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Congressional Candidate Wants More “Evidence-Based” Policy Making

Almost every day we can read about another unqualified crony being appointed to run any number of federal agencies. The Trump administration has made a joke out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by appointing Scott Pruitt to lead the organization. As the Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, Pruitt fought the EPA’s regulations and continually denied the science on climate change.

Another example is the nomination of Sam Clovis to be the top scientist at the US Food and Drug Administration despite the fact he is not a scientist. Clovis, a former radio talk show host, economics professor, and Trump campaign aide, openly admitted to having no degrees in agricultural or natural sciences and called climate change “junk science”.

Clovis has since withdrawn his consideration for the under-secretary position but clearly shows the Trump administration’s pattern of nominating anti-climate change, anti-science, political cronies to lead federal agencies.

With the heads of major natural science agencies being run by anti-science ideologues, it would then fall on Congress to address some of the environmental issues facing the country.

That is just one of the reasons Rye State Rep, Mindi Messmer, has decided to run for Congress. As an environmental scientist, she brings nearly 30 years of experience working to clean up the environment and protecting communities from the harmful toxins that lay dormant underground.

“I am running for Congress to ensure clean drinking water for all Americans, to take precautions to mitigate the environmental causes of cancer, and to stand up to industry-backed attacks on science federal agencies like the EPA by Scott Pruitt and others,” said Messmer. “At a time when the EPA is being dismantled, and environmental policy and regulations are being decimated, I vow to fiercely advocate for evidence-based policy if elected to Congress.”

“It​ ​is​ ​encouraging​ ​to​ ​see​ ​candidates​ ​like​ ​Mindi,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​proven​ ​track​ ​record​ ​of standing​ ​up​ ​for​ ​science​ ​science,​ ​stepping​ ​up​ ​to​ ​the​ ​plate​ ​to​ ​run​ ​for​ ​office,” said Joshua​ ​Morrow,​​Executive​ ​Director​ ​of​ ​314​ ​Action after hearing of Messmer’s decision to run.​ ​”In​ ​an era​ ​where​ ​alternative​ ​facts​ ​and​ ​attacks​ ​on​ ​science​ ​are​ ​the​ ​norm​ ​at​ ​the​ ​hands​ ​of the​ ​Trump​ ​Administration,​ ​Congress​ ​needs​ ​the​ ​perspective​ ​of​ ​scientists​ ​who​ ​will base​ ​policy​ ​on​ ​evidence​ ​rather​ ​than​ ​intuition.”

For 28 years, Messmer has run Terra Nova Environmental, a consulting firm that focuses on the “evaluation, design, development, and implementation of conventional and innovative in-situ and on-site technologies for remediation of contaminated sites.”

Most notably she was the first to identify and report a “pediatric cancer cluster” in five Seacoast NH towns. Her work prompted then Governor, Maggie Hassan to create a task force to investigate the “rhabdomyosarcoma and pleuropulmonary blastoma double pediatric cancer cluster.”

As head of the task force subcommittee, Messmer coordinated with the EPA and the NH Department of Environmental Services to investigate the Coakley Landfill Superfund Site, as the possible cause of the cancer cluster.

Messmer has also been leading the charge on the contaminated ground water in Merrimack, Bedford, and Litchfield linked to the Saint Gobain factory as well as groundwater contaminations linked to the Pease Air Force Base.

As a consultant, Messmer could only do so much. But as a state legislator she could write her own legislation to get the state to address these water issues. And that is exactly what she did.

Messmer was elected to the NH House of Representatives in 2016 and has already submitted a number of bills, three of which have already become law. Messmer’s bills created commissions to further study the cancer cluster and water contamination on the Seacoast as well as a commission to study “environmentally triggered illnesses” in New Hampshire.

In a brief conversation with Messmer after her announcement to run for Congress she talked about how there are more than 150 “superfund sites” similar to those at Pease AFB all across the country that need to be investigated.

Messmer is a longtime resident of Rye, NH where she lives with her husband and two teenage sons.


You can read her full campaign announcement here. Be sure to subscribe to the NH Labor News to get more news on the Congressional races in NH.

In New Campaign Ad ‘Vision’, Shea-Porter Showcases Distinct Differences Between Candidates

In New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, we have two very distinctly different choices.

