One of New Hampshire's new state representatives is 91-year-old Martin Harty, and he's hilarious. This World War II veteran and "retired peddler and market vendor" has admitted that he has no idea how to do his job, although he does manage to advocate for eugenics in conversations with constituents.
Harty apparently told a constituent, who runs a community mental health program, that that "the world is too populated" and there are "too many defective people... You know the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions - the defective people society would be better off without." Well, that's one way to connect with your district's mental health professionals! And there's this, too: "I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population." Harty says he was "kidding."
But is he good at his job, otherwise? No! Poor guy. From the Concord Monitor:
"In our committee . . . he is constantly confused, easily swayed, hard of hearing, and prone to offer up unrelated commentary or go off on unrelated tangents," [Rep. Jon] Richardson said.
Harty, a first-term representative, wrote a letter to Foster's Daily Democrat last month stating, "So far I really don't know what I'm doing. . . . A new Rep really needs a coach along with him at first but there is no room for anyone to sit with him, and no way they could holler at him in a committee meeting.
"The few votes I've made so far I really didn't know what I was voting for or against," his letter said. "Just looked at the people around me and went along with them."
There's no need for a coach. Looking at the people around you and voting along with them is the foundation of American democracy.
[via Politico/Ben Smith, image of New Hampshire's House of Representatives via AP]