"Like the Wizard of Oz, Chairwoman Horn is desperately hoping no one looks behind the curtain to notice her partisan press releases continue to attack Republicans in both the House and Senate who voted for SB152. It is clear that Horn and the NHGOP's statements have no basis in reality or fact but are just an endless series of pathetic partisan attacks attempting to distract from the epidemic of inappropriate and shameful comments made by New Hampshire Republicans. The only thing missing from the NHGOP's act are a smoke machine and emerald goggles to blind New Hampshire voters from the blatant hypocrisy coming from the New Hampshire Republican Party."
Entries in NH Democrats (703)
NH Families and Small Businesses "Flat Out" deserve to know what 300 million Senate Republicans have put on the chopping block
Concord - If Senate Republicans plan to double down on the failed O'Brien-Bradley budget scheme from two years ago, the people of New Hampshire deserve to know what they plan to cut. Last week, Republican Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Morse claimed the state budget the House sent to the Senate had a $300 million dollar hole and added that "flat out, the budget is going to look a whole lot different when it leaves the Senate than it does now." But Morse and Senate Republicans detailed only a small percentage of the 300 million they want to cut from the state budget, by vowing to cut funds for LCHIP and a scholarship program for underprivileged students.
"It is time for Senate Republicans to 'flat out' name their cuts," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein. "If Republicans plan to devastate education, kill hundreds of New Hampshire jobs, put winter snowplowing at risk, downshift to local communities, and slash hospital funding - again - they should be honest with the people of New Hampshire about what exactly they plan to cut. The very least Republicans can do is eliminate the uncertainty and let Granite State families and small businesses can brace themselves for another round of reckless and irresponsible Republican cuts."
In the last budget, House and Senate Republicans made the largest cut to public higher education in American history. They killed hundreds of New Hampshire jobs, downshifted millions of dollars to local communities, and cut services for seniors and people with disabilities in order to pay for tax giveaways to big tobacco.
"The Bradley-O'Brien budget was an epic disaster for the people of New Hampshire and for Republicans on ballot in 2012. It's no surprise that Senate Republicans want to hide their plan to double down on this failed approach from Granite Staters, but that doesn't make it right," continued Kirstein. "Will Senate Republicans eliminate all funding for higher education, pushing through another double-digit tuition increase? Will they cut additional aid to cities and towns, raising local property taxes? Will they cut health care for seniors, people with disabilities and children? The people of New Hampshire 'flat out' deserve to know."
Concord - In case you missed it, the Granite State's Sunday Editorial pages took Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte to task for voting against bipartisan commonsense background check legislation, again. The Nashua Telegraph, Concord Monitor, Valley News, and Keene Sentinel all criticized Ayotte's pathetic excuses for her vote against 90% of her constituents.
May 12, 2013
"Magicians rely on misdirection to fool audiences and pull off their tricks. So do politicians when asked tough questions, as Sen. Kelly Ayotte has been at venues like her town hall meeting in Tilton this month. At that event Ayotte relied on misdirection and a magician, former congressman and current state Sen. Jeb Bradley. The one-time professional magician screened audience questions for Ayotte and made many of the ones about her anti-gun control vote disappear. Nice trick."
Nashua Telegraph Editorial: Ayotte misses mark with gun points
May 12, 2013
"It makes no sense to say just because the NICS doesn't catch everybody that we shouldn't try to catch anybody. Conspicuous by its absence in Ayotte's commentary is any indication of whether she would be willing to support extended background checks under any conditions. She doesn't address the glaring illogic of current law that exempts a significant portion of gun sales. What if all the initiatives she supports came true, would that be enough to convince her that gun show background checks are a good thing? Inquiring minds want to know."
[Full Text Link: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/opinion/editorials/1004313-465/ayotte-misses-mark-with-gun-points.html]
Valley News Editorial: Ayotte's Preference; Senator Focuses on Mental Health
May 12, 2013
"Here's what we don't understand: Why do the limitations of improved mental health screening give no pause to Ayotte and other advocates of the Protecting Communities bill, but very similar flaws stop them dead in their tracks when it comes to a wider application of background checks? The gun lobby, no doubt, could explain."
[Full Text Link: http://www.vnews.com/opinion/editorials/6066814-95/editorial-ayottes-preference-senator-focuses-on-mental-health]
Keene Sentinel Editorial: Faced with hollow arguments, reformers must keep pushing
May 5, 2013
"In a simple, bulleted slide show - and later in her answer to the single question from the audience about guns that she allowed during the hour-long meeting - Ayotte ticked her way through the same National Rifle Association-approved list of talking points she's relied on for weeks."
