Shaheen Campaign Joins NH Labor Leaders Calling On Scott Brown To Resign From Outsourcing Company

Scott Brown Collected More Than A Quarter Of A Million Dollars Advising Company Outsourcing American Jobs

Manchester — Today, the Shaheen campaign joined labor leaders representing tens of thousands of New Hampshire workers and their families in calling on Scott Brown to resign from the Board of Directors of a company that outsourced U.S. Jobs.  The former Massachusetts Senator collected more than a quarter of a million dollars to advise the company, even endorsing their outsourcing practice of relying on low-cost manufacturing bases in China and Mexico.  Brown has refused to answer questions about his role with the company since it was revealed by the Nashua Telegraph.

Officers of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, New Hampshire Teamsters, and New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984, wrote Brown: “In New Hampshire, we value companies looking to create good jobs at good wages here, not those looking to increase their profits by killing American jobs and shifting production to low wages countries like Mexico or China. That is why we are asking you to step down from your position on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc.”

Shaheen for Senate Campaign Manager Mike Vlacich said, “Cashing in on the board of company that brags about its outsourcing of American jobs to China and Mexico is another example of why Scott Brown is wrong for New Hampshire. Scott Brown has to answer to the people of New Hampshire who deserve to know why he was collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a company that shipped American jobs overseas and that relies on low-cost manufacturing bases in China and Mexico. New Hampshire can’t afford a U.S. Senator like Scott Brown who cares more about lining his own pockets — even if it means taking jobs from U.S. workers. Scott Brown should resign from this company immediately.”

Brown even signed legal documents dated just two days before he entered New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race in which the company touted “using low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico” as a business strategy.  When he was a Senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown voted to protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

“In tough times New Hampshire workers need a Senator who will advocate for them; someone they can trust.  We can’t trust someone who doesn’t support increasing the minimum wage, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, and lines his own pockets with more than a quarter of a million dollars from a company that sent American jobs overseas,” continues the letter.

See the letter New Hampshire labor leaders wrote to Brown below in its entirety:

To Mr. Scott Brown:

Our organizations represent thousands of New Hampshire workers and their families.  We were deeply troubled to read about your lucrative position with a company that outsourced jobs to China and Mexico. In New Hampshire, we value companies looking to create good jobs at good wages here, not those looking to increase their profits by killing American jobs and shifting production to low wages countries like Mexico or China. That is why we are asking you to step down from your position on the Board of Directors of Kadant, Inc.

As the Nashua Telegraph reported in the Sunday paper, you received over a quarter million dollars as a Director for Kadant, Inc.. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which you signed your name to, the company proudly touts “using low cost manufacturing bases, such as China and Mexico,” instead of creating American jobs.

In tough times New Hampshire workers need a Senator who will advocate for them; someone they can trust.  We can’t trust someone who doesn’t support increasing the minimum wage, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, and lines his own pockets with more than a quarter of a million dollars from a company that sent American jobs overseas.

From 2002 to 2012, New Hampshire lost a higher percentage of jobs to China than any other state in the country, according to the Economic Policy Institute.  Families here can’t afford a Senator who is personally profiting from corporate practices that hurt our economy.  Again and again, Mr. Brown, it seems that you are looking out for your self-interests ahead of the people of New Hampshire.

We believe you owe New Hampshire an explanation about your decision to profit from a company whose practices hurt American workers, and further that you should resign from the board of this company.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

SEA-NH/New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984 President Diana Lacey
New Hampshire AFL-CIO President, Mark S. MacKenzie
New Hampshire Teamsters Secretary-Treasurer David W. Laughton

Does Scott Brown Even Know There is a Primary in New Hampshire in Two Weeks?

Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr

Image by DonkeyHotey on Flickr

What was the #1 take-away lesson from the 2010 Massachusetts special election for US Senate?

Don’t assume voters are just going to give you the election.

The #2 lesson? Voters really don’t like arrogance.

One would think that, after beating Martha Coakley to serve as Massachusetts’ Senator for a couple of years, Scott Brown would have learned those lessons.

It would be a reasonable assumption. BUT. Over the past month or so, the Brown campaign has been acting like it has already won the Republican nomination.

As if Brown is already campaigning against Democrat Jeanne Shaheen – rather than against Republican candidates Bob Smith, Jim Rubens, Walter W. Kelly, Gerard Beloin, Robert D’Arcy, Miro Dziedzic, Mark W. Farnham, Bob Heghmann and Andy Martin.

