October, 16 2018
To the Editor: Vote or surrender?

Although not an advocate of full democracy, Plato’s caution from 2,500 years ago is still apt: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” To elaborate on what Plato had to say, what happens is we end up with a kakistocracy, a term that I’ve become all too familiar with having observed the current presidential administration and the Republican-led Congress (both chambers) over the last two years. Merriam Webster describes it as “government by the worst people.”

Martha Gellhorn, an American novelist, a travel writer, and journalist who served as an inspiration to American novelist, Ernest Hemingway, once asserted: “People often say with pride, ‘I’m not interested in politics.’ They might as well say, ‘I’m not interested in my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, my future or any future...’ If we mean to keep control over our world and lives, we must be interested in politics.”

Being the fighter that I am, I refuse to surrender to a kakistocracy, a government run by the least able and deserving. This Republican-led government wants us all to be poor, sick, stupid, scared, under their control, especially women, all to the benefit of the wealthy and connected. They think the fewer who vote, the better. Their policies significantly undermine my standard of living, my health, my job, my rights, my freedoms, and my future and that of my country. I hope you see that you will be similarly harmed and will therefore join me at the polling station to vote on Nov. 6.

Wayne H. Merritt, Dover


September, 27 2018

Governor Candidate Molly Kelly Visits Dover Speaking in Support Expanding Solar in NH

Her remarks: Before I begin, I want to recognize the critically important Supreme Court hearings taking place in Washington, D.C. this morning. The moment we find ourselves in today is actually bigger than a seat on our nation’s highest court.

It’s about whether or not we as a society take seriously the credible claims of misconduct against women.

Here’s where I stand: I believe women. I will listen to women. And I will stand with women every single day as governor. Women will no longer be silent.

Chris Sununu stands with Brett Kavanaugh – no matter what. That’s wrong, but it’s only the latest example of Sununu not putting the people of New Hampshire first.

Today, our state’s approach to energy is not working for most Granite Staters. Homeowners and renters are paying more to keep the lights on. Business owners are seeing their energy costs rise, and they’re questioning their ability to keep doing business in our state.

A big part of the problem is that ratepayers are not coming first. Instead, the best interests of utilities and outside fossil fuel companies are coming first.

It’s no coincidence that Chris Sununu received $50,000 in contributions from Eversource, and now he’s carrying out their agenda. Meanwhile, our electric bills are going up nearly 20 percent. That’s wrong.  

We have a choice: we can either look to the future, or maintain the status quo – and pay the price.  

Over the summer, I met with industry leaders and local government officials about the impact of Chris Sununu vetoing legislation to increase the system size limit on group net metering.

Five years ago, I introduced and led to passage New Hampshire’s first group net metering legislation. Our goal then, and our goal now with SB 446, is to create jobs, lower rates and promote renewable energy development.

By expanding group net metering, we would have been positioning New Hampshire to continue our growth of solar and other clean energy sources that save Granite Staters money and support thousands of jobs.

After all, businesses, cities and towns and facilities are eager to expand and help New Hampshire address our energy challenges.

Leaders like Mayor Weston Hampshire want renewable energy, not just because it’s good for the environment – but because it saves money, lowers rates and creates jobs.

We should not be going out of our way to protect a monopoly utility that gets a guaranteed rate return of at least 9 percent.

Instead, we must prioritize energy efficiency, renewable energy and the many benefits that come with these. I know well how we can support clean, locally-produced energy sources, because I’ve done it.

We cannot keep exporting billions of dollars every year for foreign energy. Instead, let’s produce more energy here at home and keep our money in our economy. Let’s attract more young people by building a robust clean economy, with good job opportunities.

We’ve been taking the same approach for more than 75 years, and our rates still keep going up. We can’t listen to just the utilities. Instead, we need a new approach so we can get a better outcome.

As Governor, I will move us to that clean energy future.

The status quo today is only delivering higher electric bills for all of us. That’s wrong. As Governor, I will put the people of our state first. That’s what the Governor of New Hampshire is supposed to do.

Thank you, and now I’m very happy to turn it over to my former colleague in the State Senate, David Watters!


Senator David Watters Supports Molly Kelly and Challenges Sununu's Bad Veto

Sen. Watters' remarks: Molly Kelly will be a governor who puts the people and Dover taxpayers first when it come to clean, cheaper energy.

In my 10 year in Concord, most vetoes are signs of legislature failure, but for SB446, the legislature succeeded, but Governor Sununu failed.  Republicans and Democrats crafted 446, especially Senators Clark, Feltes, Giuda, and majority leader Bradley. They worked closely with the utilities and the Public Utilities Commission, to write a bill that protected ratepayers and taxpayers and would create jobs.  

I worked with them to ensure the cap was raised high enough to include Dover and Somersworth projects.  After the bill passed the Senate and House, the Governor ignored the voice of the people to huddle privately with the utilities and heard voices like Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity who want King Coal to rule New Hampshire.

