• Advertisement

Rep. Kuster Promotes Made In NH Manufacturing In Milford

Congresswoman Annie Kuster Discusses Efforts to Boost Manufacturing during “Congress at Your Company” Visit to Cirtronics in Milford

Kuster highlighted her work to protect manufacturing jobs and to support ESOP companies during a tour of the Milford electronics manufacturer

Kuster92014

Congresswoman Kuster hears from Cirtronics employees

 MILFORD, NH – This afternoon, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) toured and met with workers at Cirtronics, a woman-owned electronics manufacturing business in Milford. During the tour, Kuster reaffirmed her support for Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) companies like Cirtronics, discussed legislation she supports that would eliminate barriers that currently limit the formation of certain types of ESOPs, and answered questions from employees.

“Companies like Cirtronics contribute so much to the Granite State economy by expanding the manufacturing base and creating high-skilled jobs for New Hampshire workers,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “I have made it my number one priority in Congress to help support the creation of jobs and opportunity for New Hampshire families.  I was so pleased to tour the facility and hear from employees directly about how Congress can continue to support their success.”

Kuster recently cosponsored the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act, which would streamline the process of establishing a new S corporation ESOP or expanding the employee-ownership stake in an S corporation.

Kuster’s visit to Cirtronics was part of her ongoing “Congress at Your Company” series.  Since taking office, Kuster has visited New Hampshire businesses all over the state to hear how Congress can best support their success. As a member of the House Small Business Committee, Kuster has focused on efforts to foster job creation and support New Hampshire’s manufacturing industry. She has supported a series of “Make It In America” proposals focused on reshoring jobs and reviving the U.S. manufacturing economy, and she has also fought to establish a Manufacturing Innovation Institute in New Hampshire.

Nightmare on Wall Street? Are Stock Buybacks Creating Another ‘Financial Bubble’?

An American flag festooned with dollar bills and corporate logos flies in front of the Supreme Court during oral arguments in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.  Image by JayMallin.com

Image by JayMallin.com

Some blog posts are easy to forget. But the one I wrote last week is beginning to give me nightmares.

Here’s why: the stock market keeps hitting record highs. But the so-called “economic recovery” – which started in June 2009 – is just beginning to “trickle down” to us average Americans.

And oh, such a sloooooow trickle! “Although the economic recovery officially began in June 2009, the recovery in household income did not begin to emerge until after August 2011. …Median income in February 2014 [was only] 3.8 percent higher than in August 2011.”

And we’re not anywhere near “recovered” from the damage caused by the last two recessions. “The February 2014 median was [still] 6.2 percent lower than the median of $56,586 in January 2000.”

So in last week’s blog post, I took a look at the research UMass Professor Bill Lazonick and his team have done, about how top US corporations have been distributing their net income to shareholders rather than reinvesting money in their business (or workers).

What Professor Lazonick found: since 2004, the surveyed companies have returned 86% of net income to stockholders through dividends and stock buybacks. In 2013, those companies spent an average of $945 million just buying back their own stock. Repeat: $945 million is the average. That’s per company. In one year.

So I took a closer look at that, using a couple of companies as case studies. I keep hoping that I’m completely wrong. I’m not an economist, I’m not an expert. I’m just a blogger who looks at things from my own personal perspective.  And when I looked, here’s what I found:

FedEx:

