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NH CD01: A Clear Choice For Granite Staters

Carol Shea Porter - Frank Guinta

Carol Shea Porter - Frank GuintaThis election, voters in New Hampshire’s in the First Congressional District once again have a choice between two candidates that we know very well: Carol Shea-Porter and Frank Guinta.

The two candidates have faced each other in the same race for the last three election cycles.

Carol is a true fighter for the middle class: pushing for stronger labor laws, a higher minimum wage, and access to healthcare for all Americans.

Frank is a self proclaimed “Tea Partier” who opposes any increase in the minimum wage, wants to “reduce government regulations” that help protect our environment, and would take away a woman’s right to choose.

Carol has the endorsement of workers organizations like the NH AFL-CIO, the State Employees Association, The American Federation of Teachers -NH, and the National Education Association of New Hampshire. Carol has also been endorsed by Planned Parenthood for her opposition to the attacks on women’s rights, the Human Rights Campaign for protecting the rights of the LBGT community, and the Sierra Club for her work protecting the environment.

On the other hand, Frank has been endorsed by the Koch brothers funded Americans For Prosperity and the Association of Builders and Contractors. Frank and the ABC held up construction of the Manchester Jobs Corps building because they were opposed to a federal agreement that would have protected construction workers and ensured that they were paid a fair wage.

Carol has voted time and time against proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare – programs that Americans have paid in to, their entire working lives. Vote after vote, Carol has defended the promises of retirement security that Americans have relied on since 1935. Protecting Social Security is one of the cornerstones of Carol’s service in Congress, and that’s why she has been endorsed by the New Hampshire Alliance For Retired Americans.

Frank, on the other hand, supports Paul Ryan’s plan to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

Carol has defended the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard from threats to close it. She was also very vocal in her opposition to last October’s 16-day government shutdown.

There is no doubt that Frank would have voted with the extremists in Congress to shut our government down. And Frank has already promised he would join the faction that keeps forcing the House to waste resources voting on Obamacare (at least 60 times so far).

Once again, Granite Staters in the First District have a very clear choice between candidates.

  • If you want a fighter for the middle class who opposes corporate PAC money, vote for Carol Shea-Porter.
  • If you want someone in Washington who will vote for his corporate funders and against the middle class, then Frank Guinta fits the bill.

Myself, I will be voting to re-elect Congresswoman Shea-Porter.

Shaheen Campaigns with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, NH AFL-CIO President in Hooksett

Image from Facebook
Image from Facebook

Image from Facebook

Manchester – This evening Senator Jeanne Shaheen campaigned with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie, and more than a hundred supporters from the labor community at an event in Hooksett, where the three discussed how Shaheen’s record standing up for New Hampshire working families contrasts with Scott Brown’s record of supporting out-of state corporate interests and companies that outsource jobs.

“When it comes to jobs and the economy, Scott Brown and I have two very different records,” said Shaheen. “I believe we need to increase the minimum wage because it’s what’s right for New Hampshire families, but Scott Brown opposes the increase. I know we need to once and for all end giveaways for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that ship jobs overseas, but time and again Scott Brown voted to protect those special breaks. And I want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support New Hampshire small businesses across our state, but Scott Brown voted against them when he was representing Massachusetts. The difference is clear: I have never stopped fighting to make a difference for the families and businesses that make up the backbone of our state’s economy, and I never will.”

“Jeanne Shaheen has a long record working to create good paying jobs and has always fought to ensure hardworking people get the fair shot they deserve,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “When he was Massachusetts’ senator, Scott Brown voted against unemployment benefits. He voted to water down Wall Street reform. And he helped big corporations ship American jobs overseas. When you see his record up close like we did, you see he’s not someone who has spent his career standing up for working people. Jeanne Shaheen has.”

“Outsourcing is the type of business practice that lines the pockets of millionaires like Scott Brown but is devastating for communities here in New Hampshire,” said Mark Mackenzie, President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. “When jobs are shipped overseas, families suffer, unemployment increases, and communities are decimated. The fact that Scott Brown personally profited from this practice is wrong, and we need to reelect our Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, who we know will always stand up for working families here in New Hampshire.”

Jeanne Shaheen has spent her career fighting for good paying jobs here in New Hampshire. Shaheen led the fight to pass the bipartisan Small Business Jobs Act, which has helped countless New Hampshire businesses expand and create new jobs. Shaheen also cosponsored the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act, which invested in New Hampshire’s tourism industry, the second largest in the state, supporting nearly 70,000 jobs. Shaheen is currently fighting to increase the minimum wage because she believes no one in New Hampshire should have to work full time and still live in poverty.

Meanwhile, Scott Brown opposes increasing the minimum wage and voted to support tax loopholes for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that offshore American jobs.  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. Legal documents dated just two days before Brown entered the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire bear his signature endorsing the company’s outsourcing strategy.

