so hard to understand about that?...how does continuing to spend many times the rate of inflation represent what's in the best interests of the people?...how does providing above average wage and benefit increases to public employees guarantee above average services?...if some people want to turn America into a socialists state, the I say move to a socialist country and leave my America alone...
- Fred Leonard, Rochester, NH

I am amazed at the gall of Keep Manchester Moving when they say the tax cap takes power away from elected officials. My Lord, that is what we have to do as our "public servants" have turned a blind eye to fiscal responsibility and have chosen to spend and spend. Be it on a federal level or here at the state level, there is little restraint in spending and even smaller interest in trying to help the average wage earner afford a decent living standard. My fervent hope is that the Supreme Court sides with the people, not the politicians!
- john linville, Wolfeboro

When our elected reps choose to represent their parties (and their euphemistically named special interest backers) and not the people, the people speak with referenda. This is government by the people, for the people!
- Becca, Bedford

This state and country are in a sad shape. We have our senators extorting hundreds of millions of tax dollars to buy their votes for the heath bill, governors selling senate seats for a price and this group wants to change what the majority of the people voted for. All these people stand up and scream out how we have a democracy, but only if they get exactly what they want.

We all know the answer to David's question - they use the court system because they know can't win the popular vote. It's all about them.
- Jim, Loudon

W/the Dems in charge the state has racked up an annual increase of 23%. With that amount of over spending on less revenue and the State shedding more & more funding to the cities and towns, the backs of the property owners is breaking. Well, you voted for "Hope & Change" and you are really getting it now. How do you like it?
- Michael King, Epping

I can only hope that the Supream court sides with the voters that approved this spending cap. Spending in Towns & Cities has to slow down. I am waiting for the descision, and if positive for tax payers, my town will be next. In our school the budget this year has a 5.5% increase.... They are out of control with spending. Thanks Jack
- Jack, Newton NH

Activists.....they came out of the woodwork from everywhere but Manchester, hoping that NH would turn into the next welfare state.

Well this native resident of Manchester doesn't need welfare and I'd rather keep the money in my wallet than to hand it over to liberals that think they know better than me how to spend it. Theres a lot to be said about frugality and not spending money if we do not wish to.

My message to them, leave our city alone, we're moving just fine without you, and if we want to take a breath and stand still, thats fine too. We're proud Manchester and NH residents and we want to keep our homes.
- Jack Alex, Manchester

Whether you are for it or against it does not matter anymore. The people have spoken and cast their votes at the voting booth! The people have spoken. What is shocking is that the losers are now asking a judge to over rule the people. This is why democracy is falling apart. The courts should do the right thing and leave the decision to the people that voted. Whether you like it or not, the votes were legally cast! Let it stand!
- Paul, Manchester

Just follow the money.These lawyers fees are being payed by the unions.This is essentially using our own money against ourselves! We need laws to stop this or the snake will eat itself.
- Jerry, Claremont

Let's see, opponents of the policy have argued in court that caps on taxes and spending take power away from elected officials and are not allowed under state law.

People make bad choices. People make good choices. Politicians make bad choices. Politicians make good choices. We live with the choices that we make. When bad choices are made we have processes in place, like the ballot box, to change those choices.

So let's create a law that says with regard to tax caps and spending caps, a cap that was approved in a public referendum shall remain in effect until the public, via referendum, chooses otherwise.

Problem solved.

Just because some people don't like what the rest of the people decided - do we really need a law that enumerates that?

Has anyone wondered why Granite State Progress, through its Keep Manchester Moving organization, would rather use the court system instead of immediately starting their own ballot petition campaign to repeal Manchester's spending cap?
- David R, Manchester

No cap, no restrictions on spending, and the taxpayer will always be taken to the cleaners.
- Guy Plante, Manchester

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"Cap tossing: Where were the good guys?"
The NH Union Leader, Editorial, June 18, 2010

For New Hampshire taxpayers, it might be the most important state Supreme Court case since Claremont II. But the people charged with arguing the case on behalf of the taxpayers didn't even bother to show up.

This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging Manchester's spending cap. The well-organized, union-backed opposition was there to argue against the cap. The state Attorney General's Office was there to give its opinion that such caps are allowed. But the representatives of the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition -- the advocates for the city's cap -- were AWOL.

Joe Kelly Levasseur, attorney for the coalition, said he thought the AG's Office would argue his side. He also said he filed a brief so he "did not see a major reason to be there." Answering any questions the justices might have isn't a "major reason" to show up?

Levasseur wasn't alone. Nobody from the coalition went to present the case. It's good to know that the taxpayers of New Hampshire are in such good hands.
-
READERS' COMMENTS:

The good guys hired a bad guy. Levasseur's just a mean-spirited bully and a headline hound. The NHAC should have hired a serious lawyer.
- LeFleur, Manchester

Remember the NH Supreme Court's
17 DEC 1997...the court did not use
the NH constitution as its core for
increase taxation for public education.

But taxes are a needed component
for operating goverment.

Unions should not dictate taxes...they
can negotiate for wages and work
conditions; unions can not dictate
policy(ies).

The elected rep of the people can
and should dictate taxes. Howerver
they must be mindfull that the tax
payers have limited funds. Hence,
the reps must cut taxes, cut spending,
cut out all unconstituional acts of
state and local government. The
first place to start the cuts is the pay,
perks and benefits of ALL elected and
appointed officials by 50% or more.

Thanks and Good Luck,

Frank Henry
formerly of Nashua, NH
Tel: 928-649-0249
e-mail: fmhenry4@netzero.com
- Frank Henry, formerly Nasuua

The good guys? They're smoking pot in some protest somewhere.

Seems to me a few too many people saw both sides to a tax cap and realized it's not the government stealing their money, but rather, the politicians.
- Kevin, Concord

Here's the irony. Joe Levasseur chimes in on everything dealing with the city but when it comes to this article he has been silent. Why the silence?
- Joseph, Manchester

As the person responsible for coordinating the collection of the signatures to even get the spending cap on the ballot, I was glad to know that the attorney general's office and the secretary of state's office was there arguing that the spend cap was just.

It's unfortunate that the voters of Manchester were challenged by the "progressive" left who just could not stand the idea of limiting the rate of spending to the rate of inflation. Imagine that - expecting the government to live within its means. I expect more.
- Tammy Simmons, Manchester

Sometimes the best place to hide something is in plain sight. This is one such instance. Who is there to represent the taxpayer or argue on their behalf as the editorial put it? Back up and ask who the taxpayers are. People, taxpayers are people like you and me. Sadly, many people are created more equal than you and I as reflected by their exemption from taxes. Some even receive tax money taken from you and I by force. The first of our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, clearly stated that “All men are created equal” Subsequently, it was clarified that ‘all men’ includes women and prevents exclusion based on the color of one’s skin or their ethnic background. The Constitution exists to protect the rights of We The people, including against unfair taxation. Laws that provide for unfair taxation should be found unconstitutional and that job rests on the shoulders of the court. If no one showed up from the advantage coalition the finding of the court should still reflect EXACTLY what is written in the constitution, both State and Federal. In today’s world we must DEMAND that the courts, legislature and executive branches of the State and Federal governments return to their constitutional duties. Their power comes 100 percent from consent of the governed, We The People. If they refuse to return to the constitution, We The People can and should revoke our consent. Such a suggestion was made at the time our State Constitution was written and can be found clearly articulated in the NH Constitution Bill of Rights, Amendment 10.

