U.S. Senator John Sununu
Along with a diverse grouping of religious and civic advocates, I spoke to Senator Sununu's staffers today in support of SCHIP, which is a federally funded, state administered social program that provides health coverage to children of working families who do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. I was invited to attend the meeting by New Hampshire for Health Care.
President George Walker Bush has promised to veto SCHIP early next week (10/1/2007). Meanwhile, his administration is going to ask Congress for $190 BILLION for the continuing Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Tomorrow (9/27/2007), the US Senate is going to vote on SCHIP after the House voted for it yesterday. I asked Senator John Sununu's staff to send my message to him to please vote for SCHIP so that the our American children will receive healthcare coverage.
I brought up the following points: The President is spending a TRILLION DOLLARS on Iraq, but does not want to spend the money to cover our nation's children to see a doctor. The President is Orwellian to have supported tax cuts for the wealthy (businesses--Corporate Elite) 3 times, but supports increased War spending. The President should support SCHIP because providing healthcare coverage for our nation's children will cover their preventive diseases and will save taxpayers' money in the future by having healthier adults.
-Jonathan A. Melle
Tomorrow morning at Saint Anselm College, WILLARD Mitt Romney is going to allow Manchester NH area residents to ask him anything.
As Dan Bosley has quipped in the recent past, I concurrently think a good question for WILLARD would be if he would be paying North Adams, Massachusetts, a visit as U.S. President or would he not want to flip-flop on his no-show record in Northern Berkshire County during his mediocre tenure as Governor of Massachusetts?
Suffice it to say, I will not be asking WILLARD any questions because I will be skipping his canned public forum of pre-scripted answers.
HOW BANAL! ...Vomit! WILLARD Mitt Romney being elected U.S. President would make me want to move further north into Canada. Talk about another Corporate Elite politician trying to co-opt the masses into supporting his agenda of greed, profits and moral hypocrisies.
-Jonathan A. Melle
NOTES on the Event:
Manchester NH - "Ask Mitt Anything" - Mitt Romney (R-MA)
Thursday, October 4, 2007, 10am - 11am
St. Anselm College, NH Institute of Politics - 100 St. Anselm Drive, Mancehster NH
This morning, (10/13/2007), I volunteered to canvass (go door to door) on behalf on "the Hillary Clinton for U.S. President campaign" in Manchester, NH. I was accompanied by a campaign staffer named Gerard who grew up in Chicago, Illinois and attended college in California. Gerard is a respectful, intelligent, young black man, who passionately believes in Hillary Clinton's commitment to investing public resources to rebuild our nation's middle class. He has admired Hillary Clinton's 35+ years of public service from working as Child Advocate, to working on behalf of the people of Arkansas, to standing for progressive causes as our Nation's former First Lady (like Eleanor Roosevelt), to serving the people of the great State of New York in the U.S. Senate, to running a dedicated campaign for the American Presidency. I really enjoyed volunteering with Gerard earlier today (10/13/2007). We had intellectual political conversations that brought me new perspectives on politics not only in the black community, but also, for helping all people, no matter their economic class and social status. After walking the streets of Manchester, NH, going door to door with Gerard, I wondered if he will be a future Congressman or maybe even President someday. I told Gerard how I got to shake Barack Obama's hand this past summer (of 2007), and that I hope Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama agree to be on the same ticket as Democratic candidates for U.S. President & Vice President, respectively. As well, as I follow Massachusetts politics, I apprised Gerard that not only did Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama grow up in the Chicago, Illinois area, so did the current Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick. I complimented Gerard how Deval Patrick, Barack Obama and he are all good looking black men in politics who hail from Chicago, Illinois. As I am unemployed, Gerard took me to lunch at Applebee's after our 3 hours of canvassing. I thanked him for his kind and generous treat, and I made a new friend today.
Concord attorney seeks Paul Hodes' Congressional seat
By JOHN DISTASO
Senior Political Reporter
The Union Leader Online
Concord – Attorney and veteran Republican activist R. James “Jim” Steiner of Concord says he will run for the 2nd District U.S. House seat held by Democrat Paul Hodes.
Steiner plans a formal announcement on Saturday at his home, according to an email he sent last night.
Other Republicans considering running for the seat are state Sen. Robert Clegg of Hudson and Grant Bosse of Hillsborough, a legislative staffer for Sen. John E. Sununu, but Steiner has already taken solid steps toward a candidacy.
In his e-mail, Steiner says he “will be announcing his intention to be elected as the New Hampshire 2nd Congressional District Representative.” It says his formal announcement will come at a pancake breakfast at his home in Concord on Saturday morning.
Steiner has already hired a campaign chairman, Thomas Van Beaver, and has set up a Web site, www.joinjim2008.com.
The email says Steiner will tour the 2nd District next week with stops in Keene, Plymouth, Berlin, and Nashua “to talk with people about their concerns for New Hampshire and the country.”
Steiner briefly considered running for the 1st District U.S. House seat in 2002, but withdrew and endorsed John Stephen, who lost to Jeb Bradley. Stephen and Bradley are both running again for the 1st District seat held by Democratic freshman Carol Shea-Porter.
Steiner is a family law, civil, real estate, personal injury and probate litigator with D’Amante Couser Steiner Pellerin, P.A. in Concord. A West Point graduate and former Army Green Beret Captain, Steiner is the son of former state Rep. Lee Anne Steiner, who died in March, and long-time Manchester GOP activist Robert Steiner.
James Steiner could not be immediately reached for comment today.
A full report will appear in the New Hampshire Union Leader and on UnionLeader.com tomorrow.
The NH Union Leader
Carol Shea-Porter backs resolution on VP impeachment
Friday, Nov. 9, 2007
WASHINGTON – Rep. Carol Shea-Porter earlier this week voted in support of referring a resolution to impeach Vice President Cheney to the House Judiciary Committee.
Carol Shea-Porter said, "It is the duty of the vice president to faithfully execute the laws of the United States of America and to defend the Constitution. There is growing evidence that the Executive Branch has ignored some of our laws and has attempted to bend the Constitution to its will.
"Members of both parties decided that this issue is too important to ignore. I voted with my Republican and Democratic colleagues to investigate the vice president's actions in office."
On Tuesday, House Democrats deflected a Republican attempt to force a vote on a resolution to impeach Cheney for "fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction" to justify the war in Iraq. The 218-194 party-line vote sending the measure to the judiciary committee capped an afternoon in which Republicans tried to outmaneuver Democrats.
"How Obama Won a N.H. Legislator's Support"
CONCORD, N.H. -- If Barack Obama was dragging at all as he headed into his final of four weekend appearances with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night, he got an extra bounce just before he took the stage. It was in the bowels of the Verizon Center in Manchester, N.H., just moments before Obama joined Oprah and his wife before a crowd of 8,000, that Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, a first-year congresswoman from New Hampshire, told Obama that after months of indicating she would stay neutral in the state's presidential primary, she had decided to go ahead and endorse him.
"He had no idea when he came to the arena. I kept it quiet from everyone," Shea-Porter said in an interview Tuesday. "I told him I believed that he'd bring people out and bring the change we want."
The endorsement carried more of a jolt than one would normally expect from a rookie congresswoman, and caused some disquiet among Clinton campaign officials here who'd been led to believe that Shea-Porter was going to stay on the sidelines. Shea-Porter, a social worker by profession, won a following among liberal New Hampshire Democrats with her out-of-nowhere victory last year on an antiwar, grassroots platform over the far-better funded incumbent in the state's eastern congressional district, helping throw both of the state's seats into Democratic hands and providing perhaps the most unexpected of the party's many pickups across the country.
Since arriving in Washington, Shea-Porter has hardly dulled her liberal fervor, which had previously included being booted from a President Bush event in Portsmouth for wearing an anti-Bush T-shirt. Among her causes are a rapid withdrawal from Iraq, single-payer health care in the form of "Medicare for all," and the elimination of the income cap for Social Security taxes.
The other state's other new congressman, Rep. Paul Hodes, endorsed Obama last summer, setting up, with Shea-Porter's nod, an interesting dynamic within New Hampshire Democratic circles. While Clinton has the support of many of the state's political veterans, including the president of the state Senate, Speaker of the House and a plurality of of state legislators, Obama now has in his camp the two newest -- and highest-level -- Democrats on the state scene.
The Shea-Porter move may well increase pressure from the Clinton campaign on Gov. John Lynch and former governor Jeanne Shaheen, who is running for Senate next year. While their spouses are backing Clinton -- influential political power broker Billy Shaheen is the co-chairman of Clinton's campaign here -- Lynch and Shaheen have said they will remain neutral.
The Clinton campaign apparently did not let Shea-Porter go to Obama without a fight. Shea-Porter, whose own campaign last year was chaired by Billy Shaheen, said she was in communication with top Clinton campaign officials between the time she gave Obama the word Sunday evening and the official announcement Tuesday.
"I did speak to people inside the [Clinton] campaign," Shea-Porter said. "Obviously, there's outreach there." She declined to specify the level on the Clinton side from which the calls came, saying only that President Clinton, who has been known to call to try to head off key endorsements, "did not try to call me as far as I know."
Mary Rauh, a co-chair for Obama's New Hampshire campaign, cheered the endorsement, saying it carried more weight for Shea-Porter's unconventional background. "She's just an anomaly. She's very New Hampshirish in a lot of ways, hardworking, very close to the people," Rauh said. "She's quite a unique legislator."
The endorsement represented something of a setback for the John Edwards campaign in New Hampshire, given that Shea-Porter shares many of Edwards' liberal positions, as well as his strong ties in online activist circles. Jon Bresler, a local Democratic activist backing Edwards, said that while the endorsement came quite late in the game, he expected it might sway some of Shea-Porter's strongest supporters. "They would walk through water for her," he said. "If any of those folks were undecided it would give them a strong signal."
The news sparked a brief skirmish on Blue Hampshire, a blog for New Hampshire Democrats, about whether Shea-Porter had been influenced by campaign contributions from Obama's political action committee. But this speculation was shot down by Kathy Sullivan, a former chairwoman of the state party and co-chair of the Clinton campaign in the state. "Anyone who knows [Shea-Porter] knows that is a boatload of hooey. I know there are only four weeks to go to the election, but that is not an excuse for attacking" her, wrote Sullivan. "You aren't helping Hillary when you attack [Shea-Porter] ...I am co-chair of the Hillary Clinton campaign here in New Hampshire, and no, attacking [Shea-Porter] like this is not acceptable to the campaign or to me... If you want to do tough issues comparison on Obama or other candidates, have at it, but this is baloney."
There was also speculation in New Hampshire Democratic circles that Shea-Porter may have decided to throw in with Obama for broader reasons of self-interest: a belief that she would fare better in her reelection bid next fall with Obama at the top of the ticket. The New Hampshire GOP is gunning to get her seat back next year (with Bradley preparing for a rematch), arguing that the district is out of step with a congresswoman who, among other things, had her Dover, N.H., office serve hot apple cider to antiwar protesters.
