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New Report Highlights 17 Bad Actors Waging Aggressive Anti-Solar Campaigns

Manchester, NH – With solar power on the rise around the country, a national network fossil fuel and utility-backed organizations have joined forces to put the brakes on this fast growing pollution-free energy resource.  Trade groups and think tanks backed by deep pocketed anti-clean energy ideologues and fossil interests are bankrolling campaigns, promoting model legislation and media campaigns to provide cover for anti-solar campaigns across the country, said a new report released today by Environment New Hampshire Research & Policy Center. 

“Pollution-free solar energy represents New Hampshire’s most abundant energy resource,” said Michelle McCarthy, Campaign Organizer with Environment New Hampshire.  “For our climate and our environment, we can’t allow special interest forces in the fossil fuel industry to pull the plug on the bright potential of solar power.”  

The report, Blocking the Sun, documents 17 fossil fuel backed groups and electric utilities running some of the most aggressive campaigns to slow the growth of solar energy in 12 states. 

Of the findings, the report documents how the Koch brothers have provided funding to the national fight against solar by funneling tens of millions of dollars through a network of opaque nonprofits; the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) provides utility and fossil fuel interests with access to state legislatures, and its anti-net metering policy resolution has inspired legislation in a set of states; utilities in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, West Virginia, California and Illinois have undertaken extensive campaigns to revoke renewable energy policy or impose new charges on their solar customers.

“Solar has the chance to become a leading technology,” said Rachel Cross of Frontier Group, report co-author. “It’s ready, it’s more accessible every year, and it’s a solution for a world that needs to quit burning carbon. Allowing electric companies and fossil fuel interests to stand in the way of that kind of progress defies common sense.”

In mid-2016, there were at least 84 ongoing policy actions in U.S. states that could impact the growth of solar energy, including through limitations to net metering or new charges to make rooftop solar power less economically viable.  

“In New Hampshire, we were fortunate to have a bipartisan group of legislators who realized the very real threat to the future of non-polluting solar energy by hitting the so called ‘cap’ allocated to our four electric utilities,” said. Representative Bob Backus of Manchester. “Legislation resulted which while, unfortunately not eliminating the cap entirely, increased it to permit the NH PUC to undertake a proceeding, now underway, to set new net metering rates.”

The report urges state decision makers to recognize and resist utility and fossil fuel industry influence that seeks to undermine solar energy and to instead encourage the growth of solar.

“Solar energy is important to my family by assuring that we leave a healthier planet for our grandchildren by drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels one house at a time,” said Lester Cuff, a solar homeowner in Stratham, NH. “Since installing solar panels in 2012, we have been a residential power plant. The panels have generated to date, 36.3 megawatt hours, which is equivalent to lighting the Eiffel Tower for 15 nights. Our carbon offset to date is equivalent to planting 656 trees. Our family and the State of New Hampshire will receive accumulative economic and environmental benefits for at least 25 years.” 

“Solar is finally catching on and providing tremendous benefits, reducing pollution, saving consumers and businesses money, and revitalizing local economies,” said McCarthy. “Now, more than ever, states must lead the charge on a transition to solar power and renewable energy. ” 

Read the full report here.

Granite State Rumbling: Every Child Matters NH’s Goals For 2017

Now that the elections and Thanksgiving are in our rearview mirror, our attention turns to the holidays of December and the hope of what a new year will bring.

2016 has been a long year for the advocates, organizations, and agencies across the state and across the country who have worked tirelessly to ensure that basic needs are met for our most vulnerable populations. It has been an even longer and much harder year for the children and families who continue to feel the effects of a shredded safety net and an opiate crisis that shows no mercy on those who are afflicted with the disease and the innocent victims caught in the current.

We have watched more of our children slip into poverty, go to bed hungry, and wonder where that bed is going to be tomorrow night. And as December’s cold winds blow through the state we now fear for those who have no place warm to escape them.

