WHEN: The auction will run for three weeks from Friday August 24th through Friday September 14th.
WHO CAN BID: Anyone!!! The auction is open to everyone. Bidders sign-up on the website biddingforgood.com choose a bidder name, enter a credit card number and then they can bid on any item(s) in our auction or any other auction on BiddingForGood’s website. Bidders can either bid a specific amount or put in a maximum bid and the website will enter a bid at the next minimum bid and will keep increasing their bid up to the maximum if other bidders bid on that item.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
We need items for the auction. Below is a list of donation suggestions. Ask your supporters and friends, businesses that you know support the Democratic Party.
Help us get out the word. We will be sending you publicity emails about the auction. Forward the emails to family and friends
Volunteer to help with the auction. Help needed: Item acquisition, help photographing items, publicity,
Gift Certificates to:
Restaurants Oil Changes/State Inspection
Florists Oil Burner Service
Stores Deep Sea Fishing
Hair Salons Whale Watching
Garden Centers Hotels Car Wash
Bakery Gas Cards
Movies Carpet Cleaning
Furniture Store Summer Camps For Kids
Day Spas Zoom Whitening
Paintings – watercolors/oils
Framed Antique map of a Town
Use of Condo/lodging at a ski area for weekend or week
Use of Lake front/ocean front property for a weekend or week
Private Boat Cruise
Tickets to a game – Red Sox/Bruins/Patriots/Celtics/NE Revolution/Monarchs/UNH Hockey
Round of Golf for 4
Use of Facilities – Ice Skating Party or rink time/Bowling Party
Ski Lessons/Golf Lessons
Sports Gear – Skis/Bike/Tennis etc
Health Club Membership
Electronics – TV’s, I Pod, IPad Drivers Ed Classes
Tools Christmas Trees/Wreaths
Cord of Wood Holiday Decorations
Rugs Clothing/Handbags – New
Computer Services Tutoring
Luggage Pampered Chef Item
Jewelry – Lia Sophia, etc
Themed Baskets – Kids books or toys/movie night/wine/coffee & tea/breakfast/hair care products
Dinner or lunch with a celebrity – Governor?? Senator??
If you’re looking to sum up the awfulness of the 2011-12 New Hampshire Legislature, recent deliberations in the case of state Senate candidate Joshua Youssef by the House Redress of Grievances Committee give you everything you need to know. Consider:
• The committee heard a one-sided account of Youssef’s bitter custody fight but chose not to investigate the court record to get a fuller version of the case.
• Based on that one-sided account, the committee voted overwhelmingly to recommend investigating the impeachment of three state judges.
• Based also on that account, committee members – if re-elected – plan to introduce legislation that changes the rules in legal cases involving family disputes.
• The vote might have been even more lopsided, but several Republican committee members abstained because they have endorsed Youssef’s Senate campaign – a campaign he says was inspired by the very case under consideration.
In short, the drama included an “investigation” that limited itself to one half of the story, a dramatic recommendation that smeared the professional reputations of three judges, a plan to change state law without a full appreciation of how the law worked in this case, and a political candidate with a personal vendetta (and a bunch of elected officials who support him).
What a spectacle!
There are bigger questions highlighted by this case too, of course:
• Should the committee have been created in the first place?
The redress committee was re-established by House Speaker Bill O’Brien after lying dormant for generations, ostensibly to serve as a check on the power of the courts and public officials and agencies. Much of what the committee has concerned itself with have been appeals from the losing side in family court matters, convinced that a judge – or multiple judges – did them wrong. (Earlier this summer, the same committee recommended the impeachment of Judge John Arnold, also because it disliked his decision-making in a custody matter.)
In hearing such cases the committee has generated two distinctly terrible impressions: that court cases – even those appealed all the way to the Supreme Court – are never truly over and that judges can be sanctioned by legislators for unpopular rulings.
• Should the committee have been allowed to continue?
At least one committee member has refused to participate altogether. “It goes against the division of powers,” Democratic Rep. Steven Lindsey of Keene told the Keene Sentinel. “I consider it an extra-judicial committee. I feel my presence there would give it an air of respectability, so I haven’t really been going.”
Attorney General Michael Delaney told O’Brien earlier this year that the committee was “targeting those who are simply performing their jobs” as required by state law. Its actions were creating an atmosphere of “fear and persecution” on the part of public employees, particularly those charged with protecting abused and neglected children and settling family disputes.