As if neither the press nor the voting public has any interest whatsoever in the Republican primary that is scheduled for September 9th.

As if the results are already in.

Yesterday, this reached a new level of ridiculousness. Yesterday, there was a Breitbart story – quoting emails that appear to have been provided to Breitbart by someone inside Brown’s campaign – suggesting that former Nashua Telegraph reporter Kevin Landrigan was involved in some sort of conspiracy with Shaheen’s campaign, against Brown.

First thing: Landrigan is a good reporter.   Anyone who has ever worked with him knows he does his research, and he is fair. He doesn’t have any ideological axe to grind. Nobody in New Hampshire politics has ever, ever called him a “friendly reporter”… just “a good reporter.” He has a longstanding, hard-earned professional reputation as “a good reporter.” Everybody with any history in New Hampshire politics knows Landrigan as “a good reporter.”

But Scott Brown’s campaign manager, Colin Reed, doesn’t have that history. Reed spent 14 months as Deputy Communications Director for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; and before that, he worked for Brown’s Massachusetts Senate campaign against Elizabeth Warren.

And yes, Reed was working for Gov. Christie during the famous (infamous?) “Bridge-gate” incident in September 2013. And yes, in February 2014 – not long before Reed left Christie’s press office – Breitbart did try spinning the idea that “Bridge-gate” was some sort of liberal media conspiracy to benefit Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections.

And now that Reed is working for Scott Brown again, Breitbart is spinning the idea that Landrigan is somehow “carrying Shaheen’s water” by reporting that Brown received $270,000 income from a Massachusetts company which has exported jobs.

Hey, we don’t know whether or not these things are actually connected. We’re just wondering.

Mostly, we’re wondering why – at this point in the electoral process – anybody in their right mind would imagine a conspiracy between Landrigan and Shaheen’s campaign.

Brown isn’t running against Shaheen in the election that will be held two weeks from Tuesday.

Brown is running against Bob Smith, Jim Rubens, Walter W. Kelly, Gerard Beloin, Robert D’Arcy, Miro Dziedzic, Mark W. Farnham, Bob Heghmann and Andy Martin.

And, GOP voters still have to weigh in on the question of whether Brown will get through the primary.

Our opinion of yesterday’s shenanigans? Trying to tarnishing a reporter’s professional reputation is a big mistake.

But treating voters as if they don’t matter is a really, really big mistake.

Landrigan’s story, BTW, is definitely worth reading: Brown’s $270K income from Mass. company exporting jobs overseas belies campaign promises.

Shaheen Campaign Statement on WMUR/UNH Poll

Image by Harrell Kirstein

Image by Harrell Kirstein

Manchester — Shaheen for Senate Campaign Manager Mike Vlacich released the following statement on the WMUR/UNH poll showing Jeanne Shaheen leading all potential challengers after more than $3.5 million in dishonest and negative attacks against her by Republican outside groups.

“Despite more than $3.5 million in dishonest and negative attacks from the Koch Brothers, Big Oil and other special interests that want Scott Brown back in the Senate voting to protect their special breaks, Jeanne Shaheen is still leading all of her potential opponents because Granite State voters know and trust her. We’ve been ready for a competitive race since day one and we are running the kind of grassroots campaign that New Hampshire deserves, correcting every one of Big Oil’s dishonest attacks along the way. This race will come down to who makes a difference for people in New Hampshire and Jeanne Shaheen’s record is clear. She puts New Hampshire first and always has, while Scott Brown is for Scott Brown and the special interests who line his pockets and fund his campaigns.”

Watch Scott Brown Dance Around The Minimum Wage Yet Again

 

Dance Magic Dance!

That’s all I could think of, after watching a video of Scott Brown dancing his way around questions raised by New Hampshire voters.

Brown used to be the junior Senator from Massachusetts, until Elizabeth Warren beat him.  Now he’s up here in New Hampshire, running for Senate again, and recently appeared at a “Town Hall” style gathering in Franklin.

Janice Kelble, an APWU member and resident of Franklin, asked Brown where he stands on raising the minimum wage.  “Speaking of struggling working Americans, what’s your position on increasing the federal minimum wage after all these years?” she asked.

Cue the music, and watch Scott dance his way around actually answering the question.

