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A Senator Should Care Deeply About the State

Mark MacKenzie 2 at PNS

Mark Mackenzie at PNS RallyBy MARK S. MacKENZIE

As the clock winds down toward Election Day, the TV ads and phone calls will have reached a fevered pitch. Yet many Granite Staters couldn’t care less about the mass advertising being directed their way. What they have been looking for – and might still be looking for – are answers to some very basic questions: How will this candidate help me and my family weather tough times? How will this candidate help me and my neighbors find jobs? How will this candidate help ensure that the jobs we have pay enough to keep up with the rising cost of living?

For so many of us, it comes down to economic opportunity. Over the past 30 years, the richest 1 percent in this country has taken home nearly 50 percent of all income gains. Meanwhile, our roads and bridges are crumbling, taxes on the middle class have risen, and working people have struggled more and more to pay the bills. The economy is slowly recovering, but too many men and women in our state have yet to feel that things have gotten better.

The Senate race between Scott Brown and Jeanne Shaheen is one race where the contrast is clear. As a two-term governor who was elected to the Senate in 2008, Shaheen has a record of creating jobs, pooling resources to help our communities and small businesses, and working around the gridlock in Congress to deliver for New Hampshire working people.

As governor, she was a careful steward of taxpayer dollars and a strategic financial manager. She established a $1 million-a-year job-training fund that helped businesses upgrade the skills of their current employees and train new ones. She tripled New Hampshire’s rainy day fund and put together the state’s first economic plan.

As senator, Shaheen created jobs for hundreds of workers when she fought for a federal prison to be built in Berlin. She connected 1,200 Granite Staters to homeowners’ assistance in order to help them avoid foreclosure. She has worked across the aisle with U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte to fight furloughs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and reopen the government after it shut down in 2013.

Contrast that with Scott Brown, whose interests don’t go much further than Scott Brown. He set his sights on New Hampshire after losing his seat as a Massachusetts senator and only moved north after looking at several bids for public office in other states. During his tenure in Massachusetts, he held up crucial aid to unemployed workers and opposed tax cuts to middle-class Americans if they didn’t include huge tax breaks for the rich.

As a member of the board of directors of Kadant, an equipment supplier for the paper industry, he collected $270,000 after the company shipped American jobs overseas. Two months ago, the New Hampshire AFL-CIO and the State Employees Association of New Hampshire asked Scott Brown to resign from the board of directors. He has yet to honor that request.

Serving as senator is not about reaching for that next rung on the career ladder or making your next million; it is about helping the men and women who have trusted you to represent their best interests. Jeanne Shaheen understands New Hampshire – its unique culture, economy and political significance. For Scott Brown, however, it is little more than a consolation prize.

Election Day is days away, and we are facing a stark choice. Super PACs have been bombarding New Hampshire with ads for months, but when it comes down to it, this election is about people. Your family. Your co-workers. Your neighbors. It’s about the community we share here in the Granite State.

When making the decision to vote on Nov. 4, we should not only look at what candidates’ ads say or what their proxies say, but what their records say. Our next senator should care about this state as much as we do. Granite Staters deserve nothing less.

(Mark S. MacKenzie is president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO.)

Also published in the Concord Monitor: Friday, October 31, 2014
http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/14135229-95/my-turn-a-senator-should-care-deeply-about-the-state

President Bill Clinton: Jeanne Shaheen Is Making a Difference for the People of New Hampshire

2014-10 President Bill Clinton and Senator Jeanne Shaheen

In New Radio Ad, Clinton Highlights Clear Choice for New Hampshire Voters 

2014-10 President Bill Clinton and Senator Jeanne ShaheenManchester – Today, the Shaheen campaign released a new radio ad featuring President Bill Clinton that highlights the clear choice for New Hampshire voters between Jeanne Shaheen and former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. In the ad, President Clinton discusses Senator Shaheen’s long record making a difference for middle class families and small businesses throughout New Hampshire.

To listen to the audio, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQWuQmKx3S4&feature=youtu.be

“Jeanne Shaheen is making a difference for the people of New Hampshire,” Clinton says in the ad. “She always has. It’s her life’s work. She got tax cuts for your small businesses, and helped them expand their exports. She worked with Democrats and Republicans so our veterans can finally get access to healthcare close to home. Now she’s helping to refinance your student loans at lower rates.”