On veto day, Republicans and Senators Feltes and Fuller-Clark led the charge.  I read the letter from Mayor Weston and 12 other mayors calling for override. We  voted 21 - 3. That wa the will of the people.

I served with Molly Kelly for four year and saw a leader who did the hard work to forge compromise.  Molly Kelly worked to pass the original net metering bill For jobs, children families, businesses, health care, she rolled up her sleeves and got to work.  Molly Kell sees a bright new energy economy with new jobs, new technology, and lower prices. As a new solar energy day dawns, we can’t afford a governor who dwells in darkness.


September, 26 2018

From Foster.com

Letter: Have an honest conversation with a rape survivor

Enough already with Gary Gansburg’s offensive and what I believe is an ignorant letter (“Enough already,” published Sept. 24). First, he equates attempted rape with “overstepping boundaries” and a “dalliance” and, since the girls “seemed more forward than they were in real life,” suggests it must be the girls’ fault for leading them on. Secondly, he suggests she must have made it up (or Senator Feinstein did) because Ms. Ford does not remember details such as how she got to the party, or whom else attended some thirty years later.

Many decades ago, someone in authority and much older forced me into a supply closet and commanded me to pull my pants down. I was 14 years old. I don’t remember the date or other circumstances of that day. I do remember exactly what the inside of closet looked like, and the expression on his face, and his name. And also, like most other victims of sexual assault, I told no one. I knew he was wrong, but because I had at times liked other special attention, I thought somehow this was my shame and my fault. I buried that memory. Fortunately, hearing about a brave girl, a decade later, publicly accusing this same person, my mother put two and two together and understood why her own daughter had become withdrawn and fearful, and struggled in school after being such a good, smart girl. I gave a deposition in his case.

It might be something else that encourages us to speak about these things decades later, such as knowing the ‘boy’ who tried to rape you, is being nominated for one of the highest offices in the land. Knowing that other victims have come forward and now, perhaps, you’ll be believed.

Clearly, Mr. Gansburg hasn’t had an honest conversation with other survivors of rape or sexual misconduct, and has no idea what damage it does.

Democrats have criminal minds for wanting to delay this confirmation?

Supreme Court nominees should be held to the highest scrutiny, especially one so young to be appointed to a life-long position. We should expect our Supreme Court Justices to be truly exemplary human beings, beyond any reasonable doubt.

The Democrats are not politicizing this process. That the Republicans refused to even hold a hearing for Obama’s nomination, holding back almost a year, was an affront to democracy. What’s also wrong with Kavanaugh’s nomination is that it is primarily political.

The man has spent almost half his career in very political, non-judicial work (Independent counsel going after the Clintons, the Bush Whitehouse). He has only been a federal judge since 2006.

There many other justices with decades of judicial experience that are more deserving of this nomination. Kavanaugh was nominated because he is a party loyalist, and, given the now multiple accusations, is probably not a very nice man, just another one of the “good, old boys”.

Jessica LaMontagne, Dover

September, 20 2018

From Concord Monitor

Letter: Good work in the Senate

I watched the New Hampshire state Senate debate on Sept. 13 on the override of Gov. Chris Sununu’s vetoes of Senate bills 365 and 446. These bills provided rate support for three years for the state’s biomass-fueled power plants and increased the renewable energy net-metering cap from 1 to 5 megawatts, respectively.

I was so impressed with the eloquent, reasoned and nonpartisan statements in support of overriding the governor’s vetoes made by Sen. Dan Feltes, and several other senators, including Sens. David Watters, Kevin Avard, William Gannon, Jay Kahn, Jeff Woodburn, Martha Fuller Clark and Jeb Bradley. As a lifelong Granite Stater and keen observer of legislative matters, the votes made me very proud of our state Senate. The Senate voted to override both vetoes by 21-to-3 votes.

Thank you, Sen. Feltes, for your principled leadership on these bills. While the House also voted to override SB 365, members failed to meet the necessary two-thirds majority to override the veto on the net metering bill. I hope legislators will revisit this opportunity to enhance the economic benefits of energy produced from renewable solar, hydro and other resources when they return next session.




September, 14 2018

From Fosters.com by Brian Early

Energy bill vote disappoints Dover, Somersworth mayors

DOVER — The failure of the N.H. House to override the governor’s veto that would have expanded net-metering was met with disappointment from Dover and Somersworth mayors, who lobbied House and Senate members to vote for the override.

“I do not believe the House members who voted against the veto understood the savings that would have occurred in each community,” said Mayor Karen Weston. “I’m really disappointed.”

Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard said, “The two biggest losers are the consumers and Mother Earth.”

The Senate voted 21-3 vote to override Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of Senate Bill 446, which would have expanded net-metering cap from one megawatt to five megawatts. It would have required energy suppliers to purchase the energy above wholesale market rates, as the current law requires. But the House failed to obtain a two-thirds majority in its 213-128 vote. The failure to override the net-metering bill came after both chambers voted to override SB 365, which will require utility companies to buy power from the state’s biomass power plants at above-market rates.

