The Executive Council – sounds boring, right? Standing in the ballot box you can deduce what a State Rep does, or a County Attorney, but Executive Council sounds almost a-political. No way it could have that much influence, you might be thinking as you leave that spot on your ballot blank. And many, many people in Nashua did just leave it blank.
But I guarantee that something on the list I’m about to share affects you, and I’ll bet that at least one of the votes by District 5’s Executive Councilor (who we just re-elected) will surprise you.
What the Executive Council Does:
The Executive Council approves state contracts over $25,000, appoints judges and confirms individuals to lead state agencies, boards and commissions. Sounds like a snooze-fest, but stay with me, because the next part has districts just like The Hunger Games. It’s made up of five people, one from each district in New Hampshire. District 5 includes Nashua, and encompasses most of the southern region.
One of those towns is Milford, and that’s where Dave Wheeler is from. Dave Wheeler is our newly re-elected Executive Councilor. He cares a lot more about the “policy” of things than the actual documents he’s voting on (that’s his own explanation of his vote against a Medicare contract, right here). To me, that sounds like he’s not in Concord thinking about you and your best interests, he’s thinking of his own agenda. You may disagree with me, I’m sure people will, but take a look at some examples of just how much power the Executive Council has, and how Dave Wheeler has decided to use it.
Dave Wheeler was the deciding vote in 2012 to reject a commuter rail study even though there was NO out-of-pocket cost for taxpayers, it would have gone to a NH based business, it would have been a huge economic stimulus for the region and created jobs. The fact that a rail linking Boston to Nashua is overwhelmingly supported by the very constituency he represents, or that several federal agencies backed the study AND it was already funded – all irrelevant to him. Hey Nashua, you want a rail to Boston? Stop voting for Dave Wheeler.
There are only two Executive Council members who consistently vote AGAINST solar power. You can count on Dave Wheeler to vote to block municipal solar systems recommended by the Public Utilities Commission for towns who desperately want them. Solar power sounds like a smart investment for local jobs and industry, the environment, the economy and our future right? Well, like he said himself, Dave Wheeler votes for his ideology, not the actual good of the contract. So if you don’t want your children living in world where they can’t go sledding in January in NH because there’s no snow, stop voting for Dave Wheeler.
Dave Wheeler doesn’t have a uterus, and it seems like he really doesn’t care about yours. It doesn’t matter to him that Planned Parenthood of New England is this region’s LARGEST provider of women’s health services. Oppose abortion? Fine. The state already bars direct funding for abortion. When Dave Wheeler votes against approving state contracts with PPNE he’s putting his agenda over the health and safety of NH women. In other words, he doesn’t care if your mother can’t get an affordable breast exam. He’s not interested in your daughter getting a pap smear for her health. And he could care less if you need affordable birth control. (You can read the PPNE contract approved this summer here.) If you care about women being able to get diagnosed for cervical cancer, stop voting for Dave Wheeler.
Dave Wheeler refused to debate his opponent. I have to imagine that’s because Dave Wheeler doesn’t care about reaching you. Why not participate in this most basic democratic act? Why didn’t he feel the need to connect with you, explain to you, or defend you? Maybe Dave Wheeler thought he could get away with this because with big federal races, who cares about an Executive Council position. Or, maybe Dave Wheeler doesn’t value earning your trust on a public stage. But if you value holding elected officials accountable, stop voting for him.
I should note that he did express interest in participating in forums at the Rotary Club. Lots of diversity at those things I imagine. I bet it’s brimming with young voters. Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes! If you’re an 18-24 year old start paying attention and stop voting for Dave Wheeler.
I regret that I didn’t post this before the election.
To make up for this, here is my pledge. I promise to keep you up to date on the Executive Council’s agenda. (You can read reports that summarize his actions relevant to District 5 here AND read Executive Council meeting minutes or listen to them yourself here.) In turn, I’ll hope you’ll take a moment to call his office, email him, mail letters (but mostly call, because the sound of a phone ringing is harder to ignore than an email or letter) when an issue comes up that you care about.
How to Contact Your Executive Councilor:
Dave Wheeler Telephone:
Executive Council Office: (603) 271-3632
Home Office: (603) 672-6062
(Additional contact info and bio are available at the NH.gov site here)
We vote for Executive Council every two years. I hope during the next race when you’re driving by one his green lawn signs you’ll remember these votes. I hope you’ll turn to the person next to you and make sure they know what the Executive Council does, because there’s no shame in not knowing every detail of NH’s archaic system, but there is shame in being willfully ignorant as a person in power determines your future.
And if you don’t like the future you’ve read here, for heaven’s sake, please stop voting for Dave Wheeler.
Additional reading links:
Don’t miss Dave Wheeler’s crusade to take down Good News Garage. The organization accepts donated cars, repairs them and gives them to low-income families for free. It saves the state an estimated $18,000 in welfare were these people not able to get to work.
And on the history of the Executive Council, a “vestige of the Colonial era” and the only governing body of its kind in the nation.
Plus, check out these detailed election results for District 5 on the NY Times. Dave Wheeler lost Nashua, but won these other towns. Please share this with anyone who know in those areas.