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Entries in Democrats (83)


NRSC - SNAP: Top Senate Democrat Campaign Group Caught in Pay Gap Hypocrisy 

Washington Examiner | By Paul Bedard

The Senate Democratic arm threatening to hang the GOP's refusal to OK equal pay legislation around the neck of every Republican in the midterm elections suffers from an even worse gender “pay gap” than the much-advertised 77 cents for women for every $1 a man makes.

According to an analysis of recent salary information from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the group pays women 70 cents for every $1 a male employee works.

Even with employing more women than men, many at top levels, the DSCC in its latest salary filings with the Federal Election Committee covering September-November 2013, paid males an average of $18,576 for the three months to $13,044 for women.

The analysis provided to Secrets by the Republicans appeared to include a sizable bonus to long-serving DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil. Eliminating that, the group still pays less to women, about 82-cents per $1 for men.

The DSCC retaliated with a pay breakdown of the National Republican Senatorial Committee that shows the group paying 77 cents for every $1 a male makes.

Democrats argued that their calculation should not include the highly-paid and experienced executive director of either group because it skews the numbers. Eliminate the salary of the top men at both groups, and the figures show that the DSCC pays women $1.13 and the NRSC 87 cents per $1 for men.

But that waters down their pro-woman argument, said the GOP. "That's the weakest, most embarrassing and hypocritical excuse that a Democrat has made this week, and that is saying something. If the men at the DSCC don't believe that male bosses should count against the pay gap, it destroys their entire argument, doesn't it?" said NRSC press secretary Brook Hougesen.

While nailing down exact employment figures for the DSCC or NRSC is complicated, they indicate that paying women the same as men isn’t as easy as just diving payroll equally among the sexes.

It also highlights a potential problem for the DSCC which has launched a “GOP Pay Gap” campaign to hold Republican candidates accountable for their opposition to legislation on the issue. They have mounted an outrage campaign via social networks and President Obama this week attacked Republicans for voting down a pay gap proposal in the Senate.

The GOP calls the issue a political gotcha that builds on a claim that women earn 77 cents for the $1 a man makes.

Click here to read the entire article


Joe Plaia statement announcing his entry into Rockingham County Attorney’s Race

Plaia vows changes, says voters won’t be fooled again

(BRENTWOOD, NH - 4/1/14) Thanks for coming everyone. I especially want to thank my mom for being here – thanks mom. I’m here today to announce that I will be a candidate this year for Rockingham County Attorney. In doing so I have three key goals: 1. Keeping Rockingham County Safe; 2. Saving county money and reducing crime by rehabilitating offenders; 3. Bring professionalism, respect and dignity back to the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office.

My entire career has been dedicated to keeping people in my charge safe. As a Marine Military Police Officer, I trained and worked with local law enforcement, the US Border Patrol and Drug Enforcement Administration, and the FBI at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma where the borders of California, Arizona, and Mexico meet. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, I focused on criminal law and graduated from what is now the UNH School of Law.

Since then, I have worked on every side of the criminal justice system from acting as a public defender,  to serving as a prosecutor for the New Hampshire State Police in Rockingham and Strafford Counties,  to my current post adjudicating cases as chief hearings officer for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. At every turn in my career, from patrolling a post in marine uniform, to determining if bar owners are doing what they should to keep their patrons and the public safe, I have focused on keeping people safe. And when I’m your Rockingham County Attorney, that will remain my number one priority from the moment I wake up every morning until I fall asleep that night.

In 2012, I decided to run for this office because I’d seen the way that other prosecutor’s offices around the state and country were initiating innovative programs to reduce crime by cutting recidivism. I’d watched how other jurisdictions were saving money and time by using alternative sentencing programs. In 2012 alone Merrimack County had approximately 75 people in their diversion program while Rockingham County Attorney’s office used it exactly once. I knew  how counties were aggressively pursuing federal funds to help fairly manage cases against veterans and the mentally ill who are charged with crimes.  And I’d seen how Stafford County uses Early Case Resolution to resolve nearly 40% of their cases at the district court level before they are sent through the costly process of empanelling a grand jury and then sending it on to the Superior Court, saving money and time. It was on these issues of criminal justice policy that I had planned on running my campaign and, as I got started, I was eager to make the case for these reforms at parades and old home days, picnics and candidate forums, and at door steps and in the media.

