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Charlie Chandler Announces Bid for Senate District 2

Experienced, North Country leader makes bid for open District 2 seat.

Charlie ChandlerWarren, NH –  Charles “Charlie” W. Chandler of Warren, announced that he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the open District 2.

“As a lifelong Granite Stater, it is my strong desire to continue my many years of public service to the citizens of New Hampshire as the State Senator for District 2.  My experience as a small town attorney, the director of a state agency, and as a selectman have uniquely prepared me to deliver the people of District 2 the results they expect, and deserve, from Concord,” said Chandler.

Over the past 45 years, Chandler has held many elective and appointed state and local positions. He has served in the New Hampshire Legislature, on the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission, was the New Hampshire Presiding Officer of the FRM matter, and as New Hampshire Election Monitor appointed by the Secretary of State and Attorney General. Additionally, Chandler is a selectman in his hometown of Warren.

“As a State Senator, I will bring to Concord a strong business background and public service record rooted in social responsibility. I am committed to providing excellent education for all of our children, as they are our future. We must fully fund and provide this adequate education in order to keep New Hampshire moving forward.”

Chandler currently serves as Chairman of the Board at Franklin Savings Bank, a strong, service-minded mutual savings bank; as well as on the Board of Directors for Pemi-Baker Land Trust. He also serves as Governor Hassan’s appointee to the Cannon Mountain Advisory Commission.

“I am excited to get out to all 27 towns across District 2 and hear directly from Granite Staters about practical solutions to the challenges that face our state. I look forward to a spirited, positive campaign, that focuses on the issues that matter to the people of the second district like access to affordable healthcare, protecting our state’s natural beauty and ending the crippling opioid epidemic.” Chandler concluded.

About District 2

With Haverhill to the north, Center Harbor in the east, Tilton in the South and Wilmot in the west, New Hampshire Senate District 2 is a swing district in northwestern New Hampshire comprised of 27 towns in Belknap, Grafton, and Merrimack Counties. It is noteworthy that Governor Hassan won this district with 52% of the vote in 2014, and President Obama won it in 2012 with 53% of the vote. 

Donald Trump Is Nothing More Than An Old Kentucky Mule Trader

AFT Local 1360

hypocrisy-thy-name-donald-trump-donald-trump-hypocrisy-china-politics-1457579539You’re at the bargaining table.

The lead management negotiator slides over a piece of paper. “You’re going to love what I’m proposing,” the guy says.

“Honest. It’s so good you don’t even have to check it out. Don’t read it. Just trust me. You know I want to do right by my workers.”

What’s that you say? “That dog won’t hunt?” (Or you might use a two-word phrase that connects an uncastrated male bovine and what he plops in the pasture.)

Well, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is shooting unions the same “trust me” line.

Where to start? How about Trump’s oft-repeated promise to stop outsourcing, which he had no problem with before he ran for president. Oh, yeah, he’s a big-time outsourcer himself. Click hereherehere and here.

Trump says he’d make American firms quit sending jobs and production to cheap labor countries by smacking them with hefty tariffs, or import taxes. He’s proposed a 45 percent tariff  on goods imported from China and a 35 percent tariff on Ford cars and parts made in Mexico and sold stateside.

Here’s the problem: A president can’t impose any federal tax. Only Congress can. (Remember “No taxation without representation” from history class?)

The odds of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan going for an import tax—or any tax hike—aren’t even slim and none. They’re none and none.

If Trump wins, the Republicans will almost certainly hold the House and Senate and, more likely, enhance their majorities in both chambers.

I’d bet the farm Trump realizes a president can’t levy a tax. So he’s free to bloviate about sticking up for American workers by sticking it to outsources with punitive tariffs knowing there’s no way he can do it by himself and no way a GOP Congress would pass them.

But he’s counting on working stiffs, especially those who’ve lost their good union jobs to outsourcing, to trust him and to swallow his sucker bait, hook, line and sinker.

Oh, Donald Trump brand suits andt ties are made in China.  Does anybody think he really wants a tax that would hit hit him hard in the wallet?

