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The NH AFL-CIO Endorses Mark MacKenzie For Congress In NH’s 1st District

Today the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Executive Council is pleased to announce its endorsement of its former President, Mark Mackenzie in his race to succeed Representative Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire first Congressional District.

“Mark Mackenzie served as President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO for twenty-five years. During his tenure he fought to provide opportunities for working families across New England. Former President Mackenzie spent twenty years fighting fires and protecting the Greater-Manchester community. When Mark was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, organized labor gained an invaluable asset in the legislature. The New Hampshire AFL-CIO Executive Council knows that Mark Mackenzie will go to Washington and use his experience as a union member to fight for the betterment of all working families,” wrote the NH AFL-CIO in their endorsement announcement.

The Executive Council is proud to endorse Representative Mark Mackenzie in his campaign for Congress. His proven leadership is what the working people of New Hampshire deserve.

“I am proud to have this endorsement,” said MacKenzie. “the AFL-CIO has a long history of standing up for all working people and that is why I want to go to Washington. It is good to know that the labor movement understands how important it is to have a working person win this race. This really is a campaign about what all of us can do together to change the direction of our country.”

“I spent over 25 years fighting fires in Manchester”, continued MacKenzie “and I always went into a fire knowing that my sisters and brothers had my back. That’s what this endorsement means to me – the working people of NH have my back and together we are going to have a strong, sucessful campaign.”

“I promise to take on the powers that be – to fight for Medicare for all, for good jobs in a clean environment, and for an end to economic inequality.  I know that the working women and men in NH are just as concerned as I am about the continual rise in income inequality, the skyrocketing costs of health care and college debt. I know that my lifelong commitment to these issues is why the NH AFL-CIO has chosen to endorse me.  Together we are going to win this election.”

The NH AFL-CIO represents over 20,000 members and their families in New Hampshire.


Mark MacKenzie is a member of Local 856 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) for over forty years and was the President of the NH AFL-CIO for 25 years.  He is currently a state representative from Manchester.

Maura Sullivan Announces Massive Quarterly Campaign Fundraising

This week, Maura Sullivan, a Democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional district in NH, announced that she has raised over $430,000 in in her first quarter.

Sullivan, is a Marine Corps & Iraq War veteran who worked in the Obama Administration as the Assistant VA Secretary.  After leaving the VA, Sullivan and her fiancé Marc moved to Portsmouth to put down roots and raise a family.

“I am thankful that so many Granite Staters joined with people from my days in the Marine Corps and the Obama Administration to become part of a campaign to help the country live up to its promise, and that starts with Congress. In my entire life, which I have committed to serving this country, I have never seen a greater threat to our nation, and to our democracy, than the moment we are in right now. We have to come together, rise above the chaos and bitterness that define our politics, and recommit our ourselves to a government that works tirelessly each day for the people they represent.”

While grateful for the overwhelming support for the campaign, Maura is most excited about the energy of the campaign on the ground being reflected in a surge of grassroots contributions received from Granite Staters, which make up 20% of the campaign’s contributions and average about $15.  Overall, over half of the campaign’s contributions are under $250.

Maura has been serving the country most of her adult life and that service took her to a range of places — to Iraq, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula in the Marines, and to the Obama Administration, first at American battlefields and cemeteries throughout Europe, then the VA and the Pentagon. The people with whom she served and worked live throughout the United States and Maura is proud to have the support of friends made in each chapter of her life.

Heading into the campaign season, Maura is excited to build on this early momentum by earning every opportunity to show the people of New Hampshire that she will work hard for them in Congress.


About Maura Sullivan

Maura Sullivan has dedicated her life to serving our country and fighting for the people and causes she believes in. Maura began her service when she attended college at Northwestern on an ROTC scholarship and joined the United States Marine Corps. Rising to the rank of Captain in the Marines, Maura spent two years stationed in East Asia before deploying to Fallujah, Iraq. While inspired by the brave and selfless young Americans with whom she served, Maura was struck by how servicemembers, particularly women, were paying the consequences for poor decisions made by out-of-touch leadership in Washington.