  • CEO Fred Smith owns more than 15 million shares of FedEx (not counting shares held by his wife, his family holding company or his retirement plan.)
  • Last October, FedEx announced plans to buy back 32 million shares – more than 10% of its stock.
  • FedEx borrowed $2 billion to help pay for that stock repurchasing program. Those bonds run from 10 to 30 years.
  • In the past year, FedEx stock has gained over 44 percent. That translates into a huge increase in net worth for Mr. Smith… somewhere between a half-billion dollars (as of my post last week) and $600 million (the stock price kept going up). Yeah… FedEx borrowed $2 billion… and its CEO personally benefited by a half-billion-plus.
  • But maybe there’s a reason why FedEx stock soared by 44%? Let’s see… according to the International Business Times, its ground shipping business grew by 13% and it is trimming employee benefit costs by 13%; and so the overall corporate profits grew by 24%.
  • Corporate profits grew by 24%… but the stock price grew by 44% (benefiting “company executives who receive stock-based compensation”).
  • But of course there are fewer shares of stock now than there were last year, because of the buyback program. So I looked at the company’s “market cap” – or, the total value of all the outstanding shares. And that also grew: from $39.03 billion when the stock buyback was announced last October… to $50.35 billion as of Friday. So the market cap grew by $11.32 billion – or about 29% – during roughly the same time that profits grew by only 24%.
  • Let me recap: The company grew its business a bit, while at the same time cutting employee costs. It borrowed to buy back stock, enriching its CEO. And Wall Street rewarded this behavior. Stock value grew – at a much faster rate than the company’s profits were rising.

wall_streetThat difference between 24% growth in profits and 29% growth in market value? Isn’t that just a “Wall Street bonus” for taking part in this borrow-and-buyback scheme?  But why is Wall Street is rewarding FedEx for moving toward a “loot the company” model of business behavior?

It’s not just FedEx.

One analysis, from June 2014:

Since the end of 2012, using the DOW (NYSEARCA:DIA) companies as a large cap company market proxy, share buybacks in dollar volume have exceeded the actual level of after tax profits recorded by the 30 companies in the index. What this means is that somewhere in the DOW there must be more than a handful of companies, which are either borrowing money or deferring capital expenditures in a potentially harmful manner for the sole purpose of buying their shares back in the market to boost share price.

From last week’s Wall Street Journal:

Companies are buying their own shares at the briskest clip since the financial crisis, helping fuel a stock rally amid a broad trading slowdown.

Corporations bought back $338.3 billion of stock in the first half of the year, the most for any six-month period since 2007, according to research firm Birinyi Associates. Through August, 740 firms have authorized repurchase programs, the most since 2008.

No, it’s not just FedEx.

Cisco:

Back in February, Cisco announced an $8 billion bond issue “to help finance stock buybacks after the shares lost almost 6 percent over six months.”

  • Cisco CEO John Chambers owns about 2 million shares of Cisco stock.
  • Cisco stock was trading at $22.12 when that bond issue/buyback was announced. Now, it’s trading at $25.20. Do the math: that’s about a 14% increase in per-share price; and more than a $6 million increase in Mr. Chambers’ net worth.
  • Cisco’s market cap was $113.95 billion when the bond issue/buyback was announced.   Now, it’s $128.7 billion. Do the math: that’s about a 13% increase in Wall Street’s assessment of the company’s total value.
  • But what’s going on with the actual company?   Last month, Cisco released an earnings statement “that illustrated its troubles as one of the tech industry’s giants competing in a rapidly changing environment.”  Profits are down, compared to last year. And it is planning to eliminate 6,000 jobs.
  • Let me recap: Profits are down, layoffs are pending. But the company borrowed $billions to buy back stock, enriching its CEO and other executives.   And Wall Street rewarded this behavior.

Want to know what worries me most about Cisco? It looks like Cisco’s CEO is selling his stock. According to the filings, he owns a lot less Cisco stock now than he did when the bond issue/buyback was announced. Doesn’t he have any faith in his corporation’s long-term prospects?

It’s not just Cisco.

Bloomberg News:

American companies have seldom spent more money than they are now buying back shares. The same can’t be said for their executives. … While companies are pouring money into their own stock because they have nothing better to do with it, officers and directors aren’t… Insiders buying stock have dropped 8 percent from a year ago, poised for the fewest in more than a decade.

wall street bullAnd even worse? That perspective that companies “have nothing better to do” with their money than buy back stock.

As of a couple of weeks ago:

In total, US companies have announced USD309bn worth of share repurchases year-to-date, up from USD259bn for the same period a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Do the math. Nine months of stock buybacks equals about 6 million median-wage American jobs.