Shea-Porter said in the interview that she decided to endorse after all partly out of a sense that she and Obama shared a similar approach to politics. "There's a kinship there," she said. "It's the idea that all the people matter and that the answer comes from getting people involved in the process. He's been so good at engaging people and getting them to realize that they can get engaged for their own destiny. This is bigger than any policies. It's getting us to restore our confidence as a nation, and he's the one to do that."
Obama was equally effusive in his introduction of Shea-Porter in the arena crowd on Sunday night, which is not surprising in hindsight knowing that he got the word from her just minutes before. "This woman is doing the right thing each and every day, every step of the way," he said.
"Sununu gets plum post on Senate Finance Committee"
By JOHN DISTASO, NH UNION LEADER's Senior Political Reporter
Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate yesterday passed over several more senior members and named New Hampshire Sen. John E. Sununu to the powerful Senate Finance Committee, the panel responsible for all federal tax issues, Medicare, Social Security and trade policy.
Sununu, who faces a tough reelection battle this year, replaces Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., who quit the Senate at the end of December. According to Capitol Hill sources, Sununu is believed to be the most junior of about five senators considered.
Among those passed over, sources said, were Ohio's Sen. George Voinovich and Wyoming's Mike Enzi, both in their second terms. Enzi said not getting the appointment made him angry.
The assignment gives New Hampshire representation on the three most important Senate committees for the first time, according to Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.
Gregg, who serves on the Senate Appropriations and Budget Committees, congratulated Sununu and called his appointment "very big news and a major coup for New Hampshire.
"It's a reflection of the respect that John has down here," said Gregg. "This is an extremely sought-after position. There was a lot of competition for it, and the fact that he was chosen reflects that people respect his intelligence and his abilities."
Sununu said in a telephone interview that the assignment "will help give our state a strong voice on the committee that's looking at how the tax code affects small businesses, tax incentives to expand health-care coverage to the employees of New Hampshire small businesses, and the laws that effect the Medicare program for seniors. We need to do a better job giving retirees more choices on Medicare and the use of technology on electronic prescriptions to bring down costs. Those are things that can be done even in a presidential election year.
"People recognize that I'm a fiscal conservative," Sununu said, "and people in New Hampshire know that living within your means and working toward a balanced budget are what's necessary to keep the economy strong. That's the kind of approach I'll take to my work on the finance committee."
I agree there appears to be an attempt to bolster the senators value to NH. I also believe the democrats have ruined the economic outlook for the state. I hope everyone can seperate the dislike for the president and having fiscally conservative folks in charge in the US senate. I think some folks were ignorant to the distinction last election and we are truly paying for it now in NH. Sheehan was no friend to the taxpayer and her mud slinging husband lost a lot of respect recently. I also hope folks rethink the governors values and worth to the state economy. Economic recovery starts with lower taxes - always has and always will.
- brian, weare
Typical Washington - Nothing more than politics and favoritism over experience and education. Mitt Romneys' right when he said that you shouldn't expect to see any changes in the way Washinton does business (if you can call it that) if you keep sending the same people back just in different chairs.
- Bill, Newfields, NH
In order to serve here, he's leaving the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Geez, I wonder why? The banking, housing and Urban Affairs in this country are in wonderful shape! (sarcasm)
But with the Republican leaders today, screwing up the country gets you promoted...especially if you have a tough election coming up. Way to run the country guys!
- Breyer S., Manchester, NH
....cause it would be REALLY great to get some more clueless liberals who's biggest accomplishment to date is handing out hot cider to protesters representing NH. Look forward to it. Can I just direct deposit my paycheck to cover my huge liberal created tax bills?
- Mike, Concord
What a joke...Sununu was chosen over a much more qualified Sen. Enzi who also had a degree in accounting because the republicans are scared they will lose this seat in Nov!.....anybody can see through this. Goodbye senator!!!
- Mike, Bedford
The only reason he got it was to try and help him win his reelection bid if you ask me. Thankfully, it won't help him.
- Kim, Concord, NH
I find it curious that the most junior senator up for the position, who just happens to be in a fight for his seat and getting national attention, would get the post. Sounds to me like an attempt to bolster a resume.
- Tim, Manchester
I big deal for a thinking man ...good luck John.
- Dan, Suapee
Enjoy it while it lasts. This guy is going the way of the other repubs we had in congress.
- Mike, Merrimack, NH
U.S. Senator Judd Gregg
The NH Union Leader, Op-Ed, June 3, 2008
Kathy Sullivan: "Is Sununu as fiscally conservative as he claims?"
IN AN OPINION piece last week, Sen. John E. Sununu claimed that his opposition to the federal farm bill was a strike against Washington's wasteful spending. Sununu said that he objected to subsidies going to "such a profitable industry." But Sununu did not voice similar outrage in December when he was the deciding vote to protect $13 billion in subsidies to oil and gas companies. Oil and gas companies are raking in record profits while the people of New Hampshire are struggling with record prices at the pump.
Last December, Sununu voted against repealing the "Exxon-Mobil Relief Law," which gave $13 billion in tax breaks for oil and gas companies. The farm bill, however, included real help for New Hampshire.
Here's how the farm bill would help New Hampshire:
-- Invest in wood-based ethanol. The bill reduces corn ethanol subsidies and invests $1 billion for research and development of cellulosic or wood-based ethanol that will create jobs right here in New Hampshire. In addition, reducing reliance on ethanol will stop diversion of our food supply to gas pumps, which will reduce the cost of food.
-- Protect independent livestock producers. Cattle, swine and poultry producers will receive new protections from big agribusiness meatpackers, included mandatory "out of country" labeling so only livestock born, raised and slaughtered in the United States is labeled as produced in the U.S.
-- Expand nutrition programs. The bill would modernize the food stamp program to restore lost purchasing power for New Hampshire families and create a new school fruit and vegetable program so school kids will have healthy snacks, assisting in the fight against childhood obesity.
-- Provide economic development for the North Country. The Northern Border Commission Act would bring much-needed targeted economic development aid to New Hampshire's North Country.
-- Close the "Enron loophole." The bill would close the so-called Enron loophole that allows rampant, unregulated oil and gas speculation by billion-dollar hedge funds. These oil and gas speculators are manipulating the markets, driving up prices, lining their own pockets and adding to the obscene profits of Exxon-Mobil.
A few weeks ago, John E. Sununu made an election-year stop at Manchester's food bank and heard how the faltering economy is increasing demand at the very time food prices are making it more difficult to stock the shelves. Three days later he voted against the farm bill, which would have doubled food bank funding to help keep pace with increased demand.
Sununu claims to be a fiscal conservative because he voted against the farm bill, yet he has voted six times to lift the debt ceiling, voted for budgets that have exploded the deficit, and supports spending $343 million a day in Iraq.
The two biggest drivers of the exploding national debt are the Bush tax cuts for multimillionaires and the war in Iraq -- both of which Sununu supports. Voting against one bill that would have helped New Hampshire's families, but continuing to support George W. Bush's economic irresponsibility, is not fiscal conservatism.
The reckless fiscal policies that John E. Sununu has supported have put our country on the brink of recession and mortgaged our children's future to China.
Sununu is right about one thing: New Hampshire families are hurting. They are hurting because of misplaced priorities and out-of-control spending supported by John E. Sununu.
Kathy Sullivan is a former state Democratic Party chairman
As someone who spends most of the day watching the market because it happens to be my job I am a little bit concerned that most people would be mislead by this article. Yes, Exxon Mobil is raking in record profits. This is only because their costs are skyrocketing. Does anyone know what they make per dollar of gross revenue? They make .08. That's right 8 cents! If the Feds taxed them more and reduced their profits to say, 4 cents, what would the oil companies do? They would of course raise their prices to the consumers. By voting against that bill Sununu saved the taxpayers money. It's simple economics. Opec and market speculation is driving up the cost of oil to companies like Exxon which therefore drives up the price to consumers. Sununu did the right thing.
Tom, you seem to be a little naive. No bid contracts happen all the time. Do a google on no bid contracts handed out by the Clintons. I had no problem with them them and no problem with them now. I assume you are refering to Halibuton's deal. Well no other company had the resources to handle the job completely like Haliburton. If you find another company that could run the with a project the size and scope of Iraq, I would like to know who they are.
- Jeff, Manchester, NH
Tom in Candia, you say, "Billions of $ spent for no-bid contracts to the administration's friends."
First where are the facts?
Second, what does this have to do with John Sununu? If it has something to do with John E. Sununu I sure am heck am outraged at Chuck Shumer, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for doing nothing to stop it either.
There have been no no bid contracts. In fact that is illegal. It is not illegal if only one or two companies bid. There are really only two companies capable and willing to do alot of this work abroad. One is a British company and one is a US company.
So lets get your facts straight first Tom in Candia.
- Steve, Concord
$12 Billion a month for the Iraq occupation solidly supported by Sununu. Billions of $ spent for no-bid contracts to the administration's friends, millions at a time disbursed with 1 sentence descriptions (or none at all) of the expense item. Nary a peep from either of our senators.
Sununu? Independent? Fiscally conservative? hmmm.....
- tom, candia
As revealed here in this paper there was about $5 Billion out of about $300 Billion in total. Now let's consider the Transportation bill passed under the last Republican controlled Congress. Some 6,000 earmarks. Reagan vetoed a bill with 135 earmarks. The K street lobbiests with Abramoff at the head have the Republicans by the short hairs. Corporations bellied up to the government trough for no bid contracts are the Republican dream which has come to be reality.
- Robert, Deerfield
Sununu has demonstrated much more independence than the left would like you to believe, while people like Hodes and Shay-Porter are too busy asking Nancy how they should vote and what they should think. The farm bill may have had some good pieces but much of it was a boon to the rich that that are absentee land owners. It was mostly pork, pure and simple. At least the tax-breaks to the oil companies ( as opposed to direct payments/subsidies) are to encourage production of products we also need to run the economy. Now if the left would get out of the way so we could produce domestically we might find energy prices eventually stabilizing.
- jeff, Goffstown
"NH politicians praise US Supreme Court gun ruling"
AP, June 26, 2008
CONCORD, N.H. --New Hampshire Republicans running for Congress and one of the Democrats they hope to replace praised the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Americans have a right to own guns for self-defense and hunting.
"Today's ruling by the Supreme Court is a historic moment for those, including myself, who believe that Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms for lawful purposes, including self-defense," said Sen. Judd Gregg.
Sen. John Sununu said the ruling recognizes the clear right of individuals to bear arms to protect their families and property.
"The District of Columbia handgun ban was a clear violation of these Second Amendment rights, and this Supreme Court ruling gets it right," Sununu said.
