U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes
The Nashua Telegraph
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
"Paul Hodes wants tax rebate to help those in need: Congressman discusses his first year in office with Telegraph editorial board"
By ALBERT McKEON, Nashua Telegraph Staff
U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes supports an economic stimulus package but believes it should address property foreclosures and help struggling businesses.
Hodes, a Democrat in his first term serving the 2nd District, also wants any stimulus tax rebates to target "those who need it," he said Tuesday in an interview with The Telegraph editorial board.
President Bush last week proposed a relief package that could reach $171 billion through various measures as a way of boosting a sluggish U.S. economy. Congress supports a stimulus, but the Democratic majority wants tax relief to reach those who could fail to meet the threshold sought by Bush and Republicans.
Estimates of the Republican plan have individuals receiving an $800 rebate and families getting $1,600, but only if they paid that much in taxes last year. Republicans believe that only those who pay taxes should qualify for a tax rebate.
But Hodes, echoing Congressional Democrats, also wants low-income people to benefit from a refund, he said. Democrats believe that it would be a matter of fairness and that low-income people would move quickly to spend their rebates and thus help the economy.
Hodes said he is weighing the addition of neighborhood restoration programs that reverse the downside of property foreclosures. A bill should also include provisions for businesses, including one that would allow companies to assign losses to years that were profitable so that they can receive a cash infusion, he said.
In the interview, Hodes also reflected on his first year in the House, one that he said featured "the good, the bad and the ugly."
The "good" has come through several Democratic measures, including interest rate cuts on student loans, a minimum-wage hike, enacting the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and an energy bill with vehicle-mileage standards, he said.
The "bad" has been the inability to implement changes because of the slow nature of a large government, Hodes said. And the "ugly" is fighting systematic issues such as transparency and accountability in government.
But Hodes sees progress in the movement for greater oversight, to the point where he no longer considers himself a cynic of government, he said. He pointed to Congress getting to the bottom of the White House exposing the identity of a CIA agent because of Iraq war intelligence, and shedding light on misinformation surrounding the friendly-fire death of soldier and former NFL player Pat Tillman.
"The good news is that questions are being asked," said Hodes, a member of the House Oversight Committee. "But there are endless amounts of fraud and corruption to look at."
Hodes said complete transparency and accountability is hard to achieve with a "White House that is bent on secrecy." That includes subpoenaed White House employees' refusal to testify as they cite executive privilege, he said.
He also found fault with his own party for not changing the way it conducts some business. He pointed to Democratic leadership giving the caucus little time to read the language of an appropriations bill.
"Sunlight" still needs to shine on the way Congress and even the Democratic party works, Hodes said. "The question is, 'How do I make effective change?' "
On foreign affairs, Hodes faulted the Iraq central government for not meeting obligations to move the country forward. Last year, Hodes voted against funding the war because the legislation that passed didn't include requirements for Bush to meet timetables or devise troop-withdrawal plans.
Hodes cited several initiatives he has sponsored or co-sponsored as ways that he has helped the Second District.
Those efforts include an economic package for regions, including northern New Hampshire, along the border with Canada, and federalizing the state law that allows college students to continue school-offered health insurance while they are on sick leave.
Hodes said he intends to run for a second term to continue pushing for change. No Democrat has thrown a hat into the ring to challenge Hodes, but two Republicans have committed to running in their party's primary: Nashua resident Jennifer Horn and Concord attorney Jim Steiner.
Hodes captured office in 2006 as part of a wave of Democrats that supplanted the Republican Congressional majority. After getting trounced by Republican incumbent Charles Bass in 2004, Hodes beat the six-term representative in a rematch two years later.
"One reason why I ran for Congress is I'm a persistent person," he said. "But I am also an optimistic person."
"State congressional races could be pivotal"
By Gordon Fraser, Staff writer, Eagle-Tribune, Published: January 18, 2008
The New Hampshire presidential primary is over, but three more political contests could become the focus of national attention, according to several observers.
"Certainly, Democrats have this highlighted as one of the most important (states) for them," said University of New Hampshire pollster Andrew Smith.
In November, first-term Republican Sen. John Sununu is up for re-election as are first-term Democratic Reps. Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter.
And with control of the U.S. House and Senate at stake, both parties will focus their attention and their money courting independent-minded New Hampshire voters, Smith said.
State Democratic Party spokeswoman Pia Carusone said she expects the cost of the Senate race alone could total as much as $40 million by Election Day in November.
That's not entirely good news, said Fergus Cullen, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
"(Out-of-state groups) are going to play an unprecedented role. I'm disappointed and disturbed about it," Cullen said. "They're allegedly not coordinated (with campaigns) and all that, but as a practical matter, often the left hand knows exactly what the right hand is doing."
Cullen has seen an out-of-state group operating in New Hampshire for more than a year now, and he doesn't like it. The Washington, D.C., group Americans United for Change has run radio and TV advertisements in New Hampshire attacking Sununu.
The group already has spent more than $150,000 on ads in New Hampshire, said spokesman Jeremy Funk. But Funk argues that Americans United won't actually change public opinion during the election.
"We are not (legally) allowed to run ads, paid advertising, I believe 90 days ahead of the primary or the general election," Funk said. "Do you even remember the (political ads) that were running three weeks ago? I mean, think about three months ago."
Americans United, Funk said, is trying to pressure Sununu into changing his positions on issues like the war in Iraq and stem cell research.
Regardless of whether that particular group will influence the upcoming election, Smith of UNH said outside groups will spend lavish sums on New Hampshire's U.S. House and Senate races.
And from the perspective of New Hampshire's changing demographics, the races for Shea-Porter's 1st Congressional District seat and Sununu's Senate seat could be extremely close, Smith said.
"The Republicans think they can get it back," Smith said of Shea-Porter's House seat.
Hodes' seat, in the 2nd Congressional District, is in a more solidly Democratic part of the state and widely viewed as safer, Smith said.
Nashua newspaper columnist Jennifer Horn and Concord lawyer Jim Steiner, both Republicans, are competing for the chance to face Hodes in the general election.
But the Republicans facing off for the chance to compete for Shea-Porter's place in Congress are better known, Smith said.
Republican Jeb Bradley - the former congressman who lost narrowly to Shea-Porter in the last election - is running for his old job. Republican and former state Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen is running in the 1st District as well.
But the most closely watched race - and likely the most expensive Senate race in New Hampshire history, according to Cullen and Carusone - is going to be the contest for Sununu's seat.
Former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and former astronaut Jay Buckey are competing for the Democratic nomination, but the state Democratic Party isn't sitting around waiting for a nominee.
The party has already launched a "Stop Sununu" campaign, which has vigorously attacked the incumbent senator.
"I think you're going to see a lot of attention paid to this race. It's one of the biggest races in the country and you know the stakes are very high," said Bill Loafy, who runs the "Stop Sununu" campaign.
And it's off to the races again ...
1st Congressional District
Carol Shea-Porter, incumbent
2nd Congressional District
Paul Hodes, incumbent
John Sununu, incumbent
Primary: Sept. 9, 2008
General election: Nov. 4, 2008
"Races for Congress, governor shaping up"
The Boston Globe & The Concord Monitor, February 3, 2008
CONCORD, N.H. --Candidates for New Hampshire's congressional seats are getting down to business, while several potential candidates for governor continue to weigh their options.
In the 1st Congressional District, former Rep. Jeb Bradley raised about twice as much money in the last quarter as his rival for the Republican nomination.
Bradley and former health commissioner John Stephen are competing to take on Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, the Democrat who defeated Bradley in 2006. New fundraising reports show Bradley took in $156,000 in the last three months of 2007, compared to the $80,000 Stephen raised.
Shea-Porter, who raised $115,000, continues to have the most cash on hand. Her total is about $465,000, compared to $422,000 for Bradley and $203,000 for Stephen.
In the 2nd District, Rep. Paul Hodes, a Democrat, raised just under a quarter-million dollars in the last three months of 2007, far surpassing his Republican rivals.
Lawyer Jim Steiner raised $10,600 in all of 2007 and had about $9,000 cash on hand. Newspaper columnist Jennifer Horn didn't file her candidacy until last month.
Meanwhile, former state Sen. Bruce Keough says it's unlikely he'll run for governor this year, which boosts the odds that another former senator will jump in the race.
Keough, a Republican who ran for governor in 2002, says he knows better than to say never, but it's very unlikely that he will run.
Waiting in the wings is another Republican former state senator Chuck Morse, who says if Keough doesn't run, he'd seriously consider it.
Other Republicans who've expressed interest include Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta and state Sen. Joe Kenney.
"Veterans ask for more care"
By JOHN WHITSON, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
March 11, 2008
MANCHESTER – Veterans Administration Medical Center may never again operate as a full-service hospital, but New Hampshire veterans should still have access to a full array of medical services without leaving the state, members of Congress agreed yesterday.
Rep. Robert Filner, D-Calif., chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, told a group of veterans at the Puritan Backroom conference center that an alternative solution -- such as creating a V.A.-recognized health care card for use at civilian hospitals -- is the quickest way to avoid trips to Boston for routine care.
Even that, he acknowledged, will not be easy to achieve.
"It's really a bureaucratic turf issue. The V.A. will fight it," said Filner, who toured the V.A. Medical Center in Manchester with Reps. Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter, both D-N.H.
Filner said he will push to get such a system approved, and that New Hampshire could serve as a model for the rest of the country.
"You'd love to have (the medical center) return to full service," said John Rubery, state Veterans of Foreign War senior vice commander, "but a card would go a long way toward solving the problem."
The problem, veterans and politicians agree, is New Hampshire's status as the nation's only state without a full-service veterans hospital.
"We're trying to look at why," Shea-Porter told the group.
A steady erosion of services that began in the early 1990s has resulted in elderly and disabled veterans traveling to Boston and White River Junction, Vt., for much of their health care.
Rubery, 60, of Amherst, is a disabled Vietnam War veteran. He's an amputee with diabetes, hearing loss and post-traumatic stress disorder. All he gets in Manchester, he said, is limited dental and mental health care.
"It is a shame," he said. "I remember when they had intensive care, when they had surgical procedures."
Roger Desjardins, director of the state Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, told the congressmen he was bussed to Boston several years ago for a 10-minute hearing test alongside a veteran fighting cancer.
No one greeted the man when the bus pulled in, said Desjardins, and it took more than eight hours for a doctor to see him.
"Unfortunately, we buried him two months later," he said.
New Hampshire counts 130,000, or 10 percent, of its residents as veterans, and the number is expected to climb as veterans return from Afghanistan and Iraq.
"We need more veterans centers and more services in Manchester," said Holdes. "We don't need it tomorrow. We need it yesterday."
Filner said his primary goals are to update the G.I. Bill, eliminate a national disability claims backlog he called "disgraceful," and make V.A. funding more predictable. He said federal spending for veterans' health care was hiked 30 percent this year, but that means oversight also has to increase.
"Our job now is to make sure the V.A. does the right thing," he said.
Filner did not shut the door on restoring services at the V.A. Medical Center in Manchester.
"I would hope that over the long term, we might get there, he said.
Shea-Porter said both approaches would help achieve her overriding goal: "Fair and equal treatment for New Hampshire veterans," she said.
As a veteran it amazes me that the question of 'why things are the way they are" even has to be asked. The feds have been shoody in caring for our veterans for years and it has not mattered which political party is in office.
Are Hodes and Shea-Porter serious or is this as I suspect a photo op for the coming elections?
If your an illegal immigrant or you spit out babies or have some addiction then you get care. Those that have served and fought for that right get little or nothing.
Vets are the first ones in to any conflict and the first ones forgotten when it is over. I am lucky enough to have a job with insurance and do not have to us ethe VA facility. Or what is left of one. No doubt it will be long gone when it comes time that I will. It's a shame and if you want answers congress reps how about caring for real and doing something about it? Talk is cheap and it's time Washington did something besides talk and waste our tax dollars on wasteful spending. Proud to have served yet ashamed of the treatment our vets get!
- Bill B., Pelham
I love how everyone is criticizing Hodes and Shea-Porter for the loss of the VA hospital. The fact is that this closed before they were elected and was driven by the Bush Administration. That's right, despite what you hear on WGIR in the afternoons, it is the administration that has cut veterans disability funds and benefits.
Even better, check out the stories about the Army ordering the VA in New York not to counsel disabled veterans about their rights. It was broken by NPR and picked up by --- nobody. Bush supports the troops as long as they can fight. After that, they are useless to him.
- Jason, Londonderry
RE: Backlogged cases. System-wide, the backlog of cases is completely unacceptable. It took me 9 years for a final determination on my second claim. The first claim was rejected out-of-hand. VA needs annual guaranteed funding. As it works now, the VA annual budget gets bogged down with the rest of the budget. Then the whole VA system has to work with the past year's budget numbers. A consortium of Veterans' Service Organizations, D.A.V., V.F.W., Viet Nam Vets, AmVets, etc., have been pushing Congress for annual guaranteed funding but so far, to no avail. Congress needs to get their heads out of their brown collars and act on these VA issues now. I was treated at the Manchester VA Med. Center in the early 1970s. Received good treatment. Same for my treatment and counselling at the Denver VAMC. It's the bureaucracy that screws it up--not the health care professionals who work 'the front lines'. That's on the VA higher-ups and Congress. Constantly bang on your elected Federal representatives to provide guaranteed annual funding.
- Lee Chasse, Bailey, Colorado
Pretty sad when we send billions in Medical Aid and $$ to foreign countries who spit on us and yet we struggle to take care of our own, unless your an immigrant and then you get free medical, Student & Business loans interest free etc. Business as usuall, hope the Communists Hodes and Porter enjoyed there photo shoot.
- Tom H, Manchester
We owe our vets local comprehensive care. The situation is different now, there have been so many advances in combat medicine, we have more disabled vets and we owe them our gratitude and top notch medical care. It is a disgrace that they have to lobby in Washington for their own healthcare.
- Mike, Concord
A subject near and dear to my heart since I spent the day yesterday taking the shuttlebus down to the VA Hospital in JP for a 6-month follow-up on some orthopedic surgery done by the VA. The trip is always exhausting and you do spend the entire day having a 10-minue consult. There's Ortho specialists at the VAMC in Manchester. Why do I have to go to Boston? So some young ortho surgery trainee can practice on me. The VA JP is one of the biggest teaching hospitals in the Boston area. Good way to score cheap medical professionals. How about bussing them up to VAMC Manchester and saving us the trip? What the VA medical system really needs is a non-politicized study of waste and redundancies in the system. And to eliminate a whole lot of useless Civil Service overhead...
- Gene Smith, Contoocook, NH
Does Carol Shea Porter know where the VA in Manchester is located? Maybe someone could send her directions.
I bet she knows where the VA in New Orleans is located!
- Mark, Manchester
The question that nobody seems to be asking Rep. Filner and Rep. Hodes, where was the democrats when we had 7 of 8 years of flat line budgets during the Clinton administration at VA ? Also, with the Democratic now in control of the House & Senate – what is the status of the promise they made to veterans during the campaign to support mandatory funding for VA? The Bush administration has more than doubled VA spending during his seven years in office.
- John Smart, Nashua
I’m sure that there isn’t one person writing that doesn’t support having a full service VA in Manchester, not one. The issue is that Paul Hodes and Carl Shea-Porter and others here and in Washington have never and will never support our troops in the field under any circumstances, unless of course they where sent to fight by a Democrat. They are hypocrites, tax and spend socialists and have done nothing to improve our state, only thier office. Have the crumbling roads and bridges in NH been fixed? Will there even be money to fix them? Has the education issue been resolved? The answer to these questions and most others is no, nothing has been done.
- Anthony, Troy, NH
I applaud Congresswoman Shea-Porter and Congressman Hodes for holding these meetings with veterans. They are both getting recognized by many veterans as being very strong on their issues.
- Rich R., Manchester
Hey folks! Ease up! At least these politicians are listening to us vets and are trying to do something about the Manchester VA facility. In my book, The Manchester facility needs to be full service. I have received top care there and even preventative care. The VA cares for vets. A card for existing public facilities would be all about money and have veterans thrown in the mix. I am retired, have Medicare, and have private health insurance I pay for. The VA handles most all of my medical needs on a co-pay basis.
Gregg and Sununu support the idea of Manchester going full service. Let's all support this.
- Dick Olson, Jaffrey
My neighbor is a Veteran. He has cancer. He has been going to VT and Boston for treatment. The ride alone is exhausting. He needs a Bone marrow transplant, the only place in they can do it is in Texas. Makes no sense to me . Isn't Boston in the top 10 in the world for Medical treatment.
- Chrissy, Derry
If I were on Welfare I could go to any hospital in the state and get immediate care with a specialist. If I needed to be admitted to a hospitol, I wouldn't have to worry about the bill. But I am a Veteran. I can't have these luxeries. I served my country so illegal immigrants can have better Health care than ME!
- Lee, L'Derry
Hey, Paul Hodes nice photo-op to bad you and comrade Carol Shea-Porter could give a &%$# less about our military and all of the photo-ops and trips to Iraq will never cover the fact that you two are socialists and will never support our military.
- Anthony, Troy, NH
The "Pelosi twins" can't help but go for another photo op all the while they say one thing and act out another.
Too bad they are cut and run politicians who agree that our troops are "losers" agreeing with Sen. Reid and the traitorous to her own country, the shameful Ms. Pelosi.
I say we send these disgraceful to our troops politicians to the front lines to get a better understanding of the "real" war.
- judy paris, bradford
U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes discusses veterans issues with, from left, Larry Johnson; Roger Desjardin, director of the NH Veterans Cemetery; and Robert Burke at the conclusion of yesterday’s forum on veterans issues. (BOB LAPREE)
April 30, 2007
NH Union Leader
Post Office Box 9555
Manchester, NH 03108
Re: “Surrender monkeys: Handing Iraq to the enemy” (Opinion: Editorial, NH Sunday News Union Leader, April 29, 2007, Page B2).
Dear Editor of the NH Union Leader:
I dissent against the Union Leader’s fascistic view that Congress-members Paul Hodes and Carol Shea Porter are in concurrence with the terrorists for their support of their political party’s position on establishing benchmarks to end the War in Iraq. This newspaper’s fallacious convictions are not only completely reprehensible, but they are also laden with half-truths and biased partisan favor in support of the very same Republican Party that initially put us into this long-term quagmire.
Remember, both the Bush administration and the past rubber-stamp, complementing Republican-controlled Congress significantly cut federal taxes 3 consecutive times while at the same time dramatically increasing war spending. The design and outcome of the Bush tax cuts have disproportionately increased the incomes and wealth of the corporate elite, while more of the economic burden of the War in Iraq has been shifted to the common taxpayers. This is the first time in U.S. History that the federal government redistributed wealth to the “haves” while the “have-nots” assumed more of the costs of war. If Bush, Sununu, Gregg, and the Republican Party as a whole, really cared about fighting terrorism then they would NOT have cut taxes while at the same time increased war spending!
Jonathan A. Melle
"No full-service VA hospital for NH"
By GARRY RAYNO, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
June 25, 2008
MANCHESTER – State veterans should not expect the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center to become a full-service hospital, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake said yesterday.
"I don't see trying to go to a full-service hospital, but rather what other services can we provide to meet the needs of veterans," Peake told reporters at a news conference at the facility yesterday.
Despite the urging of U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu and U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter to return Manchester to a full-service hospital, Peake said the center has instead contracted with local medical providers for the services not available at the center.
New Hampshire is one of three states in the country without a full-service VA medical center.
Yesterday, Peake toured the Manchester facility, met patients, staff and volunteers, and listened to the two members of the state's Congressional delegation.
Speaking with reporters, Peake rejected calls to give veterans medical cards to use for local, non-VA medical services.
"Those cards are called Yellow-Page medicine, and it has the potential to be dangerous," Peake said. "An individual is not the best consumer."
Before she met with Peake earlier in the morning, Shea-Porter said she wants New Hampshire veterans to have a full-service medical center or full access to medical care in their communities through a medical card.
"It's a matter of fairness and honoring our commitments. You can display all the yellow ribbons you want, but that is not honoring our commitment," the Democrat said.
Sununu said he talked to the secretary about the value of the veterans centers such as the one he and fellow Republican Sen. Judd Gregg obtained funding for in Berlin.
"I pushed to have a center in the western part of the state, in the Keene area," Sununu said.
Peake said he believes a community care center in the Keene/Brattleboro, Vt. area will be funded in the federal 2010 budget.
Peake said mental health services were also part of yesterday's discussion. He noted that he met with providers who oversee the program.
"I feel very good here (that) they make sure the veterans get the (mental health) care they need," he said.
Another concern has been radiation services. Peake said the issue has come up, but noted only about 350 New Hampshire veterans a year have to travel to Boston. Reducing the number traveling to Boston is not the issue, as much as balancing that with the quality of care they receive, he noted. Peake said he was comfortable veterans could receive the services locally.
Sununu said he stressed the need for state veterans to have access to quality medical services without having to travel to Boston or some other facility.
"I urged him to have the VA act more aggressively and with more flexibility to find local solutions to our medical service issues," he said, noting there are many local providers.
Medical Center patient Bob Blais of Goffstown told Peake the facility provided great care, but it needs more money.
"It really is a resource issue," Peake replied.
I remember in 1950 having my fourth attack of "Rhuematic Fever" and my parents bringing me to the VA hospital late at night and leaving me there to be cared for by their full time staff. I remember how wonderful everyone treated me and the attention I received from the doctors and nurses while I was there.
I am reaching the point in my life where I will be joining my twin brother who recently passed away and always will be grateful to that monument on the hill that saved my young life.
Thank You, Thank you, Thank You,
Deerfield Beach Fl
- Bob Grady, Deerfield Beach FL
Jason,go back to sleep.We'll wake you when your favorite show,Countdown with Keith Olbermann,is on.
The VA and anything else run by the Federal gov't. has been a joke for generations now.Bad gov't. did not just start eight years ago,despite what the BDS'ers would have us believe.
- Mike P., Manchester
So, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake is against the VA Hospital in Manchester being a full service hospital and against the Veterans being allowed to go to any medical facility...seems that according to this report - he is quoted here "After touring the Manchester VA Medical Center, Peake also said he is against giving veterans cards to let them receive treatment at non-VA facilities. "That's called Yellow-Page medicine," Peake said. "I think that potentially is dangerous, because I'm not sure the individual is necessarily the best consumer. It's hard to be an educated consumer of health care."
So, you as Veterans cannot make good decisions??? I do hope that we can continue to fight this....Secretary Peake - what is your medical coverage??? As I have said before along with so many of you....our Veterans should have the same coverage as our Senators and Congressman. We are going to fight this - the grass root effort has begun...
Proud Blue Star Mom (x's 2)
- Susan, Weare
Headlines in the UL "No hospital for Vets" "New cancer Clinic in NH"
To bad NH Vets cant use the new Cancer Clinic 4 miles down the road from the VA Clinic.
Lahey Clinic in Derry at Parkland and Dana Faber in Londonderry.
SHAME on Shea-Porter, Sunnunnu, Dr. James Peake, George Bush, and a BIG SHAME SHAME on Gov Lynch. Where is his input on this. I know it is all Federal Funding but this is HIS STATE.
- Lisa, Londonderry
It seems obvious that the veterans should have the same level of health care as the people who sent them to fight.
(Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)
- Barton449, Amherst
In reguard to the visit of sect. Peake of the V.A. and the need for a full service hospital at VAMC Manchester N.H. It is obvious that trying to change goverment
thinking is like trying to turn a supertanker around. Daily, to many veterans are sent to Boston, West Roxbury, and White River Vt., for treatment and/or tests. On many a day sexteen passenger van go to Boston's V.A. and it is not uncommon for a second van to be added because of patient load, and because of patient load a larger mini bus has been added . I have always felt that if so many vets, some in their eightys, must travel for health care, why not provide Doctors at VAMC Manchester inorder to meet patient needs. Yes, weak, and sick patients must travel to Boston, often returning with vomit bags in hand after sickening cancer treatment. These vets are our fathers, sons, the kid down the street , they are what keeps America free. Secratary Peake, keep the promise, and reestablish VAMC Manchester, N.H. as a full service medical hospital I am a veteran of the USAF, with two tours in Viet Nam, and recieve my health care in Manchester.N.H., Boston, Ma., W. Roxbury, Ma., and White River, Vt. JAT
- JAT, Henniker New Hampshire
Let NH taxpayers pay for all the illegal aliens, drug addicts, alcoholics and welfare mongurs to walk into any facility or Dr and get covered by medicaid (welfare) but not Veterans.
