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Editorial: In governor’s race, a chance for serious talk

New Hampshire doesn’t yet know much about Walter Havenstein, the second Republican candidate planning to run for governor this year. But his very entry into the race is encouraging for voters eager for a serious conversation about the state’s future.

Compared to races for federal offices, gubernatorial elections in New Hampshire have considerably more potential to generate an interesting and substantive discussion. The candidates are generally less scripted, their talking points less dictated by party, their solutions less generic. The prize for the winners is a chance to actually accomplish important things for the state – a goal that no doubt feels more remote from Washington.

And at least at this moment in New Hampshire history, so many of the important questions facing the state do not fall into easy Republican-versus-Democratic thinking. Among them:

Is the Northern Pass hydroelectricity project a good idea? What about the New England governors’ efforts to increase natural gas capacity in the region? Should PSNH sell off its power plants, including the coal-fired plant in Bow? What’s the fairest way to assess applications for wind farms and other new energy projects?

New Hampshire has finally committed to constructing a new women’s prison, but the state still struggles with unacceptably high recidivism among inmates. Their repeated criminal activity is dangerous for the community; their repeated returns to prison is costly for taxpayers. What should be done – and how big a priority will the next governor make it?

Would a new casino be an overall benefit or detriment to the state? What about two? How much weight should a governor give to popular opinion on this issue?

Should New Hampshire repeal the death penalty? Is its presence on the books useful as a deterrent to crime? If it’s repealed, would the next governor be inclined to commute the sentence of the state’s lone death-row inmate, Michael Addison? Would he or she be comfortable signing Addison’s death warrant?

New Hampshire imposed a moratorium on helping school districts pay for new building construction a few years back, and its annual per-pupil “adequacy” contribution to school districts has been frozen for many years. Is the state doing enough to help schoolchildren and property taxpayers? If not, where should the money come from to do better?

Even after a one-year tuition freeze, the cost of attending New Hampshire’s public colleges and universities remains unusually high, as does the level of debt most students graduate with. How big a priority will this be for the new governor? What strategies does she or he have to increase the number of in-state students applying to and attending New Hampshire schools in the face of declining student populations in the state and across the Northeast?

There seems to be a growing consensus in the state that something, finally, must be done about the poor condition of the state’s roads and bridges. But, as always, the real question is financial. Where will the money come from to complete the widening of Interstate 93 and to knock some big repair projects off the state’s growing to-do list?

Republicans do not walk in lock step on any of these big issues, and neither do Democrats. Compared to the candidates for the U.S. House and Senate, those running or governor will be challenged to focus less on ideology and partisan politics and more on the real issues that will affect people’s lives. That’s what makes the 2014 governor’s race so interesting – and so important.

Legacy Comments8

Who wrote this editorial? And why just a contrast*? " Compared* to races for federal offices, gubernatorial elections in New Hampshire have considerably more potential to generate an interesting and substantive discussion. " * the word contrast defined as: an antithesis, (reverse, opposite) foil **or difference, and especially the word: foil as also meaning that of the sword or blade for some cutting, Of thus an interesting "cut" would have been if Hassan had done her Article 51 duty to "cut" one of the Federal Reps from going down south because: since she has the power to add or appoint in the case of a vacancy of office holder, she also has the power of a subtraction of to cut too. Read what it says in BOTH : (1) Article 51 of: " to execute the laws of the state AND of the United States " (of emphasis ADDed for BOTH!!) and (2) Section 2 of the Fourteenth (14th) Amendment: " when the right to vote at any election for the choice of . . . Judicial officers of a State, . . . is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, . . . the basis of representation therein SHALL be reduced . . . . " (of emphasis ADDEd for this must / mandatory requirement), of this not only my "opinion" she calls it, but that of a soon-to-be decision of the judge as a check and balance from the other branch of government to get what is right for the truth to go marching on. Therefore since the judges and Article 82 clerks of court here are not elected, but appointed, then we have too many M.O.C.'s / Members in Congress. Of like in a football game of too many players on the field of to get the ten-yard penalty, of thus the similar to here for us and the other ten of eleven states in such a condition. What to do about it? Not only do, but a "did" as Ed Brown, our favorite Tax Protestor (;-) [ now of Baltimore, Maryland at the FCI there not getting "corrected" but giving this N.H. Article 18 "reform", ] did file "another" CIVIL lawsuit in Superior Court last Fri., April 4th in Concord as the prior one back in 2005-C-033 in Grafton County was stolen by the Feds even violating their own 28USC636(c)(1) needing his "consent" as never given! So any day now of for the judge to have the clerk issue civil process for the Deputy Sheriff to have Maggie served and given thirty (30) days to both Appear AND Answer of by mid May of two weeks before the Federal filing starts in Bill Gardner's Office of N.H. Secretary of State for the one and only lawful race for Federal Rep.

I'm surprised marijuana policy isn't among the 7 issues mentioned. It definitely doesn't "fall into easy Republican-versus-Democratic thinking," judging from recent polls and votes in the NH legislature...

Did Walt recently buy the publishing rights to the Concord Monitor? Three articles in three days that all say the same thing. What's up with that?

The debate - democrats & Hassan demand higher taxes and spending ...... Responsible Republicans call for greater Freedom & Liberty through smaller effective focused govt

If he is such a serious guy how can you explain his willingness to claim domicile in Maryland to get a tax break and then claim domicile in NH to run for Governor - how can he have it both ways?

It is not easy to be governor of NH. You don't have a lot of power except for the veto. You can't do much because of the Executive Council and you have to learn to deal with a 400 plus legislature and you only have a two year term to do anything. It might be hard for a CEO who is used to having things done his way and not knowing how to deal politically with people that you have never worked with. Politics is not like running a company. Craig Benson learned that lesson.

Indeed, I feel same as GWTW on this one. The Concord Monitor's shameless lust for this candidate is embarrassing. It's even worse than the terminal case I had for a certain cheerleader, back at CHS in the year 19XX (think I'm a total fool?). I was so crazy about her, I used to drive my '62 Chevy Nova by not just her house, but her grandparents house, which was in a completely different town. When the car got parallel to their driveway, I would scream, "Thank you!". But I did it with the windows rolled up, so they wouldn't call the cops on me. What you guys are doing here is counterproductive. I haven't heard a word out of Havey's mouth yet, and I'm already sick of him.

Sounds like a big wind up for a future endorsement. let me save you all the trouble of listening to the debates, news, and other incidentals. The Monitor will endorse the Democrat.

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