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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.

NHLN Election News Clips 8/17: Hassan Doesn’t Live Like Us, Ovide Agenda Would Hurt Workers, LTE on Guinta and much more

Letter: Hassan doesn’t live like the rest of us | Concord Monitor: “‘ve been seeing the television ad in which Democratic gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan says that she cares about the things our families care about. Is that really true?

Let’s see, property taxes: Hassan doesn’t pay property taxes because her family has lived for years in Phillips Exeter Academy housing where her spouse is the principal.

Heating oil and electricity costs: See above.

Making ends meet: Her spouse makes over $300,000 per year.

Quality of education: Her kids went for free to the sixth best private prep school in country, according to Forbes’s Top 20 list of 2010, at cost of over $30,000 per year.

Cost of gasoline: The school provides and maintains a car.”

Hassan praises ruling ordering Local Government Center to return $50 million dollars to local communities

MANCHESTER – Democratic candidate for Governor Maggie Hassan praised a ruling by a state regulatory board which ordered the Local Government Center to refund more than $50 million dollars to cities and towns.

Following an investigation and hearing process, state officials found that the Local Government Center violated state law by improperly collecting and retaining surplus from local communities, improperly transferring assets, and spending the wrongfully collected funds for purposes not permitted under state law.

“The return of $50 million dollars improperly collected from our local communities is a great victory for New Hampshire taxpayers. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues in the state Senate to provide the Secretary of State the authority necessary to investigate the improper behavior of the Local Government Center,” said Hassan. “During this difficult time when the legislature has down shifted costs onto municipalities and taxpayers, this is some welcome relief.”

“I want to recognize the important contributions of Dave Lang, President, Professional Fire Fighters – New Hampshire and all of his members for their efforts to reveal improper actions by the Local Government Center.”

Campaign Monitor 2012: The power of ‘The Pledge’ | Concord Monitor: “The political lore in New Hampshire says you can’t even hope to be governor without taking “The Pledge” against broad-based taxes. There’s a reason.

Republican Mel Thomson, with the help of the Union Leader, made the pledge the center of his six years as governor in the 1970s. Democrats Arnie Arnesen and Mark Fernald later rejected the pledge, supported an income tax and lost their races.”

Lamontagne agenda would hurt workers – NashuaTelegraph.com: “When Ovide Lamontagne went after the minimum wage and supported the “right-to-work” bill, I wondered why he had the idea that those kinds of policies would help working Granite Staters.

And now that he’s launched his campaign for governor, again, I’m wondering: “Who is Lamontagne, really? And what does he stand for?”

It turns out Ovide is no stranger to back-room deals or partisan politics. With three failed political campaigns under his belt, he’s the definition of a perennial candidate who runs for any office that’s open.

He has spent more than 20 years fighting for the 1 percent as a career lawyer, even helping sex offenders escape criminal charges if that was what his clients wanted. If elected, he’ll privatize everything from schools and towns to our state government.

Who is Lamontagne? He is a tried and true crusader for the 1 percent who will pursue an extremist agenda filled with divisive policies over a sensible one that will actually support working people of New Hampshire.”

OP/ED: Guinta’s the Fox Guarding the Henhouse – Hampton-North Hampton, NH Patch: “How funny would it be for Pinocchio to be the spokesman for a lie detector manufacturer, or Mitt Romney to chair a “tax return transparency” committee? It makes just about as much sense as Congressman Frank Guinta to serve on the House Finance Committee.

Rep. Guinta serving on the committee that oversees the nation’s banking rules is just further proof that Washington’s corruption has gone from somewhat covered up to completely naked. How can we trust Frank Guinta to handle the world’s biggest banks, when he’s currently under federal investigation for refusing to come clean about an account with hundreds of thousands of dollars which he used to cut checks totaling $355,000 to his own campaign in 2010?”

Bonfire of pledges to be held tonight | Concord Monitor: “”If you take a pledge to all of them, why vote?” Heath said. Or listen to the debate before voting, she added.

The AFL-CIO sent Heath a postcard asking her to answer an online survey by the end of July to be considered for an endorsement. The New England Citizens for Right to Work, meanwhile, wrote to Heath twice. The second letter arrived by certified mail with $4.55 of postage.

