CONCORD, N.H. – New Hampshire State Representatives who attended the Special Legislative Session on July 25 were each paid $3 for their time. But in a bipartisan effort to emphasize the spirit of service embodied by the Granite State’s legislature, many solons donated their entire day’s pay to Manchester’s Liberty House—which supports homeless and transitioning veterans.
The initiative was sponsored by the N.H. Legislature’s “Beer Caucus.”
“We just left a sign and a basket in the anteroom behind the Hall of Representatives,” explained Beer Caucus member Timothy Lang (R-Sanbornton). “It was inspiring to see it full of cash at the end of the session.”
A total of $501 was raised on July 25 and the money was presented to Liberty House board member Jess Edwards at a cookout social held at the farm of Rep. Howard Pearl (R-Loudon) on July 28. The event attracted over 50 representatives and aspiring representatives, family members, and most of the candidates for House Speaker.
The Beer Caucus traces its roots back to the Legislative Softball Classics of 2017 and 2018, where Republicans and Democrats came together on the softball field to not only compete but to enhance collegiality and camaraderie while raising almost $30,000 for Liberty House.
“We have fun and we get things done,” explained Rep. Mike Moffett (R-Loudon). “That’s our motto.”
The Beer Caucus utilizes Facebook to show members active and having fun at numerous venues.
“We all agree that an occasional libation can be a good thing,” said Rep. Reed Panasiti (R-Amherst). “Through socializing, we get to know people better. Effective legislators must network. We started out somewhat veteran-centric but now our ever-growing Beer Caucus list-serv gives us a new, valuable resource for constituent service, as all our members have various specialty areas.”
The Beer Caucus now includes several dozen state reps and while it has yet to take any policy positions, if there is strength in numbers then the Beer Caucus is steadily getting stronger.
So how does one join this fun group of lawmakers?
“Just come hang out with us,” explained Pearl. “We’re all about mutual respect, public service, and having fun.”