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About NH Labor News

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.

KUSTER ENDORSED BY NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE

A day after marking the 47th anniversary of Medicare at senior centers in Nashua and Salem, Democratic Congressional candidate Annie Kuster today received the endorsement of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) at a press conference in Concord.

Phillip Rotondi of NCPSSM praised Kuster for her commitment to protecting Medicare and Social Security for future generations.

“Annie will take to Washington exactly the kind of common sense leadership needed to protect American families,” said Rotondi. “She is on record and committed fully to fight the tough fight to protect and strengthen Medicare on behalf of New Hampshire residents and all Americans.”

“Every single senior deserves high-quality health care. That’s why Democrats and Republicans passed Medicare in the first place. And that’s why we must keep that solemn promise to our seniors,” said Kuster. “We shouldn’t be undermining Medicare to make room for more massive tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. We should be ending those tax breaks so that we can protect Medicare for our seniors and the next generation.”

In March, Congressman Bass and House Republicans passed a budget that would make deep cuts to Medicare, push seniors into the arms of insurance companies, and force them to pay higher out-of-pocket costs – all while giving massive tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, Big Oil, and companies that ship jobs overseas.

“The facts here are crystal clear: Congressman Bass and House Republicans earlier this year voted for a radical budget that would end Medicare as we know it and force seniors to pay more for their health care, and at the same time give massive tax breaks to millionaires. It’s that simple,” said Rob Friedlander, Communications Director for Annie Kuster. “Congressman Bass can call himself a sensible moderate all he wants, but New Hampshire voters know there is nothing sensible or moderate about voting for a plan that would make deep cuts to Medicare, shift higher costs onto seniors, and push them into the arms of insurance companies – all in order to make room for massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and Big Oil. Those may be Congressman Bass’ priorities, but they are not New Hampshire’s priorities. We need a new approach in Washington that’s focused on protecting and reforming Medicare for future generations, and that’s what Annie is offering in this race. ”

Kuster will work with both Democrats and Republicans to protect Medicare while at the same time cutting wasteful spending and programs we can’t afford. She supports common sense proposals like H.R. 4631, a resolution introduced by a Republican that would increase accountability in Federal spending on conferences. What she does not support are efforts by members of Congress to drastically cut Medicare and balance the budget on the backs of seniors and the middle class in order to pay for tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

In addition to today’s press conference, Kuster marked the 47th anniversary of Medicare yesterday with an op-ed in the Concord Monitor, which is available here.

NH Labor News Election 7/31/12: Kuster Meets Seniors, Candidate Bios, PolitiFact Romney “you did not build that’ and more

Kuster Marks Medicare Milestone with Local Seniors – Nashua, NH Patch: “Kuster has spent years speaking with New Hampshire seniors about issues like aging and healthcare. In 2004, Kuster and her mother, Susan McLane, co-authored “The Last Dance: Facing Alzheimer’s With Love & Laughter,” which chronicles her family’s experience coping with her mother’s diagnosis.”


Candidate Bio: Sylvia Gale for State Rep – Nashua, NH Patch: “Priorities for Nashua and NH:
Maintain  access to quality health care, education, and supportive servcies to all residents of our state.
Assure that proposed legislation is always bought forward for citizen input and review and that the legislative process remains open and equitable for all participants.
Final question: Why are you running?  After observing at close hand all that has taken place in the NH Legislature over the past 18 months, particularly in the NH House of Representatives, I believe that it has become  necessary to restore balance and common sense to the Legislative process. ”


A MUST READ ARTICLE:
PolitiFact | Putting Mitt Romney’s attacks on ‘You didn’t build that’ to the Truth-O-Meter: “President Obama was saying success “is the result of government,” not “hard-working people,” when he said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.””


Obama, Romney camps sound off on tax plan proposals – NashuaTelegraph.com: “President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign put New Hampshire numbers behind its claim that the White House plan for taxes would extend an average $2,200 cut for 500,000 middle-class residents in the state.
The campaign document, citing studies from left-leaning and independent economic think tanks, charges presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s plans for the federal tax code would raise taxes for the middle class in the Granite State by $1,000 or more to pay for retaining tax cuts for wealthier residents.”
“The Obama campaign listed how many lower- to middle-class New Hampshire households making $50,000 to $200,000 a year take advantage at the most popular tax deductions.
Home mortgage interest: 141,000.
Charitable donations: 125,000.
State and local tax deductions: 158,000.
Employee’s tax-free health care benefits: 207,000.”


Candidate Bio: Suzanne Mercier Vail, State Rep – Nashua, NH Patch: “Priorities for Nashua and NH: Successful advocacy and leadership (for constituents), preservation of the NH State Constitution, promotion of jobs, improvement to infrastructure, access to healthcare, attraction to businesses, restoration of affordable high quality education.  Will work to respond to constituents and represent all in a dignified manner with in the spirit of teamwork.

