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Massachusetts and New Hampshire AFLCIO Presidents Speak Out Against Outsourcers Scott Brown And Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney

As Outsourcing Champion Mitt Romney Campaigns With Scott Brown, Massachusetts and New Hampshire Labor Leaders Speak Out on Brown’s Outsourcing Record

Manchester, NH – Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven Tolman and New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Mark Mackenzie spoke out against Scott Brown’s outsourcing record today as he campaigned alongside outsourcing champion Mitt Romney. Like Romney, Scott Brown has a record of profiting off companies that ship American jobs overseas. In the Senate, Brown voted to protect tax breaks for companies that shipped jobs overseas.

“New Hampshire shouldn’t make the same mistake Massachusetts made, because Scott Brown’s record when he went to Washington proves that he’s not for working families. He’s a guy that works to protect his corporate special interest backers, at the cost of the middle class,” said Steven Tolman, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “Now we know that since losing in Massachusetts, Brown has been making hundreds of thousands of dollars off of a company that made outsourcing part of its business plan. That company, Kadant Inc., even outsourced jobs in Massachusetts, the same state he once served. Scott Brown was wrong for Massachusetts and he’s wrong for New Hampshire.”

“Outsourcing is the type of business practice that lines the pockets of people like Scott Brown and Mitt Romney, but is devastating for communities in a state like New Hampshire,” said Mark Mackenzie, President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. “When jobs are shipped overseas, families suffer, unemployment rates increase, and entire communities are decimated. The fact that Scott Brown personally profited from this practice is shameful. We can’t trust him and most definitely can’t afford to send his agenda back to the Senate.”

As a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted to protect special tax breaks for companies that offshore American jobs. After leaving the Senate, he made more than a quarter million dollars by serving on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc., a company that outsourced American jobs to increase its bottom line. Just two days before he announced his most recent campaign in New Hampshire, Brown signed legal documents endorsing the company’s business strategy, which included establishing cheaper manufacturing facilities in China and Mexico.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party is releasing a new web ad ahead of Scott Brown’s campaign stop with fellow Massachusetts politician and notorious outsourcer, Mitt Romney. During Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, it was revealed that Mitt Romney invested millions of dollars in a company that profited off of U.S. Outsourcing. Similarly, Scott Brown has been making hundreds of thousands of dollars off an outsourcing company, even endorsing their business strategy, which included sending jobs to China and Mexico.

To view the web ad on YouTube, click here:

“Scott Brown and Mitt Romney both cashed in off of outsourcing jobs–and that’s just further proof that both are wrong for our economy and wrong for New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Julie McClain.

 

 

Granite State Rumblings: 10 Ways To Cut Poverty And Grow The Middle Class

Happy Family ( FLIKR CC David Amsler)
Happy Family ( FLIKR CC David Amsler)

Happy Family ( FLIKR CC David Amsler)

I spend a lot of time writing and working on poverty related issues and to some it may seem that I have little interest in talking about or protecting the middle class. This is not case. Issues that affect those living in poverty and policies that help move individuals out of poverty all relate to and have a direct impact on the middle class. A large and stable middle class has been central to America’s wealth and stability for decades. To help make the case, I am sharing a recent brief from Rebecca Vallas, Associate Director of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress and Melissa Boteach, Vice President of Half in Ten and the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center.

The Top Ten Solutions to Cut Poverty and Grow the Middle Class

The Census Bureau released its annual income, poverty, and health insurance report yesterday, revealing that four years into the economic recovery, there has been some progress in the poverty rate as it fell from 15 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013, but there was no statistically significant improvement in the number of Americans living in poverty.
Furthermore, low- and middle-income workers have seen little to no income growth over the past decade, as the gains from economic growth have gone largely to the wealthiest Americans.

With flat incomes and inequality stuck at historically high levels, one might assume that chronic economic insecurity and an off-kilter economy are the new normal and that nothing can be done to fix it. But there is nothing normal or inevitable about elevated poverty levels and stagnant incomes. They are the direct result of policy choices that put wealth and income into the hands of a few at the expense of growing a strong middle class.

The good news is that different policy choices can bring different outcomes. When the government invests in jobs and policies to increase workers’ wages and families’ economic security, children and families see improved outcomes in both the short and long term.

Here are 10 steps Congress can take to cut poverty, boost economic security, and expand the middle class.

1. Create jobs

The best pathway out of poverty is a well-paying job. To get back to prerecession employment levels, we must create 5.6 million new jobs. At the current pace, however, we will not get there until July 2018. To kick-start job growth, the federal government should invest in job-creation strategies such as rebuilding our infrastructure; developing renewable energy sources; renovating abandoned housing; and making other common-sense investments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and boost our national economy. We should also build on proven models of subsidized employment to help the long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged workers re-enter the labor force.

In addition, the extension of federal unemployment insurance would have created 200,000 new jobs in 2014, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Indeed, every $1 in benefits that flows to jobless workers yields more than $1.50 in economic activity. Unfortunately, Congress failed to extend federal unemployment insurance at the end of 2013, leaving 1.3 million Americans and their families without this vital economic lifeline.

