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Republicans In The House Take Aim At NH Labor Laws

Republican legislators in the New Hampshire House of Representatives want to change the current labor laws to allow kids to work “any time” of the day or night, remove requirements to display wage and discrimination laws, and handicap the State Department of Labor.

State Rep. Laurie Sanborn (Bedford), introduced the self titled “Red Tape Reduction Act” (HB1762-FN) aimed at what she says is to “reduce the excessive and unnecessary documentation and regulatory (red tape) burdens.” She claims that these “burdens” are inhibiting employers from hiring and growing their businesses.

What it really does it make it easier for employers to screw over workers and reduces the penalties if they get caught.

Some of the “burdens” that Rep. Sanborn wants to eliminate:

  • Eliminate the requirement to pay a worker “two hours of pay” when they show up to work and their shift is canceled
  • Eliminated the employees right to refuse to take part in “tip sharing”
  • Allow 16-17 year olds to “work any hours” and eliminates the Department of Labor’s requirement to randomly inspect worksites with young workers
  • Make unpaid interns responsible for their own Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Create a new “volunteer” worker category where an employee can “volunteer to learn” while working, without pay for up to 6 months
  • Remove the requirement to display safety, wage, hour, and discrimination laws in highly visible or “conspicuous” space
  • Removes the requirement that all wages and payment schedule changes must be made in writing
  • Changes the rules about employers providing uniforms and apparel with the “company logo” to be used in the work environment. (First uniform is free but employee may be required to pay for additional uniforms.)
  • Eliminate the Department of Labor’s rulemaking authority regarding wages and child labor laws; all relevant rulemaking changes must go through the legislature
  • Eliminate need for employers to file a “written safety plan, joint loss management committee, and safety summary form”
  • Expands the Department of Labor’s ability to waive fines, offers a 30 grace period on violations to avoid fines, and eliminates a number of mandatory fines for things like: “failure to pay a worker on time”, “failure to pay a worker in full”, and “requiring an employee to perform any illegal activities under threat of job loss.”

Of all of these the most egregious is the changes to child labor law allowing 16-17 year olds to work “any hours” of the day and night.   These are high school kids. Should they be working overnight shifts at the local mini-mart or working till midnight at the local fast food joint? No. These hour restrictions were put in place to ensure that children do not work too much or too late because it would have a detrimental affect on their education.

Under this new bill it would be the employee’s responsibility to know all of the laws concerning wages, overtime, discrimination, and safety regulations yet the employer is no longer required to display them. Does anyone actually think a 16 year old in their first job knows anything about child labor laws?

There have also been a couple of bills to increase the minimum wage with a caveat for 16-17 year old workers. These young workers would be allowed to work a sub-minimum wage or “training wage”. Rep. Sanborn’s proposed legislation coupled with the proposed “training wage” would allow employers to hire 16-17 year olds to work any time at a rate below the state’s minimum wage. How many low-wage workers would lose their jobs only to be replaced by 16-17 year olds earning “training” wages?

The bill has a number of co-sponsors, including Laurie’s husband, and first Congressional District Candidate, Sen. Andy Sanborn. The Sanborn’s have used their small business, The Draft bar and grill, to justify their votes against raising the minimum wage and eliminating the tipped minimum wage.  In 2014, in a speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Andy Sanborn called a minimum wage increase to $9.00 an hour a “job killer” but failed to mention how much a minimum wage increase would impact his personal business.

These proposed changes would also force reductions in the Department of Labor’s annual budget. The Department of Labor estimates that the proposed changes would have cost the state over $500,000 dollars in fines paid over the last three years. They also noted that the new regulations would require a “follow up inspection” which would “decrease in worker efficiency” and decrease the number of worksites inspected each year.

New Hampshire already has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the country. There are lots of jobs available but many of our young adult workers are leaving New Hampshire in search of better wages in other states. Repealing these regulations will do nothing to help spur growth in our economy but it will allow employers to cheat worker without any fear of penalty.

Honestly does anyone really believe that removing the requirement to display wage and discrimination laws will somehow create jobs? Are they really expanding jobs and boosting the economy by hiring unpaid interns and “volunteer” workers?

This race to the bottom must end. We need in strengthen our labor laws not destroy them. We need to empower the Department of Labor to inflict harsher penalties on employers who violate the law not lessen worksite inspections and eliminate fines. This would be a step back for the hard working people of the Granite State if this somehow makes it through.


Full copy of the proposed legislation below

HB1762

Leo W Gerard: Republican Tax Plan — Make America Grieve Again

A giant sucking sound, louder than a freight train, noisier than a tornado, shriller than Ross Perot yelling, “I told you so,” blasted across the nation Thursday as Republicans in the U.S. House passed their tax plan.

It was the terrible sound of jobs swept out of this country. When Perot ran for president, he said the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would siphon off American jobs. And he was right. It did.

PHOTO BY STEVE DIETZ, UNIONPIX.COM

But this is much, much bigger.

