Over 100 Veterans Come Out To Endorse Sen. Shaheen

Image by Harrell Kirstein
Image by Harrell Kirstein

Image by Harrell Kirstein

More Than 100 New Hampshire Veterans Endorse Jeanne Shaheen As She Calls For Passage Of Bipartisan Veterans’ Access to Care Act

CONCORD — Today, more than 100 New Hampshire Veterans, both Democrats and Republicans, came together to endorse New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s re-election and discuss the difference she makes for veterans here, as she calls for passage of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act.  Language Senator Shaheen had included in the legislation would allow veterans in New Hampshire – because it doesn’t have a full service VA hospital – to receive healthcare services from certain non-VA medical facilities if they live more than twenty miles from a full service VA provider.

“The first bill I introduced when I was elected to represent New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate was the Veterans Health Equity Act.  It had bipartisan support and would require the VA to open a full-service medical center in New Hampshire or provide New Hampshire’s veterans with an equivalent level of health services,” said Jeanne Shaheen.  “We have continued that fight and I am proud that the bipartisan Sanders-McCain bill the Senate passed last month included language to provide New Hampshire veterans greater access to health care.”

The veterans endorsing Senator Shaheen will be leading outreach to fellow New Hampshire veterans and military families between now and November, talking to them about how Jeanne Shaheen makes a difference for Granite State veterans, and also about what is at stake in this election.

“Our nation owes a deep debt to all service men and women who have answered the call of duty and served our country in uniform, and I am deeply honored to have the support of so many New Hampshire veterans,” said Shaheen.

“I fully support the re-election of Senator Jeanne Shaheen, our former governor, who I was privileged to work under when I was on the State Board of Education, and who has been a great U.S. Senator to date,” said Jim Steiner of Concord, Captain, US Army Special Forces and a registered Republican.  “It is time for voters to stop worrying about the party label and focus on actual leadership we see demonstrated.  Senator Shaheen thank you so much.”

“When one of our residents at the New Hampshire Veterans Home approached me about Senator Shaheen and he said ‘you know, Mr. Conway I really like her, she’s the real deal’ – I’ll never forget that.  I am happy to endorse the real deal for New Hampshire veterans, Senator Shaheen,” said Barry Conway of Hampton, Airman First Class, US Air Force, Commandant New Hampshire Veterans Home and Chair Emeritus State Veterans Advisory Committee.

“What impresses me most about Senator Shaheen is that because of her history here in New Hampshire, she knows who to reach out to in the state to get the New Hampshire position, the people’s position.  So when she goes back to Washington she’s properly representing us because she knows us,” said Gail Prince of Bedford, Colonel, US Air Force, and former Commander of the Sweeney Post in Manchester.

“This is my very first time standing up at a political event and saying I’m going to be behind somebody. I spent a career making sure no one could paint me with a brush, but it is time to come out and take a stance because what is going on here is too important.  We need Senator Shaheen,” said Ken Clark of Stratham, Major General, US Air Force (Ret.), and Former Adjutant General of the New Hampshire National Guard

From a family with a strong tradition of military service, Jeanne Shaheen is a tireless advocate for keeping our commitment to veterans. She has introduced legislation to encourage companies to hire vets and supported 2011 legislation that provided tax credits to businesses that hired unemployed veterans.  She broke through years of red tape to get veterans clinics and health centers in Manchester, Keene, Berlin, and Colebrook.

Earlier this spring, the Shaheen campaign released a 30 second television ad entitled ‘Open’ featuring Vietnam Veteran Dwight Clark who worked with Shaheen to cut 30 years of red tape and bring a new Veterans Clinic to Keene.  Click here to see the ad.

The full list of the more than one hundred veterans endorsing Senator Shaheen is below.