Congressional hopefuls Grant Bosse, Jennifer Horn and Bob Clegg also applauded the ruling -- the court's first major pronouncement on gun rights. The Republicans hope to challenge Democrat Paul Hodes in the 2nd District race.
"Hopefully this decision will show the activist judges and liberal organizations that when the founding fathers wrote that 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed' they actually meant it," Horn said.
Bosse wants Congress to go even further, including lifting a ban on carrying weapons for self-defense in National Parks, "where hikers and campers face threats from predators, both animal and human." He also would lift bans on making weapons that are legal to own and would push for a federal law "honoring the rights of Americans to carry (weapons) across state lines without fear of prosecution."
Clegg said the ruling confirmed the Second Amendment's intent regarding gun ownership -- and the role of government.
"The writers knew that protections of the citizen must be granted to protect us from the natural progression of new government, which tends to grow and attempt to increase their controls over the people," Clegg said.
Hodes called the ruling a victory for defenders of the Second Amendment and New Hampshire residents' right to keep and bear arms.
He, Sununu and Gregg had signed a friend of the court brief to support overturning the law.
In the First Congressional District, Republican John Stephen noted that Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter did not sign on to oppose the DC law.
"While I am thrilled with the court's ruling, the real tragedy is that the citizens of the District of Columbia have been deprived of their Constitutional rights since 1976," Stephen said.
Stephen said protecting gun owner rights also protects jobs in New Hampshire, where more than 2,000 people work in the firearms industry.
Jeb Bradley, who also hopes to challenge Shea-Porter, said the court's 5-4 vote shows Americans must be vigilant to protect their rights and elect like-minded members of Congress.
"Carol Shea-Porter has shown her true colors by failing to support the overturn of the DC gun ban by her refusal to sign the (friend of the court) brief in this case," he said.
In a statement on the Supreme Court ruling, Shea-Porter said, "While I have always supported gun rights, I agreed with the Bush administration that there should be some standards. The Supreme Court, however, sided with Vice President Cheney and others."
The ruling struck down the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns and Washington's requirement that firearms be equipped with trigger locks or kept disassembled.
"Gregg: Small businesses key to reviving economy"
By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Sen. Judd Gregg says the $775 billion economic recovery plan being championed by President-elect Barack Obama should include small business tax cuts and clear-cut standards and be limited to "investments" that spark economic activity and return revenue to the federal treasury.
"My biggest concern is it will end up being spent in a way that creates out-year costs which can't be controlled and expands the deficit dramatically and creates a lot of debt we don't need," the New Hampshire Republican said during an interview on the cable news network CNBC yesterday.
Gregg, who authored an op-ed on the subject published in the Wall Street Journal this week, said, "We've got to be careful that we don't go out and just throw a lot of money at this problem and end up creating (programs) that we have to pay for, for years and years to come."
He said most of what the government has spent so far on economic recovery "has been investment."
He said the controversial $750 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), "whether you like it or not, was an investment. We bought preferred stock and it's actually yielding a positive cash flow for us as a government."
Gregg said capital investments in infrastructure -- such as roads, bridges, technology and broadband -- "are very constructive in the way of building our capacity to compete."
But he also said tax cuts should be directed at small business entrepreneurs, "who are the people who create the jobs in our economy."
He said he hopes that small business and personal tax cuts can be incorporated into Obama's plan, but he said that Obama, as a new President, will receive "significant deference" by the U.S. Senate and House.
Still, Gregg said he has been "impressed with the way (Obama) has been reaching out. He says he wants our (Republican) ideas."
Gregg said that Congress should impose standards on economic funding for state and local governments.
He said the standards are "pretty simple. One, is it necessary? And two, does it make us more competitive?"
The senator said the banking industry bailout was necessary because its failure would have led to a "systemic breakdown of the economy."
He said the auto industry bailout, which he opposed, was not in that category and he sees no other "industry-specific" areas worthy of a bailout.
Gregg said that "whether it's automobiles or whether it's restaurants, I find it hard to justify the government moving forward into those areas unless that area, if it were to collapse, was going to bring down large parts of the economy with it."
Overall, however, Gregg said that to help the economy, "the biggest thing government can do and should do involves tax cuts, primarily, in my opinion."
Politicians are easy to blame but the bottom line lies in the hands of the people of America. How many of us still support the small businesses of America like Main Street businesses? America supports the Global economy more than any other country in the world. Instead of Wal-Mart's Chinese junk how about Christmas shopping, and everyday shopping at downtown stores that keep money right in our own communities? Instead, Americans want more for less even if it hurts their own self interests in the long run. The politicians aren't the problem alone, it's us.
- Tom, Dover-Foxcroft, Me.
Now he's a friend of small business. Where was he when the health insurance premiums and taxes were being driven up by both illegal and "legal" aliens who were having their housing, food and medical care subsidized by government, just so big business could have a field of low paid no benefits employees to work for them?
What are they going to do? Tell former working people "sorry, there is no more left for you!" We gave it away to help big corporations show big profits because of low labour cost?
All those people who trusted you a few months ago on the "bailout", are finding out that they're on their own.
Enjoy your almost $5000 raise! That's what a lot of people are going to have to try to live on soon.
You didn't think twice about bailing out the stupid (no not crooked, but STUPID) bankers, did you?
In my mind, the wrong senator got replace last November.
- Steve, Raymond
yeah yeah yeah.
so how do we GET the money?
- cdl, stratham nh
Commom sense says that you create jobs by increasing the ability of business to hire workers! Businesses hiring workers also draws from diverse social and economic areas unlike public works projects thare narrow in scope. Why is it that Obama does not see the obvious? Instead he wants to increase the deficit on public works that will not return a dime in increased tax revenue and will pay workers with freshly printed money from the treasury!
Government does not have an income problem, it has a spending problem!!
- Jesse, Orford
Sen. Gregg is correct; unfortunately Obama wants to do precisely the opposite. Rather than cut capital gains, income, and corporate taxes, Obama wants to raise these and use the tax system to distribute welfare. The result is that saving and investment - which are what is required to revive the economy - are punished, while profligacy is rewarded.
Obama's proposals will prolong the recession and saddle us with trillion dollar deficits for years to come, the latter by his own admission.
Someone please wake me.
- Tom, Campton
Judd was only interested in getting money to his friends not making sure it helped the econony of every day lives of regular people. Once he had filled the right pockets, he was off to see what other favors he could hand out to help his re-election. I really hope voters remember all this when he comes up for re-election. Judd has been such a dissapointment to me. What has become to the Republican party I used to admire?
- Gary McCullough, Mont Vernon, NH
I really wish Sen Gregg would've stayed more involved in what happens to the money that he was so anxious to authorize the Treasury to hand over to the banks. Sen Gregg should not have removed himself from a committee that provides oversight for it. It is so easy to say what should happen, but the real tough part is the follow-through.
- Ann Crosby, Manchester, NH
Born: Feb. 14, 1947, Nashua, N.H.
Education: Nashua public schools and Phillips Exeter Academy; Columbia University, 1969; Boston University Law School, 1972.
Political career: State executive councilor, 1979-81; US representative, 1981-89; N.H. governor, 1989-93; US senator, 1993-present.
Family: Wife Kathleen; daughters Molly and Sarah; son Joshua.
Residence: Rye Beach, N.H.
Gov. John Lynch, left, introduces North Hampton’s Bonnie Newman as his choice to replace Sen. Judd Gregg.
"Newman to replace Gregg: North Hampton resident heading to U.S. Senate"
seacoastonline.com, February 06, 2009
NORTH HAMPTON (AP) — Democratic Gov. John Lynch has introduced his pick to replace Sen. Judd Gregg in the U.S. Senate — businesswoman and former government official Bonnie Newman of North Hampton.
Newman is a Republican, but Lynch confirmed at a news conference Tuesday that she has agreed to serve only the remaining two years of Gregg's six-year Senate term and not run for election. Gregg's departure should make the seat more competitive next year for Democrats.
President Barack Obama nominated Gregg Tuesday morning to be U.S. commerce secretary. Gregg had indicated he would take it only if the balance of power in the Senate didn't change. Having Newman replace him would fulfill that condition.
But Lynch, who said he has known Newman for 40 years, said that didn't drive his choice.
"Bonnie is someone I would have considered regardless of party," he said.
Newman praised Gregg and Lynch and promised to throw herself into the job wholeheartedly.
"My primary reason for accepting this assignment is my belief that we are at a critical time in our nation's history," she said.
Newman, 63, was Gregg's chief of staff in the 1980s and has held prominent leadership positions in government, higher education and the private sector. She has never held elective office.
She oversaw administrative operations for the White House under President George H.W. Bush, and has served as interim president of the University of New Hampshire and executive dean at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Despite being a Republican, she was an early and strong backer of Lynch's campaigns.
Newman grew up in Lawrence, Mass., and has an undergraduate degree in sociology and a master's in education in higher education adminstration. She started her career at UNH as assistant dean of students in 1969.
In the private sector, she founded a radio station, was executive vice president at Exeter Trust and was president of the New England Council, a regional business association.
Newman would be New Hampshire's second female senator in a matter of months. Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen beat Republican incumbent John E. Sununu in November to become the first woman from the state to hold a Senate seat.
A source close to Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes said he will announce for the Senate seat by the end of the week.
Hodes' entry into the race for the seat comes as no surprise. He has been positioning himself for a run for weeks, but the departure of Gregg — a formidable foe for Democrats — should make it easier for Democrats to take the seat.
"Statistical Sense: Whoever runs the Commerce Department, the U.S. needs a census people will believe in."
Saturday, February 14, 2009; A18 of The Washington Post - Editorial
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S nomination of Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) as commerce secretary was intended as a noble gesture of bipartisanship. But apparently neither the White House nor Mr. Gregg thought enough about the fact that one of the consequential functions of the Commerce Department -- not all of whose functions we would deem essential -- is the once-a-decade census. For both parties, this is critical. The population count determines not only the distribution of congressional seats among the states but also the distribution of legislative seats within them and the allocation of billions of federal dollars. And, for most of the past two decades, Republicans and Democrats have been accusing each other of trying to cheat on it.
The nub of the matter is the Democrats' belief that the "actual enumeration" called for in the Constitution inevitably undercounts minorities and the poor, who tend to be harder to find and count -- and who also tend to vote Democratic. Republicans, charging chicanery, reject Democratic calls for the use of modern statistical estimation methods to correct for the undercount. Over the years, one of the Republican skeptics has been none other than Judd Gregg, who formerly chaired a Senate subcommittee in charge of census funding.
When black and Latino officeholders caught wind of his appointment, they complained bitterly to the White House, which attempted to finesse the problem by suggesting that Mr. Obama's staff would help Mr. Gregg keep an eye on the Census Bureau. That triggered an uproar among Republicans that the White House planned to politicize the count -- followed by Mr. Gregg's withdrawal.
