Members of the New Hampshire State “Republican Majority Senate,” sponsored and passed NH SB120, a bill that modified finance rules for money related to political speech. Money used to engage in political speech must be regulated, we are told by incumbent Republicans, but this is not a violation of our first amendment rights because money isn’t speech.
We’ve taken to calling it the Incumbent protection act. It was sold as legislation to bring transparency to third party political speech but like all its evil brethren it gives the insiders a speech monopoly and punishes everyone else. And SB120 no only regulates money spent for speech about candidates in or running for office, it also affects money spend to speak about issues or legislation.
We fought SB120 tooth and nail, through two different legislatures. We fought earlier manifestations resurrected by far left progressives. But it took a NH Republican Senate to get something passed.
The Democrats in the Senate, the Democrat Majority NH House, and in every left-wing ideological ghetto acccross the state were drooling over the irony.
Despite having passed both houses of the state legislature the bill is still sitting in Democrat House Speaker Terie Norelli’s office. She has not hustled it over to Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan’s desk to be signed into law, and that should appear very strange.
For those unfamiliar with the recent history of anti-free speech legislation in New Hampshire, State Senator Maggie Hassan lead the Democrats last full-on charge to regulate money as speech, with an amendment that would have made attempting to remark on candidates or issues a Rube-Goldbergian bureaucratic nightmare. Hassan loves this so SB120 should have been signed into law moments after it passed.
Why is it still sitting in the NH House? I wrote about it yesterday.
The Democrat Governor’s Association, of which Maggie Hassan is the Vice-something or other, is in the midst of a lawsuit with the State of Connecticut over the finance restrictions placed on it by a bill not dissimilar to SB120. Susan wrote about it here just a few weeks back.
If Norelli sends SB120 to the Governor’s Desk, Democrat Maggie Hassan would have to either let it become law. which might then require her to stand with the DGA on a suit against herself over a state law restricting what the DGA wants to do….or veto it.
Bills sent to the governor that are not signed become law on their own after, I believe it is five days. So if the Bill goes up to the governor, she can sign it, veto it, or let it become statute through inaction. If SB120 goes up to the governor’s office, Hassan would have to act to keep it from becoming law if she felt it would require the DGA to fight this law like the one in Connecticut.
Speaker Norelli is sitting on it like a hen on a prize egg.
And no one appears to be pushing hard from either side to get Speaker Norelli to get this in Hassan’s hands.
Senate Republicans who supported SB120 have good reason to keep quiet. The Republican base is livid. SB120, along with the gas tax they voted for, several other unpopular bills, and worst of all the Medicaid Expansion ‘compromise’ have them all facing Republican primaries from a livid Republican Base. Several GOP State Senators have simply decided not to run again, but are supporting RINO replacements to keep the Conservatives and libertarians from marching into the general election unopposed.
On the other side we have the Democrats (still drooling) and Governor Maggie Hassan, who has both a conflict of interest and a desire to make SB 120 law.
As much as I want SB120 to go away, this might be the best possible scenario. I get to pop popcorn and watch everyone squirm.