The Thanksgiving break afforded me the time to spend time with loved ones, eat some great desserts, watch some football, and reflect on the feelings of frustration and anger I have felt lately. I have regrouped and am now ready to get back to work. That work means playing offense instead of playing defense (stealing some football terminology).

We have gotten pretty good at playing defense when it comes to addressing the difficult challenges that face our state. The primary obstacle we face is not related to a lack of goodwill, but rather to the fundamental way we understand the nature of the problems we face. More times than not, we merely respond to symptoms of a given problem [defense] and don’t pay adequate attention to the problem that is producing the symptoms [offense]. All of which puts the cart before the horse and keeps us from truly moving forward.

Take, for instance, the growing issue of child poverty. When we think about helping those in need (“giving back to those less fortunate,” as the popular adage goes), many of us usually focus on acts of charitable giving. After all it is the season of giving. In the malls we find Christmas trees with cards on them asking for a gift for a child in need. At the grocery store are pre-packaged groceries that we can purchase for a family in need. Charity in its many forms tries to help people who are in need, which is certainly important and worthy of our best efforts.

But even more important is figuring out why people are in need in the first place, and then working toward alleviating the root causes of such need (it’s one thing to give food to a person who is hungry, but it’s another thing entirely to eliminate the reasons they are hungry in the first place). While we can of course celebrate acts of charity that take place in our community, the ultimate goal isn’t simply about responding to symptoms, but abolishing the problems that produce the symptoms.

So, don’t you think that at a time when we see the income gap widening, ninety-five percent of the recovery gains since 2009 going to the top 1%, over ¼ of all jobs in the U.S. paying below poverty wages, and child well-being indicators falling in our state, now is the right time for all of us to rally around a set of common goals that will strengthen families and put them on a course leading to economic security?

Take a look at Every Child Matters’ 5 priority areas in the section below. Is there an area that catches your attention? Give us a call or send us an e-mail and we’ll give you some ideas about how you can help advocate. Your voice is especially important now.  

Many New Hampshire kids are doing fine – but many are not.

1. Equal Opportunity:  Children remain more likely to be poor than any other age group, with more than one in ten in poverty in New Hampshire in 2015 (10.7 percent), and the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to grow.

2. Family and Work:  The Census Bureau data shows that in 58 percent of poor New Hampshire families, at least one person worked, although not always full time or year-round. Even when work and other income helps people to live up to twice the poverty line (up to $37,742 for a family of three), most people recognize that making ends meet is not that easy for those this near poverty. One in five Granite Staters are trying to get by with incomes this low. 

The average cost in New Hampshire for an infant in a child care center is more than $11,800 a year for an infant and for a 4-year-old, it’s more than $21,250.

3. Access to Education:  New Hampshire currently does not have a state-funded preschool program. Only 4 percent of 3-year-olds and 6 percent of 4-year-olds are enrolled in a public preschool program. A year of tuition for an instate student at the University of New Hampshire costs $16,017 plus room, board, books and incidentals $27,000+. The maximum Pell grant award covers only $5,775.

4. Children’s Healthcare:  12,000 New Hampshire children were without health insurance in 2014 and 94,153 children in New Hampshire were enrolled in Medicaid in 2014, increasing 15.1% from 2013. 

5. Children’s Safety: In 2014, New Hampshire had 15,184 total referrals for child abuse and neglect. Of those, 9,289 reports were referred for investigation.

In 2014, there were 646 victims of abuse or neglect in New Hampshire, a rate of 2.4 per 1,000 children, decreasing 21.4% from 2013. Of these children, 79.1% were neglected, 8.7% were physically abused, and 15.5% were sexually abused.

Equal Opportunity. Individual outcomes will always vary. But when every child gets a fair shot at success, America’s families, communities and the economy as a whole will benefit. Lifting children from poverty and removing discrimination or other barriers to development and achievement are a key government function. As noted by the eminent researcher and author Robert Putnam, denial of equal opportunity is a dagger to the heart of the American Dream.

