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In A New Book Teacher’s Advocate Defends Teachers

Total Teaching: Your Passion Makes It Happen By Dr. Tom Staszewski

Total-Teaching-book-graphicFrom the first-year teacher to the most experienced veteran, this book will provide an inspiring message that yes, indeed…teaching is the most noble profession. It serves as an acknowledgement of the importance of teachers and recognizes that ‘teaching is the profession that has created all other professions.’ This book provides real-life tools, tips and strategies to have a successful school year and to persevere beyond the challenges associated with the profession.  This inspiring book is filled with insightful and meaningful stories and examples, it provides a motivational pep talk to help teachers stay focused, to succeed in the classroom, to maintain the passion that brought them into the profession and develop a plan to be the best that they can be!

As featured in http://www.teacherscount.org TeachersCount is working to create a permanent culture of teacher appreciation in the United States.

Copies are available through the publisher Rowman and Littlefield and also at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com or from Rowman & Littlefield Education Phone: (301) 459-3366, http://www.rowmaneducation.com Customer Service, Toll free: (800) 462-6420, custserv@rowman.com

Dr. Tom Staszewski Teaching standards have risen and so have teacher stress levels. The pressure imposed on teachers by administrators, parents, and students, often creates feelings of teacher self-doubt. Luckily, Total Teaching by Tom Staszewski offers those in this much beleaguered profession both guidance and inspiration.

Offering constructive advice and teaching tools, Total Teaching provides readers with a source of hope. Staszewski provides tips and proven strategies for success that are applicable both inside and outside the classroom. If you are looking for a gift for a special teacher, or looking to purchase a bit of personal inspiration, TOTAL TEACHING will help shine some light at the end of your tunnel.

Tom Staszewski has been an educator since 1974. His career has spanned a variety of levels, from teaching elementary and middle school grades to instructing and holding various administrative positions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Frequently asked questions about Total Teaching…Your Passion Makes it Happen,

written by Dr. Tom Staszewski, tomstasz@neo.rr.com

What prompted you to write the book?

In this era of policy change and educational reform at the K-12 level, suddenly “everybody” has become an expert on our school systems. In my opinion, there is a great amount of unjustified criticism that is unfairly being leveled against our schools and our teachers. Most of the criticism is unfounded, baseless, undeserved and distorted. Many critics of our school systems have never set foot in a classroom to see what’s going on —other than their own experience as a former student—and their criticism is  erroneous and counterproductive. If they (critics) would take the time to better understand just how hard the teaching profession really is, they would change their criticism to face the reality of today’s schools and society at large. I believe that most critics would find it difficult to even make it through even one day in the life of a typical teacher. The essence behind the book is that today’s teachers are under a lot of pressure and scrutiny and there is a need for more support, recognition and appreciation for the good that they are providing for society. So the point of my book is to inform the uninformed about how difficult it is to teach in many of today’s schools. And to provide recognition to educators and to thank teachers for the positive difference they are making  in society. I’ve always said that our schools are a reflection of society and society at large has changed and undergone a dramatic shift from previous generations. The book also focuses on the success stories and “what’s right” with our schools rather than “what’s wrong” with our schools. Unlike previous generations…in many homes today, whether it be a single parent household or with both parents home…many parents send their kids to school unfed, unprepared and with little or no basic skills and often with no social skills, etc.

In my previous work as a motivational speaker and professional development trainer, I have personally worked with thousands and thousands of teachers statewide and nationwide and I have found them to be hard-working, dedicated, industrious and committed to the success of their students. It’s about time that someone has taken a stand to recognize and acknowledge the value to society that  teachers are providing and to thank them for their dedication.

What is the theme of the book?

In addition to thanking and recognizing the good that teachers provide to society, the book is also a handbook that can be used by the teacher as a means of providing coping skills and methods to succeed in the classroom with the trials and tribulations of teaching. It provides a means of offering tips, strategies and techniques to make it through the day and to have a successful school year. In many respects it is a personal growth and development type handbook.

From the first-year teacher to the most experienced veteran, this book provides an inspiring message that yes, indeed…teaching is the most noble profession. It serves as an acknowledgement of the importance of teachers and recognizes that “teaching is the profession that has created all other professions.” This book provides real-life tools, tips and strategies to have a successful school year and to persevere beyond all of the challenges associated with the profession. Filled with insightful and meaningful stories and examples, it will provide a pep talk to help teachers stay focused. Readers are able to maintain the passion that brought them into the profession and to develop a plan to be the best that they can be.

What is the author’s background and experience?

Born, raised and residing in Erie, PA, Dr. Tom Staszewski (pronounced Sta SHEF ski) is a proud product of the City of Erie Public School District and graduated from Erie Academy High School in 1970. He is married to Linda Laird Staszewski. His BS in Education is from Penn State University, an MA from Indiana University of PA and a doctorate in administrative and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

As a career educator, my background has spanned a variety of educational levels, from teaching elementary and middle school grades to teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels. In addition, I’ve held various administrative positions at the higher ed. level.

Why We Organize: The Fight For $15

For RespectEvery workers deserves respect.  

We work hard, and only ask to be paid fairly.  For many low-wage workers, work is more like slavery. They work hours on end, making scraps and living in poverty.  For hundreds of thousands of workers in the greater Los Angeles area, living on California’s (higher than average) minimum wage is just not enough to survive.  Workers in LA have come together with local union organizers to Fight for $15.