Here is a thought for outsourcing. Get the State Veterans council involved. Have the State of NH issue the medical cards to Veterans and when a bill comes in, the state came bill the Feds.
Massachusetts has a similiar program called MassHealth where everyone is covered.
- Lisa, Londonderry
As a life emeber of the DAV, and having used VA facilities for over 30 years I can say the best thing to do for veterans health care is issue vouchers and allow the vet to go to the caregiver of choice. The VA system is as good as the White House allows funding for. I have waited months for appointments and had conditions found by civilian Md's that were overlooked by the VA. Way too much beuracracy to provide good care, plus do you want the lowest bidder being your MD?
- Mike, Springfield
What Jeff in Goffstown is ignorant of is that the VA will make people go up to White River Junction, then back to Manchester, then back to White River Junction ALL IN ONE DAY, all because Manchester doesn't have a full service hospital.
Do you think it's right that someone who served their country should have to make 2 trips to Vermont in one day? Is that how we should treat our heroes?
- John, Errol
NH is the only state in the US without a full-service veterans hospital, and Peake is lying about how many veterans are traveling to other states for medical care; ask the NH State Veterans Advisory Committee and Brian Matchett, who discovered that the VA was faking the numbers and that people are traveling to Boston for things as simple as eye drops and hearing aid adjustments, and travelling many hours for radiation treatments, having to return from Boston sick from the same treatment.
We cannot accept this; whatever happened to the sentiment that we were supposed to servie those that are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice? Are people going to do nothing about this, or will you act to support NH's veterans? The NH veterans community needs to come together over this and get Manchester a full-service hospital NOW!
- John, Manchester
This is great. We send ours overseas so they can come home and not be taken care of because the facilities in our state are lacking. We're one of three states without one. Makes me want to move with my soldier when he comes home so he can receive the benefits he deserves.
- Amanda, Merrimack, NH
Coming from a daughter of a veteran who utilizes this facility, this is a joke. My father is a veteran! They are completely understaffed and totally out-of-the-loop. My father can't get a screening for mouth cancer because he doesn't have "DENTAL" benefits. They don't provide cleanings or any preventative care at all. If you have a cavity, they won't fix it, they won't pull a tooth. I know it may sound crazy to some but bad oral health is linked to heart failure and diabetes, so, providing "DENTAL" care might actually save some money. Or, they can keep treating problems that could have been prevented. But hey, they only dedicated their lives to their country. Also, maybe if we took better care of our soldiers and veterans more people would sign up. Any potential soldier is going to want to know they are going to be taken care of and that their sacrafices are appreciated and you don't show that by providing poor health care.
- Tonya Ferrara, Manchester N.H.
Bashing John Sununu for meeting with the Secretary of the VA I don't think is really the issue and I find it interesting that Rep She-Porter was not bashed along with Senator Sununu. The fact is I would look into this Medical Card. As an ex VA employee I can tell you as a matter of fact that when they (the VA) was going to close the emergency room becasue they didn't want to staff it. The sales pitch was "You (the Veteran) can get your emergency's taken care of at the local emergency rooms". The fact is that was not true, you could only get care for your service connected disability/injury only. Alot of our Veterans depend on the VA for their complete Medical Care. By subing out their care not only do they get less care but the care from the staff may not meet the quality that they receive from the VA. Stop and think about the fulltime care that some of these guys get/deserve. They get injured/wounded and now their ability to work a job that provides insurance is diminished. Some of these guys can't work at all and if the VA had its way and subbed out their care they would only pay for service connecterd injuries only. As a Veteran, we/I am learning about some of the possabilities of other ailments because of the shots we had or exposure to chemicals. With a full service VA Hospital proper services could be provided. When it gets subbed the contractor looses their care for the Veteran and only cares about the bill. We need a fulltime VA enough with White River or Boston, NH NEEDS a FULLTIME VA Hospital.
- Michael King, Epping
Unfortunately people are now seeing how government has seen our servicemen and women all along.
They are expendable resources to be discarded when a ungrateful government is through with them.
being a soldier is one of the world's most honorable professions in that one is willing to die for the ideals their country espouses.
Unfortunately the past 20 years or so seems to indcate that our political leadership is not worthy of their sacrifice.
- Scott Nagy, Concord
This should be proof positive that government healthcare is not the way to go. I don't see why private hospitals and the VA can't enter into some type of partnership where the more "routine" care is handled by the hospitals and the VA does the rest.
When I see Ted Kennedy going to the Government for his care (He doesnt qualify for VA care, nor do many of our other "public servants") then maybe I would consider it for myself.
- Chip, Hooksett
Ahh, another example of just how the Bush administration respects the troops. It's perfectly find to gut the VA system, deny veterans medical coverage, refuse to diagnose PTSD and minimize the treatment for those already diagnosed as long as you wear a flag pin on your lapel while you're doing it.
- Jason, Londonderry
I'm a Vietnam Veteran and have been going to the Manchester VAMC since 2001. I moved back up to New England after spending 22 years living in Northern Virginia. Before then I lived in Mass and went to the Jamaica Plain VAMC. Down in Virginia I drove into Washington DC to go the VAMC there on North Capitol street. If we need tests run in DC they were done at that facility. There were also affiliated with several area hospitals so we had doctors from those locations there often. That is not the same here in Manchester. Most of the testing is in fact done down in Jamaica Plain , Hyde Park or West Roxbury Mass. Often people will have to come down from White River Junction in Vermont via shuttle and then switch to the Boston Shuttle to get tests done. The hospital also does not appear to be doing any affiliations with other teaching hospitals outside of the eye clinic because I never see any interns there. Those affiliations allow the hospital greater use of trained personnel and provide a better efficiency.
This costs time for families and the veterans themselves not to mention the gas money. The vans do break down so if I need tests done in Boston then I leave my house at 5 AM and drive to the Orange line T stop in Malden Mass and then take the T to JP for my tests or I have to drive down to rt 128 and around Boston during rush hour in order to make any early appointments.
Now just a few years ago the push was on to completely shut down the Manchester VAMC emergency room. When veterans complained that they would have to pay to go to a local hospital the local director at this VAMC said "I do not have to provide them with insurance coverage". Now I am 100% disabled so no outside provider will give me coverage so I would have to pay for my visits and even with a Medicare / Medicaid card I would still have to pay the excess. The facility did stay opened but became an urgent care facility. I have used it for a bad bout of diverticulitis and a 104 fever and I shudder to think what an outside medical facility bill would have been. Also all of my medical records are at the VAMC and outside doctors do not have access to the system.
The truth is the current Manchester VAMC is an outpatient facility with limited specialties. I have no complaints what so ever with the exceptional treatment I have received at the facility but I still have to go to Boston for several tests and procedures. Te facility should be returned to a full time hospital. The figures quoted of only 350 going to Boston is bogus to say the least.
By the way it appears that the logic of Manchester not going full service sort of gets shot in the foot if the are going to open a facility in Keene when they can drive down to the VAMC in North Adams Mass instead or up to White River Junction in Vermont.
Oh and one other item is the fact that if a veteran has a mental issue after 5 PM on a weekday or on a weekend or holiday they have no people to call. All the VAMC recordings direct you to call 911. A fellow veteran said he had troubles on Memorial day weekend and had a tough time. It took me over an hour of looking through various websites before I found an 800 number buried in the main VAMC web page that referred a veteran to call and identify themselves as a veteran and they would get connected to a trained counselor. I'd tell you what the number was but then you would not endure the stress that other veterans are going through.
- Don Armstrong, Henniker
Why did Senator Sununu bring VA Secretary Peake to NH? So Peake could come and spit right in NH veterans' faces and say, "You are getting NOTHING from us to fix the broken and innsufficient VA medical system in NH!" Unbelievable....
The article is WRONG: NH is the ONLY state without a full service veterans hospital. The fact that Sununu would even spend time with Peake, knowing that he was coming here offering NOTHING is an OUTRAGE. This government has the money to give oil companies making multi-billion record profits BILLION$ of dollars in "tax breaks", but they can't fund a full service veterans hospital in the only state that doesn't have one?
Imagine elderly radiation patients, veterans that served their country, spending 5-6 hours getting to Boston for treatment, getting radiation there making them sick, and then another 4-6 hours of travel back to NH. VA Secretary Peake is LYING when he says that only 350 veterans a year are going to Boston; the numbers are known, and they are MUCH higher. NH's veterans have to go all the way to Boston to get hearing aids adjusted, for eye drops, it's ridiculous; how in God's name would Sen. Sununu stand there with Peake knowing that he is bringing NOTHING to NH for our veterans. This is sickening...
- Jim C, Derry, NH
Peake doesn't think it's a big deal to drive to Boston. I wonder how far he drives to his doctor/hospital? And how about those too sick to drive themselves? And while it's great to say "we'll outsource those services", more and more providers are turning away from accepting Medicare/Tricare because their payments don't cover the basic cost of service provided.
- KB, WR, GA
Sounds to me like the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake is giving New Hampshire the brush off when it comes to caring for us Veterans who put our lives on the line for our country everyday. He'd rather see us drive to Boston paying us 28 cents a mile to drive there when he could easily have a yellow card system that would allow us to get our treatments done here in NH and not cost us hundreds of dollars in gasoline to drive to Boston. Apparently the Bush administration wants the veterans to fight wars and stay the course but they don't want to give us the respect we deserve with a top quality medical full care facility right here in our own state. How can they justify having full care facilities in every state except 3 states. Is it because NH and the other two states voted for Democrats over Republicans? What a disgraceful way to treat us veterans!! It's time to vote out the Riff Raff Jargon speaking Republican party. Maybe then us Veterans will get the respect we deserve.
- Brian, Lancaster
What is missing in the article is that the VA has a hospital about 1 mile from the NH border in VT. Given the fairly small populations of both states I wonder how much people expect to spend dupilcating services for hospitals about 80 miles apart for a fairly small population base. Having said that, the VA, like its active duty counter part try-to-get-care (tricare) is proof positive that a government run system is not the model we should be hoping for. Understaffed and over worked, with an out-the-door at 4 mentality of the non-medical GS employees is not in the best interests of the veterans. A better, and less expensive, solutuion would be to provide a high quality, comprehensive insurance plan ( such as Blue Cross, Cigna, or Harvard Pilgrim) that could be used at any civilian medical provider. Do we really want to duplicate ths issues that plagued Walter Reed in the last 5 years? I think not.
- jeff, Goffstown
Peake comments that it is more efficient to contract with private health care facilities to provide some services and in the next breath says a medical card is not efficient.
The medicare, medicaid system in place now works.
Why not use that model for veterans and contract with multiple providers around the state.
My Dad, a Korean War Veteran survived the Chosin Resevoir. He was a true United States Marine. What killed him was the medical services at the VA Hospital. What a way to take care of our veterans.
- Tim Brown, Farmington
I like Carol Shea-Porters idea of a veterans service card.
I can see that some services might be better provided in a VA facility - PTSD and prosthetics come to mind - but for more mundane services I don't see what the problem is.
Is Peake saying veterans are too dumb to know which doctor to go to?
- tom, candia
The word '"efficiency" and the Veteran's Administration should never be used in the same sentence. It just doesn't exist. Any politician who is satisfied with the level of care our veterans are reieving right now deserves to be impeached.
- Bill, Whitefield
Its never a resourse issue when it comes to sending our troops of to another land to fight but becomes one on the woundeds return and in need of medical care. It looks like doctor Peake is following the party line and let the veteran fend for him or her self and yes freedom is not free except it is the veteran that has to payed the tab..
- dick johnson, warren
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"Sununu criticizes VA chief for view on services in NH"
The NH Union Leader Online, June 27, 2008
MANCHESTER – U.S. Sen. John Sununu calls Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake "shortsighted" for saying this week that New Hampshire should not expect a full-service veterans hospital.
Sununu, R-N.H., underscored his commitment to expanding health-care access. He was responding to Peake's comments to reporters during a visit Tuesday, comments that have raised the ire of a number of veterans.
Sununu said he had a productive meeting with Peake, but was disappointed in reports of the secretary's position concerning the VA Medical Center in Manchester.
"As I made very clear in our meeting on Tuesday, New Hampshire needs -- and our veterans deserve -- a full-service veterans hospital or a system that provides full, in-state services," Sununu said in a statement.
"During the past eight years, I have worked aggressively and successfully with other members of the New Hampshire delegation to expand health-care services for New Hampshire veterans. Over this period, the VA renovated and opened an audiology clinic, added an eye clinic, and established a state-of-the-art, same-day surgical suite and ophthalmology surgery program.''
A new women's clinic opened in 2003, a primary mental health clinic was created in 2006, and outpatient clinics have opened in Conway and Somersworth.
"These steps are in the right direction, and for the secretary to suggest that we can't do more is simply wrong. "
The VA Medical Center serves veterans at the main center at 718 Smyth Road, and through four outpatient clinics in Conway, Portsmouth, Somersworth and Tilton.
If Senator Sununu had such a productive meeting with the VA Secretary, then why did the Secretary come out and say NH is getting nothing, and that nothing is changing?
In other words, when the senator had the meeting with the VA Secretary, they discussed that NH wasn't going to get anything, and Sununu was OK with that; he just didn't realize that the VA Secretary was going to come out of the meeting and actually say it! I hate when that happens....
But what about NH's veterans Senator? Are you OK with them spending many, many hours in shuttles all the way to Boston, only to have to do it again on the way back?
- Joseph P., Rye
Sen. Sununu is right,however, he must share in the responsibility for whatever is lacking in Veterans care. Believe it was on 'His Watch" that full service was lost? If I'm wrong then I apologize but would continue to say,"Senator you have not been a "plus" in gaining what help for Veterans is necessary and I don't care how many Veterans with their Organizations hats stand beside you!!
Veterans have to start to be selfish if we are ever going to get it done. Veterans CAN'T allow any other issue to take first place. We have setteled for second,third or fourth for far too long.
- Bob Jones, Meredith
"Full service: NH's veterans are denied"
Editorial - NH Union Leader Online, June 27, 2008
SEN. JOHN SUNUNU and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter have done extensive work to try to convince the Veterans Administration to finally give New Hampshire's veterans a full-service VA hospital. On Tuesday, our veterans were told they would not get one. Day-long trips to Boston for medical care will continue.
It's just not efficient for the federal government to put a full-service VA hospital in New Hampshire, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James Peake said on Tuesday.
Not efficient? Tell that to the veteran who has to take a whole day drive to Boston or Maine for treatment.
Not providing New Hampshire's veterans with a full-service VA hospital would be OK if the VA empowered veterans to get their own care locally. But Peake refuses even that.
Asked if he would support providing veterans with medical debit cards so they could get care from their own doctors or local specialists, Peake said, "Those cards are called 'Yellow-Page' medicine, and it has the potential to be dangerous. An individual is not the best consumer."
Letting veterans pick their own doctors is "dangerous" because they are too uninformed to make good choices? That's outrageous!
Peake is saying to New Hampshire's veterans: You will get the care we decide, when and where we decide, because you cannot be trusted to make any medical decisions for yourselves. That's a horrible insult to our veterans.
The VA refuses to provide New Hampshire's veterans with the services they need and deserve. And it justifies this refusal by insulting their intelligence. Dr. Peake, a platoon leader in Vietnam, ought to have a higher opinion of his fellow veterans. They deserve better than this condescending dismissal from the man in charge of their care.
I am glad the Union Leader supports a full-service VA Hospital in Manchester. If a candidate is not willing to sign a pledge to support a full-service VA Hospital in Manchester during the general election and the 2012 primary, do not vote for the candidate.
I wonder why the Union Leader does not care if disabled Veterans and other Veterans are able to take buses to and from the VA Hospital. I wonder why the Union Leader does not care if Veterans are able to get around by bus to other parts of Manchester.
Has the publisher of the Union Leader ever taken a bus to the VA Hospital with Veterans? I have. Many, many times.
Does the publisher of the Union Leader care if disabled Veterans and other Veterans have mobility around Manchester?
When Dartmouth-Hitchcock and VA Hospital were on the same route, I often saw Veterans on the bus. I hope they will be on the same route again.
If the Union Leader gets its way, Veterans will be harmed. Why does the Union Leader want to harm Veterans, senior citizens, and others who use buses?
The publisher of the Union Leader should apologize for harming Veterans. He should ride the VA Hospital bus and apologize to them on a regular basis.
When the Union Leader has an editorial, the writer of the editorial should have the courage to post the writer's name with it.
My website is http://www.myspace.com/kennethstremsky
My picture is on it.
- Ken Stremsky, Manchester, NH
If Dr. Peake doesn't think veterans deserve a high quality level of service that is required, then maybe the board of directors that oversees the VA should have Dr. Peake step down and allow someone else who really is FOR veterans and their care fill the position. NH's veterans are just as important and should not recieve any less treatment than someone else, status quo or not.
- Robert M Tarr, Manchester
Carol Shea-Porter: "On FISA, I voted to uphold the Constitution"
By CAROL SHEA-PORTER, NH Union Leader, Op-Ed
Thursday, Jun. 26, 2008
LAST WEEK, the House passed an updated version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). It contained many important provisions that will help U.S. intelligence agencies fight terrorism. But it also included a clause that could undermine a key tenet of American democracy.
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I am routinely briefed on terrorist threats, and I am acutely aware of the dangers we face. I believe we need tough legislation so the intelligence community has the necessary tools to properly monitor those who wish to do us harm. We must do everything we can to ensure the safety and security of the American people.
Since 1978, FISA has enabled our intelligence agencies to wiretap communications between foreign individuals and U.S. citizens suspected of possible criminal activity. The government can track these communications as long as it seeks a warrant. Because agencies are sometimes required to move quickly in emergency situations, they have seven days to apply for a warrant after wiretapping has begun. The agencies do not need a warrant to do surveillance on foreign subjects.
The recent compromise legislation -- which the House passed -- is a strong bill in many ways. The bill allows the intelligence community to use new technologies to conduct surveillance. It also states that the government cannot circumvent FISA, and it contains additional legal protections for U.S. citizens. I strongly agree with these provisions.
However, the legislation also contains a fatal flaw. This has to do with a shocking revelation that came to light in 2005, when it was revealed that several telecommunications companies had cooperated with the Bush administration in secretly wiretapping the private conversations of American citizens without the use of warrants or a court review. Many constitutional scholars, both conservative and liberal, believe this is a flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.
The bill allows these corporations to seek "retroactive immunity" for their actions. To avoid lawsuits for past and future cooperation, companies would simply have to provide certification from the attorney general that they acted at the behest of the federal government. But the Office of the Attorney General itself has thus far failed to protect American citizens from the abuses of the law it would now oversee.
Granting "retroactive immunity" could prevent us from ever knowing to what degree the rights of American citizens have been violated. And it would prevent us from ever knowing what was done, under what orders, and by whom. It is as if a lawyer asks a judge to pardon his client -- but the judge does not even know the charge. Is the charge serious? Is anyone else implicated in the crime? "Never mind," says the defense lawyer. "Just let him off the hook."
I believe that no individual or corporation should be above the law. As John Adams said, we are a "government of laws, not of men."
The legislation that was considered last week takes important steps toward our collective goal of fighting terrorism. However, it does not adequately protect the U.S. Constitution. If possible, I would have voted to provide intelligence agencies with the tools they need, while rejecting the concept of "retroactive immunity." I was not given that option, so I voted against the bill.
Some have used the honest debate over FISA to bludgeon their political opponents, calling them allies of Osama Bin Laden, or questioning their patriotism. This debases a very serious discussion about how best to fight terrorism while at the same time protecting our sacred U.S. Constitution.
The foundation of democracy is individual freedom from government interference. I am willing to compromise on many issues -- but not on the Constitution. Being forced to choose between protecting our national security or protecting our Constitution is a false choice; we do not have to sacrifice one for the other. It is our responsibility as Americans to protect both.
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter represents New Hampshire's 1st District in Congress.
What a sad puppy you are Michelle. I am exactly the kind of person that Republicans say they think Americans should be. Small business owner. Created jobs. Paid taxes and on and on. I enjoyed going to work. I made money to support my family because that is very important to me and worth the effort. There are a lot of nasty, crabby people out there that don't seem to realize that work can be fulfilling sit back and gripe. Go out and make yourself a good job. Many grouches have miminum wage jobs and fear immigrants and minorities taking their worthless jobs. Have you done any clinging to religion and guns? What I can't figure out is why you oppose all those things that make wages rise, working conditions improve, life worth living like universal health insurance and unions. I never found complaining did anything for me except make me feel worse.
- Robert, Deerfield
Times are not what they were in 1787 Mrs. Porter, You stand up for this portion of the Constitution, and you definitely impose and exercise Amendment XVI on us too.
You claim you're trying to protect our rights and your working for the middle class . . . I believe that you're working hard to get your $169,000 a year salary and increase our taxes to pay for your fat annual pension when you retire after years of service that didn't help anyone but yourself and your wallet.
What about the middle class? I can't even afford to get married never mind have children or pay for health insurance because my that portion of my salary is applied to taxes funding the fat salaries of the school, town, county and state workers, including yourself.
None of us go to work because we want to . . . I presume that you are no different.
- Michelle M, Gilford, NH
"If a government employee tells you to do something, then you should do it, and both you, and the government employee are immunized from any law."
- paraphrasing Senator Bond (R).
The truth or falseness of the above statement is currently in play, and is appearing to move to the affirmative of late, by majorities of the Exec Branch and both houses of the federal Legislature.
In this spirit, I hereby openly invite any government employee to ask me to carry out activities of any kind.
I am a software developer and I do have capabilities similar to those of the software development contractors working for AT&T and Verizon, who carried out the wiretapping.
Use your imagination. Your word is law.
Other software developers, I encourage you to join me.
Enjoy the chaos.
You just might get it.
- Geoffrey, Bordentown, NJ
Laughable logic here. If the 2nd Amendment were being challenged you clowns would wail like a bunch of banshees. But since you don't really care about anyone's freedoms or rights except your own you don't really believe in America or the Constitution. Think those telecommunication companies don't have a bevy of lawyers to advise them over every little move, legal or illegal, that they make? Thing they didn't get legal advice before they broke the law?
- Tom, Dover-Foxcroft, Me.
All hail, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, long time supporter of the War On Terror! It's just she has trouble with private telecommunications companies doing their patriotic duty in this war. Imagine.....the private sector helping to stop terrorists. What a novel concept! Too bad Carol "Where's My MoveOn.Org Money When I Really Need It This Year?" Shea-Porter doesn't get it.
- Mark, Manchester
I think retroactive immunity could have a bunch of other fascinating applications. How about clearing the slate of the phone jamming that the Republicans did to get Sunoco to win over Shaheen in 2002. How about removing the stain from the rememberance of John Wilkes Booth for shooting Lincoln. Perhaps all you state's rights types could bring back slavery that way. With McCain as president, if he would actually do something that he promises, you could get away with all that. After all, a law is just a law unless the president says it isn't. Wasn't that your reason for impeaching Clinton?
- Willian, Deerfield
We'll see exactly how much Shea-Porter cherishes the constitution when the "Fairness Doctrine" comes up for a vote the day after the messiah is elected. My guess is that she'll stick with her party and vote to silence everyone in every form of media who dares to oppose her party's communist agenda.
And she'll probably find a two-word phrase somewhere in the constitution that justifies her vote to take power away from the citizens, just like the NH State Supreme Court did in their Claremont "decision".
