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Katy Burns

Katy Burns: When it comes to crazy legislators, New Hampshire is tops

For a few years, one of my sisters and I have had fun sparring via email over whose state’s legislators were crazier. Er, more eccentric.

Della lives in North Carolina, which – while not remotely in a class with our brother Tom’s South Carolina, known the nation over for the bizarre behavior of its elected officials – has, like us, its share of lawmakers who are regularly celebrated by late-night comics.

Just last year, the legislature in North Carolina voted to make it illegal for officials in any state agency to consider the accelerating rates of sea level rise – and they’re rising remarkably quickly in that state, so dependent on a fragile barrier beach coastline – when planning for the future. Yes! Make the rising of the oceans illegal! King Canute would be so proud. And certainly Della was. Points for North Carolina!

And it was a measure that might have come out of our own climate change-averse former legislature. But in fact our then-lawmakers were too busy with other things.

For example, they were considering a bill that would have made many New Hampshire laws subject to conformity with the Magna Carta. You know, that ancient British document dating to 1215. It also entertained a measure to make it illegal for federal officers to enforce federal gun laws in our fair state, to allow felons to own and to carry guns, and to do away with vaccines in public schools.

In fact, the sponsor of that last proposal also tried – unsuccessfully, thankfully – to do away with compulsory education altogether.

Clearly the good legislators of New Hampshire were leading the craziness parade.

Alas for connoisseurs of such stuff, the 2012 election decimated the ranks of the reality-impaired lawmakers here in the Granite State.

But never fear – North

Carolina legislators leapt into the breach with a vengeance.

Just this year, Della crowed, her state’s lawmakers have proposed amending the state’s marriage statutes to mandate that divorcing couples would have to file a notice of intent and wait for two full years, during which they would be required to take courses in conflict, communication and child-rearing.

Legislators also want to make it a felony punishable by up to six months in jail for a woman to bare her breasts – specifically, “the nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the human female breast” in public. One lawmaker opined that in the case of “questionable fashions” a little bit of duct tape ought to solve any problems.

As toppers on the legislative cake, the solons of Raleigh want to adopt both a state currency and – these are ambitious, imaginative folks – a state religion as well, declaring North Carolina exempt from the U.S. Constitution and U.S. court rulings.

No question, I had to concede to Della. North Carolina was unquestionably winning the craziness contest. And then . . .

Della, meet Stella!

Stella, of course, would be New Hampshire’s own Stella Tremblay, the legislative luminary from Auburn who exploded into national prominence last week when she opined online that the horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon were – ta da! – a conspiracy plotted by the federal government.

Game over, declared a chagrined Della. And the crown goes to New Hampshire!

Somehow I knew it was only a matter of time. When a little state like ours elects a 400-person House of Representatives, well, it’s inevitable that a few crackpots will end up in the mix. And Tremblay certainly seems to be one.

“The Boston Marathon [bombing] was Black Ops ‘terrorist’ attack. . . . Drones and now ‘terrorist’ attacks by our own Government,” she wrote.

Tremblay’s charges drew immediate nationwide attention. And let’s just say that most reaction wasn’t kind. Particularly when it became known that earlier in her political career Tremblay had tried to persuade her 399 fellow House members that President Obama wasn’t an American citizen. Or that she had labeled Woodrow Wilson a Hitler sympathizer.

But there were Tremblay defenders as well, folks who thrive on the internet underground. Perhaps emboldened by them, the indomitable Stella wrote darkly about “military with black backpacks on the last mile of the marathon,” some with detonators, who “were seen moving quickly away from the area of the bomb just . . . before it went off.”

Finally she faced reporters and cameras. “What am I going to apologize for?” she asked defiantly, before complaining that “People call me an idiot.”

You don’t say, Stella.

One of the happier aspects of this sorry affair is that both the executive director of the New Hampshire GOP and House Minority Leader Gene Chandler immediately and thoroughly disowned and denounced the Auburn legislator for her lunatic ravings.

Just as Chandler had, to his credit, earlier distanced himself from the three other Republican legislators who filed complaints seeking removal from office of 189 fellow legislators who had, in the words of the complainants, “violated the U.S. Constitution” for voting to repeal the recently enacted Stand Your Ground law.

And Chandler was quick to denounce, as well, Republican Peter Hansen, who apparently believes that “vagina” is just a handy synonym for “woman.”

Chandler’s responses are a wholly welcome change from the previous House regime led by Bill O’Brien. That was when there was an abundance of crackpots in residence under the Capitol’s golden dome and many, many strange things happened.

