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Maggie Hassan Pushes First Campaign Ad Highlighting Her Draw To Public Service

First Maggie for NH TV Ad Highlights Governor’s Family Story That Helped Draw Her to Public Service

CONCORD – Maggie for New Hampshire today announced its first television ad of the campaign, “Got Involved,” highlighting how the challenges and opportunities that Governor Maggie Hassan’s family has experienced helped inspire her to enter public service.

Maggie Hassan was drawn to public service as an advocate fighting to ensure that children like her son Ben, who experiences severe disabilities, would be fully included in their communities and have the same opportunities that all parents want for their children. And she has continued working ever since to build a stronger, more innovative New Hampshire where all of our citizens are included in our economic success and prosperity.

“All families have challenges, what’s really important is that they also have community,” said Maggie. “That’s one of the reasons I got involved in public service. Because it made it so clear to me how much you can accomplish when you work together. “ 

Working across party lines, Maggie froze tuition at the university system for the first time in 25 years while lowering it at community colleges, strengthened job training programs, expanded health coverage to nearly 50,000 Granite Staters, and fought for women’s access to safe and affordable health care. In the Senate, Maggie will stand up to corporate special interests who have rigged the system in Washington and keep fighting for bipartisan solutions to help ensure that all Granite Staters have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead. 

The six-figure ad buy will run on New Hampshire and Boston broadcast stations as well as on cable and online.

 

Click here to WATCH the 60 second TV ad.

On Small Business Week, NH Small Business Leaders Call Maggie Hassan The Best Choice For Senate

Image from Hassan Campaign (All Rights Reserved)

Image from Hassan Campaign (All Rights Reserved)

Maggie Will Continue Working to Support Job-Creating Small Businesses, Encourage Innovation, and Expand Economic Opportunity for all Granite Staters

CONCORD – During small business week, New Hampshire small business leaders say Governor Maggie Hassan’s bipartisan leadership to support job-creating small businesses and encourage innovation makes her the best choice to represent New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate.  

“Small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy, and as Governor, I have always fought to support job-creating small businesses, encourage innovation, and expand opportunity for all Granite Staters,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “Unfortunately, Washington has given in to corporate special interests that rig the system for themselves and against the middle class, and I’m running for United States Senate to fight to ensure that Washington does better for all of New Hampshire’s families and small businesses.”

As Governor, Maggie fought to enact two fiscally responsible, bipartisan budgets that protected critical economic priorities while holding the line against an income or sales tax, and she has made the tough choices to consistently manage the state budget to a surplus. She froze in-state tuition at New Hampshire universities for the first time in 25 years and reduced tuition at community colleges, cut taxes for research & development and small businesses and developed the award-winning “Live Free and Start” initiative to support start-up companies and help them access capital, enabling them to launch and grow. She signed a bipartisan transportation funding bill that invests in road and bridge projects across the state, including finishing the expansion of I-93, and she has also supported job training programs to help ensure that our workers are ready for good jobs in the changing global economy.

In the Senate, Maggie will continue fighting for the priorities that will support small businesses, encourage innovation, and expand opportunity for working families: fixing our roads and bridges; making college more affordable so all hard-working Granite Staters have the skills they need to get ahead and stay ahead; and eliminating tax breaks for Big Oil and outsourcers so we can provide tax credits for small businesses that create jobs here and cut taxes for middle class families.

See below for what a few New Hampshire small business owners have to say about why they support Maggie for Senate:

Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, Puritan Backroom, Manchester – “As both an Executive Councilor and a small business owner, I know Governor Hassan has a deep commitment to helping small businesses thrive. Governor Hassan understands that small businesses are essential to a flourishing economy throughout New Hampshire, and she has fought to ensure that businesses owners have the support we need to innovate and grow. I know that Governor Hassan will continue to be a strong advocate for our small businesses in the United States Senate, and I am proud to support her.”

Mark Kelley, White Mountain Lumber, Berlin – “A strong economy in the North Country is critical for our people and our entire state, and Governor Hassan has worked tirelessly to ensure our small businesses are getting ahead. Governor Hassan has made critical investments in businesses development, infrastructure, and transportation which have helped spur our economy and create jobs. The Governor has been committed to fighting for small businesses and economic development in the North Country and across our entire state, and I know she will continue to make our voices heard and get results in the United States Senate.”

