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Congressman Guinta’s Politics Are What Are Gridlocking Congress

Do you want to know why our Congress is gridlocked?  It is because of people like (soon to be former) Congressman Guinta.  In conversation about the possibility of increasing taxes on the people who make $250,000 or more,  he told the NH Union Leader

“I cannot see a scenario where I vote to raise rates”

Really Congressman, there is no senario where you would raise taxes?  The is the TEA Party mentality that has gridlocked our Congress for two years now.   This could also be why Congressman Guinta will not be returning to Washington DC in January.

At least Congressman Bass is willing to consider the idea (though his is not likely to support it).  He signed a letter to fellow members stating that

“all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table.”

Congressman Guinta is trying (poorly) to turn this back on the President.

“Shame that the President has positioned this as raising taxes on a certain class of people rather than talking about cutting taxes for the middle class.”

The problem that Congressman Guinta does not seem to understand is that we are talking about taxes on the ‘middle class’.  If we go over the so called ‘fiscal cliff’ then the middle class would see an increase in their taxes by $2000 dollars.

Even seven term Congressman Bass can see the writing on the wall.  The President wants the Republicans to agree to the tax cuts for the middle class and increases on the wealthy. If the House Republicans do not agree Bass knows what will happen.

“the alternative is have everybody’s taxes go up and then the President comes back in late January and says, ‘I’m going to offer the American people the biggest tax cut in American history,’ and it’s going to be exactly the tax cut he wants (for the middle class) now.”

Personally I am not in favor of this idea (though it would be as effective) and here is why. If we let the tax cuts expire and the push a tax cut for the middle class then all of the Norquist Pledge zombies can still walk around saying ‘I did not agree to a tax increase and stand by my pledge.’  No I want to see them actually WORK TOGETHER with the Democrats and make something happen.

The only people who are not willing to compromise are these TEA Party / Norquist Pledge Republicans who oppose any tax increase no matter what cuts come with them.  This is wrong!  I hope we see a deal before the end of the year, but I want the President to stand firm on his 2% tax hike.  Even if that means I have to jump of the imaginary, completely fabricated, fiscal cliff.

Oh, Ovide: Video from 2010 Contrasts Ovide’s “Agnostic” Views on Climate Change

Ovide Lamontagne tells Granite State Debate viewers he’s “agnostic” on climate change; Video from 2010 US Senate race says otherwise

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Ovide Lamontagne has spent most of his campaign trying to hide his extreme record as a tobacco lobbyist, deny his support to block grant Medicare and put our seniors at risk, and downplay his position of putting politicians between a woman and her doctor. Tonight he added climate change denial to his long list of shifting and hidden policies. 1

Ovide told Granite State Debate viewers that he’s “agnostic” on whether climate change exists. Granite State Progress released a video tonight entitled “Ovide Lamontagne: Climate Change Denier” showing the candidate at an August 2010 US Senate Primary debate expressing strong opinions on the matter.

Ovide Lamontagne: Climate Change Denier


Transcript: Debate moderator Nancy Stiles: “Ovide, do you believe that man-made global warming has been proven without a doubt?” Ovide Lamontagne: “No.”


“Ovide has spent most of his campaign trying to hide his extreme record as a tobacco lobbyist despite public evidence to the contrary, deny his desire to block grant Medicare and put our seniors at risk even though it’s on his own website, and downplay his position of putting politicians between a woman and her doctor while receiving endorsements from groups that support that very position,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Director of Granite State Progress. “Tonight he added running from his own record as a climate change denier. Ovide also tried to tell voters that he doesn’t support teaching creationism at the same time he said he would allow creationism to be taught in public schools. Ovide Lamontagne is fast becoming a Mitt Romney flip-flopper replica in his constant quest for higher office.”

“Ovide Lamontagne’s extreme policies would take New Hampshire in a radically different direction.”


1 The Lobby NH 10/18/2012; New England College Debate 10/4/2012; Ovide 2012, http://www.ovide2012.com/news/entry/new-hampshire-needs-to-invest-in-its-own-exceptionalism; Keene Sentinel 10/22/2012

CACR 26: Bill O’Brien’s Legislative Takeover of the NH Courts

This November, voters will be asked to weigh in on two proposed NH Constitutional amendments.

CACR 13: no new tax on personal income shall be levied by the state of New Hampshire.
(See the NHLN write up on CACR 13)
CACR 26: the legislature and the chief justice of the supreme court shall have concurrent power to make rules governing the administration of all the courts of the state.