Anyway, Trump also says union members love him. Never mind that he’s fighting, tooth and nail, to keep his Las Vegas hotel workers from unionizing. Forget that Trump prefers “right to work” states to non-RTW states.

Boosting the minimum wage? Trump was against it. Now he wants to “let the states decide” whether to raise it. Here, the guy who claims to be a straight shooter is passing the buck, big time.

Trump is a lot like the Kentucky mule trader of old. He’s happy to show his teeth, but not the mule’s.

Vast Differences Between Republicans And Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates On Raising The Minimum Wage

Republican Candidates For Governor Of New Hampshire, Reject Overwhelming Voter Support For Raising The Minimum Wage.

Whether or not to raise the minimum wage in New Hampshire will undoubtedly be one of the biggest issues in this year’s Gubernatorial race. Large majorities of both, Republicans and Democrats, support raising the minimum wage. However as we have routinely seen in the New Hampshire Legislature, the elected representatives have made raising the minimum wage a completely partisan issue.

On Thursday, WMUR reported that all of the Republican candidates for governor—Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, State Senator Jeanie Forrester and State Representative Frank Edelblut—oppose the establishment of a state minimum wage, despite the fact New Hampshire is tied for the lowest minimum wage in the country at $7.25-an-hour.

“State Sen. Jeanie Forrester said clearly during her economic rollout news conference on Monday that she opposes the establishment of a state minimum wage,” wrote John DiStaso.

Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas “does not believe in increasing the minimum wage nor establishing a state wage,” spokeswoman Alicia Preston told WMUR. Gatsas voted against raising the minimum wage when he was a State Senator in 2007.

State Representative Frank Edelblut “opposes raising the minimum wage and voted against establishing a state minimum wage in the current legislative session,” added DiStaso.

Executive Councilor Chris Sununu is attempting to play both sides.

“I oppose establishing a state minimum wage. I am open to a responsible increase in the federal minimum wage, provided there is a strong economic and moral case for it,” Sununu told WMUR.

Given the current political environment in Washington against raising the minimum wage, Sununu can safely say that he is “open” to an increase at the federal level knowing it will probably not happen anytime soon.

“The Republican candidates’ steadfast opposition to establishing a minimum wage highlights how vastly out-of-touch they are with New Hampshire’s working families,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “Everyday Granite Staters are hurting, but Republicans continue to stick with the failed trickle-down economic policies of the past. It’s clear the GOP primary is deteriorating into a race to see who can run the farthest to the right, and they’re all tied.”

The Democratic candidates for governor—Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, former State Securities Bureau Chief Mark Connolly and former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand—all support establishing a state minimum wage.

“New Hampshire has the lowest minimum wage in the country. As governor, I’ll fight to establish a state minimum wage that rewards hard work and grows our economy,” said Executive Councilor, Colin Van Ostern.

“A full-time employee making the federal minimum wage earns just over $15,000 a year—it’s simply not enough. I strongly support establishing a state minimum wage in New Hampshire, because every Granite Stater deserves to be paid a fair, living wage for their hard work,” said Mark Connolly.

minimum wageAcross the board, 76% of Granite Staters surveyed supported raising the minimum wage. Even more astounding is that 59% of New Hampshire Republicans surveyed said they would support current proposals to raise the New Hampshire minimum wage.

Raising the minimum wage is not a partisan issue nationally or here in New Hampshire. Nationally, 63% of those surveyed support a $15 minimum wage by 2020, and 71% support the elimination of the tipped minimum wage.

Research from the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute shows that just increasing the state’s Minimum Wage to $9 an hour would benefit over 76,000 people. That money would almost immediately be pushed right back into our local economies as low-wage workers spend almost everything they bring home in their paycheck.

“No matter who wins the primaries, voters will have a clear choice this November between a Republican who opposes raising the minimum wage and a Democrat who supports it,” Buckley added.

