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Entries in Cornerstone (31)

Tuesday
Sep182012

NHDP - Sign or Veto? Ovide Signed Cornerstone's Pledge, Where Does He Stand on Its Extreme, Out-of-Touch Agenda?

CONCORD -  Ovide Lamontagne has signed Cornerstone's pledge. Will he sign the bills in its extreme agenda, which includes repealing marriage equality; forcing doctors to lie to women seeking abortions; and allowing businesses to discriminate against certain customers?

 

The 26-item Cornerstone Agenda includes 10 proposed pieces of legislation aimed at restricting women's access to abortion and birth control; one repealing marriage equality in New Hampshire; and one allowing businesses to discriminate against customers based on the religious beliefs of the business owners. The agenda also calls for the end of no-fault divorce for couples with children; rejecting a bipartisan multi-state effort to toughen school standards; and voiding certain portions of a contracts negotiated between employers and employees.

 

"Ovide Lamontagne has signed a pledge endorsing Cornerstone's agenda. The people of New Hampshire deserve to know what that means. Ovide Lamontagne should tell us now whether as Governor he would sign the bills in Cornestone's extreme and outdated social agenda," said Raymond Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

 

"Cornerstone wants to pass a law that would allow a business owner to discriminate against any potential customer if the owner says it would violate his or her religious beliefs to serve them. This law would let a restaurant owner refuse to serve an African American or a gay American for religious reasons. Would Ovide sign that? " Buckley asked. "Would Ovide sign a law making it more expensive, time consuming and traumatic for couples to divorce? Would Ovide sign laws limiting access to abortion and birth control?"

Thursday
Sep132012

CORNERSTONE CELEBRATES PRIMARY ELECTION SUCCESSES FOR FAMILIES FIRST CANDIDATES

Cornerstone’s PAC Advances 100 Percent of Supported Candidates Past Primary
Voters Elect 82 Percent of the Candidates Who Signed Cornerstone Action’s Families First Pledge

MANCHESTER, N.H.—With the results of New Hampshire’s primary elections essentially settled, Cornerstone is excited to report that all 24 of the candidates supported by Cornerstone PAC have advanced to the general election, and 82 percent of the candidates who signed Cornerstone Action’s Families First Pledge won their primary elections on Tuesday.

“I couldn’t be happier that voters responded so well to Cornerstone’s Families First Pledge, which articulates Cornerstone Action’s high-level strategy for advancing traditional values and the natural rights of families all across New Hampshire for the next two years,” said Shannon McGinley, Cornerstone’s acting executive director. “Even better than this achievement, however, was the election of all 24 of the incumbents that Cornerstone’s PAC chose to highlight in its Candidate Corner feature. We were very happy to play a role in their advancement to the general election by simply telling their individual stories.”

Cornerstone Action’s Families First Pledge was announced in July as an effort to endorse, elect and educate the next group of conservative leaders for the New Hampshire Legislature. The Families First Pledge required all signers, Democrat and Republican, to commit their legislative votes to bills that advance citizens’ rights of conscience and religion, protect innocent human life, defend the natural family and traditional marriage, restore the natural rights of parents to raise, educate and care for their own children, and enact free market economic policies to ensure prosperity in New Hampshire. 

As of the day before the primary election, 85 candidates for state representative, state senator and executive offices—all of them Republican—had signed the Families First Pledge. After the votes were counted, 70 of these pledge signers, or 82 percent, advanced to face a Democratic opponent for the Nov. 6 general election. It’s important to note that several of the 15 candidates who didn’t make it past their primary were in races with other pledge signers who won, so Cornerstone’s 82 percent success rate is actually a conservative estimate of how well the organization’s pledge signers did in Tuesday’s primary.

To educate voters about candidates who signed the Families First Pledge, Cornerstone Action released its 2012 Families First Voter Guide one week before the primary election. Cornerstone updated the voter guide in real time through primary election day to ensure that all candidates who actually signed the Families First Pledge were duly noted for prospective voters. Additionally, to give voters context to some of the candidates who signed the pledge, Cornerstone also listed how incumbent candidates rated on Cornerstone’s 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard. The scorecard was based on 39 roll call votes in the House and 20 roll call votes in the Senate from the just-completed legislative session, and high scores suggest support for Cornerstone’s agenda during the past session.

