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Entries in Political Activism (1568)


Watchdog - EPA refuses to spill details  


Josiah Bartlett Center - Tax Policy Advice from Kramer 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

The Problem with Tax Write-offs

The best discussion of our understanding of modern tax policy comes from the classic television show Seinfeld. Everyone’s favorite economist, Kramer, encourages Jerry to defraud a company because big companies don’t need to worry. “Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything.” Jerry claims that Kramer doesn’t even know what that means. Kramer’s defense: “But they do and they’re the ones writing it off.”

These mystical write-offs emerge in political rhetoric as giant subsidies to big corporations, illusory money floating through the corporate air. In an election, politicians want to eliminate them all. The right accuses the left of passing out subsidies like candy. The left accuses the right of hypocrisy, especially toward the dreaded evil Big Oil.
Click here to keep reading.

Tackling Education Issues at the State Level

Americans have become accustomed to viewing public education through a national lens. In the past, most power was left to local schools and politicians. However, since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1950 and continuing to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Department of Education’s Race to the Top initiative of 2009, the federal government has taken and maintained increased control over schools through mandates, incentives, and funding. Although these initiatives represent sincere efforts to improve a struggling national public education system, the reality is that increased federal oversight often has the opposite effect by complicating matters with complex rules and regulationsClick here to keep reading.



Strong NH: Your Weekly E-Newsletter 


Sen. Forrester: "State wins with a budget veto override"
State Senator Jeanie Forrester, who is the chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee, penned an extremely well-written piece for the Concord Monitor this week regarding the importance of the state Legislature overriding Governor Maggie Hassan's veto of the budget.

In it, Senator Forrester wrote; "On Sept. 16th, the Legislature will return to the State House to vote on Governor Maggie Hassan's veto of the Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget. My hope is that legislators on both sides of the aisle will join together to override the veto so that New Hampshire will have a new budget that best addresses our citizens needs. My fear is that if we don't, people and programs will continue to suffer."

Click HERE to read her entire piece in the Concord Monitor.
Consequences of Hassan's Veto: Hospitals suffer
Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that a new ten-bed crisis unit at New Hampshire Hospital won't open to patients this summer, as previously planned. While construction will be completed this October, and the Republican-passed budget included funding to open the unit, it can't be staffed specifically due to Governor Maggie Hassan's veto of the state's budget.

Click HERE to read the full article.
Consequences of Hassan's Veto: State parks could have been force to close 
A significant amount of tourism dollars might have been another casualty because of Governor Maggie Hassan's budget veto if it was not for a vote this week by the Legislature to approve emergency funding to keep state parks open.

On Wednesday, New Hampshire Public Radio reported that state parks would be forced to close specifically at a time when tourists visit our state to take in the fall foliage due to a lapse in funding. Fortunately, as reported by the Union Leader, the Legislature acted and state parks will not have to close, however it was yet another reminder of the serious consequences of Governor Maggie Hassan's budget veto.  

Editorial Cartoon of the Week


Watchdog - Same-gender schools are improving academic performance


Cornerstone - On Tax Payer Funding for Planned Parenthood  

Cornerstone Action


If the Center for Medical Progress videos don’t persuade you that Planned Parenthood needs more public scrutiny, maybe a look at their financial statements will get the message across. By accepting government grants and contracts, PP has made us all stakeholders in its operations, including the ones that have nothing to do with health care. PP supporters like to chant “cancer screenings” when public funding is threatened. How about looking at what Planned Parenthood could do with its own resources, if it were willing to make “cancer screenings” a priority?

And how is a $20,000,000 agency “de-funded” by the denial of a $638,900 two-year contract?
Twelve thousand New Hampshire women deserve to understand why they’re being used as human shields by an agency that allegedly has their best interests at heart.
Any agency, using private funds, could provide authentic health care along with abortions. It could provide health care along with the dissection of aborted children. Employees from several of its locations could be captured on tape discussing commerce in fetal body parts. Ex-contractors could recount their orders to slice through the face of a fetus with a still-beating heart. (The latter three activities have been documented in the CMP videos, all available online.) Such activities might be distasteful or even illegal. Done by a private agency, however, I would not be an indirect participant.

If that privately-funded agency furthermore spent a substantial sum – say, over a million dollars – on “public policy” work, it wouldn’t be my business. If it handed out pink t-shirts and “I stand with …” signs and lobbied against oversight of its abortion activities, I wouldn’t be helping to pay for that.

When Planned Parenthood of Northern New England gets a New Hampshire government contract, though, I’m involved. I don’t buy the claim that no government contract money goes for abortions. Every state contract dollar to PP frees up other PP revenue for use in its abortion business. Money is fungible, and all the slick lobbying in the world won’t change that.
Planned Parenthood would allay my concerns if it stopped doing abortions. If abortion were really as small a part of its business as it claims, dropping it would be simple. Instead, though, PP clings to abortion as though it were the sole reason for the organization’s existence – and to add insult to injury, its employees and supporters libel those of us who do not want to fund an abortion provider, claiming that we want to deny women those cancer screenings upon which PP is relying for respectability.

We’re not attacking women’s reproductive health. We’re refusing to participate in abortion. Anyone who can’t see the difference has no business trying to land a state contract or make state policy.

There’s more to my concern than abortion and those damning videos. There’s the math. How can the Executive Council’s denial of a contract cause PP to threaten 12,000 women with the loss of their health care, when the amount of that contract works out to about $27.50 per woman per year?

When the Executive Council looked at the family planning contracts that were voted on a few weeks ago, each proposed vendor had to provide detailed financial statements. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England reported that in 2014, it spent $1.5 million on public policy work. It spent $214,000 on marketing and communication, and close to a million dollars on fundraising. While not included in the financial statements offered to the Council, PPNNE’s 2013 IRS form 990 revealed that its chief lobbyist earned a base salary of $111,000.

And this is an organization that threatened 12,000 women with loss of health care if it failed to land a contract worth $27.50 per year for each of those women. The only thing worse than a lobbyist getting away with saying that is the sight of a Governor and two Executive Councilors taking her seriously.

Planned Parenthood wants to use my money. I say no. Do you want me to say yes? Then get rid of the abortion advocacy. Stop blending abortion with health care. Stop holding 12,000 women hostage to your abortion work. Invite increased public oversight. Denounce the trafficking in fetal body parts that has now been documented in other PP affiliates.

Until then, Planned Parenthood needs to operate as a private entity, without our tax dollars. If it has as many supporters as it wants politicians to believe, that won’t be a problem.