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

get out and vote

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.

 

A Senator Should Care Deeply About the State

Mark MacKenzie 2 at PNS

Mark Mackenzie at PNS RallyBy MARK S. MacKENZIE

As the clock winds down toward Election Day, the TV ads and phone calls will have reached a fevered pitch. Yet many Granite Staters couldn’t care less about the mass advertising being directed their way. What they have been looking for – and might still be looking for – are answers to some very basic questions: How will this candidate help me and my family weather tough times? How will this candidate help me and my neighbors find jobs? How will this candidate help ensure that the jobs we have pay enough to keep up with the rising cost of living?

For so many of us, it comes down to economic opportunity. Over the past 30 years, the richest 1 percent in this country has taken home nearly 50 percent of all income gains. Meanwhile, our roads and bridges are crumbling, taxes on the middle class have risen, and working people have struggled more and more to pay the bills. The economy is slowly recovering, but too many men and women in our state have yet to feel that things have gotten better.

The Senate race between Scott Brown and Jeanne Shaheen is one race where the contrast is clear. As a two-term governor who was elected to the Senate in 2008, Shaheen has a record of creating jobs, pooling resources to help our communities and small businesses, and working around the gridlock in Congress to deliver for New Hampshire working people.

As governor, she was a careful steward of taxpayer dollars and a strategic financial manager. She established a $1 million-a-year job-training fund that helped businesses upgrade the skills of their current employees and train new ones. She tripled New Hampshire’s rainy day fund and put together the state’s first economic plan.

As senator, Shaheen created jobs for hundreds of workers when she fought for a federal prison to be built in Berlin. She connected 1,200 Granite Staters to homeowners’ assistance in order to help them avoid foreclosure. She has worked across the aisle with U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte to fight furloughs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and reopen the government after it shut down in 2013.

Contrast that with Scott Brown, whose interests don’t go much further than Scott Brown. He set his sights on New Hampshire after losing his seat as a Massachusetts senator and only moved north after looking at several bids for public office in other states. During his tenure in Massachusetts, he held up crucial aid to unemployed workers and opposed tax cuts to middle-class Americans if they didn’t include huge tax breaks for the rich.

As a member of the board of directors of Kadant, an equipment supplier for the paper industry, he collected $270,000 after the company shipped American jobs overseas. Two months ago, the New Hampshire AFL-CIO and the State Employees Association of New Hampshire asked Scott Brown to resign from the board of directors. He has yet to honor that request.

Serving as senator is not about reaching for that next rung on the career ladder or making your next million; it is about helping the men and women who have trusted you to represent their best interests. Jeanne Shaheen understands New Hampshire – its unique culture, economy and political significance. For Scott Brown, however, it is little more than a consolation prize.

Election Day is days away, and we are facing a stark choice. Super PACs have been bombarding New Hampshire with ads for months, but when it comes down to it, this election is about people. Your family. Your co-workers. Your neighbors. It’s about the community we share here in the Granite State.

When making the decision to vote on Nov. 4, we should not only look at what candidates’ ads say or what their proxies say, but what their records say. Our next senator should care about this state as much as we do. Granite Staters deserve nothing less.

(Mark S. MacKenzie is president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO.)

Also published in the Concord Monitor: Friday, October 31, 2014
http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/14135229-95/my-turn-a-senator-should-care-deeply-about-the-state

New Hampshire Working Women Speak Out AFT Pres. Randi Weingarten and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (OCT-24th)

AFT Pres Randi Weingarten 2014 convention (Image by Russ Curtis) -2

New Hampshire Working Women Speak Out

As we head into the final days of this crucial election campaign, the New Hampshire AFL-CIO is privileged to have the opportunity to have two of the highest ranking women officers in the labor movement visiting Nashua, this Friday, October 24th.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler will participate in our New Hampshire “Working Women Speak Out” event to discuss the importance of women in this election, what’s at stake and issues that impact women’s lives such as equal pay for equal work, raising wages, education and paid sick time.

When: Friday, October 24, 2014 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Where: Elks Lodge 720, 120 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, NH 03062

We have invited and hoped to be joined by Senator Shaheen, Governor Hassan and Congresswoman Kuster.