Adria Bagshaw, The WH Bagshaw Company, Nashua – “I’m proud to support Maggie Hassan for U.S. Senate because she understands the issues that are important to small businesses like mine. Washington could use her common-sense, collaborative approach, and New Hampshire could use a Senator like Maggie Hassan who understands the importance of investing in business priorities like our infrastructure and education system while holding the line against a sales or income tax.”

Mary Collins, former State Director of the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, of Wolfeboro – “Maggie Hassan knows what it takes to help our small businesses thrive and grow, and even more importantly, she has a proven record of delivering results. From strengthening investments in higher education and job training programs, to passing legislation to fix highways, roads and bridges, to making it easier for start-up companies to launch and grow, Maggie has shown that she can work across party lines to get results for small businesses. Now, we need her to take her bipartisan approach to the U.S. Senate where she will always fight to support small businesses and get things done.”

Mary Jo Brown, Brown & Company Design, Portsmouth – “Governor Hassan’s record of supporting higher education shows she understands the needs of small businesses here in New Hampshire. She’s also committed to ensuring equal pay for equal work which would give working families, and our economy as a whole, a much-needed boost. That’s why I’m proud to join her campaign for Senate. I know she’ll bring her Granite State priorities and collaborative approach to Washington to deliver real results.”

Daniel Weeks: Time To Put New Hampshire Back On (The) Track

Dan Weeks 3

Daniel Weeks

Sixty years ago, America embarked upon the “greatest public works project in the history of the world.”  The Interstate Highway System did not simply move people from A to B. It knitted our population centers together, facilitated untold commerce and economic development, and generated hundreds of thousands of jobs.

My great-grandfather Sinclair Weeks, a conservative businessman from New Hampshire, was charged with implementing the Interstate Highway System as Secretary of Commerce under President Eisenhower. Although few men of his generation were more committed to the principles of American free enterprise than he, Secretary Weeks, a lifelong Republican, recognized that private enterprise and public investment went hand-in-hand. No private business would ever undertake a project of such magnitude, in which the costs were concentrated and benefits diffuse, for it could never mobilize the necessary resources or justify the arrangement to shareholders. That was the job of government acting as a democratic embodiment of the public will.

The lesson is simple: It is the business of American business to responsibly and ethically advance the bottom line. It is the business of democratic governments to make the smart investments in infrastructure, education, public health, and more that lay the very foundation for economic growth – not just sixty years ago but today. When public and private sectors do their job, people thrive.

That is sadly not the case with the New Hampshire legislature and Executive Council today. Following the House’s lead, the NH Senate is poised to block the biggest investment in infrastructure development and economic growth for the state in a generation: commuter rail. In spite of near-unanimous private-sector support and the approval of 74% of Granite Staters, Republicans in the legislature and Executive Council appear determined to reject $4 million in federal funds to enter the development phase of the Capitol Rail Corridor, as recommended by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Governor in the Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan. No state taxpayer funds are in question at this stage.

Consider the costs and benefits of the rail proposal for our state. According to the Capitol Rail Corridor Study, a detailed analysis conducted over two years by the NH Rail Transit Authority under DOT, extending the Lowell-Boston rail line to Nashua, Manchester airport, and downtown Manchester would cost the state between $5-$10 million per year or approximately one-tenth of one percent of the state budget. In return for that investment, New Hampshire would leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds and spur the development of 3,620 rail and real estate construction jobs, 5,600 permanent jobs, 3,600 new residential units, and nearly 2 million square feet and $750 million worth of new commercial development by 2030.

The mandate from New Hampshire businesses could not be more clear. Facing a rapidly-aging population and increasing out-migration of our youth, the state’s leading Chambers of Commerce and businesses large and small have called for commuter rail to help fill vacant jobs and spur economic growth. Their voices, and those of the vast majority of residents across the state who support the project, should not be disregarded by the legislature and Executive Council.

The Capitol Corridor rail proposal is also about preserving New Hampshire’s vaunted quality of life. For the tens of thousands of Granite Staters who make the daily commute for work into Massachusetts, and thousands more Massachusetts residents who commute into southern New Hampshire, rail would provide a convenient, cost-effective, and environmentally-sustainable alternative to the region’s congested highways. And with half the state’s population residing in the Greater Manchester-Nashua region, rail would serve an estimated 700,000 weekday commuters per year.

A project of such magnitude requires careful thought and planning to ensure that precious public resources are well spent. That is why the state legislature is not being asked to commit to rail as yet. Rather, the proposal now before the Senate in the Ten Year Transportation Plan and HB 2016 is for project development alone, including financial planning, preliminary engineering, and environmental permitting required to leverage federal funds.