- GUI, Manchester
I'm glad to see that some of our Representatives know that breaking the law is breaking the law. If there are no consequences, then there is no motivation to know and follow the law.
- Jeff, Manchester
Tick tock, tick tock. Can you hear that Carol? Time is fast running out on your aberrational term in Congress. Maybe you can ask Nancy Pelosi for a job. Oh maybe not since you are even more liberal than her. This time you will not be so lucky as to have the vice president snub his nose at the american people right before the election. Once the people of New Hampshire start to realize just what this country will look like with a socialist president and a rubber stamp democratic congress, they will make you a mere trivia question on the history of politics in New Hampshire.
- George, Brentwood
To bad Obama released a statement saying he is going to support the bill with "retroactive immunity." after saying for months it was wrong.
- JS, Nashua NH
This is too funny! I've been under the impression that Carol Shea-Porter,and most of the other hacks in DC,wouldn't recognize the Constitution if Thomas Jefferson were to attach it to the big drum of a steamroller and run them down with it.
No matter how cynical I get,I just can't seem to keep up these days.
- Mike P., Manchester
Good, now will you start voting in favor of the 10th Amendment too?
- Bryan L, Nashua
Thank you Congresswoman Shea-Porter for voting to uphold the Constitution. We can alwayscount on you to do the right thing.
- Sparky, Hampton
well I guess the belief a broke clock is right twice a day comes true. While I am opposed to the surveilance bill on a Libertarian ground the one thing I did agree with is immunity for the telcoms who acted under the belief they were in the right. Shea-Porter even admits it wasn't the listening in part that bothered her but the whole lawsuit thing. That tells me she didn't care about the Constitution as her title claimed but instead cared about the DNC's largest donor block the Trial Lawyers Association and the millions they were salivating to get their hands on.
- Brian, Wakefield
What Shea-Porter is really saying is she had to put the needs of client hungry trail lawyers seeking to extort millions of dollars from the telecom companies that in good faith worked with the administration to protect America ahead of the protection of Americans. I would agree that no man or entity is above the law, however common sense suggests that these orgaizations believed they were within the law at the time based on assurances of the administration. We need to replace Shea-Porter with someone who is committed to the American people, and people of NH, Shea-Poreter is so clearly owned, at least in part, by the ambulance chasing branch of the trial lawyers associations.
- jeff, Goffstown
I worked with Michelle Morse at Sears in Manchester, NH. She was a nice young woman. I was at work the day after she passed away at the age of 22, which is the same age my oldest brother was killed in an auto accident, and it was a very sad day, indeed. I think that insurance companies and their lobbyists are de facto murderers by not allowing working class families access to fair, comprehensive and affordable health insurance. I am pleased to read the U.S. President, George W. Bush, passed "Michelle's Law" and I hope we will all remember a tragedy that should have been averted by allowing her quality healthcare insurance coverage and a chance to live. -Jonathan Melle
"Bush signs NH-inspired Michelle's law"
The Associated Press, Thursday, October 09, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) — A medical plan inspired by a New Hampshire family's plight now is law.
President Bush has signed the federal version of the state law that allows college students to take up to a year off school for medical reasons and remain on their family's health insurance.
Michelle's Law was inspired by Plymouth State University student Michelle Morse of Manchester who died at 22 of colon cancer. Doctors told her to cut down on her courseload during chemotherapy, but she couldn't because that would have meant losing insurance coverage.
Morse died in November 2005 — about six months after she graduated.
Her mother, AnnMarie Morse, said the law began as a story about Michelle and her family, but it is for other families that may have a college student who becomes seriously ill or injured.
The law becomes effective next year.
"Shea-Porter, Hodes ride the tide"
By DAN TUOHY, New Hampshire Union Leader, Wednesday, November 5, 2008
MANCHESTER – The voters' verdict transformed the battle for two congressional seats into a litmus test, revealing New Hampshire as decisively Democratic.
Incumbents Carol Shea-Porter and Paul W. Hodes won convincingly yesterday against a gritty but out-of-gas Republican challenge.
With more than 83 percent of the state's vote counted, Shea-Porter leads Jeb Bradley, 53 percent to 45 percent, and Hodes is ahead of Jennifer Horn, 57 percent to 41 percent.
The Democrats rode their party's sweep of major offices and their own steadfast campaigning as agents of political change for Americans in economic hardship. Shea-Porter, who defeated Bradley in a rematch of 2006, addressed the state's changing political landscape when she thanked voters of the 1st District.
"People said, 'Oh, that can't happen twice. That was just a fluke. They didn't mean to send her to Washington,'" she said. "Well, now we know you did mean to send me to Washington."
Hodes attributed his 2nd District win over Horn to his call to provide middle-class relief and fight for better economic stimulus.
"This campaign wasn't about me," he said. "It was about all of you. It was about change."
Bradley served the 1st District from 2003 until 2006, when Shea-Porter bounced him from office. In his concession speech, he offered her his best wishes and he tried to diagnose the GOP's troubles.
"It's pretty apparent again tonight that our state is changing and we have to recognize that," he said. "What does it mean for us as Republicans? What does it mean for us as New Hampshire? We have got to continue, I believe, to articulate the things that make our state great."
Bradley cited low taxes, a strong business climate and support for U.S. troops and veterans as continued priorities.
The Democrats notched big victories in small towns and solid victories in bellwether towns and cities. Shea-Porter cruised to victory in Manchester by 25,242 to 19,544. Hodes won his home city of Concord by a 2-to-1 margin, 13,817 to 6,941.
Two years ago, Shea-Porter, 55, became the first New Hampshire woman elected to Congress. The former history instructor and social services administrator from Rochester built her reelection campaign around support for the middle class, labor groups and veterans.
Hodes, 57, an attorney and former state prosecutor from Concord, also served as a New Hampshire leader for President-elect Barack Obama.
Horn, a former newspaper and radio talk show host from Nashua, said her campaign put Hodes on notice that he will be held accountable to voters, taxpayers, businesses and families.
"He doesn't have quite the cushy position he thought he did," Horn said. "He won tonight, but he has to watch out; we're paying attention."
Horn said Election Day was not the end of anything, but only the beginning. In a post-speech interview, she said she would stay involved in the community but declined to say whether she would run again for political office.
"I'm certainly open to any possibilities," Horn said. "I'm not closing any doors."
Libertarians Robert Kingsbury and Chester L. LaPointe II also ran for Congress, in the 1st and 2nd districts, respectively.
In an election season of attacks and counter-attacks, the incumbents worked to tie their Republican challengers to the Bush administration, high gas prices and an unpopular war in Iraq.
Both races focused on the economy in the past month. Shea-Porter and Hodes voted against the $700 billion financial bailout. They argued it failed to protect taxpayers.
Republican National Committee member Sean Mahoney of Portsmouth said forces beyond New Hampshire contributed to the Democratic sweep in the state.
The economic crisis, he said, "had a detrimental effect to the Republican Party."
Mahoney said the GOP would begin to reorganize and regroup. "We will be re-energized for 2010," he said.
Bradley also left his supporters on an upbeat note. "I'm not giving up," he said before leaving the stage last night. "And you know what, the pendulum always swings back."
Union Leader Correspondent Suzanne Bates contributed to this story
"High quality national health insurance plan, while at the same time giving a middle class tax cut."
That gave me a good chuckle.
- Alex Capri, Northwood, NH
Congratulations Congressman Hodes.
The ball is now all in your court. I look forward to the economic improvement, the work you will do for the middle class, the unspecified alternative energy sources which will be developed, the orderly drawdown of troops in Iraq, as well as an affordable high quality national health insurance plan, while at the same time giving a middle class tax cut.
Since there will be no obstructionist Republicans to oppose you, I would expect to see swift results.
- Ditmar Kopf, Hollis
n0408Hodes_275px (DAVID LANE)
U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes gets a kiss from his wife, Peggo, last night at the Radisson in Manchester. (DAVID LANE)
"All Jewish freshmen returning"
Jewish Telegraphic Agency - New York,NY,USA, The November 4th, 2008, Congressional Election
The lawmakers, all Democrats who won their re-election bids on Tuesday, are: Steve Kagen in Wisconsin, Paul Hodes in New Hampshire, Ron Klein in Florida, ...
"Caring for veterans: Give choices"
The NH Union Leader, Editorial, 11/11/2008
About 28,000 New Hampshire veterans have Veterans Administration health care coverage, and three quarters of them rely on the VA medical center in Manchester and its clinics throughout the state for their health care. They shouldn't have to.
This year the VA medical center added 100 new employees and began a $5 million, 17,000-square-foot expansion to be completed in February. That will help those for whom a drive to Manchester is convenient. For many, it isn't. Employers don't expect their employees to travel halfway across the state for routine health care. The country shouldn't expect that of veterans, either.
The VA medical center does have clinics in Conway, Littleton, Portsmouth, Somersworth and Tilton. It has a contract with Concord Hospital for the provision of some types of care. And, of course, there is the VA hospital in White River Junction, Vt., for veterans who are nearer to it than to Manchester. But why do veterans have to go to a government facility for their care?
During this past election season, there was a lot of clamoring for a full-service VA hospital in Manchester. (New Hampshire is the only state without one.) But that makes sense only if driving to Manchester from Berlin or Rochester or Keene for routine care makes sense. It doesn't.
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter has the right idea when she says the VA ought to either give New Hampshire a full-service hospital or allow veterans to get their care at local hospitals and physicians' offices in their communities. She has sponsored a bill in Congress to require the VA to choose one or the other.
Providing veterans with debit cards or vouchers to find expert care close to their homes is the obvious way to go. But so far the VA has resisted, claiming -- outrageously -- that veterans aren't capable of choosing quality care for themselves.
Veterans deserve the freedom to choose their own health care providers. The VA must meet its obligations to pay for that care and jettison the mind set, so prevalent in government, that it has to provide it, too.
For the Veterans Administration to say a voucher system will not work is crazy and an attempt to justify its existence.
Medicaid and Medicare are federal insurance and provide member cards. The Va could adopt the same system. Currently is a veteran is 100 percent disabled, their medicaid or medicare insurance is not used. My dad received bad care in Vt. He was discharged with a collapsed lung and blood infection. Could this have happened elsewhere? Yes, but at least you can pick your medical team. A veteran who fights in combat does not deserve this. We owe them greatly!
- Tim, Farmington
Our Veterans should be able to go to any hospital they choose. They've earned that right through the sacrifices they made for our country. Building a specialized full service hospital, that most will never travel to, makes no sense at all. It would be another huge waste of taxpayer dollars.
Better yet, let the Vets choose!
- Phil Greazzo, West Manchester
Thanks for writing it. "Providing veterans with debit cards or vouchers to find expert care close to their homes is the obvious way to go" is expert advice.
Hopefully, we will also get a full service VA Hospital in Manchester.
We need to care more about the physical health needs and the mental health needs of our Veterans. Hopefully, we will do more to reduce the numbers of homeless Veterans by spending more money on homeless shelters for Veterans and help them get their own apartments.
- Ken Stremsky, Manchester, NH
"Shea-Porter backs two pay equality bills"
The NH Union Leader, 1/10/2009
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH, this week voted in favor of two critical pieces of legislation that supporters say will help end gender-based pay discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act and The Lily Ledbetter Act both passed the House.
"This is a family issue, not a women's issue," said Shea-Porter. "These two critical pieces of legislation will help rid our country of gender-based discrimination, and will help American families."
The Paycheck Fairness Act will help close damaging loopholes and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The bill will ensure gender-based discrimination is treated equivalently to race-based discrimination.
The Lilly Ledbetter Act will restore the rights of victims of gender-based pay discrimination by recognizing that each discriminatory paycheck counts as a violation of the law, thus restarting the clock on the statute of limitations.
I just want to chime in to let people know that even some "trial lawyers," myself included, sharply disagree with the concept of government-enforced "pay equity." Please don't lump us all together, there are many of us who still value the real difference between men and women in the work place and understand that biological and sociological differences between the sexes can be explained without crying "discrimination."
I urge you all to write to Ms. Shea-Porter and let her know how you feel about this; remind her that, when proven, pay discrimination (which does happen, albeit not as often as some wild-eyed liberals assert) can be addressed using current laws. Our federal legislators have much better things to pay attention to these days; trying to remake society in an unrealistic feminist image when current laws sufficiently address sex-based discrimination is an unforgivable folly.
- Pete, Manchester
Wooa, for a minute I thought I was in the 21st Century....
Is it radical/feminist/liberal politics for me to want to be paid the same rate as my male counterparts? I support myself, and the utility companies and landlord do not give me a discount rate for being female, nor do I get discounts at the grocery store, gas station, etc. I work hard 40 hours a week, and expect compensation to be able to support myself, just as a male counterpart would.
Furthermore, a commenter noted he does not see many female UPS drivers working 50 hours a week. It's HIGHLY likely that is because the female drivers are part timers (read: no benefits) working 2 or 3 other jobs to try to support themselves or go to school.
If I'm getting 97 or 98 percent, as one commenter noted, is it assumed that I only do 97 or 98 percent of the work?
If I was a slacker, no matter the gender, age, or race, a paper trail would be created, and no amount of litigation would be able to challenge facts.
I note that I am the only female poster so far; possibly the other female readers are so furious at the previous posts that they just click away....
- Lisa, Birmingham, AL
Regarding the Fairness Paycheck Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, I notice the 6 letters printed online were written by 6 men. Be that as it may, please note in the Lilly Ledbetter case she was totally unaware of the discrepancy in compensation for over 20 years due to the Company's strict ban on employees discussing pay among themselves. The statute of limitations was a free get-out-of-jail card for the employer as Ms. Ledbetter could only institute suit within 180 days and such suit would only cover any pay she earned after being made aware of pay disparity.
Employers would not have to worry about litigation, if their Company policies were fair and just to all.
As Rep. Shea-Porter correctly states "this is a family issue" and there are many single parent or two parent
families where one parent has lost employment. If an employee is worth being paid, that employee should be paid in accordance with her peers doing comparable work. Fairness is the American Way.
- Fran Egbers, Manchester
"critical pieces of legislation"? Give me a break. 1st, if Shea-Porter cared about gender-based discrimination at all, she would be doing something about the anti-family court system. 2nd, her "critical legislation" will instead serve to increase gender-based discrimination, since the glass-ceiling has long been proven to be nothing but myth.
Shea-Porter: I'm glad I didn't vote for you, you've just shown the voters where your real priorities lie. While there are serious issues to be handled, you have made it your priority to further favoritism of a protected class under the guise of helping American families. You should be ashamed, it seems american voters and families would be better off without you and your radical feminist laws. In my opinion, you and your radical feminists have already damaged this country more than any outside terrorist faction is capable of.
- John, Manchester, NH
Rep Shea-Porter....how is this a family issue? This is a radical feminist issue...you know, your true constituents. Thanks once again for pushing America that much closer to the edge of the cliff. Your Congress is doing a great job at destroying the American Economy one vote at a time. Fortunately for you and your ilk, your control of Public Education for the last 40 years has turned out a generation of selfish "me me me" dolts who will mindlessly follow you over the cliff and continue to cast votes for you. The buck has to stop somewhere though, and it will. Unfortunately, we will all pay a harsh price for the mistakes of the liberals and their so-called "new guard" whose "new ideas" are nothing more than recycled 60s radical trash.
- Mike, Temple
I don't want to add too much to the posters already on record, except to say, one step for women, one giant step for Socialism (and the rich trial lawyers).
Gold help us all.
- Melvin, Keene
Before all of these so called protections were enacted, Even in bad financial times, you were able to find employment. Today, because so many businesses packed up and left, your in serious trouble.
These protections cause everyone to suffer. From higher prices to make up for the non-productive and judgements against companies, to having one's wages held down so as to match the protected class.
Last year, my company let go a member of a "protected class". They were called on the carpet forced to pay higher unemployment premiums, as he was awarded unemployment compensation. Now I understand, he is als0 suing.
This protected person, called in sick frequently and arrived at work drunk or under the influence of drugs about half the time.
The best part of this is that eventually, my job will be exported. Part of the reason will be because of the "protected class" experience and part will be because of profit and cost, some of which are a result of the protected class experience and the companies fear of requiring other members of the protected class to preform or leave.
In any event, I get to pay for this, in more ways than. An the politicians who created the "protected class" bask in glory.
I've woken up from my slumber, wait until everyone else does!
- Steve, Raymond
Caving into the trail lawyers and radical "feminist" again. instead of one count, they can have 25 or 26 a year for years on end. American women are generally paidthe same as thier male counterparts, the discrepancy is due to the fact women often step off the career track to have a family and reenter years later, at lower pay due to lack of experience compared to men of hte same age. Porter should know this, but will ignore it.
- Jeff, Goffstown
Employers should be allowed to hire whomever they want and to pay whatever they want to whomever they want, period.
- Brian, Farmington
What a boon to trial lawyers, a parasitical group that is at the top of the Democrat food chain by its prodigious donations.
Between younger workers of the two sexes (I save "gender" for English class), women earn almost the same--97 or 98 percent of men's wages. Not bad when considering males are more likely to study engineering or the hard sciences (biology excluded). That's before larger numbers of women opt out from working full schedules to raise families, a noble endeavor.
So when one hears some other statistic, a fraudulent one, that purports women earn on average much less, that's factoring in women who choose to work less, take a job that doesn't demand forty-plus hours of attendance. Seen how many women choose to spend nearly fifty hours on the road driving UPS trucks?
These bills, however, will merely increase the litigiousness of our society and not actually help women. Why hire women doing different jobs from men, women who are more prone to ask for family time or reduced hours, but pay them the same for a differing lack of commitment to the workplace?
The two bills sound good but listen to what they do: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would effectively get rid of the statute of limitations in pay discrimination cases. The other, the Paycheck Fairness Act, would pressure some employers to pay people performing different jobs with very different working conditions the same pay, if the different jobs are predominantly held by different sexes, and the different jobs are deemed comparable based on specified statutory criteria.
Whether women are helped--the cover story--is not as certain as that lawyers have a jobs bailout program in this uncertain economy.
Now made a little more uncertain for employers having to consider another federal case breathing down their necks.
Watch the old conservative message come to fruition. Beware the law of unintended consequences! My wife and I, who are raising four children ten and under in age, don't need the help of Uncle Sam to raise up her wage. Like women generally my wife has more schooling, had higher grades and, even though she doesn't work outside the home nearly as much as I do with my two jobs, she doesn't need Uncle Sam's paternal help.
If sex disparity needs to be looked at, why not the gross imbalance between the sexes at university? You think UNH is 50/50? But I don't see action on that front.
- Brent, Moultonborough
"Hodes Blasts 'Whitewash' IG Report on Pentagon Pundits"
By Elana Schor - January 16, 2009, 5:23PM
The Defense Department inspector general has absolved the Pentagon of any guilt for its systematic farming-out of military officials to promote the Iraq war on TV. But Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) isn't about to let the issue drop.
From a statement his office provided to TPMmuckraker:
This report is a whitewash and did not ask the right questions. There are factual inaccuracies and a lack of depth to the investigation. It's a nice parting gift to the Bush White House from the Pentagon. I plan to continue to pursue this matter to get the answers the American people deserve to ensure that they are not the victims of propaganda and deception in matters of war and peace.
Given that the IG report essentially declared there to be insufficient evidence to prove whether the pundits program violated anti-propaganda rules, Hodes has a point about the depth of the probe. Perhaps the coming Government Accountability Office report on the military's Iraq marketing will get more substantive answers from the networks.
New Hampshire Senate (D): Rep. Paul Hodes is moving quickly to unify establishment Democrats behind his candidacy for what will be an open seat in 2010. (Bonnie Newman (R) will serve as a caretaker in the seat until then.) But, Rep. Carol Shea Porter has proven an ability to beat the establishment -- she beat the national party endorsed candidate in the 2006 primary and then won the general election without a dime of support from the national committee -- and is looking seriously at the race. If she runs, Shea Porter will bring the grassroots army that got her elected in 2006 (and reelected in 2008) with her while Hodes will have the backing -- tacit or explicit remains to be seen -- of the state and national establishment.
"Manchester-Boston airport getting planning grant"
boston.com/news/local, February 14, 2009
MANCHESTER, N.H. --Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is getting some help from Washington as it plans for its future.
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter says the federal Transportation Department is sending the airport $900,000 to update its master plan.
"NH getting nearly $10.5M for unemployment benefits"
boston.com/news/local, April 14, 2009
CONCORD, N.H. --New Hampshire is getting nearly $10.5 million to pay for unemployment benefits, made available by the federal economic stimulus package.
The state Department of Employment Security can use the funds to pay the benefits or, if appropriated by the Legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter said with the recent news that unemployment in the state jumped to 6.2 percent in March, the funds are needed more than ever to help people through these difficult economic times.
"NH getting millions for clean water projects"
boston.com/news/local, April 15, 2009
CONCORD, N.H. --Washington is sending New Hampshire millions of dollars in stimulus money for water projects.
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter says the $39.2 million will go a fund that provides low-interest loans for water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, pollution control, and watershed and estuary management.
Ann McLane Kuster
"First Major Candidate Enters Race to Replace Hodes in New Hampshire"
By Rachel Kapochunas - blogs.cqpolitics.com/eyeon2010 - June 5, 2009
Democrat Ann McLane Kuster, a lawyer and lobbyist, has announced her candidacy for New Hampshire's 2nd District race, positioning herself as a Washington outsider.
"I'm an activist, not a career politician. I think great ideas start right here in New Hampshire, not in Washington," Kuster said in her video announcement. Her announcement made her the first major Democrat to enter the race to succeed Democratic Rep. Paul W. Hodes, who is running for the Senate in 2010.
Kuster emphasized her commitment to make quality healthcare afforable, protect abortion rights, and increase New Hampshire's involvement in the alternative energy industry.
Kuster is a longtime Democratic activist who came from a political family. Her late mother, Susan McLane, served as a Republican state Senator who lost a 1980 House bid to Republican Judd Gregg.
Hodes hopes to succeed Gregg, who currently serves as a U.S. Senator but is retiring in 2010. Kuster's late father, Malcolm McLane, served as the mayor of Concord and ran for governor.
Kuster was one of many prospective candidates who had participated in local Democratic forums held to introduce voters to the potential candidate field. State Rep. John DeJoie, a firefighter, has been operating an exploratory campaign for the race, Democrat Katrina Swett, a business consultant who ran for the district seat in 2002 and ran for U.S. Senate last cycle, but deferred to Jeanne Shaheen, is considering a bid, and Democrat Mark Fernald, a former state senator who unsuccessfully ran for governor, is exploring a run.
Additional Democrats floated as potential candidates include state Sen. Sylvia Larsen and Executive Councillor Debora Pignatelli.
Republicans are expected to strongly contest the seat, but must also focus their efforts on retaining Gregg's U.S. Senate seat and challenging 1st District Rep. Carol Shea-Porter., whose district is more competitive for Republicans than the 2nd.
Former Rep. Charles Bass, who is also regarded as a potential U.S. Senate candidate, is mulling a bid for the 2nd District. Others mulling a race are conservative radio talk show host Jennifer Horn, the 2008 GOP nominee for the 2nd District, as well as Bob Clegg, a former state Senator, who lost to Horn in 2008 in a GOP primary.
Hodes won a second term last fall with 56 percent over 41 percent for Horn. In the presidential race, Barack Obama carried the district 56 percent to 43 percent for Republican Sen. John McCain.
NH-02: "'Inspired'" By Obama, Kuster Enters Race"
realclearpolitics.com - June 04, 2009
Ann McLane Kuster, a New Hampshire attorney and early supporter of Barack Obama, announced today that she intends to run for the 2nd district seat being vacated by Rep. Paul Hodes (D).
Born into a political family, Kuster co-chaired New Hampshire Women for Obama and spent countless hours traveling the state on his behalf. In an interview this morning, she said that advocacy for the president spurred her to seek the seat.