Final question: Why are you running? I care about the true concerns of New Hampshire Citizens and the challenges they face. This has kindled a strong desire to contribute my knowledge and experience by participating in our Citizens’ Legislature.

I hope to work with a diverse team of fellow representatives to provide access to eat better way of life for every citizen and voter in New Hampshire.

I want to spend many thoughtful hours and days helping the citizens of New Hampshire to make New Hampshire a place where people want to be. I want people to feel the freedom to exist here in all ways, specifically; to work, live, seek education, travel, operate a business, heal, relax, play – and feel safe and sound.”


Candidates tackle disabilities | Concord Monitor: “Six candidates for governor pledged their support for people with disabilities at a forum in Manchester yesterday and promised they would seek to end the state’s waiting list for developmental disability services.

“What happens with folks with disabilities in our state isn’t a matter of charity, it isn’t a matter of whether there is leftover money in our budget, it is a matter of civil rights,” said Democratic candidate Maggie Hassan, whose son Ben has physical disabilities. “It is a matter of justice, not charity.”

The forum, hosted by statewide disability rights groups, drew a crowd of 200 yesterday afternoon inside the Executive Court banquet facility of the Best Western. The half dozen candidates – Republicans Ovide Lamontagne, Kevin Smith and Robert Tarr, Democrats Hassan, Jackie Cilley and Bill Kennedy – made short speeches and took questions during the two-hour event.”


From Maggie Hassan FB Page

Maggie is launching an Ice Cream Social Tour across New Hampshire!

The tour will stop in nine cities and towns throughout August. Click the link here to find out when Maggie will be in your area! http://www.maggiehassan.com/maggie-to-launch-ice-cream-social-tour-across-new-hampshire/

 

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NH Labor News 7/31/12: Senator Talk Defense Cuts, Charles Blow Talks To AFT, CWA Fights Against AIDS

Former Pentagon Official: Sequestration Threat Very Real – Nashua, NH Patch: “The pain would be felt in the public and private sectors if Congress cannot avert this disaster, Wilson said.

He said Republicans and Democrats have to stop blaming each other for sequestration and work instead to find a responsible way to reduce the federal budget deficit.

“They have to find a way ultimately to reach consensus.””

(NHLN Note: Read our post about Sequestration and Defense Cuts)


Ayotte, McCain using campaign funds to foot bill for trips through swing states – NashuaTelegraph.com: “The three members of the Armed Services Committee will take part in the forum Tuesday. Although it is billed as a town hall event, it is only open to employees of BAE Systems. It is not open to the public.
In an interview with The Telegraph last week, McCain said he was optimistic a bipartisan agreement could be reached later this year to at least postpone these sequestration cuts that automatically take effect in January if Congress fails to act.”


AFT – A Union of Professionals – Charles Blow: Teachers deserve both greater respect and higher pay: “Blow said many teachers feel an intrinsic need to do everything they can for the children they serve. “Teachers did not become teachers to make a world of money. They became teachers to make a world of difference.”

Teachers deserve both greater respect and higher pay, said Blow, who pointed out that getting young people to enter the teaching profession is one of the major challenges facing our nation.

“Teachers have been so maligned in the national debate that it is hard to attract our best and brightest to the profession,” especially to high-poverty schools, he said. They see teachers “being overworked and underpaid, and they don’t want any part of it.” ”

Video from AFT Convention of Charles Blow.
Link


A Union’s Open Heart Fuels Fight to End Childhood AIDS: “Early this year, Mike Tulloch, a member of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7803 in Washington State, tended to the myriad details of setting up the local’s annual golf tournament fundraiser for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. At the same time, Cristina Pena, a student at the University of Southern California, carried on the active life of a young college woman—a life that would have been impossible without the efforts of Tulloch, the local and all of CWA.”


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NH Labor News 7/30/12: USW Agrees to Contract, MHT Teachers May Lose Again, Shaheen Pushes Rec Programs, and more


Union, Liberty Utilities agree on four-year contract – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Liberty Utilities, which just acquired National Grid’s national gas end electric distribution business in New Hampshire, says it has reached a four-year collective bargaining agreement with United Steelworkers Local 12012-03.
The local represents 82 of Liberty Utilities’ employees, or about 40 percent of its total staff in the state.
United Steelworkers union members provide many of the installation, maintenance and repair services for 87,000 natural gas customers in 30 communities, including Greater Nashua.
The new contract extends into April 2016. Further details weren’t available.”


Nurses ‘pleased’ with ACA court ruling | SeacoastOnline.com: CONCORD — New Hampshire nurses joined their peers across the country in praising the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.

