Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Peter Sullivan won the Democratic primary contest

"Former state rep wins Ward 3 Democratic primary"
NH Union Leader, December 20, 2011

MANCHESTER — Former state Rep. Peter Sullivan won the Democratic primary contest for a seat that will eventually decide a state representative for downtown Manchester, New Hampshire Democrats said.

“Peter Sullivan will be a voice for common sense in Concord, working to put an immediate stop to Speaker (Bill) O'Brien's reckless and irresponsible Tea Party agenda,” said Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley.

Sullivan ran against Mary Georges in the primary. He received 44 votes, while Georges received 39, according to Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein.

The Ward 3 seat was vacated when Mike Brunelle moved out of state to take a job.

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WARD 3 RESIDENTS may want to set aside a little time on Feb. 21 (2012) to head over to the Rines Center. There's a special House election that day.

Former Alderman and Democratic state Rep. Peter Sullivan is running against libertarian-minded Republican Muni Savyon for the Hillsborough District 10 seat left open by the departure of former state Democratic Party Executive Director Mike Brunelle.

Savyon ran for and lost the same seat in 2010 and at the time was endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance. Attempts to reach Savyon last week were unsuccessful, but according to his website, savyon.com, he works as an engineer consultant.

Sullivan served three terms in the N.H. House, where he sponsored legislation to protect victims of domestic violence and reduce mercury levels in the air and water. Sullivan has pledged to focus on education and has won the support of NEA-NH, which represents Manchester teachers. He has also received the support of the Granite State Teamsters.

Source: "Sticker campaign seeks to lure Gatsas into governor race" By BETH LaMONTAGNE HALL, New Hampshire Union Leader, February 12, 2012.

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"Democrat Sullivan wins House seat in special election"
NH Union Leader, February 21, 2012

MANCHESTER – Former Alderman and Democratic state Rep. Peter Sullivan is the newest member of the state Legislature, defeating Republican Muni Savyon, 122-27, in the Hillsborough District 10 House seat special election on Tuesday.

The seat is one of three House seats that represent Ward 3 in Manchester.

Sullivan served three terms in the N.H. House, where he sponsored legislation to protect victims of domestic violence and reduce mercury levels in the air and water. Sullivan has pledged to focus on education and has won the support of NEA-NH, which represents Manchester teachers. He has also received the support of the Granite State Teamsters.

Sullivan won his way onto the special election ballot in December when he defeated fellow Democrat and community activist Mary Georges during a primary.

Savyon ran for and lost the same seat in 2010 and at the time was endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance. According to his website, savyon.com, he works as an engineer consultant.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley, who issued a statement shortly after the polls closed, said the results of this vote show that voters are rejecting Republican leadership.

“Tonight, as in three previous special elections, New Hampshire voters have sent a clear message that right to work for less, slashing of funding of public education, putting corporations before people, and the rest of the radical Free State agenda is fundamentally at odds with the values of the people of this state,” said Buckley.

Sullivan is filling the seat vacated by former Manchester Democratic Committee Chairman and state Democratic Committee Executive Director Mike Brunelle. He stepped down in July when he moved to Pennsylvania, where he will head the Service Employees International Union.

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NEWLY ELECTED Ward 3 state Rep. Peter Sullivan is heading into his new post full force, with the Republican House leadership in his sights.

Sullivan has opened an online petition aimed at House Speaker Bill O'Brien and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, asking they denounce “Rush Limbaugh's vicious, inappropriate, and sexist attacks” on Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke. As of Thursday, Sullivan had more 100 people signed on.

Source: Beth LaMontagne Hall's City Hall: "Beaudry plan would keep more teachers, cut deficit by $2m", By BETH LaMONTAGNE HALL, New Hampshire Union Leader, March 11, 2012.

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"Lawmaker's call for tax prompts Hassan to restate her opposition"
The New Hampshire Union Leader, October 2, 2012

CONCORD — Maggie Hassan, the Democratic candidate for governor, on Monday reiterated her opposition to an income and sales tax after a Democratic lawmaker filed an intention to introduce an income tax bill in the 2013 legislative session.

Rep. Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, filed a legislative service request calling for a 1 percent personal income tax “to fund chartered public schools.”

Republicans said Sullivan's request for legislation “exposed” a “Democratic income tax plan.”

Sullivan supported Hassan's former opponent in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Jackie Cilley, who was open to the possibility of a broad-based tax.

Hassan spokesman Marc Goldberg said Monday, “Maggie has repeatedly said she does not support and would veto any income or sales tax legislation.”

Hassan, however, opposes a proposed constitutional amendment that would place an income tax ban in the state constitution, believing it is unwise to bind future legislatures and governors.

House Majority Leader Pete Silva, R-Nashua, said Sullivan “had the courage to throw back the veil of deception that the Democrats have tried to throw over the eyes of the voters and he has come out and had the guts to stand up and support the very income tax publicly that most Democrats support in private.

“That trickery is the same reason why Maggie Hassan, who once boldly supported an income tax, now takes the pledge, but refuses to support a constitutional amendment to ban an income tax.”

Silva said, “Anyone who says that they oppose an income tax like Peter Sullivan's, but who won't support (placing the ban in the constitution) is really just one more dishonest politician who is looking to say one thing to get elected, but who will vote to dismantle the New Hampshire Advantage the first chance he or she gets.”

