Press Releases



NHDP - GOP Hopefuls in NH for Labor Day

Their Policies Would Be A Disaster For The Middle Class 

Excerpts from NHDP Call ahead of Labor Day

CONCORD, N.H. - Labor Day is just around the corner and here in New Hampshire, you may just run into a Presidential candidate at a parade or BBQ. But before Labor Day weekend, NHDP Chair Ray Buckley and NH AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett called out GOP candidates from Jeb Bush to Rand Paul about their out-of-touch policies that would make it harder for hard-working Granite Staters to get ahead.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley:

“Instead of proposing things that help everyday Granite Staters, GOP candidates continue to make things harder for them. These Republicans aren’t interested in raising the minimum wage. They’re not making sure that women are paid equally for the long hours they already work. They’re not protecting workers’ rights. And they’re certainly not safeguarding the retirement age for future seniors who have put in their fair share of long hours.  And they’re even making things harder by fighting to take away healthcare from thousands in the Granite State. Jeb Bush wants to “phase out” Medicare and John Kasich wants to change Social Security for those close to retirement age, jeopardizing their future.  Not to mention failed Republican policies of the past that favor the wealthiest few and leave the middle class behind.”


New Hampshire AFL-CIO President Glenn Brackett:

“Labor Day is also a day we use to celebrate the progress of the American worker, and the significant contributions we make to the country. But despite all the effort we and our families put into the U.S. economy, Republicans like Jeb Bush still don’t think it’s enough. Jeb Bush said that in order to grow our economy, it’s on Americans, and that we “need to work longer hours” and be more productive. But it’s not just Jeb Bush who feels this way about working harder and longer hours. A few weeks ago, Rand Paul said that ‘income inequality is due to some people working harder and selling more things.’ And just yesterday, he said ‘if you work all day long you don’t have time to do heroin.’ I don’t know about you, but suggesting that the real cure for income inequality and drug abuse is for people to work more seems out of touch to me."


“The GOP economic plan seems to be demanding that middle class workers work even longer, while refusing to do anything to help middle class workers and their families get ahead. If they keep this up, it won’t be difficult for hard-working Granite State families to see that putting the White House back in GOP hands would be a disaster for our middle class.”




Our America - Coalition for Fair Debates Announced 


September 3, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT -- Our America Initiative today announced the formation of the “Coalition for Fair Debates”, comprised of political parties, media outlets and advocacy groups who oppose the exclusion of qualified candidates from nationally-televised presidential debates.


Fair Debates (, is a project of the Our America Initiative (, a national advocacy organization, which has long supported opening the general election presidential debates to all candidates who are constitutionally eligible to serve and who appear on enough states’ ballots to potentially achieve a majority in the Electoral College. In 2012, those criteria would have allowed participation by the Libertarian and Green Party nominees in addition to the Republican and Democrat candidates.


The private Commission on Presidential Debates, created by the Republican and Democratic Parties in 1987, uses polling criteria that effectively limit participation in the nationally-televised debates to only the Republican and Democrat nominees.


Joining in the Coalition for Fair Debates are the Libertarian and Green parties, as well as organizations ranging from the Liberty Roundtable to Downsize DC. Independent media outlets joining the coalition include Truth in Media, the 1787 Radio Network, Ballot Access News and others.


The complete list of coalition members, along with background information regarding the presidential debates, can be found at


Announcing the coalition, Ron Nielson Senior Advisor said, “For more than 20 years, the Commission on Presidential Debates -- a private organization created by the Republican and Democratic national parties -- has monopolized the nationally-televised general election presidential debates. They have intentionally excluded other qualified candidates from participating by applying arbitrary polling criteria that are virtually impossible to meet by independent or ‘third party’ candidates.


“Today, a majority of Americans do not believe the Republican or Democrat parties represent their views, and are more ready than ever to consider alternatives to the status quo. They deserve the opportunity to see and hear from all the viable candidates -- not just the Republican and the Democrat. The Our America Initiative is fighting for fair, open debates, and we are proud to have such a diverse group of organizations, political parties and others joining that fight.”


In addition to a major grassroots effort to achieve reform of the presidential debates, the Our America Initiative is leading a legal challenge to the “monopoly” on televised debates exercised by the Commission on Presidential Debates.


NH DHHS - Temporary Relocation of Manchester District Office Operations

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) is relocating operations for the Manchester District Office. While

the Department continues to pursue a long-term District Office location in

Manchester, DHHS staff working at the current location at 195 McGregor

Street will temporarily relocate to other DHHS offices effective September

8, 2015.

