, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

July 3, 2014

Response to Mike Kappler

The June 12 “My Opinion” column by Representative Mike Kappler (R, Raymond) is once again more notable for the omissions from his story than for what he shares. He describes the handling of a proposed NH House resolution urging Presidential action to obtain the release of a Sudanese woman (who is married to a NH man) and her children, currently being held against their will for religious reasons in Sudan.

The resolution had been introduced by Dan Itse (R, Fremont) who might be remembered for contemplating legislation in 2010 that would have required NH to assemble and fund it’s own militia. Kappler’s rambling explanation of parliamentary maneuvers related to the resolution almost immediately gave me a sense that there must be more to the story. And there was. Much more.

Though Kappler asserts that the Democratic leadership opposed the resolution and blocked its passage, he never provides the wording of the proposed resolution, nor does he ever give a specific reason for the alleged opposition. However, when looking at the vote on this resolution, numerous Republicans, including the House Republican Leader opposed the introduction of this resolution.

Amazingly, what Kappler does manage to do is imply that Democratic leadership is sympathetic to the suppression of religious freedom, while also using the circumstances to feed the belief of some that all Muslims are radical fundamentalists.

In order to get another perspective on this I reached out to the Speaker of the NH House, Terie Norelli and I wasn’t very surprised to find that there was indeed much more to the story. Apparently NH Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Kelly Ayotte (R) had already been working together in a bipartisan effort to obtain the prisoners’ release, rendering the resolution superfluous from where I sit. In fact, the US Senate had passed a resolution the day before the NH House voted condemning the imprisonment and calling for an immediate release of the imprisoned family.

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