Ken Clark of Stratham, Major General, US Air Force (Ret.), Former Adjutant General of the New Hampshire National Guard

Jim Smith of Salem, Brigadier General, US Air Force (Ret.), former U.S. Ambassador

Jim Steiner of Concord, Captain, US Army Special Forces

Barry Conway of Hampton, Airman First Class, US Air Force , Commandant New Hampshire State Veterans Home, Chair Emeritus State Veterans Advisory Committee

Ned Helms of Concord, Infantry Lieutenant, US Army

Wayne Alterisio of Manchester, Specialist, US Army

Paul Martineau of Manchester, Captain, US Army

Gail Prince of Bedford, Colonel, US Air Force (Ret.)

Dwight Clark of Keene, Staff Sergeant, US Air Force

Billy Shaheen of Madbury, Captain, US Army

Bob Hannan of Dover, Captain, US Air Force

Jack Scarborough of Plymouth, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

Val Scarborough of Plymouth, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

Terry Shumaker of Concord, Captain US Army, former US Ambassador

Pat Duffy of Manchester, Colonel, US Air Force (Ret.)

Bill Hatch of Gorham, Staff Sergeant (Medic), US Air Force

Judy Atwood Bell of Hudson, Sergeant First Class, US Army

Bill Duncan of New Castle, Lieutenant, US Navy

Mike Lopez of Manchester, Master Sergeant, US Army

Scott Baetz of Windham, USMC

Dave Bamford of Dover, US Army

Michael Bannan of Bristol, US Air Force

Thomas Barry of Nashua, US Army

Francis Bartula of Manchester, US Navy

Joe Bellabona of Lee, US Air Force

Ryan Bellabona of Madbury, US Air Force

Joseph Bennett of Manchester, US Army

Rene Bisson of Berlin, US Army

Roger Bleau of Manchester, US Army

Alfred Bouchard of Nashua, US Army

Janice Bouchard of Nashua, US Air Force

Jerry Burt of Plainfield, US Army

Patricia Bushway of Hampton, US Army

Bill Caldwell of Dover, USMC

Peter Casey of Gilmanton, US Army

William Cashin of Manchester, US Army

Skip Clark of Portsmouth, US Army

Pat Clark of Tilton, USMC

Lou D’Allesandro of Manchester, USMC Reserve

Jay Dean of Dover, US Air Force

Josh Denton of Portsmouth, US Army

Jerry DiGrezio of Dover, US Army

Raymond Dionne of Hudson, US Navy

Len Disesa of Dover, US Army

Roland Dubois of Rochester, US Navy

John Dunn of Hollis, US Navy

Nancy Ehrig of Lancaster, US Army

Karen Fesler of Bath, US Navy

George Fleming of Barrington, USMC

Rene Flurey of Manchester, USMC

Louis Foskin of Manchester, US Air Force

Richard Goulet of Goffstown, US Air Force

Paul Hackel of Nashua, US Army

Lou Henry of Gilmanton, US Army

Arthur Hilson of Portsmouth, US Air Force

Roland Hofemann of Dover, US Air Force

Elroy Hume of Somersworth, US Army

Lionel Ingram of Exeter, US Army

Sherwood Jackson of Stoddard, US Army

Nicholas Kalipolites of Manchester, US Navy

Harvey Keye of Nashua, US Army

Merton King of Hooksett, US Army

Burton Knight of Amherst, US Air Force

Charles Kokkinos of Manchester, US Army

Dennis Kounas of Candia, US Air Force

Antonia Laflamme of Littleton, US Army

Raymond Lakeman of Gilford, US Navy

Linda Lauer of Bath, US Navy

Robert LeBlanc of Meredith, USMC

Irving Legeti of Lebanon, US Air Force

Doug Micklon of Salem, US Navy

Gordon Miller of Orford, US Air Force

Terence O’Rourke of Alton, US Army

Gerald Olsen of Nashua, US Army

Bertrand Ouellette of Auburn, US Air Force

Norman Page of Derry, US Army

Frank Pizzutillo of Manchester, US Army

Joe Plaia of Portsmouth, USMC

Paul Proulx of Manchester, US Air Force

Dan Proulx of Nashua, USMC

Leonard Pufahl of Portsmouth, US Air Force

Ken Putney of Derry, US Navy

Richard Querze of Manchester, US Air Force

Gerald Reilly of Manchester, US Army

Denis Roy of Milan, US Army National Guard

Kevin Rutledge of New Ispwich, US Navy

Louis Ryan of Middleton, US Army

Joel Saren of East Hampstead, USMC

Lonn Sattler of Barrington, US Navy

Dan Shaheen of Dover, US Army Reserve

Steve Shurtleff of Penacook, US Army

Tim Siekmann of Londonderry, USMC

Lincoln Soldati of Exeter, US Army

Stan Soloman of Albany, US Army

Pete Stearns of Amherst, US Army (Ret.)