Family and Work. Stagnant incomes and workplace practices that pit being a parent against being a provider strain families and harm kids. Working and having a family shouldn’t be so hard. Paid sick and family medical leave, access to affordable childcare and better incomes can help provide the economic security and flexibility that parents need to build their careers and support their families

Access to Education.  Research demonstrates that 80 percent of a child’s brain development occurs between the ages of zero and five. Yet little is invested at the federal level in early childhood education. All kids should have access to high-quality preschool regardless of parental income or where they live. Later in life, a teenager willing to work hard in college to get skills needed for success should not be blocked due to race and should not be burdened with a level of debt more crushing than that endured by any previous generation.

Children’s Healthcare.  More children have access to health care than ever due to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) and children’s protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While not perfect, these laws prohibit insurance company discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions, require insurance companies to cover child preventive care, and help ensure families won’t go broke when their child gets sick. Proposed policy changes must detail how children’s protections will be maintained or enhanced.

Children’s Safety. Every child needs a safe environment in their home, school and neighborhood. Preventing child abuse and neglect, as well as minimizing gun violence, a leading killer of children and teens, are top priorities for voters.

After The Voting: What’s Next For Energy And Climate Issues In New Hampshire?

Environmental groups host 2016 Post Election Round Table 

CONCORD, NH – How will the current environmental protections continue to safeguard our public health with the dramatic shift in the administration in the White House and the State House? Energy saving and pollution reduction programs, once a unifying non-partisan issue, are now a cause for great division and political strife.  Over 100 people attended a roundtable discussion with a number of local experts provided a greater understanding of how the programs work and their wide ranging benefits.  Speakers included Representative Bill Baber of Dover, Taylor Caswell of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, Jack Ruderman of Revision Energy and Rebecca Whitley of Mom’s Clean Air Force. Sam Evans-Brown of New Hampshire Public Radio acted as the moderator.  

The dramatic two-year presidential campaign’s final conclusion has many people questioning the future of the country’s policies concerning many issues from foreign relations, the economy, healthcare, marriage equality, abortion, job growth, taxes and the environment. Over the course of the election, voters polled consistently in the Granite State and across the country said that they support action on climate change and renewable energy. New Hampshire participates in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – a nine state market driven carbon pollution reduction program that promotes investments in energy efficiency, weatherization, building retrofits and renewable energy. RGGI is the model for the recently introduced national carbon reduction program called the Clean Power Plan. Both President-Elect Trump and Governor-Elect Sununu have stated differences with the current administrations’ support for the market based energy saving programs aimed to create climate solutions. Candidate Trump went so far as calling climate change a “hoax by the Chinese” in a tweet.

The post-election roundtable discussion was held at the Concord Public Library in Concord, NH and hosted by the League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environment America, Mom’s Clean Air Force, National Wildlife Federation and New Hampshire Sierra Club. The host organizations highlighted opportunities to reach out to the new administrations in the State House to demonstrate support for energy saving programs, offering to arrange meetings, monitor legislation and creating meaningful actions.

The roundtable was broadcasted live on Facebook (include below) and comments posted on Twitter that can be seen @NHSierraClub. 

Quotes and Brief Biographies of Speakers

NH State Representative Bill Baber:

 “We are about to experience a governmental change with greater unknowns following any previous election.  This is especially true for the environment, energy, and our economy.”

Bill Baber is an outgoing member of the House Science, Technology, and Energy Committee where he acted as the Democratic ranking member.  He is a Vietnam era veteran with a rich academic and employment background ranging from film making to computer science.

Taylor Caswell:

“The economics of climate change will continue, regardless of what a government may or may not do.  Every time a business or a municipality finances a project through our Clean Energy Fund, they cut their energy costs, and that reduces carbon emissions.  It’s a basic operational and financial decision that increasingly makes the most sense for New Hampshire organizations.”

Taylor Caswell is the executive director of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, whose mission is to facilitate community economic development across the state with financial and technical resources.  CDFA’s total assets under management each year exceed $30 million, and include the New Hampshire Clean Energy Fund which provides resources for energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy integration for organizations statewide.