In this post I want to talk about CACR 26.

CACR 26 is a complete grab at power by the NH Legislature. The title of the amendment is very deceiving.  To truly understand what they are trying to do, you must look at the changes.

The legislature shall have a concurrent power to regulate the same matters by statute. In the event of a conflict between a statute and a court rule, the statute, if not otherwise contrary to this constitution, shall prevail over the rule.

This is another attempt by the NH Legislature to give themselves power over the courts. They are grasping at any way to have the authority to overrule the courts and ultimately overturn the Claremont Decision.

The Claremont Decision was the landmark case in which the NH Courts decided that the Legislature was not properly funding the schools and children the in town of Claremont were not getting the same education as other students due to a lack of funding.  Ever since this decision, some legislators have been working to overturn this decision and return that power to the Legislature. Education funding will again become a political football.

Even former Governor Steve Merrill said

“The court is not a state agency. It is a branch of government. By the language of the New Hampshire Constitution, the legislative branch is political, the judicial branch is not. We value an independent political branch, and we value an independent judicial branch. Everyone, nevertheless, should be concerned about a legislative takeover of the courts because political control of the judiciary is just not in the public interest.”

The Claremont Decision is not the only court decision that Speaker Bill O’Brien would overturn if he had the power.  The Fosters Daily Democrat reported that Speaker O’Brien is appealing the ruling on the new NH Voter ID law.  O’Brien has criticized the ruling, calling it “judicial activism of the worst sort.”

John T Broderick, former Chief Justice of the NH Supreme Court, understands what Speaker O’Brien is trying to do with CACR 26.

“This proposed amendment represents a step backward. The framers sought to protect the separation of governmental powers because they had lived under regimes that respected no dividing lines, when the Legislature could invade the province of the judiciary for purely partisan reasons or, perhaps, without any reason at all”

We need to ensure that this amendment does not pass or we could have Speaker O’Brien and his Tea Party extremists running two branches of the Government.



CACR 13: The Amendment To Stop Moving NH Forward

On election day Granite Staters will not only make the choice on who will lead us for the next few years, we will also vote on proposed changes to the New Hampshire Constitution.

There are two amendments being offered this year.

CACR 13: no new tax on personal income shall be levied by the state of New Hampshire.

CACR 26: the legislature and the chief justice of the supreme court shall have concurrent power to make rules governing the administration of all the courts of the state.  (More on this in another post.)

CACR 13 seems very simple and it is.  They want to change the New Hampshire Constitution to ban personal income taxes forever. The problem is that we do not know what tomorrow will bring. – and so we don’t know what fiscal options the Legislature may need, tomorrow.

Jackie Cilley ran a great campaign for Governor over the summer, mostly on the fact she refused to take “the (no tax) Pledge”.  She made the case that we have some serious funding issues in New Hampshire, and that our property taxes have risen to the point where people are being forced out of their family homes because they cannot afford their property taxes.  She campaigned saying “we need to look at all options” and that “pledges are handcuffs” to conversations.

Jackie even made national news after she released the “Pledge Zobies” ad.

Jeff McLynch, executive director of the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, said

“If the amendment passes, it would tie the hands of future legislators and citizens and take their power away to deal with issues and challenges that are not contemplated today”.

While I am not advocating for a new income tax, I am not against the idea that an income or sales tax might – at some time in the future – be beneficial to New Hampshire.

Some members of House Leadership say that it would destroy the “NH Advantage”:

“Look at all the states around New Hampshire — they have an income tax,” Paul Mirski (R-Enfield) said. “New Hampshire is growing in this region because of our reputation as a low-tax state.”

Of course, the NH House Republicans seem to say that anything and everything will boost the NH Advantage.  Jack Kimball, chairman of the NH GOP said the same thing about the passage of Right To Work (for less).

“I commend the House and Senate for working together on Right to Work to ensure that New Hampshire’s economy will flourish while promoting job creation, competition and free market principles. If Governor Lynch believes in jobs for New Hampshire, he should sign this bill immediately.

Every candidate from State Rep to President is talking about how we need to make policy changes to protect our children and our grandchildren.  I agree we need to protect our children, and to do that we must oppose this amendment — because we cannot predict the future.  We must insure that when that time comes we have all the tools necessary to move New Hampshire forward.