"There's no question that I was inspired by Barack Obama to take this step into politics myself," said Kuster, of Hopkinton. "I've always been a community activist and a political activist. Both Barack and Michelle's grace and courage gave me the confidence to step up to run."
Announcing her candidacy today in a video to supporters, she said the formal campaign kick off will come this fall; the Democratic primary is in September 2010. But Kuster said she's already been actively courting constituencies and voters throughout the district in "more or less a Hillary Clinton listening tour." She also has met several times with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY's List. She's focusing now on raising enough money to run a competitive campaign, with the goal of $1 million for the primary.
Kuster said she hadn't expected to enter politics herself, but cited a confluence of events that spurred her to make the plunge. It started with her signing on to the Obama campaign in January 2007, followed by work on the presidential transition, and then the decision by Hodes to run for the U.S. Senate, creating a rare open seat race.
"I'm not known as a political figure at all, so there's no question that when you see that first poll, I'll have a long way to go in terms of name recognition," she said.
Among those also expected to run is Katrina Swett, whose husband, Dick, held the seat for two terms. Kuster acknowledged that Swett starts with considerable financial resources, having raised money for a Senate bid in 2008 before stepping aside for Jeanne Shaheen. But Swett lost a previous attempt at the seat in 2002 by double digits to Republican Charlie Bass, who may himself run again.
"One of the reasons why I'm getting such strong support is that the pro-choice activists and others feel they want a very strong, moderate, pro-choice Democratic candidate to go up against Charlie and win and hold the seat," said Kuster.
Earlier this year, Kuster indicated she might step aside if state Senate President Sylvia Larsen decided to enter. "My plan is to be in it to win it," Kuster said today.
Kuster's father served as mayor of Concord and on the state Executive Council, and once ran for governor. Her mother was a long-time Republican state senator who switched parties in 1992 after endorsing Bill Clinton. She said she's been "genuinely pleased and surprised" by encouragement she's received from some of her parents' supporters, even joking that her parents are raising money for her from heaven as some of their donors have already contributed.
Despite her prominent role on the Obama campaign in the state, Kuster said some of the state's top Clinton backers have already endorsed her. Her campaign listed dozens of endorsements today, including state House Majority Leader Mary Jane Wallner, Stoneyfield Yogurt CEO Gary Hirshberg, and Christina D'Allesandro, daughter of state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro. She said she's also signed up a strong list of consultants: Paul Ambrosino for direct mail, Mark Mellman as pollster, and Jason Ralston and John Lapp for media.
Looking ahead, Kuster said she's trying to channel the "No Drama Obama" mindset for what will be a long campaign.
"I've lived my life with passion, patience and perseverance, and that's what this will take," she said. "Eighteen months is a long time. I will just keep my head down and go to work every day getting it done."
"Kuster, Guinta building warchests"
By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, July 15, 2009
Federal campaign finance reports are due today, and two U.S. House contenders are showing impressive figures (the other being Republican candidate Frank Guinta).
In the 2nd District, Democrat Ann McLane Kuster reports that her campaign raised $163,097 in only the 34 days between May 27, when she filed her committee, and June 30.Kuster received all but $200 from individuals and her only PAC funding is $200 from Nelson for Assembly.
“He’s the ex-boyfriend of one of my nieces who is in the Wisconsin Legislature,” she said. “He sent me $200 from his campaign finance committee.
Kuster reports expenditures of $12,777 and has $147,825 on hand.
CHARLES F. BASS
The Boston Globe - Op-Ed:
"Getting the GOP out of its mess"
By Charles F. Bass, June 23, 2009
I HAVE BEEN out of public life for three years. I’m used to standing at the end of the line at the airport, my Blackberry is now my office, and I’m rarely asked for my opinion on much of anything. But when I saw the recent cover of Time magazine with the caption “Endangered Species?’’ above the Republican Party elephant logo, I wondered how we ever got ourselves into this situation.
Why has the Republican Party let the Democrats cast us as the party that caters to the rich and the elite? Wasn’t it a Republican president who freed millions of Americans from the bondage of slavery?
Why has the Republican Party let the Democrats cast us as the party that opposes a clean environment? Wasn’t it a Republican president who created the first national park in America, the National Park Service, and the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire? Wasn’t it a Republican president who created the Environmental Protection Agency, authored the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Hazardous Waste Act?
Why has the Republican Party let the Democrats cast us as the party of big oil, gas, and coal? Wasn’t it a Republican president who broke up the huge oil trusts in America? Wasn’t it a Republican president who first called for energy independence through the development of alternative energy resources?
Why has the Republican Party allowed Democrats to portray us as the party of war? Have we forgotten that Republican presidents ended the Vietnam War, broke the back of communism without firing a single shot, and successfully liberated Kuwait from Iraq in only 19 days?
And why has the Republican Party become the defender of a healthcare system no one likes? Why can’t we be the party that responds to the Democrats’ determination to federalize healthcare by offering our own proposals that make healthcare more competitive, more affordable, and more efficient?
We are the party that brightened the future of blue-collar America in the early 1980s by lowering taxes for workers and giving them a chance to save for retirement and move up in society. We should be the party that continues to promote tax relief while seriously attacking out-of-control spending. We should be the party that puts people back to work not by creating temporary taxpayer-subsidized jobs but by letting all working Americans keep more of their own hard-earned dollars to invest in new business or buy products and thereby pull us out of this recession.
We should be the party that has the courage to take on out-of-control entitlement spending by establishing a bipartisan commission that is charged with making big, difficult decisions on curbing the growth of entitlements, and then force Congress to vote its plan into law.
We should be the party that supports meaningful climate-change legislation so that we lead rather than follow the rest of the world in capping carbon emissions because we care deeply about the world that we will leave for our children and their children.
We should be the party that vigorously supports alternative-energy development, putting this nascent industry on a par with oil, gas, and coal - all of which have received huge government subsidies for generations. Republicans should be promoting alternative-energy development as a way to make the environment cleaner, make America safer and more secure, while creating a whole new economy and the jobs and prosperity associated with it. And we should be the party that supports expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare by making premiums universally deductible, allowing businesses to form their own healthcare pools, implementing meaningful tort law reform, allowing a healthcare plan that is available in any one state to be sold in other states, and by implementing 21st-century technology to computerize health records so that the system works more efficiently and more safely.
No party should allow the extreme views of political talk-show commentators, who are paid to be outrageous, to become the primary architects of its public image.
The Republican Party should be the party of freedom, liberty, and opportunity. We should allow our people, churches, and families - not the government - to establish, protect, and nurture our moral values.
We should be the party of entrepreneurship, hard work, and common-sense pragmatic solutions to the challenges facing America today. And perhaps most important, we should be the party that listens to and feels the pulse of America, not just our closest friends and allies. If we do all of this, we will return to our rightful place as the party that has earned the trust, admiration, and faith of the American people.
Charles F. Bass is a former US representative from New Hampshire.
(Globe Staff Illustration)
"A dog fight Obama seems bound to lose: Congress backs F-22 fighter the Pentagon doesn’t want"
By Bryan Bender, Boston Globe Staff, July 12, 2009
WASHINGTON - From the economic recovery plan to healthcare reform and creating clean-energy jobs, Representative Paul Hodes has been among President Obama’s staunchest supporters in Congress.
But when it comes to the administration’s proposal to end production of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet to save billions of dollars over the next decade, the New Hampshire Democrat is drawing the line: Hodes has joined other members of the president’s own party to insist the Air Force buy more of the planes despite fierce objections from the Pentagon and even the threat of a presidential veto.
Hodes’s view on the F-22, shared by other usually stalwart Obama supporters such as Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry, signifies the extent to which one of the president’s priorities - paring down costly weapons systems - is at risk of flaming out on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers in both parties are scrambling to protect jobs back home.
Hodes’s district includes Nashua, where an estimated 1,400 workers at BAE Systems help build the jet’s electronic combat systems - one of many facilities in 44 states where jet components are manufactured.
“Thousands of jobs are dependent on it,’’ said Mark Bergman, Hodes’s spokesman, explaining his boss’s position.
The ultimate fate of the F-22, however, has wider implications for defense spending, according to military specialists and congressional specialists. If the plane continues to be produced, they predict, other weapon systems that Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has recommended cutting back could be revived as lawmakers are emboldened to push for their own pet projects.
“If Gates and Obama can’t sustain the veto, the defense budget is a ham sandwich and will be carved up,’’ said Winslow Wheeler, a former GOP defense aide who is now a senior fellow at the Center for Defense Information in Washington. “We are talking about a political system that watches these things very closely. Any perceived weakness only begets more weakness.’’
Obama still has some influential lawmakers in his corner, including Senator John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. When the full Senate takes up the defense bill this week, McCain plans to lead an effort to reverse the decision in committee that would add $1.7 billion for 12 additional F-22s next year.
“I strongly support Secretary Gates’s position that procurement of additional F-22s beyond 187 aircraft is unnecessary and should not be done,’’ McCain told the Globe in a statement.
One defense analyst estimates that $65 billion has been spent on the F-22 program to date; the price tag for each of the stealth fighters, designed during the Cold War for the next generation of air-to-air combat, is about $200 million.
The House of Representatives, meanwhile, has already voted in favor of adding nearly $400 million to purchase parts for at least seven additional F-22s. The two chambers will have to ultimately come up with a common bill.
The proposal not to build the final batch of 60 F-22s is at the center of Gates’s effort to scale back some costly weapon systems and free up resources for new capabilities such as intelligence-gathering tools to confront less conventional enemies, such as those in Iraq or Afghanistan.
When he rolled out his budget plan in April, Gates urged members of Congress to resist the temptation to fight for some of these programs solely on the grounds that they employ their constituents.
He called on lawmakers “to critically and ruthlessly separate appetites from real requirements’’ - a reference to the longtime practice by lawmakers of funding pet projects whether they are justified or not.
On Gates’s advice, the White House appears poised to fight for its position on the F-22. In a tersely worded memo to House lawmakers on June 24, the White House said that “if the final bill presented to the president contains this provision, the president’s senior advisers would recommend a veto.’’
The president’s party holds significant majorities in both chambers, but party loyalty only goes so far when it comes to defense contracts.
It is unclear whether Obama can garner enough votes to make a veto stand, according to a number of close observers. If a two-thirds’ majority in both chambers backs the F-22, he will be forced to buy them.
The signs aren’t good. So far, the House leadership has refused to even consider three proposed amendments to remove the F-22 funding from the defense bill.
And Kennedy, perhaps the president’s biggest ally on Capitol Hill, has been a longtime advocate of the fighter plane. Late last month he used his vote on the Senate Armed Services Committee to support the F-22 funding. He also voted to finance other projects that have an economic impact in the Bay State but that the Pentagon says it doesn’t need.
He hopes that someday the Massachusetts Air National Guard will be able to replace their F-15 jets with the F-22, his office said in a statement.
But in a letter in support of continuing the program sent to then-President-elect Obama in January, Kennedy and dozens of other senators cited the economic impact of terminating the program, including more than 1,000 suppliers nationwide and at least 25,000 jobs. The project’s prime contractor is Lockheed Martin.
Meanwhile, Kerry, who also signed the January letter, this week reiterated his support for building more of the multibillion-dollar fighter jets even amid new reports that the aircraft may be experiencing technical problems.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that the stealth coating designed to allow the plane to evade enemy radar has failed to perform in recent tests and the jet has suffered from a variety of maintenance problems.
“I can confirm that the senator’s position [in favor of more F-22s] has not changed,’’ said Kerry’s spokeswoman, Jodi Seth.
Obama is facing opposition from Democrats across the region. Representative Carol Shea-Porter, from New Hampshire, also supports building more F-22s, according to her spokeswoman, Jamie Radice, as does Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut.
For his part, Kennedy’s break with the president’s defense spending priorities goes beyond just the F-22.
He voted in favor of buying nine more F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets for the Navy than the administration requested and providing more than $600 million that the Air Force didn’t ask for to build an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - another provision that the White House warns could prompt a veto.
Engines for both the F/A-18 and the F-35 are built by General Electric’s aviation division in Lynn. In total, the Super Hornet program supports 102 companies across Massachusetts and employs more than 3,800 people, according to a briefing prepared for congressional staff by Boeing, the main contractor.
But many watchdog groups fear that such reversals in Gates’s budget plan - especially on the F-22 - will jeopardize the integrity of the entire Pentagon reform plan in the years to come, including the recommendations of a defense strategy review to be completed by the end of the year.
“Procurement of additional F-22s does not serve our national security needs and jeopardizes the Department of Defense’s higher priorities,’’ said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight.
At least one supporter of buying more F-22s agrees. Loren Thompson, president of the Lexington Institute, a think tank that espouses a stronger defense, said he believes that other programs are more likely to be revived by Congress if the administration loses the F-22 battle.
“Obama either has to veto the whole bill or accept a significant legislative defeat,’’ he said. “He raised the symbolic value; if he loses, he loses big.’’
Some lawmakers have shown a willingness to accept the Pentagon’s arguments despite the possible political repercussions.
Representative Chellie Pingree, Democrat of Maine, represents North Berwick, where Pratt & Whitney builds the F-22’s engines. Even so, she voted no on adding funding for the plane in the House Armed Services Committee last month.
Pingree, says her spokesman, Willy Ritch, “is confident that the men and women at the Pratt & Whitney facility in Maine will continue working on other contracts.’’
Bender can be reached at email@example.com.
"NH veterans to receive expanded medical care in-state"
By PAT GROSSMITH, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, July 13, 2009
MANCHESTER – New Hampshire's veterans will receive acute inpatient hospital care without having to travel to Vermont or Massachusetts, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today.
The VA has entered into a contract with Concord Hospital to provide acute care for more than 100,000 veterans living in the state. The amount of the contract was not listed in a press release. Last year, however, the VA spent $300 million on New Hampshire veterans.
"Our partnership with Concord Hospital significantly improves access to acute care for the Veterans residing in New Hampshire," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) was meeting with a group of veterans in her Manchester office when she received a call from the VA informing her of the expanded medical care.
"We just broke into applause," she said. "This really is monumental."
Since her election three years ago, Shea-Porter has been trying to convince the VA to make its Manchester medical facility either a full-service hospital or allow veterans to be treated locally at a private hospital.
For the past 10 years, New Hampshire veterans needing immediate hospitalization, but who were able to safely travel by ambulance, were transported to VA hospitals in Massachusetts or Vermont. Now they will be able to remain in-state, closer to home and family.
New Hampshire is the only state without a full-service veterans medical facility. Currently, more than 105,000 veterans live in the six counties served by VAMC Manchester.
Shea-Porter introduced legislation requiring the VA to provide the same services veterans in other states receive to those living in the Granite State. U.S. Rep. Paul W. Hodes (D-N.H.) co-sponsored the bill.
She said she is "absolutely delighted" with the VA's decision but said more needs to be done, especially for veterans living in the North Country who still have a long way to travel to receive medical treatment. She said some veterans may still opt to receive care at veterans medical centers in White River Junction, Vt. or Boston.
Shea-Porter said one of the joys of her job is to be able to make things right.
She took up the veterans' cause, she said, because it was "just wrong" that New Hampshire's veterans should be treated unfairly and not receive the same health care as veterans in other states.
The issue, she said, was especially dear to her because her husband, Gene, is a U.S. Army veteran, born who was born on a U.S. Army base in Germany.
The expanded medical services will allow the VA to provide coordinated care and services equivalent to a general medical and surgical hospital locally within New Hampshire, according to a VA press release.
VA will have staff located at Concord to coordinate care for the veterans admitted to Concord Hospital as they transfer back to VA services after discharge.
The amount of the contract was not listed in the press release. Last year, the VA spent more than $300 million on behalf of the state’s 132,000 veterans. In addition to the medical center in Manchester, VA operates outpatient clinics in Conway, Littleton, Portsmouth, Somersworth and Tilton, and a Vet Center in Manchester.
A someone who has critized U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) and do not support many of her polices, I would like to thank her for her support of NH veterans. She made a difference and this is a good thing for many NH veterans, such as myself.
- Doug Hogue, Merrimack
I live in N.H. and use the VA in White River. I sure hope the many vets who live in NH and have used and are happy with the VA in White River are not forced to change Md's and hospitals just because this change happens. Please let us us the provider we want. I know my Md's at the White River VA know my case and me, plus Concord is further for those of us here in the upper valley. I sure hope we don't get mandted to change. That would be plain wrong and unjust. And detrimental to our care!
- pete, sunapee
Martha, You didn't read the article closely. You can still get services at White River for those vets from the North Country. It is the people in the middle of the state that are losing the Manchester facility and will have to travel to Mass or White River. This Concord Hospital agreement will make life a lot easier for all vets in the NH area so that no vet has to travel too far to receive proper medical care. And another benefit is that the medical care at a traditional hospital is usually better than that received at the VA facilities. Unfortunately, you are correct in that the North Country is often forgotten as the population is small and the jobs are very scarce. Political decisions are based on census population in geographic areas to decide where to put services to better suit the greater population.
- Pam L'Heureux, WEARE
If people dont like the VA hospital system then they'll hate the proposed socialized medical care that Obama is trying to sell. Its just about the same program! Folks complain now about traveling out of town to see a certain specialist. Imagine having to cross state lines for this benefit. As most VA patients have had to do for years!
- Annah, Austin, TX. Formerly Londonderry, NH.
There is presently no VA clinic in Littleton. It closed as of July 1,2009. The nearest place is in White River Junction which is 2:30 hours away. Again the North County is a forgotten part of the state. If we go to Concord it at least 3 hours. What good does that do for the North Country Vets? The southern area has VA in Manchester. What does the North Country have other than a long drive?
- Martha Long, Colebrook
"Veterans' care: A step toward choice"
The NH Union Leader, Editorial, July 15, 2009
The question of whether veterans in New Hampshire ought to have a full-service VA hospital in-state has been put to rest, at least for now -- and in a good way.
On Monday (7/13/2009), the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a contract with Concord Hospital to provide acute care not currently provided at the VA Medical Center in Manchester.
That's a wonderful development for New Hampshire's veterans not only because more services will be provided, but because it takes a step away from a bureaucratic, government-run system and toward one that gives veterans more options.
New Hampshire has long been the only state without a full-service VA hospital. The argument that it needed one was never precisely accurate. What New Hampshire veterans have needed is access to full-service medical care, but not necessarily access to a single, full-service government-run hospital.
The VA's contract with Concord Hospital provides needed care without spending massive amounts of taxpayer money to expand the hospital in Manchester. It gets us beyond the intellectual trap of thinking that veterans cannot be well-cared for unless they receive their care at a government facility.
What veterans in New Hampshire and everywhere else need is access to the best quality care at the best price. That is most likely to come by giving veterans more choices. The new contract offers a midway point between government-provided care and a system in which veterans can get services at their local doctor's office or hospital, via a medical debit card or similar payment system that allows them the same freedom of choice that non-veterans have.
That's a big step in the right direction.
Significantly, the Union-Leader never bothers to mention in this editorial that Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter was the major force in bringing about the contract between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Concord Hospital. So much for fair treatment of Democrats in U-L editorials.
- Gary Patton, Hampton
I note that not one of those who wrote a comment lives north of Concord. Yes, this contract with Concord Hospital is a good move, but still does not address the problems of veterans who live in northcountry (Belknap, Carroll, Coos, Grafton Counties). These veterans will still have to travel a considerable distance for care. How they get to the hospital in Concord will still be a problem for some. What is necessary is for every veteran to have the right to go to their local hospital when necessary. For example, a veteran in Carroll County recently fell from a ladder during the 4th of July weekend. He had to wait until Monday to get someone to drive him to White River Junction for treatment although he had a perfectly fine hospital not ten minutes from his home. This kind of problem needs to be addressed and the sooner the better.
- Dorothy Solomon, Albany
New Hampshire still needs a full-service VA Hospital.
Veterans also should be allowed to go to any hospital and health clinics they want in New Hampshire and other states for acute care and other types of care.
- Ken Stremsky, Manchester, NH
Our veterans at one point wrote a blank to this great country that could be cashed in for any amount up to and including their life. They committed thir services to th country, independnt of what political party was in power. That sacrifice deserves better than what we have provided them.
Joe T from Derry, you have been duped into believing you are getting the best care from the VA. The doctors are great, without question. The procedures and drugs that you say private insurance companies tell you after the fact they won't reimburse are a notable example. The person who treated you should have known whether they were reimbursbale or not. In the VA system, the decision is made by administrators before you ever get to the VAMC. Your physician is limited in what tools he or she has to treat you with. Talk with your physician and nurses next time you go. Ask them if you get sick and want a clinical study if the VA in Manchester even knows what they are.
carol shea-porter might seem like a hero, but she refuses to answer if her own husband, a veteran, receives his healthcare at VAMCs.
Instead of forcing Veterans to have their own underfunded healthcare, what are the thoughts of veterans here? Would you be open to receive free healthcare at any hospital of YOUR choice?
My thought is that the VAMC could be entirely eliminated. Instead the money can be used to provide veterans better care at any hospital they choose. Medicare and Medicaid allow for many more choices for you and your physician to discuss. If Veterans were covered under medicare/medicaid and had zero deductables thy would thn be entitled to the same level of healthcare as the very people they risked their lives to protect.
- Michael Layon, Derry
Tim in the original article announcing the program they did give her credit for it. But as much as I dislike her they should have said something here as well.
- Brian, Wakefield
Couldn't the UL even acknowledge Carol Shea-Porter. You don't have to thank her but at least mention her name for making this happen.
- Tim, Manchester, NH
New Hampshire still needs a full-service VA Hospital.
Veterans should also be able to get acute care and other care in any hospital they want in New Hampshire and other states. A "medical debit card or similar payment system" makes sense that gives them a lot more "freedom".
Veterans need more choices and competition.
- Ken Stremsky, Manchester, NH
So let's see:
When the NH delegation was all Republicans, and they allowed NH to become the only state in the NATION without a full service VA or base hospital, Republicans kept silent. Then they didn't raise a finger to try to do anything about it until Democrats got in office and started trying to fix it. Then, suddenly, they started working to do something about it because they suddenly were worried someone would notice.
I ask every Republican in this state to reflect on the fact that their party was FINE with the idea of NH losing their full-service VA hospital, and was FINE with the idea that things would never get better until Democrats started trying to fix things.
Any Republican that stood by quietly while NH lost these valuable services was an ACCOMPLICE in creating poor healthcare services for veterans in NH, and should be ashamed for putting the support of their party ahead of support for veterans.
- Craig, Hampstead
I'm getting dizzy again. All this talk (and at best it is only that) about how wonderful choice is as long as you choose things a conservative Republicanic would want. With health care in general, all you have been able to choose is that provided by a declining number of corporations as consolidation occurs. Choose birth control, not so much. Choose employee card check, not so much. Choose a public health care option, not so much. Choose medical marijuana, not so much. It sounds nice tell you realise that chickenhawks are making the decisions instead of veterans. Corporatist lobbyists are making decisions not doctors and patients.
- Robert, Deerfield
Medicines are miraculous and technology is fantastic but communication has and continues to be a mess. This "project" will have to be observed carefully by Veterans and communication must be accurate. Care Management for Veterans could be the answer but NOT Case Management...BIG difference. Veterans will have to take responsibility for this program. IF it is to work..Honor and Honesty..all that glitters is not gold!! This shouldn't be a Test Program for National Health Care.
Proper Care Plans for Veterans with communication that is understood...FACTS and NO Politics.
- Bob Jones, Meredith
Carol Shea-Porter has done very little that could be considered positive for NH, This is a notable exception and the UL is remiss in not thanking her.
- Jeff, Goffstown
This report, while good for the Veterans of New Hampshire, is written in a tone against the care most Vets of our conflicts need, those that happened while serving, the so called 'government care', i.e. care from the people we serve! What is learned from their care, for the future, the network of VA specialist, the teaching of combat injuries to new care givers and what a vet goes through. And Much More!!
That only can come directly through the VA care system!! And gives back, once again, the service to the general population in what was learned from the care of those of us who serve, leading to better care for everyone!!