2. Raise the minimum wage

In the late 1960s, a full-time worker earning the minimum wage could lift a family of three out of poverty. Had the minimum wage back then been indexed to inflation, it would be $10.86 per hour today, compared to the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and indexing it to inflation—as President Barack Obama and several members of Congress have called for—would lift more than 4 million Americans out of poverty. Nearly one in five children would see their parent get a raise. Recent action taken by cities and states—such as Seattle, Washington; California; Connecticut; and New Jersey—shows that boosting the minimum wage reduces poverty and increases wages.

3. Increase the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers

One of our nation’s most effective anti-poverty tools, the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, helped more than 6.5 million Americans—including 3.3 million children—avoid poverty in 2012. It’s also an investment that pays long-term dividends. Children who receive the EITC are more likely to graduate high school and to have higher earnings in adulthood. Yet childless workers largely miss out on the benefit, as the maximum EITC for these workers is less than one-tenth that awarded to workers with two children.
President Obama and policymakers across the political spectrum have called for boosting the EITC in order to right this wrong. Importantly, this policy change should be combined with a hike in the minimum wage; one is not a substitute for the other.

4. Support pay equity

With female full-time workers earning just 78 cents for every $1 earned by men, action must be taken to ensure equal pay for equal work. Closing the gender wage gap would cut poverty in half for working women and their families and add nearly half a trillion dollars to the nation’s gross domestic product. Passing the Paycheck Fairness Act to hold employers accountable for discriminatory salary practices would be a key first step.

5. Provide paid leave and paid sick days

The United States is the only developed country in the world without paid family and medical leave and paid sick days, making it very difficult for millions of American families to balance work and family without having to sacrifice needed income. Paid leave is an important anti-poverty policy, as having a child is one of the leading causes of economic hardship. Additionally, nearly 4 in 10 private-sector workers—and 7 in 10 low-wage workers—do not have a single paid sick day, putting them in the impossible position of having to forgo needed income, or even their job, in order to care for a sick child. The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or FAMILY Act, would provide paid leave protection to workers who need to take time off due to their own illness, the illness of a family member, or the birth of a child. And the Healthy Families Act would enable workers to earn up to seven job-protected sick days per year.

6. Establish work schedules that work

Low-wage and hourly jobs increasingly come with unpredictable and constantly shifting work schedules, which means workers struggle even more to balance erratic work hours with caring for their families. Ever-changing work schedules make accessing child care even more difficult than it already is and leave workers uncertain about their monthly income. Furthermore, things many of us take for granted—such as scheduling a doctor’s appointment or a parent-teacher conference at school—become herculean tasks. The Schedules That Work Act would require two weeks’ advance notice of worker schedules, which would allow employees to request needed schedule changes. It would also protect them from retaliation for making such requests—and provide guaranteed pay for cancelled or shortened shifts. These are all important first steps to make balancing work and family possible.

7. Invest in affordable, high-quality child care and early education

The lack of affordable, high-quality child care serves as a major barrier to reaching the middle class. In fact, one year of child care for an infant costs more than one year of tuition at most states’ four-year public colleges. On average, poor families who pay out of pocket for child care spend one-third of their incomes just to be able to work. Furthermore, federal child care assistance reaches only one in six eligible children.

Boosting investments in Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant, as well as passing the Strong Start for America’s Children Act—which would invest in preschool, high-quality child care for infants and toddlers, and home-visiting services for pregnant women and mothers with infants—will help more struggling families obtain the child care they need in order to work and improve the future economic mobility of America’s children.

8. Expand Medicaid

Since it was signed into law in 2010, the Affordable Care Act has expanded access to high-quality, affordable health coverage for millions of Americans. However, 23 states continue to refuse to expand their Medicaid programs to cover adults up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level—making the lives of many families on the brink much harder. Expanding Medicaid would mean more than just access to health care—it would free up limited household income for other basic needs such as paying rent and putting food on the table. Having health coverage is also an important buffer against the economic consequences of illness and injury; unpaid medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy. Studies link Medicaid coverage not only to improved health, improved access to health care services, and lower mortality rates, but also to reduced financial strain.

9. Reform the criminal justice system and enact policies that support successful re-entry

The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world. Today, more than 1.5 million Americans are behind bars in state and federal prisons, a figure that has increased fivefold since 1980. The impact on communities of color is particularly staggering: One in four African American children who grew up during this era of mass incarceration have had a parent incarcerated.

Mass incarceration is a key driver of poverty. When a parent is incarcerated, his or her family must find a way to make ends meet without a necessary source of income. Additionally, even a minor criminal record comes with significant collateral consequences that can serve as lifelong barriers to climbing out of poverty. For example, people with criminal records face substantial barriers to employment, housing, education, public assistance, and building good credit. More than 90 percent of employers now use background checks in hiring, and even an arrest without a conviction can prevent an individual from getting a job. The “one strike and you’re out” policy used by public housing authorities makes it difficult if not impossible for individuals with even decades-old criminal records to obtain housing, which can stand in the way of family reunification. Furthermore, a lifetime ban—for individuals with felony drug convictions—on receiving certain types of public assistance persists in more than half of U.S. states, making subsistence even more difficult for individuals seeking to regain their footing, and their families.