The Most Dangerous Thing Of All Is An Uninformed Voter: A Breakdown Of The Newest UNH Survey

Well the newest Granite State Survey is out! You can see the full results here.  Unless you live under a rock you have probably seen most of the results about the race for NH Governor.  In case you did not here are the big results:

  • Ovide Lamontagne is the only candidate who is known to a majority of the people surveyed (53%).  However only 29% of those who knew him thought favorably of him.
  • Both Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley were mostly unknown by people
  • In a matchup between Maggie Hassan and Ovide Lamontagne,  Maggie would win 33% to 31%.  The kicker is that 35% were still undecided.
  • In a matchup between Maggie and Kevin Smith, Maggie again takes the win with 31% to 29%. Again 39% were undecided.
  • Ovide Lamontagne vs. Jackie Cilley, Ovide takes the win 35% to 31%, with 33% undecided
  • Jackie Cilley vs Kevin Smith, Jackie wins with 31% to 28% with 39% undecided

So while this may not be good news for all the candidates the is much to say about it.  Both Maggie and Jackie say a net gain in the poll. This means of the people that know about the candidate they were either neutral or thought favorable of the candidate.

On to my favorite and most frustrating part of the poll, Union Households.  This is a simple question: Are you or does someone in you home belong to a union?  The reason this is my favorite and most frustrating is because it shows that we are getting the message out there, but not enough.

The major unions in the state have already said they do not want Ovide or Smith because they are strong supporters of Right To Work for less.  In the polling 34% were in favor of Ovide, 36% opposed Ovide and 25% were undecided.  Both favorable and unfavorable went up in this survey, it still means we need to do a better job of telling people why we cannot let Ovide win the election.  The same hold true for Kevin Smith, 14% favorable and 18% unfavorable.

For the Dems Maggie Hassan holds 22% favorable rating to 18% unfavorable in union households.  While Jackie Cilley has a 29% favorable rating to 9% unfavorable.  Both Maggie and Jackie have received numerous endorsements from NH unions.  So when it comes to union households the endorsements seem to be working.

For me the biggest thing I found about this survey is that people do not really know who they are voting for yet.  The number of undecided responses in this poll show that not even half of the people knew the candidates.  Overall this is good news for both Jackie and Maggie.  There is not a lot of time left before the primaries but with three months till the general there is plenty of time to get out there and campaign.

The most dangerous thing of all is an uninformed voter!


How To Win Against The TEA Party

In New Hampshire as with many other state the TEA Party became a huge player in the 2010 elections.  Now many of them are elected leaders in our legislature. I know more that a few Granite Staters who wish they had known more about the TEA Party and their extreme agenda before they voted.

In our fast paced world, media clips are 30 seconds long, and soundbites win elections.  If you cannot get you point across in 30 seconds then it tends to fall on deaf ears.  (HEY I AM STILL TALKING HERE.) So with this knowledge major communicators have been shaping the messages to have the most impact in the least amount of time.  Just look at twitter for example.  A Tweet is 140 characters and yet it is one of most effective places to gather information.

I would like to share will you a short video of how a group of very smart and sassy individuals in Troy Michigan, fought back against the TEA Party message with some very creative ideas.

The story of the Troy Library.


For immediate release
Contact: Nora Frederickson, New Hampshire AFL-CIO, 603-785-4211
NH House Labor Committee passes wave of union-busting bills
As even Republican and independent voters turn away from Republican agenda, House leadership advances pledge to dismantle NH’s collective bargaining rights law
At a time when the Tea Party-driven Republican agenda in Concord is more unpopular than ever with voters on both sides of the aisle, Chairman Gary Daniels and his allies on the House Labor Committee have ramped up their attacks on working people. In a work session yesterday, the House Labor Committee took another step towards dismantling New Hampshire’s collective bargaining rights law by voting no fewer than five anti-worker bills ‘ought to pass’. 
The work session was complicated by the fact that amendments totally altering the nature of two of the bills were added just prior to the session, forcing legislators to assess them in committee.
The bills voted out of committee included:
  • HB 1677: a new right-to-work for less bill similar to last year’s bill
  • HB 1685: a second right-to-work bill that is a backup in case HB 1677 fails
  • HB 1645: a bill that once repealed collective bargaining rights for teachers, firefighters and other public workers; was stripped and amended in committee to allow employers to lead decertifications of public unions
  • HB 1663: a bill that strips the requirement for a union to be the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit out of the collective bargaining law
  • HB 1237: a bill that gives the Legislature veto power over state and municipal employee contracts
  • HB 1206: a bill that prohibits automatic payroll deduction of union dues, but was stripped and amended to split increases in health insurance 50-50 between employers and employees if a contract expires
“Instead of moving on after last year’s divisive fight over right-to-work for less, the House leadership and members of this committee voted yesterday to neuter New Hampshire’s collective bargaining rights law,” said Mark MacKenzie, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. “Chairman Daniels has admitted that his plan is to throw this handful of bills to the wall and see what sticks. Clearly, they have not listened to the thousands of working men and women in New Hampshire who have pleaded with them to stop attacking workers and move on to fixing the economy and creating jobs.”
The House Committee’s vote comes at a time when the Tea Party-driven Republican agenda in Concord is increasingly unpopular with voters on both sides of the aisle. Over half of New Hampshire voters oppose bills to eliminate or alter the collective bargaining rights law. According to a poll from the Beneson Strategy Group. Since November, Democrats or pro-labor Republicans have won five of five special House elections, indicating that voters will take their frustrations with the Tea Party-driven Republican leadership with them to the polls in November.

