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Senator Ayotte’s Horrible Record Of Opposing Paycheck Fairness

Obama Signs Lilly Ledbetter (Jerry Nadler FLIKR)

Obama Signs Lilly Ledbetter Act (Jerry Nadler FLIKR)

Last week we celebrated the 7th anniversary of President Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act to fight the gender wage inequality. Some, including my own Senator, Kelly Ayotte, are still fighting against the hard working women of the Granite State by opposing legislation to close the gender wage gap.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, women make 76 cents for every dollar earned by men in New Hampshire. The numbers are worse for minority women: African American women earn 65 cents and Latinas 70 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.

“The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act marked a critical step forward in the fight to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work, but the fight is far from over,” said NH Democratic Party Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “Women are still paid an average of 79 cents on the dollar for full-time work compared to men, while politicians like Kelly Ayotte stand on the wrong side of progress by obstructing efforts to close the wage gap to appease their special interest backers like the Koch Brothers.”

Kelly Against Paycheck FairnessIn June 2012, Ayotte voted against a procedural vote to move forward with S. 3220, Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (also known as the Equal Pay Act), “to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.” The Paycheck Fairness Act would require a clarification in reasons for differences in wages paid to men and women doing the same work. The motion was rejected 52-47.

Ayotte’s opposition to equal pay legislation does not stop there. In April of 2014, Ayotte voted to block a “bill that would require employers to demonstrate that wage gaps between men and women with similar qualifications and in similar jobs have a business justification. It would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information and authorize the Labor secretary to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a sex discrimination action. The bill also would require the Labor Department to provide training and collect wage information,” wrote CQ magazine.

And again in September 2014 , Ayotte voted against a bill to strengthen federal equal pay laws for women.

“Yet again, Kelly Ayotte has shown that she could not be more out of touch when it comes to the issues that matter to women and families. Time and time again, she’s voted against the wellbeing of New Hampshire women—and her record of voting to block gender equality in pay is especially shameful,” said Marcy Stech, communications director for EMILY’s List. 

Just to show how much she cared Senator Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness legislation multiple times and in turn submitted her own legislation to make the problem worse.

“Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness a whole bunch of times. And then, just for kitten-heel kicks, she and some of her fellow lady Republicans introduced their own adorable “Equal Pay” bill, which wouldn’t actually strengthen equal pay laws so much as weaken them by creating extra loopholes for employers. It’s like the same thing, only different,” wrote Kaili Joy Gray for Wonkette. 

“It is troubling that Senator Ayotte has gone so far out of her way to oppose this basic economic equality – voting four times against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help ensure that women can earn equal pay for equal work. And even worse, she is now trying to cover up her record with a sham bill rife with loopholes that would continue allowing employers to prevent the sharing of salary information and keep women from determining when they are being paid less than their male counterparts.,” said Maggie for NH Campaign Treasurer Kathy Sullivan. 

“In November, New Hampshirites have a clear choice to elect a true champion in Maggie Hassan, who will move forward solutions for New Hampshire women – and make sure that they are finally paid what they deserve,” said Stech.

“Lilly Ledbetter took her fight for equality and fairness all the way, powering through opposition to change the laws that held her back. And so will women across the Granite State. New Hampshire women deserve a Senator who will fight for progress and economic security for their families, not a Senator who hides behind sham legislation while standing in the way of equality and fairness,” added Miller.

National Republican Senate Committee Wants Kelly Ayotte To Be More Like Trump

Kelly Ayotte (Image Marc Nozell FLIKR)National Republican Senate Committe Instructs Senate Candidates To Embrace Donald Trump, Turns Out Kelly Ayotte’s Already Ahead Of The Curve 

Concord, N.H. – Yesterday, the Washington Post released a confidential memo sent from the National Republican Senatorial Committee to Senate candidates instructing them to be more like Donald Trump, and lucky for Kelly Ayotte, she’s already ahead of the curve. 

According to the Post, the Republican playbook notes that Trump exhibits the “same character traits our candidates should be advancing in 2016,” and “urges candidates to adopt many of Trump’s tactics, issues and approaches” — echoing the strategy Ayotte has already embraced in her own effort to save her political career. 

