by Jane Aitken, Director

Considering this was not an election year, the hall was filled and the speakers were excellent. We want not only to thank the attendees to our 2017 picnic, but to thank all the volunteers whose names we may not have. These folks helped Ed Naile and Jim Powell cook, haul tables and equipment around, take tickets at the door, and clean up. Rep JJ Valera and his wife Shannon, Roger Wilkins, Merle Burke, Pam Ean, and Linda Powell among those we know!

Here are some of the highlights.

Despite not having the usual gaggle of candidates hosting their campaign tables, we did hear short appeals from CD1 Candidates Eddie Edwards and Senator Andy Sanborn. I am sure either one of these guys would be preferable to who is in US Congress representing us currently!

Our keynote speaker was Hal Shurtleff, formerly of the JBS (constitutional experts) and currently Director of Camp Constitution in Rindge, NH. Hal pointed out the pros and cons of an Article V Convention. He cited numerous liberal groups that would like to have one, and many conservative groups that would not, although groups on both sides of the political spectrum can be found on either side of the “Con Con” issue. We thought it would be a good thing to at least introduce people to the issue, regardless of where they might stand on it.

Frankly, I can’t imagine what liberals might want to do to the Second Amendment for example, if they could open the Constitution up to change it? There are no guarantees.

While CNHT does not itself take a stand on the issue, the NH Tea Party Coalition HAS taken a stand against it, after conferring with the Constitutional experts at the Tenth Amendment Center, JBS, and NH’s own NH Center for Constitutional Studies.

We of course heard from CNHT’s Chairman Ed Naile about NH’s compliance with the federal election commission’s request for simple voter information, the kind of stuff that every person who has ever run a group mailing list or candidate’s campaign, likely has on their computer right now. And Kim Morin from the Women’s Defense League and anchor of GAL’s Politically Buzzed updated us on the left’s weak argument that sending this information to the feds is somehow an invasion of privacy.

CNHT has also joined a multi-state coalition which has begun cooperating on the cross-checking of voter lists to make sure people aren’t registered in multiple states.

Just as voter fraud is one of CNHT’s key issues, so is the Right to Know law (RSA 91-A) which helps to uncover fraud and corruption in so many cases.

David Saad of the Right to Know NH group let attendees know his group specializes in this one issue and for that we thank him. His website is here, and you can contact the group if you need help submitting a RTK request and/or what to expect after you do.

Kate Baker explained how Childrens’ Scholarship Fund raises money to help NH students who find themselves in unsatisfactory school situations. She held a Q and A session afterwards. This was great as many of us didn’t know the details of how her organization worked, although we had a basic understanding of its purpose and fully support it.

And how refreshing to hear from our new Commissioner of Education, Frank Edelblut, who says he is enjoying his new position! There is no question that Frank knows exactly what he is doing, and he promises to bring some much-needed common sense to the system. When we wrote to thank him, we told him that if he wants to know the language of the bureaucrats and snake oil salesmen, he should check this website:

Also in the house and/or speaking were School District Governance Association (Donna Green and Jorge Mesa-Tejada) NH Liberty Alliance (Dan McGuire) Granite State Taxpayers (Ray Chadwick) 603 Alliance (Fran Wendelboe), Libertarian Party NH (Chip Spangler), Concerned Vets of America (Rep. Steve Negron) and Assembly of Common Law NH (Richie Merritt). We also heard from the Hons. John Burt and Max Abramson.

Both Ray Chadwick and Fran Wendelboe, while speaking for their groups, implored listeners to be active all year round, not just at election times, a point with which we heartily agree.

Next year (2018) is an election year! We’ll have candidates for Governor, CD1, CD2, Executive Council, State Reps and Senators. We’ll likely conduct a straw poll at that time. People who request tables and/or speaking slots MUST check in with and have the speaker’s name placed on the list she then gives to the emcee. If someone approaches us to speak but only after arriving at the event, we will allow it or not at our discretion. Please do NOT approach the emcee and ask him as he is not responsible for our policy.

Get your tickets online! It helps us to know how much food to prepare, and you never know, we might someday raise the price of tickets at the door!

The folks from Granite Grok looked like they were filming all speeches, so we hope they will let us know if we can share the videos.