Press Releases



NHDP - Statement from NHDP Executive Director Mike Brunelle in Response to John Stephen

Concord - New Hampshire Democratic Party Executive Director Mike Brunelle issued the following statement in response to John Stephen's "Tax Day" tirade on state spending.

"John Stephen lecturing about fiscal management is like Tiger Woods lecturing about fidelity.  Stephen is not a fiscal conservative, he is a fiscal incompetent."

"As Health and Human Services Commissioner, John Stephen consistently asked for double-digit increases in his budget. In fact, he even double-counted money creating a $70 million hole in the state budget. Now, federal auditors are demanding that Health and Human Services repay nearly $35 million federal funds spent during his tenure.

"When it comes to being fiscally responsible, John Stephen has no credibility."


NHDP - Numbers Tell the Story of Republican Fiscal Irresponsibility on Tax Day

In Case You Missed It:

Concord - Foster's Daily Democrat ran an op-ed by Ray Buckley, the New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman, in honor of 'Tax Day,' April 15th.  The op-ed contrasts the reckless Republican record of spending increases over the past thirty years with the responsible and balanced approach taken by Democrats and Governor Lynch.

Foster's Daily Democrat: Numbers tell the story on Tax Day

New Hampshire Republicans have expertly spread the myth that their party is the party of fiscal responsibility and low taxes. The problem is that this claim is only that - a myth. The numbers don't lie.

According to the right wing think tank the Tax Foundation, when Republicans are in control in New Hampshire taxes go up. Over the last three decades, when a Republican was in the corner office, taxes increased by an average of 7 percent per person every year.

This is an astronomical sum compared to Gov. Lynch's record of fiscal responsibility and low taxes. Under Gov. Lynch, New Hampshire has the second lowest state tax burden per capita in the country.

And the Republican record on spending is as dismal as their record on keeping taxes low. Cutting general fund spending is something that John Sununu, Judd Gregg, and Craig Benson never did as governor, but it is something Gov. John Lynch has already done. Twice.

Over the past 30 years, Republican governors in New Hampshire have increased spending by an average of 17 percent per biennium - more than double the rate of Democratic governors.

And many of the most prominent members of today's Republican Party are the worst offenders. Current Republican chair and former Governor John H. Sununu increased spending by an average of 22 percent per biennium as governor and left the state budget in deficit.

John Stephen, the leading Republican candidate for Governor, has been just as irresponsible with the state's finances as his mentor John H. Sununu. Stephen asked for a half-billion dollar increase in his budget when he served as Health and Human Services commissioner. Stephen also double-counted revenue, creating a $70 million budget hole, and today the state is facing a federal audit from his years as commissioner.

The New Hampshire Republican Party's lack of fiscal responsibility shouldn't come as a surprise. We've seen the same thing on the federal level. President George W. Bush took the largest surplus in U.S. history and turned it into the largest deficit we have ever seen. He then ignored all the warning signs and drove the economy into the ground creating the worst recession and highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression.

Since the moment he took office President Obama has been working hard to fix these problems. Over the past 14 months, the job market has improved dramatically. We were losing 800,000 jobs a month when Bush left office, but just last month over 160,000 new jobs were created. He's done this while also passing a series of tax cuts targeted to help middle class families and those struggling to stay afloat in these difficult economic times.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included the largest tax cut for the middle class in United States history. It contained 25 individual tax cuts for American families - from the 'Making Work Pay' refundable income tax credit, to the 'American Opportunity' tax credit for education costs, to the giving three quarters of small businesses relief from the Capital Gains Tax. And it was passed despite the support of only three Republicans in the Senate and no Republicans in the House of Representatives.

We can't afford the Republican ideas of fiscal responsibility - turning surpluses into deficit, 22 percent increases in state spending, and taking money away from middle class tax cuts to provide corporate tax breaks. The myth that Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility should end today.

Ray Buckley is the Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.



Key Facts on Democrats' Record of Fiscal Responsibility and Republican Recklessness

