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N.H. Odd Couples: Katherine Rogers and Al Baldasaro

Anyone who blindly subscribes to the idea that opposites attract has clearly never spent time with the New Hampshire House of Representatives. We are 400 people who could debate the day of the week.

Take me and my GOP House colleague Al Baldasaro.

He earned his stripes serving our country in the U.S. Marine Corps. I earned my stripes working for liberal leaders Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Tom Harkin and John Durkin.

I served in the New Hampshire Legislature in the early 1990s as one of a small group of Democrats who battled a strong conservative Republican majority.

Al came to the House in 2006 and served as one of conservative Republican Speaker Bill O’Brien’s lieutenants in the super-majority.

He earned an A+ from the conservative Americans for Prosperity; I earned an F.

I have stood strong for responsible gun control; Al has been a spokesman for pro-gun groups.

While I cheered on President Obama, Al challenged his birth certificate.

We have to be the true “Odd Couple” of the New Hampshire House, never to agree on many of the major issues of our time – with at least one notable exception.

Baldasaro and I have joined forces on a bill that establishes the crime of financial exploitation of the elderly.

For years I worked with a community crisis team to recognize, prevent and deal with elderly abuse and neglect. This year, we agreed New Hampshire needed a tool to effectively prosecute the financial exploitation of the elderly, a problem that is on the rise.

The first person to sign on as a co-sponsor? Al Baldasaro.

Despite our differences, we want to make a difference.

In the House, you can disagree on everything from the weather to the moon landing, but when it comes to protecting our citizens, the “Odd Couple” can change the world – together.

(State Rep. Katherine D. Rogers is a Democrat from Concord.)

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