• Advertisement

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.

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.

Desperate Andy Sanborn Resorts to Lies To Save His Political Career

New Boston, NH — Last week Senator Andy Sanborn commissioned a pushbutton tracking poll and did not like the results. What followed was a barrage of factually challenged mail and letters to the editor in which he claimed to have the support of Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn, to have created New Hampshire’s Equal Pay Statute, to have been the driving force behind Joshua’s Law, and a quote fabricated whole cloth which claims Lee Nyquist supports pipelines.

Here are the facts:

“Sen. Sanborn wrote that he was ‘the creator of the NH Pay Equity Law,’ This statement is a flat-out lie. I should know, because I wrote the legislation back in 2014. Senator Sanborn never sponsored or cosponsored this legislation.”
— Fmr. Sen. Sylvia Larsen

“As the author and sponsor of Joshua’s Law, I can say without hesitation that Andy Sanborn had nothing to do with the law’s passing. He got on board after it was clear it would pass without him.”
— Senator Donna Soucy

Now Andy Sanborn’s desperate campaign is sending out mail that says Lee Nyquist supports pipelines.
Here is the truth:

“Andy Sanborn has a long record of lying about my positions on the issues. Here are the facts: My position has always been that I oppose pipeline projects, and that we need more renewable energy. That’s why I have garnered the support of anti-NED activists and elected officials like Laura Lynch of Temple, Jean Tandy of Richmond, Stillman and Barbara Rogers, Selectman Tom Matson of Troy, Fitzwilliam Selectwoman Susan Silverman, Fitzwilliam Planning Board Chair Terry Silverman, and others.”

After Senator Jeff Woodburn became aware of Sanborn’s unauthorized use of his picture in campaign advertising, Woodburn issued the following: 

“It was recently brought to my attention that District 9 Republican Sen. Andy Sanborn has used a photo of me in a mailer and online ads for his campaign. This photo was used without my knowledge or permission . . . . Seeing Sen. Sanborn present himself as a paragon of bipartisan agreement, unfortunately, does not match his record in the Senate.”
Jeff Woodburn, October 20, 2016.

 Sanborn also claims to have never endorsed Donald Trump in spite of video evidence of him speaking before Trump at a rally in Bedford and telling a group of Trump supporters to vote for Trump because “Donald Trump will help you take your country back.”

Senator Watters Calls on Bill O’Connor To Disavow Unconstitutional Education Scheme

Image from 2014 of Senator David Watters (D-Dover)

Image from 2014 of Senator David Watters (D-Dover)

Throughout his career as an educator and legislator, Senator Watters has been a consistent and vocal advocate for robust public education. He has worked to guarantee education adequacy funding, has been a champion for career technical centers in Dover and Somersworth, and has sponsored legislation to require age-appropriate alcohol and drug education, and child sexual abuse prevention programs.

“Public education is the most important duty of state and local government,” said Senator Watters in a prepared statement. “Public education promotes equality and is an investment in our future. The unemployment rate in District 4 is 2%, and employers are having difficulty finding skilled workers.

“The best way to ensure a quality education for every child and worker in New Hampshire is to invest in our public schools and teachers. Bill O’Connor wants to gut our public education system, from pre-K to higher ed. His plan would rob public schools to subsidize private and religious education in violation of our state and national Constitutions. He has voted to limit the bargaining rights of educators and support staff. The extreme Bill O’Brien cuts to higher education still haunt us, and Bill O’Connor voted for every single one.”

“We cannot go back to the rabid partisanship of the Bill O’Brien days if we want to keep New Hampshire moving forward. I pledge to the children, families, and employers of District 4 that I will oppose any cuts to public education. I challenge my opponent to make the same pledge.”

Senator Watters has received the endorsement of NEA-NH and AFT-NH.

Hard Working Granite Staters Stand Firmly Behind Senator Dan Feltes

Dan FeltesConcord, N.H. – Following enthusiastic endorsements from numerous organizations who represent thousands of working families across New Hampshire and District 15 , State Senator Dan Feltes released the following statement:

“I’m honored to partner with the working men and women of the Granite State as we all work to build a stronger New Hampshire economy with opportunity for everyone, not just the wealthy or well-connected few. When it comes to quality of life and to growing a business, New Hampshire is second to none, and that’s a big credit to our Granite State workers and families.”