Roger Tilton To Run For New Hampshire Senate To Unseat Senator Gary Daniels

RHT MainWe have just learned that Roger Tilton of Milford will be announcing his candidacy for New Hampshire Senate, District 11 (Milford, Merrimack, Amherst and Wilton) on June 10th.

Currently, the District 11 Senate seat is held by, Gary Daniels, who is no friend to labor. From his time as chair of the Labor Committee in the NH House and now in the Senate Daniels has repeated voted against raising the minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage would lift the wages of over fifty thousand hard working Granite Staters.

Daniels also co-sponsored SB 107, which would have prohibited “collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join or contribute to a labor union,” the official description of his so-called Right to Work bill.

Tilton has been a long time supporter of organized labor including a stint as a union organizer. Tilton helped AFTRA organize production workers at KING5, Seattle’s NBC affiliate in the late 80’s. As a former union organizer, Tilton understands the true power unions and collective bargaining.

“The past 40 years have not produced fair gains for the people who put the economy in motion, and without taking steps in the other direction we will not change anything. I know first-hand the immediate and long-term beneficial impact that organizing workers has on their working conditions and standards of living. I will support both those who have organized, and those who need help in doing so,” said Tilton in a recent interview.

Tilton said he opposes so-called Right to Work legislation and any other attacks on workers rights to form unions and collectively bargain.

“So-called ‘right to work’ legislation has been shown to reduce wages, decrease worker safety and protection, and slow regional economic development. ‘Right to Work’ makes sense for big businesses taking big profits out of the local area, but it makes no sense for the people in towns like Wilton, Milford, Amherst, or Merrimack,” added Tilton.

Tilton also plans to announce his own legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2017, with a goal of $15 by 2021.

“Since 1938 the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times, and our economy has never suffered because of it. Keeping New Hampshire’s minimum wage down has reduced consumer demand, which keeps local businesses from growing. We need a $10 per hour minimum wage right now, and increases to $15 an hour in reasonably short-order,” Tilton explained.

Sen. Daniels has also been a long time supporter of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has come under serious scrutiny over the last few years. Daniels was first selected as the NH Co-Chair when he was a State Rep a number of years ago and continues to be a NH Co-Chair as a State Senator.

ALEC is well known for allowing corporate sponsors to supply legislators with lavish gifts and vacation getaways and in return the legislator introduces model legislation in their home state that benefits the corporate sponsors.

In 2013, leaked documents showed that corporate special interest lobbying group ALEC asked state chairs, including New Hampshire State Rep Gary Daniels, to sign a pledge stating: “I will act with loyalty and put the interests of the organization first.”

“It is unbelievable that these politicians participate in an organization that asks them to pledge allegiance to corporate special interests over their constituents,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress who first reported on the ALEC pledge in 2013.

“We are being invaded and undermined by big corporate money. ALEC is buying elections in exchange for candidates’ pledges to put outsiders’ interests ahead of the locals. Gary Daniels took that pledge, and we must stop him from selling out New Hampshire,” added Tilton.

In this current legislative session Sen. Daniels introduced legislation interfering with a woman reproductive rights, including repealing NH’s “buffer zone” law around reproductive health care facilities.

Daniels also sponsored legislation to require specific licensing of outpatient facilities that provide abortion services. Other states have used similar legislation to “trap” women’s health clinics and force them to shut down, taking away a woman’s legal right to a safe abortion.

Tilton disagrees with Daniels when it comes to women’s reproductive rights.

“I believe in a woman’s right to make her own reproductive healthcare decisions,” said Tilton. “Senator Daniels sponsored multiple pieces of legislation attacking a woman’s right to choose and attacking women’s healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood, which provides thousands of women with quality healthcare options at little to no cost.”

Tilton will officially announce his candidacy for District 11’s Senate seat on June 10th.

As a Merrimack resident, I look forward to his candidacy and look forward to Tilton tossing Daniels out of office.

Tilton Sign 2014

P.S. Tilton is also a huge proponent of legalizing cannabis in New Hampshire like they did in Washington and Colorado. He believes this could be a strong revenue source for the state.