Let me rephrase that.

The money that US corporations are spending buying back their own stock “because they have nothing better to do with it” could give a $52,000-a-year job to every single unemployed American.

Instead… Cisco’s cutting 6,000 jobs. FedEx is cutting employee benefits. And who knows what all the other companies in Professor Lazonick’s survey are doing?

Here’s the thing: buying back stock doesn’t add any intrinsic value to a company. It’s not a new product line, it’s not a new factory, it’s not any kind of investment in the company’s future. All it does is concentrate the stock ownership. Same everything else – just fewer shares of stock. (Sort of like ultra-concentrated dish soap… same basic thing, just in a smaller bottle.)

So, aren’t these rising market caps at least somewhat artificial? Why should a company be worth more, just because it has fewer shares of stock?

Cisco may have declining profits… but its market cap is growing. FedEx may be growing, but its market cap is growing faster. Why?

Here’s the other thing: To accomplish this concentration of stock ownership… corporations are bonding untold billions of dollars. (Yes, that’s another thing I couldn’t find tracked anywhere.)

So yeah, they’re borrowing against the future… to improve stock prices today.

soap bubbleAnd Wall Street is encouraging this.

There’s a technical term for those sorts of artificial increases: they’re called “bubbles.”

And that’s why I’m starting to have nightmares.

I’m wondering when this latest Wall Street bubble is going to burst.

New Hampshire Troopers’ Association Endorses Governor Maggie Hassan for Re-Election

Concord—Citing her strong record of standing up for the safety of our communities, the New Hampshire Troopers’ Association announced its endorsement of Governor Maggie Hassan for re-election.

“Governor Hassan continues to earn the trust and support of law enforcement because of her strong record of bringing together leaders of both parties to solve problems and improve our public safety,” said Seth Cooper, President of the New Hampshire Troopers’ Association. “Governor Hassan has been a tireless advocate for policies that help protect our communities, and the New Hampshire Troopers’ Association is proud to endorse the Governor for re-election.”

“It’s a tremendous honor to have earned the support of the New Hampshire Troopers’ Association as we work to maintain New Hampshire’s status as one of the safest, healthiest and most livable states in the nation,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “Public safety truly is the most important task of any government, and since entering office I’ve worked to put more troopers on the road and strengthen priorities that help keep our communities safe.”

“My opponent’s so-called ‘plan’ would create a $90 million hole in the state budget and take New Hampshire back to the Bill O’Brien era of devastating cuts to public safety, higher education, and economic development. He’s even said he would slash funding for the Department of Safety, taking 80% of the troopers off the road and making our highways less safe. But Granite Staters won’t let my opponent take us backwards, and together, we will continue working to keep our communities safe and solve problems the New Hampshire Way,” added Governor Hassan.

Through the bipartisan budget, Governor Hassan fought to protect critical investments in public safety, higher education, and economic development – without a sales or income tax. The Governor has also worked to maintain New Hampshire’s status as one of the safest states in the nation by putting more troopers on the road, increasing funding for community-based mental health care, passing a bipartisan health care expansion plan that is providing thousands of people with alcohol and substance treatment, and launching Media Power Youth, a public-private initiative to increase media literacy and reduce and prevent youth violence.

Walt Havenstein’s Koch Brothers “plan” would create a $90 million hole in the state’s budget and take New Hampshire back to the devastating Bill O’Brien era, while raising college tuition costs, abandoning the state’s infrastructure and shifting more health care costs onto business.

Havenstein also signed his name to the Koch Brothers pledge committing that he’d work to repeal the bipartisan transportation plan, saying he would cut funds from the Department of Safety, taking 80% of the troopers off the road.

AFL-CIO Announces Targeted Mail Campaign In Select States

AFLCIO MailMail to hit nearly 1 million households in AK, CO, CT, FL, IA, IL, KY, ME, MI and WI

(Washington, DC)—This week the AFL-CIO will launch its 2014 mail program, designed to persuade voters to support working family candidates. The mail is part of the AFL-CIO’s massive political mobilization program, which includes knocking on doors, distributing worksite fliers and phone banking. With more than 12 million members, the AFL-CIO’s boots on the ground make it one of the largest grassroots efforts in the country.

