The Republican Party has been very successful in convincing people that the Second Amendment guarantees unfettered access to any type of weapon without any common sense rules. The phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” has been lifted from the text of the Second Amendment ignoring the purpose, which was to establish a well ordered Militia that no longer is necessary because the country now has a robust national defense. Just as automobiles, which can be deadly, are subjected to registration, traffic laws, and operator rules concerning alcohol, so, too, use of firearms should also have limitations.
Before you dismiss this comparison, please note it did not come from some liberal or liberal think-tank, but is the expressed opinion of none other than conservative Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren Burger. The pledge of our GOP candidates in Salem N.H. to defend the Second Amendment is meant to stoke fear in the population that Democrats will take away their guns. Traffic lights, stop signs, yellow lines are meant to keep our roads safe and reasonable, common-sense rules for the use of firearms will stem the epidemic of mass killings in our schools, churches, synagogues, and elsewhere.
Democratic Senate candidate Wayne Haubner, House candidates Donna Loranger and Bonnie Wright, and the rest of the Democratic candidates are all advocates of common-sense gun rules.
With extremists co-opting the NH Republican Party and the governor’s signing and vetoing bills willy-nilly, we have begun to experience the dire consequences of their actions.
In their rush to put more guns and rifles on the streets, they have removed nearly every precaution against putting those weapons in the wrong hands.
Limiting background checks, ending local permitting and allowing guns in more public spaces – including schools, parks, concerts, stores, churches and polling places – have made us less safe!
Now that HB1178 is law, we no longer follow any federal law designed to help prevent gun abuse. It’s illegal to own a machine gun in the US, but that’s a federal law. It’s not illegal in NH. Carrying firearms into a school also is okay. Federal law says no, but we don’t follow such laws in NH.
This new law is confusing for law enforcement. Several county sheriffs recently called on the attorney general for clarification about when they are permitted to respond.
The answer given is “when someone feels threatened and calls the police.”
Next question is, what is considered a threat?
Since NH lawmakers believe so strongly in the right to bear arms, they have made it easier for everyone to do so. “Stand your ground!” is their mantra, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
So, who is the good guy? Well, he or she is the one wearing the white hat of course!
The Free State movement is a group of Libertarians who have moved to New Hampshire in an attempt to take over the political agenda in NH. The most recent figure is 5,000 with more coming every day. Their political agenda begins with the destruction of public schools. In the small NH town of Croydon, Free Staters successfully reduced the school budget by 50 %. The town after a 3-month grueling political fight was able to restore the funds. Free State board member Jeremy Kaufman explained that school choice and vouchers are just "a stepping stone towards reducing or eliminating state involvement in schools." Simply stated Free Staters do not believe in public education. They have found friends in the Republican Party. Frank Edelblut, Commissioner of Education is a proponent of home schooling and has opened the door to for profit schools sometimes called micro -schools that use podcasts and computers to replace teachers. The funding for these schools comes from tax dollars that have been diverted from public schools. According to US News and World Report NH ranks 4 th out of 50 states in educational excellence. Clearly the Free Staters are trying to solve a problem that does not exist. It would be advisable to know who these people are in your community and sound the warning bell when they or their supporters decide to run in local elections.
NH Lawmakers: I strongly oppose HB1431 and urge you to defeat it. In our nearly 50 years in New Hampshire, there never has been such an assault on our public education system, our teachers, counselors, principals, staffs, school boards and superintendents as we are seeing now. In the past two years an aggressively loud, but small number of parents have complained about every conceivable action or lesson they dislike in the classroom and in the school library. Clearly, their goal is not to improve, but to destroy public education in our state. We’re sending tax dollars to private and religious schools, muzzling teachers, and demanding they be reported if they mention race or gender in their classrooms! Now HB1431, disguised as “parental rights” legislation, will instead, disclose private counseling sessions with students. This is unconscionable and extremely dangerous. Gov. Chris Sununu vowed to veto HB1431. Don’t let it reach his desk.
Relocating to New Hampshire from the Southwest three years ago, we thought we were leaving forest fires behind. The long smokey summers had become uncomfortable and were worsening my asthma. As a registered nurse, the longterm health effects of air pollution were concerning.
The recent spate of fires in New Hampshire have been sobering. Climate change is happening everywhere and worsening conditions for fires to erupt even in the relatively damp and cooler climate of New Hampshire.
Climate change is now so pervasive that I have needed to cut short a family visit in California because of the Paradise fire, and I have a close friend whose Louisville Colorado home was badly damaged in the fire there.
We must act now to stop our destructive fossil fuel habits. A recent article published in GeoHealth says that we can save 50,000 lives per year by reducing air pollution.
The good news is that there are things we can do beginning today. First all, we can contact our legislators and demand clean power standards, quality air monitoring, and adopt a zero-emission strategy locally and nationally.
Secondly, as individuals, we can reduce our own emissions in many ways, such as riding a bike to work once a week. A good place to get ideas is the American Lung Association website (www.lung.org).