The argument over census methodology is both arcane and, on the merits, a closer question than the zero-sum protestations of either party. For what it's worth, the Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that federal law bars statistical sampling for apportioning congressional seats but not for setting legislative districts or allocating federal money.
The important thing now is to prevent the Gregg flap from growing into a wider partisan dispute that could undermine the credibility of the census when the survey should be gathering momentum for 2010. The fact is that the Census Bureau is staffed by experts with a well-earned reputation for integrity and political independence. Mr. Obama has reportedly been considering former Census Bureau director Kenneth Prewitt, who has enjoyed the respect of both parties, for a return to that job. In considering a replacement for Mr. Gregg, the president would do well to seek a similar figure. It doesn't matter that much whether the next commerce secretary is a Republican or a Democrat. But after the events of the past few days, it matters more than ever that he can command the confidence of both.
POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: "Commerce secretary backs choice to lead 2010 Census"
The Boston Globe, By Associated Press, June 25, 2009
WASHINGTON - Commerce Secretary Gary Locke yesterday urged Congress to immediately end a GOP block on President Obama’s nominee to lead the 2010 Census, saying continued delays are putting the high-stakes head count at risk.
Robert Groves, 60, a veteran survey researcher with the University of Michigan, was easily approved by a Senate committee last month. But Republicans have stalled Groves’ full confirmation vote.
As a former census associate director, Groves pushed for the use of statistical sampling in the 1990s to make up for an undercount of millions of minorities who tend to vote for Democrats, but was later overruled by the Republican commerce secretary.
Evan Vucci/Associated PressSenator Judd Gregg will have a hard time fading into the background after pulling out as commerce secretary nominee. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)
"Gregg's withdrawal leaves Washington and N.H. reeling"
By Lisa Wangsness, Boston Globe Staff, February 14, 2009
CONCORD, N.H. - In the circus of New Hampshire politics, Judd Gregg has always been the political equivalent of a Congregational church steeple: straight, angular, sober, constant.
A reliable conservative, he typically hews to the Republican Party line. His favorite subjects are Social Security and taxes. In Washington and in his home state, he is most often photographed standing alongside someone more famous or newsworthy - President George W. Bush, a visiting VIP - most often in a tasteful, unflashy suit or, on the weekends, a plain barn jacket. When he last ran for reelection, his aides made up T-shirts that said, "Judd Rocks (quietly)."
This was the man who brought the political world to a halt late Thursday afternoon, announcing a radical change of heart about joining Presi dent Obama's Cabinet as commerce secretary just days after he said he would.
Flushed and weaving before the news cameras, he looked as if he'd shocked himself as much as anyone as he explained, citing "irresolvable conflicts" and deep philosophical differences with the administration, that it had gradually dawned on him that the job "wasn't my personality, after 30 years of being myself."
"I think he probably sat up in bed and said, 'Oh, my God, what have I done now?' " said Joe McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, the paper whose conservative editorial page has long backed Gregg.
Now Gregg will have a harder time fading into the background.
To many people in Washington, he has become a potent symbol of the triumph of traditional party differences over Obama's fervent pursuit of bipartisanship. And in New Hampshire, where he ruffled feathers in both parties with his surprise decision to join Obama's Cabinet, some voters who liked the idea of Obama and Gregg working together are disappointed that the pairing won't get the green light after all.
"I think the black eye goes to Gregg," said Dave Spenard, a 47-year-old lawyer from Manchester, over lunch at a downtown pub yesterday. He had thought Gregg was a great appointment. "He should have known the agenda going in."
Others are just flummoxed.
"This is my question: what did he learn that finally made him say, 'I can't drink this Kool-Aid?' " said Jim Bird, a middle-aged engineer sitting a few seats down the bar. "What did Judd Gregg learn, and when did he learn it?"
Republicans blame the Obama administration, saying the White House tried to play politics with the census, a key Commerce Department responsibility, and misled Gregg into thinking he would have more influence over policy than he would.
"My opinion is the president's staff had decided that Judd Gregg was going to be nothing more than the token Republican in the Cabinet," said Bob Clegg, former state senator. "That's not Judd Gregg."
The implications of Gregg's withdrawal ripple out far beyond the Senate. New Hampshire's Democratic governor, John Lynch, who is widely expected to run for a fourth two-year term, irritated members of his own party by naming a Republican to replace Gregg - Gregg said he wouldn't have taken the commerce job if Lynch had insisted on a Democrat. Now Lynch has had "the rug pulled out from under him," said McQuaid.
Bonnie Newman, the Republican whom Lynch had named to replace Gregg, has presumably spent the last several weeks preparing to upend her life and move to Washington. She issued a brief statement, but has stayed out of the public eye.
New Hampshire has always had a soft spot for politicians with an independent streak, giving a wide berth to even the marginally eccentric. Meldrim Thomson, a former governor, spoke of arming the New Hampshire National Guard with nuclear weapons. Bob Smith, a former senator, resigned from the Republican Party to run a quixotic and lonely campaign for president. Craig Benson, former governor and a half-billionaire, lugged a three-legged desk into the corner office to underscore the importance of thrift.
But Judd Gregg has always stood apart from that crowd. The son of the late Governor Hugh Gregg, a beloved and gregarious Yankee, he graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, Columbia University, and Boston University Law School. Since 1978, he has climbed from executive councilor to U.S. representative, governor, and three-term senator.
He has chaired some of the Senate's most prestigious committees, and he served as Bush's sparring partner in debate practice during his campaigns for president. Last fall, he was the lead negotiator on the $700 billion troubled assets relief program and played a key role in getting it passed. He reliably brings home millions of dollars for the state university system, and played a key role in securing funding for the largest conservation deal in state history.
Dante Scala, a political scientist at the University of New Hampshire, describes Gregg as a behind-the-scenes player, not a leader, but "somebody who has the ear of the leadership."
"In some ways, he is a senator from an earlier era, where the Senate was more of a gentlemen's club than it is now, a place where as gentlemen, you made deals and brokered in the back rooms," Scala said.
Gregg has never lost an election. The best candidate the Democrats could find to run against him in 2004 was the then-94-year-old Doris "Granny D." Haddock, who had famously walked across the country for campaign finance reform a few years earlier. But Gregg is more respected than loved in the Granite State, possibly because his taciturn demeanor can overshadow his dry wit, and he does not wear his emotions on his sleeve.
This week, however, Granite Staters saw a very different Gregg on display. He struggled as he tried to explain what had happened. In that moment, some say, Gregg seemed more real than he ever had before. By the end, he seemed lighter, more himself, as if a burden had been lifted.
"He's always had this veneer, this reserve about him, and it was like that had kind of been opened, and he was showing this soft, cushy Judd," said state Representative Fran Wendelboe. "It was bizarre. It was so out of character for him, I think it shows how tremendously he was impacted when he realized he'd made a mistake."
The events of the last few weeks may have helped the 61-year-old Gregg see the way to the end of his career. He said on Tuesday he would "probably not" run for reelection in 2010. Until recently, he was seen as a good bet for a fourth term, even though the state has seen significant demographic shifts that have put Democrats in virtually every top state office but Gregg's. At this point, few here expect him to run again.
McQuaid says it's healthy for the state Republican Party to have an open seat, an opportunity for regeneration.
McQuaid said he did not think the Union Leader would have supported Gregg for a fourth term.
"Sununu reaping benefits of defeat"
By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, March 8, 2009
Former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu is expected to be compensated well into six figures in his new posts on three corporate boards and on a government panel that oversees the use of federal bailout money.
Sununu, unseated from the Senate by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen last November, in the past month was named to the boards of directors of two publicly held companies, medical instruments leader Boston Scientific Corp. and cable operator Time Warner Cable, Inc.
He also was named to the board of managers of privately held ConvergEx Holdings LLC, 33 percent of which is owned by the Bank of New York Mellon Corp.
In December, Sununu was named to the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
ConvergEx Holdings, like all privately held firms, is not required to publicly report what it pays its board members, and a spokesman this week refused to disclose any compensation information.
Sununu this week declined to comment on his compensation.
The New Hampshire Union Leader reviewed the latest available directors' compensation information for Boston Scientific and Time Warner Cable to attempt to estimate Sununu's earnings.
Proxy statements filed for 2008 stockholder meetings reported how the directors of the two firms were compensated in 2007. Proxy statements for each firm's 2009 meetings were not yet posted on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Web site.
Boston Scientific paid each of its directors an annual retainer of $60,000. An additional annual fee of $20,000 was paid to the chair of each of the board's committees.
The company also awarded stock to its non-employee directors at no charge, but the stock could not be sold until the expiration of each director's current term of office.
The 14 members of the board received varying amounts of total compensation, based on the value of their stock awards.
Another former U.S. senator from New Hampshire, Warren Rudman, has been a member of the Boston Scientific board since 1999. He received director's compensation totaling $251,004 in 2007, including $93,022 in fees earned or paid in cash, stock awards valued at $152,752 and option awards valued at $5,230, according to the proxy statement.
Other directors received total compensation, in cash and stock, ranging from $114,000 to $234,000.
Sununu's appointment to the board of Time Warner Cable Inc., announced on Feb. 18, will not become effective until the company officially separates from its current parent company, Time Warner Inc., which is expected by the end of the first quarter, March 31.
Last year's proxy statement for Time Warner Cable reported that in 2007, each non-employee director received a compensation package comprising a cash retainer of $85,000 and an equity award of full value stock units in the form of restricted stock, valued at $95,000.
Sununu -- a former corporate chief financial officer who later served six years in the House as District 1 congressman and six years in the Senate -- was named to the board's Nominating and Governance Committee, but not as its chairman. Committee chairs received additional cash retainers of $20,000.
Total compensation for the company's board members in 2007 ranged from $180,033 to $237,533.
Upgrade in pay
Former U.S. Senator John Sununu has been appointed to the boards of two publicly held companies, Boston Scientific Corp. and Time Warner Cable, Inc., as well as the privately held ConvergEx Holdings LLC and the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
A look at the 2007 compensation range for directors of Boston Scientific and Time Warner Cable, 2009 compensation for members of the oversight panel, contrasted with the 2009 salary for members of the Senate (ConvergEx figures unavailable):
Source of income Range of compensation*
Boston Scientific $114,000-$251,004
Time Warner Cable $180,000-$237,533
TARP panel up to $69,888
U.S. Senate $174,000
*-In fees and stocks
Sources: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; www.senate.gov
The Time Warner Cable proxy says directors are reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, including the costs of travel, food and lodging, incurred in connection with attending board, committee and stockholder meetings. It says travel to the meetings "may include the use of aircraft" if they are "available and appropriate under the circumstances."
