Primary Source: N.H. Republicans Hold Onto Grafton-Area Seat

  • Valley News political columnist and news editor John Gregg in West Lebanon, N.H., on September 20, 2016. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan on Wednesday joined 15 other state attorneys general in a federal lawsuit over DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

They are protesting President Donald Trump’s threats to rescind protections against deportation for residents who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

The lawsuit asserts that the Trump administration has violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution by discriminating against people covered by DACA who are of Mexican origin; violated due process rights; and harmed the economies and residents of various states, according to a news release from Donovan, a Democrat.

Other states in the lawsuit include New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Meanwhile, Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon wrote students, faculty and staff on Tuesday saying the college was “deeply disappointed” in the decision by Trump, who has given Congress six months to “fix” the program. Hanlon also said Dartmouth officials will be talking to members of Congress to support DACA or a new law that would “ensure that those who were brought to this country as children and had obtained legal status under DACA can continue to pursue their studies freely and without fear.

“At the same time, we will do everything in our power, within the bounds of the law, to support these members of our campus community most directly affected by potential changes and challenges to our nation’s immigration laws and will continue to decline to disclose information about students except as required by law,” Hanlon wrote.

Grafton House Race

A Bridgewater, N.H., Republican has won a special election for the open Grafton 9 district, frustrating Democratic efforts to flip the New Hampshire House seat from Republican hands.

Vincent Paul Migliore won 611 votes on Tuesday, defeating Bristol Democrat Joshua Adjutant, who had 561 votes, and Grafton Libertarian John Babiarz, who won 28 votes, most of them in Grafton.

Migliore succeeds Bridgewater Republican Jeff Shackett, who stepped down in February for business reasons. The floterial district represents Grafton, Alexandria, Bristol, Bridgewater and Ashland.

In a thank-you letter to voters, Migliore referred to himself as “fiscally prudent” and “a conservative voice with 10 years of proven public service.”

“The fight to represent you is by no means over. I plan to earn the confidence of all reasonable constituents who realize that representing them full time is to their personal advantage and to that of our region,” he wrote.

New Hampshire Republican Party Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester also noted that Migliore is a former small-business owner, saying in a statement that voters “reaffirmed their support for Gov. (Chris) Sununu’s pro-jobs, pro-economy agenda that has delivered jobs and economic growth for New Hampshire.”

New Randolph Town Manager

The town of Randolph has a new town manager with some big city and federal legislative experience.

Adolfo Bailon, 39, started work on Aug. 29 under a three-year contract that pays him $80,000 a year. The job also comes with a vehicle.

Bailon, a Los Angeles native who has a master’s degree in public affairs from Brown University, most recently worked as director of the department that oversaw constituent services for the mayor of Providence. From 2002 to 2012, he worked in the Los Angeles area as a congressional aide to then-U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., where much of his work involved transportation, infrastructure and the environment.

“My job was apolitical. I worked with cities, counties, military bases, and just tried to get them the help they needed, whether they were right-leaning or left-leaning. It didn’t matter,” said Bailon, who has long been interested in municipal management.

He succeeds veteran Randolph Town Manager Mel Adams, who is staying on through Sept. 15 to bring Bailon up to speed on issues in town.

Randolph Selectboard Chairwoman Trini Brassard said the panel was impressed by Bailon’s experience and poise.

“He had a wide array (of experience) that we felt would mix well in town,” she said. “He was very confident, and capable, and didn’t get excited when asked tough questions. His answers were very thoughtful and thorough.”

Health Care Forum

Windsor County Democrats are sponsoring a public roundtable on health care and universal primary care Monday evening at Damon Hall in Hartland.

Panelists includes state Sen. Alison Clarkson, D-Woodstock; state Rep. Annmarie Christensen, D-Weathersfield; Dr. Deb Richter, the president of Vermont Health Care for All; and Kevin Veller, a health care analyst for U.S. Rep. Peter Welch. The event starts at 7 p.m.

John P. Gregg can be reached a jgregg@vnews.com.