This week’s mail program includes 25 different pieces in 10 states: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin. The mail specifies the economic stakes this fall for all working people. The program is built on the trust and solidarity within unions and is designed to encourage voting even among working people who are discouraged by the weak economy.

Subjects include the need for working people to vote to counteract corporate control of politics, hold accountable pro-Wall Street politicians, support public education and enable paid sick leave. This mail program will continue through Election Day, and conversations with union members about working family candidates will continue into 2015 and beyond.

To view individual mail pieces, click on this link or paste it into your browser: http://www.aflcio.org/Legislation-and-Politics/2014-Printed-Mail-Political-Ads

AFT’s Statement On New Testing Bill In US House

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

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

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten statement on the introduction of rep Israels accountability bill:

“The current fixation on high-stakes testing is denying children the engaging, meaningful education they deserve. Testing not only is soaking up too much time and narrowing the curriculum, but is less and less a measure of what kids need to know and be able to do. Standardized tests these days are driving teaching and learning, rather than giving teachers and parents useful data and feedback to help children.

“That is why this bill allowing states to reduce testing is an important step. It also points to the need to build a new accountability system that uses testing as a way to inform instruction, emphasizes meaningful learning, and includes the resources and capacity schools, students and teachers need to continuously improve.

“I would like to thank Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) for his leadership in recognizing the problems of excessive testing, and look forward to working with him to strengthen the bill in the next legislative session.”

Walt Havenstein’s Campaign Full Of Controversy And Has A Record of Failed Leadership

The battle lines for the corner office are now official. Walt Havenstein was overwhelmingly selected as the GOP candidate for Governor of New Hampshire.

Lets start with a few facts about Walt:

  • Walt is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and served in the US Marines and Marine Corp reserves for a combined 28 years.
  • Walt was the CEO of BAE System, a government defense contractor.
  • Walt was also CEO of Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), a science, engineering, and technology firm that worked closely with federal agencies like the NSA, the DOD, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Isn’t it strange that the same man – who has made massive amounts of wealth working for and contracting with the federal government – is now going around saying we need “limited government” and “fiscal responsibility”?

So far, that fundamental inconsistency hasn’t been discussed much. Havenstein’s background and campaign is too full of other controversies.

There were questions about Havenstein’s residency and eligibility to run for Governor of New Hampshire.

After retiring from BAE, Havenstien became the CEO of SAIC, based in Maryland. Havenstein moved to Maryland where he owned a home and used tax exemptions that are only available to Maryland residents. After deciding to run for office in New Hampshire, Havenstein fought to prove his eligibility with the NH Ballot Law Commission; and they sided with Havenstein. However, after Havenstein’s residency was confirmed by the State of New Hampshire, the State of Maryland came after Havenstein for tax fraud.

“Havenstein will be billed for several years of back taxes after officials in Maryland said he accepted tax breaks he shouldn’t have. In 2007, Havenstein signed a pair of affidavits pledging that his primary residence at the time was in Maryland, and for four years, he received tax credits known as the homestead exemption. But upon entering the race for governor, Havenstein asserted that he has always lived in New Hampshire, and the state Ballot Law Commission ruled in his favor. Revenue officials in Maryland told News 9 that Havenstein shouldn’t have accepted benefits in that state.” [WMUR, August 20, 2014]

Then there is Havenstein’s “economic plan” to spur growth and create 25,000 new jobs.

“My economic plan commits the state to helping create 25,000 jobs over 2.5 years by changing the culture in Concord to focus on the private sector. That’s the same approach I successfully took at BAE Systems, where we created 1,500 new high-tech jobs right here in New Hampshire” (Union Leader Op-Ed, Sept 3, 2014)

The funny thing is that Havenstein is trying to tap into the current economic growth that Governor Hassan spurred. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that between June 2013 and June 2014, New Hampshire created over 10,000 new jobs. Included in the 10,000 new jobs are 2,500 new jobs in the hospitality and leisure industry – strong signs that the New Hampshire economy is already rebounding.   The BLS also shows an increase of over 1,000 new jobs in manufacturing, which would be the closest calculator for “high tech” jobs in New Hampshire.

