by | Jul 29, 2020 | Rant

Messner v. Bolduc Debate

My second Blog Post/RANT

A must read!
From the Honorable Fred Rice

 Here is my personal evaluation of the two GOP candidates for New Hampshire’s Senate seat currently held by Jeanne Shaheen. If you’re truly interested in this race, you need to read it!

Shortly after the candidates filed for the US Senate race in New Hampshire, I realized that I am one of a very small group of people who shares, and is therefore able to better evaluate, the major areas of experience that Corky Messner and Don Bolduc are promoting in an effort to set themselves apart from one another.

Like Corky Messner, I am a West Point graduate and an Army Ranger. Like Don Bolduc, I am a New Hampshire native and an Airborne, Ranger, Special Forces combat veteran with multiple deployments and a Bronze Star. Although I did not reach the rank of General, I have worked with and for many General Officers and can count dozens of three and four-star Generals, including three former Army Chiefs of Staff, among my personal friends , soI have a pretty good idea of what makes them tick. Also, as a former NH State Representative, I know from experience that a legislative body bears little to no similarity to someone’s prior experiences.

I consider both candidates to be men of strong character and patriotism who have proven their love of country by their service.

The question is not whether one is braver, or tougher or richer, or whether one is a NH native or just moved here, or what inconsequential things they may have done in the distant past. The question is, who has the broad, recent background and the specific training, capability and demeanor to perform most effectively at this point in time in the US Senate to get legislation passed that will benefit our nation.

I believe that “Corky” Messner is the best candidate, and here’s why:

Bolduc’s biggest problem is that he can’t stop being a General. We hear over and over that he was a General who served for 36 years, had 10 deployments, was a hero with two awards for valor and five bronze stars. His campaign signs even have a star on them. But that’s about as much as we hear about him.

I have the deepest respect for his service and his accomplishments, but as a former Special Forces officer myself, I know that not one of these things prepares him in any way to be a US Senator.

Senators don’t deploy, nor do they have to ride horses, survive bomb blasts, be brave and heroic or engage in firefights in the Capitol building, yet Bolduc and his supporters continually stress them as the main reasons why we should vote for him.

The US Senate is the world’s greatest deliberative body, but that is just the opposite of what Generals are. Generals don’t deliberate, nor are they inclined to be patient and accommodating. They are trained to make command decisions quickly and follow through to ensure that their orders are carried out. They are like eagles, who fly solo and never flock. Above all, they are not entrepreneurs who have ever put any of their own money at risk. They operate on government funds and never have to worry about a deficit.

Attorneys like Messner, on the other hand, are trained to discuss and deliberate to achieve the optimum result. Bolduc has no experience in either the law, the legislative process or the business world, and would be in an on-the-job training status in the Senate, whereas Messner has earned and risked his own money to build a highly successful law firm with more than 700 employees and offices in nine states. That is the mark of an entrepreneur who understands how business works.

I have heard both men speak and have researched their campaign statements and videos. Neither candidate is a great orator, but Bolduc comes across as a frantic football coach giving a fire and brimstone, do-or-die halftime pep talk to a losing team, whereas Messner keeps it low-key, letting his successful business record speak for itself. Bolduc often attacks Messner, but Messner simply promotes his own capabilities. He hardly even mentions Bolduc.

Bolduc would be a great agency boss, where he could make policy and demand results, but Messner would be the best legislator by far by virtue of his training and experience.

Bolduc’s staff has not served him well. His senior advisor, former WMUR-TV reporter Josh McElveen, has taken several cheap shots at Messner by trying to make it appear as if a $2600 donation to Chuck Schumer 13 years ago made him a flaming Liberal. Obviously, McElveen is not aware that large firms, especially law firms, donate to both parties as a matter of course in order to keep the doors open for discussion with everyone. That certainly does not mean that they have switched parties or changed beliefs. It means that they know how to do business.

One of Bolduc’s most bombastic supporters, former State Rep Sean Morrison of Epping, who resigned from his House seat due to “personal attacks and partisan politics,” has recently made numerous personal attacks and highly partisan remarks about Messner. He slams Messner for being a “carpetbagger from Colorado,” while he, himself, is from Boston. What hypocrisy! That’s worse than a reformed smoker who demands clean air!

The “purity test” of being a NH native doesn’t necessarily count for anything in this race, since only 42.7 percent of NH voters are native born, the 44th lowest in the nation. They could care less about where someone is from, as long as they have what it takes to get the job done.

