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Steve Winter
State Representative District 3

July 1, 2012
"Attack Ads and Special Interests"

Steven Winter represents the towns of Newbury and Sutton, Merrimack District 3, in the NH House of Representatives.

Representative Winter is a member of the House Executive Department & Administration  Committee, The Special Committee on Public Employee Pension Reform and the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).


"Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results."
  A commonly used disclaimer in stock broker advertisements

A friend and I were discussing the presidential campaigns attack ads to which we have been subjected over the last few weeks. President Obamas ads claim that Governor Romneys tenure as governor of Massachusetts was a dire time for that state because it resulted in a loss of 40,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in debt. The ad says that state was 47th in the nation for economic development.

On the other hand, Governor Romneys ads claim that his Massachusetts tenure was rosy since unemployment under Romney was less than 5% and the states budget was balanced in each of his four years. Those two claims do not compute. Is one side lying? Are they both lying? Or does it just prove that statistics can be manipulated to show whatever one wants them to show?

As noted above, "Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results". This disclaimer for financial transactions is appropriate for this political contest, too. Rather than concentrating on what took place 10 years ago and not knowing the circumstances of why those decisions were made, I am more interested in what actions are planned for the future. I want them both to stop playing the "look back, gotcha" game and tell us specifically what each would do to bring us out of the morass we are currently experiencing. I want them to show the specifics of their plans not only on their slick web sites, but plainly and in detail in their speeches and their debates.

I had a conversation with another friend who is a Democrat the other day. We agreed on a number of things, primarily that the extremes of both political parties seem to be locked into positions from which no governing can survive. I said, "Both sides talk endlessly about compromise but the compromise always results in "Do it my way." He agreed and added, "Special interests" have the upper hand."

And what about those nefarious "special interest" groups like ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council? Doesnt that group send out drafts of legislation that are forced onto our legislators? Actually, no. ALEC sends out "model" legislation that has been drafted for "suggested" legislation composed by voluntary committees jointly made up of business and legislative members. This is what most "special interest" groups do.

Such groups represent unions, ecology advocates, veterans, teachers, small businesses, military officers, trades people, churches, doctors and dentists, and various advocates for diseases, the homeless, the blind, etc. Examples are the AFL-CIO, The Sierra Club, American Legion, NEA, Military Officers Association, National Auto Dealers, National Medical and Dental Associations, American Cancer Society, and many, many others.

Most people I know are members of at least a few of the thousands of "special interest" groups. They are ubiquitous. To which "special interest" group(s) do you belong? Its human nature and a matter of perspective "special interest" groups are good or bad depending on whether you belong to them or not.



Steve Winter, Representative, Merrimack District 3
Newbury and Sutton, New Hampshire 

Rep. Winters' Archives

Telephone:  603-271- 3125 and 271-3319

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