- Marilinda Garcia sponsored a National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators resolution which called for a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants.
- Marilinda Garcia sponsored a Solyndra-like program which gives taxpayer money to risky start-up companies all run by major democratic donors.
REPRESENTATIVE MINNIE GONZALEZ (CT)
REPRESENTATIVE CATHERINE MIRANDA (AZ)
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, TRADE & IMMIGRATION TASK FORCE
COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
WHEREAS, We are a nation of immigrants, and we strongly believe in an immigration system that maintains a healthy and vibrant economy, while promoting human respect, dignity and the opportunity to share in the American Dream and invest in our common future.
WHEREAS, we are grateful and applaud members of Congress who have worked diligently to support responsible bipartisan legislation aimed at addressing immigration reform and promoting a comprehensive approach to fix a broken system that no longer works for our economy and security.
WHEREAS, the United States of America is a country of immigrants, and one of its greatest competitive advantages is that the best, brightest and hardest workers from all over the world aspire to work here. Immigrants in our country are bound together by national values of economic opportunity as reward for hard work, known far and wide as the American Dream.
WHEREAS, immigrants who seek the American Dream will remain an essential part of whom we are as a country. It is morally and fiscally irresponsible to not design an immigration system that takes advantage of this fact.
WHEREAS, Legalizing the undocumented population lets us know who is living within our nation’s borders and allows our public safety representatives and first responders to focus time and resources on criminal elements intent on threatening our nation, citizens, freedoms, and way of life.
WHEREAS, the United States of America has been made fruitful by its welcoming of immigrants yet, we ask that CIR remains committed to addressing and enhancing our national security and that it remain imperative to secure from any criminal threats our air, land and sea ports as well as the northern and southern borders between the ports of entry. Increasing security at our ports also will result in more resources better able to process the billions in trade that crosses the U.S. border each day, strengthening our economy.
WHEREAS, Immigrants contribute to our nations entrepreneurial tradition. According to an October 2012 Kauffman Foundation study, U.S. businesses founded by immigrants employed approximately 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales during 2012.
WHEREAS, Currently immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion in tax revenue to the United States federal, state and local governments. Encouraging more immigrants out of the shadows into citizenship, and applying our laws will expand the nation’s tax base and keep more families together and safe. Immigration reform will also reduce our federal deficit by more than $2.5 trillion over the next ten years and increase GDP per capita by over $1,500 according to former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin.
WHEREAS, meaningful CIR will help bring approximately 11 million immigrants living in the country today out of the shadows, while providing our economy with a diverse array of educated professionals, skilled workers and dedicated entrepreneurs which have made America stronger economically and globally competitive.
WHEREAS, we implore our elected representatives to collaborate until they pass a meaningful solution before the end of the year that includes a path to citizenship and a truthful framework that recognizes the reality of many industries throughout our nation in desperate need of workers of all different levels of skill.
WHEREAS, the availability of information, resources, services and educational tools is essential to make possible the desire of undocumented immigrants and their families to become law-abiding, productive members of our respective communities earning their way to citizenship.
WHEREAS, one of the policy priorities of NHCSL is to focus on immigration reform and assist its members and their constituencies be better informed about the emerging immigration reform process, issues and to ensure that all immigrants are informed, educated and treated fairly and with dignity.
WHEREAS, with smart reforms, CIR can help to address many economic sectors’ need for labor, and we can reinforce and protect our long-term future and create a productive work force, while also cultivating a fair system that allows immigrant workers to become productive, tax-paying members of our society.
BE IT RESOLVED, that CIR must create a system that promotes a win-win scenario that is fair, equitable and reasonable for business and employees alike. The system must be reliable and avoid unnecessary punitive measures for business and employees who are demonstrating a real desire to comply and respect rules and eligibility. Employers should be required to use the E-verify system, and for those who use in good faith should be free from penalty. Employers who do not hire workers who are authorized for employment should face increased sanctions.
BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, We ask Congress to pass CIR in an effort to build a 21st century economy by addressing market needs that will help to sustain various service industries and labor forces, as well as help to provide sufficient high skilled worked to support our tech industries.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators will work in conjunction with Congress to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation; and the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators will continue to be an informational resource to its members and immigrants of this country concerning legislation applicable to Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the citizenship process.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, Comprehensive Immigration Reform is long overdue and we ask that the federal government and our leadership commit to the passage of meaningful reform before the end of 2013.
THIS RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED ON JULY 13, 2013, AT THE NHCSL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD IN MASHANTUCKET, CONNECTICUT AND RATIFIED ON NOVEMBER 16, 2013 AT THE NHCSL ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA.