“I don’t want to list you as ‘not responsive’ and therefore I am sending you this reminder,” wrote John Kalb, the group’s executive director, in the second letter.”

Jackie Cilley Meets With 40 in Hampton – Hampton-North Hampton, NH Patch: “Former state Sen. Jackie Cilley, of Barrington, was in Hampton on Friday, Aug. 10, at a house party attended by about 40 local residents interested in learning more about her campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor in the upcoming Sept. 11 state primary.

Cilley is in a close race with former state Sen. Maggie Hassan, of Exeter. Also running for the Democratic nomination is and retired military officer Bill Kennedy, of Danbury.”

Billing President for visit ruffles some feathers in Windham | New Hampshire NEWS0605: ““As a member of the Board of Selectmen I take strong exception to Chairman Breton unilaterally deciding that the town of Windham is going to bill the Obama campaign to offset costs incurred by the town,” DiFruscia said. “In my opinion this is clearly an abuse of his position as chair of the Board of Selectmen. This is a decision to be made by the five members of the board.””

Letters: Ignore History and You Are Prone to Repeat It – Nashua, NH Patch: “Twelve years later Bill Clinton was elected president with the country experiencing a major recession and the budget deficit had  more than tripled to $260 billion.

So, it was decided to do two major things.

1) Closely look at federal spending and identify and eliminate wasteful programs.

2) Raise Taxes on the wealthiest and most fortunate americans.

What happened as a result? Over 22 million jobs were added. Plus, George W. Bush was handed a $230 billion budget SURPLUS!”

Romney plans N.H. visit shortly after the president’s – Fosters: “As the Lilac City gears up for the arrival of President Barack Obama this weekend, Republican hopeful Mitt Romney and his campaign announced a visit to New Hampshire as well, for the following Monday, somewhere in the Manchester area.

The “Obama for America” campaign has lampooned Romney’s recent vice-presidential selection of Paul Ryan, stating the party’s vision for the country is drastically different from that of the Democratic Party. Ryan, a U.S. congressman for Wisconsin and chairman of the House Budget Committee, is also set to join Romney in New Hampshire on Monday. ”

PolitiFact | Checking the facts on the $700 billion Medicare ‘cut’: “Seems like just yesterday that the big Republican talking point was that Obamacare cuts $500 billion from Medicare. Now, it’s $700 billion.

That’s the number — $716 billion to be precise — that’s gotten tossed around this week.

We’ve posted two fact-checks to explore the back and forth between the campaigns.

In an interview on the CBS program 60 Minutes, Mitt Romney said Obama “robbed Medicare” of $716 billion to pay for “Obamacare.” We found that exaggerated what Obama had done in the health care law.

While the health care law reduces the amount of future spending growth in Medicare, the law doesn’t actually cut Medicare. Savings come from reducing money that goes to private insurers who provide Medicare Advantage programs, among other things. The money wasn’t “robbed.” We rated the statement Mostly False.”

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Fact #3: Ryan Would Raise Taxes on the Poor While Cutting Taxes for the Wealthy While the Ryan budget makes permanent all of the Bush tax cuts for high-income households that are slated to expire at the end of 2012, it would not extend the tax cuts for working-poor households that were enacted under President Obama that are also scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

NH Labor News 8/17: Thugs Don’t Wear Short, MHT Deems Firefighter A Hero, LGC Owes 50 Million, and more

Union thugs don’t wear shorts, Bill | Concord Monitor: “House Speaker Bill O’Brien, slayer of straw men, is up in arms again. This time he’s aiming at the “union thugs” at the post office who he alleges have developed a case of the slows when it comes to delivering his campaign mail. Like O’Brien’s attack on the non-existent problem of voter fraud, undocumented problem of welfare fraud, and barely existent problem of nepotism in government, his attack on postal workers is fueled by politics and paranoia, not proof.”

Manchester, NH fire deemed suspicious, firefighter hailed a hero: “Tears were hard to hold back as sisters Phylicia Smith and Brenna Wilson thanked and hugged the off duty firefighter who ran into their burning home Monday.