But when I began running, something interesting happened. People would come up to me and say things like “thank you for running against Reams, he needs to go.” Then I started getting phone calls from colleagues who’d worked for the Rockingham County Attorney. The more I heard, the worse it became.  We’ve all now learned more about that situation than I think anyone ever wanted to. And this year, Rockingham County voters won’t get fooled again.

When I ran for Rockingham County Attorney in 2012, I knew that Jim Reams and his senior staff were wasting county money on junkets to sunny locales – now, thanks to the Attorney General and US attorney’s office, we know he was.

When I ran against Jim Reams in 2012, I heard from people I trust – women I’d gone to law school and practiced with - that he and his senior staff had created a toxic atmosphere for women – now, thanks to the complaint to remove Reams, we know they were. 

The citizens of Rockingham County deserve better. They deserve a prosecutor who thinks about their safety, not about his vacations. They deserve an office where everyone is treated with respect and fairness, not an office run by “Creepy Uncle Jim" (see NOTE below) or the Reams Team. They deserve a county attorney who is actually trying to reduce crime, not look tough on TV. This year, the voters won’t get fooled again by Jim Reams and Reams Team. If you elect me Rockingham County attorney this November, you have my word as a marine that I will give this county the county attorney’s office you deserve.

Thanks and I’ll be happy to take a couple of questions.


NOTE: Jim Reams staff, according to the AG's complaint for removal, referred to Reams as "Creepy Uncle Jim."


ALG's Daily Grind - No warmer now than it was in 2003 


March 14, 2014

Permission to republish original opeds and cartoons granted.

No warmer now than it was in 2003
The growth rates of carbon emissions have accelerated the past 50 years, so why haven't temperatures?

Does a $100 trillion total debt matter?
Funny money always buys fewer possessions. However, global indebtedness diminishes human freedom on a far more vast scale.

Another Government Coverup To Protect GM?
"Are auto recalls nothing more than political tools now? The Obama administration's failure to act on reports of GM accelerator defects as the bodies piled up suggests that safety took a back seat to politics."


AUFC - The Hill: Dems see healthcare opening on Medicaid 

Key Point: “Every incremental gain in the push to expand Medicaid is cheered by Democrats, who view the state-level victories as furthering the primary goal of ObamaCare, which is to extend coverage to as many of the uninsured as possible.

“Lives will be saved, health will be improved, and insurance premiums will come down in New Hampshire as a direct result of what the state Senate did today, and they should be proud,” Americans United for Change president Brad Woodhouse said in a statement on Thursday after the Granite State’s GOP-controlled Senate sent a bill to the Democratic governor to accept additional federal funds for the program.”


The Hill: Dems see healthcare opening on Medicaid

States run by Republican governors and legislatures are slowly adopting the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare, boosting Democratic hopes they can run on the issue in the midterm elections.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has launched a petition on her website urging Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) to agree to the expansion, which she argues would bring health insurance to more people who cannot afford it.

The issue is giving Landrieu a chance to run not only against her GOP opponent Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who opposes the extension, but against Jindall as well. She argues the expansion would close “the Jindal Gap.”

“Our governor may not like the president, but this is not about the president,” she writes. “It's about providing health coverage for 240,000 Louisianans who work 40 or 50 hours a week, but still make too little to qualify for assistance in the new marketplace — and too much to qualify for Louisiana’s current Medicaid.”

Democrats have seen a number of states embrace the Medicaid expansion, including a number run by Republican governors, including Chris Christie (N.J.), Susanna Martinez (N.M.), Brian Sandoval (Nev.) and Jan Brewer (Az.).