Taxpayers have been artificially turned into a special interest group because the laws of the United States and New Hampshire have become so perverted that progressive taxes and government entitlement programs are simply accepted, rather than fought against. The other special interest group, unions, have co-opted our government to write special legislation to give them special rights the rest of us do not enjoy. The government was divided into three branches so that We The People would remain undivided. With progressive perversion the government has been united and the people divided. This case is just one more nail in the coffin of We The People.
- Michael Layon, Derry

I find it a shame that the taxpayers even find the NEED to sue the government just to insure that they can do things that are ALREADY quite legal, such as a tax cap, voted upon fairly and squarely, by the residents.

Any judge who disagrees should be tossed out for violating the laws.

This should never have gone to court in the first place. Thank you JKL for all you do.
- Sue, Manchester

Well, looks like Mahoney's campaign is against the tax cap and against spending- kind of like his only supporter, Mayor Ted Gatsas. With all of the attacks that Mahoney's campaign is taking on this sight at Frank for fighting for the spending cap, its looking more and more like Ted Gatsas and Sean Mahoney are RINO clones of eachother. I'd stand with tax fighting Frank Guinta any day over taxing Teddy Gatsas supported Sean Mahoney any day of the week.
- Gary Burns, Manchester

Tim, Seriously now, Frank has not been involved with NHAC since before he signed up for Congress. He can't be. NHAC is a 501 C-4. The IRS frowns on that. LOL. Good try though.
- George G., Manchester

Obviously Frank only used the tax cap as a publicity stunt! What a disgrace they wouldnt show up and make the argument. These people cant run a small non-profit let a lone a campaign or a Congressional office.
- Tim, Stratham

Phil, Manchester

NH Advantage Coalition is a joke and you know it. As for the NH Advantage Coalitions lawyer, he never showed up to the oral arguments. Pretty sad if you ask me. Also, if this is the same Phil that is an alderman, you really should be proud that the NH Advantage Coalition is the joke that it is.
- Marc, Manchester

LOL oh look at the "I just care about myself" Sean Mahoney campaign trying to trash Guinta on being the spearhead of the Tax Cap in Manchester. Someone shoudl remind them that Sean's new buddy Ted Gatsas worked against the Tax Cap. Frank Guinta stands on principle and Sean Mahoney will do anything for political gain. I'm proud to support Frank and his tax cutting record especially in contrast to a candidate like Mahoney who was once a Democrat and has never accomplished anything for anyone other than himself.
- Dave Wilson, Manchester

The fact that the Mahoney camp is trying to hit Frank Guinta over this is obsurd. The only reason the Spending Cap made it to the ballot was because Frank fought tooth and nail to do so. While Guinta was working to keep taxes low, Mahoney was sitting in his Porstmouth mansion doing nothing for the state and further detatching himself from the average New Hampshire citizens. Mahoney the empty suit should probably stop trying to hit the only one in the Congressional race who has actually fought for fiscal conservatism through fake blog names. Someone shoulf fill him in that his new best friend Ted Gatsas was AGAINST the spending cap in Manchester in 09'. You guys are a joke!
- Peter Manney, Manchester, NH

To all of the people saying "JKL did it for free": it doesn't matter.

The Rules of Professional Conduct require a lawyer to act in a dilligent and professional manner regardless of the compensation he receives.

Levasseur is a lightweight attention hog. The Coalition got what they deserved. He flits from issue to issue looking for press coverage but doesn't follow through with the nitty gritty work.
- A Manchester Lawyer, Manchester

Frank was and always will be all talk. Little wonder Teddy endorsed Sean.
- Lilith, Newmarket

Union Leader,

Thank you for being advocates of the spending cap from day one. I however need to disagree with you on this editorial. The New Hampshire Advantage Coaliton fought this anti-cap effort in the courts on the streets and on the airwaves. Kathy Sullivan, Ray Buckley and the Manchester Gang of Eight are to blame. Not the Citizens who gave up their money and time for this cause. I for one applaud their efforts. This is why Union's rule the day. They choke away all the money from groups like this because they have it. I know Tammy Simmons and others while they had the money fought as hard as they could. I hope Joe Kelly wrote a good brief and I thank him for taking the case on for free.

Billy K.

Manchester
- Billy K, Manchester

Steven from Merrimack, I am not sure if NHAC is dissolved but I do know they spent a lot of money fighting this thing in court and are now being run by former Senator George Lovejoy. I read the brief by Joe Kelly. It was a good one. Joe also won the case that got it on the ballot in Manchester in the first place. This editorial is wrong on a couple of fronts. First, NHAC was not a named party on the case, the Attorney General's Office was. NHAC joined the case and provided a brief as did Fred Teeboom in Nashua for I assume their cap. Any group could have joined the case and also provided briefs and requested an opportunity to provide oral arguments. NHAC’s lawyer decided to just put in a brief. No one from NHAC should have been presenting a legal argument. The only one qualified to do that would have been their lawyer. I for one collected signatures here in Manchester, I also attended the meeting where then Mayor Guinta kept the Alderman there till midnight to get this on the ballot in 2008. It is a shame that union lawyers and certain members of the Democrat Party has gotten us to this point. In my humble opinion that is where the energy of this paper should be focused on.
- Phil, Manchester

Last I heard the NH Advantage Coalition dissolved to nothing more than a shell because they spent all their money fighting this thing in court. That's how the UNIONS and taxpayer funded lawyers win. I am also fairly sure Joe Kelly was the only lawyer they found to do it for free. It seems that the Union Leader editorial is aiming their venom in the wrong direction.
- Steven Wright, Hooksett

It would boggle everyone's mind Steven if they knew how much tax payer money was handed out yearly to those who then sue the tax payer.

But remember there is no more waste to be cut from the state or federal budgets.
- Patriot, Salem

As a Manchester resident, I would like to know where our City Solicitor, Thomas Clark, a man paid in excess of $130K annually, was at this hearing to defend the city charter. He certainly should have been there to represent the City against this litigation. Joe Kelly Levasseur was not being paid for his work, Clark is being paid very well. What are the taxpayers getting in return?