House Republicans approved a scam exempting corporations from all taxes on their foreign operations. Under the GOP proposal, corporations like Carrier and Rexnord can benefit from protections provided by American patents, courts and armed forces, while moving their factories from the United States to Mexico. Or to other low-wage, high-polluting countries like China. Or to countries that charge little or no corporate tax. Once there, instead of paying the new, super-low 20 percent corporate rate Republicans propose for U.S-based producers, the expat factories will pay no taxes to the United States. Nothing. Not a cent.

Rather than Making America Great Again, Congressional Republicans plan to Make America Grieve Again as even more family-supporting factory jobs get shipped offshore to take advantage of the new tax rate of zip.

The math behind that job transfer is simple. Continue manufacturing in the United States and pay a corporate income tax dramatically lowered from 35 to 20 percent. Or move to a ridiculously low-tax country like Switzerland, Montenegro or Paraguay, and pay a measly 9 percent to that nation and nothing to the United States.

With the proposed corporate tax gift from Republicans, CEOs could uproot factories in places like Illinois, Indiana and Western Pennsylvania and ship them to brand new facilities in Bermuda, Palau or Turks & Caicos, where the corporate tax rate is zero. The corporation would pay no taxes on profits to the country hosting the factory and nothing to the United States, which hosts the headquarters.

Republicans contend such corporations will bring those foreign profits back to the United States and invest here. Why would CEOs do that when any American plant they invest in would be billed taxes on profits while the same factory located in certain other countries would pay nothing?

Why would they do that when they didn’t before?

Right now, corporations are sitting on $2.6 trillion in overseas profits. They have not invested that money in U.S. research, factories or jobs because they don’t want to pay the current 35 percent tax rate that would be charged when those profits are returned to the country.

To lure that money back, Republicans propose to give corporations a tax holiday, cutting the rate to between 5 and 12 percent for repatriating the $2.6 billion. The GOP insists corporations will take advantage of that tax deal to bring those billions home and invest in American production. But they won’t. The proof is that they didn’t last time.

Congress gave corporations a tax holiday in 2004 during which CEOs could return foreign profits to the United States and pay a mere 5 percent tax on them in exchange for investment in U.S. research, factories and jobs.

CEOs brought back the money and grabbed that 5 percent rate, alright. But they didn’t use the repatriated cash to conduct research, build factories or create jobs. Just the opposite.

A study by the Democratic staff of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that the 15 corporations that benefited most from the tax holiday turned around and cut more than 20,000 jobs and diminished their pace of research spending.

Labeling the 2004 tax holiday a failed policy, the report cautions against repeating it, saying it cost the U.S. Treasury $3.3 billion in lost revenues over 10 years and led to U.S. corporations sending more funds offshore.

“There is no evidence that the previous repatriation tax giveaway put Americans to work, and substantial evidence that it instead grew executive paychecks, propped up stock prices, and drew more money and jobs offshore,” said former Michigan Senator Carl Levin, then-chairman of the subcommittee, when the report was released in 2011.

So the contention that corporations now would invest in U.S. research, factories and jobs because Republicans plan to give them another tax holiday is about as solid as smoke — the stuff emitted from American factories pre-NAFTA and now flowing from mills moved to Mexico. The same goes for the contention that corporations will invest in U.S. research, factories and jobs with completely untaxed foreign profits.

In fact, suspending taxes on foreign profits would create a perverse incentive for corporations to make it overseas instead of making it in America. But Republicans intend to do it anyway.

Republicans say they must cater to the tax demands of corporations because other countries – Germany and Ireland, for example – offer corporations low rates. And those same Republicans contend they must cease charging American corporations taxes on their foreign operations because other countries have stopped.

That describes a race to the bottom. Pretty soon, corporations won’t pay any taxes at all, anywhere to anyone. They’ll provide nothing toward the roads they use to transport their products, the school systems that educate their workers, the Army Corps of Engineers that protects factories from floods.

If countries don’t work together to stop corporations from playing one against the other, workers will get stuck with all of the costs. That’s what’s happening under the GOP tax scam. The tax changes were supposed to benefit middle-class workers. But they do not.

An analysis of the Senate tax plan, released this week by the Joint Committee on Taxation, which is the official nonpartisan review agency serving Congress, showed the scam would give large tax cuts to corporations and millionaires while raising the levies charged to families earning $10,000 to $75,000 – that’s low-income and middle-class families.

White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said this week, “The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.” Of course they are. Those 1 percenters and their corporations get all the breaks.

To help pay for big fat tax cuts for millionaires and zeroed-out taxes for corporations, Republicans plan to slash programs crucial to workers – like Medicare and Medicaid – and vital deductions, like those for property taxes and student loan interest.

Just like NAFTA, this GOP tax scheme is a scam, a bait-and-switch ruse. Workers pay more and get less – fewer government services and far fewer job opportunities. This time, their jobs won’t just be going south of the border. They’ll be shipped anyplace in the world touting the lowest tax rates.

Northern Pass Advocates Angry Over ‘Dark Money’ In Local Fight. Well Get In Line

This weekend the Union Leader published ‘No names, please: Mystery money out to kill Northern Pass’ highlighting how Northern Pass advocates are upset over ‘Protect the Granite State‘ use of money from unknown donors to push back against Northern Pass.