[Full Text Link: http://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/editorial/faced-with-hollow-arguments-reformers-must-keep-pushing/article_0e5822f6-1607-5b24-b2b4-a5c6db53eccf.html]
This isn't the first time New Hampshire's editorial pages have harshly condemned Kelly Ayotte's vote. Previously, the Concord Monitor called her statement opposing the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey compromise "utter nonsense." The Keene Sentinel said "Either way, Ayotte owes the people of New Hampshire an explanation. What she's said so far - that the bill would unduly burden law-abiding gun owners - doesn't cut it." The Valley News wrote her "non-explanation was so vague it raised a number of questions" adding that it wasn't "one anybody would mistake for convincing." The Portsmouth Herald editorialized, "If we don't like how she voted Wednesday it's up to all of us who care about this issue to show Sen. Ayotte she was mistaken by voting her out of office."
Key Point: "It's interesting that Republican Senators who voted No on Manchin-Toomey - such as Ayotte and Jeff Flake - are not staking out a harder stance here by saying only that, hey, I will never apologize for defending the Second Amendment, and you liberals can just suck on it. Instead, even though they are not willing to support expanding the background check system to close a loophole that poses a threat to public safety, apparently because the NRA won't let them, they recognize that support for improving background checks is the politically necessary position to take - and is indeed the one that is tantamount to defending children and families from gun violence."
Full text is below and available here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/05/13/kelly-ayotte-staunch-advocate-for-gun-safety-not/
By Greg Sargent, Published: May 13, 2013
A bit of a dispute has broken out over just how much pressure Kelly Ayotte is feeling over her vote against the Manchin-Toomey compromise to expand background checks. The gun control forces have organized to pressure her at town hall meetings and on the air, but conservative media have argued that the pressure on her from the left has been exaggerated.
It's interesting, then, that the major efforts to defend Ayotte by gun rights groups and fellow Republicans tend to emphasize her supposed support for background checks. That seems like a pretty good sign of which way the political winds are blowing on the issue.
Here, for instance, is a new ad that Marco Rubio's Reclaim America PAC is running in New Hampshire. It says this: "Safety. Security. Family. No one understands these things like a mom. Ayotte voted to fix background checks, strengthen mental health screenings and more resources to prosecute criminals using guns."
That message echoes a recent NRA ad that thanks Ayotte for her vote, but also says: "Kelly Ayotte voted for a bipartisan plan to make background checks more effective." Ayotte herself recently defended her vote on the same grounds that she supports.
It's hard not to notice that the thrust of these defenses center on Ayotte's support for background checks, and not her opposition to expanding them.
It's true that Ayotte did vote for an alternative proposal, sponsored by Chuck Grassley, that would have beefed up state sharing of mental health data with the feds, without extending the background check to private sales via commercial portals on the internet and at gun shows. But some gun control groups believe the Grassley approach would actually undermine the overall background check system. What's more, it needs to be stated again that Senators can support improving data sharing while simultaneously expanding the background check to close the private seller loophole, which unquestionably remains a major problem, as detailed in two terrific New York Times pieces recently - here, and here. There is no need to choose between the two.
It's interesting that Republican Senators who voted No on Manchin-Toomey - such as Ayotte and Jeff Flake - are not staking out a harder stance here by saying only that, hey, I will never apologize for defending the Second Amendment, and you liberals can just suck on it. Instead, even though they are not willing to support expanding the background check system to close a loophole that poses a threat to public safety, apparently because the NRA won't let them, they recognize that support for improving background checks is the politically necessary position to take - and is indeed the one that is tantamount to defending children and families from gun violence.
"Notably absent from Rubio's misleading new ad are the words 'new' and 'hampshire,' probably because according to multiple independent polls 90% of New Hampshire citizens support expanding background checks - exactly what Ayotte and Rubio voted against. It doesn't matter how many deceitful and dishonest ads bought by out of state rightwing politicians and PACs for Kelly Ayotte pollute New Hampshire televisions, Granite Staters know the truth. Ayotte opposed bipartisan commonsense background check legislation that would have helped keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill who could pose a danger to themselves and others." - NHDP Communications Director Harrell Kirstein
FACT: SEN. AYOTTE AND RUBIO OPPOSED A BIPARTISAN AMENDMENT TO EXPAND BACKGROUND CHECKS ON GUN PURCHASES
Sen. Ayotte, Sen. Rubio Opposed The Manchin-Toomey Amendment To Expand Background Checks. [Senate Vote 97, 4/17/13]
Manchin-Toomey Was "Bipartisan Legislation To Expand Background Checks To Gun Shows And The Internet." "Bipartisan legislation to expand background checks to gun shows and the Internet. This is the Manchin-Toomey proposal that's getting so much press lately. This amendment would essentially become the new gun bill if it passed. It would require all buyers of firearms at gun shows and over the Internet to complete federal background checks first. It would also strengthen laws against gun trafficking and straw purchases and provide funding for school safety." [Washington Post, 4/17/13]
Manchin-Toomey: "Extends The Existing Background Check System To Gun Shows And Online Sales." "The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act would require states and the federal government to send all necessary records on criminals and the violently mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The bill extends the existing background check system to gun shows and online sales." [Pat Toomey Press Release, 4/10/13]