House Deputy Majority Leader and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Stephen Stepanek, R-Amherst, said, “Maggie Hassan is against ballot Question 1, which puts her in the camp of those supporting an income tax. Unlike Rep. Sullivan, she just does not have the courage to publicly admit her private beliefs.”

State Republican Party Chairman Wayne MacDonald said Sullivan “has already blown the cover to the Democrats' secret agenda.”

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"Legislators ask to fortify NH privacy laws"
By SHAWNE K. WICKHAM, New Hampshire Sunday News, January 6, 2013

Rep. Peter Sullivan

Can a prospective employer demand your Facebook password to check you out before he hires you?

Should police be able to go through your garbage - or your cellphone records - without a warrant?

Do you want your personal information collected and shared with government agencies, the courts or marketers without your permission?

Just what does privacy look like in the digital age? Lawmakers will be taking up bills that try to address that question in 2013.

Rep. Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, wants to bar employers from requiring an employee - or prospective one - to disclose social media passwords. A handful of other states, most recently California and Illinois, have passed such laws.

Sullivan said he has not heard of employers here asking for passwords. However, he said, "I think this is one of those areas where the law has not kept up with the technology. The way we communicate has outpaced the way we regulate privacy rights."

Rather than wait for it to become a problem here, he said, "I think it's better to make a statement at the outset that no, this is not something that's appropriate."

Co-sponsor Katherine Rogers, D-Concord, says the issue is about more than potentially embarrassing photos.

Many people use sites such as Facebook to update family and friends about personal issues, Rogers noted. The risk is that potential employers could find out information that they are legally barred from asking job applicants about, such as age, race, weight or medical conditions.

"Employers could use it to screen out people in a way they're not legally allowed to do," said Rogers, a former Merrimack County attorney.

Adrienne Rupp, vice president of communications for New Hampshire Business & Industry Association, said her organization has not yet discussed or taken a position on the pending bill. But she said she hasn't heard of any companies here asking for such passwords from job applicants.

"Maybe there's some other reason that it wouldn't be good to legislate it, but I don't think it's something that employers are asking for," she said.

Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, a longtime privacy watchdog in the House, has submitted several LSRs - precursors to formal bills - that pertain to privacy rights. One would establish "an expectation of privacy for personal, communication and financial information."

State agencies should not be able to obtain personal information without a court order, whether that's your cellphone records or something you threw away, Kurk said. "They just can't simply make a request. They have to have an individualized case and special warrant in order to get that information," he said.

Kurk submitted another LSR to restrict collection of biometric data by state and municipal agencies. "The idea isn't to prevent this," he said. "The idea is to say if a state agency is going to do this kind of thing, they have to get permission from the Legislature."

He also proposes prohibiting anyone from tracking someone electronically without permission, whether through a cellphone, a GPS device or even a drone, for instance.

Another bill would prohibit taking images of a person's residence from the air. Kurk said he's not talking about the kind of overhead street mapping that companies such as Google already provide online.

"It's one thing to see that there's a building and that the building perhaps has windows in it. It's another thing to take that same picture with such detail that you can read what's inside the window or the lettering on the house," he said.

"We don't want Google Maps to become the cat-burglar's best aid."

Another Kurk measure would require consent before a utility company could install a "smart" meter on a customer's house that would send back detailed information about electricity usage, for instance.

And at the request of the Secretary of State's Office, Kurk submitted an LSR for a bill to limit information sent to the courts for preparation of jury lists. Currently, he said, names and addresses of registered voters are used to draw jury pools, but the courts recently began asking for additional data, such as birthdates. "They're over-reaching," he said.

Rep. Carol McGuire, R-Epsom, is prime sponsor of a bill that prohibits the use of New Hampshire motor vehicle records in any federal identification database. A similar measure passed last year, but then-Gov. John Lynch vetoed the bill, and though the House voted to override that veto, the Senate did not.

McGuire said the issue originally came up here because of problems with a federal immigration database. She said such a ban is in keeping with New Hampshire's past opposition to REAL ID and enhanced driver's licenses.

Her bill would allow law enforcement or other government agencies to obtain such records but only with a court order. "They can't just import the entire New Hampshire population of driver's licenses.

"I don't like the idea of the federal database that knows all," McGuire said. "It just makes my skin crawl."

As technology continues to advance, it's the job of lawmakers to figure out where to draw appropriate lines, Kurk said. "This is another round in the ongoing conflict or battle between commercial interests and privacy interests, and the Legislature is the right place for this battle to play out," he said.

And after 25 years as the House's top privacy watchdog, Kurk said he's heartened to see more lawmakers submitting LSRs to deal with such matters.

"Over the decades, more and more people have come to the conclusion that these are important interests that the citizens have, and that the Legislature needs to address," he said. "It's not just one man standing alone anymore."

Shawne Wickham may be reached at swickham@unionleader.com.

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"Bill would give NH families control of deceased member's Facebook"
By GARRY RAYNO, NH State House Bureau, January 16, 2013

CONCORD - Today's social media and electronic communications didn't exist when many of New Hampshire estate laws were written, a House committee was told Tuesday.

"We need to recognize our laws have not kept up with our technology," said the prime sponsor of House Bill 116, Rep. Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, to the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill would give the executor or administrator of an estate control over the social media and electronic communications sites of the deceased.

"Somebody's online existence is part of their persona these days," said Sullivan. "But when someone dies, their online existence can live on."