“We were worried about the kids so thank you very much for helping all of us here,” Wilson said to Lt. John Couture, who was driving with his son in downtown Manchester when he noticed thick black smoke pluming out of the Central Street fire and rushed inside.  He was there before the fire trucks.

“It’s nothing different than anybody else would have done.  You do what you gotta do,” says a humble Couture.”

NH’s LGC ordered to refund $50 million – News – Boston.com: “A nonprofit organization that manages health insurance pools for public workers and retirees in New Hampshire has been ordered to refund more than $50 million to cities and towns.

Thursday’s ruling against the Local Government Center followed a two-week administrative hearing in May initiated by the state Bureau of Securities Regulation. In the 81-page order, hearing officer Donald Mitchell said the center violated state law by improperly collecting and retaining unnecessary surplus funds, improperly transferring assets and spending money for purposes beyond what is allowed by law.”

Degrees of debt: Experts say collaboration needed to keep NH college costs down – NashuaTelegraph.com: “As a social worker at Fairgrounds Middle School, Scott Jaquith has seen firsthand how the rising costs of higher education can discourage young students.
Many of his students are still learning English, or come from low income families, and the costs are daunting.
“A lot of them feel like college isn’t for them, or that it’s out of reach,” he said.
As a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Jaquith said it’s hard for him to hear these concerns.
Jaquith was one of several attendees at a community forum hosted by The Telegraph at Nashua Community College Thursday night. The forum was part of “Degrees of Debt,” a six-part series on the rising costs of higher education in New Hampshire.”

Planning ahead: Students, families must be smarter consumers as cost of college rises – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Tara Payne and her colleagues at the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation have seen too much.
They know the horror stories: students who take out close to $100,000 in loans and graduate without a direction, or families who struggle to make college tuition payments for one year, let alone four.
Hearing so many hardships has an influence.
“We have a couple folks in our office who don’t have children yet, but they have already set up 529 plans for the future,” said Payne, vice president of college planning at NHHEAF.”

Jeanne Shaheen to Tour Nanocomp on Friday – Merrimack, NH Patch: “U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, will be in Merrimack Friday as part of a three town and city tour to hear from business owners about the impact Small Business Administration programs have had on their small businesses, job growth, and the overall economy in New Hampshire.

Shaheen will be joined on her three stops with U.S. Small Business Administration Chief Karen Mills.”

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The USW is shocked by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson’s decision to deny an injunction to stop the implementation of a new PA voter I.D. law. An estimated 5 million people will be disenfranchised by similar voter suppression laws across the country - are you one of them? Watch Clifford's full story here http://youtu.be/x2NnHxRELcE — with NinaSass Garcia.

For-Profit Health Care – Using Every Trick In The Book To Benefit The 1%

The corporate agenda has been crushing our economy in New Hampshire and throughout the country.  Corporations have yeilded record profits and workers have been struggling to pay their bills due to flat wages.  One of the biggest expenses for NH workers is health care, and now we are finding that our local hospitals are playing the same profit games.

Yesterday’s New York Times took an in-depth look at HCA (Hospital Corporation of America), which owns Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Portsmouth Regional Ambulatory Surgery Center, Parkland Medical Center (Derry) and Salem Surgery Center.

The Times’ analysis showed that

Profits at the health care industry giant HCA, which controls 163 hospitals from New Hampshire to California, have soared, far outpacing those of most of its competitors.

The big winners have been three private equity firms — including Bain Capital, co-founded by Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate — that bought HCA in late 2006.

HCA’s robust profit growth has raised the value of the firms’ holdings to nearly three and a half times their initial investment in the $33 billion deal.

Read the story here.

Last week, the Times reported on allegations that doctors at HCA hospitals were performing unnecessary cardiac procedures – and then billing Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for the services.  According to the article, HCA “declined to provide evidence that it had alerted Medicare, state Medicaid or private insurers of its findings, or reimbursed them for any of the procedures that the company later deemed unnecessary, as required by law.”  Read last week’s Times story here.