Marilinda Garcia Says Marriage Equality Does Not Matter to Millennial Voters

Screen shot 2014-10-14 at 5.51.30 PM

Screen shot 2014-10-14 at 5.51.30 PMSo-Called “Millennial” Candidate Marilinda Garcia Says Marriage Equality Does Not Matter to Millennial Voters Despite Polling, Evidence to the Contrary

Garcia, a 31-year old candidate for Congress, voted against marriage equality, voted to repeal marriage equality, and voted to keep gay couples from adopting

*** Also: Video of Garcia’s extreme House floor remarks on marriage equality *** 

Concord, NH –Congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia (NH-02) says same-sex marriage and other issues of equality for gay and lesbian couples do not matter to millennial voters, despite widespread polling to the contrary.  On NHPR’s Morning Edition, Garcia recently told host Steve Inskeep that marriage equality is not an important topic for millennial voters, saying that “… it doesn’t really come up, you know, in elections and campaigns anymore because it’s just not an issue that they’re fighting about in the legislature anymore.”

But marriage equality and equal rights have been a topic of conversation, both in New Hampshire and nationally, and Garcia knows it. She voted against protecting or expanding LGBT rights as long ago as 2007 and as recently as 2014. In 2009, Garcia voted against passing marriage equality, and in 2010 and 2012 she voted to repeal it. National polls indicate that marriage equality is a priority for millennial voters. A Pew Research Center report in September 2014 found nearly 70% of millennial voters support same-sex marriage; a March 2014 report found 61% of young Republicans favor same-sex marriage. 

“Marilinda Garcia may be a young candidate but she is by no means a voice for the values of millennial voters,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress, and a millennial voter. “Garcia opposes same-sex marriage and voted to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples seeking to adopt. Nearly 70 percent of millennial voters nationwide support marriage equality and see equal rights as an important foundation, but if elected Marilinda Garcia will vote to discriminate against gay and lesbian individuals.”

“Garcia also defines marriage as solely about procreation, a belief that is out of touch with many young couples today who are waiting to start families or who have chosen not to have children at all,” Rice Hawkins said.

GSP Video: Marilinda Garcia’s House Floor Statement Against Marriage Equality

http://youtu.be/4ZqDnPFPB6E 

(includes statements regarding Garcia’s definition of marriage)

Excerpt: “Thank you Mr. Speaker, honorable colleagues. I rise in support of this amendment merely to voice support for the traditional definition of marriage. The case for marriage is based on the facts of biology and sociology. Marriage was not established to validate emotional and romantic love, sexual attraction, and the promise of commitment in heterosexual relationships. That conception of it is a modern luxury. Instead, marriage exists to solve a problem. That problem is a societal problem that rises from sex between men and women, but not from sex between partners of the same gender. That problem is what to do about its generativity.”

Other choice lines: “Your concern, as a state and a society, is with my gender-based reproductive capability when men are involved.” and “[Same-sex marriage is] illogical and invasive, while completely missing the biologically specific point of marriage in the first place.” Garcia also calls marriage “an institution that makes no sense for them.” [NH State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, NH House Floor Speech Against Marriage Equality, 3/21/2012]

Background: Garcia’s Record on Marriage Equality, LGBT Rights

  • In March 2007, Garcia voted against allowing unmarried adults – including gay and lesbian couples – to adopt children. While New Hampshire law at the time already allowed gay individuals to adopt, same-sex couples faced discrimination in adoption due to different interpretations of the law across the state. [HB 51, Roll Call #37, 3/21/2007; Portsmouth Herald, Gay adoption passes House, 3/22/2007]
  • In May 2009, Garcia voted against the historic passage of marriage equality in New Hampshire. [HB 436, Roll Call #148, 5/6/2009]
  • In February 2010, Garcia voted to repeal marriage equality. [HB 1590, Roll Call #82, 2/17/2010]
  • In March 2012, Garcia again voted to repeal marriage equality in New Hampshire. Garcia argued at the time that repealing marriage equality would strengthen New Hampshire families. [HB437, Roll Call #188, 3/21/2012]
  • In April 2014, Garcia voted against a New Hampshire bill to clarify New Hampshire’s marriage equality law to ensure that all married couples in New Hampshire receive the fair and equal treatment under the law that they deserve. [SB 394, Roll Call #217, 4/30/2014]

Additionally, in September 2014, the NH GOP revised platform strongly called on New Hampshire to only “recognize marriage as the legal and sacred union between one man and one woman as ordained by God, encouraged by the State, traditional to humankind, and the core of the Family.”

Athol Hospital Nurses Vote to Unionize with Massachusetts Nurses Association/NNU

ATHOL Memorial

Mass Nurses Association

ATHOL, Mass. — In an election held among the 47 registered nurses at Athol Hospital on Friday, RNs voted to join the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United, the state’s largest union of RNs and health care professionals.