He told of a friend who died a year-and-a-half ago, but whose name and image pops up in a box on Facebook urging him to attend Boston Bruins games.

And he told of Canadian teenager Amanda Todd, who committed suicide because of cyber-bullying. After she died, the bullying and outrageous comments continued to be posted on her Facebook page, he said. When her parents tried to take control of the page, the company said they could not.

"The taunting continued," Sullivan said. "They taunted her, her family and her friends after she died."

His bill would help bring closure to grieving families, he said, prevent cyber-bullying after someone dies and would create only a small inconvenience for the social media company.

"This is their right as a family," Sullivan said. "The family's right should take preference over a social media company."

He noted that Facebook has a policy of either memorializing the site by leaving it up, although people can continue to post comments on it, or deleting it. But he noted, the deceased's family cannot have control over the site and what is posted or deleted.

Several members were sympathetic, but indicated current law may prevent some of the problems Sullivan highlighted.

Rep. Robert Rowe, R-Amherst, noted when a person dies, all contracts end, and he would expect that to be true with Facebook pages as well.

And Rep. Larry Phillips, D-Keene, said someone may not want his or her family to have access to his or her emails.

John MacIntosh of the New Hampshire Bar Association said his association is sympathetic to the problems identified, but is not sure the bill addresses them.

"The problem is worthy of study," MacIntosh said, "but it may call for federal intervention."

The committee did not make an immediate recommendation on the bill.

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"Sides differ on 2 bills to up wage"
By KEVIN LANDRIGAN, Staff Writer, Nashua Telegraph, January 30, 2013

CONCORD – The state’s business community, large and small, turned out in force Tuesday to attack two bills that would raise the minimum wage while allies with organized labor and anti-poverty programs said reinstating a state minimum and raising it above the federal standard would have an economic stimulus effect.

Both Rep. Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, and Rep. Timothy Robertson, D-Durham, said the new Legislature should undo the work of the last one, which got rid of a state minimum wage that had been on the books since 1949.

“We are all one community and raising this wage, in my view, is the way we show it,’’ said Robertson whose bill (HB 241) would raise the minimum wage by $2 an hour to $9.25. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25.

Sullivan’s bill (HB 127) would jump it to $8 hourly.

“A federal wage that is diluted by the lower cost of living in areas outside of New Hampshire does not adequately meet the needs of our communities and our residents,’’ Sullivan said.

New Hampshire is the only state among its neighbors without a higher wage than the federal standard. The minimum wage is $8.60 an hour in Vermont, $8 in Massachusetts and $7.50 in Maine.

The state Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 14,000 people employed in the state make less the minimum although many of those are waiters and waitresses in restaurants who legally can get paid less because they also collect tips.

Chris Williams, president of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, warned this change would pass on pay increases to many more employees who make above the base salary.

“It does impact everyone else in these same companies who are making more,” he said.

And Williams made a direct plea to leadership Democrats who took back control of the House of Representatives from the Republicans in last November’s elections.

“This is not the kind of positive sign that ... small businesses are hoping to hear or hoping to see as we go into this new legislative session,” Williams said.

No one from the House Democratic leadership appeared to support the bill while House Deputy Republican Leader Shawn Jasper of Hudson showed up to fight it.

Steve Grenier owns Lago’s Ice Cream in Rye and estimated that increasing the minimum wage to $8 hourly could cost him $10,000 a year.

“If I had to raise the cost 25 cents apiece to cover this cost, I would have to sell 40,000 more ice cream cones in the six months I’m open for business. It’s not possible,” said Grenier, who was speaking for the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association.

Groups supporting the increase included the NH AFL-CIO, the Lutheran Social Services, American Friends Service Committee and the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire through Beth Mattingly, its director of research.

Any parent making the minimum would earn $15,080 annually and would come up $500 a year short of making enough to reach the federal poverty level, Mattingly explained.

“A minimum wage that we have here is insufficient for any single parent and child to lift them out of poverty,” she added.

Yet David Juvet with the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire said higher wage costs are the biggest reason company owners give for deciding to move their jobs overseas.

“This could lead to even more outsourcing of jobs,” Juvet warned.

“This is just wrong public policy, I think for people who are concerned about outsourcing.”

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Source: www.marilindagarcia.com

John DiStaso's Granite Status: "Harsh posts by Democratic state lawmaker put National Review spotlight on Garcia"
By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013 - "BOOST" FOR GARCIA? Republican congressional hopeful state Rep. Marilinda Garcia may have actually received a boost from a Democratic state lawmaker who last week disparagingly compared her to reality television star Kim Kardashian.

Manchester Democratic Rep. Peter Sullivan's Twitter posts critical of the latest GOP 2nd District U.S. House candidate resulted an opinion piece Monday entitled "The War on Conservative Minorities" by columnist John Fund on National Review Online.

Shortly after Garcia announced her candidacy on Nov. 25, Sullivan posted on Twitter, referencing conservative state Reps. Al Baldasaro of Londonderry and William O'Brien of Mont Vernon, the former New Hampshire House Speaker:

"She's Al Baldassaro (sic) in stiletto heels, a lightweight and O'Brien clone."

"Bill O'Brien + Kim Kardashian = Marilinda Garcia

"She is a right-wing, homophobic, anti-worker shill for the Koch Brothers."

He later wrote:

"After careful consideration, I want to apologize to Kim Kardashian for comparing her to a right-wing extremist like Marilinda Garcia."