New Poll Show Good News For Labor and Obama

It was announced today on Politico.com that according to a new poll President Obama beats Mitt Romney if the election were held today. While this is good news for Democrats the poll also highlighted some keep points that we as NH Labor would like to highlight. One of the biggest points is that people still believe in collective bargaining.

“57 percent of respondents said they would oppose a bill ending collective bargaining for public employees”

More than half of the people agree that the NH House should not be trying to repeal the rights of the workers in NH.  This was not the only good news to come from this poll.

“Sixty-four percent of voters said a right to work bill should not be a high priority and 51 percent of voters agreed with the statement: “Unions are good. They make sure employers provide good wages, benefits and a safe work environment.”

If these numbers are true why is Speaker O’Brien pushing his anti-worker agenda if NH Residents really do not want it.   I cannot answer that question.  What did come up is that his push against workers has resulted in reduction in the favorability of the TEA party and and Bill O’Brien.

“Half of voters say they have an unfavorable view of the tea party, while 29 percent say they have a favorable view of the conservative activist movement. And tea party-aligned State House Speaker Bill O’Brien has gone from a 6 percent favorable, 16 percent unfavorable rating, to 15 percent favorable, 29 percent unfavorable.”

 While I am hopeful that these new poll numbers would help these legislators understand that what they are doing to the middle class workers in NH, is not what the people want.  The realist in me knows that no matter what anyone says, Bill O’Brien will not stop is attack on workers and unions.  

Is the Tea Party Pushing against Hiring Workers in an effort to get Pres. Obama out of office

I wanted to share with you a message that was found from a Blogger, similar to NH Labor News in Mass.  He caught a message from the Tea Party Nation that calls for small businesses to stop hiring new employee’s until President Obama is voted out of office.   This is appalling to think that people would not be hire just to push the Tea Party’s job killing agenda!

Tea Party Nation sent to their members today a message from activist Melissa Brookstone urging businesspeople to “not hire a single person” to protest the Obama administration’s supposed “war against business and my country.” Brookstone writes that business owners should stop hiring new employees in order to stand up to “this new dictator,” the “global Progressive socialist movement,” Hollywood, the media and Occupy Wall Street.

Brookstone writes:

Resolved that: The Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate, in alliance with a global Progressive socialist movement, have participated in what appears to be a globalist socialist agenda of redistribution of wealth, and the waging of class warfare against our constitutional republic’s heritage of individual rights, free market capitalism, and indeed our Constitution itself, with the ultimate goal of collapsing the U.S. economy and globalizing us into socialism.
Resolved that: President Obama has seized what amount to dictatorial powers to bypass our Congress, and that because the Congress is controlled by a Progressive socialist Senate that will not impeach one of their kind, they have allowed this and yielded what are rightfully congressional powers to this new dictator.
Resolved that: By their agenda and actions, those in our government who swore oaths to protect and defend our Constitution have committed treason against the United States.
Resolved that: The current administration and Democrat majority in the Senate, in conjunction with Progressive socialists from all around the country, especially those from Hollywood and the left leaning news media (Indeed, most of the news media.) have worked in unison to advance an anti-business, an anti-free market, and an anti-capitalist (anti-individual rights and property ownership) agenda.

Resolved that: Our President, the Democrats-Socialists, most of the media, and most of those from Hollywood, have now encouraged and supported “Occupy” demonstrations in our streets, which are now being perpetrated across the globe, and which are being populated by various marxists, socialists and even communists, and are protesting against business, private property ownership and capitalism, something I thought I’d never see in my country, in my lifetime.
I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.http://www.11alive.com/news/article/214228/3/Company-Policy-We-are-not-hiring-until-Obama-is-gone

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