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About Matt Murray

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

IBEW Local 1228 Endorse Bernie Sanders Citing Opposition To Hearst Corp’s Anti-Union Agenda

Members encourage everyone to vote for Bernie Sanders

Members of IBEW Local 1228 voted to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders in his campaign for President in the Democratic primary at their last Local Union meeting, citing his continued commitment to fighting corporate greed. 

“Bernie has consistently fought for working families and for the right of workers in all occupations to form and join unions. It’s time for union families to mobilize across the country and help him restore the middle class. Like our forefathers who rejected Colonial rule against great odds, this is our time to stand up to power and greed,” saidLocal 1228 Business Manager Fletcher Fischer.

IBEW Local 1228 has represented workers in the broadcast news and sports industries throughout New England since 1941.

Fletcher Fischer and Senator Bernie Sanders

Fletcher Fischer and Senator Bernie Sanders

“Bernie has a lifetime commitment to fighting corporate greed. He has stood with members of this Local Union since 1979, from our strike at Vermont PBS to our current struggle with the Hearst Corporation in New Hampshire. Hearst is trying to steal pensions from eleven WMUR workers while reaping billions in profits. This is such an obscene example of corporate greed”, said Fischer.

In December, members of IBEW Local 1228 stood outside of WMUR studios in an informational picket prior to Sanders arrival. The union wanted Sanders to sit down with the station manager Jeff Bartlett and schedule more timely negotiations in an effort to resolve their dispute before the WMUR Democratic Debate in mid-December.

Bernie Sanders meets with members of the IBEW local 1228 on Dec 4 2015

Bernie Sanders meets with members of the IBEW local 1228 on Dec 4 2015

Sanders did meet with Bartlett, and during that meeting Bartlett agreed to set up more timely negotiations.  However WMUR/Hearst recanted and refused to move up their negotiations.  The failure of WMUR/Hearst  to schedule more timely negotiations prompted action by the DNC to pull WMUR’s sponsorship of the debate.

The members of Local 1228 are calling on everyone to join them in voting for Bernie Sanders on Feb 9th.

“I am encouraging all of our members throughout New England to ask their family, friends and neighbors to support Bernie. He is the spark of the political revolution that will put the power back in the hands of the people and make the middle class thrive once again,” added Fischer.

Will Hillary Clinton Push Fellow Democratic Supporters To Oppose The TPP?

Will Clinton Spend Some Of Her Newly Acquired Political Capitol To Do What Is Right For Working Families?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the 2015 IAM National Staff Conference in New York, NY. (Photo: Bill Burke/Page One Photography)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the 2015 IAM National Staff Conference in New York, NY. (Photo: Bill Burke/Page One Photography)

Yesterday, the Bernie Sanders campaign hit Hillary Clinton on her newly adopted position opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If Clinton wants to prove that she is as whole-heartedly against the TPP as she claims, there is something she can do to prove it and would generate more grassroots labor support for her Presidential campaign.

For years now Sanders has been speaking out against these so-called free trade agreements that have led to the offshoring of jobs and the decline of the middle class.

“You are looking at a senator and former congressman who has led the effort since his first day in Congress back in the early 1990s against disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China and today against the TPP,” said Sanders. “My record on trade is very, very different than Secretary Clinton’s. I am glad that after talking about how good the TPP would be, finally, under great pressure, she decided to oppose it. But I think it is a real area of disagreement.”

It is a fact that before Sanders officially jumped into the race Clinton was on the fence about the TPP, refusing to officially take any position on it. As Secretary of State, Clinton had some roll in negotiating this multi-national trade agreement.

Countless times Clinton praised the agreement she now opposes but did strongly come out in opposition to the TPP after the final text was released by stating:

“I hoped it would be the gold standard,” Clinton said. “It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn’t meet my standards. My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans. And I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, ‘this will help raise your wages.’ And I concluded I could not.”

This is what progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the Senate and Rep Keith Ellison and Rep Rosa DeLauro in House have been saying since the first drafts of the TPP were leaked to the public. Their efforts combined with strong opposition from all of organized labor pushed the TPP to the forefront of the Presidential primary.