See below for excerpts from workers’ advocates supporting Senator Feltes’ re-election:

“Dan is a fighter, he gets things done, and he gets up each day to stand up for everyday people.” -Tony Manning, President of Concord Officers Local #3195, on the endorsement of the Professional Firefighters of NH.

“Dan understands what it takes for working families across this state to thrive, and has been a strong supporter of public safety for all Granite Staters” -Jim Duckworth, President of Concord Officers Local #1045.

“Dan Feltes has a proven track record of creating and maintaining an environment where all individuals and working families are able to thrive. He has demonstrated that through his work in the senate, he is someone who will always fight to make sure all workers earn a living wage, and will work to create educational opportunities that allow our businesses and communities to thrive,” said Richard Gulla President of SEA/SEIU Local 1984.

“AFT-NH is proud to endorse Dan Feltes for re-election to the NH Senate.  A staunch advocate for working people across New Hampshire, Dan has also promoted equal access to high quality public education and advocated for improved workplace protections and an increased minimum wage.  In sum, he embodies AFT’s commitment to fairness, democracy, and economic opportunity.”  – President Douglas Ley, AFT-NH.                                               

“The New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades Council is proud to endorse Dan Feltes in his race for State Senate. Dan is a tireless advocate for working men and women, and New Hampshire’s working families are better off with Dan in the Senate. Dan supports raising wages for New Hampshire workers, ensuring all workers have access to health insurance and pensions, and making sure New Hampshire taxpayer dollars stay in the local economy and in the pockets of local workers. Dan spent his career as a legal aid attorney standing up for people who were left behind by the system, and he has spent the last two years in the Senate as a passionate champion for workers and families.” -President Steve Burk,  New Hampshire Building and Construction Trades.

State Senate Candidate Joe Duarte Questioned Whether a Female Applicant for a Town Committee Could Fulfill Responsibilities Because She is a Mother

In 2007, Duarte participated in a discussion about whether a woman – who was the only candidate for a Zoning Board of Adjustments alternate position – could dedicate the necessary time because she is a mother

Joe Duarte

Joe Duarte

Concord, NH – During a Candia Selectman meeting on April 23, 2007, several selectmen – including Senate District 16 candidate Joe Duarte – debated whether an applicant for a vacant zoning board of adjustments alternate position could dedicate the necessary time to the position because she was the mother of a young child.

The applicant, Amanda Soares, was the only person to apply for the position. While some public officials in the room stated that the applicant’s personal family commitments weren’t up to the board to comment on – and that the question would likely not come up for a male applicant – Duarte persisted:

“Selectman Lazott stated he did not want to stretch her too thin. Selectman Duarte stated he was not on with the ZBA appointment because she was just appointed to the Planning Board as an alternate. Selectman Brennan stated he did not think the appointment was a big deal pointing out that he holds a full-time job and serves on many Boards and Committees. One Selectman noted that Selectman Brennan did not have a family and this requestor does.

Selectman Giffen reiterated that Mrs. Soares was extremely capable and that the ZBA meetings were typically short. Selectman Giffen advised he would not want to turn any volunteers down. Tax Collector Sanders mentioned she was aware that Mrs. Soares no longer had a daily commute to Massachusetts. Road Agent Lewis stated some months the ZBA does not meet. Selectman Giffen motioned to appoint Amanda Soares to the Zoning Board as an alternate member. Seconded by Selectman Brennan. Chairman Kelley stated he was still deciding because he was not sure about her time considering she has a small child. Selectman Brennan said the Board should let her make her own decisions regarding her time. Selectman Duarte stated attendance for two alternates for the Planning Board last year was poor and both had families. Ingrid Byrd of Depot Road wondered if the Board would be having the family discussion if the applicant was a man … Selectman Giffen mentioned that Mrs. Soares had perfect attendance when she was on the Solid Waste Committee and Conservation Commission. (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2007)

The vote was postponed, but during the same meeting Duarte seconded a motion to approve two men for a town committee with no discussion of whether they have domestic responsibilities at home.

