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Quick Q&As with Executive Council candidates


10/27/16
By Ryan Lessard news@hippopress.com



 To paint a brief picture of who is running for the Executive Council, the Hippo sent each candidate a short questionnaire:

 
District 1
Republican Joseph Kenney
1. Yes or no, do you support building a commuter rail line that connects Boston to southern New Hampshire? 
Yes, if there is a public/private partnership. 
2. Yes or no, do you support funding for Planned Parenthood? 
No.
3. Yes or no, do you support solar energy projects that aren’t funded by state taxes? 
Yes, if there is a public/private partnership that reduces energy costs.
4. What general approach would you take to awarding contracts?
First approach is that I read the contract. I look for a competitive bid process and I look at that scoring and then I evaluate the merits of the Request for Proposal (RFP), the proposed award and then I determine the type of service and value being provided. I hate sole source contracts and major contracts awards to vendors out of side. We should keep the work and employment here in New Hampshire.
5. What will you look for when considering nominees for the courts and state agency heads?
I look for someone who [is] from New Hampshire who knows the people, participates in community, non-profit and state activities and who has the respect of his or her peers. I expect them to be educated, have the appropriate degrees within their profession, diversified work experience and close understanding of New Hampshire statutes. I also try to understand what their management style is and legal philosophy to better understand what type of manager or judge they might be.
6. How do you order your coffee at the drive-thru?
Hot mocha with cream, every time. 
 
Democrat Mike Cryans
1. Yes or no, do you support building a commuter rail line that connects Boston to southern New Hampshire? 
Yes, if it’s part of a comprehensive infrastructure package.
2. Yes or no, do you support funding for Planned Parenthood? 
Yes.
3. Yes or no, do you support solar energy projects that aren’t funded by state taxes? 
Yes.
4. What general approach would you take to awarding contracts?
In awarding contracts it is important to listen to experts and constituents, including those with dissenting opinions, and decide based on the best interests of the state and its citizens. I will try to award contracts whenever possible to in-state groups.
5. What will you look for when considering nominees for the courts and state agency heads? 
When considering nominees for the courts, I will look for highly qualified candidates with awareness and knowledge of alternative programs regarding substance abuse like Drug Courts to try to curb the opioid epidemic. I will do my best to be an advocate for qualified nominees from District 1 for state agency heads.
6. How do you order your coffee at the drive-thru? 
I am not a coffee drinker.
 
District 2
Republican Sam Cataldo
1. Yes or no, do you support building a commuter rail line that connects Boston to southern New Hampshire? 
Yes, if the rail company pays all of the cost.
2. Yes or no, do you support funding for Planned Parenthood? 
No.
3. Yes or no, do you support solar energy projects that aren’t funded by state taxes? 
Yes.
4. What general approach would you take to awarding contracts? 
For someone who worked as a contractor for over 20 years the following may apply: to provide the best solution; the value and address the requirements as addressed in the contract requirement, to assure the work standards are fully comprehensible to the work as outlined with the worker experience, and that they meet State requirements and contacts that comply also with federal requirements, and consumer protection shall be adhered in all contracts.
5. What will you look for when considering nominees for the courts and state agency heads? 
Experience in the state and federal system will be a plus. Education, background in business, that they are all responsible and accountable to the citizens of New Hampshire only, and that all will be administers of the affairs of the state as defined in the New Hampshire constitution, and New Hampshire statutes.
6. How do you order your coffee at the drive-thru? 
I never order coffee at any drive-thru. I walk in and order orange juice, bottled only, or a soda with no ice. 
 
Democrat Andru Volinsky
1. Yes or no, do you support building a commuter rail line that connects Boston to southern New Hampshire? 
Yes.
2. Yes or no, do you support funding for Planned Parenthood? 
Yes.
3. Yes or no, do you support solar energy projects that aren’t funded by state taxes? 
Yes.
4. What general approach would you take to awarding contracts?
I would like our procedures to be streamlined and efficient. I want to understand the context in which the contract will exist before the Council approves the deal so as to avoid a situation like Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s announcement of economic troubles and layoffs right after winning a contract. I want the state’s spending on its contracts to favor local businesses, favor businesses that take care of their employees by way of livable wages and decent benefits and to favor businesses that believe climate change is real and that are doing something about it.  
5. What will you look for when considering nominees for the courts and state agency heads? 
I will look for nominees that are from diverse backgrounds. While all nominees must be well qualified by education and experience, I especially want nominees who are intellectually curious and creative. I want good people working in our agencies and in our courts who understand that we serve the people of the state and who seek innovative ways to provide that service. 
6. How do you order your coffee at the drive-thru? 
I don’t. My favorite three coffee shops are [Cafe] La Reine, the Works and True Brew. None have a drive-through! 
 