In addition to common-sense sentencing reform to ensure that we no longer fill our nation’s prisons with nonviolent, low-level offenders, policymakers should explore alternatives to incarceration, such as diversion programs for individuals with mental health and substance abuse challenges. We must also remove barriers to employment, housing, education, and public assistance. A decades-old criminal record should not consign an individual to a life of poverty.

10. Do no harm

The across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration—which took effect in 2013—slashed funding for programs and services that provide vital support to low-income families. Sequestration cost the U.S. economy as many as 1.6 million jobs between mid-2013 and 2014. Some relief was provided this January, when Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, but many important tools to help low-income individuals and families pave a path to the middle class—such as adult and youth education and training programs, child welfare, and community development programs—were on a downward funding trend even before sequestration took effect.

As Congress considers a continuing resolution to fund the federal government past October 1 and avoid another government shutdown, it should reject further cuts to programs and services such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, which provides vital nutrition assistance to pregnant women and mothers with new babies. Thereafter, Congress should make permanent the important improvements made to the EITC and the Child Tax Credit as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which are set to expire in 2017. And it should avoid additional cuts to vital programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, which suffered two rounds of deep cuts in 2013 and 2014.

Conclusion

It is possible for America to dramatically cut poverty. Between 1959 and 1973, a strong economy, investments in family economic security, and new civil rights protections helped cut the U.S. poverty rate in half. Investments in nutrition assistance have improved educational attainment, earnings, and income among the young girls who were some of the food stamp program’s first recipients. Expansions of public health insurance have lowered infant mortality rates and reduced the incidence of low birth rates. In more recent history, states that raised the minimum wage have illustrated the important role that policy plays in combating wage stagnation.

There is nothing inevitable about poverty. We just need to build the political will to enact the policies that will increase economic security, expand opportunities, and grow the middle class.

GROWING UP GRANITE

The NH Center for Public Policy Studies recently released their report, “What is New Hampshire?” 2014 Edition. Here is just a small piece of the report and here is where to go find and read the rest of it!

New Hampshire is navigating a series of shifting economic, demographic, social and political forces. Among the new trends shaping the state into the 21st Century: an aging population; increasing racial and ethnic diversity; a shift away from the high-growth economic model of the past; and continued demand on the state budget for public services. While the implications of these and other challenges are still unclear, they do raise critical policy questions explored in this report.

Throughout its history, New Hampshire has worn many identities: agricultural outpost on the edge of New England; bustling engine of the Industrial Revolution; oasis for nature-seeking tourists; haven for tax-fleeing transplants. In the early years of the 21st Century, New Hampshire is still evolving amid shifting economic, demographic, social and political forces.

Among the new trends shaping the “new” New Hampshire: an aging population; increasing racial and ethnic diversity; a shift away from the high-growth economic model of the past; and continued demand on the state budget for public services

While the implications of these and other challenges are still unclear, they do raise critical policy questions, including:

  • Economy: New Hampshire suffered the effects of the Great Recession less severely than many other states, but slow job growth continues to gnaw at the state’s economy. As of the summer of 2014, New Hampshire lagged behind the nation and the rest of New England in recovering jobs lost during the recession. What is the state’s economic development plan, especially in relation to demographic trends that show New Hampshire’s population growth slowing in coming years? What specific industries or regions of New Hampshire will help shape the state’s economy in coming years? What regional approaches to economic development will find greatest success?
  • Demographic change: While New Hampshire is consistently rated one of the best places in the country to raise children, our population as a whole continues to age. Meanwhile, our school enrollment continues on a decade-long decline, and several measures of youth well-being in the state show worrisome trends, including rising levels of childhood poverty. What are the implications of these developments on education policy, housing, public services and transportation?
  • Health care: New Hampshire’s health policy landscape faces great uncertainty amid recent reforms at the national level, as well as continued rises in cost and the continued aging of the state’s population. What impact will the shifting health marketplace have on New Hampshire’s economy and the well-being of its residents?
  • Long-term planning: State policymakers face a long list of critical issues in coming years: public infrastructure investment, education finance, corrections spending, health care, and energy policy, among others. Many of these require a long-term perspective and an understanding of multi-year trends. How will the state – which has a two-year budget cycle and a two-year term for all major state offices – manage to plan decades into the future?

This report is our annual survey of the major policy issues and critical questions shaping our future. The data explain where New Hampshire has been, forecast where it is heading, and explore how current trends and policy choices facing the state will affect the well-being of its citizens.

Jeanne Shaheen Continues “New Hampshire Jobs First” Tour at White Mountain Lumber in Berlin

Jeanne Shaheen 3

Shaheen Highlights Contrast Between Her Record of Supporting North Country Jobs And Scott Brown’s Record Supporting Companies that Outsource

Today, Senator Jeanne Shaheen visited White Mountain Lumber in Berlin, where she continued her “New Hampshire Jobs First” tour highlighting her work supporting North Country jobs in contrast with Scott Brown’s support for outsourcing policies and companies that ship jobs overseas. White Mountain Lumber has created good paying jobs in New Hampshire’s North Country and epitomizes the types of New Hampshire businesses Jeanne Shaheen has always stood up for in the Senate.

