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Executive Council confirms governor’s judicial, PUC nominations

The Executive Council approved Gov. Maggie Hassan’s nominations of four circuit court judges and a member of the state Public Utilities Commission yesterday.

Susan Carbon of Chichester, James Foley of Dover, Margaret-Ann Moran of Manchester and Patricia Quigley of Concord were confirmed as circuit court judges.

Only one of the votes was not unanimous; Republican Councilor Chris Sununu voted against Carbon’s nomination. Carbon, already a part-time circuit court judge in Manchester, was the director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women from 2010 to 2012.

“Her resume’s very, very impressive, there’s no question about it,” Sununu said at yesterday’s meeting. “We did receive a large amount of concerns concerning her nominations.”

Sununu said the council had heard concerns from people who appeared before Carbon while she was a family court judge.

“So obviously those folks who don’t walk away in a favorable manner are sometimes likely to have a negative belief,” he said. “The problem for me goes back to she was never able to pinpoint why those beliefs and those issues were abnormally high with her.”

Councilor Colin Van Ostern, a Concord Democrat, said Carbon’s critics are “pretty far outside the mainstream.” He defended her qualifications to become a full-time judge.

“The reality is that someone who served with such distinction as she has in both state and federal roles, with the office of the Violence Against Women down in Washington, D.C., the fact is that it’s unfortunate that that is sometimes a controversial issue,” Van Ostern said. “But there are some sectors of our society that believe we shouldn’t be doing all we can to protect women against violence, frankly.”

The Executive Council also unanimously approved Hassan’s nomination of Martin Honigberg as a commissioner for the Public Utilities Commission. Honigberg is a Concord resident and former senior assistant attorney general who now runs the Sulloway & Hollis law firm’s government relations group. He will serve a six-year term on the PUC, which oversees public utilities.

(Laura McCrystal can be reached at 369-3312 or lmccrystal@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @lmccrystal.)

The issue is that Van Ostern is way "out of the mainstream". He is an extremist of extreme proportions. His ties to folks like Hirschberg and Kuster makes him "out of the mainstream". His inexperience and lack of real world experience is evident. Colin is it NOT about “some sectors of our society that believe we shouldn’t be doing all we can to protect women against violence, frankly.” No one supports violence against anyone, we just don't want to stack the courts with people who will legislate from the bench. Period.

Of the Von Ostern comment of "outside the mainstream" http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mainstream of only the dominant trend be the one of to put his pen with ink to paper of to sign his name to such? and he calls himself a Republican!? Hey Colin: we do not live in a Democracy of the majority rules. - - - - Plus Laura, thanks for your sentence of: "Sununu said the council had heard concerns from people who appeared before Carbon while she was a family court judge." but that your story is in-complete, as I talked of what she KNEW was wrong of that unlawful statute, of the Concord District Court case in Fall 2004 against me that was dismissed by McGuire in Merrimack County Superior Court in 2005 because she and "they" KNEW it was un-constitutional by the O'Brien case of 1994-95 at the SAME Superior Court, of by The "Doctrine of Collective Knowledge" of with AAG in that case of Kissinger and Judge Larry Smukler, of they ALL knew this as "The State"! of thank you Chris for your vote against her.

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