Norman Talbot of Rochester, USMC

David Taylor of Derry, US Army

Eugene Tillock of Durham, US Army

Andrew Tuttle of Bridgewater, US Army

Gareth Vincent of Hudson, Army of the United States

William Watts of Manchester, US Army

Lon Weston of Bethlehem, US Army

Bradford Whipple of Sugar Hill, US Air Force

Dept Of Justice Report Reveals Severe Inequalities In Federal Benefits For Same Sex Military Couples

Gay Couple from back Holding Hands

Underscores need for legislation to extend federal benefits to same-sex couples

Gay Couple from back Holding HandsU.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reacted with disappointment today to a Department of Justice announcement that declared that some federal agencies have been unable to extend benefits to same-sex couples in spite of last year’s Supreme Court ruling striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), further underscoring the need to pass her Charlie Morgan Act. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one department that because of current law is unable to grant important benefits to same-sex couples living in states that do not recognize such marriages even if they are legally married in another state. This has created a situation in which veterans who have volunteered to serve in our Armed Forces are discriminated against and can be denied benefits based simply on geography.

“In the year since the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act we’ve seen significant progress toward ending discrimination in federal policy on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity but more work remains,” Shaheen said. “Today’s announcement underscores the need for legislative action. It is unconscionable that same-sex couples in half the country are denied services extended to all couples in the other half and we cannot allow this to continue, particularly for our veterans who have already sacrificed so much for our country. We need to pass the Charlie Morgan Act because all veterans deserve access to the benefits they have earned.”

“Every legally married, same-sex couple deserves to have their marriage fully recognized by the federal government regardless of where they live or what federal benefits they have earned,” said David Stacy, Government Affairs Director of the Human Rights Campaign. “Senator Jeanne Shaheen didn’t wait while VA was deciding whether they would act to ensure our veterans marriages are respected by their country—she took the lead in introducing legislation to guarantee them the benefits they earned. With Senator Shaheen leading the fight, soon every citizen will be treated equally regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act would require the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to honor any marriage that has been recognized by a state and provide a number of key benefits to the spouses of all servicemembers. By allowing for an individual to be considered a “spouse” if their marriage is valid in their state, Shaheen’s bill ensures that same-sex military families receive many of the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples regardless of where they live.

Shaheen’s amendment honors New Hampshire National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan who passed away last year after a battle with breast cancer. Morgan’s wife and daughter have not been able to receive certain survivor benefits due to restrictions in the federal code prohibiting the VA from administering benefits.

Sen. Shaheen Introduces Veterans Access To Care Accountability Act

Senator Shaheen on the Senate Floor 4-29-14  (Screen Shot)

In Response to Inspector General Report, bill addresses gaps in VA health system, prohibits bonuses for VA officials 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced legislation today designed to address the gaps and gross mismanagement of Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) resources that were recently identified in an Office of Inspector General (OIG) report and have led to delayed care for veterans. Shaheen’s bill, the Veterans Access to Care Accountability Act, includes numerous provisions to remedy identified instances of veterans being delayed care, strengthen VA accountability and hold individual VA officials responsible, including through precluding bonuses from being paid to VA officials involved in mismanagement.

“The problems we’ve seen at VA hospitals across the country are unacceptable,” Shaheen said. “We need to do everything we can to make sure that veterans are getting timely access to the quality medical care they’ve earned. If there are problems, we need to know immediately, and those responsible need to be held accountable. This bill will go a long way toward improving oversight of the VA and ultimately providing our veterans with the care they deserve.”

