• Advertisement

Extreme Lawmakers Attempting To Control Women

Image courtesy of NH Citizens Alliance

Image courtesy of NH Citizens Alliance on World Breastfeeding Day

It is time to break the chains of our patriarchal bonds that have oppressed women for generations creating a vicious double standard between the sexes.

Take for example the appalling comment that my state representative, Josh Moore, wrote about women exposing their breasts for feeding or other reasons.

Representative Moore said, “If it’s a woman’s natural inclination to pull her nipple out in public and you support that, than [sic] you should have no problem with a mans inclantion [sic] to stare at it and grab it. After all… It’s ALL relative and natural, right?”

Groping a woman is assault and we have laws to protect people from such actions. I wonder how Rep. Moore would react if he were walking on the beach and a woman grabbed his nipples?

The medical community continues to tell mothers that breastfeeding, when possible, is the best option for babies. So why does society continue to shame mothers for breastfeeding in public?

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world and women should never be ashamed of providing nourishment to their child. If the woman is comfortable breastfeeding her child in public, then it is not my place, nor Rep. Moore’s or anyone else’s, to tell her otherwise.

As Americans we live in a male dominated, patriarchal society that seeks to deny women’s bodily autonomy. Women are expected to look, dress, and behave in particular ways. Dresses should be worn, but they must be a certain length or it would be inappropriate. Clothes can’t be too tight or revealing for fear it will arouse their male peers.

Rep. Moore’s anti-women agenda runs deep – his belief that groping a woman is acceptable behavior is just the tip of the iceberg. He’s also worked to strip women of their right to make personal, private healthcare decisions.

In 2016, in addition to sponsoring this legislation to bar women from baring their breasts in public, Rep. Moore is also co-sponsoring two pieces of legislation seeking to defund Planned Parenthood and independent health centers that provide abortion care or referrals. His legislative voting record is peppered with support for abortion bans. Does a young man really think he knows more about a woman’s health care than she and her doctor do?

Representative Moore should apologize for his grossly inappropriate statement threatening physical assault against women.

The New Hampshire Legislature in turn should see this initiative to stop women from exposing their nipples for what it is – just another attempt by extreme lawmakers to control women.


 

Also published in the Concord Monitor 

NHDP Calls on Kelly Ayotte and Jennifer Horn to Denounce Sexist Comments by NH GOP Elected Officials

Concord, N.H.—Today, the New Hampshire Democratic Party called on New Hampshire Republican Party boss Kelly Ayotte and NHGOP Chair Jennifer Horn to denounce the recent disturbing and sexist public comments made by Republican State Representatives regarding breastfeeding. 

In response to a State Representative’s Facebook post regarding an indecent exposure bill under consideration in the legislature, Republican State Representative Josh Moore actually condoned sexual assault, saying that if a woman shows her nipple in public, she “should have no problem with a mans inclantion [sic] to stare at it and grab it.”

Republican Representative Al Baldassaro took a different tactic in his response, personally insulting his fellow lawmaker, telling her “your nipple would be the last one I would want to see.” 

After these disgusting comments drew scorn and criticism from across the nation, Baldarasso doubled down on his virulent misogyny. He replied, “I am not a shamed of a dam thing, you sit there, hold your breath and wait for my apologie [sic].”  

“Kelly Ayotte and Jennifer Horn should immediately condemn these sexist comments and make clear that this disturbing and sexually violent rhetoric has no place in New Hampshire’s public discourse,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “This rhetoric is not only offensive to women but an embarrassment to the state. Women across the Granite State deserve to know that New Hampshire’s political leaders won’t stand idly by and allow them to be insulted and degraded by elected members of their own organization.”

NH GOP Playing “Games” With Budget By Forcing Tax Cuts That “Do Not Pay For Themselves”

GOP-Appointed CBO Director Makes Clear “Tax Cuts Do Not Pay For Themselves”

Concord, N.H. – As Republicans in Concord continue to refuse to negotiate in good faith on a responsible budget compromise, Senate President Chuck Morse admitted “he could not guarantee” that the unpaid-for corporate tax cuts Republicans are pushing would promote economic growth.

Morse added, “We never came in and said, we’ll lower the business taxes, and we’ll have all this growth.”

House Speaker Shawn Jasper previously admitted that Republicans’ unpaid-for tax cuts would create a massive budget hole, writing “I do not believe that cutting [corporate taxes] will bring in more revenue, nor do I believe that by themselves they will make New Hampshire a more attractive state for businesses to locate to or to expand.”

