The Concord Monitor Endorses Shea-Porter

New Hampshire—Today, the Concord Monitor endorsed Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter for reelection.  The Monitor noted, “in a year when pundits tell us that voters are eager to toss out the incumbents, Carol Shea-Porter is one sitting member of Congress whom voters should be eager to send back to Washington,” and “she is the superior candidate and one voters can feel good about re-electing.”

The text of Concord Monitor’s endorsement is below.

Shea-Porter has earned another term
October 26, 2010

The Concord Monitor

In a year when pundits tell us that voters are eager to toss out the incumbents, Carol Shea-Porter is one sitting member of Congress whom voters should be eager to send back to Washington.

Shea-Porter, a Democrat, is the two-term incumbent in the 1st District. In her race against Republican Frank Guinta, she is the superior candidate and one voters can feel good about re-electing.

In swing districts like Shea-Porter's, politicians concerned mostly with self-preservation are often inclined to compromise their convictions in an attempt to be all things to all voters. To her credit, Shea-Porter has remained true to herself. She is right on many of the big issues facing the country, and her constituents never have to guess how she will vote.

From her first campaign, Shea-Porter has been a deep skeptic of the U.S. war strategy. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, she has traveled to Afghanistan and returned troubled by the corruption of Hamid Karzai's administration, the rampant drug trade and the impracticality of the U.S. mission. Ultimately, she believes, our resources would largely be better spent at home. After all, she recently told the Monitor, her own constituents are asking for the same things the United States is trying to provide in Afghanistan: a better economy, modern infrastructure, improved education.

Shea-Porter has long championed health care reform and remains a strong voice for the measures passed this year, particularly those which - despite the loud protestations from their opponents - should ultimately prove popular with voters of all stripes. Among them: a ban on discrimination by insurers against children with pre-existing medical conditions (a ban that will extend to adults in 2014); a provision barring insurers from canceling coverage due to mistakes on application forms; a ban on lifetime coverage limits; and a provision allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance policy until their 26th birthdays.

Shea-Porter has paid particular attention to veterans while in Congress - nationally and here at home. She has supported legislation to better address the combat-related maladies plaguing soldiers who return from Iraq and Afghanistan, including traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. She championed a bill, now law, to prevent the government from collecting debts from the families of soldiers killed in combat. And she has pushed hard for expanded in-state health care for New Hampshire veterans.

Shea-Porter's Republican critics are quick to say she marches in lockstep with the Democratic administration, but in fact she's more independent than they would have you believe. She has, for instance, taken issue with President Obama on Afghanistan, on trade policy and on the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Guinta, the Republican, impressed us with his practical experience. As mayor of Manchester, he had to do more than talk like a politician. The job required him to actually make things happen - and to work with Democrats to do so. But his knowledge of federal affairs isn't as deep as Shea-Porter's, and his budget-cutting proposals are impractical.

Across the country and especially in New Hampshire, the 2010 campaign has featured highly disciplined candidates from both major parties spouting the worst sort of political jargon. They use the language of political brochures and advertisements, lingo that becomes nearly meaningless from repetition. Shea-Porter, on the other hand, talks like a regular person, even after four years in Washington. She speaks her mind plainly and with conviction - just one more reason she has earned our support.