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Area Leaders Endorse Kevin Cavanaugh For State Senate (District 16)

Candidate for New Hampshire Senate special election garners broad support

Cavanaugh Filing April 15

Manchester, NH – Today, Kevin Cavanaugh’s campaign announced the endorsements of local community leaders, including representatives from across District 16.

“I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support that our campaign has received from voters from across District 16,” said Kevin Cavanaugh. “I’m incredibly grateful have the backing of these great community leaders.”

“Kevin and I both grew up in Manchester, I’ve known him for a long time. I’m confident that he will bring many of Scott’s same priorities to the Senate, and I’m proud to support him,” said Patti McGilvray.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Kevin on the Board of Aldermen,” said Manchester At-Large Alderman Dan O’Neil. “Having seen firsthand the kind of person Kevin is and the responsible representative he is for his constituents, I know he is the State Senator that we need. I’m excited to cast my vote for him on June 6th.”

Kevin was born and raised in Manchester and has spent the past 32 years as a union employee. He has coached High School Football at Memorial and West as well as multiple youth hockey, soccer, baseball, and softball teams. Kevin was first elected to the Board of Alderman in 2015. He lives in Manchester Ward 1 with his wife and three teenage children who have all gone through the public school system.

Area leaders who have endorsed Kevin Cavanaugh:

  • Patti McGilvray, wife of the late Senator Scott McGilvray
  • Glenn Brackett, Labor leader
  • Bob Backus, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Mary Heath, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Christopher Herbert, State Representative & Manchester Alderman
  • Pat Long, State Representative & Manchester Alderman
  • Mark MacKenzie, State Representative & Former AFL-CIO President
  • Bill O’Neil, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Dan Sullivan, State Representative (Manchester)
  • Bill Barry, Manchester Alderman
  • Mike Kaminski, Dunbarton Board of Selectmen Chair
  • Bob Martel, Dunbarton Board of Selectmen Co-Chair
  • Dan O’Neil, Manchester Alderman
  • Tony Sapienza, Manchester Alderman
  • Timothy Tsantoulis, Hooksett Councilor
  • Sarah Ambrogi, Manchester School Board Member
  • Erika Connors, Manchester School Board Member
  • Mary Ngwanda Georges, Manchester School Board Member
  • Maura Ouellette, Former Hooksett School Board Chair
  • Kim Royer, Candia School Board Member
  • Leslie Want, Manchester School Board Member

Republicans In The NH Senate Stick It To Low Income Workers Twice In One Day

Yesterday in a very busy day in the NH State Senate, Republicans voted on two bills that specifically effect low income families in New Hampshire.  They voted on an increase in the minimum wage and a bill to kick thousands off of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also referred to as food stamps.

The Senate rejected the minimum wage increase that would have raised the minimum wage to $12 over the next few years, right down party lines.  The bill would have raised the wages of over 100,000 people in the Granite State.  

“While 29 states and D.C. have increased their minimum wage in the last 4 years, Senate Republicans have voted to kill a New Hampshire increase for the fourth time, making us the only New England state that maintains a $7.25 hourly wage. I am disappointed that my Republican colleagues continue to turn their backs on working people. This is not only an economic issue, but a moral issue,” said Senator Donna Soucy (D-Manchester), Deputy Democratic Leader and sponsor of SB 83.

“This Republican logic that you can limit access to food assistance programs like SNAP while also voting to maintain a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour that is keeping working people in poverty fails to pass muster. People working full-time in New Hampshire should be able to earn enough to support themselves and their families.”

“Paying decent wages just makes good economic sense,” added Senator Soucy. “Volumes of research have shown that well-paid workers are better employees, better customers and are more likely to spend their dollars on necessities. The more workers feel financially secure in our state, the stronger and more robust our economy and the greater our ability to attract and retain skilled workers. While I’m disappointed our Republican colleagues continue to fail our workers, Senate Democrats will continue to push for an increase in our minimum wage and will continue fighting to expand opportunity for all.”

It is important to remember that some of the Republican senators are business owners that would be directly effected by an increase in the minimum wage.

In his opposition to raising the minimum wage last year, Senator  Andy Sanborn stated that raising the minimum wage is a “war on employers” but fails to mention that his vote against an increase is all about protecting his own self interest.

The Chairman of the NH Democratic Party, Ray Buckley, blasted the NH GOP for failing workers yet again.

“For four years, Governor Maggie Hassan worked to make our state number one in the nation for economic opportunity, with the lowest unemployment rate in the country. Building on that progress means making sure everyone with a job can provide for themselves and their family. For the second time in two weeks, Republicans have denied New Hampshire workers a raise by voting down a minimum wage.