After returning home, attending graduate school, and working as a New England manager for a food and beverage company, Maura joined the Obama Administration: first as a Commissioner on the American Battle Monuments Commission, where she represented the Administration at memorials to fallen U.S. servicemembers across the globe; as an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Veterans Affairs, addressing the VA’s 2014 crisis and working on reforms to begin restoring veterans’ access to quality health care; as a senior advisor to the Secretary of the Navy, working on gender integration in the Navy and Marines, as well as family, mental health, and LGBT policy reforms; and as an advisor to the Secretary of Defense, focusing on communications strategy while also working to improve policies on maternity leave and child care.  Maura is running for Congress because our country faces a crisis of leadership that is putting our national and economic security at risk.

AT&T “celebrates” by promising sliver of tax savings to employees

You probably saw the headlines this morning: “AT&T giving $1,000 bonuses after tax bill.”  According to press reports, AT&T plans to give those bonuses to 200,000 US employees. That’s $200 million AT&T is promising to share with its employees. Sounds like a lot of money.

New AT&T Logo in Dallas, TXBut according to its annual report, AT&T would have paid $6.9 billion in federal taxes at the 35% corporate tax rate.[1]  Congress just cut that tax rate by 40%. For AT&T, that could mean a tax savings of $2.76 billion a year.

Do the math.  AT&T is celebrating – and making headlines – by promising a one-time employee bonus equal to about 7.25% of what it can expect to save on taxes next year.

One other thing: AT&T paid stockholders $11.8 billion in dividends during 2016.

So, this headline-grabbing employee bonus is equal to about 1.7% of what AT&T paid to stockholders last year.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Just weeks ago, proponents of the tax bill promised that it would “mean at least $4,000 more in income every year for the average household.”

Communications Workers of America asked some of the country’s largest employers to guarantee “that working people will receive the raises the administration promised and ensure that the bill’s treatment of overseas profits will not result in domestic job loss.”

“Together, through collective bargaining, we can ensure that promises about wages and jobs are kept,” wrote CWA President Chris Shelton.

“By pushing employers for this raise, CWA proves that working people have power when we join together to negotiate for a fair return for the work we do. Unions remain the most effective means for working people to stand together and achieve wage growth and keep good jobs in the U.S.,” Shelton said. “If you don’t ask for your fair share you’ll never get it – so join a union and start asking.”

– – – – – – – – – – – –

The $1,000 per-employee bonus announced yesterday is a good start.  But even if AT&T raises those 200,000 employees’ wages by $4,000 (as the tax bill proponents promised):

  • that would still be less than one-third of what AT&T can expect to save from the 40% drop in the corporate tax rate
  • that would still be less than 7% of what AT&T paid out to stockholders as dividends last year.

And if this tax “reform” is followed by Social Security and Medicare “reform” – as Congessonal leaders promised, earlier this month – we’re all going to need to remember this, come next November’s elections.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

ICYMI, here are some other recent headlines about AT&T:

AT&T plans to lay off nearly 300 at center in Dallas next year

AT&T lays off DirecTV workers despite pledge to create jobs

AT&T layoffs in 2018 to take place across Missouri, Michigan, & 4 more states

AT&T looking to cut 80,000 jobs in five years

[1] According to Note 11 of the annual report, AT&T’s effective tax rate was only 32.7% last year – not 35% – so its windfall from yesterday’s tax bill may be lower than $2.76 billion/year.

National Association of Letter Carriers (Branch 44) Endorses Mark MacKenzie

The MacKenzie for Congress campaign today announced the endorsement of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 44. The NALC, Branch 44 represents over 500 Letter Carriers working in New Hampshire.

National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 44 (New Hampshire Merged) has voted to endorse State Representative Mark MacKenzie for Congress in NH CD1. Branch 44 is the largest NALC Branch in the State of New Hampshire with over 500 members.

