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Trump Nominates Fast Food CEO As Sec of Labor And House Labor Committe Chair Implies Unions Are Obsolete

Image by Chris Potter ccpixs.com

Image by Chris Potter ccpixs.com

As if this incoming train-wreck we call President-Elect Trump is not bad enough two more horrible things happened last night.

First, Trump is considering the head of a fast food chain as his new Secretary of Labor.

Second, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the newly elected chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce said we don’t need unions anymore.

The Hill is reporting that President-Elect Trump is considering Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor.

Puzder is a CEO of CKE Restaurants (Carls Jr / Hardees) and is an outspoken opponent of President Obama’s changes to the overtime rule, “claiming it will force employers to offset costs by making cuts elsewhere.”

“In an op-ed that ran in Forbes in May, Puzder said the rule adds to the ‘extensive regulatory maze the Obama Administration has imposed on employers.’”

As the head of a multi-national fast food chain with over 20,000 employees Puzder has also used his position to advocate against raising the minimum wage. He has threatened to fire workers and replace them with automated kiosks if the government increases the minimum wage. A threat that many fast food corporations have been using to counter the Fight for $15 movement.

Puzder will say anything to protect CKE’s profits that rose by 30% last year and his $4.4 million dollar compensation package.

According to PayScale.com the average fast food worker makes between $7.24 and $9.92 per hour. This means that Andrew Puzder makes more in one day ($17.250) that the average Carls Jr. worker make in a year.

Coincidentally, 52% of full-time workers who make between $7.42 and $9.91 must rely on some type of government assistance to survive. People like Savino, who works 72 hours a week, at a Brooklyn grocery store and still doesn’t make enough to get by.

“Sometimes things are so bad that I have to decide—should I pay rent this month, or should I eat?” said Savino.

“When employers pay wages so low that working people have to turn to public assistance to make ends meet, they’re effectively receiving a subsidy from taxpayers,” said EPI economic analyst David Cooper. “Policies that raise wages would free up resources that could then be used to strengthen anti-poverty programs or make investments in any number of other policy priorities. The simplest way we can do this is by raising the federal minimum wage.”

Within the next few months we could have a new Secretary of Labor who opposes raising the minimum wage and we could have a Labor Committee chair that says unions are obsolete.

Representative Virginia Foxx told Reuters “Organized labor has ‘sort of lost its reason for being’ and one of her committee’s top priorities will be to roll back a slew of Obama administration labor initiatives.”

“At the top of her agenda is the U.S. Labor Department rule that would extend mandatory overtime pay to more than 4 million workers” wrote Robert Iafolla for Reuters.

What a strange coincidence, that is exactly what the potential Sec. of Labor wants to do as well.

Foxx is also targeting the NLRB decision on “joint employment.” This is the rule that “could make it easier for unions and regulators to hold companies accountable for the employment practices of staffing agencies, contractors and franchisees with which they partner. That issue has been most prominently in play in a case involving McDonald’s Corp over whether it, as well as its franchisees, can be held liable in complaints about the violation of employee rights,” Iafolla explained.

The change to the “joint employment” rule is to stem the growing trend of hiring workers as “independent contractors” to avoid having to pay any benefits or be held responsible for any labor or safety violations. This would also hold corporations accountable for the actions of their franchisees.

Together, Puzder and Foxx will put a massive target on the backs of working people. They want to undo all of the progress we have made in the fights to raise the minimum wage and expand workers rights.

Now, more than ever, we need to come together to push back against this anti-worker agenda. We must fight back against the oligarchs that President-Elect Trump is filling his Cabinet with. We cannot sit idly by while the super-wealthy reap all the rewards from our hard work. We need to keep organizing and redouble our efforts in the Fight for $15.

We are all in this together.

We still are the 99% and we must make our voices heard.

AFL-CIO Decries Trump’s Cabinet Selections

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Cabinet Nominations

Richard_TrumkaAfter the election, we made clear that we would hold Donald Trump accountable to the promises he made to working people throughout the campaign.

His initial nominations fundamentally threaten these promises.  Taken together, the appointments push President-elect Trump away from the values and issues that working class voters said were most important to them. 

As a candidate, President-elect Trump railed against Wall Street greed and the failure of big banks to invest in America, yet his nominee for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is a billionaire who got rich by foreclosing on the homes of hard-working American families. Mnuchin will take us back to the risky, unregulated financial speculation that benefits his Wall Street friends, leaves consumers vulnerable and risks another financial crisis.