“Protect the Granite State is spreading false and misleading information about the project,” said Eversource spokesman Martin Murray. “Because their funders are secret, there is no one to hold accountable. Regardless of your opinion on Northern Pass, it should be concerning that an anonymous group has invested so much money into misleading the public as it attempts to stymie a clean energy project and influence New Hampshire energy policy.”

Though Eversource may not like it, “Donald Kreis, head of New Hampshire’s Office of the Consumer Advocate, says Protect the Granite State (PTGS) is within its rights to protect the identity of its donors.”

“The organization is a 501(C)(4) whose donors choose to remain anonymous,” said Protect the Granite State spokesman Jim Merrill. And that’s about all Merrill and another PTGS operative will say. They declined to answer a list of questions submitted by the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News.

The article also clearly differentiates union political action funds and dark money C4’s.

There is money flowing from both sides as the adjudicatory hearings before a statewide planning board for big energy projects grind on toward a 2018 conclusion. Northern Pass partners have invested in promoting the project, as have supporters like the IBEW electrical workers union, but those sources are identified.

This article highlights what many of us have been saying for years. Since the Citizens United decision there has been a significant rise in “social welfare” programs (501(C)(4)) using unknown donors to influence political decisions.

From OpenSecrets

Take for example the ongoing fight to pass Right to Work in New Hampshire.  Every year this bill is submitted and every year the people of New Hampshire speak out against it and the bill dies.  Yet every time the bill gets submitted the National Right To Work Committee (NRTWC) spends money to lobby the legislature, take out advertisements to sway the public, and dump tens of thousands of dollars into campaign coffers.

But who is really behind the NRTWC?  There are many theories but NRTWC has every right to disclose who funds their PAC. The NRTWC raised over $25 million dollars to push Right to Work laws across the country.

Chart created by Center for Media & Democracy

Another example is Americans For Prosperity, a 501(C)(4) that was started with seed money from the Koch Brothers, was instrumental in building and funding the Tea Party movement.  Along with the NRTWC, AFP pushes for anti-worker legislation like Right to Work and to take away workers rights to collectively bargain.

AFP spent over $13 million in nine federal elections in 2016 and all of that money was spend attacking Democratic candidates.  AFP raised and spent $122 million dollars in 2012 elections most of it going to “communications, ads, and media” attacking President Obama and Congressional Democrats.

Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game

The system has be rigged by those who are using their money to buy politicians and mislead the public for their own personal gains.  We do not need to know who is behind Protect the Granite State, we need to know who is behind all of these dark money groups. We need to know who is buying our political system.

We need to change the game and eliminate all of this outside, dark money.

House Republicans Push Through Their Tax Hike On Middle Class Families

Last night, straight down party lines, Republicans voted to give millionaires and billionaires a massive tax cut and to raise taxes on millions of hard working Americans.

“Today’s vote is a missed opportunity to deliver the tax reform we need for middle class families and small businesses,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “I strongly support reform that starts with the goal of providing tax relief for those in the economy who need it most. This bill is little more than a giveaway to big corporate interests and wealthy individuals while creating losers among many middle class families who will see their taxes increase in the coming years.”

“The tax bill that House Republicans passed today seeks to steal from the vast majority of Americans to benefit the very few. This is an attack on our economic security and on the fabric of our nation,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “House Republicans’ tax scam is loaded with provisions to help the wealthiest: it eliminates the estate tax, which will only be paid by an estimated 5,500 super-wealthy Americans this year, and slashes the corporate tax rate claimed by the biggest businesses. Meanwhile, it raises taxes on many middle-class families, and it sets small benefits for working families to expire in five years – while making cuts for corporations permanent. And make no mistake about it: these cuts will take money away from needed national security investments at this dangerous moment in time.”

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, confirmed Shea-Porter’s claim by stating, “12 percent of taxpayers would pay more in 2019 and 13 percent would pay more in 2027.” These increases unfairly hit middle class families.

This tax increase to the middle class comes primarily from the loss of “itemized deductions” that allow taxpayers to deduct things like mortgage interest, state and local taxes, student loan interest, qualifying work related expenses, and medical expenses.

“One reason for the variation across states is that taxpayers who live in places with higher state and local taxes may be more heavily impacted because those taxes would no longer be deductible on federal tax returns,” ITEP added.

“The bill the House approved today hurts older Americans now and in the future,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Eliminating the medical expense deduction means it will be harder for families with high medical expenses, most of whom are seniors, to make ends meet. The House Republican tax bill axes deductions that help working people so it can give more to the wealthiest.”

“The wealthy and corporations do not need these tax breaks. The vast majority of Americans understand that trickle-down economics does not work, and they disapprove of this plan. Retirees and working Americans know who this plan helps and who it hurts. And they will remember this when they vote in 2018,” Fiesta concluded.

Shea-Porter added, “This bill eliminates the deduction for high medical expenses claimed by over 40,000 Granite Staters and the student loan interest deduction that helps people saddled with student debt. It even takes away the modest $250 above-the-line deduction I fought to make permanent for almost 20,000 New Hampshire teachers – while keeping the golf course tax loophole. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the plan would explode the deficit by $1.7 trillion, triggering automatic cuts to Medicare. We all know our tax code desperately needs reform – but those reforms need to help the working people who are already losing out under our tax code, not give even more to the wealthiest 1% and the biggest corporations.”