Shaheen’s bill would implement a new random auditing requirement by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Office of Inspector General and other watchdog agencies for VA medical facilities and would require veterans be contacted within 48 hours and scheduled an appointment with an outside medical facility within one week if a report determines veterans have been delayed access to care. The Veterans Access to Care Accountability Act also includes provisions to hold VA officials involved in potential delays accountable, specifically banning the distribution of bonuses to VA officials who may have been involved in mismanagement.

The bill builds off bipartisan legislation Shaheen is co-sponsoring that has been included as an amendment to the FY 2015 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to give the Secretary the authority to fire or demote senior level employees based on their performance. Shaheen, who called for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki following the release of the OIG report, has also requested a full briefing on the findings of rapid audit teams deployed across the VA enterprise, including at the Manchester and White River Junction VA Medical Centers that serve New Hampshire’s veterans.

AFGE President Cox Responds To Attack On Workers At The VA

VA Logo

Once again the conservative media is going after the unionized workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  They are claiming that it is the union workers are to blame for the fact that the VA is underfunded and that wait times are out of control.

The David Cox, the President of the American Federation of Government Employees, who represents workers at the VA responded with a blog post in the Huffington Post.  Here are some excerpts of the post, which you should read in its entirety.

Employees, Unions Hold the Key to Ending VA’s Health Care Crisis

Federal unions always have been active partners in improving the Department of Veterans Affairs and addressing problems as they arise. Contrary to what many in theconservative media have desperately suggested in recent days, unions are not the reason why the VA is facing a crisis over delays in providing health care to our nation’s war heroes. In fact, unions are the solution.

The anti-government naysayers conveniently place the blame on officials from the American Federation of Government Employees and other unions, makingoutrageous and unsubstantiated claims alleging complicity in veterans’ deaths. This is an insult of the highest order, and one that cannot go unanswered.

What they and other critics of labor unions fail to realize, or refuse to acknowledge, is that the union fights not just for employees’ interests but for the well-being of the men and women our employees serve. In fact, the nation wouldn’t even know these problems existed if it wasn’t for front-line employees and union representatives stepping forward to blow the whistle.

AFGE union officers and unionized employees have been speaking out for years about the management and performance failings that have only now entered the public’s consciousness. Unions are not the problem; neither are the hardworking and dedicated doctors, nurses and support staff who are providing world-class care to our nation’s veterans and family members.

We were at the table in the 1990s, providing our expertise on electronic health care records, bar code medications, and other patient safety advancements that helped transform the VA into the premier health care provider it is today.

AFGE members are the critical eyes and ears on the ground at VA medical centers. Day in and day out, we share with lawmakers and veterans’ groups the harsh effects of underfunding that limit the VA’s ability to adequately care for our nation’s veterans and their loved ones. AFGE and veterans’ groups worked hand-in-hand to secure advance appropriations for the VA health care system so medical centers would have more stable and adequate funding. Unfortunately, thanks to lawmakers playing austerity politics with veterans, the VA is facing a $2 billion budget shortfall next year. That is certainly not the union’s fault…

…We are the ones who witness the impact of performance measures that tie executive bonuses to how many patients can be moved through the queue, rather than on the quality of care those patients receive. It was these unrealistic performance goals that prompted some managers to game the system to show compliance and secure bonuses. This, again, was not the union’s fault — in fact, union activists are the ones who brought this situation to the light of day….

…In February 2013, AFGE local president Kathleen Dahl testified before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs regarding a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System and the subsequent cover-up by management officials. Prior to the hearing, however, Dahl was intimidated by a VA manager and told that she could “call in sick” instead of testifying….

…Today, AFGE members are being intimidated to keep quiet by the very managers who manipulated performance goals to ensure they received their bonuses. Meanwhile, the consequences of staffing shortages are swept under the carpet.

Luckily, AFGE is there to help protect employees who have been retaliated against for speaking out and to serve as a voice for employees and veterans. We advocate for additional funding for VA programs and services, lobby for legislation to enhance whistleblower protections, and aid congressional oversight of the department….

