Letter: Treatment of Gardner is unfair

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

It is, to put it frankly, frustrating to see the present New Hampshire secretary of state so maligned. It would be shocking to me that Democrats would be so vicious to one of their own, but the simple fact is that William Gardner has committed an unforgivable sin in modern politics: He has put principle and public good above the promotion of narrow party interests. It should be noted, of course, that the same fate would have befallen a Republican in his position who should dare tread such a principled line, and likely long ago, but that does not absolve the leadership of the Democratic Party of the guilt it must share in the perpetration of a coup such as this, the end result of which will be the inevitable uber-politicalization of an office that should be as nonpartisan as possible.

The Hanover Democrats have aided in the diffusion of this crisis, indeed they have exacerbated it, first with a letter to the candidates that in its opening line played directly to the line Colin Van Ostern has taken. Further, the letter proposes a debate, to hear the candidates, at first a praiseworthy undertaking it would seem, until one considers that it is a debate for an office whose executor is elected by the Legislature, and rightly so. Van Ostern has been quick to accept, through a spokesperson, attacking Gardner in filtered political language. Gardner responded as man alone, no spokesman in sight, seemingly the last lion.