Finally, Americans have solved big problems before and we will do it again. Let’s get together to protect our health and our children’s future. The moment is now.
The latest GOP culture battle involves banning inappropriate books in our schools, but who gets to decide what is appropriate? One of these books is “To Kill a Mockingbird”, a book that looks at racial prejudice through the eyes of a young girl whose father a lawyer Atticus Finch is representing a black man unjustly accused of assault against a white woman. The setting is the rural South during the Depression. The book has provided context for teachers to discuss the history of race relations in the country; where we have been, where we are and where we are going. Apparently the new GOP thinks this book would traumatize students but are completely comfortable with active shooter drills on a regular basis. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Fahrenheit 451 a novel by Ray Bradbury is a story about the fire department of the future. If a neighbor or family member discovers that you are collecting books the fire department shows up with flamethrowers and burns the books. One of the great advantages that the GOP has discovered with these culture battles is that it enables them to avoid substantive discussions on actual policies that could help Americans with healthcare issues, food insecurity, education and many other issues. The GOP didn’t even both with a policy platform during the last election. I am pretty sure Fahrenheit 451 will soon be moved from the fiction section to non fiction at local libraries.
Gerrymandering is the process of redrawing Congressional districts to create political advantage to one Political Party over another. As an example, moving Democrats into the same district sacrifices control of one district for opportunity to win many other districts. In Pennsylvania about 10 years ago, Congressional votes were split about 50 /50 but Republicans won 12 of 17 Congressional seats. Democrats also gerrymander but with less effect. The larger issue that should be emphasized is that gerrymandering makes Congressional seats safe for incumbents reducing the need for engagement and compromise with the other party. It is estimated that about 2/3’s of the Congressional districts are no longer competitive The two parties in the past engaged in political discourse based upon a contest of ideas with the better ideas winning. This type of discourse is essential for democracies to thrive and grow unfortunately it is almost extinct in our present political environment. Another negative by product is the increased influence of corporate lobbying since acting in the public interest is no longer necessary for election or re-election; responding to donors requests is much easier and carries no negative consequences. The only reasonable way out of this mess is a non- partisan commission to set congressional boundaries that preserves every American’s right to a vote that counts.
I am a mother of three children in the Salem School District and I ran for the School Board in 2018 because I think we need a current parent on our board. I still believe we need that, but that does not mean our current board is doing a bad job. They managed our schools through the pandemic extremely well, making difficult choices with a full understanding of the risks and impacts and in the best interests of all students. They kept our schools open when most were closed last year and they kept politics out of their decisions. This board is steady and solid and can be trusted to do what is right for our schools. There is always room for improvement, however we must not make change for change’s sake. The most important lesson I learned from politics in 2018 was to always follow the money. The two challengers to the School Board chose to raise funds for their campaigns through mostly anonymous donors on a platform known for facilitating the funding of far-right activists. Salem’s schools are no place for this kind of political distraction. Our current board has proven they can keep the drama away and keep the focus on our children. On Tuesday, March 8, please vote for Pat Corbett and Peter Morgan for the Salem School Board.
The NH GOP has bought into the Trump Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen. The official statement from Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff was that Italian military satellites sent out signals to voting machines that changed trump votes to Biden votes. The purpose of this absurd explanation as well as other crazy theories is to sow doubt around the legitimacy of our electoral process; this in turn lays the foundation for new laws that supposedly safeguard our elections but whose real purpose is to suppress voter turnout. Bills have been filed to make it more difficult for Democratic constituencies to vote. Disallowing voting machines in favor of by hand counting, requiring a NH driver’s license for voting instead of a college ID, and false claims that voters were being bused in from Massachusetts are all aimed at discouraging people from voting. I would like to see every NH State rep especially those from Salem NH take a stand on whether they believe Joe Biden is the duly elected President; if they answer no they are de facto endorsing the Jan 6 insurrection of 2021 which has claimed multiple police lives and dozens of injuries. The recent statement by the RNC that the Jan 6 Th riot represented legitimate political discourse is laying the foundation for more violence in the coming elections and may break our democracy beyond repair.
The motivation for private charter schools in New Hampshire for some people is
based on the notion that public schools are failing and will benefit from competition. U. S. News just published its ranking of states in pre K – 12 education. NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) scores rank NH students as 4 th in the United States in reading and 5 th in Mathematics. The overall ranking for NH was 4 th in the nation slightly behind Massachusetts which finished 2 nd overall. Its pretty difficult to understand how competing with private schools without a coherent curriculum and teachers who may or may not be certified would be beneficial to anyone. There is also no discussion on how these private schools as well as home schooling will be held accountable for student achievement results or whether they will participate in state standardized testing. The current right wing attacks on the credibility of public schools will do great harm by unnecessarily draining financial support from our public schools.
Funding Private & Religious Schools with public funds is a very bad idea on many levels. House Bill 607 would remove the income level requirement from individuals applying for school vouchers so anyone including millionaires is allowed to apply. These schools may function without requirements to follow a state approved curriculum or have teachers that are certified by the state. These certifications are essential to quality education especially in areas such as chemistry, physics or advanced mathematics and there are also no requirements for equipping science laboratories.