The posts began a partisan war of words for a brief time on Twitter, and Garcia said in a statement, "To me, the most unfortunate by-products of such personal attacks, negativity and vitriol are that they discourage good people from getting involved in politics, cause citizens to be disgusted at the political process, and tarnish the reputations of all elected officials just by virtue of association."

Fund's opinion piece Monday brought national attention to Garcia, a 30-year-old four-term state representative and may actually help her gain support from conservatives and Republicans in general, not to mention women and minorities. Garcia is a Boston native of Italian/Hispanic descent who has lived in Salem since childhood.

Fund wrote that what he called Sullivan's "sexist smear" of Garcia received "virtually no" media attention in New Hampshire, "much less nationally." He compared it to the large amount of coverage some media outlets gave to Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio taking a sip of water while delivering the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address last January.

"Progressives often reserve their deepest hostility for conservative minorities such as Garcia because they are a threat to the notion that minorities should only think and vote only like leftists," Fund wrote.

"As former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, Justice Clarence Thomas, and former representative J. C. Watts can attest, people on the left reserve their harshest and most personal attacks for minorities who have the audacity to wander off the ideological plantation."

Sullivan, responding to the Fund piece, wrote on his Facebook page:

"I was just attacked by the National Review. My life is truly complete."

He wrote that Fund "is smitten with Miss Marilinda, and is butthurt that the mainstream media hasn't sufficiently hounded me."

Earlier Monday, Sullivan stood by his earlier posts, writing on his Facebook page:

"Yeah, I said it, and I stand by it. The comparison is accurate. Garcia is a creepy pseudo-Christian right wing extremist who gets a free pass because she doesn't look the part."

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"Outrage du jour Garcia, Sullivan and victimhood"
The NH Union Leader, Editorial, December 4, 2013

Last week, Rep. Marilinda Garcia, R-Salem, announced her candidacy for Congress in the 2nd District. Rep. Peter Sullivan, D-Manchester, reacted with his customary unhinged rant. Suddenly every Republican in New Hampshire was rising to defend young Garcia's honor.

Sullivan tweeted that Garcia was conservative state Rep. "Al Baldassaro (sic) in stiletto heels, a lightweight, and O'Brien clone." The insults kept coming. "Bill O'Brien + Kim Kardashian = Marilinda Garcia," he wrote. Asked to apologize, he later said the comparison was unfair to Kardashian. What a guy.

For those out of touch with pop culture, Kardashian is a pretty reality TV star with long black hair who gained national prominence when a private sex tape of hers was leaked. Garcia is a pretty young woman with long black hair who has bachelor's degrees from Tufts and the New England Conservatory of Music, a master's in public policy from Harvard, and who teaches harp (the instrument, not the beer).

With his little rant, Sullivan vaulted Garcia to national prominence. Suddenly she was the helpless victim of a sexist bully. What we saw was something different: a sad little partisan struggling to express himself because he hasn't the creativity to invent a better put down.

Sullivan has a long history of insult-laden temper tantrums. When his friend Jennifer Peabody (a brunette, incidentally) won a city school board seat, her residency was questioned after her election. Sullivan went online to accuse another Democrat of spreading lies about her after she kicked him out of Raxx Billiards, where she tended bar. The charge was not true (though the allegations about Peabody's residency were, and she had to resign her seat). This is his way. Scream first, think later.

Knowing Sullivan's history, we took his Kardashian comparison to mean that he thought Garcia was an intellectual lightweight, as he said, not that she was trampy, which he did not say. Sexism is a serious allegation, and although plausible in this case, it is debatable. Politics is cheapened by those who leap to label political opponents as sexists or racists or bigots on the flimsiest of evidence, and we were not about to do so here.

It was disappointing that so many Republicans chose to play the victim card here. (If there is one word that we would never think of to describe Marilinda Garcia, it is "victim.") It is a tenet of conservatism that the accusatory tactics of the left are tarnishing American politics. They should be eschewed, not copied.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Alderman Peter Sullivan BOOTED!

"Manchester aldermen: Sullivan booted, staging runoff between 2 rivals"
By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, September 16, 2009

MANCHESTER – Alderman Peter Sullivan was knocked out of contention last night in the highly competitive race for the Ward 3 alderman's seat, setting the stage for a run-off between two rivals who have experience representing the downtown ward in City Hall.

Former Aldermen Pat Long, a Democrat, and Joe Kelly Levasseur, a Republican, were tied at 223 votes in that race, according to unofficial results. Their totals were enough to edge out the Democratic incumbent, Sullivan, who had 162 votes.

Yesterday's primary also presaged a tight race in Ward 12, which will pit Republican former Alderman Keith Hirschmann against Democrat Patrick Arnold, and in Ward 2, where former city Parks Director Ron Ludwig, a Democrat, will face down school board member Bob O'Sullivan, a Republican.

The gap between Hirschmann and Arnold was especially narrow, with Hirschmann besting the 26-year-old law clerk by just 4 votes.

"The numbers show it is incredibly close," Arnold said afterward. Ultimately, he said, "the hardest-working candidate is going to win in November."

Races for the other two open board seats, in Wards 1 and 6, also took shape yesterday. In Ward 6, Republican state Rep. Will Infantine came out on top, beating his nearest rival, New Hampshire Young Democrats President Garth Corriveau, by 64 votes. The two men will square off in the Nov. 3 election.