Athol Hospital RNs greeted the election results with cheers and hugs after the vote was tallied on Friday evening. The election was conducted at the hospital by the National Labor Relations Board.

ATHOL MemorialThe MNA already represents more than 23,000 nurses and health care professionals in 85 health care facilities in Massachusetts and, with the addition of Athol Hospital, it represents nurses in 53 of the state’s 67 acute care hospitals.

Our goal in forming a union at Athol was first and foremost to ensure that our patients are given the best care possible,” said Denise Raymond, an emergency department nurse at Athol Hospital and a member of the organizing committee. “We made this decision with the best interests of this community and this hospital in mind.  As registered nurses we are responsible for the care we provide to our patients and now for the first time we will have a say in how we deliver that care.”

MNA president Donna Kelly-Williams, who works as a labor and delivery nurse at Cambridge Hospital, congratulated the Athol nurses for their courageous effort to stand up for their protected right to advocate for their patients and themselves. “When nurses are organized, patients are the biggest beneficiaries,” said Kelly-Williams.

In the wake of the economic downturn, and the changes in the industry being driven by health care reform, the MNA/NNU reports that its organizing division is fielding a significant increase in calls from non-union nurses. The Athol election follows  the addition of the RNs at Stewart Nashoba Valley Medical Center in July, and the addition of the Agawam School Nurses earlier this year.

With the election settled, the Athol Hospital nurses will begin the work of forming their local committee. They will elect members to their bargaining committee, and have already begun soliciting proposals from colleagues about what they would like to negotiate into their first contract that will make Athol the best hospital and workplace that it can be.

Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest professional health care organization and the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public. The MNA is also a founding member of National Nurses United, the largest national nurses’ union in the United States with more than 170,000 members from coast to coast.

Governor Hassan: “If you continue standing with me, we’ll keep NH moving in the right direction”

Maggie Hassan

Governor Addresses Crowd of Supporters at General Election Kick-Off Rally in Manchester, Presents Vision for Building a Brighter Economic Future

Manchester—Outlining her vision for building a brighter economic future, Governor Maggie Hassan addressed a crowd of supporters at her general election kick-off rally, calling for continued bipartisan cooperation to keep the state moving forward.

The Governor told the packed house, “If you continue standing with me, we’ll keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction,” and discussed her efforts to bring together Republicans, Democrats and independents to expand middle class opportunity and help innovative businesses create jobs.

“Because we have stood with the people of New Hampshire and listened to their priorities, we have put our state back on the right track,” said Governor Hassan. “We have brought together Democrats, Republicans and independents to help innovative businesses create jobs, to expand middle class opportunity, and to move our economy forward.”

The Governor outlined how far New Hampshire’s people, families, and communities have come over the past twenty months, highlighting how she worked across party lines to balance the budget without an income or sales tax, to freeze in-state tuition at our colleges and universities, to broker agreements to end expensive lawsuits that threatened our state’s finances and bond rating, reach a bipartisan compromise to expand health care to 50,000 working people, and to develop a plan to fix our roads and bridges, including finishing the completion of I-93.

“I am proud to stand before you as your Governor and say, that with your support, we have been able to restore the New Hampshire tradition of bipartisan, common-sense problem solving,” said Governor Hassan. “Since I entered office, I’ve focused on following the example of the people of New Hampshire, who come together to solve problems every day – and they expect their elected leaders to do the same.”

The Governor also emphasized what’s at stake this November, and how her opponent and his Koch Brothers agenda would be a disaster for middle class families and take New Hampshire’s economy backward to the devastating cuts to higher education, health care and public safety made by the Bill O’Brien legislature.

“By signing his name to the Koch Brothers pledge and pushing an anti-middle class agenda right out of their playbook, my opponent has already shown us his roadmap, and it takes New Hampshire in the wrong direction,” said Governor Hassan.

The Governor added, “He signed his name to taking access to health coverage away from 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.”

And she said, “When it comes to women’s health care, he simply can’t be trusted. He told his far-right backers that he supports restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions. And he has publicly applauded the Hobby Lobby decision that allows an employer to deny health insurance that covers contraception.”

In her speech, Governor Hassan stressed that “we need to continue working to keep our economy moving forward.”

To build an even brighter economic future, the Governor outlined that we must continue working to help innovative businesses start and grow in New Hampshire, make higher education, health care and energy more affordable, and help working families make ends meet by restoring and increasing the state’s minimum wage.

“I know we have more work to do, and I know we can continue to do it the New Hampshire way – by bringing people together to get things done,” said Governor Hassan.”

See below for full text of Governor Hassan’s primary night address, as prepared for delivery:

Thank you.

Thank you to all of you here tonight – you are the force that powers this campaign and that allows us to make progress for the people of our state.  

And thank you Executive Councilor Chris Pappas for that introduction and for once again hosting us here tonight, but most of all, thank you for being a steadfast advocate for our communities on the Executive Council.