“Jeanne Shaheen is the real deal,” Clinton adds. “She’s always been there for you, and I hope you’ll be there for her now. Let’s vote for progress not protest. You’ll always be glad you did.”

Jeanne Shaheen has deep roots in New Hampshire, raised her family here, and she has a long record of standing up for New Hampshire families and businesses. She helped write the bipartisan Small Business Jobs Act, which cut taxes for New Hampshire small businesses, increased businesses’ access to credit, and helped New Hampshire companies export their products overseas. That bill has helped countless New Hampshire small businesses grow and create jobs.

Shaheen also reached across the aisle to include a provision in the bipartisan veterans reform bill that will allow veterans in New Hampshire to seek care closer to home. She is also fighting for legislation that allows students to refinance their loans at lower rates.

Scott Brown moved to New Hampshire after he lost his election in Massachusetts. When he represented Massachusetts in the Senate, he voted for tax breaks for Big Oil, Wall Street, and companies that outsource American jobs. And since losing in Massachusetts, Brown has made over a quarter million dollars as a board member of a company that touts outsourcing American jobs to China and Mexico as part of its business plan.

Metal Trades Council endorses Shea-Porter

Carol Shea porter 2

Carol Shea porter 2In case you missed it: Portsmouth Herald: Metal Trades Council endorses Shea-Porter

PORTSMOUTH – With the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as a backdrop, Paul O’Connor, president of the Metal Trades Council, gave Democratic U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter an endorsement from the shipyard workers in her bid for re-election to New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District.

O’Connor recognized Shea-Porter’s efforts to keep the shipyard open and minimizing the impact of sequestration as well as working with the shipyard leadership and labor management with many issues including workplace rights.

He said only one of the two candidates running for the 1st Congressional district “supports the working men and women.”  She is a strong, hardworking, roll-your-sleeves up fighter for the middle class, for our shipyard, for the community, for New Hampshire and for our nation.

Read the full article here.

FairPoint Strike Becoming Major Election Issue in Northern New England on Campaign’s Final Weekend

Fairness at Fairpoint Vigil

Fairness at Fairpoint Vigil

Fight for good jobs by 2,000 FairPoint workers is impacting races in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont

With FairPoint poised to cut off workers’ health coverage on Halloween, the threat to region’s middle-class is a frightening reality pols can’t ignore

MANCHESTER, N.H.—In the final weekend before Tuesday’s election, the strike at FairPoint Communications has become a major issue in races across northern New England. The two-week-old strike by nearly 2,000 union workers has drawn candidates to the picket lines in all three states and factored in New Hampshire’s final gubernatorial debate.

“We’re not looking to get rich, we’re just looking to sustain our families.  We offered the company a compromise that would save them millions in health care costs, but they refused. We’ve got to stand up for our families and for good jobs.”

The dispute at FairPoint is set to get even more intense on Halloween, as the company has announced it will cut off striking workers’ health care coverage at midnight. With the strike—and the election campaign—heating up, following is an overview of the role the strike has played in the region’s races:

New Hampshire – In the Granite State debate on Wednesday, both gubernatorial candidates were asked about their stance on the FairPoint strike. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan offered strong support for the strikers, saying “these are workers who for the last three years have been helping FairPoint recover from bankruptcy, working incredibly hard to get the company back on its feet.”

Hassan went on to say, “I’ll continue to urge this North Carolina company to think about New Hampshire-specific solutions and the New Hampshire workers who are really trying to come to the table and work with the company.”

Republican challenger Walt Havenstein initially hedged his response to the FairPoint question, saying “both sides are right.” But Havenstein went on to say of the workers that he “respected their right to negotiate.”

Vermont – On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch issued a letter to FairPoint CEO Paul H. Sunu noting that he’d “visited with those walking the picket line in Burlington” and heard their “passionate commitment to customer service.” Welch said, “I strongly urge you to return to the bargaining table in good faith and find common ground with the working men and women of your company.”

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, though not up for re-election, held a press conference with FairPoint strikers on Wednesday and criticized the telecom firm for “putting the interests of the multi-billion dollar hedge fund companies who own the company ahead of its workers and customers.”

MaineU.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree has made multiple visits to FairPoint picket lines, as have Democratic candidate for governor Mike Michaud, Senate candidate Shenna Bellows, and congressional candidate Emily Cain.

