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Entries in Progressives (453)

Friday
Jun202014

NHGOP PRESENTS: LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND LIBERAL 

NHGOP PRESENTS: LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND LIBERAL

Maggie Hassan - Rich and Liberal.jpg
Pictured: Istanbul's Solar Beach

Concord - Meet Maggie Hassan, the Governor of New Hampshire who wines and dines on the taxpayers dime!  We'll chronicle her lavish and exotic trip to the nation of Turkey, where she'll hobnob with lobbyists and relax on the Sea of Marmara.   

 

How can Hassan afford such a fabulous lifestyle?  New Hampshire taxpayers are footing the bill, of course.  Undeterred by the travel freeze she put into place after failing to manage the state budget properly, Hassan departs for Turkey this Friday, and we'll be here to bring you all the details.

 

What fabulous sights will she see on her trip?  The Blue Mosque?  Topkapi Palace?  Hagia Sophia? Stay tuned for more Lifestyles of the Rich and Liberal!


"While the premise of this campaign is lighthearted, the issue at hand is anything but - Governor Hassan is ignoring the emergency policies she put in place because of her failure to manage the state budget by vacationing with lobbyists and fundraisers," said New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn.  "She is a do as I say and not as I do Governor, and our state deserves better than her hypocrisy. We look forward to replacing her with a responsible Republican who actually can manage our state's finances this fall."

BACKGROUND


As a candidate, Maggie Hassan promised to be a fiscally responsible governor committed to balanced budgets


"The former three-term senator from Exeter also pledged to be a fiscally responsible governor who would veto any sales or income tax and commit herself to a balanced budget." (Kathryn Marchocki, "Hassan promises state won't 'turn our back' on its people," New Hampshire Union Leader, 10/26/11)


As Governor, Hassan has failed miserably to manage the New Hampshire budget and has ignored the spending precedent set by Governor John Lynch


"A hiring freeze put in place five years ago by Governor John Lynch is doing little to prevent state agencies from filling their vacant positions, as the Governor's Office has issued 436 waivers so far this Fiscal Year. Governor Maggie Hassan has not denied a single request to waive the hiring freeze in her first six months in office." (New Hampshire Watchdog, 6/13/2013)


Because of her reckless management of state finances, Hassan was forced to issue an Executive Order directing a freeze in generally funded hiring, equipment, purchasing and out-of-state travel


"The state will freeze hiring, equipment purchases and out-of-state travel paid for with general funds after the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee approved Gov. Maggie Hassan's executive order" (Gary Rayno, "State spending freeze locked in," New Hampshire Union Leader, 05/22/2014)


Unfortunately for New Hampshire residents, Governor Hassan believes that the spending freeze applies to everyone but herself, and demonstrates tremendous hypocrisy in preparing to take a taxpayer-funded vacation to turkey lobbyists


"Gov. Maggie Hassan is going forward with her long-planned trade mission to Turkey despite the state revenue dip that prompted her to freeze out-of-state travel. She makes an exception for her trip, saying it is worth the money even now. That position is undermined by the very figures her administration uses to promote the trip....There simply is no urgent need for the state to spend scarce tax dollars on a trade mission with the state's budget in such bad shape." (Editorial, "Hassan's trip: Quit it cold turkey," New Hampshire Union Leader, 06/02/2014)

 

"The delegation of business representatives headed for Turkey includes...former state representative and lobbyist Jim Demers, president and CEO at Demers and Blaisdell" (Dave Solomon, "GOP, conservative group take aim at Hassan over trip," New Hampshire Union Leader,06/03/2014)

Saturday
May032014

Watchdog.org - Secret leftist billionaires club 

 

 

 

Taking a look inside the secret leftist billionaires club
This weekend, a shadowy leftist group named Democracy Alliance will meet in Chicago to figure out a way to thwart conservative rivals.

Wedding crasher: County curbs private business
Call off the wedding. Spotsylvania County has imposed “special use permit” restrictions on a couple that’s been hosting marriages for years — effectively nullifying future nuptials at a once-thriving business.

Labor nonprofit avoids IRS scrutiny while failing to disclose years of lobbying activity
The Restaurant Opportunities Center United decried lobbying at Washington D.C. protest on Monday, while only recently amending its IRS statements to disclose their own lobbying activities.

Pro-gun group leads revolt, OK House overrides governor’s veto
The state House of Representatives on Wednesday voted, 87-3, to enact a pro-gun measure — one of the 15 House bills Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed Tuesday.

DOJ probe into WI School Choice ‘another massive power grab’ by feds
More than a year after the U.S. Department of Justice began shoving its nose into Wisconsin’s School Choice program, the federal agency’s “ongoing investigation” continues without any apparent end.

Like it, love it, want more of it? Get breaking news coverage
in your state at Watchdog.org!