Guinta ABC MailerIn one corner we have Congressman Frank Guinta, who in 2010 won the distinguished title of “Most Corrupt Politician” from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Guinta has also been busted by the FEC once for illegal campaign contributions and already has another FEC complaint against him.  Guinta receives lavish campaign support from the Koch Brothers network, The Americans for Prosperity, and dozens of special interest Super PACs.  During previous campaigns Guinta received heavy support from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) who actively lobby against unions and push for so-called “Right to Work” in our State House.

In the other corner we have former Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, a proven fighter against the special interests and who refuses to take corporate PAC money.  She is committed to preserving Social Security and Medicare for future generations and refuses to let politicians balance their budgets on the backs of seniors.  Shea-Porter is a strong labor ally who has fought hard against attacks on workers rights and specifically against attacks on the USPS.

“I’m running for Congress because New Hampshire needs an independent voice, someone who isn’t beholden to corporations or special interests. DC Democrats weren’t very happy when regular citizens asked me to run again because they know I’m independent and I refuse to accept corporate PAC or DC lobbyist money.  When I’m back in Congress, I’ll once again stand up for veterans, seniors, students, and working men and women.  I’ll fight for raising the minimum wage, for equal pay for equal work, paid family leave, affordable child care, Planned Parenthood, and debt-free college,” said Carol Shea-Porter.

Earlier this week, the Carol Shea-Porter for Congress campaign released “Vision,” their first campaign ad of the season.  

The 30-second spot highlights Carol’s commitment to New Hampshire values: family, hard work, responsibility, and fairness.  In the ad, Carol talks about her priorities, like passing equal pay for equal work, raising wages for workers, and making sure veterans get the benefits they deserve. 

Is Carol Shea-Porter Really Attacking Shawn O’Connor As A ‘Perpetrator Of Domestic Violence’?

The Democratic Primary for NH’s First Congressional District just took a very nasty turn.

The Shawn O’Connor campaign sent out an email and corresponding petition claiming the Carol Shea-Porter campaign is going around telling people that O’Connor is “a perpetrator of domestic violence.”

“Ms. Shea-Porter’s campaign has repeatedly called her primary opponent, Shawn O’Connor, ‘a perpetrator of domestic violence,’” wrote the O’Connor campaign.

This news came as a shock to many people including myself. I have known Carol Shea-Porter and her campaign staff for the better part of a decade, and this is completely out of character for her. So I contacted both campaigns for more information.

The O’Connor campaign told me that Shea-Porter’s campaign manager Naomi Andrews communicated this rumor to Julia Barnes, the former NH for Bernie campaign director, at an event in January. O’Connor’s campaign also claimed that this rumor was repeated to former Senator Jackie Cilley and Senator David Pierce by people who have supported Shea-Porter’s campaign in the past.

After getting O’Connor’s side of the story, I reached out to Julia Barnes and Naomi Andrews for their comment. While I was unable to reach Ms. Barnes, she did post her very strong support for Carol Shea-Porter.

JuliaFacebook

Ms. Andrews immediately denied these claims stating, “This is just a sad and desperate attack. Nothing more needs to be said.”

O’Connor’s campaign second claim was that Caroline French, a well know local Democrat, also repeated this rumor to Jackie Cilley.

I spoke with Ms. French directly and she was shocked to hear what they were claiming and that she was somehow connected to this. She knew nothing of this. She only marginally remembered hearing something about O’Connor being the victim of domestic abuse and never said he was “perpetrator of domestic violence.”

In a response to WMUR, Jackie Cilley said, “’There is no doubt in my mind that Shawn O’Connor has been slimed with being the perpetrator of domestic violence,’ through rumors circulating in Stafford County.” Cilley continued to say that she “heard rumors about [O’Connor]” but as WMUR clearly pointed out, “Cilley stressed several times, she has received no indication that Shea-Porter or her campaign staff is the source of any sort of whispering campaign.”

Lastly, the O’Connor campaign claimed that another local member of “Team Shea Porter” shared this rumor with State Senator David Pierce. O’Connor’s campaign claimed that this person even went as far as to admit this rumor was a lie being pushed by Shea-Porter’s campaign.

After multiple attempts via phone, email, and social media, Sen.Pierce has yet to respond to me with any comment at all.

