Guest Blogs

Entries in Campaign Endorsements (3)

Friday
Nov022012

Carolyn McKinney - Liberty will advance with Ovide as Governor

By Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire

As the leader of a Republican organization focused on liberty in New Hampshire, I often come across people who refuse to go along with the party nominee in higher-end races and vote their conscience instead. 

A vote on principle is certainly something of value and thankfully common among people who truly understand what liberty means. At the same time, it’s important for liberty-minded Republicans and independent-minded voters out there to consider that no person can possibly agree with them on every subject. For that reason, voting on principle sometimes requires a little more deliberation, especially in this election when the momentum of liberty counts so much on the results.

There is no doubt that Gov. John Lynch was a barrier to liberty in the last two years, despite the Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate. Right to Work would be law today, guaranteeing the freedom of individuals to earn money wherever they could find an employer willing to hire them, and they wouldn’t have to share their wealth against their will with a third-party. New Hampshire would no longer be a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a tax scheme with no real benefit to the environment that has made a few connected businessmen wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

Unfortunately, Maggie Hassan is so much worse than Gov. Lynch on so many issues, as her time in the N.H. Senate should make clear. She was a co-sponsor of the bill to force New Hampshire into the cap and tax scheme, for one thing. She was also largely responsible for the spending and taxing policies that stifled New Hampshire’s economy, destroyed private sector jobs and eventually led to the complete rejection of Democrats during the 2010 election. Those 2010 election results were no mistake. The Republicans we elected did as much as they could to reverse course and advance liberty, and they’ll continue to do that even if we give them only the slightest majority in the Legislature.

But with Maggie as governor, the Legislature will be starting with a budget that drastically increases spending, along with the necessary taxes, fees and borrowing to pay for it. They will face a roadblock to any deregulation, tax or fee cut, or any move to make the government more efficient, and many bills that increase the power and authority of government will sneak through without the threat of a veto. Even with a Republican Legislature, the force of a statist governor who’s never seen a government program she doesn’t like will smother the spark of liberty and prosperity ignited by Speaker O’Brien and the Legislature he led during the past two years. Everything we just accomplished will be stopped dead in its tracks, if we’re lucky, and we could even see many of our accomplishments reversed.

It is for the sake of helping our Republican Legislature continue its good work that the principled vote is in favor of Ovide Lamontagne, the only candidate that can legitimately beat Maggie Hassan. This is not the time for liberty-minded people to work toward any other political goal. Liberty is truly at stake, and Ovide is the only candidate for governor who can and will advance our cause.

Ovide may not be the perfect Republican candidate for governor, and we’ve had very public policy differences with him in the past. If Ovide is elected, I expect that we will have to fight hard to advance freedom in some of these same policy areas, particularly in the area of education reform and reductions in state spending that go as far as we need them to go. 

Despite these foreseen battles, Ovide Lamontagne instinctively knows that small government and economic freedom are necessary for New Hampshire’s future prosperity. That’s why he would sign a Right to Work bill. He’d repeal the cap-and-tax scheme. His budget would be a reasonable starting point for the House before representatives add further spending cuts. Importantly, the executive bureaucracy would be held in check by his oversight. For these reasons, I am definitively recommending a vote for Ovide Lamontagne as the only gubernatorial option for voters who love liberty.

For anyone who still doubts Ovide is the only choice for governor, please consider that the liberty contingent of Republican and independent voters are the only people who can help him top Maggie. We will not let Gov. Lamontagne forget that once he makes it into office. If led by principled Republicans in the Legislature and advocates of liberty from the outside, we can expect that liberty will not only advance in New Hampshire, it will thrive under Gov. Ovide Lamontagne.

Tuesday
Sep042012

Karen Testerman - Endorses Kevin Smith For Governor

September 11 is just around the corner and we as voters will have the opportunity to put forth the best candidate for Governor. We have a choice. In this most important election year we have the chance to make some real progress towards reapplying the values and principles of our Founding Fathers.

Over the past several years, I have had the privilege of working with and observing the behavior and records of both Republican Gubernatorial candidates. While neither candidate is perfect, there are distinct qualities that stand out. Kevin Smith has demonstrated his ability to lead in a variety of situations in the private non-profit world and in government. Kevin has shown his ability to set a vision and to grow Cornerstone Policy Research from a struggling organization to one with a substantial operating budget. He has worked with many government and private organizations to develop programs to benefit the residents in the Department of Juvenile Justice.

A strong family man, I believe Kevin is best qualified to lead the State of New Hampshire in growth in business and economically while being financial responsible to her citizens. Therefore, I am pleased to endorse Kevin Smith for Governor.

Sincerely,

Karen Testerman

 

Friday
Jul132012

Jackie Cilley - There When We Need Them

There are many jobs we don’t give much thought to on a day-to-day basis.  The local hospital only surfaces to our conscious mind when we drive by, visit someone we care about there or need it ourselves.  The folks who plow our streets so that we can get up and go to work after a snow storm receive little attention unless a snow bank blocks our driveway.  Public safety fits this frame well.  We simply don’t think of first responders, police or firefighters until we need them.

On a cold, dark February evening last year that was just the case for my son and daughter-in-law.  She had arrived before him to find their modest, well-tended first home had been robbed of its copper piping  -- leaving them without heat or hot water.  After calling my son, the first calls she made were to firefighters and police, one to investigate the lingering odor of gas and the other to try to catch the thieves.

On another cold winter day before the holidays, yet another family member was involved in an accident so horrendous it required cutting him out of the van he was driving.  Having shattered his hip and sustaining other injuries, he was thankful for the loving care the paramedics provided.  It was a lengthy healing process from which he never fully recovered, but they gave him the start he needed to get as far as he did.

These incidents pale in comparison to much more traumatic events such as those on 9/11 in which so many were lost – including hundreds of firefighters and police.  Nonetheless, even the seemingly most innocuous incident can turn deadly.  Our public safety officials are and must always be prepared for that eventuality.

Our state has consistently been rated as one of the safest in the country in which to live.  Our public safety personnel work diligently to keep it that way.  Our citizens expect no less from them.  Business leaders choose a safe state and count on the protections afforded by well-trained and well-equipped public safety employees.  Visitors arrive in the comfort of knowing we are a safe state to visit.

Our safety net, however, is stretching at the seams like a fire hose that’s been dragged along the gravel too many times.  State and local cuts to public safety budgets are placing substantial stress on already thinning ranks.  Recently, Chief Jamie Sullivan of the Hampton Police Department was quoted as saying, “…we have been expected to do more with less and have done so.  Now we are doing less with less.”

Hampton thrives on its tourist industry.  These visitors come, at least in part, because they believe it a safe place to visit.  Yet, Chief Sullivan does not have the budget for a full complement of police for all shifts and locations.  He must depend on back-up from equally stretched Sheriff’s departments and State Police.

Areas of the nation that fail to invest in sound public safety pay the price through higher rates of crime, fewer middle class families who want to live there and fewer visitors who come with their tourist dollars.  That is not the New Hampshire we have had and it is not the New Hampshire we want.

Over these past two years our Free State/Tea Party legislature has maligned public employees, including firefighters, police and first responders, at every opportunity.  The adjectives and labels used to describe these hardworking men and women would have been unthinkable to utter in the halls of our Statehouse not so long ago.  Regardless, these brave men and women have continued to go about their job – sometimes at great personal risk – to keep our citizens safe. 

Protecting those who protect us is a primary motive for my decision to run for Governor. I will always remember that it is our police, firefighters and first responders who make New Hampshire a safe and inviting place for businesses, tourists, and growing families. Together, we'll change the way public employees are valued.  We will preserve the quality of life that well-trained and well-equipped safety forces defend.

This week I was proud to receive the endorsements of the New England Police Benevolent Association and the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. I am honored that they have seen in me someone who will fight to keep New Hampshire a beautiful and safe state  Together with all of our citizens we will protect the traditions that have made New Hampshire the greatest state in the country in which to live and work.