I Support Individual Privacy Rights.
I am a strong supporter of establishing a right to individual privacy at the state level. We need to protect our citizens from having their personal information (such as your social security number) being shared by private companies without your consent, and strengthen our right against unreasonable search & seizure by the government. As things stand, the law provides almost no protection for you and your family in terms of privacy from other people. The US Constitution gives you a measure of privacy protection against intrusion by the government but as things are now, you have very little protecting your privacy from invasion by other people or corporate entities. I take personal privacy incredibly seriously, and have voted against several measures (automated license-plate scanners, etc) which would have eroded individual privacy even more.
I Support Getting Money Out Of Politics
Ever since the US Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United vs FEC, we have seen a torrential flood of anonymous money flow into our political system. This paradigm represents the potential for blatant corruption of the highest order, and gives unprecedented influence over our elections to a small number of individuals. This is completely antithetical to the basic principles our country was founded on. I support any measures possible to reverse this trend, including amending the US Constitution stipulating that corporations are not people and re-affirming the right of Congress and the states to set campaign finance laws. Over the last few decades, our federal elections have been won by the candidate who raised the most money over 90% of the time. Running for office should be a call to service, not a contest of who can pander to monied interests and lobbyists.
I Support K-12 Healthy Lunches.
Nothing is more important than our children. Keeping our children healthy is a vital priority in today’s world of easy access to junk foods and battling childhood obesity is increasingly difficult. I will support any effort to enact or expand school lunch programs focusing on nutrition-based menu selections and limiting the availability of junk foods. We can help address this at the local level by providing incentives for school districts to adopt more healthy school lunch menu choices and potentially even save money in the long term. I will strongly support efforts towards this goal.
I Support Our Teachers & Schools.
As a product of New Hampshire public schools, I feel that our teachers are an outstanding resource and deserve our full support. In years past, when I served on my local school budget committee, I was distressed to learn how difficult some teachers are finding it to serve their students without up-to-date textbooks and without adequate materials. We owe it to them to provide our full support whenever we can, and I will do my best to help raise teacher pay, escape NCLB, and support higher education whenever possible.
I Support Women.
Everyone in our society is entitled to the same basic rights as everyone else, regardless of their gender. I also understand that women have been institutionally disenfranchised by many parts of modern society, and I seek to correct those problems whenever possible. I am pro-choice, in favor of accessible contraceptives, and support women having control over their own reproductive health – I would never want the government to come between a woman and her doctor. I wrote and introduced a bill in 2014 to protect rape victims by allowing them to terminate the parental rights of their attacker. I support pay equality laws, as well as belated ratification of the equal rights amendment.
I Support Labeling Genetically Modified Food
Many consumers have concerns about the health implications of genetically modified food. I strongly support the freedom of people to know what goes into the food they eat, including products containing genetically modified organisms (aka “GMOs”). During the 2013-2014 session I voted in support of GMO labeling, and will continue to do so.
I Support Protecting Our Environment
I’m a firm believer that it’s possible to respect nature and be industrious at the same time. Each year, our society makes new advances in recycling and development of cleaner energy. I’d like to see this trend continue, and will support efforts along these lines. I don’t believe it’s practical, or necessary, to take drastic sudden steps like banning oil or anything like that. Our economy has to adapt, to be sure, but it needs to adapt at a gradual pace.
I Support Infrastructure Development.
A strong economy is built upon the foundation of a strong infrastructure. New Hampshire has an opportunity to serve the double interest of creating jobs and developing our local infrastructure at the same time. Repairing our roads and bridges and keeping our airports in good condition, are vital priorities for New Hampshire’s diverse business community and helps create opportunity for all of us. I will work hard to make sure our economic infrastructure is developed, and maintained. During the 2013-2014 term I’ve voted for numerous measures to secure funding to finally finish I-93 (aka “the little dig”) as well as repair or replace our red-list bridges.
I Support Technology & Innovation.