The FairPoint workers—members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T9 and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400—have been encouraged by the high profile attention the strike has received.

“It’s great to see that we’ve got so many allies in this fight,” said Todd Bedard, a FairPoint service technician in New Hampshire and a member of IBEW Local 2320. “The company’s move to cut off our health care coverage shows that they’re out to gut good jobs in northern New England. But we’ve been preparing for this fight, so we’ve got our money saved and our friends standing with us, so we’re not going away.”

“The stakes in this strike are becoming very clear,” said Nicole Johnston, a FairPoint customer service representative in Bangor, Maine, and a member of CWA Local 1400. “If a telecom company can cut benefits to the bone, then no middle-class worker is safe. I grew up in a phone company family, so these were the benefits that gave us a good life. But what am I going to do for my daughters if our health care goes away?”

“We’re not looking to get rich, we’re just looking to sustain our families,” said Mike Gauthier, a FairPoint service technician in Brattleboro, Vt., and a member of IBEW Local 2326. “We offered the company a compromise that would save them millions in health care costs, but they refused. We’ve got to stand up for our families and for good jobs.”

Contract talks at FairPoint began on April 25 when the company came to the table with proposals that would cost workers more than $700 million. The company sought to freeze pensions, dramatically raise health care costs, cut retiree health care, and institute a two-tier wage system that would pay new hires as little as minimum wage. In addition, the company sought to outsource union members’ work to out-of-state and foreign contractors.

Though the workers offered compromises worth more than $200 million in savings for the company, the company rejected every significant union proposal. The company declared an impasse on August 27 and imposed the terms and conditions of their proposals on the workers. The unions have charged the company with violating federal labor law and are seeking injunctive relief from the National Labor Relations Board.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.FairnessAtFairpoint.com.

After Debate Denial, Walt Havenstein’s Campaign Admits: He Knew About Fraudster Raises

walt havenstein

After Being Confronted with Documents Proving His Company Authorized Raises for Consultants at Heart of Massive Taxpayer Fraud Scandal, Havenstein’s Campaign is Backtracking

walt havensteinManchester—Hassan Campaign Press Secretary Aaron Jacobs issued the following statement after failed CEO Walt Havenstein confirmed that he was not truthful in WMUR’s Granite State Debate.

“Failed CEO Walt Havenstein has confirmed that he was not truthful in WMUR’s Granite State Debate. Havenstein vehemently denied – multiple times – on television that he gave the fraudsters at the heart of the massive CityTime scandal a raise. But after being confronted with documents that prove his company authorized raises for the people responsible for a taxpayer-funded project that went more than $500 million over budget due to massive fraud, Havenstein is now backtracking.”

“Havenstein’s shifting responses and attempts to duck responsibility for the bad management, thousands of jobs shed, and massive fraud under his watch as CEO of SAIC reinforce that he puts his own interests first no matter who gets hurt, and that he shouldn’t be allowed to run New Hampshire.”

BACKGROUND:

In WMUR’s Granite State Debate, Havenstein denied SAIC gave fraudsters at heart of CityTime scandal a 5% raise. [WMUR, 10/29/14]

But later, his campaign said, “Havenstein was aware of the raises and let them proceed because he did not want to take any action that could jeopardize the federal investigation.” [AP, 10/30/14]

Claremont Mayor: Scott Brown Doesn’t Care About Sullivan County or New Hampshire

2014-10-30 Scott Brown

CLAREMONT – Claremont Mayor James Nielsen released the following statement after Scott Brown showed he is clueless about Sullivan County during last night’s debate:

“This goes far beyond an awkward moment in a debate.  It’s about the next six years, and whether people in Sullivan and every other corner of this state will have a senator who knows and cares about their lives and their communities.

“Scott Brown proved that not only can he not find us on a map but also that he doesn’t care about us at all. Scott Brown is wrong for New Hampshire, Scott Brown is for Scott Brown.”

