Up In New Hampshire the JUA money grab is back in the news. A group is blasting NH Senate Candidate Kelly Ayotte (R), and NH Governor John Lynch (D), for trying to balance the state budget last year with $110 million from a malpractice fund created by the state but filled with money from the pockets of doctors who were forced by law to contribute to it. The thinking goes that because the state forced them to pay in, the state has rights to the money because it (the state) created the need for the underwriting fund.
That’s like buying a big cookie jar, forcing people to put their money in it, and then insisting that money is now yours because it’s your jar.
Current Jar steward Lynch and his ex-AG Ayotte still beleive they were wronged by the State Supreme court when it said “you can’t have the money,” which is not an unexpected reaction. Ayotte’s office assured her Governor at the time that the state had a legal claim.
I happen to think the governor and AG have a commitment not just to execute the laws that are written but to try and identify and protect us from the ones that are written badly, particularly when the democrat legislature is tilting at windmills to hide their abusive spending addiction. Instead of goading the legislature along, perhaps they could instead suggest ways to make the law work better. But then that would require more leadership and less of a desire to hide poor management skills by robbing others to cover irresponsible governance. (NH has had a sizeable deficit and spending problem under Democrat Lynch which have required tricks and magic to cover.)
So the JUA grab was just another legisaltive mugging. The mugger (the state) knew the money was there and decided (at midnight on the night of the budget deadline last year no less) that the JUA could part with it simply because the state suddenly needed it more. They then wrote it into the budget. The AG looks on approvingl yand the governor–complicit in the spendathon that required the mugging is happy with the pot of gold they have discovered.
But it is not to be. The JUA files suit and wins a case before State Supreme Court.
It is worth noting that while the NH Supreme court did find against the state they left a backdoor in their decision for new legislation that could change the law, presumably to allow the State House to legally rob the JUA fund. I think it would be an encouraging sign if the legislature instead wrote a law that removed the states right to take that property instead. It would also be encouraging to have a governor who was more interested in what was right for New Hampshire than whatever he could justify to cover his and his democrat legislatures collective backsides, but we will need to take back the legislature (likely) and the Governors office (possible) before that would happen.
While we wait, Americans for Job Security (AJS) has started a web campaign against Ayotte and Lynch to keep the matter on everyones mind. Former NH Dem Party Chair Kathy Sullivan has filed a claim regarding AJS’s 501(c)6 status with the new NH AG in defense of Lynch, while Ayotte complains about who did what in the Conservatory with the pipe wrench. If it matters, I beleive a former HNGOP chair is the voice of AJS, Steve DeMaura.
This is probably the first of many complications for Ayotte, who while popular with the establishment is not loved by the bulk of the NH grass roots, nor many in the tea party, nor the real conservatives, nor the pro-liberty free Staters, all of whom are very active and very noisy. And her record as AG is littered with skeletons, so we should expect to see them all as the primary moves forward. Will it affect her lead, maybe? Will it help democrat Paul Hodes, not at all. My dog could poll well against Hodes and most of the Republicans could beat him today by 10-20 points. Unfortunately the real conservative, Ovide Lamontagne, would not. That needs to change. But what AJS is doing is not likley to help Ovide all that much. It may however help Republican John Stephen, who is vying to run against Lynch for Governor.
Time will tell, and I’ll try to keep you up to date on it when I can.
Edited and Cross Posted from NH Insider.com