On top of the work of Cornerstone Action, Cornerstone PAC highlighted 24 high-scoring incumbents facing a primary election as part of its previously unannounced Candidate Corner feature. Each Candidate Corner article focused on the personal achievements of the featured candidates during the past session and also presented their personal goals for the coming term. Every Friday before the primary, the PAC e-mailed a Candidate Corner feature to its list, which includes thousands of supporters across the state. The PAC then broke down the articles into a Web site for each candidate to use to promote their primary campaigns. Impressively, all 24 of the incumbents Cornerstone PAC featured in its Candidate Corner articles won their primary elections on Tuesday.

Because of the success of its Candidate Corner, Cornerstone PAC will continue to feature incumbent candidates up until the general election to ensure that the most loyal Cornerstone leaders in the Legislature make it back to Concord. Also before the election, Cornerstone Action will release a general election guide that includes all of the candidates, Democrat or Republican, who have signed Cornerstone’s Families First Pledge.

With the primary election of its 24 featured incumbents and 70 pledge signers, Cornerstone is now preparing its 2013-2014 Legislative Agenda so incumbent candidates can begin to file some of the Families First legislation for the upcoming session. With the first legislative filing period beginning on Monday, expect the release of Cornerstone’s Legislative Agenda within the next few days.

CORNERSTONE'S FAMILIES FIRST PLEDGE SIGNERS AND CANDIDATE CORNER PRIMARY WINNERS

Executive Office Primary Winners

Governor Ovide Lamontagne

Executive Council, District 4: Robert Burns

Executive Council, District 5, Dave Wheeler

State Senator Primary Winners

District 4: Phyllis Woods

District 6: Sam Cataldo

District 7: Joshua F. Youssef

District 9: Andy Sanborn

District 12: Jim Luther

District 17: John Reagan

State Representative Primary Winners

Belknap 2 (Gilford & Meredith): Kevin Leandro & Colette Worseman

Belknap 5 (Alton and Gilmanton): Stephen Holmes

Belknap 7 (Barnstead): Guy Comtois

Belknap 8 (Alton, Barnstead & Gilmanton): Jane Cormier

Belknap 9 (Belmont & Laconia Wards 1-6): Harry Acconero

Carroll 4 (Moultonborough, Sandwich & Tuftonboro): Glenn Cordelli

Carroll 7 (Albany, Bartlett, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Freedom, Hale’s & Hart’s Location, Jackson, Madison, Tamworth): Norman Tregenza

Cheshire 10 (Marlborough & Troy): Michael Walsh

Coos 1 (Atkinson, Gilmanton Academy Grant, Cambridge, Clarksville, Colebrook, Columbia, Dix’s Grant, Dixville, Errol, Erving’s Location, Millsfield, Odell, Pittsburg, Second College Gt., Stewartstown, Stratford, Wentworth’s Location): Duffy Daugherty

Grafton 6 (Ellsworth, Groton, Orange, Rumney, Thornton): Lester Bradley

Hillsborough 1 (Antrim, Hillsborough & Windsor): Holly Mecheski

Hillsborough 5 (Mont Vernon and New Boston): William O’Brien & Bob Mead

Hillsborough 6 (Goffstown): John Burt

Hillsborough 7 (Bedford): John Cebrowski

Hillsborough 20 (Litchfield): Ralph Boehm

Hillsborough 21 (Merrimack): Dick Hinch, Jeanine Notter, Lenette Peterson, Phillip Straight & Kathleen Stroud

Hillsborough 23 (Milford): Stephen Palmer, Andy Seale & Bob Willette

Hillsborough 25 (New Ipswich, Sharon & Temple): Jim Parison

Hillsborough 26 (Brookline & Mason): Valerie Ogden

Hillsborough 27 (Hollis): Jim Belanger 

Hillsborough 28 (Nashua Ward 1): Kevin Avard, Carl Seidel

Hillsborough 29 (Nashua Wrd 2): Donald McClarren, Michael Balboni

Hillsborough 30 (Nashua Ward 3): David Schoneman

Hillsborough 34 (Nashua Ward 7): Timothy Twombly, Edith Hogan

Hillsborough 36 (Nashua Ward 9): Willard Brown & Bill Ohm

Hillsborough 37 (Hudson & Pelham): Andy Renzullo

Hillsborough 38 (Antrim, Bennington, Francestown, Greenfield, Greenville, Hancock, Hillsborough, Lyndeborough, Wilton & Windsor): Frank Edelblut

