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Entries in Unions (566)


NHDP - Monitor: Nine labor unions endorse Shaheen 

Concord Monitor: Nine labor unions endorse Shaheen

Monitor staff
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Click here for the full story or read an excerpt below. 

A coalition of the state’s largest labor unions, including the National Education Association and State Employees Association, put their backing behind incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen while knocking her top opponent, Scott Brown.

“This election, we’re going door to door because there’s a real contrast in this race between someone running for New Hampshire working families and someone who’s in this race to line his own pockets,” said Mark Mackenzie, President of the NH AFL-CIO said in a press release from the Shaheen campaign.

In the release, Shaheen’s campaign hit Brown for recent comments that he doesn’t believe its a senator’s role to create jobs and for his role as an advisor to a company that outsourced jobs. The Teamsters as well as unions for the state’s iron workers, electrical workers, food and commercial works, laborers and postal workers also endorsed Shaheen, according to the release.

“As governor and senator, Jeanne Shaheen’s worked to create good paying jobs by investing in infrastructure and education right here in New Hampshire,” said Joe Bonfiglio, President of the Massachusetts & Northern New England Laborers’ District Council. “Scott Brown on the other hand seems to care more about the economies of China and Mexico. He’s made a quarter million dollars on the board of a company that shipped jobs overseas to increase profits.”

Those comments refer to Brown’s role as an advisor to a paper company called Kadant Inc., which the Nashua Telegraph reported outsourced jobs to China and Mexico. Brown made $270,000 for his role as an advisor and still sits on the board. 



Also Asks AG Foster to Officially Recuse Himself from Hassan Campaign Donation Probe


Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today asked Attorney General Joe Foster to issue an official opinion on reporting requirements for political action committees. Governor Maggie Hassan refused to meet a June 18, 2014 PAC report filing deadline with her other registered PAC. As a candidate for governor, Hassan met this requirement when she filed a PAC report on June 20th, 2012 - five days after she filed to run on June 15th 2012.


Additionally, the NHGOP asked Foster to formally recuse himself from an ongoing probe into Governor Hassan's illegal campaign donations because of conflicts of interest. Foster served on Hassan's 2012 campaign finance committee and also accepted donations during his state senate campaigns from some of the same unions that made illegal contributions to Hassan.


In an interview with New Hampshire Journal yesterday, Foster said he would "probably" recuse himself, but had not made a final decision. 


The full letter is below:


August 13, 2014


Attorney General Joseph Foster

New Hampshire Department of Justice

33 Capitol Street

Concord, NH 03301


Dear Attorney General Foster,


On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing to respectfully request that your office provide an official opinion on the reporting requirements for political PACs. The New Hampshire Journal recently reported that Governor Maggie Hassan's political action committee failed to file a report on June 18, 2014 even though her PAC filed a report at a similar deadline on June 20th 2012. I am also following up on my request from last week that you recuse yourself from the New Hampshire Department of Justice's investigation into potentially illegal contributions made by the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union to Governor Hassan's campaign. 


Earlier this month, the Department of Justice ruled that Governor Hassan could keep several donations that exceeded contribution limits because of a loophole that allowed unlimited PAC to PAC transfers before a candidate officially files paperwork to run for office. As you noted, "Friends of Maggie Hassan" was filed as a PAC and was allowed to follow different rules than if it were filed as a candidate committee. This PAC was later converted to "Maggie 14," a candidate committee on June 12, 2014 when the governor filed to run for re-election.


However, Governor Hassan failed to file a required close out PAC report on "Friends of Maggie Hassan's" financial activity by the June 18th deadline required for all PACs. PACs tied to elected officials from both parties who filed for re-election and became candidates filed reports on June 18th include "Friends of Jeb Bradley for State Senate," "Bette Lasky for State Senate," "Friends of Maureen Mooney," "Supporters of Molly Kelly," and many more. The Nashua Telegraph also notes that past governors including John Lynch and Craig Benson who had PACs before officially filing for re-election submitted reports by the June deadline. Even Maggie Hassan's first gubernatorial campaign, which was initially a PAC before converting to a candidate committee when she filed on June 15, 2012, submitted a report by the June 20, 2012 deadline.


When asked about why Governor Hassan did not submit her required PAC report, Associate Attorney General Richard Head told the New Hampshire Journal that Hassan 'self-designated' her PAC as a political committee tied to her candidacy as a result of a letter changing the name of the committee filed with the Secretary of State on June 12, 2014. However documents filed with the Secretary of State indicate that 'Friends of Maggie Hassan's' chairperson checked a box and paid a $50 fee that "must accompany this registration if it is not a political committee of a candidate," when the committee was formed. This directly contradicts Associate Attorney General Head's explanation that Hassan had determined that 'Friends of Maggie Hassan' was a 'self-designated' political committee of a candidate.


Associate Attorney General Head seems to base his opinion on the significance of the comments made in the Hassan campaign's name change letter. But in response to our initial complaint about Hassan's donations, Hassan Campaign attorney Jay Surdukowski made it clear that the name-change letter had no "substantive import" other than the fact that "the campaign simply updated the name of its committee for the current election season."