Rebecca Whitley:

“We cannot allow President-Elect Trump, or our New Hampshire elected officials, to wage a war on public health.  The progress on climate action over the last 8 years is important for our children’s health and for future generations. We need to organize and become the checks and balances to protect our children against any attack on their health and well-being.”   

Becky Whitley is the field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force in New Hampshire. She received a B.B.A. from George Washington University and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. Becky has always been committed to social justice and children’s health. She comes to Moms Clean Air Force after many years of practicing public interest law, representing adults and children on important disability rights issues and participating in policy advocacy. Becky works to mobilize parents in New Hampshire and advocates for children’s right to clean air and a healthy climate. 

Jack Ruderman

Jack Ruderman is the Director of Community Solar Initiatives for Revision Energy, an ambitious effort to solarize municipalities, nonprofits, and schools throughout the Granite State, as well as organize the development of community solar farms. Jack previously served as Director of the Sustainable Energy Division of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, where he was responsible for administering the state’s Renewable Energy Fund. He also served 12 years at the New Hampshire Governor’s Office of Energy and Planning.  He holds a B.A. in political science from Tufts University and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Moderator Sam Evans-Brown

Sam Evans-Brown is a reporter and host on New Hampshire Public Radio. Covering the environmental beat for NHPR, Sam’s reporting won him several awards, including two Edward R. Murrow awards, and he was also a 2013 Steinbrenner Institute Environmental Media Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. Last year, Sam helped launch a new show called Outside/In to further explore his environmental interests. Find the show http://outsideinradio.org/  on Twitter and Face Book @OutsideInRadio.

Become A Progressive Advocate With NH New Leaders Council

new-leaders-councilNH New Leaders Council looks to the Granite State to develop the next generation of progressive advocates

November 10, 2016, Concord, NH – New Leaders Council NH was founded in 2015 to help expand and deepen the pipeline of progressive entrepreneurs and advocates in New Hampshire.  We are currently recruiting interested individuals to apply for their second institute in New Hampshire.  Dates and information about the 2017 Institute may be found online.

NLC’s flagship program is the Institute, a rigorous 5-month training program that focuses on entrepreneurship, advocacy, organizing, and fundraising. NLC seeks out the top tier of emerging progressive leaders from around the country for the Institute, building a community of vetted, trained progressive leaders with the skills and support system to help to change the way politics is done and foster a more equitable, just America.  

Because of NLC’s commitment to recruiting and training outside of traditional power structures, the NLC Institute is FREE for all Fellows.

New Leaders Council is a national  501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2006 to recruit, train and promote the next generation of progressive leaders. New Hampshire’s chapter was founded in 2015 and has already graduated over 30 fellows.  

Interested candidates should apply  by November 14, 2016 online at www.newleaderscouncil.org/apply_to_be_a_2017_nlc_fellow 

Rough Road Ahead: Republicans Take Governor, House And Senate In NH

All the votes have been counted and we are looking at a very rough road ahead.

With the election of Donald Trump we will see a revived national effort to cut taxes for business, cut regulations on environmental protections, and repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Here in New Hampshire we about to enter a new era of Republican control.  The NH Senate stayed the same with 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats. In the House, Democrats picked up a few seats but are still in the minority (235-165). With Governor-elect Chris Sununu’s win, we can expect a fast and furious legislative attack on many of the programs working people fought for.

From Dan Touhy’s Granite Status on the election results:

WHAT DOES IT all mean for New Hampshire? Watch for some Republican policy initiatives to be pitched with gusto. In Concord, that includes a return of right-to-work legislation, the “constitutional carry” firearms bill, and proposed business tax reform.

State Rep. Fred Doucette, R-Salem, said veterans issues and tackling the state’s opioid and heroin epidemic are two of his priorities in the coming legislative session.