  • Nearly all the taxes in New Hampshire were created by Republican governors and Republican legislatures.
  • Unlike how Democrats are responsibly handling the budget today, in the last major recession Republicans imposed a 3 percent communications services tax, increased the Real Estate Transfer Tax from $4.75 to $6 per thousand, imposed a 2 cent per gallon tax on all motor fuels, plus a $5 process fee for diesel fuel users and hazardous waste transporters.  And these are just a few of the dozens of taxes and fees that were increased that year.
  • Over the past 30 years Republican governors have increased spending more than twice as much as Democrats.  And more than three times the rate of Governor Lynch.
  • Republican governors increased spending by an average of 17% compared to less than 8% for Democrats. And 5% for Governor Lynch.
  • One of the worst offenders is Governor Sununu who increased spending an average of 23% per biennium and almost doubled state spending during his time as Governor, increasing it by 87.2%.
  • Governor Lynch and Governor Shaheen, have been the two most fiscally responsible governors in New Hampshire history.
  • Cutting general fund spending is something that John Sununu, Judd Gregg, and Craig Benson never did as governor, but it is something Gov. John Lynch has already done. Twice.
  • New Hampshire has the fourth lowest spending of any state government per capita.  And New Hampshire's current tax burden ranks 5th lowest in the nation, 3.1% lower than the national average.
  • Under Democratic Leadership Granite Staters get the best bang for their buck.  New Hampshire is the safest state in the nation according to the FBI, ranks among the top five states in key measures of reading and math, New Hampshire is the number one place to raise a family according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and CQ Press Ranked New Hampshire as the most livable state in the nation for the fifth year in a row.
  • President Obama and Democrats in Congress cut individuals' federal tax bills for this year by approximately $173 billion. And over the life of the Recovery Act, Americans can expect to save around $300 billion in taxes.  Families are receiving record tax refunds - on average $266 more than last year.

John Stephen's Record of Fiscal Incompetence

  • During his five years at the Department of Safety, that agency's budget more than doubled,  increasing 103 percent - or over 12 percent a year.
  • In 2004, in his first budget as Health and Human Services Commissioner, John Stephen asked for an 11 percent increase in general funds. 
  • Just weeks before the budget was to be presented to the legislature in 2005, John Stephen confessed that he had double-counted $70 million in federal funds - opening up a huge new hole in his department's budget.
  • In his second budget as Health and Human Services commissioner, John Stephen requested a 13 percent increase in his budget. 
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General is demanding the state repay $35 million from 2004, claiming improper use of federal funds during the time John Stephen was commissioner. 
  • Former Republican Congressman and current state senator, Jeb Bradley called John Stephen, a "big spending bureaucrat."




Rep Shea-Porter - N.H. 1Q residential sales, prices rise

In Case You Missed It!

N.H. 1Q residential sales, prices rise

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The New Hampshire residential real estate market continues to show signs of recovering, with gains recorded in both number of units sold and median price in the first quarter of 2010.

It was the first statewide quarterly price increase since 2006, and the first increase in quarterly unit sales since 2004, according to the New Hampshire Association of Realtors, which provided the data.

In the first quarter of 2010, there were 1,885 residential sales -- 12.6 percent more than the 1,674 sales reported a year earlier. The median residential price was $207,000 in the 2010 quarter, 5.9 percent higher than the $195,500 average in 2009.

Increases were reported in the condominium market as well, with 523 unit sales in the first quarter of 2010, 30 percent more than the 402 units sold a year earlier. The median price was $159,900 -- 4 percent higher than the $154,000 median a year earlier..

There were increases in unit sales in six of the state’s 10 counties, with sales falling in Cheshire, Coos and Carroll counties and sales flat in Sullivan. Median prices rose in seven of 10 counties, with decreases in Cheshire, Hillsborough and Sullivan.

Average days on the market statewide decreased only slightly from 143 days in the 2009 quarter to 141 days in 2010.

"We continue to be encouraged by the positive signals," said NHAR President Monika McGillicuddy, an agent with Prudential Verani in Londonderry. "We try to be cautious in terms of prematurely labeling any movement in the numbers as a trend, but there truly seems to be positive momentum in the marketplace."

McGillicuddy said the market is "continuing to head in the right direction," adding: "The overall picture is good news." -- JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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SEIA - US Solar Industry Trade Association Reports Strong Growth in 2009 Despite Recession