President-elect Trump promised to protect Social Security and Medicare, yet his nominee for HHS Secretary, Rep. Tom Price, wants to privatize and undermine these essential programs and take health care coverage away from millions of Americans.  

During the campaign, President-elect Trump complained that our kids aren’t learning, yet his nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, has spent her career undermining our public education system at the expense of students and teachers alike. She is a billionaire lobbyist, who has used her family’s wealth to steer public funds to private schools.  

Finally, President-elect Trump talked about a ‘New Deal’ for communities of color, yet Senator Jeff Sessions, his nominee for Attorney General, has a history of racially charged comments and a record of crushing civil liberties, including the right to vote. He is the opposite of what the American people want in their chief legal officer.

These decisions by President-elect Trump are deeply inconsistent with the pledges he made in the campaign.  Donald Trump the candidate claimed he would rein in the power of Wall Street traders, protect Social Security and Medicare and ensure all kids have great schools.  But his cabinet choices send a dangerous signal about how President-elect Trump will conduct his presidency. We urge the president-elect to stop stacking his administration with billionaire insiders who do not share the core American values he campaigned on.

That ‘Rigged’ System Made Donald Trump President-Elect

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

Donald Trump said the election was “rigged’ in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The “rigged” system made him president-elect.

Hillary Clinton got more votes than Trump did. But she came up short where it counted: in the electoral college.

Billionaire Trump should thank the nation’s founders–well-heeled and powerful white men–for creating the electoral college. Their aim was to make sure that only guys like them could be president. 

Barack Obama snapped the string of white presidents. It’s back together with Trump.

Most of the nation’s founders –especially Alexander Hamilton–didn’t believe ordinary citizens could govern themselves. They made no bones about it.

Trump, a rich New Yorker like Hamilton, chose not to model his campaign after the founder, who became the country’s first treasury secretary.

Instead, the ex-reality TV star, emulated 19th-century circus showman P.T. Barnum who supposedly said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” 

Trump donned baseball caps and claimed to champion working stiffs.

He railed against outsourcing. He demonized trade deals like NAFTA and TPP.  Yet Trump has made money hand-over-fist selling a line of duds manufactured in Bangladesh, Honduras, China and other cheap labor countries, according to The Washington Post.

The big beneficiaries of his tax plan are rich people, says NPR.

Trump likes anti-union “right to work laws.” He has battled tooth-and-nail to keep his Las Vegas hotel workers from unionizing. On the minimum wage, he’s flip-flopped more times than a hooked Kentucky Lake bass in the bottom of a johnboat.

Yet Trump collected votes in 49 percent of union households, according to CNN exit polls.

On other hand, ultra-elitist Hamilton was openly contemptuous of ordinary citizens.

“The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right,” according to Hamilton. Thus, they had to be checked by wise and experienced “landholders, merchants and men of the learned professions.”

Hamilton favored the electoral college–and a king elected for life.

Anyway, Clinton became the fifth White House hopeful to win the popular vote but not the election. The last such loser was Al Gore in 2000. Besides Clinton and Gore, the other presidential candidates who won the popular vote and lost the election, were Andrew Jackson (1824), Samuel J. Tilden (1876) and Grover Cleveland (1888). Coincidentally, they were all Democrats.

Meanwhile, everybody who helped draft the constitution in Philadelphia in 1787 was from the colonial aristocracy; many were slaveholders.  Yet there were proposals to elect the president by popular vote (of white men), historian Howard Zinn pointed out in a 2000 interview with Democracy Now.

Every proposal was shot down. Hamilton and many other founders feared an “excess of democracy.” They argued that “people who are intelligent, people who are educated…important people in the community” ought to control the government, explained Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to the Present. In other words, only the elite counted.

The electoral college remains a relic from a period in our history when only white men of property could seek office and vote. They ran businesses, industries and everything else of importance in society.

Elitism was evident even in supposedly egalitarian (for whites) frontier states like Kentucky.

In addition to sanctioning slavery, the Bluegrass State’s first constitution, written in 1792, created a system in which electors chose the governor and state senators, according to A New History of Kentucky by Lowell H. Harrison and James C. Klotter. The 1799 constitution tossed out the electors, the historian added. (Kentucky remained a slave state until the 13th Amendment ended slavery in 1865.) 

The electoral college has, though the years, survived multiple moves to get rid of it. At least 700 amendments have been proposed to modify or abolish it; no other attempt at constitutional reform has been greater, according to Fair Vote, “a non-partisan, 501(c)(3)h non-profit organization that seeks to make democracy fair, functional, and more representative.”

