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":
Monday, April 1, 2013
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."
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
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.
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
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.
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:
Monday, March 25, 2013
Casting her lot
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.
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.