Friday, May 3, 2013

New Hampshire's Big Mistake: Kelly Ayotte

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) strolled into the national spotlight when she was mentioned as a dark horse Republican VP candidate to run with Mitt Romney and then again when she joined with Senator John McCain and Lindsay Graham in the "rape and assassination" of United  Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. Now, Ayotte makes news again with her vote against the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey bill to expand gun background checks. What I've seen and heard from this Senator makes me think that New Hampshire voters made a big mistake in sending Kelly Ayotte to Washington.
Ayotte is a graduate of Penn State University and Villanova University School of Law. She became New Hampshire's first woman attorney general, serving from 2004 to 2009, until she campaigned for the Senate seat vacated by three term incumbent Judd Gregg.

Ayotte is pro-life and believes that abortion should be prohibited except in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother. She same sex marriage and increasing the minimum wage. Ayotte questions the findings of scientific studies that human activity has caused significant climate change. Ayotte states that she supports an individual's right to bear arms and Second Amendment rights. She supported the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of the Washington, DC and City of Chicago gun ownership bans. As Attorney General, Ayotte fought against the reauthorizing the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Ayotte opposed the confirmation of Justice Elena Kagan, stating that Kagan is unqualified.

"I wouldn't have supported the TARP or the bailouts," Ayotte told a reporter. "Let the market adjust and pick the winners and losers. I do not think we should have bailed out the private sector. You start a business and when you succeed, the fruits of that is profits and when you fail, you pay the price.

Ayotte voted with 40 Republicans and 5 Democrats to stop the passage of the bill which would have expanded background checks for all buyers. She told New Hampshire voters in recent town hall meetings that she feared the bill would lead to a federal gun registry even thought the bill itself called for a felony punishment of 15 years imprisonment for anyone trying to create a permanent registry. Polls show that 90 percent of Americans favor expanded background check.

Ayotte's rating has slumped by 15 points since the vote and the NRA is running radio ads in her defense. The public won't forget the callousness in her confrontation with Erica Lafferty, the daughter of the slain principal of Sandy Hook. She had the temerity to lecture Ms. Lafferty, in mostly patronizing tones, all on national television. "In a single stroke, Ayotte committed perhaps the swiftest and most devastating act of political suicide in recent history" says Huffington Post journalist Hoyt Hilsman.

Keep your eye on this Senator. She seems prone to playing fast and loose with the truth, is firmly a member of the GOP's fringe right wing, and creates national press by taking arbitrary stands on a variety of issues. It seems that some feel that's the best way to get attention, but voting day is the day of reckoning and some folks don't forget.

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