It is also significant to note that Bolduc was absent from New Hampshire for 36 years during his Army career. From my own experience, I can assure you that he was not thinking about New Hampshire politics during all that time, or he would never have made it to the rank of general! Messner has a much more up to date knowledge of New Hampshire’s political landscape over the last 14 years than his opponent, who’s only been back in the state for four years.

Recently, McElveen reached down into the political slime barrel to dredge up a story from ”The Washington Post” otherwise known as the Democrat Party’s house organ, implying that Messner, “wasn’t a real Army Ranger,” even though he completed Ranger School and was awarded the Ranger Tab, since he hadn’t actually served in the 75th Ranger Regiment. Messner countered with letters from the Commanders of both the 75th and the Ranger School, confirming that he was, indeed, an Army Ranger in all respects. Bolduc himself has taken the same cheap shot at Messner in a recent TV interview.

As an Army Ranger myself, I take personal offense that Bolduc would make such a disrespectful comment about the achievements of others in the military, or that McElveen, a former Marine, would display such ignorance about what a Ranger is in a futile attempt to gain a few points. Such petty criticisms are usually the acts of desperation of a failing political campaign.

Both McElveen and Morrison keep referring to Messner’s supporters, particularly anyone from Washington, as being part of ”The Swamp.” Perhaps they haven’t noticed that his biggest endorsement is from President Trump himself, along with many of the strongest Trump supporters in the nation.

New Hampshire needs a Senator who has the values mentioned in the West Point Cadet Prayer of ”choosing the harder right rather than the easier wrong,” the legal experience to enact meaningful legislation that will stand up to challenges and the calm, even demeanor to maintain a steady course when the rhetoric becomes heated.

New Hampshire needs Corky Messner!

My Reply: While I have the deepest respect and regards for those that served our nation, in the armed forces. The very idea of them putting a blank check up to include signing away their very lives to serve is truly revered by me and many of my friends. I also have the deepest honor to count my family having had upwards of 9 aunts and uncles that too served our nation just on my father’s side of the family. That kind of patriotism is truly honorable and deserves that kind of respect.
While I have only heard Messner two times, I was not impressed in either instance. The first time I heard him, he had to speak first because he couldn’t stay long. That in of itself to me was, how much does he truly care about the people whom he is supposed to serve.came to mind, but I didn’t let that be all I heard, I was open to hearing from him, for an informed and honest depiction of the candidate. While the questions began to roll at this first meeting the first questions pointed to him was,… Scott Brown tried this, how can you expect to win…? The answer he had was even less impressive and it was apparent that the others like me didn’t think he fielded the question favorably. I have a video of it, and I will gladly post it following the recent video I am rendering, but I digress.
Messner answered a few more questions, but his time was limited due to another event, not even that night, I don’t recall exactly, but I believe it was so he could get up early. the next day. My impression was that Corky was not with the committee that night, he was elsewhere and really didn’t come off as he really was in-tune with the meet and greet, that night. We already have a senator, well now two, that does not care about what New Hampshire is doing, why send another that doesn’t care about New Hampshire?
Granite Staters are hard to impress when you come from another state, and coming only recently to our state, beyond having a vacation home is a lot different than someone born here, signed up for enlistment, here, has his family that resides here, and following his service, he retired here. Where he has had a unique opportunity of having been around the world serving this nation, he had the opportunity to move anywhere, but he calls New Hampshire home, this is because this is where his family has lived, and where he has grown up.
In contrast, The General is mischaracterized in this declaration. I find The General is passionate, cares about the people when he meets with them. Cares about the state of our union, the current events, and cares about how we have career legislators not serving the needs of New Hampshire. I would highly encourage you to either get Corky to further engage or make way for a leader, that has to care and manage budgets in the role of Brigadier General, it’s not just leading men into battle, he has to manage a budget and be accountable to Congress to make requests for funding and to justify his budgets, not unlike a business.
In closing, Corky is self-funded from his own business, that is great, however, he earned that money at his HQ’s, which is in Colorado. He doesn’t have an office in New Hampshire, so his residency in New Hampshire is a place to get away from work and vacation, which is in my own estimation of his attraction to New Hampshire. One other concern I have is that he only voted only one time in New Hampshire, and even that vote was cast absentee from Corky’s home in Colorado.
Thank you for the opportunity to add in my $250 dollars worth to this discussion.