As Woody Allen says, "90% of life is showing up."
- Greg Moore, Manchester, NH

Hey what do to you expect!
Frank got his line for his TV ad. If they really cared about the tax cap other then as a PR stunt to get around the state and run for office, any office, they would have backed up their stunt by showing up to at least feign interest in the outcome for the oral arguments. Too many hands to shake, too many babies to kiss to be bothered it seems. Don’t pay attention to what career politicians say: watch what they do when they think no one is watching.
How else could you explain a pro-choice, pro gay marriage RINO like Frank Gunita whose voting record in the NH House had him in the most liberal quadrant of GOPs Representatives (according to the House Republican Alliance score card) running like a tea party conservative? Disingenuous Gunita: Watch their actions and deeds not their press releases and words.
- Matt Thornton, Merrimack, NH

This is a shame, but not unexpected.
When we decided enough is enough here in Laconia 2005 a handful of Laconians fought for and got the Tax Cap amendment on the ballot for the voters to decide. Other than guidance from Ken Merrifield and Tony Giunta of Franklin we got the job done. No need for so-called state wide organizations meddling in our business.
Unfortunately too often some folks like to get their names in print, or hear their own voices without really playing any part in the cause: results!
As Dover and Rochester organized for their eventual tax cap amendments Ken, Tony and I were available for consultation - only when it was requested. This is their tax cap. Didn't the Democrats in Concord just take away the option from others having the same opportunity as we did in 2005?
bnyoung@metrocast.net
- Niel Young, Laconia

Last I heard the NH Advantage Coalition dissolved to nothing more than a shell because they spent all their money fighting this thing in court. That's how the UNIONS and taxpayer funded lawyers win. I am also fairly sure Joe Kelly was the only lawyer they found to do it for free. It seems that the Union Leader editorial is aiming their venom in the wrong direction.
- Steven Wright, Hooksett

Of course Joe Kelly wasn't there. He was probably too busy writing inane comments to the stories here at the Union Leader and forgot to go to court! I wouldn't hire this guy to defend me from even a jay walking ticket!
- F. L. Less, Meredith,NH

Nobody is on the side of the taxpayer. Certainly not our politicians.
- Bob, Salem

The NH Advantage Coalition is a joke and now they know their attorney never bothered to show up for oral arguments on the case. I can't believe a lawyer would think he wouldn't have to show up to answer questions of the justices. Duhhhhhhh.
- Jim, Manchester

----------

"Beth LaMontagne Hall's City Hall: Court asks lawyers for more input on tax cap"
By BETH LAMONTAGNE HALL, New Hampshire Union Leader, 10/17/2010

THE FIGHT OVER the Manchester tax cap has been in Supreme Court purgatory since the parties gave oral arguments in June. But the two sides got a foggy glimpse of how the court might fall last week, when the justices asked the city and Keep Manchester Moving to file additional briefs arguing why the cap, passed last November, violates the state law that outlines the powers of city elected bodies.

"We're actually very excited the court has asked for additional briefing on this statute," said Zandra Rice Smith, director of Granite State Progress, a group that has been fighting tax caps across the state. "All signs point that this will be a victory for the people of Manchester."

But Joe Kelly Levasseur, who has headed up the pro-tax cap legal efforts, sees this request as an indication the court is leaning toward upholding the cap.

"Manchester has the right to restrict spending," he said. "That's exactly what we did."

The statute in question dictates how local governments set their rules and what constitutes a quorum. Requiring a two-thirds majority to pass a budget beyond the cap would violate this law, said Smith.

"It's really about residents' right to participate in setting the budget in their community," she said. "The tax cap takes away that."

Opponents of the cap have until tomorrow to submit briefs. Tax-cap proponents have until Oct. 28 to file a response. This late date, four days before the general election, has been called suspect by tax-cap supporters, especially since a decision will not likely be handed down until well after voters head to the polls.

"I think it would have helped Republicans if they struck it down, but now we have to wait," said Levasseur.
-
Scott Brooks has been covering Manchester politics since 2007. His column can be found every week in the New Hampshire Sunday News. E-mail Scott Brooks at sbrooks@unionleader.com
-
READERS' Comments:

Will "No Show Joe" bother to file a brief? Drafting a pleading is harder than chatting with his favorite UL reporter pal, after all.
- Kyle B., Manchester

where's guinta's comment on this? why ask joe? doesn't frank take credit for the cap?

frank guinta always takes credit for anything good that happened to happen when he was mayor. like the one year taxes fell, but not the many that taxes rose. at least he stopped claiming that crime is down. crime has skyrocketed thanks to him and mara.

we need the truth about his slush fund and how he qualified for big government loans (our tax dollars) when he was so "rich".
- abby smith, manchester

Go Joe Kelly, it's not that often that we think alike but this time I'm with you, and by the way I voted for you on my absentee ballot for the State Senate in District 20 and ask others to do the same we need to boot D'Allesandro big time. Break-a-leg Joe.
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester

For the sake of the residents of Manchester, and more specifically those residents' wallets, I would hope that the NH Supreme Court would uphold the Spending Cap that was passed last November by and overwhelming majority of Manchester voters.

In a year when voters elected 13 Democrats and only 1 Republican Alderman, yet passed the Spending Cap, I would hardly find the Spending Cap to be anything but partisan. Unbridled spending by government at any level creates higher taxes which only pinches away the hard earned dollars of taxpayers.

In the signature collection process, it was split equally along party lines - with a third of the signers being registered Democrats. The Spending Cap was not a partisan thing from the start and it continues not to be.

Granite State Progress spokesman wrote, "It's really about residents' right to participate in setting the budget in their community," she said. "The tax cap takes away that."

What she is clearly saying is that residents should only have the right to participate in the budget process if they are for larger and larger budgets and against budget restraints. This is just insane - not only in principle but in application.

The Spending Cap limits the rate at which city spending can increase, but also can be overridden with a 2/3 vote of the alderman. If increases in spending that exceed the cap are truly necessary, then having 2/3 of the board override the cap should be easy. If the spending is really necessary.
- Tammy Simmons, Manchester

----------

"Supreme Court rejects Manchester effort to cap taxes, spending"
By TOM FAHEY, NH State House Bureau Chief, NH Union Leader, November 10, 2010

CONCORD – The New Hampshire Supreme Court rejected a cap on taxes and spending that Manchester voters approved a year ago.

In a unanimous opinion, the court ruled Wednesday that the cap, passed as an amendment to the city charter, goes against state law that lays out details of how a city with a mayor and board of aldermen should operate.

While the amendment requires a two-thirds vote to override the cap, state law says budgets should pass on a simple majority vote, the court said.

"The proposed charter amendment is inconsistent with state law. Because the amendment constrains the board to either abide by the spending cap or act by a two-thirds majority to override it, it conflicts with the board's authority to adopt a budget," the court ruled in an opinion written by Associate Justice Gary Hicks.

Voters in Manchester passed the cap in November 2009. It limits increases in city spending and property taxes to the increase in the consumer price index.

The city aldermen, a group of citizens and the non-profit Keep Manchester Moving challenged the amendment, saying that among other things it intruded into the normal business of adopting a budget.

The New Hampshire Advantage Coalition argued for the cap, saying the amendment, "is simply a change to the structure and formation of the City's annual budget procedure." It said state law provides a general outline for city charters, not a hard and fast rule.

The case has an impact beyond Manchester, since six other cities and towns have similar caps.

Three state agencies - the Attorney General Office, the Department of Revenue Administration and the Secretary of State's office - had argued that nothing in state law prohibits the cap. Because the language of the amendment provided a way to exceed the cap, aldermen maintained "ultimate authority" over spending decisions, they reasoned.
-
READERS' COMMENTS:

Well Tammy

Let's be honest. You're just another politician who will say what you think the people want to hear.