Please RSVP with the New Hampshire AFL-CIO at 603-623-7302 or you can sign up by CLICKING HERE

In Solidarity,

Laura Hainey
AFT-NH President

Shaheen Campaigns with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, NH AFL-CIO President in Hooksett

Image from Facebook
Image from Facebook

Image from Facebook

Manchester – This evening Senator Jeanne Shaheen campaigned with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie, and more than a hundred supporters from the labor community at an event in Hooksett, where the three discussed how Shaheen’s record standing up for New Hampshire working families contrasts with Scott Brown’s record of supporting out-of state corporate interests and companies that outsource jobs.

“When it comes to jobs and the economy, Scott Brown and I have two very different records,” said Shaheen. “I believe we need to increase the minimum wage because it’s what’s right for New Hampshire families, but Scott Brown opposes the increase. I know we need to once and for all end giveaways for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that ship jobs overseas, but time and again Scott Brown voted to protect those special breaks. And I want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support New Hampshire small businesses across our state, but Scott Brown voted against them when he was representing Massachusetts. The difference is clear: I have never stopped fighting to make a difference for the families and businesses that make up the backbone of our state’s economy, and I never will.”

“Jeanne Shaheen has a long record working to create good paying jobs and has always fought to ensure hardworking people get the fair shot they deserve,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “When he was Massachusetts’ senator, Scott Brown voted against unemployment benefits. He voted to water down Wall Street reform. And he helped big corporations ship American jobs overseas. When you see his record up close like we did, you see he’s not someone who has spent his career standing up for working people. Jeanne Shaheen has.”

“Outsourcing is the type of business practice that lines the pockets of millionaires like Scott Brown but is devastating for communities here in New Hampshire,” said Mark Mackenzie, President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. “When jobs are shipped overseas, families suffer, unemployment increases, and communities are decimated. The fact that Scott Brown personally profited from this practice is wrong, and we need to reelect our Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, who we know will always stand up for working families here in New Hampshire.”

Jeanne Shaheen has spent her career fighting for good paying jobs here in New Hampshire. Shaheen led the fight to pass the bipartisan Small Business Jobs Act, which has helped countless New Hampshire businesses expand and create new jobs. Shaheen also cosponsored the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act, which invested in New Hampshire’s tourism industry, the second largest in the state, supporting nearly 70,000 jobs. Shaheen is currently fighting to increase the minimum wage because she believes no one in New Hampshire should have to work full time and still live in poverty.

Meanwhile, Scott Brown opposes increasing the minimum wage and voted to support tax loopholes for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that offshore American jobs.  Since losing in Massachusetts, Brown has made over a quarter million dollars as a board member of a company that touts outsourcing American jobs to China and Mexico as part of its business plan. Legal documents dated just two days before Brown entered the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire bear his signature endorsing the company’s outsourcing strategy.

Massachusetts and New Hampshire AFLCIO Presidents Speak Out Against Outsourcers Scott Brown And Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

As Outsourcing Champion Mitt Romney Campaigns With Scott Brown, Massachusetts and New Hampshire Labor Leaders Speak Out on Brown’s Outsourcing Record

Manchester, NH – Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman and New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark Mackenzie spoke out against Scott Brown’s outsourcing record today as he campaigned alongside outsourcing champion Mitt Romney. Like Romney, Scott Brown has a record of profiting off companies that ship American jobs overseas. In the Senate, Brown voted to protect tax breaks for companies that shipped jobs overseas.

“New Hampshire shouldn’t make the same mistake Massachusetts made, because Scott Brown’s record when he went to Washington proves that he’s not for working families. He’s a guy that works to protect his corporate special interest backers, at the cost of the middle class,” said Steven Tolman, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “Now we know that since losing in Massachusetts, Brown has been making hundreds of thousands of dollars off of a company that made outsourcing part of its business plan. That company, Kadant Inc., even outsourced jobs in Massachusetts, the same state he once served. Scott Brown was wrong for Massachusetts and he’s wrong for New Hampshire.”

