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Legislative Committee Once Again Fails To Act On ‘Gateway To Work’ Proposal

Sen. Lou D’Allesandro Statement on Fiscal Committee’s Failure to Strengthen NH’s Workforce

CONCORD- Today, the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee again failed to act on Governor Hassan’s Gateway to Work proposal, which would have strengthened workforce development in our state. For the second straight month, an attempt to remove the proposal from the table was defeated by the Republican majority on the Fiscal Committee. After the vote, Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, member of the Fiscal Committee and strong proponent of the Gateway to Work proposal, released the following statement: 

“The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the leading voice for our state’s businesses community, has highly recommended moving forward with the Gateway to Work program so that they have the trained workers they need to fill open positions and grow their businesses.” 

“By refusing to act on the Gateway to Work program, the legislature is sticking their thumb in the eye of New Hampshire’s business community. I am frustrated and disappointed that the Republican majority on the Joint Fiscal Committee continues to play politics with our state’s economy.”

“Finding skilled workers who are able to take jobs when they are offered has been identified by our businesses as the most significant challenge they face. And with our improving economy and New Hampshire’s low unemployment rate, our businesses need more high-skilled workers now.” 

“Gateway to Work will go a long way toward strengthening our workforce and our entire economy, which is why I have supported this program since Governor Hassan announced it back in February. By delaying action on this program until the next legislative session, it means we have left our constituents behind and ignored our businesses for well over a year.” 

“We should be doing all we can to help move more Granite Staters off public assistance and into the workforce and to provide our businesses with skilled workers they need to thrive. Unfortunately, today’s failure to act by the Fiscal Committee moves us in the opposite direction.”

Tomorrow: ACLU To Give Away Hundreds Of Constitutions In Portsmouth

Have You Read the Constitution:
ACLU-NH Gives Away 500 FREE Pocket Constitutions in
Celebration of Constitution Day 2016 

Portsmouth, NH – On September 17, 2016 in Portsmouth, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire (ACLU-NH) will be giving away 500 free pocket Constitutions at Market Square from 10AM to 1PM in honor of Constitution Day, a day to recognize and celebrate the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787.

WHAT: Distribution of FREE ACLU Pocket Constitutions

WHO: ACLU-NH Celebrating National Constitution Day 2016

WHEN: September 17, 2016 from 10AM-1PM

WHERE: Portsmouth Market Square, Portsmouth, NH

WHY: To have your own copy and to celebrate the signing of the United States Constitution and the value of these rights in a free society. 

The ACLU’s little pocket-sized Constitution became the most talked about accessory of Summer 2016 after .  After offering free copies of the Constitution on its website, the ACLU was flooded with orders from individuals hungry to learn more about their rights. They sold out after distributing over 100,000 copies, making the Portsmouth Market Square celebration the ONLY place you can get this must-have item here in the Granite State. 

Portsmouth, NH To Kick Off Nationwide “Concert Across America To End Gun Violence” Sept. 23rd


PORTSMOUTH, NH On September 23 at 3S Artspace, musicians and advocates in the Portsmouth, NH area will kick off the nationwide Concert Across America to End Gun Violence with a concert featuring renowned local musicians who support the cause of ending gun violence. 

Most of the nation’s concerts take place September 25, a day Congress has set aside as the Day of Remembrance of Murder Victims. However, the Portsmouth, NH concert will be the first of 200+ concerts planned in all 50 states that weekend to remember victims of gun violence. Musical performances around the country will bring together thousands of concert organizers, performers and attendees to remember victims of gun violence and add their voices to a growing national chorus calling on our nation’s leaders to end a public health crisis that claims the lives of more than 30,000 Americans each year. Each concert is connected via social media using #ConcertAcrossAmerica and #EndGunViolence. All concerts are listed online at http://www.concertacrossamerica.org 

By taking part in the Portsmouth concert, participants are asking federal and state leaders to take reasonable, commonsense steps to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, like requiring background checks on every gun sold.

“I am tired of being silent on this issue,” said Elissa Margolin, one of the local organizers and performers. “Gun violence is clearly a public health crisis at this point and I look forward to coming together with other like-minded people and doing more as a community, as a state and as a nation to reverse this disturbing trend.” 

“As a victim of gun violence, I am appalled that there is such apathy toward this issue,” said Anne Lyczak, whose husband was killed in a Portsmouth shooting in 1994. “I’m grateful to all the musicians involved for caring enough to participate locally in a nationwide call to end gun violence. Their energy and talent will shine a much-needed spotlight on the issue. Our country’s lack of respect for human life is pathetic. I hope this concert demonstrates interest in solutions and leads to better decision-making by the voters and our elected leaders.”

