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Former NEA-NH President and NH State Senator Scott McGilvray Has Passed Away

Image of Scott McGilvray, Professional Firefighters of NH President Dave Lang, and members of the Professional Firefighters of NH.

Just over a month ago, Scott McGilvray took a leave of absence from his position as President of NEA New Hampshire citing growing health concerns.

“In light of some recent health issues, I have requested and been granted leave from my duties as President of NEA-NH so that I can concentrate on getting well and serving my constituents in the State Senate. Last November, the people of District 16 entrusted me with the honor of representing them and the great responsibility of fighting for them in the State Senate. I intend to continue fulfilling my duties as Senator and keeping my commitment to my constituents while I am on leave from my job,” McGilvray stated.  

Today, we have learned that Scott McGilvray has passed away.  

At the moment we do not have any more details about his illness or his passing.   

After hearing the news, Megan Tuttle, Acting NEA-New Hampshire President, issued the following statement:

“NEA-New Hampshire is deeply saddened today by the passing of our President and friend Scott McGilvray. Scott made the lives of countless others better as a teacher, coach, mentor, friend and leader and he will be greatly missed. 

“He was a tireless advocate for students and educators across the state, dedicating his life fighting to assure every child had the opportunity to succeed. Scott McGilvray made New Hampshire a better place for children.”

AFT-NH President Douglas Ley released the following statement on the passing of labor leader and State Senator Scott McGilvray.

“AFT-NH is shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of State Senator Scott McGilvray. On behalf of AFT-NH members, we express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Scott McGilvray, and to our colleagues at NEA-NH.”

“Scott dedicated his life to advocating for New Hampshire’s children, public education, educators and working families. He was a strong labor leader and his career was marked by public service at its finest culminating with his election to the NH State Senate this past fall.”

“The passing of Senator McGilvray is a great loss to public education, the labor movement and the entire state of New Hampshire. He was taken from us far too soon, and leaves a void that will be difficult to fill.”

In 2016, Scott took the leap and decided to run for State Senator in District 16 and won.  He was a great addition to the Senate with his years of knowledge and experience as an educator and as President of NEA-NH.  Scott was well received in the Senate by members of both parties.

After receiving the news of his passing, Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem) and Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn (D-Whitefield) issued the following statements:

“It is with great sorrow that we learn of our fellow colleague Senator Scott McGilvray’s passing this morning. Both my wife Susan and I would like to extend our deepest, heartfelt sympathies, warm thoughts and prayers to Senator McGilvray’s wife Patti and his two daughters, Meaghan and Molly, as well as all of his family, friends and loved ones during this immensely difficult time,” said Senate President Chuck Morse (R-Salem). “Senator McGilvrary was well respected within in his community and has touched countless young lives through his dedication to education as well as coaching youth sports.”

“Losing a member of the Senate is always difficult and the loss of Senator McGilvrary so early in his career is especially sad. Each day in the Senate we all work hard to make our state better, and though his tenure serving Senate District 16 was far too brief, Senator McGilvray’s service to his community will certainly have a positive and memorable impact for many years to come,” said Morse.

“Scott’s time in the NH Senate, just as his life, was too brief. He devoted his life to teaching, coaching, and advocating for our children and he left an indelible impression with all he worked with. I was proud to serve with Scott in the New Hampshire Senate and saw firsthand his dedication to the people of his district and the people of New Hampshire. I join with all my Senate colleagues in expressing our deepest sympathies to his family, particularly his wife Patti and his daughters on their loss. New Hampshire has lost a great public servant and I know that Scott’s friends and family will be in all our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” said Senator Jeff Woodburn (D-Whitefield).

Raymond Buckley, Chair of the NH Democratic Party released the following after receiving the news: 

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of Senator Scott McGilvray’s passing. Senator McGilvray will be remembered for his deep dedication to education and for the young people and educators whose lives he has impacted so greatly over his 25 years as a social studies teacher and a football coach. He spent his last months serving his state and fighting for the people of New Hampshire and for that we are endlessly grateful. He will be dearly missed.”

 I am also saddened to hear of the news of Scott McGilvray’s passing today.  Over the years I have collaborated with Scott  in his capacity as President of NEA and helped push for his election to the NH Senate.  He was truly a good man, a strong labor leader, and an outspoken advocate for the children of New Hampshire.

I offer my sincere condolences to the McGilvray family.

(NOTE: at the time of publication no statement has been made by the family.  We will update this post with any new statements and information about possible donations in his honor as they come in.) 

Updated with additional statements.

