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Filmmakers Release Sneak Peak Of “Bern” – The Bernie Sanders Documentary

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Screen Shot BernFilm Includes Rare Footage and Interviews of
Bernie Sanders from 1960’s to 1990’s
 

AUSTIN, Texas – Featuring rarely-seen archival footage of Bernie Sanders, The Bernie Sanders Documentary “Bern” examines the people, places and events that shaped the man who has inspired such widespread grassroots support in the 2016 presidential election.  The film traces Sanders’ personal and political evolution from a student activist at the University of Chicago to his four terms as mayor of Burlington, VT and on through his careers in the U.S. House and Senate, and gives viewers a chance to get to know Bernie Sanders the man, so they can learn about Bernie Sanders, the candidate.  The website for the film is: https://www.BernTheMovie.com.

“We started this project simply as voters wanting to learn more about a candidate, but it quickly became something much larger.  The more we investigated, the more we realized a very interesting story was taking shape and that the only way to tell it right was to take a closer look at Bernie’s history and figure out why he has connected so strongly with so many people,” says Executive Producer Jay Matthew.

The project was created by Matthew along with Executive Producer Chris Blankenship and Director/Producer Miriam Paredes to capture what they see as a pivotal time in this country’s history, one that touches on issues of economic disenfranchisement, class conflict, social inequity and the shifting value we place on community and individual freedom.

In keeping with the project’s mission to highlight the power of community, the film will be distributed free online.  The first installment will premiere on May 27, 2016, ten days before the California, Montana, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and Washington DC primaries.  The second installment, which will document the run-up to the election in November and its aftermath, is scheduled to premiere February 27, 2017, regardless of the outcome of the election because, as EP Matthew explained, “We believe that what Bernie Sanders is doing for the political and social landscape of America will go far beyond the 2016 race.”

The sneak peek is available at https://www.BernTheMovie.com

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.”

Presidential Proclamation — Workers Memorial Day, 2016

Image from Whitehouse.gov

Image from Whitehouse.gov

A PROCLAMATION BY THE PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY, 2016

The story of America is the story of its workers. With faith in one another and hope for what their country could be, generations of laborers fought, sacrificed, and organized for the rights and protections that workers across our Nation have today — including requirements to protect their health and safety. Today, we honor this legacy by reflecting on those who have lost their lives in the workplace, and we reaffirm our dedication to ensuring that people can work knowing the fullest measure of stability, security, and opportunity.

In 1969 and 1970, two pieces of legislation of enormous consequence forever changed the lives of workers across our Nation. Passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by a Republican President, the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act — which required Federal inspections of coal mines, established processes and protections for ensuring the health and safety of coal miners, and was later amended to cover all miners — and the Occupational Safety and Health Act — which created new standards for worker protections in industries across America — represented milestone achievements for a cause borne out of decades of toil and struggle. Spurred by working men and women of every origin and background, the movement for worker safety was inspired by a simple notion: that those who contribute so much to the economy and spirit of our country should have every chance to share in its promise.

Since I took office, my Administration has advanced protections for America’s workers. In 2014, I signed an Executive Order aimed at cracking down on Federal contractors who violate our labor laws, and in the time since, we have enhanced our rigorous processes for companies contracting with the Federal Government while working to enforce and raise standards for employers throughout our economy. We have implemented rules that cut the amount of coal dust inhaled by coal miners, and we have taken steps to protect more workers from diseases caused by exposure to silica and other harmful substances. And we will enhance our efforts to support workers injured on the job, because if you are hurt at the workplace after giving your all, you should still be able to keep food on the table.

The history of America’s workers reminds us that, far from being inevitable, the progress each generation has known has been the result of the courage, determination, and solidarity demonstrated by the last. This Workers Memorial Day, as we join in solemn remembrance of those who lost their lives undertaking their labor, let us carry forward the vision of just and safe working conditions for all of America’s workers. If we stay true to that essential mission, we can deliver to our children and grandchildren a future of ever greater possibility and security.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 28, 2016, as Workers Memorial Day. I call upon all Americans to participate in ceremonies and activities in memory of those killed or injured due to unsafe working conditions.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

BARACK OBAMA

150 Workers Die Every Day From Preventable Workplace Injuries And Illnesses


150 workers die every day AFLCIO
(Washington, DC, April 27, 2016)More than 4,820 workers were killed on the job in 2014, according to a new report by the AFL-CIO. Additionally an estimated 50,000-60,000 died from occupational diseases, resulting in a daily loss of nearly 150 workers from preventable workplace injuries and illnesses.