As CEO of BAE Systems, Havenstien did create jobs but he did it by using our tax dollars. In 2008, BAE was the 5th largest contractor with the federal government receiving over $15.2 Billion dollars. This is more than have of their 2008 revenue, and this does not include the revenue from the governments of the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.

Havenstein is attempting to portray himself as a leader by citing his work as the CEO of two massive corporations. What Havenstein is neglecting to tell you is that as the CEO of SAIC, Havenstein collected his $20 million dollar salary while the company shed thousands of jobs and the company’s stock plummeted 32%.

SAIC has had other problems, too. In Oakland, California SAIC came under fire for being selected to design a city-wide “surveillance hub” that some said would infringe on their civil liberties and violate their rights to privacy. Civil liberty issues aside, the people of Oakland took issue with SAIC being selected to design this “surveillance hub” due to the company’s history.

“In recent years, SAIC has been accused of defrauding municipal governments, bribing foreign officials, and delivering shoddy products. And when the company does deliver the goods at cost and on time, it’s often for militarized projects linked to human rights abuses. Among SAIC’s recent contracts: training the Egyptian military, operating drones used to kill foreign citizens, building and operating portions of the NSA’s internet spying system used on Americans, and more.” (East Bay Express, Aug. 2013)

What the East Bay Express was referring to: in 2011, SAIC was forced to remove three high-level executives for work relating to New York City’s “CityTime” employment timekeeping system.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has alleged that “a massive and elaborate scheme to defraud the city” corrupted the program, and it charged Gerard Denault, SAIC’s lead project manager on the program, with receiving at least $5 million in illegal kickbacks.” (Washington Post Oct. 2011)

The project was an attempt for the City of New York to move municipal employees from paper punch cards to new digital palm scanners.

“The project’s initial budget was $68 million. But after SAIC acquired the company that had won the competitive bidding process for the work, CityTime’s cost mushroomed to more than $740 million in ten years.” (East Bay Express, Aug. 2013)

U.S. Attorney Preet Bahara said, “virtually the entirety of the more than $600 million that was paid to SAIC was tainted directly or indirectly by fraud.” (NY Daily News, June 2011)

NYC Mayor Bloomberg called for SAIC to refund $600 million dollars to the city.

And just before SAIC agreed to pay a $500 million settlement to NYC, Havenstein announced that he would be retiring for “personal reasons”.

At least Havenstein knows when to jump off the sinking ship.

The Washington Post was very critical of Havenstein and his leadership of SAIC.

“The company struggled under the strategy, watching its profit and revenue decline.” (Washington Post, Aug. 2012)

What’s next for a failed CEO? Politics, of course!

The people of New Hampshire should look closely at Havenstein’s record of failed leadership.   Havenstein is not what we need in the corner office. We do not need a Governor who is good at padding his bank account while others get shafted.

Havenstein has already stated that he will repeal the bi-partisan Medicaid Expansion bill that opened access to healthcare for 50,000 Granite Staters. I wonder how Walt would feel if we took away his healthcare?

Havenstein is also vehemently opposed to raising the minimum wage.

“I’m not in favor of raising the minimum wage because, I’m not in favor of raising the minimum wage, period.” [Havenstein Interview with WBKB, 15:03 min]

Havenstein does not know what it is like to be one of the tens of thousands of struggling middle class Granite Staters. With millions in his pockets, he has never had to choose whether to buy food or pay the heating bill. The fact that he would not even consider an increase in the minimum wage shows just how out of touch Havenstein is with real Granite Staters.