“Scott Brown and I have very different records when it comes to supporting job creation and standing up for local businesses here in New Hampshire,” said Senator Shaheen. “Scott Brown voted against the Small Business Jobs Act — against tax cuts for the New Hampshire small businesses that create jobs here. But Scott Brown did vote for tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas to places like China and Mexico, and now he’s cashing in by serving on the board of company that outsourced jobs to increase its bottom line. That’s wrong.”

“For me, New Hampshire always comes first. For the North Country, I’ve worked across the aisle to promote job creation – including when I worked to get the Berlin Prison open, which has created jobs and helped the economy. I’ve worked hard to protect our state’s natural beauty and promote our tourism industry, which is our state’s second largest. And I’ll always support smart policies like the Small Business Jobs Act which helped countless New Hampshire small businesses grow and create jobs.”

In the Senate, Scott Brown opposed the Small Business Jobs Act but supported special tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Brown continues to serve on the board of the company Kadant Inc., which offshored American jobs to China and Mexico to increase its bottom line. As a Kadant board member, Brown has made more than a quarter million dollars since February of 2013 and signed documents endorsing the company’s outsourcing strategy just two days before he declared his run for the Senate in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, New Hampshire has lost the highest percentage of jobs to China than any other state in the nation.

Walt Havenstein’s Campaign Full Of Controversy And Has A Record of Failed Leadership

walt havenstein

The battle lines for the corner office are now official. Walt Havenstein was overwhelmingly selected as the GOP candidate for Governor of New Hampshire.

Lets start with a few facts about Walt:

  • Walt is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, and served in the US Marines and Marine Corp reserves for a combined 28 years.
  • Walt was the CEO of BAE System, a government defense contractor.
  • Walt was also CEO of Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), a science, engineering, and technology firm that worked closely with federal agencies like the NSA, the DOD, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Isn’t it strange that the same man – who has made massive amounts of wealth working for and contracting with the federal government – is now going around saying we need “limited government” and “fiscal responsibility”?

So far, that fundamental inconsistency hasn’t been discussed much. Havenstein’s background and campaign is too full of other controversies.

There were questions about Havenstein’s residency and eligibility to run for Governor of New Hampshire.

After retiring from BAE, Havenstien became the CEO of SAIC, based in Maryland. Havenstein moved to Maryland where he owned a home and used tax exemptions that are only available to Maryland residents. After deciding to run for office in New Hampshire, Havenstein fought to prove his eligibility with the NH Ballot Law Commission; and they sided with Havenstein. However, after Havenstein’s residency was confirmed by the State of New Hampshire, the State of Maryland came after Havenstein for tax fraud.

“Havenstein will be billed for several years of back taxes after officials in Maryland said he accepted tax breaks he shouldn’t have. In 2007, Havenstein signed a pair of affidavits pledging that his primary residence at the time was in Maryland, and for four years, he received tax credits known as the homestead exemption. But upon entering the race for governor, Havenstein asserted that he has always lived in New Hampshire, and the state Ballot Law Commission ruled in his favor. Revenue officials in Maryland told News 9 that Havenstein shouldn’t have accepted benefits in that state.” [WMUR, August 20, 2014]

Then there is Havenstein’s “economic plan” to spur growth and create 25,000 new jobs.

“My economic plan commits the state to helping create 25,000 jobs over 2.5 years by changing the culture in Concord to focus on the private sector. That’s the same approach I successfully took at BAE Systems, where we created 1,500 new high-tech jobs right here in New Hampshire” (Union Leader Op-Ed, Sept 3, 2014)

The funny thing is that Havenstein is trying to tap into the current economic growth that Governor Hassan spurred. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that between June 2013 and June 2014, New Hampshire created over 10,000 new jobs. Included in the 10,000 new jobs are 2,500 new jobs in the hospitality and leisure industry – strong signs that the New Hampshire economy is already rebounding.   The BLS also shows an increase of over 1,000 new jobs in manufacturing, which would be the closest calculator for “high tech” jobs in New Hampshire.

As CEO of BAE Systems, Havenstien did create jobs but he did it by using our tax dollars. In 2008, BAE was the 5th largest contractor with the federal government receiving over $15.2 Billion dollars. This is more than have of their 2008 revenue, and this does not include the revenue from the governments of the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.

Havenstein is attempting to portray himself as a leader by citing his work as the CEO of two massive corporations. What Havenstein is neglecting to tell you is that as the CEO of SAIC, Havenstein collected his $20 million dollar salary while the company shed thousands of jobs and the company’s stock plummeted 32%.

SAIC has had other problems, too. In Oakland, California SAIC came under fire for being selected to design a city-wide “surveillance hub” that some said would infringe on their civil liberties and violate their rights to privacy. Civil liberty issues aside, the people of Oakland took issue with SAIC being selected to design this “surveillance hub” due to the company’s history.

