About Matt Murray

Matt Murray is the creator and an author on the NH Labor News. He is a union member and advocate for labor and progressive politics. He also works with other unions and members to help spread our message. Follow him on Twitter @NHLabor_News

The Conway Daily Sun Endorses The Republican In Independent Clothes For NH 1st District

Today the Conway Daily Sun endorsed Republican Independent Shawn O’Connor for Congress in the First Congressional District.

O’Connor the candidate to beat the ‘rigged’ system,” so far is only available in print, is more proof that even solid Republicans cannot stomach Guinta’s reelection effort.

“We disqualify Guinta for fudging his campaign finances and then lying about it,” they stated. At least the people of the North Country can agree on one thing, Congressman Guinta is a lying, corrupt politician.

If they disqualified Guinta for lying, why would they promote another candidate who also has questionable integrity and has lied to people about being mistreated?

Remember those lies that O’Connor lobbed at the Democratic Party and the Shea-Porter campaign about starting a “whisper campaign” against him. He attacked Shea-Porter and Ray Buckley, Chair of the NH Democratic Party, but when the reporters began digging, they could not find any proof of his allegations.

The fact is the Conway Daily Sun wants to endorse a Republican and they just could not endorse Guinta, so they picked the next best thing: A Republican pretending to be an Independent.

Other than the fact the Conway Daily Sun’s editorial board would not even sit down with the Democratic candidate, they spelled out their bias quite clearly in their editorial.

“And although he lines up with Democrats on progressive issues, as a former staffer for Jim Greenwood, a Republican Congressman from Philadelphia, he is no stranger to conservative ideas.”

“Corporate tax rate too high at 39%? … [O’Connor] says cut it in half.”

Cutting taxes on corporations who don’t pay their fair share already does not sound very progressive. It sure does not sound like something Senator Bernie Sanders or Senator Elizabeth Warren would support.

The Conway Daily Sun also referenced “polls” that claim O’Connor is pulling “20%” of the electorate. The truth is that O’Connor has not broken double digits in any public poll, which would disqualify him from the upcoming debate on Oct 31st in North Conway that the Conway Daily Sun is promoting.

O’Connor is trying to say he is ‘progressive’ because he supports an increase in the minimum wage. You know what, so does 80% of Granite Staters including every Democratic candidate up and down the ticket.

O’Connor also likes to promote that he endorsed Senator Sanders for President. The problem is that those in the Bernie Sanders for President N.H. Steering Committee do not support O’Connor. In fact, the Steering Committee just announced their endorsement of Carol Shea-Porter, a true progressive.

Someone who once claimed to be from the “Warren wing of the party” now says if he is elected he will caucus with Republicans. How progressive of him.

The fact is that O’Connor is a carpet-bagging Republican who left Wall Street and moved up here from NYC to buy himself a seat in Congress. So far O’Connor has loaned over $1.2 million dollars to his own campaign.

Things are going so bad from O’Connor that him most recent FEC filing shows that he made -$315 last quarter. That’s right, he actually refunded more donations than he brought in.  O’Connor’s campaign is hemorrhaging money so badly that O’Connor himself had to loan his campaign another $200,000. Even after all of that additional money, he only has $23,601 left at the end of the quarter.

Following O’Connor’s campaign is like watching two trains running head on at each other. You know it’s going to hurt, but you just cannot turn away.

On National Coming Out Day, The Human Rights Campaign Endorses Carol Shea-Porter For Congress

hrclogo-withwords-1600x900_800_450Yesterday was the 28th anniversary of National Coming Out Day. “Every year on National Coming Out Day, we celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or as an ally,” wrote the Human Rights Campaign.

“28 years ago, on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, we first observed National Coming Out Day as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. One out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only one in 10,” the HRC added.

One of those strong “allies” for the rights of the LGBTQ community has always been Former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.  This is why it was no surprise that on the 28th anniversary of National Coming Out Day, the Human Rights Campaign announced their endorsement of Shea-Porter for Congress.

Carol Shea-Porter has been a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights. In 2010, she led the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to end discrimination in our Armed Services. She was successful in this effort, rallying support in the House to finally repeal the discriminatory policy.   She signed the historic amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. She was an original cosponsor on the Respect for Marriage Act, which would have repealed the Defense of Marriage Act and required states to honor same-sex marriages performed in other states for the purpose of administering state and federal benefits.

Her opponent has a shameful record.  Congressman Guinta voted to support the anti-equality DOMA law, voted to delay Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and voted against LGBT domestic violence protections. Mr. Guinta was also in attendance when the NHGOP voted against supporting marriage equality. 

Mr. Guinta received a “16 out of 100” on the HRC’s 114’th Congressional scorecard. Mr. Guinta voted against seven of the eight bills the HRC supported in the House. 