They should have their own facility, top of the line, for care,research and teaching!!
- James Starowicz, Kannapolis North Carolina
I am not so sure about this so called "wonderful" new way of providing health care for Veterans. What does the acute care provider mean? When I worked for the VA they hatched a plan (the bureaucrats) that the VA would provide Health care at local hospitals for Veterans. BUT, they would only cover their Military related disability. What does that mean? Well it means that a guy/gal who lost a body part ie: leg, arm, you get the picture, could be seen but only for that issue. Would it be fair to say that an ex military person who lost a body part, would it be fair to say that their lifetime ability to earn a living would be effected by losing that part? Obviously the answer is yes. So, the ex military person who may not be able to work gets cheated when it comes to other health issues. Lets go to routine check ups. Now what, do we as Verterans get put into a system where the doctor wants to jam as many patients into an hour as he can to recieve his fee? Probably. So he, Doctor spends less time w/each patient and the Veteran becomes un known to his so called provider. Does this now mean that our blood tests that we get now become less frequent or cut back? This may look like a great big so called step in the right direction but is it? I can tell you that most of the staff 90% or better are very courteous and helpful to Veterans now you want to mix them w/the general patient population. I can also tell you as a matter of fact Veteran Patients have MUCH different needs than the non Veteran patient. Right Direction, I'm not so sure, my sense tells me its not the right step. Bureaucrats thought up this plan and I got to tell ya have you ever met the Bureaucrats/Managment at the VA?
- Michael King, Epping
I don't understand why the phobia against government-run hospitals, or the need to put down the VA here in Manchester. I have found the VA to give excellent care 100% of the time. It's true that it is small clinic, but there are still plenty of doctors on hand to give that "precious choice" that some conservatives cherish, while continuously providing excellent care. The best part about the VA is that there is never that uneasy waiting to see whether this or that procedure is covered or insured or not, and receiving that occasional denial of care AFTER you already had the procedure, dropping the entire bill on your lap all at once. The VA system is superior in every way to private health care clinics, and I will always prefer it to private clinics and hospitals and in particular the parasitic health insurance extortion rings.
- joe t, derry NH
"Veterans care options expand in hospital deal: Concord Hospital can provide more"
By Margot Sanger-Katz, Concord Monitor staff, July 16, 2009
Concord, NH - Administrators from the Veterans Administration and Concord Hospital have clarified the details of a contract expansion announced earlier this week.
The change will mean that more veterans who require hospital stays will be given the choice to stay in New Hampshire for their care. But veterans will still need to travel out of state for some specialized care.
Concord Hospital has had a contract with the VA since the fall. Under the old contract, patients with medical needs who required hospitalization could be transferred from the VA Medical Center in Manchester to Concord. But not every patient was given that option - some were instead transferred to VA hospitals out of state, even if their conditions did not require specialized surgery.
The new contract allows two major changes:
• Concord Hospital will be allowed to perform more medical and surgical procedures for veterans.
• And all veterans with health conditions Concord Hospital is allowed to treat will have the choice to go there if they prefer a local hospital to one of the VA facilities.
"Now, everybody who has an urgent condition can stay locally," said Dr. Marc Levinson, the medical director at the Manchester VA center.
The new treatments Concord Hospital can offer include some elective abdominal surgeries and may grow to include some cancer treatments. Patients will also be allowed to come back to Concord Hospital for follow-up care after they leave the hospital, said CFO Bruce Burns.
Complex, specialized elective surgeries, including joint replacements or open heart surgeries, will still be offered only at VA hospitals. As always, veterans with life-threatening medical emergencies will be taken by ambulance to the nearest appropriate hospital.
Both the hospital and the VA estimate that Concord Hospital will treat about 600 veterans a year under the new contract. That's about two-thirds of the approximately 900 New Hampshire veterans who need hospital-based care in the state each year, Levinson said.
Levinson estimated that the new contract will net Concord Hospital about $6 million to $7 million, roughly double what they would have earned under the previous contract.
Concord Hospital won the contract under a competitive bidding process. It entered its bid last summer and learned it had won the contract in September. Burns said Concord Hospital is happy with the rate of reimbursement.
"We hope to build a long-term relationship with them to provide services," he said. "We see it as a start of a relationship that will hopefully last longer."
Political figures have long clamored for a full-service veterans hospital in the state, but Levinson said those numbers aren't enough to make a hospital practical.
Instead, he said, the contract expansion could become a test case for how the VA serves patients who live far from VA facilities. New Hampshire is one of a small number of states without its own full-service center, but veterans living in larger states elsewhere may actually have longer distances to travel if they need hospital-based care.
"This is a model of care that may be of interest to VAs around the country," he said.
"NH's Hodes votes to halt production of F-22"
boston.com - July 31, 2009
CONCORD, N.H. --New Hampshire Congressman Paul Hodes, who voted against further production of the F-22 fighter jet, says the Pentagon's plans to continue F-35 production, together with the existing fleet, will provide strong enough air capability.
Hodes says continuing production of the F-22 will therefore be a waste of taxpayer dollars and will not provide the military with the best balance of tools to keep the nation safe.
The Democratic-controlled House is going along with Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plans to kill the over-budget F-22 fighter jet, but is casting aside his efforts to cut off several other big ticket items.
"Carol Shea-Porter to address NH AARP phone town hall"
AP - August 19, 2009
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- AARP New Hampshire is hosting a telephone town hall devoted to health reform, featuring Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.
Members of the 1st Congressional District are taking part in the phone meeting, which will be broadcast on New Hampshire Public Television at a later date.
It starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
AARP New Hampshire has offered to host additional health reform tele-town halls with New Hampshire's congressional delegation. Rep. Paul Hodes is scheduled for one on Aug. 26, and scheduling conversations with Senators Judd Gregg and Jeanne Shaheen are under way.
"Shea-Porter holds health care forum by phone"
By MARK HAYWARD, New Hampshire Union Leader, 8/20/2009
MANCHESTER – First District Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter held her first of two telephone town halls last night and told Medicare recipients their health care plan would change little under health care reform.
Shea-Porter continuously referred to Medicare and the Veteran's Administration health care plans as efficient, government-run plans. And she told members of AARP-New Hampshire that insurance companies are the ones rationing health care, not Medicare.
"This is part of the whole scare, that they're going to be rationing Medicare; it's not true," she said. "People like Medicare. It's a government-run program. I'm happy my mother's on it and I'm going to protect it," she said.
The two-term Democrat held the telephone town hall in a conference room at the AARP state headquarters in Manchester. Her telephone town halls have drawn criticism from a potential opponent, Republican Frank Guinta, who said face-to-face town halls are a New Hampshire tradition that give every constituent the opportunity to attend.
"The town hall meeting style of government started here in New Hampshire. We live it each and every day. There should be no reason for an elected official to be afraid of her constituents," he said yesterday.
"If Ms. Shea-Porter doesn't have the courage to appear in person to defend her support for the Democrats' budget-busting, job-killing health care legislation, she should not be running for re-election," New Hampshire GOP Communications Director Ryan Williams said in a statement.
But Shea-Porter said her live town halls draw 50 to 100 people, compared to the 4,600 who listened on the telephone last night.
"I reached 4,500 people that I normally can't," she said. She said she "is looking" to do face-to-face town halls.
New Hampshire Public Television filmed last night's event and plans to broadcast it at 9:30 a.m. Sunday and 6 p.m. Monday. Shea-Porter plans another town hall for Friday, when her office will randomly call 150,000 people in the district.
Last night's town hall lasted about 50 minutes and involved 15 callers who asked questioned.
They asked about their Medicare supplemental insurance (the proposal won't alter any contractual arrangements between employers and retirees), abortion (an amendment would prohibit taxpayer-subsidized premiums from funding abortions), and the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole (in two years, it will be reduced to $500, and be eliminated all together in 15 years).
Some were critical of the reform. Don from Manchester said the United States has the highest quality health care in the world. "Why can't we preserve that, and just fix what's wrong?" he asked.
Shea-Porter said: "If you look at the list of the healthiest countries, we're not there."
"A mother’s journey for reform"
By AnnMarie Morse, The Boston Globe: Op-Ed, October 22, 2009
CANCER PATIENTS should never have to fight for their health care while they are fighting for their lives. Unfortunately, my daughter, Michelle, faced that predicament when she was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer in December 2003, one week shy of her 21st birthday.
Once we learned the aggressive and debilitating treatment Michelle would endure, her doctors recommended that she take a leave of absence from her full-time studies at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. But the law at that time required dependents over the age of 19 to be enrolled in college full-time to remain on their parents’ health insurance policy, even if they were seriously ill or injured. Being thrown off our policy would have made it impossible for us to pay the COBRA premiums or to find affordable health care for Michelle, who faced the prospect of repeated denials by insurance plans that excluded pre-existing conditions such as cancer. I thought this was unfair, and I searched for options. At one point I was told, “If you don’t like it, then change the law.’’ And that’s what I did.
Working with the American Cancer Society’s New England Division, we advocated for the creation of a state law. And on June 22, 2006, Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire signed Michelle’s Law, into effect - allowing seriously ill or injured college students to take up to 12 months of leave without losing coverage under their parents’ policy. Then I partnered with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to advocate for making Michelle’s Law apply across the country. President Bush signed Michelle’s Law on Oct. 9, 2008, and it went into effect this month.
The law was too late for our Michelle; she passed away on Nov. 10, 2005. She paid the ultimate price when she made the tough choice to continue a full course load while undergoing treatment so she could keep her coverage. But I am comforted to know that no other family will have to walk in our shoes.
What I learned is that Michelle’s Law plugged one loophole, but so many people - especially cancer patients - continue to struggle with being able to afford the care that they need.
The good news is that the health care reform bills currently being debated by Congress represent a huge improvement for people fighting chronic diseases.
In their current form, the bills will ensure that no one will be denied coverage or charged a higher premium because of pre-existing medical conditions; place an increased emphasis on prevention; and eliminate annual and lifetime dollar caps on benefits. These are enormous steps forward. But the only way that we can benefit from this progress is for Congress to pass health care reform legislation this year.
Six years ago, I saw something very wrong with our health care system, and I set out to change it. Thankfully, starting tomorrow, college students will no longer suffer. But my fight continues. We cannot reduce death and suffering from cancer if our country does not improve access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
AnnMarie Morse is a teacher at Pembroke Academy in New Hampshire.
"Carroll County Independent: Democratic leaders gather at annual event"
By Larissa Mulkern, Editor of The Carroll County Independent, winnisquamecho.net - November 04, 2009
TAMWORTH — Democratic party leaders from the county and state turned out for the Carroll County Democratic Committee's 14th annual Grover Cleveland recent held Sunday afternoon at the Brass Heart Inn.
As is tradition, a popular attraction at this event is the appearance of President Grover Cleveland, as portrayed by his grandson, George Cleveland. But with equal enthusiasm, the crowd welcomed keynote speaker First District Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) and guest speaker Congressman Paul Hodes (D-NH) who is running as the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate. This was Hodes first visit to Carroll County as a candidate for U.S. Senate.
In his speech, Hodes credited Shea-Porter with working hard in Washington for health care reform and for the best interests of working people. He also credited the committee for helping elect Shea-Porter to Washington. "Someone who really understands what Democrats are about and is moving the country forward is Carol She-Porter. You have worked your hearts out for her and good thing because have sent a great Congresswoman to the U.S. Congress," said Hodes. He also urged Democrats to look towards 2010. "Times are pretty tough. Folks are trying to keep their jobs. They want to put something away from their retirement. They want to see a doctor when they are sick. They want their kids to have better opportunities than they had. And just when you feel like things ought to be getting easier, the system somehow is upside down and things are tougher," he said. Hodes went on to tell the story of a college student, Michelle Morse, who was diagnosed with colon cancer. Her parent's insurance company would not cover her treatment unless she stayed enrolled in school, which she did despite doctors' advice to leave school for treatment. "The insurance company said, 'fine, she can leave school, but we're not paying for the treatments.'
"So the family faced a terrible choice. Michelle had a preexisting condition. They couldn't afford COBRA, they couldn't get a single policy for her so they made the terrible decision to stay in school. She had 48 weeks of chemotherapy treatments, graduated with honors, lost all her hair … and she died," said Hodes. Michelle's mother said she didn't want that to happen to any kid, any family in New Hampshire ever again so she began a one-woman crusade, said Hodes, and with help from some of the people in this room, she passed Michelle's Law in New Hampshire so a student could take a one-year leave of absence without getting knocked off their health insurance policy.
Hodes and Shea-Porter went to work on this issue in Washington, and on Oct. 9, Michelle's Law became the "law of the land," he said. Michelle's mother triumphed by standing up to the insurance companies, he added.
Another story was about veteran Chris Howe of Newport, whom Hodes had met at an event. He had been blown up in a Humvee while stationed in Iraq. He spent six months in a "cockroach infested motel with wallpaper peeling off because 'they lost his paperwork.' So we got to work on that, got him treated and today, Chris is married, he had a baby, he has a job, he's back on his feet. They lost his paperwork so what we did was we made sure the Veteran's Administration has an Ombudsmen Office, someone to stand up for veterans inside that government bureaucracy to make sure they get the care they need," said Hodes.
Hodes said he's running for Senate for a "simple reason – to stand up for the working people of New Hampshire, to stand up when government bureaucrats tie us up with red tape, to stand up when the health care companies want to take away your health care, to stand up when folks say 'Wall Street ought to win and we don't care about Main Street.' To stand up in every way every time someone wants to get in the way of what's right for the people of New Hampshire. That's why I'm running for United State's Senate.
"We're facing an election when the choice will be very clear. The health care companies are now spending millions and millions of dollars, with their allies in the Chambers of Commerce, and all those other folks who want to stop health care reform dead in its tracks, I believe we need health care reform with a strong public option," he said.
In other comments, Hodes said Democrats were providing middle class tax cuts, investing in 'green' jobs, and have saved the jobs of police officers, teachers and firefighters right here in New Hampshire. The folks on the other side of the debate want more tax cuts for the wealthy.
Hodes said he was "pro-choice," and he believed the decision about abortion should be between a woman and her doctor.
Democrats should start organizing and focusing on 2010 elections, or else the change they had worked for will go away. "Stand with me, stand with Carol, stand with the Democrats, so we can stand up for you in Washington," said Hodes.
A letter was read to the group from Governor John Lynch who was unable to attend. Chuck Henderson read a letter from Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the first Democrat and first woman elected to the Senate from New Hampshire in 30 years.
In written comments, Shaheen said delegates are making a difference by passing the economic recovery act and making critical investments for the future. Progress includes a children's health insurance bill and landmark credit card legislation to protect consumers. The Obama Administration has worked to "do what's right" by reversing a ban on stem cell research, condemning the use of torture, and by nominating the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. Shaheen also urged Democrats to stick together and pass the health care reform bill. "In coming week's we'll see the final version come to the Senate for a vote; we have the opportunity to fix a problem that has been around for generations. We are faced with the challenge of spiraling costs and a health care system that is unsustainable," Shaheen stated.
After a "whistle stop address" from President Cleveland, the crowd was treated to a musical skit by Ellen Hamilton Farnum, Peggy Johnson and Hans Stafford, who performed a satirical number poking fun at Republican's scare tactics to the music of "Phantom of the Opera."
In her keynote address, Shea-Porter said Democrats have worked hard to change the direction of the county, state and country, but are now being attacked by the "very ones who caused this mess."
Outlining some of the highlights of the health care reform bill, she said it would close the 'donut hole' for Medicare patients, provide a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs with no lifetime limits; prevent insurance companies from dropping coverage, provide consumer protections and create community health centers.
"This is an excellent plan. This is our moment. We can do this!" she said.
"This plan is not going to add to the deficit. This will save money," she said, referring to the Congressional Budget Office report. "If we do nothing, we'll go bankrupt over this issue. We're creating history right now," said Shaheen.
In other reception highlights, Michael Cauble received the 2009 Paul Wellstone Democratic Ideals Award. Other recognized guests included State Representatives Tom Bridgham, Susan Wiley, Ed Butler and Tom Buco, and State Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley, vice president of the National Democratic Committee. In his speech, Buckley outlined the progress the gains the Democratic Party has made not only in the nation, but also in the state.
"There are more Democrats than Republicans in New Hampshire," he said.
"Paul Hodes: Put people over profits"
By PAUL HODES, Op-Ed, NH Union Leader, November 29, 2009
RECENTLY, the national Chamber of Commerce and big health insurance companies have been running television ads across New Hampshire attacking me and the health care plan I was proud to support a few weeks ago.
Their attacks are full of false claims meant to mislead New Hampshire families. The current health care system is broken. While costs for middle-class families have soared, the big insurance companies have made exorbitant profits and paid millions to their CEO's. The status quo has allowed insurance companies to ride high on the backs of hard-working, middle-class Americans who are trying to make ends meet.
The plan I voted for will help families afford quality health insurance. This plan will lower costs, increase access to care, and put families back in control of their health insurance. It will put basic rules of the road on insurance companies to make sure they can't drop your insurance when you get sick, or deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions.
It will end lifetime caps so when Americans get sick, they can get the care that they've paid for. It will create a public health insurance option to compete with health insurance companies, resulting in lower costs for New Hampshire families. It will protect and preserve Medicare for our seniors, significantly reducing their out-of-pocket costs.
This plan won't add one dime to the federal deficit, and it will not raise taxes on middle class families.
The insurance companies and their allies in New Hampshire, like Kelly Ayotte and her Republican opponents, want to preserve the status quo. They want to let the insurance companies drop your coverage when you get sick. They want to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Their plan is not reform. It will eliminate crucial New Hampshire consumer protections that require insurance companies to cover health services like pre-natal care, pregnancy care and ob-gyn coverage. Their plan is written by the insurance companies, for the insurance companies.
Our plan levels the playing field for the American people and lowers costs for New Hampshire consumers. Estimates are that in New Hampshire 1,700 families will avoid bankruptcy from this bill; 72,000 peopple now uninsured will be insured; 207,000 Medicare beneficiaries will have improved coverage; and 15,000 Granite Staters will be helped by closing the doughnut hole on prescription drug coverage.
The reform plan is a uniquely American approach that uses competition to strengthen employer-based health insurance and lower crippling health insurance costs for small businesses. It allows an estimated 38,400 small businesses in New Hampshire to get affordable health insurance. And the House health care bill included my idea to provide 34,600 small businesses tax credits for providing coverage.
The plan I support won't let insurance companies get away with our broken health insurance system anymore. This plan will lower costs, it will increase access, and it won't let insurance company executives decide whether you and your family get the coverage you need. I was proud to cast a vote for New Hampshire middle class families a few weeks ago -- and I will always stand with the people of this state for real reform. We can't afford the status quo, and we must stand up to the profiteers who care more about their profits than they do about the health of our people.
Paul Hodes, a Democrat, represents New Hampshire's 2nd District in Congress.
Why is it that every plan that comes out of Washington that YOU insist is best for the people of NH always involves a reduction of our liberty and general quality of life?
If the health care is as good as you say it is, why do you feel it necessary to support language that fines and jails nh citizens that would have the courage to reject it?
Mr. Hodes, please... I'm begging you; stop trying to help us.
- Len Mannino, Milford, NH
"People Over Profits"?? Are you serious? You are spending money like there is no tomorrow and unfortunately for our children and grandchildren there will not be if you keep spending. I cannot believe the greed and corruption that exists in Washington. Stop the spending so MAYBE our country can survive, the path you are taking it on is pushing us further towards disaster. Seen how the dollar is doing Paul?
- Bob H, Manchester
I don't hate any company I do business with enough to want to take power away from him and transfer it to vandals like Rep. Hodes. He indicates that the theme of his campaign for Senate will be class warfare, in this first nation in the history of the world to have no mechanism to bind a citizen to a particular class. He'll also use unmeasurable terms like "affordability."
The Republican nominee can counteract this drivel if he or she is simply able to TEACH voters how Americans have prospered by doing business with one another without the implied threat of armed force.
- Spike, Brentwood NH
Only one thing is certain. The mess that Hodes refers to as reform will make matters worse. Hodes also supported cap and trade and the stimulus bill. If you like those you'll love Pelosi's health care reform.
- jeff, deerfield
Put people over profits? Unless the ones profiting is Hodes or his cronies
- Dave, Plymouth
When will the 600,000 jobs you and Pelosi promised to "create" with the $787 billion "stimulus" you endorsed?
Oh, I know. It just needs more time.
Any comments on the $45 billion in reported Medicare fraud last year, while you are busy demonizing the oil -- I mean insurance -- companies in order to push through this bill, with all of IT'S promises?
- Ditmar, Hollis
AS I recall the bill, Insurance companies that provide the coverage will be taxed (charged, still a tax) so called Cadillac Coverage will be taxed (charged) and there was a 3rd one I can't remember. On top of that they (Congress) was going to cut $98 billion out of medicare. How does any of that make any sense? Health Insurance has problems but they aren't big enough to scrap the whole system. I don't care what Hodes op ed says, he is not telling the truth about what will really happen. We scrap a centruies old way of doing business to protect 15% of the population 1/2 of which choose to not have coverage. How about starting w/Tort reform? By the way what Law Firm did Hodes work for? Wasn't Shaheen one of those partners in that firm? That name rings a bell.
- Michael King, Epping
Paul Hodes "misleads" us when he claims this horrible bill helps middle-class families. What it does is transfer wealth and power from us to a progressive liberal ruling class. The endgame is a single payer system. The endgame is to weaken the average voter to a point they become entirely dependent on government handouts. I'm looking forward to voting against you come November Mr. Hodes.
- Mike, Dunbarton
Where to begin. The plan that Rep. Hodes voted for will not lower costs, it will increase them directly and by increasing our tax burden. Increased access maybe for a few at the cost of decreased access for the many. The plan did nothing for tort reform but since so many legislators are lawyers and receive significant funding from tort lawyers to keep the spigot flowing no one seriously should expect that ( I guess when lawyers make a 30% profit from often frivolous litigation thats okay, insurance companies at 3% is robbery?). There were many alternatives to the Obama-Pelosi care plan, and Mr Hodes couldn't be bothered to understand the reality behind them since he does not grasp the truth behind this turkey he did vote to inflict on the rest of us.
THere were so many steps that could actually have made positive changes that to be proud of the legislation actually passed is telling. Mr Hodes is more interested in being a good little liberal democrat than representing NH. Profit? there is nothing wrong with profit, especially when its a measly 3% average. Since the government doesn't need to make a profit it seldom demonstrates those traits that enable a corportaion to run effienctly, delievering high quality and timely service. Those are not products we can expect to recive from Government care. In short, anyone actually paying attention knows this bill is long on "promises" and short on everything else except the price tag. Shame on you Mr Hodes for voting for this bill, shame still for continuing to mislead NH about it after the fact.
- Jeff, Goffstown
Pelosi oops I mean Hodes, this while addressing health care is right the way you and your comrades are approaching it is wrong. To the contrary you can't prove with facts one thing you mentioned. Factually:
* this bill will reduce services
* this bill will establish gov't health panels. they have already stated no mammograms until 50 not pap smears until 21.
* this bill will hurt small business.
* this bill will drive medical professions out and business out of the US.
So Hodes ole boy be a man and meet your constituents face to face and present this trash. It is plain and simple that tort reform, plans across state lines and precondition coverage are what is needed . Lets do that first.
- Ed, Brookline
Hodes is correct. Health insurance companies are not in the flat screen tv business. They are in the business of saving(or taking) human lives. Why should profit be the number one deciding factor in everything? How far have we come as a society?
To those of you who want to defend your health insurance company and the status quo: Just wait. Wait until something happens to you that is expensive, and your insurance company will do everything it can not to pay your claim. It happened to me with Harvard Pilgrim. I am completely healthy, never had anything wrong, I had to go to the emergency room and HP refused to pay. Months of phone calls and now some of it is paid.
I shake my head for those of you who defend the status quo. What planet are you from?