Prominent Journalist to Help AFSC Launch Presidential Campaign Season Project

John Nichols, Washington Correspondent for The Nation, to speak Sept. 27 in Concord

John Nichols (Richard Hurd FLIKR CC)

John Nichols (Image by Richard Hurd FLIKR CC)

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – The American Friends Service Committee will launch its New Hampshire-based Presidential Campaign Project at a September 27 benefit dinner featuring John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation and co-author of Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America.

The AFSC plans to conduct educational programs from now until the 2016 New Hampshire Primary on the theme of “Governing Under the Influence,” a slogan meant to illuminate the outsized control over government policy held by major corporations.

“Since President Dwight Eisenhower warned the nation about the military-industrial-complex, corporations have found even more ways to exercise their influence over public policy in Washington,” said Arnie Alpert, the Quaker organization’s long-time New Hampshire Director.   “The loud voices of the corporations threatens to drown out the voices of real people.”

According to Alpert, the AFSC will train grassroots activists to make the issue of corporate influence one of the signature issues of the unfolding campaigns in New Hampshire and Iowa.   The project’s “Governing Under the Influence” banners made their national debut last weekend outside Senator Tom Harkin’s “steak fry” in Iowa.

The AFSC event will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 274 Pleasant Street in Concord, starting with snacks at 5:30 PM, followed by a buffet dinner and the program with John Nichols.  Suggested donation for the event is $20 to $75 per person “as you are able.”

In addition to writing for The Nation, John Nichols is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers.  He is a frequent guest on radio and television programs as a commentator on politics and media issues.

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that works worldwide on programs supporting peace, social justice, and humanitarian development.  Since 1975 its New Hampshire Program has led efforts on a wide range of issues, including establishment of Martin Luther King Day, expansion of opportunities for affordable housing, and support for the rights of immigrants and refugees.  In earlier NH Primary cycles, AFSC’s educational efforts have driven concerns over nuclear weapons, the cost of the previous Iraq war, and international trade policy into the nation’s political discourse.

See http://afsc.org/event/afsc-nh-annual-fundraiser-john-nichols for additional information.

American Federation of Teachers-NH Endorses Governor Maggie Hassan and Strong Education Record for Re-Election

Hassan_AFT_Endorsement_2014MANCHESTER—Citing her unwavering commitment to expanding opportunity for New Hampshire’s working families, the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire (AFT-NH) announced its endorsement of Governor Maggie Hassan for re-election.

“Governor Maggie Hassan has been a relentless fighter for the priorities of working families, particularly for strengthening our schools and making it easier for families to afford college. We must re-elect her so that we can continue striving to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed,” said AFT-NH President Laura Hainey. “It’s all too clear that Walt Havenstein does not share the priorities of working Granite Staters as he pushes a so-called ‘plan’ that would create a $90 million hole in the state’s budget to give more tax breaks to big businesses at the expense of middle class families. From working across party lines to expand health coverage to 50,000 Granite Staters, to freezing in-state tuition and preserving funding for K-12 education, Governor Hassan has proven that she will always be there for our state’s children and working families, and that’s why we’ll be there for her this November.”

“It’s an honor to have earned the support of AFT-NH, whose members help educate our children, protect our citizens, and strengthen our communities each and every day,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “Over the past year and a half, we have proven that we can come together to balance our budget without a sales or income tax and invest in the priorities that will help create good-paying jobs and expand middle class opportunity. Our children and our state simply cannot afford to let my opponent take us back to the same devastating cuts to education, health care and public safety that hurt our economy and middle class families during the Bill O’Brien era. We must keep our New Hampshire moving in the right direction toward a brighter economic future for all children and families.”

Governor Hassan worked across party lines to pass a fiscally responsible, balanced budget that maintained funding for K-12 education and restored funding for higher education – making it possible to freeze in-state tuition at the university system and reduce tuition at our community colleges.

The Governor created a Science Technology Engineering and Math Task Force to modernize STEM education in our public schools, and launched a new effort to partner manufacturing companies directly with classes at local schools, building relationships that can lead to a stronger workforce pipeline. She also established a public-private initiative with Manchester-based Media Power Youth aimed at reducing the risk of violence and crime in our schools and communities.

