G O P Senate Candidate Scott Brown is taking incoming fire from rivals Bob Smith and Jim Rubens.
As more becomes known about the simply awful scandal involving the deaths of forty veterans awaiting care the V A Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, Rubens has pointed the long finger of blame at Brown. In citing news reports about the deaths, Rubens also referred to stories of V A hospital administrators in multiple states falsifying appointment backlog records not just to hide the long wait to provide our veterans’ the care they need, but also to obtain nearly two hundred million dollars in bonus pay for themselves.
Rubens said Brown, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, was present at hearings involving the lying to get bonuses scandal and quoted him as saying the testimony was mind boggling as he held up documents regarding a veteran that committed suicide while awaiting treatment. Rubens accused Brown of offering sound bites but taking no action. He said “Brown failed to lead and left the problem unsolved.” When asked for comment, Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Guyton said it was unfortunate that Rubens had abandoned his no-attack campaign pledge. We’ve linked to our interview with Brown where we asked him about the scandal and to Rubens’ release with the charges.
Meanwhile, former Senator Bob Smith, who is campaigning to regain the seat he lost in two thousand two, took aim at recent comments Brown made on increasing the minimum wage. Incumbent Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Health Care Queen, recently took the the Senate Floor to proudly announce her support for jacking the minimum wage up to ten dollars and ten cents from its current seven dollars and change. In a press release issued yesterday, Smith quotes Brown saying quote “I haven’t read the bill. I certainly would be willing to be part of the conversation, as I have been before,” when asked a direct question about raising the minimum wage. Smith used the occasion to announce his unequivocal opposition to the proposed increase saying quote “I am opposed to the federal government (or any government) setting or establishing a minimum wage. Wages are to be negotiated between an employer and his/her employee. There is no constitutional role for government in this process. Establishing a minimum wage could cost thousands of jobs.” Smith said the choice for Republicans in the primary was clear, accusing Brown of having an history of equivocating on issues then voting with the Democrats, which Smith claims Brown did sixty two percent of the time while in the Senate.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
State revenues fell unexpectedly short in April, falling twenty million dollars behind revenue estimates. That’s just the latest bad news for a state budget that’s had any number of challenges as state spending has continued to grow despite a continued weak and faltering economy. Senate President Chuck Morse issued a statement calling on state departments to quote “evaluate their budgets and take all necessary steps to ensure they can meet their lapses and spending targets.” He again called on the House of Representatives to take the fifteen million dollar surplus from the last budget and put it all in the state’s Rainy Day Fund saying quote “It should be painfully obvious at this point that any effort to spend any portion of this surplus would be ill-advised and harmful for our state’s fiscal standing.” Morse said significant work must be done prior to the legislative session’s end to address the state’s deteriorating financial position and that he’s asked Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester to meet with department heads and evaluate their financial situation and determine what legislative action would be necessary to correct the potentially staggering shortfalls the state’s facing in revenues.
The City of Manchester Department of Public Works will be holding its next Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event on Saturday, May 10, from 9 to 2. The event will be held at the Drop Off Facility on Dunbarton Road. Participants will have to prove residency. Huh, too bad you don’t have to do that to vote. Anyway, the details of what materials they will and won’t accept and how much of what they will take and how it has to be delivered are linked to this newscast at Girard at Large dot com. Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event flyer.
Finally, a disturbing and developing story is coming out of Gilford High School. And, yes, I know it’s out of our listening area, but it’s along the lines of stories we’ve been following locally in the Bedford and Timberlane school districts regarding wildly inappropriate materials being introduced into the classroom. And while this one is not a survey, it is another example of parents that should have been notified of graphic content so they could exercise their legal right under state law to opt their children out and substitute for the material. At issue is the book Nineteen Minutes, written by Jodi Picoult. It was assigned to a freshman English class as required reading by the teacher. The story is about teens, laced with profanity, graphic sexual encounters, murder, suicide and other, frankly, disgusting materials that most parents would rightly be concerned about. We’ve been in contact with parents that aren’t amused and hope to have an interview Monday morning to give the details. The bottom line is this: Folks you’ve got to be looking at the school work being assigned to your kids. We’ll post excerpts and reviews of this book forwarded by the parents. Warning, they’re not for the feint of heart.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ starts right now!