When: September 23, 2016, 6:30-11:00pm

Where:  3S Artspace, 319 Vaughan Street, Portsmouth NH 03801

What: Concert Across America Portsmouth, NH featuring local musicians:

Martin England and the Reconstructed will headline the Portsmouth Concert.

Also performing will be The Look Backs, Chris Guzikowski & The Grim Brothers and River Sister. DJ Skooch will start spinning at 6:30 pm and Sam Harding will be the emcee for the evening.

Tickets: $10 on sale now

National partners include a long list of organizations allied to end gun violence. 

For more information about the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence, visit www.concertacrossamerica  or find Portsmouth tickets at http://concertacrossamericaportsmouth.brownpapertickets.com. For Portsmouth event info, email concertacrossamericaportsmouth@gmail.com or call 603-489-7849.

About the Concert Across America

The Concert Across America will take place on Sept. 25, the date designated by Congress in 2007 as a day of remembrance for murder victims. This nationwide event will bring together a network of organizations, activists and artists with the dual goals of keeping guns out of dangerous hands and making the issue of illegal guns top of mind for members of Congress, the presidential candidates, and the American people as they go to the polls in November 2016.

Election Protection Coalition Pens Open Letter to Political Parties Concerning Voter Intimidation

76 Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Civic Engagement Organizations Sign-On

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 31, 2016 – Today, in partnership with 75 other national and state-based civil rights organizations, the Election Protection Coalition, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), sent an open letter to the leadership of the four political parties with presidential candidates in 2016, calling on them to denounce recent appeals to deploy observers and law enforcement against imagined voter fraud.

These actions are intended to depress voter turnout and participation, particularly among minority groups, and they run the risk of disrupting the conduct of elections, thereby causing chaos on Election Day. Election Protection will continue its work to ensure that all eligible voters are able to cast a ballot free from intimidation and harassment. Voters can call 866-OUR-VOTE year-round to be connected to trained volunteers for questions and concerns about voting.

To read the full letter in images below, or by clicking here.



Dan Weeks Reports Record Small Donations and Total Fundraising for NH Executive Council

NASHUA, NH – Executive Council candidate and good-government reformer Dan Weeks (D-Nashua) announced Thursday that his campaign raised a record 1,035 individual donations totaling $154,173 from March to August, while rejecting corporate special interest support and voluntarily capping contributions far below the legal limit of $7,000.

According to the report – the first official filing of the 2016 election cycle – more than half of Weeks’ campaign contributions came in amounts of $50 or less and nearly 80% in amounts of $100 or less. Both the number of individual donations and total amount raised are records up to this point in a NH Executive Council campaign, according to past reports filed with the NH Secretary of State. The report followed an earlier voluntary filing at the end of June (the only such filing by an Executive Council candidate), in keeping with Weeks’ longstanding advocacy for transparent and accountable campaigns. Weeks’ opponent, incumbent Councilor David Wheeler, refused to follow suit.

Report Summary, March-August 2016 (campaign to-date)

Donation Size

Donations Count

Percent of Donations

$50 or less



$100 or less



$250 or less



$500 or less



Total Donations



Total Amount



“When I announced my candidacy in March, I asked the voters of District 5 to join me in practicing a different kind of politics, free from the undue influence of big money contributors,” Weeks said. “I am honored that thousands of fellow citizens have stepped forward already – as small donors, ballot petition signers, or volunteers – to make this a people-powered campaign. I believe today’s official fundraising report, showing record individual donations and not a dime in corporate support, is evidence that voters value democracy and want candidates who practice it in their campaigns.”

Weeks, who stepped down in March as Executive Director of the nonpartisan government watchdog group Open Democracy, has long advocated for increased transparency and campaign finance reform. Among his reform proposals, reiterated in a letter to Secretary of State Bill Gardner in July, are capping contributions to state candidates at $1,000 for the primary and general elections by removing the political committee loophole (whereby candidates may accept up to $5,000 per contributor prior to filing their candidacy); prohibiting direct corporate contributions to campaigns; requiring all state candidates with receipts over $500 to file their fundraising reports online on a minimum quarterly basis; and enacting citizen-funded elections via voucher or matching funds for qualifying candidates who voluntarily accept only small donations. Weeks has sought to voluntarily model these reforms in his campaign.