Fair Vote favors repeal.

Trying to deep-sixing the electoral college through a constitutional amendment isn’t likely to work, The Baltimore Sun editorialized. “It would require either a two-thirds vote of both chambers of Congress or a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of state legislatures just to propose such an amendment, and then it would need to be approved by three-fourths of the states.”

The editorial pointed to a different path. “Ten states plus Washington, D.C., have enacted legislation that could lead to a system that leaves the Electoral College intact but ensures that it deliver the presidency to the popular vote winner. This national compact stipulates that as soon as states comprising a majority of the Electoral College — 270 votes — sign on, each will award its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The Constitution allows states to allocate their electors as they choose — the winner-take-all system is not in the Constitution, and Maine and Nebraska have already abandoned it, choosing to split their electoral votes based on who wins in each congressional district.”

So far, only Democratic-majority legislatures have endorsed the plan, starting with deep blue Maryland, which Clinton carried.”…Yes, we endorsed the idea then, not just now that the candidate we supported, Hillary Clinton, has won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College,” the Sun editorial said.

“But the idea has gotten some traction in places like Oklahoma, a state so red that no presidential candidate pays it any attention, and in some swing states, including Colorado and Nevada. The 11 jurisdictions that have signed on total 165 electoral votes, nearly two-thirds of the necessary total.”

With the Republicans flipping the House of Representatives, the Kentucky General Assembly is redder and more reactionary than ever. Hogs will fly before GOP lawmakers agree to scuttle a system that made their man the next president.  

The Sun isn’t sanguine about red states hopping on the anti-electoral college bandwagon.  

‘Notwithstanding the fact that President-elect Donald Trump called the Electoral College ‘a disaster for democracy’ in a 2012 election night tweet (he evidently thought at the time that Mitt Romney would win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College, though he wound up losing both), we don’t expect Republicans to take up the cause until one of their nominees suffers the fate of Ms. Clinton and Al Gore. It’s only a matter of time. Had John Kerry convinced 59,301 George W. Bush voters in Ohio to support him instead, he would have taken the presidency in 2004 despite losing the popular vote by 3 million.”

Nonetheless, the paper said the electoral college “is no way to pick a president, and we can fix it. A petition on change.org calling for members of the Electoral College to vote for Ms. Clinton rather than Mr. Trump got more than 2 million signatures in under 36 hours, but if people really want change, they should lobby their state legislators to support the Electoral College compact.”

A MoveOn.org petition calls for the abolition of the electoral college. “Voters currently living and voting in a ‘red’ or ‘blue’ state are disenfranchised, because their vote doesn’t matter. Eliminating the electoral college means: no ‘swing’ states getting all the attention and all the campaign stops and all the empty campaign promises. The electoral members are selected by the two main political parties, Republican and Democrat, disenfranchising all other voters, independent, Libertarian, etc. End it now.”

I put my cyber John Hancock on the petition. You can, too, here.  

The NH Labor News Take On New Hampshire’s Candidates For 2016

The election is only days away and I wanted to take a couple of minutes to talk about who I think you should vote for and why.

President:

Hillary Clinton

Hillary is highly qualified to be President having spent years in politics. She is a smart woman and a smart politician, both of which are needed to get things done in Washington. She also supports; raising the minimum wage, opposes the TPP, supports a workers right to organize and collectively bargain, supports women’s rights and the right to make their own healthcare decisions, wants to make college more affordable while allowing those with student loans to refinance them to a lower rate, and she has laid out a massive infrastructure plan to put millions of people to work rebuilding roads, bridges, electricity lines, internet availability and more.

Her opponent, Donald Trump, has no political experience outside of buying politicians to protect his wealth. Basically he opposes everything above and is in my opinion, completely unstable. I fear that a Trump Presidency would throw us into another world war that would end with Trump launching nuclear weapons and completely destroying everyone on the planet.

There are third party options but I am not a fan of them either.

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, supports the idea that we do not need things like drivers licenses, environmental regulations on corporations, and thinks we should eliminate the minimum wage completely because you know “free market” and stuff.

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, is a very liberal progressive. Her campaign mirrors many of the ideas supported by Senator Bernie Sanders in the Presidential primary. She has a built her campaign on jobs and protecting the environment. The biggest difference between Sanders and Stein is the years of elected experience Sanders has. She lacks any real elected experience and many say she is weak on foreign policy. Since Sanders lost the primary, Sanders and Clinton have worked together to adopt many of the policies that Sanders and Stein were pushing in the primary. Because of the collaboration between Sanders and Clinton on policy issues, I think Clinton is the better choice over Stein.

