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Fact Check: On Earth Day, A Look At Kelly Ayotte’s True Record On Energy & The Environment

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Concord, N.H. – As Kelly Ayotte tries to “greenwash” her record of protecting big oil subsidies and undermining critical environmental protections, this Earth Day it’s important to look back at Ayotte’s true record on energy and the environment.

“From voting repeatedly to protect subsidies for the biggest oil companies to weakening critical protections that keep our water safe and our air clean, Kelly Ayotte’s true record on energy and the environment speaks louder than her empty words,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “This Earth Day, we must recommit ourselves to defeating Ayotte, who has a lifetime score of 23% on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard, and replacing her with a Senator who will represent New Hampshire’s interests, not those of big oil.”

See below for a rundown of Kelly Ayotte’s true record on energy and the environment:

AYOTTE STANDS WITH KOCH BROTHERS, AGAINST NH’S ENVIRONMENT

Ayotte Has a Lifetime Score of 23% on the League of Conservation Voters National Environmental Scorecard And Got A 0% In 2014 [LCV, accessed 4/20/15]

In 2010, Ayotte Said “I Don’t Think the Evidence [on Climate Change] is Conclusive.” Ayotte told the Portsmouth Herald editorial board: “…there is scientific evidence that demonstrates there is some impact from human activities. However I don’t think the evidence is conclusive.” [Portsmouth Herald, 9/30/2010]

Ayotte Signed Koch Brothers Pledge to Vote Against “Any Legislation on Climate Change.” “[Ayotte] once pledged to Americans for Prosperity—the Koch brothers’ main political arm—that she would vote against any legislation on climate change.” [The New Republic, 2/5/15]

FORCING CONSTRUCTION OF KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

Ayotte Voted To Disregard The Federal Review Process And Force Construction Of The Keystone XL Pipeline. In March 2015, Ayotte voted to pass, over President Obama’s Feb. 24, 2015 veto, a bill that would bypass the normal review process for the Keystone XL pipeline and immediately allow TransCanada to construct, connect, operate and maintain the pipeline and cross-border facilities known as the Keystone XL pipeline. [S. 1, Vote 68, 3/4/15]

PROTECTING BIG OIL SUBSIDIES

Ayotte Repeatedly Voted To Protect Tax Breaks For The Largest Oil Companies. Ayotte voted against the “Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act” in 2011 and the “Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act” in 2012 that would have closed more than $20 billion in tax loopholes for the five biggest oil companies. [S. 940, Vote 72, 5/17/11; S. 2204, Vote 63, 3/29/12]

EXPANDING OFFSHORE DRILLING AND WEAKENING OVERSIGHT

Ayotte Voted To Expand Offshore Drilling With Oversight Standard That Were Weaker Than The Ones In Place Before The 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced S. 953, the deceptively titled Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011, which would expand offshore drilling and make it more dangerous by enacting oversight standards that are weaker than those in place before the catastrophic 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which tragically killed eleven workers, wreaked havoc on Gulf coast businesses in the fishing and tourism industries, and damaged coastal and marine ecosystems.” [LCV, accessed 4/21/15]

UMDERMINING CLEAN POWER PLAN

Ayotte Voted For Amendment Undermining Enforcement of Clean Power Plan. In March 2015, Ayotte voted for: “McConnell, R-Ky., amendment no. 836 that would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow for legislation that would prohibit the EPA from withholding highway funds from states that refuse to submit state implementation plans required under the agency’s clean power rule.” The amendment was adopted, 57-43. [S.Con.Res. 11, S.Amdt. 836, Vote 116, 3/26/15]

WEAKENING CLEAN WATER PROTECTIONS

Ayotte Voted In Favor Of An Amendment That Would Threaten Waters Americans Depend On For Drinking, Swimming, And Fishing. “The amendment would bar the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from restoring longstanding Clean Water Act protections to critical streams and wetlands across the nation. It would prohibit the Army Corps and EPA from limiting pollution in waterways that supply public drinking water for 117 million Americans” [LCV, accessed 4/20/15]

NH Democratic Party Memo to GOP Presidential Hopefuls

MEMO

To: GOP Presidential Hopefuls

From: New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley

Welcome to New Hampshire! We hope you enjoy your time here, but we want to warn you that you may find yourselves less than pleased with our inclusive, bipartisan policies that have made the Granite State a wonderful place to live.

Paycheck fairness

Just this past year, our governor, Governor Hassan, signed a bipartisan Paycheck Fairness Act, which will level the playing field for countless women across New Hampshire. Last Tuesday was equal pay day, and it was an especially proud day for New Hampshire this year.

Because you’re all pandering to the extreme right in your party, we imagine our new law makes you feel pretty uncomfortable. This is what we know about you and your take on equal pay:

  • Jeb Bush stated that he did not know what the Paycheck Fairness Act was when he was asked about it.

