Says progressive groups are disenfranchising voters by trying to halt Manchester's spending cap initiative

MANCHESTER, N.H.―New Hampshire Citizens for Sensible Legislation tonight strongly condemned the misinformation campaign of the progressive group Keep Manchester Moving and its organizer Zandra Rice Hawkins, who is using gimmicks and trickery to thwart the will of the people in Manchester.

In an effort to oppose Manchester's spending cap, Rice Hawkins, who is also the executive director of Granite State Progress, commissioned a report to study the effects of Franklin's spending cap, a city without highway access that is otherwise nothing like Manchester. Yet Derry and Nashua, two of the largest communities in the state behind Manchester, have prospered with their spending caps in place.

"It strikes us as quite disingenuous that this group selected Franklin as its study area, when two communities similar to Manchester are doing just fine with their spending caps," said Andrew Demers, chairman of Citizens for Sensible Legislation. "They're bringing in so-called 'experts,' but clearly these paid data miners are having trouble making their case if they're stuck comparing apples to oranges."

What makes matters worse, the leading operatives involved in this propaganda parade of big government are from outside the city and their funding comes from outside of the state.

“This organization is headed by people who aren't from New Hampshire,” added Demers. “Their spokeswoman moved to the state as a political operative only a couple of years ago, and she doesn't even live in Manchester. Clearly, these people support outside special interests, and not the voters and citizens of Manchester.”

Members of Keep Manchester Moving who are trying to silence the public include operatives from MoveOn, America Votes, Granite State Progress, and several city labor unions. Opposition funding comes from out of state progressive networks, but mainly from Progress Now, a Colorado-based group dedicated to changing the political environment of a dozen or more key states.

Keep Manchester Moving's misinformation session this evening at Manchester City Hall is meant to invoke fear in the hearts of voters and to manipulate the courts into stopping the people of Manchester from having their say at the polls.

Thankfully there were real Manchester voters who also showed up to set the message straight: the spending cap is simply about reigning in excessive city spending.

Leading up to the November 2008 election, more than 4,000 Manchester residents signed a petition to put a spending cap question on the ballot. Because of the petition, Aldermen are required by law to give voters their say on the matter. If passed, the cap would amend the city charter to prevent aldermen from spending more than they did the prior year, plus inflation as measured using the National Consumer Price Index. Aldermen could override the cap with a two-thirds vote.