Unnecessary medical procedures… and “robust” profit growth.

This isn’t the first time HCA has faced questions about its medical practices.  In 2003, the corporation paid a record fine of $1.7 billion for “false claims the government alleged it submitted to Medicare and other federal health programs.”  Read more  here.

But the corporation’s CEO, Rick Scott, was never charged.

A whistleblower in the Columbia/HCA fraud case said Rick Scott should have known of billing practices at his hospitals that cheated the federal government out of millions of dollars.  “He was a fairly hands-on CEO,” said John Schilling, a former reimbursement supervisor in the Fort Myers division office. “He should have known being CEO of a multibillion-dollar company. He should have known what is on his balance sheet.”

Read the Naples Daily News story here.

And now, Rick Scott is the Governor of Florida, overseeing the state’s Medicaid program.  How does that work?  Read the Miami Herald story “Scott’s Medicaid overhaul plan benefits HCA hospitals” here.

“Robust” profits, indeed.

Governor Scott is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the Republican National Convention later this month.

Is there any chance he’ll give an “insider’s perspective” on the health care system, and what’s really wrong with it?


NH Elections Special Report: Jackie Announces New TV Ads, Anne Kuster Connects Ryan Plan To Congressman Bass

Cilley Launches TV Ad Campaign

BARRINGTON – Jackie Cilley’s campaign for governor launches its television advertisements tomorrow morning to be aired on television and cable across the state.

The initial buy features two ads. One is a straightforward appeal to voters about the future of our state. The other is a lighthearted take on pledge politics and how it shuts down conversation about the investments needed to improve the economy and create good jobs.

Ad #2

Anne Kuster Campaign news

CONCORD, N.H. – The Romney campaign today announced that Congressman Paul Ryan will be making a campaign stop in Manchester to tout the Ryan-Bass Plan that would end Medicare as we know it and gut the key investments we need to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class – all in order to pay for massive tax breaks for millionaires, big oil companies, and corporations that ship jobs overseas.

“With Congressman Ryan set to visit New Hampshire to tout the Ryan-Bass Plan, voters are left asking one question: will Congressman Bass hide from his record of voting more than four out of fives times with the Tea Party, or will he continue to stand proudly with Congressman Ryan and his plan to end Medicare as we know it?” said Rob Friedlander, Communications Director for Annie Kuster.

In case you missed it,

NH Alliance For Retired American President Charles Balban Comments On Ryan As VP Selection

“When Mitt Romney chose Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate, he locked in place the most anti-senior ticket ever. Paul Ryan is a poor spokesperson for the many seniors in Wisconsin and New Hampshire alike who count on Social Security and Medicare to make ends meet. The Ryan-Romney presidential team poses unmatched threats to Social Security and Medicare, not to mention the middle class…. Read More


NH Alliance For Retired American President Charles Balban Comments On Ryan As VP Selection

In the same week that we celebrated the 77th anniversary of Social Security, GOP Candidate Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan as his VP.  Ryan who is well known for his budget which would drastically change social security and medicare.  Charles Balban, President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans issued the following statement on Romney’s pick.

“When Mitt Romney chose Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate, he locked in place the most anti-senior ticket ever. Paul Ryan is a poor spokesperson for the many seniors in Wisconsin and New Hampshire alike who count on Social Security and Medicare to make ends meet. The Ryan-Romney presidential team poses unmatched threats to Social Security and Medicare, not to mention the middle class.

“On Tuesday, August 14, Social Security celebrates its 77th birthday. Before Social Security, seniors worked until the day they died because they could never afford to retire. This week, retirees across the country celebrate the program that they contribute to in their working years and can rely on for modest benefits when they need it most. The program is more important than ever with the decline of defined-benefit pensions, plummeting 401ks and scanty savings.

“Even though the self-funded Social Security program has not added one dime to the deficit, Ryan and Romney would like to cut it. Paul Ryan has wanted to privatize it since at least 2005. The Ryan-Romney plan would turn Social Security over to Wall Street, cut benefits, and raise the retirement age. Not to mention, it would end Medicare as we know it, turning it to a voucher program that would have seniors paying more money for less medical coverage.