Meanwhile, Democratic school board member Joyce Craig proved every bit the front-runner in Ward 1, taking 75 percent of the vote in a three-way race. She'll go head-to-head with Richard Higgins, a 55-year-old Republican who trailed way behind with an 18-percent showing.

Outside of the mayor's race, Sullivan's defeat in Ward 3 was the talk of the night. Alderman Russ Ouellette, a Democrat, said he expected Sullivan would finish "at least in second place." "To me, that's a shocker," Ouellette said.

Sullivan had unkind words for both of his rivals last night -- particularly Levasseur, whom he called "unfit for any public office." "It's unfortunate," Sullivan said, "because now you're going to have a general election match-up between two people that don't really reflect the changing face of Manchester. You have two guys that practice old-school politics."

Long said he expected the race to be close. He could not account for Sullivan's loss, saying, "My message wasn't on Sullivan. I knew I had a lot of support there."

Republicans suffered a defeat in Ward 5, where the GOP candidate, Bob Tarr, was brushed aside in favor of two Democrats: Alderman Ed Osborne and state Rep. Ted Rokas. Osborne was top vote-getter, with 321 votes, compared to 184 for Rokas and 97 for Tarr.

The Republican candidate also came up short in Ward 8, where voters will see a race between Democratic Alderman Betsi DeVries and bar owner Christine Pariseau Telge, an independent. DeVries won the primary with 608 votes, compared to 400 for Pariseau Telge and 113 for Republican James C. Webb, Jr.

Meanwhile, in Ward 7, Alderman Bill Shea, a Democrat, crushed his competition, garnering 59 percent of the vote. He'll compete against mail carrier Lisa J. Gravel, an independent, in November.

The race between Ludwig and O'Sullivan in Ward 2 came down to 10 votes, with Ludwig on top. Elise Annunziata, a Democrat and first-time candidate, had a strong showing, trailing O'Sullivan by just 23 votes, though her take was not enough to keep her candidacy alive.

The candidate who failed to break through in Ward 12 was Gerard Brunelle. Strangely enough, though, Brunelle will still be on the ballot in November in a special election to decide who will fill the seat for the remainder of the current term, which ends in early January. The seat has been open since Kelleigh Murphy's resignation in May.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Alderman Peter Sullivan tried to use the Manchester Police Department to intimidate his critics!

"No charges in threats against alderman"
By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, 3/14/2009

MANCHESTER – Former Alderman Keith Hirschmann says he was just being "sarcastic" when he threatened to maim Alderman Peter Sullivan in a message on an online discussion board.

"There was never any intent. He knows I wasn't going to hurt him," Hirschmann said.

Hirschmann said he confessed to posting the message when a police detective confronted him about it. A police supervisor said he does not expect to file any charges in the case.

"We looked into it," Capt. Gerald Lessard said. "At this point, we don't have enough probable cause to support a criminal charge."

Sullivan, a Ward 3 Democrat, said he interpreted the message as a death threat. The message referred to Sullivan by name and said, "if you could please jay walk near the corner of pearl and elm, i'll do you the favor of not having to kill yourself."

The writer then mused about what would happen if a car rammed into Sullivan at 25 mph, saying, "well that (would) put part of you near bridge st."

The message was posted last November on a discussion board for the Web site nhinsider.com. It was written under the pseudonym, "suncoastkid."

Sullivan said he discovered the posting on Thanksgiving morning. He described the message as "unsettling" and "really creepy."

"It rattled me, because I didn't know who was doing it," Sullivan said.

He was shocked, he said, when a police detective told him the department had traced the message to Hirschmann, a former state representative and alderman.

"Keith can be a bull in a china shop, (but) he's not a total idiot. He's not insane," Sullivan said. "I don't know what he was thinking when he did this."

Hirschmann, a Republican, was Ward 12 alderman from 1996 to 2002. He has said he plans to run for the seat again this fall.

Hirschmann started posting on the discussion board as "suncoastkid" last October, according to the site. Sullivan also posts on the site, under the name "Quoth the Raven."

"It's a political site where there's a lot of sarcasm and a lot of bantering back and forth," Hirschmann said. He described the November 2008 message as an example of "extreme sarcasm" -- "just a little bantering on a site."

Hirschmann said he believes the only reason Sullivan went to the police was because he thought the message was posted by a political rival, Joe Kelly Levasseur.

"He couldn't wait to get Joe Levasseur in trouble," Hirschmann said.

Levasseur is Hirschmann's attorney. He declined to be interviewed for this article.

The November 2008 message begins, "Dear unstable Raven," and is replete with misspellings. At one point, it says, "let's see @ 25mph how far an (unstable) raven would splatter ... 260pds of sullivan @ 25mph = velocity of 2x2, well that (would) put part of you near bridge st."

It closes, "Forget the math your labotomy won't allow anything more than raising parking fess , you doufis."

Sullivan said the message crossed a line.

"There are just certain things you don't do," he said. "Threats ... have no place in politics, at any level, whether it's on an Internet discussion board or in a committee room."

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SOURCE:
www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=No+charges+in+threats+against+alderman&articleId=39716ff6-12a2-4a99-a736-ab7288d92d26
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READERS' COMMENTS

Obviously, Hirschmann was only trying to ruffle Sullivans's feathers..... and it worked.