“I am so proud to once again earn this endorsement from the Human Rights Campaign. HRC is a respected and effective voice for equality in our great country, and I am thankful and honored to be endorsed by this wonderful organization,” said Shea-Porter.

Thanks to the landmark Supreme Court decision, Marriage Equality is the law in every state.  But did you know that a worker can be fired or evicted from their home because they are gay?  Many states lack anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ Americans from being targeted by their employer or their landlord.

This is why we need Carol Shea-Porter back in Washington, to help pass the “Equality Act.” A bill to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans, in every state, share the same, strong anti-discrimination protections under the law.  By passing the Equality Act, Congress would automatically overturn North Carolina’s dreadful LGBTQ discrimination bill HB2.

“No one should be fired, evicted from their home, or denied services because of who they are or whom they love. All LGBTQ Americans deserve a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their families and this bill will help ensure that all employees are hired, fired or promoted based on their performances,” wrote the HRC.

New Hampshire Wants Paid Family And Medical Leave Yet Only One Gubernatorial Candidate Openly Supports It

Eighty-Two percent (82%):
The percent of Granite Staters who support paid family and medical leave.

In August, the UNH Survey Center and Kristin Smith released a report showing overwhelming support for paid family and medical leave in New Hampshire. The poll showed that eighty-two percent (82%) support paid family and medical leave.  Among Democrats polls showed over ninety-six percent (96%) support the paid leave initiative.  The poll also showed that over sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans support paid family and medical leave as well.


As with any type of legislation there is always a cost aspect.  Kristin Smith and UNH asked workers directly if they would be willing to pay up to $5 a week to have access to paid family and medical leave, the answer was shocking. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of respondents said they would pay $5 a week to have a family and medical leave insurance program.

Not only do the people of New Hampshire want paid family and medical leave, they are willing to pay for it themselves.

Earlier this year, State Rep Mary Stuart Gile and State Senator Dan Feltes filed legislation to make paid family leave a reality in New Hampshire. Rep. Gile has worked on this issue for almost two decades, including a number of study committees.

“After years of study, it’s time to finally move forward with paid family and medical leave insurance, and Granite Staters of all backgrounds and political affiliations agree – in fact, eighty percent (80%) of Granite Staters agree…. Insuring some short-term wage replacement will allow workers to care for an aging family member, care for a new child, and care for themselves, including getting needed substance misuse treatment,” Rep Gile and Sen Feltes said in a joint statement.

So who is against this type of legislation? You probably already guessed it, the corporate “business community.” The same business community that fights against raising the minimum wage and pushes workers down in the never-ending race to the bottom, to maximize their personal profits.

Nationally, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the Chamber of Commerce, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) have all come out against paid family and medical leave but could not say what is bad about the program.

The NFIB tried to confuse people by telling a reporter at The Hill, “You’re paying twice for the same labor.” NFIB is implying that the employer must pay a temp worker to replace the worker they are also paying on medical leave. In reality, the worker is paying into an insurance plan. The insurance plan then pays them when they take extended leave. The employer pays nothing for the worker who is out on leave, so their costs would remain exactly the same.

SHRM spokesperson Lisa Horn told USA Today that “Her organization supports companies offering paid leave generally, but prefers incentives for employers to offer it, rather than require it.”

That sounds great but the fact is, as Fortune Magazine points out, “Only 11 percent of American workers get paid family leave through their employers or state programs.”  This is the same tired “free market” garbage that lobbyists use to convince politicians to vote against raising the minimum wage.

Fortune also pointed out that many of the arguments against providing a paid family and medical leave insurance program are completely bogus.  In California and New Jersey, the insurance program costs workers no more than $30 dollar a year for up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.  Forbes noted that in those states with paid leave, ninety-one percent (91%) said “the program has had a positive or no negative effect on profitability and performance.”

It is important to know who is fighting against the will of the people on paid family and medical leave.  This becomes very important when we start looking at the New Hampshire Gubernatorial race.

Colin Van Ostern, the Democratic candidate for Governor, has been outspoken in his support for paid family and medical leave. As an Executive Councilor Van Ostern voted to commission a study to identify “the costs, benefits, alternative models, and public support for family leave policies in New Hampshire, with a goal of identifying the barriers that hold Granite Staters back from fully participating in our economy.”

Van Ostern continued, “As Governor, Colin will work with stakeholders to incorporate the best ideas recommended by this study to advance policies that will help remove existing barriers to workforce participation.”

Chris Sununu has yet to identify his position on paid family and medical leave yet but recently praised his endorsement by the National Federation of Independent Business.

As reported by NHPR: “Bruce Berke, the state director for the business group, cited Sununu’s familiarity with the state’s business climate as a factor in the endorsement.  ‘He knows these issues, he understands their impact, and he has lived these issues as a business owner,’ Berke said.”