By default, New Hampshire is tied for last in the country when it comes to paying its workers. The Granite State also has by far the lowest minimum wage in New England and that’s a legacy New Hampshire Republicans should be ashamed of. If Governor Sununu is truly committed to strengthening our economy and expanding opportunity, he should first make sure the people who live here are making enough to get by.”

“Raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour would come at the expense of entry level jobs,” said Senator Dan Innis as he argued against the increase.  Obviously Innis is mis-informed.  Study after study continues to show real life examples of how raising the minimum wage spurs economic growth, creating new jobs, and increases spending in the local community.

In January, Maine’s newly increased minimum wage went into effect and the results show what most economist routinely say, it will help create jobs.

“Average hourly earnings for private-sector Maine workers increased to $22.70 an hour and total employment increased to an all-time high, with a gain of more than 4,000 seasonally-adjusted jobs from December….Significant employment gains were seen among Maine’s restaurants and hotels, with the accommodation and food service sector gaining 700 jobs,” reported the Maine Beacon.

Then just to show how much Republicans care about low income workers they also voted to pass SB 7, a bill to change the eligibility of low income families to receive SNAP benefits.  

Senator Martha Fuller Clark was very disappointed in this partisan attack on low income families. 

“In the same day that we are discussing increased tax breaks for businesses and voting against the long overdue increase to the state’s minimum wage, Senate Republicans are passing legislation that prevents thousands of food insecure Granite Staters from accessing the SNAP benefits they so desperately need. I have to wonder – why are my Republican colleagues making it so hard for working families to succeed in New Hampshire?”

Senate Bill 7 restricts the Department of Health and Human Services from requesting or renewing a waiver of the federal work requirements for food stamp eligibility without legislative approval and requires that the department use the federal resource limits for food stamp eligibility for anyone denied a waiver. Food service providers, including the New Hampshire Food Bank, remain concerned that this legislation will have a significant, negative impact on the thousands of individuals who rely on SNAP to secure stable access to nutritious food. Moreover, significant research demonstrates that abuse of food assistance programs is extremely low. 

“139,730 people in New Hampshire are food insecure and 24% of those individuals are veterans. No one in our state should have to choose between paying their bills and buying food for their family,”  continued Fuller Clark. “This legislation puts vulnerable Granite Staters needlessly at risk and places an undue burden on municipalities and already strained food bank services. Democrats will continue to fight against these dangerous and misguided policies that put our state’s families at risk.”

Sarah Mattson Dustin is a staff advocate with The NH Legal Assistance, who testified against the proposed bill,  was also displeased with this vote and vows to continue fighting for low income families.

“NHLA and our allies who work on behalf of low-income New Hampshire families recognize the improvements the NH Senate made to SB 7 today. But this bill as amended still makes it harder for the food stamps program to continue serving low-income working families with kids. We will keep advocating for these essential benefits, which are 100 percent federally funded and a crucial tool in the fight against child hunger. We heard in the debate that New Hampshire’s senators received HUNDREDS of messages against the bill. That is a great sign that New Hampshire voters are engaged and committed to protecting our most vulnerable neighbors. There is still much work to be done, but we are deeply grateful to everyone who stood with us and with low-income working New Hampshire families.”

Opponents of SB 7 continued to point out the SNAP is a federally funded program and the State only pays a portion of the administrative costs.  The changes proposed would increase administrative costs at the state level while kicking more than 10,000 people off the program.

SB 7, submitted by Senator Kevin Avard (R-Nashua), was “word-for-word from The Foundation for Government Accountability, a Florida “welfare reform” think tank and member of the right-wing State Policy Network,” wrote Granite State Progress.  GSP also posted Avard’s “Tirade Against Poor Families, Food Stamps, and the Bible on YouTube.

Hard working, low-income workers just got completely screwed by the Republican led Senate who once again blocked an increase in the minimum wage and simultaneously making it hard for them to feed their families.

EMILY’s List Launches New Effort Focused on Flipping the NH Senate Through Electing Democratic Women

Focus 2020 EL“Focus 2020” program highlights New Hampshire as top target state for Democrats to control legislative chamber in advance of the 2020 elections 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, launched “Focus 2020,” a program designed to elect pro-choice Democratic women to governors’ seats and state legislative chambers in the 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020 elections. Through electing more Democratic women to legislative and gubernatorial offices, EMILY’s List aims to impact redistricting in 2021 and fight back against the Republicans’ anti-woman efforts to roll back women’s access to health care that we’ve seen in state legislatures in recent years.

EMILY’s List has targeted the New Hampshire state Senate and potential upcoming governors’ races as part of the Focus 2020 program. This November, Democrats need to pick up three seats in the chamber to flip it from red to blue, and EMILY’s List has endorsed two candidates for state Senate this cycle: Peggy Gilmour and Alexis Simpson.