“The New Hampshire Nurses’ Association is pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, not so much for the act itself, but for the action steps it has taken which will provide health insurance to New Hampshire citizens who currently go without care,” said Judith Joy, RN, PhD., and president-elect of NHNA. “It is tragic that our country, leading the world in so many arenas, has been unable or unwilling to make positive decisions to improve the health care of our citizens.

Joy said the ACA has already helped thousands of people in the Granite State by allowing children up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance and by abolishing exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions for children who are among our sickest and most vulnerable patients.


Charter school transportation issue may be revisted in Manchester | New Hampshire NEWS06: “MANCHESTER — Members of the School Committee might decide tonight whether to accept the realities of state law and rescind a decision that provided an additional $82,000 for teachers’ salaries during this year’s budget battle.

In its vote on school spending for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the board cut money to pay for providing transportation to Manchester students who attend charter schools within the city. ”


Sen. Shaheen calls outdoor recreation program funding vital for NH | New Hampshire NEWS06: “Manzer, an active member of the Outdoor Industry Association, said according to a recently released study, the outdoor recreation economy is a $346 billion industry in the U.S. economy, generating 6.1 million jobs annually and driving or generating $8 billion in federal revenue.

“And in New Hampshire that translates into 53,000 jobs and 8 percent of our gross domestic product. So it has a huge impact here,” Shaheen said. “Not just in terms of outdoor recreation, but when you think in terms of tourism, which is the state’s second largest industry.”

Over the years the federal dollars have matched funds to support projects such as the acquisition of Temple Mountain as a state park, she said.”


New Hampshire Labor News | American Taxpayer Money Going To Chinese Companies For US Construction Projects: “Like many people I do my best to try to buy American made products.  Sometimes it is difficult to do.  Even the replacement parts for my American made Chevy were made in China.  So like I said, I try.  I would also hope that our Government follows these same ideals.  This is not entirely the case though.  President Obama has tried to force more local jobs in Federally funded projects by requiring Project Labor Agreements.  These PLAs help by hiring local workers and use American made products.  Take for example a bridge reconstruction project.  These PLAs would be required to use American made steel.  Sadly this is not the case when it comes to state and local projects.”


Monitor Board of Contributors: Pension reform needed | Concord Monitor: “Ultimately, there are only four ways to pay for the unfunded liabilities in the New Hampshire Retirement System: cutting benefits, higher employee contributions, higher local and state taxes, or banking on rosy rates of return.

The unions representing state and local workers argue that lawmakers cannot alter the terms of their retirement benefits from the day an employee starts. They may prevail. If successful, the Legislature would be left with two just tools.

First, they could call on state and local governments to pay more for the retirement benefits of each current employee. Or they could put off those tax increases by pumping up the expected rate of return. If those returns didn’t materialize, future taxpayers would be solely on the hook for any shortfall.”


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NH GOV Election Coverage: Marking Medicare’s 47th Birthday, Hassan Launches Petition Opposing Ovide/O’Brien Plans For State Takeover of Medicare

MANCHESTER – Marking Medicare’s 47th birthday today, Democratic candidate for Governor Maggie Hassan pledged to protect health care for seniors and launched a petition opposing Ovide Lamontagne, Kevin Smith and Bill O’Brien’s proposal for a state legislative takeover of Medicare.

 

“Medicare provides access to critical health care for tens of thousands of New Hampshire citizens. As Governor, I will stand up and protect Medicare for our seniors and access to health care for all of our citizens,” said Hassan.

 

Hassan’s Medicare petition can be found at www.maggiehassan.com/medicare.

 

“Ovide Lamontagne, Kevin Smith and Bill O’Brien want to make this Medicare’s last birthday. The Ovide-O’Brien Plan calls for the state legislature to take over Medicare, and the Ovide-O’Brien plan would let the legislature increase health care costs on seniors by $6,000 or more a year, change eligibility rules and deny access to services. Our seniors can’t afford the Ovide-O’Brien plan for Medicare,” said Hassan.

 

Ovide Lamontagne has said that one of his top priorities as Governor will be to push to get the federal government to “block grant” Medicare and allow the legislature to run it. The House has already passed a bill called for Congress to create an “Interstate Health Compact,” which would allow the legislature to run Medicare.

 

“This legislature has already cut health care for people with disabilities, children and seniors in nursing homes.  Now Ovide Lamontagne and Bill O’Brien want to run Medicare? We need to stop them,” Hassan said. “I am launching an online petition today so that people across New Hampshire can join me in making clear to Ovide Lamontagne and Bill O’Brien that we want them to keep their hands off Medicare.”

 

In April, Hassan, Rep. Donna Schlachman, and former Rep. Paula Bradley held a press conference to speak out against the Lamontagne/O’Brien supported legislation that would allow the New Hampshire legislature to take over and cut Medicare for seniors.