Jeanie Forrester’s Economic Plan? Lower Wages for Granite Staters

Image from @OFA_NH pic.twitter.com/ZG7B0GfERQ

Image from @OFA_NH pic.twitter.com/ZG7B0GfERQ

Concord, N.H. – Today, State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Jeanie Forrester pitted herself squarely against hard-working Granite Staters looking for better wages and a higher quality of life.

Asked whether she would sign a bill raising New Hampshire’s minimum wage—currently tied for having the lowest minimum wage in the nation — Forrester said, “I would not. I believe that government should stay out of what a business does.”

Forrester voted to repeal New Hampshire’s minimum wage in 2011 and voted against an increase as recently as February. While Forrester’s so-called economic plan acknowledges that “wages have been relatively flat over the past decade,” her record and her new push today to abolish the minimum wage would only make things worse for hardworking Granite Staters. 

“Jeanie Forrester’s outrageous opposition to raising the minimum wage reveals she’s sticking to the same failed, discredited trickle-down economic policies of the past that devastated our economy and the middle class,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “The GOP primary is fast becoming a contest over who can recklessly become closest to far-right ideology and show how out-of-touch they are with mainstream Granite Staters.”

Hassan And Ayotte Both Talk About Repairing Our Infrastructure But Only One Has Done It

Maggie Hassan Has Taken Action To Fix Our Highways, Roads & Bridges,
Ayotte Has Voted Against Critical Funding for Infrastructure Projects

CONCORD – This Infrastructure Week, Granite Staters are reminded that Governor Maggie Hassan has worked across party lines to fix our highways, roads and bridges, while Kelly Ayotte voted with the Koch Brothers and against critical funding for New Hampshire projects including the Memorial Bridge and I-93 expansion. 

Since becoming Governor, Maggie Hassan has focused on making sure that we have a solid and modern transportation infrastructure to support inclusive economic growth. During her first term, Governor Hassan signed a bipartisan, business-backed transportation plan to begin fixing our highways, roads and bridges and to finish the long-overdue expansion of I-93 – the most significant state-level investment in 23 years. 

In January, Governor Hassan built on this success by submitting a 10-year transportation plan that focused on critical investments such as accelerating construction of Exit 4A in Londonderry and Derry, resurfacing an additional 200 miles of roads per year and replacing or rehabilitating an additional 23 red-listed bridges. The Governor has also consistently fought to bring high-speed rail from Boston to Nashua and Manchester.

Kelly Ayotte, on the other hand, was the only member of the New Hampshire delegation to vote against a bipartisan highway funding bill that included funding to widen I-93. And Ayotte supported a measure that would have cut $20 million in funding to replace the Memorial Bridge. In both cases, Ayotte voted the way that the Koch Brothers’ political arm urged Members of Congress to vote. 

“Throughout her time as Governor, Maggie Hassan has focused on fixing our aging infrastructure to ensure that all New Hampshire citizens and businesses have the reliable highways, roads and bridges that they need to thrive,” said Maggie for NH Press Secretary Meira Bernstein. “Kelly Ayotte, however, has a record of voting with the Koch Brothers’ political arm while New Hampshire’s transportation infrastructure pays the price. New Hampshire needs a Senator who will work to ensure we have an infrastructure system that matches our 21st century economy. Kelly Ayotte is not that Senator.”

IBEW Local 104 Endorses Mark Connolly For Governor

Ibew logoBARRINGTON — Today, The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 104, which represents hundreds of New Hampshire electrical workers, announced their formal endorsement of Mark Connolly for Governor.

 “Working men and women in New Hampshire need Mark Connolly’s leadership,” said IBEW 104 Business Manager Brian Murphy. “Mark is the only candidate for Governor with the experience and track record to create good jobs, fight for better wages, and put our working families at the top of the agenda in Concord.”                                                      

“IBEW Local 104’s members are critical to building New England’s energy infrastructure, powering our economy, and keeping the lights on; New Hampshire depends on their work and their commitment to providing safe, affordable, and reliable power every day,” said Connolly. “I’m grateful for and proud to have earned their endorsement. As Governor, I will always stand up for the rights of working people, and I look forward to working together to strengthen our state’s energy base and grow our economy.”