The person in charge of the site should have removed the tasteless post immediately. There was no reason to get the police involved.
- Bill H., Exeter

I am always amazed at how politicians behave. This apparently is one more example. And...we elect these people???
- Debbie, Goffstown

Actually, on the rest of the boards there there is the wailing and moaning of conservative Republicans that Hussein Obama is doing way too much of what he promised. Funny how the picking and choosing of the stuff you hate comes back to haunt you. Then there are the state Dems with civil unions, raising minimum wage, LCHIP, transparency. It is easy to criticize without facts. Now on to seat belts, health care, Bush's wars, and economic mess. You conservatives are just going to have to think up some new bleats.
- Robert, Deerfield

Levasseur, Sullivan and Hirschmann , ..... Moe, Larry and Curly.....Enough said!!
- Art B, Manchester

Hirschmann's a large man. And mix him with Levasseur. You've got a "Wild Fire" there!

I agree with Sullivan....the message crossed a line and should be taken as a threat.
- Robert Brody, Manchester

Whens the last time a politician Actually did something they said they were going to do...

this isn't news
- Dan, hooksett

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Alderman Peter M Sullivan
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3/14/2009

Despite Alderman Peter Sullivan falsely reporting me to the Manchester NH Police Department for an Internet Blog Posting I did NOT make against him,...It was NOT me after all!

-Jonathan Melle

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CYBER WARRIOR: Former Alderman Keith Hirschmann has confessed to doing some sarcastic "bantering" on the nhinsider.com discussion board before Alderman Peter Sullivan sicked the police on him.

It's true, he did make some mischief. In November, his online alter ego, "suncoastkid," took a shot at former state Rep. Mike Brunelle, dredging up the time in 2007 when the Manchester Democrat was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Hirschmann wrote: "if I were on duty and Brunelle pulled that bs ~ I would have clubbed him in the back of the Paddy wagon."

The suncoastkid also predicted, last November, that Sullivan would lose his seat this fall, either to Pat Long or Joe Kelly Levasseur, both former aldermen.

Other insights, courtesy of the "kid," include, "Hussein Obama should get his head checked," and "Slavery has not ended, it has just morphed into the dumming (sic) of the masses."
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SOURCE: "City Hall: One's out, sure, but two others might be in"
By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, 3/15/2009
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MANCHESTER EXPRESS - March 16 - 22, 2009, Volume 4, No. 12

MANCHESTER News - "Board recognizes miscommunication: Politics in Manchester gets uglier as election nears" - By ANDREW J. MANUSE, amanuse@manchexpress.com - Pages 10 - 11.

Pre-election politics

Keith Hirschmann, who has announced his candidacy for the Ward 12 alderman seat, said he is responsible for a comment on the blog New Hampshire Insider that Ward 3 Alderman Peter Sullivan has said was “a death threat” written against him by Joe Kelly Levasseur.

Though Levasseur is Hirschmann’s attorney, he has been absolved of any connection to the comment.

The comment posted about Sullivan on Thanksgiving Day in 2008 by Hirschmann, who uses the alias “suncoastkid,” read as follows:

“if you could please jay walk near the corner of pearl and elm, I’ll do you the favor of not having to kill yourself, let’s see @ 25mph how far an uns[t]able raven would splatter (260pds of sullivan @ 25mph = velocity of 2x2 , well that put put part of you near bridge st. Forget the math your labotomy won’t allow anything more than raising parking fess , you doufis.” (sic)

Manchester Police informed Sullivan that they tracked the comment back to Hirschmann’s IP address, and that the former alderman admitted he posted it, Sullivan said. Manchester Police Chief David Mara could not be reached to confirm this.

“Speaking from a legal perspective, it might be difficult to obtain a conviction, since establishing the requisite mental state beyond a reasonable doubt would be a tricky proposition,” Sullivan wrote in an e-mail. “This does not mean that I am ruling out the possibility of a civil suit.

“I am stunned that an adult would do something like this,” Sullivan continued. “There is a difference between spirited debate and making threats against a person’s safety. Hirschmann crossed a line that civilized and decent people simply do not cross under any circumstances.

When Hirschmann engages in this kind of behavior, he shows that he is unfit for any role in public life.”

Hirschmann, through his attorney Levasseur, confirmed he had made the comment.

“After watching Mr. Sullivan completely lose his cool at a recent aldermanic meeting it is obvious he is too fragile to handle the pressure of being an elected official, and it has become more than obvious that he cannot handle a joke said on a political Web-site about his penchant for never walking within the crosswalk,” Hirschmann said.

“As proven by his numerous blog postings, Mr. Sullivan has a long history of railing against anyone that disagrees with him.

Mr. Sullivan has publicly admitted he has been treated for depression, [and] in my opinion, maybe it is time for him to step down from his Ward 3 seat, and get help for his obvious paranoia.”

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From: "Peter M. Sullivan" peter_sullivan@verizon.net
To: jonathan_a_melle@yahoo.com
Subject: Your actions
Date: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 5:57 PM

Jonathan,

Please be informed that I am forwarding your new blog and your recent messages to me to Attorney Harpster. In addition, I am forwarding your name and contact information to the Manchester Police Department in regards to their ongoing investigation into the death threat that was posted on NH Insider last month.

Peter Sullivan

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3/20/2009

Alderman Peter Sullivan alleged to the Manchester Police Department that I made a "death threat" against him. In an email (above) that he sent to me on 12/17/2008, Alderman Peter Sullivan stated to me that he forwarded my writings to Brett Harpster (or HarpsTERD!) and also issued a complaint to the local police that I made a "death threat" against him. Now that the police have discovered who posted the message against Alderman Peter Sullivan, I believe that he should retract his allegation against me!

