June 28, 2010 -Following is a statement issued today by Karen Testerman, Candidate for Governor of New Hampshire:
Two incidents put New Hampshire in the national spotlight last week. They both left the impression that we have lost our way.
Kay Phaneuf of Salem died after the power to her home was tragically disconnected by the electric company, National Grid. This caused her life sustaining oxygen equipment to fail. Secondly, a gubernatorial candidate proudly announced a shameful fundraising event featuring a risque bikini/hula hoop contest.
New Hampshire is reeling under the Financial Resource Mortgage Ponzi scandal exposing substantial breakdowns in governmental oversight. The current administration is demonstrating negligence across the board. They appear expert at passing the buck. These two avoidable incidents propelled the issue of accountability into the headlines.
These episodes reveal that the fabric of our society is fraying. In the tragic case of Kay Phaneuf, National Grid should have known from her medical history that she had to have powerd oxygen-delivering equipment to survive. The fire department knew. The medical establishment knew. Her neighbors knew. National Grid didn't know? Instead they followed "protocol" and terminated her power, and consequently her life.
Leaders responded with shock and outrage proclaiming innocence of any knowledge, and a firm promise to investigate.
The distasteful fundraiser bears all the same hallmarks: first shock and outrage -- prompting the removal of that element of the event -- then as the story gains momentum, denial of knowledge and a promise to investigate. Where is leadership that is willing to own up to failure in oversight, and poor judgment?
One is also reminded of the truism, "A person is known by the company he keeps."
We in New Hampshire can, and must, do better. Our families and citizens deserve more. How did the decision to cut off power to Kay Phaneuf escape the attention of National Grid? Protocols must embody compassion and common sense. They cannot fail to protect the innocent.
The bikini fund raiser is a sad commentary on our society. Women are honored in New Hampshire. It is inconceivable that a "pro-family" candidate for Governor would dishonor them in this way.
Incidents like this reveal that status quo leadership is not up to the task of safeguarding our communities, families and values.
I urge you to join with me in helping to restore civility, compassion, and common sense to New Hampshire. As your public servants, we can do better.
We will do better.