Sunday
Mar092014

DNC - Wanna keep track of which Republicans hit the 2016 early states?

Today, the Iowa and New Hampshire Democratic Parties launched a joint project to keep tabs on which GOP 2016ers come to their states. Their “2016 Early State GOP Bingo” card will let you notch squares for each time the Republican hopefuls tout their out-of-touch agenda or make an offensive remark about a chunk of the population ahead of the 2016 primaries and caucuses.

The two Democratic Parties are teaming up to highlight that more than 15 months after the 2012 elections, Republican candidates are still blocking progress. They’re defending their government shutdown, restricting women’s health care choices and pushing tax cuts for the wealthiest – the same out of touch rhetoric and policies voters already rejected.

You can track the bingo progress at iowademocrats.org/BINGO and at nhdp.org/bingo.

Tuesday
Mar042014

AUFC - New Ads in NH in Support of Medicaid Expansion Bill 

www.americansunitedforchange.org

New Ad Campaign Appeals to New Hampshire Lawmakers to Accept Federal Dollars to Cover 42,000 Uninsured Constituents in Need and Keep Premiums Down for Everyone Else 

 

Too Many New Hampshire Families Are Living Sick and One ER Visit Away from Bankruptcy When They Don’t Have To, and the NH State Senate Has a Chance to Do Something About It This Week

 

Click Below to Listen to ‘No Way to Live’ :
*
Generic Version 

**Version Making Examples of State Sens. Andy Sanborn and John Rausch 

 

Washington DCAmericans United for Change is hitting the radio waves in New Hampshire this week to echo the calls on state lawmakers from Granite State hospitals, doctors, nurses, families, and small business owners to expand Medicaid, because it’s a win-win for the state: healthier citizens and a healthier economy.  It comes as NH State Senate prepares to vote this week on the bi-partisan Health Protection Program (SB 413), legislation to accept available federal resources to cover the at least 42,000 workers in the state who are not impoverished enough to qualify for Medicaid and earn too much to qualify for subsidies to get private insurance in the new health law’s Exchange.   The ad called ‘No Way to Live’ airing in Concord and Manchester reminds lawmakers of the added benefits of covering the working uninsured, including new jobs and lower premiums for everyone due to a significant reduction in uncompensated care at the ER. *See script and fact sheet below.  

 

The ad comes on the heels of a new poll out this week from New England College showing that two-thirds (66 percent) of New Hampshire residents support the Health Protection legislation before the NH Senate, while just 25 percent opposes it and 10 percent said they are unsure.  Last year, state Republicans narrowly blocked similar legislation in the NH Senate last year, claiming ‘sticker shock.’  It remains a very poor excuse today considering that the first three years are totally paid for by the federal government; and the additional spending starting in 2017 would amount to less than 3 percent more than what New Hampshire would have spent on Medicaid anyways in the absence of the health law.  The economic and health benefits for New Hampshire of accepting Medicaid resources far outweigh the marginal added costs years down the road.

 

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change “It’s unfortunate that New Hampshire Republicans decided last year they would rather stick it to the President than stick up for 42,000 of their uninsured constituents in need.  In the end, they only managed to stick it to the rest of their constituents in the form of higher premiums to cover emergency room care that would have otherwise been compensated.  Let’s hope this year these Republicans start listening to voices other than those from the Tea Party extreme and stop looking a gift horse in the mouth.  Before they vote on the bi-partisan Health Protection Program, these lawmakers should listen to Granite State hospitals, doctors, nurses, families, small business owners and the clear majority of voters who see nothing but positive economic and health benefits for the state in accepting these resources sitting on the table – resources that are guaranteed to save lives, money, and create jobs.”

 

Americans United recently ran a similar ad campaign in Nebraska, urging its state legislature to do right by their constituents by expanding Medicaid.

 

###


Americans United for Change is a 501c4 issue-advocacy organization established in 2005 to beat back President Bush’s effort to privatize Social Security and that has been working ever since to advance a progressive agenda in Congress including covering America’s uninsured and protecting Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security from benefit cuts.

 

 

“No Way to Live”

Ad Back-Up 

Americans United For Change 

Radio  (:60)

 

SCRIPT

FACTS

 

VERSION 1- Generic

Granite Staters are proud to live free or die. But why should so many live sick and die young when they don’t have to?  Too many working families in New Hampshire lack access to quality, affordable health care and put off needed care until it requires an ambulance ride.  Too many live one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. That’s no way to live – and everyone else winds up picking up the tab for uncompensated ER care – raising our premiums by nearly a thousand dollars a year. That could change though. Our State legislature could vote to accept available federal funds to provide health care to 42,000 hard-working Granite Staters.  And more people insured in our state means more jobs to provide the care.  Call your State Senator - tell them to support the bi-partisan Health Protection Plan, our economy, and lower premiums for all of us. Paid for by Americans United for Change.