Combination of policies, new business models, declining prices drive expansion in 2009; continued growth expected in 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released the 2009 U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review, finding 2009 to be another year of strong growth despite the economic recession.
Overall U.S. solar electric capacity, including both photovoltaic and concentrating solar power installations, increased by 37 percent.  This was driven primarily by strong demand in the residential and utility-scale markets, state and federal policy advances and declining technology prices. As a result, total solar industry revenue reached $4 billion, a 36 percent increase over 2008.
The solar industry contributed to the overall economy by adding 17,000 new jobs from coast to coast. The solar industry today employs 46,000 U.S. workers and supports an additional 33,000 jobs in other sectors.
“Despite the Great Recession of 2009, the U.S. solar industry had a winning year and posted strong growth numbers,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “When the President looks back at how stimulus dollars were invested, he’s going to see that solar was one of the best returns on investments in 2009 for the American taxpayers. In addition to strong policies at the state and federal level, solar’s growth was driven by the emergence of new business models and declining prices. Consumers took notice that now is the best time to go solar.”
 “SolarCity grew aggressively in 2009 based on increasing demand for its full-service solar offering, including financing options that can allow businesses and homeowners to pay less for solar power than they previously paid for electricity. The company has added close to 300 new workers in the last 12 months and has now completed or undertaken more than 7,000 solar projects,” said Jonathan Bass, spokesperson for SolarCity based in Foster City, Calif.
“Demand for solar power is growing at a tremendous rate,” said Ron Kenedi, Vice President of the Solar Energy Solutions Group of Sharp and member of SEIA’s Board of Directors. Sharp’s U.S. headquarters is in Huntington Beach, Calif. “Our residential, governmental, commercial and utility customers want clean and reliable power. We have responded to this demand, and in doing so, have created a wealth of high tech jobs here in the U.S. Additionally, for every new job in our factory, many more are being created in the field – in areas such as design, sales and construction –  where the systems are being installed.”
“Building off the successes of 2009, we expect 2010 to be a breakout year for the U.S. solar industry,” added Resch. “The right policies and industry innovation continue to drive solar’s growth across America. Now we’re talking gigawatts of solar, not megawatts.”
Report highlights for 2009 included:
Growth in added solar electric and solar thermal capacity
·         Solar electric capacity growth (including both photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies) for 2009 was 37 percent more than 2008.
·         Solar water heating grew by 10 percent over 2008.
·         Solar pool heating growth was 10 percent less than 2008 growth, reflecting the decline in construction and housing markets.
Increased capacity by solar technology
·         Photovoltaic installations (grid-tied) grew by 38 percent
·         Solar water heating grew by 10 percent annual over 2008.
·         Concentrating solar power sector had three new plants come online in 2009. Cumulative CSP capacity in the U.S. reached 432 megawatts with a development pipeline totaling more than 10,000 megawatts.
Capacity by market segment
·         Residential grid-tied PV solar installations showed particularly strong growth, doubling from 78 megawatts to 156 megawatts.
·         Non-residential grid-tied PV solar installations grew 2 percent less than in 2008.
·         The utility market saw notable growth, with utilities tripling their rate of grid-tied PV capacity additions from 22 megawatts to 66 megawatts. The total utility-scale pipeline (across all solar technologies) reached 17 gigawatts, enough to power 3.4 million homes.
Jobs and Revenue
·         The solar industry contributed to the overall economy by adding 17,000 new jobs.
·         Solar industry today supports 46,000 U.S. jobs and supports an additional 33,000 jobs in other sectors.
·         Growth in the industry resulted in a 36 percent increase in overall revenue, totaling nearly $4 billion.
Manufacturing growth
Solar manufacturing continued to grow, with a 7 percent increase in PV module production from 2008 to 2009. Internationally, the U.S. ranks behind Europe and Asia in solar manufacturing. There are 58 new solar manufacturing facilities being built in 20 states, including Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Capacity by state
California (220 MW) continued to lead the U.S. in new solar electric capacity in 2009, followed by New Jersey (57 MW), Florida (36 MW), Arizona (23 MW), Colorado (23 MW), Hawaii (14 MW), New York (12 MW), Massachusetts (10 MW), Connecticut (9 MW), and North Carolina (8 MW). Hawaii installed the most solar electric capacity per capita in 2009 (10.4 W per capita). Nevada has the most cumulative solar electric capacity per capita (38 W per capita).
Capacity by nation
The U.S. (481 MW) ranked fourth in new solar electric capacity in 2009, behind Germany (3,000 MW), Italy (700 MW), and Japan (484 MW). The U.S. (2,108 MW) also ranked in fourth place in cumulative solar electric capacity behind Germany (8,877 MW), Spain (3,595 MW), and Japan (2,628 MW). The U.S. ranked in tenth place in new solar electric capacity per capita (1.6 W per capita) and ninth place in cumulative solar electric capacity per capita (6.9 W per capita).
Background Materials
2009 U.S. Solar Industry Year in Review full report:
Solar Bill of Rights –

About SEIA:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the solar energy industry. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 members to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.  Learn more at


DNC - Palin's Real Base 

April 15, 2010

Palin's Real Base

Despite several high profile speeches in recent weeks, Sarah Palin seems to be much more influential with the media than she is with Republicans.

First Read: "For example, she placed third at the SRLC straw poll (a disappointing finish when you consider that the winner, Mitt Romney, didn't show up and that Ron Paul was second). In addition, a New York Times/CBS poll finds that a plurality of self-identified Tea Party members don't think she's qualified to be president. And now Kentucky Senate candidate Trey Grayson (R) says Palin isn't qualified for the White House. No doubt that she's a political celebrity, but that isn't necessarily translating into GOP support. There is growing evidence that she is not the political force some would like to believe (indeed, if she were actually pondering a big for 2012, this last month would be seen as a disappointment)."