It is good to see that Clinton is now on our side by opposing the TPP, but will she really put her money where her mouth is? Will she do want is necessary to actually stop the TPP?

Clinton has been lining up political endorsements for months now. Democratic Congressmen and Senators have enthusiastically signed up to be a part of her campaign for President. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire was one of Clinton’s first endorsements. The endorsement from one of the Granite State’s most beloved political leaders is a massive boost to her Presidential campaign in the First in the Nation primary state.

Shaheen was one of the 13 Democratic Senators who voted to approve the “fast track” legislation that allowed the TPP negotiations to continue. If Shaheen, and the other Democratic Senators, would have opposed the TPP then, the whole agreement could have been stopped dead in its tracks.

Will Clinton push those fellow Democrats, who are supporting her campaign, to stand up and oppose the TPP when it comes up in Congress in the coming weeks? Her advocating against the TPP and calling out these Democrats who voted for the fast track legislation could be just the push we need to finally kill this disastrous trade agreement.

Or is Clinton’s newly found opposition to the TPP just lip-service to the progressives and labor unions who oppose the TPP to gain their endorsement and support?

Actions speak louder than words. Getting her fellow Democrats to fall in line behind her in opposition to the TPP would go a long way and would show that she can lead the party, and the nation, by whipping the votes when needed.


(See the 28 Democratic House Reps who voted to approve the TPP fast track)

(See the 13 Democratic Senators who voted to approve the TPP fast track.)


 

Hypocrisy in a Hat: Why Donald Trump Won’t Take a Stand on Campaign Finance Reform

Donald trump 5 (Gage skidmore Flikr)

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore)

Latest poll:  87% of Americans agree that our campaign finance system needs to be reformed.  Voter anger about the influence of big money donors – the feeling that our government is owned by corporations and the 1%, not ordinary Americans – is fueling the unexpectedly strong candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

As my friends at the NH Rebellion pointed out yesterday, Donald Trump has been talking about the problem since Day One of his campaign – but he hasn’t promised any solutions yet.

Whoa.

Mr. Trump says he has solutions to everything.  That’s part of his attraction to some voters.  Immigration? Build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it.   ISIS? “Bomb the s— out of ’em” and take away their oil.   China?  Make them end export subsidies and currency manipulation; and while he’s at it, he’s going to make Apple start manufacturing their iPhones here.

Mr. Trump seems to have a Twitter-ready plan to fix every problem on earth.  Except for campaign finance reform.  What’s up with that?

The only solution Mr. Trump has offered is to end SuperPACs and have candidates (such as himself) self-fund their own campaigns.  But that would limit eligibility for becoming President of the United States to only rich guys.

But I don’t expect him to come out with any other plan to reform campaign finance anytime soon.

Reportedly, Mr. Trump is a personal friend of David Bossie, the president of Citizens United.   Yes, that same Citizens United that has its name on the infamous Supreme Court decision.  Reportedly, he has even helped fund the organization.  Reportedly, the largest charitable donation Mr. Trump disclosed on his most recent tax form was made to Citizens United.

So no matter how much of the campaign he spends talking about the problem, I don’t expect him to start talking about solutions.

Why do I care about the influence of money in politics?  Because everything changed after Citizens United.  In terms of donations to candidates’ campaigns, labor unions are being outspent by corporations by a ratio of about 15-to-one.  And that doesn’t include outside groups, “dark money,” issue-based “non-profits,” or any of the other ways that big money donors have, in Mr. Trump’s words, “corrupted our politics and politicians for far too long.”

It’s not a level playing field.  The system is horribly tilted in favor of those who have money; and all the people who are working for a living are suffering.

It’s time for solutions.

But I don’t hear Mr. Trump talking about any.