“While the Romney-Ryan team is a match made in heaven for billionaires, big banks and insurance companies, it could spell disaster for most New Hampshire seniors. Members of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans will do all they can the next three months to educate seniors and make sure they understand where this new Romney-Ryan team stands on the issues.”

For more information about Alliance For Retired Americans, go to their facebook page

NHLN Election News 8/16: Obama Back In NH Sat, Dem’s Say Education is ‘Crucial’, The ACA and more

Obama Stops in Windham, Rochester Confirmed – Nashua, NH Patch: “The campaign for President Barack Obama released details this afternoon on two appearances scheduled for Windham and Rochester.

Obama will start this Saturday in the Windham High School gymnasium, with doors opening at 10:30 a.m. The event will be free and open to the public, with tickets required to enter.

Those tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Beginning on Thursday, Aug. 16 at 8 a.m., you can visit one of the following locations to pick up tickets:”

Campaign Monitor 2012: Democrats: Education ‘crucial’ | Concord Monitor: “New Hampshire Democrats struck back at state GOP Chairman Wayne MacDonald yesterday, assailing him for implying that education isn’t important in this year’s election during an attack last week on gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan.

Earlier this month, Hassan released two television ads as part of a $70,000 media buy. One touted continued access for women to birth control and reproductive health care. The other was titled “Schools.””

Van Hollen: Romney/Ryan Plan a ‘Trojan Horse’ to Benefit the Rich [VIDEO] – Bedford, NH Patch: “Today, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, arrived in Bedford to prove that very point.

Speaking to dozens of local Democrats and area business leaders – at a Politics and Eggs breakfast hosted by The New England Council and New Hampshire Institute of Politics at the Bedford Village Inn – Van Hollen slammed both Ryan and Romney, suggesting the GOP ticket represents the same failed economic policies of the Bush administration, ideals that will hurt the middle class and seniors, while benefiting the rich.”

Shea-Porter Statement On Supreme Court Health Care Ruling | Politics – WMUR Home: “Today, former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, who worked on the Affordable Care Act and was at the White House for the signing, released the following statement about the Supreme Court upholding the law.

“Americans won today when the Supreme Court upheld the Health Care Law. Millions of our citizens will now be guaranteed access to health care. When I went to Congress, I promised to fight for health care for all Americans. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and satisfaction that my colleagues and I, working with President Obama, were able to finally accomplish what so many Republicans and Democrats tried to do for so long—make sure that all Americans had access to medical care.””

Another View — Kathy Sullivan: It’s time for us to focus on NH’s gubernatorial primaries | New Hampshire OPINION02: “Republican candidates Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith are depressingly similar. Neither one wants to talk about “social” issues, even though they are both best known for their outside-the-mainstream positions on “social issues.”

Smith was the executive director of Cornerstone Action, an organization which vigorously lobbied the Legislature to impose a right wing social agenda on New Hampshire. Now that he is running for governor, Smith says on his web site, that he supports the traditional definition of marriage, but would have a “civil” dialogue with those who have differing views. What does that mean? That he would smile when signing the repeal bill?

Ovide has lost three prior elections for higher office. He prefers that the state not accept federal money for education. If Ovide has his way, cities and towns will either have to raise local property taxes or cut support for education. The impact on communities like Manchester and Nashua would be devastating.”

Rep. Richard Neal stumps for President Obama in New Hampshire | masslive.com: “Congressman Richard Neal, D-Springfield, is heading to New Hampshire on Thursday to speak on behalf of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign at a Democratic supporter’s home in Bedford.
According to his congressional campaign, Neal, who is facing a re-election bid of his own, will be discussing tax proposals put forth by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.”

Daily Kos: Florida newspapers: Romney is in big, big trouble: “The Florida papers are destroying Paul Ryan. So much so that a distraught and panicked Village believes “Mitt Romney is in big, big trouble” for selecting the man who wants to pull the plug on Grandma. The very first available headlines from the all important swing state of Florida are devastating.”