“Outsourcing is the type of business practice that lines the pockets of people like Scott Brown and Mitt Romney, but is devastating for communities in a state like New Hampshire,” said Mark Mackenzie, President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. “When jobs are shipped overseas, families suffer, unemployment rates increase, and entire communities are decimated. The fact that Scott Brown personally profited from this practice is shameful. We can’t trust him and most definitely can’t afford to send his agenda back to the Senate.”

As a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted to protect special tax breaks for companies that offshore American jobs. After leaving the Senate, he made more than a quarter million dollars by serving on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc., a company that outsourced American jobs to increase its bottom line. Just two days before he announced his most recent campaign in New Hampshire, Brown signed legal documents endorsing the company’s business strategy, which included establishing cheaper manufacturing facilities in China and Mexico.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party is releasing a new web ad ahead of Scott Brown’s campaign stop with fellow Massachusetts politician and notorious outsourcer, Mitt Romney. During Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, it was revealed that Mitt Romney invested millions of dollars in a company that profited off of U.S. Outsourcing. Similarly, Scott Brown has been making hundreds of thousands of dollars off an outsourcing company, even endorsing their business strategy, which included sending jobs to China and Mexico.

To view the web ad on YouTube, click here:

“Scott Brown and Mitt Romney both cashed in off of outsourcing jobs–and that’s just further proof that both are wrong for our economy and wrong for New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Julie McClain.

 

 

The Future Of Social Security And Medicare Are At The Forefront This Election

Hands off my social security

New Hampshire senior citizens, their families, and neighbors should do their homework and vote in self-defense on November 4th!  Some candidates running for federal office are on record as supporting cuts to our Social Security and Medicare. They say our safety net is going broke. Some want these programs to go away completely, being replaced by vouchers and Wall Street accounts. Others propose cuts using the Chained Consumer Price Index, and repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including the prescription drug donut hole fix and no co-pay preventative care additions.

But Social Security is not going broke, and a few changes that would be good for all of us would be good for the Social Security Trust Fund as well: raise the minimum wage, enact paycheck equity laws at the federal level (thank you NH for doing this for women here), create more and better paying jobs, and raising or getting rid of the cap on the income that is subject to the FICA tax, now set at $117,000.  Each of these means not only more money for retiree earned benefits, but also more money in the trust fund today.

Medicare’s cost curve is bending down due in part to the changes in the Affordable Care Act. Costs for healthcare for everyone are not rising anywhere near as quickly, and as healthcare providers work for quality care rather than quantity care, costs will continue to ease. We can provide great preventative care and make sure that we aren’t getting procedures and prescriptions that we don’t need, and stay healthier longer.

One in five New Hampshire residents got Social Security benefits in 2013, bringing $4.1 billion dollars in income into our state.  Over 231,000 of us receive Medicare benefits, allowing us to remain healthy and contribute to our communities.

These earned benefits mean that families and communities do not have to worry about carrying the full cost of housing, food and healthcare for those who are retired or disabled. Before we had Social Security and Medicare, half the seniors in our country lived in poverty, and many died what we would consider today premature deaths. Families struggled to support those who could no longer work.

Today the income from these benefits is spent in our communities, supporting the businesses here. Without the income from Social Security and the healthcare savings from Medicare, how will our economy replace the customers with money to spend that provide the “demand” side of supply and demand?  Replacing the $4.1 billion dollars that comes from those 1 in every 5 New Hampshire residents isn’t going to be easy, and our state is growing older every year. Do we really want to do that to our economy?

Healthy and secure seniors provide many hours of volunteer time, the unpaid work that we depend on to run our municipalities, among other efforts. Our school boards, selectboards, planning boards, conservation commissions, and others are either paid a small stipend or serve for free.  Retirees volunteer in schools, at churches, and even as $100 a year legislators! Sometimes it seems that New Hampshire runs on volunteer power!

The New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans has joined our national Alliance in endorsing Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster for re-election this November.  All three were endorsed for their work to preserve and protect our senior safety net for all New Hampshire citizens, retirees of today and our children and grandchildren.

Be sure you check out the candidates before you vote!  Look at voting records, if they have served before (http://retiredamericans.org/issues/congressional-voting-record).  See what they have said in this and past campaigns. Make sure you know who is really on our side and vote in self-defense!

