CONCORD, N.H. – PrioritiesNH ,the organization with the most aggressive Presidential bird-dogging operationin New Hampshire, will be a visible presence at the Presidential debates atSaint Anselm College in Goffstown Sunday and Tuesday nights.
A special guest – Cookie Mom—will join PrioritiesNH staff and volunteers to wave the campaign’s “pocket pies”(flexible pie charts depicting the discretionary budget) and call for sensible budget priorities outside the Thomas Sullivan Arena at Saint Anselm College. For the last two months, Cookie Mom has attended Presidential campaign events, chatted with voters and candidates, and connected their issues with the need for sensible federal budget priorities.
Cookie Mom urges voters to listen for the “how are you going to pay for it” details behind candidates’ vague promises, and leaves them with her informative and yummy “calling card” – sugar cookies frosted with PrioritiesNH’s budget pie logo.
PrioritiesNH, a project of Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities (BLSP), is working to change America's budget priorities to reflect a national commitment to education, health care, energy independence, job training and deficit reduction – at no additional taxpayer expense– by shifting $60 billion that is currently spent to develop and build obsolete Cold War weapons and maintain a stockpile of 10,000 nuclear warheads. Details are in the Korb Report,on the PrioritiesNH Website.
BLSP has full-time Priorities campaigns in NewHampshire and Iowa to capitalize on the attention paid to their early Presidential primary and caucus, respectively.
Priorities’ budget-shift goals are shared by the vast majority of Americans. When presented with the facts about the federal budget by the PIPA/Knowledge Networks Poll in March 2005, two-thirds of Americans said they would change U.S. budget priorities and shift funding away from the Pentagon and into programs that benefit communities and families. Likewise, almost two-thirds of New Hampshire adults support such a shift, according to a Research 2000 poll conducted in February.
Since early January, PrioritiesNH has bird-dogged Presidential candidates as a way of raising federal budget priorities as a campaign issue. New Hampshire activists have asked nearly 100 budget priorities-related questions at campaign events. They then report the answer back to Priorities staff, who tighten the question and relay it to the volunteer bird dog attending the next event for that candidate. Priorities hopes to get every candidate on the record either for or against shifting money from the Pentagon budget to human needs.
PrioritiesNH director SteveVarnum will be available for comment after the debate and for interview anytime. Please call him on his cell phone at (603) 748-0317.