Please Mr Kamen, Help The People Of Flint Michigan Get Access To Clean Drinking Water

Dean Kamen (Image by Doc Searls FLIKR CC Cropped)

Dean Kamen (Image by Doc Searls FLIKR CC Cropped)

Today the NH Union Leader posted a story about Manchester inventor Dean Kamen and his new machine, the Slingshot, that will revolutionize people’s access to clean drinking water.

The machine, which is currently about the size of a refrigerator, distills water removing any impurities.  Kamen and Coca-Cola have teamed up to produce more of these machines and distribute them around the world.

The Union Leader article tells the story of how Kamen received a call for help from a group of aid workers in the Dominican Republic asking if Kamen would “send a couple of his machines down.”  The Dominican Republic was hit hard by Tropical Storm Erika and the massive flooding contaminated their drinking water.

Kamen called his friend, Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx and worked out a plan to get the machines to the Dominican Republic.

“Within a couple of hours they’re (FedEx) here in Manchester. They pick up the machines. They pick up my guys, and they fly them down to a big airport. I think it was in Florida or Puerto Rico,” Kamen said. “They put them on the small plane, they fly them to Dominica, and the following morning — essentially within 24 hours of my call — we have machines.”

Sending these machines to the Dominican Republic on such a short notice at no cost is an amazingly generous thing to do.

This is why I am making this public call to Mr Kamen today. 

Right now, the people of Flint Michigan are being poisoned by their own tap water.  The City’s Emergency Manager, appointed by Governor Rich Snyder, changed where the Flint drinking water would come from.  In doing so the City Manager failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure the new corrosive river water did not damage the city’s water distribution system.

After switching to river water the corrosive water chewed through the old pipes and began to poison the people of Flint with high levels of lead.

I am not here to argue about when the City Manager learned of the problem or what must be done to fix it.  I am here to make a plea to Dean Kamen to send some of his Slingshot machines to Flint until they fix the problem that is poisoning their drinking water.  

From news stories I have read recently, there are not enough bottles of clean water being delivered to the people of Flint. Some of the residents have been given water filters to help remove some of the toxins in the water but again very few people have access to them and replacement filters are scarce.

This is an emergency! There are children in Flint whose parents have no choice but to give them poisonous water in their baby formula.

Please Mr. Kamen, can you send some of these amazing machines to Flint.  Set them up in the schools, police stations, or fire houses where kids and parents can go get clean drinking water.  The people of Flint need your help.  Clean water is the most basic human need and the people of Flint cannot drink the water.

Please Mr. Kamen, help the 100,000 people of Flint get access to clean drinking water before more damage is done.

 

Workers In Right To Work States Are Less Likely To Have Access To Retirement Plans

Pew Analysis Shows Access to Workplace Retirement Plans
Varies Widely Across States

Big differences among industries, incomes, ages, education, race and ethnicities

Wide differences in access to and participation in employer-based retirement plans exist across states, with variations by employer size and industry type as well as by workers’ income, age, education, race and ethnicity, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The report, Who’s In, Who’s Out: A Look at Access to Employer-Based Retirement Plans and Participation in the States, examines the rates of access to and participation in plans in all 50 states and assesses the challenges facing workers and employers in ensuring that Americans have sufficient resources to pay for their retirements.

Access and participation is higher in the Midwest, New England, and parts of the Pacific Northwest—and lower in the South and West. The report also finds that among Hispanic workers, access to a plan is around 25 percentage points below that for white non-Hispanic workers. Black and Asian workers also report lower rates of access than white workers.     

“Access to workplace retirement plans varies widely across the states,” said John Scott, director of Pew’s retirement savings project. “Recognizing the savings challenge faced by so many Americans, half of the states are looking at their own solutions.” 

There is a correlation between traditionally strong union states and access to retirement plans.  Workers in Right To Work (for less) states generally have much less access to retirement plans or pensions.

