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Chris Sununu Is Back To Attacking Planned Parenthood, Supporting A New Investigation

The newly crowned Republican Gubernatorial nominee, Chris Sununu is trying to play both sides of the ‘women’s health’ debate.

Chris Sununu nervously drinking water moments after voting to restore funding to Planned Parenthood.  Image by IsaacEpsteinPhotography

Chris Sununu nervously drinking water moments after voting to restore funding to Planned Parenthood. Image by IsaacEpsteinPhotography

In 2015, he voted to defund Planned Parenthood over false accusations and a misleading, completely debunked video about Planned Parenthood selling “baby parts.”  The video sparked outrage among the hard right, anti-abortion crowd.  Many called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood in an attempt to somehow prove these false conspiracy theories in a giant waste of taxpayer money.

After Sununu decided to make a run for Governor he quickly realized that a hard right anti-women’s health position would be bad for his campaign, he suddenly had a change in heart.  When the funding for Planned Parenthood came up in the Executive Council again, Sununu voted to restore the funding he cut before.

During the Republican primary, State Rep Frank Edelblut and others used Sununu’s vote on Planned Parenthood as a way to attack him and show he is a flip-flopper on this issue.

So what does Sununu do? He pulls his campaign hard to the right.

In the past 6 weeks, Chris Sununu has on multiple occasions expressed support for launching a new investigation into Planned Parenthood—even while acknowledging the videos from last year’s controversy have been debunked and discredited.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

In an interview with the Union Leader, Sununu was asked, “Do you still think there should be an investigation into Planned Parenthood of Northern New England?” 

He replied, “I think that’s something that we could look at…I wouldn’t be opposed to that. I think we could look at that…And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And if we want to go down that path, that’s surely something that we should definitely look at.”

And during the NH1 gubernatorial debate, Sununu said, “If someone wants to call for an investigation in terms of what Planned Parenthood of Northern New England—that’s the local group that we work with here—if someone wants to call for that, we can look at that, to be sure!”

Nearly 13,000 New Hampshire women rely on Planned Parenthood for health care. In fact, Chris Sununu said it best when he told NHPR—on the same day he voted to defund the women’s health organization—that “in his Seacoast district…Planned Parenthood is the only facility that offers care like low-cost birth control, STD testing and cancer screenings.”

“When will Chris Sununu’s war on women end?” asked NHDP Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “First he defunded the women’s health care organization, and now he wants to investigate it based on a debunked conspiracy. It’s sadly just the latest example of Sununu putting his far-right political ideology ahead of the well-being and interests of New Hampshire families.”

Sen. Shaheen Blasts House GOP Over Partisan Attacks On Women’s Healthcare

Shaheen Calls for End to Politically Motivated Attacks Against Women’s Healthcare Providers and Researchers at House Committee Hearing 

April 20, 2016 – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen testifying at House Committee hearing

April 20, 2016 – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen testifying at House Committee hearing

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) appeared before a House panel, established by Republicans in Congress, to investigate women’s healthcare providers and health researchers. Shaheen testified on the need to end the politically motivated investigations that were formed based on highly edited and discredited videos.

Over the weekend, Senator Shaheen penned an op-ed with Governor Maggie Hassan denouncing the attacks in New Hampshire and across the country on Planned Parenthood, including the five separate taxpayer-funded investigations launched by Republican leadership in Congress in the last year.

Senator Shaheen’s full testimony is included below and her remarks can be viewed here.

Senator Shaheen:

Thank you very much Chairwoman Blackburn, Ranking Member Schakowsky and members of the Committee, I very much appreciate the opportunity to appear before you this morning but I do so with great concern.  

I know you will hear from my colleague, Senator Sasse from Nebraska, and I respect his deeply held personal beliefs. 

But if we want to have a civil discussion on this issue, we should begin with the facts. Already, news articles today have called into question the validity of the exhibits that will be presented to the panel.   

This Committee’s very existence was founded on the basis of highly deceptive, edited videos. These videos have since been proven to be misleading and false by multiple independent investigations across the country. 

In January, after thorough investigations into the videos, a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing and indicted the individuals responsible for their creation. In fact, twelve other states have also cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing, and eight additional states have declined to investigate, citing a lack of evidence.   

I believe it’s now time for the special investigations to end.

I’d also like to point out that fetal tissue research has long had bipartisan support. In 1993, Congress passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, which permits fetal tissue research. That bill passed with overwhelming support:  94-4 in the Senate and 290-130 in the House. And I think it is important to note, that that bill was based on recommendations of a blue-ribbon panel convened under President Reagan which was tasked with studying the ethics of fetal tissue research. 