New Hampshire has gained a reputation as a home for high-tech business and innovation. We need to make sure that New Hampshire’s business climate fosters innovation, rather than restricting the creativity of our best and brightest. This can take the form of tax incentives, grants, and even tuition advantages for students in technology-centric majors. I will seek, and support, creative methods to encourage technological innovation here in New Hampshire and maintain our status as a center of development and growth. During the 2013-2014 session, I voted to retain and expand the R&D tax credit.
I Oppose State Sales Tax.
It doesn’t seem right to go to the store and select an item marked for sale at a price of five dollars, bring it to the counter and be asked for five dollars and twenty cents. A sales tax would provide an unnecessarily large inconvenience to New Hampshire consumers, an incredible implementation burden for New Hampshire businesses, and increased administrative overhead in Concord. While I understand, and agree with, the need to maintain a solid revenue foundation for our state budget I do not feel that a broad based consumer sales tax is a practical or appropriate measure for New Hampshire within the current budgeting paradigm.
I Oppose State Income Tax.
For similar reasons as I oppose a state sales tax, I see no need for an income tax within the current structure of our state budget. Implementing an income tax would be a significant inconvenience to everyone in the state (who would suddenly need to file state returns for the first time) as well as provide a hassle to the business community who would need to collect the tax in the first place.
I Oppose Union Busting.
Workers in any career field have a right to collective bargaining as a means to secure equitable benefits and wages for themselves. This right does not cease if one is employed by the state or a municipality. Our teachers, fire fighters, police, and other civil servants are dedicated professionals who deserve a fair livable wage and decent benefits. Professions that serve the public good should be aspired to, and not looked down upon. I will strongly oppose any measures that aim to remove or restrict collective bargaining rights for anyone in New Hampshire, and have stood by my convictions by participating in union picket lines as recently as February 2014.
I Oppose Voter Suppression.
The NH GOP invented the issue of supposed ‘voter fraud’ completely out of thin air. During the 2004 election, there were over half a million ballots cast in New Hampshire. Out of that number, a grand total of four were even suspected of any kind of fraud – with only two being suspected of intentional fraud. This is a voter fraud rate of 0.0006%. The NH GOP has continually pushed measures to suppress voter turn out in NH among demographics that are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates including students and the elderly. I strongly oppose such bills, and will work hard to restore voting rights to everyone in New Hampshire without regard to their demographics. Every vote counts!
I Oppose Most Forms Of Expanded Gambling
Expanded gambling, usually discussed in the form of one or two casinos, isn’t a good way for our state to build revenue. There is credible evidence that the social problems created by expanding gambling will end up costing the state more in the long run, and the license fees in casino bills are usually lower (by a factor of five) then they would need to be to make the plan financially viable for the state. This, of course, says nothing to the fact that the majority of money pumped into a casino would come from in-state gamblers, which removes that money from the local economy, and also ignores that no state in the US which has previously authorized casino gambling has ever successfully repealed that authorization – once a state is hooked on casinos, it never gets away. Since New Hampshire already has charitable card game gambling in the statutes, what these proposals really amount to in effect is slot machines. I have no interest in allowing New Hampshire to fall into that trap.
I Oppose Private Prisons
Recently there has been a push in the Granite State to outsource our justice into the hands of large national for-profit corporations. This horribly unethical and woefully unjust idea needs to be discarded immediately. For-Profit prisons are mathematically not capable of providing a cost-savings to the taxpayers (assuming the same level of rehabilitation is provided to those in the justice system), and also stand in very murky ethical grounds where they have a financial interest in locking people up as well as keeping people locked up. It’s not hard to imagine situations where someone is exonerated or has a medical emergency, but a for-profit prison suppresses efforts that might lead to their release – since they stand to profit from continued incarceration. The very idea of private prisons is antithetical to everything I believe in, and flies in the face of the very concept of justice itself. I pledge that I will vote against any measures to outsource our justice system.