They are asking for Mayor Garcetti to help improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers in the greater LA area.

Workers all across LA are fighting to build a better future for our families. The truck drivers that deliver the clothes on our backs, the fast food workers who serve us our food on the go, warehouse and retail workers that help fill our holidays with cheer, and the car wash workers who keep LA’s beloved automobiles shiny… We are the backbone of our economy and we have joined together to fight for our rights!

We will not back down until there is change!

Mayor Garcetti, support our fight to improve the lives of the hundreds of thousands of workers that keep the city running.

Sign the petition 

Look at the faces of the people who are organizing in the Fight for $15 in LA.  They are not children, they are everyday Americans, just like you and me.  They are hard workers.  They have families of their own.  They just want to be paid a living wage.

FIGHT FOR $15!

Watch the video on YouTube 

Workers Rally To Ask Congress To Stop Delaying America’s Mail

A boisterous crowd gathered in downtown Manchester on a blustery Friday evening to urge lawmakers not to decimate the U.S. Postal Service. This rally was part of a National Day of Action to stop the closing of 82 mail processing plants starting in January. The deconstructing of the Postal Service network continues despite the fact that on this same day the U.S. Postal Service reported a $1.4 Billion operational profit for the year.

The incredible list of Speakers included NH AFL CIO President Mark McKenzie, SEA/SEIU #1984 President Rich Gulla, IBEW #2320 Business Manager Glen Brackett, AFT NH President Laura Hainey, Gene Porter – husband of Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter, Norm Welsh Manchester Newspaper Guild President, Liz Skidmore , Carpenters #118 Business Manager and NALC State President Wayne Alterisio. NPMU Rep Ed Barnes was the informative MC and this amazing event was made possible by the incredible work of APWU leaders Janice Kelble and Kim Hayes. (I apologize for those I failed to mention)

The lawmakers that are endorsing these plant closures and eliminating Saturday mail delivery are not trying to save or reform the postal service they want to destroy it. A highly efficient and popular government agency does not fit their mindless anti government ideology that they sell to the American Public to get elected.

Add to the fact that the postal service is highly unionized and the anti worker politicians come out in mass. The battles to shrink worker pay and take back benefits are all around us. Friday’s speakers detailed those battles locally with the bitter strike at Fairpoint being the most ominous. The newspaper guild is still searching for fairness for its employees. The continuous war on reducing public employees is what Teachers and State Employees fight everyday. The workers at the U.S. Postal Service are the next target in our nations ongoing war on workers.

The war against postal workers not only affects the hundreds of thousands of postal workers but the millions of people in our country who rely on timely mail delivery. The elderly waiting for their medicine or child waiting for delivery of their birthday present or a small business waiting for essential documents should not be considered insignificant collateral damage in the attack on postal workers.

Congress should focus on eliminating the onerous $5.4 billion annual retirement healthcare prefunding requirement that has caused financial hardship for the USPS. That unprecedented requirement has to be modified and instead of shrinking the network it should be looking to expand it.

Good USPS financial news abounds with the strong $1.4 billion operational profit just reported.  Add to that Sunday parcel delivery for Amazon Packages is becoming a reality for many parts of the country next month. Letter revenue is up as our economy grows. The USPS can further enhance its skyrocketing 9.1% package revenue growth in the past year. It’s time to build on these success moving forward. Killing the Postal Service for ideological reasons seems more absurd now than ever before

Saving the Postal Service is what united this impressive crowd today. As I listened to the speakers and crowd response another theme became clear to us all. This spirited event highlighted a unified work force in NH that will be a formidable obstacle to those politicians and businessmen who want to erode workers pay and benefits. Our solidarity is a force that must be reckoned with.

Below is a short video of Janice Kelble, Legislative Director for the NH Postal Workers Union talking about the rally and the issues facing the USPS.

You can view all of the videos from the rally in this playlist. 

 

UPDATE:
Other local coverage from WBIN NH1 :http://www.nh1.com/news/postal-service-workers-protest-in-manchester-over-pending-cuts/

New England Cable News (NECN) http://www.necn.com/news/business/Postal-Workers-Say-Cuts-Will-Kill-Service-282766071.html
National USPS Rally Coverage:
Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/11/12/postal-workers-to-protest-plant-closings-and-service-reductions/

Senate Democrats Need To Move Quickly To Approve A New Member To The NLRB

Well the elections are over and the now, just ten days after all the votes were counted, it is obvious that we are headed for another two years of monumental gridlock.

The Republicans in the Senate used their minority power to filibuster major Presidential nominees forcing Harry Reid to take the “nuclear option,” changing the rules of the filibuster to a simple majority vote. This rule change means if all the Senate Democrats voted together, they would be able to approve any and all of the President’s nominees.

The Democrats only have a few weeks left in charge of the Senate and they should be using it to appoint dozens on nominees including a new board member to the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB).

President Obama’s NLRB appointments came under fire by Senate Republicans when President Obama forced his appointments through while the Senate was in recess. Although the Supreme Court ruled that recess appointments are legal, they also found that President Obama violated those rules when he appointed Sharon Block to the NLRB.

After the Supreme Court ruled that the Senate would need to approve of the nomination, President Obama once again submitted Sharon Block to the NLRB. Unfortunately her nomination was a poison pill to the Republicans and they blocked her nomination.