In total, 25 states and the District of Columbia have said they will either expand Medicaid outright or work with the administration to design a more politically-palatable workaround.

An additional five states – Utah, Missouri, New Hampshire, Arkansas and Pennsylvania — are considering some sort of expansion, and a sixth, Virginia, is reconsidering its initial rejection now that a Democratic governor has been elected.

Every incremental gain in the push to expand Medicaid is cheered by Democrats, who view the state-level victories as furthering the primary goal of ObamaCare, which is to extend coverage to as many of the uninsured as possible.

“Lives will be saved, health will be improved, and insurance premiums will come down in New Hampshire as a direct result of what the state Senate did today, and they should be proud,” Americans United for Change president Brad Woodhouse said in a statement on Thursday after the Granite State’s GOP-controlled Senate sent a bill to the Democratic governor to accept additional federal funds for the program.

Republicans downplay any benefits to Democrats from the strategy.

“To me, ObamaCare is 1,000 times bigger than the Medicaid issue,” said GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak, who described Medicaid is a peripheral issue.

“It’s kind of like when you’re drowning, you grab for anything you can,” he continued. “So they’re pulling out minimum wage, equal pay, violence against women, and their other go-to issues. But to me, ObamaCare is so much bigger than all that.”

But polls show widespread support for the Medicaid expansion, even in some parts of the Deep South, where governors and statehouses have rejected the possibility outright.

While Republicans have already begun hammering Landrieu and fellow vulnerable Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), and Mark Begich (Alaska) for supporting ObamaCare, Democrats believe they have an opening on the issue to potentially neutralize that advantage.

Landrieu’s race is perhaps the case study for how this will unfold.

Republicans have zeroed-in on the Louisiana Democrat as one of their primary targets in the 2014 election cycle, and Landrieu has responded by seeking to create as much space as possible between herself and the unpopular healthcare law.

She’s become one of the most vocal Democratic critics of the botched ObamaCare rollout, and has sponsored legislation to delay the individual mandate and to allow consumers to keep their old healthcare plans, even if they don’t meet the minimum requirements under the law.

But Landrieu is equally as vocal about her support for Medicaid expansion under the law.

While the polling in Louisiana is sparse, a Pew study released last year showed that 63 percent in the state support an expansion.

The fight is already playing out among outside groups in Louisiana.

Americans for Prosperity, the group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, is making opposition to the expansion a top priority through a “Stop the Madness” ad campaign.

The liberal nonprofit group MoveOn, meanwhile, has launched a campaign targeting some of the highest profile Republican governors in the country, including Jindal, over their continued opposition to expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare.

Some other Democrats on the vulnerable list are also embracing the Medicaid issue.

In New Hampshire, Shaheen lauded he legislature’s work this week to advance a bill, and in Virginia, Warner is pressuring the legislature to work with Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) on an expansion, while accusing the GOP in the state of “putting a right ideological agenda over the well-being of their constituents.”

The fight is also playing out nationally.

Last month, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius lashed out at the governors in four Southern states that have some of the highest levels of uninsured: North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Texas, among others, for “playing politics with people’s lives” by refusing to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare.

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NRSC - Harry Reid is Plotting 


We’ve been saying for a while now that the stakes couldn’t be any higher for 2014. And it’s true. The 2014 Senate elections aren’t just about the next two years. If we fail to take the majority in November, we risk losing the majority for years to come. Which means more taxes, less healthcare freedom, and policies that hurt job growth and our economy.

Harry Reid’s making this extremely clear in his messages to supporters.

Reid says Dems can put the Senate out of the GOP's reach for years to come

Reid knows the midterms are much bigger than the next two years. He'll do whatever it takes to win the Senate this fall and keep his majority – and reckless agenda - for years to come. That’s why we can’t wait to fight back. Your support today is absolutely critical if we want to match the Democrats political fundraising machine.

Please contribute $100, $50, $25 or what you can today to help Republicans take the Senate in 2014.


Rob Collins
NRSC Executive Director