SPONSORED BY: Representative Minnie Gonzalez (CT) & Representative Catherine Miranda (AZ) CO-SPONSORED BY: Senator Juan M. Pichardo (RI), Senator Richard C. Martinez (NM), Senator Iris Y. Martinez (IL), Senator Carmelo J. Rios Santiago (PR), Senator Eduardo Bhatia Gautier (PR), Senator Anna Tovar (AZ), Senator Jose R. Nadal Power (PR), Senator Jorge I. Suarez Caceres (PR), Speaker Jaime R. Perelló Borrás (PR), Representative Joseph E. Miró (DE), Representative Marilinda Garcia (NH), Representative Ezequiel Santiago (CT).
Friday, August 22, 2014
By KEVIN LANDRIGAN
Republican congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia of Salem is an unapologetic, free-market conservative who says it’s not government’s role to “pick winners and losers” and says she abhors the “crony capitalism” that marked some federal job incentive programs.
“Outside this important but limited role, though, government needs to get out of the way,” Garcia wrote in her jobs plan posted on the campaign’s website.
“Prosperity, growth and jobs come from the private sector, not government. Government ‘stimulus’ spending, tax credits and so-called ‘investments’ in politically-connected companies and industries distort the market and impose costs on the many to the benefit of the few.”
But one of Garcia’s signature accomplishments in the New Hampshire Legislature did just that – directing taxpayer money to private firms – by leveraging more than $4.5 million in federal grants to create a state-approved, venture capital fund that then invested in select private companies.
Unlike any New Hampshire program before it, federal taxpayers remain on the hook for the first 15 percent of losses from these investments.
That’s in contrast to state loan guarantees or bonds to private firms where state taxpayers are fully insulated from losses right behind lending institutions.
Nearly three years after it began, the fund’s investment group is still trying to raise enough private capital, and no one in state government can quantify how many jobs the program hascreated.
Meanwhile, all documents regarding the companies that got federal money backing and the decision-making behind why they got picked are claimed to be private and not subject to the state’s Right-to-Know Law.
A Telegraph investigation uncovered that five of the seven firms the Granite Fund has placed government money into have executives who made campaign donations to President Obama, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and other prominent Democrats from New England.
During a telephone interview, Garcia stressed that creation of the state’s Innovation Job Growth Program in 2011 was to use federal money, which if turned down, merely would have gone to spur venture capital investment in some other state.
“This is an exact example of what a failure it was, there was money floating around and we were trying to make sure it was something of value here and even still in this pragmatic way, we were hoping for it to be a very useful thing,” Garcia said. “Obviously, it has fallen far astray of what it was supposed to do, I guess. It is really unfortunate and I am glad it has no affect on New Hampshire taxpayers except for the what came from the federal government.”
Republican primary opponent Gary Lambert of Nashua said the program was a state experiment into what’s wrong with most Washington programs that try to generate private investment.
“To me, it is crony capitalism. They took this government money and put it on some risky companies with no accountability,” Lambert said.
“Government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers.”
Support until the end
At the time Garcia authored her bill (HB 605) that became law in 2011, Lambert was in the state Senate and that body approved every version of it on a voice vote.
“The only recollection I have is I remember not liking it,” Lambert said. “I don’t remember how it came out; maybe myself and others expressed our opposition in caucus and that’s why it ended up going through on a voice vote.”
Garcia’s legislation sailed through the GOP-dominated House of Representatives until the very end of the process. While House GOP leaders were all on board, 101 House members opposed its final passage including several who chaired committees under then-Speaker William O’Brien.
“I remember thinking this just wasn’t state government’s role to be getting so heavily involved in this activity,” said ex-Rep. Will Smith, R-New Castle.
Not a single Democrat in the Legislature voted against the bill and Gov. John Lynch signed it into law.
Leaders from the venture capital industry, the Business Finance Authority and other quasi-public groups all promoted this as the solution to a growing problem in New Hampshire – a lack of early seed capital.
Mark Galvin is managing director of the New England Innovation Center in Portsmouth and played a major hand in writing the law.
“All viable research confirms it’s new and small companies that create the jobs in this innovation economy and even as some die, new and better products emerge which then create the next wave of growth,” Galvin said.
“When Boston venture capital dried up in the last decade, money literally stopped coming to New Hampshire for early stage stuff.”
Enter the federal, State Small Business Credit Initiative of 2010, one of several small, targeted bills offering private company support that moved forward after there was no support on Capitol Hill for a second stimulus.
Shaheen was instrumental in getting $13 million in incentives including these grants for any state-created venture capital fund.
Garcia’s law put the state Business Finance Authority in charge of monitoring the program and selecting the venture capital group that would decide how to dispense the federal money.
