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Saturday, Sept. 5: Beatriz Pastor will not sacrifice her principles

Published: 9/4/2020 10:00:12 PM
Modified: 9/4/2020 10:00:01 PM
Beatriz Pastor will not sacrifice her principles

Forum contributor Karin “Maggie” May described Sue Prentiss’ “switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party some years ago.” (“Sue Prentiss will work to build consensus,” Sept. 3). But according to Prentiss’ own statements, she left the Republican Party in 2017 and her party affiliation was undeclared until she joined the Democratic Party in October 2019. I point this out not to make a surface-level argument that pits “us” Democrats against “them,” but to examine the letter’s concluding point with this correction in mind.

The assertion is that Prentiss will “build consensus” between Democrats and Republicans, which will necessarily require compromise. Prentiss was on the steering committee for former New York Gov. George Pataki’s Republican presidential campaign in 2016 — a campaign whose promises included defunding Planned Parenthood, repealing the Affordable Care Act and curbing the “overreach” of the EPA. It may be that Prentiss personally disagreed with her candidate in these areas, but if she still sought a leadership role in his campaign anyway, that demonstrates how far and what she has been willing to compromise.

Building consensus is key to all legislators’ success — but they have to know where to bend and where to remain firm. Beatriz Pastor, who served six years in the New Hampshire House, consistently worked across the aisle to find Republican co-sponsors for legislation designed to expand broadband infrastructure and incentivize people to make their homes more energy efficient, cutting their costs and helping the environment.

There are many issues where Republicans and Democrats are eager to work together and find commonsense solutions that take each other’s perspectives into account. There are other issues — reproductive rights, equal access to affordable care, protecting the environment — where Democratic voters may not be willing to compromise, and they should be sure that their state senator knows where to draw those lines. As Beatriz Pastor’s campaign manager, I know firsthand that she will be an effective advocate for the people of District 5, building consensus that leads to real progress without sacrificing the principles that bind Democrats together.

MATTHEW FAY

Lebanon

Sue Prentiss has broad support

In a political campaign, as in all organizations, the culture and the tone come from the top. In her campaign for state Senate, Sue Prentiss has faced numerous personal attacks, and through it all she has never wavered from her values-driven, positive campaign to share her record of results and her specific qualifications to serve the families and communities of District 5.

Her hard work, persistence and dedication have earned her the support of a broad group of people throughout the district. Not only do Lebanon’s four state representatives — Richard Abel, Susan Almy, Laurel Stavis and George Sykes — support her, but so do Reps. Roger Dontonville and Josh Adjutant who serve Enfield. In Claremont, Reps. John Cloutier, one of the longest-serving representatives in New Hampshire, and Gary Merchant are supporters, and former Lyme state Rep. Ruth Bleyler is, too.

Prentiss’ coalition includes local officials, such as Claremont Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and City Councilor Nick Koloski, Enfield’s Selectboard chair, Kate Plumley Stewart, Grafton County Commissioner Wendy Piper and former Sullivan County Manager Jessie Levine. Mascoma Valley Regional School Board member Bridget Labrie is supporting her. Lebanon Mayor Tim McNamara, former Mayor Georgia Tuttle, and current and past city councilors are supporting her, including Assistant Mayor and former District 5 state Sen. Clifton Below, the first Democrat elected to this seat. Her coalition includes labor: the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, Teamsters Local 633, the State Employees Association/SEIU 1984, and the AFL-CIO.

What Sue Prentiss does best is connect with people to solve problems. During her campaign, she has connected with people throughout the district, including local, state and county officials. She has put in the time to meet with people and learn about the families, small businesses and communities of District 5. This is exactly what we need in our next state senator. And it’s why Sue Prentiss will be such an effective leader in Concord. Please vote on Tuesday.

KAREN LIOT HILL

Lebanon

The writer is a Lebanon city councilor, serves as Grafton County treasurer and is campaign manager for Sue Prentiss.

Sue Prentiss is a community leader

I find it discouraging to see Sue Prentiss attacked in the Valley News Forum. I had hoped this new normal of attack and smear would not be embraced here in the Upper Valley.

I met Sue Prentiss 11 years ago. We were (and still are) colleagues on the Lebanon City Council. In the past 11 years we have become friends and I have come to admire her as a community leader, tireless worker and advocate for Lebanon and its Citizens. She is always willing to look at any issue from the position of, “How can we make this better?” Her commitment to the citizens of Lebanon has never been partisan. Her work ethic and 11 years of experience in local government guarantees that District 5 will get, in Sue Prentiss, a hard-working, problem-solving public servant who is dedicated, honest, open-minded and fair, with a background in public safety.

Sue Prentiss is not only a good choice, she is the only choice. She has my support.

BRUCE BRONNER

Lebanon

The writer represents Ward 2 on the Lebanon City Council.

Dan Feltes builds bipartisan success

New Hampshire is a purple state. For lasting change, we still need buy-in from both parties. Democrats have been in full control for only two terms since the Civil War. We’ve had no or partial control since 2010, and unable to reverse much of the damage caused in 2011-12 to state finances, sustainable energy and climate goals, property tax burdens and other initiatives, because the House or the Senate or the governor can block the rest from changing existing law. This is why I want Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes to win the Democratic primary for governor on Tuesday.