New Hampshire Governor:

Colin Van Ostern

The Governor of New Hampshire is a very important and powerful position in our state and we must elect the right person for the job. Van Ostern has strong business and political experience and is uncompromising on his values. He has been an outspoken advocate for expanding the state’s Medicaid program and protecting the 50,000 people currently receiving healthcare through the program. He also supports a higher minimum wage and opposes anti-worker laws like the so-called Right to Work bill.

Van Ostern was also instrumental in ending the FairPoint communication strike that lasted for months. He blocked a proposed state contract with FairPoint until the strike was resolved and that was enough to get FairPoint to sit back down with workers and settle their dispute.

Van Ostern has continually voted in support of Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decision. He voted against defunding the program and with Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, continued to push the issue until another vote was held to restore their funding. Unlike Chris Sununu, Van Ostern held fast to his principles to support Planned Parenthood when Republicans like Sununu were spreading lies and attacking Planned Parenthood over a misleading and false videotape.

Chris Sununu comes from a political family, the New Hampshire version of the Bush family, so it is only natural that he is trying to move up the ladder. He claims to be an environmental engineer but does not believe man has any impact on climate change. Reports also came out that Sununu might not have ever had a license as a professional engineer in NH. He was also gifted the CEO position at Waterville Valley after his family purchased the ski resort. Waterville Valley has continued to fall in ski resort rankings and continues to loose visitors every year. This is not the type of leadership we want in the corner office.

US Senate:

Maggie Hassan

Hassan has been a strong leader as Governor of New Hampshire for the last four years. She worked with the Republican controlled legislature to expand Medicaid.  Though she was blocked by Senate Republicans she pushed for higher minimum wage law and stronger protections for working people.

Kelly Ayotte is a bought and paid for politician who is only out for herself.  She voted 90% of the time with her campaign donors, the Koch Brothers.  She opposes increasing the minimum wage, she wants to repeal a woman’s right to choose, blocked those with high student debt from being able to refinance their loans.  She has also been sitting for over 100 days now without holding any meetings or hearings on the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Ayotte is just one example of why nothing is moving in Washington. She voted down party lines and has continued to block President Obama at every turn resulting in years of gridlock.  It is time for Ayotte to go.

The First Congressional District:

Carol Shea-Porter

There is no doubt in my mind that we should reelect Carol Shea-Porter to represent us in Washington. She is a proven fighter for working people and a protector of our planet. She supports expanding Social Security, lowering college tuition costs, higher minimum wage, and was in Congress when the Affordable Care Act was passed so she will continue to support and expand on the ACA.

Her honesty and integrity knows no bounds. In a race with a “Damned liar” and a “Lying carpetbagger from NY,” honesty is a vital part of this election. Congressman Guinta was caught breaking FEC regulations even after he lied about it for years. Shawn O’Connor is simply trying to buy his way into Congress and has lobbed some nasty false accusations at Shea-Porter before he left the Democratic Party to run as an Independent who will caucus with “whoever is in power.”

The Second Congressional District:

Congresswoman Annie Kuster

For four years Congresswoman Annie Kuster has represented the Second District in Washington and she should continue to do so for at least another two years. She is a strong advocate for workers and women’s rights. As a part of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Kuster has continued to fight for our Veterans, ensuring they get all that was promised to them and helping to fight the chronic problem of PTSD that is plaguing many of our Veterans.

As for her opponent, Jim Lawrence, his is your run of the mill TEA Party anti-government Republican. He is the typical smaller government politician who puts corporations above working people. In a recent debate Lawrence opposed a Congressional inquiry to the pharmaceutical industries involvement in the current heroin and opioid epidemic. 

Local Races:

Bottom UpLastly, there are over 400 House races, 24 Senate races and 5 Executive Council races so I cannot possibly tell you about each of them. I implore you to look at the candidates and see what they are saying. These races will have the most impact on your daily life in the next two years and beyond.

Look at where these candidates stand on the issues that matter to working people: Minimum Wage, healthcare and the Medicaid Expansion, expanding rail service, Right to Work, supporting a women’s right to make her own healthcare decisions, and protecting our environment.

To ensure that these local races are not forgotten, I recommend that you do what I am going to do and vote from the bottom up. 

Do your research and then get out and vote.

