New Hampshire apparently has an unofficial tricameral legislature, with Gov. John Lynch being the third house all by himself. Conjecture from legislatures filtered through the AP is that he, if you pardon the pun, queered the vote on civil unions this week.
As the wire story put it, "A civil unions bill moving quickly through the State House hit a jam yesterday and some are questioning whether Gov. John Lynch, who has been silent on the issue, is behind it." It also quoted Sen. Bob Clegg, who expects this to pass when it comes up, as saying,"Why would we fast-track the bill and then hold it? It has to be for purely political reasons.The only factor left is the governor."
I had projected a likely veto-proof margin with the bill passing this week. Instead the vote suddenly halted for an indefinite period. There's a lot of conspiratorially focused chatter on Blue Hampshire about it.
Senate President Sylvia Larsen was the chump, claiming she decided to hold off...to give senators plenty of time to think about it. However, it was clear that the Democratic-dominated house was all behind it. The question was how huge the majority approval would be.
The Democratic governor is not particularly gay friendly, opposed same-sex marriages, and as is his wont, refuses to say if he'd veto the civil-unions bill. In fact, he fanned the speculation that he caused the delay by having his talking head, Colin Manning, refuse to say if he was involved or even had a position.
Manning mush mouthed, "The governor is certain the Senate will give this bill thoughtful consideration." I am sure Dante could find a place in his rings of hell for such cowardly liars.
This appears to be classic Lynch -- not too bright, very indecisive, and indifferent to side-effects on others. Yet, in the end, the bill will certainly lie on his desk. He'd been a lot better off deciding months ago instead of waiting for that moment. Delaying it can only further decrease his political capital.
Tags: massmarrier, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, same-sex marriage, civil unions