FACT: SEN. AYOTTE VOTED FOR AN AMENDMENT THAT WEAKENED GUN SAFETY PROTECTIONS
Sen. Ayotte Voted For The Grassley-Cruz Amendment. [Senate Vote 98, 4/17/13]
National Review: "There Is No Expansion Of Background Checks In The Grassley And Cruz Legislation." "There is no expansion of background checks in the Grassley and Cruz legislation. Instead, there is funding devoted to increasing gun prosecutions: $50 million over five years for prosecution of felons and fugitives who try to buy guns (in 2009, according to the NRA, 77,000 people failed the NICS background check, yet fewer than 100 were prosecuted). An additional $45 million will be distributed over three years to hire assistant U.S. attorneys and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm agents in especially violent areas." [National Review, 4/17/13]
New York Daily News: "Beefed Up Background Checks" Were Not Part Of Grassley Cruz. "The amendment Ayotte referenced, known as the Grassley-Cruz amendment, for the senators who co-wrote it, contained several Republican proposals, but beefed-up background checks were not among them." [New York Daily News, 5/7/13]
Politico: Grassley-Cruz "Ignored Gun Shows And Internet Sales Entirely." "Instead, the Granite Stater backed an alternative measure written by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that ignored gun shows and internet sales entirely, instead focusing on encouraging states to submit mental health information to the background check database." [Politico, 5/7/13]
Washington Post: Grassley-Gruz "Would Loosen Gun Restrictions By Making It Easier To Purchase And Carry Guns Across State Lines." "The main Republican alternative to gun control, proposed by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R-Ariz.) failed with 52 senators in favor and 48 opposed. It would increase funding for criminal prosecution, school safety, and mental health resources and create a task force to go after felons who fail background checks. It would also criminalize trafficking and straw purchasing and increase the penalties for them. At the same time, the amendment would loosen gun restrictions by making it easier to purchase and carry guns across state lines." [Washington Post, 4/17/13]
Grassley Cruz Would Make It Easier For People Who Had Been Involuntarily Committed To Buy Guns. "The NRA-approved substitute Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered today would actually make it easier for some mentally ill people to obtain guns. The bill states that it strengthens the federal background check system to ensure that mentally ill people don't purchase guns. But it defines that term narrowly and would allow patients who had been involuntarily committed and treated for mental illness to pass a federal background check and buy weapons. For instance, current law prohibits people who are ordered by a court into involuntary treatment from buying weapons - even though individuals can petition to have their rights restored in 22 states. Under the bill, individuals who are released could seek to have their name removed from the federal database immediately and would not have to go through a formal adjudication process to prove worthiness to buy a gun. People who were determined to be a danger to themselves or others would only be prohibited from gun ownership if they are proven to be imminently dangerous." [Think Progress, 4/17/13]
FACT: MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT POLL SHOW 9 IN 10 NH VOTE SUPPORT EXPANDED BACKGOUND CHECKS - EXACTLY WHAT AYOTTE AND RUBIO VOTED AGAINST
NEC POLL: "Voters Overwhelmingly Approved" Of Proposal For Universal Background Checks 88% To 10%. From the Director of the New England College Poll, Dr. Ben Tafoya "New Hampshire voters show surprisingly strong support for these gun control move. There are deep and lasting effects on the public from the heightened level of sensitivity toward these issues in light of the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT. We have seen in this NEC poll and other numbers from other organizations strong national support for increased efforts to restrict access to assault weapons and guns in general by those who do not pass background checks. The numbers of voters in support of universal background checks are so high as to make demographic examination worthless. It is difficult to imagine the voting public has a great consensus on anything than they show on this issue." [NEC.ed, 1/24/2013]
PPP: "Gun Show Background Checks Are Pretty Universally Popular In New Hampshire" And "Ayotte Is Facing Some Serious Backlash From Voters." From Public Policy Polling, "Ayotte now has a negative approval rating with 44% of voters giving her good marks and 46% disapproving. That's down a net 15 points from the last time we polled on her, in October, when she had a 48% approval with 35% disapproving. 75% of New Hampshire voters- including 95% of Democrats, 74% of independents, and 56% of Republicans- say they support background checks. And 50% of voters in the state say Ayotte's 'no' vote will make them less likely to support her in a future election, compared to just 23% who consider it to be a positive." [PPP Poll,4/24/2013]
UNH Poll: 94% Favor Background Checks To See if Buyer Has Been Convicted Of A Felony, 95% For Buyers At Gun Shows. From the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, "In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, lawmakers in Washington are debating several measures aimed at curtailing gun violence. New Hampshire residents show very strong support for background checks for the purposes of keeping guns out of the hands of felons, people with mental illness, and for background checks for gun purchases at gun shows." [UNH Poll, 2/8/2013]
Headline: "NRA Misrepresents Police Survey, Legislation." FactCheck.org wrote, "On the day the Senate voted down a series of gun control bills, the National Rifle Association made false and misleading claims in opposing a measure to expand background checks. Online ads from the NRA wrongly claimed that "80% of police say background checks will have no effect" on violent crime. The survey cited in the ads by the NRA says nothing of the sort." [FactCheck.org, 4/18/2013]