Branch 44 President Dan Yianakopolos stated that “Mark has stood with Letter Carriers and working people countless times in the past and I’m sure he will continue to do that in the future. Mark is someone I know we can depend on. Mark stood with Letter Carriers and all Postal Workers in rallies throughout the state when our jobs were threatened in the past and we will need his strong voice in the future as we see many threats on the horizon from the current administration.”

NALC Branch 44 represents Letter Carriers in 21 cities and towns throughout New Hampshire. President Dan Yianakopolos continued, “Mark knows firsthand what it’s like to stand up and fight for the greater good both as a 25 year Manchester Firefighter and his 25 years as the NH AFL CIO President. His track record of serving the public is unmatched. We enthusiastically endorse Mark MacKenzie for Congress and I’m sure many of our members will be knocking on doors and making phone calls on Marks behalf. Mark is more responsible for turning New Hampshire from a Red State to a Blue State than anyone. We look forward to see him also changing the tone in DC to one that prioritizes working people.”

“I am very pleased to have the unwavering support of the our local letter carriers that are so vital in the day to day lives of people all across New Hampshire,”1st congressional candidate MacKenzie said. ” I’m certain our campaign will benefit from the commitment and volunteer hours that these hard working women and men will bring to our campaign.”

The NALC joins the United Steel Workers, Service Employees International Union Local 560, Sheet Metal Workers Local 7 and United Food and Commercial Workers in endorsing Mark MacKenzie for Congress.

UFCW Locals 791, 1445 Endorse Mark MacKenzie For Congress

The MacKenzie for Congress campaign today announced the endorsement of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Locals 791 and 1445.

“On behalf of the New Hampshire members of United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 791 and 1445 we would like to congratulate you on your decision to run for US Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st District, and proudly endorse you in your campaign,” wrote Peter Derouen  (UFCW Local 791 ) and Jim Carvalho (UFCW Local 1445).

“Thank you for your leadership in the past, and all the support you gave our members as President of the New Hampshire AFL CIO.  We are excited to have a union brother take on the challenge of ensuring working families in the state of New Hampshire are not left behind in our current economy.’

It is without a doubt that you are the only candidate in this race that understands the policies that truly affect New Hampshire’s men and women, and we know you would be a tremendous advocate for the middle class in Washington DC.  Your campaign is an exciting opportunity for New Hampshire, and we are proud to endorse you for the 1st Congressional District,” Derouen and Caralho concluded.

“I am very proud to accept the support of both local UFCW Locals representing working families in New Hampshire,”  MacKenzie said. Our campaign is gaining momentum, and the women and men of the UFCW will play an important part in helping us win this campaign for all of us, not just the wealthy few.”

UFCW Locals 1445 and 791 represent over 15,000 workers, over 200 of whom live in New Hampshire.  The UFCW joins the United Steel Workers, Service Employees International Union Local 560 and Sheet Metal Workers Local 7 in endorsing Mark MacKenzie for Congress.

Trump And Right to Work And Janus v AFSCME

AFT Local 1360

Janus was a Roman god with two faces, each looking in the opposite direction.

“Janus-faced” means two-faced, or deceitful. It aptly describes the Trump administration and the other big-time, union-busting backers of the plaintiff in Janus v AFSCME Council 31.

The case, which is before the U.S. Supreme Court, could, in effect, force all public employee unions into a “right to work” framework. Also, it could “further undermine the rights of workers to choose, in a democratic process based on a majority vote, to support the payment of fees or dues for those represented by a union and protected by the collective bargaining agreement,” according to Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO.

AFSCME has several members in Kentucky.

Federal law requires a union to represent all hourly workers at a unionized job site. Under a state RTW law, workers can enjoy union-won wages and benefits without joining the union and paying dues or paying the union a fair-share fee to represent them.

Janus is part of the whole effort to turn back the clock on workers and unions by undermining our ability to represent our members by shutting off our financial resources,” Londrigan said. “Now with Janus, the focus is primarily on the public-sector, which has been the fastest growing part of the labor movement.”

In the Janus case, Mark Janus, an Illinois state government employee, is suing AFSCME because he doesn’t want to pay the union a fair-share fee. Rabidly anti-union groups like the National Right to Work Committee and the State Policy Network are behind him.