NH Labor 2012 Election News 7/30/12: Kuster To Receive Endorsement, Gilchrist in News, B. Frank for Shea-Porter, and more

KUSTER TO RECEIVE ENDORSEMENT OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE ON TUESDAY

CONCORD, N.H. – Democratic Congressional candidate Annie Kuster will receive the endorsement of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) at a press conference tomorrow, Tuesday, July 31st in Concord. Kuster will be joined by NCPSSM’s Phillip Rotondi for the endorsement, which comes one day after the 47th anniversary of the creation of Medicare.

KUSTER MARKS MEDICARE ANNIVERSARY WITH VISITS TO NEW HAMPSHIRE SENIOR CENTERS

CONCORD, N.H. – Democratic Congressional candidate Annie Kuster today marked the 47th anniversary of Medicare by visiting senior centers in Nashua and Salem to discuss her commitment to protecting Medicare and Social Security.

“Over the past two years, I’ve spoken with countless seniors like those I met this morning who’ve paid into Medicare their entire lives and rely on the benefits they’ve earned,” said Kuster. “Today, as we mark Medicare’s 47th anniversary, we must recommit ourselves to honoring the promise we’ve made those seniors by coming together to protect Medicare and Social Security.

Kuster has spent years speaking with New Hampshire seniors about issues like aging and healthcare. In 2004, Kuster and her mother, Susan McLane, co-authored The Last Dance: Facing Alzheimer’s With Love & Laughter, which chronicles her family’s experience coping with her mother’s diagnosis.

In addition to visiting senior centers in Nashua and Salem, Kuster also authored an op-ed in today’s Concord Monitor marking the Medicare anniversary. The op-ed is available here.


Police investigate harassment of Hudson small-business owner over politically charged remarks – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Jack Gilchrist and small-business owners across the country are who the president has been working for every day – cutting taxes for small businesses 18 times and making key investments in infrastructure to help their businesses hire and grown,” Shulman said. “No one should be attacking hardworking small-business owners.””


Letters: Have Some Sympathy for Jack Gilchrist – Nashua, NH Patch: “And what of the people using Jack as a mascot? They get him wound up with half-truths and parade him in public. Remember 2008’s Joe the plumber? Joe’s complaint wasn’t valid, but was used anyway by the same group using Jack. Their future is in the hands of voters. Let them know what you think of their behavior.

Last, but not least, we have the media. They got the “who, what, and where” parts covered, but did not follow up with “why” this happened. They get an “incomplete” grade on the assignment, but have a chance to make up the work.”


Barney Frank Touts Shea-Porter, Bashes Tea Party – Merrimack, NH Patch: “Barney Frank is helping fellow Democrat Carol Shea-Porter raise campaign cash, lending his name to an end-of-month fund-raising email.

The Massachusetts congressman’s stated goal is to raise $10,000 by Tuesday at midnight. Frank, in the pitch to Shea-Porter’s email list, writes:

“The Tea Party extremists have essentially taken over the Republican Party, and the right wing majority on the Supreme Court has guaranteed that these extremists will have virtually unlimited fat cat money being spent on their behalf. Since their substantive record is indefensible, they have gone on the attack, and Democratic candidates face a barrage of twisted, demagogic attacks.””


Lamontagne: GOP has ‘historic opportunity’ in N.H. – Fosters: “Lamontagne said he would oppose programs established by the Affordable Care Act, and would seek to create parallel programs better suited to New Hampshire.

Although a ruling last month by the U.S. Supreme Court upheld much of President Barack Obama’s health care legislation, it also cast doubt on whether states like New Hampshire will expand eligibility for the Medicaid program, as intended in the bill.

The Affordable Care Act calls for states to begin offering Medicaid benefits to virtually all people under 65 who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty rate. To encourage states to expand Medicaid coverage, the federal government would subsidize the lion’s share of the expansion costs during the first few years.”


Polish Solidarity distances self from Romney visit
“Regretfully, we were informed by our friends from the American headquarters of (trade union federation) AFL-CIO, which represents more than 12 million employees … that Mitt Romney supported attacks on trade unions and employees’ rights,” Solidarity said in a statement.

“Solidarity was not involved in organizing Romney’s meeting with Walesa and did not invite him to visit Poland.”


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NHLN Labor 2012 Election News 7/29: LONG, PolitiFact On NH Budget, 1st Lady in NH, NH GOV Race Info, and much more

PolitiFact: Republican group’s sign twists reality of state budgets – NashuaTelegraph.com: ““NH DEMOCRATS $1 BILLION DEFICIT. NH REPUBLICANS UNDER BILL O’BRIEN BALANCED BUDGET,” the sign reads, referring to the House speaker.

