So I noticed the national election…

This’ll be brief, so if you’re sick of election postmortems, bear with me.

I publicly declared last June my refusal to support either of the major presidential candidates. I saw (and see) no reason to recant. But here we are. Donald Trump is president-elect, and he is my president, whether I like it or not.

So was Barack Obama. You know what happens when I say he’s not my president? I reject my own right as an American citizen to call out him and his Administration for actions and policies. The president, any president, owes me accountability. I will not reject that.

The president-elect has said at least one encouraging thing. From his President-Elect web page (; never let it be said the man forgets brand identity) on healthcare: “Protect individual conscience in healthcare; Protect innocent human life from conception to natural death, including the most defenseless and those Americans with disabilities.”

His opponent wouldn’t be saying any such thing.

Now we have a benchmark, one that the president-elect has set up himself, against which we may measure his actions.

The March for Life on January 27 is now of heightened importance. It will be the first major public gathering letting then-President Trump know that we’re watching. Copy that message to our upcoming pro-abortion congressional delegation.

Election summary

[Updated 5:17 p.m. to reflect Ayotte’s concession to Hassan]

Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. He will apparently have a Republican Senate and Congress. We’ll find out soon enough if Mr. Trump’s pro-life claims are valid.

Here are New Hampshire election results, as reported by the Secretary of State. Races not yet certified by the SoS are listed as reported at Candidates have until 5 p.m. on November 14 to request recounts.


In the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte finished about a thousand votes behind Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan. Ayotte conceded the race late today.

In the Senate race, independent Aaron Day earned about 17,000 votes. A post in the Bedford Patch said that Day  “surmis[ed] that his mission in the race – stopping Ayotte – had been accomplished, calling [his 17,000+ votes] ‘significant enough’ to guarantee she was not re-elected.”

In the First Congressional District, Republican Congressman Frank Guinta was unseated by former Member of Congress Carol Shea-Porter,  a Democrat in their fourth head-to-head race. Shea-Porter finished with 44% of the vote to 43% for Guinta, with the remaining votes scattered among three other candidates.

In the Second District, Democrat Ann Kuster was re-elected with 50% of the vote. Republican challenger Jim Lawrence finished with 45%, and Libertarian John Babiarz got 5%.

Governor and Council

Chris Sununu edged Colin Van Ostern, 49%-47%, to become Governor-elect. Sununu will be the first Republican elected to the corner office in over a decade. Max Abramson, the pro-life state representative who ran for governor on the Libertarian ticket, finished with 4%.

The Executive Council will have a 3-2 GOP majority once again following the re-election of Joe Kenney and David Wheeler and the election of former state senator Russell Prescott. Democrats Andru Volinsky and Chris Pappas won as well.

State Senate

Republicans finished Election Day with a 13-10 edge. District 7 is headed for a recount, with incumbent Sen. Andrew Hosmer (Democrat) now thirteen votes behind his challenger, Rep. Harold French. Hosmer survived a recount in 2014.

Newly-elected Republicans Ruth Ward and Dan Innis replace two Republicans, Jerry Little and Nancy Stiles, who usually voted pro-abortion and pro-buffer zone. It remains to be seen if Ward and Innis hold views different from those of their predecessors.

It’s great to see some veteran pro-life senators returning to Concord, and to see pro-life state reps like Bill Gannon win seats in the upper chamber.

District winners:

  1. Jeff Woodburn (D-incumbent)
  2. Bob Giuda (R-former state representative)
  3. Jeb Bradley (R-incumbent)
  4. David Watters (D-incumbent)
  5. Martha Hennessey (D-incumbent state representative)
  6. James Gray (R-incumbent state representative)
  7. outcome in doubt; Sen. Andrew Hosmer (D) vs. Rep. Harold French (R)
  8. Ruth Ward (R)
  9. Andy Sanborn (R-incumbent)
  10. Jay Kahn (D)
  11. Gary Daniels (R-incumbent)
  12. Kevin Avard (R-incumbent)
  13. Bette Lasky (D-incumbent)
  14. Sharon Carson (R-incumbent)
  15. Dan Feltes (D-incumbent)
  16. Scott McGilvray (D)
  17. John Reagan (R-incumbent)
  18. Donna Soucy (D-incumbent)
  19. Regina Birdsell (R-incumbent)
  20. Lou D’Allesandro (D-incumbent)
  21. Martha Fuller Clark (D-incumbent
  22. Chuck Morse (R-incumbent)
  23. Bill Gannon (R-incumbent state representative)
  24. Dan Innis (R)

The New Hampshire House will have a Republican majority next term. It did in 2015-16, too, when numerous pro-life bills failed to advance. House members will elect their Speaker next month, with at least two announced challengers to current Speaker Shawn Jasper.

Look for a report later this week on how the strongest pro-life reps fared in their re-election bids.



A thought about activism & elections

Knowing that many of this blog’s readers are pro-life activists – whether within the family, the culture, or the political sphere – I leave you with this on Election Day. It’s a call to the long view, by Thomas Merton from Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times. I posted it earlier this week on one of my other blogs, and I found the quote in a post by Frank Weathers at Patheos.