Organizations like the NRTWC and SPN claim they support “worker freedom.” Their real purpose is crushing unions. The SPN admits it’s goal is to “defund and defang” public employee unions.

“Under current law, every union-represented teacher, police officer, caregiver or other public service worker may choose whether or not to join the union — but the union is required to negotiate on behalf of all workers whether they join or not,” explained Roberta Lynch, AFSCME Council 31 executive director, in a Springfield, Ill., State Journal-Register guest column.

Council 31 represents 100,000 active and retired public service workers, including Janus.

She added, “Since all the workers benefit from the union’s gains, it’s only fair that everyone chip in toward the cost. That’s why 40 years ago a unanimous Supreme Court [in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education] approved the kind of cost-sharing arrangements known as fair share.”

Trump’s solicitor general has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Janus.

Even so, the president says he’s the champion of workers. Yet on the campaign trail, he said he preferred “right to work” states to non-RTW states. He ran on a platform with a plank calling for a national right to work law.

“The Janus v. AFSCME case is an effort by powerful corporate interests to outlaw fair share, encouraging workers to contribute nothing toward the cost of union representation,” Lynch also said. “It actually began as a political scheme by Gov. Bruce Rauner, who shortly after taking office issued an executive order and filed a lawsuit trying to ban fair-share fees.”

After a handful of Kentucky counties passed local RTW laws, Rauner, a Republican, started pushing for local “right to work” zones in Illinois municipalities. Under federal law, only states can pass RTW measures. GOP Gov. Matt Bevin and his Republican-majority legislature made Kentucky a RTW state in January.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, one of the most anti-union lawmakers in Washington, has proposed a national RTW law.

Messmer’s Statement On Trump Banning Words From The CDC

Messmer on Trump Administration Science/Language Suppression And Making America Not So Great Again

Portsmouth, NH– The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the Trump Administration told them that 7 words are now forbidden from official documents.

FORBIDDEN WORDS/PHRASES ARE:

1. Vulnerable
2. Entitlement
3. Diversity
4. Transgender
5. Fetus
6. Evidence-based
7. Science-based

A senior policy analyst at CDC was told to instead use phrases like: “based on recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.”

State Rep and Congressional Candidate for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, Mindi Messmer released the following statement:

“I could see this coming and this is my rallying call to run for Congress – as a woman and a scientist. Prohibiting the use of these 7 words, that are the basis of what defines us as Americans, is deeply offensive. We are nation that respects science, human rights and diversity and we make decisions based on science and facts not perception or whims. Suppressing speech, sanitizing government records, assaulting science, ethnicity and gender dangerously threaten public health and the basic fiber of the United States.

“We are not going backwards. We must continue to move forward.

“Millions of Americans face the threat of becoming refugees due to sea level rise. This is unprecedented and we have no historical base from which to draw to solve these problems. We need scientists, like me, involved in policy making to solve complex issues like these.

“As we face national threats to our drinking water from PFCs and other toxins, we need scientists like me to enact policy that will clean and protect drinking water and the environment for our children and generations to come.

“Send me to Congress to continue to maintain our integrity as a nation and fight against Making American Not So Great Again.”

Two Union Endorsements In NH’s 1st Congressional District

SEIU Local 560 today announced its endorsement of NH State Representative Mark MacKenzie for Congress

“Mark MacKenzie has spent decades standing up for working families in New Hampshire and we are proud to support him for Congress,” Christopher Peck, President of the SEIU local said. “Whether as a Manchester Fire Fighter, an advocate for Medicare for all or as an elected leader, Mark has always been there on the front lines fighting for social and economic justice. As a congressman we know he will make us proud as he continues to represent New Hampshire’s working families and bring the fight for good jobs and good wages to Washington,” stated Peck.

SEIU local 560 represents over 500 Dartmouth College workers in Hanover, New Hampshire.

IBEW Local Union 490 endorsed Chris Pappas for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. 

“We are proud to endorse Chris Pappas for Congress,” said Denis Beaudoin, Business Manager of IBEW Local Union 490.