The O’Connor campaign did release a statement that Sen.Pierce affirmed that a “member of Team Shea-Porter” had told him this rumor directly. “I spoke to a member of Team Shea Porter who told me a number of allegations against Shawn, including that he was a perpetrator of domestic violence.”

Sen.Pierce has refused to talk to us but did respond to WMUR where he said that, “someone who he knows is in the Shea-Porter inner circle of supporters” was spreading this rumor. This is a giant step back from the claim it was someone on the inside of Shea Porter’s campaign.

Pierce went on to tell WMUR, “I have no knowledge that Carol knew any this was going on. I don’t know if any of her staff knew that any of this was going on because I don’t know if, and I don’t believe, this person is on her staff.”

Pierce told WMUR he could not recall “the specific words, the specific way in which this person came about this information…”

Now O’Connor is threatening to sue Shea-Porter for rumors that are floating around in the area and have yet to been connected to Shea-Porter’s campaign.

If none of these people can connect Carol Shea-Porter or anyone in her campaign, why is O’Connor calling for her to quit the race? She has done nothing wrong, and he has no evidence that she has.

Another thing that strikes me as strange is that the O’Connor campaign is claiming that these rumors have been circulating since July of 2015, yet it was unknown to pretty much everyone, that O’Connor was a victim of domestic violence until he shared his story in the fall of 2015.

Based on the evidence presented, and lack of evidence connecting the Shea-Porter campaign, I find this attack to be completely baseless and unsubstantiated. There is no proof that Carol Shea-Porter or her campaign are involved in these “rumors” about O’Connor and calling for her to end her candidacy is unwarranted. This is a well-crafted smear campaign by O’Connor against a very upstanding public servant who has represented the people of the New Hampshire with honor and dignity for years.

I do not know how well Mr. O’Connor has gotten to know Ms. Shea-Porter in the short two-years since he moved here from New York, but those of us who have been around her for many years know that this completely uncharacteristic for Carol or her campaign. This only adds to unbelievability of these claims against her.

This makes me greatly suspect of Mr. O’Connor’s character by pushing these unsubstantiated claims against Shea-Porter in an attempt to eliminate his primary competition. This entire attack on Carol’s integrity is dirty, underhanded and reeks of corrupt New York style politics.

I hope that the Shawn O’Connor campaign pulls their petition and apologizes for spreading this misinformation about Carol Shea-Porter.

I welcome real substantive debate on the issues between O’Connor and Shea-Porter, not baseless mudslinging, and look forward to moving through the primary process to see whom the people of New Hampshire will support.


If you have more information about this story or further proof that I am wrong, message me directly.

Shawn O’Connor Begins To Build His Campaign On Strong Progressive Values

Shawn O’Connor  Claims To Be “The Pragmatic Progressive New Hampshire Needs.”

shawn o'connor

Shawn O’Connor

Painting himself as a true outsider and riding the economic, populist movement of Senator Bernie Sanders, businessman Shawn O’Connor is laying the ground work for very competitive race for NH’s First Congressional District.

This week, O’Connor released a new web video, “Shawn O’Connor – The Pragmatic Progressive New Hampshire Needs,” highlighting his progressive agenda if elected.

Like Senator Sanders, who O’Connor endorsed in early January, is pushing a strong and progressive economic agenda founded on raising the minimum wage, taking on Wall Street, and strengthening the rights of workers.

“I am proud to endorse Bernie Sanders because he will steadfastly fight each day to raise the incomes of over half of America’s workers by passing a $15 minimum wage, a true liveable wage,” said O’Connor. “And I am endorsing Senator Sanders because only he can take on Wall Street and break up the banks that are once again too big to fail and threaten the world economy.” 

In September of 2015, O’Connor signed a binding pledge, which he has denoted as “The People’s Pledge,” to accept only the minimum wage salary of $15,080 for his service in Congress until this legislation is enacted. A Citizens’ Commission will distribute the remaining $158,920 of Shawn’s salary to New Hampshire charities. O’Connor also pledged to pay all his campaign staff $15 or more per hour.

“Shawn is exactly the action-oriented, ethical leader for which the people of the First Congressional District have been clamoring,” said State Senator David Watters of Dover.

In the video, Sue Chretien, a retired Manchester teacher, says “I don’t think that Washington is working.”  O’Connor vows to be the change that Granite Staters want and need in Washington to help rebuild the middle class.

