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A Man of the People?

by Jim Mastro

Governor Sununu tries to pass himself off as a man of the people, looking out for our best interests. His actions tell a different story.

He has called himself pro-choice, but he happily signed the first abortion ban in modern NH history, and he has said he’d be happy to sign any others that come his way. He apparently has little regard for women having control over their own bodies and making their own healthcare decisions. New Hampshire has a proud history of expanding voting access and voter rights, but Governor Sununu signed the first bill to restrict voting rights, based on Republican paranoia about busloads of Massachusetts residents coming up to vote here. Seriously? How would that work? Poll workers dutifully check my ID whenever I vote. The fraud Republicans are talking about (and know is false) is impossible. Actual voter fraud anywhere in America is almost nonexistent, and the few instances where it occurred in the last election were overwhelmingly committed by Republican voters. The Governor has also vetoed numerous bills that would have benefited the people of New Hampshire, many of which had Republican support. Some of the bills he vetoed would have: - saved businesses and homeowners money by reducing their energy costs (Senate Bill 159 - net metering). Reducing those same costs on municipal services would have resulted in a lower tax burden for homeowners, and according to a new study, would have lowered electricity rates for everyone. - saved lives by temporarily preventing people in crisis from having access to firearms (HB 687 - “Red Flag”). Nineteen states have already passed such laws, but apparently for New Hampshire leadership, lives are not important if it means upsetting the gun lobby. - provided a paid family and medical leave program (HB 712), even though he says he supports such a thing. He often says what he thinks we want to hear, but then he does the opposite. A family and medical leave program would have helped people with a new child, or someone caring for a sick parent. - raised the minimum wage in New Hampshire (HB 731). Currently, it is the federal minimum, which is $7.25 an hour. Do you know anyone who can live on that? - provided access to medical monitoring for people exposed to toxic chemicals (HB 1375). This bill was about protecting the health of people at risk from the pollution caused by big business. As usual, Sununu voted in favor of the polluters.

- established independent, non-partisan redistricting (HB 1665). Rather than being fair and equitable, the Governor was happy to side with those in his party who have no interest in fairness but instead want to cheat the system by gerrymandering. - expanded absentee voting (HB 1672), something that is critical in a pandemic. - restricted firearms on school property (HB 564). This one is really hard to understand. With all the school shootings across the country, why would he veto something as common sense as this?

There are many more examples. All of these bills would have benefited New Hampshire citizens, either by saving them money, increasing their safety, reducing their taxes, improving their health, or increasing their rights. Overall, they would have made life better for all of us. All got vetoed. Why? Because John Sununu doesn’t work for the people of New Hampshire. He works for corporations and the gun lobby, and he panders to the Free Staters who want to demolish our democracy and turn the Granite State into some sort of libertarian dystopia. Above all, Sununu works for himself and his political ambitions. We need someone in the governor’s office who works for us. We need to vote Sununu out.

About the author

Jim Mastro holds a Bachelor of Science in zoology from San Diego State University and a

Master of Arts in English from the University of New Hampshire. He has had several careers in the last 50 years, including seal trainer, field biologist, laboratory manager, university professor, professional diver, and technical editor. Currently, he is a full time author, with eight published books and a ninth in production. Originally from San Diego, for the last 22 years he has lived in New Hampshire with his wife, son, and a crazy little fuzz-muffin of a dog.

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