Millions of people have benefitted from fetal tissue research. Vaccines for polio and rubella were developed as a result of research done on fetal tissue. And research on health issues that touch so many of us— Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, eye disorders and spinal cord injuries have also benefitted from the 1993 law.

If it the panel’s desire to change the law, obviously you as legislators are able to do that. But I believe it would be a grave error.   

Sadly, it’s my belief that this panel was formed with political motivations. There is very little real interest in an unbiased investigation to uncover facts related to women’s health or research. 

Instead, I believe that this panel serves as an opportunity for some to once again attack the health care providers whom millions of women and families depend on. 

In February, I joined with colleagues in both chambers to ask House and Senate leadership to disband this panel and all other Congressional investigations that would undermine women’s access to health care.  

Not only do I believe that this panel is an inappropriate and wasteful misuse of federal resources, but I am gravely concerned that it also puts researchers, providers and patients across this country at risk.   

Unfortunately, as a result of the political rhetoric surrounding this issue, we’ve seen violent acts and threats against women’s health providers and researchers across the country.  

And I’m very sad to report that this fall – the same month that this panel was formed—a women’s health clinic in Claremont, New Hampshire, was vandalized not once, but twice. The second attack caused so much damage that the clinic was forced to close for nearly six weeks. This was a real disservice to the women, men and families who rely on the full range of services that the clinic provides.  

And unfortunately, New Hampshire is not alone. After the release of the deceptive, highly-edited videos, incidents of harassment against some health centers increased nine fold in just one month. 

I don’t believe that today’s hearing is a fact-based objective investigation, but rather it is a taxpayer funded political attack based on discredited evidence. I hope it will finally be time to move on.

Shaheen Releases New Video “Momentum” After Visit From Hillary Clinton

Today, the Shaheen campaign released a new video highlighting the excitement and energy surrounding Senator Shaheen going into Election Day. Following the Get Out the Vote Event with Hillary Clinton yesterday, voters were fired up because they know that Senator Jeanne Shaheen fights for working families and always puts New Hampshire first.

To watch the video on YouTube click here

“The momentum and excitement is undoubtedly behind Senator Shaheen going into Election Day,” said Shaheen Communications Director Harrell Kirstein. “As Hillary Clinton said, there are two types of Senators: there are showhorses and there are workhorses. Senator Shaheen is a workhorse who always puts New Hampshire first. New Hampshire families know that and they are fired up to get to the polls tomorrow to cast their ballot and reelect Jeanne Shaheen to the United States Senate.”

Hillary Clinton cited Shaheen’s commitment to protecting jobs in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, widening I-93, expanding and growing small businesses, and making higher education more affordable as just a few of the reasons why New Hampshire voters will vote to send Jeanne Shaheen back to the U.S. Senate.

AFT President Randi Weingarten Speaks At AFT-NH’s Working Women Speak Out Event

Randi Weingarten

AFT President Randi Weingarten (center) with members of the Nashua Teacher Union (AFT-NH)

Yesterday the American Federation of Teachers (NH) organized an event focusing on the importance of this election on the lives of working women.  The event entitled Working Women Speak Out featured propionate labor leaders and Congresswoman Annie Kuster talking about the issues effecting women this election.

Below are two videos from the event featuring American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

View video 1 on YouTube

After her rousing speech about the importance of getting out and voting this election, Gary Hoffman, a teacher in the Nashua School District asked Pres. Weingarten about local spending caps and their effects on public schools.  Nashua is currently considering changing the way that the city calculates their spending cap and the city will vote on this Charter Amendment on Nov. 4th.  Below is President Weingarten’s response.

View video 2 on YouTube.

 

How And Why Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter Has Dedicated Her Life To Helping People (VIDEO)

Carol Shea Porter 1

“The America dream is slipping away from the middle class,” said Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter at the annual New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.

“Carol made the commitment to helping people” said Paul O’Connor, President of the Metal Trades Council at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, in his introduction of Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.

Carol Shea porter 2There is no better advocate for working families in New Hampshire than Congresswoman Shea-Porter. She has stood up against right-wing attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. She stood strong in her opposition to the “Ryan Plan” that would slash funding to programs like Head Start and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). She opposed the draconian cuts mandated by Sequestration that forced furloughs on federal workers throughout the country.