Thank you as well to our United States Senator, the incomparable Jeanne Shaheen, who always puts New Hampshire first.

I want to take a moment to tell my family – Tom, Meg, Liz and my mother Peggy who are here with me tonight, and my son Ben who’s following along at home – how much I appreciate the support and love you give me.

And I want to thank the people of New Hampshire, who work together every day to strengthen their families, their communities, and the state we all love.

Because we have stood with the people of New Hampshire and listened to their priorities, we have put our state back on the right track.

We have brought together Democrats, Republicans and independents to help innovative businesses create jobs, to expand middle class opportunity, and to move our economy forward.

And we have come a long way together over the last twenty months.   

Two years ago, instead of working to solve our state’s problems, many elected officials had become the problem – because they were pursuing a radical agenda instead of looking out for the priorities of our small businesses and our middle class families.

On any given issue, the only question that seemed to matter to Bill O’Brien’s legislature was simply: what would the Koch Brothers do?

The O’Brien legislature slashed funding for higher education in half, defunded Planned Parenthood, and cut critical services for children and families.

Under that legislature, our roads and bridges were crumbling, our mental health services were severely strained, and our economy was heading in the wrong direction.

Worse than that, the O’Brien legislature turned its back on the traditions that make the Granite State strong: cooperation, bipartisanship and common-sense problem solving.

It got so bad they were starting to make Washington look reasonable and civil.

And so we all stood together in 2012 to say “enough.”  

Now, I am proud to stand before you as your Governor and say, that with your support, we have been able to restore the New Hampshire tradition of bipartisan, common-sense problem solving.

Since I entered office, I’ve focused on following the example of the people of New Hampshire, who come together to solve problems every day – and they expect their elected leaders to do the same.

By working with independents, Republicans and Democrats, we’ve made progress to expand opportunity for middle class families and support innovative businesses so they can create good jobs here in New Hampshire.

We reached out across the aisle and passed the most bipartisan budget in over a decade – with no income or sales tax.

It’s a budget that is making it a bit easier for hard-working people around this state to send their kids to college – because we were able to freeze in-state tuition at our university system, and at our community colleges this fall, tuition is actually five percent less.

That’s helping our families, and helping build the workforce we need to grow New Hampshire’s economy.

To better prepare our young people for jobs in the 21st century economy, we’re working to modernize science, technology, engineering, and math education in schools across our state.

To ensure fiscal responsibility, we came together to tackle the big challenges that were threatening our state’s financial outlook and bond rating.

We ended costly lawsuits by working with both parties to replace our shamefully outdated women’s prison, reach a fair agreement with hospitals to resolve the Medicaid Enhancement Tax issue, and rebuild community mental health services across our state.

To support our businesses, we’re helping them sell their products across the world, we re-invested in keeping New Hampshire a top destination for tourism, and we doubled the research and development tax credit.

And through our “Live Free and Start” initiative, we’re helping make it easier for small, innovative businesses to open in New Hampshire.

In addition, to strengthen our economy, we came together to pass a bipartisan transportation plan, and now we’re fixing roads and bridges across the state and finally finishing the expansion of I-93.

And of course, right now, more than 13,000 hard-working Granite Staters have new health and economic security – because of our bipartisan Medicaid expansion plan.  

While the far right has focused on trying to repeal health coverage, we found a way to bring both parties together to develop a fiscally responsible, New Hampshire solution that will strengthen our families, businesses and economy.

But what good is our work to support middle class families and to get our economy moving in the right direction if a young woman at her first job isn’t paid fairly or if she can’t access the basic health care she needs?

That’s why we passed the bipartisan New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women can receive equal pay for an equal day’s work.

And while we saw the Supreme Court rule that employers can deny women health insurance that covers their full health needs, including contraception – here in New Hampshire we’ve fought to ensure that women and families can access critical health services by restoring funding for Planned Parenthood.

In the last year and a half, we’ve put New Hampshire back on the right track.

And we have come too far to let my opponent take us backward.  

By signing his name to the Koch Brothers’ pledge and pushing an anti-middle class agenda right out of their playbook, my opponent has already shown us his roadmap, and it takes New Hampshire in the wrong direction.

He signed his name to repealing our bipartisan plan to fix our roads and bridges.

He signed his name to taking access to health coverage away from 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters.

He pledged to the Koch Brothers that he’d support so-called “right to work” legislation – which we all know really means “right to work for less” – while he opposes restoring and improving our minimum wage.  

And when it comes to women’s health care, he simply can’t be trusted.

He told his far-right backers that he supports restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.

And he has publicly applauded the Hobby Lobby decision that allows an employer to deny health insurance that covers contraception.

And if all of that isn’t bad enough, he has criticized our bipartisan budget that reinvests in higher education, and said that he opposes additional state funding for our universities.

In his debate just last week, he actually praised Bill O’Brien and his devastating budget cuts.