All 13 mayors in the state had signed onto a letter that urged the passage of both bills, an action Weston and Hilliard both called “unprecedented.”

The cities of Dover and Somersworth are investigating the feasibility of solar arrays, including on former landfill sites. Somersworth is working on a solar project on the landfill, which is now considered a Superfund site, on Blackwater Road. Dover is looking at putting one at the Tolend Road landfill. Hilliard said the project, which he said is perfect for a Superfund site, would not be derailed by the legislature failing to override the veto. “It certainly would have put more teeth in the game moving this project forward,” he said.

Dover Assistant City Manager Christopher Parker said the city would continue to work with the solar consultant it has contracted with and look at the viability at smaller-scale projects on city-owned land and buildings.

In Portsmouth, Public Works Director Peter Rice said while the city has no large solar projects in the works, it is monitoring the situation.

September, 12 2018

From New York Times  By Sydney Ember

Molly Kelly Has a Message for Republicans: ‘Do Not Underestimate Me’

Molly Kelly stopped to talk with a neighbor and supporter, Joyce Barron, outside the Harrisville Town Clerk offices before voting in New Hampshire on Tuesday.CreditCreditElizabeth Frantz for The New York Times

Established Democrats have found themselves under siege from the left this year, with several prominent lawmakers falling to more liberal challengers. Molly Kelly, a former state senator, avoided that fate in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, defeating a progressive opponent to become the 15th woman to win her primary for governor this season.

But in November, Ms. Kelly, 68, will be a decided underdog: Her Republican opponent, Chris Sununu, is one of the most popular governors in the country.

Like most politicians, however, she is optimistic about her chances and undaunted by the challenge ahead.

Ms. Kelly spoke to The Times about her victory, New Hampshire’s history of voting for women and what she thinks about President Trump.

The following is an edited and condensed version of the conversation.

Q. Congratulations again on your big win. Were you out late celebrating?

A. It was a great night and an evening with so many friends and supporters and my family. But you know, the most important thing is we are up ready to go this morning.

Where in the state are you this morning?

We’ve headed out to Manchester to meet with voters and start campaigning.

No rest for the weary?

No, I don’t think we could anyway. I’m excited, and this is where we wanted to be this morning. So I am happy to be busy and back campaigning.

This is a state that Senator Bernie Sanders won in the presidential primary by 22 points. But in a year when some Democrats are losing to more progressive candidates, you bucked that trend. Why do you think that was? Is New Hampshire over Bernie-ism?

No, Sydney. I have been progressive my entire life, before I was in the State Senate and during the State Senate. I think that the voters clearly saw that. I have championed women’s rights, women’s reproductive rights, my entire life and will continue as governor to ensure that New Hampshire does not go backwards on reproductive rights.

Being progressive, being bold is not new to me.

Does it say something specifically, culturally, about New Hampshire that voters seem to be willing to elect women?

I think they trust women. We have been out there working hard. I have throughout my career as well. I think we have worked hard, and also our messages about putting people first, making sure the economy works for everyone, not just a few, is important.

Today as well, I truly believe that women will not be silenced, and they were not last night.

You are 68 and running against one of the most popular governors in the country. Why are you doing this to yourself?

Oh, I am not doing this to myself. I am doing this for the people I represent and will serve here in this state. We think about paid family medical leave as an issue and a bill that I will make a reality for the people here in New Hampshire. We have Chris Sununu who calls it a vacation.

I am moving forward with 100 percent renewable [energy] so that we have clean air, clean water — making sure that all future generations live in a climate and environment that’s healthy for them. These are the things I’m focusing on.

It sounds as if you are not daunted by your opponent in the general election?

Look, I’ve been underestimated before. And I think it’s a clear message to Chris Sununu and others as well: Do not underestimate me.

I’ve been underestimated when I was a young single mom with three small children, raising them myself and making sure that I could go back and finish my education, and living on a college campus with my children and taking on all of those challenges and raising them myself and working my way through college. I managed an apartment complex that my children and I lived in and then I waitressed one night a week at Papa Gino’s and even had a rural paper route in Peterborough, New Hampshire. I know what challenges are about, and I was underestimated then and rose to that occasion, took on those challenges. I am not afraid of a challenge when I know it’s the right thing to do.

September, 11 2018


Democrat Chris Pappas gives victory speech after 1st CD win



September, 10 2018

From Dover Democratic Committee


Dover, NH --- September 9, 2018 --- The Dover Democratic Committee (DDC) will hold its first post-primary meeting September 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Democratic Headquarters at 16 Sixth Street in Dover.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will offer an opportunity for interested citizens to focus on the November general election, sharing strategies and concerns. We are also hoping that a few surprise guests will join the session!

The headquarters will operate until beyond the November 6 election, and there are numerous opportunities to pitch in. Please visit our website www.doverdemocrats.org or stop by 16 Sixth Street if you would like to help.