As we close out another year everyone is taking a moment to look back over the last year. The New Hampshire Labor News has been focused on issues surrounding labor and the middle class in New Hampshire (and beyond). I wanted to take a few minutes to go back and highlight some of our greatest posts and a few you may have missed.
What will you remember about 2012?
For many of us the Presidential election was the biggest thing that happened this year. For the NH Labor News the statics back that up. Our biggest winner of the year was a post written by NHLN Blogger Bill Brickley. As a Letter Carrier (NALC) Bill explained the issues surrounding the funding problems and the fallacy that the USPS is going bankrupt. It was not until Bill connected Mitt Romney to the USPS that the NHLN became a facebook phenomenon with over 6,000 ‘likes’. The post titled, Romney working to eliminate the USPS (July 2012) racked up over 13,000 views in one day and over 30,000 views overall.
Not to be outdone, fellow Letter Carrier and labor advocate Wayne Alterisio chimed in with his post on why we need to ‘Occupy the Election‘. While Wayne’s post did not generate the same numbers as Bill’s it still rounded out the top ten overall.
The New Hampshire Tea Party Experience
As I said we try to focus on the issues in New Hampshire first and foremost. The extreme right wing agenda in the New Hampshire House of Representatives created lots of content. With Speaker Bill O’Brien at the helm, labor was on the front of every newspaper on a weekly basis. O’Brien started with his straight forward repeal of collective bargaining and ended up taking up Right To Work (for less) for a second time. There are too many posts to talk about them all (see some here) but my favorite was when the Speaker took aim at the USPS. He made the claim that ‘Union Thugs’ at the USPS were deliberately delaying his mail in an effort to railroad his election (read post). As it turns out the Speaker tried to blame the postal employees for his mistake.
The local elections presented more chances for the NH Tea Party to show their true anti-worker position. Well known Tea Partier, Ovide Lamontagne, decided to make a run for the states highest office. As a candidate for NH Governor, Ovide received endorsements from many different organizations. None of the endorsements were as vile to union members as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Endorsement. This endorsement and his statement ‘I will be Walker on steroids‘ was all it took for union members in NH to mobilize against him.
The ABC also made another endorsement that caused a stir among union members in NH. The ABC endorsed Congressman Frank Guinta. Guinta lead the charge in the US House to repeal Project Labor Agreements on Federal projects. His anti-union advocacy even won him an award from the ABC. Middle class families did not buy into Guinta’s Tea Party rhetoric either. Now he is spending his last few days in Washington D.C.
2012 was also the year that many Americans realized what an influence ALEC (the American Legislative Echange Council) has in State House’s throughout the country. New Hampshire was no exception.
The NHLN worked closely with Granite State Progress to help bring awareness to ALEC’s influence. GSP released their in depth research on ALEC in NH over the last 30 years. This research reveled the connections between ALEC and Right to Work (for less), Voter ID, School Vouchers, and Union Wage Deductions. As Granite Staters became more aware the people of New Hampshire began to oppose ALEC and ALEC’s model legislation. Throughout the year corporate sponsorship also began to distance themselves from ALEC.
Now as we start 2013 I am hopeful that things will be different this year. With the election of Maggie Hassan as Governor and a Democratic majority in the house, we can rest assured that Right To Work legislation will not pass. This does not mean that we can relax in our due diligence on holding our elected officials responsible for their actions. We at the NHLN will continue to keep pressure on both sides to continue to do what is right for the middle class families in NH.
We Want To Hear From You
What was your favorite post from the NHLN this year? What would you like to see more (or less) of in the coming year. Go to our Facebook Page and let us know what you think.