“In recent years, SAIC has been accused of defrauding municipal governments, bribing foreign officials, and delivering shoddy products. And when the company does deliver the goods at cost and on time, it’s often for militarized projects linked to human rights abuses. Among SAIC’s recent contracts: training the Egyptian military, operating drones used to kill foreign citizens, building and operating portions of the NSA’s internet spying system used on Americans, and more.” (East Bay Express, Aug. 2013)

What the East Bay Express was referring to: in 2011, SAIC was forced to remove three high-level executives for work relating to New York City’s “CityTime” employment timekeeping system.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has alleged that “a massive and elaborate scheme to defraud the city” corrupted the program, and it charged Gerard Denault, SAIC’s lead project manager on the program, with receiving at least $5 million in illegal kickbacks.” (Washington Post Oct. 2011)

The project was an attempt for the City of New York to move municipal employees from paper punch cards to new digital palm scanners.

“The project’s initial budget was $68 million. But after SAIC acquired the company that had won the competitive bidding process for the work, CityTime’s cost mushroomed to more than $740 million in ten years.” (East Bay Express, Aug. 2013)

U.S. Attorney Preet Bahara said, “virtually the entirety of the more than $600 million that was paid to SAIC was tainted directly or indirectly by fraud.” (NY Daily News, June 2011)

NYC Mayor Bloomberg called for SAIC to refund $600 million dollars to the city.

And just before SAIC agreed to pay a $500 million settlement to NYC, Havenstein announced that he would be retiring for “personal reasons”.

At least Havenstein knows when to jump off the sinking ship.

The Washington Post was very critical of Havenstein and his leadership of SAIC.

“The company struggled under the strategy, watching its profit and revenue decline.” (Washington Post, Aug. 2012)

What’s next for a failed CEO? Politics, of course!

The people of New Hampshire should look closely at Havenstein’s record of failed leadership.   Havenstein is not what we need in the corner office. We do not need a Governor who is good at padding his bank account while others get shafted.

Havenstein has already stated that he will repeal the bi-partisan Medicaid Expansion bill that opened access to healthcare for 50,000 Granite Staters. I wonder how Walt would feel if we took away his healthcare?

Havenstein is also vehemently opposed to raising the minimum wage.

“I’m not in favor of raising the minimum wage because, I’m not in favor of raising the minimum wage, period.” [Havenstein Interview with WBKB, 15:03 min]

Havenstein does not know what it is like to be one of the tens of thousands of struggling middle class Granite Staters. With millions in his pockets, he has never had to choose whether to buy food or pay the heating bill. The fact that he would not even consider an increase in the minimum wage shows just how out of touch Havenstein is with real Granite Staters.

Governor Hassan, Senator Shaheen Announce Five NH Projects to Receive Northern Border Regional Commission Grant

Maggie Hassan

Grants to Help Spur Economic and Community Development in the North Country

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that five New Hampshire projects will receive grant funding from the Northern Border Regional Commission to help spur economic and community development in the North Country.

Totaling $968,365, the five grants will be awarded to the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN), the Town of Littleton, the Coos Economic Development Council, the Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) and the University of New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program.

“The Northern Border Regional Commission is an important regional collaboration and federal-state partnership that helps spur economic and community development in some of our most economically distressed areas,” Governor Hassan said. “These five projects will address infrastructure and transportation needs and promote business development across the North Country, creating jobs and strengthening our economy. I thank Senator Shaheen, the Northern Border Regional Commission and our regional partners in Maine, New York and Vermont for their efforts to help make this important investment in our people, businesses and communities a reality.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for jobs and the economy in northern New Hampshire,” Senator Shaheen said. “These five projects will support small business growth while addressing important infrastructure needs that are crucial for economic development in the North Country. I am hopeful that with the support of this grant, we will see a rejuvenation of North Country communities and businesses that have faced significant economic challenges.”

“This is great news for the North Country,” state Senator Jeff Woodburn said. “Each of these projects will in their own way contribute to revitalizing our economy, improving life for people and our business community.  I’m grateful to the persistent leadership of these organizations who applied for these grants and work tirelessly to improve our communities, and our national, regional and state officials who advocated so strongly for us.”

WREN will receive a $161,670 grant to create an entrepreneurial training center and “maker space” to serve more than an estimated 75 emerging and existing entrepreneurs.

The Town of Littleton will receive $250,000 to support a Main Street revitalization project, with two businesses already saying they plan to expand once the project is completed. Littleton will construct a multi-use bridge over the Ammonoosuc River, which will connect pedestrians, bicycles and off-road vehicles with downtown and the riverfront.

The Coos Economic Development Council will receive a $250,000 grant to construct a new cell tower on Cummings Mountain in West Dummer, a strategic connection that will provide service in unserved areas of Coos County, encouraging business development and enhancing emergency communications.

The NCIC will receive a $200,000 grant to expand and improve the NH Grand website, an important visitor information portal for Coos County.  NH Grand supports tourism marketing initiatives, and the funding will be used to incorporate new features on the website, including search engine optimization, multi-lingual accessibility, mapping and teletype, as well as a booking system and marketing opportunities via search engine sponsorships.