Given this information, the informal opinion that Associate Attorney General Head gave to the New Hampshire Journal doesn't make any sense. If 'Friends of Maggie Hassan' was a PAC that could take unlimited transfers, and by its own admission was 'not a political candidate of a committee," it should have filed a report on June 18, 2014 with every other PAC. Then-candidate Hassan clearly understood this requirement when he filed a PAC report in June of 2012. She also filed PAC reports in June during her previous campaigns for state senate.


Given the confusion, I ask that the Department of Justice review this information and provide an official opinion. I would also like to request under RSA 91-A that you provide me with the entire case file from the Department of Justice's investigation of the complaint that we filed on July 16, 2014 regarding Governor Hassan's illegal PAC contributions. Associate Attorney General Head indicates that the issue of PAC reports was discussed over the course of this investigation.


Additionally, I would like to check in on the status of the complaint I filed last week on more potentially illegal union PAC donations that Governor Hassan received in 2012 and 2014. As you know, Hassan has already returned $33,000 in illegal contributions.


I am specially requesting that you provide me with an official determination on your role in this investigation. I have asked that you recuse yourself from this probe given that you served on then-candidate Hassan's finance committee in 2012 when one of the questionable donations was made. I was encouraged to see that you told the New Hampshire Journal that you would "probably" recuse yourself to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.


If there is any further doubt that you should recuse yourself, it has come to my attention that during your previous career as a state senator you frequently accepted political donations from Big Labor. This includes contributions from AFL-CIO New Hampshire President Mark Mackenzie (2004) and union PACs including the Granite State Teamsters PAC (2002 and 2004), and the International Union of Painters and Allies Trades PAC (2004). Even more troubling, you also accepted donations from the IBEW Local 490 Cope Fund (2004) and Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union 131 PAC (2004) - two PACs that are directly tied to the same unions that are mentioned in our complaint. Clearly, your close political ties to Big Labor present another alarming conflict of interest that should help you make the obvious decision to step aside.


I ask that you officially declare that you are recusing yourself from this investigation so that the Department of Justice can expedite our request. With less than 100 days before the election it is critical that this important matter is investigated immediately.





Jennifer Horn


New Hampshire Republican State Committee



Asks Attorney General Foster To Recuse Himself Due To Conflict Of Interest


Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today asked the New Hampshire Department of Justice to investigate more questionable donations made to Governor Maggie Hassan's political committees. The complaint focuses on a 2012 $25,000 donation and a 2014 $10,000 contribution made by the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union PAC.


The NHGOP also asked Attorney General Joe Foster to recuse himself from this investigation given that he served on then-candidate Maggie Hassan's 2012 campaign finance committee and may have been involved with the questionable 2012 donation.


Last week the Department of Justice found that Hassan had accepted tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions from three Big Labor PACs that also broke the law.


The NHGOP's full complaint is below:

Attorney General Joseph Foster

New Hampshire Department of Justice

33 Capitol Street

Concord, NH 03301


Dear Attorney General Foster,


On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing today to respectfully request that you investigate another questionable contribution made to one of Governor Maggie Hassan's political committees.


In 2012, then-gubernatorial candidate Hassan filed a finance report with the Secretary of State on June 20th of that year reporting the receipts and expenditures of her political action committee Maggie 12'. Five days earlier on June 15, 2012, Hassan converted this PAC to a candidate committee when she officially filed her candidacy.


In this report (Exhibit A), Hassan lists a donation of $25,000 made on June 15, 2012 (the day Hassan filed) from "Plumbers and Steamfitters Local" of 161 Londonderry Turnpike in Hooksett. This donation resembles the illegal $25,000 contribution made by the IBEW PAC to Governor Hassan's re-election campaign on the day she filed for office in 2014. Your ruling last week determined that this contribution exceeded legal limits and $24,000 of it had to be returned.


Upon reviewing the filings of political action committees from the 2012 cycle, there is no registration for a PAC called "Plumbers and Steamfitters Local". However, a committee called "Local Union 131 Volunteer PAC" was registered that cycle at the same address (161 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett) that was mentioned on Hassan's report (Exhibit B). The website  and media reports also confirm that UA Local 131 in Hooksett is also known and Plumbers and Steamfitters Union 131.


A Hassan press release indicates that the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 131 Union endorsed her campaign on July 12, 2012 (Exhibit C). In the press release David Pelletier, business manager for the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 131, praised Hassan. Mr. Pelletier is also listed as the chairperson of the Local Union 131 Volunteer PAC in documents filed with the Secretary of State.


However the filing for the Local Union 131 Volunteer PAC indicates that it was not created until August 2, 2012 - nearly two months after this PAC allegedly gave candidate Hassan $25,000. Even more troubling, there is no mention of this $25,000 donation on any of the Local Union 131 Volunteer PAC finance reports filed with the Secretary of State during the 2012 cycle (Exhibit D). The PAC filed reports on August 22, 2012, October 17, 2012 and November 14, 2012. The contribution simply doesn't exist on any of these reports.


