Op-Ed: Sununu and Executive Council Play Good Cop, Bad Cop

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Rich DiPentima


What a sick and deadly game of “good cop, “bad cop” was played out by Chris Sununu and the Executive Council this past week. 

We all know the strategy used by police when interrogating a suspect of a crime to get them to talk or admit to a crime.  One officer plays the  tough/threatening  cop, while the other takes a softer approach trying to befriend the suspect and getting them to talk.

  In the end, both the “good cop” and  “bad cop” get what they want, they both win.

This is exactly what was on full display at this week’s Executive Council meeting, where, once again, the acceptance of $27 million in federal funding to combat COVID was on the agenda.  And, once again, a rowdy mob was there to intimidate and disrupt.

  In this game of “good cop, bad cop.” Mr. Sununu played the “good cop”  pleading for the money to be accepted, and warning the mob of consequences for criminal behavior.  In fact, nine mob members were arrested for disorderly conduct. 

The “bad cop” was played by the four Republican members of the Council, who all voted against accepting the $27 million.  The suspect in this game were the innocent people of New Hampshire, who were supposed to be convinced that  “good cop” Mr. Sununu was really on their side trying to protect them from COVID-19, while the “bad cop” Republicans on the Council were protecting “individual rights” and freedom from government overreach.

In the end, both the “good cop” and the “bad cops” got what they really wanted.  Mr. Sununu, who faked wanting the money, really had only one goal in mind, his political future.  If he could hurt President Biden, and in the process hurt Senator Hassan by not getting this COVID money great, he just had to make it look like he was on the side of the innocent suspect, the New Hampshire people.

  The “bad cops” Republican Council members could afford to play the role of “bad cops” because they are mostly in safe districts and they expect that most voters will not even remember their vote come November 2022 if they even run again.

Some may think that my view is very cynical, however, Mr. Sununu has played this game before with the Council and the Legislature.  He tells New Hampshire people that he is “Pro-Choice” but signed a budget with the most restrictive abortion requirements in New Hampshire history. His weak defense was that he did not write the bill!

He also did nothing to help get the Planned Parenthood contracts passed by the Republicans on the Council. He tells us that he is anti tax, but signs a budget that downshifts millions of dollars to local property tax payers and renters.

   He tells us that he is pro public education, then signs legislation that funds private and religious schools taking needed funds away from public school districts and increasing property taxes.  Based on this history, how else could a reasonable person explain Mr. Sununu’s actions?

   Mr. Sununu is the leader and head of the Republican Party in New Hampshire. He has the power and influence to convince the Republican members of the Executive Council to vote the way he wants them to, especially on a matter of such public interest, just like we have seen all other all Governor’s do when they had the majority on the Council. If both parties were not in on the “game,” the Republican Council members would never have embarrassed their Republican Governor as they did this week.

  It was all well planned and orchestrated long before the meeting was ever held and any vote taken. 

Rich DiPentima, LTC, USAF,Ret

Portsmouth, NH

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