First, Ayotte met privately with Trump in April. Then, BuzzFeed reported that Ayotte said Donald Trump running for president is “a positive thing,” leading Trump to publicly state he’d consider Ayotte for his Vice President if she’s “hot at the time.”

And on issue after issue, Ayotte has staked out policy positions right in line with Trump.

  • Kelly Ayotte has voted 3 times to defund Planned Parenthood (and vowed to continue doing so). Donald Trump has said “Planned Parenthood should absolutely be defunded.”
  • On equal pay, Kelly Ayotte has voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act four times, and Donald Trump has said that the solution is for women to “do as good a job” as men.
  • Kelly Ayotte said she supported amending the Constitution to end birthright citizenship back in 2010, and Donald Trump found himself in hot water for advocating that same position earlier this year.
  • Both have even expressed skepticism that climate change is real over the years. In 2010 when Ayotte was asked if he or she believed that man-made global warming has been proven without a doubt, she answered simply “no.” This fall, Trump criticized President Obama’s concern over climate change and claimed, “you can’t get hurt by extreme weather.” 

“Kelly Ayotte is ahead of the curve in following the newly released Donald Trump Playbook,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “Donald Trump has been making headlines for his extreme positions for the last few months, while Ayotte has been taking the same stances for years. She embraced his campaign in its early days, and now her party bosses are urging her to keep following the same playbook so she can continue to represent her corporate special interest backers in Washington.” 

For more on Kelly Ayotte’s real Washington record, visit AyotteFactCheck.com.   

Carly Fiorina: Not just a failure for HP

Carly Fiorina siding with the GOP and its reckless attacks on women

The parade of Republican presidential candidates continues today in the Granite State with Carly Fiorina, ex-CEO of Hewlett Packard, a colossal failure” in the business world. Fiorina is speaking to women in New Hampshire today, but much like her business career, her policies would be a colossal failure to women here in the Granite State and around the country.


Economic Equality

Let’s start with economics. Today, even in 2015, women aren’t ensured equal pay. What does Fiorina think? She doesn’t support legislation requiring equal pay for women. Let’s just remember that when she was fired from HP, she enjoyed a $42 million golden parachute. If only women fighting for equal pay were so lucky. But she’s not alone:

  • Marco Rubio downplayed the importance of equal pay and said the Paycheck Fairness Act was about “wasting time,” and “scoring political points.”
  • Jeb Bush stated that he did not know what the Paycheck Fairness Act was when he was asked about it.
  • Chris Christie even vetoed equal pay legislation calling it “senseless bureaucracy.”
  • Rand Paul compared the Paycheck Fairness Act to the Soviet Politburo.


Paid Family Leave

Now for a family favorite – making sure families have time to care for a newborn or a sick relative, without fear of losing their job or salary. Under Carly Fiorina, that fear could be alive and well. Carly “$42 million dollar golden parachute” Fiorina opposes a paid family leave guarantee, putting control in the hands of corporations. Not a lot of hope there, given that only 12 percent of American workers in the private sector have access to such policies through their employer. 

On this, Carly Fiorina is right there with the rest of the GOP. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan, who famously agreed to run for the post only if he could spend weekends with his family, opposes paid leave. Lucky him.

  • Marco Rubio introduced a plan to make paid family leave optional, leaving the U.S. as “the only developed country with no guarantee.” He also voted against an amendment to allow Americans to earn paid sick time, and has said he doesn’t think mothers of newborns deserve paid leave.
  • Jeb Bush opposed federal paid maternity leave and while governor of Florida, refused to extend unemployment insurance benefits to fathers and mothers taking time off after the birth or adoption of a child.
  • John Kasich, while in Congress, voted against the Family and Medical Leave Act, twice.
  • And Rand Paul has simply refused to discuss policies about maternity and family leave.


Women’s Health 

And when it comes to supporting a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, Fiorina is not on board with that either. She has called for overturning Roe v. Wade, which would backtrack women’s rights to the 1960’s. But that’s not all. She backed a measure that would have required women who were raped to file a police report before obtaining an abortion, even after GOP women in Congress said the bill was too extreme. She even thinks the Texas law that puts women in danger by restricting their access to a safe and legal abortion (that’s right, the same law that the U.S. Supreme Court will pick apart in the coming months) was “not particularly extreme.”