Tax and Spend, Tax and Spend. It's what you know, what you do, and what will never change.

I'll be happy to eat my words some day, but I probably wont be able to afford anything else after Raise Your Taxes Gatsas and his band of merry Aldermen get done with this city.

Bottom line, talk is cheap. I'm going to save your comments and we'll see what legislation you introduce this year, how you vote, and what results you end up with.

But I wont be holding my breath.
- Al, Manchester

Out newly elected state representatives need to add this item to their list of things to fix. Keep Manchester Moving is working on behalf of municipal unions but who is speaking for taxpayers who pay their salaries? It's certainly not the Manchester aldermen.
- Erin McNelly, Manchester, NH

Finally, the Supreme Court ruled on what many already knew to be a faulty Cap. The board of Mayor and Aldermen are the tax cap. Change the charter if you don't like it. I just wonder how much money the tax capper proponents cost the city in fighting this issue.

Of irony is Frank Guinta supported the cap and it has been struck down by the court. So, to those that elected him....great job! You elected someone who doesn't even know the law...and to think he campaigned on his support of the illegal tax cap. Way to go voters...way to go. Duhhhh.
- Marc Light, Manchester

Barbara: Rest assured...as a newly elected State Representative, I plan to do excatly that!

What is uincredibly distrubing is that the original speng cap language was rejected by the Attorney generals' office because it did not have the 2/3 majority language in it. We corrected that and bot the Attorney Generals' office and the Secretary of Satte's office approved the language that voters eventually voted on. Now we're told that the 2/3 majority language is incorrect.

So - the residents of Manchester lose yet again at the hands of government.
- Tammy Simmons, Manchester

Once again the "Gnomes of Concord" show their disdain for New Hampshire citizens.
Can someone please explain to me why we even bother to have elections? As at any time "Unelected Judges" can override the will of the people if it doesn't suit their Liberal agenda.

The Constitution says we HAVE to have a Supreme Court. But there is nothing in it to say we have to pay for their fancy buildings, Obscene Salaries, or Highly Paid Gophers to do the judges work.

Lets Pull the funding for the Supreme Court. and let the Gnomes work in the old Manchester DMV building, and work for small stipend (Politicians do it). Why cant they do it.
Regards
- Bryan Pulley, Hudson

Silly people thinking that govt workers will constrain spending. Duh!!! Graft. It is in their blood!
- Mike Duggins, Londonderry

Our new legislators should just change the state law and allow for tax caps. That gets around our liberal ruling Supreme Court
- Barbara, Gilford

----------

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About Me

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I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at jonathan_a_melle@yahoo.com

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Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton & Carter.

5 Presidents: Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, & Carter!

5 Presidents: Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, & Carter!
White House Event: January 7, 2009.

Bank Bailout!

Bank Bailout!
v taxpayer

Actress Elizabeth Banks

Actress Elizabeth Banks
She will present an award to her hometown (Pittsfield) at the Massachusetts State House next month (1/2009). She recently starred in "W" and "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," and just signed a $1 million annual contract to be a spokesmodel for Paris.

Joanna Lipper

Joanna Lipper
Her award-winning 1999 documentary, "Growing Up Fast," about teenaged mothers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Happy Holidays...

Happy Holidays...
...from "Star Wars"

Massachusetts "poor" economy

Massachusetts "poor" economy
Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states, but it is also very inequitable. For example, it boasts the nation's most lucrative lottery, which is just a system of regressive taxation so that the corporate elite get to pay less in taxes!

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon
Hollywood Actress

Peter G. Arlos.

Peter G. Arlos.
Arlos is shown in his Pittsfield office in early 2000.

Turnpike OK's hefty toll hikes

Turnpike OK's hefty toll hikes
Big Dig - East-west commuters take hit; Fees at tunnels would double. 11/15/2008.

The Pink Panther 2

The Pink Panther 2
Starring Steve Martin

Police ABUSE

Police ABUSE
I was a victim of Manchester Police Officer John Cunningham's ILLEGAL USES of FORCE! John Cunningham was reprimanded by the Chief of Police for disrespecting me. John Cunningham yelled at a witness: "I don't care if he (Jonathan Melle) is disabled!"

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
The 44th US President!

Vote

Vote
Elections

The Bailout & the economic stimulus check

The Bailout & the economic stimulus check
A political cartoon by Dan Wasserman

A rainbow over Boston

A rainbow over Boston
"Rainbows galore" 10/2/2008

Our nation's leaders!

Our nation's leaders!
President Bush with both John McCain & Barack Obama - 9/25/2008.

Massachusetts & Big Dig: Big hike in tolls for Pike looming (9/26/2008).

Massachusetts & Big Dig: Big hike in tolls for Pike looming (9/26/2008).
$5 rise at tunnels is one possibility $1 jump posed for elsewhere.

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
My FAVORITE Journalist EVER!

9/11/2008 - A Show of Unity!

9/11/2008 - A Show of Unity!
John McCain and Barack Obama appeared together at ground zero in New York City - September 11, 2008.

John McCain...

John McCain...
...has all but abandoned the positions on taxes, torture and immigration. (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman. September 2008).

Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman
The deregulated chickens come home to roost... in all our pocketbooks. September 2008.

Sarah Palin's phobia

Sarah Palin's phobia
A scripted candidate! (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman).

Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman
Family FInances - September, 2008.

Mark E. Roy

Mark E. Roy
Ward 1 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Theodore “Ted” L. Gatsas

Theodore “Ted” L. Gatsas
Ward 2 Alderman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

Peter M. Sullivan

Peter M. Sullivan
Ward 3 (downtown) Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Jim Roy

Jim Roy
Ward 4 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Ed Osborne

Ed Osborne
Ward 5 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Real R. Pinard

Real R. Pinard
Ward 6 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

William P. Shea

William P. Shea
Ward 7 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Betsi DeVries

Betsi DeVries
Ward 8 Alder-woman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

Michael Garrity

Michael Garrity
Ward 9 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

George Smith

George Smith
Ward 10 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Russ Ouellette

Russ Ouellette
Ward 11 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Kelleigh (Domaingue) Murphy

Kelleigh (Domaingue) Murphy
Ward 12 Alder-woman for Manchester, NH (2008).

“Mike” Lopez

“Mike” Lopez
At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH. (2008).

Daniel P. O’Neil

Daniel P. O’Neil
At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Sarah Palin for Vice President.
Republican John McCain made the surprise pick of Alaska's governor Sarah Palin as his running mate today, August 29, 2008.

U.S. Representative John Olver, D-Amherst, Massachusetts.

U.S. Representative John Olver, D-Amherst, Massachusetts.
Congressman Olver said the country has spent well over a half-trillion dollars on the war in Iraq while the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. 8/25/08.

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!
John Kerry's 9/2008 challenger in the Democratic Primary.

Shays' Rebellion

Shays' Rebellion
In a tax revolt, Massachusetts farmers fought back during Shays' Rebellion in the mid-1780s after The American Revolutionary War.

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore
Actress. "The Big Lebowski" is one of my favorite movies. I also like "The Fugitive", too.