The current Legislature has passed a lot of poor legislation, but equally troubling has been the heavy-handed process from the Republican leadership – and the relatively feeble protests from GOP members who know better. A year and a half after the creation of the redress committee, where are the strong voices calling for its demise?
There are races for 400 House seats this fall. Candidates will be asked lots of questions by lots of voters. Near the top of the list should be this: Do you support the continued existence of the Redress of Grievances Committee?
With the release of its annual “Top States for Business” rankings last week, CNBC confirmed a growing fear in New Hampshire: Unprecedented budget cuts and misplaced Republican priorities are damaging our state’s economy.
According to the study, New Hampshire’s ranking dropped in infrastructure, transportation, and education – all areas that received devastating funding cuts in the GOP’s state budget. New Hampshire’s overall “economic” ranking suffered the biggest drop of all, plummeting from 10th to 34th nationwide.
More important than individual numbers, however, these rankings undercut the central Republican message of this term.
Republican leaders have defiantly argued that their budget cuts and legislative priorities were good for New Hampshire’s economy, an argument that increasingly flies in the face of independent analyses.
Before Republicans took control of the Legislature, New Hampshire had an economic strategy that was working. Democrats worked with Gov. John Lynch throughout the recession to keep job losses at a minimum, and heading into the 2010 election New Hampshire held the lowest unemployment rate east of the Mississippi River.
By working with the governor to enact the Research and Development Tax Credit and to implement new jobs programs such as NH Working and the Job Training Fund, Democrats created a business-friendly environment that led national economists to credit New Hampshire as a leading state in the economic recovery.
Unfortunately, we are losing that forward momentum since the 2010 election. Because of the majority’s misplaced priorities, New Hampshire is no longer a leading state in the economic recovery.
Our unemployment rate has dropped only 0.7 percent since the 2010 election, less than half the national average. Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and 33 other states have added jobs at a faster rate since Republicans took control, leaving New Hampshire an embarrassing 37th in job growth.
Instead of continuing to focus on jobs, Republicans spent their energy on Tea Party priorities like expanding gun rights, weakening public education and labor unions, and meddling in women’s reproductive health.
The leader of this misguided effort was House Speaker Bill O’Brien, who drew the ire of business groups this spring when he risked the Research and Development Tax Credit by insisting on amending it with an already-defeated abortion bill.
When Republicans did turn their focus to economic issues, they only made matters worse.
The GOP state budget slashed over $250 million in aid to hospitals, directly causing more than 1,000 layoffs in the health care industry last summer.
The budget slashed university system funding by nearly 50 percent – the largest cut of any state in U.S. history – causing more job loss and forcing significant tuition hikes that are putting New Hampshire colleges out of reach for prospective students, our future skilled workforce.
And even with tobacco revenue down $20 million since last year, the House majority leader has said he would still have cut the cigarette tax.
Given the financial strain that budget cuts to health care, infrastructure and education place on business, it’s hardly surprising that New Hampshire’s economy has sputtered.
What is frightening is the GOP’s promise to double down on their failed policies if re-elected this fall. Despite the job losses that would follow, O’Brien wants to cut another $400 million from the budget if he returns as speaker next term.
Like the economists who conducted CNBC’s “Best States for Business” study, Granite Staters know that quality infrastructure and an educated workforce are critical elements to a growing economy. If New Hampshire is to regain its role as a national leader in economic development, the Legislature we elect this fall needs to share those values.
Rep. Terie Norelli of Portsmouth is the Democratic leader of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Democratic House and Senate leaders held a press conference to review the recent legislative session and how the Republican Majority’s wrong priorities are hurting New Hampshire’s middle-class families.
Below are the prepared remarks:
House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli
Welcome and thank you for joining us this afternoon. I am Terie Norelli, NH House Democratic Leader.
With Veto Day behind us, the people of New Hampshire can breathe a sigh of relief, because we have hopefully, seen the last session day of Speaker Bill O’Brien and his extreme Republican majority.
This Republican majority has had the wrong priorities for New Hampshire’s middle-class families and the wrong priorities for our economy.
Instead of working to strengthen the economy, they pushed an extreme agenda that was more focused on taking away birth control than on helping our families succeed, an agenda that was more focused on hurting the workers in our state than on building for the future of our state.
For the last two years, Bill O’Brien and his Tea Party allies have advanced a laundry list of out-of-touch legislation that shows just how wrong their priorities are for New Hampshire.
Republicans attempted to raise health care costs for families by eliminating guaranteed insurance coverage for birth control.
They enacted the largest single cut to a public university system in the history of the US, resulting in tuition increases at our state colleges and universities of nearly double digits.
