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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

“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.”


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

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

For Families,
Shannon McGinley
Acting Executive Director



As Momentum Builds, Leading Family Organization Identifies Policy Priorities for Next Session

MANCHESTER, N.H.—With the release today of its new Families First Pledge for State House candidates, Cornerstone Action begins its campaign to endorse, elect and educate the next group of conservative leaders for the New Hampshire Legislature who will build from the current Legislature’s momentum and help restore New Hampshire’s founding principles and prosperity.

“Cornerstone has a long history of successfully advocating for traditional values and protecting the natural rights of families all across New Hampshire,” said Shannon McGinley, chairman of Cornerstone Action and Cornerstone Policy Research. “With the release of our Families First Pledge, Cornerstone is setting a clear direction for legislators in the coming term and positioning itself as the organization best suited to advance the interests of New Hampshire families and children.”

All candidates running for a seat in the New Hampshire House or Senate will have an opportunity to sign Cornerstone’s Families First Pledge. By doing so, they will be making a promise to their constituents that upon election, they will:

• Vote to preserve the right of conscience for all citizens, including their freedom to practice the tenets of their faith,
• Vote to protect human life from conception to natural death,
• Vote to defend the natural family and traditional marriage, the foundational building blocks of society,
• Vote to restore the natural right of parents to determine the best way to educate, raise and care for their children, and
• Vote to enact free market economic policies that empower New Hampshire families to achieve their highest potential.

“The Obama administration is telling people they must pay for medicine they morally object to; liberals are promoting abortion as birth control and teaching our children that two men can have the same relationship as their mom and dad; state bureaucrats are attempting to stop parents from teaching their children according to their own moral upbringing; and statists are working to direct private business operations and create barriers for entry to the marketplace,” McGinley said. “Conservatives have no choice but to speak out and explain why these ideas are killing our prosperity and freedom, and to point back to the ideals that lead to the success of our families, which in turn leads to the success of our communities, our state and our nation.

“Cornerstone is committed to preserving the rights of moms and dads to chart their own course and make their own decisions, both for the good of their households and their children,” McGinley added. “We are dedicated to encouraging the unity of traditional families, which are best suited to raise and educate children according to their own best judgment. We will discourage divorce, but protect both parents’ rights in the case of divorce, because research shows children need both a mom and a dad. We will fight to prevent the state from using other people’s money to intrude into the business of family life or enable a culture of death. We’ll work to protect the lives of the most innocent, pre-born children or the lives of the elderly and disabled who will still have more to give to the world until their natural death.”

Before the primary, State House candidates will have an opportunity to sign the Families First Pledge and indicate their support for proven, common sense principles so voters will have no doubt where their elected officials stand on the issues that matter most. Cornerstone will support candidates who sign the pledge and work with them once they are in office to advance the policies culminating from it. Besides the recognition from Cornerstone they will receive, candidates who stay true to their word once serving in elected office will have the added benefit of making New Hampshire the best place to live in the Northeast.

Cornerstone has a long history of successful legislative action under the former leadership of Gubernatorial Candidate Kevin Smith, founder Karen Testerman and others. The organization has helped support New Hampshire bills to defund abortion factories such as Planned Parenthood, require parental notification when children want to have an abortion, stop physician-assisted suicides that would have enabled elder abuse, prevent expanded gambling, advance the right to work without interference from a union and other business deregulation, oppose Obamacare and its deterioration of individuals’ health choices, prevent a liberal bill that would have allowed men to use women’s bathrooms, and eliminate no-fault divorce.

“With a membership of more than 5,000 people today, Cornerstone stands as a conservative force that will help keep the state moving in the right direction by protecting families and traditional values all across New Hampshire,” McGinley said.


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





Conservative Women Leaders Will Speak Out Today to Expose Irony of Liberal Rhetoric

MANCHESTER, N.H.—Cornerstone Action Chairman Shannon McGinley will help set the record straight and explain the irony of the Liberally-spun “War on Women” tomorrow on the State House steps as part of a Values Bus tour press conference event that will also feature leaders from The Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council.