Time Warner Cable also "may provide its cable, high-speed data and/or telephone service to directors who live in its service area at no cost to the director."
The proxy says, "The company believes that providing this service serves a business purpose by expanding the directors' knowledge of the company's business products and services."
And when directors and their spouses are invited to attend company related events, the company also reimburses the expenses of the spouses, according to the proxy statement.
Sununu is also well paid for his service on the Congressional Oversight Panel.
Shanan Guinn, panel spokesman, said the compensation is a daily rate of $538.52, based on Level 1 of the federal government's executive schedule.
Guinn said board members are limited under ethics rules to work no more 130 days a year on panel business, meaning the maximum Sununu could earn this year for his work on the panel is $69,888. Working more than 130 days would subject members to Senate ethics rules that "limit their ability to receive pay for any work done outside of their panel duties," Guinn said.
Guinn said that according to Senate rules, "a day of work is any day that someone participates in official business," even if the person works less than a full day.
"It is up to the discretion of each panel member as to what constitutes that day," Guinn said.
She said panel members also receive travel and mileage expense reimbursements.
While Sununu's ConvergEx board compensation is a secret, a University of New Hampshire management professor said that compensation for directors of privately held firms vary widely and are not necessarily commensurate with the compensation for directors of publicly held companies.
"The size of the company makes a difference," said Prof. Michael Merenda, chairman of the Department of Management at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business. "Usually, the larger the company, the higher the compensation."
He said that recently, private companies are compensating their directors more with stock options than with cash.
Sununu's dual service on the government TARP panel and the ConverEx Holdings board was criticized last week by Democrats and a watchdog group.
The Bank of New York Mellon Corp., which owns about one-third of BNY ConvergEx, a subsidiary of ConvergEx Holdings, has received $3 billion from the TARP fund. The bank also serves as the federal Treasury's custodian of the bailout funds, described by the Associated Press as a "massive job" that includes holding and administering all cash and assets in the program's portfolio.
But both Sununu and a spokesman for ConvergEx Holdings said the Bank of New York does not control the ConvergEx board and ConvergEx is not eligible to apply for or receive TARP funds.
It's about time to put in term limits. The less time spent in Washington, the less time to grow a "good old boy" network. 2 terms in either house and your out, back to working in your community. The country is ready for a real change in politics!
- Jack, Laconia
Stan wrote, "He relentlessly pushed for investment of social security into the stock market.
Suppose you have just turned 65 and had planned to go into retirement today.
Six months ago the Dow was at 14,000. Today it is at 7,000.
How smart an idea to you think that was now????
- Stan, Concord"
Imagine John McCain getting elected President and NOT creating catastrophic economic / fiscal policies in the last two months that have caused the NYSE to drop below 7,000. If that happened then Sununu's stock market ideas would be brilliant. Saint Barry Obama claims he inherited this recession and he'd be right. He inherited it from the Pelosi / Reid Democratically controlled congress. We are now officialy in a depression. Thanks Barry.
- Brian, Nottingham
Actually, Stan from Concord, investment in the market as opposed to the government tying up and diverting funds into a phony social security fund would have provided companies with capital, increased jobs, and increased wealth.
Oh, and let's not let any facts get in the way. The market is tanking because every time Obama or any of his tax cheating minions, you know, the Treasury Secretary, opens their mouth, the Street understands they have no plans, only platitudes.
So wise up.
- Richard, Manchester
Scott from Manchester -- So, I'm guessing not even a completed GED, some type of labor just above minimum wage and a devoted American Idol watcher, right? Once a person is voted out of office, regardless of the size of the votes for & against, you revert to being a private citizen just like you and me. Period. Furthe, ANY person elected to public office represents exactly that -- THE PUBLIC. That group of people is NOT always the total of all the people in voting area of that office -- it IS always the majority of people who voted. Don't like a public official? You have two choices -- vote for his/her opponent and hope the opponent wins OR move. Don't like a private citizen? Too bad. This ain't some crap American Idol episode you know. RAP
- Ray Pendergast, Newport News VA
The story underscores why Senator Sununu will not run for the Senate again in 2010. It would be very hard to give up this income. He's more likely to end up as a corporate CEO someday than a US Senator.
- ed, londonderry
Almost every politician manipulates their contacts to land highly paid positions. The irony of this story is the neutral tone. If Sununu had been a democrat this article would have been written with a bias towards the abuse of using political connections to receive preferential treatment.
- Dallas, Loudon, NH
I can't for the life of me find in this story the reasoning behind all of the research. What is the UL's reasoning behind such an in depth report on Sununu? It's clear a great deal of work went into this story, yet I cannot understand what benefit it serves the readers or the UL.
If there is some "point" to this story its lost in its vagueness.
- Craig D, Manchester
Is it any wonder that Sununu is in high demand? He was a thoughtful, intelligent Representative and then Senator fighting for New Hampshire. Now we have the former school teacher filling our Senate seat begging Obama for more of our federal tax $$ to pay off her UNH cronies.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach - or become Senator.
- Jerry LaCorte, Derry
He relentlessly pushed for investment of social security into the stock market.
Suppose you have just turned 65 and had planned to go into retirement today.
Six months ago the Dow was at 14,000. Today it is at 7,000.
How smart an idea to you think that was now????
- Stan, Concord
Washington is loaded with criminals, liars, hacks, and opportunists.
More now than possibly ever.
I never looked at John E. Sununu as one of them.
Have you noticed how "czars" Obama has in addtion to Cabinet Secretaries - what is with that?
- Niel Young, Laconia
We lost a great independent conservative when Sununu was defeated. I did not always agree with him, but I never felt he was a RINO or a sell out for some cheap media. He did"played kissy face" with health insurance and drug companies and that is not a good position to take with a aging demographic here in NH. Good luck to John Sununu I hope he returns to politics in the future.
- Chris, Merrimack
I don't think Senator Sununu got enough credit for the financial opportunity cost he absorbed by spending 12 prime earning years (age 32-44) in public service. In a club of millionaires, Sununu had a very modest net worth, one of the lowest in the senate. For someone of his ability, serving in congress meant taking a pay cut. The guy has three kids to take care of and I don't blame him one bit for taking steps to make up for lost time in establishing financial security for his family.
Fergus Cullen, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fergus Cullen, Wolfeboro
Sununu one of the best Senators it DC. It is a shame that we have lost him along with his knowledge. Although I might not have always agreed with all his votes, I have always felt he studied the issues well and voted for what he thought was the best for the USA as well as NH.
- Scott, Durham
Sununu is brilliant and a loss to America that he is no longer a US Senator. Of course he is going to get picked up for these positions...he does his homework and thinks.
- Paul, Crownsville, MD
This is money he's earning in the private sector, is it really anyone's business?
On a side note, the Bill Clinton spent 8 years testifying that they didn't recall anything, but was paid about $12,000,000 for his memoirs. Everyone has a right to earn money after politics.
- Scott, Pembroke
Suprise! Surprise! Looks like its time to pay back all those favors the good senator did while he was in Washington. Republican and democrat alike no longer serve the people of this country, but rather the corporate interests are who they serve. No doubt the right wingers will probably leave posts defending this crap and bashing my post, while the left wingers will still believe that their savior Obama and the rest of the democrats are not doing the same exact thing right now. Wake up people! Neither party represents the people anymore. Its called taxation without representation. I think I heard that somewhere before.
- scott, manchester
"Et tu, Judd?"
The Boston Globe Online, Political Intelligence, Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor, March 23, 2009 03:29 P.M.
When Senator Judd Gregg stunningly withdrew as President Obama's choice for commerce secretary, the New Hampshire Republican blamed "irresolvable conflicts" on policy.
He wasn't kidding.
Since giving Obama the heave-ho last month, Gregg has been one of the Democratic president's harshest critics. In recent days, he has been blasting Obama's proposed $3.6 trillion budget, saying it would bankrupt the country. Gregg, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, got some more ammunition on Friday, when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that Obama's game plan would generate unsustainable deficits averaging almost $1 trillion a year for the next decade.
In an interview on MSNBC this afternoon, Gregg said if he were in charge, he would excise from Obama's budget the healthcare expansion ($634 billion over 10 years) and the government takeover of student loans, would freeze discretionary domestic spending, and would tackle entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
He also stood by his eye-opening remarks about the moves by some Democrats to limit debate -- and require only a bare majority for passage -- on major tax proposals in Obama's budget plan, including carbon and healthcare taxes.
While Democrats say that Republicans did the same when they were in control, Gregg and other Republicans say that puts a lie to Obama's pledge of bipartisanship and changing how Washington does business.
"That would be the Chicago approach to governing: Strong-arm it through," Gregg said last week. "You're talking about the exact opposite of bipartisan. You're talking about running over the minority, putting them in cement, and throwing them in the Chicago River."
US Senator Judd Gregg: "President's budget endangers our country's future"
By SEN. JUDD GREGG, The NH Union Leader Online, Op-Ed, 4/2/2009
When speaking with the hardworking New Hampshire families and business owners I represent in Washington, I hear the same concerns echoed by Americans across the country. People are worried about keeping their jobs, their homes and their savings safe. They ask, "When will the economy recover? What kind of economic future will our children have?"
These questions are not easy to answer. Yet I believe that over the next couple of years, the country will recover from this severe recession. We are an inherently resilient nation.
Our longer-term future is harder to predict, though, especially since the Democratic Congress is on the cusp of adopting President Obama's budget blueprint. This is a defining budget. It shows clearly where the President and the Democratic majority want to take our country: sharply to the left.
There is no doubt that the President came into office facing significant economic challenges. To stabilize the economy, he has been forced to take aggressive steps, some of which may have been necessary to avert a systemic financial collapse.
But don't be fooled when the President says the economy he inherited is the reason that future deficits and debt skyrocket.
The President's budget makes clear that a huge expansion of government is not just about today's economic downturn. Once the recession is behind us, this budget will continue pushing for more and more government in our everyday lives. Instead of tightening Uncle Sam's belt the way so many American families are cutting back these days, the President's proposal spends so aggressively that it essentially adds $1 trillion to the debt, on average, every year.
Except for some accounting gimmicks, the budget makes no attempt to cut wasteful spending or find savings. It ignores reform for major entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, which are on track to cost us $67 trillion more than we have over the next 75 years.
The new spending is coupled with the largest tax increase in U.S. history -- $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
Who will pay all those taxes? The President says it's just the rich. But let's keep in mind that a lot of these "rich" people are actually small-business owners, and small businesses create 70 percent of the new jobs each year. When millions of Americans are out of work, taxing job creators and making it harder to run a business are certainly not the answer.
Moreover, all American families will get stuck with a new "light-switch tax" on electricity bills that is in the President's budget. Even though taxes will go up dramatically, this new revenue will not be used to reduce the deficit. Instead, it is going to expand the government beyond what we can afford.
