Paul Mirski

Elect!  Paul Mirski
   New Hampshire House

Majority Leader

November 14, 2010

HONORABLE PAUL MIRSKI, POB 190, Enfield Center, NH 03749 / 603 632 5555

Dear Representative,

On November 18, in addition to electing our candidate for Speaker, we’ll also be electing our Republican Leader for the 2011-2012 Session. Upon learning that I’d once again been elected to the House, a number of new and old members asked me to run for Majority Leader.  After due consideration, I’ve agreed to do just that.

I now ask for your support and your vote.

The House Republican caucus needs restructuring if a new Republican majority is to help individual members fully realize their potential in an empowered majority. My thoughts on the subject are contained in A PRESENTATION OF IDEAS CONCERNING NEW REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP IN THE NEW HAMPSHIRE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (click the above button).It addresses our Republican mission, the reformation of the Republican caucus and how to go about creating and implementing a proactive Republican legislative agenda for the next two years.  It’s a kind of road map for our caucus.

When voters elected 298 Republicans to the NH House they gave new members a golden and perhaps unique opportunity to transform our somewhat staid caucus into an effective, motivated and focused partisan force. The majority of members elected to the House are new to government. New members are excited about possibilities. They’re bright and capable and they’re brimming with enthusiasm and initiative. They know the opportunity to be effective may be fleeting. They want accomplishments and most of all they don’t want to lose the chance to have done something worthwhile. Importantly, they know that they weren’t elected because they’re Republicans. They know they were elected because voters are sick of the complexity and cost of government. They know voters now expect results.

Leadership requires initiative. Leadership isn’t simply choosing bills to support and then telling members how to vote.  Leadership means setting an overarching agenda and then helping every single Republican understand the issues that will be taken up by an engaged membership so that when it comes time, every informed member will intuitively know how to vote and why.

Once upon a time Republican leadership found inspiration for crafting its biennial agenda through mining the subject matter of the hundreds of bills filed by House members. This time voters want more than tinkering. They want government fixed.  If we’re to succeed, in addition to developing an agenda and picking initiatives, we have to establish the battlefield upon which our ideas are debated, fought and won. We already have an excellent guide. The themes and subject areas to consider for legislation have already been proposed and agreed upon by Republican colleagues from across New Hampshire.  Those themes and subject areas are to be found in our Republican Party platform and they are well understood by voters. No reinventing the wheel is necessary. I’ve had plenty of experience promoting Republican ideas. Some examples follow.

Since my first term in the House I’ve worked to advance our Republican Party agenda. In one way it’s been easy because promoting individual freedom, constitutional government, low taxes, less government, local control of school curriculum and funding, and small communities over the state is part and parcel of Republican thought.  The hard part has been to get leaders in our party and in our legislature to take promoting the Republican platform seriously. Here are a few of many initiatives that I’ve helped with or undertaken on my own.

In 1995 during my first term in the House few roll call votes were being asked for. Republican leadership discouraged roll calls. Soon I began to push to find members who would second roll call requests so we could record as many issue votes as possible.  How could constituents find out how their representatives were performing without knowing how they were voting? Over the years the number of roll call votes in each biennium grew.  Hundreds are recorded now. The record of the many roll calls taken during the past four years helped sink NH Democrats in 2010.

In 1997 there wasn’t much support for our Platform on the part of the Speaker or her staff. When criticized by Republican leaders outside the House she slapped their criticism down. If important Republican outsiders couldn’t reach Republican House leadership on matters of Republican principle then the task would have to fall to dedicated members of the House. To promote our Party’s ideas, six or seven members and I co-founded the House Republican Alliance.  The Alliance developed an effective way of analyzing bills and advising Republican members on the compatibility of pending legislation with the Republican Platform. I served as both chair and co-chair of the HRA over the years.

In December of 1997, following the NH Supreme Court’s Claremont II decision that ended parental control over anything having to do with their child’s public school education, I became dedicated opponent of the Claremont Court. Since that time I’ve worked in whatever way I could to find a way to reverse the Claremont decisions including traveling all over the state with the help of other House members to bolster opposition.

In 2002 I helped promote an unsuccessful challenge to the NH Supreme Court’s unconstitutional redistricting of the House and Senate in that year.  During the 2005-2006 Session I helped write and promote with others the constitutional amendment that was approved by voters in 2006 that will restore small town representation in the legislature in 2012. In 2012, 85% of all New Hampshire residents will have their representative to the NH House living in their own town or ward.

Along the way, I served on one Republican Bylaws Committee and on four Republican Platform Committees, most recently this year.

If elected to this important post I promise to work to improve the ability of each and every Republican member of the House to not only contribute to the executing of our interests in common, but more importantly, and irrespective of a member’s individual committee assignment, to try to put to use every Republican’s individual skills on prosecuting those areas of our overall Republican agenda that will challenge them. We have a big responsibility to change the way government works. We can’t afford to waste any of the skills or abilities that voters have graciously endowed their new majority with.

Finally, our Party was founded to end slavery. We have a long and proud record of the defense of individual freedom.  We ought to be always willing to promote and fight for our ideals and our cause. Now, more than ever, NH voters are relying on us to perform.  We have to give voters hope. We have to start now. I know I can provide thoughtful and bold leadership that will benefit every member of our caucus. I ask for your vote for Majority Leader.

Thanks much.  

Paul Mirski