“Working people should not have to risk their lives to make a living and support their families,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Yet every day, millions of Americans are forced to work with little to no safety protections while big businesses and corporations profit off our lives.”  

Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, marks the 25th year the AFL-CIO has publishednational findings on the safety and health conditions for working people.Among other findings:

  • The report calls attention to an increase in fatalities among older workers.
  • The states with the highest fatality rates were Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota and Mississippi.
  • In 2014, 804 Latino workers lost their lives on the job and the fatality rate for Latino workers remains higher than the national rate.
  • Workplace violence injuries, particularly among women workers in health care, is a serious problem. The workplace violence injury rate has increased by 60% over the past five years, while the overall job injury rate has declined.

Oversight of job safety and health conditions remains weak and is getting worse in certain ways.  OSHA can now inspect a workplace on average only once every 145 years, compared with once every 84 years in 1992, when the AFL-CIO issued its first report. The average penalty for serious violations last year was only $2,148 and the median penalty for worker deaths was only $7,000.

DOTJ16_fb4b_UnionDensityStatesSafer“We have made important progress, including winning new OSHA silica standards to protect workers from deadly dust,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “But as this report shows, too many employers are cutting corners and workers are paying the highest price. We must keep working for stronger laws and enforcement to hold employers accountable, until all working people are safe on the job.” said Trumka.

Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect is being released in conjunction withWorkers Memorial Day when vigils, rallies, and actions are being held across the country to remember workers killed and injured on the job. The report can be found online here: aflcio.org/death-on-the-job.

 

New Report Shows New Hampshire Workers Are Continuing To Lose Ground

New Report Examines New Hampshire Economy, Finds Wages for Many Workers Losing Ground    

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute (NHFPI) today released a new report, The State of Working New Hampshire, which finds that while the Granite State economy appears to be flourishing by some measures, the benefits are not being felt by everyone. 

“A well-functioning economy should ensure that the workers contributing to it share in the gains they have helped to produce,” said NHFPI Executive Director Jeff McLynch. “Yet wages for the typical New Hampshire worker have not regained ground lost during the recession. Those workers – and the financial anxiety they face – should be the focus of policymakers’ efforts to shape the New Hampshire economy in the years ahead.”

The State of Working New Hampshire examines short- and long-term trends in employment, workforce demographics, wages, and incomes. Key findings include:

New Hampshire’s workforce is aging in character and stagnating in size. More than 25 percent of the state’s workforce is over age 55; in 2015, only Maine and Vermont had larger shares of the workforce in this age category. As increasing numbers of workers retire, there may not be enough younger workers to replace them, which raises concerns for the future of the workforce.

While employment is expanding in terms of the number of jobs, the quality of these new jobs has declined. An analysis of New Hampshire’s major employment sectors from 1990 to 2015 finds a steady shift away from higher wage manufacturing jobs toward lower wage service sector positions. Employment gains are found largely in the health care, social assistance, administrative support services, and hospitality industries, which traditionally offer lower wages on average.

Economic output for New Hampshire is expanding, but income for the typical household has declined. The state’s median hourly wage fell nearly 7 percent between 2007 and 2015. While New Hampshire has one of the highest median wages in the country, it experienced one of the steepest declines among all states since the onset of the recession.

Since 1990, New Hampshire has experienced uneven wage growth, which has grown increasingly more pronounced over time, particularly for workers on the lower end of the wage distribution. After adjusting for inflation, a worker in the top fifth of the distribution saw wages grow by 11 percent, while the hourly wage for a worker in the bottom fifth is now 7.4 percent lower overall.

As NHFPI explained in its earlier report, Taking the Measure of Need in the Granite State, the official poverty threshold understates the degree of economic insecurity in New Hampshire and elsewhere, as a family of three is considered “not poor” if it earns a collective income of $20,000. Of the roughly 77,900 working age adults living in poverty in New Hampshire, around 54 percent were employed full-time or part-time in 2014, and one-third of these adults – around 28,900 individuals – had attended college at some point in their lives. 

“As we consider public policies that will bolster employment and enable individuals to engage in the workforce more readily, we should be mindful of the fact that some jobs simply may not pay enough for workers and their families to achieve economic security,” said McLynch.