For the sake of our state’s economic and environmental health, our evolving work force, and our quality of life, I urge Republicans in Concord to return to their party’s proud tradition of infrastructure investment and accept the $4 million in non-state funding for the Capitol Corridor. Together, we can put New Hampshire back on (the) track.
Daniel Weeks, a 12th generation Granite Stater, is the former Executive Director of Open Democracy and a candidate for Executive Council in District 5.

 

What Is The NH Executive Council? Andru Volinsky Explains

What is New Hampshire’s Executive Council?

Andru Volinsky full

Andru Volisky, Candidate for NH’s Executive Council for District 2

Unless you a real NH political wonk, you probably do not know much about what the Executive Council’s role is in the New Hampshire government.

Today, Andru Volinsky, a candidate for Executive Council in district 2, released the first in a series of short videos to help people understand what the Executive Council is and why it is so important to elect Executive Councilors who are intent on keeping New Hampshire moving in the right direction.

“While visiting communities and meeting voters across District Two, I’ve realized the Executive Council is the most powerful governmental body that no one knows about. This video is the first in a series that illustrates the impact the Executive Council’s actions have on Granite Staters’ every day lives, from access to health care, transportation, and the judicial system,” said Andru Volinsky.

Over the past couple of years the Executive Council has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, worked to block the Medicaid Expansion, and block efforts to expand rail service to New Hampshire.  These are just of few of the many things the Executive Council deals with.

It is imperative that people understand the power that the Executive Council hold over the state and that we must elect strong leaders to the Council.

The next, full-length Volinsky for Executive Council campaign video will be released live at a Meet and Greet at True Brew Barista & Café in Bicentennial Square on Thursday, May 5th at 5 p.m.

Watch the full video here.

#DenyNAI: New Legislation To Stop Norwegian Air International From Undercutting Labor Laws

Image by Viaggio Routard FLIKR CC

Image by Viaggio Routard FLIKR CC

Congressional Representatives From Both Sides Of The Aisle, Introduce Legislation To Deny NAI’s Application To The DOT.

Today, Congress took a big step forward in protecting American workers and upholding our nations trade agreements, by introducing legislation to stop Norwegian Air International (NAI) from skirting international labor laws as they attempt to expand in the U.S.

NAI, is based in Norway, but the airline is incorporated in Ireland. This is called a “flag of convenience.” It allows NAI to avoid paying taxes in their home country and allows them to avoid strong labor laws in U.S – European Air Transport agreement.

“Norwegian Air International (NAI) and its attempt to launch a flag-of-convenience airline has once again drawn a strong bipartisan rebuke from lawmakers who have long held that our government should not give operating authority to foreign airlines that violate our trade rules and threaten U.S. airline jobs,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD).

“Norwegian Air International specifically set up operations in Ireland to avoid labor laws in Norway—a flagrant violation of the labor provisions in the agreement. We implore swift action by all lawmakers to get this legislation adopted in order to uphold labor protections in trade deals, protect good aviation jobs, and ensure the safest aviation system in the world,” said Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA).

“As the Norwegian Air saga continues to rear its ugly head, we are grateful to the members of Congress who stand up against this bogus proposal with commonsense legislation that protects good jobs and fair competition. This bill would fight the Department of Transportation’s effort to allow airlines to flout labor standards in order to pad their bottom lines. It sends a message to any company looking to operate in the United States: if you don’t care about working people, you aren’t welcome here,” wrote the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

In order for NAI to expand operations in the U.S. they would first need DOT approval. On April 15, the DOT tentatively approved NAI’s application.

“The Machinists Union applauds Congress for acting to stop the Department of Transportation’s ill-conceived decision to pave the way for NAI’s entry into the US aviation market. Any airline that registers its aircraft in foreign countries with lax safety and security standards and ‘rents’ its cabin crews from countries with no labor laws to lower costs shouldn’t be welcome in the United States,” said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja.

“Make no mistake: NAI’s scheme to gain entry into the US aviation market will unleash downward pressure on the wages, benefits and working conditions of airline workers here in the United States and cause airline workers to lose their jobs. That is unacceptable,” added Pantoja.

“NAI is a model for corporate practices that depress wages and diminish collective bargaining rights. It will contract—or more accurately ‘rent’— its flight crews through a recruitment firm based in Asia, which operates according to inferior labor laws. In doing so, NAI will be able to abuse weak labor protections to undercut U.S. airlines and their employees with significantly lower compensation and benefits,” added TWU.