They cut aid to local schools, raising local property taxes, even as they plan to send millions in taxpayer dollars to private and religious schools.
And they cut mental health, developmental disabilities and other services that are critical to the lives of Granite Staters, even as they lined the pockets of big tobacco companies.
As we look back at what this Legislature has done, we must also look forward to what they say they will do next.
The threat of Governor Lynch’s veto pen has helped halt some of the most outrageous plans of this Legislature. But now Bill O’Brien is running a full slate of candidates for the State Senate – and Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith have promised their full support to Bill O’Brien.
Next on their agenda is a state takeover of Medicare, which would allow politicians in the New Hampshire Legislature to cut benefits for seniors, increase premiums, and raise the eligibility age.
If Bill O’Brien gets the gavel again, there will be a renewed effort to criminalize doctors and women for abortions, even when the woman is the victim of rape or incest. And they’ll try again to raise health care costs on women by allowing employers to deny birth control coverage.
And Speaker O’Brien has already promised more cuts to critical programs. In fact, they’ve already passed bills this term that will reduce state revenues $150-300M in the next biennium without identifying the services that will be eliminated.
There’s no doubt his cuts will once again target higher education which would put the dream of a college degree out of reach for high school graduates across the state.
These are the wrong priorities for our state’s middle-class families and our economy. New Hampshire can move forward again, if we have common-sense legislators who will focus on seeking middle ground and will work toward solutions that are right for all of our families.
Before I turn it over to Senator Molly Kelly who will begin to review some of the radical and out-of-touch legislation that this Tea Party House has championed over the last year and a half,
I want to talk about the Speaker’s removal of the sole Democratic House Member from a Health Care Panel.
The Speaker has once again moved to limit full public discussion by removing an experienced voice from the table. The Speaker has demonstrated time and time again that he will not tolerate viewpoints that differ from his own opinion, and he dismisses the representative voice of a significant segment of New Hampshire voters.
The Speaker has raised the level of confrontation not only between the Legislature and anyone who does not share his views, but it seems he goes out of his way to create confrontation between the Legislative branch and the Executive branch, between the Legislative branch and the Judicial branch, between the State Legislature and the Federal Government, and even between the Legislature and Local Communities.
Whether he is trying to force the Attorney General to join a lawsuit, superimposing the will of the Legislature on the court’s ability to enact its own administrative rules, refusing to plan for or even participate in the implementation of the constitutional parts of federal healthcare reform, and prohibiting local school districts from offering rigorous programs as part of their school curriculum.
His actions now and over last seventeen months are simple tyranny. I look forward to November when the people will have the last word on Mr. O’Brien.
House Assistant Deputy Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff:
For a group of people who came in to office at the start of 2011 promising to focus on the economy like a laser, we have to ask: Do they really understand how a laser is supposed to work.
The only laser-like focus I’ve seen this legislative session has been in advancing a radical and far-right social agenda.
How do we know that they favor a far-right social agenda rather than focusing on important issue of jobs and the economy? Their actions speak for them: this far right Republican legislature attached a radical anti-choice amendment requiring a 24 hour waiting period for abortions – which the Senate had already rejected, to an important, bi-partisan research and development tax credit bill.
This far right Republican legislature has voted to defund Planned Parenthood. An action that could put New Hampshire’s entire Medicaid program at risk and more importantly it denies women access to essential health care services such as cancer screenings.
This legislature has fought time and time again to put the state between women and their health care decisions. Bill O’Brien’s Tea Party legislature voted to increase costs on women by repealing coverage of contraception and even mandating that doctors provide false information to patients seeking an abortion.
This legislature has brought guns into the state house, Including the visitor’s gallery where our fourth graders from around the state, studying NH history come to see their government operate. They’ve tried putting guns in our college dorms and our county nursing homes, as well as the veterans home in Tilton. They’ve tried passing legislation that would let convicted felons carry guns, they passed the NH Version of Florida’s “stand your ground” bill and we’ve already seen the deadly consequences of that law. They have even worked to overturn New Hampshire’s domestic violence protection laws.
This is not the agenda the voters thought they were getting in 2010 and it’s not the agenda that the people of New Hampshire can afford in the future.
House Democratic Floor Leader Gary Richardson:
Good morning, my name is Gary Richardson and I am the Democratic Floor Leader in the House of Representatives.