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins on the passing of State Senator Scott McGilvray:

“Granite State Progress is incredibly sad to learn of the passing of our colleague and friend Scott McGilvray. Our organization worked closely with Scott from his time as a local leader with the Manchester Education Association to his election as President of NEA-New Hampshire and then as a State Senator. Scott was always a thoughtful, collaboration-oriented leader who cared deeply about his students, his members, and his community. We are honored to have been able to work with him on so many important endeavors to make New Hampshire a better place for all families. Scott truly left a positive impact on the efforts he worked on and New Hampshire is better for it.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends today, and with the many people whose lives he touched as a dedicated educator, coach, and community leader.”

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen delivered the following statement after learning of the passing of New Hampshire State Senator Scott McGilvray:

“Billy and I were very saddened to learn of the passing of Scott McGilvray,” said Shaheen. “Scott’s devotion to public service grew out of his passion for students. Whether on the football field, in the classroom or in the New Hampshire Senate, Scott worked tirelessly to help New Hampshire’s children reach their full potential. Scott’s legacy will live on in the many Granite Staters whose lives he changed. I extend my deepest condolences to Scott’s wife Patti, his daughters and his family. My thoughts are with them as we all mourn his passing.”

Today, Senator Maggie Hassan released the following statement on the passing of New Hampshire State Senator Scott McGilvray:

“Countless students had a brighter future because they had Scott McGilvray in their corner as a teacher or as a football coach. Although his time in the State Senate was far too brief, Scott was already bringing the same energy and dedication to building a better future for young people across the Granite State. Scott embodied the spirit of civic engagement we are known for in New Hampshire, and the Manchester community and entire state are stronger because of his devotion to public service. I was proud to call him a friend, and Tom and I extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Patti, and his daughters, Meaghan and Molly.”

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today released the following statement on the passing of State Senator and New Hampshire National Education Association President Scott McGilvray:

“I was deeply saddened to learn this morning of Senator Scott McGilvray’s passing. Senator McGilvray was a leader in our community and a fierce advocate for students and teachers. His wife Patti, his daughters Meaghan and Molly, and the countless Granite Staters whose lives he touched will be in my thoughts and prayers.”

Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement on the passing of Senator Scott McGilvray:

“I’m deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Scott McGilvray. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to know and work with Scott. His determination and dedication to improving education in New Hampshire has left our state a better place for all of us. Scott touched the lives of countless young people in his decades as an educator and his legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew him. My husband Brad and I extend our deepest condolences to Scott’s wife Patti and his daughters Meaghan and Molly at this very difficult time.”

House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook) released the following statement:

“On behalf of the House Democratic Caucus, I express my deepest condolences to Senator McGilvray’s family during this difficult time. As an educator, labor leader, and coach, Senator McGilvray dedicated his life to public service and improving the lives of children. With the passing of Senator McGilvray, the state of New Hampshire has lost a great person, and great public servant, far too soon.”

Good And Bad News On Senator Lasky’s Bills To Make The Voting Process Easier

This week the Senate held two votes on legislation submitted by Senator Bette Lasky to expand access and ease the voting process.

The first SB 113, which passed the Senate with a voice vote, would allow cities and towns to “conduct a trial of electronic poll book devices for voter registration and check-in for elections.” This would simplify check in procedures as the lists would continually be updated through an online database.

“I’m thrilled that the Senate has taken this pragmatic step forward in modernizing our election process. New Hampshire prides itself on a tradition of strong citizen participation in elections. But we also know that high voter turnout can create long lines at the polls. We must do everything we can to ensure that voting is accessible and efficient for everyone,” said Senator Lasky.

“This pilot program gives communities the opportunity to test electronic poll books in upcoming elections in the hope that this resource will help election workers process voters more quickly and ensure that busy Granite Staters have every opportunity to participate. The program also provides enhanced protections against fraud, and the increased efficiency provided by this technology also helps free up election workers to move more quickly through their post-election responsibilities.” 

Several states have successfully adopted the electronic poll book system. Proponents of the program cite the tool’s ability to help election workers access a statewide voter database to quickly look up and identify eligible voters, redirect individuals who are in the wrong polling location to the correct polling site, scan a driver’s license and sign in electronically, and reduce wait times at high traffic polling locations. Access to increased information also helps prevent against voter fraud.

The second, SB 194, was killed by Republicans in party line vote. The bill would have authorized online voter registration in New Hampshire. When tied with electronic poll books, voters could register online and then go vote without having to wait in long lines at the polling place.  Typically the longest line in a polling place is those registering to vote.   