The combination of a Republican President and Republican controlled Congress could mean the end of the ACA which could mean the end of the New Hampshire Health Partnership Program that protects more than 50,000 Granite Staters.  Even without the repeal of the ACA, Sununu and many of his cohorts in the Legislature have already suggested ending the program in New Hampshire.

The question now is; What other attacks will working people face in the coming year?

Besides Right to Work will Republicans try to repeal our collective bargaining rights like they did in the O’Brien era of 2011-12? Will they attempt to reduce benefits for retiree’s and force workers to contribute more to the pension system?  Will they force through their so-called “school choice” legislation that takes public funds and gives it to private and religious institutions? Will they continue to attack a woman’s right to choose and to attack women’s healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood?

It is time to start organizing so we will be ready when Sununu and his fellow Republicans begin their assault on workers.

New Poll Shows Gun Violence Prevention is Key Issue for NH Voters; Most State House Candidates Have a Record on Background Checks

On Friday, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released new polling, conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), of voters in Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In the six battleground states, voters across the aisle expressed strong support for commonsense gun safety legislation, finding that candidates who endorse these policies are set to perform well on Election Day.

nh-ayotte-background-checks-pollIn New Hampshire, 42% of likely voters were LESS likely to vote for Kelly Ayotte because of her opposition to comprehensive background checks on gun sales. Only 14% were more likely to vote for Ayotte because of her position. Additionally, the poll found strong support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike for a number of gun violence prevention policies, and also that voters are more likely to vote for state legislators who support expanded background checks.

Of the 705 State House candidates on the ballot tomorrow, 307 of them already have a vote record on background checks. Granite State Progress compiled those votes from the past two legislative sessions and matched them with this year’s State House candidate list — take a look and see whether your State House candidates side with the gun lobby like U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, or with the overwhelming majority of Granite Staters who support common sense gun violence prevention.

GSP Brief: NH State House Candidates on Background Checks, 2016

GSP Brief: NH State House Candidates on Background Checks, 2016

 

 

Michelle Obama Encourages Granite Staters To Vote For Maggie Hassan

 First Lady Michelle Obama: “Maggie’s problem solving approach to leadership is exactly what we need in the U.S. Senate”

CONCORD –  Today, Maggie for NH released a new web ad featuring First Lady Michelle Obama encouraging Granite Staters to vote for Maggie Hassan for Senate on Tuesday. In the ad, the First Lady highlighted Governor Hassan’s problem solving approach and record of getting results, including her work to make college more affordable, create good paying jobs, and fight for New Hampshire’s children.

Watch the ad HERE.

“I want to talk about a leader who’s made a real difference for families all across New Hampshire, your Governor, Maggie Hassan… Maggie’s problem solving approach to leadership is exactly what we need in the U.S. Senate. And that’s why I am asking you to vote for Maggie Hassan for U.S. Senate. Every vote matters, so be sure to cast yours for Maggie, and make your voice heard.” said First Lady Michelle Obama in the ad.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s Metal Trades Council Endorses Maggie Hassan for U.S. Senate

hassan-psny-metal-trade2Metal Trades Council President: “Governor Hassan is a true champion of the shipyard and its workers, and we know she’ll be our voice in the Senate” 

Governor Hassan: “The Shipyard plays such a critical role in our national security and in the Senate, I’ll fight tirelessly to strengthen the Shipyard”

PORTSMOUTH – Today, Governor Maggie Hassan accepted the Metal Trades Council endorsement – the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s largest trade union. Governor Hassan received the endorsement this afternoon in Portsmouth. 

“I’m tremendously proud to have the endorsement of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard’s Metal Trades Council,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “Thanks to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of its workers, the Shipyard continues to set the gold standard for productivity. The Shipyard plays such an important role in both national security and the Seacoast economy. In the Senate, I’ll work to strengthen the Shipyard and I will vigorously fight any attempt to close the facility – including opposing a new Base Closure and Realignment Commission round. I look forward to doing everything within my power to make sure Congress invests in the Shipyard’s workforce and infrastructure, including modernizing and enhancing the efficiency of the Shipyard’s facilities and preparing the workers of tomorrow through STEM education programs.

“Governor Hassan is a true champion of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and its workers, and we know she’ll be our voice in the Senate,” said Metal Trades Council President Mark Vigliotta. “From her time as a State Senator to the Governor’s office, Maggie Hassan has delivered results for New Hampshire’s workers and there’s nobody better prepared to stand up for us in Washington.”

hassan-psny-metal-trade1“I’ve seen firsthand Governor Maggie Hassan’s commitment to protecting the Shipyard and it’s workers,” said former Metal Trades Council President Paul O’Connor. “To build on the progress she’s been able to make by bringing people together here in New Hampshire, we need to send Governor Hassan to the Senate. I know that Governor Hassan will always fight to keep the Shipyard open and to protect our workforce, and Washington could use her commonsense and commitment to bipartisan problem solving.”  

As a State Senator, Maggie Hassan helped turn back a misguided effort to close the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She sponsored– and secured unanimous bipartisan passage of – legislation providing state funding for the Seacoast Shipyard Association, which played a pivotal role in saving the Shipyard from the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC). 

As Governor, she has fought for critical Shipyard priorities including helping secure funding to replace the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, which provides a crucial rail link to the Shipyard. In order to boost the economy and strengthen the economic security of thousands of Granite Staters, And she has worked to expand access to Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in our schools to ensure a 21st century workforce pipeline for all industries in New Hampshire. 

In the United States Senate, she will fight any attempt to close the facility – including opposing a new Base Closure and Realignment Commission round. And she will also work to fully reverse sequestration and end the threat of uncertain budgets and furloughs. She will support new barracks and dry dock refurbishment, ensure that the Shipyard’s personnel get full per diems when they travel, fully fund the submarine fleet that the Navy says it needs, and look for new ways to diversify and expand the Shipyard’s mission going forward.

NH Senate Candidate Posts Racist Video Attacking Black Lives Matter Movement

Have you seen this?  The Republican candidate for New Hampshire Senate in District 4 just posted this racist rant about the Black Lives Matter movement and his opponent, Senator David Watters, support of the movement.

 

Support First RespondersI support the police and all first responders, while my opponent (Professor Watters) helps spread the false narrative that is getting cops killed all over the country.

Posted by Bill O’Connor for State Senate on Wednesday, November 2, 2016

I don’t even know where to begin but I guess the first thing to say is: Supporting the black lives matter movement does not mean that a person is anti-police.

The Black Lives Matter movement is about bringing attention to the systemic racism that exists in some police departments and the excessive use of force when people of color are involved.  This has been an epidemic in many communities yet has not received much main stream attention until the Black Lives Matter movement began.

O’Connor tries to connect Senator Watters support and participation in a Black Lives Matter “die-in” protest to Watters condoning violence against the police. The two are mutually exclusive.  The majority of Black Lives Matters protests have been peaceful acts of non-violence and organizers have condemned violent actions by people claiming to be a part of the movement.

It is unclear what shooting O’Connor was referencing but he mentioned murdered police officers I will assume that he was referring to the protests in Dallas, Texas on July 7th after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.  After the tragic shootings of 11 police officers in Dallas, Black Lives Matters organizers in Dallas released the following statement:

As we have done for decades, we marched and protested to highlight the urgent need to transform policing in America, to call for justice, transparency and accountability, and to demand that Black Lives Matter.

In Dallas, many gathered to do the same, joining in a day of action with friends, family, and co-workers. Their efforts were cut short when a lone gunman targeted and attacked 11 police officers, killing five. This is a tragedy—both for those who have been impacted by yesterday’s attack and for our democracy. There are some who would use these events to stifle a movement for change and quicken the demise of a vibrant discourse on the human rights of Black Americans. We should reject all of this.

Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it. Yesterday’s attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us.