“The path to taking back control of the New Hampshire state Senate runs through EMILY’s List women,” said Lucinda Guinn, vice president of campaigns for EMILY’s List. “Peggy and Alexis are champions for New Hampshire women and families who will stand up to New Hampshire Republicans’ anti-woman agenda and will ensure that women’s voices are heard in the redistricting process. Through electing these women we will ensure that New Hampshire’s state legislative districts are truly representative of all New Hampshire families.” 

Peggy Gilmour is running to represent New Hampshire’s 12th Senate District and Alexis Simpson is running to represent the 23rd Senate District. 

In addition to New Hampshire, the EMILY’s List Focus 2020 program will work to flip and make gains in state legislatures and win key gubernatorial seats in a total of 14 states: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In 2016 alone, we are fighting to flip eight state legislative chambers in seven states.  

Rep. Tom Sherman Announces Candidacy for State Senate

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

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

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

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

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

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


About District 24

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


“Decisions that Cause Voters to Question the Loyalty of our Elected Officials”

Statement of Paul Brochu, Stamp Stampede.org Lead Organizer – NH regarding today’s passage of the House Budget:

Greed KillsAs expected, the Budget passed by the House today includes cuts in programs for the most-needy, service delays, cost-shifting and a patchwork of other maneuvers to reduce the bottom line rather than investing in New Hampshire’s future.

These are the types of decisions that cause voters to question the loyalty of our elected officials. “Who, exactly, are our politicians serving?”  At the Stamp Stampede, we work with the growing number of people who have realized that government is being driven by Big Money political donors, and who are trying to fix that problem.

People are angry.  They’re taking to the streets in protest marches.  They’re testifying in legislative hearings.  They’re pushing resolutions through their Town Meetings.  Through the Stamp Stampede, tens of thousands of people are rubber-stamping anticorruption messages on US currency, which then circulates through the local economy and helps bring people together around the issue.

Even though corporate influence over politics is a global problem, most Americans think about it in terms of Big Money control of presidential and congressional elections. That’s what gets the headlines: a candidate asking donors to limit their donations to a million dollars; a couple of businessmen pledging to spend almost a billion dollars before the 2016 presidential elections.

But the same dynamics are at work on the state level, too – and this House budget is a microcosm of the struggle for the loyalty of our government officials.

House GalleryThis budget does not include tens of millions of dollars in revenue that could have come from a tobacco tax increase.  Why not? New Hampshire would still have the lowest cigarette tax rate among neighboring states.  We would still lead the nation in cigarette smuggling, with almost one-quarter of cigarette purchases headed out-of-state.  Revenue from a tobacco tax increase could be used to avoid cuts to community health centers.  It could fund continuation of the expanded Medicaid program that provides health insurance to 34,000 Granite Staters.  It could patch a lot of the holes in this Budget.  But it’s not even being considered.

Why not?

The National Institute on Money in State Politics shows that former House Speaker Bill O’Brien received a $5,000 political contribution from tobacco giant Altria Client Services last October.

And now, the House refuses to even consider raising the tobacco tax.

crowd (2)Political donations can be an extremely cost-effective way for corporations to do business.  A Sunlight Foundation study of the 200 most politically active corporations found that for every dollar invested in political donations and lobbying, the corporations received $760 back in tax breaks, contracts and other types of government support.

Which should give all of us pause, as this state Budget heads over to the Senate.

According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, “non-individual” political donors including business associations, corporations and PACs donated more than $700,000 to New Hampshire State Senate candidates in the 2014 elections.

more crowd (2)The Senate has already given preliminary approval to cuts in the business profits tax and the business enterprise tax.

Those tax cuts, if finalized, would undoubtedly trigger even more cuts to state services.

Do we really need those business tax cuts? New Hampshire already has the seventh-best business tax climate in the nation.

Budgets are, above all else, choices about priorities.  Spend tens of millions of dollars on tax cuts for corporations?  Or invest it in higher education for the next generation of workers?  Turn down tobacco tax revenues?  Or take the money and use it to improve the health of lower-income residents?

In a more-perfect world, our elected officials would make these sort of decisions based on the best interests of their constituents.  But we live in a world where political donations speak louder than votes.

Lobby (2)It doesn’t matter what party people belong to – Republicans and Democrats are outraged about this in almost-equal numbers.  Ask about federal campaign donations: 80% of New Hampshire Republicans and 77% of our Democrats say that Congress is more interested in special interests than its constituents.  Ask about the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens Unitedmore than two-thirds of New Hampshire voters think the US Constitution should be amended to limit money in politics.