  • Chris Christie vetoed equal pay legislation calling it “senseless bureaucracy.”

  • Rick Perry vetoed an equal pay law and said focusing on the issue was “nonsense.”

  • Scott Walker repealed an equal pay law saying it was a “bogus issue.”

  • Marco Rubio said the Paycheck Fairness Act was about “scoring political points,” “wasting time,” and a “show vote.”  

  • Rand Paul compared the Paycheck Fairness Act to the Soviet Politburo.

Same-sex marriage

New Hampshire has been proud to allow same-sex couples to marry here since our marriage equality law passed in 2009. We know that the marriage equality in our state has made us stronger. But we also know that your stances on marriage equality are out of the mainstream and­ would move our country backwards. We find your views on same-sex marriage wrong, and in some cases, totally bizarre.

  • Jeb Bush not only opposes marriage equality, he even said a federal constitutional amendment preventing same-sex marriage was “the right thing”

  • Rand Paul doesn’t believe in the concept of gay rights, because, as he puts it, “I don’t really believe in rights based on your behavior.”

  • Scott Walker has doubled down on his opposition to same-sex marriage and pledges to fight against the legalization of gay marriage.

  • Marco Rubio is opposed to same-sex marriage, helped raise money for an abusive “ex-gay therapy” organization, and has said that he thinks gay adoption is a social experiment.

  • Ted Cruz proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would keep gay marriage out of states that didn’t allow it

  • Chris Christie has said he is “not a fan” of same-sex marriage, and even vetoed same-sex marriage legislation in New Jersey hours after it was passed.

  • Bobby Jindal supported a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and held a prayer rally sponsored by a group that tied Hurricane Katrina to the rising approval of same-sex marriage.

  • Rick Perry supported a federal marriage amendment and compared homosexuality to alcoholism.

Anti-discrimination legislation

In New Hampshire we’re also proud to have legislation on the books – for about 20 years actually – that prevents discrimination against individuals based on who they love.

We imagine that might alarm you, based on the discriminatory stances you’ve taken:

  • Mike Pence of Indiana’s new law gives business owners the right to deny service to LGBT Americans.

  • Jeb Bush made his anti-LGBT stance clear when he voiced support for right to discriminate legislation that would give businesses the right to refuse services to LGBT people. His comments are a clear attack on the LGBT community and just go to show that he wants to turn back the clock on progress we have made.

  • Rand Paul thought that businesses should have the right to discriminate against gay Americans, arguing it should be left up to the “marketplace.”

  • Ted Cruz believes that the government should not force anyone to serve same-sex couples if it goes against their religion and even sponsored legislation that would give organizations a license to discriminate against same-sex couples.

  • Marco Rubio not only voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because it would provide “special protections” for gay people, but he also believes businesses should be able to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Guaranteed access to contraception

Sixteen years ago, our state passed bipartisan legislation that requires contraception to be covered by a woman’s health insurance. This law means that we don’t discriminate against women, won’t take away their right to comprehensive health care, and even save them hundreds or thousands of dollars that they can now spend on education, groceries, child care – you name it. Sounds like many of you want to take away that right, though:

  • Just one month before the Supreme Court gave a woman’s boss the ability to take her birth control away from her in the Hobby Lobby decision, Jeb Bush praised companies, organizations, and individuals who would fight for the ability to take away a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions

  • Chris Christie supported the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision shortly after refusing to comment on the case and said he wasn’t concerned about the impact the case would have on women. He also opposed requiring insurers to cover contraceptives for women.

  • Scott Walker refused to enforce a Wisconsin law that requires insurers to cover birth control.

  • Ted Cruz was a leading Hobby Lobby supporter in the U.S. Senate, and even stumped for the company on the U.S. Senate floor in support of their anti-women policies.

  • Rand Paul agreed with Hobby Lobby’s anti-woman policies and accused President Obama of using the government to attack the company.

  • Marco Rubio compared Hobby Lobby’s policy of taking away a woman’s access to health care to an “American Tradition”.

  • Bobby Jindal called contraception an “abortifacient”, expressing zero understanding of what contraception even is.

On Equal Pay Day, Granite Staters Reminded of Kelly Ayotte’s Opposition to Paycheck Fairness

The NH Paycheck Fairness Act Passed the State Senate Unanimously, Yet Ayotte Has Voted Four Times Against the Paycheck Fairness Act in Washington

Concord, N.H. – On Equal Pay Day, Granite Staters are reminded that despite the broad bipartisan support for the NH Paycheck Fairness Act (which passed unanimously in the State Senate), Kelly Ayotte has voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act four times in Washington.

Equal Pay Day marks how many days into this year women have to work in order to earn the same amount that men earned last year.