Ayotte asked to speak at Republican convention | New Hampshire NEWS0605: “U.S. Sen. Kelly A. Ayotte of New Hampshire has been invited to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to be nominated as the GOP presidential candidate, a Republican source confirmed Wednesday night”.

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NH Labor News 8/16: Election Fraud Nonexistent, $25 Million Gap In Budget, Occupy Movie Night, and more

Surprise! Election fraud is virtually nonexistent – NashuaTelegraph.com:For the past two years, we’ve spoken out repeatedly against GOP-driven efforts to enact a voter ID law on the state’s electorate.

We argued such a law would impose obstacles on voters who don’t have a photo identification card, particularly the elderly, poor and disabled. And we argued evidence of voter- impersonation fraud was so scant in this state – or anywhere else, for that matter – that such a law wasn’t necessary.

$25 million funding gap projected at DHHS – Fosters: “The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is facing a projected $25 million budget shortfall this fiscal year.

The funding gap is largely due to a settlement with the federal government over Medicaid funds that were used improperly in 2004. The state is on the hook to repay $18 million of the $35 settlement by the close of fiscal 2013. The funds were connected with the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment program.

A six-month delay in the launch of the state’s new Medicaid care management system also means the state will miss out on an estimated $7.5 million in cost savings. Budget writers counted on saving the money when they put together this year’s DHHS appropriation.

In an interview Wednesday, Toumpas said he plans to work with Gov. John Lynch and legislators to figure out how to address the budget gap.”

Degrees of debt: Ex-banker backs reform of college costs – NashuaTelegraph.com: ““We put aside what I concerned to be a sizable amount of money, but it was not enough,” said Little, the former president of the New Hampshire Bankers Association. “I was coming from a position that was lucrative, and I was saving as much as I possibly could for it.”
Little is now retired but sits on the board for Granite State Management & Resources, which services federal and private student loans through the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation and New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corp. He attended the University of New Hampshire in the 1970s, when it was “extremely affordable,” he said.
New Hampshire’s public universities can’t make that claim anymore. The cost of attendance for in-state students at UNH has increased 76 percent in 10 years with no signs of slowing down after massive cuts to higher education from the state Legislature last summer.”

Movie Night: The High Cost of Lower Price | Nashua Art & Entertainment and Organizations Events on Patch – Nashua, NH Patch: “Today, August 16, 2012, 7:00 pm
Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St, Nashua, NH | Get Directions »

Occupy Nashua Film series presents a documentary by Robert Greenwald/Brave New Films. The film takes a hard look at the workers, their families, business owners and a community all impacted by Walmart Corporation. How else is Walmart impacting American’s lives? Our economy? Film is 97 minutes. Discussion will follow.”

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Judge’s Rejection of Challenge to Pennsylvania Voter Identification Law

The AFL-CIO strongly disagrees with the judge’s decision to reject the challenge to Pennsylvania’s voter identification law.  It’s crystal clear who is behind these laws and why they want them passed.  The Republican Majority Leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives illustrated that so directly — saying that the voter ID law “is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

These laws are being pushed for partisan reasons to disenfranchise particular groups of voters.  They are cynical and wrong, and they undermine our democracy.

According to a study by the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, one in 10 eligible voters – overwhelmingly the elderly, minorities, students and new citizens — lack a government-issued photo ID and could be disenfranchised under these new voter suppression laws.  And a comprehensive new report finds that the supposed voter fraud that sponsors of these laws hide behind as an excuse for suppressing the vote is “virtually non-existent.”

Given these facts, the judge’s ruling that disenfranchisement in Pennsylvania is neither “immediate” nor “inevitable” defies reality.  The ruling should be quickly reversed on appeal.