People are feeling disenfranchised.  At StampStampede.org, we hear voters’ anger at having their government stolen by Big Money donors.  We work with small business owners who echo their customers’ disillusionment.  People are sick and tired of elected officials choosing to take care of political donors, rather than the people who elected them.

That anger is growing.  Every time that the New Hampshire Rebellion organizes a protest walk, they have hundreds more people participating than the year before.  More and more Town Meetings are voting to endorse a constitutional amendment to limit money in politics; so far, 67 Granite State municipalities have voted to defend democracy.

Billboard (2)In the past few months, several hundred New Hampshire residents have joined the Stamp Stampede. We’re seeing more and more currency with messages like “Not to Be Used for Buying Elections” and “Stamp Money Out of Politics.”  Each stamped dollar bill is seen by an estimated 875 people as it circulates through the local economy – literally making money into the message, and getting the message out to millions of people.

We’re recruiting 6,500 New Hampshire Stampers help us make this into an issue in the presidential primary.  We already have 60 small business partners who are hosting “Stamping Stations” where customers can stamp their money and learn more about how high-dollar donations have hijacked our elections.

It’s a grassroots movement to reclaim our government from the special interests, because we’re tired of being forgotten in the race to please special-interest political donors.

The decisions being made in this State Budget process – business tax cuts? or services for people? – show the problem in a nutshell.

Who does our government belong to?  Who do our elected officials take care of?

And what, exactly, is it going to take to get our government back?

————————

The Stamp 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.

Senate Republicans Put Ideology Over The Health Of 50,000 Granite Staters

“Today, members of the Senate Republican caucus let down the people of New Hampshire by refusing to compromise to develop a health care expansion plan that would actually work,” Governor Hassan stated. “Their refusal to discuss workable plans to allow New Hampshire to accept $2.4 billion in federal funds to provide critical health coverage to more than 50,000 hard-working people undermines the health and economic well-being of our families and businesses.”

As you are already aware the NH Senate could not reach an agreement to expand the state’s Medicaid program, leaving thousands of low-income families to suffer without healthcare.

Governor Hassan continued:

“We offered Senate Republican leadership nearly everything they asked for; all we wanted was a plan that would actually work from day one and for the long term. But Senate Republicans refused to budge, putting ideology first and the people of New Hampshire second.

Our providers are ready for expanded health coverage, our businesses are ready, our people are ready, and I am ready. We will keep working and there will be more votes. I hope that at some point, a few Senate Republicans will set ideology aside and step forward to do what is right. Until then, it is the people who are hurt, and it is the people whom Senators must answer to.”

Governor Hassan was not the only one who was outraged by the Republicans in the Senate who chose to stand with the Americans For Prosperity, and other special interest groups, rather than stand up for their own constituents.

Zandra Rice-Hawkins the Executive Director of Granite State Progress released the following statement:

Nancy Stiles GSP

Image from Granite State Progress. You can share this image from Facebook and Twitter.

We condemn the ‘do nothing’ GOP Senate for turning its back on 58,000 lower income Granite Staters who would benefit from health care coverage. Republican State Senators like Nancy Stiles are leaving money on the table that could have covered New Hampshire families because they kowtowed to special interests instead of representing their constituents.”

“Policymakers heard loud and clear from constituents, health policy experts, and consumer advocates that expanding Medicaid was a win-win for New Hampshire families, hospitals, community health centers, and our overall budget and economy. But when wealthy special interests opposed to health care came knocking, too many politicians caved. Senate Republicans refused to acknowledge the incredible compromises offered by the Democrats for a bi-partisan plan, and instead stonewalled back to the position they’ve always held: that we should do nothing.”

State Senator Chuck Morse. Image from Granite State Progress.  You can share this image on Facebook and Twitter.

State Senator Chuck Morse. Image from Granite State Progress. You can share this image on Facebook and Twitter.

“Senate President Chuck Morse’s flowery speech imploring legislators to continue to work together on this issue and then the subsequent vote by Senate Republicans to close the special session without any plan for action demonstrates that this has all just been a show for them. Meanwhile, New Hampshire families are going without health care coverage when they most need it.”

Granite State Progress also released a short video of a people talking about their real life problems in accessing healthcare and Greg Moore the State Director of the Americans For Prosperity calling them a ‘problem’.

The fight to provide healthcare to over 50,000 low-income families in New Hampshire is not over.  The Senate Democrats and the Governor vowed to continue their efforts.  “Senate Democrats will continue to fight for accepting Federal funds and expanding health coverage for thousands of the hard-working Granite Staters from Hampton to Hanover and Salem to Stewartstown,” said Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen.

Why do the Senate Republicans want to continue to be a donor state with our federal tax dollars while low-income families are suffering?  We could use the tax money we are already paying to help these working families acquire healthcare, making them happier and healthier members of our community.

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