As Governor, Mark is committed to partnering with organized labor to develop an innovative 21st century New Hampshire economy that will raise wages and lift up working families. Mark knows that apprenticeship training programs like the one at Local 104’s state-of-the-art Barrington facility are one tool to make sure every Granite Stater has a pathway to the middle class. Local 104 chose to endorse Mark because he will always fight to put New Hampshire workers first and ensure New Hampshire has the most modern electrical grid in New England.

Dan Weeks Announces Historic Ballot Petition Campaign

Executive Council candidate sets out to collect ten-times the required petitions to earn — not buy — ballot access

Click here to sign the petition

Weeks Kickoff Event

Dan Weeks (red hat) talks with a few supporters at the kickoff to his ballot petition campaign in Nashua.

NASHUA, NH – One month before the official candidate filing deadline in New Hampshire, District 5 Executive Council candidate Dan Weeks announced an unprecedented ballot petition campaign to engage at least 500 new and registered voters in the democratic process. Weeks and his supporters officially launched the #DanOnBallot petition drive today at a gathering in Nashua.  A series of petition drives are scheduled across District 5 before the June 10th filing deadline.

Dan Weeks 3“I consider it an immense honor to appear on the ballot and be considered by my fellow citizens for the Executive Council,” said Dan Weeks, a 12th generation Granite Stater and former Executive Director of the nonpartisan grassroots organization Open Democracy. “I intend to earn, not buy, that honor by collecting at least 500 petitions from voters in every District 5 town–ten times the legal requirement–and hearing the concerns of ordinary people in the process.”

Under state law (RSA 655), candidates for Executive Council, New Hampshire’s second-highest state office, must qualify to appear on the primary ballot by paying a $25 fee to the Secretary of State or submitting ballot petitions from 50 registered voters in the district. Third-party candidates face far steeper requirements to appear on the general election ballot.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, the vast majority of Democratic and Republican candidates qualify by paying the filing fee rather than undertaking the more cumbersome process of collecting ballot petitions. There are no other reported cases of state candidates mounting large-scale primary ballot campaigns when they are permitted to write a check.

“Since my student days at ConVal High School here in District 5, I have made it my mission to educate and engage fellow citizens in the democratic process, especially young and low-income people who feel alienated from politics,” Weeks said. “Like the service projects and community conversations we are holding across the district, this petition drive is a chance to ‘walk the talk’ and build a truly people-powered campaign.”

After Weeks launched the #DanOnBallot petition drive today, Weeks and his supporters will then fan out across downtown Nashua to collect signatures — the first in a series of petition drives scheduled across District 5 before the filing deadline on June 10th.

Anyone is welcome to sign and show their support for Weeks’s unprecedented ballot petition however only those from NH’s District 5 Executive Council will be considered valid for the Secretary of State.

Citizens interested in signing a ballot petition or joining the Weeks campaign’s ballot initiative can contact info@danielweeks.com or visit www.danielweeks.com/petition.  

Campaign Finance Violations Result In Vastly Different Penalties

Congressman Guinta gets a $15,000 fine while Congressman Bera’s father faces 30 months in prison. 

Guinta Is A Damned Liar

Image from the front page of the Union Leader May 15, 2015

We already know that Congressman Frank Guinta is, as the Union Leader put it, “a damned liar,” for lying about violating campaign finance laws.

For years Guinta denied any wrongdoing in the $355,000 loan he gave to his campaign. Last year, we found out that Guinta had violated campaign finance regulations and that Guinta and the FEC had settled the dispute. Guinta was forced to pay the money back and pay a minuscule fine.

Many people were outraged that the FEC did not come down harder on Guinta for his FEC violations, though his credibility is now completely shot.

The FEC rules are pretty clear but penalties vary.

