About NH Labor

The New Hampshire Labor News is a group of NH Workers who believe that we need to protect ourselves against the attacks on workers. We are proud union members who are working to preserve the middle class. The NHLN talks mostly about news and politics from NH. We also talk about national issues that effect working men and women here in the Granite State.

Today We Celebrate “Women’s Equality Day,” And Continue To Push Forward To Real Equality For Women

Suffragist Picketing“On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified, securing for women the fundamental right to vote,” proclaimed President Obama.  “The product of decades spent organizing, protesting, and agitating, it was a turning point on the long march toward equality for all, and it inspired generations of courageous women who took up this unfinished struggle in their own time.  On the anniversary of this civil rights milestone, we honor the character and perseverance of America’s women and all those who work to make the same rights and opportunities possible for our daughters and sons.”

“In the 21st century, a mother should be able to raise her daughter and be her role model—showing her that with hard work, there are no limits to what she can accomplish,” continued Obama.

Just take a moment to think of all of the incredible achievement women have made in the last 94 years.

“On Women’s Equality Day, we continue the righteous work of building a society where women thrive, where every door is open to them, and their every dream can be realized,” concluded Obama.

No matter how far we have come, there is always work to be done.

“As we mark Women’s Equality Day, we must come together to close the wage gap and ensure that women and men receive equal pay for equal work,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “All across the nation, women continue to make an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. This doesn’t just hurt women, but hurts working Granite State families across New Hampshire. That’s why I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation to help put an end to wage discrimination based on gender.”

“In addition to this wage gap, women face family-unfriendly policies that negatively impact their careers and slow down economic success,” opined Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “These barriers not only hold back women and their families, but also our economy. That’s why I support a women’s economic agenda – because we need policies that will give women a fair shot to succeed.”

“Women’s Equality Day is a call to action and a reminder that in the year 2014, there is still much work to be done toward achieving full equality for women,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

For more than two decades, Jeanne Shaheen has worked to make a difference for women in New Hampshire. As Governor, she strengthened the state’s equal pay law and in the U.S. Senate, she cosponsored both the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen equal pay protections for women in the work place. She strongly supports increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour to give a raise to thousands of working New Hampshire women who currently make up nearly 70% of the state’s minimum wage earners. Last month, she and her colleagues introduced the Not My Boss’s Business Act, which would reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and ensure that employers cannot deny their female employees access to basic health care, like contraception or mammograms.

Senator Shaheen took this as a golden opportunity to highlight the vast differences between herself and her main political opponent, Scott Brown.  “There is a real choice in this election. I’m fighting for equal pay for equal work, to increase the minimum wage to give thousands of hardworking women get a raise, and to make sure women can make make their health care decisions with their doctors, not their employers. My Republican opponents don’t share those values.”

Former Massachusetts Senator, and now New Hampshire Senate candidate, Scott Brown, cosponsored the Blunt Amendment in the U.S. Senate, which would have allowed employers to deny women access to coverage for basic health services they opposed on moral grounds, such as contraception or mammograms. Scott Brown opposes increasing the minimum wage and voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have helped women fight to receive equal pay for equal work. Even Scott Brown’s own campaign co-chair noted that he was out of touch with ‘many, many, New Hampshire women’ on access to contraception coverage.  And when a reporter tried to ask him about the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision he hid in the bathroom rather than discuss the topic.

This should be a wake up call for all women, young and old that we have yet to reach real equality.  Take this day as a reminder to register to vote this year.  It could have been your mother or your great-grandmother that had to fight for their right to vote.  Honor them by registering, and exercising your Constitutional right to vote this November.

 

Read President Obama’s Proclamation of Women’s Equality Day.

Read Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s full Op-Ed on Women’s Equality Day

NH Dems Seek Investigation Into Havenstein’s Campaign Finance Violations

NHDP Asks Attorney General to Launch Immediate Investigation into Failed CEO Walt Havenstein’s Multiple Campaign Finance Violations

Serious Violations Found in Havenstein’s August 20th Filing Come in the Wake of Havenstein’s Ongoing Maryland Tax Evasion Scandal 

walt havensteinManchester, NH—The New Hampshire Democratic Party today requested that Attorney General Joseph Foster launch an immediate investigation into the multiple campaign finance violations committed by failed CEO Walt Havenstein and several of his major contributors. The serious violations found in Havenstein’s August 20th filing come in the wake of Havenstein’s ongoing Maryland tax evasion scandal, which is now in its 57th day.