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NH Labor And Election News 8/15 : Social Security Turn 77, Kuster Talks Medicare, Hassan Release New Ad

Social Security Turns 77—And Still Going Strong, Paul Ryan: “Happy 77th birthday, Social Security. As we celebrate Social Security’s anniversary, let’s remember it has never missed a check. Despite Congressman (now vice presidential candidate) Paul Ryan’s claim it’s “going broke,” Social Security has a $2.7 trillion surplus (going broke, really?) and is financially sound, despite the recession, high unemployment and stagnation of workers’ income across the board. It has provided insurance against loss of wages for seniors and people with disabilities and pays out benefits in the form of survivor benefits to children who lose a working parent. ”



MANCHESTER – Democratic candidate for Governor Maggie Hassan released her third TV ad of the campaign today, titled “Difference.”  This new ad builds on Hassan’s momentum from last week with endorsements from the NEA and Steelworkers and big crowds at her Ice Cream Socials across the state. The campaign continues to advertise on WMUR and statewide cable. Recent polling shows the governor’s race to be a dead heat.

The ad focuses on Hassan’s experience and record standing up for middle class families.  Hassan helped pass a job training program that has partnered with hundreds of companies to train nearly 14,000 workers across New Hampshire.  She stood up to insurance companies and worked to repeal a law that let them discriminate against sick workers.  Hassan helped pass a law and supported alternative education programs, that helped cut New Hampshire’s annual high school drop out rate in half.


Says plan will be defining issue in race

CONCORD, N.H. – Congressional candidate Annie Kuster today appeared with Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member on the House Budget Committee, at press conferences in Nashua and Concord to discuss the Ryan-Bass Plan, which would end Medicare as we know it to pay for new tax cuts for millionaires.

“This is a budget that is fundamentally out of step with the Granite State values we all cherish,” Kuster said in Nashua. “The Ryan-Bass Plan would end Medicare as we know it and gut the key investments we need to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class – all in order to pay for massive new tax cuts for millionaires, big oil companies, and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”

The Ryan-Bass Plan would turn Medicare into a voucher program and force seniors to pay over $6,000 more for their health care every year. It would also make devastating cuts to middle class priorities, cutting Pell Grants for nearly 10 million students, kicking 200,000 children out of Head Start, and slashing clean energy research by almost 20 percent. The Ryan-Bass Plan would make these cuts – and many more – while at the same time giving an additional $265,000 tax break to millionaires.

“In 2010, Congressman Bass told us that the Tea Party agenda was his agenda – and he’s spent the last two years in Congress proving it,” said Rob Friedlander, Communications Director for Annie Kuster. “This is someone who votes more than four out of five times with Speaker Boehner and the Tea Party. That includes voting twice for the radical Ryan-Bass Plan. Congressman Bass’ plan would be devastating to New Hampshire families and will move our country backward, not forward.”


Romney-Ryan administration would bring devastating cuts to vital federal programs, union say

One thousand federal workers and union activists from the American Federation of Government Employees and the AFL-CIO gathered outside a GOP fundraiser attended by Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan last night to draw attention to the devastating budget cuts that the congressman has proposed.

AFGE members, who are in Las Vegas for the union’s National Convention, joined with the Nevada AFL-CIO to protest outside the Venetian Hotel where Ryan attended a fundraiser sponsored by casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who has already donated $10 million to a political action committee supporting the Romney campaign.

As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Ryan authored a budget plan endorsed by former Gov. Mitt Romney that delivers more tax breaks to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans while slashing vital federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Outgoing AFGE National President John Gage led the protesters in a chant denouncing the Romney-Ryan economic plan, shouting “Romney Hood, Ryan Hood, not in our neighborhood.” Union activists held signs reading “Paul Ryan: Hustling for the 1%,” “Romney/Ryan Road to Ruin,” and others.

“Governor Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate indicates just how much contempt this ticket will have for the federal workforce and the vital programs we deliver to the American public each and every day,” Gage said.

The grand economic recovery plan offered by Romney and Ryan is to deliver more tax breaks to the millionaires and billionaires, oil companies and Wall Street firms who continue to score record profits while the rest of the country struggles to recover, AFGE officials said. American companies would receive lucrative new tax incentives to move jobs overseas, worsening the employment prospects of the millions of Americans who remain out of work. And programs like Medicare and Medicaid, food inspections, veterans health care and so many others would see their funding slashed.

“We think the choice of Ryan, with his extremely specific anti-federal employee budget proposals, makes it crystal clear that the Ryan budget will be the plan for the Romney Administration,” AFGE Legislative and Political Director Beth Moten said.