We must encourage employees to speak out about these problems, and to protect them when they do. If we silence their voices, our veterans will be the ones who pay the ultimate price.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY

Senator Shaheen Presents NH Veterans With Service Medals

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) awards service medals to Maurice Lavigne and Raymond Lakeman
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) awards service medals to Maurice Lavigne and Raymond Lakeman

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) awards service medals to Maurice Lavigne and Raymond Lakeman

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) this afternoon awarded service medals to two New Hampshire veterans, Maurice Lavigne and Raymond Lakeman, for their service during World War II and the Korean War. Both veterans earned the medals during their time in the Navy but were unable to secure them. Senator Shaheen’s office assisted in obtaining the medals.

“It is a great pleasure to say thank you to Mr. Lavigne and Mr. Lakeman for their great courage and sacrifice for our country,” Shaheen said. “This is a long overdue recognition and I was very pleased to help these two extraordinary veterans receive the recognition they deserve.”

Mr. Lavigne of Manchester, enlisted in the Navy on January 8, 1945 and spent more than a year and a half deployed on the USS Kaskaskia an oil refueling tanker and served as maintenance worker, radioman and helmsman. Today Mr. Lavigne received: The World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal with 1 Bronze Star appurtenance, Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia Clasp, China Service Medal (extended) and Combat Action Ribbon.

Mr. Lakeman of Gilford, enlisted in the Navy in 1950 at the age of 18. He traveled to Korea aboard the USS Haven where he served in a Marine medical unit. Mr. Lakeman served two tours aboard the USS Haven. Today Mr. Lakeman received: The Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal w/4 Bronze Stars, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and Republic of Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

Senator Shaheen Files Amendment To Tax Bill To Promote Jobs For Veterans

Shaheen-021109-18432- 0009

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today filed an amendment to promote job creation and economic opportunity for U.S. veterans to legislation extending expired job-creating tax credits currently under consideration by the Senate. The Veterans Hiring Act would cut payroll taxes for businesses that hire veterans creating immediate incentives for employers to provide jobs for veterans.

“The men and women who serve in our armed forces deserve our support while deployed and when they return home,” Shaheen said. “My plan incentivizes the hiring of our service members by giving companies access to immediate savings when they hire veterans. This straight-forward proposal will promote jobs for veterans and help small business expand and grow our economy.”

The unemployment rate for U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans was 9 percent for 2013, more than 2 percent higher than the national average. Shaheen has made promoting economic opportunity and jobs for veterans one of her top priorities in Washington. She has visited numerous businesses across New Hampshire that have been leaders in hiring veterans and has introduced legislation such as the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act to help veterans start and grow small businesses.

Previously Shaheen filed an amendment designed to protect New Hampshire and other non-sales tax states from the burden of collecting sales taxes for other jurisdictions on online sales.

 

Shaheen Campaign Announces Statewide Veterans Leadership Committee

Retired U.S. Army Air Forces Lt. Col. Jack Schofield (Las Vegas) WikI Commons
Retired U.S. Army Air Forces Lt. Col. Jack Schofield (Las Vegas) WikI Commons

Retired U.S. Army Air Forces Lt. Col. Jack Schofield (Las Vegas) WikI Commons

Committee Will Lead Outreach, Mobilize Supporters
Jeanne Shaheen Makes a Difference for New Hampshire Veterans

Concord – Today, the Shaheen campaign is launching its bipartisan Veterans for Shaheen Leadership Committee which will lead campaign outreach to veterans and military families across New Hampshire, building a Veterans for Shaheen organization of Granite State veterans supporting Jeanne Shaheen in the November election.

The Veterans for Shaheen Leadership Committee includes an impressive group of leaders from New Hampshire’s veteran community.  They will be mobilizing additional supporters to highlight how Jeanne Shaheen has made a difference for New Hampshire’s veterans.