Rinaldo Del Gallo III & "Superman"

Rinaldo Del Gallo III & "Superman"
Go to: http://www.berkshirefatherhood.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=699&cntnt01returnid=69

"Income chasm widening in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"

"Income chasm widening in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"
The gap between rich and poor has widened substantially in Massachusetts over the past two decades. (8/15/2008).

Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley

Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley
"The Bosley Amendment": To create tax loopholes for the wealthiest corporate interests in Massachusetts!

John Edwards and...

John Edwards and...
...Rielle Hunter. WHO CARES?!

Rep. Edward J. Markey

Rep. Edward J. Markey
He wants online-privacy legislation. Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent.

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan
She gained fame with her antiwar vigil outside the Bush ranch.

Olympics kick off in Beijing

Olympics kick off in Beijing
Go USA!

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall
In this May 1, 2008, file photo, a customer pumps gas at an Exxon station in Middleton, Mass. Exxon Mobil Corp. reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, July 31, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation, but the results were well short of Wall Street expectations and its shares fell as markets opened. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, File) 7/31/2008.

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'
Some kind of monster on Onota Lake. Five-year-old Tyler Smith rides a 'sea serpent' on Onota Lake in Pittsfield, Mass. The 'monster,' fashioned by Smith's grandfather, first appeared over July 4 weekend. (Photo courtesy of Ron Smith). 7/30/2008.

Al Gore, Jr.

Al Gore, Jr.
Al Gore issues challenge on energy

The Norman Rockwell Museum

The Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's financially wasteful pork barrel project!

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's pork barrel public works project cost 50 times more than the original price!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer
Note: Photo from Mary E Carey's Blog.

Tanglewood

Tanglewood
Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine.

Google

Google
Chagall

Jimmy Ruberto

Jimmy Ruberto
Faces multiple persecutions under the Massachusetts "Ethics" conflict of interest laws.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
Obama vows $500m in faith-based aid.

John McCain

John McCain
He is with his wife, Cindy, who were both met by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (right) upon arriving in Cartagena.

Daniel Duquette

Daniel Duquette
Sold Mayor James M. Ruberto of Pittsfield two tickets to the 2004 World Series at face value.

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008
Clinton tells Obama, crowd in Unity, N.H.: 'We are one party'

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Wanna-be Prez?

WALL-E

WALL-E
"out of this World"

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/popup?id=5057139&contentIndex=1&page=1&start=false - http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=5234555&page=1

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
NH's Democratic returning candidate for U.S. Senate

"Wall-E"

"Wall-E"
a cool robot

Ed O'Reilly

Ed O'Reilly
www.edoreilly.com

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
World Champions - 2008

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
J.D. Drew gets the same welcome whenever he visits the City of Brotherly Love: "Booooooo!"; Drew has been vilified in Philadelphia since refusing to sign with the Phillies after they drafted him in 1997...

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs
www.2joes.org

NH Union Leader

NH Union Leader
Editorial Cartoon

Celtics - World Champions!

Celtics - World Champions!
www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_18_08_front_pages/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_finals_game_6/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_celebration/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_15_08_celtics_championships/

"The Nation"

"The Nation"
A "Liberal" weekly political news magazine. Katrina vanden Heuvel.

TV - PBS: NOW

TV - PBS: NOW
http://www.pbs.org/now

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone
List of Twilight Zone episodes - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Twilight_Zone_episodes

Equality for ALL Marriages

Equality for ALL Marriages
I, Jonathan Melle, am a supporter of same sex marriages.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.
L.A. Lakers holds on for the win to force Game 6 at Boston

Mohawk Trail

Mohawk Trail
The 'Hail to the Sunrise' statue in Charlemont is a well-known and easily recognized landmark on the Mohawk Trail. The trail once boasted several souvenir shops, some with motels and restaurants. Now only four remain. (Caroline Bonnivier / Berkshire Eagle Staff).

NASA - June 14, 2008

NASA - June 14, 2008
Space Shuttle Discovery returns to Earth.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
Boston took a 20-second timeout, and the Celtics ran off four more points (including this incredible Erving-esque layup from Ray Allen) to build the lead to five points with just 2:10 remaining. Reeling, the Lakers took a full timeout to try to regain their momentum.

Sal DiMasi

Sal DiMasi
Speaker of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire
http://doj.nh.gov/

John Kerry

John Kerry
He does not like grassroots democracy & being challenged in the 2008 Massachusetts Democratic Party Primary for re-election.

Tim Murray

Tim Murray
Corrupt Lt. Gov. of Massachusetts, 2007 - 2013.

North Adams, Massachusetts

North Adams, Massachusetts
downtown

Howie Carr

Howie Carr
Political Satirist on Massachusetts Corruption/Politics

Polar Bear

Polar Bear
Global Warming

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Warren & http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/WarrenAuthor.html

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
Consumer Crusader

Leon Powe

Leon Powe
Celtics forward Leon Powe finished a fast break with a dunk.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett reacted during the game.

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo finished a first half fast break with a dunk.

Teamwork

Teamwork
Los Angeles Lakers teammates help Pau Gasol (16) from the floor in the second quarter.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant took a shot in the first half of Game 2.

Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins (right) backed down Lamar Odom (left) during first half action.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
The Boston Symphony Orchestra performed the national anthem prior to Game 2.

K.G.!

K.G.!
Garnett reacted to a hard dunk in the first quarter.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce reacted after hitting a three upon his return to the game since leaving with an injury.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Kobe Bryant (left) and Paul Pierce (right) squared off in the second half of the game.

James Taylor

James Taylor
Sings National Anthem at Celtics Game.

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick
Attended Celtics Game.

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!
Attend Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis
The actor (left) and his date were in the crowd before the Celtics game.

John Kerry

John Kerry
Golddigger attends Celtics game

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton
Ends her 2008 bid for Democratic Party nomination

Nonnie Burnes

Nonnie Burnes
Massachusetts Insurance Commish & former Judge

Jones Library

Jones Library
Amherst, Massachusetts

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton
2008 Democratic Primary

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"
U.S. Senator John Sununu took more than $220,000 from big oil.

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
4- U.S. Senate - 2008

William Pignatelli

William Pignatelli
Hack Rep. "Smitty" with Lynne Blake

Ben Bernanke

Ben Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman

Gazettenet.com

Gazettenet.com
www.gazettenet.com/beta/

Boys' & Girls' Club

Boys' & Girls' Club
Melville Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

The Berkshire Eagle

The Berkshire Eagle
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
Williams College - May 2008

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson
www.boston.com/lifestyle/gallery/when_the_celtics_were_cool/

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries
New Massachusetts state lottery game hits $600 million in sales!

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

John Barrett III

John Barrett III
Long-time Mayor of North Adams Massachusetts

Shine On

Shine On

Elmo

Elmo
cool!

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce kissed the Eastern Conference trophy. 5/30/2008. AP Photo.

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton
Kevin Garnett (left) talked to Pistons guard Richard Hamilton (right) after the Celtics' victory in Game 6. 5/30/2008. Reuters Photo.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce showed his team colors as the Celtics closed out the Pistons in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. 5/30/2008. Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis.

