Today, New Hampshire Representative Sherry Frost (D-Dover) considers herself a “professional” when it comes to testifying in committee hearings and decided, in quite a rude manner, to let the world of Twitter know just how she feels about Granite Staters reading their testimony. Indeed, this is the same representative who called New Hampshire State Senators “f*ckers” because she didn’t agree with their votes on Right to Work and “Constitutional Carry.” Clearly Frost has behavioral issues when it comes to her role as a legislator.
During many committee hearings, the chair of the committee may indeed ask people not to directly read from their written testimony if they are handing a copy into the committee members but they are never rude about it. Some people can’t just summarize what they are saying during hearings and having written testimony is helpful. Hearing testimony is much different that actually reading it. There are actually some lobbyists who read directly from their written testimony on a regular basis.
Frost’s rude demeanor towards her own constituents and Granite Staters is exactly what keeps people from wanting to testify. Not everyone has the ability to freely speak about issues that are important to them. It takes a lot of courage for some people to get up in front of legislators and a room full of strangers to make a statement. Somehow, Frost doesn’t grasp this reality and doesn’t seem to understand that her statements will actually cause some people to remain silent.
Of course, Frost also doesn’t grasp that there are others at the hearing, who do not have copies of the written testimony, who may also be interested in hearing what people actually have to say. Often people may not want to repeat the same things or they may discover something new they hadn’t heard before. There’s always counter points as well that they wouldn’t get if they didn’t hear the testimony themselves.
No legislator should ever discourage Granite Staters from testifying on legislation. It’s one of the few times citizens can actually make their voices heard in the legislature. It’s one of the great things about local government. It’s unfortunate for New Hampshire that a state representative doesn’t seem to appreciate the voices of her own constituents or fellow citizens. Somehow being elected in an uncontested race has gone to Frost’s head and she thinks she’s somehow “above the little people” and can treat them as rudely as she treats her fellow legislators. At least she didn’t use profanity this time. Maybe Frost should spend less time complaining on Twitter and more time actually listening to what her fellow citizens have to say.