 

Learn more in NHFPI’s report, The State of Working New Hampshire, available online here 

The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to exploring, developing, and promoting public policies that foster economic opportunity and prosperity for all New Hampshire residents, with an emphasis on low- and moderate-income families and individuals. Learn more at www.nhfpi.org.

Sen. Shaheen Blasts House GOP Over Partisan Attacks On Women’s Healthcare

Shaheen Calls for End to Politically Motivated Attacks Against Women’s Healthcare Providers and Researchers at House Committee Hearing 

April 20, 2016 – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen testifying at House Committee hearing

April 20, 2016 – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen testifying at House Committee hearing

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) appeared before a House panel, established by Republicans in Congress, to investigate women’s healthcare providers and health researchers. Shaheen testified on the need to end the politically motivated investigations that were formed based on highly edited and discredited videos.

Over the weekend, Senator Shaheen penned an op-ed with Governor Maggie Hassan denouncing the attacks in New Hampshire and across the country on Planned Parenthood, including the five separate taxpayer-funded investigations launched by Republican leadership in Congress in the last year.

Senator Shaheen’s full testimony is included below and her remarks can be viewed here.

Senator Shaheen:

Thank you very much Chairwoman Blackburn, Ranking Member Schakowsky and members of the Committee, I very much appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this morning but I do so with great concern.  

I know you will hear from my colleague, Senator Sasse from Nebraska, and I respect his deeply held personal beliefs. 

But if we want to have a civil discussion on this issue, we should begin with the facts. Already, news articles today have called into question the validity of the exhibits that will be presented to the panel.   

This Committee’s very existence was founded on the basis of highly deceptive, edited videos. These videos have since been proven to be misleading and false by multiple independent investigations across the country. 

In January, after thorough investigations into the videos, a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing and indicted the individuals responsible for their creation. In fact, twelve other states have also cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing, and eight additional states have declined to investigate, citing a lack of evidence.   

I believe it’s now time for the special investigations to end.

I’d also like to point out that fetal tissue research has long had bipartisan support. In 1993, Congress passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, which permits fetal tissue research. That bill passed with overwhelming support:  94-4 in the Senate and 290-130 in the House. And I think it is important to note, that that bill was based on recommendations of a blue-ribbon panel convened under President Reagan which was tasked with studying the ethics of fetal tissue research. 

Millions of people have benefitted from fetal tissue research. Vaccines for polio and rubella were developed as a result of research done on fetal tissue. And research on health issues that touch so many of us— Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, eye disorders and spinal cord injuries have also benefitted from the 1993 law.

If it the panel’s desire to change the law, obviously you as legislators are able to do that. But I believe it would be a grave error.   

Sadly, it’s my belief that this panel was formed with political motivations. There is very little real interest in an unbiased investigation to uncover facts related to women’s health or research. 

Instead, I believe that this panel serves as an opportunity for some to once again attack the health care providers whom millions of women and families depend on. 

In February, I joined with colleagues in both chambers to ask House and Senate leadership to disband this panel and all other Congressional investigations that would undermine women’s access to health care.  

Not only do I believe that this panel is an inappropriate and wasteful misuse of federal resources, but I am gravely concerned that it also puts researchers, providers and patients across this country at risk.   

Unfortunately, as a result of the political rhetoric surrounding this issue, we’ve seen violent acts and threats against women’s health providers and researchers across the country.  

And I’m very sad to report that this fall – the same month that this panel was formed—a women’s health clinic in Claremont, New Hampshire, was vandalized not once, but twice. The second attack caused so much damage that the clinic was forced to close for nearly six weeks. This was a real disservice to the women, men and families who rely on the full range of services that the clinic provides.  

And unfortunately, New Hampshire is not alone. After the release of the deceptive, highly-edited videos, incidents of harassment against some health centers increased nine fold in just one month. 

I don’t believe that today’s hearing is a fact-based objective investigation, but rather it is a taxpayer funded political attack based on discredited evidence. I hope it will finally be time to move on.

Bipartisan Senate Energy Bill Will Strengthen Economy and Unlock Good Jobs and Clean Energy

 Washington, D.C.  – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on Senate passage of S. 2012, The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2012 crafted by Senators Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Portman (R-Ohio), Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Cantwell (D-Washington):

“On behalf of the 500,000 members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, I commend the Senate on their bipartisan vote (85-12) in favor for much needed energy legislation that will strengthen our economy and unlock good jobs and clean energy.