Lying Carpetbagger From NY, Shawn O’Connor, Gets Backing Of Right-Wing Super PAC

‘Independent’ Candidate For New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, Shawn O’Connor, Gets Advertising Mailer Sent Out
By Peter T. Paul’s NH Priorities PAC

O’Connor also released a new ad that lies about Shea-Porter taking money from a “sponsor of terrorism”

As the election draws to a close, some candidates are slinging the mud as fact as their little hands can muster.  Shawn O’Connor, the millionaire carpetbagger from New York who now lives in Bedford has hit a new low.

Early this week, O’Connor released a new TV ad that said, “Shea-Porter has taken $140,000 from a lobbying organization that supports Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism which funds ISIS.” The ad claims that, J Street, a progressive pro-Israel group is actually a pro-Iranian group and a sponsor of terrorism.

The people over at the Daily Kos were quick to debunk this lie and shed a little more light on the subject.

“…Last year, back when he was still a Democrat, O’Connor traveled to J Street’s offices in D.C. and sought the group’s endorsement! For him to turn around now and tell rank lies about an organization whose support he tried to earn is truly craven.”

Then yesterday people in the first district started to receive mail from the Peter T Paul’s NH Priorities PAC in support of O’Connor, highlighting O’Connor’s endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders campaign for President.  It should be noted that the Bernie Sanders for President steering committee openly endorsed Carol Shea-Porter for Congress.

 

oconnor-adoconnor-ad-2If you do not know much about Peter T Paul and his political involvements, we talked about him in a recent post entitled: Business Economist And Industry Shill Now Chair Of Health Economics At UNH.

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 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.

Now it appears that Peter T Paul is helping his fellow Wall Street buddy buy a seat in Congress, after his last candidate failed to beat Guinta in a primary.

filingMake no mistake, the NH Priorities PAC is not a progressive organization and though the mailer was sent out in support of O’Connor, they do not support any of Bernie Sanders progressive ideas like taxing Wall Street or increasing the Minimum Wage.  Peter T Paul helped institute Joseph Sabia, a well know shill for the restaurant industry who writes economic reports about the ill effects of raising the minimum wage, into a high powered position at the Peter T Paul school of Business and Economics at UNH.

Look deeper, this ad is not really to support O’Connor who is barely breaking double-digits in statewide polling, but to attack Carol Shea-Porter.  If they can trick enough people into believing that O’Connor is a pro-Bernie progressive they might be able to steal just enough votes from Shea-Porter to allow the real candidate they want to win, Republican Frank Guinta.

Do not be fooled into thinking that a Right-Wing super PAC whose founder opposes increasing the minimum wage and has made a fortune of the suffering of millions of Americans in the mortgage crisis supports Shawn O’Connor.  They will stop at nothing in their attempt to stop the true progressive in this race, Carol Shea-Porter, from winning her seat back.


UPDATE:

Since the original posting of this article, Shawn O’Connor has disavowed any connection to the flyers, which is cute because you cannot take back the mail that has already been delivered.

WMUR’s John Distaso tweeted this:

Busted: Trump International Hotel Gets Smacked Down By NLRB For Union-Busting

Last night, news broke that the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Donald Trump, and Trump International Hotel, has been violating law by refusing to accept the results of the Culinary Union Local 226 (UNITE HERE) certification election and then refusing to negotiate with the union.

The NLRB decision ordered the immediate “cease and desist” from “interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees” in an attempt to break the union.

The NLRB also mandated that Trump International recognize the union and open bargaining immediately.

“The National Labor Relations Board has consistently told Donald Trump and his company that the union election wasn’t rigged and that he must sit down and negotiate with the Culinary Union,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Mr. Trump is breaking federal law and Trump Hotel Las Vegas is operating illegally. Mr. Trump should accept the federal government’s order to negotiate and treat his workers with respect.”

“The decision by the NLRB marks a major victory for the more than 500 workers at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas, whose right to organize and collectively bargain has been trampled by Donald Trump,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO. “The decision underlines what we already know: Donald Trump lacks respect for the hardworking men and women who have made his hotel successful. For months he has violated federal laws by refusing to recognize and negotiate with Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which represents the hotel workers.”

“Donald Trump is a hypocrite, whose true feelings towards working people are clear. The workers at Trump Hotel Las Vegas deserve a say in determining their wages, benefits and working conditions. Donald Trump must come to the table and negotiate with them. The labor movement will continue to stand by these hotel workers, and all working men and women, as we fight back against attacks on our rights,” Trumka added.

