To the editor:
The record shows that New Hampshire House Speaker William O'Brien doesn't lead the House, he misleads it.
The most recent example came in the June 8 session. O'Brien lied to the members of the House. Rep. Steve Shurtleff, D-Concord, made a motion that the House take up the veto message to HB 474, the "Right to Work" bill. The Speaker responded "Your motion is out of order." Rep. Cindy Rosenwald, D-Nashua, then rose to make a parliamentary inquiry: "Doesn't House Rule 57 (a) 6 say that this is the time the House would take up messages from the Senate, the governor, and the secretary of state?"
The response: "In response to your parliamentary inquiry, once again I'll say the matter is not on the agenda. You might consult with your minority leader who will remind you that on a veto of the medical marijuana bill last time, I stood where you are standing, trying to bring this forward, and that was her ruling as well."
The Speaker apparently forgot that House proceedings are recorded. His assertions were totally false. The record shows that Rep. O'Brien did not make, or attempt to make, any motion with respect to the veto message on medical marijuana (HB 648) in 2009. In 2010, he did make a motion to take up the governor's veto message on HB 276, relative to challenges of voters. Rep. O'Brien was immediately recognized by then-Speaker Terie Norelli and made his motion. She accepted the motion, and it was immediately voted on. His motion was recognized, not denied, as he tried to claim.
Some may believe that misleading the members of the House is an example of effectiveness as a leader, but I doubt that most people would agree.
Rep. Jim Powers