Libraries help maintain freedom
To the editor:
I am seeking the position of trustee for Londonderry’s Leach Library in the forthcoming election. My purpose in running is that I most assuredly believe that public libraries are fundamental to sustaining a strong community of freedom, as did James Madison and Benjamin Franklin.
My hope is to assist in sustaining the extant strong presentation programs, increasing online services and interaction with other public libraries, and coordinating cordially with the town’s administration -- which by the state RSAs is a somewhat complex circumstance, seldom fully understood.
My home has been Londonderry for over 20 years. And I have been a coach of more youth sports than I can possibly recount and a member of two town temporary study committees -- one concerning the high school, the other police and fire departments. Both my wife Susan and elder daughter Emily are degreed MLS librarians, so perhaps I have accrued a certain library understanding by osmosis. I have developed a maintenance plan and accomplished a security study for a public library.
I also have experience as a trustee, having been on the board of directors of a nonprofit publisher in New York City for over 15 years. In addition, I have been an author, correspondent, columnist, and book reviewer for seven different magazines and a contributor to the Smithsonian’s “One Day in History” encyclopedia series.
Lastly, I do know the definition of trustee. It is rather akin to what I would state to taxpayer citizens visiting my ships when I was on active duty as a U.S. Coast Guard officer: “You folks own the ship. We just take care of it for you for a few years.”
I do know what it means to serve. And I hope for the votes of my fellow citizens.
Republicans seek to suppress votes
To the editor:
As Ronald Reagan famously said, “There you go again!” Portsmouth’s paranoid Republican politicos are still trying to sell us on the existence of voter fraud and the non-existence of voter suppression by using a phony bait and switch argument and a cherry picking logic.
The bait is an appeal to the readers’ ego by claiming that their ballot is being nullified and their basic right to vote is being stolen. Time to rally the troops! The switch is that they never present any proof of this and quickly move on to argue for a voter ID law. A direct connection is not needed.
Using intimidation as the symbol of voter suppression is also a sham. It is the most onerous and obvious technique and also the least common for good reason, it is illegal. The trick is that there are many ways to suppress voting and to base your argument on only one is intellectually dishonest.
Republican -- and only Republican -- administrations, across the country are: reducing polling hours, polling machines, polling personnel, cutting early voting, restricting student voting, eliminating early and same day registration and installing ID requirements all in the name of preventing voter fraud. Visit the BrennanCenter.org website for a full description of the extensive actions being taken.
I’m hard-pressed to see how fewer voting days, shorter hours or fewer voting machines will do more than create longer lines, discourage voters and indirectly suppress the vote.
This multi-layered reaction to a minuscule problem is gross overkill, especially when one exempts absentee voting. Absentee ballots present the greatest risk for voter fraud, no ID or personal appearance required. But! The majority of absentee ballots are Republican and we wouldn’t want to do anything that would reduce their number. Do I smell hypocrisy?
The hallucination that Republicans love to enjoy is that busloads of Democrats are sneaking into New Hampshire, under the cover of darkness, on the eve of Election Day. Presumably they hide out somewhere until the polls open and then go in with their Groucho Marx disguise and use the name of a dead person to vote. Let’s get real folks. If I were a poll worker I would be annoyed with the presumption that multiple individuals are successfully impersonating my dead neighbors and I can’t figure it out.
Republicans’ disproportionate response to a rare attempt at voter fraud and their cavalier dismissal of purposeful infringements on voter’s rights, by Republican-led states is illogical. Thirty-three states introduced 93 restrictive bills in 2013. Their attitude reflects a warped perspective that should disqualify them from public office in New Hampshire and the United States.
With their new found free time maybe they could enjoy a night at the opera?