Donald Trump likes to brag about his skills as a negotiator—but yesterday, he had to be ordered by the National Labor Relations Board to stop breaking the law, respect his workers’ fundamental rights to organize and bargain collectively, and come to the table,” said Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President. “It’s appalling, but it’s not surprising. This is a man who personally signed a contract with a union-busting firm to try to stop UNITE HERE and the Culinary Workers’ Union from organizing in the first place, and engaged in a months-long intimidation campaign to bully his workers against voting to form a union.”

I was proud to visit workers on the picket line at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, and even prouder when they overcame Donald Trump’s intimidation campaign and were officially certified as a union earlier this year. I believe that when unions are strong, families are strong—and when families are strong, America is strong. And I will always stand with workers in protecting their rights to organize, bargain collectively, be safe on the job and retire with dignity, and if I am elected President, workers will always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House,” added Clinton. 

Throughout this entire election, workers and unions, have been speaking out against Donald Trump and his anti-worker policies. (You can see a few examples from our coverage of the Democratic National Convention.)  Working people spoke out against Trump’s support of so-called Right to Work laws, refusing to pay workers and contractors, and his refusal to negotiate with the unions inside his own companies.

Donald Trump claims to have the support on “many, many union members” and even went on to say, “I have tremendous support within unions…every poll shows it.” When in fact, polling data shows that only 36% of union members support Trump.

In September, the NH Labor News posted an article highlighting Trump’s financial support of the union-busting Governor Scott Walker.  “Because of the leaked documents, we now know that Donald Trump was one of the donors who helped Scott Walker stay in office,” wrote Liz Iacobucci.

This most recent decision by the NLRB confirms that Donald Trump does not care about workers. He does not care about workers rights to organize and collectively bargain.  He does not even care about what the law requires.

Donald Trump is only out for himself. He is the epitome of corporate greed and highlights exactly what is wrong with our country right now.

Hopefully the rest of America will see Trump for the lying fraud that he truly is and will vote for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday. Then I will look forward to Wednesday when Trump will disappear and be relegated to the history books.


Personal Note:

We applaud the Culinary Union on this tremendous victory over Donald Trump and the Trump International Hotel.  The Culinary Union and UNITE HERE symbolize exactly why we must stand together to fight back against corporate greed and how unions fight for every worker.  We, as union members, should rejoice in this decision and be ready to join our fellow union members on the streets when greedy executives like Donald Trump attack working people.  

Kelly Ayotte’s Fast Food Photo Ops Don’t Change Her Opposition To Raising The Minimum Wage

Concord, N.H. — Kelly Ayotte’s photo ops at fast food restaurants don’t change the fact that she has consistently sided with her special interest backers like the Koch Brothers in opposing an increase to the minimum wage. Kelly Ayotte earns $83.65 per hour, a rate that is over 11 times New Hampshire’s $7.25 minimum wage, yet in Washington she has repeatedly voted against helping working families earn a livable wage.

Raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour would give an estimated 141,000 hard working Granite State employees a raise and send positive ripple effects through New Hampshire’s economy. But when the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity urged Senators to vote against a measure to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 in 2014, Kelly Ayotte turned her back on her constituents and obliged.

New Hampshire is tied for the lowest minimum wage in the country, and its voters strongly support an increase to this wage. A poll earlier this year found that 70% of Granite State voters support raising the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, but Kelly Ayotte put the Koch Brothers before the people she represents and voted against such a measure.

“Kelly Ayotte opposes a common-sense measure to ensure fast food workers earn a livable wage, so her posing for photos at a drive through window is tone deaf and offensive,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley. “Working families in New Hampshire know that Kelly Ayotte puts the Koch Brothers before the people of our state, and they won’t be fooled by her campaign season photo ops.”

Michelle Obama Encourages Granite Staters To Vote For Maggie Hassan

 First Lady Michelle Obama: “Maggie’s problem solving approach to leadership is exactly what we need in the U.S. Senate”

CONCORD –  Today, Maggie for NH released a new web ad featuring First Lady Michelle Obama encouraging Granite Staters to vote for Maggie Hassan for Senate on Tuesday. In the ad, the First Lady highlighted Governor Hassan’s problem solving approach and record of getting results, including her work to make college more affordable, create good paying jobs, and fight for New Hampshire’s children.

Watch the ad HERE.