Below is an chart from the report that shows the percentage of workers who has access to some type of retirement plan.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 11.45.19 AMBelow is the current map of Pro-Labor / Right To Work states.  Notice that the overwhelming majority of Right To Work states have drastically less access to retirement plans. (Note: Wisconsin became a RTW state in March of 2015, Michigan in March of 2013, and Indiana in February of 2012.)

righttowork_uschart2015

Overall, Pew’s analysis, based on a pooled version of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS), found that 58 percent of private sector workers have access to a plan, while 49 percent participate in one. Pew also found that more than 30 million full-time, full-year, private sector workers ages 18 to 64 lack access to an employer-based retirement plan, whether a traditional pension or a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k).

The report notes the numerous efforts at the state and federal levels to increase retirement savings. Illinois, for instance, adopted the Secure Choice Savings Program in 2015, which will start enrolling certain private sector workers in new payroll-deduction retirement accounts by 2017. In another example, the state of Washington created a marketplace in which small employers and the self-employed can shop for retirement plans. In addition, the federal government has rolled out the “myRA,” a new national savings program that is geared toward low-income savers. 

“Workplace retirement savings plans can be a critical piece of the retirement security puzzle,” said Scott. “But for millions of Americans, this piece is missing.”

The collective bargaining process has long been the key to ensuring a fair wage and access to retirement. As union membership declines we are continuing to see a reduction in our wages and access to benefits including retirement plans.  


More detailed information, including state-by-state breakdowns, is available in the report’s online interactive data visualization at www.pewtrusts.org/retirementaccess. 

Click here to download the full report.

Workers In Right To Work States Are Less Likely To Have Access To Retirement Plans

Pew Analysis Shows Access to Workplace Retirement Plans
Varies Widely Across States

Big differences among industries, incomes, ages, education, race and ethnicities

Wide differences in access to and participation in employer-based retirement plans exist across states, with variations by employer size and industry type as well as by workers’ income, age, education, race and ethnicity, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The report, Who’s In, Who’s Out: A Look at Access to Employer-Based Retirement Plans and Participation in the States, examines the rates of access to and participation in plans in all 50 states and assesses the challenges facing workers and employers in ensuring that Americans have sufficient resources to pay for their retirements.

Access and participation is higher in the Midwest, New England, and parts of the Pacific Northwest—and lower in the South and West. The report also finds that among Hispanic workers, access to a plan is around 25 percentage points below that for white non-Hispanic workers. Black and Asian workers also report lower rates of access than white workers.     

“Access to workplace retirement plans varies widely across the states,” said John Scott, director of Pew’s retirement savings project. “Recognizing the savings challenge faced by so many Americans, half of the states are looking at their own solutions.” 

There is a correlation between traditionally strong union states and access to retirement plans.  Workers in Right To Work (for less) states generally have much less access to retirement plans or pensions.

Below is an chart from the report that shows the percentage of workers who has access to some type of retirement plan.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 11.45.19 AMBelow is the current map of Pro-Labor / Right To Work states.  Notice that the overwhelming majority of Right To Work states have drastically less access to retirement plans. (Note: Wisconsin became a RTW state in March of 2015, Michigan in March of 2013, and Indiana in February of 2012.)

righttowork_uschart2015

Overall, Pew’s analysis, based on a pooled version of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS), found that 58 percent of private sector workers have access to a plan, while 49 percent participate in one. Pew also found that more than 30 million full-time, full-year, private sector workers ages 18 to 64 lack access to an employer-based retirement plan, whether a traditional pension or a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k).

The report notes the numerous efforts at the state and federal levels to increase retirement savings. Illinois, for instance, adopted the Secure Choice Savings Program in 2015, which will start enrolling certain private sector workers in new payroll-deduction retirement accounts by 2017. In another example, the state of Washington created a marketplace in which small employers and the self-employed can shop for retirement plans. In addition, the federal government has rolled out the “myRA,” a new national savings program that is geared toward low-income savers. 

“Workplace retirement savings plans can be a critical piece of the retirement security puzzle,” said Scott. “But for millions of Americans, this piece is missing.”

The collective bargaining process has long been the key to ensuring a fair wage and access to retirement. As union membership declines we are continuing to see a reduction in our wages and access to benefits including retirement plans.  