“Given failed CEO Walt Havenstein’s history of doublespeak, tax evasion, and scandals, no one should be surprised by his hypocrisy when it comes to campaign finance,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley. “Havenstein’s multiple violations of New Hampshire campaign finance law are just the latest example of his scandal-ridden failed leadership and lack of integrity. The only question now is: what will Havenstein say to try to avoid accountability this time?”

As detailed in the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s letter to the Attorney General, “the Havenstein campaign violated New Hampshire campaign finance law by accepting improper PAC contributions; by spending $24,000 on campaign activities prior to registering with the Secretary of State’s office; and providing inadequate contributor information contrary to New Hampshire campaign finance law disclosure requirements.”

“From pledging to repeal health coverage from 50,000 Granite Staters despite cashing in on contracts to implement the law as CEO, to his failure to stop a fraud scandal that cost taxpayers $500 million under his watch at SAIC, and now his multiple campaign finance violations, Havenstein has proved again and again that he can’t be trusted to look out for the priorities of the people of New Hampshire,” added Buckley.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party’s full letter to the Attorney General is included below or here:

August 26th, 2014

Dear Attorney General Foster:

            I write to bring to your attention three serious potential violations of New Hampshire campaign finance law by Republican gubernatorial candidate Walter Havenstein and several of his major contributors, and ask that you launch an immediate investigation.

            It appears, the Havenstein campaign violated New Hampshire campaign finance law by accepting improper PAC contributions; by spending $24,000 on campaign activities prior to registering with the Secretary of State’s office; and providing inadequate contributor information contrary to New Hampshire campaign finance law disclosure requirements.

            Specifically, the New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP) urges that the Attorney General’s Office find contributions by two, unregistered out-of-state Federal PACs to be in violation of RSA 664:4.The NHDP also requests that Mr. Havenstein’s campaign be ordered to comply with campaign finance disclosure requirements and for your office to find a violation on account of the strict prohibition on unregistered campaign spending, along with calling for an appropriate remedy to that violation.

            Mr. Havenstein’s campaign finance violations fall into three categories and each is summarized below:

1.     Acceptance of Contributions from Unregistered Out-of-State PACs.

                  Mr. Havenstein’s campaign report states that he has benefitted from unlawful contributions made by Rogers for Congress – a Federal PAC apparently belonging to a Michigan Congressman, and an entity called Fund for American Opportunity, a Federal leadership PAC affiliated with former Michigan U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham. See Attachment 1 – Havenstein for Governor Statement of Receipts and Expenditures dated August 20, 2014 at pages 5, 13.  Under New Hampshire law, both of these contributions by PACs that are not registered in New Hampshire are prohibited, and therefore the Attorney General should find these contributions in violation and issue a cease and desist order barring further unlawful contributions by these out-of-state PACs.

RSA 664:5 prohibits political committees from promoting candidates with expenditures and contributions unless they are registered with the Secretary of State under RSA 664:3, I.  “Political committee” is defined as any two persons who are working to influence elections and the law is not limited just to New Hampshire persons or PACs.  Out-of-state PACs must register if they are going to make contributions or expenditures here.  Neither Rogers for Congress nor the Fund for American Opportunity have registered as required.

2.     Unlawfully spending $24,000 Before Registering a Political Committee.

                  Mr. Havenstein violated the campaign finance laws of New Hampshire when his campaign began to spend money without registering his political committee.  According to Mr. Havenstein’s report, the first installment of nearly $1.5 million of his own money which Mr. Havenstein has dumped into his campaign was made on March 1, 2014.  See, Attachment 1 at page 7.  Four days later, Mr. Havenstein’s campaign spent $24,000 for “strategic consulting.”   See, Attachment 1 – Expenditures at page 1.  According to the Havenstein for Governor registration at the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office, Mr. Havenstein’s political committee was not registered until April, almost a month after his campaign began spending tens of thousands of dollars on political activities in violation of the law.