- Craig, Manchester, NH
Hodes: Stop taxing my hard earned money and stop spending my kid's future on programs for people who don't work. Stop taxing and spending. Stop spending. What part of this don't you understand?
- Jim, Stratham
How about putting people in front instead of special interests group Hodes? How about having an open town hall, instead of a screened telephone conference or a closed invite only debate? How about representing our tax dollars being mis-spent by the billions. I love your politcal strategy "I'm going to get elected by the people to the Senate by ignoring them..." And please get rid of that stupid Teamster Tractor trailer that shows up for you at every parade. We know the unions own you, please stop flaunting it in our faces we know they bought you.
- Andy, Milford
what paul hodes will not tell you is, what is the profit margin the insurance companies make ! 2% maybe 4%. he also avoids the penilties EVERYONE has to pay with government run healthcare! premiums collected by the IRS, nobody can opt-out with out paying $ penilties deducted from your pay AUTOMATICLY!
how much is paul hodes payed, and what other perks is he getting? lets look at what jokers in washington are making and why they will not go on this great health care plan they want us on!!! ?
- Paul Gagnon, manchester n.h.
The plan you support will bankrupt this country and its citizens. It will selfishly tax hard working families and individuals, and provide sub-optimal / poor health care akin to the Canadian, British, and other systems. You should be ashamed - period.
- Dave, Northwood
Rep. Hodes is mistaken if he thinks that the proposed House reform bill won't affect those of us, especially retirees like myself, who have private insurance now through their employer. My former employer, a large utility company, terminates coverage for retirees the first day of the month you are eligible for Medicare (a public option). This year the company hired a consultant to try to put all retirees and spouses under 65 onto SSDI that could be claimed eligible. They sent us forms to fill out. Anything to get medical coverage off their bottom line. So Rep. Hodes, it is certain in my mind that this large employer will drop retiree medical like a hot potato as soon as this new "public option" you want to create comes into being. With all those people then on the new public option, along with all the uninsured, how will costs be held down? I'll tell you how, by subsidies just like for the Post Office and Amtrak. And how is that paid? By our Federal income tax. So we will in all probability have to change insurances, may not get the same coverage we have now and will pay more in taxes, despite your claims.
In essence Sir, what we have here is the same thing as globalization. We cannot raise the standard of living in third world countries in the global market without downward pressure on the American standard of living. It is merely a balance and we have seen this in the last few years as good manufacturing jobs have fled to cheap labor. The same holds true of medical insurance. Yes we can insure the uninsured but it will affect those presently covered as the "balance point" seeks a new level. So those who have good plans now, having worked 30 or 40 years to achieve them, will have to settle for less to achieve the equilibrium. So why not be honest, Mr. Hodes, and tell us the unvarnished truth.
- John Linville, Wolfeboro
Hodes has written the the Marxist [Democrat] party line.
The system is not "broken" but the way Hodes sees it, it is broken because the Marxists have not taken enough of our money or freedoms.
Why should government be in the business of running private business, in this case insurance companies? There is nothing in the Constitution which gives Congress or Obama the authority to destroy free enterprise.
Save our country, elect a Conservative,
- Ken Klinedinst, Warner
Not one word regarding using taxpayer funds to help pay for abortions - that Hodes supported; Not one word about how this new system will be paid for; Not one word about the tab - 2.1 TRILLION Dollars to pay for this legislation; Not one word how this plan will be implemented. Not one word of a genuine thought from Hodes on this issue, just the comrade's party line... Anyone else wonder why Hodes conveniently avoids these questions?
- Jeff, Salem
People over profits unless the profits go to people like John Edwards and all the other lawyers that cost honest people untold billions of dollars every year with their garbage lawsuits. You know that Hodes has little or no respect for the people of NH. Why would he respect people that would vote for him? But, this is bad even for him.
- Leo, Canterbury
How about telling the TRUTH, about how much its REALLY going to cost, About how we ALL will eventually be forced into SOCIALIZED health care. WHERE"S YOUR BACKBONE NOW!! ALlLyou did was tow the party line to further YOUR CAREER!!!!
- Mike Hodgens, Keene
Poor Paul is being picked upon by all those evil outside interest!
The other day I saw an ad supporting his healthcare position run by all those good ole Granite Staters at the SEIU! Not that Mr. Hodes would ever rely of huge out of state funding – nope, not our moderate Mr. Hodes!
The simple fact is that the vast majority of Americans have seen through his perfidious pabulum of prevarication. The latest Rasmussen poll shows nearly 2 to 1 are against this legislative travesty.
The simple fact, proven in poll after poll, is that most Americans want some change, but not the Obama-Pelosi-Reid-Hodes-Shaheen atrocity. Mr. Hodes is fond of quoting the former, but not the latter.
However, his richest comment is, "This plan won't add one dime to the federal deficit, and it will not raise taxes on middle class families."
If anyone seriously believes the cooked CBO numbers (MD fee increases taken out; only 7 years accounted for) they deserve what Mr. Hodes want to give them!
As if we voters should not have learned from his recent "yea" votes on Cap and Trade, Stimulus and the hyper-inflated budget... Waaay past time for Mr. Hodes to go!
- Steven, Swanzey
Far from perfect yet far better than what we now have...keep fighting and ignore the naysayers. With time, additional reforms will be possible. Can anyone say eliminate for-profit health insurance companies? I wish our Congress and President could...
- Stephen, Sullivan
Well said Paul Hodes! Bra-vo! No sign of weakness, no backing down, not an inch! I hope you wrote this yourself, it's exactly what I want to hear out of a Democrat Congressman.
The salient point is: "The reform plan is a uniquely American approach..,"
That says it all. Believe it or not, we Americans are actually competent enough to write a health care bill that improves on the current status quo business-welfare scheme.
Thanks Paul, great essay!
- Ruth, Bedford
Say, Mr. Hodes, how can you complain about profits and millions to insurance company CEOs, when just a few months ago you in the House of Reprehensibles failed to read or write fine print and thereby let the Fat Cats at AIG sweep in $165 Million after the BailOut? You're not minding the store you have, and now you want even more control?
You cannot properly control Social Security. You cannot properly control the Federal Prisons. You cannot properly control Medicare. You cannot properly control Medicaid. You cannot properly control Veteran's benefits. You cannot properly control Amtrak. You cannot properly control the Post Office. You cannot properly control our Borders. You twits could not even run the recent H1N1 Vaccine Program smoothly.
Worse, you and your Congressional Democrat Socialists refuse to sign up for the same health care folly you are trying to foist on us -- you have exception loopholes in the bill for yourselves!
Despite all your historic, well documented failures, and the failures of such socialism worldwide, how dare you say "the current health care system is broken?" What you call "broken" we call "imperfect." Therefore, you should just focus on those falling through the cracks in the current system, and nurturing competition in order to drive health care costs down. When you can efficiently do these, we'll talk about whether to entrust you with the whole system.
- Ed Holdgate, Live Free or Die Sandown, NH
Was this "Editorial" written by an adult? If indeed Mr. Hodes did write this and it isn't some SNL parody it is the biggest bunch of partisan hooie I have read since the last global warming address. Mr. Hodes, a little something for you to think about , the majority of voters (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2009/59_still_believe_government_is_the_problem)still agree with what Ronald Reagan told us in his first inaugural address, “In the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” and your liberal votes represent the present government. We are getting angry Mr. Hodes with what you are trying to do to our country, real angry!
- ALT, Rochester
St. Paul, how come most informed Americans believe this plan is wrong for our country? You make it sound so good.
- Mike, Auburn
The bill that you support will:
1) Increase the budget deficit to unimaginable levels.
2) Reduce the number of Doctors.
3) Increase health Care costs for everyone.
4) Make a complete mess of of entire medical system.
5) Cause significant job losses.
6 Establish death like panels.
& Significantly reduce existing benefits to the elderly.
You supported this bill before you even read it or knew what it contained. Why, because you support Nancy Pelosi. Why don't you just come out and say you are a Socialist.
Did you ever consider supporting what your constituents wanted. Would that be a novel approach for you.
Instead of having open Town Hall meetings you were frightened by your constituents whom you called members of the Flat Earth Society.
In watching you in action I get the distinct feeling that you believe that you are smarter than we all are in your District. Quite frankly you are not and I recommend you apologize to all of us.
I do not need the National Chamber of Commerce nor big Insurance Companies to tell me anything about the bill you support. It's a turkey.
I have suggested this before to you. I believe you should seek employment in another position that you are better qualified to fill (not Senator).
I will happily vote next November for just about anybody but you.
- Bob, Salem
"Shea-Porter's quips draw GOP ire"
By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, January 26, 2010
CONCORD – State Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, on Monday called weekend remarks critical of male members of Congress by U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., "divisive, uninformed and totally embarrassing."
The New Hampshire Republican Party called the comments "bizarre."
Shea-Porter, at a town hall-style meeting at the Manchester City Library on Saturday, said women in Congress are frustrated by their male counterparts.
According to a Web video of her presentation, she said, "We go to the ladies room, the Republican women and the Democratic women, and we just roll our eyes at what's being said out there.
"And the Republican women said when we were fighting over the health care bill, if we sent the men home we could get it done this week." She was interrupted by applause and some laughter.
"You know why?" Shea-Porter continued. "I'm not trying to diss the men but I'm telling you it's the truth that every single woman there has been responsible for taking care of a (relative) and so we think we can find a common ground there."
She pointed out that Maine's two women U.S. Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, "work very well together."
She added, "There are issues we believe in being collaborative about."
Some of Shea-Porter's supporters have defended her by saying that Shea-Porter did not say that she believed men in Congress should be sent home, but that she instead merely reported that Republican women in Congress have said that.
"Republicans attacking Carol Shea-Porter for quoting Republican women," posted former state Democratic chair Kathy Sullivan on the progressive BlueHampshire.com Web log. "So I guess what they really (are) doing are accusing Republican congresswomen of sexism!"
But Carson, a first-term state senator who resides in Shea-Porter's district, said in a statement yesterday, "The congresswoman's ridiculous attempt to blame her male colleagues of both parties for the failures of her big government health care agenda shows that she is completely detached from reality.
"Apparently Ms. Shea-Porter is too clueless to understand that the overwhelming opposition to 'ObamaCare' has nothing to with gender. A majority of Americans have rejected the Democrats' health care agenda because they know that it will bankrupt our country and do nothing to improve the quality of care or reduce skyrocketing costs."
Carson said Shea-Porter "has refused to listen to the concerns of her constituents or pay attention to the clear message sent by the voters -- both male and female -- in the Massachusetts Senate election. She continues to support a disastrous government takeover of health care, and has now decided to blame men for the lack of public support for her reckless agenda."
Republican 1st District congressional candidate Bob Bestani called Shea-Porter's comments "sexist and highly arrogant."
Also yesterday, the National Republican Congressional Committee released a statement by nine GOP women members of Congress saying "the conversation Congresswoman Shea-Porter claims to be referencing has never taken place with any of us."
YouTube: Video of Shea-Porter's remarks:
If the Republican Party was led by Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Condaleeza Rice...
as opposed to circus clowns like Jim DeMint, Mitch McConnell, (disgusting) David Vitter, Tom Coburn, and John Cormyn...
I would vote straight ticket Republican every single time...
But the Republican Party chose the circus clowns.
Cry if you want, but you know Shea-Porter is 100 percent right.
- NSR, Epping, NH
Here is the Republican mindset. It is reported that Lt. Governor Bauer of South Carolina recently equated government assistance to the poor to feeding stray animals. That is the Republican mindset. That is the typical mantra of the republican party. All exclusive.
Where is the republican outcry over his statements.
- Mike, Manchester
Mike where is your outrage that (D) Senator Soles of North Carolina who has always voted for gun control for all of us shot and killed an intruder at his home?
I guess it just depends on who one is to have the right of self defense. Oddly it does not get much media attention either. What is that word we hear all the time hypocrit?
- Deb, Derry
I have a little joke of my own to share with CSP and it goes something like this; this country wouldn't be in the fiscal mess it's in right now if women had never been given the right to vote. Yup, that's right. Since the Suffragette movement we have been inundated with wave after wave of nonsensical "feel good" legislation and socialist policies that have slowly choked our country to it's fiscal death.
- Ron, Manchester
The first thing CSP says on this clip is that she is "incredibly disrespected..." She was already setting up her comments.
This is not a joke to her. She's serious, and that's scary.
Please Please Please 1st District - vote her out! We're working on pink slipping Hodes over in the 2nd!
- BW, concord
She had done nothing but be a mouth peice for Barack Obama democrats If She was male and republicans there would be calls for resignation across the board. But she is a Democrat so it is OK to make sexist remarks ??? Give Me A break She should be held to the same standard as state Reps are being held to
- L Rideout, Lancaster
Could you imagine if Scott Brown(R) said "We could get healthcare done if we sent the women home..."
- Andy, Milford
Carol Shea Porter is 'REAL" people. She talks like everyday folk and that is why she will continue to be poular with the masses.
- Greg Barrett, Manchester
I find your answer amusing. Can you help me here. I believe the question put forth by Paul from Candia was very specifically what has Ms. Porter/Pelosi done for the NH 1st District. Your answer falls a little short here. Also most bills haven't been confirmed into law yet, correct?
So Herb, I don't believe CSP hasn't done anything positive but let me be clear, the only reason she attaches her name is for the good of the party and in some cases other states of her party. Correct me here as well.
- Ray, Raymond
I see no mention here- yet- of the last time Shea-Porter met up with a Republican in the ladies room and it was newsworthy.
Recall, last August when Carol Shea-Porter accosted Kelly Ayotte in a Portsmouth hotel restroom where Ayotte was speaking at a scheduled Republican Committee meeting.
Shea-Porter accused Ayotte- to her face, and then later in the press!- of being one of the "tea-baggers" who were "following her around."
The video of an incredulous Ayotte telling the Republican Committee meeting about it mere moments afterward is on YouTube.
Very strange behavior, Carol. Perhaps you will enlighten us as to which Republican congresswoman made that remark about sending the men home? Right, I'll not hold my breath. It came to you in a dream.
- Alan, Manchester
I would like to note that all this information has mixed results. With the spending cuts coming for the next 3 years, which the DEMS voted for 1.3T on and voted to higher the national debt I wonder how many of this will come to be.
- Paul, Candia
For a female in an elected position supposedly breaking down gender barriers, Porter is certainly moving backwards and trying to fall back on old school ways of thinking as an excuse to move her own agenda forward.
Porter's remarks were quite offensive to me, particularly since I helped out and took care of my mom for 5 years when my father was killed in a car accident, then was the sole careetaker when she came down with cancer and I took her to her appointments, handled her finances, then was with her twice each day through her time in hospice. I arranged to take in my (ex)wife's mother into our home for her safety because she suffered from dementia and alzheimers, then found a proper nursing home for her. I am not the exception or anomaly as I know many other "men" who do this. Wake up and open your eyes Carol. Times are not only changing, but have changed, and have been changing for a very long time. I suppose the next thing Porter will say is that we need to abolish slavery in the US. Well guess what Carol....
- Craig Durrett, Londonderry
She wasn't joking. But she makes a joke of her misrepresenting her constituents. If a man mad that kind of statement with women to be sent home, there'd be no end of recrimination and vituperation.
CSP made gender issue out of what has been clearly shown to be the tyrannical foisting a bill on male and female American citizens overwhelmingly opposed to it.
She should be ashamed of herself and resign.
- Bob Frost, Portsmouth
We already know what she is. I'm a republican, but if this how we expect to sweep into office, we will be the Biggest losers.
- Mike, Auburn
Also the fact that women's healthcare premiums are higher than men's. What's up with that. Who's being gender prejudice now? - Joanne, Manchester
Joanne, my life insurance is much higher than it is for women of the same age....why? Most young men pay higher auto insurance so if you want to even out health insurance, will you also even out all the other insurance?
I have also noticed low cost or free health care programs for women in several areas such as breast exams. Although almost as many men die from prostate cancer as do women from breast cancer, there are no programs to help men with cancer.
We were often told about the health care gap against women. William Harlan, MD, NIH associate director for disease prevention. “Women have been included with overall equivalency in most observational epidemiological studies when the conditions commonly affect both genders.” Harlan also pointed out that in the areas of cancer, diabetes, and reproduction, women had received more research attention than men.
Feminist groups loved to say things like "ONLY 25% of health research goes for female only diseases leaving society to think that 75% went for men. They did not tell us that out of this other 75% only 10% went for male only disease thus the rest, 50% went for gender neutral disease (Not the exact %'s)
As to the so called pay gap you mentioned...the Independent Women's Forum has disproving this time and time again but in fact there was one pay gap where women were paid less then men...it was in Obama's office.
- Shatteredmen, Marion Indiana
That’s easy Paul. These are just a few of Congresswoman Carol Shea-
Porter’s accomplishments in the past TWO MONTHS. I’d be willing to bet that there were darn few Republicans supporting these “middle class” efforts.
Washington, DC — Yesterday, Rep. Tim Bishop (NY-1) and lead cosponsor Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1) introduced the Military Personnel Toxic Exposure Registry Act. This bill builds on successful legislative efforts over the last year to prohibit the disposal of toxic waste in open air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan and to ensure that the thousands of troops exposed to these dangerous burn pits receive proper medical care.
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter is leading an effort to ensure that the final version of the health care bill will fully eliminate the Medicare Part D “Donut Hole.” In a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, and Majority Leader Hoyer, Shea-Porter wrote, “Given the significant financial impact on our seniors and the widespread support for the complete elimination of the donut hole, we respectfully urge the retention of the House language in the final health care reform bill.” Shea-Porter was joined by more than 50 of her House colleagues on the letter.
WASHINGTON — New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation today announced that New Hampshire will receive $8,257,288 in LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) funding through the release of FY2010 block grant funding. This funding is part of a national release of $1.2 billion in LIHEAP funding to help qualified low-income families pay for the cost of heating their homes. These funds are the second installment of LIHEAP block grants to be released for FY2010.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin distributing $290 million in direct payments to struggling dairy farmers. As a member of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus, Congresswoman Shea-Porter cosigned a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on November 19 urging the rapid release of these funds, and cosigned a letter to the Agriculture Appropriations conferees on September 14 urging them to include this funding in a final bill.
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter announced that the FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 3288), which has passed both the House and the Senate and is now headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes $10,000,000 in funding for the New Hampshire Air National Guard at Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth. This funding was requested and secured by Shea-Porter and will go to constructing a single headquarters facility for operations that will improve communications and efficiency. The Consolidated Appropriations Act passed the House 221 to 202.
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01) announced that the FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 3288), which has passed both the House and the Senate and is now headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes $9,090,000 in funding for improvements to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. This funding was requested and secured by Shea-Porter and Pingree, and includes $7,090,000 for Gate 2 Security Improvements and $2,000,000 for Consolidation of Structural Shops. The Consolidated Appropriations Act passed the House 221 to 202.
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter announced that the FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 3288), which has passed both the House and the Senate and is now headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes $622,000 in funding for police departments in the First District. This funding was requested and secured by Shea-Porter, and includes $315,000 for the Manchester Police Department, $285,000 for the Rochester Police Department, and $22,000 for the Somersworth Police Department. The Consolidated Appropriations Act passed the House 221 to 202.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter voted in favor of legislation that will help protect consumers, families, and small businesses from predatory financial practices. The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which passed the House 223 to 202, ensures that there is increased oversight of large Wall Street financial institutions and creates a new consumer protection agency that will help ensure that big lenders do not offer harmful financial products to consumers.
Washington, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter voted in favor of the Tax Extenders Act of 2009. This legislation, which passed the House 241 to 181, provides property tax relief to 30 million families, extends the R&D tax credit for approximately 11,000 corporations, and offers a tuition deduction that will help 4.5 million families better afford college.
- Herb Moyer, Exeter
I look at the comment I posted earlier, and the comments posted since then, and take another look at the video clip to see if there's a "softer" view that could be applied. And I fail to find it.
But it's not this clip, it is her history of performance in total.
She is and has been an embarrassment. Some people just work out that way. They get elected and that does not endow them with competence. Sure they have those who will try to defend and spin gaffs and the fact someone is simply not very good at the job - that's called politics - but it doesn't change the fact.
I can only hope that the congressional district she represents gets a dose of wisdom and says, "Thanks for your service. Goodbye." After her track record, returning her to Washington would be embarrassing to the district and the state.
We don't just need a body to fill a seat.
The problem will be getting the strong person; the competent one, to fill the seat. Whoever that person is - get them to take a non-embarrassment pledge.
- RP, New Boston
can you IMAGINE if a man had said they get together in the men's room and talk about sending the women home?
blaming this on GOP women is the height of hyprocrisy. why would she tell the story if she didn't embrace the sentiment.
do not make us vote for her. please give us a better alternative than frank guinta.
- mary, manchester
Her sexist remark was supposed to be humorous... since when?
Shea-Porter didn't know what "humor" was when fed-up constituents mailed tea bags to her office last summer. Nope, not humorous at all, according to Carol. She freaked out and called in SWAT and the ATF to protect her and her office from those nasty, lethal tea bags.
That Carol, she's just a bag of yuks all right.
- Alan, Manchester
Joanne and Jay in Manchester,
I agree with you. Most women do take care of their family's healthcare issues - it is fine for Carol to point that out.
Saying essentially 'men in the House of Representatives do nothing but make embarassing statements' and 'women do nothing but work nicely together' is NOT fine. The jury is still out as to what her point was here.
- Jim, Manchester, Ward 9
CSP is not funny, she is a joke and a disgrace to the 1st District. Please list one thing she has done for us? Please, I for one believe she is just a puppet for the Dems period. Prove me wrong with direct benefits to the 1st District that she has produced/
- Ray, Raymond
I watched the video clip and I don't get where people are saying this was a joke or an attempt at humor. IF it was, there is nothing wrong with it. But, there is nothing in her tone or body language that intimates she was doing anything other than quoting joking (or at least half-joking) bathroom chatter by republican women, as if it were a policy statement, in order to make a point. After the laughter, she goes on to defend her point; Women work nicely together but men only make embarrassing statements. Maybe the video clip is out of context... I'm waiting for another quote from earlier or later in her talk that makes it clear that this was all deadpan humor.
IF this was not a joke, I expect this blatant sexist generalization to become a major campaign issue.
P.S. I hope none of you defending Rep. Shea Porter on this ever attacked Sen. McCain over his "bomb bomb bomb Iran" ditty which was very clearly a joke. You wouldn't be so hypocritical for the sake of partisan politics would you?
- Jim, Manchester, Ward 9
We need to get rid of the women in the congress instead of this intense negotiations every 28 days.
- Robert Zemeckus, Derry, NH
Herb Moyer, Exeter,
Herb please list with facts on what she has specifically done and what she has personally sponsored in Congress for the 1st District. tic toc tic toc.
As for your statement about holding public office, holding public office and representing the constituents are 2 very different thing. CSP is just a vote for the DEMs.
- Paul, Candia
TO: Rachel, Exeter
If you all would stop checking what political party you belong to, and really think about what was actually said, you have so see that there is definitely some truth to her comments. Women do predominantly take care of family health care needs (we all know not 100%). So there might actually be very useful imformation that women politicians (dem or rep) could bring to healthcare debate. Personally I do believe that most of the men in congress are completely out of touch with healthcare problems. Can't we just agree that the words she spoke and the incident she described, ring true. The proposed healthcare bill was pathetic, I admit it. But if you think we can just go along for more than five years with our current system, you have your head in the sand. Not going to happen because the current system cannot sustain itself at it's current rate. I think we should have started on a smaller scale. No existing condition clauses and help for people who have not insurance. I went five years without insurance, and doctors refuse to see new patients who have no insurance. The emergency room becomes your only option.
- sue, pembroke
I could not agree more with Carol Shea-Porter. She hit the nail right on the head. I know that I carry the weight in my family of healthcare and other necessities. It's actually pretty typical. What a bunch of touchy Republicans! Wow, did she hit too close to home? Grow up boys! She's actually pretty funny and it makes her more of a real person.