It’s clear that my opponent would simply be a rubber stamp for Bill O’Brien and the Koch Brothers.

We can’t afford to return to that disastrous agenda.

 

We’ve worked together. We’ve reached across party lines to get things done. We’re moving in the right direction.

Working together, we’ve set in motion an innovation plan that is strengthening the foundation of our 21st century economy.

Unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 2008 and the private sector has created 10,000 jobs in the last year.  

But we need to continue working to keep our economy moving forward.

We need to continue to focus on holding down the cost of higher education, on keeping our young people here, and preparing our workforce for good 21st century jobs.

We need to do more to help innovative businesses start up and thrive in New Hampshire, and to make it easier for our existing companies to grow.

We need to build on the new competition in our health insurance marketplace to continue making coverage more affordable and more accessible for all of our people and businesses.

We need to reduce energy costs while protecting our beautiful natural resources that drive our tourism economy and define us as a place and as a people.

And we need to give working families a better opportunity to make ends meet by restoring and improving the minimum wage.

That’s why I’m running for another term as your Governor.  

I know we have more work to do, and I know we can continue to do it the New Hampshire way – by bringing people together to get things done.

New Hampshire is a rugged, inclusive and beautiful place where we combine a sense of community and individualism like nowhere else.

No story exemplifies this New Hampshire spirit better than the story of Rustic Crust in Pittsfield.

In March, the company lost their old facility in a devastating fire.

But rather than despair, within minutes, Rustic Crust founder and CEO Brad Sterl took a deep breath and said, “OK, we have to rebuild.”

“These employees rely on this business,” he said, as he pledged to rebuild better and stronger, while paying his workers the whole time.

His employees have told me how much that generosity meant to him.

Through the company’s perseverance, ingenuity and commitment to its workers, and with the strength and support of their community, Pittsfield and Rustic Crust rallied together, and just last month, broke ground to rebuild at the same location.

This is the kind of story I see all across New Hampshire.

We are an all-hands-on-deck state. When we face a challenge, the people of New Hampshire roll up our sleeves and we come together to get things done.

That’s how the Pittsfield community is helping to rebuild Rustic Crust.

That’s how we’ve worked to put our state back on the right track over the past 20 months.

And that’s how, if you keep standing with me, we’ll keep New Hampshire moving in the right direction toward an even brighter economic future for all Granite Staters.

Thank you. I ask for your vote. Let’s keep New Hampshire moving forward.

Sen. Shaheen Explains How She Is Working To Protect NH Jobs From Outsourcers Like Scott Brown

Jeanne Shaheen at AFLCIO

Jeanne Shaheen at AFLCIO

Ever since Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown announced that he was selling his house in Massachusetts and moving to his second house in New Hampshire, I knew he had big plans to run for the US Senate again.  I never liked Senator Brown when he was elected to the US Senate from Massachusetts, and I like him even less as he attempts to carpetbag his way into a Senate seat from New Hampshire.

He is a massive flip-flopper and is trying really hard to convince everyone that he is from New Hampshire, and that he truly represents the people of New Hampshire.

The facts are very different.  Just listen to Brown from just a little while back.

Senator Scott Brown only cares about Scott Brown, and Scott Brown’s bank account.

Brown is doing he best to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen who has shown her dedication to New Hampshire as a State Senator, and as our Governor.

Scott Brown moved up to New Hampshire and as we are slowly finding out, he came with serious baggage.  First it was announced that he involved with a Florida company that was trying scam people using Brown as their front man.  Thanks to Kevin Landrigan we learned that Brown is being paid $270,000 to be on the Board of Directors of Kadant, a company that has made huge profits by outsourcing our jobs.

Yes, the same person who wants to be our Senator, serves on the board of a company that ships our jobs overseas.  It is a little known fact that New Hampshire was one of the hardest hit by these types of corporations, as we lost the largest percentage of our manufacturing base to outsourcing.

I wanted to ask Senator Shaheen what she thought about this, and I thought I would get the chance, as she was schedule to speak at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.  I planned to get Senator Shaheen to answer my question after her speech.

I had my question all ready:

“Senator, recently it has come to light that Scott Brown is making over $270,000 as board member of Kadant, a company known for outsourcing US jobs.  What are you doing to protect Granite State jobs from these vultures who are shipping our good paying jobs overseas?”

Then I sat a listened to Senator Shaheen speak and as she finished, I crumbled up my paper and told myself, well I guess that answers that question!

Do you want to know what Senator Shaheen has done to protect Granite State jobs?

Do you want to know how Scott Brown voted against a bill that would remove incentives for corporations who outsource good paying Granite State jobs?

All you have to do is watch this short 11 minute video of her speech at the NH AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.

Meet The Candidate: Jennifer Daler, A Strong Opponent Of Right To Work

Jennifer Daler

Editor’s note: To continue our effort to inform voters about candidates running for office in NH this is a special guest editorial from Jennifer Daler, candidate for New Hampshire’s Executive Council in District 5.

