Winners say “elections have consequences.” My party was not a winner this last time in New Hampshire, but rest assured, there will be consequences. With the Trumpian Republican Party in control of the state’s legislative, executive and judicial branches, the following things are about to happen:
■ A budget will pass that will severely downshift costs to the property tax, and onto the people who pay it.
■ Women’s reproductive rights will be dramatically restricted by passage of new, misogynistic legislation.
■ Public schooling, one of the core elements of a decent society, will receive blows from which it may not recover, while public funds will be transferred to private, religious and home schooling.
■ Passage of “right-to-work” legislation will reduce the strength with which working Granite Staters can bargain for a fair wage and decent conditions and benefits. This may help some employers (along with a $7.50 minimum wage), but working people will be injured.
■ The right to vote will be savaged in ways we can only begin to understand. Gerrymandering, and the abandonment of “one person, one vote” will strip away the right of people to cast their ballots. For 20-plus years we have heard the plaint of voter fraud from Republicans, but it always sounds loudest when a Democrat wins a race. Was it a Democrat who tried to bully Georgia officials into “finding” 11,780 votes?
If these things were supported by New Hampshire voters, it would be one thing. But I don’t believe the Granite State wants any of these consequences, so it’s time to pay attention and push back against the storm of wretchedness that’s coming from Concord.
PETER HOE BURLING
We are allowed to identify all the different mutations of COVID-19 by their regional origin, such as the U.K., Brazilian and South African variants of recent publicity. But President Joe Biden (whose family members were involved in highly questionable dealings with China) instructed all federal institutions and public health agencies to avoid using “racially discriminatory language” like “Chinese virus” — which accurately describes the origin of the original COVID-19.
If they were being consistent — an impossibility, it seems — the U.K. variant, for example, could only ever be referred to as “COVID-19-B.1.1.7.”
Just another example of the growth of political correctness generally, what I see as this administration’s kowtowing to the whims of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party, and the ever-present hypocrisy in the daily life of politicians.
But at least Joe Biden isn’t mean on Twitter, right?
While most of us independent, centrist voters are deeply disappointed in the Senate vote on Donald Trump’s impeachment, we should be completely disgusted and angry with Sen. Mitch McConnell, who has proven to be the most disingenuous, power-hungry politician in the modern history of our republic. He is, as Shakespeare wrote, “an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker,” and “a poisonous bunch-back’d toad.”
No independent or Democratic member of the House or the Senate, and certainly not the president, should ever take McConnell’s word again for anything, ever. McConnell deserves every ounce of skepticism the media can muster, and then some, for any claim or promise that he ever utters. I can’t think a worse punishment to befall people than to lose their integrity in the eyes of the world. But I doubt that McConnell possesses even a kernel of shame about that — he simply does not care so long as he holds onto power. And so with the GOP, which no longer deserves to be known as the “Grand Old Party” of Lincoln and Reagan. Republicans are now just the Old Party, beholden to a mob, ruled by a demagogue and drunk on power.
Dishonest politicians and unscrupulous executives are nothing new in government and business. A couple of examples:
Beginning in 1864, executives of the Union Pacific Railroad created a bogus construction company called Crédit Mobilier of America. It was used to bilk the government out of about $44 million (almost $725 million in today’s dollars) by inflating construction costs for building a portion of the transcontinental railroad. Much of that money was used to line the pockets of Union Pacific executives and to bribe many in Congress to pass laws and regulations that would benefit the railroad and its executives. Unsurprisingly, the scandal cost several congressmen their reputations and careers.
It has been considered that Warren G. Harding was the worst U,S, president ever (until now). His administration was positively corrupt. A good example is the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s. Teapot Dome was a lucrative Wyoming oil field owned by the government. Harding’s interior secretary, Albert Bacon Fall, was caught issuing favorable leases for the oil reserves without competitive bidding and accepting no-interest loans from the oil companies in return. Harry Daugherty, Harding’s campaign manager and later U.S. attorney general, was accused of selling alcohol during Prohibition. The head of the Veterans Bureau was convicted of bribery and corruption. And so it goes.
Now, Harding was supposedly a likeable person. However, his morals were questionable. He evidently had several mistresses and is said to have fathered an illegitimate child. One wonders what Vice President Calvin Coolidge was doing during all these untoward goings-on. Probably sleeping.
Last fall, a scrappy campaign for Executive Council out of Somersworth, N.H., captivated “proud townies” across the state. Emmett Soldati was the candidate behind the Proud Townie movement, which sought to uplift all communities in his district. I was proud to support him in his campaign for Executive Council then, and now as he is running for chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, I enthusiastically support his bid.
This time around, Soldati has evolved the proud townie movement and has created a bold plan to put our local communities first. He understands that a local-first approach is key to how we develop successful committees and engage voters, but it’s also important for sustaining power long-term and ensuring Democratic victories in elections to come. He knows that we need to meet people where they are at, and he knows that not all communities face the same challenges. That’s why as chair, he will work with local committees to develop clear, issue-oriented messages that live outside of election cycles, and he will leverage the knowledge and skill of town and county committees.
One of my favorite memories from the last election was going to Charlestown to hold signs with Soldati. We stood outside the Charlestown polling location for more than an hour, holding signs and dancing to pop music. He engaged with voters and made sure they knew he was there to listen to them. If elected chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, Soldati will continue to show up for all of our communities. He will work to strengthen relationships and open doors within the party. Emmett Soldati is the best choice for New Hampshire Democratic Party chair.
To get involved in Emmett’s campaign today, visit emmettsoldati.com/get-involved.
This is in response to the Forum letter by Spec Bowers claiming that Rep. Linda Tanner disparaged nurses during her testimony before the New Hampshire House Education Committee (“A snub of nurses, community college,” Feb. 12). The truth is Rep. Tanner’s words were taken out of context during her testimony in opposition to HB 349, which seeks to eliminate certification requirements for school nurses.
Tanner has been and still is a very strong voice for all nurses. What we know about her is that, throughout her terms in office, she has been a champion for all nurses, from fighting for recognition of the World War II era Cadet Nurse Corps to fighting for a school nurse position within the Department of Education. Last term, she was awarded the Barbara C. French Advocacy Award, named in honor of a former school nurse.
The few words that were taken from a lengthy hearing on this bill missed the key points that she and the other nurses who testified were trying to make, which is that it is the “appropriate education and experience that matters.” The right nurse needs to be in the right job. School nurses believe that the education that matters for that specialty is a bachelor of science degree in nursing, and the experience necessary is three years in pediatrics or the equivalent. Nurses need to speak with one voice and in civil tones. We encourage you to listen to the entire testimony to form your opinions and not let social media spin the issue for you. We thank Rep. Tanner for her support and encourage nurses to speak for the right education and the right experience necessary for nursing practice.
PAMELA P. DiNAPOLI
The writer is executive director of the New Hampshire Nurses Association.
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