 

VERSION 2 -  Sens. Sanborn/ Rausch
Granite Staters are proud to live free or die. But why should so many live sick and die young when they don’t have to?  Too many working families in New Hampshire lack access to quality, affordable health care and put off needed care until it requires an ambulance ride.  Too many live one medical emergency away from bankruptcy.  That’s no way to live – and everyone else winds up picking up the tab for uncompensated ER care – raising our premiums by nearly a thousand dollars a year.  That could change though. Our State legislature could vote to accept available federal funds to provide health care to 42,000 hard-working Granite Staters. And more people insured in our state means more jobs to provide the care.  But Senators Andy Sanborn and John Rausch say no. Call them: ask them why they’re against the bi-partisan Health Protection Plan for 42,000 in need and why they want more hidden health taxes for the rest of us. Paid for by Americans United for Change.

 

 

 

 

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “If New Hampshire expands Medicaid, an additional 42,000 adults who will be newly eligible for the program will enroll.”

 

Harvard Medical School, September 17, 2009: “Nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance … uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts.”

 

National Health Law Program, August 01, 2012 : “Medicaid Expansion will reduce adult death rates. In states that have already expanded Medicaid, mortality rates have been reduced significantly. Death rates were the greatest among adults between the ages of 35 and 64 years, people of color, and residents of low-income counties. Adults also experienced significant reductions in delays getting health care due to cost. Comparable states that did not expand Medicaid did not have similar results.  A report in Tennessee concludes that expanding Medicaid coverage to 225,000 people would save 9 lives in the state every week for the next 10 years.”

 

Kaiser Family Foundation, Sep 26, 2013: “The average uninsured household has no net assets. Without sufficient income or assets to pay their medical bills, uninsured individuals often see their debts accumulate while their credit ratings are compromised. Medical debts contribute to almost half of all bankruptcies in the United States.”

 

American Academy of Actuaries, Sept. 2012: “[P]remium increases would likely be well more than two percent among states that don’t expand Medicaid. This would raise premiums for people buying coverage in the individual health insurance market without federal subsidies. It would also increase the costs the federal government must pay to subsidize the premiums of low- and moderate-income people.”

 

National Association of Community Health Centers,

August 2013: “By decreasing the number of uninsured individuals, and leveraging federal dollars to provide those individuals with health care coverage, it is estimated that on average states can reduce uncompensated care spending by 50%.  The reduction would also boost hospital profits, positively impacting state tax revenue and increasing the money flowing within a state economy.”


Center for American Progress Action Fund, March 23, 2009: “When the uninsured cannot pay, health care providers shift those costs to those who can pay -- those who have insurance coverage. This leads to higher premiums for those who buy their insurance on the individual market, as well as workers who get insurance for themselves and their families through their job.  This “hidden tax” on health insurance arises from a failure to continuously cover all Americans and accounts for roughly 8 percent of the average health insurance premium. [In New Hampshire], this cost-shift amounted to a [$900] per average family premium in 2009 and [$320] per average individual premium.”

 

New Hampshire Dept. of Health and Human Services/The Lewin Group, January 2013:  “Under Medicaid expansion, households will spend less on premiums, but under no expansion, there will be higher subsidies as more individuals obtain coverage through the Health Benefits Exchange (HBE). Also, because private coverage will require higher cost-sharing than Medicaid, without expansion, households will spend more on direct payments to providers. In total, under Medicaid expansion, we estimate that New Hampshire households will save a total of $92.1 million, or about $145 per year, on average.

 

Center for American Progress Action Fund, April 2, 2013: “When hundreds of thousands of individuals in a state are gaining health care coverage, there must also be thousands of health care professionals available to care for them. Likewise, there will be an increased demand for equipment for medical tests, the production of extra beds, more maintenance jobs at growing health care facilities—the list goes on. In short, Medicaid expansion is an engine for job creation.”

 

New Hampshire Dept. of Health and Human Services/The Lewin Group, January 2013: “Over the 2014 to 2020 analysis period, New Hampshire gains an average of 5,100 jobs under Medicaid expansion compared to a 4,400 gain under no expansion; this translates to about 700 more jobs across all sectors under expansion, compared to no expansion.   Over the same 2014 to 2020 period, we estimate that under Medicaid expansion, the state will see a $2.8 billion increase in GSP, compared to a $2.5 billion increase under no expansion (Figure E-12). Personal income will also increase under both scenarios—an increase of $2.3 billion under expansion and an increase of $2.1 billion under no expansion, from 2014 to 2020. In 2014, gains in personal income translate to about $102 per capita under expansion and $91 per capita under Direct Payments Penalties Net Impact no expansion. Additionally, the state will gain new tax revenues under both scenarios, spurred by economic growth, but will see a greater increase under expansion compared to no expansion   ($127 million and $114 million, respectively); this translates into an offset of $13.2 million if the state elects to expand Medicaid.”