The bill streamlines the process for construction of pipelines on federal land and the natural gas export permit application process, which will help position the United States to lead globally as a clean energy super power, bring affordable energy to U.S. consumers, and create good jobs. It will also increase investment in renewable energies such as wind, solar, and hydropower and amend the Federal Power Act to encourage hydropower development by extending the total period for preliminary permits.

The bill has important provisions to incentivize energy efficiency for new state and commercial building construction; including a requirement that the Department of Energy work closely with manufacturers to invest in the research, development and commercialization of updated energy efficient technologies.

Senate Bill 2012 also addresses critical gaps in America’s nuclear energy research and production. LIUNA strongly believes that nuclear energy is not only integral to a clean energy economy, but it provides good jobs for workers across the country.

LIUNA urges the Senate and House to work together so that this bill can be conferenced and presented to the President and become law.” 

Planned Parenthood Votes Releases Scathing New Ad Targeting Kelly Ayotte

Kelly Ayotte PPNNE AD“Enough is enough. Kelly Ayotte’s bad politics could have repercussions for a lifetime.” 

Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Votes has gone on-air with its first ad buy of the 2016 Senatorial election cycle — a nearly $400,000 TV ad buy hitting New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte on her abysmal record on women’s health, and her obstruction of the Supreme Court nomination process.

 

The ad, “Lifetime,” focuses on Kelly Ayotte’s long-time opposition to reproductive health, in particular her previous assertion that the right to safe, legal abortion should be overturned, and that it should be done via the Supreme Court. The ad is paid for by Planned Parenthood Votes, a national independent expenditure political committee. Though Planned Parenthood Votes has previously gone on-air in the 2016 presidential election, this is the committee’s first time going on air for a senate race in the 2016 cycle. It will be running on broadcast and cable in New Hampshire. 

Kelly Ayotte is one of the key Senators preemptively calling to block the president’s Supreme Court nominee before ever holding a hearing. While she has met with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, Kelly Ayotte is still refusing to do her job and give the president’s nominee a fair hearing with an up-or-down vote. The American people deserve a full court and a justice appointed by the president they elected for four years — not three—and Kelly Ayotte’s extreme position abdicating her constitutional duty in order to obstruct the creation of a fully functional branch of our government is unconscionable.

Kelly Ayotte has voted repeatedly to “defund” Planned Parenthood, and has even voted against equal pay legislation. This Senator has spent years calling for an end to safe, legal abortion and for Roe v. Wade to be overturned, and even went so far as to circulate a letter urging support for a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks that included extreme provisions for rape survivors. Furthermore, Kelly Ayotte won’t protect access to birth control coverage, and proposed a plan that would make more women pay for birth control by undermining the health law that gave nearly 300,000 New Hampshire women access to no-copay birth control.

Statement from Deirdre Schifeling, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Votes:

“Kelly Ayotte may try to paint herself as pro-woman, but her record tells a very different story. Every chance she’s gotten she’s voted to ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood and cut women off from essential health care like birth control and breast and cervical cancer screenings. She has been advocating for years to ban women’s access to safe, legal abortion, and it’s clear she now sees her chance in the Supreme Court process. Kelly Ayotte is refusing to do her job, and abdicating her constitutional duty, in order to push an extreme agenda that no one in New Hampshire wants. Enough is enough. Kelly Ayotte’s bad politics could have repercussions for a lifetime.”

Statement from Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:

“Kelly Ayotte continues to advance an extreme agenda which would deprive New Hampshire women of critical reproductive health services in direct contrast to the wishes of the citizens of New Hampshire who demonstrate strong bipartisan support for access to safe, legal abortion and for access to Planned Parenthood health services. Ayotte’s latest obstruction in refusing to even consider the President’s Supreme Court nominee will have real life consequences for New Hampshire women and could jeopardize access to safe and legal abortion for women across this country for generations to come.”

Kelly Ayotte is facing a contentious race to keep her Senate seat this fall, which is understandable considering her record in New Hampshire includes voting to make college more expensive and voting to repeal health coverage for nearly 50,000 Granite Staters.

According to the polls, Ayotte’s dismal record of voting consistently to “defund” Planned Parenthood will have an even more negative impact on her already at-risk Senate race. 

A survey conducted in 2015 by Hart Research shows that voters in the battleground state of New Hampshire strongly support Planned Parenthood, and oppose Ayotte’s position to “defund” the organization — blocking patients who rely on federal funding from accessing preventive health services, including the cancer screenings and family planning services like birth control that Planned Parenthood provides to millions of women in communities across the country.