Today, Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) introduced the bill, HR 5090, to deny NAI’s application.

Watch Rep DeFaszio on why we should Deny NAI’s application.

Congressman Larson said that allowing NAI to violate international labor laws would “reward countries that break their commitments to protecting workers.”

“My colleagues and I have been clear with DOT that strong labor standards must factor into NAI’s air carrier permit decision. Today, we are introducing legislation that would prohibit DOT from issuing a permit to NAI if doing so would undermine labor standards,” Congressman Larsen said. “Granting an air carrier permit to NAI would say to the world that the U.S. rewards other countries that break their commitments to protecting workers. Our agreements with other countries are only as strong as our ability and willingness to enforce them, which is why I am pushing hard for the U.S. to hold other countries accountable for their end of the deal.”

After the bill was introduced, leaders from the major aviation unions praised their swift action in stopping NAI’s application.

“ALPA commends Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) for standing up for U.S. airline workers and introducing bipartisan legislation that will prevent Norwegian Air International from serving the United States with a business plan that is designed to undermine labor standards and the intent of one of this country’s international trade agreements,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA’s president.

“We applaud the immediate action of Representatives Peter DeFazio, Frank LoBiondo, Rick Larsen, Lynn Westmoreland to stop this downward spiral on U.S. aviation and good jobs,” added Nelson.

“This legislation is a timely response to the DOT’s April 15 Show Cause Order that moves NAI closer to gaining access to U.S. markets. We criticized that decision because we know that NAI’s business model blatantly violates the labor provisions negotiated into the U.S.-EU aviation trade accord. Inexplicably, the DOT ignored the strict international labor standards it negotiated into U.S.-EU agreement and now faces a final decision on whether it will enforce the labor article or greenlight this low-road air carrier whose operating plan will destroy fair competition and extinguish middle-class airline jobs here and in Europe,” added Wytkind.

“The legislation introduced today requires our government to fully enforce the labor protections in aviation trade agreements it negotiates, and makes it clear that a decision by DOT to permit NAI to launch air service to U.S. markets will not stand. We urge the DOT to reassess the compelling facts in this case, reverse course and deny NAI’s application,” Wytkind concluded.

Granite State Rumblings: Helping Children Through Extended Illnesses and Importance Of Reading Everyday

One of the hardest things for a family to go through is a child’s extended illness. It does not matter how old the child is, or how severe the illness, when your kid is not well, the world seems to be off its axis.

The longer the illness lingers and the more severe it is can bring great stress to the primary caregiver, family relationships, and the ability to rationalize. All you want is for the pain to stop, the medications to do their job, and the smile on your child’s face to return. Time seems to move more slowly and days and nights become one.

If the child needs to be hospitalized it can be a difficult time for him or her no matter their age. Illness and hospital stays are both stressful. They disrupt a child’s life and can interfere with normal development.

While they are in the hospital, children may miss their friends and family. They may be bored, and they may be afraid. They may not understand why they are in the hospital, or they may have false beliefs about what is happening to them.

Many hospitals now have on staff as part of their multi-disciplinary health care team someone who is known as a Child Life Specialist. I first heard of this position when a former intern asked me to write a recommendation to include with her application to the program.

Since then, I have seen the amazing work they do while Spidey has been in and out of Boston Children’s Hospital the last four months due to complications from a perforated appendix. I also have high praise and much admiration for the doctors, nurses, and other members of his medical team. His care has been extraordinary. He will overcome this and flag football, fishing, and Fisher Cats games will be back on our agenda.

I hope that you never have to spend a prolonged amount of time in a hospital with your child or grandchild, but if you do, please be sure to ask for the Child Life Specialist to pay a visit.

Here is information about the Child Life Specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital:

Child Life Specialists enhance a patient’s emotional, social and cognitive growth during a hospital stay, giving special consideration to each child’s family, culture and stage of development.

Using developmental interventions and play, they help patients and families adjust to and understand the hospital and their medical situation.

Child Life Specialists:

  • Help patients develop ways to cope with fear, anxiety, separation and adjustment to the hospital experience
  • Provide consultation to the health care team regarding developmental and psycho-social issues
  • Provide preparation and individualized support before and after medical procedures
  • Facilitate developmentally appropriate play, including medical play, at the bedside, in activity rooms and in clinic areas
  • Initiate tutoring services

As professionals trained to work with children in medical settings, each Specialist holds a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the areas of child life, child development, special education or recreational therapy. Many Child Life Specialists are also professionally certified and affiliated with the National Child Life Council.