Hillsborough 40 (Hollis, Milford, Mont Vernon & New Boston): Gary Daniels

Hillsborough 41 (Amherst & Bedford): Laurie Sanborn

Hillsborough 42 (Manchester Wards 1-3): Chuck Thibault

Hillsborough 43 (Manchester Wards 4-7): Roy Shoults & Kathy Souza

Merrimack 7 (Warner & Webster): Susan Olsen

Merrimack 21 (Epsom & Pittsfield): Dan McGuire

Merrimack 23 (Bow & Dunbarton): JR Hoell

Merrimack 24 (Hooksett): Todd Smith

Rockingham 2 (Candia, Deerfield & Nottingham): Joe Duarte

Rockingham 3 (Raymond): Mike Kappler

Rockingham 4 (Auburn, Chester, Sandown): Dan Dumaine, Stella Tremblay

Rockingham 5 (Londonderry): Daniel Tamburello

Rockingham 6 (Derry): Kevin Reichard, Bob Fesh & Jim Webb

Rockingham 8 (Salem): Marilinda Garcia, Bianca Garcia & Patrick Bick

Rockingham 9 (Epping): Jason Antosz

Rockingham 10 (Fremont): Daniel Itse

Rockingham 24 (New Castle and Rye): Will Smith

Rockingham 34 (Atkinson, Hampstead, Kingston & Plaistow): Jeffrey Oligny

Stafford 3 (New Durham & Strafford): Kurt Wuelper

Strafford 11 (Rochester Ward 4): Susan Delemus

Strafford 17 (Dover Wards 5 & 6, Somersworth Ward 2): Donald Andolina

Strafford 23 (Rochester Wards 2 & 3): Cliff Newton

Strafford 24 (Rochester Wards 4 & 5): Laura Jones

Stafford 25 (Barrington & Lee): Len Turcotte

Sullivan 1 (Cornish, Grantham, Plainfield & Springfield): Laura Stiller Ward

Sullivan 3 (Claremont Ward 1): Steven J. Picano 

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About Cornerstone Action
Cornerstone-Action and Cornerstone Policy Research are non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving New Hampshire’s traditional val- ues, limited government, and free markets through education, information and advocacy. Our vision is to create an environment in which strong families— the foundation of our society—can lead New Hampshire into a new era of prosperity and strength. For more information, please visit nhcornerstone.org.

Tuesday
Sep042012

CORNERSTONE RELEASES PRIMARY VOTER GUIDE TO HELP ELECT PRO-FAMILY CANDIDATES TO STATE HOUSE OFFICES 

Guide Features State Rep., State Senate and Executive Candidates Who Signed Families First Pledge

MANCHESTER, N.H.—To help voters identify which candidates are most likely to defend traditional values and protect the natural rights of families, Cornerstone Action is today releasing its 2012 Families First Voter Guide, a comprehensive look at Republicans running for state representative, state senator and executive office positions across New Hampshire.

Download Cornerstone’s 2012 Families First Primary Voter Guide.

“If used as intended, Cornerstone’s 2012 Families First Voter Guide will help New Hampshire citizens choose the most conservative candidates for state representative, state senator and executive offices,” said Shannon McGinley, Cornerstone’s acting executive director. “If elected, these are the candidates who will work to advance citizens’ rights of conscience and religion, protect innocent human life, defend the natural family and traditional marriage, restore the natural rights of parents to raise, educate and care for their own children, and enact free market economic policies to ensure prosperity in New Hampshire.”

To use the 2012 Families First Voter Guide, voters will first need to match their communities or city wards with the proper House, Senate and Executive Council districts. Once they know which district or districts they live in, they can look up which candidates are running in those districts, whether those candidates signed Cornerstone’s Families First Pledge and how incumbent candidates rated on Cornerstone’s 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard.

Importantly, the voter guide only lists 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard scores for incumbent candidates for re-election. The scorecard was based on 39 roll call votes in the House and 20 roll call votes in the Senate from the just-completed legislative session. High scores indicate an incumbent legislator’s willingness to support Cornerstone’s legislative agenda during the past session and foreshadow how these candidates will vote upon reelection.

At least 10 incumbent Republican candidates voted with Cornerstone 100 percent of the time, and for that the organization has labeled them “Heroes of the Family.” Many other Republicans scored nearly as well, and most voted with Cornerstone at least 50 percent of the time. Notably, not one Democrat scored above 40 percent on the scorecard, and the great majority of the party voted with Cornerstone less than 30 percent of the time.