It was announced yesterday that President Obama has withdrawn his nomination of Sharon Block and in turn nominated “Lauren McFerran, who has served as chief labor counsel for the Senate Health Committee since 2005.”

“Sharon Block is a thoughtful, smart and committed public servant with a proven track record serving on the both the National Labor Relations Board and at the U.S. Department of Labor,” said Mary Kay Henry, President of the SEIU. “Today, once again, obstruction by the far right has stripped the American people of a qualified nominee with stellar credentials who would have served our nation’s working families ably and justly. It is disappointing for America’s hardworking men and women that such a capable candidate would fall prey to an extreme and crassly political agenda.”

Senate Democrats now have a choice to make, and they only have a few days to make it. Do they push through the nomination of Lauren McFerran to the NLRB before December 16th when Nancy Schiffer’s term expires, leaving two Republican and two Democratic appointees on the board?

“Congress must prioritize filling all of the seats on the NLRB and confirm the Obama Administration’s new nominee, Lauren McFerran, immediately,” stated Henry. “The rights of our 2 million members — and tens of millions of working people in every sector and vocation — are protected by labor laws that are best regulated by a fully functional NLRB. Lauren McFerran, is also an impressive candidate with a robust background in labor relations law and an excellent reputation for her professional work on the Hill. It is imperative to the security of our working families that Congress confirm McFerran swiftly.”​

The Senate Democrats need to grab the bull by the horns and push through some of these nominees before the Republicans, and their opposition to everything Obama, begins their two-year reign of terror in the Senate.

What would YOU do with $707 billion?

WWYD_707_billionGoldman Sachs just weighed in with their predictions for next year’s economy. They expect “only a modest growth in business investment”… but a whopping increase in the amount of money corporations will spend buying back their own stock.

(Corporations buy back their own stock to increase per-share prices.  Many CEOs get paid more, if the price of their company’s stock rises.  And most CEOs receive at least some of their compensation as stock or stock options.  Either way, increasing the stock price increases how much $$$ the CEO takes home.)

Next year, Goldman Sachs analysts expect corporations to spend a total of $707 billion buying back their own stock.

What else could Corporate America do with that money?

  • Companies could create about nine million $50,000 jobs – with benefits!  (Wait… isn’t “nine million” the number of people who are unemployed in America, right now?)
  • Companies could “afford” to increase the wages of the 3.3 million minimum-wage workers in America. (Most minimum wage employees work 34 hours or less at their primary job… calculating that as 5.8 billion minimum-wage work-hours a year… would mean that all those workers could get a $122/hour increase!  Yeah, that was “one hundred twenty-two dollars an hour”… do the math yourself.)
  • It could pay for the Food Stamp program — for almost an entire decade. (Which only seems fair, since nearly three-quarters of families receiving public assistance are working families who don’t get paid enough to make ends meet. And it doesn’t matter how profitable the industry is: almost one-third of all bank tellers are on public assistance; more than half of all fast-food workers; thousands upon thousands of workers in other industries.)

But apparently Corporate America isn’t going to be doing anything like that, with that $707 billion. Not creating jobs. Not increasing wages. Not giving up the taxpayer subsidies for their low-wage jobs.

No, Goldman Sachs expects Corporate America to spend that money just… buying back shares of stock.

Which doesn’t really create value. It’s not a new factory, or a new product, or even a new market. All stock buybacks do is concentrate corporate ownership. Like ultra-concentrated dish soap: it’s the same stuff, just in a smaller bottle.

And yes, this does have advantages if you’re looking at things from the CEO’s perspective.

All too often stock buybacks are deceptive things, which create a sugar high in the share price, a nice little windfall for management, and pretty much nothing in the way of actual value creation.

But looking at that $707 billion from the perspective of the 99%…?

  • In a stack of $100 bills… that same money would be about 480 miles high.
  • You could buy enough ultra-concentrated dish soap to fill about 75,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

… and from the perspective of the 99%, either of those options would probably be just as good as spending all that $$$ on stock buybacks.

Have a better idea about how to spend $707 billion? Use our comments section to share it.

Read “Nightmare on Wall Street? Are Stock Buybacks Creating Another ‘Financial Bubble?’” here.

Read “Why the Economy Doesn’t Work for the 99%: Massive Payouts to Corporate Stockholders” here.

 

What NAFTA Foretells For New Proposed Trade Deal (InZane Times)

My colleague Gabriel Camacho and I wrote this a year ago, timed to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement.  With President Obama in China touting a new “free trade” agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, this seemed like a good time to re-post it here.  The original article was published in the NH Business Review.

NAFTA

In the twenty years since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect, millions of Mexicans have been pushed by NAFTA to make the dangerous journey across the border into the United States, many without legal authorization. The U.S. government has responded by turning the border into a militarized zone, jailing hundreds of thousands of people, and deporting record numbers back across the border.

Militarization of the border began in 1994 with Operation Gatekeeper, which erected fencing, walls, and other barriers between San Diego, CA and Tijuana, Mexico, forcing migrants into dangerous desert terrain.stop corporate rule

This was not supposed to happen.

According to NAFTA’s backers, the agreement was supposed to promote prosperity in both countries and actually reduce the pressure to migrate.

President Bill Clinton asserted NAFTA would give Mexicans “more disposable income to buy more American products and there will be less illegal immigration because more Mexicans will be able to support their children by staying home.”