Child Life Specialists are also available to help families with questions that may arise about a child’s behavior and adjustment to home or school after they have been in the hospital. We offer:

  • “Back-to-school” programs, on referral, following a patient’s extended hospital stay
  • Resources tailored to meet your child’s needs
  • Suggestions to ease transition and recovery

Visit Activities for Patients for more information about activities provided by Child Life Specialists.

Mother reading to children (Neeta Lind Flikr)GROWING UP GRANITE

Have you seen those bumper stickers that say, Read Aloud to a Child Every Day? Does reading aloud to a child really matter?

YES!

And here is why:

Reading aloud helps children acquire early language skills.

  • Reading aloud is widely recognized as the single most important activity leading to literacy acquisition.  Among other things, reading aloud builds word-sound awareness in children, a potent predictor of reading success.
  • “Children who fall seriously behind in the growth of critical early reading skills have fewer opportunities to practice reading. Evidence suggests that these lost practice opportunities make it extremely difficult for children who remain poor readers during the first three years of elementary school to ever acquire average levels of reading fluency.” Torgeson, J. Avoiding the Devastating Downward Spiral, American Educator. (2004)
  • Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory. Bardige, B. Talk to Me, Baby! (2009), Paul H Brookes Pub Co.
  • Reading aloud stimulates language development even before a child can talk. Bardige, B. Talk to Me, Baby! (2009), Paul H Brookes Pub Co.
  • Research shows that the more words parents use when speaking to an 8-month-old infant, the greater the size of their child’s vocabulary at age 3. The landmark Hart-Risley study on language development documented that children from low-income families hear as many as 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers before the age of 4. Hart, B. Risley, T. Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children (1995), Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Reading aloud helps children develop positive associations with books and reading.

  • The nurturing and one-on-one attention from parents during reading aloud encourages children to form a positive association with books and reading later in life.
  • Reading aloud is a proven technique to help children cope during times of stress or tragedy.
  • Reading aloud is a good way to help a child acclimate to new experiences. As your child approaches a major developmental milestone or a potentially stressful experience, sharing a relevant story is a great way to help ease the transition. For instance, if your little one is nervous about starting preschool, reading a story dealing with this topic shows her that her anxiety is normal.

Reading aloud helps children build a stronger foundation for school success.

  • “What happens during the first months and years of life matters, a lot, not because this period of development provides an indelible blueprint for adult well-being, but because it sets either a sturdy or fragile stage for what follows.” J.S. Shonkoff & D. Phillips, Eds., From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development (2000), Washington D.C.; National Research Council & The Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press.
  • Once children start school, difficulty with reading contributes to school failure, which can increase the risk of absenteeism, leaving school, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy – all of which can perpetuate the cycles of poverty and dependency.
  • Reading aloud in the early years exposes children to story and print knowledge as well as rare words and ideas not often found in day-to-day conversations or screen time.
  • Reading aloud gives children the opportunity to practice listening – a crucial skill for kindergarten and beyond.
  • Reading aloud to a child gives them the basics of how to read a book. Children aren’t born with an innate knowledge that text is read from left to right, or that the words on a page are separate from the images. Essential pre-reading skills like these are among the major benefits of early reading.
  • Reading aloud helps them develop more logical thinking skills. Another illustration of the importance of reading to children is their ability to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment. As your toddler or preschooler begins to relate the scenarios in books to what’s happening in his own world, he’ll become more excited about the stories you share.

Reading aloud is, according to the landmark 1985 report “Becoming a Nation of Readers,” “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.”

Despite this advice, however, some educators and many parents don’t read aloud to children from a young age and thus fail to nurture avid and skilled readers. Indeed, this is especially true for children in low-income families. According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, only 48 percent of families below the poverty level read to their preschoolers each day, compared with 64 percent of families whose incomes were at or above the poverty level. Children from low-income families are also less likely to have exposure to print materials.

So now that Spring is in the air and Summer is right around the corner have some fun, free time with your child. Visit the library and get some books.

Then in addition to the usual reading places—a couch, an overstuffed armchair, a child’s bed—consider less traditional ones:

  • Outside under a shady tree, in a sandbox or a hammock, or at a nearby park.
  • Toss a sheet over a clothesline or table to create a reading hideaway.
  • Keep a book in the glove compartment of your car for long road trips or traffic delays.
  • Spread a blanket on the floor for an indoor reading picnic.
  • Use your imagination. Almost every room in your house offers exciting reading possibilities.

Happy reading!

NARAL Endorses Hassan, Releases New Ad Calling On Ayotte To #DoYourJob

NARAL Launches Ad Campaign Questioning Sen. Ayotte’s Misplaced Priorities, Failure to Do Her Job

Screen shot from ad

Screen shot from ad

Group Announces Endorsement Of Maggie Hassan for U.S. Senate

NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC today announced a TV and digital ad buy targeting incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte for failing to do the job she was elected to do. Even though 75 percent of New Hampshire voters oppose restricting access to legal abortion, Sen. Ayotte has focused her energy on restricting reproductive freedom and defunding Planned Parenthood. Now, she’s even refusing to do her job to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, proving yet again that she doesn’t share the priorities of Granite State families.

NARAL today also announced its endorsement of New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan in her race for U.S. Senate. As only the second woman to hold the office of Governor in New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan has always put women and families first and has stood firm against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood or make it harder for women to access reproductive care.

“In her six years in the Senate, Sen. Ayotte has time and again proven that she doesn’t share the same priorities as the hardworking people of New Hampshire,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “She promised to go to Washington and makes things easier for people in the Granite State. Instead of doing that job, she has been obsessed with restricting access to abortion even for survivors of sex trafficking, making it harder to get birth control, and shutting down Planned Parenthood. Now, she’s refusing to do her job and fill the vacancy on our nation’s highest court.”

“Maggie Hassan is an unwavering defender of our reproductive freedom,” added Hogue. “As Governor, Maggie Hassan has always stood with women and families across the Granite State. She fought back against attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood and led the successful bipartisan effort to protect the safety of women who seek reproductive care. We are proud to stand with Governor Maggie Hassan in her campaign for U.S. Senate because she has always stood up for us. In this election, the choice in New Hampshire is clear.”

The ad features Deb, a working mother, long time New Hampshire resident, and NARAL member from North Hampton. In the ad, Deb explains how she shows up to do her job every day and that she expects no less for her senator. Unfortunately, Sen. Ayotte is not doing the job she was elected to do. In the direct-to-camera spot, Deb calls out Sen. Ayotte for being obsessed with rolling back access to abortion and birth control instead of doing her job on important issues like filling the vacancy on our nation’s highest court.

To see NARAL’s ad questioning Sen. Ayotte’s priorities, click here.

Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier Endorses Mark Connolly For NH Governor

 BERLIN — Today, four-term Mayor Paul Grenier of Berlin endorsed Mark Connolly for Governor: 

“Today, I’m announcing my support for Mark Connolly for Governor. I believe that Mark’s broad experience in both public service and the private sector and his history of fighting to level the playing field for New Hampshire families make him the ideal candidate,” Grenier said. “Like Governors Shaheen, Lynch, and Hassan, Mark has shown a strong commitment to continuing to bring economic development to the North Country, and I look forward to working with him in the coming years.” 

“Paul’s work as Mayor has exemplified how a truly collaborative approach can bring jobs back to his city and build it anew,” Connolly said. “He’s a master of municipal management, and he’s earned his popularity through his tireless commitment not only to Berlin but also to Coös County as a whole. I’m proud to have his endorsement, and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and work with him as Governor to build on his good efforts and keep Berlin, and the North Country as a whole, moving forward.”

Mayor Paul Grenier first took office in 2010 and was re-elected last year with nearly 70 percent of the vote. A champion of the North Country and the Vice Chair of the Coös County Commissioners, Grenier has led the economic redevelopment of Berlin, creating jobs, rehabilitating housing, and more. 

Mark Connolly is a New Hampshire native and a former State Representative and Deputy Secretary of State. He has served over 30 years as a business and community leader. From 2002–2010, he was New Hampshire’s top financial regulator. Mark currently owns a business and resides in New Castle. 

The NHDP Fires Back At The O’Connor Campaign, O’Connor Responds With More Accusations

The plot thickens.  

The New Hampshire Democratic Party is now squarely in the middle of the potential lawsuit bonanza from the Shawn O’Connor campaign.

First it was a lawsuit against Carol Shea-Porter where he alleged she is running a “whisper campaign” against him.   He release multiple statements accusing Shea-Porter but all of the people who came forward in support of O’Connor all confirmed hearing rumors but none could connect it to the Shea-Porter campaign.