The University of New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program will receive a $106,695 grant to extend and enhance its broadband availability and mapping activities to the rural addresses of Coos County. The project will provide data about service availability in unserved and underserved areas in the region, which will be used to prioritize where investment should be focused to expand broadband access and to provide information to people and businesses considering relocating to the region.

The NBRC was created as a federal-state partnership approved in the 2008 Farm Bill, with a mission to address the economic and community development needs in economically distressed communities in the Northern Forest region, which includes New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and New York.

MA Truth Team: Brown’s Big Oil, Wall Street Record Is Wrong for New Hampshire

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Those Who Know Brown Best Highlight How Brown Failed Small Businesses, Women, Students, and Working Families 

10614242_10153178479977785_6783427704573705127_nManchester, NH—A dozen concerned men and women from Massachusetts, which included an elected state representative, union members, a women’s health advocate, a retired educator, and small business owners—traveled to Manchester today to launch the “Massachusetts Truth Team,” highlighting why Scott Brown was wrong for Massachusetts and is not for New Hampshire. The group specifically highlighted Brown’s opposition to equal pay protections for women, the minimum wage, and support for small businesses, along with his support for Big Oil, Wall Street, and tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs as reason why New Hampshire can’t afford to support him this November.

“These men and women are highlighting how Scott Brown’s record was wrong for Massachusetts and is not for New Hampshire,” said Former NHDP Chair Kathy Sullivan. “Instead of voting in the interest of working families, he voted to protect special breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Instead of protecting small businesses, he voted repeatedly to protect tax breaks for the big oil companies, making record profits. Instead of protecting women’s health choices, he supported the Blunt Amendment and defended the Hobby Lobby decision.”

“During a time when Massachusetts workers needed good-paying jobs, Scott Brown voted to protect special breaks for companies that send American jobs overseas, tax breaks for Big Oil, and scored a sweetheart deal for Wall Street banks when he watered down regulations and got them off the hook for $19 billion to help pay for reforms,” said small business owner Barbara Weniger. “As a small business owner, that was all I needed to see to know that he wasn’t looking out for me – he was looking out for the out-of-state special interest groups that were lining his campaign coffers. Wherever Scott Brown goes, we know who has his ear—and that’s Wall Street.”

“Scott Brown was our Senator in Massachusetts when many families were having a tough time just paying the bills,” said Linda Harvey, who operates her own law firm and often represents working families. “He spent his entire campaign riding around in his truck, telling families like mine that he was one of us. But once he got there, we found out who Scott Brown really stood for: Wall Street and Big Oil. As someone who’s seen Scott Brown campaign before, I say this: don’t buy what he’s selling.”

“When Scott Brown was in Massachusetts, he always delivered for Big Oil and Wall Street, but he left Massachusetts students in the dust, voting to cut programs like Pell Grants and Head Start that put our kids on a path to success,” said retired teacher Lois Jacobs. “Nothing does more to promote opportunity in this country than access to an affordable, quality education. But Scott Brown voted time and time again to make cuts to education while supporting special breaks for Big Oil and Wall Street.”

“Once Scott Brown became a Senator, it became clear who he was,” said Secretary Treasurer of New England Regional Council of Carpenters, Mark Erlich. “In 2010, he voted three times against extending unemployment benefits during the greatest recession since the Great Depression. He voted twice against job creation legislation, even recently saying that he does not believe that a Senator should create jobs. Meanwhile, he voted to protect $24 billion in tax subsidies for Big Oil companies, and he watered down regulations for big banks, saving them $19 billion. New Hampshire is a great state, and my view is that New Hampshire deserves better.”

“When Scott Brown was Senator in Massachusetts, women learned the hard way that he’s not someone we can trust, especially when it comes to pay equity and women’s health,” said Megan Amundson, Executive Director of Massachusetts NARAL. “He’s always talked a big game about being bipartisan and protecting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, he let us down when it counted every time. Scott Brown lost his seat in Massachusetts because he does not stand with women, so women did not stand with him. Make no mistake—nothing has changed. He will represent New Hampshire women just as poorly as he represented Massachusetts women.”

“Since Scott Brown moved to New Hampshire, he has been rejecting research and statistics that show that an increase in the minimum wage results in faster job growth, and he has ignored the fact that more than 110,000 Granite Staters, of which 60% are women, would get a much-needed raise if the federal minimum wage were increased to $10.10 an hour,” said State Representative Tom Conroy. “Scott Brown has spent months struggling to explain why he opposes raising the minimum wage, which is exactly why Brown has the wrong priorities for New Hampshire. He’s turning his back on hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters, all while he collects a $270,000 paycheck from a company that outsourced American jobs. Brown even endorsing that business strategy. I urge Granite Staters to reject Brown on November 4th.”

Over the next seven weeks, the Massachusetts Truth Team will show how Scott Brown was wrong for Massachusetts and is not for New Hampshire as he attempts to distort the facts about his positions and rewrite history as a Senate candidate in New Hampshire.

