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Warren vows to fight corruption, tax wealthy at event in Hanover

  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., makes her entrance to a ballroom at the Hanover Inn while stumping for the New Hampshire Primary in Hanover, N.H., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks to an overflow crowd in a presidential primary event at the Hanover Inn as her dog Bailey chews on a treat in the front row in Hanover, N.H., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at the Hanover Inn while campaigning for the New Hampshire Primary, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Max Levis, of White River Junction, left, and Dana Ludmer, of West Lebanon, listen back to a portion of Elizabeth Warren's campaign appearance as supporters have photographs taken with the Massachusetts senator following the event at the Hanover Inn Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/2/2020 10:05:47 PM
Modified: 1/3/2020 3:36:58 PM

HANOVER — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Thursday framed her run for president as a fight against corruption and big business interests hampering middle-class prosperity.

In a roughly 1½-hour town hall event, she promised to “end lobbying as we know it,” beef up regulation of big banks and polluters, and force politicians to disclose their donors.

“I’m in this fight because I see a Washington that for decades now has worked just a little bit better, and a little bit better, and a little bit better for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” she told about 600 people gathered at the Hanover Inn.

Warren, 70, went on to declare that “it is time for a wealth tax in America,” one capable of funding a more robust education system and wiping out student loan tuition.

Warren’s “ultra-millionaire tax” would charge the wealthiest Americans an annual 2% tax on every dollar of net worth over $50 million, and assess a 6% tax on assets above $1 billion. She says it can bring in more than $3 trillion to rebuild the middle class.

“You may have heard there’s some billionaires that don’t like this, right? One of them went on TV and cried. It was so sad,” she said sarcastically. “Another one decided to run for president, thought it would be cheaper than paying a 2-cent wealth tax.”

Before the event, Warren also discussed President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial and criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for past statements that the Senate would work in “total coordination” with the White House on Trump’s defense.

“That’s not his job. He didn’t  take an oath of loyalty to a particular person or to a political party. He took an oath of loyalty to the Constitution of the United States,” Warren said during an interview with the Valley News.

She said the Senate should be able to hear witness testimony in the Senate, as well as documentary evidence, such as emails, that Trump blocked from House proceedings.

Warren said she had not seen recent comments from Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who told Maine Public Radio this week that it is “inappropriate” for “senators on either side of the aisle to prejudge the evidence before they have heard what is presented to us.”

If the president wants to put on a defense, Warren said, she’s glad to hear it. But blocking subpoenas or blocking access to documents “doesn’t advance a fair trial.”

Warren also touched on her opposition to New Hampshire’s new voter residency law, calling the measure “anti-democratic.”

The senator has previously sided with two Dartmouth College students who sued the state last year, claiming the law amounts to a poll tax because it forces those who register to vote to also register their motor vehicles in the Granite State.

“The Republicans don’t want to see students vote, and I assume that’s because they think that a majority of those students are not likely to embrace the Republican agenda,” she said.

New Hampshire Republicans, including Gov. Chris Sununu, argue the law protects the integrity of elections and is less stringent than residency requirements in neighboring states, including Massachusetts.

“Let’s just be clear what that argument means: They think there’s someone else who does it worse and that makes it OK to try to keep students from voting?” Warren said.

Warren’s visit to Hanover marks her 195th town hall event and comes during her 26th trip to the Granite State. Earlier in the day, she held a town hall in Concord to discuss efforts to create a “family-friendly economy.”

Warren is polling around fourth place in New Hampshire with about 13% support, according to a Real Clear Politics polling average. Nationally, she’s polling around 15%, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

But several of Warren’s supporters made the trip to see her in Hanover, filling the Inn’s main function room and an adjacent “overflow” room.

The senator’s commitment to working-class Americans attracted the support of Woodstock resident Catie Baumgartner.

“I have student loans. I am trying to make ends meet as a young professional and pay a lot for health insurance,” she said.

The senator also has an energy that makes people hopeful for change, Baumgartner added.

“She makes you believe she can do anything, and she’s such a contrast to what’s currently in the White House,” she said. “I think we need someone like that to go up against Trump.”

Warren’s pledges to invest in social services and training for the poor are also important to West Lebanon resident Laura Gillespie, who works at the Upper Valley Haven.

“I see a lot of people who are struggling to make ends meet and I’m very worried about income inequality and a disappearing middle class,” she said. “Elizabeth Warren speaks to those issues for me.”

Gillespie said she hasn’t yet committed to a candidate for the upcoming primary but is interested in seeing a woman become president.

“I thought it would happen in the last election,” she said.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.

Correction

U.S. S    en. Elizabeth Warren's "ultra-millionaire tax"  would require wealthy households to pay an annual 2% tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million and a 6% tax on assets above $1 billion. An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the proposal.




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