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. And there too a great deal has to be gone through as gradually you struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. The range tends to narrow down, but it gets much more real. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything….

The great thing after all is to live, not to pour out your life in the service of a myth: and we turn the best things into myths. If you can get free from the domination of causes and just serve Christ’s truth, you will be able to do more and will be less crushed by the inevitable disappointments. Because I see nothing whatever in sight but much disappointment, frustration and confusion.

The real hope, then, is not in something we think we can do but in God who is making something good out of it in some way we cannot see. If we can do God’s will, we will be helping in this process. But we will not necessarily know all about it before hand.


Voting Records: Rockingham County state reps, 2015-16

In a downloadable PDF document embedded below, here is a compilation of votes cast by New Hampshire state representatives from Rockingham County on selected bills on which I’ve reported in the past session, 2015-16. No scores or endorsements – just votes.

Records for Hillsborough County representatives are in another post. I’ve not compiled records for New Hampshire’s other counties, but voting information is available at the General Court web page.

VOTE on November 8. Do not be dissuaded by the choices at the top of the ticket, if you share my aversion to the lot of them. Downballot is where policies will be made and enforced, for good or ill. Let’s get to work.

Request a sample ballot from your town clerk, if you’re not sure in which district you reside.

The only candidates I’ve included here are incumbents seeking re-election. I have omitted party affiliation. One incumbent running for re-election, Michael Edgar of Rockingham district 21, won a special election late in the term and was not in office when these votes were cast.

Any errors in the compilation are my own.

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Links to bills used for this compilation

Each hyperlink will take you to the roll call I used for the bill.

  • HB 1399, requiring licensure of outpatient abortion facilities
  • HB 1570, buffer zone repeal
  • HB 1623, prohibiting abortions for genetic abnormalities (eugenic abortion)
  • HB 1625, limiting post-viability abortions
  • HB 1627, relative to infants born alive after attempted abortion
  • HB 1636, limiting abortions past the point at which the fetus can feel pain
  • HB 1663, prohibiting buying, selling, and experimenting on aborted fetal remains
  • HB 1684, prohibiting the use of public funds, employees and facilities  in assisting or performing abortions
  • HB 194, acknowledging the personhood of the unborn human being
  • HB 560, Griffin’s Law/fetal homicide, as introduced by Rep. Rideout (more on fetal homicide legislation here)
  • HB 670, conscience rights for medical personnel

The First Amendment is soooo intimidating

I’m not trying to beat the New Hampshire gubernatorial race to death; it just seems that way. I’ll stop after this post, at least until the election’s over. File this one away until the next time a contract with New Hampshire’s leading abortion provider comes up at the State House.

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) has gone after Mr. Sununu for his statement that he would back a few commonsense policies including repeal of the buffer zone law. Yes, THAT buffer zone law, enacted but never used because every abortion provider in the state knows that the law in its present form would be doomed in court.

PPNHAF statement here

I’m sorry I haven’t the time on this pre-election Sunday to fisk the full statement. I’ll settle for pointing out its references to the First Amendment rights of New Hampshire women and men.

The PP statement says “Chris Sununu said he’d…allow harassment of women seeking health care” and would “turn a blind eye to intimidation of women seeking health care by rejecting the bipartisan enactment of New Hampshire’s Buffer Zone law.”

Equating the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights with “harassment of women” is as egregious as equating “health care” with public funding of PP. I don’t know whether or not the irony is lost on PP’s target here.

If Mr. Sununu is “turning a blind eye to intimidation”, then so are the police departments in every New Hampshire community with an abortion facility. During the hearings on passage of the buffer zone in 2014, not one police department representative could be found to testify about problems with abortion-facility demonstrations that couldn’t be addressed via existing law. 

That was the fatal flaw in the Massachusetts buffer zone law thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley: Massachusetts failed to use existing laws to address demonstrators’ behavior before abrogating the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights.

The safety of women entering or working in an abortion facility, like the safety of women demonstrating outside, cannot be protected or enhanced by nullifying the First Amendment on public property adjacent to abortion facilities.  That’s what the buffer zone law seeks to do. The “bipartisan enactment” was bipartisan error.

No one has good reason to fear the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights. Rejecting New Hampshire’s yet-unenforced buffer zone law means rejecting that fear. Embracing the law means giving in to that fear.

Come to think of it, if opposition to buffer zones is tantamount to intimidating women, how come no PP facility in New Hampshire has posted a zone? PP worked for the law’s enactment, but has thus far declined to use it.

With less than a week to go before the election, PP’s statement is likely to get lost in the flood of overheated press releases coming from all sides. It’s worth remembering, though. PP is free to advocate for whatever it wants, including abrogation of constitutional rights. Governors and Executive Councilors are free to take that into consideration when the agency comes looking for its next contract.

PPNHAF has endorsed the Democratic candidates for Governor and Executive Council, all of whom we may therefore presume are committed to keeping the buffer zone law on the books.