“In the U.S. Senate, Jeanne Shaheen has worked to provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans and led efforts to expand care for returning vets,” said Mike Vlacich, Shaheen Campaign Manager.  “Jeanne Shaheen is a tireless advocate for keeping our commitment to our veterans and their families.  We are honored to have the support of these veterans, have them taking an active role in Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign, and we thank them for their tremendous service to our nation.”

“As a Republican, a veteran, and a proud Granite Stater, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has earned my vote to continue to serve as our U.S. Senator.  Her support for military veterans shows a constant resolve to recognize the significance of military service. Every veteran has a friend in Sen. Shaheen.” - Jim Steiner of Concord, Captain, US Army Special Forces

“Our men and women in uniform face daunting challenges every day.  They need leaders that can be trusted without even a moment of hesitation, and Jeanne Shaheen is that kind of leader.  As our Senator she has been a strong and steadfast ally for all New Hampshire’s veterans.” – Jim Smith of Salem, Brigadier General, USAF (Ret.), former U.S. Ambassador

“I believe that the most important political contest of this election year is re-electing New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen.  I served as Commandant of the New Hampshire Veterans Home for twenty four years, began working with Jeanne Shahen two decades ago, and during that time her commitment to veterans has never wavered even once.” - Barry Conway of Hampton, Airman First Class, USAF, Commandant New Hampshire State Veterans Home, Chair Emeritus State Veterans Advisory Committee

“The first action Jeanne Shaheen took as our U.S. Senator was to introduce the bipartisan legislation to open a full-service medical center or provide equivalent health services for veterans here in New Hampshire.  Granite State veterans need her leadership in the U.S. Senate.” - Bill Duncan of New Castle, Lieutenant, US Navy

“Jeanne Shaheen has been a champion for veterans and servicewomen throughout New Hampshire.  Her “Shaheen amendment” provides health care equity to women serving in uniform.  In a Congress mired with endless gridlock she was able to get legislation passed and make a real difference for women in the military.” – Judy Atwood Bell of Hudson, Sergeant First Class, US Army

“Jeanne Shaheen always remembers veterans in the North Country.  We have two new veterans’ clinics coming to Berlin and Colebrook, because she never stopped fighting for us.” - Bill Hatch of Gorham, Staff Sergeant (Medic), USAF

“New Hampshire veterans have a Senator they can count on in Jeanne Shaheen.  She is all business and always puts people first, not politics.  When that means breaking with her party or reaching across the aisle she does it.” – Pat Duffy of Manchester, Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

“As an Army veteran and a former U.S. Ambassador, I know that we need someone who understands foreign policy and our military’s extended overseas engagements with the right judgement and a tireless work ethic to serve as New Hampshire’s voice in the U.S. Senate.  That someone is Jeanne Shaheen.  She is a commonsense leader who puts people ahead of politics, and has repeatedly demonstrated her unyielding commitment to our veterans.” – Terry Shumaker of Concord, Captain US Army, former U.S. Ambassador

“As a 21-year Marine Corps veteran, I am proud to support Senator Shaheen because she supports New Hampshire veterans.  Her work for us makes a difference.  Legislation that she sponsored was signed into law and expands mental healthcare and suicide prevention efforts for veterans and their families.” - Val Scarborough of Plymouth, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

“Jeanne Shaheen is someone who has earned our respect by respecting our men and women in uniform.  Her work in the Senate reflects our New Hampshire values and makes a difference for Granite State veterans.” – Jack Scarborough of Plymouth, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.)

“Jeanne Shaheen puts New Hampshire’s veterans first.  When funding was threatened, Senator Shaheen led the successful fight to protect New Hampshire’s groundbreaking Deployment Cycle Support Program which helps service members, veterans, and their families deal with the unique challenges of military life.” -  Bob Hannan of Dover, Captain, USAF

“Jeanne Shaheen delivered for us.  After decades of promises, she grabbed the bull by the horns, cut through the red tape, and got the Keene Vet Center and Community Outpatient Clinic open.” - Dwight Clark of Keene, Staff Sergeant, USAF

“We have a sacred commitment to serve those who serve us.  Jeanne understands that and every day she makes fulfilling it a priority.  I have watched for 20 years as she has worked for veterans in New Hampshire and across the country.  Our veterans fought for us, Jeanne fights for them.” - Billy Shaheen of Madbury, Captain, US Army

Sunday evening, the Shaheen campaign released its first television ad focusing on Jeanne Shaheen’s work to open the Keene Veterans Clinic and Outpatient Center.  The new 30-second television spot features New Hampshire veteran Dwight Clark of Keene, a Vietnam Veteran and the former Commander of American Legion Post 4 in Keene. He worked closely with Senator Shaheen to bring the Veterans Clinic and Outpatient Center to Keene.

