August 9, 2007

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Publisher's Note: Politics and policy
By Jody Reese

Ballpark blooper
Controversy is now rounding the bases at the Merchantsauto.com stadium. According to the new city finance officer, Manchester city government has been picking up part of the tab for the ballpark. That was never the plan. The problem it seems is that there has only been $30 million or so development on the property. The parcel needed $75 million in new buildings to cover the costs of the ballpark. Though there have been claims by former city finance officials that the project is paying for itself, I can’t see how with the missing $45 million in buildings that should be needed to cover the costs.

Nashua mayor’s race
Nashua mayor Bernie Streeter is finally calling it quits after almost 500 years in public life. Of course that must means former Mayor Don Davidson is running again, and he is. The former pilot has never really stopped running for mayor. Streeter beat him eight years ago in a mayor’s race that brought out charges that as mayor Davidson used city money to hire a personal consultant. Here we go again.

Guinta fails to raise big bucks
The Manchester Daily Express reported earlier this week that Mayor Frank Guinta had only raised about $5,500 in the last quarter, a far cry from the $20,000 or so that he spent. Candidates must raise money to win a race these days, especially ones in office. Nonetheless, Guinta has the power of the incumbency on his side and might be able to raise more money over the summer. The one criticism of Guinta that seems to come from many of the campaign check writers is that he or his staff doesn’t return phone calls. In a city where power is derived from who you know – the mayor being an important an important who you know – failure to return calls is a dangerous to a political future.

Stevens to enter congressional race
Former Health and Human Services head honcho John Stevens is seriously thinking about running for congress in the First District (sorry, folks, Nashua and Concord are in the Second District). He took a run at that job back in 2002, finishing second. But the winner in that race former Congressman Jeb Bradley has already announced he’ll run again and is out raising money. Bradley lost to Democrat Carol Shay Porter in 2006 midterm election. Like any Republican this go around, Stevens will need an Iraq war strategy that doesn’t involve the word “surge.”

GOP shootfest
Manchester’s GOP head a fund raiser last week at a gun range where attendees could shoot off machine guns. The GOPers say they raised $2,000. This may sound shocking to some, but I thought this sounded like a lot of fun. And for a real plus it didn’t involved a rubber chicken (or did it?) or a meet and greet. I might be off base here, but I’ll bet many of those shaking their head about this fundraiser love action-packed movies with lots of machine guns and explosions. Fire away, boys.