Among those odd happenings was an attempt by a handful of legislators – birthers, like Stella Tremblay – who tried to persuade the Ballot Law Commission to remove Obama’s name from the ballot. When their demand was denied, the legislators actually rushed members of the commission and their advisers, causing some to take refuge in an anteroom.

This did not sit well with Attorney General Michael Delaney, particularly since one of his staff members was among those having to hide from the raging lawmakers, and he complained to O’Brien.

O’Brien’s response? He criticized the attorney general.

I’ll bet even Della would agree. North Carolina might have a crop of crazy legislators every now and then. But in the long run, they are in endless supply in our own Granite State.

(Monitor columnist Katy Burns lives in Bow.)

Legacy Comments11

Disagree with a liberal and you are labeled a "crackpot". What lazy journalism, err excuse me, columnism. Bill OBrien and the previous NH House got us out of a $800M deficit and you can argue with their choices but they got the job done. Not a lot about pertinent issues here and of course anyone for "Stand Your Ground" gets a "crackpot" label in passing. Liberals, such as snark Katy Burns are so rude they can't have an honest disagreement with someone with out cheap personal shots; and they are so stupid they cannot argue an issue with facts; maybe because they'd lose the debate.

here is some crazy for you.....the democrat Immigration bill grants amnesty to employers of illegals; no prosecution for bogus IDs

Two senior partners at a Las Vegas law firm made $150,000 in contributions to a political action committee associated with Sen. Harry Reid last year as he considered a member of the law firm for a federal judgeship....that is the democrat way

Dear readers, please don't bother to read the 2 preceding posts. Rabbit ignores that Katy's piece is clearly labeled "opinion." He also forgets that newspapers have printed opinion pieces going back to before Abraham Lincoln's election. And as for GW, this should suffice: "I believe if you polled democrats...." One should remind him that belief, in the absence of evidence, is a good working definition of superstition.

Last time I looked gracchus Katy is listed as a columnist. Obviously you have no concept of what a columnist is. Telling others on this forum to not read my posts or GWTW post is obviously an attempt to shut down discussion. Last time I checked, the CM is the one who judges who's remarks should be posted, not you. Folks comment on you posts, but never direct others to ignore you. That would be stating that your not worthy of having your voice heard. A forum is a place for folks to discuss issues pro and con. That is the concept. One you seem to have issues with.

Shut down discussion, hardly! See for yourself - your reply is more than triple the length of your original post. If my goal were to suppress discussion I would urge the Monitor not to allow your posts, but that would take away half the fun. Saving other people's time, on the other hand, is a worthy endeavor. I do, however, advise you, Mr. G, to be more precise in your usage. Here is a dictionary definition of columnist: "Noun 1. columnist - a journalist who writes editorials, editorialist." It appears I am the one who DOES understand what a columnist is.

So now gracchus you have an issue with the size of my posts? geeze, maybe you should put out a set of rules that the Reps can follow here on this forum in regards to length of post and content. Of course those rules would not apply to Dems. As far as saving folks time, that is very kind of you, only one problemo, most folks want all sides of issues. That allows them to make an informed decision as opposed to being fed propaganda.

Silly me, I hadn't noticed that it was Rabbit, not GW, I was replying to.

We all wait with anticipation every Sunday to hear Katy tell us how her party is the only one that gets things right. I guess it make her feel good to know she is informing folks about important issues and giving them both sides of every issue so folks can make up their own minds. Sure makes your job a lot easier to just give one side. That way you do not have to research facts. Let the readers do the searches. After all, it is not the job of a newspaper to present facts anymore. I miss the days when reporters and journalists actually tried to report news, inform folks and gave them the facts.

I believe if you polled democrats in this state and asked them if they believed 9-11 was an inside job, the results would scare you.

I seriously doubt you'd get the result you claim. Most folks-regardless of party affiliation, accept that 9/11 was an act of terror committed by Al Qaeda terrorists. 9/11 "Truthers" exist on the same plane of irrationality as Birchers, Agenda 21ers, and anti-vacciners. Most people would reject as absurd that it was either an "inside job" or that it was allowed to happen to justify an attack on Iraq. What is incontrovertible though, is that 9/11 was [mis]used to justify attacking Iraq--which neo-cons had been advocating almost since the end of the first Iraq War. Had we stayed out of Iraq, and not pulled resources out of Afghanistan before the run-up to the Iraq War, we might have been more successful in Afghanistan, and the Taliban might never have had a second chance.

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