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Allies, Advocates, And Friends Praise Joyce Craig’s Historic Mayoral Win

Last night, Joyce Craig made history by becoming the first woman elected to be mayor of Manchester. Craig won 12,053-10,554 (53%-47%), defeating four-term incumbent Republican Ted Gatsas in bid to run the largest city in New Hampshire.

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled to stand here tonight as the next mayor of Manchester,” Craig told the crowd at her election night party. “As your mayor I will focus on the things that matter most for residents: improving our schools, making our streets safer, supporting our existing businesses and bringing new businesses to our city. And making real and lasting progress against the opioid crisis.”

“Today, Manchester made history,” said Senator Shaheen. “As the first woman elected mayor of the city, Joyce adds to New Hampshire’s outstanding legacy of electing strong woman leaders. I want to congratulate Joyce on running a tremendous campaign that focused on her positive vision for Manchester, and I look forward to working with her to achieve this vision.”

“Congratulations to my friend, Mayor-elect Joyce Craig, on her historic election,” Senator Hassan said. “Joyce ran a strong campaign focused on her positive vision for moving Manchester forward, and the Queen City will be stronger thanks to her bipartisan leadership in City Hall. I look forward to working with Joyce as she fights to position Manchester to thrive in the innovation economy, improve the school system, and strengthen public safety.”

“Congratulations to Manchester Mayor-elect Joyce Craig, the first woman ever elected mayor in Manchester,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “Joyce has a clear, positive vision of what she wants Manchester’s future to look like, and I look forward to working with her.”

Mayor-elect Joyce Craig is the first Democrat to be elected mayor of Manchester in 14 years. Tonight’s victory mark’s the fifth time New Hampshire Democrats have flipped a seat from red to blue in seven tries.

“Tonight’s historic victory is bound to send shockwaves across the state. After 12 years of Republican control, Manchester is back in Democratic hands on the heels of electing their first woman as mayor in the city’s 171 year history,” said NH Democratic Party Chair, Ray Buckley. “Congratulations to Mayor-elect Joyce Craig for running and winning a positive campaign based on the issues. There is no better person to make the most of our incredible potential, tackle our challenges head-on and lead this city to new heights.”

Running a campaign of this size takes a lot of help. Craig relied on hundreds of campaign volunteers who help spread her message across the city.

“Our campaign knocked on thousands and thousands of doors,” Craig told the crowd. “We worked hard for every vote and tonight we know that our hard work paid off.”

The New Hampshire Young Democrats launched an unprecedented organizing effort to help elect Joyce Craig for Mayor, and fielded a historic number of down ballot candidates. In Manchester alone, Young Democrats knocked on thousands doors this election season and helped run numerous aggressive down ballot races through our 603 Forward program.

“We are thrilled about Joyce Craig’s win. Throughout her career in public service, she has been a strong advocate for policies that make Manchester a better place for young families to live and work and for innovative business to thrive,” said New Hampshire Young Democrats President Lucas Meyer on tonight’s victory. “It was clear throughout the campaign that Millennials across the city are excited about Joyce Craig, and fully embraced her forward-thinking vision for the city. Hundreds of volunteers came out in the months leading up to the election to knock on doors and talk to their neighbors about why they should support Joyce for mayor. We know we can count on Joyce to enact the forward thinking policies that will help attract and retain young people in the Queen City.”

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund supporters knocked on over a thousand doors and made hundreds phone calls all over the Queen City. The women, men, and young people of Manchester who supported Craig in this race understood the importance of electing a leader who strives to make Manchester a healthier and safer city.

“We are thrilled with the victory of Joyce Craig tonight. She shares our vision for a healthier Manchester – where all residents, no matter who they are, where they’re from, or how they identify – have access to affordable health care, can exercise their rights, and live in a safe community,” stated Jennifer Frizzell, Chair of the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund.

“Congratulations to Joyce Craig for her historic victory in the Queen City tonight. As the first woman to ever serve as mayor of Manchester, Joyce will lead the city she loves with the same vision and energy that she’s brought to her previous decade of public service,” said Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee. “After eight years of failed Republican leadership, it’s time for a new era of economic vibrancy, and Mayor-elect Craig has what it takes to make it happen. The DNC has been proud to stand with the New Hampshire Democratic Party, and we look forward to seeing all that Mayor-elect Craig accomplishes in Manchester.”

