All Sections

Home | Politics

NH reps, others reportedly get aggressive after Obama ballot hearing

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 22. 2011 10:27PM

CONCORD - The Attorney General asked State Police to investigate an incident involving several lawmakers at the Ballot Law Commission hearing Friday.

House Speaker William O'Brien asked protective services to review the incident as well.

After the commission's hearing on the request to remove President Obama from the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot, Attorney General Michael Delaney said a member of his staff had to lock himself in an office with the assistant secretary of state out of fear for their safety due to the aggressive behavior of the crowd that included several legislators.

California attorney Orly Taitz, who has challenged the president's citizenship in many venues, filed the request to remove Obama's name from the ballot along with a half a dozen Republican House members. The commission unanimously turned down the request.

After the vote, supporters of the request called the commission members traitors and said they had committed treason.

Taitz called the committee corrupt and asked House and Senate leadership to begin removal proceedings against Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

In a letter dated Nov. 21, Delaney asked State Police Col. Robert Quinn to review the incident.

'I am extremely concerned that a member of my staff was put in a position of fearing for his safety during a public hearing based in part on the conduct of members of the General Court,' Delaney wrote in the letter dated Nov. 21. 'I welcome your recommendations as to how to ensure that such a situation does not repeat itself, and what security measures may be available for members of my office requesting additional security in performance of their official duties.'

Delaney also sent the letter to House Speaker William O'Brien to voice concern about the conduct of the House members involved.

'No state employee should find himself in this situation, and I am asking the General Court to take whatever steps it deems appropriate concerning the standards of conduct exhibited by these elected officials,' Delaney wrote.

Greg Moore, House Policy director, said O'Brien asked protective services to review the situation after Delaney told him of his concerns.

He said the speaker cancelled a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with several of the representatives that attended the Ballot Law Commission hearing and were upset with the results.

According to a memorandum from Assistant Attorney General Matt Mavrogeorge, who represented the Secretary of State's Office in the hearing, Reps. Henry Accornero, R-Laconia, and Susan DeLemus, R-Rochester, were yelling in his face and demanding answers.

He said he feared for his safety and that of Assistant Secretary of State Karen Ladd and went into an office where the doors could be locked.

Once in the room, they called capitol security and the attorney general office for assistance.

Reached Saturday about the incident, Accornero said he was upset because rather than investigate Taitz's allegations, the attorney general simply passed the issue back to the Ballot Law Commission.

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, R-Salem, called on the lawmakers involved to distance themselves from the 'birther movement' that does not believe the president is an American citizen.


Newsletter Signup