To limit disruptions for DHHS clients in Manchester, Division of Client

Services staff who interact with DHHS clients in person will relocate to

the Stark Building at 1234 River Road in Manchester, where they will

continue to meet with clients after the move. New Hampshire Employment

Program staff is moving to 60 Rogers Street, Suite 201, where they will

hold all meetings and appointments. Manchester DO staff in the Division of

Children, Youth and Families, the New Hampshire Employment Program, the

Division of Child Support Services, and the Bureau of Elderly and Adult

Services will work out of other DHHS offices.

While the physical address will change, the mailing address and all phone

numbers for Manchester DO staff will remain unchanged.

“We are working with the staff in Manchester to limit disruptions during

this short-notice and unexpected move,” said Mary Ann Cooney, Associate

Commissioner, DHHS Office of Human Services. “Ensuring our clients continue

to receive services in the timely and professional manner they have come to

expect is our top priority. While understandably challenging, this is a

temporary situation as we continue to seek a new, permanent location for

the Manchester District Office.”

Interruption to business operations will be minimized as much as possible.

Relocation will begin at 2:00 pm on Friday, September 4 and is expected to

last through Thursday, September 10, during which time some voicemail or

email accounts for some staff members may not be in service. Individuals

unable to reach Manchester DO staff during the relocation can call (800)

852-3345 for assistance. All Manchester District Office mail should

continue to be sent to 195 McGregor Street, South Tower, Suite 110,

Manchester, NH 03102.

DHHS will host a public meeting to answer questions about the temporary

relocation at 6:00 pm on Thursday, September 10, 2015, in the chapel of the

Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester. For more information, visit

# # #


Perry For President - Statement on Reports of Latest VA Failures 

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today released the following statement regarding reports that more than 300,000 veterans died before their applications were processed by the VA.
“President Obama’s legacy will include the shameful deaths of thousands of our nation’s bravest who were failed by the Obama Administration and the VA. Under my leadership, Texas acted to help the men and women of our military receive the services they need and deserve, cutting through the bureaucratic backlog created by the VA. It is long past time the Obama Administration followed our lead and fulfilled the promises made to those who stepped up to protect our freedom.”



FreeKeeneNews - Responding to Vandalized Rainbow Benches, Keene Church Launches Selfie Contest! 

Responding to Vandalized Rainbow Benches, Keene Church Launches Selfie Contest!

This morning, Christopher Cornell of the United Church of Christ at the head of Central Square in Downtown Keene announced a really cool selfie contest in response to  continued vandalization of their rainbow benches in Elsie Priest Park, just behind the UCC on Church St.

At least one unknown vandal in her sixties has been caught in the act of painting the rainbow bench in red.  She ran to her red compact car and took off.  The bench was subsequently painted rainbow by more volunteers, then attacked by the vandal(s) again, and so on.  The church has plenty of paint and volunteers.  Love will win over hate.

UCC administrator Mark C. Harris explained in a post to the church blog that the benches were painted rainbow this summer by volunteers and that they represent that, "We want everyone to feel welcome to use the park. This is in good keeping with our belief that all of God’s children are beloved, no matter who they are, or where they are on life’s journey. All are welcome, no matter their gender, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, sexual orientation, difference in abilities, religion or absence thereof."

Today the benches are rainbow and people who side with love have been invited by the UCC to visit them and take a selfie, and post it on social media tagged with #onthebench.  there are prizes, and the contest for the best selfie ends Saturday September 5th, at 10pm, which coincides with the end of the Keene Music Festival.

Speculation abounds as to the motivation of the vandal(s) - it's easy to jump to a conclusion and say it's someone with an anti-gay sentiment, but longtime readers of this blog will also recall the controversy back in 2009 when local entrepreneur Dorrie O'Meara launched her Mexican restaurant Pedraza's.  Some people around town were upset because O'Meara painted her building yellow!  Certain grumpy people in this area seem to hate colors besides brick red and gray.

Cornell said in an interview for Free Keene that he thinks the first time the the vandal(s) struck, the benches were fully painted red, but that since then the vandal(s) have only painted over the yellow part.  He's losing track of the amount of times the benches have been vandalized, but thinks it may have been at least six times, all since the beginning of August.

Smart move on the UCC's part to make this into a hopefully-viral phenomenon.  The vandals, whatever the hate they carry in their hearts, probably weren't expecting these benches to turn into a movement!

The Shire Free Church is joining in solidarity with the UCC and all those who support love over hate, so I went out with Renee Kate and Jazzy the Studio Dog for a photo shoot this afternoon.  Remember to tag your bench selfies with #onthebench on your social media posts.

Stay tuned to Free Keene for the latest on this controversy. Last year it was chalk causing controversy, this year it's rainbows!

To reach UCC Keene Minister Christopher Cornell, please call him at 603-352-4136 or email

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