“Joyce Craig represents the best of Manchester and has committed to protecting voting rights as the city’s mayor,” said Jason Kander, President of Let America Vote. “That’s why Let America Vote was so proud to endorse Joyce earlier this year and support her by sending a field team to Manchester that knocked on over 9,400 doors on her behalf. We’ll continue standing with Joyce Craig as mayor because we know she’ll be a strong voting rights advocate for her city and state.”

“We are proud to congratulate Joyce Craig on her history-making victory today,” said EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock. “Joyce is a committed public servant and passionate education advocate who is clearly the right person to move Manchester forward. EMILY’s List endorsed her because we know she will bring strong policy solutions and much-needed new leadership to her city.”

Today begins a new era in Manchester and we are all looking forward to what Mayor Joyce Craig will do.

Stop Lying About Non Existent Voter Fraud In New Hampshire

“Voter fraud is rampant in New Hampshire elections.  Busloads of people are coming from Massachusetts to vote in our elections.”  

Trump said it. Governor Chris Sununu said it. Right wing advocates said it. So it must be true, right?

No.  Nationally over the past 16 years there has only been 35 cases of voter fraud out of the more than one billion ballots cast. This includes the four cases of voter fraud in the 2016 election.

Of course right-wing extremists need a new way to suppress voter turnout and disenfranchise voters in the hopes that their new Voter ID laws and “domicile” mandates will keep left leaning voters from the ballot box.

This week, Trump’s Voting Integrity commission will be meeting in New Hampshire on Tuesday September 12th.  Prior to his visit to NH, Kris Kobach posted an Op-Ed in Breitbart claiming that Senator Maggie Hassan only won because thousands of people with out-of-state licenses voted in the NH election.

Kobach is doing three things with this statement:

  1. He is perpetuating the lie that “busloads of out-of-state voters” are coming to NH to vote.
  2. Trying to make a case against “same-day voter registration,”  a right-wing priority item for years.
  3. Showing his complete ignorance to our voting laws.

A litany of people from both sides of the aisle have pushed back on this claim that “busloads of out-of-state voters” voted in the election, including: Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewindowski, Former NHGOP Chair Fergus Cullen, Former NH Attorney General Tom Rath, NH Assistant Attorney General Brian Buonamano, and even New Hampshire’s own Secretary of State, Bill Gardner denied these claims.

Claims of voter fraud have also been debunked by PolitifactFactCheck.orgWashington PostNew York Times, and the Boston Globe.

The right-wing has been working hard for decades to make it harder for people to vote.  They have been eyeing same-day voter registration for many years.  There is no denying that thousands of Granite Staters use this to register on voting day.  Typically these are young people who move a lot or are not generally involved in politics until major elections, like the Presidential election.

Of course these people tend to vote democratic and that is why the right-wing has been pushing to eliminate it.  If we had an easier way like, motor-voter registration or online voter registrations, there would more than likely be a significant drop in same-day voter registration. This would also greatly reduce the long lines in polling places that can dissuade eligible voters from casting their ballots.

Kobach clearly does not understand our voting laws.  In fact, he is confusing people about what is legal and what is “voter fraud.”  There is no legal requirement for a voter to have a NH drivers license or to register your car to vote in New Hampshire.

Dean Spilioties, civic scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at Southern New Hampshire University, explained to NH Public Radio exactly how NH’s voting laws are written.

“Under the law, you can be domiciled here for purposes of voting but be a resident of another state… Where the out-of-state licenses were typically used is typically places like Durham, Hanover, Manchester. So those folks, if you’re a college student, you know, from an out-of-state – enrolled in a New Hampshire university or college, you are perfectly within the law to register to vote on election day or whenever with your out-of-state driver’s license and there’s no requirement that you then upgrade that license to a New Hampshire license at any time.”

NHPR’s News Director Dan Barrick agreed with Spilioties and added, “So there’s absolutely no evidence that, of those 5,000 plus people who voted with an out-of-state license… cast illegal ballots. There’s absolutely no evidence of that at all. And any implication is just really irresponsible.”

The Washington Post followed up on Kobach’s statement and spoke with NH college students who legally voted with an out-of-state drivers license.

“I was a student at Saint Anselm College in Manchester until I graduated this past May, and because I spent most of my time in the state I felt it was right I vote there instead of my native state of New York,” said Patrick Derenze, 22, who used his New York ID to vote.

New Hampshire’s Secretary of State Bill Gardner was tapped to be a part of Trump’s voting integrity commission, however many people are calling for him to leave the commission now as it has become evident that the commission is about finding evidence to prove the false statement that America has a voter fraud problem.