“Selectman Giffen to make recommendations on members for a Town of Candia Website Committee: Selectman Giffen advised public notice was placed in the paper for Public Meeting held on 4/19/07 for the purpose of establishing a website Committee. Selectman Giffen stated only two individuals showed up to volunteer. Selectman Giffen motioned to appoint Joe Miele and Larry Twitchell as members of the Town’s website committee with one-year terms, term to expire 4/23/08 effective today’s date. Seconded by Selectman Duarte. All in favor. Motion carried.” (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2007)

In a follow-up meeting about the appointment, Duarte directly questioned the female applicant about her “full agenda” including other time commitments. Soares responded by saying her husband could be home to run the household in the evenings.

Selectman Duarte noted Mrs. Soares had a full agenda and asked her if she had enough time to devote to another Board. Mrs. Soares stated most of the meetings were held in the evenings when her husband is home and able to maintain the household … ZBA Chair Boyd Chivers pointed out that Mrs. Soares was the only person who expressed interest and did not know how the Board could turn her down. Secretary Chabot verified an advertisement was run for the position and Mrs. Soares was the only interested party. Selectman Giffen moved to accept the recommendation of the ZBA for the appointment of Amanda Soares as an alternate member with a term to expire on 10/28/08. Selectmen Lazott and Duarte indicated they were opposed. ZBA Chair Chivers noted the ZBA unanimously recommended her appointment.” (Candia Selectmen, Approved Candia Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, May 14, 2007)

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

“It appears Joe Duarte judges women based on his own personal opinion of what her domestic roles and responsibilities should be, rather than letting a woman decide for herself. While other public officials pushed back, Duarte persisted in making this an issue of a woman’s assumed role in a household and at no time raised concerns about the sexist nature of the conversation. In fact, he asserted that it was relevant despite the candidate’s demonstrated commitment to other town committees and the fact that she was the only applicant for the position. Duarte, himself, was serving on multiple committees at the time.”

This is not the only time Duarte has stood in the way of women. In 2014 Duarte voted against the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act, an act to ensure women receive equal pay for an equal day’s work; and in 2012 he voted to allow any employer to deny coverage for contraception based on the employer’s own personal beliefs. (SB207, Roll Call #235, 5/14/2014; HB1546, Roll Call #117, 3/7/2012) Duarte also endorsed Donald Trump for President.

Note: Soares later went on to successfully complete 5 years of service on the Candia Board of Selectmen. She resigned in early 2015 when her family moved out of the area. (Candia Selectman, Candia’s Selectmen’s Public Meeting Minutes, 1.12.15)

Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.

NHGOP State Senate Candidates Double Down On Support For Donald Trump

Concord, N.H. — With an impending visit from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to New Hampshire this weekend, Granite State voters are reminded of their GOP State Senate candidates’ support for the man recently implicated bragging about sexually predatory behavior.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when candidates from the self-appointed party of family values fail to withdraw support from a confirmed sexual predator,” said NHDP spokesperson Zach McNamara.

By all accounts, Bob Giuda (District 2), Ruth Ward (District 8), Senator Kevin Avard (District 12), Joe Duarte (District 16), Bill Gannon (District 23), and Dan Innis (District 24) continue to support Trump after these comments, but also after over a year of offensive and dangerous rhetoric from the GOP hopeful. In fact, Ruth Ward doubled down on her support for Trump just Wednesday at a candidate forum and Senate President Chuck Morse confirmed he will still vote for Trump. Senator Andy Sanborn of District 9 attempted to claim he had never endorsed Trump. This was just a week after he spoke at a New Hampshire rally for Trump, urging voters to cast their ballots for him.

“The amazing thing here is that this is nothing new,” continued McNamara. “Donald Trump has repeatedly disqualified himself from holding office so many times, we’ve all lost count. That candidates for any office, even on the state level, continue to support him reveals a jack of good judgment.

“The bottom line is that we need office-holders who have good judgment and are solutions-oriented, from the presidency on down. This year, Democratic Party candidates offer that in spades, and Granite State voters will put them to work on November 8th.”