Our ruling
The New Boston Republicans’ sign makes some big claims in only a few words. It wrongly describes a $1 billion interim projection as a deficit, ignoring the state law that mandates a balanced budget and the fact that the Democrats actually produced a $17.7 million surplus.
The Republican group’s sign is twisting the reality of the state budgets for partisan reasons and leaving people with a false impression. We rate it False.”


Michelle Obama in NH This Week – Nashua, NH Patch: “Michelle Obama is scheduled to be in New Hampshire on Thursday for a series of campaign stops and a fundraiser.

She’s scheduled to attend a private fundraiser at 11:30 a.m. at the home of Stonyfield Farms founder Gary Hirshberg and his wife Meg in Holderness. Her first public stop will be at the Laconia Middle School at 3 p.m., followed by an event at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester at 5:15 p.m.”


Candidate Bio: Angie Kopka, Ward 1 State Rep – Nashua, NH Patch: “Priorities for Nashua and NH include providing adequate supports and services to NH’s senior citizens. Improving the state’s infrastructure (roads, bridges, rail, etc) so as to make NH more attractive to new businesses and industries. Expanding and enhancing opportunities for NH’s women and girls.
Final question: Why are you running?  “New Hampshire is a good place with good people and I want to see our state make progress and continue to provide opportunities for all of our citizens.””


Disabilities rights groups host forum for NH gubernatorial candidates: “MANCHESTER, N.H. — All six candidates running for governor in New Hampshire are attending a forum focused on people with disabilities.

Sunday afternoon’s forum in Manchester is sponsored by numerous organizations, including the Disabilities Rights Center, ABLE New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Republicans Ovide Lamontagne, Kevin Smith and Robert Tarr are participating, along with Democrats Jackie Cilley, Maggie Hassan and Bill Kennedy.”


Letter: Cilley provides leadership we need | Concord Monitor: “I am voting for Jackie Cilley for governor. I worked with Cilley for almost 10 years in the Legislature and have great respect for her authenticity, integrity, wisdom and executive ability.

Cilley was born, raised and educated in Berlin, earned two degrees from the University of New Hampshire, including an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business, taught for 25 years at Whittemore following graduation, worked in both the private and public sectors, started her own marketing and research firm as well as a family business with her husband and together with him, raised five sons. She served four years in the House and four in the Senate.”


Cilley, Hassan present tough choice for Democrats | SeacoastOnline.com: “Ronnie Werner is undecided about her choice in the Democratic gubernatorial primary Sept. 11. The retired social worker admits this is not her normal state of affairs.

“I’m a proud, card-carrying Democrat,” said Werner, a 66-year-old grandmother who has lived in New Hampshire for 18 years. “I’m a mouthy activist and usually by now, I’ve made a commitment and signed on early to get involved in the primary and general election campaigns. I’m a divided soul.”

Werner said she is divided because she likes and admires the two top Democratic candidates — former state Sen. Jackie Cilley of Barrington and former state Sen. Maggie Hassan of Exeter, both of whom were voted out of office in the Republican-wave election of 2010″.


“Pledgemeister” Lashes Out at Jackie Cilley | Jackie Cilley: “(Barrington) Attempting to flex political muscle and influence elections in New Hampshire, Grover Norquist’s ultra right-wing PAC, Americans for Tax Reform, came out swinging at Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Jackie Cilley.  In an article on the their website, the Norquist PAC took aim at Cilley for her refusal to take his special interest anti-tax pledge.”


N.H. without 100 years of Democrats | SeacoastOnline.com From Jim Splaine: “Nationally, thanks to Democrats (remember Franklin D. Roosevelt?) we wouldn’t have Social Security for our senior citizens. More would be homeless, hungry and on our streets and alleyways begging for handouts.

Without Presidents Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and, again, mostly Democrats fighting against mostly Republicans, we wouldn’t have Medicare, which has improved the lives of many millions of our citizens, making a level of health care available in our older ages even for those of us who aren’t millionaires or otherwise beneficiaries of other insurance systems.

Thanks to President Barack Obama, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, and almost exclusively Democrats, we have a new law going into effect making health care affordable to most Americans, providing for a stronger nation and healthier population during the upcoming unpredictable decades of international challenges.”

Jim Splaine is a former longtime Democratic state representative, state senator and assistant mayor from Portsmouth. His political column appears every other week in Seacoast Sunday, and he can be reached at jimsplaine@aol.com


Colo. shooting hasn’t swayed NH legislators’ views on gun ownership – NashuaTelegraph.com: “State laws vary widely, and New Hampshire is considered to be within the upper tier of states that recognize the rights of individual gun owners.
As in Colorado, New Hampshire residents can buy assault weapons since a federal ban on their purchase expired in 2004.
And there’s no state permit required to buy a firearm in New Hampshire unless the owner intends to carry it concealed.
Earlier this year, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave New Hampshire a score of 6 out of 100, which is in the “weakest’’ category.
The grade was still higher than 22 other states.”


State House Dome: NH awaits hospital tax return to balance budget. . . or not | New Hampshire NEWS0604: “A Little Truth in Advertising: Legislative leaders said in a news release Friday they returned $1.6 million in unspent money to the state’s general fund for the recently concluded 2012 fiscal year.

That looks good, but it does not tell the whole story.

For the first time, the 2012-13 state operating budget required the legislative branch to return unspent funds, something state agencies have had to do forever.

Lawmakers tell department heads to avoid spending between 2 and 5 percent of their budgets to make it so less revenue is required to cover department expenses.”


Voting records reviewed for Stratham incumbent reps. | SeacoastOnline.com: “We continue this week reviewing the records of incumbent members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives who have chosen to stand for re-election this year. The highly-charged and partisan atmosphere in the House during the last session necessitates a close look at the work of these people who are seeking to again serve in that chamber.

All four Stratham residents who served in the last legislative session as part of the eight-member delegation from District 13, which included Exeter and North Hampton, are seeking re-election this year.

A House redistricting plan passed last session will give Stratham a district of its own next year, District 19, with two seats, along with one “floaterial” seat that it will share with Exeter, Newfields and Newmarket, which will be designated as District 36.”


ROMNEY SUPPORTER PUSHING TO REPEAL AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

Bondi: ‘Obamacare’ repeal likely under Romney | New Hampshire NEWS0605: “MANCHESTER — The Supreme Court’s ruling that a penalty for not buying mandated health insurance may be considered a tax will make it easier to repeal the Obama administration’s health care law next year if presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is elected President, according to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

“I think we have a very good, good shot” at Republicans garnering 51 required votes in the Senate to kill the law, Bondi said in an interview Saturday at the Puritan Backroom.”


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NH Labor News 7/29/12: Block Voter ID, NH Firefighter at 82 Still Works, Bread & Roses, and more


Block, then repeal state’s voter ID law | Concord Monitor: “The voter ID laws enacted by legislatures in New Hampshire and at least nine other states have nothing to do with fraud and everything to do with a Republican campaign to suppress the vote and steal elections. We urge the League of Women Voters and the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union to consider legal action to bar implementation of the onerous new law here.

Photo identification laws unfairly discriminate against voters who are young, poor, elderly or members of a minority. The Brennan Center of Justice at the New York University School of Law estimates that 11 percent of eligible voters lack a photo ID. More than 1 million of them are in voter ID states, have incomes below the federal poverty level and live far from the nearest source of a valid ID. They are disproportionately black, Hispanic and poor. They also tend to vote Democratic. Disenfranchising them is the whole point of tough voter identification laws.”


NH firefighter, 82, still answers call – Worcester Telegram & Gazette – telegram.com: “NEWBURY, N.H. —  New Hampshire volunteer firefighter Mike Croteau vividly recalls working round the clock to fight the fire on Mount Sunapee that devoured 1,700 acres in 1947.

He was 18 and a two-year veteran of the department. Today at 82 he remains an active firefighter — swinging himself into the 2,000-gallon tanker truck he drives to fires and the rescue truck he drives to medical emergencies.

Croteau, of Newbury, was stunned to receive a commendation this month from Gov. John Lynch on his 67 years of service as a firefighter. He thought he was attending a meeting to lobby for federal funds.”


Lawrence commemorates the centennial of the Bread and Roses Strike – Travel – The Boston Globe: “A century later, Lawrence’s long-abandoned woolen mills are once again quiet, but the Bread and Roses Strike and the city’s industrial past still resound inside the visitors center of Lawrence Heritage State Park. The building itself, a restored boarding house with original beams and brickwork, is a relic from one of Lawrence’s first mill complexes. Two floors of interactive exhibits trace the history of the city from its creation in the 1840s as a strategically planned manufacturing city imposed on a pastoral stretch of the Merrimack to the present day.

Visitors can peek inside the windows of models of textile mills and civic buildings to view artifacts and photographs. Another model, a pseudo proletariat dollhouse, offers a glimpse inside a typical boarding house, and a full-scale replica of a tenement kitchen illustrates daily life for the mill workers cramped inside. Black and white photographs recall the mills’ heyday when Essex Street stores remained open until 10 p.m. on Saturday nights and the city produced 275,000 miles of cloth per year.”


State’s 2012 budget awaits Medicaid Enhancement Tax to show either red or black ink at fiscal year’s end | New Hampshire OPINION02: “Medicaid Enhancement Tax: Whether the state closes its fiscal 2012 books in the red or the black depends on one hospital’s Medicaid Enhancement Tax returns, which as of Friday was still outstanding, sources say.