Didn’t quite catch it? This is what Brown said:

“Something I’ve– In a prior existence, I supported an increase, that being said – what’s the key to an increase in the minimum wage? Well you can’t have the Federal government mandating and dictating all the time.  What you need to have is everybody at the table.  You need to have the job creators the people who are actually signing the front of the check at the table.  Now is this something that should be periodically reviewed, absolutely.  I’ve said that publicly and have felt that.  And as a result of those discussions where everybody was at the table, I actually voted to increase the minimum wage because it was agreed upon by everybody – they worked, they sat, they figured it out.  By mandating and not including our job creators it’s not something that is effective.  We need to have not only the employees but the job creators at the table to make determination and if in fact something comes up I hope to be at the table to have that opportunity to be part of that conversation and then we can make the determination as to what’s an appropriate amount.”

His response was very similar to the canned responses he gave to other NH voters at an event in Concord earlier this year.  I will give him this: he is consistent in avoiding actually answering questions on where he stands on raising the minimum wage.

Kelble tried again, with a more direct question:

I understood that you that you voted for increasing it in the past but I don’t understand what your position is now.  You kind of talked around job creators but you didn’t talk about your position on minimum wage.”

Brown: “Yeah I did actually.”  (We beg to differ.)

Then he tried again.  (Second dance, same as the first!  Play it again Sam.)

Got it, this time?  What he said (and no, this is not a cut-and-paste):

Let me say it again.  I actually said that we need job creators and employees at the table to make those decisions so everything’s on the table because when you look at the issue of minimum wage what are the challenges right now facing people who actually are hired.  You have right now the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, we have a state profit tax here in our state, you have Obamacare and the tentacles of that and the amazing challenges that are coming in after the election with the business mandate.  And then you throw in the high cost of energy.” 

(FYI, there is a significant difference between “corporate tax rates” and the effective tax rate, which is what corporations actually pay.  But that is another post.)

“Scott Brown is ducking New Hampshire voters, refusing to answer questions, and hiding his opposition to a responsible increase in the minimum wage,” said NH Democratic Party Communications Director Julie McClain. “Scott Brown has been cashing in on his Senate candidacy and lining his own pockets with Wall Street cash he collected from speaking to a hedge fund conference. But when it comes to answering New Hampshire’s families’ questions on the minimum wage, he runs and hides. That makes him wrong for New Hampshire.”

Refusing to answer a simple question does not make you good candidate, it makes you look like an imbecile.

Raising the minimum wage would affect over 100,000 Granite Staters.

Why is it that… what was “good policy” for Scott Brown when he represented Massachusetts… is not good enough to even have a position on now? (Now that he’s stumping around New Hampshire.)

I’d ask him why he seems to have changed positions (along with his residence address), but I figure I’d just see that same dance one more time.

Have a favorite Dance GIF that’s appropriate here?   Leave in the comments.

LETTER: Combat Veterans Are Furious Because Scott Brown Is Disingenuous About Afghanistan Service

letters to the editor

Boston, MA—As Scott Brown launches a “Veterans for Brown” group, Massachusetts veterans are reaching out to New Hampshire veterans to inform them that Brown continues to exaggerate and misrepresent his “service” in Afghanistan.  Since Brown declared that he “served in Afghanistan” while debating Elizabeth Warren in 2012, the truth has come out regarding Brown’s actual military record—that he never served in combat in Afghanistan, as his statement suggests.

“Scott Brown’s shameless self-promotion of his ‘service’ overseas is offensive to veterans everywhere. He alleges that he served in combat, but the truth is, he avoided it entirely,” said Bill Dooling. “Scott Brown only requested to perform his two week National Guard training in Afghanistan so he could use it to score political points to help his campaign. In reality, Brown’s trip to Afghanistan was nothing more than a publicity stunt – that’s why he leaked it to the press himself. It’s an insult to combat veterans that Brown keeps trying to paint himself with the same brush and uses his alleged ‘service’ in the way he has.”

“There is nothing that Scott Brown won’t do or say for Scott Brown—even if it means passing off his ‘service in Afghanistan’ as something that it most definitely was not,” said John Hurley. “Brown could not have been more ostentatious the way he turned a normal two-week training period into a complete media circus. He simply did not serve in combat, and the way he explains his service is meant to mislead voters and veterans. Even the Boston Globe editorialized against Brown, saying he was wrong to state that he ‘served in Afghanistan.’ It makes me sick.”