And since the revenue the government collects still won't cover all its spending, we will be left with an unsustainable level of debt. Under the President's budget, the national debt doubles in five years and nearly triples in 10 years. Our debt will exceed 80 percent of gross domestic product by 2019 -- the highest level since World War II.
This borrowed money is certainly not free. Our children and grandchildren will be hit with the bill. Sadly, in 10 years, we will spend more on interest payments on this debt than we spend on education, energy and transportation combined -- almost four times as much.
Imagine that as your family budget. Could you afford to spend so much on credit card finance charges that it dwarfed what you spent on food, utilities and other necessities? Neither can our country.
At the heart of this budget debate are differing philosophies on the role of government in our lives. Republicans do not believe that we can expand prosperity by expanding government, or by increasing the burden of spending, taxes and debt. We believe that it is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.
Our nation has a history of each generation passing on to its children a stronger and more prosperous country, but that tradition is being jeopardized by this budget's attempts to dramatically expand the size and cost of the government, to the point that our children's opportunities will be crushed under the burden of debt. This budget plan is clearly not the right path for America today or for future generations.
The goal of Republicans in Congress is to restrain spending and to reduce the deficit while still moving forward on important issues, such as health-care reform, energy independence and national security. Only then will our children and grandchildren inherit a healthy economy and enjoy the opportunities for prosperity, peace and freedom that we were given.
Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, is ranking minority member of the Senate Budget Committee.
Anyone saying that our current economic problems are from the lack of regulation isn't looking at the situation correctly. The regulations put in place are what caused the problem. Artificially lowering interest rates creates confidence in business that should be abandoned. So by misleading investors with the low interest rates and propping up failing busnesses it was in turn sending money to companies that should have gone bankrupt. Rather than creating incentive for new investments,the regulations were propping up failing businesses and it created the illusion that they were still bringing in money. It redistibrutes money where it shouldn't be. If a company goes bankrupt or people start short selling it would do the job the regulators should be doing naturally, and yes there would be some loss and some mistakes but not at the taxpayers expense. Not too mention the government makes pleanty of mistakes as it is.
The regulations we had forced banks to make loans to people who couldnt pay them back, and now we are "solving" the problem by forcing banks and lenders to make more faulty loans to people who most likely wont be able to pay them back. We are taking tax payer money to pay for companies that should be going out of business. Any good parts/products of a failing company will be bought up just like what was happening before the bailouts. If a company has nothing good to offer, it will go under, like Lehman Brothers, which was supposedly "too big to fail"...Well, it went under and the world didnt explode.
Before the government started regulating the US was the richest country. #1 education, #1 for affordable healthcare and extremely low poverty. Since Government started reallocating money, lowering interest rates and printing money it created the bubbles that burst and brought prices sky high, and thats if you ignore the loss in purchasing power of the dollar. I'm sorry but I will not have faith in something that we have tried before and I know it won't work. It might stall things for 4 or 5 years but after that it will just be a bigger problem than it is now.
Everyone should read up on this! we can't expect to be handed solutions by Washington, because most of the time the solution is in their best interests, not ours.
- Kyle, Manchester
Rick of Partsmouth:
"Those complaining about that cost of cap-and-trade OWE it to the voter to explain how they are going to cover the costs of inaction on this issue."
- Dave, Sandwich
That's mostly right, Russ, and one of the dumber things Obama did in England, besides talking about Americans and what "they" (not "we") believe. It was not so long ago that third-world countries were rushing to repay their loans to the IMF and the World Bank, and be free of European meddling--as fast as NH banks are now repaying their TARP loot. The IMF was discredited and its only remaining mandate was manufacturing scandals on its Bush appointees.
But Obama did not pledge that America will kick in another $1,000,000 million to the IMF and World Bank. He mostly shamed foreign countries into kicking in that amount.
- Spike, Brentwood NH
Dave of Sandwich, please think a bit more about cap-and-trade. The immediate impact will be to raise the cost of goods, which will drive more manufacturing to countries like China and India. These countries rely heavily on coal for energy and will escape the most stringent emissions standards, meaning the net effect will be an increase in carbon emissions. We will in fact have a light-switch tax, one that applies to nearly all consumption and therefore is regressive in nature, while at the same time actually boosting carbon emissions. The loss of our jobs and our quality of life will be offset by stronger economies in China and India, which one suspects is really the objective of the global green movement.
- Rick, Portsmouth
You think your mad now wait until you find out Obama just gave 1 TRILLION dollars to other countries with stuggling economies.
- Russ, Manchester
This country is in crisis due to the fact that corporations and individuals mortgaged their future to the hilt thinking that everything is going great and that everything we own is going to increase in value (your house, your 401K). You took out a $300K loan on a house that is now only worth $150K and faceing foreclosure, do you think someone would give you a loan to make up the difference?
From a logical perspective, does spending more money make sense? We need to cut spending and save, and cut out all of these worthless programs the government spends money on (like a bridge to the airport for one!!!). They tried that during the great depression, and it didnt work then, why would it work now!!!
For all you moonbats who want to give Obummer a blank check and do whatever he wants, you are the ones drinking the coolaid, because you don't bother asking the how's and why's of how we are going to pay it back!! Wait till his Cap and Trade tax goes into effect and your utility bill more than doubles!!! For the balance of us who are not subsidized, that's going to hurt!!! That's why these questions need to be asked and why we need to have opposing opinions, to flush out the truths!!!
- Jeff H., Exeter
Tom Labrie, what ARE you smoking? The layoffs John II is talking about is the reaction from corporations who KNOW what is down the road for them due to THIS administration - not the last one. It's just one of the upcoming consequences.
- R, Raymond
From experience I know that the U.S. "Budget" is only 45% of what is actually spent in any administration--Demo or Republication. Judd is stating fact. Yet, Bush was never known for his personal fiscal genius either. Our nation has gone through tough times before. We as Americans will do what it takes--as the Americans before have done But more importantly, each of us must tell whatever administration is in office (President, Congressional, judicial, etc,) that we demand integrity and fiscal responsibility. Folks in any administration-- at every level their are polarized political thieves--who think if they are a Demo or Republican they are "right" and can do whatever. (In political profiling each party has a history for certain foibles and criminal missteps. We are free to vocalize and are supposed to do so in a Republic and to do so to the offending body and/person. Lets say our respectfully pointed frustrations for what is happening and that will cost us in the future directly to the offending body and individuals. Let's not wag our tongues at one another trying to jockey for a position of superiority based on our idolization of the personality and or the party of the moment. Yes, I personally track and respond on about 88 issues that are mile posts on where this country has been and is going. Use your opinions where it really counts. Tell your reps what is your vision and goals for this country over the next half decade and decade, e.g. spend within means (on non-borrowed funds from foreign countries), strong GNP, made in america means made in america, labor force statistics averaging above 3-4%. With your resources (time, energies, and money) help/support the efforts of the politicians that best fulfill you list of key issues. Then remember that social chaos and civil divisiveness may from over polarization of political party lines or any one party with an imbalance of power and or too far swings in social deviations. Each party claims--eventually it could have done better, more on its platform, promises, actions--if only the fellows on the other side didn't block, pork barrel, etc. There are no perfect parents, children, adults, political parties, political parties. We all fall short. It is through individual's attitude, sense of personal responsibility, accountability, and acceptance of liability that makes the difference in how well we do or don't do. Persons with attitudes of "Eat it." it is my turn now to do as I please" or moral and social destroyers-- Judd stands tall on doing his best for us all.
- Jan, Londonderry, NH
Anyone who thinks all this new government spending is going to "fix" the economy, create any jobs other than government make-work useless jobs, "improve" education (or anything else) or "reform" healthcare in a way that improves what is already the highest quality health care on the planet (yes, it's expensive - you get what you pay for) you must be smoking an awful lot of that medical dope the NH House approved. Ditto if you think cap-and-trade will do anything to change the climate of the planet. What rubbish.
- Mark, Amherst
This mess belongs to both the republicans AND the democrats. They're all a bunch of jackasses. That's really not the point. The point is that this current administration and congress are trying to grow government at the expense of everybody else. Everyone seems to agree that the government can't solve anything, so why then would you want them to have a bigger hand in your pocket, telling you how to run your business? And healthcare? How do you expect them to "fix" that? And, Dave, we'll see how you like the cap and trade when your electric bills are through the roof. Regardless of which side of the isle the government sits, right or left, bigger government is not the answer.
- Sheana, Chester
Do we only have one Senator? The UL is lavishing coverage on Senator Gregg as though he were a rock star. Let's have a little balance and hear from our other Senator--or would that violate some tenet of right wing advocacy "journalism."
- Leo, Manchester
Amazing how blinded partisanship can leave the Bush bashing nuts in denial. Numbers are numbers, you can't hide or lie in the fact that this administration is going to bankrupt our nation with TRILLIONS not BILLIONS of deficit spending, period. Republican or Democrat, we can not afford this current path of insanity. The candy store both parties have looted is now broke.
- Mike, Raymond
"The goal of Republicans in Congress is to restrain spending...."While I agree that Obama's budget is out of control the above statement by Mr. Gregg is just plain crazy. The replicans have done nothing in the last 8 years to restrain spending, now all of a suddenly we must restrain spending. Where have they been all along?
- Matt, Newton
Ther republicans have no budget credability. They had the golden opportunity, and blew it. Besides that, what they did propose would have killed america with slashing the social safety net thats keeping people's heads afloat these days and tax cuts for those that don't need them. So-long, senator Gregg!
- joe T, derry nh
Hate to admit it but the budget probably does threaten life as we know it if we are greedy rich Republican conservatives like Gregg. The one thing that is sure though, is that continuing the programs of the last eight years will continue the collapse of our economy. Most of us are not in the stock market but then we have honest jobs. We are the ones who lose those jobs when the greed merchants get out of control. I can only hope that we will have a long enough period to balance things before they take over again.
- William, Deerfield
Cue the flood of GOP koolaid addicts who can't tell the difference between money for FIXING OUR COUNTRY and MONEY THROWN DOWN THE DRAIN ON A WRONGHEADED WAR and TAX BREAKS for the RICH. Bush dug the hole, Obama is left to build a bridge across it so we don't all fall in.
The layoffs John II mentions are of course a result of the last admin, not Obama. How can you blame any downside on a guy who's only been there a couple months? I'll tell you how; with magic GOP koolaid the previous eight years never happened - poof - viola!
- Tom Labrie, Rochester
Ignore for a moment the irony of a Republican whining about the national debt, which can be seen as an indication of just how far the GOP has to stretch to find something to complain about. Let's looks at just the other two main thrusts of this piece.