Key findings from the survey includes:

  • 66 percent of New Hampshire voters oppose blocking patients from accessing Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services, including 72 percent of Independents.
  • 75 percent of voter polled in New Hampshire, including majorities of Republican voters, have an unfavorable reaction to the idea of shutting down the federal government to block any funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • By a two to one margin, voters in battleground states including New Hampshire are less likely to vote to re-elect their senators if they vote to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood.

Fourteen separate national polls conducted since last June show strong support for Planned Parenthood and extraordinarily strong opposition to blocking patients from care.

Ayotte Skipped Nearly Half Of Her Committee Meetings On Substance Abuse And Homeland Security

Ayotte Confirms She Skipped Hearings on Substance Abuse & National Security While Making Time for Campaign Fundraiser, Other Unspecified “Conflicts” 

Ayotte Pressed on Missing 47% of Homeland Security Committee Meetings, Including 45% on Border Security, Two-Thirds on Drug Trafficking 

Concord, N.H. – WMUR reported today on Kelly Ayotte’s skipped hearings, noting that Ayotte confirmed that while she skipped several hearings on national security and substance abuse, she made time for campaign fundraisers and other unknown “scheduling conflicts.” 

WMUR reported: “Ayotte missed a hearing that focused on ‘curbing prescription drug abuse’ on June 24, 2013 before her campaign held a fundraiser for the telecommunications industry…. a month earlier, on May 13, 2013, Ayotte missed a hearing on the nomination of a new deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. Ayotte was listed as a co-host earlier that day for a National Republican Senatorial Committee fundraiser lunch in New York City.”

Two other missed hearings mentioned by the WMUR report include a May 14, 2014 Homeland Security Hearing related to chemical facilities anti-terrorism standards and another Homeland Security Committee Hearing on October 28, 2015 to assess the state of America’s biodefense. Ayotte’s campaign failed to disclose what “scheduling conflicts” kept the Senator from these hearings on the United States’ national security. 

This report comes on the heels of a story in Politico that revealed that Ayotte missed 47% of Homeland Security Committee Meetings, including 45% of those on border security and two-thirds on drug trafficking.

“Skipping hearings while making time to attend fundraisers shows just how much Kelly Ayotte is willing to put her special interest backers and party leaders before the people of New Hampshire who elected her to do her job,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “It’s troubling that Ayotte found time to fundraise for her reelection campaign while skipping hearings focused on protecting public health and safety. The people of the Granite State deserve better.”

Open Democracy Announces New Executive Director, Olivia Zink

Open Democracy

CONCORD – Olivia Zink has been named as executive director of Open Democracy, the nonpartisan nonprofit organization founded in 2009 by New Hampshire’s legendary campaign finance reformer Doris “Granny D” Haddock.

Zink, who lives in Franklin and was recently elected to the Franklin City Council, will oversee the work of Open Democracy and support the continuing work of the New Hampshire Rebellion in their joint mission of  “Political equality for all and an open, honest and trusted government ‘of, by, and for’ the people in New Hampshire, free of the corruption of big-money politics.”

“We are so pleased to welcome back Olivia and so fortunate to have someone of her incredible expertise, accomplishments, energy, and commitment leading the way in restoring the right of political equality and an equal voice for all NH citizens,” said Gordon Allen, Co-Chair of the Board.

  “I am excited to join Open Democracy and New Hampshire Rebellion, working to strengthen New Hampshire’s democracy movement and stop the corrupting influence of special interest money in politics,” Zink said.  “It will be an honor to lead the efforts to educate and engage New Hampshire citizens through nonpartisan grassroots campaigns, film and theatrical events, a national speaker series, research and publications, and local and state advocacy initiatives.”

Open Democracy recently moved its main office from Manchester back to its 4 Park St. office in Concord.  Zink replaces Daniel Weeks, who is running for a seat on the N.H. Executive Council from District 5. 

Zink worked most recently as the Grassroots Engagement Coordinator for the Governing Under the Influence project organized by the American Friends Service Committee’s Concord office.  Prior to that she was the Program Director for Open Democracy for four years. 

She has been a community organizer in New Hampshire for 16 years, working on a broad range of campaigns for economic and social justice, and has worked with groups including the New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and the Priorities NH Campaign.  She spent a year in Bolivia working with the Democracy Center.  

In 2008, she was named one of New Hampshire’s “40 under 40,” by the Union Leader. 

She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, earning a degree in political science and a minor in Sustainable Living. She holds master’s degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

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