Apparently he also tried to use the same tactics to attack the NH Democratic Party and Chairman Buckley for not intervening.  Today Attorney William Christie representing the NHDP responded to those claims.

“Over the past two weeks Congressional Candidate Shawn O’Connor has made public statements regarding his opponent in the Democratic Primary for New Hampshire’s First Congressional District.  Among other things, Mr. O’Connor has told the public he asked the New Hampshire Democratic Party (“NHDP”) to mediate a resolution to the allegations he has raised.  This characterization of Mr. O’Connor’s communications with NHDP is inaccurate. 

In early March 2016, Mr. O’Connor threatened to file a lawsuit against NHDP citing vague allegations that he had been defamed by NHDP employees.  Despite several requests by NHDP, Mr. O’Connor refused to provide any specifics regarding his complaints.  Throughout the process, Mr. O’Connor has made inappropriate and troubling demands including a suggestion that NHDP or some other third party should pay Mr. O’Connor money to withdraw from the congressional race.  

NHDP has refused to respond to these demands.  Mr. O’Connor has now renewed his threat to sue NHDP.  If Mr. O’Connor files suit, NHDP will reply in the proper forum and we fully anticipate this controversy will be resolved in NHDP’s favor.”

After this statement was released by the NHDP, O’Connor quickly released his own statement, full of more outrageous accusations, claiming all of the allegations from the NHDP are false.

“I was dismayed by the spurious and completely false allegations made against me by Attorney Bob Christie of Shaheen & Gordon in a statement released today by the New Hampshire Democratic Party,” said O’Connor.

As O’Connor did in previous statements, he included a rundown of accusations but fails to include any specifics like, who was spreading these rumors about him, just more nameless accusations.

On February 19, 2016, I contacted NHDP Chairman Buckley with a list of 10 detailed, demonstrably false allegations that had been disseminated by NHDP staffers and members of Carol Shea-Porter’s campaign team and asked Chairman Buckley to help end the dissemination of these untruthful statements…

On March 2, 2016, my attorney sent a detailed, 8-page letter to Chairman Buckley, the New Hampshire Democratic Party, Carol Shea-Porter and the Shea-Porter campaign outlining, again, in great detail the numerous false allegations being spread by NHDP staffers and the Shea-Porter campaign…

(At time of publication I contacted the O’Connor campaign requesting copies of the above letters and received no response.)

Again he reiterates his plan to sue the NHDP while affirming that he can back up his statement but will not release that information until the “appropriate time.”

We consider Mr. Christie’s accusations on behalf of the NHDP today defamation per se and will pursue our legal rights against the party. We have substantial correspondence and documentation supporting this and all the other statements made in this release which we will make public at the appropriate time.

Lastly he is accusing the NHDP of “taking sides” in the primary by refusing to get involved in this He-said She-said dispute between O’Connor and Shea-Porter.

Finally, we have long contested that the NHDP has been violating Section E(1), specifically Subsections E(1)(j) and E(1)(h) of the state party’s constitution (on which I relied in entering the party’s primary). These sections of the party constitution require that the NHDP remain neutral in party primaries. Today’s completely unprovoked attack on me serves as further proof that the party is supporting Ms. Shea-Porter and violating its own constitution. This is both undemocratic and un-Democratic.”

Just to clarify (and I am not a lawyer) but this statement says that the NH Democratic Party’s attorney is protecting the NHDP and it’s Chair, Ray Buckley.  Nothing in their statement says they are defending Carol Shea-Porter.  Furthermore, they are trying to stay out of this entire outrageous dispute being pushed by Shawn O’Connor and are therefor trying to stay completely neutral.  Forcing them to defend you, Mr O’Connor, would mean they have taken sides as well.

I guess Mr. O’Connor is finding it hard than he thought it would be to move to NH and buy himself a Congressional seat, so he is going to sue his opponents until there is nobody left to run against him.


The NH Union Leader also covered this story but did not include O’Connor’s statement.


Related Reading: Guest Editorial: Why Shawn O’Connor is a Liability to Democrats

Guest Editorial: Why Shawn O’Connor is a Liability to Democrats

 

Written by Charlie “Chaz” Proulx

Since moving to Bedford from New York a few years ago, Shawn O’Connor has gone from doing next to nothing to help NH Democrats to becoming a major liability.