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

Jeanne Shaheen at AFLCIO

Jeanne Shaheen at AFLCIO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had my question all ready:

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

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

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

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

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

Will Senator Sanders Run? After This Speech, I Hope So!

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

There is a war out there and whether you know it or not, you are a part of it.  This is a war between a few ultra-wealthy families and the rest of us living here in America.

These ultra-wealthy 1%’ers have been buying elections and forcing policy changes that weaken our labor laws, weaken environmental protections, and most importantly take money from hard working Americans and put it into the pockets of Wall Street hedge fund managers.

What is a middle class worker supposed to do?

Every year we sit and watch, as our paychecks appear to shrink and our grocery bills get higher and higher.  Corporate run healthcare is costing us more and more, and yet our employers refuse to increase wages.  Effectively Corporate is slowly eating away at our take home pay.

We need someone who will fight back against Corporate America, the Koch brothers, and the Walton family greed.  We need someone who will fight to rebuild the middle class, and reach down to help those who are not there yet.

Who could that person be? Hillary Clinton? Maybe, well have to see. Elizabeth Warren? Love her, but we need her in the Senate right now.

Have no fear, Bernie Sanders is here!  

The truth is that nobody knows if Bernie Sanders is officially going to run for President or not, and trust me I tried to ask him at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast.  Even though I did not get a straight answer, after watching Senator Sanders speak there is no doubt in my mind he is running. And that makes me very happy!

As an avid political commentator, and devoted follower of politics, sadly I do not think Bernie will win the Democratic Party nomination.  That being said it is vitally important that Senator Sanders puts his name in the race, because he is going to ask the questions that absolutely nobody on the right will dare answer, and he is going to change the entire debate on the left, which may make Hillary a little uncomfortable.

The fact that Senator Sanders is even considering to run has many 1%’ers running scared. The more Bernie talks about running, the more speeches like this one, get pushed into the mainstream media.  The 1% does not want you to know that they are secretly creating policies that suppress your wages, and boost their profits.  The 1% does not want you to know that they have been working to break our unions, and repeal the minimum wage. The 1% does not want you to know that they are secretly changing our environmental laws to make it easier to pollute our planet.

“The problems we face today are probable more serious than at any time since the Great Depression” warned Sanders.  “From the bottom my heart, I believe these problems are solvable, but they will not be solved unless working people come together and have the courage to take on the greed and the selfishness that we are seeing all over this country.”

At one point Senator Sanders talked about how our entire tax structure is unbalanced and that we have to do something about the vast income inequality currently dividing our country.  This is effecting our communities as local budgets are getting tighter and tighter. Lack of revenue and budget cuts have forced teachers to be laid off.  Laying off teachers is the worst thing we can do if we are trying to build strong community.  Teachers are forced out while Wall Street hedge fund managers collect obscene amounts of money.

“24 of the most lucrative hedge fund managers made more money than 425,000 public school teachers. That makes sense to nobody I know,” Sanders said.

Senator Sander also talked about David Koch’s Libertarian agenda when he ran for Vice President in 1980.  All of the things that were too extreme for main stream Republicans in 1980 like, repealing the minimum wage, the repeal of Social Security, repealing campaign finance laws, the abolition of the USPS and the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid, are now the basis of the modern day TEA Party led Republican Party.

All of these policy changes favor those ultra-wealthy 1%’ers and basically screw the rest of us.  That is not what our founding fathers wanted when they created our democracy.

Senator Sanders said, “We live in a Democracy not an Oligarchy!”

I say RUN, Bernie, RUN!!!

 

Watch Senator Sanders entire speech at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day Breakfast below. 

 

Walt Havensteis’s Job Plan Just Doesn’t Add Up

walt havenstein

Following Labor Day, Failed CEO Walt Havenstein Needs to Explain to New Hampshire Workers Why He Fudged the Job Numbers in His Economic “Plan”

Havenstein’s “Plan” Distorts Job Creation Numbers in Attempt to Mislead Voters; Hides Fact that NH is Already on Pace to Create 25,000 Private Sector Jobs in Two and a Half Years 

Manchester, NH – Following Labor Day, failed CEO Walt Havenstein needs to explain to New Hampshire workers why he fudged the job numbers in his economic “plan.” Havenstein’s so-called “plan” promises to create 25,000 private sector jobs in two and a half years. But by using misleading numbers to calculate the current rate of job-creation, Havenstein tries to hide the fact that New Hampshire’s economy is already on pace to create 25,000 jobs in the same amount of time.

Though Havenstein’s “plan” uses misleading and unsound methodology to claim that New Hampshire created 4,500 jobs over the past year, an honest accounting reveals that New Hampshire’s economy actually created 10,400 private sector jobs between June 2013 and June 2014.

“It should come as no surprise that Havenstein botched his own economic ‘plan’ given that as CEO of SAIC, his last attempt to implement a ‘plan’ drove the company into the ground, as SAIC lost millions of dollars and thousands of jobs,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. “The truth is that under Governor Hassan’s leadership, New Hampshire’s job-creators are already on pace to hit Havenstein’s targets. Havenstein’s Koch Brothers ‘plan’ would just pad the profits of multi-national corporations while undermining our economic progress and hurting New Hampshire’s middle class families and small businesses.”