In sum, Carly Fiorina may try to get women on her side in New Hampshire, but the truth is that GOP policies leave women with fewer opportunities to get ahead and fewer options to take care of their families’ health and their own health. And thankfully for those women, Democrats support equal pay, paid family leave, and a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions without a politician standing in the way.

Granite State Rumblings: Equal Pay Day

Today is equal pay day. The day typically comes in early April and represents how far into the current year an average female employee would have to work to earn what her male counterpart brought home in the last calendar year.

Equal Pay Day comes more than a half century after President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which aimed “to prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers.” Despite that legislation and labor laws enacted since, the earnings gap between American men and women remains wide.

Danielle Paquette writes in the Washington Post Wonkblog that closing the gender wage gap could pull half of single working moms out of poverty. Here is what she has to say:

More women than ever financially support their families. And with American women today earning 78.3 cents for every dollar a man makes, female workers who struggle economically often face a steeper climb to prosperity than their male counterparts.

Fixing this disparity could slash poverty in half for families with working women, according to a report published Wednesday from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the second installment in a series of seven.

The country’s number of working single mothers who live in poverty would drop from about 30 percent to 15 percent, researchers estimate, if they earned on average as much as comparably skilled men.

“A lot of attention is paid to the wage gap, but people aren’t necessarily thinking about it in terms of economic self-sufficiency or income inequality,” said Barbara Gault, executive director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “Too often the gender picture is left out of that.”

Raises for women could drastically change the financial picture for a lot of families: About 40 percent of American households with children have female breadwinners, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. That share was just 11 percent in 1960.

The national push for pay parity is fueling progress — slowly. Over the past 30 years, inflation-adjusted median earnings for women’s full-time, year-round work rose nationally from $30,138 to $39,157, the IWPR found. Men’s earnings dipped slightly from $50,096 to $50,033. Still, researchers project that we won’t see equal pay until 2058.

To measure the wage gap’s effect on economic struggle, the IWPR authors used American Community Survey data from 2013 to take a closer look at U.S. households below the poverty line. They found single women with children fared far worse than single men with kids.

The well-documented obstacles working parents face, of course, contribute to this problem and aren’t restricted to one gender: Child-care costs remain sky-high (and often exceed the cost of rent in a family budget), paid leave is lacking in jobs across the country, and schedule flexibility is notoriously rare in American workplaces.

But jobs more often held by female workers without college degrees (child care, retail, administrative work) tend to pay much less than roles dominated by men with the same level of education (plumbing, electricity, contract work).

A complex web of factors exacerbate the wage gap. Poor women continue to face disproportionate financial challenges.

To see how the marriage gap and gender gap combine to affect pay for Americans at a local level, the Voter Participation Center (VPC) analyzed pay in all 50 states. The results are startling. In New Hampshire unmarried women on average earn $43,300 a year, or just 75% of what men earn ($58,000) on average. In Maine, unmarried women earn 68% ($33,800) of what men earn ($50,000).

When Opportunity Stops Knocking

New Hampshire’s Kids and the American Dream

Join a statewide conversation to share ideas with neighbors, hear the latest research, and inform the presidential primary campaigns about the increasing barriers our state’s children face in achieving their dreams.

Participants will learn about what the gaps are between the opportunities children have today compared with those of previous generations in our state. Research from the Carsey School and other sources will help frame the discussion.

Register at: nhlistens.org/events.

This May, New Hampshire Listens–part of the Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH–is hosting twelve local conversations across the state that will engage residents in an important conversation about the increasing barriers our state’s children face in achieving their dreams. Research from the Carsey School and other sources will help frame the discussion. Attendees will learn about what the gaps are between the opportunities children have today compared with those of previous generations in our state.

Every Child Matters in NH will be there and we invite you to join us at a conversation in your area. This is your opportunity to weigh in with your experience and your perception of the opportunities, barriers, and prospects for future generations.

This work is the culmination of several events and opportunities. First, awareness has increased across the state and nation about the realities of what our children can achieve economically, compared to previous generations. Second, prior to the release of Robert Putnam’s book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, cross partisan national leadership began reaching out to Putnam to bring his expertise and research to the issue of the country’s widening inequality gap. Finally the upcoming presidential primary season presents Granite State residents with a chance to voice their thoughts on these issues as our state becomes a first stop for those wishing to become president in 2016.

