To The Daily Sun,
The people of New Hampshire cannot afford to allow Joe Kenny to be elected to the Executive Council.
The Executive Council, unique to this state, is another "check" on the state's executive branch. The council provides "advice and consent" to the N.H. Governor when he or she spends money allocated by the Legislature, appoints judges of all state courts, grants pardons and commutations, or performs other duties. The job is too important to go to an ideological extremist like Mr. Kenny.
Mr. Kenny's supporters may tell you that as a Republican, he is the "natural" replacement for the late Councilor Ray Burton. But, Ray and Mr. Kenny could not be more dissimilar. I knew Ray and found him to be a fine gentleman who encouraged everyone, especially young people, to be part of the political process. Politically, Ray was a moderate Republican who was re-elected for years by members of both parties. The main reason he kept his seat on the council for so many years was that he was a moderate who could talk with — and respect — Granite Staters of all political persuasions
Although a Republican, Ray distanced himself from extremist conservative movements like the Tea Party, the Free Staters, and the "Birthers." He truly "reached across the aisle" and gave constituent advice to everyone. As a result, both Republicans and Democrats voted for him over and over again but he never took a single vote for granted. His death came too soon and he will be sorely missed.
Joe Kenny, on the other hand, is an extremist with an anti-worker, anti-education, and anti-woman agenda. He would like to distance himself from the extremism he has shown as a state senator now that he is running for Executive Councilor but the record speaks for itself.
Most disturbing has been his record on reproductive rights in the New Hampshire Senate. He is openly anti-choice and seems to like to target Planned Parenthood over the abortion issue in spite of the fact that much more money is spent by the organization providing other women's health services such as pre-natal care, contraception, and cancer screens.
As a N.H. Senator, he voted to defund Planned Parenthood, forcing it to curtail its contraceptive and STD prevention programs. He also voted for the parental notification bill, against emergency contraception (the "morning after pill"), and against extending Medicaid funding for family planning service.
When it comes to health care, Mr. Kenny seems to take his conservative principles so seriously, that he opposes expanding Medicaid in the state. Even though the startup and initial expansion of Medicaid would be funded fully by the federal government and provide health care for thousands of citizens, Mr. Kenny, like others on the extreme right, seem more interested in seeing Obamacare fail than in the health and welfare of people in this state. His record on the environment is not much better. He voted against the regional greenhouse initiative. He also was opposed to a law that would help protect children from lead poisoning.
Moreover, in the State Senate, he worked hard to prevent the state from taking even reasonable, moderate steps to try and control the escalating gun violence that is in the news every day. He voted in favor of New Hamshire's "Stand Your Ground Law" which is an invitation for abuse and unnecessary uses of force.
While in the Senate, Mr. Kenny also voted to make New Hampshire a "right to work" state. In spite of the positive-sounding name, "right to work" laws are lobbied for by big business to take away workers' rights.
Finally, it is very disturbing that Mr. Kenny has the endorsement of the extreme right in his district. For example, a far-right website Granite Grok seems to be behind him. Rep. Charlotte Worseman, another "pro-life" far-right ideologue who is currently using the Belknap County Convention as a forum for her intolerant extremism has also endorsed Mr. Kenny.
Joe Kenny is no Ray Burton. I guess Ray might resent the comparison but knowing Ray, he is probably stretched out on his cloud right now laughing at the very implication.
E. Scott Cracraft