The Governor will continue working to ensure that we maintain New Hampshire’s status as one of the safest states in the nation, and that our children have access to a world-class education in order to be prepared for success in the 21st century economy.

About AFT-NH

AFT-NH is the State Affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. The AFT has over one million members with nearly 4,000 members here in New Hampshire. These members are teachers, school support staff, police, higher education faculty and town employees. AFT-NH is a member of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO which represents over 45,000 working men and women.

###

Governor Hassan, Senator Shaheen Announce Five NH Projects to Receive Northern Border Regional Commission Grant

Grants to Help Spur Economic and Community Development in the North Country

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that five New Hampshire projects will receive grant funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission to help spur economic and community development in the North Country.

Totaling $968,365, the five grants will be awarded to the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN), the Town of Littleton, the Coos Economic Development Council, the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) and the University of New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program.

“The Northern Border Regional Commission is an important regional collaboration and federal-state partnership that helps spur economic and community development in some of our most economically distressed areas,” Governor Hassan said. “These five projects will address infrastructure and transportation needs and promote business development across the North Country, creating jobs and strengthening our economy. I thank Senator Shaheen, the Northern Border Regional Commission and our regional partners in Maine, New York and Vermont for their efforts to help make this important investment in our people, businesses and communities a reality.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for jobs and the economy in northern New Hampshire,” Senator Shaheen said. “These five projects will support small business growth while addressing important infrastructure needs that are crucial for economic development in the North Country. I am hopeful that with the support of this grant, we will see a rejuvenation of North Country communities and businesses that have faced significant economic challenges.”

“This is great news for the North Country,” state Senator Jeff Woodburn said. “Each of these projects will in their own way contribute to revitalizing our economy, improving life for people and our business community.  I’m grateful to the persistent leadership of these organizations who applied for these grants and work tirelessly to improve our communities, and our national, regional and state officials who advocated so strongly for us.”

WREN will receive a $161,670 grant to create an entrepreneurial training center and “maker space” to serve more than an estimated 75 emerging and existing entrepreneurs.

The Town of Littleton will receive $250,000 to support a Main Street revitalization project, with two businesses already saying they plan to expand once the project is completed. Littleton will construct a multi-use bridge over the Ammonoosuc River, which will connect pedestrians, bicycles and off-road vehicles with downtown and the riverfront.

The Coos Economic Development Council will receive a $250,000 grant to construct a new cell tower on Cummings Mountain in West Dummer, a strategic connection that will provide service in unserved areas of Coos County, encouraging business development and enhancing emergency communications.

The NCIC will receive a $200,000 grant to expand and improve the NH Grand website, an important visitor information portal for Coos County.  NH Grand supports tourism marketing initiatives, and the funding will be used to incorporate new features on the website, including search engine optimization, multi-lingual accessibility, mapping and teletype, as well as a booking system and marketing opportunities via search engine sponsorships.

The University of New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program will receive a $106,695 grant to extend and enhance its broadband availability and mapping activities to the rural addresses of Coos County. The project will provide data about service availability in unserved and underserved areas in the region, which will be used to prioritize where investment should be focused to expand broadband access and to provide information to people and businesses considering relocating to the region.

The NBRC was created as a federal-state partnership approved in the 2008 Farm Bill, with a mission to address the economic and community development needs in economically distressed communities in the Northern Forest region, which includes New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and New York.

MA Truth Team: Brown’s Big Oil, Wall Street Record Is Wrong for New Hampshire

Those Who Know Brown Best Highlight How Brown Failed Small Businesses, Women, Students, and Working Families 

10614242_10153178479977785_6783427704573705127_nManchester, NH—A dozen concerned men and women from Massachusetts, which included an elected state representative, union members, a women’s health advocate, a retired educator, and small business owners—traveled to Manchester today to launch the “Massachusetts Truth Team,” highlighting why Scott Brown was wrong for Massachusetts and is not for New Hampshire. The group specifically highlighted Brown’s opposition to equal pay protections for women, the minimum wage, and support for small businesses, along with his support for Big Oil, Wall Street, and tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs as reason why New Hampshire can’t afford to support him this November.

