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Jul222014

NHDP - How Much More Damage Could Bill O’Brien Do With a Rubber Stamp in the Governor’s Office?

As Bill O'Brien Seeks To Reclaim Speakership, Walt Havenstein and Andrew Hemingway Embrace Key Tenets of O’Brien’s Ultra-Conservative Agenda
  

Manchester, NH – As disgraced former House Speaker Bill O’Brien returns to the spotlight and seeks to reclaim the Speakership, failed CEO Walt Havenstein and conservative activist Andrew Hemingway have both made clear that they would be a rubber stamp for O’Brien’s anti-middle class Koch Brothers agenda thatjeopardized New Hampshire's jobs, slashed funding for higher education, services for children and infrastructure, and created a budgetary mess.

In an interview this week on WMUR’s CloseUP, O’Brien doubled-down on his ultra-conservative agenda, including pushing for so-called “Right to Work” legislation and returning to the same draconian cuts to critical priorities that undermined New Hampshire's economy and took our state in the wrong direction during his disastrous speakership. Just as troubling, when asked about his past divisive and offensive rhetoric, O’Brien responded, “I stood up and said the things that needed to be said.”
 
“New Hampshire is still recovering from the unmitigated disaster of Bill O'Brien's tenure as Speaker, from his painful and irresponsible budget cuts that are still being felt by seniors, students and working families, to his slash-and-burn politics that brought disgrace to the Granite State,“ said Bryan Lesswing, Deputy Communications Director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. “In stark contrast to the O'Brien era, Governor Hassan has worked tirelessly to restore bipartisan cooperation and problem-solving in Concord. New Hampshire can't afford to go backwards, and voters will reject O’Brien and his rubber-stamp running mate for the Governor’s office again in November, just like they did in 2012.”
 
Few can forget the uncivil and nasty politics that defined the recent O’Brien era – where the Speaker compared the Affordable Care Act to the Fugitive Slave Act, threw the public out of the state house, campaigned to repeal same-sex marriage, and faced charges of bullying and intimidation from House colleagues.
 
Here are just a few of O’Brien’s anti-middle class Koch Brothers priorities that Havenstein and Hemingway have already expressed their support for:
 
O'Brien and his allies fought to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. Havenstein and Hemingway both applauded the Supreme Court's decisions to strike down buffer zones that protect women and allow bosses to come between a woman and her doctor when it comes to contraception. 
 
O’Brien worked to institute the most dramatic and severe cut to higher education in the nation. Havenstein and Hemingway support diverting money from our public schools to private and religious institutions, which is not only misguided but also violates our state's constitution. 
 
O'Brien repealed our state's minimum wage. Havenstein and Hemingway have both opposed any plan to restore and improve our state's minimum wage. 

O’Brien made so-called “Right to Work” legislation a top priority of his Koch Brothers agenda. Havenstein and Hemingway also support implementing so-called "Right to Work" legislation that would undermine worker's rights and cause economic harm to working families throughout the state.

BACKGROUND

Havenstein and Hemingway on Women’s Health

Hemingway Calls Supreme Court’s Decision on Hobby Lobby a win for the Constitution: “In the governor’s race, Republican Andrew Hemingway called the [Hobby Lobby] decision a win for the Constitution.” [Concord MonitorJuly 1, 2014]
 
Havenstein Praises Supreme Court’s Decision on the Massachusetts Buffer Zone Law. “Havenstein praised the court’s decision and condemned the New Hampshire law Gov. Maggie Hassan signed that takes effect on July 10.” [Nashua TelegraphJune 30, 2014]
 
Havenstein Champions Hobby Lobby Decision Limiting Access to Contraception: “Contraceptive services are a fundamental and at times life-saving aspect of women’s health care. By ruling the way it did, the Supreme Court has opened the door for religion and politics to control access to those services. Despite their protestations to the contrary, that is exactly what Brown and Havenstein are championing.” [Concord Monitor Editorial, 7/2/14]
  
Havenstein and Hemingway on Education
 
Hemingway and Havenstein Support the Voucher Program that Would Direct Public School Funds to Private and Religious Schools: “Education voucher opponent William Duncan of New Castle has been nominated by Gov. Maggie Hassan to the state Board of Education […] Republican candidates for governor Walt Havenstein and Andrew Hemingway in statements both expressed outrage at the nomination.” [Seacoast Online, May 5, 2014]

Havenstein Attacked Governor Hassan’s Bipartisan Budget and Implied He Would Have Cut Funding for Higher Education or Critical Services in Favor of Infrastructure Spending: “We had a surplus in our budget this year we chose not to spend it on that priority we chose to spend it on something else.” [YouTube, April 17, 2014]
 
Havenstein and Hemingway on the Minimum Wage

Hemingway Opposes Restoring and Improving Minimum Wag: “Hemingway said after his speech that he does not support legislation that would increase the minimum wage.” [Concord MonitorJanuary 30, 2014]
 
Havenstein Reiterates Opposition to Restoring and Improving Minimum Wage: “Havenstein reiterated that he opposed efforts to raise the state’s $7.25 per hour minimum wage” [Valley NewsMay 22, 2014]
 
Havenstein and Hemingway on so-called"Right-to-Work"

Hemingway Penned Op-Ed “Right to Work means more well-paying jobs for New Hampshire”
“In fact, the truth is that Republicans who do not vote for Right to Work legislation will be at great risk of violating their promise to voters to stimulate jobs and promote economic opportunity.” [NH Journal Op-Ed, May 22, 2011]
 
Havenstein supports Right to Work: “He also supports Right to Work.” [Concord MonitorApril 17, 2014]

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