            Under RSA 664:3, political committees such as Mr. Havenstein’s “shall register with the secretary of state not later than 24 hours after receiving any contribution in excess of $500 or before making any expenditure in excess of $500, but in no event later than 14 days after formation of the committee.”  While a contribution under New Hampshire law does not include spending a candidate’s personal wealth, political committees must register once they start expending any funds to influence an election — no matter the source of those funds.

            The voters of New Hampshire have a right to know who is spending money to get elected to public office and when.  Registration within 24 hours of spending is required so voters know almost immediately when a candidate begins to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a race. Mr. Havenstein’s covert campaign spending violates New Hampshire law.

3.     Repeated Failure to Document Required Information on Campaign Contributors in Violation of New Hampshire’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Law.

            Mr. Havenstein has violated New Hampshire campaign finance law by not disclosing the occupations or employers of dozens of his contributors or any information at all about the employment location of contributors who have made contributions of $100 or more.  See, Exhibit 1.  RSA 664:6 requires political committees to “file with the secretary of state an itemized statement, signed by its chairman and treasurer showing each of its receipts exceeding $25 with the full name and home post office address of the contributor in alphabetical order and the amount of the contribution, the date it was received, and the aggregate total for each election for each contributor of over $100.” For contributors who give more than $100, New Hampshire law also requires:

      Any listing which exceeds an individual’s aggregate total of $100 for each election             shall be accompanied by the contributor’s occupation including official job title, the name of the contributor’s employer, and the city or town of the contributor’s principal place of business, if any.

            In the first five pages of his report alone, Mr. Havenstein fails to report employers or occupations and in most instances, both, of 45 contributions out of 135 that exceed the 100 dollar threshold for the more detailed reporting. This is just over a third. The numerous omissions go on for many pages.  Mr. Havenstein should be ordered to immediately resubmit his report in compliance with New Hampshire law.

            While admittedly even campaigns exercising due diligence will not be able to obtain on a timely basis the required disclosure information by the date of filing, the sheer scope of the Havenstein campaign’s omissions is indicative of massive neglect in following up with contributors and complying with the letter of the law.  The disclosure requirements are not empty formalities. The requirements are intended to insure transparency by providing information on where contributors work and what they do. The statute requires specificity for a reason.  Mr. Havenstein has shirked the disclosure requirements and he should be ordered to comply immediately so voters have a better picture of just who is funding Mr. Havenstein’s campaign.

            The NHDP looks forward to your investigation and rulings.

Sincerely,

Raymond Buckley

Chair, New Hampshire Democratic Party

Chris Pappas Receives Endorsement of New England Regional Council Of Carpenters

Chris Pappas, via Pappas2012.com

Manchester, NH– Following a strong first term in office, Manchester business owner and Executive Councilor Chris Pappas has received the endorsement of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 118 based on his unwavering commitment to being the eyes and ears of working families in Concord. The Carpenters represent approximately 3,000 Carpenters, Piledrivers, Woodframers and Floorlayers in New Hampshire.

“The United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local Union 118 are proud to endorse Chris Pappas for a second term on the Executive Council. Councilor Pappas brings a strong bipartisan brand of leadership to the Council that cuts through partisanship to get the working families of New Hampshire the results they deserve. Chris has proven himself as a strong advocate for the people of District 4 by being their eyes and ears in Concord, making sure all their voices are heard in state government,” said Local 118 Business Agent Joseph Donahue. 

“The working men and women of the Carpenters understand there is too much at stake this election to sit on the sidelines, which is why we are mobilizing our grassroots base to get out into our neighborhoods to make sure voters know that a vote for Chris Pappas is a vote for New Hampshire’s middle class,” Donahue concluded.

“Ensuring New Hampshire remains a great place to live, work and raise a family remains my top priority on the Council and that means growing and strengthening our middle class,” said Councilor Pappas. “I am extremely honored to have the support of the New England Council of Carpenters and look forward to continuing my work with them to keep New Hampshire moving forward.”

Dozens Of Activists Gather To Walk In “Granny D’s” Footsteps For Change

Daniel_Weeks

Daniel Weeks speaks to the crowd

Over 50 NH reformers Walk in “Granny D’s” Footsteps from Dublin to Hancock to celebrate “Revive Democracy Weekend”

Dublin, NH — On Saturday, August 23rd, dozens of activists converged on Dublin, NH near the former home of legendary reformer Doris “Granny D” Haddock (1910-2010) to continue her long walk democracy. The 6-mile walk was the latest in a series of Granny D marches across the state being spearheaded by the nonpartisan Coalition for Open Democracy and its NH Rebellion campaign to inspire public action for reform.