More detailed information, including state-by-state breakdowns, is available in the report’s online interactive data visualization at www.pewtrusts.org/retirementaccess. 

Click here to download the full report.

I Was Going To Endorse A Presidential Candidate Today, BUT….

Today I thought I was going to sit down and finally make an endorsement in the New Hampshire Democratic Primary. The election is only a month away, and many people have been waiting for me to endorse someone.

But I am not going to make any announcement about who I support right now.

Before I make an endorsement, we – as Democrats– seriously need to sit down and talk!

The differences between the Republican candidates and the Democrats are astounding. The two parties could not be further apart. Republican presidential candidates are attacking women, attacking immigrants, attacking members of the LBGT community, and the list goes on and on. There are massive amounts of money being “invested” in this election by corporations and dark money organizations that are trying to undermine workers’ rights.

The Republican candidates in this election are trying to take our country in the completely wrong direction.

Working families have been badly hurt, during the past few decades. We have to ensure that the Republicans do not win the White House.

I’m a Democrat, and we have our own problems right now. This primary has become the most divisive I have ever seen. Never before have I seen infighting between Democrats as I am seeing now.

My Facebook feed is full of supporters vocally showing their support for their chosen candidate. That is all fine and dandy – but recently supporters have turned to attacking fellow Democrats for not supporting their candidate.

People are accusing Senator Sanders of not being a Democrat, while others are accusing Sec. Hillary Clinton as being a shill for her Wall Street donors. Wherever the truth lies in these statements is not really relevant. Attacking fellow Democrats does not help either candidate, and does not show how the Democratic agenda will move America in the right direction.

Even the Republicans have started using our own infighting to fuel their own opposition to a specific candidate. And as NHLN blogger Liz Iacobucci pointed out in her Thanksgiving Day post, “arguing won’t get you anywhere.”

I’d also like to remind you of what’s gotten forgotten in all the infighting: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are all basically saying the same thing. They’re all saying: We need to raise the minimum wage, protect workers rights to organize, protect women’s reproductive rights, pass modest gun reforms to reduce gun violence, pass paid family and medical leave, and reign in the Wall Street gamblers who wrecked our economy.

There are minor differences in the specifics, like an $11 dollar minimum wage vs. a $15 minimum wage, but the fact is they all want the same thing: to raise the minimum wage.

The most important consideration of all is not which Democrat wins the White House. The lesson we’ve learned over the past seven years is that controlling the White House only limits the bad legislation that gets through. Controlling the White House – by itself – cannot restore America’s Middle Class and it can’t advance family-friendly policies.

Congressional Republicans have done everything in their power to stop every piece of progressive legislation submitted in the past seven years. If those same Republicans are re-elected to Congress, then NONE of these worker-friendly campaign ideas are going to pass. Many of them will never even get a vote!

Each of us, as individuals, should actively support our chosen candidate. Highlight their progressive policies and how they will make a great President. Leave the attacks to other people. (We’ll hear more than enough attacks in the paid political advertising, thank you very much.)

When the primary is over, working people are going to have to stand side-by-side if we want to have any chance of winning the White House and taking back the US House and Senate.

Remember you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Stay positive and together our policies will help win over those undecided voters.

Opposing The Kinder-Morgan Pipeline Does Not Make Me Anti-Union

"Kinder Morgan Building Houston" by WhisperToMe - Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Commons -

“Kinder Morgan Building Houston” by WhisperToMe – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Commons –

Richard Kinder, CEO of Kinder-Morgan, has a history of
supporting anti-union politicians

Recently I have been taking a lot of flak from some of my union brothers for my staunch opposition to the Kinder-Morgan Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline. People have accused me – a union member, labor activist, and the creator and managing editor of the New Hampshire Labor News – of somehow being anti-union because I will not support the pipeline, even though it is backed by some unions.

Let me be very clear: it is not anti-union to oppose a construction project just because a union worker would be hired to complete the job. I support union workers and I have built the NH Labor News to help promote the positive message of labor. I have been against the NED pipeline since its inception, just as I was against the Keystone XL pipeline. The newly-signed agreement to use union labor to construct the NED pipeline is not going to sway my opposition.