“Chris Pappas has been a tireless champion for working families throughout his time in public service. We always know we can count on him to do the right thing for New Hampshire, whether it’s supporting infrastructure investments or renewable energy projects. Chris has the record, the leadership qualities, and the vision to be a strong, trusted advocate for New Hampshire workers and our economic future. We proudly stand with him.”

“I’m so honored to receive the backing of IBEW Local 490,” said Chris Pappas.

“This is a critical moment for the nation and for New Hampshire, and I’m proud to be standing alongside IBEW 490 as we continue the fight to expand opportunity and invest in America’s future. I am grounded in the people and places of this state, and I’m grateful for the support of IBEW Local 490 in this campaign.”

IBEW Local Union 490 represents workers in the electrical construction, maintenance, and telecommunications industry.

Doug Jones’ Victory Is A Major Win For Labor And Could Be The Vote To Stop The GOP Tax Scam

“Doug Jones’ victory is not only an enormous win for working people in Alabama, but it’s also a victory for all Americans who are ready to stand up to the current Congressional leadership’s politics and policies,” wrote CWA in a brief statement.

Organized labor pushed hard in Alabama with what they called the “largest political program in state’s history.”

“The largest labor political program in the history of the state of Alabama has propelled Doug Jones to victory. Rarely considered an important union state by political analysts, Alabama has a higher union density than Florida and Virginia and nearly the same union density as Iowa, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin,” stated the AFL-CIO.

“This victory proves working people are a powerful political force, even in states where most people count us out,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working people are tired of the status quo and Alabama proved that we have the power to change it and improve the lives of everyone. This is only the beginning of a potent movement to win back the freedoms of workers in America.”

“CWA members in Alabama know that Doug Jones has spent his career fighting for workers’ rights and civil rights,” said Richard Honeycutt, Vice President of CWA District 3 which includes Alabama. “I’m confident that Senator Jones will push for policies that protect working families and keep good jobs in Alabama.”

Overall the coordinated labor campaign sent out more than 116,000 mail contacts, nearly 40,000 worksite fliers and speaking with nearly 100,000 union members on the phone and at the door, Alabama working families were educated and mobilized in this historic election. African American women, who were a major factor in electing Doug Jones, make up 12% of union membership in Alabama and were nearly a quarter of all contacts by the labor program.

“Doug Jones’ victory, and the defeat of Roy Moore, should send a shockwave to those elected officials who have had a single-minded focus on advancing their agenda of destroying programs that help working families in order to finance tax breaks for corporations and the 1%. Just as we saw in the elections earlier this year in Virginia, the voters are demanding that political leaders be held accountable for their broken promises to working people,” conclude CWA.

“I am so proud of every person who volunteered and worked tirelessly to make this the biggest, most successful political program in the history of our great state,” said Alabama AFL-CIO President Bren Riley, a member of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 12L. “Together with the support of so many unions, we turned out union members and households to drive home an incredible win for Alabama’s working families.”

Seating Senator Jones

Today is was reported that the House and Senate have reached a compromise on the GOP Tax Plan and are pushing for a vote by the middle of next week.

“The GOP tax bill that passed the Senate by one vote is nothing but an attack on America’s workers,” said Trumka in a statement following the party line vote in the Senate earlier this month. “We will pay more, corporations and billionaires will pay less. It’s a job killer. It gives billions of tax giveaways to big corporations that outsource jobs and profits.

“President Trump said that he wanted to lower taxes for everyone as a Christmas gift to America, but this bill is simply a lump of coal to working families across the country. The only real gift is the major tax giveaways to Wall Street, big corporations and the super-rich, when what our country needs is investment in our schools and infrastructures that creates jobs,” Trumka concluded.

“The Republican tax plan is a handout to millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations that will raise taxes on working families and give corporations new incentives to send more U.S. jobs overseas,” said CWA President Chris Shelton after the tax plan passed the House in early November.

Now that Doug Jones has won the special election, people are calling on Senator Mitch McConnell to seat him before any more votes are taken, specifically the GOP Tax Plan.