The walk was led by NH Rebellion founder Professor Lawrence Lessig of Harvard Law School, who on Friday night delivered the final Amos Fortune Forum lecture of the season to a packed hall in Jaffrey, NH to launch the “Revive Democracy Weekend.” Lessig’s theme was the cause to which Granny D devoted the final decade of her life, including a cross-country walk at the age of 90: campaign finance reform.

Professor Lawrence Lessig speaks to the crowd.

Professor Lawrence Lessig speaks to the crowd.

In his address, Lessig cited recent polling data showing that 96 percent of Americans believe that private funding of elections has a corrupting influence on politics, while 91 percent have little hope the system will ever change. He called on attendees to join the walk and “give hope” to fellow citizens who have all but given up on Washington.

The walk concluded with a public celebration in Hancock center, where over 60 walkers and onlookers from NH, MA, VT, NJ, DC, and TX were treated to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream donated by the company’s co-founder, Ben Cohen. At the celebration, Lessig and Daniel Weeks, Executive Director of the Coalition for Open Democracy, addressed the crown about the importance of democratic reform to end the system of corruption in Washington.

Family_of_walkers“Today more than ever, American democracy is under assault from wealthy special interests spending billions of dollars to fund campaigns and lobby the government to advance their own self-interest,” said Daniel Weeks. “We may not have the money to match them, but can put on our walking shoes and take the streets and peacefully demand a government that is of, by, and for the American people,” Weeks said. He also shared how Granny D inspired him to join the reform movement as a student when he heard her speak at ConVal High School in 2000.

Former state senator Jim Rubens, a contender for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, was also on hand to signal his support for citizen-funded elections as a means of ending the corruption of special interest money in Washington. Rubens is facing a difficult primary contest against former Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts and former Senator Bob Smith.

The aptly-named “Granny D Memorial Walk” was also an opportunity for citizens to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Monadnock Region and reflect on the personal sacrifice made by previous generations of reformers in pursuit of a stronger democracy for all. After conducting high-profile walks across the state in January and along the NH seacoast on July 5th, Open Democracy and the NH Rebellion decided to walk the very same route from Dublin to Hancock that Granny D herself often walked while “training” for her cross-country trek in 1999-2000.

Revive Democracy Weekend was sponsored by PACE, Coalition for Open Democracy and its NH Rebellion campaign, and by Stamp Stampede. For more information, visit www.opendemocracy.me

Young_walker

Scott Brown Takes Big Money From A Company That Outsources American Jobs, Locals Discuss

New Hampshire Leaders Discuss Scott Brown’s Role On Board Of Outsourcing Company and Record Of Supporting Breaks For Companies That Offshore U.S. Jobs

Brown Is Cashing In Again, Collecting Quarter Of A Million Dollars On Board Of Outsourcing Company At The Expense Of NH Economy

Manchester – Today, following reports that Scott Brown is lining his own pockets with more than a quarter of a million dollars from a company that outsourced American jobs, New Hampshire economic leaders and elected officials spoke on a conference call about why Brown’s role on the company’s board of directors makes him wrong for New Hampshire. Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier, former DRED Commissioner George Bald, and Nashua State Senator Bette Lasky discussed the negative impact outsourcing has had on local economies in New Hampshire as well as Scott Brown’s record of voting to protect tax breaks for companies that offshore jobs when he was Massachusetts’ U.S. Senator.

“I was really disappointed to find out that Kadant’s focus really is not on creating jobs in New Hampshire or in this country, and that outsourcing is a major part of its business plan,” said former Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald. “I know what Senator Shaheen has accomplished and when you look at that accomplishment it’s pretty significant in terms of creating good jobs. And as far as what Mr. Brown has done for the state of New Hampshire, it is a blank sheet of paper.”

“It’s not only that Scott Brown is profiting from this outsourcing company, but in his first year in Massachusetts as Senator, he voted to protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas,” said Nashua State Senator Bette Lasky. “In New Hampshire we value leaders who invest in our state’s economy and believe in our workforce. Scott Brown is wrong for New Hampshire and the people of New Hampshire deserve better.”

