March 1, 2016

Hassan Under Fire For Absentee Leadership Amid Record Drug Deaths

The mayor of New Hampshire’s largest city took to the airwaves to remind Governor Maggie Hassan that her busy schedule of fundraising and campaigning for the U.S. Senate doesn’t mean she can ditch her day job.

In an interview with WMUR-TV, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas challenged Hassan to “step up” and questioned why she hasn’t yet replaced her controversial drug czar, who announced his resignation on January 15th after months of criticism from local, state, and law enforcement officials and the medical community for poor communication, lack of urgency, and sheer incompetence.

Hassan couldn’t be bothered to respond directly. Her spokesman lamely said that she “signed two bills” and was “interviewing” candidates for the czar position, but he offered no information about how far into the interview process her office is or what sort of timeline Granite Staters can expect.

Hassan’s spokesman also attacked Gatsas, saying Hassan’s office “has yet to see” any “constructive” input from the mayor.

It’s unclear what Hassan’s definition of “constructive” is. Gatsas requested Hassan declare a state of emergency to combat the crisis in August – which Hassan refused to do – and has been advocating for a drug court in Manchester for months.

Gatas was among the first to raise red flags about Hassan’s handpicked czar’s ineffectiveness as far back as July, calling for more open communication. Had Hassan paid attention to his input, more than six months of incompetent leadership by her czar could have been avoided.

Editorial boards across the state have accused Hassan of politicizing the crisis by prioritizing PR stunts over ensuring effective solutions.