“I want to talk about a leader who’s made a real difference for families all across New Hampshire, your Governor, Maggie Hassan… Maggie’s problem solving approach to leadership is exactly what we need in the U.S. Senate. And that’s why I am asking you to vote for Maggie Hassan for U.S. Senate. Every vote matters, so be sure to cast yours for Maggie, and make your voice heard.” said First Lady Michelle Obama in the ad.

Ayotte’s History Of Protecting Special Interests Began With Her Time As Attorney General

Frankly, I am not surprised to find out that Attorney General Kelly Ayotte was not the “champion for working people” she has claimed to be. Her history as Attorney General mirrors her current opposition to policies that will help working people in New Hampshire and her history of trying to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Newly uncovered data shows that while Ayotte served as Attorney General, her office issued dramatically fewer consumer protection subpoenas than her successors. During the four years between July 2005 and July 2009, Ayotte’s office issued a total of only 53 consumer protection subpoenas. That’s less than half the number of consumer protection subpoenas issued during the next four years by the AGs that succeeded her. (Between July 2009 and July 2013, under Attorneys General Michael Delaney and Joseph Foster, a total of 116 consumer protection subpoenas were issued.)

Think back to 2007-08: that was when the housing market collapsed, Wall Street financial institutions were under attack for fraudulent and predatory lending, and working people were being crushed by the collapsing economy.

Wouldn’t you expect that the AG’s office would be inundated with consumer protection claims during that time? Yet Ayotte only issued 30 consumer protection subpoenas between 2007-2009.

As we already know, Ayotte left the AG’s office and was narrowly elected to the US Senate in the off-year, red wave election of 2010.

And ever since going to Washington, Ayotte has been an opponent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, voting against confirming its director and voting for an amendment that put the agency’s budget on the chopping block “to pressure the agency against cracking down on lenders.”

Her opposition to the CFPB might have something to do with the $4.5 million dollars in donations she has directly received from the finance and insurance industry. Her PAC also received an additional $893,000 in donations for her reelection effort.

“New Hampshire consumers deserve public servants who will fight on their behalf, but it’s clear that Kelly Ayotte puts corporate special interests ahead of the people of our state,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “And now we know she failed to stand up for consumer protection during her time as Attorney General, meaning that her refusal to fight on behalf of New Hampshire consumers is nothing new.”

(Read about Ayotte’s 2015 New York City fundraiser, sponsored by a mega-donor “hedge fund executive who has a history of opposing Wall Street reforms” here.)

There are other examples of how Ayotte has put her Wall Street special interest donors above the people of New Hampshire.

  • Ayotte has repeatedly voted for budgets that slash funding for Pell Grants at the urging of the Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity. And just last year she voted for a bill that would have cut Pell Grants by $90 billion
  • Ayotte voted to end an expansion of the “Pay As You Earn Program,” which could double the cost of student loan payments for those who had enrolled in the program.
  • Ayotte has also repeatedly voted against allowing student borrowers to refinance their loans to take advantage of lower interest rates available to other borrowers.
  • Ayotte introduced a sham student loan bill that has been called that has been called a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Even the conservative American Enterprise Institute said that Ayotte’s bill is a “sweetheart deal” for private sector lenders like those on Wall Street.

Protecting Wall Street is not the only place that Ayotte has been standing against the will of the people.

She has continued to oppose increasing the federal minimum wage, which would help lift tens of thousands of Granite Staters out of poverty. 74% of Granite Staters support raising the minimum wage, yet Ayotte votes against it.

Just this week at the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy forum, Ayotte was peddling the myth of “job losses” if we increase the minimum wage.

“Contrary to the claims we hear from opponents, raising the minimum wage increases the income of low-wage workers without hurting jobs,” said Jeff Kramer in a recent editorial on the NH Labor News.

During a recent WMUR question and answer session, Kelly Ayotte simultaneously admitted that the current minimum wage is not livable and doubled down on her opposition to raising it.

When asked by a participant whether she will “stand with New Hampshire workers to raise the minimum wage,” Ayotte responded “if we focus on the minimum wage, we’re, we’re losing sight of what we should be focusing on, which is better paying jobs because you can’t live on minimum wage.”

Ayotte has also stood by her decision to not hold a hearing or a confirmation vote the Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland – even though 60% of Granite Staters believe that Ayotte should do her job and hold a vote on Garland’s nomination.

“People are tired of Senator Ayotte playing politics with the Constitution by refusing to consider the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court,” said Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress.