All four of New Hampshire’s elected Congressional Representatives are calling for Gardner to step down from the commission.

“Kris Kobach is deceiving the public in a desperate attempt to justify his sham Commission’s existence and back the President’s false claims – at the expense of our state and faith in our democratic process,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.  “I ask all public officials in New Hampshire to join me in condemning these dangerous lies, and I call on Secretary of State Gardner to immediately resign his seat on the Commission.”

“From the beginning, President Trump’s voter commission has been nothing more than a partisan sham to justify voter suppression laws,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “This latest absurd attempt to sow uncertainty in New Hampshire’s election results is consistent with Kris Kobach and the commission’s efforts to use deceptive data to question the integrity of our elections. Undermining confidence in our democratic process is irresponsible and dangerous. I urge New Hampshire Secretary of State Gardner to condemn this most recent claim and end his participation in President Trump’s voter commission.”

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan issued a joint statement calling for Gardner to resign his position on the commission.

“It has been clear since its inception that President Trump’s voting commission is an attempt to grossly mislead voters and lay the groundwork for broad-scale, politically motivated voter suppression. Now, the head of President Trump’s misguided commission is using deceiving and irrelevant data to rehash the same false claims that have been debunked time and again by independent analysis and members of both parties in New Hampshire. The law clearly states that college students and other New Hampshire residents can vote without a New Hampshire ID, and these false partisan claims are deliberately twisting the facts. Secretary Gardner’s association with this partisan commission risks tarnishing his long legacy of fighting for the New Hampshire Primary and promoting voter participation, and it would be in keeping with his distinguished record to immediately relinquish any role with this commission.”

Gardner told The Associated Press on Friday that he will not step down because, “it’s important to figure out why Americans are losing trust in the election process.”

The answer to that question is simple: Because people keep hearing lies from prominent officials, like our President and our Governor, who say massive voter fraud exists despite any real evidence of fraud.

This is the same tactic the right-wing has been using to deny climate change. They use one report that denies the science and claim that “the results are unclear” or “the facts are in dispute.”

The facts clearly show that voter fraud is not the problem in New Hampshire but yet Trump, Sununu and Kobach continue to make false claims that it does.

If you want to strengthen the “integrity” of our voting system then let’s make some real changes. Make voter registration automatic, so when you move or buy a new home, you will automatically be registered to vote.  Make in-person voting more that a one-day event.  Have early voting locations where people can vote prior to election day open on weekdays and weekends.  Even better, let’s move to a vote by mail system, where your ballot is automatically mailed to you and you can either mail it back, or drop it off at a specified location, prior to election day.

Oregon passed a motor voter law and conducted voting by mail and they had over 70% of the eligible voters return a ballot.  Considering the national average is 55%, it appears they have found a way to increase voter turnout and protect their voting process by expanding voting rights.

The New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights will be hosting a rally on Tuesday, Sept 12th, from 8am-10am at St Anslem College, where Trump’s voting commission is scheduled to meet.  More information here

Mark Dobbins: “Dear Becky”

Singer and Songwriter Beyonce

Dear Becky:

I’ll wait while you put down your yoga mat.

You voted for Trump. After these past few weeks, I really have to ask, “What the hell were you thinking?” Seriously, Trump? The shouting guy on the TV?

I know, you were so concerned about those email servers. Do you even know what an email server looks like? And Benghazi! Find Benghazi on a map unassisted and I’ll eat a bug.

You overlooked the fact that he broke two marriage vows but somehow think he’ll keep his oath of office.

You overlooked his addiction to tweeting – and tweeting – and tweeting.

You overlooked a lot that would have set your hair on fire had President Obama done the same.

And because of you, every thinking person in this country is freaking out. But not you.

Because you are safe behind your yoga mat of white privilege.

You didn’t join the millions of people who crammed our streets to protest. Because you were busy. Because Emma had a lesson. Because Noah had a game. Because you had to get the oil changed on your SUV. Because you were busy being white. Because it doesn’t affect you – and it never has.

By now you’re sputtering, “But I have black friends,” “I’m not racist,” and my personal favorite, “I’m not privileged.”

Yes, you are. You’re privileged, and probably racist too. Most white people are and don’t even know it – or do, and don’t care.

Here’s a simple way I use to test white privilege. Can you go an entire day without interacting with a person of color if you tried? I’m betting the answer is yes. That’s the bubble of white privilege that you think will protect you. But it won’t. Not by a long shot.