Lucy Edwards

New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans

The NH Alliance For Retired Americans Endorse Carol Shea-Porter For Congress

ARA -Carol Shea Porter Endorsement 1

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Today at an event in Portsmouth, Alliance for Retired Americans members proudly endorsed Carol Shea-Porter for re-election to the U.S. Congress from New Hampshire’s 1st District.

The event featured New Hampshire members of the Alliance as well as a performance by Senior Votes Count!’s Jon “Bowzer” Bauman of the musical group Sha Na Na. New Hampshire House Speaker Terie Norelli and State Senator Martha Fuller Clark also spoke.

“Carol Shea-Porter is really a champion for seniors. She can be trusted to lead with our interests. Her views on keeping health care affordable and retirement secure are among the reasons that we stand behind Carol Shea-Porter and her candidacy for U.S. Congress,” said Lucy Edwards, President of the New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans.

Carol Shea-Porter’s strong positions on fighting Social Security and Medicare privatization and strengthening Social Security and Medicare confirm her commitment to improving the quality of life for older Americans. She understands that selling off our Medicare to the big insurance companies or turning our Social Security over to Wall Street would benefit few and harm many, including New Hampshire seniors.

State Senator Martha Fuller Clark applauded Carol’s opposition to proposals like chained CPI that would cut benefits for seniors.

Noting that Medicaid pays for 40% of nursing home care, New Hampshire House Speaker Terie Norelli said, “We need to send Carol back to Washington, because Carol’s vote for the ACA actually set the stage so that the Governor and the House and the Senate here in New Hampshire could reach a bipartisan solution.”

The Alliance for Retired Americans represents over 4.3 million retirees and community activists, including more than 13,000 members in New Hampshire.

Below are the full remarks of NH Alliance for Retired Americans President Lucy Edwards:

ARA -Carol Shea Porter Endorsement 2

NH ARA President Lucy Edwards

I first met Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter when she had just decided to run for Congress.   I remember how amazed I was that a middle class woman much like me might be my Congresswoman, and thinking that if there were more people like me and my family and my friends and neighbors in Congress things might go better for us.  She has not disappointed me, despite the challenges of our current Congress!  Those two years when she was out of office made it so clear to so many of us that there really is a difference!

As a volunteer for my town’s planning board, I have been learning about the demographic changes going on in New Hampshire.  In 2013 we were the 3rd oldest state in the country, and we are getting older. As we plan for the future of our small town, we have to ask ourselves, how are we going to deal with this aging population?

One thing I am very sure of is that we will need Social Security and Medicare to be flourishing programs, so that we all can retire with dignity and security. Social Security brought $4.1 billion in income into our New Hampshire economy in 2013.  Medicare allows retirees to manage their healthcare without bankrupting themselves or their children.  Cuts to either of these programs will hurt seniors, but cuts will also hurt our economy.  Social Security dollars typically are spent locally, not saved.  The money that might have been spent on healthcare if we didn’t have Medicare can go to the local supermarket, auto repair, or hardware store.

If Medicare and Social Security are cut, where will the customers with money to spend come from to replace the buying power of the 1 in 5 New Hampshire residents who receive these earned benefits?  How will our local businesses make ends meet?  I’m not hearing anything about the demand side of “supply and demand” from those who think cutting our earned benefits would be a good idea.
I might add that my household has saved several thousand dollars over the past 4 years since the Congresswoman’s fix to Medicare D’s donut hole has started working.  We are very, very grateful for that, believe me!

I know that Congresswoman Shea-Porter understands this, she saw her parents depend on these senior safety net programs. She works very hard, and very thoughtfully, for the people of our state, and our country.  The New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans enthusiastically joins our national Alliance in endorsing Carol Shea-Porter for another term representing New Hampshire’s First District in the United States House of Representatives.
It’s very important that all New Hampshire’s seniors do their homework, mark their ballots from the bottom up, and vote in self-defense on November 4th!