The Veterans for Shaheen Leadership Committee includes:
Jim Steiner of Concord, Captain, US Army Special Forces
Jim Smith of Salem, Brigadier General, USAF, former U.S. Ambassador
Barry Conway of Hampton, Airman First Class, USAF, Commandant New Hampshire State Veterans Home, Chair Emeritus State Veterans Advisory Committee
Ned Helms of Concord, Infantry Lieutenant, US Army
Wayne Alterisio of Manchester, Specialist, U.S. Army
Paul Martineau of Manchester, Captain, US Army
Gail Prince of Bedford, Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
Dwight Clark of Keene, Staff Sergeant, USAF
Billy Shaheen of Madbury, Captain, US Army
Bob Hannan of Dover, Captain, USAF
Jack Scarborough of Plymouth, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
Val Scarborough of Plymouth, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (Ret.)
Terry Shumaker of Concord, Captain US Army, former U.S. Ambassador
Pat Duffy of Manchester, Colonel, USAF (Ret.)
Bill Hatch of Gorham, Staff Sergeant (Medic), USAF
Judy Atwood Bell of Hudson, Sergeant First Class, US Army
Bill Duncan of New Castle, Lieutenant, US Navy
Mike Lopez of Manchester, Master Sergeant, US Army

Veteran’s Praise Senator Shaheen In Her Debut Campaign Ad Of The Season

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Screen shot 2014-05-05 at 10.41.15 AM

Dwight Clark and Senator Shaheen
(Screen-shot of ad)

Concord, NH – The Shaheen campaign is releasing its first television ad today, highlighting Jeanne Shaheen’s work to make a difference for New Hampshire’s veterans.  The first spot will air between 6 and 7PM eastern time.

“From a family with a strong tradition of military service, Jeanne Shaheen puts Granite State veterans first,” said Campaign Manager Mike Vlacich.  “Veterans in the Keene area were promised for years that they’d get a veterans center.  Jeanne Shaheen took the lead, cut through the red tape, brought the right people together, and helped make it happen.

“In the U.S. Senate Jeanne Shaheen has worked to provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans and led efforts to expand care for returning vets,” continued Vlacich.  “Jeanne Shaheen is a tireless advocate for keeping our commitment to our veterans and their families.”

The new 30-second television spot features New Hampshire veteran Dwight Clark of Keene.  Clark is a Vietnam Veteran and the former Commander of American Legion Post 4 in Keene. He worked with Senator Shaheen to bring the Veterans Clinic and Outpatient Center to Keene.

“Jeanne Shaheen puts New Hampshire first, and her work for our veterans is just one example of how she makes a difference for New Hampshire,” added Vlacich.

Taxpayers Are Paying Profitable Corporations To Create Jobs?

Toyota GT86 by M 93 via Wikimedia Commons

Toyota GT86 – Frontansicht, 17. September 2012, DüsseldorfWhen word first spread that Toyota was moving jobs from California to Texas, some right-wing talking heads were blaming California’s government.

But within a day, the Wall Street Journal had figured it out: it was actually Texas’ government.  Yes, the newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch broke the story: Texas to Pay $10,000 for Each Toyota Job

Texas offered Toyota $40 million to move, part of a Texas Enterprise Fund incentive program run out of the governor’s office. At $10,000 a job, it was one of the largest incentives handed out in the decade-old program and cost more per job created than any other large award. Last year, Texas spent about $6,800 to lure each of 1,700 Chevron Corp. positions to Houston and $5,800 for each of 3,600 Apple Inc. jobs shifted to Austin.