Either the Hassan Campaign or the Local Union 131 Volunteer PAC filed a false document given the discrepancy regarding the $25,000 donation. If in fact the Local Union 131 Volunteer PAC did make the June 15th donation, they would have broken the law by waiting until August to file. Additionally, given the questionable nature of this donation, there are questions as to whether the Hassan Campaign received this check before or after she officially became a candidate.


It should also be noted that the Local Union 131 PAC subsequently refilled for the 2014 cycle and made a $10,000 contribution to the Governor's re-election campaign on June 12, 2014 (the day she filed.)


As the Nashua Telegraph said in an editorial dated August 5th, "As troublesome as it is that Hassan accepted the $25,000 check in violation of campaign law, there's something even more disturbing: The idea that the unions thought there was something to be gained from making the contribution at all." Given Governor Hassan's history of accepting illegal contributions, and the concern for, and potential of, undue influence stemming from such illegal contributions, we ask that the Department of Justice review both the 2012 $25,000 donation and the 2014 $10,000 donation to ensure that they are legal.


Additionally, I am asking you to recuse yourself from any involvement in this investigation. As you know, in 2012 you served on then-candidate Hassan's finance committee and helped her raise money during the time of the questionable contribution at issue. Given this connection to the 2012 donation, and your involvement in developing and guiding then-candidate Hassan's fundraising strategies and outreach, it would be best if you stepped aside in this matter in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, and to ensure the continued confidence of New Hampshire residents. 


Thank you for your attention to this important matter.




Jennifer Horn


New Hampshire Republican State Committee


Watchdog - Michigan union tricks teachers into prolonging membership  


AUFC - Senator Kelly Ayotte Challenged to 'Live The Wage'


Would Ayotte Still Say No to Raising the Minimum Wage If She Tried Living on $77 for a Week?


Washington DC – On the fifth anniversary since the last federal minimum wage increase, Americans United for Change dared Senator Kelly Ayotte to take the ‘Live The Wage Challenge’.  The challenge: step into the shoes of a minimum wage worker, live on just $77 for a week, and then see if she still opposes giving 28 million workers an overdue raise. Earning just $7.25 an hour, the average full time minimum wage worker struggles to survive on only $77 a week after paying taxes and housing expenses. Earlier this year, Ayotte voted to squash even having a debate on legislation raising the minimum wage to $10.10.

SEE: ABC News: ‘Members of Congress Plan to Live on Minimum Wage for a Week’

Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change, the group behind the national ‘Give America a Raise Bus Tour’: “To Senator Ayotte who draws a six-figure government salary and says $7.25 an hour is a livable wage, I say walk the walk. Ayotte should try living the minimum wage if she’s going to keep voting against raising it for others, many of whom are struggling to support a family. Now five years after the last minimum wage increase, Ayotte may not have noticed that the prices of food, utilities, and basic necessities never stopped going up.  But minimum wage workers certainly have. A frozen minimum wage combined with inflation is why more and more Americans are falling into poverty even while working full time, and that’s wrong.”


History has shown time and again that raising the minimum wage is one of the best ways to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, unlike proposals Ayotte supports to minimize taxes for millionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas,” added Woodhouse. “Putting more money in the pockets of minimum wage workers makes them stronger consumers, which leads to more hiring to meet a greater demand for goods and services.  Businesses like Costco and GAP have proven that investing in workers and paying a livable wage is a recipe for success.  Senator Ayotte has an opportunity to gain a little perspective on how difficult it is for minimum wage workers to stretch so few dollars and make choices between basic necessities. If she’s not willing to take the challenge, why not? What is she afraid of?”

Top 10 Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage to $10.10:


  1. Nationally, raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 would boost the wages of 28 million workers by $35 billion, generate $22 billion in economic activity, and support the creation of 85,000 new jobs.
  2. In New Hampshire, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would increase wages for 113,000 workers by $143,575,000


  1. The 13 states that didn’t wait for Congress to act and raised their minimum wages on January 1 have since seen higher average job growth than neighboring states that kept theirs at the same rate.
  2. More than 600 economists and business leaders agree it’s time to raise the minimum wage.
  3. Nearly a quarter of all of minimum wage workers - including child care providers, janitors, and nursing assistants - are the primary bread winners in their family. 35 is the average age of workers who would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $10.10; 88 percent are older than 20, one third are over 40. 
  4. Full time minimum wage workers earn just $15,080 a year. According to MIT, the living wage in New Hampshire is $20,140 to be able to afford housing, medical care, transportation and food. If full-time Granite State workers made $10.10 an hour, they would earn $21,008 a year.
  5. Raising the minimum wage would reduce government spending on Food Stamps by $46 billion over the next decade. 
  6. Low Wages Cost Taxpayers A Quarter-Trillion Dollars Every Year.
  7. Six In Ten Small Business Owners Want A $10.10 Minimum Wage. Only 20% of Americans think they could live off Minimum Wage.

10.  Workers making the minimum wage have been facing a continual pay cut since July 2009 as inflation has eroded the purchasing power of the minimum wage. Cumulative loss is over $6 billion.