A closer look at the numbers behind Havenstein’s “plan” reveals a misleading and unsound methodology. Havenstein not only cherry-picked seasonally-adjusted jobs number to calculate New Hampshire’s current rate of job creation, but he also incorporates government job losses to drive the number down to his claimed 4,500 figure.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own guidance, “annual average estimates are calculated from the not seasonally adjusted data series.” Meaning the most accurate number of private sector jobs created from June 2013 to June 2014 is 10,400 (non-seasonally adjusted, non-government jobs). By this measure, New Hampshire’s economy is already on pace to exceed Walt’s target in the same amount of time.

BACKGROUND

The revelations over Havenstein’s misleading and unsound methodology come as criticism of his “plan” mounts.

An editorial in today’s Concord Monitor notes, “Havenstein, if elected, would push to lower the state’s Business Profits Tax from 8.5 percent to 7.4 percent, something that he magically believes would create 25,000 new jobs. He offers no evidence to support that belief, and history suggests it’s misplaced.”

In a fact check of Havenstein’s“plan,” the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute points out that the business tax giveaways in Havenstein’s so-called “plan” would “reduce tax revenue by as much as $90 million per biennium.” And as NHFPI notes, “Business tax cuts, if not offset by increases in other taxes, will lead to reductions in the public services on which both residents and businesses rely.”

The Union Leader’s Garry Rayno also highlighted how Walt’s economic “plan” to lower the Business Profits Tax would largely benefit multi-national companies, while not helping New Hampshire small businesses and local job creators.

And in a Nashua Telegraph Op-Ed, Mark Connolly described Havenstein’s “plan” as, “more slogan than reality” and possessing “no basis in economic reality,” likening it to GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s failed “9-9-9” idea.

For full New Hampshire employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics see below or here

New Hampshire not seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs

  • June 2013: 649,300
  • June 2014: 658,500
  • Change:  +9,200

New Hampshire not seasonally adjusted government jobs

  • June 2013: 88,400
  • June 2014: 87,200
  • Change: -1,200

New Hampshire not seasonally adjusted private sector jobs (total non-farm minus total government jobs)

  • June 2013: 560,900
  • June 2014: 571,300
  • Change: +10,400 jobs

Governor Hassan And NH Employment Security Launch Operation VETS Connect

Marine Veteran Saluting Flag

Initiative Creates 100-Day Challenge to Employers to Incorporate or Expand Veteran Hiring Initiatives

CONCORD – In order to support New Hampshire’s veterans and help ensure that they have the employment opportunities that they deserve, Governor Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire Employment Security (NHES) Commissioner George Copadis today launched Operation VETS Connect, an initiative aimed at building on current efforts to support veteran hiring in New Hampshire.

Operation VETS Connect creates a 100-day challenge to New Hampshire employers to incorporate or expand upon established veteran hiring initiatives. The challenge runs from September 2 to December 10, and it will promote a greater awareness of veterans, the unique skills that they bring to the workforce and the benefits employers obtain in hiring them.

“Our veterans sacrifice bravely in defense of our freedoms, and they have the character, experience and work ethic to be an asset for any employer,” Governor Hassan said. “They represent the very best of our state’s deep talent pool, possessing a wide variety of transferrable skills proven in real-world situations, including leadership, collaboration and the ability to focus on and achieve defined objectives. Operation VETS Connect is an exciting initiative that will help strengthen our civilian workforce and our economy while ensuring that all of our veterans have access to the employment opportunities that they deserve.”

“New Hampshire Employment Security is committed to supporting veteran employment, and we are proud to launch Operation VETS Connect, an important initiative that will enhance current efforts to support veteran hiring in the Granite State,” NHES Commissioner George Copadis said.

As part of Operation VETS Connect, NHES will continue to host veteran-specific job fairs. The state will also send out notices to employers about the benefits of hiring veterans and provide resources to veterans to assist with resume writing and other tips for a successful job search.

In addition, referrals or funding may be available through state agencies for training opportunities such as the Return to Work and On-the-Job Training (OJT) programs, apprenticeships and programs through NH Works. For OJT specifically, up to $500,000 may be available.

Employers with a federal tax identification number and who hire New Hampshire veterans are eligible to participate in Operation VETS Connect. In order to participate, employers must register in the New Hampshire Job Match System (JMS), share job announcements with the local American Job Center and complete a job fair registration form.

Participating employers are encouraged to attend NHES-sponsored job fairs or host a hiring-recruitment event. They also agree to consider veteran applicants and their unique skills, to work with NHES to identify areas to help better prepare denied applicants to enter the workforce and to respond to all resumes and applications received from veterans.

Veteran job seekers must visit their local American Job Center, register in JMS, attend local NHES job fairs and make a good faith effort to strengthen their documentation and presentation to employers of relevant skills and experience.

At the end of the 100-day challenge, employers will be recognized for their participation. For more information about NHES job fairs and events, visit http://www.nhes.nh.gov/media/job-fairs/.

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