Mexico’s former President, Carlos Salinas, offered a similar opinion: NAFTA would enable Mexico to “export jobs, not people,” he said in a 1991 White House news conference alongside President George H. W. Bush.

William A. Ormes wrote in Foreign Affairs that NAFTA would “narrow the gap between U.S. and Mexican wage rates, reducing the incentive to immigrate.”

So what happened? As a precondition for NAFTA, the U.S. demanded drops in Mexican price supports for small farmers. The agreement itself reduced Mexican tariffs on American products. These changes meant that millions of Mexico’s small farmers – many of them from indigenous communities – could not compete with the highly subsidized corn grown by U.S. agribusiness that flooded the local Mexican market.

Dislodged from the places where their families had lived for generations, many people did in fact seek employment in export-oriented factories and farms. But there were too few jobs to go around, and those jobs that were created did not generate the “disposable income” President Clinton had promised.

A 2008 report on “NAFTA’s Promise and Reality” from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace concluded that while half a million manufacturing jobs were created in Mexico from 1994 to 2002, nearly three times as many farm jobs were destroyed.

As for Mexican wages, they went down, not up, during the same period. “Despite predictions to the contrary, Mexican wages have not converged with U.S. wages,” Carnegie observed.

Unable to earn a living at home or elsewhere in their own country, Mexicans did what people have done for ages; they packed their bags and headed for places where they thought they could find employment.

The experts shaping NAFTA knew that the deal would disrupt the Mexican agricultural sector. That’s why Operation Gatekeeper was implemented the same year as NAFTA. It’s impossible to integrate national economies without disrupting local ones – something that should give pause to those proposing new trade agreements today. The realities of NAFTA should not be replicated.

As the American Friends Service Committee outlines in “A New Path Toward Humane Immigration Policy,” the U.S. should advance economic policies that reduce forced migration and emphasize sustainable development. Instead of policies like NAFTA that elevate rights of transnational corporations above those of people, we need alternative forms of economic integration that are consistent with international human rights laws, cultural and labor rights, and environmental protections.

Modern-day free trade agreements are basically arrangements that take rights away from citizens and bestow expansive benefits to multi-national corporations.

Workers on both sides of the border have one thing in common: they need the ability to organize for higher wages and decent working conditions. Without the opportunity for workers to benefit from the rewards agreements like NAFTA generate for corporations, “free trade” becomes just another driver of the widening gap between the ultra-rich and everyone else.

With the Obama administration pushing hard to create a new arrangement linking the economies of eleven Pacific rim countries, and another that ties the U.S. economy to that of the European Union, it’s time for a new path.

US Postal Unions And Community Activists To Hold “Stop Delaying America’s Mail” Rally In Manchester, NH (and Nationally)

Postal-Unions-Set-Day-of-Action-to-Protest-Service-Cuts-Mail-Delays_blog_post_fullWidthOn Nov. 14 postal workers across the country will come together for a National Day of Action to tell Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors: Stop Delaying America’s Mail!  Please join us! Whether you are postal employee, a small business owner, an individual customer, or someone who simply wants the U.S. Postal Service to survive and thrive, please get involved!

“The Postal Service is set to make severe cuts in mail delivery service that, if implemented, would cause hardships for customers, drive away business, and cause incalculable harm to its reputation,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said.

Why Now?

The Postmaster General is poised to make devastating cuts in service to the American people – cuts so severe that they will forever damage the U.S. Postal Service.

  • On Jan. 5, the USPS is slated to lower “service standards” to virtually eliminate overnight delivery – including first-class mail from one address to another within the same city or town.
  • All mail (medicine, online purchases, local newspapers, church bulletins, letters, bill payments, invitations) throughout the country will be delayed.
  • Beginning Jan. 5, 82 Mail Processing & Distribution Centers are scheduled to close.

These cuts will cause hardships for customers, drive away business, cause irreparable harm to the U.S. Postal Service, and lead to massive schedule changes and reassignments for employees.

Flawed Strategy

They are part of a flawed management strategy that has unnecessarily sacrificed service and failed to address the cause of the Postal Service’s manufactured financial crisis.

  •  More than 140 plants have closed since 2012;
  •  As a result, mail is delivered much later in the day, well into the evening;
  •  Retail work is being sent to Staples, at more than 1,500 stores throughout the country;
  •  Door delivery is being eliminated in most new housing developments;
  •  Chronic understaffing frustrates customers and slows the mail, and
  •  Six-day delivery is under constant threat.

The four postal unions are joining forces to protect service, fight for our livelihoods, and defend our great national treasure, the U.S. Postal Service. We have many allies in the fight against the proposed changes, including more than half the Senate and 160 U.S. Representatives.

Read the letter from the leaders of the four postal unions to Postmaster General Board of Directors.

Are the Cuts Inevitable?

The Nov. 14 date was selected because it coincides with the USPS Board of Governors’ last public meeting of 2014. On that day, the board will release the USPS financial reports for the fiscal year, and undoubtedly will once again bemoan “billions of dollars in losses.”

In fact, the USPS has earned more than $1 billion in profit from operations this year. The “losses” are the result of a bogus pre-funding requirement and have nothing to do with the cost of collecting, sorting and delivering mail.

The four postal unions, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), National Postal Mail Handlers Union(NPMHU) and National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA), are urging their members and postal customers to send a message to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors:

Stop Delaying America’s Mail!