“The Obama Administration and I have a fundamental disagreement on what it means to be at war with women,” said Shannon McGinley, chairman of Cornerstone Action. “Government should be doing everything it can to encourage family unity, which creates a financially stable environment in which women can thrive. On the contrary, the policies of President Obama and his party have forced many unmarried or divorced women into government dependency, which perpetuates poverty for single women and their children.”

Tomorrow’s event, “Conservative Women Leaders Speak Out,” will feature seven women from some of the state and nation’s most principled conservative organizations from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the State House steps in Concord. The Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council are facilitating the event as part of their nationwide Values Bus tour that will reach every corner of the United States from now until the Nov. 6 elections. A tour schedule is available at

The Heritage Foundation is using its Values Bus tour to educate voters about “Saving the American Dream,” its platform for reforming health care and restoring fiscal responsibility at our nation’s capital. Family Research Council is registering people to vote and teaching others how to ensure the most conservative voters make it to the polls this November.

Cornerstone Action will use the opportunity to explain how President Obama’s health care reform law has left women with fewer choices and, in some cases, actually forces women to make choices they morally object to. Specifically, the law requires health insurance policies to include coverage for birth control. While some religious institutions are exempt under the law, those institutions, including some of New Hampshire’s best hospitals and universities that serve women of other faiths, will be compelled to offer such coverage to their employees.

“Religiously-affiliated health care facilities make up the largest health care network in the nation,” McGinley said. “If our religious hospitals are fined and their owners prosecuted for simply following their religious beliefs and not offering birth control coverage to their employees, they may have to cut back their services or even close down to stay true to their faith. The first people to suffer from this will be women and children in poverty, who rely on charitable care. This attack on religious freedom is also a war on women. We know it, and we’re fighting back.”

Additionally, Cornerstone Action will expose how President Obama’s new health care reform law refers to the biological impairment of women’s natural fertility as “preventative care.”

“Fertility is not a disease that needs to be fixed, and as a woman, I know it is bad science and bad medicine to suggest otherwise,” McGinley said. “This administration wants me to depend on the federal government to control my fertility and define my religion. I have a better idea: I want to depend on the federal government to abide by the Constitution.

“Ultimately, support for abortion on demand is the true ‘War on Women’,” McGinley added. “A woman who has an abortion does so because she feels she has no other choice, but there are several choices available that can help preserve a woman’s dignity and preserve the life of her child.”


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


NH Grassroots Leaders Call on Republican Senate Leadership to Support Health Care Compact 

Need for Local Control of Health Care Decisions Cited in Support for HB 1560


Concord, NH - Today the leaders of several New Hampshire grassroots organizations are calling on the New Hampshire Senate Majority Leadership to support HB 1560, the Health Care Compact. 

“HB 1560 is about health care governance and does not propose any cuts to benefits for Medicare or Medicaid recipients,” said Matthew Murphy, NH Director of the Health Care Compact Alliance.  “We are proud so many grassroots organizations are supporting this bill and hope the New Hampshire Senate will pass it promptly.” 

Expressing their support of HB 1560 are Corey R. Lewandowski, State Director of Americans for Prosperity-NH; Wendy Warcholik, Executive Director of Cornerstone Action; Carolyn McKinney, Director of the Republican Liberty Caucus-NH; and Jennifer Horn, President of We The People.

“HB 1560 is about who makes health care decisions,” said Corey Lewandowski.  “This bill will give our citizens a greater voice in their health care by returning authority to the state government where it will be more accountable and closer to the people impacted.”

HB 1560 would establish an interstate Health Care Compact which asserts that each member state would have the authority to enact state laws that supersede any and all federal laws regarding health care within its state.  The bill passed the House with a veto proof majority in March and is currently in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

“The Health Care Compact presents New Hampshire with an opportunity to reverse a decade long trend toward greater federal control over health care decisions, resulting in increased costs to New Hampshire and decreased local control,” stated Carolyn McKinney.

 “This bill represents a stark choice for New Hampshire,” said Jennifer Horn.  “We can continue down the road of increased federal mandates and greater control of our health care decisions by unelected bureaucrats in Washington, or we can give New Hampshire citizens a greater voice in their health care by restoring local control.”

Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah, have already passed Health Care Compact legislation.

“It is time to bring an end to the ‘One Size Fits All’ health care approach in Washington and place the decision making power back with the people of New Hampshire and their elected officials,” added Wendy Warcholik.

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