So you want to keep those “nasty hombres” out of our country by building a wall? When the price of your food skyrockets because white folks won’t pick crops, you’ll care then. Because it affects you.

So you think by insulting foreign leaders our nation looks stronger? You equate shouting with strength – because you have always had the microphone and always think you will. How many times have you shouted “I want to see your manager,” when you didn’t get what you wanted, then, at that moment?Now Trump is the manager and there’s no one else to call.

So you think defunding Planned Parenthood will make abortions go away? When Emma comes home someday with bad news, you’ll always have a way to fix that problem. A poor woman’s abortion is Emma’s D&C. Most people won’t have those choices. But you will. That’s why it’s called “pro-choice.” Because we want the choices you have always had – and always will.

By now you’re probably angry and about to write something nasty in the comments section. I hope you do. I want you to be angry. As I promised in my first column, I’ll probably make you mad from time to time. This is one of those times.

But stop for a moment and think.

Could I be just a little bit right?

And could you be just a little bit white – and privileged?



PS: We’ll talk more about this in the upcoming months. I’m just laying the groundwork for that conversation. I hope you’ll stick around.

(Featured Image: Katrina In Yoga Pose, by Earl McGee on Flikr CC)

Is Chris Sununu Lying About His ‘Business Experience’ And ‘Work History’ On The Campaign Trail???

Chris Sununu: What’s the Truth?

Chris Sununu has been touting his “record” as an environmental engineer and Waterville Valley CEO as the reason why voters should elect him Governor of New Hampshire. But what’s the truth about that “record”?

His “record” as an environmental engineer – here’s what he says:

  • In March, Sununu told Concord News Radio, “I was an environmental engineer for eight years. I did everything from designing remediation systems to clean up some of the nastiest hazardous waste sites in the country. I have a very front lines understanding of how to develop, how to grow your economy but you do it responsibly.”
  • In the NH1 Gubernatorial debate, Sununu clearly stated, “When [Van Ostern] was a spokesperson and working on the John Edwards campaign in 2004, I was cleaning up asbestos landfills in downtown Nashua.”
  • His website biography says “Chris worked for 10 years as an environmental engineer in various regions across the United States from New Hampshire to California, designing systems and solutions for cleaning up some of our country’s most hazardous wastes sites.”

But what’s the truth?

  • The State of New Hampshire does not have any records on Chris Sununu working as an engineer in the Granite State. I checked the NH Office of Professional Licensure and Certification’s (OPLC) online database or “licensee lookup” to verify his engineering credentials. But there was nothing there: no record of an expired license, no current license, nothing.   So I contacted the office directly with a right-to-know request asking for a copy of Chris T Sununu’s professional engineer license. Here’s how Peter Danles, the NH OPLC Executive Director, answered my right-to-know request: “To the extent that you are seeking the production of Chris T. Sununu’s present or past license to practice as a professional engineer, the OPLC has no records that are responsive to your request.”
    • New Hampshire state law, RSA 310-A:11, prohibits anyone from practicing engineering in the state without a professional engineer’s license – except for: out-of-state engineers who receive a temporary permit; engineers employed by the federal government; or “an employee or a subordinate of a person holding an engineering license under this subdivision, provided such work does not include final designs or decisions and is done under the direct responsibility, checking, and supervision of a person holding an engineering license under this subdivision.”
  • I looked for information about his licensing status in California, where he said he had worked. Documents show that Sununu did obtain an “Engineer-in-training” certification (EIT 113938) from the State of California in 2002 but never received a “Professional Engineer” license.
    • California law requires that a licensed engineer maintain “responsible charge” of engineering work done by engineers-in-training and other unlicensed workers.

I reached out to Sununu’s campaign for information about his work, but they would not respond to me.

So, is Chris Sununu saying that experience as a subordinate, supervised employee is why New Hampshire voters should elect him Governor?

Does he have a professional engineer’s license somewhere, that I wasn’t able to find?

What’s the truth? And why won’t his campaign comment on this or give me more information about his “engineering” qualifications?

Sununu’s “record” as Waterville Valley CEO – here’s what he says:

But what’s the truth?

Sununu has over-inflated his time and experience as CEO of Waterville Valley. Under his “leadership” Waterville Valley has lost jobs and lost customers. He’s cut his employees’ hours rather than provide them with health insurance.

And this is the “record” he’s running on? This is why New Hampshire voters should elect him Governor?