“I don’t know a single non-combat veteran who would try and pass himself off as a combat vet the way that Scott Brown does on a regular basis,” said Doug Clifford. “The guy requested to go to Afghanistan for training—which is highly irregular. Then he leaked it to the press. He’s made a mockery of the seriousness of entering a combat zone so that he could gain a political advantage in Massachusetts. He needs to be called out, so that New Hampshire veterans know exactly who they are dealing with if they choose to support Scott Brown.”

Signed,

Bill Dooling Vietnam Veteran ( Pleiku,1968-69) 1Lt. US Army (Ret)

Doug Clifford, Sgt. U.S. Air Force, Vietnam service, September, 1968 – September, 1969

John Hurley, 1LT, U.S. Army, Vietnam veteran (Mekong Delta, 1967-1968)

Ayotte, Brown, Guinta, Garcia Call for Massive 74% Health Care Tax Hike on Granite State Working Families

GOP Politicians Vow to Push a Massive 74% Tax Hike for Tens of Thousands of Granite Staters Already Using Affordable Care Act Tax Credit

Concord, NH – In light of one of yesterday’s court rulings, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown, and Congressional candidates Frank Guinta (CD1) and Marilinda Garcia (CD2) vowed to push for a massive 74% health care tax hike on the 31,000 Granite Staters already using Affordable Care Act tax credits. Up to 48,000 Granite Staters overall are eligible for the subsidy.

“Senator Ayotte, Scott Brown, Frank Guinta, and Marilinda Garcia want to repeal the health care tax credit for working families and raise health care premium costs by a whopping 74 percent,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “If these politicians had their way, more than 30,000 Granite Staters would see their premiums rise by an average of $3,480 annually. That’s even before addressing the fact that these same politicians would take away free preventative care check-ups and young adult coverage up to age 26 as part of their extreme ideological opposition to health care reform.”

The ruling trumpeted by Ayotte, Brown, Guinta, and Garcia – all Republicans – would raise costs on average $3,480 for Granite Staters who use the Affordable Care Act subsidy to afford quality health care coverage. Already, 31,000 Granite Staters use the health care tax credit; overall 48,000 are eligible to do so.

“This wouldn’t even be an issue if New Hampshire Republicans hadn’t blocked a state-based exchange out of political spite. New Hampshire would have been able to craft its own exchange, manage the enrollment process, and conduct public education to inform residents about their health care options. We wouldn’t be facing any concerns over the tax credit now,” Rice Hawkins said.

Conservatives are celebrating a federal district court ruling in Washington, D.C. yesterday that would take away health care tax credits from families and small businesses that live in states where conservative Republicans blocked a state-based exchange. It is questionable whether the district court ruling will be upheld though; the ruling was made by a majority conservative 3-judge panel and may be overturned by the full DC Circuit en banc panel, especially in light of a separate, unanimous ruling yesterday by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that upholds the subsidies. The Obama Administration has indicated tax credits will continue until a final determination is made.

###

Sources:

Kaiser Family Foundation. A State-by-State Look at How the Uninsured Fare Under ACA. Accessed 7.22.14 http://kff.org/interactive/uninsured-gap/

Department of Health and Human Services, ASPE Research Brief: Profile of Affordable Care Act Coverage Expansion Enrollment for Medicaid/CHIP and the Health Insurance Marketplace, 10-2-2013 to 3-31-2014. April 2014. http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2014/MarketPlaceEnrollment/Apr2014/pdf/nh.pdf

Department of Health and Human Services, ASPE Research Brief: Premium Affordability, Competition, and Choice in the Health Insurance Marketplace, 2014. June 2014. http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2014/Premiums/2014MktPlacePremBrf.pdf

 

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

 Frank Guinta 1 (Image by Mark Nassal)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire Respond to Governor Romney’s Endorsement of Scott Brown

Today in Stratham, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney endorsed Scott Brown for US Senate here in New Hampshire. Romney and Brown share similar views regarding fire fighters and public safety. Their views are not supported by the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire.

“Mitt Romney’s endorsement of Scott Brown for US Senate today comes as no surprise to us, because both of these individuals have not shown a commitment to safety in our communities. Scott Brown voted against the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act that would have provided $1 billion to rehire laid off fire fighters, law enforcement officers and teachers. He voted against the American Jobs Act, which would have put thousands of fire fighters and police officers back to work making our communities safer,” stated David Lang, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. “Both of these previously elected officials have a history of not supporting policies that would make our communities safer. Their priorities do not protect the people of Main Street, and are not helpful here in New Hampshire. This is yet another reason why the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire are supporting Senator Jeanne Shaheen,” Lang continued.