- Jonathan Melle

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UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: One alderman did object to another of Guinta's picks.

Alderman Peter Sullivan protested Keith Hirschmann's appointment to the Safety Review Board, saying the former Ward 12 alderman "has no place in the civic life of this community."

There is some history here. Last fall, Hirschmann threatened Sullivan in an anonymous message on an Internet discussion board, writing, "if you could please jay walk near the corner of pearl and elm, i'll do you the favor of not having to kill yourself."

Sullivan reported the message to the police. No charges were filed.

The aldermen confirmed Hirschmann's nomination Tuesday. Sullivan cast the lone dissenting vote.

"Geez. What are you going to say?" Hirschmann said when asked for a response. "The mayor appointed me and 12 other aldermen put me on the Safety Review Board. I'm going to work hard there. That's my quote."

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Source: "City Hall: Roy bides his time with signs" (By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, August 23, 2009)
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Read Scott Brooks' coverage of Manchester City Hall during the week in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at sbrooks@unionleader.com.
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Friday, March 6, 2009

Pat Long to unseat Alderman Peter M Sullivan in 2009!

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[The] MANCHESTER [NH] EXPRESS: March 2 - 8, 2009, Volume 4, No. 10
"Politics this week"
By JOSEPH KELLY LEVASSEUR, Express Columnist

Former Ward 3 alderman Pat Long publicly announced he is running against Alderman Peter Sullivan. Long said he could not believe that Sullivan voted to increase the parking rates downtown and add paid Saturday parking to the mix.

“I just do not understand how this guy thinks, or what he was thinking about when he made that vote,” Long said. “I cannot believe he publicly called his fellow aldermen ‘assholes.’ … I get a lot of complaints about him.”

Long, who is now state Representative for Ward 3, voted against a law that would require adults to wear seat belts.

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Alderman Peter M Sullivan
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Alderman Peter Sullivan slanders Jonathan Melle on "democraticunderground.com"!

"While you guys were partying..."
Wednesday January-21-2009, 12:37 AM
Original message

The article would have you believe that this was a two-way shouting match. It was not. Mr. Levasseur launched a series of off the wall and occasionally incoherent accusations. I chose to respond by stepping down from my seat at the aldermanic platform as a private citizen. I'm not sure why Scott Brooks sees this as "bizarre". In most bodies, it is actually proper protocol to do so.

Mr. Levasseur has been using Jonathan Melle to goad me. Melle is a mentally ill individual who is facing felony charges for assaulting a Manchester police officer with his car in 2007. I find it abhorent that Levasseur would choose to exploit this disturbed man's condition in order to score political points.

In addition, Levasseur has not limited his attacks to my performance as alderman. he has threatened to obtain my medical records and make an issue out of my having been treated for depression. He has made utterly vile comments about my wife. he has attacked my friends. I'm not talking about a couple of emails; I am talking about 70 or so, not counting innumerable blog posts under various names.

I know that many people here are familiar with Levasseur's antics, but there are people who will see this and draw the wrong conclusion. Sadly, I am in a position where my good name is doomed no matter what I do. If I confront Levasseur, I am engaging in "shouting mathces". If I ignore him, his slurs go uncorrected and are assumed to be true.

It's a no win situation when you are dealing with a political sociopath.

Source: www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x8434400

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Related posting: www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x4921648

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Re: Why is Alderman Peter Sullivan able to get away with slandering me?

After I have complained and complained and complained again to the City of Manchester, NH about Alderman Peter Sullivan's harassment and slandering of me, he still makes false accusations against me on Internet Blog postings. ...
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www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105x8434400
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...Alderman Peter Sullivan falsely states: "(Jonathan) Melle is a mentally ill individual who is facing felony charges for assaulting a Manchester police officer with his car in 2007. I find it abhorent that (Joe) Levasseur would choose to exploit this disturbed man's condition in order to score political points."

First of all, I plead innocent to the abusive and lying police officer, John Cunningham's, fictitious story that defies the very laws of physics and is contradictory to the two witness statements. I NEVER ASSAULTED a Manchester police officer with my car! That is a lie!

Secondly, Alderman Peter Sullivan falsely states that I am a "disturbed man". I have never been clinically diagnosed as such, and I find his characterization of me to be ignorant and discriminatory.

Clearly Alderman Peter Sullivan is both harassing and slandering me. No one in Manchester City Government will stop him from his illegal and criminal actions against me. Both Alderman Peter Sullivan and the City of Manchester are liable to a costly civil suit in a state or federal court of law.

Why is Alderman Peter Sullivan able to get away with slandering me? Are Mayor Frank Guinta and the other 13 Aldermen willing to pay money in a lawsuit insteading taking the proper measures to stop an Officer of the City of Manchester from such illegal actions?

I want Alderman Peter Sullivan to stop harassing and slandering me!

Sincerely,
Jonathan A. Melle

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Re: Alderman Peter Sullivan's response! He is NOT sorry!

From: "Sullivan,Peter" PSullivan@ci.manchester.nh.us
To: jonathan_a_melle@yahoo.com
Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009, 8:52 AM
RE: Why is Alderman Peter Sullivan able to get away with slandering me?