If that hospital — whose identity is confidential information by law — is one of the state’s largest hospitals, such as Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Manchester’s Elliot Hospital or Concord Hospital, the state’s books will likely end the fiscal year in the black, but if it is small facility, such as Cottage Hospital or New London Hospital, the budget will likely be in the red.”


Northern Pass foes: Can you hear us now? 1 cell phone tower is enough | New Hampshire NEWS05: “Northumberland’s planning board is expected Wednesday to approve the tower on Morse Mountain; residents at last year’s town meeting unanimously rejected the Northern Pass project, he said.

“It’s been priority Number 1 to get cell service in town because everyone understands we need this, so you can even come to town to do business,” Rossetto said. “Unless you look for it (the cell tower), you’re not going to see it. The Northern Pass is going to be a gash down through the White Mountain (National) Forest and the beauty of New Hampshire for someone else’s benefit.””


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NHLN Labor 2012 Election News 7/27: Maggie Told To Drop Over Jokes From Crowd, State Districts Changed, DNC Chair in NH, and more

GOP candidates shun calls for Sen. Maggie Hassan to drop out of gubernatorial race | New Hampshire NEWS06:“I think it was clear that Maggie was kidding, at least I took it that way,” Smith said in a statement provided to the New Hampshire Union Leader. “I fully expect her to remain in the race as she deserves the chance to compete for her party’s nomination, and I’m confident that as a Republican I will defeat whichever Democrat I face in the general election based on the quality of my ideas, my message, and hard work.”

Lamontagne’s campaign likewise downplayed the incident and also said Lamontagne does not believe Hassan should withdraw.

“No, Ovide does not agree that Senator Hassan should drop out of the race because of a ill-conceived, off-hand comment,” said Tom Cronin, Lamontagne’s communications director. “Ovide is campaigning every day on the issues that matter most to voters — jobs, health care, energy prices, and the strength of our economy. If he is chosen as our party’s nominee, he looks forward to debating the stark contrast that exists between himself and both Senator Hassan and Senator Cilley on those issues, leaving it to the voters to decide who has the right experience, temperament, and vision to lead this state.”


Pay attention to state races | SeacoastOnline.com:It’s not too early for Democrats to begin researching the differences between their two Democratic candidates, former state Sen. Jackie Cilley of Rochester and former state Sen. Maggie Hassan of Exeter.

Cilley has landed the endorsement of many of the state’s labor unions, while Hassan got a nice boost Wednesday when President Bill Clinton stumped for her and endorsed her candidacy.

It appears the two have similar voting records and the one main difference at this point is Hassan says she will take a pledge not to implement a broad-based sales or income tax, while Cilley has rejected the pledge. We’ll have an in-depth look at this race in Seacoast Sunday.

On the Republican side, Manchester lawyer Ovide Lamontagne is contending with Kevin Smith, former president of the conservative Cornerstone Action. Both are social conservatives who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. Both also say they are fiscal conservatives. As in the Democratic race, the candidates seem to have more similarities than differences, and Republican voters will need to spend some time getting to know each candidate to make an informed choice. We’ll have an in-depth look at these two candidates in the Aug. 5 edition of Seacoast Sunday.


DNC chair Wasserman Schultz rips Romney’s health care plans – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Romney endorsed the federal budget outline that passed the U.S. House last year that would convert Medicare into a voucher program.
“This is simply unacceptable for Mitt Romney to ask of seniors here in the Granite State and across the country who have spent a lifetime working for these benefits,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“Telling them that they should pay more or get less isn’t just counterintuitive. It is disrespectful, it is irresponsible and it is wrong.””


Patten Endorses Underdog Kennedy – Concord, NH Patch: “State Rep. Dick Patten, D-Concord, has endorsed and signed on to help political underdog Bill Kennedy in his race for the governor’s office.

Patten, who is also a Ward 8 Concord City Councilor, said he decided to back the political underdog after getting to talk to him and finding out that he was a genuine person. He said he was interested in booking Kennedy for his “Around Town” cable show on ConcordTV to find out what he was all about and couldn’t reach him. But after meeting him, he knew he had to back Kennedy and help him out.”


First Lady Michelle Obama to visit NH – Boston.com: “First Lady Michelle Obama is planning a series of campaign stops in New Hampshire next week. She’ll make a swing on through Holderness, Laconia and Manchester.

The events on Thursday include an early afternoon fundraiser in Holderness.

That will be followed by grassroots events designed to boost on-the-ground support in Laconia and Manchester later in the day.

The First Lady’s events in Laconia and Manchester are free and open to the public. Tickets are required due to limited space, and will be available to the public starting on a first come, first serve basis.

They’re available from Obama for America and Organizing for America offices around the state.”


