It was not too long ago that Republicans in Belknap County, along with Republicans throughout the State of New Hampshire, were riding high. There was a huge red wave that flipped the House of Representatives from a minority to the majority and Belknap County led the way to that success with a clean sweep going 18 Representatives for 18 delegation seats. The only county in NH to feature an all-Republican delegation.
So, with success like that how is it possible that with a nationally disastrous democrat policy and a hugely successful biennium in the state legislature any incumbents could be primaried, let alone lose in the primary?
Sure, there were the usual players like the democrats calling republicans hollow names like freestaters and extremists. There were the usual mainstream media types spreading misinformation and there was even a johnny come lately left-wing democrat pac well-funded to the tune so far of $35,000 that used the same old Alinsky playbook to sling the crap at the Republicans. We’ve seen this all before and yet none of these things could hold a candle to the folks who were elected and trusted to fight off these things.
That’s right, the Belknap County Republican Committee (BCRC) did more to trash Republicans than any of the usual suspects. To be clear not all Republicans in Belknap were party to this self-destructive behavior but the BCRC and a few of its friends engaged in a political suicide pact that will be used in the future to show what not to do in an election cycle.
Bastion sources reveal that the Executive Committee of the BCRC came to power by promising a few things to the membership. During the 2020 election there were several attacks made on republican candidates, and the then EC hopefuls promised to have their fellow republicans’ backs and wouldn’t let those kinds of attacks go without defense. Instead, the EC’s inaction was deafening. Also, the EC took the unprecedented stance to allow a quasi-press member into their BCRC meetings. The results were hit piece after hit piece on the very Republicans they had promised to protect and defend from such nonsense only a year and a half earlier in exchange for their votes.
They also promised to support their members running for office. In another stunning action by the EC of the BCRC, and well outside the traditional stance of all NH-GOP committees, they decided to endorse candidates in the primary. The circular firing squad that ensued could only be embraced by those who plot the republican party demise in Belknap County. The taking of sides in the primary was a genuine and predictable mistake. While there are many examples of negligence, one example as such is the shellacking of candidates in the primary. Funded by the EC of the BCRC, and now all those funds went to waste. The money spent on losing primary candidates now cannot be spent in the general election where the choice is not which republican do we like, but who shall be in office a republican or democrat. Most reasonable people would agree that the general election is an infinitely more important race to fund as the outcome speaks to our governance.
The BCRC and friends, for all their steeped knowledge and experience, have exhibited all the political acumen of a lamppost. They were not happy with destroying their own political endeavors and much like someone drowning they grabbed on to anyone close to them and proceeded to drag them also to the bottom.
One notable casualty of their folly was Representative Gregg Hough. By all accounts Hough is exactly the kind of man welcomed in Representatives Hall. Sources from the Statehouse tell the Bastion, “Hough was a tireless worker, who always answered the call”. His conservative voting record gained him recognition from national conservative organizations such as CPAC, NH house leadership promoted him to Labor committee whip, then to Assistant Majority Whip and there was talk of more. He has also served on 2 committees, Labor and Recreation, Resource and Development where he worked to protect our business community and our lakes and mountains during the difficult period of Covid 19.
At the same time Representative Norm Silber, the current BCRC Chairman and member of the Executive Committee for the Belknap County Delegation quit his only committee responsibility. Yet the BCRC allowed Hough to be lumped in with the likes of Representative Sylvia whose “secession bill” was disastrous. As an aside, it should be pointed out that in the House of Representatives when the motion by Republicans came forth to table the “secession bill”, Democrats unanimously voted against tabling. Every man, woman, and “they”, on the Democrat side knew the folly of that legislation, but not Sylvia or the others in Belknap county who voted for it.
The Delegation’s Executive Committee, which consisted of Sylvia, Silber and company, when faced with the impending demise of Gunstock not only did nothing to intervene but they actively fought against all efforts to prevent the mountain from its potential financial and functional demise.
Any time another county asset was in need of attention, it received the attention required by the delegation so why not the same diligence toward Gunstock? The BCRC actively alienated those Republicans who chose to do what they could to keep Gunstock open and in the black. Even once Gunstock had a functioning Commission and the staff returned to work, even after Soul fest went off by all accounts very successfully and the mountain was back on track to continue to not only be ready for the winter season but to be poised to deliver to the county an estimated $300,000, those in the BCRC and the EC of the Delegation still wanted to continue with the lawsuits and accusations of “wrongdoing,” none of which has ever been substantiated.
With the release of the audit of Gunstock we shall see if there is any redemption for those who have maintained for the past year that there are such egregious financial improprieties that their willingness to bring down the county asset was warranted or if there is simply no there, there. One thing is certain, whatever the audit shows, it alone will not repair the damage done by these political titans and we can only hope that this serves as a final reminder to the BCRC and all Republicans in New Hampshire how not to win at the polls, for the one basic constant in politics is, if you don’t win you don’t govern.
Don’t forget to turn the lights out folks…
[…] “Spidey-sense” is tingling. As has been covered in several previous postings (click here, here, and here), we continue to question the ongoing actions of the Belknap County Republican Committee […]