In the NHPR article, Casey McDermott specifically cited Sununu’s opposition to raising the minimum wage, another issue supported by eighty-seven (87%) of Americans and seventy-six (76%) of Granite Staters, as one of the policies that NFIB also supports.

Any reasonable person would also expect that Sununu would oppose paid family and medical leave as do his NFIB endorsers.

Again, “Van Ostern says he’d work to raise the minimum wage and promote paid family leave.” Sununu said, “I oppose establishing a state minimum wage” and praises his endorsement from one of the biggest opponents of paid family and medical leave.

Republicans In The U.S. House Push A New Union-Busting Bill As A Campaign Prop

Buckle up brother and sisters.  Republicans in the U.S. House are trying to pass legislation to steal away your right to due process. By eliminating due process, workers lose their collectively bargained protections against wrongful termination.

Rep. Todd Rokita

Rep. Todd Rokita

This week The Hill reported:

“Rep. Todd Rokita, R- Ind., introduced the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency Act to turn all federal employees into at-will workers shortly before the House recessed so members could campaign in their home districts.”

That’s right. He wants to turn all federal workers into at-will employees giving them the right to fire workers “at will.”

“The at-will portion of the measure would only apply to new employees hired one year after its enactment, and allow agency heads to fire workers ‘without notice or right to appeal.’”

This would eviscerate federal workers current, collectively bargained, due process procedures that require evidence and third-party review, prior to termination.  Due process is just a form of checks and balance to ensure that workers are not being arbitrarily fired because the manager has an axe to grind.  It requires that management show documentation of poor performance or of unacceptable behavior.

The bill would also completely eliminate “official time” that allows both sides to work collaboratively to resolve issues.

“By passing a law to cut official time for government workers, Congress would eliminate the ability of federal employees to represent all of their coworkers (those who pay dues and those who don’t) while in an official duty status,” said AFGE in opposition to previous attacks on official time. 

“Official time gives workers the ability to resolve disputes efficiently so employees can get back to work. It protects whistleblowers from retaliation, and helps implement new technology and other innovations to solve workplace problems.”

divided-we-begThis is exactly what Republicans want.  They want to bust federal unions who have been organizing and growing over the last few years. If they can bust unions at the federal level, it will only be a matter of time before identical legislation is passed in our State House’s taking away the rights of all public employees.

Republicans will use this bill in their campaign speeches and rallies, while raking in donations from their anti-union, corporate campaign funders.

Remember it was President Reagan’s mass firing of 13,000 air traffic controllers that empowered the private industry to oppose unions and fire workers, instead of resolving contract disputes.

We do not need another federal lead assault on working people that will end with the destruction of all unions, public and private.



Frank Guinta Violates FEC Regulations Yet Again, Triggers New FEC Complaint

The New Hampshire Democratic Party Files
FEC Complaint Against Frank Guinta

Concord, N.H. – On Monday, the New Hampshire Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission regarding Mr. Guinta’s violation of the terms of a Conciliation Agreement he had signed with the FEC just last year, and violation of federal law against using campaign funds for personal use. 

Guinta Is A Damned Liar

Front page editorial from Joseph McQuaid, Publisher of the Union Leader.

In the original FEC ruling, the FEC determined the money Guinta “loaned to his campaign,” was actually his parents money thus making the donation an illegal campaign contribution.

For years, Guinta lied to the people of New Hampshire about where they money came from. He repeatedly claimed he forgot about a savings account with over $350,000 in it. Later he claimed the money was a “family pot” that he was free to use.  The people of New Hampshire did not believe him and the FEC proved through their investigation, that he was lying.

The FEC and Guinta entered an agreement that the Guinta campaign would have to refund the $355,000 dollars to his parents and pay a minimal fine of $15,000.

According to the NHDP’s new complaint, the NHDP is alleging that the Guinta campaign gave some of the money intended to be returned to Guinta’s parents, to himself.

Former State GOP Chair, Fergus Cullen, was the first to highlight that Guinta put the money into an account within his control and listed the money deposited as an asset in his FEC disclosure statement.

“We think it’s important for the voters of New Hampshire to know that Frank Guinta continues to engage in this type of behavior, which is in violation of the law, and a violation of the agreement that he voluntarily entered into,” said former NHDP Chair Kathy Sullivan. 

Noting his vantage point as a former member of Congress, Paul Hodes stressed that “it’s really rule number one” for candidates not to mix campaign and personal funds.

The disturbing nature of these violations is the flagrant disregard for the law over several years and campaign cycles. “This is a pattern,” added NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley. “Frank Guinta and his campaign spokespeople have lied over the past four cycles. Why does anyone believe that the people of New Hampshire can trust anything that Frank Guinta says?”

Please see below for a copy of the complaint filed on Monday.

Link to Dan Tuohy’s Granite Status: Guinta’s most recent financial disclosure raises questions as noted in the complaint.