It is my belief that we should be moving away from fossil fuels and rebuilding our energy infrastructure with new, more efficient, renewable energy. Look around your neighborhood and see how many people are installing solar panels on their roofs, easing the burden of coal and gas power plants in our area – improving air quality and our children’s health.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers regularly promotes the fact that their union members are out there installing solar arrays. The IBEW recently finished construction on the largest rooftop solar array in the country that is estimated to generate 6.5 Megawatts (million watts) of clean energy. That would power approximately 6,500 homes and businesses.

So yes, I can be for union jobs and green energy at the same time. New Hampshire is peppered with large solar arrays like the one in Peterborough that produces 947 Kilowatts annually.

Then there is the issue of eminent domain. I am against the government using its police powers to take private land rights and give them to a for-profit corporation. Eminent domain should only be used to better the community, not for boosting the profit margins of a billion-dollar corporation. Cities and towns use eminent domain to widen roads or install sewers, as they provide a direct benefit to the local community; but using eminent domain to improve profit margins is just plain wrong.

When asked about the NED pipeline at the VFW Town Hall in Hudson, Bush responded:  "There's a trade-off in this, which is how public policy works. The trade-off is how do you balance the economic interests of working-class families with environmental considerations? And those are best sorted out at the state level, not in Washington, DC," said Bush. After the town hall, Bush told News 9 that he won't be taking sides. "Governor of Florida Jeb Bush at VFW in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 8th, 2015 by Michael Vadon a 09" by Michael Vadon - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

When asked about the NED pipeline at the VFW Town Hall in Hudson, Bush responded:
“There’s a trade-off in this, which is how public policy works. The trade-off is how do you balance the economic interests of working-class families with environmental considerations? And those are best sorted out at the state level, not in Washington, DC.”.
After the town hall, Bush told News 9 that he won’t be taking sides.
“Governor of Florida Jeb Bush at VFW in Hudson, New Hampshire, July 8th, 2015 by Michael Vadon a 09” by Michael Vadon – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Proponents of the pipeline say it will reduce our energy costs but fail to provide any hard evidence as to how much we will actually save. Do those saving show up immediately, or after Kinder-Morgan has recouped enough money to pay for the construction of the new pipeline? Remember the lessons we learned from Seabrook, about who ends up paying the costs of construction?

Kinder Morgan has been trying to buy elected politicians in New Hampshire and Massachusetts for the past five years, spending over $2.5 million dollars in lobbying and campaign donations in the past two years alone. Would Kinder-Morgan really spend millions of dollars lobbying to get this pipeline approved out of the goodness of their heart? Or is it because they are expecting to make millions more in profits after it is completed?

Richard Kinder, November 2012. (Photo credit: Matt Hawthorne)

Richard Kinder, November 2012. (Photo credit: Matt Hawthorne)

The CEO of Kinder-Morgan, Richard Kinder, was also cited as “the top conservative CEO donor” in America and has deep ties to the Bush family from Kinder’s days as an executive of the ENRON Corporation. You remember ENRON, the company that went belly up, the CEO went to jail, the workers lost their jobs and their pensions, and the executives received multi-million dollar golden parachutes.

Kinder and his wife have already personally donated $2 million dollars to Jeb Bush’s super PAC, Right to Rise. Richard Kinder also gave out over $98,000 dollars to conservatives in the 2014 elections and over $68,000 in the 2012 elections with a majority of it going to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Ted Cruz for Senate campaign.

Both Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz are vigorously anti-labor. Bush made national headlines when he told the Union Leader that, “people need to work longer hours.” Bush also praised Governor Rick Snyder’s underhanded political coup that made Michigan a “Right to Work” state. (Read how “Right to Work” worked out in Wisconsin here.)

As a sitting Senator, Cruz attempted to override vetoed legislation that would make it harder for workers to form unions. The TEA Party Republican was instrumental in forcing a government shutdown.