“Making the process of registering to vote and casting your ballot more secure and accessible is something we should all be able to agree on,” said Lasky.Allowing our citizens to register to vote online would help make the process more efficient and increase the number of citizens exercising one of their most important rights. I remain confused as to why Republicans continue to block legislation that makes voting more accessible to the people of New Hampshire.” 

38 states have already implemented online voter registration. Research shows that the convenience of online voter registration greatly increases registration and participation.

This is only the first in a long line of proposed legislation that affects our voting process.  The Governor and Republican leadership are pushing for “stronger Voter ID” laws, which have been proven to lower turnout and disenfranchise voters.  They are also considering eliminating same day voter registration.  

Ending same day voter registration and blocking online voter registration could result in a drastic drop in voter participation, especially in Presidential election years.  Then again, maybe that is what Republicans want, as records show that higher turnout elections tend to favor Democrats.  

Mark Fernald: How Do We Keep Guns Away From “Bad Guys”

“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” So said NRA President Wayne LaPierre just after the Sandy Hook massacre. If a ‘bad guy’ pulls out a gun and starts shooting, the only answer, according to Mr. LaPierre, is for someone to pull out another gun and take the ‘bad guy’ out.

The NRA and the Republican Party advocate what they call “Constitutional carry”—allowing anyone to carry a gun, openly or concealed, at any time and anywhere (excluding, one presumes, people with felony convictions). Republicans all over the country are attacking background checks, gun-free zones, and laws that require a permit to carry a loaded, concealed weapon.

The Democratic Party approach is different; it focuses on preventing people likely to misuse guns from getting them in the first place. The background check law has stopped over 1.5 million ‘bad guys’ from buying guns since 1994. That law passed after a Republican filibuster failed.

Unfortunately, our background check system has a couple of glaring loopholes. It does not cover sales of guns by unlicensed sellers at gun shows or sales between private parties, so any ‘bad guy’ who wants to buy a gun has an easy workaround.

Republicans have repeatedly blocked efforts by Democrats to require a background check for all gun sales. Republicans seem to value easy access to guns over a system that would keep guns out of the hands of felons and people with severe mental disabilities.

This is not about Constitutional rights. Background checks and concealed carry permits are Constitutional. In the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, the US Supreme Court ruled that citizens have a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, explained that the right to bear arms is limited: It is not “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Justice Scalia specifically referenced prior court decisions that upheld restrictions or bans on carrying concealed, loaded weapons.

For 94 years, New Hampshire has required a permit to carry a loaded, concealed weapon in a car or on your person. The permits are issued by the chiefs of police in each city and town. The law states that permits can be issued to “a suitable person to be licensed.”

Our chiefs of police have taken their responsibility seriously, seeking out the record and the reputation of those applying for a concealed carry permit. Sometimes an applicant is an irresponsible citizen who is not suitable for a permit: a person who has a history of getting drunk in bars and picking fights; a person who has threatened someone with a gun in the past, though never convicted of a felony; a person who has been involved in road rage incidents; a person who has been the subject of multiple domestic violence calls to 911.

Under current law, if a person has committed an act of violence below the felony level, it is legal for that person to have a gun at home. But if that person wants to carry a loaded concealed weapon in public, New Hampshire has a higher standard implemented by our chiefs of police.

The State Senate and the House have now passed SB12, which eliminates the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed loaded weapon. In the Senate, the ten Democrats were the only no votes. Thirteen Republicans voted yes. The vote in the House was nearly as lopsided. Only two Republicans voted no, and only ten Democrats voted yes.

The effect of SB12 is to remove the discretion of chiefs of police to deny permits. Republicans talk about law and order; they should trust the chiefs of police to exercise good judgment in determining who should be allowed to carry a loaded, concealed weapon. This is what Republicans and the NRA have now abolished.

The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police spoke out against SB12. Their arguments fell on deaf ears. The Governor has indicated he will sign SB12.

If you have a chance to speak to your Representative or Senator or the Governor, ask these questions: Should an alcoholic with multiple DWI convictions be allowed to carry a loaded concealed weapon? How about the man who punched his neighbor during an argument? Or the woman who has been diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic, and sometimes fails to take her meds?

Once Republicans have succeeded in passing SB12, almost anybody could be carrying a loaded, concealed weapon—even people with violent histories. And our only defense, in this Republican world, will be to avoid the first shot, and try to return fire.

 

Mark Fernald is a former State Senator and was the 2002 Democratic nominee for Governor. He can be reached at mark@markfernald.com.