For those in New Hampshire, we will be hosting a candlelight vigil (details below) for others click here for a listing of events in your area

New Hampshire Candlelight Vigil

grim-reaperWhen: Friday, November 14, 2014

Where: 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at City Hall Plaza, 904 Elm St., Manchester.

What: Those attending are encouraged to bring a candle/flashlight/ small light of some sort. Dress in Funeral attire. Even “Grim Reapers” would be appropriate.

Tee Shirts will be provided while supplies last. First come, first served.

Click here to download a sharable flyer for this event.

JUST ADDED! Informational flyers to be given out at Concord Post office and Nashua City Hall Plaza.  CLICK HERE for more details. 

Your Vote Matters! A Detailed Look At The NH Top Tier Races And Union Endorsed Candidates

November 4th is almost here and we at the NH Labor News want you to be as informed as possible when you go out to vote.  (NH residents can find Polling Place here.)

We want you to know who you are voting for and who has the support of working family advocates in New Hampshire. Below are links to the NH AFL-CIO, SEIU 1984, and the NEA of NH endorsed candidates from the top of the ticket all the way down. Be sure to vote all the way down the ticket (both sides if needed).

Your vote for local candidates is vitally important. We need to make sure that New Hampshire does not fall back into the anti-worker hands of Bill O’Brien. We need to elect Representatives at every level who are committed to supporting working families, and our rights as workers.

The AFL-CIO list of endorsed candidates.

The State Employees Association (SEIU 1984) list of endorsed candidates.

The NEA-NH list of endorsed candidates, and the list of endorsed NH House candidates.

Below is a list reasons New Hampshire families should support or oppose candidates for each of the major races in New Hampshire.

Maggie Hassan vs. Walt Havenstein

Major points:

Governor Hassan wants to keep New Hampshire moving forward by continuing to ensure that all Granite Staters have access to quality healthcare through the Healthcare exchange and the Medicaid Expansion. Gov. Hassan is also pushing to raise the minimum wage, and protect a women’s right to choose.

Walt Havenstein is pushing for tax cuts for the Business Profits Tax that would create a $90 million dollar hole in the state budget that he has yet to explain where those cuts would come from in order to balance the budget. His tax plan would mostly benefit large corporations and out of state businesses. Havenstein want to sign the NH Right To Work law. Havenstein has also vowed to repeal the Medicaid Expansion and adamantly opposes increasing the minimum wage.

Governor Maggie Hassan Walt Havenstein
Signed a balanced NH budget with no sales or income tax. Has a business plan that would blow a $90 million dollar hole in the budget with tax cuts to big business and out-of-state corporations.

Refuses to specify where budget cuts would come from, to balance the budget as required by NH law.

Worked with Legislature to pass a Medicaid expansion that provided healthcare access to more than 50,000 Granite Staters. Said he would support repeal of Medicaid expansion when it comes up again next term.
Opposes “Right To Work” legislation. Fully supports “Right To Work” legislation.
Supports raising the NH Minimum Wage to $9.00 (as written by the NH House in 2013).

“Restoring and increasing New Hampshire’s minimum wage will help our economy by putting more money in the pockets of hard-working people of all ages to spend at businesses across the state,” Governor Hassan wrote. “Individuals working full-time in New Hampshire should be able to earn enough to pull themselves above the federal-poverty threshold and support their families.”

Opposes any increase in the minimum wage.
Was the former CEO of BAE systems, a federal defense contractor.
Was the CEO of SAIC, a defense contractor that worked with the NSA and local governments to spy on Americans. As CEO of SAIC, Walt made $20 million dollars in the few years he was employed there, while their stock value lost 30%, forcing SAIC to lay off thousands of workers.   (More details)
As CEO of SIAC, Havenstein oversaw the “TRICARE” data breach that jeopardized the privacy of over 11,000 NH Veterans and their families.
The Washington Post called the incident “One of the Largest Health-Data Breaches Ever Reported
Had to go to court to determine whether or not he was a “resident” of NH, in order to run for Governor. (While living in Maryland, he applied for and took a special tax exemption for residents of that state. Then he claimed that — while he was living and working in MD — he was still a resident of NH.)
New Hampshire’s economy has shown signs of growth, creating over 10,000 jobs in the last two years. Said his “jobs plan” (reduce taxes on businesses, and pass right to work legislation) would create 25,000 new jobs in the next two years. (This plan has repeatedly been torn apart, with analysts calling it “nothing more than a fancy slogan” like Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. There is no evidence to back up his jobs plan. Kansas Gov. Brownbeck did cut KS taxes — and the state is now running a deficit and has had its credit rating downgraded multiple times. The same thing has happened in NJ with Gov. Chris Christie.)
Havenstein got caught trying to blame Gov. Hassan for a 15 year trend of NH jobs being “offshored.”
Worked with NH Legislature to pass a NH Paycheck Fairness act.
Endorsed by Women’s rights and advocacy groups, Planned Parenthood and NARAL NH

 

Jeanne Shaheen vs. Scott Brown

Major Points:

Senator Shaheen has used her time in the Senate to push for increasing the minimum wage, expanding access to healthcare, universal background checks on all gun sales, rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, opposing the “internet tax” and repeal the mandatory budget cuts force on the government by the Sequester.

Sen. Shaheen proposed a bipartisan bill with Sen. Portman (R-OH) to lower our energy costs, lowering our dependence on coal based energy and expanding alternative sources of energy.

Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown moved to New Hampshire after loosing his Senate seat to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. He currently opposes raising the minimum wage even though he supported a minimum wage increase when he was in the MA Legislature. Sen. Brown claims to be “pro-choice” however he voted for the “Blunt Amendment” and supports the Hobby Lobby decision that would allow employers to deny women access to contraceptives.

Sen. Brown is also on the Board of Directors of Kadant Inc., a company that outsources American jobs. As a board member, Brown is paid over $270,000 a year from Kadant while they continue to move our jobs overseas.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown
Supports raising the minimum wage. Said “I have supported a minimum wage increase in the past” but refuses to state a position on raising the minimum wage now.
Supports “Paycheck Fairness” legislation. Voted against the “Paycheck Fairness Act” twice: 2010 and 2012.
Supported legislation to help small businesses get financial support to grow their business.   (Small Business Jobs Act) Voted against the Small Business Jobs Act.
Supports a women’s right to choose, and has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL of New Hampshire. Co-sponsored and voted for the Blunt Amendment while in the Senate and this year, spoke out in support of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.
Pushes for more American manufacturing, particularly “Made in NH.” Is on the board of directors of Kadant Inc. which outsources US jobs to China and Mexico.
Endorsed by labor unions and advocates for working families. Endorsed by the Big Oil, AFP, and the Koch Brothers.

 

Carol Shea-Porter vs. Frank Guinta

Major Points:

Congresswoman Shea-Porter is a strong advocate for working families pushing to raise the minimum wage, working to close the wage gap and worked with health insurance companies to allow for more healthcare options available to Granite Staters on the ACA Exchange. Strongly opposes any cuts to Social Security, Medicare and vehemently opposes the Ryan Plan which would force more draconian cuts to Granite State families.

Congressman Frank Guinta supports the Ryan Plan and the Republican Study Committee Budget commonly referred to as the “Ryan Plan on steroids.” Guinta has strong support from anti-worker organizations like the Americans For Prosperity and the Associated Builders and Contractor who blocked the construction of the Manchester Jobs Corps center in Manchester over a labor agreement to protect workers and ensure fair wages. Congressman Guinta also supports cutting benefits from Social Security and increasing the retirement age for eligibility. Wants to return to Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Congressman Guinta was also named one of CREW’s most corrupt members of Congress in his first year of office. He has still yet to clear up the issue raised during his 2010 campaign where he mysteriously came up with $355,000 dollars in a bank account that he “forgot about.”

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter Former Rep. Frank Guinta
Supports an increase to the Federal Minimum Wage. Opposes any increase to the minimum wage.
Opposed the Ryan Plan and the forced budget cuts known as the “Sequester” that caused furloughs for federal workers. Supports the Ryan Plan and the Republican Study Committee Budget (“the Ryan Plan on steroids”) that includes cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and dozens of other government programs.
Opposes any cuts to Social Security or Medicare benefits for seniors.

Strongly endorsed by the NH Alliance for Retired Americans.

Said we need to cut “entitlement programs” and hopes his children do not even know what Social Security is. Supports privatizing Social Security and allowing Wall Street gamblers to oversee Social Security funds.
Strong supporter of workers rights and has been endorsed by almost every labor union in the state. Has been endorsed by the Koch funded Americans for Prosperity and the Associated Builders and Contractors (an anti-union lobbying group).

Guinta held up the construction of the Manchester Jobs Corps building, at the request of the ABC, over a labor agreement that would have ensured fair pay, workplace safety regulations, workman’s compensation insurance, and other paid benefits.
His opposition to Project Labor Agreements and supporting legislation to repeal the federal mandate to have a PLA on all federal projects earned Guinta an award from the ABC.

Supports Paycheck Fairness. Had the chance in 2012 to vote on an bill that would strengthen “fair pay” laws. Skipped the vote.
Voted to protect our Civil Liberties by stopping the NSA from collecting data from American’s cell phones, emails, and other personal information. When questioned on the violations of privacy and Civil Liberties from the Patriot Act, Guinta responded, “You either stand with terrorists or you stand with freedom and protecting Americans.”
Endorsed by the Sierra Club for advocating for protection of our environment. Does not believe climate change is scientifically proven. (Video)
Voted to oppose stronger regulations on oil companies drilling.
(The new regulations would require contingency plans for oil spills.)
Named one of CREW’s most corrupt politicians in Washington, in his first term in D.C.
Mysteriously came up with $355,000 in a bank account he forgot he had in the 2010 election.   Has yet to explain where the money came from.
Refuses to take money from corporate special interest PACs. Supports campaign finance reform to overturn Citizens United. Gladly takes PAC money from Big Oil lobbyists, the Koch Brothers, Tobacco Lobbyists, and union-busting lobbying groups.
Working to ensure that all Americans have access to good quality healthcare they can afford. Vows to go back to Congress and waste taxpayer dollars on more attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Threatens to shut down the government if we do not repeal the ACA. Repealing the ACA would result in a 74% increase in premiums for the majority of Granite Staters.

 

Annie Kuster vs. Marilinda Garcia

Major Points:

Congresswoman Annie Kuster supports raising the minimum wage to help struggling New Hampshire families work to lift themselves out of poverty. Worked to reduce regulations of local farmers and is sponsoring legislation to increase US manufacturing. Congresswoman Kuster is Pro-Choice and a strong defender of a women’s right to choose earning her endorsements from several women’s rights advocacy groups.