“It’s completely irresponsible that Republicans like Chuck Morse and Shawn Jasper are continuing to push unpaid-for corporate tax cuts that they themselves admit would create a budget hole while not promoting economic growth,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “All you have to do is look around the country at places like Kansas that have already tried these failed Koch Brothers economic policies to see that all they bring is rivers of red ink and cuts to critical economic priorities.”

The Hill also reports, “The director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), who was appointed by GOP lawmakers earlier this year, said Tuesday that tax cuts don’t pay for themselves… ‘No, the evidence is that tax cuts do not pay for themselves,’ Hall said. ‘And our models that we’re doing, our macroeconomic effects, show that.’”

Yesterday, Neal Kurk said out loud what observers have long known to be true: New Hampshire Republicans are playing political games with the state’s budget and economy.

When asked why Republicans blocked funding to pay for road maintenance, Kurk told NHPR, “some of it has to do with the fact that some of us believe that there are consequences to the Governor’s veto of the budget and one of them is that things that normally would have gotten done, will not get done, or will get delayed.”     

The Concord Monitor also reported, “Partisan politics were on full display at the meeting Wednesday” as Republicans blocked transportation funding and tried to score political points against Governor Hassan.

“At least give Neal Kurk points for honesty for admitting that Republicans are deliberately seeking to hurt New Hampshire’s people, businesses and economy as they try to score political points against Governor Hassan,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “It’s no surprise that the Republican legislature’s approval is under water for the first time since 2012 considering that Republicans are now openly admitting that they are trying to harm the state’s economy for their own political gain.”

Republican Legislature Tries To Cover Up Kelly Ayotte’s Political Budget Meddling

Concord, N.H. – Republicans in the legislature are trying to cover up Kelly Ayotte’s political meddling in New Hampshire’s budget, refusing to release any records in response to the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s Right To Know request concerning Ayotte’s interference in the budget process.

See coverage roundup below:

Union Leader: House and Senate deny Democrats’ right-to-know request for records

Citing a 2011 opinion by then-Attorney General Michael Delaney, the House and Senate declined to release information sought by the state Democratic Party on budget decisions.

Democrats sought information that State Party Chairman Raymond Buckley claimed would show that U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte interfered in the state budget process in order to inflict political damage on Gov. Maggie Hassan, a potential challenger to Ayotte for the U.S. Senate seat next year. 

Buckley sought phone, email and calendar records of GOP House and Senate leaders and their staff. 

But Senate Legal Counsel Richard Lehmann, writing for both the House and Senate, said in Delaney’s 2011 opinion he declined to open “legislative and staff emails to unfettered public access.” 

… Democratic officials said Republican legislators are disregarding the constitution to protect Ayotte in denying their right-to-know request. 

“It’s disturbing that Republicans in the legislature are willing to completely disregard New Hampshire’s constitutional requirement of transparency in order to cover up the efforts of Kelly Ayotte and her allies to politically meddle with the state’s budget at the expense of New Hampshire’s people, businesses, and economy,” said state Democratic Party press secretary Aaron Jacobs. “Regardless of who runs against Kelly Ayotte, it’s wrong that Ayotte’s allies clearly have been pushing the state legislature to politicize the budget process in a desperate attempt to rescue her vulnerable re-election prospects. Legislative leadership should release this information immediately.” [Full story]

 

WMUR: State Senate legal counsel denies Democrats’ request for communications records 

The legal counsel for the Republican-controlled state Senate declinedTuesday to turn over to the state Democratic Party individual lawmakers’ and legislative staffers’ emails, citing an opinion by the state attorney general. 

Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley last week submitted a right-to-know request to state Senate President Chuck Morse seeking “all communications records of yours, your staff or the Senator Leadership Office” with U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, her official staff, campaign staff and any paid consultants. 

Buckley charged that Ayotte’s “political operation” meddled in the state budget process in an attempt to cause gridlock at the State House “with the goal of scoring political points” against Gov. Maggie Hassan, who has been mentioned as a possible Ayotte opponent in her 2016 re-election bid. [Full story]

 

NH1: Landrigan: NH Senate lawyer rejects bid to disclose individual emails, calls, calendars of GOP senators

The State Senate’s lawyer ruled the New Hampshire Democratic Party has no legal access to emails, telephone calls or calendars of GOP senators to see whether Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, meddled in their feud with Gov. Maggie Hassan over the state budget.