Labor Leaders Speak Out Against Scott Brown’s Outsourcing Strategy

Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr

Small Business and Labor Leaders: Outsourcing Record Makes Brown
Obvious Choice for U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorsement
But Wrong For New Hampshire

Group That Profits Off The Offshoring of U.S. Jobs Will Spend Millions to Elect Buddy Scott Brown, Who Endorsed Outsourcing Strategy of Company That Paid Him $270K

Manchester, NH – Scott Brown is getting endorsed today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group that has a long history of supporting outsourcing, much like Scott Brown, who voted to protect tax breaks for companies that outsource while in the Senate, and just a few months ago endorsed a business strategy that included the offshoring of U.S. jobs to Mexico and China.

“Scott Brown is touting the support of an organization that would rather see big companies make more money than support American jobs,” said Charlie Balban, Chair of the New Hampshire Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 Political Action League. “This is just the latest example of why Scott Brown is wrong for New Hampshire. He’d rather align himself with big money groups that champion job-killing policies than with the working families of our state.”

“Scott Brown was a reliable ally of companies that outsourced jobs while he was in the Senate, and now he is cozying up to a pro-outsourcing group that is trying to buy him New Hampshire’s Senate seat,” said Joe Donahue, business manager of Carpenters Local 118. “When push comes to shove, Brown will always take sides with the corporate interests that are lining his pockets and filling his campaign coffers. That’s the only explanation for him to accept the Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement today.”

“Working families in New Hampshire should know exactly who is spending millions to get Scott Brown back in the Senate: companies that outsource and groups that support outsourcing,” said Mark MacKenzie, President of NH AFL-CIO. “Last month we learned that Brown was collecting a personal paycheck—to the tune of more than a quarter million dollars—from a company that outsourced. And today, Brown accepts the endorsement of a pro-outsourcing group. We know who Brown is working for, and it’s not Granite Staters.”

“Jeanne Shaheen has always stood up for New Hampshire small businesses and her work has made a real difference for our state,” said Adria Bagshaw, small business owner and Chair of the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center Advisory Board.  “Scott Brown’s record may have scored him an endorsement from a pro-outsourcing interest group, but it’s not what New Hampshire needs in the Senate. We need a Senator like Jeanne Shaheen who will promote job creation here at home, not someone like Scott Brown who profits from outsourcing companies and protects tax breaks to create jobs overseas.”

In August, it was revealed that Scott Brown signed legal documents clearly endorsing the outsourcing strategy of Kadant, Inc, a company that paid him more than a quarter million dollars to serve on its Board of Directors. The SEC document, signed March 12, 2014—just days before Brown announced his New Hampshire Senate run—reads: “We pursue a number of strategies to improve our internal growth…using low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico.”  Previous filings with the SEC that also have Brown’s signature include the same language and endorsement of outsourcing American jobs.

NH AFL-CIO Scholarship Essay Series: It Is Time To Raise The Minimum Wage

Rishi Patel

Today’s essay comes from Rishi Patel.  Some of you may remember Rishi from last years essay contest where Rishi won for his essay on immigration reform.  Rishi’s mother Naina,is an IBEW member from local #1505.  Rishi is attending Bentley University this fall. 

It Is Time To Raise The Minimum Wage

By Rishi Patel (titled by NHLN editor) 

Rishi PatelIn early January, Mark MacKenzie, the President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, said that by increasing the minimum wage, New Hampshire will be “sending a strong message that we are not going to allow people to live below the poverty line.” MacKenzie is able to point out that regardless of how many people are affected, even if it is few, the state must make sure that people are able to bring food on the table and keep a roof above their head. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 only earns $15,080 yearly, which is “$4,000 less than the poverty-level income for a family of three.” People earning the minimum wage are not the only ones that will be benefitting from the reform. If the minimum wage is raised up to $8.25 and eventually $9.00, everyone will in turn benefit from it. The state will enhance its economy as there will be more money flowing through it. There are many people who challenge this view by stating that only teens will be affected, or small business will not be able to handle the increases in the salary expenses. Yet these statements are either false or assume that the minimum wage is not going to impact the market at all. Since these statements are flawed and increasing the minimum wage can strengthen the position of the state, the minimum wage should be increased.