- Jay, Manchester
Get the hook - it's time for her and all the other democrats to go.
- Rick, Gilford NH
Thanks to all of the NH voters that elected this clown into office.
- Mike, Dover
Long long ago, in a galaxy far far away, from the planet Kool-aide came a liberal Democrat called Carol Shea-Porter. Trust me she’s way out there!
- Rob, Manchester
Maybe the other women in the restroom were rolling their eyes AT Shea-Porter.
- Jeff, Derry
Uhh... why does this qualify as news? How about reporting on actual issues instead of pointless anecdotes? It seems there is no such thing as a media outlet that you can trust anymore... even locally. They all seem to have an underlying agenda.
- wwwhack, Derry
Joanne why do men pay more in car insurance premiums? At least they used to. It is a cost estimate. Somewhere some bean counter said that women on average consume more health care dollars.
- Brian, Wakefield
Not surprisingly, the UL gives a prominent place in their newspaper to a throwaway attempt at humor on the part of Carol Shea-Porter, but fails to even cover the following hateful and bigoted remarks of Republican Rep Al Baldassaro in a legislative hearing yesterday.
To qoute Baldassaro,"..."I wanted to make sure everyone understood here, that this legislature sold the rights of $10,000 per kid under title four, when they said that homosexual couples, not married, can adopt."
"So we sold each kid to a homosexual couple that's not married for $10,000," Baldasaro said.
Way to be fair and balanced!
- Lenore Patton, Hampton
They are known as the party of "NO" for a reason, yet, with two lone exceptions. Increases in the military budget and global footprint and corporate welfare.
- Herb C., Concord
Can some people be more delusional? I understand when the people who are paid, like Kathy Sullivan and Ray Buckley, to prop-up politicians when they say or do stupid things, but some of these others supporting CSP is laughable. Almost as funny as President Obama’s press secretary saying the people in Massachusetts who voted in Scott Brown did so because they support the President’s agenda.
As a life-long democrat I believe in many of the basics of the party platform including getting out of this war, health care reform, right to choose and gender equality in pay - CSP, just go away because you are not helping our cause.
If Kathy and Ray really wanted to help they would find someone “electable” to run against her the primary, just like the republicans did when they got rid of that nut Bob Smith. If our state committee doesn’t wake-up soon we are going to find ourselves with only Senator Shaheen as our only representative in congress.
And, while I find Senator Carson’s comments a bit over the top, the truth hurts. I would feel much better if Ms. Shea-Porter would release the name of at least one republican woman she had this discussion with in the “ladies” room.
- Donna, Manchester
Ah yes, the silly season of politics is upon us when a joking remark can be turned into a major campaign issue. This non-story, if it belongs in a newspaper at all, certainly doesn't belong on the first page. Every Republican in the Western Hemisphere has been given a chance to comment. Will they overlook the opportunity to mass attack Shea-Porter for political gain. No way. Like a pack of yappie dogs, when one starts barking, they all join in.
What if a male politician said, "I'm sure that we guys can settle this matter over a friendly game of golf." No one would have blinked an eye. Why not label this article as what it really is: a political campaign ad for the GOP.
- Gary Patton, Hampton
Let's be clear here. Her support base isn't so much about party, as far as electability.
It was and remains gender based. That she holds her party's line on any and every thing - she knows on what side her toast is buttered and we all have to eat it until she is out.
I remember those ads with her mother. How damned appealing was that? About the same speed as Bernie & Phyl's furniture, but I guess they get customers. What will it be this time - with an incumbent's PR machine? Let's not go there, yet. But let's keep it in mind the independent vote will make the difference. Independents don't vote for the party, but for the person. In fact, the partisan warfare turns them off and pushes them away.
She has proven herself to be a lightweight. In all things. Her true character is her true character, regardless of the packaging. I don't care, really, whether her replacement is a man or a woman - don't care that much about party, really. But NH has two in the US House of Representatives.
I want those two to be heavy hitters, not jokes or jokers. Same for the US Senate.
- RP, New Boston
It’s too bad so many men are sensitive about their namesakes in Congress acting and speaking so uncooperatively about issues that the majority of the American people want solved. The American people don’t want Democrat and Republican scoresheets or debating points being kept. They want and deserve results. To the extent that Congresswoman Shea-Porter (and an apparent assortment of Republican and Democrat female legislators) feel that the divisive and confrontational tone in Washington is counter-productive and not producing results, I say ,”Hooray for Carol Shea-Porter”. I’m sooooooo glad she isn’t afraid to speak her mind and call things as she sees them. If the poor little “Jimmies and Johnnies” out there are offended, that is just too bad. Suck it up “ladies”.
By the way, Carol never said that men aren’t good caregivers or that they don’t also provide emotional support for their families. She simply highlighted how good women are at those roles.
Carol has done a Great job in Congress these past three years representing the 99% of us that are not represented by the corporate mouthpieces in Washington. She has much more support in District 1 than many think. I’ll bet 99% of you have never served in a public role for your town or state, so you have not put yourself in the position of being a target for the full range of public opinions out there. I have; six years as Selectman. It’s unfortunate that you have so much negative to say with little or no personal reference point from which to say it.
Keep on with your goofy and slanderous attacks on Congresswoman Shea-Porter. Readers will continue to discount you as the aimlessly angry, counter-productive, and sour-grapes-spouting Republicans that you appear to be.
- Herb Moyer, Exeter
You ask a very good question dealing with health insurance premiums that women and men pay.
I hope health insurance companies will answer the question on this article.
I think part of the difference deals with pregnancy.
How does health insurance premiums for women who are not able to have children compare to men of the same age?
Do women see Doctors and nurses as often as men of the same age? How expensive is the health care women receive compared to the cost that men of the same age receive?
How do health care costs of women and men compare at 20 years old, 25 years old, 30 years old, 35 years old, 40 years old, 45 years old, 50 years old, 55 years old, 60 years old, and 64 years old?
- Ken Stremsky, Manchester, NH
I attended the Town Hall meeting and this simply shows the lack of vision of this person who has not lived in the real world of payrolls to meet, budget constraints and has always had the Government take care of her due to her husband's service in the military, which I admire. Time for less socialism and more individuality!!
- Richard Maloon, Merrimack
Sorry but it's so true. I have always handled all the health care needs in my family including setting up doctor's appts not only for my kids but also my husband and making sure our healtcare insurance is all in order and I know it is many of my woman's friends job also. Who most of the time is taking care of their elderly parents? In my family its my sister and me and in my husbands
family it is his sisters. That people is the reality at least 75% of the time. Also the fact that women's healthcare premiums are higher than men's. What's up with that. Who's being gender prejudice now?
It really hurts when someone speaks the truth doesn't it. People don't like to face reality.
- Joanne, Manchester
This is why I voted for Carol Shea Porter and will again. She is connected with the people. She is not and has not become a Washington politician. She is connected to her people at home and represents us well. No games here. Just honestty and she tells it like it is.
But I am sure Washington obstuctionists, the follow the herd types can't see through the pack.
- Wayne, Goffstown
I was at the CSP Manchester Town Hall. Not to be overly sensitive..but, she did slam men with her remarks. Plain & simple. Certainly not everyone in the audience laughed. No wonder her staff gender ratio at the event was about 11-2 female to male! Congressional staffing seems to not have been affceted by the down economy, BTW. And all those staffers and not one could get the mic system to work correctly.
- Jim, Manchester
I'm surprised, she didn't say, "Send the republicans home and us democrats will take care of Health Care."
- Jay, Manchester
Mike, where is the Republican outrage? Right here. Bauer is an ass and I find what he said indicative of a mind that is completely incapable of rational thought.
The hypocrisy of the left is still evident. Switch genders in the statements CSP made, have it said by a Republican attributing it to Democrat male senators, and Olbermann would be calling for someone's head.
On a related note, I read a Yahoo article about the people upset about Negro being listed as a race (with Black and Afr Am) on the US Census. Did these same people who are upset that term is on the Census write or call Harry Reid?
- Jon, Center Barnstead
I agree with Carol.
How many of you who write here actually watch C-Span or follow politics currently. I'll bet most don't.
I guess it's easier to criticize and condemn and vote for gridlock.
- Dennis, Derry
Here is the Republican mindset. It is reported that Lt. Governor Bauer of South Carolina recently equated government assistance to the poor to feeding stray animals. That is the Republican mindset. That is the typical mantra of the republican party. All exclusive.
Where is the republican outcry over his statements.
- Mike, Manchester
Here is the Republican mindset. It is reported that Lt. Governor Bauer of South Carolina recently equated government assistance to the poor to feeding stray animals. That is the Republican mindset. That is the typical mantra of the republican party. All exclusive.
- Mike, Manchester
The Republican party is full of old white haired rich men.....Carol Shea Porter is simply making a point as to what she sees.....sad part is, the republicans don't like it because it is the truth!
- Mike, Manchester
I agree with you re: all politicians.
However, I have yet to read anything intentional attack effort on CSP by the UL. Her record stands for itself and it will get her ousted in Nov. Her latest snaffu insults the people of 1st District. Why would anyone go out of their way to say something like this?
- Ray, raymond
Ms. Porter’s words are the words her party has used to manipulate and divide us for too long now as she is trying to appeal and sure up votes from women. They do the same thing with race and the whole time claim to be trying to unite the nation seeking to bring us all together. And all we have to do is pay attention to notice the tactic as their actions hurt us all in the end and cause division by anyone who will believe they have more right to her representation than others. She also claims to be representing the citizens of New Hampshire but the truth to that also is she has done more to represent what ever her party tells her too.
Yes it’s an election year and hopefully we will see through the tactics and seek out something different for all of us. Or in campaign slogan terms, change.
- Deb, Derry
Her lack of common sense is amazing. Keep talking Carol, you are out in November. You are an embarrassment to the State of NH.
- Jack M, Auburn
Hey, CSP - when you find that you are digging yourself deeper into the hole, it's time to put down the shovel. No GOP women supported the atrocity known affectionately as obummercare. So not only are you amazingly stupid, but a liar as well. Better think about packing up your stuff and heading back to NH permanently b/c you are sooooooo outta Washington!
- PJ, Washington
Not to worry about the boys, Carol, due to your complete contempt for your NH constituents, your time hobnobbing with your elitist friends in Congress is over...
- Mae, Plaistow
Tick-Tock Carol.....time is almost up!
- Ben, Concord
The best thing CSP can do is to keep flapping her yapper the way she is doing. This woman is soooooo out of touch it is not even funny. it is way past that to where it is ludicrous that she was ever elected to office. What an IMBICILE!
I like how her lying supporters tried twisting her words and cover up what she said.
- John D., Danbury
Ray - Raymond
No the Republicans are not attending to the people's business - they are attending to the business of the corporate interests who stuff their mouths with gold.
Personally I don't care for any of them - Democrat or GOP - but it is clear that one of the reasons that both the GOP and some Democrats don't CSP is that she was an outsider.
That the UL attacks her mercilessly is no surprise either, those same corpoate interests buy ads in the paper and on this site.
However if this is the best criticism the UL can come up with, then CSP is probably doing a lot better than they or you want to admit.
- Leon, Manchester
I feel sorry for ole whats-her-name. Her pal Nancy told her "you'll kill'em" with this one. How could she know Nancy would be talking about their careers...
- Dale A., Manchester
This is the same woman who, in one of her first mailings to her constituents after taking office, dissed Republicans- - apparently forgetting that a substantial number of her constituents are Republican.
This is the same woman who in the August 2009 town hall meetings complained about having to work (listen to her constituents at a town hall) on a Saturday.
As an independent, educated, hard working female, I am embarrassed by her.
- Anne, Londonderry
I did like the idea of protesters showing up at her town hall meetings and shouting her down...but I now think it's best to let her yammer away.
- Tom, Campton
Funny - I have two me and two women as state "reps" for my ward here in Concord. Whenever I contact them via letter or email. it's the two MEN who respond. The women never have. Last election cycle, the numbers were 3 women, 1 man. Guess who responded? Yup, the lone man.
BTW - I'm a woman.
- BW, Concord
CSP was forced into those town hall meetings if you want to call them that. BTW over 50% of attendees were not her constituents. Please don't talk about lies so broad brush for just REPs. CSP/Hodes and all those in DC have lied to us. At least we should expect that our reps for the 1st District represent us and don't lie to us and support the party instead of us.
- Paul, Candia
CSP Healthcare is not a gender issue. If you think a man's opinion is not important, than you are part of the problem. Hey, Everyone put out your CSP signs again. Only this time with a circle/slash.
- Bill, Nottingham
Carol is NH-1's "Marcia" Coakley. Let's all wake-up and vote this dunce and anti-American O-U-T!
- Rick, Hampton
The best thing CSP can do is keep talking. She has made an utter fool out herself. BTW do you go around telling a public audience what you say in the men's room? I bet that audience would view that as a joke. BTW what would say if it was a Republican you said that? Oh that's right, they wouldn't as they are attending to the peoples' business.
- Ray, Raymond
The truth is that women do pick up the disproportionate amount of care for sick relatives - whether they be children or elderly relatives. Mothers tend to take children to the doctor more than fathers.
It is not so extreme to think that women (Democrats and Republicans included) have a better appreciation of how broken and dysfunctional health care is in America.
As for the charges of sexism.. from chauvinist GOP dingbats of all people - now there is a real joke.
- Leon, Manchester
It's not discouraging enough to have Dems & Repubs at war with each other at the expense of the American people, now this empty headed woman has to create a gender war too. Maybe we need a law for administering an IQ test prior to anyone running for public office.
- Lynn, Dover
Carol Shea-Porter, you were indeed trying to "diss" men. Men also have been responsible for taking care of relatives.
- Nicholl, Manchester
What Carol Shea Porter says is inconsequential at this point. She won't be in office next year.
- Brian, Farmington
Vote this horrific politican out of office as soon as possible!
- Paul, Bedford
Stephen of Sullivan,
Did your wife MAKE you blog that comment? Because when I go to the mall it takes me longer to pick out clothes than my wife !!!! Right
- Steve, Manchester
I can only imagine what would happen to the male Republican member of Congress who said something disparaging about women, even in jest. That shrill harpy Gloria Allred would be all over him.
Double standards folks.
- J, Manchester
OK, I really don't care what Carol says, she is as good as gone anyway. What we need is a recall law in NH so that we can dump the other idiot and not have to wait 5 years.
- Gary Hoffman, Bedford
"Send the men home" "we just roll our eyes at what's being said out there."
IF any man said this, this same woman would be calling for their heads to roll. This shows she just as much a sexist as the men she has to so often complain about. Many men have lost their jobs over much less then this but since she is female...she can say anything she wants. I wonder...does she just want to get rid of the men on the job...or does she want to "just get rid of men" in general?
- Shatteredmen, Marion Indiana
Getting kind of thin here. For a long time all I read was the falsehood about Carol Shea Porter not meeting with her constituents. That lie died and now there is a scramble for another. I though it funny, not that she thought that men spend so much time primping and strutting that there is little time for law making, but that she thought that women - Bachman, Palin, Coulter, Malkin etc. do less preening. Not having any facts, they squeal along and pose for the cameras much too much to do any legislating or even thinking. I can't imagine why, post feminism, those are the women on pedistals. Locally we have Cilley, Larsen, Reynolds, Norelli and on and on who know a whole lot, care a whole lot, are getting a lot done. Talk to one of them before you misunderestimate Carol.
- William, Deerfield
Oh I think it's been very appearant that CSP has been "frustrated" by males now for a long time...she needs to get that pent up energy out somewhere ;-O
- David, Merrimack
It is not coincidental that a fuss is being made over Rep. Shea-Porter's remarks. This covers up some pretty strange remarks made by NH Republicans. Rep. Al Baldasaro's rant before the House Judiciary Committee during a recent marriage equality hearing was is bad he almost got ejected from the room. That was admittedly just a case of a maverick backbencher putting his mouth in high gear before engaging his brain: he will be forgiven. (There is even a kernel of truth behind his strange allegations: the family-law system in NH is indeed in deep trouble, and there have been some horrifying abuses--- although the state has not been selling babies.) But the vicious remarks made against he Speaker by Reps. Hess & Chandler for no good reason at all will be somewhat harder to forgive.
- Timothy Horrigan, Durham, NH
Jeesh. Talk about fragile, sensitive people. All politicians make stupid jokes. Toughen up folks, and don't let it upset you. You're the same folks that are offended by comic strips.
- Carl, Concord
November is gonna be a bloodbath for the elected officials in this state.
Can't blame Bush THIS Novemeber. You've got to actually defend your own position on the issues this election, and that's where you're completely out of touch.
- Joe, Auburn
congresswoman shea-porter you seemed to vote the same way as your male counterparts do. time for ''change''
- glen wyman, wentworth
As a Republican, this actually doesn't concern me. She was attempting to use humor. Get over it and focus on the real issues. THAT is what we voters are angry about...I would lump Mr. Bestani and Ms. Carson into the group that are apparently more interested in stirring up political hay than addressing real issues. Stop being politically advantageous.
- Kevin, Manchester NH
You go girl!! Just keep talking.
- Paul, Litchfield
"You know why the audience was laughing? Because they recognized that the quip about men being sent home was a joke."
- Kerry, Londonderry
Or...they recognized that the congresswoman standing behind the podium is a joke.
Wake Up New Hampshire!!! We can do much better than this!!
- Probitas, Kingston NH
Way to go NH, we definitely got the representation we deserve with this one! Lets set the bar a little higher this November!
- Brent, manchester
What an insult to hard working men everywhere who take care of their aging parents, or agonize at the bedside of their terminally ill children or wives while trying to hold the home together...just like women
PS The two Maine Senators she referenced working well together are REPUBLICANS...
- Rachel, Exeter
Much ado about nothing from the PC police. You know why the audience was laughing? Because they recognized that the quip about men being sent home was a joke.
- Kerry, Londonderry
It didn't draw my ire...in fact it drew my laughter....another democratic punchline...its been a great month! It was a week ago today that Ray Buckley quipped, "Not since John and Molly Stark went down to Bunker Hill have more New Hampshirites gone to Massachusetts to defend freedom," referring to the sea of dems going to MA to help the defeated Martha Coakley. Its all just punchlines...
Shea-Porter and Buckley are like Slinkies ... not really good for much, but they'll make smile when you see one of them tumble down the proverbial stairs.
- Rick Olson, Manchester
What she said is probably so correct it bothers a few people. Truth can hurt. In general, women can accomplish more in less time than men. We need to get out of the dark ages, admit it and change, or get out of the way and let them take the lead.
- Stephen, Sullivan
Republican men are just so darned cute when they're angry, especially when they let the women take the heat for them.
- Mary Heslin, Manchester
Can't say that I'm surprised Shea-Porter said something like this. She's a known lightweight, and one of the worst elected officals NH has ever sent to D.C. And of course there is Kathy Sullivan talking nonsense since it seems clear Shea-Porter made this whole thing up in the fever-swamp that passes for her mind.
NH can do better than this, and that goes for all of them: Hodes, Lynch, the whole sorry democratic gang that has run NH into the ground. We need to send some adults to D.C & Concord this November.
- Jay Collins, Laconia
Shea Porter is about as smart as Obama's Press Secretary
- Jack, Twin Mtn
Carol Shea Porter is done for, she can natter, squeal and cry all she wants, she's been totally ineffective in Congress, our VA Hospital is still not a full service hospital which she promised she would correct and what better time with her party having a large majority. All she does is blow her harmful miasma all over the state and contributing to the deterioration of NH's air quality. This time she will be returning to Rochester with a one way ticket paid by the voters of the First District with a good riddance sign attached.
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester
Hey Shea-Porter! Don't want to "Dis" the men eh? The comments made regarding "send the men home" and "rolling your eyes" works BOTH ways. Plenty of "bad" men take care of elders! Just suppose, a male member of your esteemed chamber made those public comments. He would be crucified in the local and national press! Nope no double standard there!. Go "roll your eyes" some place in private, and try to keep it on a professional level in public!Thanks
- peter H, Campton
Hopefully "Carol Shea-Pelosi" will not be reelected. She can continue to stick her foot in her mouth all she wants especially after she’s booted from office. Maybe she can go back to wearing anti-George Bush t-shirts too.
And as for U.S. Senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, they are by no means true conservative Republicans. Democrat-light doesn’t continue for much, other than hoping that Mainers vote these two gasbags out as well.
- Mac Wade, Newmarket
So these Republican women she mentions must have voted for the bill?
Are they maybe from those other 7 states Obama mentioned when he was running for President; because I do not think anyone else has seen these woman who voted for the bill!
- Heather, Lowell Ma
Good example of being out of touch with her constituents, as well as, having a decades old point of view which is sooo outdated. Geeez.
- Bob, Salem
Not sure what is news worthy about this article typical of he UL to attempt to stir up something that doesn't exist. Maybe if the extremist of both parties, the special interested groups and those with disingenuine motivations took a step back and let the few who do have a vote bring small pieces of the pie to the table maybe we could get progress for the american people.
- Joshua, Manchester
Thank you State Sen. Sharon Carson! It is high time that men are no longer the brunt of all things bad. I hope you will use this to support some sort of fairness for the men of this country and this state...
- Kevin, Portsmouth, NH
Carol has to quote "un-named" Republican women in congress because there are no Democratic quotes worth repeating. Nuff said, Carol. Thank you.
- Paul, Dover
With comments like this Ms Shea-Porter, the only thing that could further ensure you are able to return to private life in 2011 i if you can get Obama to come stump for you.
Id offer to debate you both on the facts of your healthcare bill, the science behind cap and trade, your thoughts on the economy, education or for that matter any topic of your and his choosing. of course you will ignore me here as you do everytime I have called or written your office. I guess I'm the wrong sex to deserve a response? Would you consider that a pre-existing condition?
- Michael Layon, Derry
How is it that the Union Leader will report Carol Shea-Porter making innocuous, joking jabs of the sort that every single person who draws breath is guilty of, yet absolutely no mention of Alfred Baldasaro claiming that gays adopting children is "selling" them? One's a bathroom jest, the other is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee that gay parents are participating in state-sanctioned human trafficking.
Wow, Carol Shea-Porter's way out of line.
- Eric, Londonderry
This is a bizarre news item even for your standards. Reads like a GOP press release.
- Jim Wilson, Manchester
Thank you Congresswoman Shea Porter for publicly displaying your ineptness. This new video and your recorded comments during the Townhall meetings last fall in which you displayed your disdain and arrogance for your constitutents, will make wonderful campaign ads for your opponent in the November election. Hopefully the voters in district 1 will fire you in November.
- Tom Molloy, Brentwood NH
Poor Carol, caught Gaffing oh well. I am not surprised she has these opinions about men. After all she has been endorsed by Emily's List and has publicly stated she is for a single payer system. She is what she is, and this video reinforces that. Maybe she will have Joe Biden come up for a fundraiser. Double the laughs.
- Chris, Merrimack
Ms. Congressperson should wake up, the voters in MA spoke, and spoke well for all voters around the country. She better realize the voters (even those of us that voted for Obama) have had enough of the BS that is going on in WA.
Time is running out to get on board with what the MAJORITY of voters in her district are saying. She refuses to listen, therefore, next election she should call Coakley for a job.
- bob, bedford
John DiStaso's Granite Status: "Hodes says Obama knows small business is important to NH"
By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, January 28, 2010
IT'S ABOUT JOBS. Democratic U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes said today that President Barack Obama is coming to New Hampshire on Tuesday because "he understands how important small business is in New Hampshire and he understand s that folks in New Hampshire appreciate a message of fiscal responsibility with a focus on jobs."
Hodes, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, said he will attend the event, which the Granite Status first reported last night will be a town hall-style meeting at Nashua High School North.
KUSTER'S '09 FUNDRAISING. Democratic 2nd District U.S. House candidate Ann McLane Kuster's campaign said today it had $390,000 on hand as it entered 2010.
