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If you are a woman, it may not be in your interest to vote GOP

To The Daily Sun,

On Oct. 28 Mr. Ewing had yet another letter with the blanket claims that everything from the Democrats is bad and everything from the Republicans is good. He continues to make broad sweeping claims, and as you might expect many are simply opinion but stated as fact. In his last paragraph he writes "In November, vote Republican to oppose President Obama's assault on our jobs, our health, our liberties, and the unity of the American people. Vote Republican to show you want to return to proven policies that make our country strong and the American people free and prosperous."

Does Mr. Ewing want us to return to the G.W. Bush days of collapsing banks, a collapsing housing market and mistruths that led to unwarranted wars? I would think if Americans wish to go back to any time in the last two decades they may well choose the Clinton years when we did in fact prosper. Perhaps Mr. Ewing is thinking back to the days under Reagan. If so, it is widely acknowledged that Ronald Reagan could not win a Republican primary in most "red" states now as he did not hold the extreme right-wing positions that dominate the Republican Party today.

Much of what directly impacts our lives is governed at the state level. I recently saw a new survey from 24/7 Wall Street (a Delaware based LLC which runs a financial news and opinion company with content delivered over the Internet) of the 10 worst states for women to live in and another from iVillage (the largest content-driven community for women online) of the Best to Worst States for women. I looked at what they reported and then at which party governs the states identified as the best and the worst — here is what I found. I did not include the state legislative party makeup due to space and time but for those I checked it reflected that of the governor, U.S. senators and congressional reps.

24/7 Wall Street Survey — Ten Worst States for Women. Based on the gender wage gap, jobs, the poverty rate for women, the infant mortality rate and the percent of women in state legislature they found the 10 worst states for women are:

State Governor's party / Senators party / Congressional Reps party

Utah R / 2R / 3R, 1D

Wyoming R / 2R / 1R

Idaho R / 2R / 2R

Mississippi R / 2R / 3R, 1D

N. Dakota R / 1R, 1D / 1R

Montana D / 2D / 1R

S. Dakota R / 1R, 1D / 1R

Indiana R / 1R, 1D / 7R, 2D

Alabama R / 2R / 6R, 1D

Kansas R / 2R / 4R

iVillage Survey — In presenting their data iVillage wrote: "Politicians and pundits love to stir up arguments around the most divisive social and moral issues, but we know what is truly most important to us as women: We want to live in a land where women can thrive; where we can live in good health, get quality care for our kids, and have a government that truly gets our priorities. To help American women make the best decisions in those voting booths come November, iVillage examined the quality of life for women in our country today — and we found that all states are not created equal."

10 Best States for Women — 10 Worst States for Women

State Gov/Senate/Congressional Reps State Gov/Senate/Congressional Reps

Conn. D / 2D / 5D — Mississippi R / 2R / 3R, 1D

Hawaii D / 2D / 2D — Oklahoma R / 2R / 5R

Maryland D / 2D / 7D, 1R — Arkansas D / 1R, 1D / 4R

Mass. D / 2D / 9D — W. Virginia D / 2D / 2R, 1D

Calif. D / 2D / 38D, 15R — Kentucky D / 2R / 5R, 1D

Vermont D / 1D, 1I / 1D — Alabama R / 2R / 6R, 1D

New York D / 2D / 21 D, 6R — Louisiana R / 1R, 1D / 5R, 1D

Minn. D / 2D / 5D, 3R — Indiana R / 1R, 1D / 7R, 2D

Washington D / 2D / 6D, 4R — S. Carolina R / 2R / 6R, 1D

NH D / 1D, 1R / 2D — Idaho R / 2R / 2R

Both of these surveys are clear in the results — that the worst states for women to live and thrive in are states that are primarily governed and represented by Republicans and the best states identified for women to live and thrive in are primarily governed and represented by Democrats.

