New Hampshire lawmakers have introduced more than a dozen bills that would make registering to vote more difficult for citizens in New Hampshire. With NH's top election official recently affirming that there is "no evidence of widespread voter fraud" in the state, these partisan proposals appear to be little more than one party's attempt to suppress the vote among people who don't agree with them. Rollbacks and restrictions are not the answer.
As our nation bids farewell to its first African American president, it seems fitting to reflect on the state of race relations in America and the meaning of Barack Obama in our lives. For us, as for so many other people, the story is both personal and political.
Our Obama story began on June 21st, 2007, the day we met each other and heard a youthful Senator Obama speak on Capitol Hill. At that time, we could scarcely imagine he would be elected president of the United States the following year, or that we would fall in love across racial, cultural, and continental divides. But, as we like to say, God has a sense of humor…
On Dec. 19, a group of citizens totaling 0.00017 percent of the American population will officially choose the next president of the United States. If the 538 members of the Electoral College are faithful to tradition, they will elect Donald Trump. If they are faithful to the framers of the Constitution, they will not.
Tradition says that pledged electors vote en masse for the presidential candidate who wins a plurality of votes in their state. By that logic, Trump, who won the toss-up states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by 1 percent to secure an Electoral College majority, will be our president.
Our Founding Fathers did not agree with this tradition
Old Saint Nicholas was famous for giving presents. The 4th-century bishop of Myra is said to have left coins in the shoes of poor children, delivered wheat to families in times of famine, and even brought innocent dead back to life through his prayers. In one of the most enduring accounts of his life, the white-bearded saint dropped a bag of gold down a poor man's chimney to pay for his daughter's dowry and spare her from servitude. The precious gift landed in the young woman's stocking, hung by the fireplace to dry.
Although I am no modern-day Saint Nick, I, like many of you, have gradually come to know the joy of giving and the good that may be accomplished when we share a portion of what we have with others. As Christmas appeals for year-end giving pile up, I would like to present a few of my favorite charities for your consideration, in honor of old Saint Nick.
It's been too weeks since Election Day and I know we can all think of reasons not to give thanks.
Losing a tight race in the face of unfair attacks, after all we did together, was hard. Seeing my candidate for president win the popular vote and lose the White House to a man I deem unfit for such an office was even harder. Watching acts of bigotry and hate against people I love, and occasional violent protests against the President-elect, spill out across our country is harder still.
How do we respond this Thanksgiving?
Although we did not win on Tuesday night, I am proud of what we accomplished together against the odds. Facing a four-term incumbent with 28 years in elective office and a 20,000 voter registration advantage in this gerrymandered district, we campaigned hard to Democrats, Republicans, and Independents and won more votes than our opponent has ever won before – until Tuesday's Trump wave. Our 61,393 vote total (46%) was nearly double the number of registered Democrats, and our loss in District 5 was shared by Hillary Clinton, Maggie Hassan, and other well-known Democrats on the ballot. None of this would have been possible without your support.
Seven months ago, I launched my campaign for Executive Council with a simple promise: People First. I promised to put public service before partisan ideology by focusing on the issues that matter most to Granite Staters: adding middle class jobs, turning back the heroin and opioid epidemic, protecting women’s health care, fighting big money in politics, and building an innovative and sustainable economy with clean energy, broadband, and commuter rail.
After holding dozens of forums, attending hundreds of events, meeting thousands of voters, and traveling thousands of miles through all 33 towns in District 5, I am as convinced as ever of the need for new leadership on the Executive Council. And I am ready to offer my all as your public servant.
"Throughout my life and throughout this campaign, I have met too many Republicans who love their country just as much as I to believe they are the enemy,” said Dan Weeks. “As a government reformer, I was privileged to work with Republican leaders like former Gov. Walter Peterson and former Senators Warren Rudman and Alan Simpson on a cause we all share: stopping big money in politics so the people's voice is heard. Today, I still believe we can find ways to work together on important issues like rail, renewable energy, and affordable healthcare for the common good. I'm honored to earn the support of such respected Republican leaders, and I'm eager to get to work on behalf of all of District 5 – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – after the election."
In a presidential election cycle in which we have seen the very opposite of good character displayed at the highest level, Dan is the antithesis of that. I am hoping and praying - indeed, trusting - that on Tuesday the good people of District 5 will take a stand for decency and "what love looks like in public" by joining me in electing my comprehensively loving husband, Dan.
One year ago, the New Hampshire Executive Council shocked state leaders and the law enforcement community by blocking the appointment of Dorothy Graham for district court judge. Three executive councilors opposed Graham because of her work as a public defender, providing legal representation to indigent criminal defendants as required by the U.S. Constitution.
It did not matter to the three Republican councilors that Graham had impressive legal credentials and decades worth of experience litigating cases in court. It did not matter that she was highly regarded by the legal and law enforcement community, and was even publicly endorsed by the Manchester chief of police who had opposed her in court. It did not matter that she represented a fresh voice for the judiciary based on her extensive work with some of the most vulnerable members of society.
Executive Council candidate Dan Weeks (D-Nashua) today rode his bike nearly 50 miles across District 5, stopping at high schools and colleges to raise awareness about clean energy and encourage young people to vote. The ride from Nashua to Rindge included visits to Nashua Community College, Franklin Pierce University, Souhegan HS, Milford MS, and ConVal MS, as well as a tour of the state's largest solar array in Peterborough with town leaders. Dan addressed hundreds of students and left nonpartisan voter information cards at schools.
Wheeler gave us a reasoned explanation of why the state should not fund Planned Parenthood services ... We feel that sort of ideological-driven decision-making is the wrong approach to the job in any case, but particularly dangerous when members of a five-member council see the job as some sort of super-Legislature, being able to strong-arm policy by overriding or side-stepping the lawmaking process.
Weeks strikes us as equally strong on matters of policy, but cognizant of the council’s actual role ... He strikes us as not only bright and energetic, but also more than capable of reviewing and understanding the reams of paperwork required of a councilor. Despite his ideological underpinnings, Weeks says he’ll be able to review and approve contracts and make appointments based on their value to the state rather than his own preferences. That’s the approach voters should be looking for in council candidates.