Congresswoman Annie Kuster, A True Fighter For America’s Veterans

Congresswoman Kuster’s Work for Veterans Praised in New Television Ad

In her second television ad of the 2016 cycle, a Nashua veteran praises Congresswoman Kuster’s work to secure affordable housing and jobs for homeless veterans in New Hampshire.  

In the ad, titled “Thank You,” John Elsten discusses his military experience and his living situation during his unemployment.  A Vietnam veteran, he was forced to sleep under bridges and in alleys in downtown Nashua after losing his job.  He was able to secure housing through the VA Supported Housing program, a rental assistance voucher program through the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that Congresswoman Kuster has worked to expand.  While touring a shelter in Nashua, Congresswoman Kuster met John, who was living and volunteering at the shelter.  She has made expanding affordable housing for homeless veterans in Nashua, Keene, Plymouth, and throughout New Hampshire a key part of her work to support Granite State veterans.

“I was heartbroken when I heard about John’s struggle, as well as the struggles of so many veterans like him, to find affordable housing and employment,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I fight every day to help veterans like John who have given so much to our country.  We have a solemn responsibility to support the brave men and women who have served our country, and that includes ensuring they have a roof over their head, as well as gainful employment and accessible health care.”

Click here to watch the ad

Addressing the problem of veteran homelessness is no small task. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that nearly 40,000 are homeless on any given night.  Specifically in New Hampshire, HUD estimates that there are between 123-138 homeless vets, many who are forced to live in temporary shelters.

Part of ending homelessness for our veterans in providing them with sustainable employment after they return. As the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans notes, “military occupations and training are not always transferable to the civilian workforce, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment. NCHV strongly believes that all programs to assist homeless veterans must focus on helping them obtain and sustain employment.”

About 1.4 million other veterans “are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing,” NCHV added.

Rep. Kuster talks with student veterans and higher education administrators today in Concord.

Rep. Kuster talks with student veterans and higher education administrators in Concord.

In January of 2016, Kuster met with student veterans and higher education administrators from across New Hampshire to discuss the importance of supporting veterans as they pursue higher education following the completion of their service. This discussion allowed Congresswoman Kuster to learn more about the work being done by New Hampshire colleges to implement education benefits, as well as to hear directly from student veterans about how she can best support them through her work in Congress.

“When our brave men and women return from their service in the Armed Forces, we must ensure that they have access to the tools they need to complete their education and to compete in today’s workforce,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “During today’s conversation, we were able to bring together student veterans and representatives from some of the Granite State’s top institutions of higher education to discuss how we can help returning veterans pursue their college education here in New Hampshire. We are lucky to have such a dedicated group of higher education leaders here in the Granite State who have done an incredible job supporting veterans seeking college degrees.”

As a member of the U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Kuster has long worked to ensure that veterans have access to the resources necessary to support their transition back into civilian life and to pursue higher education after completing their service. Kuster has supported legislation for student veterans throughout her time in office, including the GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act of 2013, which proposed allowing veterans to pay in-state tuition for out-of-state schools. This legislation passed the House of Representatives, and its provisions were later passed into law as part of another bill. 

In February, Kuster was pleased to announce that three bills she cosponsored had passed in the House of Representatives.

  • H.R. 2360, the Career Ready Student Veterans Act, will help ensure that educational and training programs serving our nation’s veterans meet state accreditation standards, protecting the quality of education provided for veteran students.
  • H.R. 2915, the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act, will direct the VA to identify suicide prevention programs that are proven to be most effective for female veterans in order to ensure the unique needs of women veterans are more effectively addressed.
  • H.R. 3036, the National 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center Act, will designate the September 11th Memorial at the World Trade Center as a national memorial, thereby awarding a grant of up to $25 million per fiscal year for the maintenance of the site.

To some politicians, taking care of our veterans is nothing more than lip service. They say they support veterans while they made deep cuts to social programs that help thousands of veterans avoid homelessness and help keep them from falling into poverty.

Congresswoman Kuster does not just talk about supporting veterans; she is fighting to ensure that we end veteran homelessness and provide the best opportunities for our veterans throughout their entire lives.

Business Economist And Industry Shill Now Chair Of Health Economics At UNH

unh-peter-paul-schoolThe University of New Hampshire’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics just hired one of the business industry’s biggest shills in the fight against raising the minimum wage.

Dr Joseph Sabia

Professor Joseph Sabia

Professor Joseph J. Sabia has been well quoted in newspapers for his work opposing the minimum wage. Lobbyists for the National Restaurant Association, the Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, and the National Federation of Independent Business also use Sabia’s work to convince lawmakers to oppose any wage increases by saying it will kill jobs and hurt low-income workers.

