by Ken Gorrell,
Weirs Times Contributing Writer
It’s time to name names. It’s time to take off the gloves and fight back against those who hurt our state. It’s time for the NH GOP to draw a line in cement and demand that those who run for office as Republicans either toe it or run under a different banner.
A few weeks after we elected a Republican governor while maintaining Republican majorities in the House and Senate – something nearly as rare as a blue moon – I penned an essay for these pages supporting Right to Work legislation. Last week, thanks to nearly three dozen Representatives whose actions define “RINO,” the Right to Work Senate Bill 11 died in the House.
Passing RTW would have made NH a shining beacon in New England, helping us compete regionally for jobs. As I wrote a few months ago, attracting and retaining job-creating businesses and young people looking to get ahead in life requires being business-friendly. Compared to forced-unionism states, the unemployment rate in RTW states is lower; median incomes (after adjusting for the cost of living) are higher; and governments spend and tax less per capita. Right to Work must be considered a foundational issue to the GOP.
After the disappointing vote, National Right to Work President Mark Mix reminded supporters of choice in the workplace that “from 2005 to 2015, real private sector employee pay and benefits in Right to Work states grew by nearly 17% — almost a third more growth than forced-unionism states saw as a whole, and more than double what New Hampshire saw individually.” That is what some who call themselves Republicans voted against.
But it’s worse than that. After failing to pass the Senate RTW bill, the “GOP majority” House voted to ensure its own RTW bill could not be brought up for discussion or a vote this session. So, in the Live Free or Die state, employees will continue to be compelled to pay into union coffers…coffers which provide generously and one-sidedly to Progressive causes and Democrat candidates.
The Democrats voted in lock-step against Right to Work. That’s no surprise for a party that consistently puts organized union interests ahead of workers and taxpayers. But what more evidence of being on the wrong side of a vote do some Republicans need? When your ideological opponents are “all-in” on an issue, you better get out, and fast.
It’s time for the new leadership of the state’s GOP to not just come out strong about voting against issues that are foundational for conservatives. It’s time to actively and forcefully work against those who damage the party by failing to uphold its principles.
The state GOP should work now to identify viable candidates to challenge wayward Republicans in the 2018 primary. Those candidates should be assured they will receive state party financial and ground campaign support – money and people to pound the pavement and knock on doors to help them get elected. There aren’t many issues that require ideological purity, but Right to Work is such an issue.
To say this anti-worker and anti-business vote demonstrates a lack of leadership in the House would be an understatement. We are poorly served yet again this term. Governor Sununu made it clear that this was a key vote on an issue of great importance to the state. Speaker Jasper and his House leadership failed to deliver; whether by incompetence or intent is anyone’s guess. We deserve what we tolerate, and the time for tolerance is over.
Here are the names of so-called Republicans who voted against Right to Work, who voted to hurt our state’s economic competitiveness:
Crawford, Karel (R, Ctr Harbor), Merner, Troy (R, Lancaster), Pierce, David (R, Goffstown), Proulx, Mark (R, Manchester), McCarthy, Michael (R, Nashua), Hopper, Gary (R, Weare), Klose, John (R, Epsom), Woitkun, Steven (R, Danville), Chirichiello, Brian (R, Derry), Dowling, Patricia (R, Derry), Katsakiores, Phyllis (R, Derry), Milz, David (R, Derry), Tripp, Richard (R, Derry), Webb, James (R, Derry), Willis, Brenda (R, Derry), Morrison, Sean (R, Epping), Guthrie, Joseph (R, Hampstead), Pearson, Mark (R, Hampstead), Bean, Philip (R, Hampton), Welch, David (R, Kingston), Bove, Martin (R, Londonderry), McKinney, Betsy (R, Londonderry), Doucette, Fred (R, Salem), Chase, Francis (R, Seabrook), Janvrin, Jason (R, Seabrook), Khan, Aboul (R, Seabrook), Tilton, Rio (R, Seabrook), Scruton, Matthew (R, Rochester), Laware, Thomas (R, Charlestown), Gauthier, Francis (R, Claremont), O’Connor, John (R, Claremont), Grenier, James (R, Lempster)
Along with Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper, these names should be engraved on a GOP wall of shame.