The AFL-CIO says the bill is a “job killer” and rewards corporations for offshoring American jobs. Under the House proposal “U.S. tax rate on offshore profits from 35% to 0%,” creating a subsidy for outsourcing jobs that would cost taxpayers “$208 billion over 10 years.”

In their letter of opposition to the proposed tax plan, William Samuel, Director

Government Affairs Department at the AFL-CIO, called the proposal the “poster child for the failed ‘trickle-down’ economic theory that has never worked and has repeatedly stuck working people with the tab for tax giveaways for millionaires, big corporations, and Wall Street.”

Republicans are trying to pull the wool over our eyes in this massive tax scam. The plan would slash the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% and repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax on “pass-through” businesses. A couple of examples of a “pass through” business are “small businesses” like hedge funds, law firms, realty investment companies, and some large corporations like Bechtel construction (the 9th largest single owned business in the US). Without the Alternative Minimum Tax these “pass through” businesses would not be required to pay any federal taxes at all.

NBC News is reporting “Trump and his heirs potentially could save more than $1 billion overall under the GOP tax proposal that the House of Representatives passed Thursday,” though he continues to say that the plan will not benefit him.

The progressive coalition, Not One Penny, supports tax reforms but not one penny in reductions to “millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations.”

“The tax bill that passed the House today is an affront to the people that our leaders in Washington claim to represent. The GOP voted to cut taxes for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations, inevitably forcing cuts to programs working families depend on like Medicaid, Medicare, public education, and Social Security. While passing the largest middle-class tax hike in a generation, the GOP said ‘no thanks’ to helping working families this Thanksgiving,” said Not One Penny spokesman Tim Hogan. “The tax proposal that passed today is wildly unpopular with a majority of Americans, and voters won’t forget those who enabled this hypocrisy. Republicans’ vote today is one that will haunt them in the weeks and months ahead.”

Over the last month, in mobilizing against Republicans’ disastrous tax plan, the Not One Penny coalition has coordinated more than a hundred events and actions across the country to hold congressional Republicans accountable for pushing tax cuts for the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of working families.

Advocates and activists continue to mobilize in opposition to Republicans’ tax scam. From hundreds gathering together at rallies alongside Leaders Pelosi and Schumer, Members of Congress, and progressive allies on November 1 and November 15, to local grassroots activity across the country, Americans will continue to resist this toxic tax plan.

“Progressive groups have come together to prevent Republicans from rigging the system even further for the wealthy and well-connected, and we will not quit until this taxpayer-funded giveaway to millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations is stopped dead in its tracks. After months of activity, we continue to mobilize thousands of activists to stop Republicans attempts to raise taxes on middle-class families. Congressional Republicans should take note: we will hold you accountable for every vote you take that threatens the health and financial security of your constituents,” Hogan added.

“This bill has always been about giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, paid for by the rest of us — and our groups have been fired up about that from the beginning,” said Ezra Levin, Co-Executive Director of Indivisible, a member of the Not One Penny coalition. “Even before this tax fight became a health care fight, we had over 100 events in every corner of this country to oppose the Trump Tax Scam. Now that Republicans have explicitly included ACA repeal, our groups are even more energized than before.”

The bill now moves to the Senate where it is sure to face stiff opposition, especially after the news that Senator McConnell added the repeal of the Affordable Care Act to their tax plan.

Should-be Republican supporters are beginning to defect from the GOP tax plan because of the disastrous impact it would have on the American economy and the harm it would have on millions of middle-class families. Opposition to the plan includes:

  • Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who said the plan benefits corporations over small businesses, and he finds the process being used to rush the bill “offensive.”
  • Arizona Senator Jeff Flake said, “I remain concerned over how the current tax reform proposals will grow the already staggering national debt by opting for short-term fixes while ignoring long-term problems for taxpayers and the economy.”
  • MaineSenator Susan Collins said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea from either a political or policy perspective.” Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said, “If I believe it’s going to add to the deficit, I’m not going to vote for it.”
  • Oklahoma Senator James Lankfordsaid, “It’s one thing to be able to cut taxes. It’s another thing to say how are we going to deal with our debt and deficit.”
  • Texas Senator Ted Cruzsaid, “Right now, they don’t have my vote.”

Make sure to let your Senators know how you feel about this new proposal. The Senate Democrats are unanimous against the bill but in order to ensure this bill never reaches the President’s desk we need to get at least three Republicans to vote it down.

“We need bipartisan tax reform that simplifies our tax code to help small businesses and delivers meaningful relief to middle-class families. Sadly, the tax bill approved last night is a partisan effort that doesn’t meet any of those goals,” said Senator Shaheen. “This bill would add over one and a half trillion dollars to our national debt and hurt Granite State students, seniors and working families, all to provide tax cuts to the very wealthy and large corporations. I stand ready to work with Republicans and Democrats to reform our tax code, but we need a bill that’s fiscally responsible, helps grow our economy and prioritizes the middle class.”