“We truly hope at least some Democrats will surprise us by recognizing the traditional values of our great state in the next session so they can receive the same recognition as some of their Republican colleagues,” McGinley said. “There’s no reason for New Hampshire’s families to be represented by only one party, and we would hope some of the Democratic Party’s conservative leaders take back their party from some of its more liberal members, and that will clearly benefit New Hampshire families.”

The 2012 Families First Voter Guide also lists the 68 Republican candidates who signed Cornerstone’s Families First Pledge. These pledge signers are the candidates who have courageously indicated their support for proven, traditional values, leaving voters with no doubts about their intentions. Notably, not one Democrat signed the Families First Pledge.

“Because of the woefully inadequate scores of the Democrats and lack of a single signed pledge, Cornerstone made the decision not to expend resources on compiling a Democrat primary voter guide for 2012,” McGinley said. “However, candidates who make it through their primaries will have another opportunity to sign Cornerstone’s Families First Pledge and the upcoming general election voter guide will include all candidates for office.

“Cornerstone hopes voters will use the 2012 Families First Voter Guide to support the candidates who have the strongest pro-family scores and who signed our Families First Pledge,” McGinley added. “We look forward to working with these candidates once they are in office to advance the policies the pledge outlines. Candidates who stay true to the pledge once serving in elected office will have the added benefit of helping to make New Hampshire the best place to live in the Northeast.”

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About Cornerstone Action
Cornerstone-Action and Cornerstone Policy Research are non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving New Hampshire’s traditional values, limited government, and free markets through education, information and advocacy. Our vision is to create an environment in which strong families—the foundation of our society—can lead New Hampshire into a new era of prosperity and strength. For more information, please visit nhcornerstone.org.

Tuesday
Aug072012

CORNERSTONE’S NEW SCORECARD TRACKS 59 VOTES THAT PUT FAMILIES AND TRADITIONAL VALUES FIRST

New Categories, Topics and Bill Descriptions On Legislative Scorecard Will Help Voters Make Informed Decisions

MANCHESTER, N.H.—To help identify which conservative incumbents truly defended traditional values and protected the natural rights of families during the last two years in the Legislature, Cornerstone Action is today releasing its 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard, which can be downloaded at www.nhcornerstone.org/2012scorecard.

“Earlier this month, Cornerstone premiered its Families First Pledge to help distinguish which state candidates would promise to advance bills that preserve citizens’ rights of conscience and religion, protect innocent human life, defend the natural family and traditional marriage, restore the natural rights of parents to raise, educate and care for their own children, and enact free market economic policies to ensure prosperity in New Hampshire,” said Shannon McGinley, Cornerstone’s acting executive director. 

“With the release of our legislative scorecard today, voters will be able to identify for themselves which current state representatives or senators have already supported these principles in the Legislature, and which incumbents have not,” McGinley said. “We hope this information will help voters make an informed decision on whether to send their incumbent representatives or senators back to the State House, or whether a new candidate for office may be a better choice.”

To rate each lawmaker on its 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard, Cornerstone Action selected 39 roll call votes in the House and 20 roll call votes in the Senate from the just-completed biennial session of the Legislature. Since Cornerstone’s mission is not tied to only one or two issues, but actually extends more broadly to address all traditional values and the natural rights of families, the scorecard does not apply a mathematical weight to any particular vote. Instead, the scorecard treats each vote equally, and provides a score adjusted for attendance and one that is not adjusted for attendance. Thus, a legislator’s score will reflect the actual percentage of his or her votes that were aligned with Cornerstone’s agenda and also reflect his or her attendance record.

“We hope voters will not just look at a legislator’s score and assume that an 85 percent or even a 90 percent score is adequate,” McGinley said. “We hope voters will look through our scorecard and identify where each lawmaker fell short, and perhaps even reach out to these legislators to ask them about their record. Then, based on that information, we hope voters will make informed decisions about whether their incumbent candidates are worth supporting again.”

To help supporters judge candidates based on the issues that matter to them most, Cornerstone’s scorecard arranges each of the 59 votes selected into one of four categories, and provides a category grade for each incumbent. For example:

• Votes on bills to repeal gay “marriage,” require parental consent before children can receive certain medical treatments, or create an education tax credit and scholarship program are indexed in a “family” category.

• Votes on bills to secure a woman’s right to know about the details of her planned abortion, to prohibit the use of state funds for abortions, or to prevent assisted suicide are labeled in a “life” category.

