To The Daily Sun,
N.H. State Representatives Ray Howard (Barnstead/Alton) and Barbara Comtois (Barnstead) made it clear during the 2017 legislative session who they view as their true constituents. Although both representatives respectfully answer phone calls and emails, in the end their votes demonstrate blind and callous adherence to an ideological agenda. It is an extreme agenda that is not responsibly conservative, but rather one that slashes funding for programs and services essential to maintain the health and safety of our county and towns.
Much of the legislation supported by Representatives Comtois and Howard was sponsored by ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), which provides fill-in-the-blank bills created by Koch-funded entities and distributes them to state legislatures with the goals of turning public services and institutions over to for-profit companies and using government to protect corporate interests and profits rather than serve the common good. Right-to-Work-for-Less and bills diverting public education funds to private schools are prime examples supported by our representatives.
If your interest is in providing opportunities for the super-rich to amass even more wealth at the expense of ordinary working men and women, then you wouldn’t regret having voted for Comtois and Howard.
But if you’re not okay with that, or with their votes against the transgender rights bill (supported overwhelmingly by responsible conservatives, the N.H. Business and Industry Association, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) or with their votes for SB-3, which makes it difficult for certain groups of people to vote, please remember their votes when the 2018 midterm elections come around. We can send people to Concord who will work for the people of Barnstead and Alton.
It’s important to note that our two elected House representatives also serve on the Belknap County Convention and, in that capacity, make funding decisions for county government. Comtois and Howard voted in this session in favor of a completely inadequate budget that did not properly fund critical county services such as the staffing of the new jail and the Sheriff’s Department. That budget also greatly reduced funding for CAP (Community Action Program) which provides Meals on Wheels and senior transport, and the budget totally defunded Genesis (which provides mental health counseling) and totally defunded the Economic Development Council which provides support for workforce and business development. Their votes created a crisis that will cost all of us more money in the long run. Responsible conservatives do not make fiscally irresponsible decisions like these.
Now is the time to get involved so that we can be sure to have representatives in Concord who will work for us rather than follow an ideology born of out-of-state monied interests.
Diane St. Germain