Congressional Candidate Wants More “Evidence-Based” Policy Making

Almost every day we can read about another unqualified crony being appointed to run any number of federal agencies. The Trump administration has made a joke out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by appointing Scott Pruitt to lead the organization. As the Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, Pruitt fought the EPA’s regulations and continually denied the science on climate change.

Another example is the nomination of Sam Clovis to be the top scientist at the US Food and Drug Administration despite the fact he is not a scientist. Clovis, a former radio talk show host, economics professor, and Trump campaign aide, openly admitted to having no degrees in agricultural or natural sciences and called climate change “junk science”.

Clovis has since withdrawn his consideration for the under-secretary position but clearly shows the Trump administration’s pattern of nominating anti-climate change, anti-science, political cronies to lead federal agencies.

With the heads of major natural science agencies being run by anti-science ideologues, it would then fall on Congress to address some of the environmental issues facing the country.

That is just one of the reasons Rye State Rep, Mindi Messmer, has decided to run for Congress. As an environmental scientist, she brings nearly 30 years of experience working to clean up the environment and protecting communities from the harmful toxins that lay dormant underground.

“I am running for Congress to ensure clean drinking water for all Americans, to take precautions to mitigate the environmental causes of cancer, and to stand up to industry-backed attacks on science federal agencies like the EPA by Scott Pruitt and others,” said Messmer. “At a time when the EPA is being dismantled, and environmental policy and regulations are being decimated, I vow to fiercely advocate for evidence-based policy if elected to Congress.”

“It​ ​is​ ​encouraging​ ​to​ ​see​ ​candidates​ ​like​ ​Mindi,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​proven​ ​track​ ​record​ ​of standing​ ​up​ ​for​ ​science​ ​science,​ ​stepping​ ​up​ ​to​ ​the​ ​plate​ ​to​ ​run​ ​for​ ​office,” said Joshua​ ​Morrow,​​Executive​ ​Director​ ​of​ ​314​ ​Action after hearing of Messmer’s decision to run.​ ​”In​ ​an era​ ​where​ ​alternative​ ​facts​ ​and​ ​attacks​ ​on​ ​science​ ​are​ ​the​ ​norm​ ​at​ ​the​ ​hands​ ​of the​ ​Trump​ ​Administration,​ ​Congress​ ​needs​ ​the​ ​perspective​ ​of​ ​scientists​ ​who​ ​will base​ ​policy​ ​on​ ​evidence​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​intuition.”

For 28 years, Messmer has run Terra Nova Environmental, a consulting firm that focuses on the “evaluation, design, development, and implementation of conventional and innovative in-situ and on-site technologies for remediation of contaminated sites.”

Most notably she was the first to identify and report a “pediatric cancer cluster” in five Seacoast NH towns. Her work prompted then Governor, Maggie Hassan to create a task force to investigate the “rhabdomyosarcoma and pleuropulmonary blastoma double pediatric cancer cluster.”

As head of the task force subcommittee, Messmer coordinated with the EPA and the NH Department of Environmental Services to investigate the Coakley Landfill Superfund Site, as the possible cause of the cancer cluster.

Messmer has also been leading the charge on the contaminated ground water in Merrimack, Bedford, and Litchfield linked to the Saint Gobain factory as well as groundwater contaminations linked to the Pease Air Force Base.

As a consultant, Messmer could only do so much. But as a state legislator she could write her own legislation to get the state to address these water issues. And that is exactly what she did.

Messmer was elected to the NH House of Representatives in 2016 and has already submitted a number of bills, three of which have already become law. Messmer’s bills created commissions to further study the cancer cluster and water contamination on the Seacoast as well as a commission to study “environmentally triggered illnesses” in New Hampshire.

In a brief conversation with Messmer after her announcement to run for Congress she talked about how there are more than 150 “superfund sites” similar to those at Pease AFB all across the country that need to be investigated.

Messmer is a longtime resident of Rye, NH where she lives with her husband and two teenage sons.


You can read her full campaign announcement here. Be sure to subscribe to the NH Labor News to get more news on the Congressional races in NH.

Protestors Greet Steve Bannon As He Fundraises In Manchester

Images by Noah Cassel
All rights reserved

Tonight, the far-right extremist group 603 Alliance is hosting Steve Bannon. During his tenure at Breitbart, Bannon ran the organization as a self-described “platform for the alt-right”, providing a megaphone for views that target people based on race, gender, gender identity, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation. In his time at the White House, Bannon put his alt-right beliefs into action, playing an instrumental role in authoring the Muslim Ban.

Bannon was greeted by protestors outside of the event where he raised money for New Hampshire candidates who share his extreme racist, sexist, and xenophobic views.

Images by Noah Cassel
All rights reserved

A coalition of progressive, state-level organizations have come together to stand in opposition to Bannon, his toxic ideology, and those who enable divisive rhetoric and the violence it emboldens. A light brigade protest and visibility will be present as politicians and other attendees arrive, and make it known that the alt-right’s values are not Granite State values and will not spread here unchallenged.