Dan Innis Emerges – As A Right-Wing Legislator From A Moderate District.

A person familiar with the man whose data-driven approach animated his work at UNH’s Paul School of Business could have been forgiven for being surprised by the approach taken by the Dan Innis since his election to the New Hampshire Senate in November. HIs approach to chairing the Commerce Committee in a packed Representatives’ Hall provides an example. In the face of data, anecdote, and personal testimonials, Innis seemed deaf to any criticism of controversial right-to-work legislation being heard by the committee. Impatient with testimony from over 100 labor leaders, small businessmen, and economists and eager to defend the endorsements of SB 11 by lobbyists and national right-wing activists, Innis seemed, not only to have his mind made up, but unwilling to listen to any facts that might change it.

Chairman Innis also used his new position to encourage his fellow senators to put any concerns which might have arisen during the four hours of public testimony that they had just heard out of their minds. With gavel in hand, Chairman Innis shut down debate among his colleagues after a mere hour and got the result he wanted. The committee recommended that the full Senate pass the Koch Bros. number one legislative priority for the states. Republican orthodoxy and right-wing ideology had overcome the opposition of a vast majority of attendees at the Senate hearing, with Sen. Innis’s support.

Sen. Innis’s unlikely emergence as a right-wing champion hasn’t been limited to his work as a committee chair. He also put his support behind legislation that allows anyone to carry a concealed weapon by sponsoring SB12. This bill, which was opposed by police chiefs and public safety advocates throughout the state, passed the Senate days after a freshman GOP legislator inadvertently dropped a gun on the floor during a House hearing on the measure.

A glance over the legislation Innis has sponsored this year further demonstrates that the hotelier and academic would NOT serve as a moderate Republican in the mode of Nancy Stiles, his GOP predecessor in District 24, but rather as an ideological, Tea Party legislator. Another example is a bill he is sponsoring entitled SB44, an act prohibiting the state from requiring implementation of Common Core standards. Common Core, a set of educational goals and measurements developed by state and local governments to make comparisons between school results clearer and to designed to measure both student learning and critical thinking skills, has become a favorite target of right-wingers from Glenn Beck (who wrote a sci-fi novel suggesting an enslaved future thanks to Common Core) to legislators and activists who fear that Common Core teaching leads to homosexuality.

These may merely be the efforts of a freshman legislator to court his party’s far-right base, but in a year with a new governor who seems equally susceptible to trends among the national right-wing, his votes have consequences. Seacoast voters would be well advised to ignore the Dan Innis who has carefully cultivated a reputation as a reasonable community leader and pay close attention the Dan Innis who is voting in Concord. They might not recognize him, but they should recognize the impact of the right-wing voting record he is compiling.

Republicans In NH Senate Vote To Make NH Less Safe, Repeal 94 Year Old Conceal Carry Permit Law

The New Hampshire State Senate voted on party lines today to pass SB 12, which seeks to repeal a 94 year old concealed carry licensing law that helps prevent dangerous people from being able to legally carry hidden, loaded weapons. 

The bill was opposed by gun violence protection groups as well as many of New Hampshire’s law enforcement.  The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police testified against a similar piece of legislation last session, and in 2004 Senate President Chuck Morse and several Republicans voted against a similar repeal bill.

“SB 12 is another attempt by the gun lobby to allow anyone in New Hampshire to legally carry a hidden, loaded handgun. Requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon has worked well for New Hampshire for more than 90 years. These licenses are very easy and quick to obtain and do not place an unreasonable burden on law abiding citizens. SB 12 is a radical piece of legislation that will jeopardize public safety. The common sense law we have in place now allows local police departments to deny a license when there is reason to believe a person is a danger to themselves or others. For example, if an individual in a community is a known domestic abuser but has yet to be indicted, or has a hot temper and a habit of getting into bar fights, New Hampshire thankfully provides our local police departments with the ability to reject their concealed carry application. With this vote, New Hampshire is opening the door to allow dangerous individuals with a track record of violence to legally carry hidden, loaded weapons,” said Zandra Rice-Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress. 

Sen. Bette Lasky (D-Nashua) released the following statement after passage of the bill: 

“For decades, New Hampshire’s concealed carry permitting law has effectively safeguarded our Second Amendment rights while helping to keep New Hampshire one of the safest states in the nation. Repeal of the common sense measures outlined in this law will make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs and needlessly put the people of New Hampshire at higher risk,” said Senator Lasky, Vice Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senate Democrats offered two amendments to address flaws in SB 12. Senator David Watters (D-Dover) introduced an amendment that would clarify the language of the bill to allow Fish and Game to do their jobs to monitor poaching in the state. Senator Bette Lasky (D-Nashua) introduced an amendment to require background checks for gun owners applying for concealed carry permits. Both amendments were defeated along party lines.