State Rep Marilinda Garcia opposes Marriage Equality, opposes increasing the minimum wage, and voted to abolish abortions even in cases of rape and incest. Garcia was a part of former NH Speaker Bill O’Brien’s leadership team, and voted lock step with her Tea Party leaders. Garcia was caught for plagiarizing twice in the last two weeks.

Garcia, age 32, still lives at home with her parents and is a career politician. Her only income is from teaching student how to play the Harp, and the $100 dollars a year she makes as State Rep. As a State Rep, Garcia was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Rep. Annie Kuster Marilinda Garcia
Family law attorney, specializing in family adoptions. Long history of political and social activism. Tea Party Conservative who made a name for herself while part of Bill O’Brien’s “Leadership” of the NH House.
At the age of 32, Garcia still lives at home with her parents and her sister Bianca.
Professional career politician. Also employed as a part time harp instructor. No other major employment aside from State Representative ($100 a year).

Pays herself $3,300 a month in salary out of her campaign funds (yes, this is legal).

Made a total of $6,000 last year.

Supports increasing the Minimum Wage. Voted to repeal the NH Minimum Wage law in 2011.
Has been endorsed by the NH AFL-CIO, NEA, AFT, SEIU, and almost every other union in the state. Supported Right To Work legislation that would hurt NH families.
Supports marriage equality and praised the Supreme Court in their repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. Opposes marriage equality legislation.

Garcia also said, marriage equality is not an issue millennial voters care about. “… it doesn’t really come up, you know, in elections and campaigns anymore because it’s just not an issue that they’re fighting about in the legislature anymore.”

In a speech on the NH House floor Garcia said, “[Same-sex marriage is] illogical and invasive, while completely missing the biologically specific point of marriage in the first place.” Garcia also calls marriage “an institution that makes no sense for them.”

As a state legislator, Garcia was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where corporations sponsor legislators to take luxurious junkets to five-star hotels and provide them with pre-written legislation to submit in their home states. Garcia said “there was nothing wrong with lobbyist taking legislators out for dinner”
Has been working with Congressional members to push legislation that would help small businesses in New Hampshire gain access to much-needed capital to grow their companies.
Co-sponsored legislation that would force the government to spend more of the budget on products Made In The USA. Also has been working to expand the US and NH manufacturing base.
Working to ensure that all Americans have access to good quality healthcare they can afford. Vows to go to Congress and waste taxpayer dollars on more attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Threatens to shut down the government if we do not repeal the ACA.
Refuses to say where she buys her healthcare from, but swears it is not from the ACA Healthcare exchange.
Repealing the ACA would result in a 74% increase in premiums for the majority of Granite Staters.
Pro-Choice candidate endorsed by NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Pro-Life anti-abortion candidate who voted to defund Planned Parenthood, outlaw abortions, and throw physicians in jail for helping a woman to have an abortion – even in the case of rape#NHp or incest.
Congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia (NH-02) plagiarized one of the few speeches she’s given in New Hampshire politics. Garcia’s House floor statement to repeal marriage equality in 2012 plagiarizes numerous passages from a 2010 editorial against marriage equality by the National Review.

Also caught plagiarizing a second speech in 2014.

 

AFT-NH Hosts “Working Women Speak Out” (Videos)

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This election is extremely important to working women and their families.  Ensuring that we elect representatives who support women in the workplace was what the Working Women Speak Out event was focused on.

Issues facing working women are the same issues effected every Granite Stater this election.  AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler said, “Women’s issues are shaping up to be the second biggest issue of this election.” Working women are facing enormous challenges in our struggling economy. “Women still only make $.77 cents on the dollar compared to man, and that is a shame,” said Shuler.  In her speech, Shuler focused on reelecting Governor Hassan, Senator Shaheen, and Congresswoman Annie Kuster who all support raising the minimum wage and equal pay for equal work.  Shuler also talked about the need to pass “paid sick leave” for all workers, especially since most low wage jobs, like waiting tables, provide no paid time off when your sick.

View Liz Shuler video on YouTube

AFT-President Randi Weingarten also spoke at the event and focused how poverty and education effect working families. “Nearly half of all public school students are living below the poverty line, and one-in-four (25%) of all children nationally are living in poverty,” said Weingarten.  She also talked about how we need to ensure that we are properly funding our public school system. “The only reason we passed a nation budget was because the Republicans were embarrassed after they shut down the government,” said Weingarten. “How dare they say they support children when they cut public school budgets to give tax breaks to the 1%.”

(Randi also spoke in detail about the effects of spending caps like the one in Nashua in separate post here.)

View Randi’s speech on YouTube

Kelly Torosian, an IBEW 2320 member and an Executive Council member of the NH AFL-CIO, took a few minutes to update the crowd on the ongoing FairPoint strike. Torosian asked for people to show their support for workers standing on the picket line by donating gas cards and grocery store gift cards.  After hearing about the current struggle of striking workers, Weingarten stated, “AFT will donate $5,000 dollars to the FairPoint workers strike fund.”

The crowd of 70 people gave a standing ovation to Governor Hassan as she entered the room, showing their support for her strong leadership in the corner office.  “Building a strong innovative economy starts with a strong public schools system,” said Hassan.  Governor Hassan also spoke about the need to “restore and improve the state minimum wage.”