• Votes on bills to secure a religious exemption for contraceptive coverage in health insurance policies, to allow employees to choose whether they will pay for or join a union association, or to require the New Hampshire Attorney General to join the lawsuit opposing Obamacare are sorted in a “constitution” category.

• Votes on bills that cut $10 billion out of the state budget, repealed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, prevented funding of public television or phased in a defined contribution plan for state employees were grouped in a “fiscal” category.

In addition to the four categories for rated bills, each bill is also sorted into identifying topics, such as “education” for a bill in the “family” category that allows parents to take their children out of courses with objectionable material, or “judiciary” for CACR 26, which is the constitutional amendment in the “constitution” category that will restore some of the Legislature’s power to determine how courts themselves must follow the law. The scorecard also succinctly describes each bill’s purpose.

“Ultimately, we know that our scorecard will be a vital tool that voters can use to help them make informed decisions come primary election time,” McGinley said. “We also hope incumbents and new candidates who sign our Families First Pledge recognize that they cannot just say one thing and do another. With the biennial release of our scorecard, they should also know that voters will hold them accountable for their actions.”

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About Cornerstone Action
Cornerstone-Action and Cornerstone Policy Research are non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving New Hampshire’s traditional values, limited government, and free markets through education, information and advocacy. Our vision is to create an environment in which strong families—the foundation of our society—can lead New Hampshire into a new era of prosperity and strength. For more information, please visit nhcornerstone.org.
Thursday
Jul262012

Cornerstone: New leadership brings bold vision to impact elections 

As we continue to advance
the best interests of families and children...

Dear Friends,

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been so wrapped up with efforts to rally Cornerstone's activists and prepare for the primary and general elections that I'm just now catching my breath to share important news with you.

At the beginning of the month, Executive Director Wendy Warcholik informed Cornerstone's board that she was resigning as executive director to help her husband adjust to a new position outside the state and to help her family adapt to their new home. Family comes first, and so we fully support Wendy’s decision and wish her all the best as she moves on. We're quite grateful for all the time Wendy gave us and for her hard work on successful efforts such as New Hampshire's new ban on partial-birth abortion, the state's new education tax credit program and the defeat of expanded gambling.

When Wendy left, the board encouraged me to take over as acting executive director. I agreed, and have not rested one day since. Besides meeting with key pastors, preparing the organization's election strategy, developing our legislative priorities for the coming year and finalizing our incumbent scorecard, I've worked with our friends to advocate for traditional values and protect the natural rights of families all across New Hampshire.

I was one of the keynote speakers for the recent “Conservative Women Leaders Speak Out” event in Concord, which was a featured stop on the nationwide Values Bus Tour sponsored by Heritage Action and Family Research Council Action. During that event, I explained how liberal policies in Washington that affect our way of life in New Hampshire constitute a true “War on Women” by making women dependent on government and perpetuating poverty for single women and their children.

Cornerstone also co-sponsored a panel discussion at Thomas More College, called "Resisting Obamacare: State and Federal Responses to an Unjust Law." During that event, state and national leaders explained how the federal health insurance overhaul takes away citizens' choices and forces church organizations, business owners and families to pay for activities they personally believe are immoral. Speakers also explained how New Hampshire has resisted the federal health insurance takeover and what steps the next legislature must take to protect the state's free market for medical treatment and health insurance and make it even stronger.

Last week, I worked with some of our most active supporters to create Cornerstone's new Families First Pledge, which sets a high-level standard for the legislative direction in the coming session. The pledge will be our most effective tool to endorse, elect and educate the next group of conservative leaders for the New Hampshire Legislature. It will also be the basis of our legislative agenda for the coming term and our eventual scorecard that holds lawmakers accountable for the votes they cast.

As I will be dedicating my energies to fulfilling the role of executive director at least through the election, Charlie McKinney will assume the responsibilities as chairman. Charlie has more than a decade's experience at nonprofit institution building and has worked on presidential campaigns at the national level.

You can rest assured that Cornerstone is more energized than ever and perfectly positioned to have a strong impact on the 2012 elections and the session that follows. Charlie and I are committed to working with the board and you to make sure Cornerstone continues to stand as the leading conservative force that keeps the state moving in the right direction.

Your generosity in the past has helped Cornerstone become the organization it is today, and I can assure you that your future donations to Cornerstone will go directly toward making New Hampshire the best state in the country for families and children. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your suggestions, comments or concerns at cornerstone@nhcornerstone.org.

For Families,
Shannon McGinley
Acting Executive Director