Joseph Kelly Levasseur

Joseph Kelly Levasseur
One of my favorite politicians!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
In the Big Apple: NYC! She is the coolest!

Guyer & Kerry

Guyer & Kerry
My 2nd least favorite picture EVER!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

Nuciforo & Ruberto

Nuciforo & Ruberto
My least favorite picture EVER!

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
U.S. Senate - 2008

NH Fisher Cats

NH Fisher Cats
AA Baseball - Toronto Blue Jays affiliate

Manchester, NH

Manchester, NH
Police Patch

Michael Briggs

Michael Briggs
#83 - We will never forget

Michael "Stix" Addison

Michael "Stix" Addison
http://unionleader.com/channel.aspx/News?channel=2af17ff4-f73b-4c44-9f51-092e828e1131

Charlie Gibson

Charlie Gibson
ABC News anchor

Scott McClellan

Scott McClellan
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/scott_mcclellan/index.html?inline=nyt-per

Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Downtown Boise Idaho

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Legislative Hearing in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, BCC, on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
My favorite classical U.S. President!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Higher Taxes, Higher Tolls

Paul Hodes

Paul Hodes
My favorite Congressman!

Portland Sea Dogs

Portland Sea Dogs
AA Red Sox

New York

New York
Magnet

Massachusetts

Massachusetts
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Button

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
"Luciforo" tried to send me to Carmen's Jail during the Spring & Summer of 1998.

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/174

Luciforo

Luciforo
Andrea F Nuciforo II

B-Eagle

B-Eagle
Pittsfield's monopoly/only daily newspaper

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!
A Red Sox No Hitter on 5/19/2008!

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Dustin Pedroia & Manny Ramirez

U.S. Flag

U.S. Flag
God Bless America!

Jonathan Melle's Blog

Jonathan Melle's Blog
Hello, Everyone!

Molly Bish

Molly Bish
We will never forget!

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo listens to some advice from Celtics head coach Doc Rivers in the first half.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace embrace at the end of the game.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon calls for the ball as he charges toward first base. Papelbon made the out en route to picking up his 14th save of the season.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka throws to Royals David DeJesus during the first inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka delivers a pitch to Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek during the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew is welcomed to home plate by teammates Mike Lowell (left), Kevin Youkilis (2nd left) and Manny Ramirez after he hit a grand slam in the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell crosses the plate after hitting a grand slam during the sixth inning. Teammates Manny Ramirez and Jacoby Ellsbury scored on the play. The Red Sox went on to win 11-8 to complete a four-game sweep and perfect homestand.

JD Drew - Go Red Sox

JD Drew - Go Red Sox
www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/gallery/05_22_08_sox_royals/

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!
Master Sgt. Kara B. Stackpole, of Westfield, holds her daughter, Samantha, upon her return today to Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. She is one of the 38 members of the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron who returned after a 4-month deployment in Iraq. Photo by Dave Roback / The Republican.

Kathi-Anne Reinstein

Kathi-Anne Reinstein
www.openmass.org/members/show/175

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy
Tragic diagnosis: Get well Senator!

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search
http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=jonathan+melle+blogurl:http://jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/&ie=UTF-8

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Billionaire U.S. Senator gives address to MCLA graduates in North Adams, Massachusetts in mid-May 2008

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France
Go Red Sox!

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Interviewed on local TV

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
Luciforo!

John Adams

John Adams
#2 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood under a tree on the afternoon of May 9, 2008, on the foregrounds of the NH State House - www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/nhinsider/vpost?id=2967773

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Inside the front lobby of the NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Bill Clinton campaign memorabilia

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Liberty Bell & NH State House

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Franklin Pierce Statue #14 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Stop the War NOW!

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
"Mr. Melle, tear down this Blog!"

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood next to a JFK photo

Jonathan Levine, Publisher

Jonathan Levine, Publisher
The Pittsfield Gazette Online

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made rabbit ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made antenna ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I impersonated Howard Dean

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
mock-voting

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
pretty ladies -/- Go to: http://www.wgir.com/cc-common/cc_photopop20.html?eventID=28541&pagecontent=&pagenum=4 - Go to: http://current.com/items/88807921_veterans_should_come_first_not_last# - http://www.mcam23.com/cgi-bin/cutter.cgi?c_function=STREAM?c_feature=EDIT?dir_catagory=10MorningRadio?dir_folder=2JoesClips?dir_file=JonathanMelle-090308? -

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Go Red Sox! Me at Fenway Park

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
My favorite journalist! Her voice sings for the Voiceless. -/- Go to: http://aboutamherst.blogspot.com/search?q=melle -/- Go to: http://ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com/search?q=melle

Velvet Jesus

Velvet Jesus
Mary Carey blogs about my political writings. This is a picture of Jesus from her childhood home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. -//- "How Can I Keep From Singing" : My life goes on in endless song / Above Earth's lamentations, / I hear the real, though far-off hymn / That hails a new creation. / / Through all the tumult and the strife / I hear its music ringing, / It sounds an echo in my soul. / How can I keep from singing? / / Whey tyrants tremble in their fear / And hear their death knell ringing, / When friends rejoice both far and near / How can I keep from singing? / / In prison cell and dungeon vile / Our thoughts to them are winging / When friends by shame are undefiled / How can I keep from singing?

www.truthdig.com

www.truthdig.com
www.truthdig.com

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Concord NH

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=loc&newest=1&addr=&zip=01201&search=Search

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
smiles & beer

Jonathan Lothrop

Jonathan Lothrop
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Michael L. Ward

Michael L. Ward
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large
Pete always sides with the wealthy's political interests.

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez
Gerald Lee told me that I am a Social Problem; Lee executes a top-down system of governance.

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large
Kerwood poured coffee drinks for Jane Swift

Louis Costi

Louis Costi
Pittsfield City Councilor

Lewis Markham

Lewis Markham
Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor
Sherman ran for Southern Berkshire State Rep against Smitty Pignatelli; Sherman is a good guy.

Anthony Maffuccio

Anthony Maffuccio
Pittsfield City Councilor

Linda Tyer

Linda Tyer
Pittsfield City Councilor

Daniel Bianchi

Daniel Bianchi
A Pittsfield City Councilor

The Democratic Donkey

The Democratic Donkey
Democratic Party Symbol

Paramount

Paramount
What is Paramount to you?

NH's Congresswoman

NH's Congresswoman
Carol Shea-Porter, Democrat

Sam Adams Beer

Sam Adams Beer
Boston Lager

Ratatouille

Ratatouille
Disney Animation

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008
"Luciforo" swears in Mayor Ruberto. Pittsfield Politics at its very worst: 2 INSIDER POWERBROKERS! Where is Carmen Massimiano? He must be off to the side.

Abe

Abe
Lincoln

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
Leader of the Autobots

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
1984 Autobot Transformer Leader

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/cleanupagreement.html

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/thesite/opca-reports.html

US EPA - Contact - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

US EPA - Contact -  Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/contactinfo.html

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/index.html

Commonwealth Connector

Commonwealth Connector
Commonwealth Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

www.network-health.org

www.network-health.org
Massachusetts Health Reform

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

BMC HealthNet Plan

BMC HealthNet Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform
Eligibility Chart: 2007

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare
Massachusetts Health Reform

Business Peaks

Business Peaks
Voodoo Economics

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite
Reagonomics: Supply Side

Corporate Elite Propaganda

Corporate Elite Propaganda
Mock Liberal Democratic Socialism Thinking

Real Estate Blues

Real Estate Blues
www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/2008/0316/

PEACE

PEACE
End ALL Wars!