If you are a woman or care about women then you may want to cast a careful eye on this information and other similar surveys and carefully consider who you will vote for on Nov. 4.

Contrary to Mr. Ewing's suggestion, these surveys clearly show that if you are a woman it may not be in your best interest to vote for Republicans.

Denise Doyle

Meredith

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Until we decide public education is priority 1, society will suffer

To The Daily Sun,

In less than a week this election will be decided, and the negative political ads and the signs littering the public roads will mercifully disappear. The question this Tuesday, Nov. 4, will be on what the voters will base their decisions: On slogans, sound bites, those ubiquitous ads, signs, and mailers, or... on actually knowing the issues and the candidates.

The correct answer should be the latter, but in many cases it unfortunately will be the former. Too many voters may fail to grasp that the whole truth cannot always be found in a convenient and easily remembered phrase. Although "less taxes" (I believe to be grammatically correct that line should read "lower taxes" or "fewer taxes") and "smaller government" sound good, it is the responsible methodology and consideration to attain those ends that is the true test.

Arbitrary reduction of taxes or elimination of public employees or agencies will never be the answer. Looking to make government more responsive and efficient should always be the proper approach. Cutting taxes without replacing that source of lost income is both naive and counterproductive. Many of those who espouse such action feel that as long as they or those they know do not personally feel the pinch, or can benefit, then such action must be good. They do not understand the ripple effect such decisions can elicit. Reducing the workforce in such agencies as the Attorney General's Office, the Department of Environmental Services, and Health and Human Services, to name but a few, can mean that when help is sought, unnecessary delays can be encountered or in some cases, no help at all will be forthcoming. Reducing welfare, unemployment benefits, health-care access, mental health treatment, or aid to the developmentally disabled will only add to the burden of the taxpayer, not reduce it.

No one of us is insulated from the effects of every decision made, so it is paramount that the true consequences of our actions be completely understood. Every public servant owes it to every one of their constituents, whether they voted for that official or not, to look at every issue from all angles, and not cast a vote on any matter before them based solely on an agenda, a party's preference, or worse, on personal convenience. To do so is a disservice to the office they hold, and more importantly, to all the people they are supposed to represent.

There has been a lot of talk, some exaggerated with hyperbole, about state debt, overspending, raising taxes and fees instead of cutting them, and hurting businesses in the process. New Hampshire, by Constitution, must have a balanced budget and incur bond debt only to the extent to which its resources will allow. The impact on businesses should always be taken into consideration, but so should the larger picture in which those businesses only play a part. It is not only employers who must benefit, but employees as well. Balance on any issue is the key to success.

To blindly accept that taxes should never be raised, regardless of demonstrated need, is to ignore the simple fact that few things in life go down in price. To insist that business taxes all be cut, is to ignore the revenue requirements of the state to meet even a base level of acceptable service. The cost of those vital services continues to rise, and so should the ability of the state to address those increases with revenues adequate to meet the needs of its people.

No one lives in a vacuum. Cutting education funding affects us all. Not providing appropriate insurance coverage to the people of this state would allow uncompensated care costs to continue to spiral higher and impact private insurance premiums and hospital bills for those who can afford to pay. Not providing financial aid to those struggling will only result in making desperate people more desperate, perhaps pushing them into irresponsible action, ultimately costing the taxpayer even more in additional police, judges, courts, and jails.

And lastly, until we can all decide that public education (not funding private schools with public funds) is priority No. 1, this society will continue to suffer the ills borne of ignorance, lack of usable skills, and the despair those conditions ultimately engender.

My name is Leigh Webb, and I ask that every voter consider a dedicated approach to problem solving involving fairness, common sense, and balance. I invite anyone who seeks more information on how I view the critical issues facing this state to contact me via either phone or email using the information provided at www.nh.gov, Legislative Branch, House of Representatives Dash Board, "Find Your Representatives."

Rep. Leigh A. Webb
Merrimack Dist. 3, Franklin & Northfield

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