Hassan also brought attention to the importance of keeping Democrats in control of the NH House and not letting Bill O’Brien regain control.  As Speaker, O’Brien cut funding to public schools, the University of New Hampshire system, and repealed the New Hampshire Minimum Wage law.

Governor Hassan also talked about the importance of having access to quality healthcare and provide low income workers with healthcare through the Medicaid Expansion. “As of this week 20,000 Granite Staters now have healthcare thanks to the Medicaid Expansion,” said Hassan.

View Governor Hassan’s speech on YouTube.

Congresswoman Annie Kuster also talked about the Bill O’Brien House and her opponent Marilinda Garcia, who was one of the select few to be a part of  O’Brien’s leadership team.  Kuster talked about her work in Congress to help working families by pushing for expanded access to healthcare, raising the minimum wage and passing a national Paycheck Fairness law.  Kuster noted that while she supports legislation that would help working women, her opponent, wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, opposes raising the minimum wage, and paycheck fairness is unneeded legislation.

Garcia also wants to abolish the Department of Education that would virtually eliminate the federal student loan program, even though Garcia currently owes tens of thousands of dollars in Sallie Mae student loans.

View Rep. Annie Kuster’s speech on YouTube.

Laura Hainey, President of AFT-NH organized the event and spent a couple of minutes talking about working to ensure that Speaker Bill O’Brien does not regain power in Concord.  As President of AFT-NH, Hainey knows first hand the devastation that another O’Brien legislature would do to the public schools system in New Hampshire.

View Laura Hainey’s speech on YouTube.

Senator Shaheen was unable to attend the event due to a scheduling conflict — she was in Northern New Hampshire campaigning with Sen. Elizabeth Warren — her daughter Stacy gave a short speech on her behalf.  Stacy Shaheen talked about how hard her mother is working for the people of New Hampshire. “My mom is a workhorse,” said Shaheen.  “She has been working for the people of New Hampshire for a long time.”

Working families in New Hampshire need more representatives like this strong, women leaders.

Talk to your friends, neighbors and family members about how important this election is and then encourage them to vote on Nov. 4th.

Frank Guinta Says He Wants To Make Cuts To Social Security, Repeal ACA And Block Student Loan Refinancing Legislation

Former Congressman Frank Guinta affirmed that he still plans to cut seniors’ benefits in an interview with the Concord Monitor last week, saying that “Republicans are going to want” to adopt a benefit-cutting measure, Chained CPI, in the next Congress.

“New Hampshire seniors beware: Frank Guinta has a plan to cut your earned benefits,” said Shea-Porter spokeswoman Marjorie Connolly. “Instead of ending tax breaks for Big Oil and huge corporations, Guinta would balance the budget on the backs of our seniors. His extreme Tea Party platform would not only punish seniors, but also the hardworking Granite Staters who pay into this system with the expectation that their earned benefits will be there when they need them.”

Disturbing facts about Guinta’s benefit-cutting proposal to adopt Chained CPI:

  • Guinta’s proposal would hit beneficiaries harder as they age.
  •  Since women live longer than men and the cuts accelerate over time, women would be hit especially hard.
  •  Under Guinta’s proposal, a senior who retires at 65 would lose almost $14,000 by age 85, and $28,000 by age 95.
  •  By the time retirees reach 85, their benefits would be cut by an average of $1,147 per year.
  • A 92-year-old would lose an entire month’s income from his or her annual benefits.
  •  Guinta’s proposal would cut almost 14 weeks’ worth of food from a 75-year-old’s budget, and almost 24 weeks of food from an 85-year-old’s budget.
  •  Even Guinta’s hyper-conservative pal Grover Norquist opposes the proposal, saying that it’s “a very large tax hike over time.”

Unlike Guinta, Carol Shea-Porter opposes the benefit-cutting chained CPI proposal, and successfully fought to eliminate it from President Obama’s budget proposal.

But wait there is more!

In the interview with the Concord Monitor Guinta stated  “he’d oppose any measure to eliminate student loan debt and saddle taxpayers with that cost instead.”  The current proposal by Senator Warren and co-sponsored by Sen. Shaheen would allow students to refinance their federal student loans.  This does not shift the burden to the taxpayers, it stops the government from collecting over $60 billion in profits off the backs of our college students.

Guinta is still denying climate change science that has the support of 97% of the scientific community. “I’m not sure the science is accurate or complete on this issue.”  As a politician who has received major funding from the Big Oil and the Koch Brothers he would know better than 97% of the scientific community.

Guinta also wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “Guinta said he would vote to repeal it, but he does support the provisions that protect people with pre-existing conditions and that allow people to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.” Of course he wants to keep the part that has unmatched support by both sides.  Even though Frank Guinta wants to repeal part of the law, and keep part of the law, the Republicans in the House have not submitted any legislation to do that. They continue to waste our taxpayer dollars voting for a repeal that will never get passed the Senate or the President who signed the bill.

The ACA is working. It is saving the government money, including the $600 million in savings from Medicare alone.  The NH Department of Insurance just announced that over 20,000 people have signed up for healthcare who did not previously have any coverage.  So again the ACA is not perfect but it is working. We need to make it better not destroy it completely.  If Congressman Guinta wants to repeal it so bad, he should be the one to tell the 20,000+ people who got healthcare for the first time, that he is taking that away from them to ensure that millionaires and billionaires continue to pay less in taxes than average Americans.

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