The cash-on-hand number is the new bit of information in today's announcement. The campaign also firmed up fundraising estimates it has released earlier this month, saying it raised $207,062 in the fourth-quarter and $550,553 overall in 2009.
Year-end campaign finance reports are due at the Federal Election Commission by Jan. 31. The campaign said Kuster demonstrated "widespread support" with contributions from 1,203 donors in total, 71 percent of them from New Hampshire, and less than 2 percent from political action committees. Kuster's campaign said it spent less than $79,000 in the fourth quarter.
Earlier updates on the Obama visit and the full Jan. 28 Granite Status follow.
President Barack Obama's visit to New Hampshire on Tuesday will include a town hall-style meeting at Nashua High School North, a Democratic source told the Granite Status on Thursday.
Earlier, a White House official said the visit will focus on jobs. No further details were available, but in his State of the Union address, Obama emphasized a plan he said will help the small business community. It included tax credits for small business investments, elimination of the capital gaines tax on small business investment taking $30 billion of repaid Troubled Asset Relief Program funds and use it to provide capital to allow community banks provide more credit for small business.
Small business is regarded as the backbone of the New Hampshire economy.Meanwhile, Republicans are asking whether Democratic U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter will stand with Obama when he visits.
The National Republican Congressional Committee asked in an e-mail yesterday:
"Will Carol Shea-Porter try to put some space between her and her Washington leaders or will she double-down on her partisan record and appear with Obama in Nashua next week?"
"She'll be there," Shea-Porter spokeswoman Jamie Radice tells us.
Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass' exploratory committee raised $147,000 in the fourth quarter and has $160,000 on hand entering 2010, a spokesman says.
Bass, a Republican who lost 2nd District U.S. House seat to current Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes in 2006, is strongly considering running again this year.
The seat is open with Hodes running for the U.S. Senate.
Bass spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne called Bass' numbers a "solid quarter considering Charlie is still exploring a run, and we did not conduct an aggressive fundraising program."Bass' campaign committee had $36,000 on hand at the end of the third quarter.
Jennifer Horn, the 2008 nominee for the seat who lost to Hodes and is a candidate again this year, has not yet released her year-end fundraising totals.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Original text of Jan. 28 column follows.
FORBES WEIGHS IN. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne picked up another significant conservative endorsement yesterday.
Financial magazine magnate Steve Forbes called Lamontagne "the strongest conservative" in the four-person GOP primary, "and the one choice who we can rely on as a truly independent voice in Washington."
Forbes also called Lamontagne "a proven conservative leader of principle and conviction" who will be a "friend to taxpayers."
Forbes said the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts last week "proves that independent-minded conservatives can succeed against the entrenched establishment in 2010."
Lamontagne said he didn't endorse Forbes in either of Forbes' presidential runs in 1996 or 2000, but that he has long looked to him as a leading conservative voice.
Forbes' endorsement follows backing by former Vice President Dan Quayle, who Lamontagne did endorse in the 2000 campaign before Quayle's early exit. And it comes following supportive statements about him by conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham and RedState.com blogger Erick Erickson.
A "grateful" Lamontagne said although he did not meet with Forbes prior to the endorsement, "intermediaries reached out to him and sent him information about what I stand for."
AYOTTE'S YEAR-END NUMBERS. While two of her competitors have poured much of their own money into their campaigns, Kelly Ayotte emerged as the fundraising leader from donors in the Republican U.S. Senate primary.
Ayotte's campaign said it will report raising more than $630,000 during the fourth quarter, for a total of $1.24 million in the final two quarters of 2009. She ended the year with $996,000 on hand.
That's $20,000 less on hand than GOP competitor Bill Binnie, but unlike Binnie, Ayotte put none of her own money into the campaign.
Binnie loaned his campaign $1.26 million and raised $255,000 from donors.
Ayotte's camp said she had more than 1,100 donors from New Hampshire during the fourth quarter and raised more than $540,000 in New Hampshire during the final two quarters of 2009.
Jim Bender raised $102,000 from donors in the fourth quarter, loaned his campaign $500,000 and ended the year with $545,000 on hand.
Ovide Lamontagne has not yet announced his year-end fund-raising numbers.
HODES AHEAD OF THE PACK. Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes is ahead of the GOP field when it comes to money in the bank in the push for the open Senate seat.
Hodes, after being out-raised by Ayotte in the third quarter, raised $701,653 in the fourth quarter of 2008, about $70,000 more than Ayotte, for a total of $2,322,698 in the 2010 election cycle.
His year-end cash on hand is $1,438,051, more than Binnie's GOP-leading $1.16 million and Ayotte's $996,000.
Hodes put none of his own money into the campaign, according to a spokesman, and more than 40 percent of his donors were "New Hampshire-based."
More details will be made public when Hodes and all other federal candidates file their year-end fundraising reports with the U.S. Secretary of the Senate and/or the Federal Election Commission.
The deadline for year-end reports is Jan. 31 and the reports should be on FEC.gov next week.
SHEA-PORTER REPORTS. U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's campaign said it raised $174,213 in the fourth quarter of 2009 with more than 3,200 individual donors, and the "average contribution was $40.15."
Shea-Porter's year-end cash on hand is $407,565.
NO THANKS. Binnie, Bender and Ayotte weighed in on Judd Gregg's proposed bipartisan deficit-cutting commission, which was killed by the Senate on Tuesday.
They are unanimously against it.
"I think it was a horrible idea for Judd Gregg to get involved in this," Bender said. "What needs to be done should be very obvious to Barack Obama without having to have a bipartisan commission."
Ayotte said Gregg should be applauded for trying to solve the nation's "runaway spending," but added, "I don't support a commission that could raise taxes. I would support a commission that is focused solely on how to reduce runaway spending, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and the elimination of wasteful earmarks."
Binnie had this to say: "The Washington politicians shouldn't need a commission to tell them how to reduce the debt. It's simple, they need to cut spending. President Obama is our leader. He needs to lead."
WHY NEW HAMPSHIRE? President Obama's trip to Nashua next Tuesday came as a surprise to even to some of his closest supporters.
He won't confirm it, but others said that the first person in the state to learn of the visit was former Obama campaign co-chairman Jim Demers, about a day and a half before it was announced.
Even state party leaders were unaware until shortly before it became public, and as of yesterday afternoon, the Mayor's Office in Nashua claimed to have no details.
UNH political science professor Andy Smith noted that New Hampshire always provides a strong venue for Presidents and presidential candidates, but he had to wonder: Why New Hampshire as opposed to other parts of the country that are suffering even more severely than we are?
"I really don't understand it," he said, especially since Obama visited Boston less than two weeks ago and was in New Hampshire last August.
Should Democrats be pleased that he's coming, or, in the wake of the Scott Brown win, wary?
"Right now he doesn't seem to have the magic touch he had in 2008," Smith said. "If you're a Democratic candidate, I'm not sure you want him coming to the state given what happened in Massachusetts."
Smith said that while Obama could probably appeal to downtrodden working class Americans more effectively in a place like Michigan, he noted that small business is the backbone of the New Hampshire economy and Obama's State of the Union address last night was expected to place some emphasis on re-energizing that sector.
THE THIRD SUNUNU. Chris Sununu, who at age 35, is seventh among the eight Sununu siblings, makes it official today when he files campaign committee papers with the Secretary of State's office to run for the District 3 Executive Council seat. He wants to become the third Sununu to hold elective office in the Granite State.
Sununu, making his first run for public office, so far is the only Republican in that race. Former state Sen. Russell Prescott had considered it but decided instead to run for the District 23 state Senate seat this year.
Democratic incumbent Bev Hollingworth is expected to seek reelection.
Sununu, married, a father of two and a resident of Newfields, said he intends to campaign on a promise to bring a new level of energy and scrutiny to the Executive Council table.
Sununu is a partner with his brothers Michael and James in Sununu Enterprises of Exeter, which he describes as a strategic consulting firm that advises business on issues ranging from raising capital to "infrastructure work."
Sununu said that having been "in the public eye my entire life, I feel confident I'll be able to handle the scrutiny."
He said his family name and its "proven dedication to public service" will be an asset, not a hindrance to his campaign.
BINNIE ON LIFE. Binnie is taking heat from pro-life leaders for saying that he and his wife chose to allow the birth of what they thought was going to be a developmentally disabled child because they could "afford it."
At a recent meeting in Merrimack, Binnie was captured on video and first posted on conservative blogger Patrick Hynes' NowHampshire.com, answering a question about his stand on social issues.
He began by saying that he has a child with degenerative bone disease.
"I never thought about stem cell research," he said. "I pray for it now."
He continued, "We had a child. We had a pregnancy, my wife and I. I don't tell this story publicly as a rule. I'll tell it now. It's a small group.
"I'm pro-choice because we had a positive amniocentesis test. We were going to have a special needs child," said Binnie.
"One of the things that happens when you realize you're going to have a special needs child is they sit you down and you learn how it impacts the other children in your family.
"Now in my wife's case, in my case, we could afford it and I thought about it and we had that child," he said. "Because I can afford it and my family was old enough to sit down and talk about it."
As it turned out, he said, "We were very blessed and in a one in 100 chance, we had what's called a false positive and our child was born healthy."
He said that as a result he is pro-choice because "a government has no place in that decision."
Kurt Wuelper, president of New Hampshire Right to Life, called Binnie's explanation "appalling" and "callous."
"Since he's rich, that child deserved to live and maybe if he were poor that child didn't deserve to live," Wuelper said. "Maybe if he had a little less money or one more child, then that child wouldn't have any right to life. It's disgusting."
BASS UP IN POLL. A Republican pollster puts former Rep. Charlie Bass in the lead in the primary race for the 2nd District U.S. House seat.
A poll conducted for Hynes' Web site, CrossTarget, headed by former New Hampshire GOP Executive Director Steve DeMaura, found Bass with 42 percent of the vote against 2008 congressional nominee Jennifer Horn's 22 percent with 36 percent undecided.
When former state Rep. Bob Giuda was added, Bass received 41 percent and Giuda received 4 percent.
The poll includes responses from 444 Republicans who were interviewed on Jan. 26 and had a margin of error of 4.6 percent.
-- Democratic 2nd District U.S. House candidate John DeJoie yesterday won the endorsement of the 11,000-member State Employees Association, SEIU 1984, citing DeJoie's "tireless defense of New Hampshire's working families."
-- One of DeJoie's primary opponents, Concord adoption attorney Ann McLane Kuster, received the annual "Champion for Choice" award from NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire on Tuesday night in Concord and was the keynote speaker at their annual dinner.
-- Democratic National Committee member Kathy Sullivan this week called on state Republicans to condemn state Rep. Al Baldasaro for telling the House Judiciary Committee last week that "this legislature sold the rights of $10,000 per kid under Title IV, when they said that homosexual couples, not married, can adopt. So we sold each kid to a homosexual couple that's not married for $10,000." Sullivan said the state GOP leadership's "silence amounts to a tacit endorsement of Rep. Baldasaro's shameful comments and despicable behavior."
-- Presidential historian and author Michael Beschloss is the featured speaker at a Feb. 9 $100-a-ticket event at the St. Anselm College New Hampshire Institute of Politics.
-- Businessman Fred Tauch's self-funded NHSteward organization is hosting a day-long conference entitled "Grassroots Communications in the 21st Century" on Saturday at Southern New Hampshire University. As the New Hampshire Union Leader and UnionLeader.com first reported earlier this month, former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich is the featured speaker along with online publisher Andrew Breitbart and Starbucks executive Stephen Gillett.
-- The latest political pieces hitting mailboxes this week include a couple of four-fold full-color pieces by Binnie that are similar to his two television advertisements and a mailer by the New Hampshire Democratic Party going after Republican state Senate special election candidate David Boutin.
-- In a rare political message, the Lynch Committee (as in the governor's political organization) e-mailed supporters this week trumpeting the announcement that the state high school dropout rate decreased by 30 percent in the last year. The e-mail does not ask for contributions but suggests that it be forwarded "to a friend."
-- Shea-Porter spokesman Jamie Radice clarified that the congresswoman was kidding when she mentioned at last weekend's Manchester town hall meeting that GOP congresswomen had said in the Capitol Building rest room that they'd get things done if only the men in Congress would go home. "Both men and women at the town hall laughed," Radice said, "because they knew the women were speaking lightly and with humor."
-- Mica Stark has been named Special Assistant to the President for Government Relations and Strategic Initiatives at UNH. He had previously been Outreach and Engagement Director at the Carsey Institute, the university's public policy research center.
-- Union Leader Sports writer Kevin Gray forwarded us an e-mail from Jeff Smith of Concord, who reminisced about his days as head of the Concord Men's Basketball League. Smith recalled that a team from Massachusetts "came up to play at the Green Street Community Center with a pack of stars," including "a left-handed kid who played at Tufts." It turned out, Smith said, that the kid is now a U.S. Senator. His name is Scott Brown.
John DiStaso is senior political reporter of the New Hampshire Union Leader.
John DiStaso, the New Hampshire Union Leader's senior political writer, began writing "Granite Status" in 1982. His influential reports on behind-the-scenes politics in the first-primary state are must reading every Thursday for insiders from Concord to Washington, D.C. Watch for "Granite Status" updates on UnionLeader.com whenever New Hampshire political news breaks.
"They're" number one goal is to give "the people" the business......
I hope you all can carpool out of town come November.
- Dale A., Manchester
Hodes just needs his fifteen minutes before he's thrown out in the street in November.
- Dave Sims, Derry
Wow Hodes endorsing Obama who would have ever guessed?
If Obama has never run a business how can he understand the sturggles of being a small business owner?
- Deb, Derry
Candidate Bill Binnie made the right moral choice. He made the decision with his family as it should be. Morality can not be legislated. Bill Binnie and his family should be praised not scorned. I am pro choice and free.
Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate
- Libertarian Ken Blevens, Bow, NH
Hodes year-end cash on hand is $1,438,051, more than Binnie's GOP-leading $1.16 million and Ayotte's $996,000.
This is just the start of the change we are all looking for
$1,438,051 + $1,160,000 + $996,000 = 3,594,051
for a low six figure job. But just think of the bonuses.
“When the price to support government
and the cost to protect oneself from it
becomes too great, it's time to say
'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH' and vote
- Libertarian Ken Blevens, Bow, NH
Mr Hodes, you continue to be a walking embarrassment to our shared Alma Matter Dartmouth.
- Michael Layon, Derry
Ha,ha, ha. Good one Michael. Dartmouth. You. My sides are splitting. By the way what's an 'Alma Matter'? That's one 'matter' that definitely fell in a black hole.
- Tom, Dover-Foxcroft, Me.
BINNIE ON LIFE
Thank you Candidate Binnie for being truthful and honest. I’m sure many prayer were said and you and your family as a result made the right choice. Most Republican politicians would try to cover it up. I am also pro-choice for that exact reason and believe the good in us all will always triumph .
He said that as a result he is pro-choice because "a government has no place in that decision."
Libertarian Candidate for U.S. Senate Ken Blevens
- Libertarian Ken Blevens, Bow, NH
Hodes should replace Conan on the tonight show. He's really funny.
- Bob, Salem
Hodes should replace Conan on the tonight show. He's really funny.
- Bob, Salem
Mr Hodes said in reference to Obama, " he understands that folks in New Hampshire appreciate a message of fiscal responsibility with a focus on jobs"
Mr Hodes, you continue to be a walking embarrassment to our shared Alma Matter Dartmouth. New Hampshire citizens do not want a “message” of fiscal responsibility with some rambling about jobs. We prefer someone who values and practices fiscal responsibility and meets with enough small business owners in their district to understand what it will take for them to be able to create jobs here in the Granite State.
The days of messaging contrary to your voting record and deeply held beliefs is hopefully over. Speaking of jobs, where were you or your fellow Representative, carol “can’t meet with the people” shea-porter, for the people employed in NH by firearms manufacturers unfairly targeted by OSHA right after your antigun buddy Obama got into office?
- Michael Layon, Derry
Mike R. Bedford, writes:
Handpicked audience of Obama cheerleaders from Lawrence, traffic jam for people trying to get to work, and a lot of wasted money for a campaign stop.
Absolutely right! Just like the Portsmouth meeting. The Messiah comes in and gets people like CSP, Hodes and Shaheen to grovel before him. Real ego booster. He knows absolutely nothing about creating jobs or anything else. He's just a sharp tongued con man.
I will see you there with my sign showing a vote of no confidence in Obama.
- John D, Danbury
Handpicked audience of Obama cheerleaders from Lawrence, traffic jam for people trying to get to work, and a lot of wasted money for a campaign stop.
- Mike R., Bedford
I like to refer to Ayotte's opponents as Bill Bender & Jim Binnie. They are indistinguishable from one another--- although Binnie apparently does have an actual personality which he is not showing so far in his campaign. (If you are wondering about Ayotte: that IS her personality. She is just a naturally low-key but pleasant individual.)
I always wonder about those candidates whose main qualification for the Senate is that they know how to get people together and get Things done. The Senate happens to be an institution which is designed to PREVENT things from getting done.
- Timothy Horrigan, Durham, NH
If anyone is organizing a peaceful protest for the annointed one's visit, please point me toward a website where i can get info on joining. I'll paint my sign up over the weekend. Thanks.
- Gus, Manchester
Ovide Lamontagne is the guy the Dems want to run against Hodes. I would rather see a more conservative candidate run for Senate, but a candidate with "baggage" and a poor record running statewide like he did in 1996 is not the answer. The old days of a candidate with an R next to their name winning automatically in the state are over. With the large number of independents in NH every vote has to be earned on issues that people care about, not endorsements from outsiders.
- Chris, Merrimack
When will Charlie learn to get the heck out of the way? Bob Giuda is a much better candidate... even Horn would be better than BASS!!!! We don't want our D-2 candidates chosen by the 'top'.
- Sue, Manchester
CK, let me first educate you about my knowledge of Atty. Lamontagne. When I lived in Northern NH, I openly supported him in his succesful effort to beat Bwanna Bill Zeliff for the GOP nomination for Governor, I wrote several letters on his behalf and made phone calls in support of his candidacy. After the primary I became aware of his lack of followup and decided that he was not what I wanted to see for Govenor so my knowledge of him goes far back and it is you who does know about my knowledge of Atty. Lamontagne as someone on this discussion called him the "pervert priest protector". Our new Senator should not be someone an officer of the court who intentionally will obstruct the proper fuctioning of our Law enforcement officers. And CK this will be my last response to your uninformed posts about my knowledge about this wannabe senator for fee.
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester
I'm beginning to think that getting attacked by Mr. Fortin is probably the highest honor a Republican can receive. It's like the stamp of approval that a candidate is worth considering.
- Glen, Manchester, NH
Mr. Fortin, once again you spew an incredibly irrational hatred for a man you obviously do not know. He has given countless hours of his time and expertise to many charities throughout the state. Maybe, Mr. Fortin, if you did the same, you would relieve yourself of your psychosis.
PS. What do you have against people being paid for their services? Do you not get paid for doing your job or do you not have a job?
- ck, manchester
Steve Forbes!? The oddball from the greed magazine? What the...? Why is an endorsement from that dweeb worth squat?
Oh yeah I remember now, this paper endorsed the good back in the day. Yaaaaaawn.
- Dale, Dover
- Richard L. Fortin
Well at least he is acting like a real Republican should. Can you back up your accusations about the Bishop? Our are you trying to hurt him with a random "printed word (as opposed to sound) bite"? Knowing the back lash that is coming in November, are you trying to make sure a "Republicrat" gets in rather than a true conservative?
- Steve, Raymond
Mr Fortin, you are a very angry person. I have never seen you post a single positive comment. Do you like ANYBODY?
- Jack, Manchester
I yawn as I receive these mail pieces in my box...Binnie's full color ads...nicely done....yawn...The damn things tell me absolutely nothing.
Here is what seems to have emerged in my view...A field of candidates who are pretty much cookie cutter, same old mesage, more of the same boring stuff that got run out of Office in 2006.
Its a perpetuation of the Oligarchical System now in place. Our Senate and House is dominated by lawyers, well-heeled businessmen and our own twisted Americana version of "landed gentry" sans titles like "Duke" or Dutches" or "Earl".
Yeah, I know it sounds like a class warfare argument, but the results have long suggested that those who govern haven't a single clue how we "peasants" and common folk live.
I'd be please to shake the hand of a candidate who had been forced to play the reality game of "Bill Roulette" from time to time when things got tough. I'd like to hear a candidate say, "before anything else can be discussed, we must acknowledge the constitution, what it stands for and why we must make all governing decisions based on it.
- Rick Olson, Manchester
Chalk up another out-of-state also-ran carbetbagger endorsing wannabe senator for fee Atty. Ovide Lamontagne, his first was the ignominious Dan Quayle. Forbes only claim to fame is losing his races for president long before the party convention, I can't wait for the announcement that Senator Strom DiMint the South Carolina Neo-Dixiecrat to butt into NH politics and endorse him also, can't Atty. Lamontagne find any local big wigs to join his team? Given the results of the recent polls, he will have to do a lot more groveling on his hands and knees to do any catching up to Kelly Ayotte. He could probably get the endorsement of Bishop McCormack and Allyson Pitman Giles that might raise his numbers a little, after all they owe him that much for performing for fee in their attempts to stonewall the State Law enforcement on the Pedophile Priests and the blatant try to kill CMC and merge into the pro-abortion DHMC. I can't wait to see what other out of state nobodys he will get to endorse his hopelessly lost senate effort, maybe that screaming banshee Laura Graham could be talked into helping his cause, she's an out of stater and would fit right in with the others.
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester
"Kuster joins new bipartisan congressional coalition to address nation's fiscal problems"
By JOHN DiSTASO, NH Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, February 14, 2013
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster on Thursday joined a bipartisan call for a balanced approach to the nation's fiscal problems as a member a new congressional coalition called the United Solutions Caucus.
The New Hampshire Democrat joined a Capitol Hill news conference with 21 Republicans and 11 Democratic new member of Congress in outlining "bipartisan principles for reducing the deficit, growing the economy, and protecting seniors and the middle class."
They said they will "continue working together to find common sense solutions," according to Kuster's office.
"Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats to put politics aside and work together on a long-term, bipartisan deal to address our fiscal challenges," Kuster said.
"No more lurching from crisis to crisis, no more my-way-or-the-highway demands. The only way to meaningfully reduce our deficit and put our nation on a sustainable fiscal path is by working together to find common ground.
"That's what the American people want, it's what our economy needs, and it's what our country deserves," Kuster said.
According to Kuster's office, the new members of Congress have been meeting over the past several weeks to design a framework for addressing our fiscal challenges by streamlining government, simplifying the tax code, generating new revenue, and cutting spending. They also are committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare.
The group will formally organize and continue meeting as the United Solutions Caucus.
"We are committed to a new era in Congress where bipartisan solutions are the norm," the group wrote in a letter to House speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi. "We are dedicated to working with leadership to help bring these solutions to reality. The common good of the country demands good faith negotiation, compromise, and immediate and significant action."
Kuster's office said the announcement builds on her "ongoing commitment to bringing Republicans and Democrats together to reduce the deficit in a balanced, responsible way that will spur job creation, grow the economy, and protect middle class families."
In its letter, the bipartisan group wrote, "The 113th Congress House Republican and Democratic new members are troubled by the fiscal crisis facing the country, with burdensome debt and trillion dollar annual deficits, which affect economic growth for all and healthcare assurances for our seniors. Members of our class implore the President and Congress to address this serious challenge now.
"In recent years, Congress has lacked the political will to come together and find solutions. The freshman members of the 113th Congress believe now is the time to work together," the group wrote.
"We call upon leadership to no longer accept piecemeal solutions and to work toward finding long-term solutions to avoid financial collapse like Greece and other European countries. The bipartisan freshmen members come to the table with mutual understanding and without personal agendas or political gamesmanship."
The group called for strengthening Social Security and preserving Medicare, promoting economic growth to generate revenue, cutting spending, eliminating waste and pursuing Medicaid fraud.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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