In Washington she spoke up for working families countless times by calling for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. At the breakfast she explained how wage stagnation has hurt working families.

“What Americans want is a decent enough wage, they weren’t asking for 50% of the company, they just wanted to be fairly paid for their labor and they wanted to be able to take care of their families. They wanted to pay their mortgage or their rent, save for retirement, educate their children, and have a little money left over Friday night for pizza,” Shea-Porter said.

Rep. Shea-Porter and NH AFL-CIO Pres. MacKenzie

Rep. Shea-Porter and NH AFL-CIO Pres. MacKenzie

In contrast, one of Shea-Porter’s potential opponents, Brendan Kelly, actually said the minimum wage should be “a dollar and a half” in a recent GOP primary debate.

Shea-Porter went into great detail about how corporations like Walgreens (who have since reversed their decision) are moving to change their corporate citizenship, commonly called inversion, to avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

Working families in New Hampshire need a true leader like Congresswoman Shea-Porter in Washington. In a recent primary debate, all of Shea-Porter’s potential opponents called for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which has already drastically lowered the uninsured population of New Hampshire.

In the First Congressional District, the choice for New Hampshire is clear and after watching this video I think you will agree.

 

Watch Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter tell it like it is in her short speech at the New Hampshire AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.

AFL-CIO Slams North Carolina ‘Imminent Disturbance’ Rule with New Video

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, in a show of solidarity with progressive activists and faith leaders in North Carolina, the AFL-CIO released a video slamming the North Carolina state legislature for establishing undemocratic ‘imminent disturbance’ rules, aimed at limiting the First Amendment rights of North Carolinians.

“The very best of America has come from imminent disturbance, and to limit people’s right to assemble and protest is both unacceptable and un-American,” said AFL-CIO Strategic Advisor and Communications Director, Eric Hauser. “We stand together with the thousands who have spoken out against these reprehensible rules, and call on North Carolina’s leaders to reverse course and restore the basic rights we fight for every day.”

These rules, established earlier this month, would prohibit individuals from engaging in activity deemed to be an ‘imminent disturbance’ to the North Carolina statehouse. The new rules directly impact participants of the ‘Moral Mondays’, which have shed light on extreme right-wing policies introduced in the North Carolina statehouse.

The video, entitled ‘Imminent Disturbance’, can be seen below.

On The Floor Of The US Senate, Senator Shaheen Calls For Passage Of $10.10 Minimum Wage (VIDEO)

(Washington, DC) –  U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) went to the Senate floor this afternoon to urge her colleagues to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. An increase in the minimum wage would result in a raise for more than 110,000 people in New Hampshire and help lift more than 10,000 Granite Staters out of poverty.

Shaheen’s remarks as prepared for delivery are included below:

Mr. President, along with many of my colleagues, I rise today to support an increase in the minimum wage that would give 28 million American workers a long overdue raise.

I know that the years since the economic collapse in 2008 have been hard for families in New Hampshire and across the country.  Although CEO salaries seem to rise each day, pay for working families has stagnated.

While the cost of food, transportation and childcare all continue to climb, and families struggle to make ends meet, the minimum wage for American workers has been stuck at $7.25 per hour since 2009.

At that rate, a single mother working full-time in New Hampshire does not earn enough to keep her family out of poverty.

Adults working full time cannot support their families on the minimum wage.

That needs to change.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 over two years, providing a raise to nearly 20 percent of New Hampshire’s workforce and lifting 10,000 people in our state out of poverty.

Nationwide, one-third of all minimum wage workers are women over the age of 25.

In New Hampshire, 70 percent of minimum wage workers are women.

This effort is about these women and the 34,000 children in the Granite State whose parents would have a little more in their paycheck each week if we increase minimum pay to $10.10.

I know that many critics claim only teenagers hold minimum wage jobs, but that’s just not true.  Teens make up only 12 percent of those who would get a raise if we boosted pay to $10.10.

Minimum wage workers are also veterans.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act is also about giving a raise to the 4,500 New Hampshire veterans who earn $7.25 an hour and are struggling to get by.

I urge my colleagues to join me in voting to give these veterans a raise.

Making sure workers in New Hampshire get a fair wage for an honest day’s work is something I have focused on since I was Governor.  In 1997, I signed a bill into law that boosted minimum wages for tipped workers in our state, nearly 75 percent of whom are women.

As was the case then, today we must act to raise the minimum wage to ensure that hardworking Americans have a fair shot at success.

I urge my colleagues to support the Fair Minimum Wage Act and I yield the floor.