 … A Democratic Party spokesman said legislative leaders should give up the records in the interest of transparency. 

“Regardless of who runs against Kelly Ayotte, it’s wrong that Ayotte’s allies clearly have been pushing the state legislature to politicize the budget process in a desperate attempt to rescue her vulnerable re-election prospects,’’ Press Secretary Aaron Jacobs said.

“Legislative leadership should release this information immediately.’’ [Full story]

The Rest of the Story on Scott Walker’s Visit to Concord

By Paul Brochu, Lead Organizer, New Hampshire for The Stamp Stampede

According to someone who was there Saturday morning:

2015-03-14 Walker protest 1More people were outside protesting against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker than were inside the building, attending the event.

Inside, what was billed as the NH-GOP’s “2016 Kickoff Grassroots Training” quickly devolved into an exercise in political fundraising.  Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn kept reminding the “Grassroots” participants to donate, donate, donate.  She also encouraged them to volunteer for Americans For Prosperity. (Which is somewhat odd… wouldn’t the Party want its “Grassroots” volunteers to support Republican candidates, not a 501(c)(4) “social welfare organization” founded by the Koch brothers ??)

Inside, party officials were touting Scott Walker as “the only candidate willing to fight the special interests.” (Which is an odd characterization, while there’s an ongoing investigation into “whether Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and conservative groups illegally worked together in recall elections” including “the involvement of Walker’s campaign in raising money” for the Wisconsin Club for Growth.)

Inside, party officials were discussing who would – and wouldn’t – be allowed into the event.  Among those left outside in the cold?  Any and all Republicans from Massachusetts.   Apparently, NH GOP officials thought Massachusetts Republicans had struck some sort of “deal” with labor unions… and because of that, any Republican from Massachusetts was turned away at the door.  Among those left outside the event?  A gray-suited man who described himself as a “Lifetime Member of the National Republican Inner Circle” who happened to be from Massachusetts.

2015-03-14 Walker protest 2(And, yes, there were Republican union members outside the event, too.  Party officials keep forgetting that, in New Hampshire, a large chunk of union members are registered Republicans.  And Republican union members weren’t any happier with Scott Walker than Democratic union members were.)

And also outside the event?  Gov. Walker’s fundraising machine, which reportedly is going full-steam all around the country. Here’s how CNN reported it:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is on an ambitious mission this spring to scoop up major GOP donors ahead of a likely presidential run … Walker’s PAC, Our American Revival, provided CNN with a list of names of reliable Republican donors who have already committed to bundle funds for him or contribute significantly to a Super PAC that would be developed to support him should he run. And Republican fundraisers have told CNN donors are lining up to meet with him as he’s rocketing up in the polls.

New Hampshire used to pride itself on the “First in the Nation” primary.  Only now, we’ve been beaten to the punch by a bunch of billionaires holding their own “interviews” and trying to pre-select which candidates will be able to run for President.

2015-03-14 Walker protest 3That’s why the Stamp Stampede was outside the event, too, Saturday morning.

We remember back in 2011, when Gov. Walker thought he was talking with David Koch. (Frankly, it was kind of embarrassing; governors should be dignified, not fawning.  You can read the transcript here.)

And even before that: the videotape of a billionaire asking him whether he could make Wisconsin a “completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work” state.  And Walker replied that his “first step” would be “to divide and conquer” the unions through his “budget-adjustment bill.”

That was after the 2010 elections, in which Walker won the support of Operating Engineers Local 139.

Terry McGowan, the union’s business manager, said the union gave its 2010 endorsement only after getting assurances Walker would not pursue right-to-work legislation. [McGowan said] he was continuing to take Walker at his word given his public statements and conversations he has had with him.  “You don’t hear him say, ‘Yes, I’m going to go after right-to-work legislation,’ ” McGowan said of the video.

But he added that divide and conquer is a phrase that is anathema to those in the labor movement. 

“It means turning worker against worker,” he said.

The billionaire gave Walker a $500,000 donation.

And last week, just before he came to New Hampshire, Scott Walker signed “Right-to-Work.”  Apparently, it’s good for getting donations.  “Even before the Legislature passed the measure on Friday in a fast-track process, Mr. Walker’s political backers were raising money on the issue.”

Let’s be clear: the ability “to scoop up major donors” should not be the #1 qualification to become President.

It’s not something to be proud of.

The willingness to say one thing publicly, and something else to mega-donors – that’s not something to be proud of, either.