“Granite Staters reject the hate-filled rhetoric of Steve Bannon and his supporters,” said Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. “Politicians who side with the alt-right and embolden and enable an agenda of discrimination in our communities should be on notice that we are watching and will ensure their constituents know where they stand. Hate has no place in the Granite State, and we will not allow it to go unchallenged and take root here.”

Images by Noah Cassel
All rights reserved

Bannon also headed Trump’s presidential campaign in its final months and used his platform to aggressively campaign for Roy Moore in the US Senate primary campaign in Alabama. Today, Roy Moore was accused of sexual relations with a 14-year old, providing a minor with alcohol, and pursuing other teenaged girls in a Washington Post report.

“Steve Bannon handpicked Roy Moore for US Senate in Alabama. Is he going to call for him to step aside in light of these reports, or is he going to defend him and prop him up like he did another candidate who boasted about sexually assaulting women?” asked Former NHDP Chair Kathy Sullivan. “Bannon has engaged in race baiting and other divisive tactics; is he now going to defend a man accused of taking advantage of his position as a prosecutor to prey upon a 14 year old?  On Tuesday, voters around the country rejected Bannon’s agenda, including historic wins across the Granite State.  We will continue to show him that New Hampshire stands against fear-mongering, hate and division.”

Organizations coming together in opposition to Bannon and the alt-right include: Granite State Progress, the NH Young Democrats, Seacoast Resistance, America Votes, Rights and Democracy- NH, Monadnock United 2018, the Kent Street Coalition, Action Together New Hampshire, Indivisible, Center for Popular Democracy, AFSC NH, NH Peace Action, and others.

Steelworkers Endorse Mark MacKenzie For Congress

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union has endorsed State Representative and former New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie for Congress to fight on behalf of working families in the First Congressional District.

Mark MacKenzie

“I am proud and honored to accept the endorsement of the Steelworkers Union, representing over 800,000 working men and women across our country. They understand that our campaign will bring the fight to protect and expand the middle class to the race, and will represent New Hampshire’s working families in Washington.” Mackenzie said.

USW District 4 Director John Shinn credited MacKenzie for serving working families for more than 40 years, as a firefighter and a leader within the labor movement each for 25 years and now in the state legislature. 

“Mark has been a tireless, visible and vocal champion of working families for decades,” Shinn said. “His leadership was instrumental in building a bipartisan coalition to defeat the so-called ‘Right to Work’ legislation brought before the New Hampshire House early this year.”

Shinn said that MacKenzie’s record of unashamed, outspoken and ultimately effective advocacy for American workers, their families and communities is too rare in Washington, D.C., and that the USW is proud to be the first major union to endorse the campaign to put him there.

“As a nation, if we want to create good jobs, a modern energy policy, address our crumbling infrastructure and expand the middle class,” he said, “then we need to elect representatives who know how to make it happen.”

“When we stand together in solidarity and fight together in unity for policies based on fairness and justice, we cannot be defeated,” Shinn said. “Nobody running for Congress understands that better than Mark MacKenzie.”

The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, the auto supply and energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.

Young Democrat Candidates Clinch Municipal Seats Across New Hampshire

Historic night capped with a sweep of all 3 at large Nashua seats

Manchester, NH– Last night, 16 New Hampshire Young Democrats from 7 cities were elected to municipal offices across New Hampshire. Celebrating this unprecedented wave of victories, the New Hampshire Young Democrats issued the following press release:

“Millennials across New Hampshire aren’t waiting around for others to make the change we need to make our state better. They are ready to lead and to make our communities thrive. They’re ready to stand up and keep New Hampshire the best place in the country to stay, work, learn, and start a family. When young people are elected and bring fresh new ideas to local government, our communities are better for it,” said NHYD President Lucas Meyer. “We are sick and tired of seeing our peers moving out of state because of short-sighted decisions made by out of touch politicians like forcing tuition hikes at our universities, restricting our ability to vote, lack of sensible transportation options like commuter rail and seemingly annual threats to basic women’s healthcare. Tonight we applaud the passion of all young candidates who ran this year and we celebrate those who were victorious tonight. We are excited to support their agendas as they take office next year and we look forward to continuing to help recruit, train, and elect more young people to state offices in New Hampshire in 2018.

The New Hampshire Young Democrats are the only statewide group organizing millennial Democrats. The NHYDs work to activate, engage, and train youth in state and local politics. The NH Young Democrats provided support, training, and resources to candidates running in municipal elections throughout the state through their 603-Forward Program. Started in 2008, this program helps identify and elect young candidates to local and state offices. Across the state, the NHYDs activated 200 of our volunteers, organized over 50 canvass launches and phonebanks, 4 days of action, and multiple trainings to help create the grassroots infrastructure needed to win these competitive races. Additionally, the NHYDs invested unprecedented amounts of resources into our endorsed candidates races in order to run aggressive digital and GOTV texting campaigns to turn out democratic and independent voters in an off year election.

“We had over 30 young people run for municipal office this year, with 20 running in Manchester alone, many of them first-time candidates,” said NHYD 603-Forward Program Director Theo Groh. “New Hampshire cities and towns have long struggled to figure out how to attract young families and keep young people in their communities. Who could know more about how do that then this incredibly hardworking group of newly elected young leaders?” he continued “We are so proud as an organization to have been be able to develop the infrastructure to help these great candidates run.”