The New Hampshire Union Leader just printed one of Sabia’s hit pieces in the editorial section of Friday’s paper. The editorial, “Another View — Joseph J. Sabia: The $15 minimum wage is an empty promise to the poor,” attempts to prove that raising the minimum wage will hurt New Hampshire families. He says that poor people are just lazy and there is not connection between the minimum wage and poverty.

A $15 minimum wage has been championed as an anti-poverty measure. But the majority of poor people do not work and will not benefit from a higher minimum wage. According to 2014 Census data, less than 40 percent of poor individuals actually work.”

This 40% lie has been busted by a variety of economic institutions. The Economic Policy Institute published a report in 2015 addressing this claim specifically and found that over 63% of those living in poverty do work.

Despite what some policymakers and pundits might have us believe, a significant share of the poor work. This means that policies that boost employment and wages are important and underappreciated tools for reducing poverty. To boost wage-growth and reduce poverty rates, a policy agenda must include provisions to raise the minimum wage, raise the overtime threshold, eliminate wage theft, and strengthen workers’ collective bargaining rights,” wrote Elise Gould of the Economic Policy Institute.


Richard Berman, Lawyer and Lobbyist

Professor Sabia and his work also have direct ties to Rick Berman’s public relations firm. Berman’s firm is widely known for their work pushing Right to Work, creating misleading -borderline untruthful- information about the minimum wage, and helps corporations like Wal-Mart block unionizing efforts.

In 1991, Berman founded the Employment Policies Institute that began lobbying against raising the minimum wage. “Berman also founded the Center for Consumer Freedom, which lobbies for meat, drink and tobacco industries, and the Center for Union Facts, which lobbies against unions,” wrote Ben Schiller at Fast Company online.

Sabia has been doing anti-minimum wage research for years at different colleges and universities across the country. Most recently he was at San Diego State University where he pumped out reports with grant money from Berman’s public relations firm.

Eric Lipton of the New York Times wrote about this in 2014:

Joseph J. Sabia, an associate professor of economics at San Diego State University, who has collected at least $180,000 in grant money from Mr. Berman’s group over the last eight years to deliver seven separate reports, each one concluding that increasing the minimum wage has caused more harm than good — or at least no significant benefit for the poor.

As noted above, in 1991, Berman created the Employment Policies Institute or EPI as they like to call themselves. If the acronym EPI rings a bell, that is what Berman wants. They did it intentionally to confuse people the Economic Policy Institute that has been publishing detailed economic reports for over 30 years and “whose staffers are very unhappy with the alphabetical confusion.”

The Employment Policies Institute is a wholly disingenuous group funded by companies that stand to lose from minimum wage increases,” wrote Ben Schiller at Fast Company online.

Why do Sabia and Berman’s Employment Policies Institute create these reports? To get them directly into the hands of the lobbyists who work for the corporations that fund Berman’s public relations firm.

What is clear is that the reports by the Employment Policies Institute are a critical element in the lobbying campaign against the increase in the minimum wage, as restaurant industry groups, in their own statements and news releases, often cite the institute’s reports, creating the Washington echo chamber effect that is so coveted by industry lobbyists,” continued Lipton of the New York Times.

You see the Employment Policies Institute is just another one of Berman’s nonprofit businesses in name only, as they do not have any employees. Berman’s public relations firm completes all of the work that is sent out by the Employment Policies Institute. Berman then bills “EPI” for his services and boom, corporate money laundering complete.

This arrangement effectively means that the nonprofit is a moneymaking venture for Mr. Berman, whose advertising firm was paid $1.1 million by the institute in 2012, according to its tax returns, or 44 percent of its total budget, with most of the rest of the money used to buy advertisements.

Berman has even created a new app for IPhone and Android to help employers fight against minimum wage increases.

If companies are worried that they might be forced to actually pay their workers enough to live, they have a willing ally in the Employment Policies Institute… Wage Engage allows business owners to track minimum wage legislation in states relevant to them, and to offer their opinion about the impact of such increases,” added Schiller(Read more about “Wage Engage”)  

Peter T Paul (UNH Photo Services)

Peter T Paul (UNH Photo Services)

Sabia was hired as Professor of Economics & Forrest D. McKerley Chair of Health Economics at the Peter T Paul College of Business and Economics. The school was recently renamed after UNH Alum and wealthy California businessman Peter T Paul after a very sizable donation to the school. In addition to having the school named after him, Paul also is a member of the school’s Board of Directors.

Many people do not know much about the man the school is named after. Paul founded Headlands Mortgage known for creating and selling “Alt-A” mortgages that many attributed to the financial collapse in 2007.

Headlands Mortgage, which he founded in 1986, called them Alt-A loans: Alternative “high-quality” loans. The California-based company examined the worth of the home and the down payment, the amount of cash in the bank, and the credit history, but was looser on income verification,” wrote Bob Sanders of the NH Business Review.