“These men and women are highlighting how Scott Brown’s record was wrong for Massachusetts and is not for New Hampshire,” said Former NHDP Chair Kathy Sullivan. “Instead of voting in the interest of working families, he voted to protect special breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Instead of protecting small businesses, he voted repeatedly to protect tax breaks for the big oil companies, making record profits. Instead of protecting women’s health choices, he supported the Blunt Amendment and defended the Hobby Lobby decision.”

“During a time when Massachusetts workers needed good-paying jobs, Scott Brown voted to protect special breaks for companies that send American jobs overseas, tax breaks for Big Oil, and scored a sweetheart deal for Wall Street banks when he watered down regulations and got them off the hook for $19 billion to help pay for reforms,” said small business owner Barbara Weniger. “As a small business owner, that was all I needed to see to know that he wasn’t looking out for me – he was looking out for the out-of-state special interest groups that were lining his campaign coffers. Wherever Scott Brown goes, we know who has his ear—and that’s Wall Street.”

“Scott Brown was our Senator in Massachusetts when many families were having a tough time just paying the bills,” said Linda Harvey, who operates her own law firm and often represents working families. “He spent his entire campaign riding around in his truck, telling families like mine that he was one of us. But once he got there, we found out who Scott Brown really stood for: Wall Street and Big Oil. As someone who’s seen Scott Brown campaign before, I say this: don’t buy what he’s selling.”

“When Scott Brown was in Massachusetts, he always delivered for Big Oil and Wall Street, but he left Massachusetts students in the dust, voting to cut programs like Pell Grants and Head Start that put our kids on a path to success,” said retired teacher Lois Jacobs. “Nothing does more to promote opportunity in this country than access to an affordable, quality education. But Scott Brown voted time and time again to make cuts to education while supporting special breaks for Big Oil and Wall Street.”

“Once Scott Brown became a Senator, it became clear who he was,” said Secretary Treasurer of New England Regional Council of Carpenters, Mark Erlich. “In 2010, he voted three times against extending unemployment benefits during the greatest recession since the Great Depression. He voted twice against job creation legislation, even recently saying that he does not believe that a Senator should create jobs. Meanwhile, he voted to protect $24 billion in tax subsidies for Big Oil companies, and he watered down regulations for big banks, saving them $19 billion. New Hampshire is a great state, and my view is that New Hampshire deserves better.”

“When Scott Brown was Senator in Massachusetts, women learned the hard way that he’s not someone we can trust, especially when it comes to pay equity and women’s health,” said Megan Amundson, Executive Director of Massachusetts NARAL. “He’s always talked a big game about being bipartisan and protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, he let us down when it counted every time. Scott Brown lost his seat in Massachusetts because he does not stand with women, so women did not stand with him. Make no mistake—nothing has changed. He will represent New Hampshire women just as poorly as he represented Massachusetts women.”

“Since Scott Brown moved to New Hampshire, he has been rejecting research and statistics that show that an increase in the minimum wage results in faster job growth, and he has ignored the fact that more than 110,000 Granite Staters, of which 60% are women, would get a much-needed raise if the federal minimum wage were increased to $10.10 an hour,” said State Representative Tom Conroy. “Scott Brown has spent months struggling to explain why he opposes raising the minimum wage, which is exactly why Brown has the wrong priorities for New Hampshire. He’s turning his back on hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters, all while he collects a $270,000 paycheck from a company that outsourced American jobs. Brown even endorsing that business strategy. I urge Granite Staters to reject Brown on November 4th.”

Over the next seven weeks, the Massachusetts Truth Team will show how Scott Brown was wrong for Massachusetts and is not for New Hampshire as he attempts to distort the facts about his positions and rewrite history as a Senate candidate in New Hampshire.

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement