Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Nefarious New Hampshire

This law is completely bizarre:

Few...question the ferocity with which New Hampshire guards its prerogatives in this process. Granite State pride -- and Granite State coffers, which swelled by $264 million because of primary-related economic activity in 2000, according to one study -- are on the line. New Hampshire law stipulates that the state must hold its primary seven days prior to any "similar election" in another state. The commission, interpreting "similar election" to mean "primary," recommended inserting one or more caucuses between Iowa's and New Hampshire's so as not to contravene the statute. New Hampshire's secretary of state, Bill Gardner, has offered no indications that he agrees with that interpretation. "The law doesn't define 'similar election' and gives us total freedom," he told The (Manchester) Union Leader in late November.

How can you pass a law that says you get to hold your primary seven days before any other state's primary? What if another state passes a similar law?

One of the scenarios presented in the article involves New Hampshire's jerkitude causing the DNC to refuse to seat their delegates. If it comes to that, let's hope the DNC does so. I've always thought the outsized role that New Hampshire and Iowa have in choosing presidential nominees was ridiculous, and this law is an absurd way to maintain it.


Anonymous said...

Could not agree more. Have you ever brought this up to people from NH and Iowa, though? They get so fucking defensive about it. I guess it's the only thing standing between them and irrelevance.

I don't understand the law. At some point, NH has to schedule their primary. Suppose another state then swoops in and schedules their primary earlier. Does NH then reschedule? What if the other state then reschedules?

We could end up with a scheduling war, and NH having its primary four years in advance.

JCB said...

Such laws reward whichever states pass them first, because after you've got one (NH), you can't have another pass a law saying the same thing (unless they do anyway, and then both laws get stricken down as somehow illegal or just plain absurd and stupid).