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CNN Today

New Hampshire Representative Stirring Up Controversy

Aired January 5, 2001 - 1:22 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Closely following the controversy swirling around New Hampshire state Representative Tom Alciere is reporter Amy McConnell with the "Concord Monitor," and she joins us live now from Concord, New Hampshire.

Amy, is this guy for real?

AMY MCCONNELL, "CONCORD MONITOR": He's for real, he -- he has definitely posted seven years' worth of letters and messages on newsgroups. Hasn't apologized for them yet.

ALLEN: And how did this slip by everyone as he was running for office?

MCCONNELL: I think people didn't take him seriously. Down in Nashua, where the police department keeps a file on the man -- but didn't think that he could win, so they didn't bring it up.

ALLEN: We've heard a lot about the officials responding to him. What's been the public response as they've heard about this man and his -- how he advocates violence.

MCCONNELL: Serious, really -- Nashua residents are disgusted that this man represents them They didn't know about his views when they elected him. Since then, there have been letters to our editor about calling for his resignation, people -- it's very emotional for them. People want him to resign, but there's no way to do that now.

ALLEN: Has he given a hint as to what he plans to work on in the state legislature, or has this information that's come out about him silenced him in any way?

MCCONNELL: I think what he is saying is that he's working -- going to work on legislation to lift the mandatory requirements for students to attend school and to eliminate all drug laws. I doubt that has any chance of passing in this legislature.

ALLEN: So we know one thing for sure: He'll probably be the most closely watched state legislator -- and you have something new to do up there in New Hampshire.

MCCONNELL: That's true. Well, we've got school funding to resolve, so I think people are a little worried this might distract from that. But it seems to be blowing over now, after several days of pretty angry comments.

ALLEN: I can imagine once the people learned about things he said what the reaction would be.

Amy, thank you so much, Amy McConnell with the "Concord Monitor," we'll keep watching this one.

MCCONNELL: Thanks, Natalie.

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