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No inspectors general: NH needs a strong governor
We hope the talk of creating a New Hampshire “inspector general’s office’’ is just that, talk. Anyone want to take any bets on how long it would take for such an office to turn into yet another money-sucking bureaucracy, not to mention a stepping-stone for political gain?
Yes, there have been some notable and highly questionable activities in various state agencies recently. The FRM financial scandal had at least three state agencies pointing fingers at each other as to who dropped the ball. The Department of Employment Security officers allegedly ordering favored treatment for their own children would be funny if it were not so serious. And the dustup over wine that may or may not be missing from the State Liquor Commission remains unresolved.
But House Speaker William O’Brien’s suggestion of having a “very robust inspector general system in New Hampshire’’, while no doubt well-intentioned, is something we would expect from a big-government type.
The common-sense, small-government response came from Senate President Peter Bragdon, who said you don’t need a new department, you need a strong executive leading the executive branch.
Which is precisely why we endorse Ovide Lamontagne for governor (see Page One editorial) today. His business credentials and impeccable ethics, coupled with his knowledge of state government and his leadership (as opposed to an incumbent who has left few marks) make Lamontagne well-suited to restore confidence in Concord.
We trust Lamontagne to take a look at these recent ethical scandals and come up with the proper reforms.
We suspect that would include making it clear to the attorney general that any “inspector general’’ role ought to begin there.
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