Jennifer DalerIt is almost Labor Day. I would like to introduce myself to readers of NH Labor News who might not know me. My name is Jennifer Daler and I am running for the Democratic nomination for Executive Council, District 5. You can find out more about the Executive Council here.

I live in Temple, NH with my husband and 3 children, the oldest of whom experiences a developmental disability. I served in the New Hampshire House from 2006-2008 on the Health and Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee. I know the effort that goes into creating and passing the state budget, and I am familiar with the Department of Health and Human Services, which is the largest department in New Hampshire state government.

In the race for this seat, I stood with Labor during the dark days when Bill O’Brien was Speaker of the NH House.

I was there when Rep. Ken Weyler refused to move a crowded hearing to Reps Hall and forced union members to sit on the floor or stand in the hallway and stairwell. I stood in the stairwell in solidarity.

I was at the rally in front of the State House when 5000 New Hampshire citizens demonstrated against O’Brien’s budget.

I was in the House Gallery the day O’Brien threw union  members and everybody else (including the parents of the young man who sang the national anthem) out, the first time this was done in living memory.

When things were at their worst for labor and the Democratic Party in NH, I stepped forward and ran for the seat vacated by Bob Mead, who resigned to become O’Brien’s Chief of Staff the day after being sworn in.  We won that seat with hard work and shoe leather and the support of labor, for which I am very grateful. I won every town in the majority Republican district.

The day I was sworn in was a great day of hope and we managed to turn the tide, winning the House majority for Democrats in 2012.

Serving as a Democrat and supporter of labor in the House of O’Brien was not easy. We faced constant incivility, unfair treatment and an onslaught of bills that tore at the fabric of the state. One thing they were not able to do was to override Governor Lynch’s veto of their Right to Work for Less bill.

I am honored and thankful to have the endorsement of the SEA/SEIU1984.

I am proud to have stood with labor during the toughest times in recent memory, and will continue to listen to your concerns and priorities.  I hope working men and women will stand with me and vote for me in the Democratic primary on September 9.

Thank you.

 

Linda Tanner A Real Candidate For Working Families

Linda Tanner NH Senate Candidate District 8

One of the goals of the NH Labor News is to help Granite Staters get to know the candidates who are running for office in New Hampshire. We focus on candidates who support working families, particularly those candidates who are working to rebuild the middle class and strengthen our rights as workers.

This week’s focus is on State Senate District 8 candidate Linda Tanner.

Linda Tanner NH Senate Candidate District 8
Background Information for Rep. Linda Tanner

Linda is longtime community activist, teacher, and coach. Linda has dedicated her entire life to helping others and improving her community. For over 30 years as a teacher and coach at Kearsarge Regional High School, Linda worked tirelessly to help her students succeed in and out of the classroom. During her career at Kearsarge, she served as a Department Chair, worked with the School to Work program and developed a state championship tennis program. She was honored by the NH Interscholastic Athletic Association for her years of service and elected to the NH Coaches Hall of Fame for Girls Tennis. She received her Bachelor of Science in Health Education from East Stroudsburg University and her Masters from Dartmouth College. In 2012 she was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives from Sullivan County, District 9.

 

As a public school teacher, were you involved with your local union?

I was president of my local association, the Kearsarge Regional Education Association for three terms. I participated on many negotiation teams, worked with members on issues at the local level, and worked with management towards better working conditions. I am a lifetime member of the NEA NH and have their endorsement for this campaign.

 

As a former teacher, I am sure you have a lot to say about the current public education system. Can you give me two things you would like to see changed?  And are these changes that you can enact from the NH Senate?

Public education has been under attack by those who would privatize education, eliminate compulsory education, and eliminate teachers’ unions. I ran for my House seat because I wanted to stop these political maneuvers that were undermining what, I feel, is the most valuable institution for maintaining democracy.

I think there is a great deal we could do to promote and fund our public education system in New Hampshire. I definitely feel the move from the punitive No Child Left Behind to the Common Core is a move that will help students. The Common Core sets standards but does not dictate pedagogy, deals with progress instead of achievement or failure and is the right course towards improvement and consistency. Just like other programs, it needs to be tweaked and re-visited. I would like to see educators who are working in the schools as teachers have a larger input into programs and initiatives.

As a high school teacher, I worked with a school-to-work program for the average student to encourage them towards further education and give some basic instruction in job skills. I taught Health Occupations Co-op for several years. I feel this is a very valuable program that should be expanded to teach not only content but job skills such as being on time, being able to speak to people, shake hands, show respect for co-workers and your product.  Recently I visited the Job Corps Training facility in Vermont. We are currently building a facility in Manchester. This type of program, which targets low income youth, is vital to providing vocational training in a setting that also emphasizes those job skills. It gives an opportunity for young people to better their position and at the same time provide workers for key jobs in our State.

