Timothy Horrigan's April 1, 2013 "Got It Wrong" letter

Original commentary by Timothy Horrigan; April 1, 2013

On April Fools Day 2013, my local paper the Dover (NH) Foster's Daily Democrat ran the following letter under the headline "Got It Wrong":

Original URL:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Got it wrong

To the editor: Doreen Howard of Newmarket wrote a long letter to the editor (published March 28) which began: "To the editor: Your readers all appreciate it when Foster's prints a short biographical sketch or title of the person who writes either a community commentary, long letter, or guest editorial."

She then went on to inform the editor (and everyone else) that Rich DiPentima (a frequent letter and op-ed writer) is a third-term Democratic state representative from Portsmouth, and she used that fact to impugn his motives for writing a letter where he severely criticized U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

Unfortunately, she got her facts wrong, very wrong. As Ms. Howard could have verified by checking any one of many easily accessible sources (e.g., the New Hampshire House's website), Rich DiPentima is in fact no longer a member of the House. He chose not to run for re-election after Portsmouth was redistricted in 2012. To your credit, you did run a sidebar where former Rep. DiPentima explains that he signed his letters as state representative when he was one, but he now signs them as a private citizen.

Ironically, Ms. Howard failed to mention that she herself is a former state representative: she represented Newmarket and Newfields as a Democrat from December 2006 till December 2010.

Just for the record, I myself am a third-term Democratic state representative from Durham.

I disagree with one thing Mr. DiPentima said in his March 25 letter. I got to know Sen. Ayotte a little while she was the state Attorney General and I am confident that she lacks neither compassion nor empathy. But I agree with Mr. DiPentima that she has moved far to the right of the New Hampshire voters who sent her to Washington, and I agree that she is very wrong about "ObamaCare."

State Rep. Timothy Horrigan


I was responding to the following letter from former NH State Rep. Doreen Howard. She is currently a Republican, but she was a Democrat when she served in the House from 2006 to 2010. In 2008, she was one of approximately two Hillary Clinton supporters who bolted the Democratic Party to support John McCain instead of Barack Obama. She was re-elected as a Democrat in 2008 in spite of her apostasy, and left the party during the 2010 election cycle.

Original URL:

Thursday, March 28, 2013


To the editor: Your readers all appreciate it when Foster's prints a short biographical sketch or title of the person who writes either a community commentary, long letter, or guest editorial.

In Monday's print edition, March 25, a very long letter was written entitled "Casting her lot" by Rich DiPentima of Portsmouth. As per the author's historical opinion writing style, this letter to the editor was nothing more than a hatchet piece long on presumed truths and facts against Senator Kelly Ayotte, our lone Republican New Hampshire Senator in Washington, DC.

Now Mr. DiPentima is really Representative DiPentima (D) of Portsmouth to the Concord House of Representatives. Representative DiPentima is serving his third term in Concord and has been writing his very opinionated pieces on any other government official ever since his first term when I was serving my last term in Concord. Now when Rep. DiPentima writes on issues related to dental care and dental health, on which he is an expert; many of Foster's readers, including myself, will certainly appreciate his comments.

I really believe that if Foster's can write Portsmouth under Rich DiPentima's name, they can also take the time and ink to write Rep. and (D) around his name so that the Foster's readers know that his opinion letter is written by a member of one of the political parties now serving in Concord. Rep. DiPentima is not a new representative to the Foster's opinion page. He writes with regularity. Foster's is always writing editorials about sunshine and full disclosure. That should include the full title of all state representatives. The public has a right to know.

Doreen Howard


Editor's note: Rich DiPentima responds: "I signed my letters as a state rep only during my time as a state rep, which ended in Dec. 2012. Any letters I wrote during my two terms as state rep, from Dec. 2008-Dec. 2012 were signed accordingly. Any letters after or before that period were not signed as a state rep. There is a difference. When I signed my letters as a state rep, I was giving my constituents the knowledge of my positions on issues that affect them. As a private citizen, my letters simply express my opinion and facts which I hope would educate the public."As for omitting "Portsmouth," that was an editing error.

Rich DiPentima has written many letters since (and before) he left the House in 2012. This was the one which evidently triggered ex-Rep. Howard's diatribe:

Original URL:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Casting her lot

To the editor: Last week the junior Senator from New Hampshire, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, was initiated as a full member of the radical Tea Party right-wing of the Republican Party. As a result of her being invited and to speak at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), Sen. Ayotte has clearly demonstrated for all to see that she does not reflect the moderate views of the majority of New Hampshire voters. She has moved far to the right of the Republican Party in an effort to gain favor with the extreme views of their political base, who control the primary election process, in order to achieve higher political aspirations.

I read the comments Sen. Ayotte made to the CPAC gathering. For the most part they were the standard right-wing talking points about taxes, regulation, spending, and of course, the evils of the Affordable Care Act or "ObamaCare." The comment that struck me the most was when she stated that "ObamaCare" "is one of the things that keep me up at night. Stopping business from hiring." Please Senator, spare us your misplaced insomnia.

First of all, I find it disturbing that Sen. Ayotte does not seem to lose any sleep over the fact that 50 million Americans lack health insurance, or that they could be denied insurance because of a preexisting condition, or that their insurance has annual and lifetime benefit caps, or that millions are one serious illness or accident away from financial ruin. Instead, it is the program that will ease the pain of millions of Americans that seems to cause her to stay awake at night.

Of course she goes on to say "ObamaCare" is costing jobs and increasing the cost of health care. The facts do not support her comments. We have seen 36 consecutive months of private sector job growth and the economy has added more jobs in the past four years than in the eight years of the George W. Bush Administration. With regard to health care costs, in 2011, health care costs grew at a rate slower than the rest of the economy for the first time in more than a decade.

It is obvious that Sen. Ayotte lacks any compassion or empathy for those who struggle without health care, or the fear of losing the coverage that they have. How could she? She has enjoyed government supported health care while she worked for the State of New Hampshire and now as a U.S. Senator. If Sen. Ayotte really wants to know what it is to stay awake at night worrying about health care, she should drop her government insurance and live as 50 millions of fellow Americans live. It is so easy to take something away from other people, when you do not have to live with the consequences of that loss.

Sen. Ayotte has cast her lot with those we rejected in 2012. We will remember all her words and deeds over the next four years and we will hold her accountable in the voting booth.

Rich DiPentima


See Also:


The Forgotten Liars

Other Works

Random Stuff