“Strengthening democracy and stopping big money politics has been the central focus of my professional life since attending ConVal high school here in District 5 and meeting Granny D,” Weeks said. “Although more work needs to be done at the legislative level to increase disclosure and implement citizen-funded elections, I believe that candidates can and must ‘walk the talk’ by voluntarily capping and disclosing their donations, and saying no to corporate support. That’s what I have done, and will continue to do, throughout my campaign. I urge my opponent to do the same.”

Add ‘Insurance’ To Tour College To-Do List: A Message From The NH Dept Of Insurance

CONCORD, NH — Many New Hampshire families have students going to college this month. With the necessities of college life — clothing, electronic equipment, more clothing, more electronic equipment — trying to remember everything is always a challenge. But in the rush to pack, don’t forget to add “insurance” to the list of necessary items.

“We recommend that when college students and their families prepare for the beginning of the school year, they discuss the insurance options available to them,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “Students who have insurance coverage are protected financially from unexpected events that may occur during the school year, like car accidents or health conditions.”

The New Hampshire Insurance Department offers the following insurance tips for both parents and college students:

Auto Insurance

If your student is taking a vehicle to school, check with your local agent about the vehicle’s insurance policy. And ask about the rates for the city your student will be living in — that may help you decide whether to keep their car on the family’s auto policy.

Many auto insurance policies offer a “good student” discount. Make sure your insurance company is notified each semester if your student maintains good grades. Getting a good-student discount on the vehicle’s premium saves money.

Make it easier to report an accident: Install the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ free WreckCheck mobile smartphone application — it gives students and parents an outline of what to do immediately following any vehicle accident. You can get it online.

Renters Insurance

A landlord’s insurance policy doesn’t cover a renter’s personal belongings. Be sure to take photos or video of the possessions, and store an inventory list in a secure location.

An easy-to-use home inventory checklist is available online through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Smartphone users can complete an electronic property inventory by using the NAIC’s free myHOMEScr.APP.book app, also available online.

Finally, ask if your homeowners insurance policy will cover the belongings in the student’s car or rental trailer on the way to campus.

Identity Theft

Know the limits of identity theft insurance: It can’t protect parents or students from becoming victims of identity theft, and it doesn’t cover direct financial losses. However, it does provide coverage for the cost of reclaiming a person’s financial identity — making phone calls, making copies, mailing documents, taking time off from work without pay, and hiring an attorney.

The primary policyholder of your homeowners policy should check first to see if the policy includes identity theft insurance while the student is away from the family home. If a student is renting an apartment, ask your agent if the renters insurance covers identity theft or if that could be added to the policy.

Health Insurance

Nearly all young adults up to age 26 can now stay on their parents’ health insurance plans because of federal health laws. At school, students should have copies of their insurance cards and know how/where to seek medical treatment.

If the student is insured through a network of medical providers, check to see if he/she will be in or out of the network service area while at school. That will make a difference in how much you or your student will have to pay for out-of-pocket charges.

Dental and Eye Care

Routine dental care and eye care generally are not included as part of a health insurance plan. Also, most health insurance plans do not cover expenses related to periodic eye examinations, glasses or contact lenses, but most will cover medical care as a result of an eye disease or injury.

We’ve Got You Covered

Preparing to go to college can be stressful for both students and parents. However, knowing that the student and his/her belongings have proper insurance coverage relieves some of that stress. Contact the Insurance Department with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your insurance coverage at 1-800-852-3416 or by email at consumerservices@ins.nh.gov.

About the New Hampshire Insurance Department

The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s mission is to promote and protect the public good by ensuring the existence of a safe and competitive insurance marketplace through the development and enforcement of the insurance laws of the State of New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.nh.gov/insurance.

Join The Fun At The Merrimack County Democrats’ Harvest Supper


Democrats Logo WHITE JPGThe party’s top New Hampshire elected officials and candidates will highlight the Merrimack County Democrats’ traditional post-primary unity celebration as they look toward the Nov. 8 general election.

The party’s annual Harvest Supper will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Carter Hill Orchard in Concord, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“We plan a family friendly afternoon celebrating our office-holders and candidates in the Sept. 13 primary,” said Jon Bresler, county party chairperson. “Our state party chairman, Ray Buckley, will be the master of ceremonies.”

Among those invited to speak are U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Gov. Maggie Hassan, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster; and State Sens. Andrew Hosmer and Dan Feltes. Among gubernatorial candidates invited to take part are Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern, Mark Connolly and Steve Marchand.

