Lawmaker apologizes for comments directed at Walpole Rep. Weber

The New Hampshire Statehouse dome

The New Hampshire Statehouse dome Hannah Schroeder/Keene Sentinel staff photo

By RICK GREEN

The Keene Sentinel

Published: 05-14-2024 10:30 AM

N.H. Rep. Kenneth Weyler apologized to the state House of Representatives recently for making “loud remarks” in two previous general sessions.

“I had no right to breach the decorum of this House and its protocol, and I apologize for those remarks. I’m sorry,” he said last Thursday.

In an interview Monday, Rep. Lucy Weber, D-Walpole, a recipient of Weyler’s comments, said she found them inappropriate and annoying.

Weyler, R-Kingston, is the 82-year-old chairman of the House Finance Committee. He resigned that post for a time after a firestorm of criticism in 2021 over a document he sent to lawmakers with conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine, including that they contained tentacled creatures.

Weyler, who has been a state representative for 14 years, said he hadn’t thoroughly read the 52-page document, which also said vaccinated parents had babies with “pitch black” eyes.

He didn’t immediately return a call for comment on Monday.

Weber said Weyler was out of line near the end of the House’s May 2 general session when he yelled, “Give it a rest!”

House Speaker Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry, interjected: “That was completely out of order.”

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Weber was interrupted as she spoke about a bill that would have required school districts to post mandatory reports of school expenses. The bill died.

She returned to the podium a few minutes later to complain about Weyler.

“The same representative who screamed, ‘Give it a rest,’ at me when I was speaking earlier also screamed at me right after the session last time we met [April 11] that I was both ‘evil and stupid.’

“And I find that exceedingly offensive and I would hope that every member of this House would also find it exceedingly offensive.”

On Monday, Weber, who has been a representative for 16 years, said it’s not unusual in the pressure of the House for someone to say something they regret and apologize privately later. But she added Weyler’s remarks went beyond the usual back and forth.

Factors that ramp up that pressure include that the House is narrowly split between Democrats and Republicans, and that some bills have highly contentious provisions, Weber said. This year’s legislative session is set to end in late June.

“The fact is we have dealt with all of the bills that could be dealt with easily, and many are dealt with easily or collegially, and now we’re down to the ones that are difficult and tough and require hard decisions under the best of circumstances. And these are not the best of circumstances.”