Is it possible… just possible… that after his “record” as Waterville CEO… and his 10 years “engineering” (apparently as a subordinate employee)… that Chris Sununu is running for Governor because he needs a new job and he doesn’t want to go back into the family business (Sununu Enterprises) where he used to “work”?

What’s the truth, here?

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

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

Joe Duarte

Joe Duarte

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

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

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

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

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

Select Van Ostern Clips From Wednesday’s NECN Gubernatorial Debate

MANCHESTER, N.H. – During Wednesday night’s NECN gubernatorial debate, New Hampshire voters were presented with a choice: whether to keep New Hampshire moving forward with Colin Van Ostern or go backwards with Chris Sununu. There were clear differences between the candidates as they debated how to best combat the opioid crisis, protect access to healthcare for New Hampshire women and families, and whether or not there should be a state minimum wage.


Video Link

Van Ostern: It’s incredibly important, of course we need to do more. Actually today, one of the gentlemen who wrote Operation Granite Hammer, Nick Willard is on the front lines of this crisis in Manchester, has endorsed me in this campaign, on a personal level – I am not speaking on behalf of the Manchester police force. The reason he did, and we’ve talked a lot about this, is because tools like Medicaid expansion are critical. We need to have treatment for folks who have addiction. I took a ride along with the Manchester Police Saturday night. I walked into an apartment, and I saw a woman lying dead on the floor, of an overdose. And I watched her brought back with Narcan. The cop I was with, knew her by name. We need to shrink the addiction pool. It requires better prevention and recovery services. We need to attack the problem, not the people with the problem. There’s a great non-profit called New Futures, which has a 5 point plan on how to do this. The first two points are fully funding the alcohol fund, and making the successful expansion of the New Hampshire health protection plan healthcare coverage permanent. I endorsed that plan, Chris does not. This is a big difference between us on the issue, and we need to keep our state moving forward in the right direction.

Sununu: I’ve never not endorsed the New Futures plan. I think New Futures is an incredible organization.

Van Ostern: To be clear a part of their plan is to make Medicaid expansion permanent. Do you support that?

Sununu: Well no, absolutely not.

Van Ostern: Well then you don’t support their plan.

Sununu: Absolutely not.

Van Ostern: Okay, I just wanted to be clear.



Video Link

Van Ostern: Accountability does not mean blaming someone else when you vote to shut off women’s health. In this state, every investigation that other states did was debunked by January. I wrote a letter with Councilor Chris Pappas, saying everything you have asked for has been shown. The next day, front page of the Portsmouth Herald, it said ‘Sununu stands by defunding Planned Parenthood’ and for the next six months, fewer women got birth control, and cancer screenings.

Sununu: There have been investigations in other states. We knew the contract was going to come back. Again, I have been consistent on this. I have stood up. I mean, read the headlines over the past year. I made the tough votes, and I put politics aside. If anybody has put politics aside on this issue, it’s myself, standing up against those political winds.



Video Link

Van Ostern: The reality is that a higher minimum wage in New Hampshire is good for the state — Chris believes that we should have no minimum wage at all. That we should surrender our control to Washington, and let Washington decide what our minimum wage should be. Well, let’s be honest, Congress is broken, Washington is broken. It is not working for the people of our country anymore. We as a state can decide to have a higher minimum wage. It will help families, it will help businesses, it will help consumers, and it will help our economy grown.

Feminist Majority Announces the Expansion of the NH “She Wins We Win” Campaign


Concord, NH – The Feminist Majority today announced the expansion of the “She Wins We Win” campaign in New Hampshire at a News Conference at the Legislative Office Building in Concord. “She Wins We Win” is a campaign of the Feminist Majority working to mobilize women and young people to vote for Hillary Clinton for President and Democratic women running for Congress in five swing states. The campaign is working in New Hampshire to help elect Hillary to the White House, Maggie Hassan to the U.S. Senate, and Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster to the U.S. House of Representatives. The “She Wins We Win” campaign is highlighting their records of achievement and plans for the future including college affordability, paid family and medical leave, and confirmation of federal justices, especially to the Supreme Court.

The She Wins We Win campaign is active on eight college campuses in New Hampshire and is organizing throughout the state. On Saturday, October 8, 2016, the campaign will host a state-wide Voter Mobilization Day at several community events including the Concord Farmer’s Market.