Winning Candidates:

Erika Connors, State Representative Special Election, Manchester Ward 8*#
Shoshanna Kelly, Alderwoman-at-large, Nashua (first woman of color to serve as at large alderman) *#
Dave Tencza, Alderman-at-large, Nashua*#
Brandon Laws, Alderman-at-large, Nashua*#
Josh Denton, City Council-at-large, Portsmouth
Lindsey Williams, City Council-at-large, Dover*
Ed Levasseur, City Council-at-large, Somersworth*
Maggie Rice, City Council, Keene *
Jeremy Hutchinson, City Council, Rochester*#
Zachary Kohler, School Board, Dover*
Heather Raymond, School Board, Nashua*#
Marissa Chase, Selectman, Manchester*
Caitlin Curran, Selectman, Manchester*
Jeremy Paris, Selectman, Manchester*
Kate Marquis, Selectman, Manchester*
Karen Ladd, Clerk, Manchester
*=First time candidate
$= Red to Blue Flip

Democrats Win Big In NH And In Major Elections In Virginia And New Jersey

Yesterday was a big day for Democrats in New Hampshire.  Manchester elected Joyce Craig as their new mayor after 14 years of Republican control.

Democrats also picked up two House seats in special elections held last night.

Erika Connors defeated Albert MacArthur Jr. 1,198 votes to 1,178 votes to become the newest State Representative in Hillsborough County District 15. Erika’s victory comes in a district with 5% more registered Republicans than Democrats, where President Trump received 53% of the vote. Connors win marks Democrats fifth win in a Republican district in seven tries.

Brian Sullivan won the Sullivan County District 1 state House special election, 1,327-671 (66%-34%), defeating Republican opponent Margaret Drye. Representative-elect Conley will replace Rep. Andrew Smith who resigned in June.

Tonight’s victories mark New Hampshire’s seventh and eighth special election wins in ten tries in 2017.

“Congratulations to our two newest Representatives-elect on their victories tonight,” said New Hampshire House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff. “In Brian Sullivan, the House gains a public servant who has spent his career fighting to improve New Hampshire schools and to help working families. In Erika Connors, we gain a passionate, dedicated champion of public schools who will always fight for Manchester Ward 8. Their commitment to fighting for Democratic values will make them wonderful additions to the New Hampshire House of Representatives.”

“Tonight’s victories are yet another example of Granite Staters showing up in unprecedented numbers to support strong Democratic candidates,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “New Hampshire Democrats have now won 8 out of 10 special elections this year. New Hampshire voters are rejecting the Trump-Sununu agenda by showing up to the polls and electing Democrats to office. There is no seat Democrats can’t compete for in 2017 and these wins put us that much closer to taking back state and national majorities a year from now.”

“Democrats in New Hampshire just keep winning,” said Tom Perez, Chair of the DNC.  “Thanks to the hard work of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, the energy of grassroots organizers, and the will of voters across the Granite State, Democrats won two state House seats, flipping one in an area that voted for Trump a year ago. And with Joyce Craig’s historical mayoral victory tonight in Manchester, Democrats have now flipped six seats in New Hampshire from red to blue in 2017. This is just the beginning. Democrats are going to keep organizing and leading with our values, and that’s why we’re going to flip even more seats up and down the ballot in 2018 and beyond.”

In Nashua, young Democrats won three Aldermanic seats.

“Tonight’s victory is a clear statement that Nashua is hungry for fresh innovative leadership to lead it into the future and make it a more appealing place for young people to live, work, learn and raise a family,” said New Hampshire Young Democrats Executive Director Amelia Keane. “Time and again, leaders in our city have put roadblocks in the way of common sense policies that will attract and retain more Millennials such as the development of passenger rail, compassionate solutions to the opioid crisis, and meaningful investments in our public schools. With Shoshanna, Dave, and Brandon now sitting at the table representing a more progressive vision for Nashua, real change is about to come to the Gate City.”

Along with these Democratic wins in New Hampshire, voters in other states chose to elect Democrats to lead them over the next few years.

In Virginia, Democrat Ralph Northam defeated his Republican opponent by ten full points.  The Daily Kos reported this morning, “Democrats also held Virginia’s two other statewide posts, as Justin Fairfax won the open lieutenant governorship and Mark Herring was re-elected as attorney general, both by 53-47 margins. ”

The same was true in New Jersey as voters elected the Democratic candidate, Phil Murphy, to be their next governor by almost fourteen points.  Democrats also retained the NJ Senate and the NJ Assembly.  “That once again gives Democrats complete control of state government, the so-called “trifecta,” and the chance to enact progressive policies long thwarted by outgoing Gov. Chris Christie. Enjoy the beach!” wrote the Daily Kos.

It is obvious with these major victories in New Jersey and Virginia coupled with the large number of Democratic victories in municipal elections across New Hampshire that change is coming.

Will Democrats be able to take back the NH House and Senate in 2018?

Will Democrats be able to take back the US House and Senate in 2018?

Will Democrats continue to build momentum all the way to the critical 2020 elections?

Time will tell, but if last night is any indication, we are off to a strong start.