The past two years have been extraordinary, not just in terms of the radical legislation that has been proposed, some of which was actually passed over the Governor’s veto, but in terms of how members of the House have been treated by the Speaker. The legislative process should be a collaboration of ideas to come up with the best possible solutions. The past session has been “my way or the highway”.
My Republican colleagues in the House like to remind us that elections have consequences, and they are correct. However, it is easy to misinterpret the results of an election, and the majority party does so at its peril. Certainly there was no mandate for the lack of respect, the lack of civility, in fact, the downright hostility toward opposing viewpoints that has been exhibited during the past two years.
This refusal to reach out to others for ideas or even allow the minority party or Republicans who do not share the Speaker’s ideology to express ideas has resulted in the legislation that you have just heard described.
A prime example was the Committee of Conference on the constitutional amendment on education funding. No Democrat was appointed as a sitting member of the Committee. No Democrat in the House was allowed to participate. The result was an amendment that everyone could hate that prevented passage of an amendment to allow targeting, something that most people could support. Why? Because the amendment was corrupted with language seeking to expand unlimited authority of the Legislature over education, to give the legislature complete control.
The Speaker removed his own caucus members from committee and even his own Chairs and Vice Chairs whenever they failed to do exactly as told.
The Speaker has even refused to put a Democrat on the Orientation Committee for new members.
These things may seem like inside baseball to the public, but the way you treat other people is a matter of character. The voters are looking for more from us. A recent poll in New Hampshire has identified the NH Legislature as being the 2nd biggest problem facing the state after the economy.
Ideology has taken precedence over civility and practical solutions to our problems.
This morning we have heard about legislation eliminating insurance coverage for birth control, cutting aid to UNH and local schools and down shifting costs, while creating tax credits to fund religious schools, attempting to take over Medicare for our seniors from the federal government, defunding Planned Parenthood, placing limits on a woman’s right to abortion, the list goes on and on.
Unfortunately, the only protection against the Speaker’s extreme agenda is the governor’s office, and the Republican candidates for governor have not only refused to separate themselves from this Speaker, but they have adopted much of his rhetoric. Ovide Lamontagne has said that taking over Medicare would be a top priority for his administration. Is this so we can provide less healthcare and spend less money, or does he really think that 50 states running their own healthcare programs can do so more efficiently than the federal government? Kevin Smith has said that he supports “getting rid” of Planned Parenthood. Who does he think is going to provide healthcare to women in the North Country?
For our government to function we need leaders who are in the main stream, leaders who are not governed by a slash and burn ideology where the tactics are to refuse to compromise, to suspend the rules and to cram through radical legislation written by out of state special interest groups. The only protection against people like Bill O’Brien is the ballot box.
In November the voters will have a clear choice: do they want a continuation of this legislature’s radical and out of the mainstream ideological agenda, or do they want leaders who will return us to sanity.
Committee will make recommendations on Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – New Hampshire House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli and Representative Kathleen Taylor, Democratic Policy Leader on the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, issued the following statements regarding Representative Taylor’s removal from the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committeeby Speaker O’Brien. No reason was given for Representative Taylor’s removal, nor did they give her the courtesy of personally informing her of the decision.
“In the past fourteen years that I have served in the legislature, I have never been involved in any controversy of this nature. I have been a full participant of the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee and looked forward to continuing my work with the Committee,” said Representative Kathleen Taylor. “The Committee will oversee the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. The July 25th meeting is to establish the essential benefits of the ACA for New Hampshire citizens. The Committee will make recommendations for healthcare coverage – or not – for citizens with diabetes, heart disease, mental health and many other issues. It is obvious to me that Speaker O’Brien is working hard to not allow New Hampshire to implement an expansion of Medicaid benefits for our vulnerable citizens.”
“Our citizens have told us repeatedly that they want less partisanship and more cooperation from their elected officials. Speaker O’Brien in this legislative session has appointed fewer Democratic members to Statutory and Study Committees than any Speaker in recent history. Now he has removed the only sitting Democratic member from the Joint Health Care Reform Oversight Committee in anticipation of how that member may vote on the committee,” stated Representative Terie Norelli.
“The Speaker has taken an action to limit full public discussion and has removed an experienced voice from the table. Once again the Speaker has demonstrated that he will not tolerate viewpoints that differ from his own opinion and he dismisses the representative voice of a significant segment of New Hampshire voters. I’m sure voters will remember this Speaker’s actions when casting their votes in November.”
Concord, NH – Representative David Pierce, of Etna and a member of the House Election Law Committee, issued the following statements after the Republican majority voted to override Governor Lynch’s vetoes of SB 289, the voter ID bill, and SB 318, voter registration.
