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NH Labor News 6/24/12: Sunday News and Politics, Vetos, Occupy Trial


MHT School Budget Issues
Beth LaMontagne Hall’s City Hall: Bout over using trust money for teachers goes five rounds | New Hampshire NEWS0603: “It took four failed votes before the board agreed upon taking $2.3 million from the trust funds.

Committee Vice Chairman Dave Gelinas opened the bidding with a motion to move $2 million from the funds for teachers. When the roll call was taken, the expected opponents of spending the trusts on salaries and benefits voted no: Arthur Beaudry, John Avard, Chris Stewart, David Wihby, Roy Shoults and Mayor Ted Gatsas. There were two swing votes: Erika Connors and Debra Gagnon Langton. 
“I plan to vote no to the vice chairman’s option, quite frankly because I don’t believe it’s enough,” said Langton. Leaving staffing so low next year would be “a huge safety concern for me and should be a huge safety concern for our community,” she said.

Number of candidates on the ballot called into question by GOP – NashuaTelegraph.com: “The dust has settled, and the ballots for the Sept. 11 primary are set.
Maybe it’s no surprise, but despite the total Republican dominance in the New Hampshire Legislature, the Democratic Party did a pretty decent job of covering seats.
As you might expect, Republican and Democratic leaders in this state can’t even agree on what the numbers are.
Democratic Chairman
Raymond Buckley maintains they fielded candidates in 364 of the 400 House districts, or 91 percent.
Republican State Chairman Wayne MacDonald disagrees, concluding that Dems filled in 350 of the seats. or 88 percent.”


Nashua chief pleads for more officers | New Hampshire NEWS06: ““The only way that we are going to make any headway is if we are able to hire officers above and beyond our authorized strength,” Chief John Seusing told the aldermanic Budget Review Committee. “ … I think we can do a better job with additional officers.”

Currently, the police department is authorized to hire 179 police officers, however its budget only provides enough money for 177. In addition, there are now only 164 active officers on the streets because of six existing vacancies, six officers at the police academy and another officer in training.

Alderman-at-Large David Deane, who asked numerous questions about the police department’s budget, said he wants to ensure that there is adequate staffing to curb some of the crime problems in the city.”


A perfect mess: House GOP chooses two big losses | New Hampshire OPINION01: “House Republicans insisted on those and other more restrictive provisions even though they knew that: a) they would provoke a Lynch veto; b) they were opposed by the Secretary of State and municipal clerks, which would give Lynch solid political cover for his veto; and c) there were not enough votes in the Senate to override Lynch’s veto if those provisions remained in the bill. 

Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, rallied the House to its uncompromising position. With his bombast, he made many Republicans feel bold and fearless, as though they were the sharp, glittering steel tip of a grand crusade for electoral integrity. In reality, he had merely led them into a tight little box from which there was no escape, and only the dimmest prospect of victory.”


Capital Corner: A fun day ahead at N.H. Statehouse | SeacoastOnline.com:

The list of bills Gov. John Lynch has vetoed grew substantially last week. The House and the Senate will meet this Wednesday, June 27, to vote on possible overrides of his vetoes. A two-thirds vote in both chambers is necessary to do so.

Lynch vetoed House Bill 1666, which would have required House Fiscal Committee approval of all state contracts. In his veto message, Lynch said, “HB 1666 would dramatically change the process of collective bargaining in New Hampshire by requiring the fiscal committee to approve all state collective bargaining agreements. This runs counter to established law and procedure in New Hampshire, and would, in effect, turn the fiscal committee into its own state negotiating team, potentially requiring dozens of fiscal committee meetings.”


Speaker O’Brien calls laws passed ‘transformative’ | New Hampshire NEWS06: “O’Brien has been in Washington, D.C., this week to “make sure we have some support. The gains we’ve made are substantial, but they’re fragile.” On Wednesday, he spoke before the influential Americans for Tax Reform’s weekly morning meeting, hosted by Grover Norquist.

The House speaker notes that little national attention has been paid to New Hampshire despite the conservative victories.”


Double dose of deja vu in NH congressional races – Boston.com: “CONCORD, N.H.—New Hampshire is heading for a double dose of deja vu when it comes to this fall’s Congressional races.

Though there are some contested primaries, political observers agree that the most likely scenario is a rematch between Republican Frank Guinta and Democrat Carol Shea-Porter in the 1st District and another between Republican Charles Bass and Democrat Ann McLane Kuster in the 2nd. But while the names remain the same, much has changed since 2010, when Guinta ousted Shea-Porter from the seat she held for two terms and Bass narrowly defeated Kuster to regain the seat he had held for six terms before being voted out in 2006.”


A perfect mess: House GOP chooses two big losses | New Hampshire OPINION01: “House Republicans insisted on those and other more restrictive provisions even though they knew that: a) they would provoke a Lynch veto; b) they were opposed by the Secretary of State and municipal clerks, which would give Lynch solid political cover for his veto; and c) there were not enough votes in the Senate to override Lynch’s veto if those provisions remained in the bill. 

Rep. David Bates, R-Windham, rallied the House to its uncompromising position. With his bombast, he made many Republicans feel bold and fearless, as though they were the sharp, glittering steel tip of a grand crusade for electoral integrity. In reality, he had merely led them into a tight little box from which there was no escape, and only the dimmest prospect of victory.”


Notes from an Occupy Trial; Could a Curfew Violation be Ruled a Constitutionally Protected Revolutionary Act? « InZaneTimes: “Once the defense overcame prosecutors objections to his qualification as an expert witness, Jim Pope, a Rutgers University Law Professor, took the stand to make the case that the ends of government have been perverted in the interest of the rich. Using a set of slides familiar to anyone who’s been following discussions of the growing gap between the rich and everyone else, Pope illustrated the nation’s widening income gap, the change in the top marginal tax rate, the recent drop in union membership, and the share of national income claimed by the wealthiest 10% of Americans.

“Are the ends of government perverted?” Attorney Keshen asked.

“There is a gigantic shift in that direction over the last thirty years or so,” the professor responded. “Workers are getting a smaller and smaller proportion of the proceeds of industry,” he added a bit later.”


NATIONAL Labor News
Saunders, New Afscme Leader, Vows Tougher Fight for Rights – NYTimes.com: “LOS ANGELES — For Lee Saunders, the newly elected president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, defeat does not mean retreat.

Just the opposite: less than a month after the union lost its fight to recall Wisconsin’s anti-labor governor, Mr. Saunders is already planning his next campaign. The union is seeking a referendum to repeal a Michigan law that lets the governor appoint emergency managers to run deficit-plagued cities and void their contracts with public sector unions.

“We hope to do in Michigan what we did in Ohio,” Mr. Saunders said in an interview on Friday, referring to his union’s success in backing a referendum last fall that overturned an Ohio law that curbed collective bargaining for public employees.”

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About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News
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