Romney plan would force seniors out of nursing homes, says DNC leader | SeacoastOnline.com:
In a statement released in advance of Schultz’s visit, Wayne MacDonald, chairman of the N.H. Republican State Committee, said, “Debbie talks a good game, but her rhetoric ignores reality.

“To help pay for Obamacare, the Democrats cut Medicare benefits by $500 billion, a plan supported by (Democratic Congressional candidates) Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter,” MacDonald said. “At a time when seniors face increasing costs, it’s outrageous that Democrats not only cut this important program, but they also have no plan to prevent it from going bankrupt. If Shea-Porter and Kuster really support seniors and Medicare, they’ll use this visit by their party leadership to explain to voters why they supported cutting $500 billion from Medicare.”


Todays image to share.

NH Labor News 7/28/12: Legislators Say Do More With Less, Shaheen Goes “Green”, and other National Labor News

Legislature returns $1.6 million to general fund | New Hampshire NEWS06: “Senate President Peter Bragdon thanked employees for their sacrifices to enable the savings through fewer staff members, a salary freeze and “making do with less.””

NHLN Note: I laugh at how the “legislators” are talking about shared sacrifices, when it is not their pay that is being frozen and their cost of benefits going up.  Lets see these lawmakers give back all the money they used for gas ans tolls and then we will talk about shared sacrifice.


Shaheen pitches energy bill during green energy solutions company visit in Hudson | New Hampshire NEWS02: “Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. D-N.H., touted her energy bill Friday while touring a company known for green energy solutions.

“There is a broad coalition of support for energy efficiency and its ability to strengthen our economy and address our nation’s energy needs,” Shaheen said. “Companies like EnerTrac are a terrific example of why. They are creating jobs here in the Granite State by making innovative products that will save consumers and businesses money.””


Obama’s Weekly Address: Urging the House to Do ‘What’s Right’ for the Middle Class – ABC News: “President Obama is using his weekly address to once again urge House Republicans to do “what’s right” and pass middle-class tax cuts, saying their insistence on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans shows what’s at stake in the election.
“It comes down to this,” Obama said. “If 218 members of the House vote the right way, 98% of American families and 97% of small business owners will have the certainty of knowing that that their income taxes will not go up next year.”
The president said lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree with his plan to extend the Bush-era tax rate for families earning less than $250,000 a year.”


National Labor News
25 highest paid CEOs in Massachusetts – News – Boston.com: “Just how much do the highest paid chief executives earn each year in financial compensation? See the compensation as reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission in annual reports for 2011. Companies listed were a part of an AFL-CIO survey of the country’s largest 3,000 companies. Boston.com updated AFL-CIO data when newer information was available.

Data listed is for 2011 compensation, which includes, in many instances, salary and stock options, among other payments”


Flight Attendant Union Reaches Tentative Agreement At American Eagle Despite Difficult Bankruptcy Conditions – PR Newswire – The Sacramento Bee: “WASHINGTON, July 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — American Eagle Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), announced a tentative agreement today after months of negotiations between AFA and American Eagle management. Once approved by union leadership, the agreement will provide Flight Attendants with the opportunity to vote on whether to ratify the agreement instead of being subject to the bankruptcy court’s imposition of terms dictated by management.

“Our AFA negotiations team has worked tirelessly to mitigate very onerous concessionary demands by management. Over the past four months, we have been able to stave off drastic concessions which would have decimated the pay and work rules of American Eagle Flight Attendants,” said Robert Barrow, AFA American Eagle President. “This is certainly not the agreement we were negotiating prior to the bankruptcy, nor does it accurately reflect the vast contributions American Eagle Flight Attendants make to our carrier each day. However, this agreement blunts management’s most onerous demands, gives us the opportunity to decide for ourselves how to move forward, and provides a foundation for the future…

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for over 65 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants at 21 airlines come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.”

Statement by New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento on the End of the Con Ed Lockout

ALBANY, NY (07/26/2012)(readMedia)–

This was one of the toughest contract fights New York has seen in recent memory, and I could not be prouder of the way the Labor Movement responded. Up against Con Ed’s billions, union members from across New York City and State joined together to support the 8,500 workers and their families that were forced to the street. Public sector, private sector, and building trades, our unions wholeheartedly embraced Local 1-2 workers as their own, walking picket lines, rallying in Union Square, and reaching out to our communities.

This fight was never about just the workers of Con Ed; it was about all New Yorkers whose wellbeing was jeopardized by the lockout. It was about all workers who’ve ever been pushed around. It was about standing up for what’s right.

I commend Local 1-2 President Harry Farrell and his members for remaining strong and united to protect the rights and dignity of workers. I also thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in bringing about a settlement, as well as all elected leaders who voiced their support for the locked out workers.

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