Paul sold his lucrative mortgage company to GreenPoint for “$473 million” reported Sanders.After selling GreenPoint, Paul started Paul Financial, which flourished and later failed, resulting in large losses for himself and his borrowers. And it became the target of a class-action truth-in-lending suit that was settled last November for $1.75 million.”

Then Paul decided he wanted to get more involved in New Hampshire politics. Paul created a Super PAC to support his friend and former UNH Business School Dean, Dan Innis in his run for Congress in 2014.

Mother Jones reported, “Paul created a super-PAC, New Hampshire Priorities PAC, and financed it with $562,000.

In 2014, Innis lost his primary bid for Congress to the corrupt Congressman Frank Guinta. This year, Innis chose to run for New Hampshire State Senate and guess whom he is bringing with him? 

“I am excited for the opportunity to refocus NH Priorities PAC on state races during the 2016 election cycle. In particular, the PAC will be focusing on recruiting and supporting candidates for the Executive Council, State Senate, and House of Representatives who are committed to offering fiscally responsible solutions to the issues impacting our great state,” wrote Peter T Paul on the NH Priorities PAC website.

So why do I find this newly hired economist to the University of New Hampshire so dubious? Because the minimum wage is one of the biggest issues driving this election cycle.

We have a Presidential election between Hillary Clinton, who supports a minimum wage increase and Donald Trump who says workers are already paid too much.

We have a US Senate race between Senator Kelly Ayotte who opposed minimum wage legislation in the Senate and Governor Maggie Hassan who has pushed for an increase in the minimum wage since her time in the NH State Senate.

We also have a Gubernatorial race between Executive Councilor Chris Sununu who opposes increasing the minimum wage in New Hampshire and Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern who advocates for a higher minimum wage and suggested a baseline of $12 an hour. Van Ostern also says he will sign any increase to the minimum wage that passes the Legislature.

For the first time in many, many, many years we are really close to getting the Legislature to raise the minimum wage and that is scaring some of the greedy CEO’s who fund groups like Berman’s Employment Policies Institute.

They are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to cover up the truth about the benefits of raising the minimum wage. By convincing people that raising the minimum wage is wrong they are trying to convince voters to reject candidates who support the increase.

I refuse to let Berman, a D.C. front man for the restaurant and business industry, Peter T Paul, a wealthy Wall Street gambler from California, and Sabia, an economist for hire funded by grants from a fake “institute” tell me what is best for the people of New Hampshire.

None of these men have the best interests of working Granite Staters’ in mind when they are pushing their agenda. These men are only interested in maximizing their personal profits and taking from the hard working people struggling every day to get by.

Related Reading:

Fight Over Minimum Wage Illustrates Web of Industry Ties

Rick Berman and the Libertarian Shell Game

Senator Ayotte’s War On Women’s Health And Reproductive Rights

Senator Kelly Ayotte claims to be standing up for Granite State women but her votes on the “Blunt Amendment”, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood tell a very different tale.

Over the last five years in Washington, Sen. Ayotte voted six times to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides critical health care services to thousands of New Hampshire women, including preventative care, birth control and cancer screenings.

She even submitted her own “women’s health” bill that women’s health experts called a “sham and an insult to women.” The bill would hurt women by making birth control more expensive–up to $600 more in out of pocket costs each year.

Increasing the cost of birth control does nothing to help women. When women are forced to pay more money out of pocket for their prescriptions, women lose while pharmaceutical companies line their pockets with their hard earned money.

So it comes as no surprise that Senator Ayotte has collected more than $200,000 dollars in campaign contributions from Big Pharma.

She also voted against allowing Americans to access safe and less expensive prescription drugs from Canada. She also blocked a measure that would help get more affordable generic drugs to market sooner.

“Kelly Ayotte has put her big pharma campaign backers ahead of the health of the people of New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “We deserve a Senator who will put New Hampshire first, stand up to predatory pharmaceutical companies, and help increase access to affordable medications and health care overall.”

In addition to voting to defund Planned Parenthood six times, Ayotte has also voted to cut all funding to the Title X Family Planning Program, which helps fund 4,200 Family Planning Centers that provide access to breast and cervical cancer screenings and other preventive health care to many low-income women.

And Ayotte opposes a woman’s right to choose. She said, “I certainly believe that Roe [v. Wade] should be overturned,” and cosponsored a plan which would have allowed employers to deny women insurance coverage for birth control.

Some have speculated that Ayotte’s failure to do her job and confirm a new Supreme Court Justice is because she is waiting for Donald Trump to nominate a justice who will overturn Roe v Wade.

Kelly Tries To Deceive Voters About Her Support Of Women’s Health On The Campaign Trail

Kelly Ayotte’s campaign continues to perpetuate the myth that she supports women’s health care. When confronted about her six votes to defund Planned Parenthood, Kelly Ayotte has the same pivot –– that she’d redirect money to community health centers. But there are a few major problems with her canned response.