“There’s the politics of watching outsourcing and then the living of outsourcing,” said Paul Grenier, Mayor of Berlin. “Over the course of one generation Berlin has lost over 3800 manufacturing jobs. That’s the end result of some of the policies Scott Brown supported and I could never support him. I’ve worked closely with Senator Shaheen on a number of issues and I could tell you that protecting and creating jobs in the North Country has been of paramount importance to her.”

On Sunday, the Nashua Telegraph reported that Scott Brown has collected more than a quarter of a million dollars as a member of the board of directors of Kadant, Inc., a company based in Westford Massachusetts that touts its outsourcing of American jobs to China and Mexico. Brown’s involvement with the company fits his record from when he was a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts and voted to protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

This isn’t the first time Scott Brown has been caught cashing in on his Senate candidacy and selling his reputation as a former Senator. This past spring, Brown was caught collecting $20,000 at a Las Vegas hedge fund conference.  Separately, Brown was forced to resign from a beauty supply company turned weapons manufacturer that was paying him $1.3 million in stock options as an advisor, and whose executives had been sued for fraud.

As New Hampshire’s Governor and U.S. Senator, Jeanne Shaheen has worked to spur investment in New Hampshire’s economy and create new jobs.  Her support for Trade Adjustment Assistance grants supported the development of advanced manufacturing training programs that helped workers who had lost their jobs because of foreign competition.  Those job retraining programs have been cited by New Hampshire businesses as a reason they chose to locate, and create jobs, in the Granite State.

AFSCME To Call On Senator Ayotte To Take The Minimum Wage Challenge

AFSCME_Logo-2Color

Stand For Working Families

Rally/Press Conference

Urge Senator Ayotte to vote to increase Federal Minimum wage to $10.10  

We will call on Senator Ayotte to take the Minimum Wage Challenge – see what it is like to live on $77.00 per week. Perhaps, this will help her understand the importance of raising the Federal Minimum Wage to give working families a fighting chance to get by.

WHAT:      Press Conference calling on Senator Ayotte to take Minimum Wage Challenge featuring a typical basket of necessities that $77 would buy.

WHERE:     Senator Ayotte’s Manchester Office, 1200 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101

WHEN:      Wednesday, August 27 at 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Below is an image you can share with friends or share it on Facebook from here.

Stand for Working Families- August 2014 Call to Action Flier (2)

 

Concord Fire Fighters: Feltes best to respond & protect middle class families

Editor’s Note: This is a guest editorial from Jim Duckworth of the Concord Fire Department.

feltes3

Dan Feltes at endorsement by the Professional Fire Fighters of NH

As Fire Fighters and Paramedics, we are charged to respond and protect the citizens, workers, and visitors here in the Capital City. We do this 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We see each and every part of our city at all hours of the day and night. And when we are called, we do not ask if someone is rich or poor, old or young, or what neighborhood they are from. We just respond to the situation using our training and talents, and try to leave the situation better than when we found it.

We are supporting Dan Feltes in the Senate District 15 race, because he has made it clear that he will legislate with this same outlook when he is our State Senator. He understands that it doesn’t matter who the citizen is, their background, or socioeconomic status; if they need help, he must do his best to help them. Dan not only has the same prospective as we do, but he has the training and talent to back it up. As a State Senator you must bring to that position your life experiences, vision, and passion to make sure that our government is there to help people and is responsive to their needs.

Dan Feltes has made it clear who he will stand up for when he is elected to the Senate, and that is the people of Senate District 15. Dan’s track record has shown that he works for, and supports, the people who need him. That is the reason the Concord fire fighters are supporting Dan. We understand that in emergencies people count on us, and nothing else matters to us besides getting people out of danger. That’s Dan Feltes’s priority as well; respond to people in need.

As an attorney for New Hampshire Legal Assistance for the last eight years, Dan Feltes has impacted and made better the lives of countless low to middle income families, seniors, and veterans. Most of these people did not have the resources to take care of the situation themselves, but he responded to their circumstance regardless. Dan Feltes was their advocate. Dan Feltes was their voice.

As fire fighters we are never really sure what the next emergency will bring us or how challenging it will be. Challenges that face our state are no different: from our infrastructure, to educating our children, to caring for our seniors, and to ensuring a growing and thriving middle class. These challenges require the best and brightest to work together to achieve positive results and help move everyone in this city, and our state, forward. As our Senator, Dan Feltes will go to work every day with the people of this district as his motivation to do better by them, because that is what they deserve from those that represent them.