Kelly Ayotte Votes Against New Hampshire’s Best Interests In Budget

Senator Kelly Ayotte 2 (Gage Skidmore)

Senator Kelly Ayotte at CPAC in 2013 (Image by Gage Skidmore FLIKR)

As the Senate wrapped up a slew of budget amendment votes Kelly Ayotte’s priorities were on full display, and now she has to begin the difficult work of trying to explain her indefensible votes to her constituents back home.

Below is just a sampling of where Kelly Ayotte voted against New Hampshire’s best interests:

  • Voted against an amendment to prevent companies from getting tax benefits for shipping jobs overseas. Over 106,000 jobs in New Hampshire are at risk of being outsourced
  • Opposed an amendment to adopt the Paycheck Fairness Act to give women more tools to fight pay discrimination.
  • Voted against measures to protect Social Security against privatization and benefit cuts and prevent Medicare from being turned into a voucher program
  • Voted against an amendment that would let young people refinance their student loans, which would help 129,000 borrowers in New Hampshire, and against restoring cuts to the Pell Grant program
  • Opposed a measure to provide two free years of community college by raising revenue through requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes

Kelly Ayotte’s priorities are clear, and New Hampshire students, seniors families and workers don’t make the list.

“If anyone wasn’t clear about how extreme Kelly Ayotte truly is, they don’t need to look any further than her votes on this budget against New Hampshire students, seniors, families and workers,” said Sadie Weiner, DSCC National Press Secretary. “New Hampshire voters deserve better than Kelly Ayotte’s refusal to stand up for their best interests and they’ll hold her accountable in 2016.”

These are not the priorities of New Hampshire working families.  These are the priorities of the rich, elite 1% who want to take more from the hard working middle class and refuse to pay their fair share.

“From voting to protect tax benefits for companies that outsource jobs to opposing a measure that would let young people refinance their student loans, Kelly Ayotte proved once again that her focus in Washington is looking out for her special interest allies and not the best interests of New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley.

This budget will not help Granite State families, it will only hurt them.  Slashing social programs that low income families rely on, reducing benefits to seniors who are already struggling to pay their bills on a fixed income, and gives more tax breaks to wealthy corporations who skirt paying their fair share in taxes.

It is obvious that Senator Ayotte is more interested in following her out of touch party leadership than doing what is right for New Hampshire families.  She is also setting herself up nicely for a potential GOP Vice President nomination, building a hefty war chest and voting right down party lines.

New Video: AFGE Women’s Coordinator Fights for Equal Rights

In latest documentary, AFGE member and D.C. Investigator Audrey Townsend discusses fighting for equal pay for women

AFGE VideoWASHINGTON – For Audrey Townsend, the fact that women get paid 77 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts isn’t just a statistic. It’s a call to action.

As a women’s coordinator for American Federation of Government Employees Local 383, Audrey serves as a spokesperson for all of the female District of Columbia government employees who aren’t receiving equal pay for equal work.

“My job is to represent them and to represent to the D.C. City Council that women deserve the same equal pay as men,” she says. “I would ask them, Would you want your daughter making less than her brother? It’s important that everyone have the same equal playing field, without gender being a factor.”

Audrey shares her story in the latest documentary produced by AFGE, which is the largest union representing federal and D.C. government employees. The documentary series is part of AFGE’s year-long campaign, “I Am AFGE,” to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of the women and men who work for them every day.

Audrey’s passion for improving the quality of life for all people extends to her job with the D.C. Department of Human Services, where she investigates reported cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation involving vulnerable adults.

Through her job, Audrey helps protect the city’s most vulnerable residents from being left in a living situation that could result in abuse and possibly death.

“Members like Audrey not only perform a public service in their day-to-day jobs, but also by representing our union members to ensure equality in the workplace,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “The employees we represent in the District of Columbia touch every resident’s life in one way or another, fighting to ensure D.C. residents have a government that works for them.”

Audrey says she gets just as much from AFGE as she gives. AFGE provides her with regular training on workplace discrimination and equal employment rights, so she can pass on that information to other members.