First, Ayotte has repeatedly voted against federal funds to support community health centers. She repeatedly voted against the Affordable Care Act that provided $11B over five years to support Community Health Centers across the nation.

Second, Planned Parenthood health centers serve an outsized role in meeting the family planning needs for those who rely on federally-funded health programs.

A recent report found that in the 491 counties served by a Planned Parenthood clinic, “Planned Parenthood serves at least half of all American women who receive birth control from safety-net clinics. In one-fifth of these counties, a Planned Parenthood site is the only family planning center for clients who rely on subsidized help.”

The report also found that, “Although Planned Parenthood health centers comprise 10% of publicly supported safety-net family planning centers, they serve 36% of clients who obtain publicly supported contraceptive services from such centers.”

“Kelly Ayotte has spent six years voting to restrict access to women’s health care. Now that she’s up for reelection, she’s trying to moderate. The fact is that Ayotte’s votes against Title X funding and the ACA, have not only jeopardized care at Planned Parenthood health centers, they also aimed to restrict access to care for women and low-income families at the very Community Health Centers she claims to support. Granite Staters can see right through Kelly Ayotte’s election year politics,” said Victoria Bonney, Communications Manager for Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund.

This week, Maggie for NH released a new ad, “Six Times,” highlighting the six times Ayotte has voted against Granite State women by voting against Planned Parenthood.

“Kelly Ayotte has a long record of standing with her political party at the expense of Granite State families, and her six votes to defund Planned Parenthood and jeopardize access to critical health services including cancer screenings and birth control are yet another example,” said Maggie for NH Press Secretary Meira Bernstein. “Maggie Hassan believes that it’s unacceptable that politicians in Washington are still playing politics with women’s health care, and in the Senate, she will fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own health decisions and to safely and affordably access health care.”

The Trump/Ayotte Ticket

Now Ayotte may not be endorsing Donald Trump for President, though she says she will vote for him, they are walking hand-in-hand attacking women’s health and reproductive rights.

At a campaign event in New Hampshire on Thursday, Trump announced his support for Ayotte’s “sham” contraceptive bill that would force women to pay up to $600 more for their birth control prescriptions.

“Donald Trump’s support for (or is it an endorsement of?) Kelly Ayotte’s plan to make birth control more expensive makes it crystal clear that when it comes to undermining women’s healthcare Ayotte and Trump are in perfect agreement,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “New Hampshire women and people of all genders who care about access to affordable healthcare will reject this toxic ticket in the fall and send both Trump and Ayotte packing.”

More facts on Senator Ayotte’s war on women:

FACT: Ayotte has voted repeatedly to repeal the requirement that health insurance cover birth control without a copay.

FACT: At the urging of the Koch Brothers’ political arm, Kelly Ayotte voted to slash $1.3 billion from community health centers nationwide. This same bill would have also eliminated 750 community health center jobs in just New Hampshire.

FACT: The bill Ayotte touts regarding mammograms is dependent on the preventative care protections in the Affordable Care Act which Ayotte has voted five times to repeal. If Kelly Ayotte gets her way, 285,949 New Hampshire women will lose the guarantee that their insurance will cover preventative services like mammograms with no out of pocket costs.

FACT: Ayotte co-sponsored and voted for a measure that would have given employers the right to refuse insurance coverage for their employees of any medical treatments or services they disagree with–including birth control. This bill was opposed by the American Cancer Society because it would allow bosses to deny their employees coverage for important preventive health services.

FACT: On at least three different occasions, Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness legislation to ensure that women are paid equally for equal work.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, women make 76 cents for every dollar earned by men in New Hampshire. The numbers are worse for minority women: African American women earn 65 cents and Latinas 70 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.

“Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness a whole bunch of times. And then, just for kitten-heel kicks, she and some of her fellow lady Republicans introduced their own adorable “Equal Pay” bill, which wouldn’t actually strengthen equal pay laws so much as weaken them by creating extra loopholes for employers. It’s like the same thing, only different,” wrote Kaili Joy Gray for Wonkette.

I Call Them Heroes Everyday, Not Just On September 11th

Today marks the anniversary one of the most horrific moments in our nations history. Many other blogs have been asking “Do you remember where you were on September 11th?.” I am sure we all remember what we were doing.  Those images of the airplanes being flown into the World Trade Center are forever imprinted in our memory. My question to you is “What else do you remember about September 11th?”

I remember the look of fear in my wife’s eyes as we watched in horror at the events of September 11th.  I remember faces of the people at ground zero running for their lives in a cloud of smoke and falling debris as the buildings began to collapse around them.  I remember seeing the police and firefighters rushing into those same collapsing building to search for people lost in the smoke.

Over the next few days we as Americans went through a significant shift. We continued to mourn the loss of those who died, while we rallied behind those brave men and women of the FDNY and NYPD. They continued to search the rubble for missing people. We began to refer to these brave men and women as the Hero’s of 9/11.