Eagerness to embrace divide-and-conquer as a political strategy?  That’s beyond the pale.

Stamp_Stampede
The Stampede is tens of thousands of Americans legally stamping messages on our nation’s currency to #GetMoneyOut of Politics. As more and more stamped money spreads, so will the movement to amend the Constitution and overturn Citizens United.

You can get your own stamp online at www.stampstampede.org. Or, if you’re a member of CWA, you can get a stamp from your LPAT coordinator. The average stamped bill is seen by 875 people – which makes stamping a highly-effective way to get the message out about how money in politics is corrupting our government.

It’s time to #GetMoneyOut of politics and take back our government.

After Gov. Hassan’s Inaugural Speech The NH GOP Spread False Talking Points About The Minimum Wage

New Hampshire Republicans Double Down on Opposition to Strengthening Wages for Hard-Working Granite Staters

Republicans Use Debunked Claims About Effect of Minimum Wage on Job Creation;

Data Shows 2014 Job Creation Grew Faster in States that Raised the Minimum Wage

Concord, NH – Following Governor Hassan’s impassioned call for legislators to come together to finally restore and increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage, Republican leaders doubled down on their opposition to strengthening wages for tens of thousands of hard-working Granite Staters.

A WMUR Granite State Poll found that 76% of Granite Staters support raising New Hampshire’s minimum wage – including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents.

“As Governor Hassan argued passionately in her Inaugural Address, it is long past time for members of both parties to come together to finally restore and increase our state’s minimum wage,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “Instead of recycling debunked talking points, Republican leaders need to listen to the voices of the people of New Hampshire and finally join with Governor Hassan to strengthen wages and move our economy forward.”

In her Inaugural Address, Governor Hassan stressed the importance of expanding opportunity and strengthening wages for New Hampshire families. But just moments after the Governor’s address concluded, Senator Jeb Bradley was already recycling the same old debunked Republican talking points, calling the minimum wage “a job-killer.”

The problem with such claims is that they’ve repeatedly been shown to be untrue. The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) found that job creation in 2014 was faster in the 13 states that had increased their minimum wage on January 1, 2014 compared with those that had not. Another study from the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found “strong earnings effects and no employment effects of minimum wage increases.”

Even more mind-boggling was the argument from Deputy Speaker Gene Chandler, who told NHPR that New Hampshire should not increase the minimum wage because doing so “also raises the wage levels of everyone else up the line because if the minimum wage is raised, then other people are going to expect to get more money.”

“It’s ludicrous and just another sign of how completely backwards today’s New Hampshire Republican Party is that party leaders could argue that raising the minimum wage is a bad idea because it would help too many people,” added Buckley.

Questions For Scott Brown After The NH GOP Convention

After this weekend “big show” aka the NH GOP Convention the entire political world suddenly knew that the NH GOP passed some type of “fetal personhood” amendment.

Then on monday night, Scott Brown came out against the abortion amendment. This left we wondering a few things.  I welcome the Scott Brown campaign to contact me with answers to these questions.

Questions for Scott Brown’s campaign:

1.       If he disagreed with the Party’s platform on abortion – which was adopted Saturday – why did it take him until MONDAY NIGHT to announce his disagreement?  http://nhpr.org/post/brown-disagrees-gop-personhood-plank (Did he have to think about it?  Or did he not know about it, until Monday?  Or did he just think it was not worth mentioning?)

2.       Does he agree or disagree with the Party’s new plank opposing marriage equality for religious reasons?  (“Recognize marriage as the legal and sacred union between one man and one woman as ordained by God…”) http://www.nhinsider.com/rep-steve-vaillancourt/2014/9/20/nh-republicans-push-freedomexcept-for-gay-people.html

3.       Does he agree or disagree with the intention to “take any and all actions possible to protect against the implementation of any part of Sharia law in NH, including legislation outlawing Sharia law”?

4.       He is heading the Republican ticket in New Hampshire.  Why didn’t he have more influence over the official Party platform?  (Was he even AT Saturday’s Convention?  Was there any press coverage of his remarks there?)

5.       And… why can’t New Hampshire voters find the Party platform on the Party website?  http://nhgop.org

I expect to hear nothing, but I will be sure to let you know if they decide to respond.

