September 27, 2005


N.H. Politician Facing Calls to Resign (DAVID TIRRELL-WYSOCKI, 9/27/05, Associated Press)

A member of the powerful state Executive Council is facing calls to resign for hiring a campaign aide he knew was a convicted child sex offender, but he said Tuesday he has no intention of stepping down.

"I don't plan to resign. There's too much work yet to be done," Raymond Burton told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

The aide, Mark Seidensticker, 45, was arrested last month and accused of inappropriate contact with teenage boys. Based on that arrest, Burton said he no longer will employ Seidensticker, who is being held on $50,000 bail at the Merrimack County jail. [...]

U.S. Sens. John Sununu and Judd Gregg and both of the state's congressmen have urged Burton, to resign. All four are Republicans, as is Burton. Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, also called Monday for Burton to step down.

The reaction nicely illustrates why government works better here, with the bi-partisan call from all the congressmen and all three officials who are elected statewide for Mr. Burton to do the right thing and resign.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 27, 2005 12:48 PM

This doesn't illustrate WHY gov't works better there, it illustrates THAT gov't works better there. You'd see the same reaction in most (but not all) states, since on the smaller level there is more likelihood that the politicians represent constituencies that are in fairly good agreement on most core assumptions. Hence Pres. Bush actually WAS a "uniter" in TX since the Democrats and Republicans there are in good agreement on most fundamental issues. The question is how one can get to that point on a national level, or at least back to the degree that there ever was such agreement...

Posted by: b at September 27, 2005 1:24 PM

How many prominent Democrats called for Clinton's resignation, either before or after impeachment? I've always felt had enough of them done so and had Clinton followed their advice it would have played to Gore's advantage in 2000, i.e., no "Clinton fatigue" factor.

Of course there might have been "Gore fatigue" instead, so perhaps Bush would have won anyway.

Posted by: George B at September 27, 2005 2:03 PM

The reaction of reader 'b' was the same as mine: why does the bipartisanship work for NH and not for (say) California? It's a brute fact that it does, but no explanation is forthcoming. Maybe NH is more homogeneous, or maybe its small size is the key factor.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at September 27, 2005 2:54 PM

Disagreement about particulars is to be expected, and the disputes will produce partisan divides. But there is something else in play. When disagreements reach the fundamental level, and people can no longer say "We hold these truths...", then you have warfare. Much of what today passes on the national level as political/partisan dispute masks the absense of fundamental agreement, and in fact the fundamental dispute is the real issue at hand disguised as a policy argument. NH is blessed with fundamental agreement. Therefore when these codes are violated the only viable position for any participant is to demand their affirmation.

Posted by: Luciferous at September 27, 2005 3:11 PM

And shouldn't you reserve the self-congratulations until after the guy actually resigns, or is forced out?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 27, 2005 4:29 PM

We're Puritans.

Posted by: oj at September 27, 2005 6:16 PM

How strong are the political parties out there in NH? They're pretty weak out here in WA, which I'd hypothesize has something to do with the general lack of bipartisanship here.

Posted by: Timothy at September 27, 2005 9:50 PM