One: that Obama has a lot of spending proposals in his budget that, when added to the cost of saving the economy, create the huge deficits. Those pesky 'spending ' proposals are actually a sign of Obama making good on his campaign promises (something that must seem strange to Repubs) to reform health care, improve education, and begin moving us toward a path of renewable energies; policies most Americans still support.
Two: the newly minted term 'light switch tax'? That refers to the cap-and-trade on carbon emissions, which is a minimum that must be implemented if we are to take on the challenge of global climate change- a challenge that has proven too big for Republicans, who believe denial will ultimately save us. Those complaining about that cost of cap-and-trade OWE it to the voter to explain how they are going to cover the costs of inaction on this issue, which could make TARP look like your kid's allowance. No such explanation will be found here. And that may be the truest threat to our countries future, and that of the world.
- Dave, Sandwich
The stimulus plan, proposed budget and changes in taxable income could result in the demise of small business in America. If one simply reads what most of our elected officials did not, you will find that the stimulas plan did nothing more provide for program funding and temporary budget relief for states across this country. Our present state budget shortfall will be resolved with little effort other than more taxes, lever funding, and the use of stimulus money leaving the next budget cycle in utter chaos facing upwards of a $500,000,000.00 deficit. If one looks at what the stimulus package did for small business they will find nothing other than accelerated depreciation schedules and minimal loan program expansions. No tax credits, or any other incentives to spur investment and development.
The proposed budget laden with more earmark spending on borrowed money will drive up interests rates increasing the cost of doing business and in turn delay or limit expansion opportunities. Finally the proposed changes is taxable income will in essence become the nails in the coffin of small tax code, S class companies whos profit is applied to the owners salary for tax purposes only. Thsi means that this money normally spend for business expansion and or debt reduction will instead be construed as higher personal income which will be subject to higher taxes. It is an absolute tragedy that we have elected officials who have niether the capacity to read, comprehend basic mathematics or understand the ramifications of their decisions.
- jim jalbert, rollinsford nh
"Oh Please!!!: "At the heart of this budget debate are differing philosophies on the role of government in our lives. Republicans do not believe that we can expand prosperity by expanding government, or by increasing the burden of spending, taxes and debt. We believe that it is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government."
Is this guy serious? Come on Judd. We know you and your record here in NH. Even those of us who have serious concerns about the new deficits and debt cannot take Republicans serious about deficits, debt, or shrinking government.
What Judd is really saying is that doubling the national debt is great in a Republican administration. He voted for it over and over and over. Oh, but debt is bad in a Democratic administration. Yeah. Sure!
Republicans need new, credible, candidates who can make this case while leaving those of us who really do care about the outrageous debt with a straight face while they say it.
Hearing it from Republicans like Judd Gregg, John Sununu, Jeb Bradley or Charlie Bass is funny, just plain funny.
The deficits and debt are not!
- Bob Jean, Northwood, NH
Cue the regulars that will whine about Bushes Debt and Deficit - ignoring how Obama tripled it in just 3 months.
750,000 laid loff last month... When will the thousands of millions of dollars start helping?
- John II, Manchester, NH
Party leaders are pushing Judd Gregg to seek reelection next year.
"Gregg uplifted after yes-no on Cabinet: GOP senator takes up top role as budget critic"
By Sasha Issenberg, Boston Globe Staff, April 20, 2009
WASHINGTON - In the months since Senator Judd Gregg's surprise withdrawal from his nomination to be President Obama's commerce secretary, the New Hampshire Republican has remade himself into one of the most fervent critics of the administration's budget policies. Obama, he says, has already begun to do more damage to the country's finances than all his predecessors combined.
For Gregg, the decision to withdraw - and the awkward confessional press conference at which he declared "I couldn't be Judd Gregg and serve in the Cabinet" - may still be vexing to others, but he no longer wrestles with his identity. Instead, he has uncovered new euphoria for the once low-key life of a fiscal scold.
"I think my influence on these issues has been raised, ironically, because of the Commerce exercise," Gregg said by phone from his Manchester office last week, his typically uninflected voice barely breaking a whisper. "I'm not saying anything that's different from what I have always said, but in our culture there's a little bit of notoriety that comes when you get your 15 minutes."
Rather than drum him out, Republicans have put Gregg - and his seemingly endless collection of line graphs and pie charts predicting budgetary doom - forward as a spokesman.
He was recently assigned to deliver the party's response to Obama's weekly radio address, and he says that Republican leaders regularly push him to reconsider his decision not to seek reelection next year, though he insists he's ready to retire. Many in the party think Gregg, a 61-year-old former governor and the son of another, offers Republicans their only solid chance to hold on to the Senate seat.
"Conservatives felt good when he was going to be their voice in the administration, but they felt excellent when he said he was not going to sell out his principles," said former New Hampshire congressman Jeb Bradley. "He wins on both counts from conservatives."
Unlike many of his fellow Republicans, who have resisted personalizing their quarrels with the popular new president, Gregg has been happy to put Obama's face on the disagreement. One recent visual aid Gregg displayed on the Senate floor featured a large version of Obama's formal portrait, juxtaposed unfavorably against the visages of 42 other presidents who Gregg claimed had generated less federal debt combined than the current one will.
"He's said all the right things, but his actions are the opposite," said Gregg. "They're doing it consciously, they know what they're doing, and I'm opposed to it," he added, referring to Obama's administration.
Obama's $3.5 trillion budget passed the Senate earlier this month largely along party lines, but when the Senate reconvenes from its recess next week, Gregg, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, says he will not stray from his insistence on fiscal discipline.
Gregg says his priorities will be working on the healthcare system, and rewriting the tax code and financial-sector rules. Gregg says he fears that Congress will overreach in imposing new regulations on financial institutions, as he says it did in 2002 when imposing the Sarbanes-Oxley rules on corporations.
"I expect to be an aggressive player on a lot of big issues for a foreseeable future," said Gregg, who is participating in various bipartisan working groups while insisting that his party present its own agenda so that the public can see an alternative. "We're not going to pass any of this. Hopefully, we can affect what comes out of the Senate."
All of a sudden, Gregg's experience as an erstwhile Obama ally - and the stolid, serious mien that made him so appealing to the administration in the first place - has turned him into a particularly useful figurehead for Republicans seeking to shake off a Democratic caricature of them as a reflexively combative "party of no."
"That he was willing to accept the Commerce Department position suggests his willingness to work across party lines," said Jim Merrill, a Manchester, N.H., lawyer active in Republican politics. "The fact that he is perceived as a conservative who is willing to buck the party line, to work with Democrats, makes him an effective advocate."
Gregg's behavior probably comes as little surprise to Obama. "It's not that he enjoys saying 'no,' " Obama said when he nominated Gregg. "Although if it's directed at your bill, you might feel that way."
Gregg is quick to point out the places where he has said yes. He applauds Obama's approach to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has stood behind many of the president's efforts to deal with the country's financial crisis.
Gregg was only one of six Republicans who voted for releasing the second $350 billion in funds to bail out financial institutions and among only 10 who voted for the nomination of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. In personal dealings, Gregg said, the president has been "very gracious" to him and Obama's famously combative Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been "courteous."
"They obviously don't really have a lot of need to talk to me these days," said Gregg. "I'm not at the top of their list, and my opposition in response to their budget has not made me any more liked."
Congressman Barney Frank, who worked with Gregg on the financial bailout package, said the so-called "Commerce exercise" was foreshadowed by Gregg's decision last fall to serve on a bailout oversight board and then quickly withdraw from it, on the basis that the job would conflict with his Senate duties.
"You wanted to say, 'What were you thinking when you accepted it?' " said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. "I was surprised that the president picked him, surprised that he decided to do it, and then surprised that he decided not to do it." For his part, Gregg appears to be done meditating on what led him to make his "mistake." Friends say that Gregg is back where he always belonged - getting national attention for his once-underappreciated obsession with public thriftiness - even if it took an unlikely detour to get there.
"The chapter in Judd's life in which he was a candidate for the Obama Cabinet is an aberration," said former representative Charlie Bass, a New Hampshire Republican. "It think it's something he'd just as soon forget as quickly as everyone else."
On 4/20/2009, "gorgie" wrote -
"Gregg is a multi-millionaire political hacker of the first degree, his Wife has a hack job with VERIZON at hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and it's no coincidence that VERIZON gets a 200 million dollar a year PROPERTY tax break here in Ma. Gregg is thrifty for big business and the cooperate board room at the EXPENSE of the MIDDLE CLASS worker who gets NO PROPERTY TAX BREAK! Judd Gregg is not now and never has been a friend of the PUBLIC!"
"Most people have a mid-life crisis, looks like Judd is having an end of life crisis, maybe that explains the recent DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS! This puff n fluff piece in the Globe isn't gonna change the facts, Judd Gregg was and is a George Bush neo-con enabler n apologist that helped put in place the biggest economic meltdown in the history of the United States and mankind! If you're feeling guilty Judd you should!"
On 4/20/2009, "NER-MCFC" wrote -
"It is unfortunate that the reporter of this piece opted for the love letter route rather than asking Mr. Gregg to describe what happened the last time the US government responded to an economic downturn with the kind of frugality he supports. It would have been fun to see him try to justify the policies of Herbert Hoover."
"Gregg: 'The debt is the threat'"
The NH Union Leader, July 14, 2009
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) criticized the economic policies of the Obama administration on the Senate floor today.
Noting that the nation's deficit was at $1 trillion for the first time in history, he added, "The implications of that debt are staggering for us as a nation, but more importantly, they represent a clear and present danger to our children and our children's children, and to this nation's fiscal solvency."
Well Mr. Gregg when you can find Republicans with some fire in their words and a belief in the party values as laid out by Lincoln let the nation know. All we have at the moment are Republicans by name only who sort of believe but lack conviction.
Some free advice. Talk to the people of only what you truly believe and mean it. Don’t let those who use name calling as their main attack point get away with it by being a nice guy. Go for the throat and don’t stop. Not because you’re mean but because you’re right. Don’t try to be perfect just be human. Lay your cards on the table. People like a straight shooter. Well at least I do.
- Deb, Derry
It is quite clear as to the rejection of promotion within the Obama administration by our brilliant Senator Gregg. Bravo for him and his stance and may Americans wake up before it is too late. Keep up your pressure Senator!
- Tom T, Manchester,NH
Wait, weren't the Democrats just last week saying that debt was good because that means we have large amounts of goods?
- Jay, Manchester
Yes, Judd, the debt is the threat. Since the GOP ran up the debt from $1T in 1980 to $11T in 2008 (it increase less than $1T during Clinton's terms) when is the GOP going to take responsibility for fixing it. Calling for spending cuts while sending home earmarks for bridges and Congressionally directed grants for unneeded red tide reseach is pretty hypocritical wouldn't you say?