AFT-NH Releases 2016 State House And Senate Endorsements

The American Federation of Teachers-NH releases endorsements for candidates for NH State House and NH State Senate.

In announcing the endorsements, AFT-NH President Douglas Ley said that, “After careful review of the candidates’ positions on issues important to our members and working families in NH, we are pleased to endorse these candidates for the NH State Senate [and NH House]. AFT-NH supports those candidates who have put forth a positive agenda for our state and will work every day to advance legislation that matters to NH families. ”

View the full list of AFT-NH endorsed candidates for the NH State House here.

View the full list of AFT-NH endorsed candidates for the NH State Senate here or listed below. 

AFT-NH represents approximately 4,000 teachers, school support staff, city and town employees, police officers, library employees, and higher education faculty.  AFT-NH is a member of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO and is the state affiliate for the American Federation of Teachers with more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide, 43 state affiliates, and more than 1.3 million members.

Senator Jeff Woodburn District 1 Senator Bette Lasky District 13
Charlie Chandler District 2 Tammy Siekmann District 14
John White District 3 Senator Dan Feltes District 15
Senator David Watters District 4 Scott McGilvary District 16
Marttha Hennessy District 5 Nancy Fraher District 17
Joe Casey District 6 Senator Donna Soucy District 18
Senator Andrew Hosmer District 7 Kristi St. Laurent District 19
John Garvey District 8 Senator Lou D’Allesandro District 20
Lee Nyquist District 9 Senator Martha Fuller Clark District 21
Jay Kahn District 10 Richard O’Shaugnessy District 22
Roger Tilton District 11 Alexis Simpson District 23
Peggy Gilmour District 12 Tom Sherman District 24

The Nashua Labor Coalition Releases List Of Endorsed Candidates In The 2016 Election

Nashua Labor Coalition LogosToday, the Nashua Labor Coalition, a group of union members and community activists who live or work in the Nashua area, announced their list of endorsed candidates for the 2016 elections.  

Deb Howes, a public school teacher and chair of the Nashua Labor Coalition released the following statement:

“The upcoming election is vitally important to the working people of New Hampshire and will have a significant impact on the City of Nashua. We are proud to announce our list of endorsed candidates that will keep Nashua moving in the right direction.”

“In the race for Governor, the choice could not be clearer.  When FairPoint Communications workers were on strike, Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern took a stand for workers by blocking a proposed state contract with FairPoint until the strike was resolved.  His efforts helped get FairPoint to reopen negotiations which resulted in a fair contract, ending the strike and getting striking workers back to work.”   

“As a teacher, I am particularly impressed by Van Ostern’s plan to expand full-day Kindergarten state-wide so that every child can get the same great start to their education, regardless of which city or town they live in.” 

“Throughout Nashua hard working people are struggling to make ends meet in low wage jobs.  Colin Van Ostern is committed to increasing the minimum wage and making the New Hampshire Health Partnership Program that provides healthcare to 50,000 Granite Staters, permanent.” 

“The Nashua Labor Coalition also endorsed Dan Weeks for Executive Council.  Weeks is a tireless advocate for working people and is committed to bringing rail service to Southern New Hampshire. Expanding rail service to Nashua would boost our local economy and lead to hundreds of new jobs.”   

“In order to move Nashua forward we need to elect State Senators who are putting the needs of working people first.  We recommend reelecting  Senator Bette Lasky and  returning Peggy Gilmour to her rightful seat in the Senate.  Both have a long history of fighting for working people by opposing attacks on collective bargaining, protecting our public employee pension system, and voting against so-called right to work legislation.”

“In the legislative assault against working people our State Representatives are our first line of defense.  We have compiled a list of State Rep candidates who will stand up for working people in the New Hampshire House.” 

“Your right to vote is a cherished gift, not to be taken lightly.  It is important that everyone exercises their right to vote and make your voice heard.”

The Nashua Labor Coalition is a chapter of NH AFL-CIO. It includes Nashua Area Affiliated and Non-Affiliated Unions, as well as community organizations.

Full list of endorsements available here. nashua-candidates-election-2016a

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 191 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement