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.

Former Gov. Sununu Continues to Fret About Trump/Sununu Ticket

Trump Sununu Campaign SignGov. Sununu tells MSNBC Trump could hurt downballot;
Chris Sununu still backs Trump

Concord, N.H. – For all the talk of Republican Party unity in the Granite State, there is one senior Republican who is clear eyed and candid about the disastrous effects of a Trump candidacy on New Hampshire’s downballot Republicans—including his own son’s.

This morning, former Governor John H. Sununu, father of gubernatorial candidate and Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, speaking about Trump’s effect on other Republicans, told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, “I have a son running for governor. I am concerned about the downballot.”

But Chris Sununu and the GOP field for governor don’t share Gov. John Sununu’s concern. Not only has Chris Sununu touted his support for Trump on multiple occasions, but he shares Trump’s beliefs that Planned Parenthood should be defunded, that the Granite State shouldn’t have a minimum wage and that climate change is a hoax. The rest of the Republican field for governor, consisting of Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, State Senator Jeanie Forrester and State Representative Frank Edelblut, also supports Trump.

Meanwhile, John H. Sununu has been warning about Trump dragging down Republicans for months.

He told Bloomberg News back in January, “up here in New Hampshire, if Donald Trump is the nominee we will not get a Republican governor. We will lose the New Hampshire state Senate, and we could lose the New Hampshire state House… and we could lose Sen. [Kelly] Ayotte.”

In March, he joined the anti-Trump Our Principles Super PAC, saying “Frankly, at this point we want anyone but Trump.” And he’s made no secret of his disdain for the Republican presidential nominee, calling Trump a loser and a phony.

“I rarely agree with John Sununu, but in this case father might know best: Donald Trump’s candidacy will be disastrous for the Republican gubernatorial candidates and for Granite Staters,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “From supporting Trump to vowing to defund Planned Parenthood to opposing the minimum wage, the race to the right in the Republican primary is fully underway.”


Rep. Tom Sherman Announces Candidacy for State Senate

Accomplished seacoast doctor and leading public health advocate
makes bid for District 24 seat

sherman headshotRye, New Hampshire — Dr. Tom Sherman, a two term state representative for Rye and Newcastle and a distinguished gastroenterologist, has announced that he will seek the state senate seat for District 24.

“I would like to thank my friend, Senator Nancy Stiles, for her many years of dedicated service to the state of New Hampshire,” said Dr. Sherman. “Having worked with Nancy in the legislature for the past 4 years, I have seen first hand the high bar she has set for constituent service and I fully intend to carry on that tradition.” 

“I believe that the fundamental role of government is to ensure the safety of the public, and as a doctor and as an elected official here in the Granite State, I have proven that I am uniquely prepared to address the most daunting challenges facing our state,” said Dr. Sherman adding that one of the top issues of his campaign would center around the heroin and opioid crisis that has impacted thousands of families and countless communities.

Since moving to Rye nearly a decade ago with his family, Dr. Sherman has made a name for himself as a foremost authority on public health policy. During his four years in the house, Dr. Sherman has served on the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee. He was instrumental in negotiating the cost-effective bipartisan Medicaid Expansion compromise that expanded access to healthcare for 49,000 Granite Staters. Additionally, Dr. Sherman sat on the joint task force on the opioid epidemic and consequently sponsored legislation to help end the crises. He still serves as Chairman of the board of trustees of Next Generation Choices Foundation, a non-profit whose goal is to raise awareness for cancer prevention, and the American Cancer Society Action Network recently awarded him with the Distinguished Advocacy Award for his work.  Most recently, he has served in a leadership role in the investigation of the Seacoast Cancer Cluster, coordinating efforts between residents and state and federal departments and agencies.

“As a doctor, my priority is always to place the patient first, which means delivering the highest quality of care by the most efficient and effective means possible. Similarly, as a senator, I will place my constituents and the interests of the Granite State first, bringing that same brand of results-driven leadership that focuses on strategic problem solving, not advancing an ideology or partisan agenda.  By working together, we can address issues of infrastructure and high quality education for all New Hampshire residents. Most importantly, we can move our state forward to end the opioid crisis and keep New Hampshire families healthy and safe,” Sherman concluded.  

About District 24

Senate District 24 is a swing district located on New Hampshire’s beautiful seacoast. It consists of eleven towns all in Rockingham County, stretching from Newton to Newcastle. Governor Hassan won 50 percent.

Guest Editorial: Why Shawn O’Connor is a Liability to Democrats


Written by Charlie “Chaz” Proulx

Since moving to Bedford from New York a few years ago, Shawn O’Connor has gone from doing next to nothing to help NH Democrats to becoming a major liability.

A short history:

On November 24, 2014 James Pindell wrote this about Shawn O’Connor’s preparations to run for the US senate against Kelly Ayotte. “Shawn O’Connor moved from New York City to Bedford last year and has not been particularly active in local Democratic politics. He has not given money to any federal candidates…according to the Federal Election website. Though a day before the Nov. 4 election, he did give $1,000. each to the Manchester Democratic Committee and to Executive Councilor Chris Pappas.”

Two thousand dollars isn’t very much for the founder and former president of Stratus Prep. According to O’Connor, “I sold the business for a ten figure valuation to a private equity firm.” Ten figures is a billion dollars.

It’s to his credit that he made so much money so young. But really–two thousand dollars? And beyond money, there are plenty of other things New Hampshire Democrats do to help keep the party strong. Shawn did none of them.

Most NH Democrats get active in one way or another and start making like-minded friends. New Hampshire is a small state where networking is very personal. But when I heard that Shawn O’Connor was running for Congress in the first district neither I nor anyone I knew in politics knew anything about him. Soon enough he claimed to have hired the Berenson Strategy Group and other ultra heavy hitters from outside NH to shape his image.

Creating an image for Mr. O’Connor had to be a challenge because a few years ago he was touting the “Third Way” movement in Forbes magazine. He singled out Democrats for wanting to raise taxes.

Somehow O’Connor then pivoted to become a Bernie Sanders supporter. Strange, because last summer his publicized political issues list never mentioned income equality. I saw him speak three times and there was no mention of Bernie Sanders either.

Now he’s all in with all the Bernie trappings. A recent O’Connor television ad co-opted Sanders “Join the Revolution” slogan. That’s a long way from Steve Forbes rag and anti tax rhetoric.

We all have epiphanies, but I suspect that Mr. O’Connor and his handlers watched Sanders pre-primary numbers and saw an opportunity to differentiate himself from Jeanne Shaheen, Carol Shea’Porter and Maggie Hassan — all of whom endorsed Hillary Clinton.

An early hint of mild negativity was to lump Maggie, Carol and Jeanne together as “establishment.” Shortly thereafter O’Connor press releases began reeking of a holier-than-thou attitude towards Shea-Porter. He attacked Carol’s character over accepting Union Pac money. He failed to mention that when Carol won her first primary the campaign had $19,000, then refused DCCC money and still managed to beat Jeb Bradley.

That win had everything to do with the networks of friend and activists I mentioned above. It was a true grass roots effort — one of the biggest upsets in NH political history. CSP had spent less than any other winning candidate for Congress in the entire US.

Then of course came the threats to sue Carol Shea-Porter. Before the threats hit the papers, O’Connor was lawyered up and pressuring leaders of the NHDP to “mediate” between him and Carol Shea-Porter. What a crazy – assed stunt when true Democrats are focused on a Presidential election year.

Turmoil followed. In the media Mr. O’Connor’s dragged State Sen. David Pierce into the mix. Sen. Pierce had endorsed Mr. O’Connor, but he found himself defending Mr. O’Connors over-the-top allegations of a “defamatory whisper campaign” against him. O’Connor has since called the “whisper campaign” part of a “broad conspiracy” perpetrated by Carol Shea-Porter. (My take is that at the very worst, somebody “misspoke” to Senator Pierce then “walked the statement back” a few days later.) I met David Pierce when he first moved to NH and respect him a lot. I can’t imagine that any of this was comfortable for him.

Next O’Connor told the press that members of Bernie Sanders campaign would corroborate his “whisper campaign” story. Two major staffers names were splashed across the press and local television. Both denied O’Connor’s allegations.

The Sanders Campaign didn’t need these distractions, but needy Shawn did.

And then there’s Twitter. Mr. O’Connor ties anyone who doesn’t agree with him to CSP campaign. People who have never had anything to do with CSP are called CSP hacks.

And if he doesn’t like what you write he’ll just make up something about you. Actually he’ll lie about you. Openly Gay, he has Tweeted that I’m Anti LBTG anti Domestic Survivor.” People who know me know that’s a lie, but his supporters probably believe I’m a bigot.

America Rising (Republican opposition research pac) is now attacking Shea Porter based on Shawn’s meme. Does Shawn understand that he’s tossing red-meat to the GOP?

I have no idea what motivates Mr. O’Connor but his all-about-Shawn act is wearing thinner every day.


Related Reading: The NHDP Fires Back At The O’Connor Campaign, O’Connor Responds With More Accusations

WMUR/UNH Poll Shows Ayotte’s Supreme Court Obstruction Hurting Her Standing in New Hampshire

UNH Survey Center: “Ayotte’s Popularity Takes Hit, Remains in a Dead Heat with Hassan for US Senate Seat” 

CONCORD — WMUR/UNH released a new Granite State Poll today that shows the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire is a virtual dead heat, with Governor Hassan within one point of Senator Ayotte. Senator Ayotte’s net favorability has dropped 13 points since the last Granite State Poll, and WMUR reports that “Ayotte’s support for the Senate Republican leadership’s refusal to hold a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland appears to have hurt her in the eyes of voters.”

“It’s clear that Granite Staters strongly support Maggie Hassan’s efforts to take her bipartisan problem-solving approach that’s working in New Hampshire to the United State Senate,” said Maggie for NH Communications Director Aaron Jacobs. “This poll reinforces what the people of New Hampshire have been telling Kelly Ayotte for weeks in letters to the editors, protests outside her office and public appearances across the state: it’s long past time for Ayotte to do her job and stop obstructing the Supreme Court confirmation process.”

60% of New Hampshire likely voters believe the Senate should vote on Judge Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, including 55% of Independents. 40% of New Hampshire likely voters also said Ayotte’s position on the Supreme Court appointment makes them less likely to vote for her.

“Granite Staters deserve better than a Senator who sides with her far-right party leadership and special interest backers over justice for millions of Americans,” added Jacobs.

You can read the full poll here.

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