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech
Norman Rockwell's World War II artwork depicting America's values

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
A young Abe Lincoln

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN
www.openmass.org/members/show/218 - www.rachelkaprielian.com

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/164 - www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/05/04/legislator_describes_threat_as_unnerving/

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!
My #1 Political Belief!

Anne Frank

Anne Frank
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe

A young woman Hillary supporter

A young woman Hillary supporter
This excellent picture captures a youth's excitement

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman
My favorite Actress!

Alan Chartock

Alan Chartock
WAMC public radio in Albany, NY; Political columnist who writes about Berkshire County area politics; Strong supporter for Human Rights for ALL Peoples

OpenCongress.Org

OpenCongress.Org
This web-site uses some of my Blog postings

OpenMass.org

OpenMass.org
This web-site uses some of my blog postings!

Shannon O'Brien

Shannon O'Brien
One of my favorite politicians! She stands for the People first!

The Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts State House
"The Almighty Golden Dome" - www.masslegislature.tv -

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Former Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
A corrupt Pol who tried to put me in Jail

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
Another view of Pittsfield's inbred, multigenerational political prince. Luciforo!

Luciforo

Luciforo
Nuciforo's nickname

"Andy" Nuciforo

"Andy" Nuciforo
Luciforo!

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)
Nuciforo's henchman! Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail

Andrea Nuciforo Jr

Andrea Nuciforo Jr
Shhh! Luciforo's other job is working as a private attorney defending wealthy Boston-area corporate insurance companies

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.
Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail! Carmen sits with the Congressman, John Olver

Congressman John Olver

Congressman John Olver
Nuciforo's envy

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol
Our Beacon of American Democracy

Nuciforo's architect

Nuciforo's architect
Mary O'Brien in red with scarf

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)
Former-Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Nuciforo intimidated her, along with another woman, from running in a democratic state election in the Spring of 2006!

Andrea F. Nuciforo II

Andrea F. Nuciforo II
Pittsfield Politics

Berkshire County Republican Association

Berkshire County Republican Association
Go to: www.fcgop.blogspot.com

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer
U.S. Senator & State Representative

John Kerry

John Kerry
Endorses Barack Obama for Prez then visits Berkshire County

Dan Bosley

Dan Bosley
A Bureaucrat impostering as a Legislator!

Ben Downing

Ben Downing
Berkshire State Senator

Christopher N Speranzo

Christopher N Speranzo
Pittsfield's ANOINTED State Representative

Peter J. Larkin

Peter J. Larkin
Corrupt Lobbyist

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!
GE's FRAUDULENT Consent Decree with Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will end up KILLING many innocent school children & other local residents!

GE's CEO Jack Welch

GE's CEO Jack Welch
The Corporate System's Corporate Elite's King

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand
Equilibrium

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts
In 2007, GE sold its Plastics Division to a Saudi company. Now all that is left over by GE are its toxic PCB pollutants that cause cancer in many Pittsfield residents.

Mayor James M Ruberto

Mayor James M Ruberto
A small-time pol chooses to serve the corporate elite & other elites over the people.

Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Deval Patrick
Deval shakes hands with Mayors in Berkshire County

Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts

Pittsfield High School

Pittsfield High School
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Pittsfield's former Mayor

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Pittsfield Attorney focusing on Father's Rights Probate Court Legal Issues, & Local Politician and Political Observer

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Very Intelligent Political Activists in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, Esq. is the spokesperson of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition. He has been practicing family law and has been a member of the Massachusetts bar since 1996.

Mayor Ed Reilly

Mayor Ed Reilly
He supports Mayor Ruberto & works as a municipal Attorney. As Mayor, he backed Bill Weld for Governor in 1994, despite being a Democrat. He was joined by Carmen Massimiano & John Barrett III, the long-standing Mayor of North Adams.

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta
Cuts Dental Care for Public School Children-in-Need

Manchester, NH City Hall

Manchester, NH City Hall
My new hometown - view from Hanover St. intersection with Elm St.

Manchester NH City Democrats

Manchester NH City Democrats
Go Dems!

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards

NH State House Dome

NH State House Dome
Concord, NH

Donna Walto

Donna Walto
Pittsfield Politician -- She strongly opposes Mayor Jim Ruberto's elitist tenure.

Elmo

Elmo
Who doesn't LOVE Elmo?

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!
Hillary is for Children. She is my choice in 2008.

The White House in 1800

The White House in 1800
Home of our Presidents of the United States

John Adams

John Adams
2nd President of the USA

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden
Hillary is my choice for U.S. President!

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Radisson in Manchester NH 11/16/2007

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
U.S. Senator & Candidate for President

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004
Linda Tyer, Pam Malumphy, Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
My friend Brian Merzbach reviews baseball parks around the nation.

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy
The Elites double their $ every 6 to 8 years, while the "have-nots" double their $ every generation (or 24 years). Good bye Middle Class!

George Will

George Will
The human satellite voice for the Corporate Elite

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
The Anti-George Will; Harvard Law School Professor; The Corporate Elite's Worst Nightmare

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
I was born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

State Senator Stan Rosenberg

State Senator Stan Rosenberg
Democratic State Senator from Amherst, Massachusetts -/- Anti-Stan Rosenberg Blog: rosenbergwatch.blogspot.com

Ellen Story

Ellen Story
Amherst Massachusetts' State Representative

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.
Books are being written on Pittsfield's high teen pregancy rates! What some intellectuals do NOT understand about the issue is that TEEN PREGNANCIES in Pittsfield double the statewide average by design - Perverse Incentives!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Supports $30 Scratch Tickets and other forms of regressive taxation. Another Pol that only serves his Corporate Elite Masters instead of the People!

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter
The first woman whom the People of New Hampshire have voted in to serve in U.S. Congress

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes
A good man who wants to bring progressive changes to Capitol Hill!

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress
New Hampshire's finest!

Darth Vader

Darth Vader
Star Wars

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush
The Gruesome Two-some! Stop the Neo-Cons' fascism! End the Iraq War NOW!

WAROPOLY

WAROPOLY
The Inequity of Globalism

Bushopoly!

Bushopoly!
The Corporate Elite have redesigned "The System" to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, masses, have-nots, poor & middle-class families

George W. Bush with Karl Rove

George W. Bush with Karl Rove
Rove was a political strategist with extraordinary influence within the Bush II White House

2008's Republican Prez-field

2008's Republican Prez-field
John McCain, Alan Keyes, Rudy Guiliani, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, WILLARD Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul

Fall in New England

Fall in New England
Autumn is my favorite season

Picturing America

Picturing America
picturingamerica.neh.gov

Winter Weather Map

Winter Weather Map
3:45PM EST 3-Dec-07

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Thanksgiving

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Depiction of American Values in mid-20th Century America

Larry Bird #33

Larry Bird #33
My favorite basketball player of my childhood

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008
Kevin Garnett hugs James Posey

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
All heart! Awesome basketball star for The Boston Celtics.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady
Go Patriots!