“Given the ramifications of this legislation, I’m concerned that Governor Sununu and Senate Republicans are rushing this legislation so quickly through the legislature and I’m disappointed by the outcome of today’s vote.”

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin 1-6-17: Right To Work Pushed In NH Senate This Week

The New Hampshire legislative session has begun. On Wednesday, the House and Senate adopted basic rules and on Thursday, January 5, Governor Chris Sununu was inaugurated, replacing Maggie Hassan in the corner office. In his inaugural address, Governor Sununu called for greater bipartisan cooperation, but then undermined his stance by highlighting support for so-called “Right to Work” legislation as one of his top priorities.

With majorities in both the House and the Senate, Republicans are wasting little time in launching their anti-labor and anti-worker agenda. A hearing is already scheduled for Tuesday, January 10 at 1 pm in Representatives Hall, when the Senate Commerce Committee will hear testimony on SB 11, a right-to-work proposal sponsored by thirteen Republican senators. If passed, this bill would eliminate agency or ‘fair share’ payments  which exist in many union contracts. Individuals who do not wish to join the union but who are part of the bargaining unit often must pay these fees to defray the costs of negotiating and maintaining the contract  which sets their wages and benefits, provides protections, and governs their workplace. Under so-called “right to work,” all such fees or payments would be prohibited. What “right to work” does NOT do is

 a. guarantee anyone a job

 b. prohibit forcing people to join unions–that is ALREADY against the law.

The goals of “right to work” legislation are simple: to weaken the financial base of organized labor and thereby reduce the power of working people and their ability to organize and collectively bargain. There is and there will be much noise about protecting individual freedoms, but ironically, “right to work” injects the State into negotiations, infringing on local control and creating new restrictions on bargaining by employers and employees. More restriction, more intervention, not more freedom.

We are calling on as many members and retirees as possible to attend Tuesday’s hearing. If you would like to attend, please email me at dley@aft-nh.org. If you would like to offer brief testimony on why you support your union and believe everyone should pay their fair share, let me know at dley@aft-nh.org and I will connect you to those who are organizing the testimonies.

We also need you to TAKE ACTION by contacting your Senator and telling her/him that you oppose right-to-work and that it will reduce your standard-of-living by leading to lower wages and fewer benefits. The time to act is NOW! This is a simple click and send process.

Elsewhere, AFT-NH has identified over 200 House and Senate bills that we will be monitoring over the next few months . The list is posted on the AFT-NH website at AFT-NH Bill Watch List (1-5-17) and will be updated throughout the session. Next week, there are a number of important education bills receiving their initial hearings, and AFT-NH will be watching their progress very closely.

We are in for a rough ride this upcoming legislative session, but as Benjamin Franklin reportedly said so many years ago at the signing of our Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Let’s work together, let’s pursue solidarity, and let’s protect the hard-fought rights won by our unions for all working people.

To see what bills are scheduled for hearings in the NH House, visit House Committee Calendar and scroll down to the calendar. For Senate hearings, visit Senate Committee Calendar.

In Solidarity,

Douglas Ley

President, AFT-NH

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Granite State Progress Releases List of 30+ Free State Project Candidates Running for State Legislature

Free State Project members running for political office often hide or deny their FSP affiliation; Granite State Progress’ Free State Project Watch exposes those connections

Concord, NH – Granite State Progress released a list of more than 30 Free State Project members running for the New Hampshire state legislature, including two State Senate candidates and dozens of House candidates.

“Granite State Progress has been tracking the Free State Project and its influence since 2008, paying particular attention to Free Stater activity in elections and legislation,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Free State Project members running for political office often hide or deny their FSP affiliation from voters and downplay their extreme beliefs when asked. To challenge this, Granite State Progress researches and compiles a list of Free State Project candidates running for office so voters know about the extreme affiliation of those candidates.”

New Hampshire’s role started more than a decade ago when the ultra-extreme Free State Project voted on a state to move 20,000 libertarians to with the stated purpose to take over state government and dismantle it, and New Hampshire was the unlucky recipient of that vote. The Free State Project seeks to create a libertarian “utopia” void of public infrastructure and common laws, and to use their numbers to dramatically change New Hampshire. The Free State Project even threatens to secede from the rest of the country once it meets its initial goals:

“Once we’ve taken over the state government, we can slash state and local budgets, which make up a sizeable proportion of the tax and regulatory burden we face every day. Furthermore, we can eliminate substantial federal interference by refusing to take highway funds and the strings attached to them. Once we’ve accomplished these things, we can bargain with the national government over reducing the role of the national government in our state. We can use the threat of secession as leverage to do this.” – Announcement:
The Free State Project by Founder Jason Sorens

To date, the Free State Project has recruited more than 20,000 people to sign the pledge to move to New Hampshire, hitting their goal to “Trigger the Move” – all those who signed up are supposed to start moving once the agreed upon goal was met. More than 2,015 people have already moved.

“Free State Project members sign a pledge to move to New Hampshire and work to change the way of life in our state. They do not move here for a job, or for family, or even because they like what New Hampshire has to offer. Instead, they move here because a political group they are affiliated with voted on a state to move to and take over, and New Hampshire is the unlucky recipient of that vote,” Rice Hawkins said. “It is not surprising that so many Free Staters run for public office. Free State Project members uproot their families and move to New Hampshire purely to enact a political agenda, and running for office only further helps them reach that goal. Local communities who have dealt with them first-hand know how extreme their ideology can be, and that’s why we’ve seen push back from both Republicans and Democrats to expose them.”

The Free State Project candidate list is part of the Free State Project Watch of Granite State Progress, and can be found online at https://freestateprojectwatch.org/. The website includes the candidate list as well as individual candidate profiles.

Granite State Progress released similar candidate lists in 2012 and 2014. Members of the media and public are encouraged to ask FSP candidates whether they disclose their Free State Project affiliation in campaign materials and if not, why.

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

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

Joe Duarte

Joe Duarte

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

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

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

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

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

NHGOP State Senate Candidates Double Down On Support For Donald Trump

Concord, N.H. — With an impending visit from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to New Hampshire this weekend, Granite State voters are reminded of their GOP State Senate candidates’ support for the man recently implicated bragging about sexually predatory behavior.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when candidates from the self-appointed party of family values fail to withdraw support from a confirmed sexual predator,” said NHDP spokesperson Zach McNamara.

By all accounts, Bob Giuda (District 2), Ruth Ward (District 8), Senator Kevin Avard (District 12), Joe Duarte (District 16), Bill Gannon (District 23), and Dan Innis (District 24) continue to support Trump after these comments, but also after over a year of offensive and dangerous rhetoric from the GOP hopeful. In fact, Ruth Ward doubled down on her support for Trump just Wednesday at a candidate forum and Senate President Chuck Morse confirmed he will still vote for Trump. Senator Andy Sanborn of District 9 attempted to claim he had never endorsed Trump. This was just a week after he spoke at a New Hampshire rally for Trump, urging voters to cast their ballots for him.

“The amazing thing here is that this is nothing new,” continued McNamara. “Donald Trump has repeatedly disqualified himself from holding office so many times, we’ve all lost count. That candidates for any office, even on the state level, continue to support him reveals a jack of good judgment.

“The bottom line is that we need office-holders who have good judgment and are solutions-oriented, from the presidency on down. This year, Democratic Party candidates offer that in spades, and Granite State voters will put them to work on November 8th.”

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire endorses Jay Kahn for State Senate

Jay KahnCONCORD, NH – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Jay Kahn (D – Keene) to represent State Senate District 10 in Concord, in an open race to represent the city of Keene and the towns of Alstead, Chesterfield, Gilsum, Harrisville, Hinsdale, Marlborough, Nelson, Roxbury, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Walpole, Westmoreland, and Winchester.

“Jay will bring a much-needed perspective to Concord,” stated David Lang, President of PFFNH. “Jay is committed to producing an effective and efficient government just as he did at Keene State College for many years. We believe that Jay is the right choice in this election to bring coordinated leadership to the opioid epidemic. We believe that Jay is the best choice for District 10 to make Concord work again.

“We have been proud to work with Jay in the City of Keene,” said Ron Clace, President of IAFF Local 3265. “Working families must continue to have a voice in Concord, and Jay Kahn is the right choice for this November.”

“Firefighters, public safety officers and emergency responders put their lives on the line to protect New Hampshire’s residents every day,” said Kahn, Keene City Councilor and retired Keene State administrator. “I’m proud to receive the endorsement of the PFFNH. I look forward to working with them to ensure we have the resources to preserve the safety of all our residents.”

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The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

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