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The NH Labor News Take On New Hampshire’s Candidates For 2016

The election is only days away and I wanted to take a couple of minutes to talk about who I think you should vote for and why.

President:

Hillary Clinton

Hillary is highly qualified to be President having spent years in politics. She is a smart woman and a smart politician, both of which are needed to get things done in Washington. She also supports; raising the minimum wage, opposes the TPP, supports a workers right to organize and collectively bargain, supports women’s rights and the right to make their own healthcare decisions, wants to make college more affordable while allowing those with student loans to refinance them to a lower rate, and she has laid out a massive infrastructure plan to put millions of people to work rebuilding roads, bridges, electricity lines, internet availability and more.

Her opponent, Donald Trump, has no political experience outside of buying politicians to protect his wealth. Basically he opposes everything above and is in my opinion, completely unstable. I fear that a Trump Presidency would throw us into another world war that would end with Trump launching nuclear weapons and completely destroying everyone on the planet.

There are third party options but I am not a fan of them either.

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, supports the idea that we do not need things like drivers licenses, environmental regulations on corporations, and thinks we should eliminate the minimum wage completely because you know “free market” and stuff.

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, is a very liberal progressive. Her campaign mirrors many of the ideas supported by Senator Bernie Sanders in the Presidential primary. She has a built her campaign on jobs and protecting the environment. The biggest difference between Sanders and Stein is the years of elected experience Sanders has. She lacks any real elected experience and many say she is weak on foreign policy. Since Sanders lost the primary, Sanders and Clinton have worked together to adopt many of the policies that Sanders and Stein were pushing in the primary. Because of the collaboration between Sanders and Clinton on policy issues, I think Clinton is the better choice over Stein.

New Hampshire Governor:

Colin Van Ostern

The Governor of New Hampshire is a very important and powerful position in our state and we must elect the right person for the job. Van Ostern has strong business and political experience and is uncompromising on his values. He has been an outspoken advocate for expanding the state’s Medicaid program and protecting the 50,000 people currently receiving healthcare through the program. He also supports a higher minimum wage and opposes anti-worker laws like the so-called Right to Work bill.

Van Ostern was also instrumental in ending the FairPoint communication strike that lasted for months. He blocked a proposed state contract with FairPoint until the strike was resolved and that was enough to get FairPoint to sit back down with workers and settle their dispute.

Van Ostern has continually voted in support of Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decision. He voted against defunding the program and with Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, continued to push the issue until another vote was held to restore their funding. Unlike Chris Sununu, Van Ostern held fast to his principles to support Planned Parenthood when Republicans like Sununu were spreading lies and attacking Planned Parenthood over a misleading and false videotape.

Chris Sununu comes from a political family, the New Hampshire version of the Bush family, so it is only natural that he is trying to move up the ladder. He claims to be an environmental engineer but does not believe man has any impact on climate change. Reports also came out that Sununu might not have ever had a license as a professional engineer in NH. He was also gifted the CEO position at Waterville Valley after his family purchased the ski resort. Waterville Valley has continued to fall in ski resort rankings and continues to loose visitors every year. This is not the type of leadership we want in the corner office.

US Senate:

Maggie Hassan

Hassan has been a strong leader as Governor of New Hampshire for the last four years. She worked with the Republican controlled legislature to expand Medicaid.  Though she was blocked by Senate Republicans she pushed for higher minimum wage law and stronger protections for working people.

Kelly Ayotte is a bought and paid for politician who is only out for herself.  She voted 90% of the time with her campaign donors, the Koch Brothers.  She opposes increasing the minimum wage, she wants to repeal a woman’s right to choose, blocked those with high student debt from being able to refinance their loans.  She has also been sitting for over 100 days now without holding any meetings or hearings on the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Ayotte is just one example of why nothing is moving in Washington. She voted down party lines and has continued to block President Obama at every turn resulting in years of gridlock.  It is time for Ayotte to go.

The First Congressional District:

Carol Shea-Porter

There is no doubt in my mind that we should reelect Carol Shea-Porter to represent us in Washington. She is a proven fighter for working people and a protector of our planet. She supports expanding Social Security, lowering college tuition costs, higher minimum wage, and was in Congress when the Affordable Care Act was passed so she will continue to support and expand on the ACA.

Her honesty and integrity knows no bounds. In a race with a “Damned liar” and a “Lying carpetbagger from NY,” honesty is a vital part of this election. Congressman Guinta was caught breaking FEC regulations even after he lied about it for years. Shawn O’Connor is simply trying to buy his way into Congress and has lobbed some nasty false accusations at Shea-Porter before he left the Democratic Party to run as an Independent who will caucus with “whoever is in power.”

The Second Congressional District:

Congresswoman Annie Kuster

For four years Congresswoman Annie Kuster has represented the Second District in Washington and she should continue to do so for at least another two years. She is a strong advocate for workers and women’s rights. As a part of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Kuster has continued to fight for our Veterans, ensuring they get all that was promised to them and helping to fight the chronic problem of PTSD that is plaguing many of our Veterans.

As for her opponent, Jim Lawrence, his is your run of the mill TEA Party anti-government Republican. He is the typical smaller government politician who puts corporations above working people. In a recent debate Lawrence opposed a Congressional inquiry to the pharmaceutical industries involvement in the current heroin and opioid epidemic. 

Local Races:

Bottom UpLastly, there are over 400 House races, 24 Senate races and 5 Executive Council races so I cannot possibly tell you about each of them. I implore you to look at the candidates and see what they are saying. These races will have the most impact on your daily life in the next two years and beyond.

Look at where these candidates stand on the issues that matter to working people: Minimum Wage, healthcare and the Medicaid Expansion, expanding rail service, Right to Work, supporting a women’s right to make her own healthcare decisions, and protecting our environment.

To ensure that these local races are not forgotten, I recommend that you do what I am going to do and vote from the bottom up. 

Do your research and then get out and vote.

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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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