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
Owner of Fox News - CORPORATE ELITE!

George Stephanopolous

George Stephanopolous
A Corporate Elite Political News Analyst

Robert Redford

Robert Redford
Starred in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
Plays a jaded journalist with integrity in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise plays the Neo-Con D.C. Pol purely indoctrinated by the Corporate Elite's political agenda in the Middle East

CHARLIZE THERON

CHARLIZE THERON
"I want to say I've never been surrounded by so many fake breasts, but I went to the Academy Awards."

Amherst Town Library

Amherst Town Library
Amherst, NH - www.amherstlibrary.org

Manchester NH Library

Manchester NH Library
I use the library's automated timed 1-hour-per-day Internet computers to post on my Blog - www.manchester.lib.nh.us

Manchester NH's Palace Theater

Manchester NH's Palace Theater
Manchester NH decided to restore its Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater
Pittsfield tore down this landmark on North Street in favor of a parking lot

Pleasant Street Theater

Pleasant Street Theater
Amherst, Massachusetts

William "Shitty" Pignatelli

William "Shitty" Pignatelli
A top down & banal State House Pol from Lenox Massachusetts -- A GOOD MAN!

The CIA & Mind Control

The CIA & Mind Control
Did the CIA murder people by proxy assassins?

Skull & Bones

Skull & Bones
Yale's Elite

ImpeachBush.org

ImpeachBush.org
I believe President Bush should be IMPEACHED because he is waging an illegal and immoral war against Iraq!

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008
www.blog.bobfeuer.us

Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln
The 16th President of the USA

Power

Power
Peace

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer
A member of Green Peace activist sets up a giant thermometer as a symbol of global warming during their campaign in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. World leaders launch marathon negotiations Monday on how to fight global warming, which left unchecked could cause devastating sea level rises, send millions further into poverty and lead to the mass extinction of plants and animals.

combat global warming...

combat global warming...
...or risk economic and environmental disaster caused by rising temperatures

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org
P.O. Box 125, South Lee, MA 01260, (413) 243-5665, tstokes@kyotoandbeyond.org, www.kyotoandbeyond.org

3 Democratic presidentional candidates

3 Democratic presidentional candidates
Democratic presidential candidates former senator John Edwards (from right) and Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd before the National Public Radio debate yesterday (12/4/2007).

The UN Seal

The UN Seal
An archaic & bureaucratic post WW2 top-down, non-democratic institution that also stands for some good governance values

Superman

Superman
One of my favorite childhood heroes and movies

Web-Site on toxic toys

Web-Site on toxic toys
www.healthytoys.org

Batman

Batman
One of my favorite super-heroes

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer
Massachusetts' Governor stands with Dalton's State Rep. Denis E. Guyer.

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer
TV Star Bill Cosby stands with Denis E. Guyer

Denis Guyer with his supporters

Denis Guyer with his supporters
Dalton State Representative

Denis Guyer goes to college

Denis Guyer goes to college
Dalton State Representative

Peter Marchetti

Peter Marchetti
He is my second cousin. Pete Marchetti favors MONEY, not fairness!

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple
Matt Barron plays DIRTY politics against his opponents!

Nat Karns

Nat Karns
Top-Down Executive Director of the ELITIST Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Human Rights for All Peoples & people

Human Rights for All Peoples & people
Stop Anti-Semitism

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill
State House, Room 227, Boston, MA 02133, 617-367-6900, www.mass.gov/treasury/

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley
1350 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103, 413-784-1240 / McCormick Building, One Asburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, 617-727-4765 / marthacoakley.com / www.ago.state.ma.us

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...
www.takebackthecourt.org - A political billboard near my downtown apartment in Manchester, NH

Marc Murgo

Marc Murgo
An old friend of mine from Pittsfield

Downtown Manchester, NH

Downtown Manchester, NH
www.newhampshire.com/nh-towns/manchester.aspx

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei
Movie Actress

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)
www.masschc.org/issue.php

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler
Mike Firestone works in Manchester NH for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign

James Pindell

James Pindell
Covers NH Primary Politcs for The Boston Globe

U.S. History - Declaration

U.S. History - Declaration
A 19th century engraving shows Benjamin Franklin, left, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman at work on the Declaration of Independence.

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/
Sybregje Palenstijn (left), who plays Sarah Godbertson at Plimouth Plantation, taught visitors how to roast a turkey on a spit. The plantation often sees a large influx of visitors during the holiday season.

Chris Hodgkins

Chris Hodgkins
Another special interest Berkshire Pol who could not hold his "WATER" on Beacon Hill's State House!

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.
Most of Boston's Big Dig highway remains closed, after a woman was crushed when 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto her car. (ABC News)

Jane Swift

Jane Swift
Former Acting Governor of Massachusetts & Berkshire State Senator

Paul Cellucci

Paul Cellucci
Former Massachusetts Governor

William Floyd Weld

William Floyd Weld
$80 Million Trust Fund Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mike Dukakis

Mike Dukakis
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
Amherst, Massachusetts, Journalist and Blogger

Caveman

Caveman
www.ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com

Peter G. Arlos

Peter G. Arlos
"The biggest challenge Pittsfield faces is putting its fiscal house in order. The problem is that doing so requires structural changes in local government, many of which I have advocated for years, but which officials do not have the will to implement. Fiscal responsibility requires more than shifting funds from one department to another. Raising taxes and fees and cutting services are not the answer. Structural changes in the way services are delivered and greater productivity are the answer, and without these changes the city's fiscal crisis will not be solved."

James M. Ruberto

James M. Ruberto
"Pittsfield's biggest challenge is to find common ground for a better future. The city is at a crossroads. On one hand, our quality of life is challenged. On the other hand, some important building blocks are in place that could be a strong foundation for our community. Pittsfield needs to unite for the good of its future. The city needs an experienced businessman and a consensus builder who will invite the people to hold him accountable."

Matt Kerwood

Matt Kerwood
Pittsfield's Councilor-At-Large. Go to: extras.berkshireeagle.com/NeBe/profiles/12.htm

Gerald M. Lee

Gerald M. Lee
Pittsfield's City Council Prez. Top-down governance of the first order!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
Mary with student

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
Jonathan Papelbon celebrates with Jason Varitek

Free Bernard Baran!

Free Bernard Baran!
www.freebaran.org

Political Intelligence

Political Intelligence
Capitol Hill

Sherwood Guernsey II

Sherwood Guernsey II
Wealthy Williamstown Political Activist & Pittsfield Attorney

Mary Carey 2

Mary Carey 2
California Pol & porn star

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!
Andy "Luciforo" swears in Jimmy Ruberto for the returning Mayor's 3rd term

Berkshire Grown

Berkshire Grown
www.berkshiregrown.org

Rambo

Rambo

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.
The Mount, the historic home in Lenox of famed American novelist Edith Wharton, is facing foreclosure.