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Forum, Aug. 28: Legislative experience pays off

Published: 8/28/2020 4:58:54 PM
Modified: 8/28/2020 5:09:40 PM

Legislative experience pays off

A recent Valley News article reported on some Democrats’ belief that it has been too long since someone from Lebanon served in the state Senate (“Primary Source: Lebanon Democrats eye open Senate seat, May 13”). For the record, I lived in Lebanon for three of the four years I served as your state senator, from 2013 to 2016.

I hope my friends and neighbors throughout District 5 believe I served them well, but where I lived was not nearly as important as the six years I served in the House, where I worked proudly alongside Beatriz Pastor, who is running for the Democratic nomination for the District 5 Senate seat. I remember being impressed with how quickly Beatriz became a powerful advocate for her constituents. She’s smart and passionate, and I know with certainty Beatriz will bring that same energy and commitment to the state Senate.

In choosing which candidate to support, I always try to understand what triggered and sustains each candidate’s passion for service. Beatriz tells the story how, while attending college in Spain during the Franco years, she went to the student union and saw that students had set up several mimeograph machines and were risking arrest for simply printing flyers that called for opposition to the fascist regime. Beatriz marks that as the time she learned about risk and courage, and about her own will to fight for progressive values.

I don’t know Beatriz’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Sue Prentiss, nearly as well as I do Beatriz. I don’t know what triggered Sue to leave the Republican Party and then become a Democrat, but I’m glad she did. I applaud her because it’s in times like these, with Trump at the helm in D.C., and Sununu in Concord vetoing the Democratic legislature’s best ideas, that we need more people to step up and be counted.

I proudly support Beatriz Pastor’s campaign and I urge the Democratic voters of Lebanon and the rest of District 5 to vote for her so they can see real, lasting progress on the issues we progressives care about.

David Pierce

Watertown, Mass.

House terms don’t
predict Senate success

I write to support Sue Prentiss for New Hampshire Senate District 5. Sue demonstrates the necessary experience and leadership skills to be a successful state senator. Whether it be her advocacy for state funding for the Westboro railroad yard, her service as project director for the Geisel School of Medicine’s rural health outreach initiative, or her work in emergency medical services statewide, Sue’s record shows a robust defense of the interests and rights of citizens and a clear proclivity for getting things done; hers is a “boots-on-the-ground” approach that will be refreshing to voters in District 5.

Recent letters to the Valley News have emphasized prior legislative experience as needed for the state Senate. As a former state legislator, I must be missing something. Our current senator, Martha Hennessey, ran after having served only a single term in the state House, as did Matthew Houde, a senator who preceded her. Sen. Hennessey is now retiring from a distinguished career fighting for families, women and children. Of course, some legislators serve longer than others, but there is simply no evidence that time spent in the House gives one an advantage in the Senate.

Sue will bring a very different kind of experience to the Senate. Her record as Lebanon city councilor and mayor show someone who values local community first: She’s committed to in-person conversations with constituents and regular communication with representatives of localities in our district. Similarly, as bureau chief of the state EMS, she worked with stakeholders statewide to implement needed change.

The last time I saw Sue was in the lobby of Sen. Shaheen’s office in Washington. She was there to petition for the legal means and federal dollars to allow military surgeons to work in local trauma teams. If this effort doesn’t show the initiative, drive and commitment to service required for the state Senate, I don’t know what does.

Please join me in voting for Sue Prentiss in the Democratic primary.

Wendy Piper


Piper is a Grafton County commissioner.

‘Murph’: An exceptional doctor and candidate

It is with tremendous enthusiasm that we endorse Jim Murphy for a seat in the N.H. House of Representatives for Hanover and Lyme. Murph is an exceptional candidate.

He is, above all, a caring human being, and driven to serve our district and our state with decency and deliberative thought. This is especially important in the time of COVID-19 with the economic, health care and personal tolls that have resulted. There is nothing more important to Murph than his lovely family and being a friend of his feels like being part of that family.

Murph has lived and worked in the Upper Valley for 40 years and is passionate to help in the fight to bring prosperity and health back to New Hampshire.

Murph was an exceptional student, educator and physician serving DHMC, the Geisel School of Medicine and most recently, as chief medical officer at New London Hospital. Perhaps most importantly, he is a person who is always there for his family, friends and neighbors.

As far as the details on his stance on the issues check out his website, murph2020.org, where you will find that Murph is on the right side of history. As you would expect, quality health care is a top priority for him: expanding and improving the Affordable Care Act, negotiating better prescription drug prices for Medicare and protecting the health care rights of women and older Americans. Murph believes that anyone who is a resident or domiciled in the state has the right to vote in all elections, and favors fair immigration policies, unlike the cruelty of the Trump administration policies. He believes in aggressively addressing climate change and, again, reversing the damage done over the last few years. He will fight for responsible gun ownership, social and racial justice and a fair economy for all.

Please visit his website, and most importantly, vote on Sept. 8!

Roger and Linda McWilliams


Support for
Volinsky and Pastor

Andru Volinsky and Beatriz Pastor are the best choices for the future of New Hampshire. Both Andru and Beatriz have fought consistently through the years for progressive causes, Volinsky as lawyer fighting for equitable school funding, and Beatriz with a consistent commitment to climate action and climate justice. In this moment we need to know that our representatives in government will not waiver from the fight for a progressive future. Both Andru and Beatriz are endorsed by 350NH (350nh.org), an organization dedicated to fighting climate change by working to prevent the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure. They are both endorsed by Rights and Democracy New Hampshire (radnh.org), an organization fighting for a livable wage, quality health care and fair education funding for all. Andru and Beatriz are endorsed by the NH Youth Movement (nhyouthmovement.org) an organization of young people and students fighting to solve the problems of racial injustice, the opioid epidemic, unaffordable college, and diminished economic opportunity for young people.

All these organizations recognize that many in New Hampshire are being left behind and are not sharing in the prosperity that exists here. They recognize that Volinsky and Pastor are friends and allies in the fight to stem the climate crisis. Join these grassroots organizations in supporting a safe and healthy future for New Hampshire and vote for Beatriz Pastor for state Senate and Andru Volinsky for governor in the New Hampshire primary on Sept. 8.

James Graham


A singing cowboy’s GOP platform

So the GOP convention is not going to bother to write a platform. I was pondering the significance of this while drinking my morning coffee, from my favorite coffee cup — a Roy Rogers cup. On this cup are written “Roy Rogers Riders Rules.” There are 10 of them, and it occurred to me that they might serve as a good Republican Party platform. Here they are: 1) Be neat and clean; 2) Be courteous and polite; 3) Always obey your parents; 4) Protect the weak and help them; 5) Be brave but never take chances; 6) Study hard and learn all you can; 7) Be kind to animals and take care of them; 8) Eat all your food and never waste any; 9) Love God and go to Sunday school; 10) Always respect our flag and our country.

Happy trails to you, GOP!

William Donahue


Valley News

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