“Because of Republican obstruction, the Supreme Court finished this year’s term with a 4-4 tie on some of the most important issues to reach the court in recent years, denying justice to millions of our families and neighbors in the process,” said Linds Jakows, New Hampshire Campaign Organizer with progressive advocacy group People For the American Way.

The last example is Ayotte’s opposition to common sense legislation to reduce gun violence. Ayotte has continually stood with her NRA donors in opposition to expanding background checks and closing loopholes that PolitiFact confirmed helps terrorist purchase guns.

Since opposing the 89% of Granite Staters who support expanding background checks, Ayotte has refused to meet with gun violence prevention advocates.

“Constituents have made phone calls, sent letters, signed petitions, and invited the Senator to their homes for dinner, but Senator Ayotte has repeatedly denied meeting requests from gun violence prevention advocates ever since she voted against background checks and the 89 percent of her constituents who support them,” Rice-Hawkins said. “Senator Ayotte needs to stop hiding behind NRA lobby talking points and meet directly with her constituents.”

It should have been obvious to the people of New Hampshire when Ayotte was Attorney General that she was not looking out for working people. She used the AG’s office as a stepping-stone for higher political office and lucrative campaign donations.

She may have fooled us the first time she ran for Senate, but we will not be fooled again.

60% of Granite Staters believe the Senate should vote on the nomination to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Ayotte refuses to do so.

74% of Granite Staters support increasing the minimum wage. Ayotte opposes it.

89% of Granite Staters support background checks for gun purchases. Ayotte opposes them.

It couldn’t be any more clear. Ayotte represents her campaign donors, she doesn’t represent us.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s Metal Trades Council Endorses Maggie Hassan for U.S. Senate

hassan-psny-metal-trade2Metal Trades Council President: “Governor Hassan is a true champion of the shipyard and its workers, and we know she’ll be our voice in the Senate” 

Governor Hassan: “The Shipyard plays such a critical role in our national security and in the Senate, I’ll fight tirelessly to strengthen the Shipyard”

PORTSMOUTH – Today, Governor Maggie Hassan accepted the Metal Trades Council endorsement – the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s largest trade union. Governor Hassan received the endorsement this afternoon in Portsmouth. 

“I’m tremendously proud to have the endorsement of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s Metal Trades Council,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “Thanks to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of its workers, the Shipyard continues to set the gold standard for productivity. The Shipyard plays such an important role in both national security and the Seacoast economy. In the Senate, I’ll work to strengthen the Shipyard and I will vigorously fight any attempt to close the facility – including opposing a new Base Closure and Realignment Commission round. I look forward to doing everything within my power to make sure Congress invests in the Shipyard’s workforce and infrastructure, including modernizing and enhancing the efficiency of the Shipyard’s facilities and preparing the workers of tomorrow through STEM education programs.

“Governor Hassan is a true champion of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and its workers, and we know she’ll be our voice in the Senate,” said Metal Trades Council President Mark Vigliotta. “From her time as a State Senator to the Governor’s office, Maggie Hassan has delivered results for New Hampshire’s workers and there’s nobody better prepared to stand up for us in Washington.”

hassan-psny-metal-trade1“I’ve seen firsthand Governor Maggie Hassan’s commitment to protecting the Shipyard and it’s workers,” said former Metal Trades Council President Paul O’Connor. “To build on the progress she’s been able to make by bringing people together here in New Hampshire, we need to send Governor Hassan to the Senate. I know that Governor Hassan will always fight to keep the Shipyard open and to protect our workforce, and Washington could use her commonsense and commitment to bipartisan problem solving.”  

As a State Senator, Maggie Hassan helped turn back a misguided effort to close the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She sponsored– and secured unanimous bipartisan passage of – legislation providing state funding for the Seacoast Shipyard Association, which played a pivotal role in saving the Shipyard from the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC). 

As Governor, she has fought for critical Shipyard priorities including helping secure funding to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which provides a crucial rail link to the Shipyard. In order to boost the economy and strengthen the economic security of thousands of Granite Staters, And she has worked to expand access to Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in our schools to ensure a 21st century workforce pipeline for all industries in New Hampshire. 

In the United States Senate, she will fight any attempt to close the facility – including opposing a new Base Closure and Realignment Commission round. And she will also work to fully reverse sequestration and end the threat of uncertain budgets and furloughs. She will support new barracks and dry dock refurbishment, ensure that the Shipyard’s personnel get full per diems when they travel, fully fund the submarine fleet that the Navy says it needs, and look for new ways to diversify and expand the Shipyard’s mission going forward.

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