For example, Babual Bera, father of Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) funneled $225,000 to Rep Bera’s campaign in a flagrant violation of FEC campaign donations limits.

According to the LA Times, Babual Bera convinced others to donate to his son’s campaign and then repaid them for their maximum legal contribution.

“Prosecutors said there were more than 130 instances of improper campaign contributions reported from approximately 90 people. Bera’s father repaid at least portions of those donations, and investigators said that it’s possible even more money was donated illegally to the congressman’s early campaigns.”

Babual Bera is set to be sentenced in August and the federal prosecutors are recommending 30 months in jail.

This is where penalties vary. Bera is facing the possibility of 30 months in federal prison while Congressman Guinta got off for his illegal $355,000 violation with a $15,000 fine.

The cases are not exactly the same, Bera’s father acted alone and repaid donors with his own money, while Guinta got a massive loan from this parents and donated the money directly to his own campaign, but there is a vast difference in penalties.

Guinta got off with a slap on the wrist years after his violation won him a seat in Congress. Bera’s father is facing years behind bars.

Why did Guinta not face jail time for his offenses? Why did Bera not get off with a minor fine?

Unfortunately the Constitution does not allow the FEC to bar those who violate finance laws from public office. If you cheat you should not be allowed to represent the people ever again. Short of that, stiffer penalties than the $15,000 Guinta received is necessary to stop corrupt politicians from trying to cheat the system.

Trump’s Conflicting Statements About Business Taxes Leading To Offshoring And Raising The Minimum Wage

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore FLIKR CC)

Donald Trump (Image by Gage Skidmore FLIKR CC)

In typical Trump fashion, Donald Trump says one thing but really means another.

Over the weekend Donald Trump went on Meet The Press where he talked about his tax “proposal” and the minimum wage.  Trump’s tax proposal would of course save him millions in his taxes, even though he said wealthy “people like me” could handle paying more in taxes.

He also stated businesses are leaving the United States because we have the highest business tax burden.  Businesses are not leaving because of high taxes, they are leaving because their biggest expense, labor itself, can be purchased in other countries are drastically reduced prices.  Corporations move overseas to avoid paying minimum wage standards set by state and the federal governments.

Case in point: Carrier is closing their factory in Indianapolis, Indiana and moving to Mexico.  Workers and elected leaders revolted over the idea that Carrier would toss aside 1,400 workers in this “business decision.” Workers tried to negotiate with Carrier to keep their jobs.  Carrier’s response: “they could possibly stay if the workers agreed to cut their pay from about $23 an hour to $5.85 an hour.”

Yes, Carrier is willing to stay if workers are willing to work below the federal minimum wage and give up nearly $17 an hour in wages.  Even with our “high business tax rate” corporations can still make huge profits by hiring workers in other countries and then exporting their goods back to the United States.

This is a product of multiple bad trade agreements that exploit foreign workers and allow corporations to skirt U.S. laws and taxes.  A fair trade agreement would make it more appealing for corporations to manufacture and distribute their products from inside the U.S. giving the advantage to American workers. Sadly that is not the current case.

In the interview on Meet The Press we can see that Trump recently changed his view on the Minimum Wage.  Before he was opposed to raising it at all even implying that we should eliminate the minimum wage. Now he believes we should raise the Minimum Wage but that it should be done by the states, not the federal government.

This is the political equivalent of punting.  By saying the states should set the Minimum Wage, Trump is trying to absolve himself of any responsibility for raising the Minimum Wage.  The old “it’s a state’s rights issue” defense.

The fact is that states’ already have the ability to raise their own state Minimum Wage but have failed to take any action to raise the floor for millions of low-wage workers.  They would rather see hard working Americans living in poverty and relying on government assistance that take action to raise the Minimum Wage.

We need the next Congress and the next President to take strong swift action to raise the minimum wage because the state’s are completely unwilling to do what is right. You cannot be the leader of the nation if you are not willing to lead on issues like Minimum Wage.

Watch Donald Trump try to explain away his contradictions on taxes and the minimum wage.

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