Allies, Advocates, And Friends Praise Joyce Craig’s Historic Mayoral Win

Last night, Joyce Craig made history by becoming the first woman elected to be mayor of Manchester. Craig won 12,053-10,554 (53%-47%), defeating four-term incumbent Republican Ted Gatsas in bid to run the largest city in New Hampshire.

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled to stand here tonight as the next mayor of Manchester,” Craig told the crowd at her election night party. “As your mayor I will focus on the things that matter most for residents: improving our schools, making our streets safer, supporting our existing businesses and bringing new businesses to our city. And making real and lasting progress against the opioid crisis.”

“Today, Manchester made history,” said Senator Shaheen. “As the first woman elected mayor of the city, Joyce adds to New Hampshire’s outstanding legacy of electing strong woman leaders. I want to congratulate Joyce on running a tremendous campaign that focused on her positive vision for Manchester, and I look forward to working with her to achieve this vision.”

“Congratulations to my friend, Mayor-elect Joyce Craig, on her historic election,” Senator Hassan said. “Joyce ran a strong campaign focused on her positive vision for moving Manchester forward, and the Queen City will be stronger thanks to her bipartisan leadership in City Hall. I look forward to working with Joyce as she fights to position Manchester to thrive in the innovation economy, improve the school system, and strengthen public safety.”

“Congratulations to Manchester Mayor-elect Joyce Craig, the first woman ever elected mayor in Manchester,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “Joyce has a clear, positive vision of what she wants Manchester’s future to look like, and I look forward to working with her.”

Mayor-elect Joyce Craig is the first Democrat to be elected mayor of Manchester in 14 years. Tonight’s victory mark’s the fifth time New Hampshire Democrats have flipped a seat from red to blue in seven tries.

“Tonight’s historic victory is bound to send shockwaves across the state. After 12 years of Republican control, Manchester is back in Democratic hands on the heels of electing their first woman as mayor in the city’s 171 year history,” said NH Democratic Party Chair, Ray Buckley. “Congratulations to Mayor-elect Joyce Craig for running and winning a positive campaign based on the issues. There is no better person to make the most of our incredible potential, tackle our challenges head-on and lead this city to new heights.”

Running a campaign of this size takes a lot of help. Craig relied on hundreds of campaign volunteers who help spread her message across the city.

“Our campaign knocked on thousands and thousands of doors,” Craig told the crowd. “We worked hard for every vote and tonight we know that our hard work paid off.”

The New Hampshire Young Democrats launched an unprecedented organizing effort to help elect Joyce Craig for Mayor, and fielded a historic number of down ballot candidates. In Manchester alone, Young Democrats knocked on thousands doors this election season and helped run numerous aggressive down ballot races through our 603 Forward program.

“We are thrilled about Joyce Craig’s win. Throughout her career in public service, she has been a strong advocate for policies that make Manchester a better place for young families to live and work and for innovative business to thrive,” said New Hampshire Young Democrats President Lucas Meyer on tonight’s victory. “It was clear throughout the campaign that Millennials across the city are excited about Joyce Craig, and fully embraced her forward-thinking vision for the city. Hundreds of volunteers came out in the months leading up to the election to knock on doors and talk to their neighbors about why they should support Joyce for mayor. We know we can count on Joyce to enact the forward thinking policies that will help attract and retain young people in the Queen City.”

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund supporters knocked on over a thousand doors and made hundreds phone calls all over the Queen City. The women, men, and young people of Manchester who supported Craig in this race understood the importance of electing a leader who strives to make Manchester a healthier and safer city.

“We are thrilled with the victory of Joyce Craig tonight. She shares our vision for a healthier Manchester – where all residents, no matter who they are, where they’re from, or how they identify – have access to affordable health care, can exercise their rights, and live in a safe community,” stated Jennifer Frizzell, Chair of the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund.

“Congratulations to Joyce Craig for her historic victory in the Queen City tonight. As the first woman to ever serve as mayor of Manchester, Joyce will lead the city she loves with the same vision and energy that she’s brought to her previous decade of public service,” said Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee. “After eight years of failed Republican leadership, it’s time for a new era of economic vibrancy, and Mayor-elect Craig has what it takes to make it happen. The DNC has been proud to stand with the New Hampshire Democratic Party, and we look forward to seeing all that Mayor-elect Craig accomplishes in Manchester.”

“Joyce Craig represents the best of Manchester and has committed to protecting voting rights as the city’s mayor,” said Jason Kander, President of Let America Vote. “That’s why Let America Vote was so proud to endorse Joyce earlier this year and support her by sending a field team to Manchester that knocked on over 9,400 doors on her behalf. We’ll continue standing with Joyce Craig as mayor because we know she’ll be a strong voting rights advocate for her city and state.”

“We are proud to congratulate Joyce Craig on her history-making victory today,” said EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock. “Joyce is a committed public servant and passionate education advocate who is clearly the right person to move Manchester forward. EMILY’s List endorsed her because we know she will bring strong policy solutions and much-needed new leadership to her city.”

Today begins a new era in Manchester and we are all looking forward to what Mayor Joyce Craig will do.

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