Labor and Civil Liberties Organizations Come Together To Fight Against NH Voter ID Law

Organizations from across New Hampshire have come together to urge the Justice Department to reject the new Voter ID law.

A coalition including League of Women Voters, N.H. Civil Liberties Union, America Votes, American Friends Service Committee, Credo SuperPAC, Demos, Fair Election Legal Network, Granite State Independent Living, Latinos Unidos, NAACP Branch 2070, NH AFL-CIO, NH Citizens Alliance, NH Young Democrats, NEA-NH, SEIU Local 1984,  Service Employees International Union and Working Families Win submitted letters today to the U.S. Department of Justice asking the Department to deny pre-clearance of the state’s new voter photo identification law (Chapter 284) and new voter registration law (Chapter 285).

New Hampshire is required to submit all changes in voting laws to the U.S. Department of Justice for pre-clearance before the laws can go into effect. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires the department to deny pre-clearance of state laws that have either a discriminatory purpose or the effect of suppressing the right to vote on account of race or color or membership in a language minority.

“There’s no legitimate reason for the radical changes the photo ID law makes to the way we vote in New Hampshire,” said Joan Flood Ashwell, election law specialist for the League of Women Voters of New Hampshire. “Years of investigations by the Attorney General’s office have confirmed that we don’t have a problem with voter impersonation fraud. That’s not surprising since that kind of voter fraud is virtually unheard of anywhere in the United States. We believe the real intent of this photo ID law is to make it more difficult for certain groups of people to vote, including students, the elderly, minorities and the disabled.

“Members of the House and Senate heard testimony that thousands of New Hampshire citizens don’t have a photo ID 25,000 to 50,000 according to the Secretary of State,” Ashwell said. “In this presidential election, students will be able to use their student IDs but that will change in 2013 when the law becomes the strictest in the United States. It will be unnecessarily more difficult for students to vote, especially those who come here from other states and are much more likely to be minorities.”

Jessica Clark, political and field director of America Votes, said the ever-changing requirements of the photo ID law and the lack of an education program seemed designed to discourage people from even trying to vote.

“We’ve already seen incorrect headlines in the papers saying that a photo ID will be needed to vote this November,” Clark said. “This is an overly complex law that requires a statewide education campaign using newspapers, TV and radio in addition to brochures and handouts. Some members of the House Election Law Committee tried to include an education campaign in the law but that was rejected by the sponsors of the legislation and by the House and Senate leadership. Voters need to know that they can sign an affidavit and obtain a ballot. In 2013, they’ll have to have a photo taken as well. America Votes believes the affidavit and photo are offensive and unnecessary but we also believe people should know there’s an option that is better than no vote at all.”

The second law, Chapter 285, changes the voter registration form to include a statement requiring people to agree that they must register their car in New Hampshire and obtain a New Hampshire driver’s license within 60 days of registering to vote. The wording of the new voter registration form contradicts New Hampshire motor vehicle laws which make it illegal for those who intend to leave New Hampshire at a specific point in time to register a car or obtain a driver’s license in New Hampshire.

“Chapter 285 is an attempt to change the definition of ‘domicile’ in Part 1, Article 11 of the New Hampshire Constitution,” said Claire Ebel, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union. “A 1984 New Hampshire Supreme Court decision – George J. Every v. Supervisors of the Madison Checklist  – defined ‘domicile’ as distinct from residence. According to Ebel, “There is no question that Chapter 285  is meant to keep out-of-state college students from being able to register and vote in New Hampshire However, that question was decided by a federal district court decision in 1972 in Newberger v. Peterson, which established the right of students to vote where they attend school.  Students, visiting faculty, members of the military and others who know that they will leave New Hampshire at some definite point in the future have the right to register and to vote here while they live here.”

The coalition’s submissions describe the two new election laws as retrogressive and discriminatory and said they will reduce minority voting across the state. They criticize the Legislature for not presenting data to determine the impact of the laws, especially since these issues were brought to their attention repeatedly in hearings and in letters. The coalition said the laws are unnecessary, and the Justice Department should deny preclearance because the state failed to meet its burden under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.



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