Home » Opinion » Editorials
House turmoil: Can O’Brien steady her?
New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien held a press conference on Tuesday to announce that Rep. Pete Silva, R-Nashua and the former House Majority Whip, would be the new majority leader. It was a move made necessary by the resignation of Salem Rep. D.J. Bettencourt, who had to vacate the majority leader position after having been forced to admit that he misled the UNH School of Law about an internship. If the speaker hopes this move will quell the recent storm, which goes beyond the Bettencourt affair, his hopes are probably too high.
It is not just that Democrats will never stop talking about the resignations of the majority leader and Director of Legislator Services Bob Mead. It is that a series of unforced errors makes it easy to caricature the speaker, as the Concord Monitor did by outrageously depicting him as Hitler.
Speaker O’Brien deserves praise and credit for leading the fight for a budget that spent only what the state had and sent a strong signal to business owners that the days of reckless spending and the ad hoc taxing to pay for it were over. He also succeeded in focusing the House on budgetary and economic issues first, holding others until later.
But the speaker’s handling of House business in the last few months has needlessly angered allies as well as foes. Provoking the Senate and the governor, both needed to pass critical legislation, was a mistake. So were his mishandlings of Mead and Bettencourt. The speaker has a difficult job managing nearly 300 House Republicans. It is made more difficult when handled with less than the necessary amount of political acumen.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Disengaged: Obama's lousy excuse - 14
- Underestimating NH: Gun control picks two wrong targets - 22
- Roaming jihadis: A terrorist visits Manchester - 3
- Athletes and PE: Give them credit for sports - 7
- The EPA's friend: It has a loyal ally in Shea-Porter - 16
- Leading vs. following: Ayotte, Shaheen and the polls - 24
- The cupcake police: Stop! In the name of lard! - 15
- Page One Editorial: Obama is right - 27
- Taxed tips: Another NH revenue grab - 9
READER COMMENTS: 1
- Updated: Man fatally shot on Manchester street; neighbors shocked - 3
- Nashua mayor to recommend Bennett for corporation counsel - 0
- Claremont group disputes incinerator plant's permit - 0
- Goffstown artisan gives new face to Wolfeboro tower - 0
- Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Kiwanis and the kids - 0
- Town may have to fix grave error - 0
- Gate City Musings: Mayor just keeps on spending - 0
- Nashua set to begin budget review - 0
- Manchester 'homeless meter' program seeks to deter panhandling - 0
Volunteer drivers needed in Windham
UNH hires firm to redesign one of its logos
Disengaged: Obama's lousy excuse
Chechen decries Boston attack
43 killers on lifetime parole - but where?