Debate Exchange of the Night

2014-10-30 Scott Brown

SCOTT BROWN HAS NO IDEA
WHERE SULLIVAN COUNTY IS LOCATED


WATCH:
Scott Brown Cluelessly Fumbles New Hampshire Specific Question
Jeanne Shaheen Takes Him to School On Her Record of Putting New Hampshire First

LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXDK8nQF0xw

Shaheen Campaign Responds to More Attacks from Scott Brown’s Wall Street Allies

Scott Brown in 2010
Image by Wiki Commons
Scott Brown in 2010 Image by Wiki Commons

Scott Brown in 2010
Image by Wiki Commons

Manchester – The Shaheen Campaign today released the following statement responding to the latest attacks from “Ending Spending,” a Wall Street front group that has funneled millions of dollars into New Hampshire in an attempt to buy Scott Brown a Senate seat:

“Jeanne Shaheen is the only candidate in this race with a record of making a difference for New Hampshire families. Scott Brown’s out-of-state Wall Street allies are trying to buy him a Senate seat with more attack ads so he can get back to protecting special interests, just like he did when he lived in Massachusetts. This ad is just more proof that Scott Brown is for the big corporations and Wall Street, not New Hampshire.”

Earlier attack ads from “Ending Spending” were widely discredited because of their dishonest claims that were labeled “false” and “scandalous.”

One attack ad was so false that a television station in Boston pulled it off the air.

Want to know more about this group that calls itself “Ending Spending”?  Read the USA Today analysis “Mega-influence: These 42 dominate super PAC donations” here.

Failed CEO Walt Havenstein Must Come Clean with Granite Staters

Cash Bribe Politician Money

Did He Let SAIC Give a 5% Raise to Consultants at Heart of Massive $500 Million Fraud Scandal?

Either Havenstein Was Deliberately Dishonest in WMUR Debate or He Didn’t Realize His Company Gave a Raise to The Fraudsters at Heart of CityTime Scandal with Project Already $500 Million Over Budget — Either Way, It Proves Again Why He Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Run New Hampshire

Cash Bribe Politician MoneyManchester, NH – In last night’s WMUR debate, failed CEO Walt Havenstein tried to deny the fact that SAIC gave a five-percent across-the-board raise to those at the center of the massive CityTime fraud scandal more than a year into his tenure as CEO. But with public documents confirming the facts, Havenstein must level with Granite Staters about whether he was deliberately dishonest in WMUR’s debate or he didn’t realize his company gave a raise to the fraudsters at the heart of the CityTime scandal with the project already $500 million over budget.

“Failed CEO Walt Havenstein must immediately come clean with Granite Staters about why SAIC gave the consultants at the heart of the massive CityTime fraud scandal a 5% across-the-board raise more than a year into his tenure,” said Hassan Campaign Press Secretary Aaron Jacobs. “Either Havenstein was deliberately dishonest with Granite Staters during last night’s debate, or he was completely clueless about his company giving an across-the-board raise to the fraudsters at the heart of the CityTime scandal. But either way, it simply proves once again why New Hampshire can’t afford to let him mismanage the state.”

“Even if Havenstein was unaware of the massive fraud scheme that took place under his watch as CEO, it’s still beyond belief that he would allow his company to hand out raises to those responsible for a project going $500 million over budget on the taxpayers’ dime. What’s worse, his refusal to take responsibility shows he puts his own interests first, no matter who gets hurt,” added Jacobs.

BACKGROUND

During Walt Havenstein’s time as CEO of SAIC, the U.S. Department of Justice discovered that his company was involved in a massive, $500 million fraud scheme against taxpayers.

Despite Havenstein’s claims that he took action and held people accountable, the New York Daily News reported that, “In early December 2010, only weeks before federal agents launched the first arrests in the scandal, the city’s Office of Payroll Administration permitted SAIC to give 5% across-the-board pay increases to all consultants supplied by Technodyne.” [NY Daily News, 11/21/13]

The employees and owners of the TechnoDyne consulting firm were at the heart of the massive CityTime fraud scheme. Before the U.S. Department of Justice discovered the scheme, SAIC employees funneled $400 million in taxpayer dollars to TechnoDyne. [US DOJ Press Release, 6/20/11]

The across-the-board pay increase for all TechnoDyne consultants came over a year after Havenstein became CEO of SAIC on September 21, 2009. At the time of the raise, the CityTime project was already hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. [NY Times, 12/15/10]

See here for public documents showing that SAIC gave a five-percent raise to the TechnoDyne consultants on December 9, 2010, just six days before the U.S. Department of Justice’s first round of arrests in the case.

Fact-Checking Walt Havenstein

walt havenstein

walt havensteinFACT CHECK: New Hampshire ALREADY has one of the BEST “Business Tax Climates” in the Nation

Fact: Despite Walt Havenstein’s misleading claims, the very study his campaign has cited – the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index – shows that New Hampshire’s business tax climate ranks 7th best in the country (and number one in New England).