“The citizens of New Hampshire deserve better than Scott Brown. They deserve someone who has a proven track record of fighting for fire fighters and for public safety every single day. We didn’t buy Romney’s plan in New Hampshire during the 2012 campaign, and we certainly won’t buy the same plan spoken by a different Massachusetts politician. Both Scott Brown and Mitt Romney failed fire fighters in the Bay State, and we won’t give Brown the chance to do that to us here in New Hampshire,” stated Chuck Gallant President of IAFF Local #4411 Professional Firefighters of Rye.

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire represent over 2,000 active and retired fire fighters and paramedics across New Hampshire in 43 locals.

3 Things You Need to Know about Today’s Minimum Wage Vote

Here’s the first thing:
Today, the Senate did not vote on raising the minimum wage.  (If they had voted, the bill would almost certainly have passed.)
Rather: today’s vote was on whether to end a filibuster.  The filibuster is a parliamentary maneuver that allows a minority of Senators to prevent the full Senate from voting on a measure.  Since President Obama was elected, the GOP has used the filibuster to drive Congress into gridlock.  (Read more about the filibuster and Scott Brown here.)
The Senate can still vote again (and again) in the future on whether to end the filibuster.

Here’s the second thing:
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has been keeping track of corporate profits since 1947.  For the first 40 years after that, there was an almost perfect relationship between total corporate profits and the minimum wage: total corporate profits were almost exactly 55 billion times the minimum wage.  But once the 1986 corporate tax cut started impacting the economy, that changed. (It changed even more after the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts.)

profits vs minimum wage


And here’s the third thing:

Today’s vote to end the filibuster failed by only six votes.  New Hampshire’s Sen. Kelly Ayotte was one of them.

4-30-14 Minimum Wage Filibuster Vote

Scott Brown’s Die Young and Broke Campaign Launch (A Statement By Granite State Progress)

Scott Brown in 2010 Image by Wiki Commons

Scott Brown in 2010
Image by Wiki Commons


Brown wants New Hampshire families to forgo benefits he used himself

CONCORD, NH – Scott Brown will formally announce his campaign bid for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire tonight with a hypocritical ‘Die Young and Broke’ campaign theme – otherwise advertised as Live Free or Log On. Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:

“Scott Brown had no problem logging on when he was collecting health care from the federal government for his own family. Brown even told his hometown paper the Boston Globe that he was keeping his younger daughter on his health plan through age 26, a popular provision available to all families thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Yet, Brown is encouraging Granite State families to forgo health care coverage with a misleading campaign slogan. He might as well be saying die young and broke from lack of health care coverage or medical bankruptcy because that’s what he’s endorsing.”

“Scott Brown’s failed Massachusetts talking points don’t jive with the real benefits tens of thousands of Granite Staters are experiencing thanks to Obamacare. Like Scott Brown’s daughter, 10,000 New Hampshire young adults have remained on their parent’s health insurance plan thanks to the Affordable Care Act. In the last month New Hampshire exceeded expectations for marketplace enrollment and passed Medicaid expansion with a bi-partisan coalition because true Granite Staters know that access to quality, affordable health care coverage means living free from a lifetime of health care problems or escalating medical debt.”

Scott Brown’s campaign also released a press release earlier this week that stated that health care premiums in New Hampshire have risen 90%. WMUR debunked the number, reporting that the flawed figure was based on the opinion of a single New Hampshire broker and that New Hampshire premiums will actually decrease by 8% this year.

“Perhaps Scott Brown’s formal campaign launch will mean that he’ll finally invest in a campaign researcher instead of just the staff he hired to pick out popular New Hampshire venues for his staged photo ops,” Rice Hawkins said.

 

Sources:

Boston Globe: Brown says daughter, 23, insured under health law, May 1, 2012

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, How the Health Care Law is Making a Difference for the People of New Hampshire, Updated August 1, 2013

Scott Brown: Study Showing Rising Insurance Premiums a Sad Reminder of Obamacare’s Consequences

WMUR: Hear the one about NH health insurance rates going up 90 percent? April 9, 2014