Participants included Representative Marjorie Smith (D-Durham), Representative Jackie Cilley (D-Barrington),

Former State Senate President Sylvia Larsen

Former State Senate President Sylvia Larsen

of Concord, “She Wins We Win” National Director Eleanor LeCain, and NHTI Campus Organizer Kayley Trottier. National Director Eleanor LeCain said “Hillary Clinton is more prepared to be President than anyone who has ever run for office. She has a record of achievement and will fight for women’s rights here and around the world.”

LeCain continued “We also want to elect qualified candidates to the US Congress who will work with Hillary to implement her plan to move the country forward.” “We want Senators who will actually vote on Supreme Court nominees! For most of this year, Ayotte has refused to even hold hearings on the president’s nominee to the Supreme Court. We need to replace her with someone who will do the job—Maggie Hassan!”

Rep Marjorie Smith (D) Durham reminded everyone that “Gender matters—it makes a difference in decision making who is sitting at the table. When women are sitting at the table it makes a difference in the policies and the outcomes. Women bring a perspective that keeps in mind the importance of policies on families.”

Former State Senate President Sylvia Larsen of Concord invoked Hillary Clinton’s often stated remark that women’s issues are really family issues” and that “no one should have to choose between a job and taking care of family members.” Larsen stated that Hillary and Maggie Hassan would fight to protect women’s health care issues and keep strong and fair Supreme Court Justices on the Court. Larsen said “we may have only four electoral votes, but we have a chance to let them hear us roar!”

“Our entire economy enjoys far more prosperity when women prosper” according to Rep Jackie Cilley (D-Barrington). “If women’s pay were raised to equal that of men’s the GDP would raise 9%, this suggests by equalizing pay we would raise $410 billion dollars of economic activity, and if all forms of discrimination were eliminated productivity would rise approximately 40%.”

Cilley went on to explain that 6 out of 10 women, and in New Hampshire 8 out of 10 women in the workforce are the sole provider for their family and in New Hampshire those women make 74.6 cents on the dollar of what a man makes. “If we want a society where we all prosper we need women to prosper,” Cilley opined. “This is a deeply family values matter. I don’t want to hear any candidate tell me they represent family values but don’t support concrete steps to enhance the economic security and empowerment of women.” Cilley concluded.

“It has been my experience that the New Hampshire Advantage is strong women in leadership positions.” said Rep Renny Cushing (D-Hampton). “As a male, I find Donald Trump’s misogyny offensive. Not only is it an attack on women, it is an attack on all of us.”

NHTI Student Kayley Trottier explained that achieving higher education is an important aspect of life for her and other students, but what stands in their way is the financial burden. “What I am advocating for today is that we elect people who will help make college more affordable: that’s why I support Hillary for President, Maggie Hassan for Senate, and Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter for the House.”

Labor Day Message: Stand Strong Against Anti-Labor Politicians And Greedy Executives

Once again Labor Day is upon us.

Let me start by thanking all of the strong dedicated union members of the past who fought and died for our rights and many of the protections and benefits workers enjoy today. Without their strength and solidarity we would not have weekends, healthcare, OSHA, or vacation time, just to name a few (better list in image below).

Over the past thirty years corporate executives used union members as scapegoats to hide the fact that they are siphoning more of the profits for themselves. CEO’s blame workers as they ship our jobs overseas to boost their own salaries. CEO’s in the United States make on average 300 times that average worker in his or her own company. This is obscene and is more than double the next highest country on the list. Profits and productivity continue to go up, yet wages go down as the executives and their Wall Street buddies reel in the cash.

CEO to Worker Country

Politicians began to attack working people to avoid being forced to increase taxes on their corporate campaign donors. They rig the system so that working people are forced to pay more into a retirement system that pays them less in the end. They “borrow” from our retirement systems to balance their budgets and then refuse to pay back the loan. They pass laws making it harder for workers to organize and form union because they know that unorganized people are easier to steamroll.

Combined, the greed of Corporate America and their political puppets have created the greatest level of income inequality in U.S. history.

The thing that many people do not seem to understand it that stronger unions benefit all workers.

A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute showed that if union density had remained at level as they were in the 1979, nonunion men lacking a college degree would be making $3,000 more annually.

What appears to be an attack on unions is really thinly veiled attack on all working people.

These politicians and corporate overlords are no friends to working people. They only care about one thing, money. CEO’s say, “How much money will moving this factory to China boost my stock options?” Politicians say, “How many campaign donations will I get if I can pass this law to stop workers from organizing?”

