To The Daily Sun,
While we properly focus right now on upcoming elections, we can be distracted from costly choices our government is making: war again, war some more. And war tools, like the controversial drones-bombing, that can make as many enemies among the people as hit targets, because our misses are tragic.
I want my Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Senators Ayotte and Shaheen to push for alternatives to the failed military strategy, and push for a debate and vote around military authorization for dealing with ISIS.
What are the alternatives? How can Iraqi soldiers bear the burden of fighting more war, when whatever age they've reached, for the last 11-plus years they've lived with family deaths and destroyed communities? We did that. If they run away from battles to survive, isn't that understandable?
Alternatives to war, please?
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:53
To The Daily Sun,
I am amazed at the money political candidates spend for TV ads to bad-mouth their opponents. They spend thousands and thousands of dollars to do this. I may be wrong, but I heard that a TV commercial can cost up to $30,000 for under a minute.
I would vote for the person that actually said something I want to hear without bad-mouthing their opponent. Tell me you will stop companies from moving jobs to China and other countries. Tell us you will fight for the people that voted for you and not the big corporations that funded your campaign. It seems that he who raises the most money wins.
Democrat or Republican, you all have something the other guy will find and use against you. Get down to what you are supposed to do fix this failing economy and create jobs instead of just talking about it. Stop allowing them to move to a foreign country. Put New Hampshire back on track.
One other thing: gambling is not the answer to fix our budget.
If you look hard enough you will find the answer.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:44
To The Daily Sun,
On Monday, Oct. 27, at 5 p.m., the county Commissioners will go before the Executive Committee of the Belknap County Convention for budget transfers. The county convention has sued the commissioners over the question of "Department Budget or Line Item Budget" and the judge who will issue the ruling, will do so in March 2015.
The county is on a calendar year budget, so the judge has asked the commissioners to stay within the "line item budget" until his decision is made. The judge also said if the commissioners need to transfer monies they can request transfers from the executive committee of the county convention, who will consider the request "in good faith."
What does this mean? It means, in the middle of this political turmoil is the county employee. Belknap County has loyal, dedicated employees. With all that you read in the newspapers, the county employee has received a lot of negative publicity and with the newest budget issue, and the emotional stress is taking its toll. We (the county employees) are taxpayers, too. We have mortgages, rent, heating cost, and families to care for. We shop in the area, and our monies go back into the communities we live in.
It's my hope at this meeting on Monday, Oct 27, that the executive committee of the county convention considers the commissioners' request and "in good faith — do the right thing." However, following the county convention's current track record, it's probably not going to happen. The county employees will take more cuts and layoffs to stay within the budget line item. How many more cuts are left until we lose the Nursing Home or Corrections Dept.? Are we the taxpayer ready to lose these two establishments? The funds are already in the budget, so Mr. Tilton, chair and members of the executive committee, in good faith — will you do the right thing and transfer those monies back into the appropriate lines — 230 employees are waiting.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:23
To The Daily Sun,
The Executive Committee of the Belknap County Delegation will hold a meeting on Monday, Oct. 27, at 5 p.m. at the Belknap County complex. At this meeting, the commissioners will request budget transfers that require the executive committee's approval. This process is based on the court order that was put in place by the judge since the end of August.
A major issue that affects every employee in every department of the county, is the possibility of having to come up with a large amount of money over the next eight weeks in order to fulfill the county's budgetary requirements for funding their health insurance plan to the end of 2014. Employees became aware of this potential financial shortfall on Oct. 16. To say the least, this will impose a financial hardship for county employees who continually find themselves caught in the turmoil of the micromanagement and political environment that has been created at Belknap County.
Employees have been made out to be bad, awful, untrustworthy people who want something for nothing. I know when I come to work every day, I come willing to earn my paycheck, and there are 200-plus employees just like me. The commissioners will request the transfers to be able to move the money, which is already appropriated in the budget. The money is there. It just needs to be moved from one line item to another line item within the respective department's budget.
Similar to moving money from your savings account into your checking account to pay your bills. You've already saved the money; it is in your budget. You just need to move it to the right account to pay the bill. The county has operated like this for years until this court order was imposed.
For the sake of all county employees, who come to work every day and do their jobs which serve the citizens of Belknap County, I for one am asking for the Executive Committee to approve the transfers needed to cover the costs of the health insurance.
Angela A. Bovill
Belknap County Employee
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:19
To The Daily Sun,
New Hampshire RSA 664:14 "Political Advertising" (http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/LXIII/664/664-14.htm) requires that all mail, signs, broadcasts, etc. contain both the names and the physical addresses of the candidates, parties or other entities distributing or posting material or messages. The law intends to make candidates and other advertisers identifiable, accountable and accessible to the electorate.
With one exception this season, all mail received to date from candidates, parties and advocates have clearly printed names and physical addresses, i.e. street, number, city, state, zip code. The exception is Sam Cataldo (State Senate District 6 — Alton, Barnstead, Farmington, Gilmanton, New Durham and Rochester) who recently mass-mailed what I considered venomous attack advertising against his opponent, Richard Leonard. The senator's name was on it in miniscule letters, but without a return address. Why? It was not for lack of space. I wonder what motivates or entitles a state senator to skirt election laws? On this, the Attorney General should not have to wait for a citizen's complaint.
New Hampshire's RSA 664:14 also applies to signage. Last week, I photographed the signage of many candidates in this district. With one exception — Peter Bolster, candidate for Belknap District 8 state representative (Alton, Barnstead, Gilmanton) — none of them, from state to national office, has an identifying address. Again, why? Even when the law permits the substitution of a website, provided name and address appears "immediately and prominently," none of them do so. Not to my eyes.
Republicans and Democrats alike, big ones and small ones, are avoiding accountability and access. I think the penalty should be 10 percent of their advertising budgets.
But voters should also hold the Secretary of State and the Attorney General accountable for enforcement. First, on filing to run, all candidates should immediately receive a boldfaced copy of New Hampshire's election laws. This takes care of the ignorance factor.
Second, before every campaign season, the state should send similar copies for posting in all town and city halls, libraries and post offices.
Third, similar copies should be sent to every major printer and audio-visual production house, radio and television station and mailing company. These vendors, who together make millions during campaign season, should be on notice that no material goes out the door or on the air without the full required identification.
Fourth, the state should require all candidates to file a sample or accurate image of every advertising item with the Attorney General's office. Fifth, election investigators should spot-check signage, mailings and broadcasts across the state and throughout the campaign season. If candidate Bolster is elected, I'll expect him to introduce these five measures as soon as possible.
Democracy is not served by governing New Hampshire on a complaint basis, nor should its officials be paid to sit around and wait for complaints. I think the violations are so obvious and widespread they are laughable.
Where New Hampshire's election laws are concerned, the difference between ignorance and impunity seems to be about 36 inches, the width of a plastic yard sign. I welcome and will consider voting for all candidates who abide by the laws, and I respect all officials who proactively implement and monitor their compliance.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 11:44