By: Tiffany Muller
New Hampshire families don’t have much patience for Washington, D.C.
Dysfunction has paralyzed Congress. It’s failed to pass a budget, it can’t agree on an energy plan, and it won’t even hold a hearing on a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s gotten so bad that the Centers for Disease Control can’t get funding to fight the Zika virus – a serious public health emergency.
Washington could learn a lot from New Hampshire. Under Governor Maggie Hassan’s bipartisan leadership, the state has fostered a business-friendly environment, frozen tuition at state universities for the first time in 25 years, and established the New Hampshire Health Protection program.
Governor Hassan has also been a leader in cleaning up New Hampshire politics. As a State Senator, and then as Governor, she’s stood up to special interests and helped bring stronger disclosure laws in our elections so that we know who’s behind the blizzard of political ads.
Washington needs Maggie Hassan’s problem-solving more than ever at a time when special interests and partisanship dominate Congress. Unfortunately, New Hampshire’s own Senator Kelly Ayotte has made the problem worse.
Billionaires and corporate special interests have invested millions of dollars in political ads supporting Ayotte and in contributions to her campaign. And Ayotte supports their agenda at the expense of New Hampshire families.
From her vote to eliminate Medicare and push seniors into a voucher system that would benefit the insurance industry donors who gave more than half a million dollars to her campaign, to her vote to keep huge tax breaks for Big Oil allies who donated over $400,000 to her when we desperately need money to repair crumbling roads and bridges, Ayotte has failed to stand up for New Hampshire. She scores high on special interest scorecards while failing to fulfill her most important responsibilities.
Getting Kelly Ayotte to side with New Hampshire families shouldn’t be this hard.
She has resisted attempts by reformers to clean up the system. She’s voted against a constitutional amendment that would have overturned Citizens United, which lets these corporate special interests spend unlimited money to support her. She’s also voted three times to allow political donors to shield their identities. Permitting these secret and unlimited donations also opens the door for foreign governments to meddle in our elections.
Across the country, groups like End Citizens United are standing up against these mistakes. New Hampshire and the country just can’t afford more of the same – politicians bought and paid for by the millionaires and billionaires who are calling the shots. Senator Ayotte’s election year flip-flops won’t fool New Hampshire families. If she doesn’t have the courage to withdraw her support for Donald Trump, how can we expect her to fight for families threatened by the special interests funding her campaign?
In order to fix Washington, we need leaders willing to challenge these corporate special interests, not coddle them.
This fall, New Hampshire voters have a golden opportunity to help break the gridlock and end the dysfunction. They can send Maggie Hassan to the Senate. If we want a government that is responsive to all of its citizens – a democracy that truly represents all of the people – we need more of Maggie Hassan’s commitment to problem-solving, and less of Kelly Ayotte’s politics of backing special interests and dysfunction.