 


 


Thursday
Feb132014

NHDP - Eagle Tribune: People are showing support for N.H. minimum wage increase 

Key Point:  "Opposition to establishing New Hampshire’s minimum wage at $8.25 appeared minimal outside the Statehouse yesterday...a recent University of New Hampshire poll showed 76 percent of respondents favoring the move. The bill has a diverse coalition of backers including churches, unions and advocates for women, children and poor people.

"People interviewed yesterday in Derry unanimously supported the move."


Eagle Tribune: People are showing support for N.H. minimum wage increase
http://www.eagletribune.com/latestnews/x1196429949/People-are-showing-support-for-N-H-minimum-wage-increase
February 12, 20013
By John Toole

Opposition to establishing New Hampshire’s minimum wage at $8.25 appeared minimal outside the Statehouse yesterday.

New Hampshire now follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the lowest in New England.

House lawmakers convened a hearing on House Bill 1403 that calls for establishing the minimum wage at $8.25 next year and $9 in 2016.

If the Legislature approves the measure, which Gov. Maggie Hassan supports, New Hampshire only would lag Vermont at $9.10 an hour. Massachusetts and Maine would remain at $8 an hour and $7.50 an hour, respectively.

The Business and Industry Association has lumped the proposed minimum wage with other bills the group said would “move New Hampshire backward, resulting in the Granite State becoming a a less welcoming place for businesses to start up, grow or locate.”

But a recent University of New Hampshire poll showed 76 percent of respondents favoring the move. The bill has a diverse coalition of backers including churches, unions and advocates for women, children and poor people.

People interviewed yesterday in Derry unanimously supported the move.

“I think $8.25 an hour is still kind of low the way the cost of living is and the economy,” Peter Grasso of Derry said.

Grasso remembered working a $4-an-hour minimum wage job with Kentucky Fried Chicken years ago, before he got a 10-cent raise after eight months.

Douglas Blair of Londonderry said he supports the proposed increase.

“It would get people out, accepting the low-end jobs,” Blair said.

Where the minimum wage is now kids won’t take jobs because they think they are worth more, he said.

“That would be a great thing,” said Ginny Parsons of Derry about the potential increase. “Everyone wants more money. It would be nice for them to raise it for once.”

Robert Maxwell of Londonderry said he supports the increase.

“Ask people who work a 40-hour-a-week job at McDonald’s or in food services, and see how they are living,” Maxwell said.

Randi Murphy of Derry agreed with Maxwell.

“Seven dollars and 25 cents is kind of hard to live off,” Murphy said.

Peter Crowley of Derry said he would definitely raise the minimum wage.

“People don’t make enough money to live on,” Crowley said.

Bill Jenkins of Concord said it’s a good idea.

“Given the economy and lack of money most people have,” Jenkins said.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Eve Breault of Derry. “My only problem is the people who are already working. Is my pay going up, too? Are we going to get a comparable raise also?”

But she’s on board with the increase.

“It’s about time,” Breault said. “You can’t afford to live in New England on the minimum wage now.”

Despite the Business and Industry Association’s opposition, businesses contacted yesterday showed commerce interests are split on the issue.

“This wouldn’t affect me,” said Francis Moreau, owner of Ace Upholstery Inc. in Salem. “I can’t get anybody at minimum wage “I’m not opposed to raising it. I don’t see how people can survive on the minimum wage.”

He sees potential benefits for his business.

“Maybe they’d be able to have something upholstered,” he said of workers in line for the increase.

Jim Desjardins, owner of Daisy Cleaners in Salem, said it really doesn’t affect his staff.

“They are well beyond minimum wage,” Desjardins said.

He also wonders how people make ends meet working full time at minimum wage.

“Clearly, people can’t live off the minimum wage,” he said.

Desjardins predicts the expense would be passed along to consumers, if the minimum wage is hiked.

He doesn’t expect business will suffer for cleaners like himself, because customers paying to have clothes cleaned typically are earning above minimum wage.

Blake Ruggerio, owner of Romano’s Pizza in Salem, wasn’t hanging on the results of the political debate.

“This doesn’t really affect me, so I have no opinion on it,” Ruggerio said.

He said he didn’t see it affecting the business.

“Most of the employees are getting more than minimum wage,” he said.

The owner of Signs Now New Hampshire in Pelham, Chuck Raz, didn’t see a big affect on his business or workforce.

“We don’t have anybody at that,” Raz said of the minimum wage.

Raz would prefer the politicians leave the pay issue to the market.

“Let the market bear what it can bear,” Raz said. “I’m against it. This is New Hampshire, you know. Live free or die.”