If we build this pipeline, how much more money will Kinder-Morgan and Richard Kinder funnel into the campaigns of anti-worker politicians like Bush and Cruz?

How much damage will Kinder-Morgan do to our environment as the pipeline goes through local nature preserves and watersheds? How much more damage will be done to our children’s health, while our politicians keep promoting Big Oil rather than Green Energy?

Is that worth the potential of a few hundred jobs for a year?

I believe that costs of this pipeline outweigh the potential benefits, and I am not alone. The Massachusetts Attorney General opposes the construction of the pipeline stating, “A new pipeline is not the best solution to New England’s energy needs.”

I guess the real question is: why are some of New Hampshire’s elected labor leaders helping to force through this pipeline, so that the same corporation can turn around and give money to politicians who are attacking unionized workers?

Richard Trumka Takes On Donald Trump’s Racist Hate Filled Campaign

Working families deserve better than a campaign fueled by fear and hatred.

Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, has some straight forward talk about Donald Trump’s campaign that divides workers, attacks immigrants and people of color.

From his initial campaign announcement, Trump’s campaign has been focused on immigrants and people of color.  He referred to Mexican’s as “rapists” and “drug dealers” and wants to build a wall across our southern border to keep people out. Trump spews hatred like an erupting volcano.

Trump’s campaign stops have been riddled with violent acts against people of color for speaking out against Trump’s fear mongering and oppressive ideas.

Recently Trump said that workers wages are “too high.” I would expect nothing less from a greedy capitalist who has been taking advantage of working men and women his entire career.

Too many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Many are working 50 or 60 hours a week between two and three jobs and still one-in-four children are food insecure.  Trump makes more in one minute ($434) than a minimum wage earner makes in an entire week.

Listen to the strong warning offered by Trumka, the son of an Italian and Polish immigrant family, about how America deserves better than Donald Trump.

Video Link

Extreme Lawmakers Attempting To Control Women

Image courtesy of NH Citizens Alliance

Image courtesy of NH Citizens Alliance on World Breastfeeding Day

It is time to break the chains of our patriarchal bonds that have oppressed women for generations creating a vicious double standard between the sexes.

Take for example the appalling comment that my state representative, Josh Moore, wrote about women exposing their breasts for feeding or other reasons.

Representative Moore said, “If it’s a woman’s natural inclination to pull her nipple out in public and you support that, than [sic] you should have no problem with a mans inclantion [sic] to stare at it and grab it. After all… It’s ALL relative and natural, right?”

Groping a woman is assault and we have laws to protect people from such actions. I wonder how Rep. Moore would react if he were walking on the beach and a woman grabbed his nipples?

The medical community continues to tell mothers that breastfeeding, when possible, is the best option for babies. So why does society continue to shame mothers for breastfeeding in public?

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and women should never be ashamed of providing nourishment to their child. If the woman is comfortable breastfeeding her child in public, then it is not my place, nor Rep. Moore’s or anyone else’s, to tell her otherwise.

As Americans we live in a male dominated, patriarchal society that seeks to deny women’s bodily autonomy. Women are expected to look, dress, and behave in particular ways. Dresses should be worn, but they must be a certain length or it would be inappropriate. Clothes can’t be too tight or revealing for fear it will arouse their male peers.

Rep. Moore’s anti-women agenda runs deep – his belief that groping a woman is acceptable behavior is just the tip of the iceberg. He’s also worked to strip women of their right to make personal, private healthcare decisions.

In 2016, in addition to sponsoring this legislation to bar women from baring their breasts in public, Rep. Moore is also co-sponsoring two pieces of legislation seeking to defund Planned Parenthood and independent health centers that provide abortion care or referrals. His legislative voting record is peppered with support for abortion bans. Does a young man really think he knows more about a woman’s health care than she and her doctor do?

Representative Moore should apologize for his grossly inappropriate statement threatening physical assault against women.

The New Hampshire Legislature in turn should see this initiative to stop women from exposing their nipples for what it is – just another attempt by extreme lawmakers to control women.


 

Also published in the Concord Monitor 

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