This month’s debate between Gov. Chris Sununu and his opponent, Sen. Tom Sherman, was predictable. The governor paraded out all the usual talking points, catch phrases, and evasions. Sen. Sherman stated facts: our property tax rates and energy bills have ballooned on the GOP’s watch. The GOP-dominated Executive Council definitely delayed accepting federal funding for COVID assistance, costing precious time during a deadly pandemic. The GOP/Free State-led Legislature did pass an abortion ban, which Sen. Sherman voted against, and Governor Sununu signed into law. This administration consistently supports its big-oil donors, not the innovators we need to expand our energy economy and address climate change.
As older adults, my husband and I reject Sununu’s patronizing characterization of an “elderly family on a fixed income,” needing to be protected from clean energy. We’re not doddering victims of big government. For starters, we’re very grateful for Medicare, and there’s just been a welcome 8.7% increase for Social Security, thanks to Democrats’ leadership in Congress and the Biden administration. The governor’s GOP made it very clear in the primary campaigns it seeks to get rid of both. We also like the stability of government insured investments, not under-regulated corporate stocks that react to every economic and political crush or disappointment like hormone-addled teenagers.
As retired teachers and grandparents, we want our tax dollars invested in projects that will create benefit for generations of Americans to come, not flushed down the black hole of schemes like “Education Freedom Accounts.” The Governor called Sen. Sherman an “elitist” for opposing EFAs, but over 90% of the children now enrolled in this program were already in private or home schools. The Legislature budgeted about $130,000 for the first year. Already, it’s cost taxpayers at least $8 million, with no cap and no mechanism for public oversight. The Governor touts “choice,” but it’s certainly not our choice to have millions skimmed from funding meant for the public good – education, health, investment in a livable environment – and diverted into the pockets of completely unaccountable individuals and organizations. This is Robin Hood on its head, robbing workers and property owners like us to give to the wealthy.
Since we moved to NH eight years ago, we have grown to love our new home for its beauty, all the opportunities to be active in civic life, and the independent thinking that are hallmarks of this state. Our hope is that truly Independent voters will recognize how extreme the GOP has become. Gov. Sununu and the GOP are anything but fiscally responsible conservatives looking out for the “little guy.” They like to paint Democrats as tax-and-spend elites, but he and his cronies have called the shots for years, and we’re all paying the price, while they reap the benefits. Time to elect a Governor, Legislature, and Executive Council that represent us. Vote Blue.
(Sources: the NH State Government website, www.nh.gov., information aggregation site www.votesmart.org, and audio, video, and transcripts of the debates, all available online).