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Rep. Groen is a disgrace to Republican Party & to humanity

To The Daily Sun,

To say that I am outraged at the disrespectful and completely inappropriate comments made by state Rep. Warren Groen of Rochester last week to a group of fourth-grade students from Lincoln H. Akerman School in Hampton Falls is a gross understatement.

These young children worked hard, both in school and on their own, to create a bill which would name the red-tailed hawk as the official state raptor. What a seemingly fantastic real-world experience to understand the workings of government, from the inception of an idea for a bill to its ultimate acceptance or defeat. Did Rep. Groen spoke to the measure and to the children on a fourth-grade level? Absolutely not. He chose to shoot their bird out of the sky by treating them as adults, using as a crutch the argument that he didn't know if free speech should be limited or if the attendance in the gallery should.

Are you kidding me, Rep. Groen? Do you honestly believe that by stating your belief that the bird "would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood" due to its aggressive hunting methods was even remotely appropriate? It is quite clear from both his platform and voting record, Rep. Groen has an anti-abortion agenda. To allude to this at such a time, in front of a young audience who don't even understand the concepts of abortion or Planned Parenthood, is repugnant.

The message that he sent to these young, conscientious students was nothing short of discouraging. What child going forward would feel comfortable or have the desire to participate in politics when their hard work has been mocked and translated into an adult agenda that they didn't even understand?

As a member of the Republican Party, I must say that you do not speak for me, sir, nor do I support the callous and cruel remarks you made which were aimed at such an innocent group of children. Bullseye! You are a disgrace not only to the party, but to humanity itself. Shame on you, Rep. Warren Groen!

Victoria Bradley

Holderness

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Labor unions are essential to the working and middle classes

To The Daily Sun,

Unions give power to the workers. The organization of labor and subsequent collective bargaining allow the workers to seek a greater share of the wealth being generated by the company. A union can also prevent or at least fight against workplace injustices and unilateral unfair worker related decisions by management.

Whether you personally like unions or dislike them they are essential for the well-being of the working class and the middle class — the 99 percent. No one in New Hampshire is required to join a union. Even in a unionized business you will find those who are not members. Those non-union members however do receive all the benefits of a union member. That is why they are required to pay a fee to the union to support the collective agreement.

Since the 1960s, union membership in the United Stated has been on the decline. During the union membership "hay day" only about one-third of all workers were in unions. But, with this level of membership, the country had a strong middle class. All workers, union and non-union, benefited by this ratio. As we have all seen, now that union membership has declined our middle class is disappearing.

According to a research project by Jaumotte and Buitron, lower rates of workers in unions has contributed to more income going to the wealthiest. Income inequality today is as high as it has been since 1917. The top 10 percent of earners receive more than one-half of all income distributed. Jaumotte and Buitron 's research also found that reduction (or stagnation) in minimum wages has increased wage inequality "considerably."

If we look back over time we see that labor unions: (1) gave us the weekend, (2) helped end child labor, (3) won widespread employee-based health coverage, and, (4) fought for The Family and Medical Leave Act. This according to a source in www.thinkprogress.org.

So, regardless of your personal feeling about organized labor, unions are essential to the working and middle classes in America. If you see efforts to weaken unions, such as right-to-work legislation, or destroying collective bargaining, these actions are not in our best interest. Union busting is a national tragedy and is detrimental to the well-being of you and me, the middle class, and our nation.

Tom Dawson

Laconia

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