GOP Candidates in New Hampshire Celebrate Potential Tax Hike on Granite State Working Families

 Frank Guinta 1 (Image by Mark Nassal)

Scott Brown, Frank Guinta, Andrew Hemingway, Bill O’Brien celebrate court ruling that would raise taxes for 48,000 NH working families while sending their money to other states; Potential tax hike only possible because NH Republicans refused to create a New Hampshire-run health care exchange

Concord, NH – GOP candidates up and down the ballot in New Hampshire are celebrating a potential tax hike on Granite State working families. A federal district court in Washington, D.C. today issued a ruling in the Halbig v. Burwell case that would take away health care tax credits from families and small businesses that live in states where conservative Republicans blocked a state-based exchange.

The ruling trumpeted by U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown, Congressional candidate Frank Guinta, Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway, and Speaker of the House candidate Bill O’Brien – all Republicans – would raise costs on average $3,480 for the 48,000 Granite Staters who currently use the Affordable Care Act subsidy to afford quality health care coverage or who are eligible to do so.

“On average, these Granite Staters stand to lose an annual $3,480 tax credit and yet politicians like Scott Brown and Frank Guinta are cheering,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Scott Brown voted to continue $24 billion in tax breaks for the five largest oil companies in the United States, but he supports taking away a $3,480 tax credit from tens of thousands of New Hampshire working families. Worse, New Hampshire taxpayers would continue to pay for health care coverage for residents of other states.”

“Some of the same politicians celebrating this ruling are the very ones who got us in this predicament to start. Bill O’Brien and Andrew Hemingway worked to block New Hampshire from creating and running its own health care exchange; doing so would have allowed us to have our own uniquely New Hampshire approach and would have guarded us against this court decision,” Rice Hawkins said.

Despite the celebratory campaign statements, it is questionable whether the district court ruling will be upheld. Today’s ruling was made by a majority conservative 3-judge panel and may be overturned by the full DC Circuit en banc panel, especially in light of a separate unanimous ruling today by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that upholds the subsidies.

The Party Of “NO” Continues With Dan Innis

GOP Elephant (FLICKR DonkeyHotey)

GOP Elephant (FLICKR DonkeyHotey)

It is becoming increasingly clear that the New Hampshire Republican Party is lost. They keep recycling the same broken rhetoric and failed policies.

Take, for example, Dan Innis who spoke to the Union Leader this week.

In an effort to distance himself from his opponents, mainly former Congressman Frank Guinta, he touted his business experience and the fact that he has never run for office before.

“People I know and respect have told me this is a good thing for me to do because of my background and experience, and the fact that I haven’t been a politician,” Innis said.

I respect the outsider approach, but if you have no experience in politics why would anyone support you? Would you hire a plumber who has never sweat pipes, or vented a sewer line? I think a business owner would know that.

Innis believes his success as a business owner and administrator of a large institution would play well in the general election.”

Secondly, I am of the opinion that running a profitable business does not make someone a good person to lead government. The government is not a business; government agencies are not trying to make a profit. The function of government is to provide services to the community – not to return a profit to stockholders. Government helps people; it provides roads and bridges to facilitate commerce; it ensures public safety; it protects the environment, which protects our children and our tourism industries. Government doesn’t make widgets, and it’s not supposed to be a profit-making enterprise.

Other than those two things, Dan Innis is just like CREW’s most corrupt politician, Frank Guinta.

“His positions on issues like Obamacare, the economy, deficits, taxes, regulation and immigration are consistent with the Republican Party platform. He would vote to repeal Obamacare, cut taxes, reduce regulation, and bar any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”

The party of “No” continues:

  • No on Obamacare (even though it is working, and saving people lots of money)
  • No roadmap to citizenship (sorry, you 11,000,000 people: your decades of waiting were for nothing, we hope your employers don’t mind)
  • No new taxes, aka “cut taxes” (its ok, those poor kids don’t need to eat)
  • Cut regulations (so my friends the Koch brothers can pollute as much as they want – then we can be just like China)

Reading his statements makes me believe that Innis is in favor of the “Sequester,” because it forced Congress to take the “hard votes.”

“I like the idea of a five- to 10-year plan that sits on top of the annual budget process and forces Congress’ hand. Congress would have to hit the targets that are laid out.”

The blueprint would function much like the so-called “sequestration” that led to the fiscal cliff budget cuts. “Sequestration was a way that Congress could hide and not take hard votes on the cuts,” he said.

So far it looks like the NH GOP is offering up

  • an inexperienced unknown, who can only say “NO” and
  • Frank Guinta, CREW’s most corrupt Politian.

Neither of these choices look at all appealing.