As a Senator I will work to help New Hampshire schools become a model system that supports innovation, is relevant to the world of work and careers, and maintains rigorous standards for all school children.

 

You are running for the NH Senate Seat in District 8 that is currently held by Sen. Bob Odell. In what ways are you similar or different from Sen. Odell?

I found my voting aligned in many areas with Senator Odell.  I voted to repeal the death penalty, expand Medicaid, and deal with the issues around the Medical Enhancement Tax. However, Senator Odell voted against returning the period for teachers to be fired without cause or hearing from 5 to 3 years, voted against medical marijuana, and voted for the repeal of automatic continuation requirement for public employees’ collective bargaining agreements. These are three examples of bills he opposed that I would have supported.

IMG_0067This Senate seat has been, under Senator Odell, a moderate vote in a 13 to 11 Republican majority. My election to the seat will balance the parties at 12 all, which would make a major shift – especially on Labor issues. Medicaid expansion has a clause that requires renewal during this next session. Both Republican candidates have stated that they will try to repeal the Medicaid expansion, fight ‘Obama Care,’ and make NH a ‘Right to Work State’ as a priority. If either of the candidates opposing me wins this seat: Medicaid will be repealed, leaving thousands without medical insurance; and ‘Right to Work” for less will be passed along with other legislation that will hurt working men and women.

 

The current minimum wage is $7.25 and the GOP-led legislature repealed the NH Minimum Wage law. What would you do as Senator to help push NH toward a real living wage? Last year, one proposal was to raise the state minimum wage over two years to $9.00/hour. Do you think $9.00 is the right number? Or do you think it should be $10.10 as the POTUS is pushing, or even higher? 

First, we need to reinstate a NH Minimum wage that was repealed under the Republican leadership of Speaker O’Brien. I served on the House Labor Committee in this past term. The bill that was introduced should be reintroduced in this next term. This bill offered modest increases over time and originally had a provision for further increases based on economic indicators. I think we need to have a bill that will pass both The House and Senate. I hope to be one of those Senators to move this piece of legislation forward.

Do you have any legislation that you would like to see or have ideas on proposing if you are elected?  

I want to defend against the so called ‘right to work’ bills. If those bills pass it will let non-union workers benefit from our hard work in negotiations without paying their fair share. It’s a union-busting tactic.

I want to ensure fairness in workers’ compensation laws for those hurt on the job – so if they can’t work, they will still be able to keep their homes and survive. At the same time, I want to see how we can reduce the rate for employers. I want to establish a minimum wage and increase it above the present $7.25 so everyone has the dignity of a decent wage. I want to protect workers from pay cards and title loans that are stripping away hard earned money with excessive fees and astronomical interest rates. I want to offer solutions for the current lack of affordable and accessible elderly and work force housing.

 

If you could pick one issue from your campaign to highlight, what issue would that be?  

I am a person who is running for this Senate seat not to be someone special or advance a radical agenda but to work on legislation that will help the working men and women of this State. I taught for 35 years in the NH public schools and over that time, you see the communities, the State, through the lives of your students. I know the successes, the struggles, and the heartbreaking issues many of our citizens face. I want to be their voice in the Legislature.

 

Why should the labor community support your campaign?  

I am a lifelong union member. As a teacher for 35 years and continuing through retirement, I have been a member of the National Education Association. During my years at Kearsarge Regional High School, I was President of my local for three terms. I served on many negotiations and collective bargaining teams working for high quality education, good working conditions, livable salaries and benefits.  I proudly served as a State Representative for Sullivan County and as a member of the House Labor Committee.  I have the experience, knowledge and the political will to help the working men and women our State.

 

What can people do to help your campaign?

I can’t win this election alone. The opposition is well-funded and as committed to winning this seat as we are. I need your help to win this election. I need your vote and I need you to talk with family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to urge them to vote for me. Also, with this large, rural district, we need funds for mailings, ads, and signs. Any amount you can send to us will help us get our message out.

Please see our website lindatanner.org for more information

 

 

 

 

Concord Fire Fighters: Feltes best to respond & protect middle class families

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest editorial from Jim Duckworth of the Concord Fire Department.

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Dan Feltes at endorsement by the Professional Fire Fighters of NH

As Fire Fighters and Paramedics, we are charged to respond and protect the citizens, workers, and visitors here in the Capital City. We do this 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We see each and every part of our city at all hours of the day and night. And when we are called, we do not ask if someone is rich or poor, old or young, or what neighborhood they are from. We just respond to the situation using our training and talents, and try to leave the situation better than when we found it.

We are supporting Dan Feltes in the Senate District 15 race, because he has made it clear that he will legislate with this same outlook when he is our State Senator. He understands that it doesn’t matter who the citizen is, their background, or socioeconomic status; if they need help, he must do his best to help them. Dan not only has the same prospective as we do, but he has the training and talent to back it up. As a State Senator you must bring to that position your life experiences, vision, and passion to make sure that our government is there to help people and is responsive to their needs.