“Last year, I was proud to see members of both parties come together to pass the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women can earn equal pay for equal work,” said former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan. “It’s clear that Kelly Ayotte is representing the interests of her party’s leadership in Washington, not the interests of the people of New Hampshire who overwhelmingly support equal pay legislation, regardless of party affiliation.”

Ayotte Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act Four Times. [Vote 82, 3/24/15; Vote 262, 9/15/14; Vote 103, 4/9/14; Vote 115, 6/5/12]

Marco Rubio’s Games Are Wrong For New Hampshire

 
Prior to Marco Rubio’s announcement for president, New Hampshire House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff released the following statement questioning Marco Rubio’s credentials for President of the United States.

“As a former Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal and a Vietnam veteran, it’s important to me that the person we charge with protecting and defending our nation take the responsibility seriously. Marco Rubio has proven he is not that person. His purely political approach to the issues that matter most for our national security is not presidential and demonstrates that he’s not ready to take on our country’s biggest threats as commander in chief. Even with the benefit of hindsight, Rubio said we are better off because of George W. Bush’s war in Iraq. And just a few weeks ago, Marco Rubio was part of a damaging Republican effort to derail the United States’ negotiations with Iran to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. When asked about the letter last month, he actually said he’d do it all over again, expressing no remorse for undermining the negotiations – and if there was any question Rubio was playing politics with our national security, he used the letter to raise money for his campaign. New Hampshire needs a true leader in the White House, not someone who is more committed to playing political games than our country’s security. Granite Staters can see right through Marco Rubio.”

Marco Rubio’s policies show that he would rather pander to the Republican base than do what’s right for his constituents and the country.

·         Marco Rubio is wrong for New Hampshire families. Instead of fighting for middle class families, he wants to cut taxes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, all while supporting a tax increase for the hardworking Americans. He even opposes raising the minimum wage, and said the idea was “silly”.
·         Marco Rubio is wrong for New Hampshire seniors. He wants to reopen the prescription drug donut hole, end Medicare as we know it, and has said that programs like Social Security and Medicare have “weakened us as a people”.
·         Marco Rubio is wrong for New Hampshire women. Marco Rubio has said that even if every single one of his constituents did not want him to restrict access to health care for women, he’d still vote to restrict it. He even said bringing up the Paycheck Fairness Act was “wasting time.”
·         Marco Rubio is wrong for New Hampshire’s young people. Instead of voting to make it easier for young people to afford college, Marco Rubio opposed legislation to allow young people to refinance student loans. He also proudly supported the Republican budget, which guts meaningful investments in education.

Kelly Ayotte Travels to NYC for Another Fundraiser with Anti-Wall St. Reform Mega Donor Paul Singer

Fundraiser Comes Less than Two Weeks after Ayotte Voted for Wall Street-Supported Attack on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, A Top Target of Singer’s

Concord, N.H. – Vice Presidential wannabe Kelly Ayotte travelled to New York City today for another Wall Street fundraiser co-hosted by anti-Wall Street reform GOP mega donor Paul Singer, whose hedge fund company Elliott Management is Ayotte’s top all-time donor with nearly $100k in contributions.

The fundraiser comes less than two weeks after Ayotte voted for “a Wall Street-supported amendment attacking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” (CFPB). The CFPB has received more than 2,000 consumer complaints from New Hampshire residents since December 2011.

Singer, a “vocal opponent” of  the Wall Street reform bill that created the CFPB, has also held other fundraisers for Senate candidates, including Ayotte, who oppose Wall Street reform.

“Kelly Ayotte has consistently proven that she will always put her special interest donors first while making New Hampshire consumers pay the price. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is critical for protecting the financial well being of our citizens from the worst practices of Wall Street, yet Ayotte is now taking even more money from Wall Street mega donors trying to bring the CFPB down,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley.

“While Ayotte’s staunch opposition to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may be popular with her Wall Street mega donors, New Hampshire voters will not forget that Ayotte sold us out to protect her Wall Street cronies,” added Buckley.

BACKGROUND

Paul Singer’s Hedge Fund Company Elliott Management Is Ayotte’s Top All-Time Donor With Nearly $100k In Contributions. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Ayotte had received $95,442 from Elliott Management over her career as a federal candidate. No other entity has contributed more to Ayotte. [Center for Responsive Politics, Accessed 3/30/15].