Dan is the progressive candidate that will be the voice of our citizens. We know Dan will advocate passionately for the values, programs, and policies that will make a stronger middle class in New Hampshire. He is ready to respond, and we know he will fight tirelessly to protect the people of our district. We know that Dan will not leave anyone behind. And we know that he will leave New Hampshire better than he found it.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Duckworth President, Concord IAFF L#1045

Teachers And Postal Workers To Protest At STAPLES In Boston On 8-27-14

Hundreds of Postal Workers, Supporters to Protest on Steps of City Hall and at Adjacent Staples in Downtown Boston Wednesday

‘Don’t Buy Staples’ Campaign Picks Up Steam
In Home Market 
of Troubled Retailer 

Staples Sign 1 (Mike Mozart Flikr)

BOSTON – Postal Workers and supporters will protest a sweetheart deal between the U.S. Postal Service and Framingham-based retailer Staples at a rally in downtown Boston on Wednesday, August 27.

Who:      Postal workers and supporters

What:    Protest against outsourcing of postal services to Staples

When:    Wednesday, August 27, at 5 p.m.

Where: Steps of City Hall and Staples at One Washington Mall, Downtown Boston (Southside Steps of City Hall Plaza)

With the back-to-school season in full swing, postal workers are urging parents and teachers not to buy school supplies at Staples. School supplies account for approximately 30 percent of Staples’ revenue.

Since January, APWU members and supporters have staged hundreds of rallies in front of Staples stores around the country to protest a no-bid deal with the U.S. Postal Service that established postal counters in office-supply stores.  Last week, protesters rallied in downtown Boston and joined members of the Lynn Teachers Union for a rally at a Staples store in Saugus, Massachusetts.

An internal USPS document makes clear that the goal of the deal is to replace the jobs held by postal employees with low-paying jobs at Staples.

“But this isn’t just about postal jobs,” said John Dirzius, Northeast Region Coordinator for the APWU. “It is about protecting the public Postal Service. Many people are outraged that a cherished public asset is being used to prop up a struggling private company.” The company recently announced another quarter of declining sales, and confirmed plans to close 140 stores in 2014.

“Staples makes business decisions based on the bottom line, not service to the people of the country,” he said.

“A failing private company doesn’t belong in the postal business,” said Bob Dempsey, Vice President of the APWU’s Boston Metro Local. “Postal consumers want reliable service from highly-trained workers who have taken an oath to protect their letters and packages. Staples can’t offer that.”

“The Boston Teachers Union and its 11,000 members strongly support the postal workers who provide an excellent service to the American public,” said BTU President Richard Stutman. “Contracting that service out to a third party will diminish that service and weaken a great American institution. We stand behind our postal workers 100 percent and will urge our members to boycott Staples.”

In the middle of the crucial back-to-school season, Seeking Alpha, a leading investment website, reports that Staples is so “desperate” to win sales that it is offering a 110 percent price-match guarantee on school supplies. “The retailer is admitting that the only way that it can get customers in the door is to practically give some of its products away,” the website reported.

“If Staples wants to give away products, that’s their business,” said Dirzius. “But when the U.S. Postal Service tries to give away a public resource, that’s everybody’s business.”

Staples 8-27-14 FlyerStaples 8-27-14 BACKGROUNDLeft is a complementary flyer to use to invite your friends.

Right is a flyer with background information about the USPS and STAPLES.

Does Scott Brown Even Know There is a Primary in New Hampshire in Two Weeks?

Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr

Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr

What was the #1 take-away lesson from the 2010 Massachusetts special election for US Senate?

Don’t assume voters are just going to give you the election.

The #2 lesson? Voters really don’t like arrogance.

One would think that, after beating Martha Coakley to serve as Massachusetts’ Senator for a couple of years, Scott Brown would have learned those lessons.

It would be a reasonable assumption. BUT. Over the past month or so, the Brown campaign has been acting like it has already won the Republican nomination.

As if Brown is already campaigning against Democrat Jeanne Shaheen – rather than against Republican candidates Bob Smith, Jim Rubens, Walter W. Kelly, Gerard Beloin, Robert D’Arcy, Miro Dziedzic, Mark W. Farnham, Bob Heghmann and Andy Martin.