The fact is that millions of Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement that wants to end the unfair targeting of people of color.  Yes, it is true that Senator Watters has an adopted son who is black. Like every father I am sure he only wants the best for his son. This would include not being unfairly targeted because of the color of his skin.

Senator Watters directly responded to the video in this short statement:

The Chair of the Strafford County Republican Party, Bill O’Connor, has denigrated my commitment to equality as solely due to being the proud father of an African American son. His campaign is leading the Strafford County Republican Party into the dark corners of the alt-right’s attacks on people of color and immigrants. I have campaigned on creating jobs and educational opportunities, and on trusting women’s healthcare decisions, and, yes, on equality for all. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed “Let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.” I call on Republicans, Democrats, and Independents to reject divisive politics on election day.

This Trump style of race baiting has to stop.  We are better than this and when we reject candidates like Bill O’Connor hopefully they will see that their message of hate and exclusion is the wrong way to keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction.


One more thing to note: Bill O’Connor posted this video as a way to show his support of America’s police officers but failed to mention that when he was state representative he voted for Bill O’Brien’s budget that cut funding for local police and fire departments and forced them to pay more into the state retirement system.

Granite State Progress Releases List of 30+ Free State Project Candidates Running for State Legislature

Free State Project members running for political office often hide or deny their FSP affiliation; Granite State Progress’ Free State Project Watch exposes those connections

Concord, NH – Granite State Progress released a list of more than 30 Free State Project members running for the New Hampshire state legislature, including two State Senate candidates and dozens of House candidates.

“Granite State Progress has been tracking the Free State Project and its influence since 2008, paying particular attention to Free Stater activity in elections and legislation,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Free State Project members running for political office often hide or deny their FSP affiliation from voters and downplay their extreme beliefs when asked. To challenge this, Granite State Progress researches and compiles a list of Free State Project candidates running for office so voters know about the extreme affiliation of those candidates.”

New Hampshire’s role started more than a decade ago when the ultra-extreme Free State Project voted on a state to move 20,000 libertarians to with the stated purpose to take over state government and dismantle it, and New Hampshire was the unlucky recipient of that vote. The Free State Project seeks to create a libertarian “utopia” void of public infrastructure and common laws, and to use their numbers to dramatically change New Hampshire. The Free State Project even threatens to secede from the rest of the country once it meets its initial goals:

“Once we’ve taken over the state government, we can slash state and local budgets, which make up a sizeable proportion of the tax and regulatory burden we face every day. Furthermore, we can eliminate substantial federal interference by refusing to take highway funds and the strings attached to them. Once we’ve accomplished these things, we can bargain with the national government over reducing the role of the national government in our state. We can use the threat of secession as leverage to do this.” – Announcement:
The Free State Project by Founder Jason Sorens

To date, the Free State Project has recruited more than 20,000 people to sign the pledge to move to New Hampshire, hitting their goal to “Trigger the Move” – all those who signed up are supposed to start moving once the agreed upon goal was met. More than 2,015 people have already moved.

“Free State Project members sign a pledge to move to New Hampshire and work to change the way of life in our state. They do not move here for a job, or for family, or even because they like what New Hampshire has to offer. Instead, they move here because a political group they are affiliated with voted on a state to move to and take over, and New Hampshire is the unlucky recipient of that vote,” Rice Hawkins said. “It is not surprising that so many Free Staters run for public office. Free State Project members uproot their families and move to New Hampshire purely to enact a political agenda, and running for office only further helps them reach that goal. Local communities who have dealt with them first-hand know how extreme their ideology can be, and that’s why we’ve seen push back from both Republicans and Democrats to expose them.”

The Free State Project candidate list is part of the Free State Project Watch of Granite State Progress, and can be found online at https://freestateprojectwatch.org/. The website includes the candidate list as well as individual candidate profiles.

Granite State Progress released similar candidate lists in 2012 and 2014. Members of the media and public are encouraged to ask FSP candidates whether they disclose their Free State Project affiliation in campaign materials and if not, why.

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