“AFGE empowers me to be who I am so I’m able to represent other people. AFGE provides a platform for me to get up and to represent those who may not have a strong voice,” she says.

Audrey’s story is one of 15 short-form documentaries being released by AFGE through the end of the year, highlighting individual federal employees who carry out important work across the country.

All of the videos are being posted online and distributed to hundreds of news outlets across the country. The campaign also is being promoted through social media, an employee photo contest and other events.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

Fact-Checking Marilinda Garcia

Marilinda Garcia (Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Marilinda Garcia (Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Missing in Action in Legislature

Fact: Marilinda Garcia wants to represent New Hampshire in Washington, but as a state representative she failed to show up to vote in Concord on behalf of her Salem constituents.

Tea Party candidate Marilinda Garcia has been taken to task by New Hampshire reporters for failing to show up and vote in the New Hampshire state legislature.  In fact, Garcia has missed votes on major issues facing the state, like Medicaid expansion and casino gambling.  Over the course of her career, Garcia missed over 20 percent of roll call votes, and over 50% of votes in 2010 alone. [New Hampshire General Court Voting Record]

Annie Kuster, on the other hand, has one of the best voting records in Congress and has been present for 98.9 percent of the votes that took place during her time in Congress.

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Misleads Voters on Medicare

Fact: Annie Kuster has never voted to cut Medicare.

In an effort to distract voters from her extreme record, Tea Party candidate Marilinda Garcia falsely claimed that Annie Kuster supports cutting billions from Medicare in order to fund the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This false attack been consistently debunked by independent fact checkers. In fact, the ACA reduces future overpayments to private health care providers and strengthens Medicare by reducing prescription drug costs for seniors.

Kuster is the only candidate in this race with a record of protecting programs important to New Hampshire seniors, including Medicare and Social Security.  Garcia, on the other hand, voted to “privatize all aspects of Social Security.” [New Hampshire General Court, HCR39, Vote 190, 3/21/12]

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Voted Against Fully Funding Veterans Benefits

Fact: Marilinda Garcia has a troubling record of opposing full funding for veterans programs.

In 2007, Tea Party candidate Marilinda Garcia voted against a resolution urging Congress to fully fund veterans’ benefits.  [New Hampshire General Court, HR10, Vote 71, 3/28/07]. And when asked at a recent candidates forum where she would cut the federal budget, Garcia spoke out against requests for increased funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, despite the fact that Republicans and Democrats in the House overwhelmingly approved a recent funding increase by a vote of 420 to 5.

As a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Kuster has advocated for newly enacted reforms to increase VA resources, hold corrupt officials accountable, and ensure New Hampshire veterans can access medical care faster and closer to home.

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Opposes Paycheck Fairness Act

Fact: Marilinda Garcia opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act, and other efforts to support equal pay for equal work.

State representative Marilinda Garcia says she opposes the Paycheck Fairness Act, to help eliminate wage discrimination based on gender. Congresswoman Kuster has a strong record of fighting to level the playing field for Granite State women, and she is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Wants to Send Doctors to Jail for Performing Medical Procedures to Save a Mother’s Life

Fact: Marilinda Garcia would send doctors to jail for performing abortions – even if the procedure is necessary to save a mother’s life.

In 2008, Garcia voted to make it illegal for doctors to perform an abortion even if the life of the mother is at risk. NH1 actually did a fact check on Garcia’s position, and found that Garcia does indeed support criminalizing doctors who perform abortions, regardless of whether the mother’s life is at risk.

This position is far outside of the mainstream of New Hampshire, and would be devastating for Granite State women and their families. No doctor should ever be sent to jail for attempting to save the life of a mother. But Garcia wants to ban abortions with no exceptions – even in the cases of rape, incest, and saving the life of the mother. She is simply too extreme for New Hampshire.