Check out his new video below.

 

If Rep Guinta Won’t Resign, Shawn O’Connor Is Ready To Beat Him In Election

shawn o'connor

BEDFORD, N.H. – Shawn O’Connor, Democratic Congressional Candidate in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, released the following statement concerning news that Rep. Frank Guinta has repaid over $350,000 in illegal loans to his campaign.

“I was the second Democrat, after Chairman Buckley, to call on Congressman Guinta to resign, and I made every effort to deliver 5,000 petition signatures from citizens of the First District asking Representative Guinta to take this honorable path at his first town hall following the scandal in Alton. I reiterate that call for him to resign today. The news that Representative Guinta has repaid the loan and the associated fine does nothing to change the fact that he betrayed the trust of all Granite Staters and is unfit to serve.”

Shawn is the only proven job creator in the race and is committed to only accepting the current federal minimum wage salary of $15,080 as his congressional salary until we enact legislation to incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15. The rest of his Congressional salary ($159,000 annually) will be donated to New Hampshire charities chosen by a citizen’s commission.

With ~5 times as much cash on hand as his primary opponent, Shawn is the only Democrat with the resources and strategic plan and vision to beat Rep. Guinta in the fall and put New Hampshire’s First Congressional District firmly back into Democratic control.

WBIN First Congressional District Debate Video Links, Recap And Shea-Porter Statement

Screen shot 2014-10-22 at 1.07.58 PM

Last night Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter and Congressman Frank Guinta went back and forth for the umpteenth time.  Both candidates pushed their own message points.

Congresswoman Shea-Porter focused on her work to help middle class families by expanding access to healthcare, raising the minimum wage, and reversing the draconian cuts forced on the government by the Sequester.

Congressman Guinta focused on his work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, stating the 20,000 people had their policies canceled by the Affordable Care Act.  Congressman Guinta is correct that some people did have their policies canceled but it was Anthem who canceled their policy, not Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  Anthem was forced to provide a minimum level of coverage and instead of updating their previous plan, they canceled it and told people to buy their new policy through the ACA Exchange.  In 2015, Granite Staters will have a real choice on the ACA exchange as more insurance companies will be offering policies on the Exchange.

Congressman Guinta also attempted to attack Shea-Porter on her voting against a resolution to block Congress from using tax payer money to purchase First Class airfare.  Shea-Porter quickly pointed out that the resolution in the GOP budget.  Her vote was against the proposed budget, not the resolution about First Class travel.  Guinta has been running an attack ad on the First Class travel that earned Four Pinocchios from the Washington Post. 

Congressman Guinta also made false claims about three bills he supposedly had signed into law during the 112th Congress. The Congressional record disagrees.

A closer look at his record shows that none of the nine bills he introduced came up for a vote, much less became law. Two of Guinta’s nine 112th Congress bills, H.R.1863 and H.R.4968, were re-introductions of legislation Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter introduced in the 111th Congress.

“Frank Guinta is resorting to inventing accomplishments to cover-up his do-nothing record while in Congress,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. “Granite State voters won’t be fooled by Guinta’s latest desperate attempts to distract voters from his extreme Tea Party agenda that would devastate New Hampshire’s middle-class families.”

NH News 1 has posted the full debate in three parts.

Part 1                 Part 2                 Part 3

After the debate Congresswoman Shea-Porter released the following statement:

Shea-Porter Cleans Up at NH1 Debate;
Guinta Runs From Extreme Record

Carol Shea-Porter emerged the clear winner at tonight’s NH1 debate, discussing the work she is doing to create jobs around the District, including the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and offering solutions for middle class families that left Frank Guinta fumbling to defend his extreme Tea Party record.

“While Carol highlighted her work for New Hampshire’s middle class, Frank Guinta refused to explain his anti-middle-class budgets that would hurt seniors, came out in opposition to our state’s bipartisan Medicaid expansion, and wouldn’t tell voters why he voted against Planned Parenthood and why he opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother,” said Shea-Porter spokeswoman Marjorie Connolly. “First District voters have a clear choice on November 4th between Tea Partier Frank Guinta and Carol Shea-Porter, who’s working for the ‘Rest of Us.’”

What do you think? Who do you think won the debate? Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook Page with your opinions.

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