Ok, so… let me see if I can get this straight.

Toyota just had a second year of record profits.

Toyota wasn’t actively considering locating in Texas.  “Toyota narrowed its preferred locations to Denver, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C.” before choosing to move to Texas because of the economic incentives.

$10,000 a job.  Courtesy of Texas taxpayers.

Gosh, it’s a good time to be a corporation.

OK, I need to give the Wall Street Journal some credit here: they have been working the “state economic incentives for jobs” beat for a while now.  From their 2013 story about Washington state’s genuflection to Boeing:

Officials from most of the states Boeing invited to participate have publicly expressed interest. Missouri’s governor, Democrat Jay Nixon, on Tuesday is to sign a package of incentives approved last week by the state’s largely Republican legislature. The measure would be worth $150 million annually to Boeing if the company creates at least 2,000 jobs in Missouri.

Ok, by my math: $150 million a year divided by 2,000 jobs equals $75,000 per job per year… which would have been courtesy of Missouri taxpayers.

Back to their story:

Washington’s legislature last month approved sweeteners valued at $8.7 billion over 16 years—which experts say is the largest corporate-incentive package in U.S. history—in an effort to keep the jobs

And, back to my math: $8.7 billion over 16 years is about $544 million a year – or, more than three times what Missouri offered.

If we’re still talking about 2,000 jobs… that’s about $272,000 per job per year, courtesy of Washington state taxpayers.

Wow.

(Boeing, by the way, just distributed $3 billion as dividends and stock buy-backs.)

Yes, this is what has been going on, all across America.  Billions of dollars in government aid to corporations, even as Congress cut the Food Stamp program and rejected an increase in the minimum wage.

It’s a really good time to be a corporation.

Or a CEO.

Or a lobbyist.

(But not such a good time to be a US veteran.  More than a million veterans are minimum-wage workers who won’t see their pay increase.  And another million veterans just had their Food Stamp allotments cut.  Where are our priorities?)

Senator Shaheen Introduce Bills To Create Jobs And Economic Opportunities For Veterans

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CC Filickr
Image by  DVIDSHUB  CC Filickr

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 (Washington, DC)- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced two pieces of legislation today to  bolster economic opportunities for our nation’s veterans and small businesses. The Veterans Hiring Act and the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act, will create simple, immediate tax incentives for businesses that hire veterans and lower costs for veterans looking to start or grow small businesses.

“Our men and women in uniform have sacrificed in the defense of the United States,” Shaheen said. “One of the best things we can do to honor that service is make sure they have good-paying, quality jobs when they come home. The skills developed through military training and service are the same qualities that make great employees and entrepreneurs. We can do more to help during the transition process, and these two pieces of legislation will go a long way toward helping veterans, small businesses, and our economy.”

“We also need to make it easier to access the programs we already have,” Shaheen added. “Despite making up fourteen percent of our military and owning thirty percent of our small businesses, only four percent of veteran-owned small business are run by women. We need to do better. This bill will make important progress in filling in some of the gaps in our current programs.”

The Veterans Hiring Act would cut payroll taxes for businesses that hire veterans, which would create immediate hiring incentives for employers. By lowering the cost of adding new employees, the bill will make it easier for small businesses to take advantage of veterans hiring incentives, expand their operations and help grow the economy.

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act would lower the cost of Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs designed to assist veterans start their own small businesses. The bill would permanently eliminate fee waivers  for veterans applying for SBA Express loans and also improve current SBA programs designed to assist veterans by focusing on pre-deployment financial counseling and emergency assistance. The legislation also includes a provision requiring the Small Business Administration to identify ways to improve its outreach and services for female veterans, particularly through the SBA’s Women Business Centers and Veteran Business Outreach Centers.

The unemployment rate for U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans stands at 9 percent, 2.3 percent higher than the national average. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has made promoting veteran employment a top priority. Shaheen has also worked to promote veterans employment by visiting veteran-owned businesses and businesses that hire veterans throughout New Hampshire.