The Council on State Taxation (COST) also tallied “all of the taxes paid by businesses in a given state, not just corporate income taxes, but property, sales, and personal income taxes as well” and found “that figure was 4.2 percent in FY 2012, markedly lower than the national average of 4.8 percent and less than 38 other states.” [NHFPI, 8/6/14]

FACT CHECK: So-Called “Right to Work”

Fact: Despite Havenstein’s claims, so-called “right to work” really means “right to work for less.”

The Economic Policy Institute’s report, “’Right-to-Work’ Wrong for New Hampshire,” explains that “Contrary to what RTW backers have claimed, the scientific analysis of right-to-work laws shows that they lower wages and benefits for both union and nonunion workers alike without exhibiting any positive impact on job growth.”

(Read NHLN coverage of Right to Work (for Less) here and here.)

FACT CHECK: Havenstein’s Misleading and Dishonest Budget Attacks

Fact: Governor Hassan has repeatedly pledged that she would veto an income or sales tax if one were to reach her desk.

Walt Havenstein’s false attack ignores that agencies are required by law “to submit both a maintenance budget that includes the cost of existing services going forward and a budget that incorporates new costs such as additional personnel or new legislatively mandated programs or technology.” [Union Leader, 10/14/14]

Havenstein’s misleading attack also ignores that Governor Hassan told state agencies their budget requests are non-starters, and already instructed agencies to submit lower proposals. [Union Leader, 8/7/14]

FACT CHECK: Havenstein’s Highway Fund Plan Cuts Troopers, Ignores Constitution

Fact: Walt Havenstein’s plan to cut the Department of Safety’s funding would take troopers off the road and make New Hampshire’s highways less safe.

The New Hampshire Constitution says that the highway funds shall be used for “the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of public highways within this state, including the supervision of traffic thereon.”  [NH Constitution, Part Second, Article 6-a]  The reference to the “supervision of traffic” allows highway funds to be given to the Department of Safety to fund state troopers.

In her bipartisan budget, Governor Hassan worked to maintain New Hampshire’s status as one of the safest states in the nation by putting more troopers on the road. By cutting the Department of Safety’s highway funding, Havenstein would reverse this effort and pull troopers off New Hampshire’s highways.

FACT CHECK: Havenstein’s Failed Record as CEO of SAIC

Fact: Failed CEO Walt Havenstein drove SAIC into the ground, the company lost millions, shed thousands of jobs, and saw its stock value nose-dive.

Despite Havenstein’s attempts to duck responsibility for the company’s performance during his disastrous tenure, the Nashua Telegraph pointed out that, “there’s little to dispute the company’s stock and job loss performance.”

Speaking of the strategy Havenstein put in place at SAIC to push for big government contracts, the Washington Post added, “The company struggled under the strategy, watching its profit and revenue decline.”

FACT CHECK: Over a Year Into Havenstein’s Tenure as CEO, SAIC Gave a 5% Raise to Consultants at Heart of Massive CityTime Fraud Scandal

Fact: During Walt Havenstein’s time as CEO of SAIC, the U.S. Department of Justice discovered that his company was involved in a massive, $500 million fraud scheme against taxpayers.

Despite Havenstein’s claims that he took action and held people accountable, the New York Daily News reported that, “In early December 2010, only weeks before federal agents launched the first arrests in the scandal, the city’s Office of Payroll Administration permitted SAIC to give 5% across-the-board pay increases to all consultants supplied by Technodyne.” [NY Daily News, 11/21/13]

The employees and owners of the TechnoDyne consulting firm were at the heart of the massive CityTime fraud scheme. Before the U.S. Department of Justice discovered the scheme, SAIC employees funneled $400 million in taxpayer dollars to TechnoDyne. [US DOJ Press Release, 6/20/11]

The across-the-board pay increase for all TechnoDyne consultants came over a year after Havenstein became CEO of SAIC on September 21, 2009. At the time of the raise, the CityTime project was already hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. [NY Times, 12/15/10]

See here for public documents showing that SAIC gave a five-percent raise to the TechnoDyne consultants on December 9, 2010, just six days before the U.S. Department of Justice’s first round of arrests in the case.

 

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