District 3
Republican Russell Prescott
1. Yes or no, do you support building a commuter rail line that connects Boston to southern New Hampshire? 
No. 
2. Yes or no, do you support funding for Planned Parenthood? 
Depends on their merits. 
3. Yes or no, do you support solar energy projects that aren’t funded by state taxes? 
Yes, with local control.  
4. What general approach would you take to awarding contracts?
An open bid process to find the most affordable provider to serve the people of New Hampshire with the highest quality and best service. 
5. What will you look for when considering nominees for the courts and state agency heads? 
Integrity, character, demonstrated experience serving others.
6. How do you order your coffee at the drive-thru? 
Changes day by day.
 
Democrat Beth Roth
1. Yes or no, do you support building a commuter rail line that connects Boston to southern New Hampshire? 
Yes. 
2. Yes or no, do you support funding for Planned Parenthood? 
Yes. 
3. Yes or no, do you support solar energy projects that aren’t funded by state taxes? 
Yes.
4. What general approach would you take to awarding contracts? 
I draw up contracts daily in my business law practice. The Executive Council evaluates contracts to ensure an appropriation made by the legislature is spent for the intended purpose. That process should happen in the most efficient way possible. Holding up contracts for frivolous or partisan reasons, such as we saw with Planned Parenthood’s, is a grave disservice to the people of New Hampshire. 
5. What will you look for when considering nominees for the courts and state agency heads? 
As an attorney and mental health counselor, I have been in courtrooms where I felt the judge was misassigned. It’s important to evaluate nominees based on demonstrated competency and interest in the specific area to which they’re nominated. For instance, a judicial nominee for Drug Court needs to demonstrate an understanding and interest in mental health issues and show fairness and compassion.
6. How do you order your coffee at the drive-thru? 
Two creams, no sugar.  
 
District 4
Republican Joe Kelly Levasseur
1. Yes or no, do you support building a commuter rail line that connects Boston to southern New Hampshire? 
No. 
2. Yes or no, do you support funding for Planned Parenthood? 
No. 
3. Yes or no, do you support solar energy projects that aren’t funded by state taxes? 
Yes. 
4. What general approach would you take to awarding contracts? 
Read each contract thoroughly so as not to have instances like the crisis we have with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital and the Drug Crisis Contracts that my opponent recently voted for. I expect open and honest bidding with contracts being awarded on merit, not familiarity. 
5. What will you look for when considering nominees for the courts and state agency heads? 
Judges must have a patient temperament. Both judges and agency heads must be extremely hard-working, ethical people, have a thorough understanding of our state and federal constitutions and real-world experience in the courtroom or department they seek to administer.
6. How do you order your coffee at the drive-thru? 
Black, always and only.
 
Democrat Chris Pappas
1. Yes or no, do you support building a commuter rail line that connects Boston to southern New Hampshire? 
Yes.
2. Yes or no, do you support funding for Planned Parenthood? 
Yes.
3. Yes or no, do you support solar energy projects that aren’t funded by state taxes? 
Yes.
4. What general approach would you take to awarding contracts? 
I use a number of criteria to evaluate contracts including: how the vendor was selected to ensure it was a fair, competitive process; the vendor's ability to do the work and meet the time frame; how the contract fits with laws and policies adopted by the state; and most importantly whether the contract is the best use of taxpayer dollars.
5. What will you look for when considering nominees for the courts and state agency heads? 
During the confirmation process for major appointments, I focus on an individual's professional experience, community work, leadership qualities, temperament, and understanding of and vision for the role. Politics should play no role whatsoever in how nominees are chosen or in terms of how nominees will conduct themselves in the position.
6. How do you order your coffee at the drive-thru? 
I am not a coffee drinker, but I make myself tea (black) every morning at my restaurant.
 
District 5
Democrat Daniel Weeks
1. Yes or no, do you support building a commuter rail line that connects Boston to southern New Hampshire? 
Yes.
2. Yes or no, do you support funding for Planned Parenthood? 
Yes.
3. Yes or no, do you support solar energy projects that aren’t funded by state taxes? 
Yes.
4. What general approach would you take to awarding contracts? 
I will work with state commissioners to ensure all contracts are the result of a competitive bidding process and that qualified New Hampshire contractors are encouraged to apply. I will then approve "best-value" contracts which take into account price, quality, expertise, and past performance (including labor and environmental standards) in order to maximize long-term ROI for the taxpayers.
5. What will you look for when considering nominees for the courts and state agency heads? 
I believe individuals in appointive leadership should be capable public servants who broadly reflect New Hampshire's population. I will seek out and recommend highly qualified individuals who bring the experience, independence, and sound judgment necessary to succeed at their role, as well as a demonstrated commitment to public service and increased diversity. I do not believe in partisan/ideological tests.
6. How do you order your coffee at the drive-thru? 
Sorry, Dunkin’, my wife has turned me on to tea. Or anything that’s served with New Hampshire maple syrup.
 
Note: Republican District 5 candidate David Wheeler did not respond by press time. 





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