As the 2016 elections bear down on us, we need to remember to only support those who put working people first. Those who will fight to protect our rights to collectively bargain, will work to maBottom Upke it easier for workers to organize, will advocate for Project Labor Agreements, fight to protect our retirement systems, and work to ensure that all working people have access to affordable healthcare.

We need to fill our State House and Senate will representatives who pledge to support working people not out of state special interests.

It is the “down ticket” candidates who have the biggest impact on our daily lives. That is why this year I am voting from the bottom up and I encourage you to do the same.

Over the next few weeks take the time to do a little research on the candidates running for State Rep and State Senate. See where they stand on issues like the Minimum Wage (1, 2, 3), Medicaid Expansion (1) and Prevailing Wage (1) legislation. If they oppose these and support so-called Right to Work legislation, they are no friend to working people and should not be elected.

36 Things

Leo W Gerard: Donald Destructo

Donald Trump has perfected the swagger and boast of a professional wrestler.

While a guy like World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon is full of fake bluster and brashness for the sake of TV ratings, Donald Trump is the real McCoy: A reckless bully.

That violent, provocative behavior makes Trump far too dangerous to get anywhere near nuclear codes. For Americans who want peace and security, not war, this man is too risky to inhabit the White House.

That’s what 50 former national security officials whose careers span more than four decades said in a letter last week. They are Republicans. They include a former director of the CIA, the first director of national intelligence, and two former secretaries of homeland security. They warned that Trump would be treacherous as president.

Trump wreckingball

Image by: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

And that was before Trump suggested in a speech last week that “Second Amendment” supporters assassinate Hillary Clinton if she’s elected so she can’t nominate judges to the Supreme Court.

Trump contended later that he didn’t mean to suggest that gun nuts kill Clinton. But what he said could clearly be interpreted that way. It was irresponsible. And typical of Trump.

First, Trump glibly repeated the false accusation that Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment, something presidents can’t do, even if they wanted to. Then Trump said this: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

In the context, which is a President Clinton naming judges, Clinton supporters interpreted this as Trump calling on anti-government militia groups, like the one that took over the wildlife refuge in Oregon earlier this year, to assassinate a President Clinton to prevent her from selecting judges.

Trump says anyone who thinks a threat was intended is just being a silly goose. So silly. No threat intended. He asserts that he was just urging Second Amendment supporters to vote against Clinton, even though, obviously, they couldn’t vote against a President Clinton who was already in a position to appoint judges.

The thing about crazy talk in perilous times is that it can provoke war. A president can say something intemperate or unintelligible to a foreign leader the likes of Kim Jong-un, with nuclear weapons at his irrational fingertips, with devastating consequences for the entire world. A president can refuse to apologize for something rashly uttered and terrorist groups may impose horrible retribution on innocents.

The letter last week from the 50 former national security advisors warning Americans that Donald Trump would “be a dangerous president and put at risk our country’s national security and well-being” was not the first. It followed one in March signed by 121 Republican national security leaders saying:

“His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.”


“His admiration for foreign dictators such as Vladimir Putin is unacceptable for the leader of the world’s greatest democracy.”


“He is fundamentally dishonest.”

The language in the new letter about Trump is even more damning. It includes:

“We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless president in American history.”

“Mr. Trump lacks the temperament to be president. In our experience, a president must be willing to listen to his advisers and department heads; must encourage consideration of conflicting views; and must acknowledge errors and learn from them. A president must be disciplined, control emotions, and must act only after reflection and careful deliberation. A president must maintain cordial relationships with leaders of countries of different backgrounds and must have their respect and trust.”

“He continues to display an alarming ignorance of basic facts of contemporary international politics.”

Trump pushed some of these national security experts over the edge when he invited Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email server. For others, it was Trump’s abandonment of America’s commitment to NATO. And for still others it was Trump’s assertion that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not “go into Ukraine” although, obviously, he did that two years ago when he seized Crimea.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine expressed her fears about Trump last week as well, writing in an op-ed in the Washington Post:

“I am also deeply concerned that Mr. Trump’s lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so. It is reckless for a presidential candidate to publicly raise doubts about honoring treaty commitments with our allies. Mr. Trump’s tendency to lash out when challenged further escalates the possibility of disputes spinning dangerously out of control.”