Others invited to take part in the celebration are Executive Councilor Christopher Pappas; House Majority Leader Steve Shurtleff; and candidates for Executive Council, State Senate, House of Representatives and County and local offices.

Meanwhile the party’s Coordinated Campaign plans to announce an appearance by a surrogate for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The menu, by chef supreme Jennifer Buck, includes smoked turkey, pulled pork, desserts and a vegetarian table for a suggested donation of $30. The donation is $25 for those who bring a side dish or dessert to share; children under age 12 free. Sponsorships include $100 Red, $250 White and $500 Blue.

“In addition to the usual political fare of speeches by public office holders and seekers, there will be food, BYOB, face painting, wagon rides, raffles, apple picking, cider and music,” Bresler said.

The event coincides with the New Hampshire Audubon Society’s Fall Hawk count from the raptor observatory at Carter Hill Orchard, 73 Carter Hill Road.

You can contribute online. Order tickets at: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/bluemerrimack

OR Mail checks to: Merrimack County Democrats, P.O. Box 1741, Concord, NH 03302

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire Back Dan Feltes For Re-Election

pffnh logoCONCORD – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire endorsed Dan Feltes for re-election to the State Senate in District 15, representing the capital city of Concord, and towns of Hopkinton, Henniker, and Warner. The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire represent over 2,000 active and retired fire fighters and paramedics from 43 locals across the state.

“There is a reason no Democrat or Republican signed up to run against Dan: Dan is a fighter, he gets things done, and he gets up each day to stand up for everyday people. The Senate needs leaders who will stand up for middle class families, and Dan is that candidate,” stated Tony Manning, President of Concord Officers Local #3195.

“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. He will continue to serve us well in the New Hampshire Senate,” stated Jim Duckworth, President of Concord Local #1045.

“I’m honored to gain the support of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. We share the value that in order to move New Hampshire forward, we cannot afford to leave anyone behind. I will always fight to put working families first and be a dedicated voice for strong public safety,” said Dan Feltes.

Executive Councilor Pappas Slams Chris Sununu For Supporting Anti-LGBT Discrimination

Concord, N.H. – Chris Sununu’s terrible week just got worse. 

Days after botching his ad rollout, Sununu faced criticism from fellow Executive Councilor Chris Pappas because of his support for discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation.

See below for excerpts or click here for the full article

Openly gay New Hampshire Executive Councilor Chris Pappas slammed gubernatorial candidate and fellow Councilor Chris Sununu after the latter expressed openness to supporting an anti-LGBT law similar to the one passed by Indiana governor turned vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.

“Look, private businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone they want,” said Sununu, in an interview with the Union-Leader.

In response, Pappas criticized Sununu and told Victory Fund: “It’s outrageous that Chris Sununu is open to allowing New Hampshire businesses to refuse service to LGBT residents.  As the fourth generation owner of a family restaurant business, we open our doors to all and treat every guest with dignity and respect.  The law should not permit any less.  As an elected official, I am sure I would have many allies fighting such legislation because it runs contrary to who we are as Granite Staters.”

Sununu is considered by many to be the favorite to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination in New Hampshire this November. His anti-LGBT position is held by other nominees for the seat, including Republican State Senator Jeanie Forrester.

EMILY’s List Endorses Executive Council District 3 Candidate Beth Roth

Salem – EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has endorsed Executive Council District 3 candidate Beth Roth. Beth is the only Executive Council candidate to receive an EMILY’s List endorsement.

“EMILY’s List is thrilled to endorse Beth Roth’s campaign for New Hampshire Executive Council because we know Beth will be a strong voice for New Hampshire women and families,” said EMILY’s List Vice President of Campaigns Lucinda Guinn. “As a community leader, an advocate, a mother and grandmother, we know Beth shares the values of Granite State families. She will fight to ensure full funding for Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health services, and will always put the people of New Hampshire ahead of partisan politics.” 

“I’m incredibly honored to have the support of EMILY’s List,” said Roth. “This endorsement highlights their confidence in my campaign and my ability to win this fall. EMILY’s List and I know that we cannot afford to put political ideology before the health and wellbeing of Granite Staters. With my career experience as a nurse, mental health counselor and attorney, I will always stand up for New Hampshire women and families, small businesses, and our community values as I serve on the Executive Council.”


EMILY’s List is a national organization that works to elect pro-choice Democratic women to office. Since their founding in 1985, they have helped elect hundreds of women to federal, state, and local offices across the country.

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