A major way in which increasing the minimum wage will strengthen the position of the state is by raising the standard of living in the state. Standard of living is the “degree of wealth and material comfort available to a person or community.” In other words, it is the measure of how well people are able to live. If the people who earn the least amount of money are able to earn more, the standard of living for New Hampshire will go up. This is beneficial because everyone will be able to pay “$19,157 per year” towards personal expenses. That figure is the amount of money needed for a person in Concord to afford “basic necessities such as food, housing, or medical care.” In other words, people will be able to pay for the basic needs and have more economic security. Economically, state aid programs such as Medicaid would be relieved. Even though only “4.2%” of the people in New Hampshire are earning minimum wage or lower, it does not mean that state cannot improve and strengthen its position. New Hampshire does not experience exacerbated poverty when compared to other states, but the end goal for the state government is not to be in a better position than other states, but to be the best possible position for its people. Thus, even though a small number of people will be relieved from being under the poverty line, it does not change the fact that people of the state will be more likely to live a comfortable and fulfilling life.

Additionally, increasing the minimum wage will strengthen the position of the state because there will be a consequent increase the “demand for the goods and services sold by businesses operating in the Granite State.” According to “researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago[who were] looking back over a 23 year period concluded that, for every dollar minimum wages had climbed in the past, consumer spending among affected low-wage households grew by $700 in the quarters immediately following the increase.” This means that the “4.2%” of people who would be under the poverty line would end up spending $700 dollars more per quarter. This is not just 4.2% of people but also all the “low wage” households. All of this additional money will strengthen the economy, and more importantly strengthen the position and economic health of the state.

It is clear that by creating more economic security and increasing the amount of money that will flow through the state, increasing the minimum wage will strengthen the position of the state. Still, people tend to think that increasing the minimum wage will not strengthen the position of the state. People with these thoughts tend to oppose with the same arguments. They claim that the increase in wages will only affect teens, or that small business will not be able to handle the pressure of paying more to employees. Yet these statements tend to be flawed.

Most people who say that it will only affect teens fail to realize the fact that raising the minimum wage will increase the economic security for everyone. They also do not realize that it will increase the amount of money that flows through the state. According to the United States Department of Labor, “88 percent of those who would benefit from a federal minimum wage increase are age 20 or older, and 55 percent are women.” Not only are most people who are paid minimum wage not teens, but they are also women and people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Another argument that is normally made against raising the minimum wage is that small business owners will find it difficult to pay their way while possessing a healthy the bottom line. Yet, these people need to know that small business owners are not against the idea. In actuality, more seem to support it. According to the United State Department of Labor, “Small business owners believe that a higher minimum wage would benefit business in important ways: 58% say raising the minimum wage would increase consumer purchasing power. 56% say raising the minimum wage would help the economy. In addition, 53% agree that with a higher minimum wage, businesses would benefit from lower employee turnover, increased productivity and customer satisfaction.” Increasing the purchasing power will strengthen the position of people and the state itself. More importantly, a lower employee turnover ratio means that people will start performing better as they feel more valued.

Raising the minimum wage will leave the employees feeling more valuable, while it leaves customers feeling more satisfied with services and products; it will greatly affect all of the people in the state, and will harness a stronger economy within the state. Since it has the ability to influence the life of NH constituents in such a positive manner and since it is the state is responsible for the wellbeing of its constituents and betterment of the state economy, minimum wage ought to be raised. There is no doubting this vital decision.

 

 

 

 

References

http://www.dol.gov/minwage/mythbuster.htm

http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/4071768-95/wage-minimum-hampshire-workers

http://www.bls.gov/ro1/nhminwage.pdf

NH AFL-CIO Scholarship Essay Series: Stuck in the Crossfire

Ariana Smith

Today’s essay comes from Adriana Smith. The following essay took 3rd place in the annual scholarship contest.  Adriana’s mother Deb is a member of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) local 230.  Adriana is attending Weaton College this fall.  