NH Senate Republicans Block Minimum Wage Increase (Statement by Granite State Progress)

Politician making $185,000 a year first to object to raising the wage for state’s lowest income earners

CONCORD, NH – The NH Senate voted 13-11 on party lines today to kill HB 1403, raising the state minimum wage. Statement from Granite State Progress:

“A Senate Republican making $185,000 a year called the minimum wage bill ‘feel good legislation’ but refused to spend even one day living in the shoes of his constituents who makes less than ten percent of his salary, even when they are working full-time,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress, in reference to Senator Peter Bragdon’s opening remarks. “Senator Bradley chose to use industry talking points instead of rely on economic data, and Senator Sanborn voted against the bill without disclosing the conflict of interest that he pays some of his workers minimum wage.”

“In contrast, several Senate Democrats took the Minimum Wage Challenge to live on minimum wage before voting on this bill. That experience illustrated for them the lack of affordable housing options, the slim budgets, and the constant anxiety that a minimum wage earner lives with every day. Questions about how to put gas in your tank and food on the table become very real when you don’t have a $185,000 golden salary to live on. Minimum wage earners work hard and play by the rules, but Senate Republicans sent a message loud and clear that they don’t care,” Rice Hawkins said.

In an online poll yesterday Granite State Progress asked whether Senate Republicans would table the bill, vote it down immediately, or vote it down after making misleading arguments. Option C won online and in reality. Below is a round-up of key political statements from today’s floor debate:

Sen. Peter Bragdon, R-Milford called the bill “feel good legislation”. Bragdon signed a contract this week for an $185,000 per year job.

Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro said that raising the wage would harm teenagers and entry level workers. In New Hampshire, 72 percent of minimum wage workers are over the age of 20 years old and have real breadwinner responsibilities. Bradley has previously refused to answer whether he believes in a minimum wage at all.

Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford claimed that raising the minimum wage would harm small businesses, particularly restaurants. Sanborn did not mention that he pays minimum wage to some of his workers at The Draft – nor did he declare a conflict of interest before voting against the bill.

Previously … Sen. John Reagan, R-Deerfield told the Laconia Citizen he “thinks it’s ‘silly’ to say that someone couldn’t be supported on minimum wage as they can take on multiple jobs.”

In contrast, Senate Democrats spent an hour urging their colleagues to support the bill: 

Sen. Sylvia Larsen, D-Concord called the legislation “one of the most important issues this session.”

Sen. David Pierce, D-Hanover took the Minimum Wage Challenge this week to try to live on a minimum wage budget.  He told fellow legislators you must “walk a mile in another man’s shoes before you make you decision.” Of the experience he said: “The minimum wage challenge produced such anxiety for me … I was shaken by the experience.”

Sen. David Watters, D-Dover also took the Minimum Wage Challenge this week to try to live on a minimum wage budget.  He told fellow legislators:

“Taking the Minimum Wage Challenge this week, it quickly became obvious to me that I couldn’t live and work in Dover without public support for food and housing.  The usual amount provided for food is $37.75 a week, so I went to Janetos, a local downtown market where people without transportation can shop at good prices, and, given the kind of community Dover is, everyone feels welcome and accepted.  $5.45 a day meant careful meal planning. A loaf of bread, peanut butter, eggs, lots of potatoes and pasta, a can of tomatoes, some cheese, two pieces of chicken, a head of broccoli, carrots, milk, and toiletries.  As the funds dwindled, I felt that anxiety of not having enough, putting things back on the shelf, buying by lowest price for a smaller quantity, and seeing that any staple, such as flour, oil, coffee, would mean not enough food for meals.  In planning for one peanut butter sandwich a day for lunch, I recalled when I was working in a factory or in construction filling my lunch box with four to six sandwiches, fruit, cookies, milk, and eating every crumb to keep up strength for hard work.  There’s just not enough to keep body and soul together …

Everyday experiences become a crisis on minimum wage.  I had some surgery this week—would Medicaid have covered the procedure and the $25.00 copay, or would I have had to put it off, try to ignore the problem, and hope for the best?  Or when to fill the tank, looking for a gas station with prices a few pennies less, and seeing the $40.13 it cost just to get to work for a week meant 5-1/2 hours of pay. My old car’s due for an oil change, too. Every day becomes an emergency when the tank runs low.

Video of Sen. Watters participating in the Minimum Wage Challenge grocery shopping trip is below.

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 12,492 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement