Monday, December 6, 2021

#2500: Al Baldasaro

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is internationally famous for its contingent of deranged loons and conspiracy theorists, and none of them is less hinged than Alfred P. Baldasaro, who has been elected to represent District 5 in Rockingham County (including Auburn and Londonderry) seven times. You can get a fair overview of the Auburn and Londonderry electorate from the documentary Wrong Turn.


As a conspiracy theorist, Baldasaro has for instance warned his colleagues that the United Nations sustainability initiative known as Agenda 21 is being used to ban fishing in New Hampshire. Tapping into the relatively widespread (it has long been one of the John Birch Society’s main schticks) and utterly ridiculous wingnut Agenda 21 conspiracy theory, Baldasaro elaborated: “If you take a look at other areas, what’s going on around the country under Agenda 21, this isn’t get –  ... the nose is already under the tent.” The agenda is non-binding for the countries that have ratified it; the US has not ratified it and it is not law in the US, and it would not have banned fishing if it were. The New Hampshire House nevertheless voted for an Agenda 21 ban in 2012.


In 2012 Baldasaro also joined a complaint filed by birther queen Orly Taitz to keep then-president Obama off the ballot for the 2012 presidential primary. One might wonder whether Baldasaro was a birther himself, but joining an effort to keep candidates for a democratic election off ballot for reasons you know to be false isn’t much less looney. (He probably does think it's true, though.) In addition to Baldasaro, the effort was joined by eight other New Hampshire GOP lawmakers (covered here).


The next year, Baldasaro, with state representatives Stella Tremblay and Lars Christiansen, introduced HB 638, which required the state to recognize a mythical 13th Amendment amendment to the Constitution that was allegedly ratified in 1819 but kept secret by the federal government under pressure from rich bankers. The idea of the 13th Amendment is familiar from sovereign citizen conspiracy theories and pseudolaw practitioners: the amendment was designed to prevent people with “titles of nobility” from holding public office, and, according to conspiracy theorists that supposedly means that lawyers, through the use of the title esquire, are barred, too, and that all members of Congress – being apparently technically lawyers, according to these people – are prevented from passing laws. Yes, this is Al Baldasaro.


Baldasaro is perhaps best known, however, for his call, at the 2016 Republican National Convention, for Hillary Clinton to beput in the firing line and shot”, for which he gained quite a bit of attention as well as a Secret Service investigation. He later claimed that liberal media had misrepresented him (“The liberal media took what I said and went against the law and the Constitution and ran with it, and they said that I wanted her assassinated, which I never did”), and clarified for the record that he didn’t think Hillary Clinton should be assassinated, but rather that “she should be shot in a firing squad for treason”. He also emphasized that he “said it as a veteran”, whatever that means. He also said that “what you in the liberal media consider rhetoric, I consider freedom of speech.” It is unclear what that has to do with anything, but his fans presumably doesn’t have particularly strong skills when it comes relevantly piecing together information to compose reasoning, so it probably served its purpose.


Donald Trump subsequently praised Baldasaro and named him a New Hampshire co-chair of his 2020 reelection campaign. Baldasaro was also advisor to Donald Trump when he was the presidential nominee 2016, and a mainstay at Trump campaign events as well as co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s national veterans coalition. At the 2016 convention, Baldasaro also claimed that Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who spoke at the Democratic convention, is a “Muslim Brotherhood agent” – apparently he got that idea from an incoherent conspiracy ramble penned by none other than Taliban fascists Walid and Theodore Shoebat.


Before that, Baldasaro led the fight against same-sex marriage in New Hampshire. In 2010, he raised some eyebrows when he claimed that gay adoption was tantamount to child trafficking and that the state of New Hampshire was “selling children to homosexuals for $10,000 apiece”. During a 2011 Republican primary presidential debate, the audience booed a gay Marine who had submitted a debate question; when asked about the incident, Baldasaro said that he was “disgusted by the Marine and that “I thought the audience, when they booed the marine, I thought it was great.


Baldasaro also thinks that breastfeeding in public is an attack on family values.


Diagnosis: There is plenty of crazy in the state legislatures, but Baldasaro has made a good case for himself as belonging to the very elite of evil, deranged clowns. He really is the kind of conspiracy loon you’ll come across on incoherent websites with funny colors and text in ALLCAPS. It is no longer surprising that this combination of stupid, angry and evil appeals to such a large portion of the electorate, however.


  1. Alex Berenson and Lauren Boebert gotta coming up pretty soon.

    Boebert in particular is the millennial version of Michelle Bachman, a reliable and consistent dispensary of stupid and crazy.

    1. And Josh Bernstein. Online radio talk show host known for advocating violence against people he disagrees with.

  2. A red state in the otherwise blue Northeast, New Hampshire is like Elmo surrounded by Smurfs.

  3. "He also said that “what you in the liberal media consider rhetoric, I consider freedom of speech.”"

    Isn't "[x] should be [y]" the very definition of rhetoric?