An Evening With Ovide Lamontagne

Guest blogger Bill attended the Lakes Region (New Hampshire) TEA Party meeting in Moultonborough this evening, taking the opportunity to listen to Republican gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne speak. Here's his take on Lamontagne.

On Wed. May 23rd, Ovide Lamontagne came to the regular monthly Moultonboro TEA Party meeting at the Moultonboro Public Library. I’ve heard the man’s name sporadically over the last couple of years, usually along with little bits and pieces of his views. Since he is running for Governor and since all those bits and pieces never really got strung together enough to have a real opinion about the man, I decided to go. The evening’s event was well attended compared to one I had gone to a few months ago. After opening and a brief mention of America’s current state using JKF as a reference point, he talked a bit about his personal and work past. He has always been surrounded by extended family, and has been a business attorney for over 20 years. Concurrent with that, he has served on multiple boards and councils ranging from the NH State Board of Education, the local Daniel Webster Council of the Boy Scouts of America, St. Mary’s Bank, the Easter Seals Society, and the Governor’s Commission on Domestic Violence. His public service resume is notably longer than that, with the positions Chairman and Director appearing more than not. Many of these details were spread out and elaborated through the evening. Shortly after this, he talked in a declarative way of his respect and admonishment for not just the Constitution of the United States, but of the Constitution of New Hampshire. Referring to each throughout the meeting as well, in both a first person understanding as well as a historical context that when combined often led to very natural moments that moved the audience. Personally, I believe I saw people being tugged and motivated simultaneously. Mr. Lamontagne spoke several times on such meaningful elements of personal freedom and the requisite personal responsibility a functioning Republic demands, that much of the audience appeared to feel not only related to, but I think also a little moved to be and do more than they have been. Now, I recognize that that sounded romantic and more than a little potentially contrived. The thing is, this was through the course of a conversation, he was not giving a speech. Mr. Lamontagne was communicating ideas and values that are deeply important to many people, and did it in a way that did not appear forced or rehearsed, making this audience rather appreciative.

So, he got good grades on the likability factor. That being said, if America is to survive, we have to remove Progressive brainwashing from our voting habits, among other things. By that I mean casting votes based on how candidates make us feel about ourselves, and on how pretty one speaks over the other, and all those unicorn and rainbow platitudes that we have allowed ourselves to be conditioned to [accept], all of which at direct expense of the substance and reality of our responsibilities in our Government. Voting on what amounts to a high school popularity contest is killing us. While I will not pretend to speak for the man or his campaign, and I fully recognize the limitations of my knowledge of the details of his positions, based on what was said that night, here is a short list of what I came away thinking of the man's positions:

He is highly motivated to regain the State of NH’s state sovereignty that is by definition part of the Balance of Power in Federalism, doing so by judicious means of both roadblocks (vs. Obamacare) and slow means (vs. US Dept of Education).

He expressed strong interest in a state voter ID policy and stands against casinos in NH with the singular exception of the possible redevelopment of the Rockingham Park horse track.

He is both pro-life and appears to be willing to take a stand with Natural (Traditional) Marriage.

The Northern Pass was brought up, fortunately only in brief as that subject could (and does warrant) considerable dialogue. While he did not take a definitive stand for its development, it appeared that its development would be contingent on both the power lines being buried and that NH would have legal right to that power once its in the state. (The Northern Pass is a project to bring high voltage lines from Canada through New Hampshire into southern New England. The problem lies with the proposed route which takes it through some of the most scenic areas of the state, something that some folks in this state believe will destroy part of the tourist industry in favor of out-of-state electricity consumers. - ed.)

He expressed disinterest in enhancing any gun control law with several notes from a common sense, practical point of view. On the question of the creation of a state referendum, he appeared luke warm to it, but in such a way that one could not really tell if it was his opinion of it itself, the political reality of getting it through or some other issue.

He did make several strong stances on the need for vigilance (on all our parts) when it came to encroachments on NH’s state power, including but not limited to Cap and Trade through any number of back doors, UN potential power grabs, and an overreaching Federal gov’t in myriad forms.

There was an odd question posed by a member of the audience, that was followed by another person in the audience that appeared a set up/gotcha moment. One person asked a loose question that seemed to be “what’s the hardest ‘No” you’ve ever had to say?” Perhaps trying to get an idea of Mr. Lamontagne’s ability to say “No” to someone when it would hurt. Possibly a character test question when so much of America is the weakest it’s ever been, and at a time when Occupy demands everything with the veiled threat of violence. He answered it well from the position of his American/Conservative point of view. Taking his time to flesh out that there are things that just are not government’s job to do. Adding, and I believe quite well, that a representative must say No in such a way as to be understood a decision has been made, but by such means that the person being refused realizes that that answer does not apply to everything that same person would ask for. That it was important to make the distinction between saying No to a thing, and not No to the person. The person’s involvement and other future requests were still of some value, and will be heard and understood as such. This was said in such a simple and honest way that it would have demanded the President and other National representatives who call for civility and show none, be left shamed and humiliated. Fate however, would rear its head with a follow on question by another that was, simply put, “Are you going to make some kind of price control/anti-gouging law for gas and oil companies with their ridiculously inconsistent prices, that are forcing some people to choose to either eat, heat, or get their treatments?” Mr. Lamontagne did laugh, not at the question, but at the oddity of the moment, which everyone recognized as well. He then went on to explain that prices can be difficult, but that free markets by their nature do find their own ideal price, albeit over time, and that government usually makes things worse despite good intentions. The man that posed the question did in fact say that he respected Mr. Lamontagne for his answering a direct question honestly.

The meeting continued, but with this being the candidate's second such meeting that day and having a dinner date with his wife, left shortly after.

In a perfect world, when asked “Mr. Lamontagne, what are you going to do for me?” He would reply, “Nothing.”

That’s what I did on my field trip.