Filed by Arthur Vandelay, Sr., Freelance Bastion Investigative Reporter
The rise of the well-funded leftist leaning Citizens for Belknap PAC (C4B) has been well discussed in Republican and conservative circles. It is no secret that they targeted Belknap County’s status as the most Republican in the Granite State, seeking to change that and perhaps create a template for the future in hopes of turning the entire state Democrat-blue. Thanks to the actions of the the leaders of the Republican-led County Delegation who, after finding success at crafting a county budget into a reasonable working one that created a good balance between required services and the taxpayers, decided to then touch the 3rd rail of local politics: Gunstock Ski Area. And that’s when things unraveled, creating a perfect opening for the new PAC-in-waiting.
And, rather than making the effort to change course and salvage the public-relations disaster, a number of Republicans dug in, blindly following their reckless leaders into the perfectly laid-trap created for them by the C4B. Fueled by generous gobs of cash, the PAC sprang into action with an experienced “community organizer” a-la-Obama, blanketing the area with ads, signs, and physical presence. They preyed on many ordinary peoples’ (well-founded) concerns over the potential loss of the Gunstock Area. Knowing that most people aren’t as politically savvy as those of us in the trenches- and mostly unable to sniff out a cleverly planned ruse, they used the old tried and true “bipartisan” trick. They also brought out a newer tactic: abusing New Hampshire’s open primary system by convincing many “non-affiliated” and usual Democrat voters to register as Republicans in order to influence the outcome, thus stacking the deck for the November general election. And, for the most part, it worked out. Several fine Republican incumbents lost, and some weaker, less electible ones ended up winning, thus creating softer targets for Democrats in the main event.
In addition to many ordinary voters getting tricked into buying the “bipartisan” ruse employed by those that hatched the C4B scheme, one might surmise that includes some of the major big money donors as well. The Bastion has obtained a list of people and entities that are the contributors to this rather effective PAC and, indeed, it DOES feature some area Republicans: Some, certainly known as more middling types. Some, probably reeled in over their love of Gunstock after being convinced that the primary and now general campaign actions are the best way to “save” the mountain. And perhaps others, with ulterior motive$ ? (See the final paragraph)
When one does a deeper dive into the list, however, and reviews it with locally connected political observers, one can certainly prove that many of those donating money can be classified as “the usual suspects”- far left leaning Democrats. Many are well known in the fringe activist circles at the local level of the party. Another point of note is that there are two former Gunstock Area Commissioners (GAC) on the list- one by name, Brian Gallagher, and one by his corporate entity: Ed “Rusty” McLear (EJM Holding, LLC). Also, the husband of a CURRENT GAC member is listed as well. Things that make you go, “Hmmmmm.”
Of course, you don’t have to take this former latex-importer’s word for it– you can check out this list (H/T Reuben Keniston) for yourself:
One last point- more of a question to ponder. With the large donation of hotelier Rusty McLear, along with another, a principal of Steele Hill Resort (Eastman Hill Enterprises, Bill Cutillo), might there be even more to this whole saga than what meets the eye? Could it actually be a scheme with several mutually-beneficial outcomes? The liberal Democrats make great inroads into the GOP-dominated Belknap County. The Delegation becomes more spend-friendly, thus elevating county expenditures at all levels of that government. AND- the upcoming Delegation makeup might appoint two new Gunstock Commissioners that favor a large hotel constructed at the Area. Could that be what this is all ultimately about? Of course, there’s no proof, but such things are certainly worth contemplation. There has been some serious money spent on the C4B PAC here in Belknap County. It’s always good to ask, “WHY?????”
Arthur Vandelay, Sr. is the retired founder of Vandelay Industries, world-famous importers of fine latex. He spends his time as a freelance investigative reporter and is an occasional contributor to The Bastion. He can frequently be found hanging out at the Beaver Lodge.