A short history:

On November 24, 2014 James Pindell wrote this about Shawn O’Connor’s preparations to run for the US senate against Kelly Ayotte. “Shawn O’Connor moved from New York City to Bedford last year and has not been particularly active in local Democratic politics. He has not given money to any federal candidates…according to the Federal Election website. Though a day before the Nov. 4 election, he did give $1,000. each to the Manchester Democratic Committee and to Executive Councilor Chris Pappas.”

Two thousand dollars isn’t very much for the founder and former president of Stratus Prep. According to O’Connor, “I sold the business for a ten figure valuation to a private equity firm.” Ten figures is a billion dollars.

It’s to his credit that he made so much money so young. But really–two thousand dollars? And beyond money, there are plenty of other things New Hampshire Democrats do to help keep the party strong. Shawn did none of them.

Most NH Democrats get active in one way or another and start making like-minded friends. New Hampshire is a small state where networking is very personal. But when I heard that Shawn O’Connor was running for Congress in the first district neither I nor anyone I knew in politics knew anything about him. Soon enough he claimed to have hired the Berenson Strategy Group and other ultra heavy hitters from outside NH to shape his image.

Creating an image for Mr. O’Connor had to be a challenge because a few years ago he was touting the “Third Way” movement in Forbes magazine. He singled out Democrats for wanting to raise taxes.

Somehow O’Connor then pivoted to become a Bernie Sanders supporter. Strange, because last summer his publicized political issues list never mentioned income equality. I saw him speak three times and there was no mention of Bernie Sanders either.

Now he’s all in with all the Bernie trappings. A recent O’Connor television ad co-opted Sanders “Join the Revolution” slogan. That’s a long way from Steve Forbes rag and anti tax rhetoric.

We all have epiphanies, but I suspect that Mr. O’Connor and his handlers watched Sanders pre-primary numbers and saw an opportunity to differentiate himself from Jeanne Shaheen, Carol Shea’Porter and Maggie Hassan — all of whom endorsed Hillary Clinton.

An early hint of mild negativity was to lump Maggie, Carol and Jeanne together as “establishment.” Shortly thereafter O’Connor press releases began reeking of a holier-than-thou attitude towards Shea-Porter. He attacked Carol’s character over accepting Union Pac money. He failed to mention that when Carol won her first primary the campaign had $19,000, then refused DCCC money and still managed to beat Jeb Bradley.

That win had everything to do with the networks of friend and activists I mentioned above. It was a true grass roots effort — one of the biggest upsets in NH political history. CSP had spent less than any other winning candidate for Congress in the entire US.

Then of course came the threats to sue Carol Shea-Porter. Before the threats hit the papers, O’Connor was lawyered up and pressuring leaders of the NHDP to “mediate” between him and Carol Shea-Porter. What a crazy – assed stunt when true Democrats are focused on a Presidential election year.

Turmoil followed. In the media Mr. O’Connor’s dragged State Sen. David Pierce into the mix. Sen. Pierce had endorsed Mr. O’Connor, but he found himself defending Mr. O’Connors over-the-top allegations of a “defamatory whisper campaign” against him. O’Connor has since called the “whisper campaign” part of a “broad conspiracy” perpetrated by Carol Shea-Porter. (My take is that at the very worst, somebody “misspoke” to Senator Pierce then “walked the statement back” a few days later.) I met David Pierce when he first moved to NH and respect him a lot. I can’t imagine that any of this was comfortable for him.

Next O’Connor told the press that members of Bernie Sanders campaign would corroborate his “whisper campaign” story. Two major staffers names were splashed across the press and local television. Both denied O’Connor’s allegations.

The Sanders Campaign didn’t need these distractions, but needy Shawn did.

And then there’s Twitter. Mr. O’Connor ties anyone who doesn’t agree with him to CSP campaign. People who have never had anything to do with CSP are called CSP hacks.

And if he doesn’t like what you write he’ll just make up something about you. Actually he’ll lie about you. Openly Gay, he has Tweeted that I’m Anti LBTG anti Domestic Survivor.” People who know me know that’s a lie, but his supporters probably believe I’m a bigot.

America Rising (Republican opposition research pac) is now attacking Shea Porter based on Shawn’s meme. Does Shawn understand that he’s tossing red-meat to the GOP?

I have no idea what motivates Mr. O’Connor but his all-about-Shawn act is wearing thinner every day.

 


Related Reading: The NHDP Fires Back At The O’Connor Campaign, O’Connor Responds With More Accusations

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