The funding for these private schools will come from state aid intended for local public schools. As a taxpayer I am appalled at the lack of accountability and oversight from the NH Dept. of Education. HB 607 is an assault on public education and is unnecessary in a state with good student academic outcomes. These so called education scholarships across the country are being pushed by free state politicians determined to undermine public education and are most common in states with the poorest academic outcomes. The best way for New Hampshire to compete with other states for an educated work force is a robust public education system. An educated workforce is also an essential requirement to compete economically with China and European countries.
I urge all state reps from in the New Hampshire House to vote no on shortsighted HB 607 Bill, a bill that will cause long-term damage to our state’s economy.
Let’s applaud Gov Sununu’s Covid policies. NH now has it’s highest infection and hospitalization rate since the pandemic began; plus we have to hire out-of-state healthcare teams to staff many facilities.
His no mask and no vaccination mandate policies encourage Covid mutations and spread.
He’s got my vote in 2022.
Jim Crow laws which existed for 75 years after the Civil War was an attempt by states to hold onto racial segregation. Separate restrooms for blacks, racially segregated schools, and blacks sitting at the back of bus as well as subset of laws specially aimed at the right to vote. Literacy test, citizenship tests, poll taxes and other laws aimed at minorities. Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights law forbade states with a history of racial discrimination from making any changes in voting laws without a review from the Justice Department. This preclearance had a dramatic effect on minority representation. Black representation in Congress went from 5 in 1965 to 48 in 2021. There was no more important law than preclearance for eliminating discrimination against minorities. Unfortunately in 2013 the Supreme Court stepped in under the leadership of Justices Scalia and Roberts declared that preclearance was no longer necessary in the 21 st century; the fact that we now have a black President seemed to justify this conclusion. Since 2013 dozens of states have passed restrictive voting laws that mostly affect minority voters, the entire premise of one-person one vote is under attack. We are on the cusp of losing our democracy and Congress must act now to preserve voting rights. Joe Manchin’s obsession with filibuster rules is far less important than losing the right to vote.
Governor Sununu’s budget established Education Freedom Accounts (EFA) in New Hampshire, but this is the wrong way forward for our schools. These accounts, originally estimated to cost between $100,000 and $200,000, have ballooned to more than $6.8 million. The money will come from diverted state aid intended for public schools. The EFAs were slipped into the budget without hearings or vetting by the State Senate or House. The intention was to depopulate and defund our public schools and encourage enrollment in private charter schools that are unregulated and free to ignore state standards in curriculum and teacher certification. The principal architects of EFAs are Betsy DeVos and Frank Edelblut, both of whom have long histories of undermining public education. EFAs are well-established in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Florida, states that also are among the lowest ranked in student achievement. Massachusetts, a state which has the highest percentage of citizens with college degrees, proposed funding charter schools several years ago. This ballot proposal was soundly defeated. Teachers in Massachusetts schools are required to hold master’s degrees and student academic performance leads the nation. I am pretty sure New Hampshire parents would rather have our schools look like those in Massachusetts than states that foolishly follow the hollow promises of EFAs. Governor Sununu has ceded educational leadership to a group of of radicals intent on undermining public education.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a topic usually discussed in college that examines the theory that racism is systemic and put in place by government seeking to allow white people to dominate other races through laws, regulations and cultural norms. CRT is being conflated with the teaching of American history . It is almost impossible to teach or learn American history without an in depth discussion of race. Black people were brought to America in chains and sold by the thousands at slave auctions. The Civil War , Reconstruction , the rise of the KKK all require an in depth discussion of the role of race in these historical events. These events continued into the 20 th century. The Tulsa race riot of 1920 when 35 blocks of black businesses and homes were burned to the ground with hundreds killed, the violence waged on blacks at the Edmund Pettis bridge and bombing of black churches in retaliation for desegregation all are important and instructive markers of American History. The saddest part is that these types of events are continuing into the 21 st century with the killing of dozens of unarmed black men such as George Floyd and Armaud Arbery . An out of touch Supreme Court that ruled in 2013 that the section 5 of the Voting Rights Law was unconstitutional has added to our problems. The best way forward for the country may be Americans having an understanding of our own history.
After being censured by the House for his violent, animated video in which he appears to kill Representative Ocasio-Cortez and attack President Biden, Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) retweeted it. This says a lot about a man who publicly has embraced white nationalism and Neo-Nazism and whose family members call "unhinged." Unfortunately, the House vote also speaks volumes about the Republican party. With the exception of Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, Gosar’s Republican colleagues voted against the censure, and minority leader Kevin McCarthy even hinted at better committee assignments should he (McCarthy) become majority leader. This calculated encouragement and normalization of political violence should not be tolerated under any circumstances. The Republican party is devoid of reason and appears to have lost its soul. Any politician who explicitly or via silence condones such behavior should be exposed and soundly defeated in 2022 and 2024
Copyright © 2022 Salem, NH Democratic Town Committee