Trump’s barrages of ill-informed comments include threats of violence when people make statements that he finds upsetting. For example, here’s what he told a crowd of cheering supporters during the Democratic National Convention:

“The things that were said about me. . .You know what, I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard, I would have hit them – no, no – I was gonna hit them. I was all set. . . I was gonna hit this guy so hard, his head would spin. He wouldn’t know what the hell happened.”

He’s a candidate for the president of the United States, and he talks like a professional wrestler.

Just like wrestling fans mimic calls for violence from the stars, at Trump rallies, the Trumpeters have taken up his tone. Chants of “hang the bitch” and “kill the bitch”are routine. “Kill her, kill her” is an increasingly common refrain.

Such stuff is shouted flippantly by audiences in professional wrestling arenas. The audiences there know everything is fake. They understood when Trump knocked McMahon to the ground in WrestleMania 23, it was staged. They realize when they call for blood they’re getting ketchup.

There, it’s a game. But the Oval Office is not a wrestling ring. On the world stage, words matter.  America needs a diplomat in the White House, not a professional wrestler. Too many lives are at stake.

Clinton Is The “Slam Dunk” Choice For President And AFL-CIO To Kick Off “Battleground Blitz”

Transportation Trades Department praises Clinton as the clear choice this election.

AFL-CIO kicks off Labor 2016 campaign in battleground states.

After a stirring oration from President Barack Obama on Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) released the following statement in support of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States:

“Last night, President Obama reminded us that Secretary Clinton is as ready as any candidate in history to be our commander in chief. Her experience, temperament and lifelong commitment to fighting for a country that is fair and treats everyone equally, combine to make the choice in this election a no-brainer.

“Secretary Clinton has a plan to put millions of people to work modernizing the economy, including our transportation system and infrastructure. Donald Trump’s GOP platform calls for the elimination of mass transit, reckless cuts to Amtrak and an austerity agenda that dooms any chance of reversing decades of neglect that have left our aging transportation system in a severe state of decay and disrepair.

“Secretary Clinton has put forward strong ideas for expanding our middle class by empowering millions to form and join unions, and bargain for fair wages and retirement security. Donald Trump has endorsed proposals that would gut collective bargaining and leave millions of working people to fend for themselves in an economy that features a widening wage gap and millions living in poverty.

“And Secretary Clinton has rejected the politics of fear and division designed to vilify and undermine the men and women who work in public service – from our cities and states to our federal government institutions. Donald Trump has endorsed a platform that attacks those people and the critical services they provide.

“The working people on the frontlines of our transportation system have grown weary of politicians who talk a good game but fail to offer real solutions. They are looking for a champion who will reach across the aisle and finally end this era of inaction and disinvestment that has left our transportation system reeling. Secretary Clinton is that champion, without question – and that’s a slam dunk.”

This morning, after Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination from President of the United States, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, released the following statement:

“The AFL-CIO and 12.5 million working people across the nation congratulate Hillary Clinton on her historic nomination for president by the Democratic Party. We applaud the hard fought campaign that led to this moment. This is a momentous occasion for working women everywhere who are still fighting to level the playing field in their workplace and achieve equal pay for equal work. Hillary Clinton’s nomination signals our nation’s commitment to gender equality and we in the labor movement will lift up that commitment on a daily basis.

This is a moment for women, and all Americans, to celebrate. When my grandmother immigrated to America, she didn’t speak English. As a young woman, my mother couldn’t afford a college education. So, when I witnessed Hillary Clinton accept the nomination, I knew things were incredibly changed for the better. And when we elect Secretary Clinton in November, they will be changed forever.”

Concurrently with their message of support for Clinton’s nomination the AFL-CIO announced they would be kicking off a “battleground blitz” in support of Clinton and to defeat Donald Trump.

“Working people are unified behind Hillary Clinton and are ready to defeat Donald Trump in November. The Democratic Convention ended with an enthusiastic commitment to stand together to rewrite the economic rules so that all Americans can get ahead and stay ahead,” wrote the AFL-CIO.

The morning after the Convention ends, working people in every state are ready to take off and work to elect Hillary Clinton and other pro-worker candidates. The labor movement is launching an immediate series of events and actions, with 35 separate activities in 13 different cities planned between today and Sunday in the states of Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“Working families are an unstoppable force when we stick together,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We spoke loud and strong and have helped put the country on a path to shared prosperity. We have driven the debate that put the brakes on the TPP and have established the standard for rewriting the economic rules that will shape this election.”

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre will be in South Florida this weekend for campaign kickoff events. Across the country, union members will be phone banking, canvassing and rallying to elect Hillary Clinton.

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