“The integrity of the voting system in New Hampshire will be compromised with this legislation and qualified voters could very well be denied their right to vote,” stated Representative Pierce. “Those voters who do not have photo identification could be disenfranchised at the polls. This bill will also cost New Hampshire money – money that we do not have – to provide cameras to the city and town clerks so they can take each voters’ mug shot, for education efforts for the voting public, and other costs associated with this legislation.”
“SB 318 also calls our elections into question. It confuses voting rights with motor vehicle law by changing the voter registration form in a way that interchanges the terms ‘domicile’ and ‘resident’ even though these terms have distinct legal meanings and legal implications.”
“Both of these bills seek to address real concerns about our election system, but they will each result in chaos at the polls and deny qualified voters their fundamental, constitutional right to cast a ballot.”
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative Randy Foose of New London and Representative Mary Stuart Gile of Concord, issued the following statements on HB 1607 and SB 372, bills which establish an education credit against the business profits tax.
“This bill would implement a tax credit for businesses offering scholarships to students attending private schools. The program extracts money from New Hampshire’s public schools in favor of funding private, religious and home schools, thus costing the state and school districts important and sparse revenues now used towards public education,” stated Representative Randy Foose.
“This legislation is an experiment using our students and their parents as the subjects. Vouchers used throughout the nation have not been proven to produce consistent data that proves that students have gained improvement in academics or that there is an improvement in public schools,” stated Representative Mary Stuart Gile. “These bills are the wrong policy for New Hampshire students and for taxpayers.”
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE –On June 14th, The House Redress of Grievances Committee voted along party lines to subpoena “sealed records” in a petition currently before the committee. Democrats on the committee voted against allowing the subpoena. The case, Petition 5 on behalf of David Johnson of Londonderry, involves a custody dispute concerning a minor child. The subpoena must still be approved by the House Rules Committee, which is chaired by Speaker O’Brien.
“Petition 5 has been before the committee for the past fifteen months and only now the Republicans on the committee are getting around to requesting more information. This committee is a waste of taxpayers’ money and a waste of state resources,” stated Representative Sandra Keans of Rochester. “The committee is delving into areas that could threaten the safety of at-risk children and could also be in violation of the HIPPA act when health records are used against a former spouse in a case. The legislature should not be going after materials that have been legitimately closed by the courts.”
“This subpoena is an attempt to unseal an envelope which was presumably sealed for good reason. The committee does not need this information to reach a fair decision on the Johnson petition,” stated Representative Tim Horrigan of Durham. “There is abundant documentation related to the Johnson petition already available to us.”
“I call on House Republicans on the Rules Committee to join me in voting against allowing this subpoena to go forward,” said Representative Terie Norelli, House Democratic Leader. “This is a brazen abuse of power which puts law abiding citizens and minor children in jeopardy of having their privacy violated by the state. This exploitation by the legislature must stop immediately before more harm is done.”
The House Redress of Grievances Committee is an archaic committee that was reinstituted by Speaker O’Brien at the beginning of this legislative session. The committee has primarily dealt with complaints from litigants in cases involving child custody and support who were displeased with the court ruling.
The Attorney General’s office has also expressed concerns about child protection issues that are subject to strict confidentiality requirements and about the subpoenas compelling people to testify or produce records before the committee.
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Representative Terie Norelli, Democratic House Leader and Representative Mary Jane Wallner, Deputy Democratic Leader and a petitioner in the case, issued the following statements on the Supreme Court’s Decision regarding the New Hampshire House Redistricting Plan.
“We are certainly disappointed that the Supreme Court declined to overturn the Republican redistricting plan. While the Court stated that the plan does not violate the NH State Constitution, we believe this flawed plan fails to honor the intent of the voters of New Hampshire who clearly expressed their opinion that every town and ward should have its own representative,” stated Representative Norelli. “For example, the Town of Pelham should have their own four State Representatives. Instead, this plan forces Pelham into a district with the Town of Hudson, which over the last decade has resulted in Pelham being significantly underrepresented in the NH Legislature.”
“The voters were clear when they overwhelmingly passed an amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution in 2006: every town and ward that has the population to support one or more representatives must have those representatives,” said Representative Mary Jane Wallner. “The fact remains that there are 62 towns and city wards that deserve their own representative that will not have that representation under the plan. Unfortunately the constitution requires the Supreme Court to give great deference to the legislature’s redistricting plan even when that plan disregards the will of the voters.”