- LJC, Manchester
Where were you when 11 trillion dollars disappeared from the treasury and another 11 trillion disappeared from Wall Street? Where were you when 40,000 manufacturing plants closed in the US and moved over seas? Yes I said 40,000 manufacturing plants have closed in the past ten years in the US, the majority under yours and Bush’s watch.
Look it up people, that’s why we’re in this mess 22 trillion dollars missing plus 40,000 manufacturing plants gone equals a bad economy. Now Obama has to borrow less than 5% of what you guys blew to start digging us out and you guys are suddenly concerned about debt? Please keep walking you have no credibility here Mr. Gregg.
- Jim, Raymond NH
The Senator conveniently ignores the manipulation of the Stock market by Goldman Sachs and the Plunge protection team. The derivatives mess is also ignored in favor of blaming a government administration instead of the privately owned Federal reserve and it's bedmate the World Bank.
Does the Senator favor Congressman Ron Pauls call to Audit the Fed or is he intimidated by Bernakes threat to raise interest rates?
Greggs complicity in the finacial meltdown is clear to see if you look in the right places.
His diversionary tactics will only succeed with the help of a duplicitous media masquerading as a free press.
- SCOTT WELLS, Concord
No kidding! It doesn’t take a Politian to know this. Anyone that is trying to make a living knows this. I hate to say it but our children will be paying for our sins for a long, long time. Good job Liberals. Just keep giving it away.
- FreddyD, Goffstown
Senator Gregg was Chair of the Senate Budget Committee when his party controlled everything in Washington. There aren't ten people alive today who hold as much responsibility for the massive national debt as Judd Gregg.
When Republicans borrow and waste to overpay their contractor friends and fight unnecessary wars, the refrain is "freedom isn't free".
When Democrats come to power and invest in America to try to prevent a new depression caused by Republican incompetence, though, THAT'S the time to complain about out of control spending.
Senator, your both your faces are showing.
- Doug, Manchester
"Gregg's 5 points on health care"
www.seacoastonline.com - Editorial - August 23, 2009
New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg cast aside soundbites and slogans Thursday in Portsmouth to outline the major issues in the health care debate. It was ample evidence of why our senior senator is respected for his open and honest style in Washington.
Sadly, he is a dying breed — moderate Republicans from the Northeast who can work across the aisle with Democrats to control spending, make government effective and move the country forward. We also respect his willingness to meet face-to-face with citizens, rather than use telephone town halls or duck forums entirely. We hope Sen. Shaheen and our two members of the House of Representatives will do the same.
Gregg's remarks underscored the fact that health care is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but the most challenging American issue of our time. If we do nothing, he pointed out, by 2035 Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will consume the entire amount our government historically spends. Seventy-three percent of that future liability is health care.
Gregg's work in the Senate has focused on four areas: prevention, a better structure for managing the chronic ailments that drive up costs, tort reform and a shift from paying for procedures to paying for the quality of outcomes. He has been part of the health care debate from the start. But regardless of his "Rx" versus the House and competing Senate bills, he made five important points for all of us to bear in mind as the five bills out of House and Senate committees are reconciled later this year.
First, we must be careful and deliberative in our approach. Health care is 17 percent of our gross domestic product, and the largest single industry in America. It affects every home — 170 million Americans have private insurance now, 47 million are uninsured and 43 million use Medicare. Wrong steps could be catastrophic.
Second, doing nothing is not an option or the costs will absorb too much of the productive capacity of our private sector and bankrupt our public sector. Those who bellow about "government takeover" and "taking your hands off my health care" not only obscure the facts, but pose no solution to this looming financial crisis. (They also ignore the curtailment of rights that private insurance imposes now — such as the 12 million people who have lost coverage because of "pre-existing conditions," a euphemism for someone who's not profitable to insurance companies.)
Third, he spoke honestly about the complex problem of end-of-life care. Breaking with Republican Party talking points, he stated simply that neither the House nor Senate bills have anything resembling "death panels." Moreover, he correctly stated that this is a major issue in any health care reform discussion. He said it is right for physicians, hospice organizations, and families to gather and inform a family of their end-of-life choices. Research now shows, he pointed out, that when given all the options, families make "the right decisions."
We respect Gregg's courage for talking honestly about this issue. Study after study shows that aggressive end-of-life care usually makes only a modest difference in the time a dying person has left, but incurs enormous costs. It can even increase, rather than decrease, suffering. The one in 20 Medicare patients who die each year account for a third of Medicare's costs, and our population is living longer every year. Eighty percent of Medicare's cost for the final year of life occur in the last 30 days. "This is a waste of money," said Holly Prigerson of the Dana Farber Institute for Cancer at Harvard recently after researching the facts for a study in the Archive of Internal Medicine.
Fourth, Gregg is right to stress prevention and wellness. There is a place in the health care debate for personal responsibility. But companies who rewarded non-smoking employees with lower premiums became the target of anti-discrimination laws in Congress. That is legislating in the wrong direction. It's common sense that lifestyle and prevention have to be part of our effort to bring health care costs down in the future.
Fifth, Gregg made a vital point for every citizen: stay engaged. Whether you support or oppose a public option, whether you support or oppose government panels to recommend best practices to bring down costs (which we do), and whether you support or oppose tort reform, Seacoast residents need to discuss the issue with facts, not hyperbole.
Sen. Gregg set the tone and example for us all Thursday (8/20/2009).
March 6, 2010
Dear Honorable Judd Gregg:
Your quote on Wednesday (March 3, 2010) that: "The law says it shouldn't be given" after pointing out that the [amendment to give 57 million elderly people, veterans and persons with disabilities a $250 check due to no 2010 CoLA in the pending job-creation] bill would defeat the purpose of indexing Social Security payments to inflation is wholly and completely incorrect because, indeed, there was plenty of inflation numbers last year (2009) that a 2010 CoLA could have been based on.
. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.7 in 2009, but overall prices fell from July to September 2009 compared with the same months in 2008 -- the period the government uses to determine Social Security adjustments.
. Medical costs rose by 3.4 percent in 2009
. The premium for Medicare Part B went up 14.5 percent in 2010
. Premiums for Medicare Advantage plans offering medical and prescription drug coverage jumped 14.2 percent on average in 2010 and increased by 5.2 percent in 2009
. College tuition costs jumped by 6 percent in 2009
I believe you are being totally disingenious to say that the 57 million American recipients of Social Security benefits should not receive an extra $250 check in 2010 because the yearly CoLA is indexed to inflation. There was no CoLA for Social Security recipients in 2010, but only because the metric used 3 months of 2009 instead of the entire year of 2009. Had Social Security indexed the 2010 CoLA to the entire year, the increase in benefits would have been by at least 2.7%.
You are a phony Pol of the highest order. You supported trillions of taxpayer dollars to bail-out Wall Street's corruption, trillions more to fund the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, billions of dollars in Bush 2 era tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans & corporations, but you draw the line in spending an extra $13 billion when it comes to helping the most vulnerable Americans Citizens and Disabled Veterans! You did a disservice to the people of our nation by defeating the measure to provide an extra $250 this year to the 57 million recipients of Social Security who received no 2010 CoLA despite the many increases in inflation both in 2009 and now in 2010!
"Gregg named CEO of Wall Street lobbying group"
NH Union Leader, May 20, 2013
Former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg has been named chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), a key trade and lobbying group for Wall Street financial firms, it was announced Monday.
The post was described by The Hill, a Washington publication and web site, as “one of the hottest openings on K Street.” According to several news reports citing the group’s tax forms, SIFMA’s prior CEO, Tim Ryan, earned $2.9 million in 2010.
According to The Hill, Gregg said on a conference call he plans to use his new post to try to convey a message that a healthy Wall Street is a plus for the economy.
In a statement, Gregg said, “America’s success and prosperity depends on a vibrant financial system providing access to capital and credit that helps people on Main Streets across America build on their dreams of opening a small business, saving to be able to send their children to college, buying their first home or saving for retirement.
“At the center of this financial system is the membership of SIFMA,” said Gregg. “Our members provide the resources and expertise that make the economic engine of America work and create a more prosperous life for Americans. We are facing a great many challenges and I look forward to working with legislators and regulators together as we improve our economy and the lives of our citizens.”
Gregg, 66, was a leading fiscal conservative during his three terms in the U.S. Senate and was a key player in the creation and passage in 2008 of the $700 million Wall Street “bailout” effort known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.
The Republican served two terms as governor and three terms in the U.S. House, as well as a single term as an executive councilor.
Gregg was also nominated by President Barack Obama to be Secretary of Commerce in 2009, first accepting the appointment but then withdrawing his name shortly thereafter, admitting he had made a mistake.
Since leaving Capitol Hill, he has co-chaired the national Campaign to Fix the Debt, a bipartisan group which has pushed for a comprehensive solution to the nation’s deficit and debt. Other co-chairs of Fix the Debt are former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Gregg said he intends to remain active in the group.
Gregg has also been an international adviser to SIFMA member Goldman Sachs.
SIFMA also named former Rep. Ken Bentsen, a Texas Democrat, as its president. Bentsen, the nephew of the late senator and 1988 vice presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen, had been the group’s acting president and CEO, and reportedly had been considered a leading candidate for the top post.
The Hill reported that SIFMA, which represents “financial giants” such as Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, spent nearly $5.6 million on lobbying in 2012 and $1.45 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2013.
Gregg’s appointment will become official when the group’s board votes to approve him on Friday.
Brian Sieffer said:
It's what Judd Gregg always wanted to do anyway. At times it seemed his votes on financial regulation were not in the public interest. For instance, when congress tried to pass legislation to split the banking and hedge fund operations of an "investment bank" into separate companies, Mr. Gregg preferred to have the investment banks retain their "swap desks" within the same company that manages regular customer accounts. It's like if my stock broker placed bets against the stocks I owned, without my knowledge or consent, deliberately trying to squeeze me out of my positions. If you don't hold people accountable for their actions, they can do anything. If you don't hold people accountable for their actions, the system will never change.
May 20, 2013 6:10 pm
Sue Grant said:
When things like TARP slide through Washington DC w/a Bi-Partisan agreement, you simply can NOT deny that DC is being run by "big money Elitists"!! I don't know how you can call yourself a fiscal conservative AND be the creator of TARP! Sorry, but that is just NOT possible! In my opinion.... this shows beyond any doubt that Judd Gregg was planning for his future while drafting TARP!!! We talk about crony capitalism......well, actions such as Judd Greggs are exactly why America is in the position we're in!!! Unfortnuately these people are working rapidly to bring forth the NEW WORLD ORDER!!! I just pray that God opens the eyes of people like Judd Gregg!!!
May 21, 2013 1:10 pm
Gary Kerr said:
As usual, money goes to money, while the rest of us taxpaying public pay and pay every day.
May 21, 2013 5:01 pm
- Jonathan Melle
- Amherst, NH, United States
- I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at email@example.com
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