Jack Donovan is the longtime executive director of the BFA and said the program has been a learning experience for a state that has not ever been involved in directing venture capital investment.
“My goal would be to have something self-sustaining and extricate the state from it,” Donovan said.
“We would like to show this model works and get ourselves out of it.”
The BFA chose Borealis Ventures of Portsmouth and Hanover to receive the federal money and choose the companies to invest in.
Executive Jesse Devitte told The Telegraph his group has used $4.5 million to invest in seven companies and still intends to identify five more companies before all its initial work is done by the end of October.
As for private capital, Devitte said it’s reached about $25 million in commitments and by year’s end believes it will attract $30 million.
“Our primary investment target is potential, high growth technology companies where there is lots of intellectual property there which tend to be creators of high value jobs,” Devitte said.
“We primarily have done early stage start ups.”
As for job growth, Devitte said two of the companies, Dyn and Newforma, each added at least 50 additional jobs in the state over the past six months.
“The highest risk is those first 18 months as new companies try to put together a portfolio of customers to make their dream go. We are on the other side of that,” Devitte said. “It’s early and you can’t be sure for years, but we are optimistic about all of these.”
Donovan stressed none of the companies have suffered losses which would have caused the loss of federal money invested in those firms.
“What’s different about this program has been there is high upside if the investments pay off but high, downside risk on our end,” Donovan said.
The law broadly gave the investment fund full autonomy to direct the dollars which would explain why Donovan at BFA knew far less than Devitte about what’s actually gone out.
Donovan said nine companies had already been chosen and more than $6 million in federal grants went out in support of the program.
Devitte said it’s seven firms and not much at all in federal money beyond that initial, $4.5 million stake.
As for political connections with those high up in these selected firms, there are some notable examples:
• Avitide Inc.: Co-Founder and Chairman Tillman Gerngross was a maximum donor to Obama’s 2008 primary and general election campaigns and to his re-election in 2012; he also gave $4,800 to Paul Hodes in his bid for the U.S. Senate in 2010.
• Dyn: Chief Operating Officer Gray Chynoweth is a former president of New Hampshire Young Democrats and national co-chair of Hillblazers for Hillary Clinton for President in 2008.
Chynoweth played the part of then-U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu in a 2008 Shaheen campaign television ad that mocked the GOP incumbent.
After leaving office as governor, Democrat John Lynch joined Dyn’s board of directors.
• Newforma Inc.: Executive Vice President Dave Plunkett gave $250 to Obama’s campaign in 2012 and since 2007 board member Joseph Esposito has donated seven times to Obama’s campaigns totaling $2,000.
And Devitte was a prominent, Republican fund raiser, a central, financial figure in Craig Benson’s successful run for governor in 2002.
He’s made no donations in five years, the last $4,400 to now-Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.
• A chief executive and board chairman with one of the chosen firms, SustainX, Thomas Zarella, gave $2,500 to the re-election campaign of MA Sen. Scott Brown in 2012.
At the same time, two of SustainX’s other board members donated heavily to Massachusetts Democrats in the past decade including to Mass. Sen. Ed Markey and for John Kerry’s run for President in 2004.
Galvin said he wasn’t surprised that executives and board members with these firms overwhelmingly preferred to donate to Democrats.
“You’re talking for the most part about venture capital guys and women out of the Boston market who are either liberal in their beliefs or they just live in a state where Democrats dominate,” Galvin said.
Garcia’s campaign got a big lift last month when the fiscally-conservative, Club for Growth’s political action committee, made a six-figure TV advertising buy promoting her candidacy and the PAC endorsed her.
But the Club for Growth has for years railed against similar government incentives at the federal and state levels, which are said to spur private job investments.
In 2012, the group’s chairman wrote in a newspaper op-ed, “Why is taxpayer-backed money being wasted on companies that should be able to seek capital from private lending institutions? And if banks decide against providing some of these companies with loans, shouldn’t that tell us something?”
But that doesn’t mean the group is dumping their candidate. Despite Garcia’s authorship of this law, Garcia is still a far better candidate than her best known GOP opponent, Gary Lambert, said Barney Keller, the group’s communications director.
“Marilinda Garcia has a long record of protecting taxpayers and fighting for economic freedom. She’s currently being attacked by Gary Lambert for supporting pro-growth corporate tax reform that would eliminate special-interest loopholes and lower rates,” Keller said.
“We probably just wouldn’t agree with her on this bill. That’s why only one or two members of Congress get a 100 percent on our congressional scorecard every year – because almost nobody’s perfect.”
Former state Rep. Jim Lawrence of Hudson is also seeking the GOP nomination.