The New Hampshire Republican Party promoted a few people today. Michael Zona is the new communications director. I knew I’d heard his name before, but I couldn’t place him until suddenly it popped into my head: he was The Chicken! Not just any chicken, either. Last year, he accidentally highlighted the absolute non-necessity for a Granite State buffer zone law.
When Jeanne Shaheen was running for re-election last year, someone in a chicken costume kept following her at public events. The idea, as I recall, was to draw attention to Shaheen’s reluctance to hold town halls. Reporter John DiStaso captured a good picture of the Senator and her shadow at a Londonderry parade, just before the guy in the chicken suit – Mr. Zona, as it happened – was arrested for disorderly conduct
I wrote about the incident at the time, noting how the town of Londonderry appropriately responded to someone trying to keep a woman from going about her business.
Here’s a summary: On the mean streets of Londonderry over the weekend, a man attempted to interfere with two women who were going about their business. He was trying to contact them with an important message. They didn’t want to hear it. He persisted. He was warned to cease and desist. Being a young idealist, he kept on keepin’ on. Finally the cops saw him yelling at the women. That did it: he was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Police used existing law to deal with the situation. Perfect. No need to “buffer” the First Amendment to protect those women.
The women were Governor Hassan and Senator Shaheen. They were walking in a parade, not walking into an abortion facility. They were entitled to safety, as are clients and workers at abortion facilities. The man arrested for disorderly conduct was wearing a chicken suit (you can’t make this up), not carrying a “choose life” sign. The Londonderry police didn’t need a special law to be passed in the name of “safety and balance” in order to do their job. Chicken Man was cited for disorderly conduct, and the parade went on without further incident.
Prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against Mr. Zona. Even so, on the day of the parade, police were able to protect the Senator by using statutes that existed long before anyone knew about buffer zones.
The U.S. Senate voted this afternoon on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. New Hampshire’s Senators split, with Ayotte voting yes and Shaheen voting no. While the vote on a procedural motion was 55-43, with four Democratics joining Republicans in the majority, the bill needed 60 votes to advance.
Understand this: abortion funding is holding up the bill. The Act contains language similar to the Hyde Amendment to prevent any funds allocated under the Act from being used for abortion. Abortion advocates are refusing to support the bill because they can’t squeeze any money out of it for abortion providers.
The bill is stalled because abortion funding is more important to one group of Senators than helping survivors of human trafficking. This is what abortion extremism looks like. Shout that from the housetops.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen was all set with a press release after the vote. “Human trafficking is too important an issue to be stalled because of unrelated measures aimed at restricting women’s access to healthcare. I’m disappointed that partisan language was inserted in this bill that could lead to a dramatic and unprecedented restriction on abortion coverage in the future. We ought to remove that controversial language and act on this bill in a bipartisan fashion.”
Guess what, Senator? Your colleagues DID vote today in bipartisan fashion in favor of the bill.
Senator Shaheen considers taxpayer funding of abortion essential. You want your funds kept away from the abortion industry? That’s a no-no, according to New Hampshire’s senior senator; that’s “restricting women’s access to health care.”
Senator Kelly Ayotte had a statement of her own. “I am disappointed that Senate Democrats are now blocking this measure, and I hope partisan disagreements will be resolved so we can pass this bipartisan legislation and help victims of these terrible crimes.”
Very nice. I support her in this. Did you notice something, though? Her statement didn’t mention that abortion funding was the sticking point. NHGOP chair Jennifer Horn issued a statement as well, taking Senator Shaheen to task for her vote. Again, no mention of abortion funding.
Why the dodge? Shaheen’s vote wasn’t merely partisan. It was extremism in action, cast in the conviction that you and I owe the abortion industry money.
From Bob Smith’s statement at the New Hampshire GOP Unity Breakfast after the primary, 9/12/14:
Yesterday, I spoke at length with Scott Brown and informed him of many of my concerns regarding the issues where we differ. As difficult as it was for me, I offered my support and told him that I looked forward to celebrating his victory in November. Senator Brown pledged to reach out to me on issues of disagreement, but we both agreed that sending Shaheen back to the Senate to support Obama would be a disaster for our country and would do nothing to enhance the conservative cause.
A hundred and sixteen people chimed in on Leaven for the Loaf’s unscientific poll about the U.S. Senate race. It’s fair to say that no consensus emerged.
If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, for whom would you vote?
Scott Brown 31.03%
Jeanne Shaheen 1.72% (two whole votes!)
And that leaves 67.25% who are not going to back either of the major candidates. It’s a close race, if the real polls are to be believed. Someone’s going to be sorry about not attracting those pro-life votes. Or maybe – and this might be a stretch – someone’s already getting ready to whine about how social conservatives cost the Republican a seat.
(Just a thought: If social conservatives in general and pro-lifers in particular are truly valued by a candidate, they won’t be treated as scapegoats.)
How about the two-thirds of poll respondents who didn’t pick Shaheen or Brown?
Write in an unspecified pro-life candidate: 22.41%
Write in an unspecified candidate for an issue other than life: 12.93%
Leave that spot on the ballot blank: 6.9%
Other (specified): 25%
Interesting collection of “others”: 16 votes for John Stark (the gang at GraniteGrok will be happy to hear this), 3 votes for John Langdon (ditto), 4 for Bob Smith, two “write in None of the Above,” two “holding my nose” (but then voting for whom???), one for Russ Payne, and one “hate Brown, hate Shaheen more.” Make of that what you will.
As if it’s not obvious, this is a thoroughly unscientific poll. If the election were held today, how would you vote in New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race on November 4? Optional: leave a comment on this post about your choice. Share the poll on social media with your pro-life contacts. I want to hear from pro-life voters, although there’s no way to restrict participation by others. Let’s see if anything turns up here that’s not being reflected in campaign coverage so far.