Feltes puts almost as much thought into the politics of an issue as he does into the issue itself. During three terms as senator, he worked closely with Sen. Jeb Bradley, the Republican majority leader, on an issue core to both: renewable, clean energy. The two took turns as prime sponsor of successful bills to restore low-income assistance for energy efficiency measures, increase solar installations for low-income residents, cut landfill and fuel sulfur emissions and reduce utility rates.

With the opioid epidemic as a backdrop, Feltes was prime sponsor of successful Democratic bills to add general addiction coverage to managed health care contracts, streamline authorizations and ease addiction licensure constraints.

With outside partners, he got a bipartisan bill passed requiring an attorney to represent an indigent defendant at risk of incarceration for nonpayment of fines. In 2019, a bipartisan coalition, with Sen. Martha Hennessey and Feltes, passed the major bail reform law.

Dan Feltes’ bipartisan successes also include a major upgrade in the state’s care for children’s mental health, juvenile court, the childhood lead poisoning bill, a foster care children’s bill of rights, and improved dementia training for senior residential and community facilities.

SUSAN ALMY

Lebanon

The writer represents the Grafton 13 district in the New Hampshire House.

Liza Draper will be a strong voice

This letter is in support of Liza Draper, who is running to represent the Sullivan 5 district in the New Hampshire House. As someone who represented Claremont’s Ward 3 for 12 years, I am certain that she brings the experience, skills and dedication needed to make an excellent legislator.

Draper has a passion about education and public health, as well as an unparalleled commitment to social justice. She will be a strong voice for working families, especially in regards to accessing affordable health care and equitable school funding. I am convinced that she will be an articulate advocate in Concord on issues such as ensuring a living wage, as well as race and gender equality.

She has been a taxpayer and resident of Claremont for almost 20 years, and in that time has been an active participant in a spectrum of community initiatives and projects ranging from her children’s PTA to being a Fiske Free Library trustee to volunteering with the Claremont Farmers’ Market, to name a few. In 2019, she was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the New Hampshire Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

It is imperative that this election cycle we especially send our best to Concord. Liza Draper is that person and will make us proud. Join me in electing Liza Draper as the next state representative for the Sullivan 5 district — Claremont’s Ward 3.

RAYMOND GAGNON

Claremont

Jim Murphy shows leadership, respect

I offer a full endorsement of Jim Murphy as New Hampshire state representative for the Grafton 12 district.

I have known Murphy — “Murph” — for 41 years, from the first day of our internship at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital through his retirement in 2019. He is honest, forthright, sensitive and contemplative, yet realistic.

Many are privileged in the Upper Valley. His practice of medicine has exposed him to the economic, social and medical disparities and challenges of those not only in our town but universally. This exposure, and the manner in which he practiced medicine, allowed him as an administrator at New London Hospital in the latter years of his career to proffer a broad approach to the provision of community health care.

The qualities of his leadership, commitment, respect and values are reflected in his family, children, grandchildren and friends. I have shared these experiences with him and his wife, Wendy, over the past four decades and found these qualities and faith unwavering.

Our county, state and country would be well-served by those whose values and principles, like Jim Murphy’s, are unselfish — caring as much about the community as themselves.

BENITA WALTON

Hanover

Jim Murphy is an excellent leader

I am writing this letter in profound support of Jim Murphy, a Democratic candidate for the New Hampshire House representing the Grafton 12 district.

I have known and worked alongside Murphy for many years while functioning as tandem chief medical officers at New London Hospital. Not only does “Murph” have the intelligence, compassion and drive to be an excellent leader, he importantly has the calm demeanor and integrity that will prove to be an asset during unsettled times. As we battle COVID-19, his knowledge of health care and public health will be of tremendous value.

I hope you will consider, and vote for, Jim Murphy in Tuesday’s primary.

GREG CURTIS

Hanover

Riley Gordon offers needed perspective

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to think deeply about the future of this country. In the past few months, we have not only been faced with a once-in-a-century health crisis and the corresponding economic fallout, but also the renewed calls to finally put an end to systematic racism as well as a reminder of the life-altering effects of climate change. We’re often asked to consider how to make our state and country better for our children and grandchildren, but we rarely have the opportunity to hear from the young voices that will inhabit this rapidly evolving world. On Tuesday, however, we have the option to elect one of these new voices to our Statehouse. That’s why I am writing to express my support for Riley Gordon for state representative from Hanover and Lyme, and I ask that you consider voting for him.

Gordon is passionate. He cares. He is committed to improving the lives of Granite Staters, and I know from experience that, if elected, he will work tirelessly in Concord to accomplish these goals. He wants to make New Hampshire greener, enact measures to prevent gun violence and protect the right to vote for everyone.

He also offers an additional benefit: He will engage the young Democratic voters necessary to make sure President Donald Trump loses this November, and has already coordinated voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts that have led to record-breaking turnout totals in Hanover.

Gordon is experienced. In high school, he organized school walkouts to protest gun violence. In college, he has served as the president of Dartmouth Democrats, energizing and mobilizing the future of this country. He also worked as a policy writer under Rep. Garrett Muscatel to develop legislation, including bills that passed the New Hampshire Statehouse unanimously.

Young leadership can make a difference in this state and this country. Considering the average age of the New Hampshire Statehouse is 61, this 19-year-old will bring a needed perspective to Concord. I hope you’ll join me in supporting him.

DEVAN FINK

Hanover




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