We vowed never to forget.

Now 15 years later the image of those three firefighters raising the American Flag of the remains of the World Trade Center, is one of the most memorable images of September 11th.  But now something else has happened. Those same brave firefighters are still called Heroes on the days surrounding 9/11, and called “Union Thugs” the other 360 days a year.

What has happened? What has changed in America that we went from buying FDNY shirts and hats, and donating money to the International Association of Firefighters to making them enemies of the country?

Why is government trying to demonize these brave heroic men and women.

So on this day, remember all of September 11th. Remember over 3000 men and women who died tragically. Remember those 600 first responders who also died as Heroes. The courageous men and women who put lives of others ahead of their own. Remember this when people refer to Firefighters and Police Officers as Union Thugs. They have and always be this countries HEROES.

That is something we should never forget.


(This post was originally written by Matt Murray in 2011 and only edited to reflect the current number of years since 9-11)


Andru Volinsky Wins Another Landmark Case For Adequate Funding Of Our Public Schools

NH Supreme Court Confirms That A Cap On Adequacy Grants To Public Schools Is Unconstitutional 

Since New Hampshire’s landmark school funding decision in 1993, known as the Claremont Decision, state and local municipalities have been battling over adequate funding for our public schools.

In the 2009-2010 legislative session, the legislature instituted a cap on how much the state would increase school funding to cities and towns. This cap meant that after a few years rapidly growing cities like Dover were no longer receiving adequate funding based on the number of students enrolled in the district.  Dover says the cap resulted in a loss of over $14 million dollars over the last seven years.

Andru Volinsky fullAndru Volinsky, who was lead council in the Claremont Decision, took Dover’s case to the State Supreme Court. Yesterday, the New Hampshire Supreme Court confirmed that the cap on education funding to public schools was unconstitutional.

“The importance of the case goes well beyond the payment of $1.5 million to city of Dover taxpayers and another $10 million to about 40 other communities,” said Andru Volinsky.  “The state Legislature sought to ignore the constitutional mandate to fairly fund schools as their predecessors did 25 years ago in the Claremont School Funding case.  The decision reaffirms that the constitutional requirement to fairly fund schools remains a state responsibility that the courts will carefully oversee.’

“Legislative indifference to the needs of school children and local property tax payers did not carry the day even though that is what the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, as intervenors, wanted to protect,” Volinsky added.  

After the ruling was sent out, Governor Maggie Hassan had this to say:

“When this case was originally filed last year, I agreed with the Attorney General’s determination that the funding levels for certain school districts in Fiscal Year 2016 were not legally defensible. The Superior Court’s decision today reaffirms the validity of concerns raised by communities about school funding levels as well as the Attorney General’s original determination.” 

“Meeting our obligations to local school districts is critical to ensuring the strong public education system necessary to helping our students develop the skills needed for success in the innovation economy. With a strengthening economy and a strong revenue surplus, I supported legislation earlier this year that would have addressed the concerns raised by communities, and I continue to be disappointed that the legislature did not come together to do the right thing for our students by fully funding adequacy in these districts. I continue to call on the legislature to meet our state’s obligation to pay these districts the money they are owed under the law, and my door is open to legislative leadership from both parties to discuss a way forward,” concluded Hassan. 

Senator David Watters of Dover introduced legislation in 2013 that recognized the injustice of the adequacy cap and raised the limit.  He introduced legislation in 2015 and 2016 to lift the cap completely, while working successfully to eliminate the cap in FY18

Image from 2014 of Senator David Watters (D-Dover)

Image from 2014 of Senator David Watters (D-Dover)

“I applaud the decision of the Superior Court and urge Senate President Morse and Speaker Jasper to forgo appeal and provide the funding as quickly as possible. It is far past time for the State to fulfill its constitutional duty to fund education adequacy fairly and fully,” said Watters 

 “With this ruling, Dover and students in other communities will no longer be shortchanged. I agree with the Governor: funding be provided immediately. If legislation is needed to provide the funding, I am prepared to introduce a bill as early as the Senate veto session on September 29,” Watters added. 

Senator Watters has worked closely with Mayor Weston, the Dover City Council, and the Dover School Board to fight for Dover’s funding. Senator Watters remarked: “Mayor Weston and city officials have fought tirelessly for our schools, and I am glad that our teamwork has culminated in this victory.”

Volinsky echoed Sen, Watters sentiment by adding, “The City of Dover, Mayor Weston and the members of the City Council, the Dover School Board, Sen. David Watters, and the Dover delegation to the House are all to be commended for their courage in challenging this latest effort to circumvent constitutional responsibilities and downshift to local communities the state’s duty to fairly fund education.”

Featured image of Dover City Hall by Alexius Horatius CC 2.0

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