Mr. Melle,

Since you are no longer a constituent, I ask that you cease all further communication with me.

Over the last few weeks, you have repeatedly emailed me with this sort of message, and you have evidently been searching for my posts on internet discussion boards as well. It's time to move on, Jonathan.

While I understand that you are wrestling with your own personal issues, sending me angry and inflammatory messages over and over again will not improve your situation. You are in need of professional mental health assistance, and that is something that I can not provide. There are a number of providers in the Manchester and Nashua areas who can assist you, so I suggest that you focus your time and energy on obtaining appropriate treatment.

Respectfully,
Peter M. Sullivan
Alderman, Ward 3

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Peter Sullivan calls some of his fellow Aldermen: "ASSHOLES!"

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The Manchester Express, January 26 - February 1, 2009, Volume 4, No. 5

After the meeting, several alderman and other public officials noted a crack in one of the walls inside the aldermanic suite. When asked by the [Manchester] Express about the crack, Acting City Clerk Matt Normand said it did not exist before last Tuesday’s meeting and that he had asked a custodian to repair it on Wednesday.

When asked about the crack, [Peter] Sullivan denied that he had caused it.

“That crack was there before; it was not mine,” [Peter] Sullivan said. “And if you print that you will be taken to task for it.

“I don’t know if it’s [Mike] Lopez or Mark Roy or any of those assholes [who told the Express about the crack], [Peter] Sullivan continued. “They have their own agenda, they want Pat Long elected.”

Neither alderman mentioned by Sullivan told the Express about the crack.

When asked about it, Lopez said everyone heard a bang when Sullivan went into the back room. He said he hadn’t noticed the crack before Tuesday. (Sullivan said the bang was him slamming a door.)

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"Who do you think you are, Alderman Sullivan?"
By ANDREW J. MANUSE, Manchester Express Columnist, February 2 - 8, 2009, Volume 4 No. 6

I understand from more than one source that Ward 3 Alderman Peter Sullivan has been going around town saying that I misquoted him in my Jan. 26, 2009 article “Under ‘Attack’.”

In that story, I describe a very unfortunate situation at City Hall among an elected official and two of his constituents, and after-the-fact comments from those involved in the incident.

I can assure you that in the preparation for writing an article that exposed an elected official, like mine did, I took every precaution (short of a tape recording) to ensure that every statement was precise, accurate and truthful.

I can assure you that the Union Leader representation of the truth was far less than precise, accurate and truthful. In particular, I note in reference to the crack in the wall that Alderman Sullivan allegedly created in the aldermanic suite, Reporter Scott Brooks describes it as “...a hairline crack on the wall near one of the windows, which one clerical worker described as about a foot long.”

It is clear from the photograph of the crack on Page 9 of last week’s Manchester Express that the structural damage is much thicker than “hairline” and much longer and more intricate than “a foot long.”

The statements presented in my article show that Mr. Sullivan is certainly suspect as the cause of the crack. His reaction, which I asked him to “repeat so I could quote it exactly,” would seem to suggest even more suspicion for any thinking person. Last week, a good source added more evidence, saying he discovered fresh “spackle dust” under the crack the day after the aldermanic meeting.

Outside the cracked wall at City Hall, it is clear from examining this situation that in Peter Sullivan we have an alderman who clearly feels he is above the law. It seems he feels like he can use his seat of power to intimidate those who criticize him into silence.

He speaks against his colleagues on the board without regard for civility and has no respect for his constituents.

Business owners in his ward accuse him of holding up their official requests and ordering boycotts against them in retaliation for their criticism.

For last week’s article, I spent most of my week speaking to everyone I could who witnessed the event at City Hall, and I presented the facts as best as I could. I can assure you that no personal opinion or agenda affected my writing, as readers should be able to note by our equally thorough coverage of Joe Levasseur and Jonathan Melle.

It’s unfortunate that Sullivan doesn’t seem to understand the goals of journalism, and instead is stooping to question my veracity.

If this alderman keeps denying hard facts while continuing the same actions he is accused of, perhaps it is time for him to resign. He is responsible for taxpayers’ money, after all. Can his constituents trust him to make the right call?
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Andrew J. Manuse is editor of the Manchester Express.
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Monday, December 29, 2008

Peter Sullivan Attacks Attorney Jim Craig!

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"Peter Sullivan Attacks Popular Democratic Attorney Jim Craig"

MANCHESTER, NH) - State Rep. Peter Sullivan today challenged Congressman Jeb Bradley and State Rep. Jim Craig to return campaign contributions from members of Congress who have been accused of unethical conduct.

"Corruption and complacency have become a way of life in Washington . As a result, critical national needs take a back seat to influence peddling and special interest whims.

"Jeb Bradley and Jim Craig have accepted campaign cash from politicians who are prime examples of what is wrong with Washington politics. People like Roy Blunt and Mike Capuano have shown a blatant disregard for open and accountable government. If we are to take either of them seriously as public servants, Jeb and Jim need to return their tainted dollars immediately".

Jeb Bradley has received $15,000 from Rely On Your Beliefs PAC, a committee headed by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO). Blunt has been criticized by watchdog groups for inserting language into legislation in order to benefit clients of his girlfriend and his son, both of whom are lobbyists. He has been called one of the "most corrupt members of Congress" by the non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington .

Jim Craig has received $2,100 from the campaign committee of Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) and an additional $2,100 from Mass PAC a political action committee controlled by Capuano.