Dan Feltes has made it clear who he will stand up for when he is elected to the Senate, and that is the people of Senate District 15. Dan’s track record has shown that he works for, and supports, the people who need him. That is the reason the Concord fire fighters are supporting Dan. We understand that in emergencies people count on us, and nothing else matters to us besides getting people out of danger. That’s Dan Feltes’s priority as well; respond to people in need.

As an attorney for New Hampshire Legal Assistance for the last eight years, Dan Feltes has impacted and made better the lives of countless low to middle income families, seniors, and veterans. Most of these people did not have the resources to take care of the situation themselves, but he responded to their circumstance regardless. Dan Feltes was their advocate. Dan Feltes was their voice.

As fire fighters we are never really sure what the next emergency will bring us or how challenging it will be. Challenges that face our state are no different: from our infrastructure, to educating our children, to caring for our seniors, and to ensuring a growing and thriving middle class. These challenges require the best and brightest to work together to achieve positive results and help move everyone in this city, and our state, forward. As our Senator, Dan Feltes will go to work every day with the people of this district as his motivation to do better by them, because that is what they deserve from those that represent them.

Dan is the progressive candidate that will be the voice of our citizens. We know Dan will advocate passionately for the values, programs, and policies that will make a stronger middle class in New Hampshire. He is ready to respond, and we know he will fight tirelessly to protect the people of our district. We know that Dan will not leave anyone behind. And we know that he will leave New Hampshire better than he found it.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Duckworth President, Concord IAFF L#1045

Does Scott Brown Even Know There is a Primary in New Hampshire in Two Weeks?

Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr
Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr

Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr

What was the #1 take-away lesson from the 2010 Massachusetts special election for US Senate?

Don’t assume voters are just going to give you the election.

The #2 lesson? Voters really don’t like arrogance.

One would think that, after beating Martha Coakley to serve as Massachusetts’ Senator for a couple of years, Scott Brown would have learned those lessons.

It would be a reasonable assumption. BUT. Over the past month or so, the Brown campaign has been acting like it has already won the Republican nomination.

As if Brown is already campaigning against Democrat Jeanne Shaheen – rather than against Republican candidates Bob Smith, Jim Rubens, Walter W. Kelly, Gerard Beloin, Robert D’Arcy, Miro Dziedzic, Mark W. Farnham, Bob Heghmann and Andy Martin.

As if neither the press nor the voting public has any interest whatsoever in the Republican primary that is scheduled for September 9th.

As if the results are already in.

Yesterday, this reached a new level of ridiculousness. Yesterday, there was a Breitbart story – quoting emails that appear to have been provided to Breitbart by someone inside Brown’s campaign – suggesting that former Nashua Telegraph reporter Kevin Landrigan was involved in some sort of conspiracy with Shaheen’s campaign, against Brown.

First thing: Landrigan is a good reporter.   Anyone who has ever worked with him knows he does his research, and he is fair. He doesn’t have any ideological axe to grind. Nobody in New Hampshire politics has ever, ever called him a “friendly reporter”… just “a good reporter.” He has a longstanding, hard-earned professional reputation as “a good reporter.” Everybody with any history in New Hampshire politics knows Landrigan as “a good reporter.”

But Scott Brown’s campaign manager, Colin Reed, doesn’t have that history. Reed spent 14 months as Deputy Communications Director for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; and before that, he worked for Brown’s Massachusetts Senate campaign against Elizabeth Warren.

And yes, Reed was working for Gov. Christie during the famous (infamous?) “Bridge-gate” incident in September 2013. And yes, in February 2014 – not long before Reed left Christie’s press office – Breitbart did try spinning the idea that “Bridge-gate” was some sort of liberal media conspiracy to benefit Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections.

And now that Reed is working for Scott Brown again, Breitbart is spinning the idea that Landrigan is somehow “carrying Shaheen’s water” by reporting that Brown received $270,000 income from a Massachusetts company which has exported jobs.

Hey, we don’t know whether or not these things are actually connected. We’re just wondering.

Mostly, we’re wondering why – at this point in the electoral process – anybody in their right mind would imagine a conspiracy between Landrigan and Shaheen’s campaign.

Brown isn’t running against Shaheen in the election that will be held two weeks from Tuesday.

Brown is running against Bob Smith, Jim Rubens, Walter W. Kelly, Gerard Beloin, Robert D’Arcy, Miro Dziedzic, Mark W. Farnham, Bob Heghmann and Andy Martin.

And, GOP voters still have to weigh in on the question of whether Brown will get through the primary.

Our opinion of yesterday’s shenanigans? Trying to tarnishing a reporter’s professional reputation is a big mistake.

But treating voters as if they don’t matter is a really, really big mistake.

Landrigan’s story, BTW, is definitely worth reading: Brown’s $270K income from Mass. company exporting jobs overseas belies campaign promises.

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