Less than Two Weeks Ago, Ayotte Voted For “A Wall Street-Supported Amendment Attacking The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” That Would Let Republicans Slash Its Funding. According to the Huffington Post, “The amendment, offered by Sens. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), is a resolution to move the CFPB’s funding away from the Federal Reserve and put it under the direct control of Congress through the appropriations process. This would not only give Republicans an opportunity to slash the bureau’s funding, but to leverage its budgeting control to pressure the agency against cracking down on lenders.  […] Three of the Republicans who voted for the bill are up for re-election in 2016 in swing states, including Toomey and Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). “ [Huffington Post, 3/20/15]

Ayotte Also Voted Against Confirming Richard Cordray To Be Director Of CFPB. In July 2013, Ayotte voted against confirmation of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Richard Cordray of Ohio to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [CQ; Vote 174, 7/16/13]

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Had Received More Than 2,000 Consumer Complaints From New Hampshire Since December 2011. [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Consumer Complaint Database, Accessed 3/23/15]

Washington Post’s The Fix: Singer Was “A Vocal Opponent” Of Wall Street Reform. “Soon after Congress passed the Dodd-Frank bill — of which he is a vocal opponent — in 2010, he held a fundraiser at his house in Central Park West for seven senate candidates who had opposed the legislation.’” [Washington Post, The Fix 4/4/14]

According To A Fundraiser Invite, Singer Held A Fundraiser At His New York City Home For Ayotte. In February 2010, Ayotte was scheduled to attend a fundraiser hosted by Singer at his home in New York City. Ayotte was listed among the beneficiaries of the fundraiser, along with other Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. [Singer Fundraiser Invite, 2/24/10]

Karl Rove’s Dark Money Group Twists the Facts About Governor Hassan’s Fiscally Responsible Budget Proposal

Crossroads GPS LogoKarl Rove’s Crossroads GPS Tries to Push Its Out-of-State, Anti-Middle Class Agenda in New Hampshire

Concord, N.H. – Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, a dark money group that was created to shield the identity of its donors, is out with a new radio ad twisting the facts about Governor Hassan’s fiscally responsible budget proposal.

“New Hampshire voters don’t look kindly on out-of-states like Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers who think they can buy their power here,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “Karl Rove’s radical agenda puts his special interest donors first while making middle class families and small businesses pay the price. Karl Roves’ backward anti-middle class policies aren’t welcome in the Granite State.”

See below for a complete fact check of Karl Rove’s false ad:

Crossroads: “When money’s tight, families in New Hampshire set priorities and make tough decisions. And that’s what we expect from our leaders too.”

Fact: Governor Hassan’s budget makes the difficult, fiscally responsible decisions needed to balance the budget – without an income or sales tax – while investing in the priorities necessary to seize our full economic potential. The Governor’s fiscally responsible budget cut total agency budget requests by more than $1 billion and general funds requests by more than $523 million, and budgets many state agencies at or below FY 2015 levels.

Crossroads: “Governor Hassan’s priorities. The Union Leader called her budget quote a disappointment, saying the governor quote made her priorities clear: more spending, higher taxes, more state employees and no real innovation.”

Fact: The Governor’s budget keeps total spending increases to 6.4 percent over two years – far below historic averages – and allows New Hampshire to continue to make progress on key priorities. Adjusted for inflation, the 2016 general and education trust fund budget is at least $250 million less than the state spent in 2004.

The budget also draws on recommendations of the Governor’s Innovation Commission including increasing flexibility for state managers, expanding the state’s efforts to centralize key services, consolidating some function areas, and hiring a Chief Operating Officer – like at least five Republican governors have done – who will focus on driving efficiency.

Crossroads: “The Union Leader reports that Hassan’s budget includes quote sizable increases in business taxes, that could cost New Hampshire jobs.”

Fact: What the Governor’s budget actually does is increases a business tax exemption and makes sure that all families and businesses are playing by the same rules – rules that simply say they have a reasonable basis for claiming the tax deduction. The same rules existed until two years ago and exist for every other tax deduction across the nation.

Crossroads: “And Governor Hassan wants to raise a tax that hits lower income people especially hard.”

Fact: Cigarette taxes have proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent youth smoking. The Governor’s budget proposes raising the cigarette tax by 21 cents, which would still keep New Hampshire’s cigarette tax below our surrounding states.

Crossroads: “She even bets on increased state revenue from Keno to finance more spending. Gov. Hassan’s budget is a risky gamble and the wrong set of priorities for New Hampshire families and businesses.”

Fact: Six of the ten most lucrative Keno locations in Massachusetts are located within five miles of the New Hampshire border. Allowing Keno and self-service lottery terminals machines would help bring that revenue back to New Hampshire to invest in our priorities.

The revenue changes included in the Governor’s budget will not diminish New Hampshire’s standing as having one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation.

Crossroads: “Go to www.crossroadsgps.org/nh and tell your state legislators reject Gov. Hassan’s tax and spend budget because it doesn’t reflect New Hampshire values.”

Fact: Karl Rove and his out-of-state, dark money donors should stop trying to lecture Granite Staters on the meaning of “New Hampshire values.”

 

Press Release from NHDP

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