FACT CHECK:  Marilinda Garcia Misleads Voters on Record on Rail Infrastructure

Fact: Marilinda Garcia claimed she wanted to know whether the proposed commuter rail project was “feasible,” yet voted to repeal the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority when it was conducting the feasibility study for the project. [New Hampshire General Court, HB218, Vote 105, 3/17/11]

Frank Guinta’s New Ad A Desperate Attempt to Fool Granite State Women Voters

Frank Guinta (Image by Mark Nassal)

Frank Guinta (Image by Mark Nassal)

Deceptive Ad at Odds with Guinta’s Anti-Woman Agenda

Manchester, NH —Frank Guinta’s new ad distorts his disastrous record on women’s health and economic priorities in an attempt to reverse his poor polling performance among New Hampshire women.

“Frank Guinta’s new ad is a desperate attempt to reverse his miserable polling numbers with women and cover up his record in Congress of voting against women’s health priorities, women’s safety against domestic violence, and a woman’s right to choose, even in cases of rape or when the mother’s life is in danger,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Julie McClain. “Guinta’s sudden claim to care about fair pay and childcare is laughable in the face of his anti-woman, Tea Party voting record, and New Hampshire women and families will not be fooled.”

In the ad, Guinta claims—without citation—to support fair pay and childcare. In fact, Guinta skipped the 112th Congress’s single vote on fair pay and never supported a single policy or bill to address the wage gap. In addition, he voted for the destructive sequester cuts that took away childcare options for New Hampshire families and closed Newmarket’s Head Start program.


In 2012, Guinta Skipped Vote on Fair Pay (H.Res. 667)
“ … to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.” (roll call 5/31/12, amendment to H.Res. 667)

Sequestration Cuts Guinta Voted for Caused Closure of Newmarket Head Start Program
“The closing of Newmarket’s nearly 20-year-old Head Start Program in June — caused by the federal sequestration — has forced the parents of more than a dozen children to either drive to a nearby community for the program or to just stay home.” (roll call on S. 365, Foster’s 7/13/13)

Jeanne Shaheen, A Senator New Hampshire Women Can Trust

On “A Senator New Hampshire Women Can Trust” Tour, Jeanne Shaheen Discusses Women’s Economic Issues at New England Porch Rockers in Laconia

Shaheen Endorsed by National Association of Women Business Owners This Week

Laconia, NH – Today, Senator Jeanne Shaheen visited New England Porch Rockers, a woman-owned manufacturer of rocking chairs and furniture in Laconia, to discuss her work to expand economic opportunities for women and the issues at stake for women in the November election. Senator Shaheen was joined by Jeanne Compton of New England Porch Rockers and Donna Gaudet-Hosmer, a registered Republican and local small business owner.  Her visit to Laconia comes a day after she was endorsed by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

“For decades, I’ve fought to level the playing field for women in New Hampshire by protecting women’s access to affordable healthcare, combating pay discrimination and fighting to increase the minimum wage, and my record provides a clear contrast for New Hampshire voters,” said Senator Shaheen. “Scott Brown supported the Blunt Amendment and the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, he voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, and he opposes raising the minimum wage for thousands of New Hampshire women. Brown’s positions are simply wrong for New Hampshire.”

“Jeanne Shaheen knows that more and more families are now relying on women as the primary breadwinner,” said Jeanne Compton, owner of New England Porch Rockers. “That’s why she’s worked to expand access to affordable childcare, combat pay discrimination and promote women’s small business ownership. Jeanne has fought for women and small business owners like me, and now, I’m fighting for her.”

“Women in New Hampshire simply can’t trust someone like Scott Brown whose record shows he won’t stand up to his party to fight for women’s rights,” said Donna Gaudet-Hosmer, a registered Republican and a small business owner. “From the Hobby Lobby Decision to the Blunt Amendment, Scott Brown has been wrong on women’s health issues, and from the minimum wage to the Paycheck Fairness Act, he’s been wrong on women’s economic issues. New Hampshire women aren’t going to forget that in November.”

“Senator Shaheen has been a tireless advocate for women business owners on the U.S. Senate  Small Business Committee and has shown that she understands the integral role entrepreneurs play in our economy,” said Darla Beggs, NAWBO National Board Chair. “We are proud to lend our endorsement to Senator Shaheen and look forward to seeing her continue her efforts on behalf of small business owners.”

For more than two decades, Jeanne Shaheen has worked to make a difference for women in New Hampshire, particularly on important economic issues. As a Senator, she cosponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, and as Governor, Shaheen signed into law legislation that strengthened New Hampshire’s equal pay protections.  She has also introduced legislation to expand the childcare tax credit to help working families cope with the rising cost of child care.