As if neither the press nor the voting public has any interest whatsoever in the Republican primary that is scheduled for September 9th.

As if the results are already in.

Yesterday, this reached a new level of ridiculousness. Yesterday, there was a Breitbart story – quoting emails that appear to have been provided to Breitbart by someone inside Brown’s campaign – suggesting that former Nashua Telegraph reporter Kevin Landrigan was involved in some sort of conspiracy with Shaheen’s campaign, against Brown.

First thing: Landrigan is a good reporter.   Anyone who has ever worked with him knows he does his research, and he is fair. He doesn’t have any ideological axe to grind. Nobody in New Hampshire politics has ever, ever called him a “friendly reporter”… just “a good reporter.” He has a longstanding, hard-earned professional reputation as “a good reporter.” Everybody with any history in New Hampshire politics knows Landrigan as “a good reporter.”

But Scott Brown’s campaign manager, Colin Reed, doesn’t have that history. Reed spent 14 months as Deputy Communications Director for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; and before that, he worked for Brown’s Massachusetts Senate campaign against Elizabeth Warren.

And yes, Reed was working for Gov. Christie during the famous (infamous?) “Bridge-gate” incident in September 2013. And yes, in February 2014 – not long before Reed left Christie’s press office – Breitbart did try spinning the idea that “Bridge-gate” was some sort of liberal media conspiracy to benefit Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections.

And now that Reed is working for Scott Brown again, Breitbart is spinning the idea that Landrigan is somehow “carrying Shaheen’s water” by reporting that Brown received $270,000 income from a Massachusetts company which has exported jobs.

Hey, we don’t know whether or not these things are actually connected. We’re just wondering.

Mostly, we’re wondering why – at this point in the electoral process – anybody in their right mind would imagine a conspiracy between Landrigan and Shaheen’s campaign.

Brown isn’t running against Shaheen in the election that will be held two weeks from Tuesday.

Brown is running against Bob Smith, Jim Rubens, Walter W. Kelly, Gerard Beloin, Robert D’Arcy, Miro Dziedzic, Mark W. Farnham, Bob Heghmann and Andy Martin.

And, GOP voters still have to weigh in on the question of whether Brown will get through the primary.

Our opinion of yesterday’s shenanigans? Trying to tarnishing a reporter’s professional reputation is a big mistake.

But treating voters as if they don’t matter is a really, really big mistake.

Landrigan’s story, BTW, is definitely worth reading: Brown’s $270K income from Mass. company exporting jobs overseas belies campaign promises.

Kuster Hosts Roundtable on Making College More Affordable for Granite State Students & Families

Kuster convened students, state education leaders, and college administrators to discuss the importance of decreasing college costs and lowering student loan rates

Kuster with StudentsPlymouth, NH – This morning at Plymouth State University, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) held a roundtable discussion on the importance of helping Granite State families afford high quality education so their children can move forward into successful careers. Kuster highlighted her own steps in Congress to make college more affordable.

“My number one priority in Congress is creating more jobs and economic opportunity for Granite State residents, and we must ensure that every Granite State student has access to higher education and the job training they need to be prepared to join the 21st century workforce,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I was proud to bring together students, educators, college administrators, and local officials to discuss the importance of making college more affordable, and I call on my colleagues in Congress to pass legislation I’ve cosponsored that would decrease student loan interest rates and ease the debt burden on Granite State families.”

During this morning’s roundtable discussion, she heard from local students, educators, and education officials about how Congress can best help Granite State families afford college. Kuster and the students were joined at the roundtable by representatives from the NH College and University Council, the NH Higher Education Commission, Campus Compact, and Granite State Management & Resources, among others. These participants shared information about other important state resources that can help students and their families pay for college and qualify for lower student loan rates.

Congresswoman Kuster is committed to ensuring that every Granite State student can afford college and further his or her career. Last year, Kuster successfully fought to prevent the doubling of student loan interest rates for Granite State families. This year, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative John Tierney, she helped introduce the Bank on Students Emergency Refinancing Act, which would allow Granite Staters to refinance their federal and private student loans to the lower rates that are currently available to new borrowers. This important piece of legislation would save thousands of dollars for Granite State students and their families.