Jason Kander a Democrat and the former Missouri Secretary of State said he certified the special election of Congressman Jason Smith, a Republican, so that he could be seated less than 18 hours later.

The advocacy group Social Security Works is encouraging people to sign the petition demanding that Sen. McConnell seat Jones before voting on what they call the “GOP Tax Scam.”

Social Security Works wrote, “Alabama voters didn’t just reject Roy Moore. They rejected the Republican Party’s disaster of a tax bill, which is a handout to billionaires and corporations―paid for by gutting Medicare, Medicaid, and other vital programs.”

“Doug Jones could be the vote that kills the Republican tax scam. But Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are rushing to jam through the tax scam before he has his chance.”

The people of Alabama have spoken and they want Doug Jones to be their voice in the Senate and that includes his vote against the GOP Tax Plan.

VoteVets Announces Endorsement Of Maura Sullivan In NH’s First Congressional District

Portsmouth, NH – The largest progressive group of veterans in America, VoteVets PAC, is today endorsing Maura Sullivan for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

“Maura is the embodiment of service to others, and dedication to country and community,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chair of VoteVets. “Right now, we’re lacking two huge things in Congress – people who put others above themselves, and people with the knowledge and experience to make sure America is safe, in this time of growing chaos.  Maura has both those qualities, in spades. The people of New Hampshire are going to be so proud to call her Congresswoman, and we’re proud to endorse her.”

Regarding this significant development for the campaign, Maura Sullivan issued the following statement:

“My fellow servicemembers in the Marines and their families inspired my commitment to public service when I was a young Marine Lieutenant.  Since then, I have been proud to work on behalf of fellow veterans, servicemembers, and their families: as a Marine in Iraq and East Asia; as a student advocate; and then in the Obama Administration, at our cemeteries and memorials around the world, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and at the Pentagon.  I saw how deeply it matters who’s in elected office. People deserve leaders that wake up each day to advocate for them, put them first, and deliver results to make their lives better.  Now I plan to work hard to earn every vote to go to work for the people of New Hampshire. Among many lessons, my time in the Marines taught me the virtue of listening — how important it is to understand directly from people on the frontlines what matters to them. I am focused on listening to people throughout the First District, and building a campaign and a candidacy that addresses our community’s needs. I am thrilled to have VoteVets support in that effort.”

According to her biography, Maura has dedicated her life to serving our country and fighting for the people and causes she believes in. Maura began her service when she attended college at Northwestern on a Navy/Marine Corps ROTC scholarship and calls becoming a Marine, “the best decision of my life.” As a Marine, Maura spent two years stationed in East Asia before deploying to Fallujah, Iraq. While serving in Iraq, Maura was continuously inspired by the brave and selfless young Americans with whom she served, but she was also struck by how service members, particularly women, were paying the consequences for poor decisions made by out-of-touch leadership in Washington.

After returning home and earning graduate degrees in Business and Public Policy at Harvard, where she also worked on behalf of military veterans and their families, Maura served in the Obama Administration in several capacities: as a Commissioner on the American Battle Monuments Commission, where she represented the United States Government at memorials to fallen U.S. servicemembers spanning the globe; as an Assistant Secretary in the crisis-stricken Department of Veterans Affairs, where she was integrally involved in a variety of reforms, fighting to provide veterans with improved access to health care; as a senior aide to the Secretary of the Navy, working on gender integration in the Navy and Marines, as well as family, mental health, and LGBT policy reforms; and as a senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense, advising on communications strategy while also working to improve policies on maternity leave and child care.

After her service in the Obama Administration, Maura and her fiancé Marc put down roots in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to raise a family. Maura is running for Congress because our country faces a crisis of leadership that is putting our national and economic security at risk.

Founded in 2006, the mission of VoteVets.org Political Action Committee is to elect Veterans to public office, with a focus on Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and hold public officials accountable for their words and actions that impact America’s 21st century troops and veterans. Though VoteVets.org PAC is non-partisan, candidates it backs must support VoteVets.org‘s core mission and beliefs.

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