Shaheen has also been a leader on women’s reproductive rights. As Governor, she signed into law bipartisan legislation guaranteeing insurance coverage for contraception; that legislation was backed by 120 Republicans and 121 Democrats in the New Hampshire State House. In the Senate, she helped introduce legislation to reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision in order to protect women’s access to birth control and contraception. She has also led the fight against the Republican plan known as the Blunt Amendment which would allow an employer to deny contraception coverage for their female employees.

While representing Massachusetts in the Senate, Scott Brown co-sponsored and voted for the Blunt Amendment, and this year, he spoke out in support of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.

Today We Celebrate “Women’s Equality Day,” And Continue To Push Forward To Real Equality For Women

Suffragist Picketing“On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified, securing for women the fundamental right to vote,” proclaimed President Obama.  “The product of decades spent organizing, protesting, and agitating, it was a turning point on the long march toward equality for all, and it inspired generations of courageous women who took up this unfinished struggle in their own time.  On the anniversary of this civil rights milestone, we honor the character and perseverance of America’s women and all those who work to make the same rights and opportunities possible for our daughters and sons.”

“In the 21st century, a mother should be able to raise her daughter and be her role model—showing her that with hard work, there are no limits to what she can accomplish,” continued Obama.

Just take a moment to think of all of the incredible achievement women have made in the last 94 years.

“On Women’s Equality Day, we continue the righteous work of building a society where women thrive, where every door is open to them, and their every dream can be realized,” concluded Obama.

No matter how far we have come, there is always work to be done.

“As we mark Women’s Equality Day, we must come together to close the wage gap and ensure that women and men receive equal pay for equal work,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “All across the nation, women continue to make an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. This doesn’t just hurt women, but hurts working Granite State families across New Hampshire. That’s why I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation to help put an end to wage discrimination based on gender.”

“In addition to this wage gap, women face family-unfriendly policies that negatively impact their careers and slow down economic success,” opined Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “These barriers not only hold back women and their families, but also our economy. That’s why I support a women’s economic agenda – because we need policies that will give women a fair shot to succeed.”

“Women’s Equality Day is a call to action and a reminder that in the year 2014, there is still much work to be done toward achieving full equality for women,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

For more than two decades, Jeanne Shaheen has worked to make a difference for women in New Hampshire. As Governor, she strengthened the state’s equal pay law and in the U.S. Senate, she cosponsored both the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen equal pay protections for women in the work place. She strongly supports increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour to give a raise to thousands of working New Hampshire women who currently make up nearly 70% of the state’s minimum wage earners. Last month, she and her colleagues introduced the Not My Boss’s Business Act, which would reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and ensure that employers cannot deny their female employees access to basic health care, like contraception or mammograms.

Senator Shaheen took this as a golden opportunity to highlight the vast differences between herself and her main political opponent, Scott Brown.  “There is a real choice in this election. I’m fighting for equal pay for equal work, to increase the minimum wage to give thousands of hardworking women get a raise, and to make sure women can make make their health care decisions with their doctors, not their employers. My Republican opponents don’t share those values.”

Former Massachusetts Senator, and now New Hampshire Senate candidate, Scott Brown, cosponsored the Blunt Amendment in the U.S. Senate, which would have allowed employers to deny women access to coverage for basic health services they opposed on moral grounds, such as contraception or mammograms. Scott Brown opposes increasing the minimum wage and voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have helped women fight to receive equal pay for equal work. Even Scott Brown’s own campaign co-chair noted that he was out of touch with ‘many, many, New Hampshire women’ on access to contraception coverage.  And when a reporter tried to ask him about the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision he hid in the bathroom rather than discuss the topic.

This should be a wake up call for all women, young and old that we have yet to reach real equality.  Take this day as a reminder to register to vote this year.  It could have been your mother or your great-grandmother that had to fight for their right to vote.  Honor them by registering, and exercising your Constitutional right to vote this November.


Read President Obama’s Proclamation of Women’s Equality Day.

Read Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s full Op-Ed on Women’s Equality Day

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