Workers At The Union Leader Deserve A Fair Contract

Every worker deserves a voice in the workplace, even if your voice is your workplace.  Over the last few years workers from the NH Union Leader have continued to be pushed down by their employer.  Workers have fought through contract disputes that forced workers to lose pay and increase their cost for benefits.

Now the NH Union Leader want the Manchester Newspaper Guild (CWA-TNG) to accept even more cuts to their already plummeting pay.

Members of the Guild, which represents employees in the accounting, advertising, circulation, data processing and news departments, have done more than their share of sacrificing to help the Union Leader Corp. through tough times, and are frustrated that company management has not shared equally in that sacrifice. (WFT-UL.com)

The NH Union Leader does not seem to care about the workers or their families.  In the video below you will hear from Matt McSorley, a copy editor at the NH Union Leader.   Matt and his wife are raising four children, and all he wants is a fair contract. A contract that benefits the company, and the workers.

(Video from the MNG picket)

That is not what the NH Union Leader is proposing right now.  They are offering to slash workers pay by over 20%, while increasing their healthcare contributions.  This is assuming that they are one of the lucky workers who are not going to be laid off entirely.

It would be fairer if everyone had to take massive pay cuts like these workers.  That would make this bitter pill a little easier to swallow.  That is not the case at the NH Union Leader, management continues to get bonuses and pay raises.

In 2010 and 2011, upper management was treated to base pay raises, with the company’s two officials receiving pay raises of roughly 2 percent each year, before accepting about a 4 percent cut in 2012. Over the 2009-2012 period, the top official received almost $12,000 more in base pay than if his pay had remained at the 2009 rate.” (MNG-NHLN)

When will the NH Union Leader wake up and see that without the dedicated staff from the Newspaper Guild, they would not be able to fill their newspaper with stories.  The workers have given back nearly $30,000 over the last few years and now the NH Union Leader wants more.

Enough is enough!  Workers deserve a fair contract!

Follow the NH Labor News and WTF-UL.COM for updates on the contract dispute.

LiUNA Workers Remember Sept 11th And Now Are Rebuilding The Fallen Towers

For millions of Americans September 11th 2001 is a day that we will never forget.  It was the day when our country was attacked by terrorists.  The world watched as the World Trade Center towers fell.  Every America was filled with fear and a sudden rush of patriotism.

After the planes crashed into the World Trade Center hundreds of brave men and women rushed into the burning building to try to save anyone trapped in the building.  Then as the building came crashing down thousands were lost.  After the buildings fell even more people joined in the fight to look for survivors.

Jorge Fernadez a laborer with LiUNA local 79 (NYC) was there.  He stated he had “no idea what was happening”.  Fernadez and many other LiUNA members quickly jumped up to help the firefighters at ground zero.

“I remember one day helping the firefighters.  We carried probably 200 oxygen tanks, off a truck, on our shoulders down to wherever they needed it”.

Clint Jones (LiUNA 79) was also there.  He spent weeks at ground zero after September 11th. In a video by LiUNA Jones stated,  “There was a lot of mourning, a lot of sorrow, and a lot of pain”.

Now these same men and women who work for LiUNA Local 79 are working to rebuild the World Trade Center.  This is a very special moment for all of them and they are proud to be a part of such a momentous project.  The world watched as the towers fell, now the world is watching as LiUNA and other unions are working to rebuild it.

Today LiUNA released a new series of videos focusing on several workers from Local 79 and Local 731 entitled “Renewing Lives—Rebuilding the World Trade Center“. Below is the opening video, a short but powerful remembrance of what happened and how we are rebuilding.

After you watch this video, you can see more in-depth video interviews of each member highlighted.  Click here to go to LiUNA’s YouTube channel and see all the interviews.

The NH AFL-CIO Labor 2012 Create A New Music Video Called ‘Romnesia’

If fun, its campy, and it is all true.

The NH AFL-CIO and union members from many organizations throughout the state have been working out of the NH AFL-CIO office.  They have been stuffing envelopes and making phone calls to ensure that union members what a ‘President Romney’ would be like.

While Mitt Romney’s flip-flops are becoming more and more widely known, the people working on the Labor 2012 campaign in New Hampshire, took a break to have a little fun with ‘Romnesia’.

The song written and sung by local musician and union member Chris Howe.   You can see Howe’s band The Paulies all around southern New Hampshire.  Check them out on Facebook as well.

(the video was uploaded by Chris Howe and no official endorsement has come from the NH AFL-CIO office)

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