For weeks now union members have been canvassing New Hampshire as part of the Labor 2012 campaign. After making thousands of phone calls and spending every free moment knocking on doors, all of our hard work paid off!
With our help New Hampshire cast it’s four electoral votes for President Obama as part of his reelection last night. This is great news for New Hampshire and the rest of the Nation.
Here in New Hampshire many of the union locals are more excited about the other races. We banded together to defeat Ovide ‘Scott Walker on Steroids’ Lamontagne in electing Maggie Hassan as our next Governor. She has already assured us that she will veto any anti-worker legislation including Right To Work for less. Ensuring that we have a labor friendly Governor was the most important part of preserving collective bargaining in New Hampshire. While Right To Work has already been proposed for next years session, we can rest assured it will not pass.
We also celebrated huge victories in our Congressional candidates. Annie Kuster defeated Congressman Charlie Bass (NH-02). We worked with Annie, who received the endorsement from almost every labor organization in the state. Congressman Bass voted to turn Medicare into a Voucher system and gut Social Security. While Annie campaigned on preserving the middle class and protecting our workers.
The big win did not come until after 2 am last night. CNN was the first to call the NH-01 race for Carol Shea-Porter. As the results were coming in, the results were all over the road. Carol was up, then she was down. Carol Shea-Porter will be returning to her seat in Washington DC, and removing one of the most anti-union legislators in Washington, Congressman Frank Guinta. Congressman Guinta, who was backed by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), pushed legislation to end project labor agreements and prevailing wage laws.
With Annie and Carol in our corner we can get back to rebuilding the middle class while we rebuild New Hampshire’s infrastructure. We will also have two amazing advocates for protecting all of our rights as workers in Washington.
New Hampshire workers almost received the biggest surprise of all. Shortly after the polls closed it was reported that NH Speaker Bill O’Brien had lost the largest of the two towns in his district. O’Brien was the one leading the anti-worker charge in the NH House with attacks on collective bargaining, and Right To Work. After hours of waiting the results finally came in after midnight that Bill O’Brien retained his seat by 25 votes. While we never expected O’Brien to loose his seat, it would have made all of our victories just a little sweeter.
The next legislative session will be very different in New Hampshire. We are still awaiting final results on the breakdown of the NH House, we know that the GOP has lost their 3:1 majority. Even after all the gerrymandering in the NH Senate districts the Democrats picked up seats. Now the NH Senate is split with a slight GOP favor at 13-11
Now we start looking to the next legislative session where we can fight to repeal the Voter ID law and other extreme legislation that was passed over the past two years.
However our future looks brighter already.