Stuck in the Crossfire

by Adriana Smith

 

Ariana SmithGrowing up, my dad had always bounced around from job to job. When I was ten, he was working at a small bar down in Massachusetts, so my younger brother and I rarely got to see him. However, when an opportunity presented itself to start working at an Italian chain restaurant located near my brother and I, he jumped at the job, and the chance to see his kids more often. The pay was $3.10 an hour plus tips. For some, that pay scale may seem like an opportunity to make unlimited tips, and bring in bundles of cash at the end of every shift. However, my father was a middle aged man, put on almost every lunch shift. For those that have never worked in the food industry, lunch shifts are more difficult to receive living tips on, because the meals are significantly less expensive. A smaller bill means a smaller tip, which means a leaner pay check. My dad was lucky, if by the end of the week he broke even with minimum wage. Although my dad did his best to keep his head above water from week to week, my brother and I could feel the financial strain while living with him.

My dad found an apartment nearby, with a high cost of rent, with no utilities included. Desperate to be able to stay near his kids and with next to no options, he signed the lease. While my brother and I were both grateful to see our father more, there were sacrifices. You can imagine, that living the life of a waiter’s daughter is not glamorous. However, the conditions which we lived in some weeks, went beyond the limits of just being dowdy or drab. Mid-winter there would be no heat because he couldn’t afford to fill the oil tank. Every night as the cold crept in, I would curl under my heated blanket, tucking my knees under my chin. In the mornings, I would rush to take a shower as quickly as possible to get out of the frigid water, my hair freezing every day on the way to school. Meals were not enticing, we ate “Toastie O’s” (brand name Cheerios were too expensive) for breakfast every day, and some nights even for dinner. However, there was always food on the table. It wasn’t until recently that he confessed to me he would go days without eating, if my brother and I weren’t around, simply because he couldn’t afford to keep himself fed. We had fallen well below the poverty line, despite my dad working forty hours or more a week. However, that sombering fact had never truly hit me as a young child. It never occurred to me that my dad worked a full time job, and was barely able to feed his family. But now, as a socially aware student heading off to college, I see the atrocity in this fact.

Minimum wage has always been a source of debate, from raising it, to lowering it, to cutting it all together. It is one of the issues that currently divides our country, and is passionately spoken about by both sides. In 2013 part of Obama’s platform was to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by the end of 2016, which is almost a forty percent pay increase. But what would this pay increase actually do to our country? The conservatives say the job market would collapse and inflation would soar, the liberals say it would stimulate the economy and pull countless families out of poverty. The truth lies somewhere in between. So let’s focus on the negative first, jobs would be lost. Increased wages means some companies would have to let employees go because they cannot afford them. NPR reports that the predicted job loss is 500,000 people, or about .3 percent of the work force. However, that number is uncertain because our economy as a whole is unpredictable. The actual number of potential jobs lost ranges anywhere from zero to a million, as studies showed outcomes falling within that range. Another worry about wage increase is not only that jobs would be lost, but jobs that will not be created. Considering that the average business owner in New Hampshire would now have to pay their employees almost forty percent more, this could keep them from opening new positions in the company out of cost effectiveness. Thus, not only are jobs cut, jobs are not being made.

However, not every effect on the economy would be negative. A person working forty hours a week, every week, getting paid minimum wage, makes $15,080 a year before taxes. A person working the same schedule, at the same job, with the wage increase, makes $21,008 before taxes. When you only make $15,000 a year, an extra $6,000 is life changing. Low income families will finally have spending power. They will no longer have to choose between food and heat in the winter, or worry about where their next meal will come from. The pay increase would be enough to pull 900,000 people above the poverty line. By being pulled above the poverty line, the families would no longer have a need for government subsidies, meaning it will save the average tax payer money. And with the increased demand in the market, jobs would be created for production. Not only that, but the increased wages could help companies become more efficient as well. Instead of cutting employees or positions, CEO’s and bosses could instead ask for increased effort in their labor, instead of going through the costly and morale breaking process of firing people.

However, what is lost in this debate is human compassion. When the argument becomes so black and white, we lose sight of who is truly being affected by this decision – struggling families. Struggling families, with children who don’t know why they went to bed cold, or why they are having cereal for the eighth night in a row. So another child never has to question why it’s happening to them, I fully support a minimum wage increase in the state of New Hampshire.

 

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