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My Turn: Blame O’Brien for GOP losses

Most of my Republican friends are wondering why we received such a shellacking during the November election. We lost more than 120 seats in the New Hampshire House and held onto the state Senate by one vote. We lost the governor’s race and both congressional seats.

Straight-ticket voting is no longer allowed in New Hampshire, so President Obama’s coattails, if any, had little to do with the anti-Republican vote. It was a protest vote. New Hampshire voters have no tolerance for absurdity, and they are educated and informed. They are engaged in their government.

Former House speaker Bill O’Brien, a newcomer from the Massachusetts Democratic scene turned libertarian/anarchist was, for two long years, the face of the Republican Party. He and his Free-Stater cohorts wreaked havoc in the New Hampshire State House. Debate was cut off, criticism was labeled “treason” and any notice of civility was trampled.

The rules were optional and the Constitution was a mere suggestion. This was the daily news that the New Hampshire voters read and heard, every day, for two years. Not one of the longtime New Hampshire Republican operatives stood up to say, “That is not the New Hampshire Republican Party.” Most just hid from the public debate stirred up by O’Brien shenanigans.

We paid for it in spades. We well deserved it. O’Brien called the tune, and the Republicans simply danced to his fiddle. People of the state protested against anything Republican. When that occurs, sometimes the baby is thrown out with the bath water.

We lost some excellent public servants like Reps. Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta along with dozens of intelligent, honest and engaging representatives and public officials at all levels of government. O’Brien and his gang of Free-Staters take the initial blame. The rest of us take the ultimate blame for standing by and allowing him to do what he did and tarnishing the good name of the Republican Party of New Hampshire and the great state we call home.

(Tony Soltani is a former state representative from Epsom.)

Legacy Comments6

You can blame the Free State and Tea Party movement for that result. The vote this November was a statement about the peoples dislike of that kind of involvement in our lives. Mr OBrien was simply the sales rep for a product that we chose not to buy.

I disagree Van! Tony is right !!!! The proof is in the pudding!!!! Driver, Duke & Charlie (looking forward to seeing the Vanster!)

Hey Tony, You lost and O'Brien won. Perhaps if you are looking for a reason why you lost look in the mirror. Was playing the shill for the democrat party wise? Was giving the Communist Monitor a big club to beat the Republican Party with, wise? Lets hope people choose wisely in your district during the next Republican primary.

I'm not sure what Gov. Sununu could have done. He's been out of office for so long. At best he could have been the elder statesman intervening to bring some sanity into the situtation. O'Brien would have ignored him as he did others. A current high profile Republican should have publicly distinguished Mr. O'Brien from the Republican party. Rep. Vaillancourt is a man of principle, disagree with him as you might. As always, my thanks to Driver, and the treats to Charlie and Duke on me!

Don't you think Sununu deserves some of the credit? Doc

Tony , I was very sorry to see that you lost. You Sir did a great job of standing up to the awful behavior of O'Brien. And I will say that my hat will always be off in admiration and thanks to Rep. Steve Vaillancourt for handing the Speaker his well deserved brown shirt. Have a great weekend! Nhdriver, Duke & Charlie

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