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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Former House leader has eye on bigger things

Kevin Landrigan

Former House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, confirmed last week that he decided against remaining in GOP House leadership so he could keep his political options open and so he could play a more aggressive role.

That was one of many topics O’Brien touched on during a cable TV talk show with Rep. John Burt, R-Goffstown. ...

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Former House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, confirmed last week that he decided against remaining in GOP House leadership so he could keep his political options open and so he could play a more aggressive role.

That was one of many topics O’Brien touched on during a cable TV talk show with Rep. John Burt, R-Goffstown.

Right after the vote on whether to ban guns or dangerous weapons on the House floor, O’Brien took to his Facebook account to call out those six Republicans who had supported the ban.

O’Brien signaled we can expect more of those call-out moves to occur in the future.

“I want more flexibility,” he said. “I didn’t see running for Republican leader would be the best way I could use my talents and get to where I want to be.

“I want to make sure those individuals who have run as Republicans vote as Republicans and are identified in primaries on whether or not they kept their commitment to the voters.”

In addition, O’Brien said stepping away from a leadership post would make it easier for him to try to move up in the future.

“There are perhaps some other opportunities for elective office that I might be interested in,” O’Brien said.

Last year, there was speculation that O’Brien would forego seeking re-election to his House seat and instead would challenge for the nomination against then-GOP Congressman Charles Bass.

Not only did O’Brien take a pass on that, he went out of his way after the election to compliment Bass on the race he had run.

The next election could give O’Brien a wealth of opportunities to try to seek a promotion, run for governor or Congress, or even for the U.S. Senate seat held by popular Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.

O’Brien also called for eliminating same-day registration, concluding that making it so easy to vote increases the likelihood of fraud at the polls.

“It is not working out well,” O’Brien said. “It worked during an earlier time where with small towns and small cities, people knew each other and it was the convenient thing to do.

“On this past Election Day, I stood outside the polls in New Boston for hours and watched a guy coming in with Montana plates dropping people off and then returning a half hour or 45 minutes later.

“What we are trying to do is restore integrity to the electoral process.”

Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashua
telegraph.com . Also, follow Landrigan on Twitter (@Klandrigan).